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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Black (10/15/09)

By mick dawson


Eliakaaz watched the six year old from his throne. Could she be, he wondered; the little girl that was prophesied in the dark scrolls? He rose to his feet, to stand in the light of the flaming brazier mounted on the wall, waiting for her shocked reaction. His head was shaven, and he wore the skins of any shaman of the Soravian desert tribes, but his eyes were no more than black orbs.

Apart from the inquisitive raising of her eyebrows, no look of appalled horror was to be seen on the girl’s face.

“I have spent three hundred and sixty-four years on this earth, child. The reason that my eyes have this appearance is that a shadow demon inhabits my body, preserving my life,” he said, nodding to the many rough hewn columns carved in the cave.

At each one, an ethereal golden chain was attached to the wrist of a black silhouetted creature, standing ten feet tall. It was impossible to discern separate features on their black forms, except glowing red eyes, appearing as coals in a dying fire. Their heads were crowned with horns like bulls, while their elongated hands and feet displayed wickedly curved shadows of their talons, which flickered in the light of the braziers. One of the demons insolently raised its head to look at Eliakaaz. His hand shot out, sending a jet of green sparks into the beast, making it scream and writhe against the pillar, before turning his attention back to the girl.

“What is your name, child?”

“Kaliefia,” she said meekly, yet smiling.

It was not the name prophesied; the one to come had a different name. Kaliefia was the name of a white flower which grew in Vindavia. It stood to reason, that the child might have such a name. Her mother was a captured Vindavian, a taller breed of men, pale of skin; with blue eyes and hair that was either yellow or orange like flames.

Her father was a desert tribesman that had abused her mother, resulting in the auburn haired wretch, he saw before him. It was said that the one prophesied was someone of exceptional beauty. He looked at the girl; she would never have the raven hair of the tribeswomen or the olive skin, although she was the color of bronze. Eliakaaz imagined that in the cooler regions of the land, some might consider her an attractive child. He had to be sure; the scrolls were a warning to him that the one to come had a heart blacker than his shadow demons. His eyes traversed above her head to the black figures at the columns, knowing there was a test.

“Dare you approach one of my demons,” he asked her coolly.

Holding her smile, Kaliefia stood by one of the columns, well within range of the demon’s talons. It fell to one knee, as the others around the cave did likewise, all with bowed heads. A single word rumbled from the demon’s throat, “Moxatol,” it said reverently, a small puff of smoke wafted from its nostrils.

“Ahh, you are the one I have waited for,” said Eliakaaz. “Your very name means mistress of the evil one in the elder tongue. I have read that you will become the most powerful sorceress of the age. You will one day be one with the king of the south who is yet to be. He will bring great woe on the earth and his name shall be Natas, but the scrolls warn that you will destroy me and take my throne before all this comes to pass, so I cannot allow this. A pity though,” said Eliakaaz, taking in the demon. “I rule them through fear and pain, while they revere you. You would have been destined for greatness, but today your life is to end.”

Moxatol’s grin broadened mischievously, before the chain fell from the wrist of the demon. It reacted with horrifying speed, battering Eliakaaz aside with its arm, sending him against one of the neighboring columns. From the floor, he watched the chains from all the columns fall away as the child, climbed onto his throne to seat herself, beaming as she kicked her legs delightedly. His vision began to blur with one final thought; what had he unleashed on the earth?

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This article has been read 593 times
Member Comments
Member Date
c clemons10/24/09
Not my cup of tea, but I thought it was well written.
Jan Ackerson 10/26/09
Fantasy fans will really enjoy this well-written piece.

The problem with fantasy in 750 words is that there's too much of a "back story" that your readers have to infer. There was a lot here that I didn't understand.

I was intrigued by the characters here.
Allen Stark10/26/09
Interesting characters, but not enough room to tell what I would have liked to read more of.
Beth LaBuff 10/27/09
I like the title you've given this! I can just imagine the seething that went on during the story.. this is perfect for "black."