A Chapter by Raven Starhawk

The Seed of the Serpent


Trees twisted in directions that should have been impossible for wood, yet they achieved distorted angles, waved their branches as deep sunken eyes, jagged mouths and malformed orifices opened down their torsos. Among them a mass shifted, hunched and inched closer to the pond.  Ripples surged across its dark waters as pellets of blood hit the surface. A crooked finger traced the oozing gashes. Pain flared instantly throughout its upper arm and it recoiled, trembling until the last fiery current died. It watched its reflection in the water do the same. It huffed. Two crimson eyes narrowed as embers swelled and burnt hot within each iris. A long flat nose flared its black nostrils as thin lips pulled back to expose yellow stained teeth.

A violent downward strike distorted its image and sent shockwaves through the small pond. It slouched forward. Small hairs at the nape of its neck stood erect as a cool breeze raked over it. This place where endless wonders never ceased proved quite precarious.

There was little time for thought or rest. Time served as neither a friend nor gentle reminder. Its presence was something besides solicited. The cold hard fact was thrust upon it. Every turn presented a new nightmare, every avenue a lone and polluted path enforcing solitude.

“There you are,” sang a velvet voice.

The Master cocked a sandy brow and raised a smooth bleached finger to stroke the coarse tuff of hair along its neck. Instantly the pain ceased and it shifted its gaze to the four slashes. Flesh and skin came together and left no memory of hurt or blood.

“You have a job to do,” Master spoke softly, his eyes burning brightly. “You must not feel pity for them. Don’t you know they offer you nothing except hate? They despise you. Don’t you want to repay them for it?”

The beast slouched forward onto four cloven hooves. Its lips parted. Across a creased forehead a web of black veins throbbed and it made a grunt of affirmation.

“Good,” said the Master whose smile now spread.

Standing erect, the beast towered over him and stretched claw like hands skyward. A series of pops followed as it thrust its spine back and galloped off into the night. The surrounding heights of Pine trees would serve as the perfect cover, but as it strode closer to neon lights and grumbling machines spitting smoke, its presence no longer would be clandestine.

The Master watched only for a moment and then shifted his attention elsewhere. Tilting his head back as moonlight highlighted his already luminous features, he closed his eyes. The scent of Pine hung heavy, tingled his senses though they were all but authentic, and somewhere crickets began to chirp. He lowered his ear for a listen. Slowly his eyes opened. In a rush of thought he wished them dead, figured them worthless creatures capable of only the most insignificant responsibilities and silence quickly fell.

A dark smile sketched his face. His finger linked as his hands folded across his chest and slowly his feet lifted off the ground. He rose not an inch but several into the air before he looked at his toes cased in black boots and wiggled them.

Tonight, he thought, there will not be a living thing who dares deny my existence.

© 2016 Raven Starhawk

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Added on June 12, 2016
Last Updated on June 12, 2016
Tags: Fantasy, Horror, Fiction, Armageddon