Oh, and all you paid to read it was......nothing. It's absolutely free, so don't complain! :D
Before you criticise, compare it to how much you're written.. lol ;)
Anyway, I just decided to start up this storyline again, so here is what I wrote tonight after work when I was bored:
WARNING! MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ANYONE, HIDE YOUR CHILDREN, .... in fact, always hide your children, I don't want to see them anyway. ;D I haven't read this back yet, or changed much of anything, so keep that in mind. It will most likely see numerous revisions later on. On to the free story hour: (This is right after my necromancer comes to a burned village and finds a pile of bodies and a young 18 year old girl, still alive amongst the rubble. He is overcome by the evil ring of souls that he is wearing and it forces him to kill her and leech out her soul, or so he thinks. This is right after they both collapse and fade to black from the previous chapter)
Chapter 8 Milly
She awoke in a field of wildflowers, surrounded by warmth and sweet smells. The sun beamed all around. It shined all over the tall grass and glinted brightly in the light blue sky. Suddenly she remembered that her father must be looking for her. Her mother would be cross if she was gone too long, for who knew what troubles the wilderness hid. She could hear her name being called out from far away, "Milly! Milly, where are you, girl? Don't make me come hunt you down!." She recognized the voice as her father's. Milly immediately sprang to her feet and began hopping along through the grass, bounding past branches and stones, towards her humble home.
She could smell roast chicken and potatoes in the distance, and the familiar scent of wood smoke from the firepit. She could now almost hear her mother puttering around in the kitchen. By kitchen, one could also mean bedroom, living room, or any other room but bathroom. The house had always been small, made of logs and twigs, held together with dried mud and rope, with a straw thatch roof on top. It was more of a hut, really, and scarecly large enough to contain her small family.
Her father stood impatiently in the roadway with his blue overalls dingy from a days work and his brow furrowed with worry.
He set down his woodcutting axe to cup his thick, calloused fingers to his mouth, shouting, "Milly! It's time for dinner!" He did not seem to see her even as she drew closer. Soon she was upon him and reached out to hug her father. She threw her arms around him and held him tight, sorry that she had made him worry so much. She closed her eyes and felt his rough body comfort her, as he always had, and she felt safe and loved.
However, the scene was not so pleasant when she opened her eyes, for what happened next filled her with unparallelled horror. She looked up to find that her father was nothing but a blackened corpse, buried in a pile of other bodies, trapped and sinking fast. She clawed at the arms and legs and clothes surrounding him, but he continued to sink in as if being swallowed up. Her mother clawed her way through the doorway to the hut and gave an evil hiss. Her face had been burned beyond recognition, and her hands were blackened claws, reaching for Milly.
Suddenly her eyes opened, and she was back in the air, staring down the arm of the man in black robes. Her life had flashed before her eyes as he was slowly choking her to death with the iron grip of one hand. He seemed a man posessed, filled with rage and hatred and callous wrath. She could not understand what had happened to make him change this way. He had shown her love and compassion without even knowing her, and would take her away from this awful place. He had to be her knight in shining armor, she just knew it. He would rescue her from the destruction of her town, and home, and family. She had thrown herself at his mercy, but instead of helping her, things had taken a turn for the worst.
Her body became limp and she could feel her life force draining out like water through a pump. Tears still streamed down her face as she looked up at her killer. He was the only one left for miles around, and though he was choking the life out of her, she was not afraid. She did not want to live in this world any more, and if he would not save her, then at least he could end her misery quickly. After all, what did she have left to live for? Everything she ever knew or loved was gone now, and she could not bear the sight of its absence anymore.
Soon her heart stopped, and her lungs froze, and a strange chill passed over her entire body. It was something unnatural that she had never felt before, nor ever would again. The feeling was completely obscure, and unique. It had a certain strange quality of being surreal, like if the oceans and seas suddenly stopped in mid-tide, and lay still like glass, or if the sky was purple instead of blue.
She could feel herself die, and a part of her went missing. She did not struggle, she surrendered to the man's cruel demands, and gave him her life willingly, for whatever purposes he may have. Soon he was crying out in pain and fell to the ground in a heap, dropping her to her knees before him. Milly looked around quietly with concern, wondering what had just happened. She clutched her neck reflexively, and noticed that it was numb when she rubbed it with her cold hand.
The pretty young girl kneeled down by the robed man and sighed quietly. He looked so frail and helpless lying face down in the ash like that. He looked so weak that she actually felt sorry for him. She sat down in the soot with a crunch and pulled his head over to her lap. She stroked his hair gently with her quickly paling fingers and hummed a sweet little tune. She whispered to his unconscious figure, "I forgive you...," and kissed him on the forehead gently. She sat quietly like this for hours, keeping him safe throughout the night.
. . .
Milly didn't sleep that night, nor would she ever sleep again, for now she was the walking undead. Well, technically, she was the sitting undead if anyone is keeping track. She would not sleep, eat, drink, breathe, cry, sweat, or drool. Nor would any other normal bodily processes we normally take for granted work. She could however still feel, and could still feel very strong emotions. Right now she felt sadness, and a deep, overwhelming loneliness. It was deathly silent all around her for hours except for the shallow breathing of her prince charming, unconscious in her lap.
The only difference between her now and one of those rotting undead who were pulling the cart were two things: a) she had somehow retained her personality, and b) she was not riddled with years of decay, and rot. Her body was still as silky smooth and soft as it ever was, from her long flowing hair all the way to the bottoms of her now blackened toes. She clawed at the ashes idly with her toes and realized that even though she could hear the crunching under her feet, she could not feel anything. Everything was a dull pressure to her now, if any sensation at all. She experimented by biting her own arm, and felt nothing except the feeling of being snagged on something. She felt oddly still and silent without her constant breath and heartbeat. She had always taken it for granted in life, and couldn't even really hear herself do it. In contrast, now she could definately hear it's absence. It was eerie, and she took comfort in the limp man's steady shallow breaths. She did not know what he would do when he awoke, so she could only wait, and hope.
After about 12 hours, the man awoke with a start and scrambled back about eight feet in the thick coating of ash on the ground. He looked at the lifeless figure of Milly, sitting motionless and silent in the ash, as if she had always been that way. He suddenly remembered what had happened, and tugged violently on the ring around his finger. The ring hissed and dug it's tendrils deeper into his bone marrow; a shriek of pained souls wracked his brain, and grew louder each time he tugged at it. "Curse this unbearable curse!" he said, even though it seemed redundant to say so.
His eyes inevitably drew over to Milly, and locked on her lifeless form. "I must have killed her," he said rather regretfully. "Funny, I hadn't intended on doing that just yet.", he said scratching his head. He then drew his fingers through his long brown hair, and straightened it a bit, and combed out some of the ash from his goatee. "She seemed so pretty, and sweet, and pathetic, that I could not resist her. I don't understand though, why did my reanimation spell not work?" he said rhetorically. He did have the habit of always talking to himself. The way he saw it, who better was there to talk to, especially when you are usually alone.
"It did work," Milly said as she looked up at him, "but maybe not like you had expected." He gasped in alarm as he stared at her in horror. "You can speak!" he cried out in the silence of the razed village. "Of course I can speak, why wouldn't I be able to?" She looked at him with an impatient and confused glance. The necromancer looked utterly flabbergasted, in addition to the fact that his face was smudged from top to bottom with black soot, and his robes were now filthy. "...But..but..but.. you were supposed to die, and become my slave," he stammered with a shocked look on his face.
Milly looked at him for a moment, and chuckled musically in her sweet tone, and said, "I did, and I am, Master." She smiled coyly and fluttered her eyes innocently at him, terribly amused at his sudden loss of composure. "Perhaps your magic ring had something to do with it all, am I not good enough for you, Master?" He looked at her, searching her face for sarcasm, or seriousness, but couldn't detect either, he then looked at the ring which still seemed to give off an aura of anger and hunger around his finger.
"Well, if I am to keep you, then I will introduce myself. I am Darius Longshadow, necromancer and new keeper of the ring of souls, what might your name be?" he said with a bow. Milly looked at him and bowed exaggeratingly low, so much that she almost fell over, and replied, "I am Milly, Milly Cutter. I was merely a poor peasant girl with nowhere left to go." As an afterthought, she added the word "Master."
She did not know exactly what his motivations were, or why he did what he did, but she right away knew that he liked to be in total control and she could see him visibly shiver with pleasure whenever she said the word "Master". She did not mind being submissive, after all, she had planned on being a housewife someday, and it made her happy to give him this pleasure. She knew that if she did what he wanted, he might keep her with him, and perhaps treat her well, and they would be together. He on the other hand was drawn to her, fascinated by this new magic, and had only heard tales of vampires and liches who had kept their souls even after death.
Darius could not take his eyes off of her, and in a fit of experimental passion, he grabbed her in his arms and kissed her deeply once again. Just like the first time, she went limp in his arms and he took a long, slow, deep kiss from her lips. And even though they were cold, her lips were sweet like honey, and she melted in his embrace.
Darius backed up and looked at her with a newly found confidence, and pointed to the ground in front of himself. "If you are to be my slave, then I shall mark you forever more as my property, now kneel before me, now!" he demanded in a stern tone. She looked a little taken aback for a moment, and then kneeled over in front of him, up to her knees in ash everywhere. He looked her straight in the eye as he pulled a black leather strap from off of his belt and tucked his extra beltpouch into an inner pocket of his robes. Then he said in a very deliberate and demanding tone, "Now give me your neck.. offer it to me. This must be voluntary on your part." She leaned her head back and offered up her neck to him, willing to do whatever he said, wondering with anticipation what he would do.
He placed the black leather strap around her neck and then made a quick gesture at the two loose ends in front, as a flash of red light burst from the leather and the strap fused together into a collar. He slowly traced red glowing runes along the entire length of the collar with his finger, and drew a large round sigil on the very front of it, at the widest part. The sigil looked like a gout of flame with a keyhole in the center, with the words "Darius" printed in an arch above the symbol. He smiled with a deep satisfaction, and said, "Now you are truly mine." "Perhaps I shall take you for my bride. I have always been a lonely man."
Milly made a good attempt at blushing, considering she has no working circulatory system, and looked up at him, happy for a brief moment at least. "Come, my pet, let us leave this dismal place and search for some answers to what happened here. I am curious who could do such a thing, and why." Milly stood up and looked behind her at the huge pile of corpses, and then glanced over at Darius with an upset look. "What are we going to do with all of them? We can't just leave them like this.." she said, looking at all her townsfolk mournfully. Darius looked at her and said with a wicked smirk, "Don't worry my dear, we are taking them with us." That was when all Hell broke loose.
Darius wandered over to his cart and pulled out his staff, spellbook, and various and sundry components that he had stored in there. He came back to the grisly scene of the massacre with the look of a child with a new toy. Milly could only look on in confused anticipation of what he could possibly mean by "taking them with us". Surely he couldn't mean they would be carting along her entire village for some sort of ceremonial burial. Darius began pouring blood slowly from a brass bowl around the pile of bodies in a large circle, and sprinkling all sorts of alchemical substances along the lines of it. He etched some runes here and there with a finger, and chuckled to himself as they began to glow like her collar. Soon, Darius clutched his staff tightly and held it up high, shouting for all the heavens to hear, "CORPUS ANIMUS GRANDIOSE!".
Milly could see the ring on his finger pulse with a blinding white light, as there was a flash and the sounds of several souls shrieking as they escaped the ring and retreated to the twisting nether. Blood poured from his hand into the ring as it twisted and heated and tugged at him, tearing at his flesh. Darius cried out in pain as a huge beam of light shot from his staff up into the sky and lit up the heavens. The light was like a spotlight all the way up to the moon, as sparkling yellow dust began to rain down upon the town. Soon, the pile of bodies began to twist and moan, and come to life. In a grotesque dance the corpses of everyone from the village, began to shuffle and claw their way apart from one another and stood in a large mindless crowd in front of Darius.
Darius lay wracked with pain on the ground clutching his head for several minutes until the effects of the ring lessened, and he could regain his feet. He stood marvelling at his handiwork with an incredulous grin on his face. "Wow, such power, I could never have done so many at once without the ring, but I could not have imagined it would release the souls after expending their power. I wish I knew exactly what was going on in there. My curiosity is maddening."
Suddenly, a flash of lightning appeared, and a thunderclap rang out unexpectedly. Seconds later a stinging rain began to fall all over everything. It beat down on the ash making it a soupy black mud, and covering Darius and Milly with gray acidic liquid. "Quick, into the cart, Love." Darius exclaimed, "I don't want you getting all chewed up by this filth." He ushered her into his small cabin and locked the door. "Don't worry, they'll be fine, their souls are already free anyway. Not even this ring can harm a free soul. I believe it may be able to attract or repel free souls, and perhaps remove and return souls from bodies, but not harm them at all."
"Everyone knows that souls are immortal, and cannot be enslaved. The gods gave our spirits free will, that is our divine right, and nothing can take that away." Darius waxed philosophical for a moment as he could see steam rising from his and Milly's clothes. "Oh my, the acid has seeped into our clothes, we must remove them or it could burn and scar us both!" he exclaimed with concern. Milly was very shy, but if it was dangerous, she was willing to go along with removing her smouldering dress. She decided that whatever dignity she had must have died with her body. And as she allowed Darius to strip her down bare, she began to wonder if she still had a soul.