The sound of my short, sharp, staccato breaths filled the air. I opened my eyes to a Cimmerian obscurity so dense, so enveloping, I believed I was blind. The overwhelming blackness wrapped around me, resembling a heavy, dark shroud.
Where the hell am I?
Why am I here?
Anxiety seeped through my veins, heralding an uneasy concern. The last thing I remember was trying to grab a few hours of much-needed sleep after pulling a 12-hour shift at work.
I stretched my arms out to try to find something – a wall, a door, a window – something to give me a clue where I may be. My fingers flailed in the emptiness, but my nostrils detected the damp, musty smell of cool, stale air.
My mouth was filled with the distinctive hot, wet and metallic taste of blood. My head throbbed. The pains radiating from my neck and chest were as if someone had choked me out before crushing the life out of me with an unrelenting bear hug.
Reaching out again, my trembling fingers scraped rough, wet stone. I clapped my hands, and the sound echoed around me in the darkness. I was in an enclosed space. Frantic thoughts invaded my head as I stood in bewilderment.
Where the hell am I? A prison cell, a cave, a dungeon?
I screamed into the black, terror filling my vocal chords.
“Help. Is anybody there? Help me!”
An involuntary shudder coursed through my entire body. Every nerve ending tingled with fear and awareness. The dark never frightened me. It was what could be lurking inside the encompassing veneer of blackness that scared me.
A microscopic pinprick of light in the distance caught my attention. I swallowed back the relentless anxiety sticking in my throat as I gradually began to move toward it.
Something is watching me.
It touched me – a soft, imperceptible tug on the back of my shirt. I screamed in panic. I turned and but nothing was there. An evil-sounding laugh pierced the air. Something or someone was screwing with my mind and reveling in my torment, reveling in my misery.
Another tug, this time on the sleeve, followed by the sound of a child giggling and footsteps running away. I sent another scream of panic echoing through the overwhelming gloominess.
A rasping, disembodied voice whispered behind me. “He’s here.”
Another voice. “Make him suffer. Make him bleed.”
Another and another. “Kill him now!”
Childlike giggling followed by a soul-wrenching, stomach-churning scream filled the air.
“No. This is the chosen one.”
Senses on overload, my legs turned to jelly, unable to support my weight as I stumbled on. I jumped as a banshee-like screech engulfed me, assaulting my ears and making them bleed.
The pinprick of light grew larger and brighter with every shaky step. Drawing nearer, I could see flaming lamps fashioned from human skulls lighting a clearing. Something sat on an ornate throne made of bones. The being had demonic, glowing red eyes. It had long vampire fangs on its upper and lower teeth and horns protruding from its cheeks. Spikes were growing through its metal skull surrounded by a crown studded with human eyes. It wore a cloak made of animal skins.
It lifted its head from the book it was studying – its face now a silhouette from the burning lamps behind it – and stood up. I gasped. This thing was huge, at least eight feet tall as it stood on its hooves.
“Who are you? Where am I?”
A deep, dark voice growled, “I am Cizasias, the demon of divine darkness. My name is religion. I am a sadistic, sacred whore.”
Its putrid, rotting flesh-smelling breath made my eyes water. Stepping back to avoid an outstretched grasping hand, I noticed a row of long, sharp, pointed claws where fingernails should be.
Who or what the hell is a Cizasias?
“Where you are does not matter.” The voice filled the chamber, making it feel like he was surrounding me.
“It m, matters to me. Wh, what do you want?” The words stuttered from my mouth as fear riddled my body, shaking me to the core.
“So many questions, servant.”
“I’m not your servant. What do you want from me?” My temper rose as I demanded answers from the humungous form in front of me.
“Silence! Do as I order you and sit at my right-hand side. I want everything you own. Every thought and memory you hold dear. Or do you want eternal damnation?
“You have no future, fool. You are dead. I chose you and took you while you slept. You are mine. Join me. Help me create a plague of wrath and ruin.”
“What do you mean I’m dead? How did you take me while I was asleep?”
“Did you think nothing would happen when you sat inside a pentagram? Did you think your friends were fooling with you when the message came through the talking board?
“No. It was me. You invited me into your world and now you are in mine.”
Dead. I was freaking dead.
A dark, foreboding shadow of hatred, loathing, and revenge dominated my head. The feelings scared me, paralyzed me, but more than that they had begun to excite me.
“Tell me more.”
“I know you. I witnessed your life become sickening, weakening. Join me, banish the somber pariahs you once let consume your brain. Rekindle the inner rage, the hate you lost. Let me reignite the vengeful fire within you.
“My darkness will show you the light. I know you are not above sin. We will look on as our undead servant’s rape the land. We will watch them rob and slaughter, the human’s downfall will be our inhuman gain.
“We will rule the world and make it grovel at our feet. Our names will be on banners drenched in blood. Their bones will build our palaces. We will be gods of war, and we will cut them down.”
“And if I say no?”
“Foolish servant. I am all your demons. I will eat your soul. I am your executioner. I can lead you to your destiny, or I can take your spirit and lead you to your grave…”
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