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Dark Penance

Dark Penance

Penance is an agent of the dark ones, collecting dark souls for his master to feed

Dark Penance

George opened his eyes. He felt cold laying on a slab of cold stone. He glanced around, but it was too dark to make out anything except a solitary figure. He was tall, clean shaven and wore a long dark coat and a Fedora hat.

The man had removed his hat and jacket before he spoke. “Do you know why you are here Mr. Richards?” he asked. George tried to sit up, but his body refused to move. He was exhausted. He had been plagued by nightmares over the last few days, and now he was trapped in some kind of dream. He hoped he would wake up, that this was another nightmare, but he knew this was real “I ask again, George, do you know why you are here?”

“P...p...please I have money I can pay you, please let me go,” George replied, his voice trembling in fear.

“That’s not what I asked, and if you think you can buy your way out of redemption, you don’t understand what is happening.” The mysterious figure replied. “You are here to answer for your crimes. That you willfully and knowingly realised a medicine, that, harmed and killed the people who were prescribed it. You made millions off suffering and deaths of desperate people, and when they found out, you removed the medicine from the market, paid your fine, and are now re-releasing the same harmful substance under a new name.”

The mysterious man turned and came over to the stone slab standing over the trembling man.

George gasped in surprise, “I… I… I didn’t, you can’t prove it, I'm innocent.”

“No I can't prove it, but I can read you mind, I know what you did. How many died? Hundreds? Every death made you richer, every death gave you more power, making you care less. YOUR SOUL IS BLACK!” The last words echoed around the room sounding unearthly.

George closed his eyes, and gritted his teeth, as his words echoed around the chamber, “Who cares how many will die. Some will live, and the drugs do improve the patient's chance by three percent, so what if it shuts down their organs, some will live longer with the drugs.”

“These fools are trying to sue me? I will crush them!”

“I don’t care what you believe, your son died of natural causes, not my drugs, you're just blaming me!”

“Shall I go on?” the mysterious man said. “Then there's poor Sara, your loyal security, the one you killed.” The mysterious man smiled as he watched George closing his eyes. “Don’t look so shocked. I know all your secrets. She was so happy to work for you. The affair went on for years. Then she found out what you had covered up, that you knew people would die. You had to silence her, even pulled the trigger personally. Had one of your men, burn her house to the ground, blamed a local boy who you convinced to commit suicide.”

“No, he did, he did it!” George blurted out.

“Don’t lie to me I know what you are thinking. Did you know she was still alive, when the fire started, YOU BURNT HER ALIVE!”

Geroge gasped, it was like his lungs suddenly couldn’t get enough air.

“You didn’t know? Well, that doesn’t change the fact you killed her just like your other victims.” The stranger looked into George's eyes. Goerge found he couldn’t look away or even blink, “You think you're privileged because you have money, that you can buy witnesses and alibis, lawyers and medical experts to argue against your crimes in court. But you can't outrun my master, or me. I am Penance, and my elsewhere wants your black soul.

George watched in horror as Penance changes in front of him becoming a teenaged boy. “This is what it felt like when my kidneys exploded and my liver liquified. YOUR MEDICINE POISONED MY BODY!” He placed his hand on George’s chest, and George screamed, it felt like his internal organs were on fire. 

The teenager changed again becoming a darker man. “This is what it felt like as I hung from that tree, scared, alone, dying. YOU GAVE ME NO CHOICE!” George was suddenly silent while his throat was squeezed, the life being choked out of him, the despair and fear flowing through him like an arctic wind chilling his soul.

Penance changed again this time he became a young woman. Her skin charred and burnt.

Goerge looked in horror at his last victim “Sara, I’m so sorry,” he said out loud as a little air was allowed back into his body.

“YOU BURNT ME ALIVE!” the woman shouted, “I loved you, gave you everything, and you killed me. NOW YOU WILL KNOW WHAT IT FELT LIKE!” Penance placed her hand on his chest, and George screamed his flesh was burning. Penance smiled “Do you know how I died?” she asked, before leaning over and whispering in his ear, “I was crushed by the roof falling.”

George suddenly stopped screaming as his ribs and skull were smashed by an invisible weight. He gasped in pain, as his ribs punctured his lungs, the shards of his skull slicing into his brain. He was unable to think or speak. The only sensation was the pain.

Penance kept her hand against George until he stopped breathing, his body giving out as pain flowed through him. He longed for death.

Penance smiled, as her hand slid into George’s chest. When she removed it, she held a small black orb about the size of an eye. The little sphere seemed to draw all light into it, “See how dark your soul is,” Penance said showing it to George before clenching her fist, crushing the little black ball, sending George's soul to his master. “My master thanks you. Your soul was very satisfying.” Penance removed his hand and returned to his original form.

George could only watch as darkness fell over him, his organs burst, and bleeding, his throat crushed, and his body burnt and broken, he slowly closed his eyes as the magic holding his spirit to the mortal plain slipped away, and his body turned to ash.

Penance, placed his fedora back on his head and put his coat on, he was about to leave when he noticed another figure in the corner, “Justice? What brings you here?”

“I was nearby when I felt your handiwork. No one kills like you. Your victim was reliving the pain of three of his victims,” Justice replied. “Why did you not take his soul before he killed Sara, I'm sure it would have been dark enough for your master and she would have lived on, she had potential.”

“You know I take the soul when it's at it's darkest. He would have caused more suffering, but the death of the woman was personal. It's unlikely; he would have performed another act so dark.” Penance replied. “Why don’t you go get your own soul, in the name of justice, and leave me to my work.”

Justice stayed silent for a moment looking to where George had been laying. “Justice will have its time. There are so many dark souls out there.”

“And my master hungers more every day. He will need more soon.”

“Justice is required elsewhere, I must go, but in this new world, people are noticing the disappearance of individuals like George Richards. Be careful Penance, do not let the mortals find out about us, and pray I never have to Judge you.” 

“I do not fear the mortals, or your power or your master. I am Penance, and I have a job to do.” And with that Penance vanished in a puff of smoke.

So do I brother, but I fear, you soon will be forced to break the rules, and when that happens, all bets are off.” Justice vanished with a flash of light as the stone slab melted back into the earth from which it came, leaving no trace anyone had been there.

Chapter one: The Orphanage

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © © 2015 by Robert Stevens All Rights Reserved

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