A Black Ascent

The young woman lay trembling on the cold damp stone slab, her muffled whimpers creeping past the gag wrapped tightly around her mouth. She watched the hooded figure as he hummed to himself in some nonsensical tune while he sorted through various objects that were crusted in dried blood. Her eyes widened in the horrific realization that she would not leave this place alive. The figure turned to her, slowly, deliberately. The hooded figure approached her and lingered at the end of the slab by her feet. He revealed a long fingered, pale, bony hand, and caressed one foot. She looked at him, his face, but saw nothing. It was shadow. It was blackness. It was hell.

"Ahh…so you see now my child." Said a voice from with in that blackened hood. A low voice, deep and hoarse at the same time. The woman’s trembles became shakes. He slowly made his way around the slab toward her head, trailing his pale fingers along her body as he moved, and finally resting them over her forehead as if he were checking for a fever. The blackness of that hood was so close to her now, and still she saw nothing. His head tilted up slightly as if he were pondering, and he took in a wheezy breath.

"Your people.." He paused, and she moaned horrified. His face! She could see it! But oh god how she wish it were blackened again.

"…you wander aimlessly. Too and fro for that ever so important errand, for the clink of coins, for your desires…." The face becoming more clear. It…moved. No it still looked upwards as he spoke as if the air held his thoughts, but his features….moved! Her eyes seemed to peel back as the face became more and more distinctive.

"….yet you do not know significance, a significance other than, yourselves." His face turned down to her and her eyes met what were his eyes. Empty, hollow, Hell. His face was as a multitude of maggots. Twisting, turning, and weaving over and over and over. She screamed.

"Your dreams, " he continued, leaning in closer. "your hopes, like leaves in the breeze. All it takes is a strong wind, to blow it all away." He raised a bloody dagger to her throat and slid it across. Her muffled scream became a choking gurgle.

"And I, am the storm."

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