George was sweating during the night. His body twitched and turned as he slept. There was a clear expression of fear on his face. The moon shone through the window of his mansion. The light hit him, illuminating his fearful face. Suddenly his eyes opened. His eyes had tears in them.
“What is this feeling?” He asked himself.
He had felt it before, but he could not recall when or why. Somehow he felt as if a piece of his soul had been ripped away. He tried to step out of his bed but fell on the floor. He simply couldn’t muster any strength. A feeling of helplessness arose from within George’s stomach. He knew something was wrong.
He looked to his side and saw a piece of paper illuminated by the moonlight. He picked up the paper. His eyes scanned the contents.
“This is the paper where I wrote my dream on!” He exclaimed.
He read it thoroughly.
‘There’s something different.’ He thought.
Somehow the dream he just had was different from the dream he had experienced previously. He tried his best to recall what had happened in the dream he just experienced, but he simply could not remember anything.
He began to feel slightly light headed. His eyes slowly closed and his consciousness faded. He fell asleep.
He awoke in a different world, but a world he recognised all too well. The sun shone upon a small field deep within the dark forest. Within it was a small wooden cabin. George knew this view well, but there was definitely something different.
The evil witch was not there, nor was the child.
“HAHAHAHA” A raspy voice screamed from the cabin “Your eyes are mine!”
George immediately rushed towards the cabin. He was like a spirit as he shot over the field. He barged through the door and saw a horrid sight. The stench of blood was unbearable.
He saw a blood covered table. He saw the mutilated and tortured body of the red eyed child lying upon the bloody table. His clothes were stained red. His body mutilated. Only half of his fingers were still attached to his body, the rest lay in a bloody puddle on the wooden floor.
The most horrifying part was the head of the red eyed child. The small lantern within the cabin revealed the completely detached head. It was as if he had been bitten by a beast.
George tried to throw up, but in his current form he could do nothing. He could merely stare at the bloody scene. It reminded him of crime scenes he had seen in his old world. But even when he worked as a police officer he had seen nothing like this. He looked at the witch. He never knew that such a twisted and frightful creature existed, or maybe he just refused to believe it. From his experience he knew that the creature had done extra mutilations to the poor child’s body even after his head was detached. It was a sickening sight, amplified by the gruesome nature of such a creature.
George did not know what to do. His heart felt empty and ripped away, somehow he felt as if a piece of him had died as well. He collapsed on the ground in and just lied there.
The witch couldn’t see him, and she simply continued with her operation.
“Those eyes…” She murmured “They still sparkle with hope for tomorrow…”
She sounded dissatisfied.
“Let’s throw that hope away!” She screamed while laughing.
Her talon-like fingers pushed into the skin around one of the child’s eyes.
George could not bear the sight of the talons piercing through child’s eyes, but he could not look away. His head was stuck in place, and he had to endure the torturous sight and sound. Like a feral creature she lunged at the eyes. It was as if the eyes were a godlike treasure, but it seemed more like a tiger after a long time without food. She was bloodthirsty and the eyes were her first meal in years. If one were to ignore the current implications of the situation one might consider it a provocative work of art.
However, George did not see it as art. He could only stand and stare. He could hear the sound of talons entering the poor child’s skin. It was like sticking a knife into butter, it penetrated the skin with no resistance.
His mind felt numb. He couldn’t think anymore. He genuinely felt as if a part of him had been ripped away, and, in a way, he couldn’t really comprehend the situation.
Somehow his mind focused on something. He began to hear a song within his head. It was a song he knew. It was a song that he had heard and sang so many times. He felt a warm feeling come over him as the song appeared in his head, and unknowingly he began to sing along.
As he sang the detached eyes of the child began to glow. They shone with a beautiful scarlet light. The room lit up. The dark and evil shadows of the witch danced in the red light. George felt the light encase him and his soul. It held him as he shivered and cried in fear. It comforted him even when it seemed everything had been ripped away. It protected that which was good and destroyed that which was evil.
The witch could not react in time, and the light encased her as well. However, it did not hug her. The witch screamed as the light touched her. It was as if an acid had touched her skin. She slowly melted until there was nothing left, other than a puddle of remains on the wooden floor of the cabin.
George looked up and saw the detached eyes of the child hovering in the air, looking at him. He felt that there was intelligence behind the eyes, as if it wanted to say something. He suddenly heard a voice in his head.
“George, the child can be saved.” The ethereal voice said.
It was not that George did not want to respond, but rather that he couldn’t. He felt an unbearable pressure when faced with such an entity.
“Donate a part of your soul,” The ethereal voice said “and you can save the child.”
George stared blankly at the red eyes.
“You will not die, but you will be weaker.” The voice said “Well?”
George nodded. He did not know why he responded this way, but it simply felt like the only thing he could and should do in the situation.
“Thank you.” The voice said “Your actions will not be forgotten.”
George suddenly felt a strange sort of pain. It struck the depths of his stomach. He felt slightly as if the wind had been kicked out of him. He tried to breathe, but no air came in or out. What did come out was a thick substance. It felt like someone was pulling a clump of long hairs out from his stomach.
Eventually the thick substance had fully been pulled out. George expected to be feeling worse, but he actually felt fairly good. He felt perfectly fine.
The thick substance floated in the air. The eyes looked at it and it immediately split into thin hairs. The hairs floated towards the child and all the detached and attached body parts. In a Frankenstein-like scene the child’s body was repaired. Everything was sown back together using the thin hairs. After a few minutes the child looked like an old teddy bear, which had been repaired a hundred times. Luckily, the hairs disappeared into the skin and he looked as he would normally again.
The ethereal eyes shot back into the eye sockets of the child. George looked at the child in shock. It was as if nothing had ever happened.
George saw the world in front of him fade into darkness, and his body fell asleep.
Samuel woke up in an unfamiliar place.
“Where am I?” He asked himself as he looked around “I can’t see anything…”
Darkness enveloped the world around him. There was a complete absence of light. In the dark room Samuel contemplated his situation. He was afraid of the world around him. It was unknown, and unknown could mean danger. However, Samuel understood that simply sitting and waiting for something to happen would be just as useless as dying. He groaned as he stood up. In shock at his own inability he fell over, his head hitting the hardwood floor.
He tried to move his hands, but his body felt so tired. It was as if his entire body had been ripped apart and rebuilt. He lay on the floor in despair. He understood how truly helpless he was in his current situation.
He wallowed in his own misfortune.
“God! I feel like ****!” He screamed in anger.
He did not fully understand what he said or why he said it, but the anger he relieved while saying it was enough to push him to stand up.
His legs were weak and wobbly as he tried his best to stand. It was as if someone had punched his legs repeatedly, but he was still forced to stand. However, it was not just his legs. His entire body felt bruised and painful.
Even his eyes felt strange. There was something different about them, but he could not pinpoint exactly what. He lifted his feeble arms and felt his eyes.
“What!?” He exclaimed in shock.
He did not feel eye, but instead he felt skin. His eyes were closed the entire time. A sense of insecurity came over him. It was all too strange. His body was weak, and he couldn’t even open his eyes willingly anymore. He could only pray that none of the physical effects would remain.
He forced his eyelids open with his fingers. For the first time he could get a clear look at where he was.
He could see that the room was tenebrous. Shadows covered most of the corners of the space, but as his eyes adjusted he saw a horrifying scene transcend before him. The room was red, but it was not originally so. It had been painted as such, but not by traditional methods. He connected the strange smell with the sight before him. It was blood. It was not red paint or dye, but rather it was the most sinister of all reds. Somehow Samuel knew that this was not blood taken willingly.
Samuel felt dirty just by being in the room. Just by being able to smell, see, and touch the blood made him feel sick. He quickly scanned the room for an exit. Even in the absence of light he could identify a door.
He walked towards the door as quickly as he could, but before he reached it he stepped in something. He looked to the ground and saw ash. It was a dark purple ash. Samuel felt as if he was familiar with the ash, but he could not think about any ash he was particularly close with. However, he did feel that the ash was evil in some way.
Samuel scanned the room for one last time, but he couldn’t find anything else so he decided to leave. He placed his hand on the handle of the door and twisted it. The door opened. A sea of light flooded into the room. It temporarily blinded him, but he did not mind it. The light destroyed the dark, and the unknown was gone. All was revealed, and Samuel could finally relax.
When his eyes adjusted to the light he was greeted with a familiar sight.
“This is the field.” He mumbled to himself as he stepped outside.
Thoughts rushed through his mind.
‘What on earth happened?’ He thought to himself.
He looked at the area around him. It was the same as always, but there was something different. The hostile feeling of the witch was gone. It was just a normal field.
His mind had a sudden flashback. He could remember himself facing and speaking to the witch. He remembered how he was in the field before, but what had happened afterwards?
He looked on the ground and saw a trail of blood. He had a terrifying suspicion that it might be his own. He swallowed his fears and followed the trail of blood to the edge of the field. It led him to the very edge of the field.
He inspected the ground. The blood trail had abruptly stopped. His eyes panned over the ground. He found a familiar book and coin lying at the end of the blood trail.
Samuel picked up the book.
“Possessing Creatures: Basic Manual” He read without hesitation.
He shocked himself. Somehow he read it much faster than normal. Before he would read by splitting words into syllables and letters, but now it was almost as if the words were like images and he recognised them immediately. He hid the book in his clothes.
Samuel knew that this was the book he had brought to the field when he went to go to the witch. He felt a shiver run down his spine. An image of the witch flashed through his mind. He fell to his knees in fear. He recalled an image of the witch opening her mouth as she lunged at him.
He began to panic.
“What happened to me!?” He screamed.
It was the second time he had asked the question, but he simply could not understand anything.
Why was he still alive? Where was the witch?
A sound suddenly broke his train of thought.
He jumped up.
‘Is it the witch?’ He thought.
However, as the sound got closer he realised that there were two people talking.
“Where is he?” A female voice said.
Samuel was too far away to hear it clearly.
“I don’t know…” The male voice responded.
The voices seemed familiar to Samuel, but they were too far away to make out who they were.
The voices got louder and louder as the people got closer to Samuel. Suddenly, two people emerged from the woods and stepped into the field.
Samuel looked at the two people, and they looked at him.
The woman smiled beautifully at him.
“Mother! Father!” Samuel shouted in joy.
He ran towards them, forgetting about his frail body.
They both smiled and hugged him.
“You know…” Richard said “It’s quite incredible that you killed the witch.”
“H-How do you know about that?” He asked.
“Everyone knows about the witch.” Evelina said “Why do you think children are not allowed into the forest?”
Samuel was confused.
“Samuel, unfortunately this confirms some suspicions your mother and I have had.” Richard said.
Samuel looked at them in slight fear.
“What suspicions?” He asked.
Evelina’s expression turned serious.
“We’ve had suspicions that you weren’t quite like other children.” She said.
Richard nodded in agreement.
“We think it’s best that you leave the town.” Richard said “Before the townspeople see you as a demon.”
Samuel didn’t understand what was happening. He looked up at his parents.
“Am I a demon?” He asked while crying.
“Maybe.” She said “But you’re our little demon.”
She ruffled his hair.
Samuel didn’t know how to feel.
“What do you mean I should leave the town?” He asked his parents.
“We have been thinking about this for a while.” Richard said “We decided that if something strange happens we would send you to live with your grandparents.”
Samuel remembered the picture in the basement.
“My grandparents?” He asked.
She knelt down and pinched his cheek.
“Don’t worry.” She said “We will meet again.”
Samuel looked up at his parents.
“What do you mean?” He asked in confusion and fear.
A red circle appeared behind him. The ground it encased disappeared into pure darkness.
“We’ll meet again in a couple years.” Richard said as he pushed Samuel into the circle.
Samuel fell into the darkness. It swallowed him and his consciousness. And once again he was in surrounded by the thing he was so afraid of: pure darkness.
The man, or George, was sitting by the patio with his wife. He was reading a book about space and everything in it. It was a popular book written by a well-respected scientist back in his old world. It was his favourite book. He loved it so much because he loved to learn, and he loved to understand. This book allowed him to understand things which he had never even been able to comprehend before. When George went to paradise he discovered that there was so much more to the universe than what the book covered, but this made him love it even more. There was something fantastic about reading the words of someone who was truly ignorant of how massive and incredible reality really is.
But perhaps it was this lack of understanding which makes life so beautiful. Even in paradise George has very little knowledge about anything. He remembered back to the giants he saw back when he was in the line for the cauldron. He knows that there is so much more to life, and he knows that he will probably never know all of it. And he is okay with that.
George looked at his wife sitting next to him. She was bathing in the sunlight. His heart fluttered when he looked at her. There was a new kind of aspect to their relationship. Since they became young again they could do so much more. Not only were they completely in tune and spiritually in love, but for the first time in years they could also satiate a need for love physically. Youth truly is bliss.
However, even after such a long time he still had a strange feeling within his heart. He was so full of worry, worry for the red eyed baby, and it was making him anxious. He did not know why he felt this, but this anxiety was taking a toll on him. It caused George to have trouble sleeping, and when he did sleep he had horrible nightmares.
Every single time his mind begins to rest and he enters the world of dreams he has a nightmare. It is always the same nightmare. It would focus on a child with red eyes. George knew it was the red eyed baby, because those eyes are simply unforgettable. Every time he has the dream it begins with a lovely image of the little child playing in a field, but whenever George begins to feel happy for the child something bad happens. The sky turns dark and everything gets colder. A monster then approaches the child. It was always the same monster. It looked like a ghoul or a witch. It would trick the poor child and then devour the child’s flesh. Blood and horror ensues. George always tried to save the red eyed child, but he is unable to do anything to stop the horrible creature.
One morning George woke up in a cold sweat. He saw that his wife had already gone outside somewhere. He sat all alone and drenched in sweat. He had had the nightmare again.
“Why won’t they stop!?” He asked himself.
An idea suddenly popped in his mind. He remembered reading that writing down dreams can help someone understand if there were any problems. If he could identify the problems causing the nightmares, then that would be the first step to making them stop.
He thought of a diary and a pen, and the items appeared in front of him. Without a second thought he began to write. He did not write from his mind, but rather from his soul. He felt the words simply spill out onto the pages even though in his mind he did not even know what he was writing. As he continued to write he began to feel a comfortable feeling which quickly replaced the initially dark and evil feelings.
Eventually he finished writing. He read through everything that he had written. After reading just a sentence he noticed that the handwriting was strange. It was almost like a different person’s handwriting. He ignored this and began to read the exact words that he had written.
‘Fear, darkness, and void. Light shines upon the field of grass. It truly is strange. To have such a beautiful field of light surrounded by such darkness. However, even the light contains darkness. A horrible creature stands within the light. Suddenly the creature’s head twitches. It has seen something. A child steps into the bright field. His red eyes reflect the evil of the creature. The child speaks. He stands tall in front of the dark creature. Suddenly everything goes black. A crunch is heard. When vision returns there is blood on the floor. The child is gone.’
George nearly broke down in tears as he read the simple passage. Why was he so emotional about a child he spent such little time with? The rest of what he had written just repeated the same passage over and over. For some reason he knew that this dream meant something. He didn’t want the child to die. But what could he do?
Samuel woke up and saw the book next to his bedside table. He realised he fell asleep trying to read the book again, and he forgot to hide it. He was lucky that his parents didn’t find it. Whenever Samuel saw the book it made him feel so incredibly frustrated. He simply couldn’t understand a word of it, and it was killing him inside. His curiosity and need to learn never allowed him to have a moment where he did not think of the book.
He hid the book, got out of bed, and went off to play with Grace. He slouched everywhere he went. Ever since he read a bit of the book he had been in an angry and depressed mood. He had a strange obsession with it. He just had to learn what was in it, but he simply couldn’t.
He walked onto the market street to head towards the field, still deep in thought. He didn’t look where he was going and accidentally bumped into a large man. He looked up and saw an ugly annoyed face.
Samuel panicked a bit.
“S-Sorry Sir.” He said in slight fear.
The large man saw Samuel’s red eyes.
“Oh, you’re Richard’s kid.” He said in realisation “Haha. Don’t worry about it. Here.”
The large man threw a coin at Samuel, who just barely managed to catch it. The large man then walked off. Leaving Samuel just standing there looking at the coin in wonder.
The coin was copper, but what amazed Samuel were the small drawings and emblems all over it. His eyes widened. He suddenly remembered when he went on a small trip to the marketplace with his father. He remembered how his father had given a similar coin to a shopkeeper, who gave his father bread in return. Samuel suddenly realised what the coin was.
‘The coin must be something which forces people to give you things!’ He thought.
Samuel heart began to beat as he realised the value of the small copper coin in his hands. Of course, in reality, such a coin did not hold much value at all. It was just about enough to buy bread, but other than that it held little value. Unfortunately Samuel was not well educated on the monetary units in his country and he had misinterpreted this little coin to be worth something much more than it actually was.
Samuel stuffed the coin in his pocket and began to walk off towards the field to play with Grace. When he arrived he saw that Grace wasn’t there yet. He sat on the grass and began to think.
‘I want to learn whatever is in the book. Except, the only person or creature that might be able to help me would be the zombie witch in the forest.’
Samuel looked towards the forest in the distance. He remembered the encounter he had with the creature. When he thought back to that moment he realised something. The creature had never been hostile towards them. He was the only one who did anything wrong. Looking at the situation from the creature’s perspective would indicate that Samuel was the bad guy. After all, he stole the book from her.
Samuel remembered something his mother told him once.
‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ She said to him
‘Maybe the creature wasn’t evil at all. Perhaps it was all a misunderstanding.’ Samuel thought.
His thoughts were cut short by the arrival of a happy and smiling Grace.
“SAMUEL!” She screamed “PLAY!”
Samuel smiled and began to play with Grace. However, he couldn’t stop thinking about the zombie witch.
When playtime ended he looked at Grace and said “I won’t be able to play tomorrow.”
Grace was confused, but she saw the seriousness in Samuel’s eyes and nodded in understanding.
Samuel walked home. His mind was set. He would seek out the zombie witch and ask her for help. There was only one little issue. At the moment all he had done was be rude to the zombie witch. What incentive could the zombie witch possibly have to help him?
Samuel arrived at the door to his home. He knocked on the door, but there was no answer. Samuel looked at the sky and saw that it was only a couple hours past noon, meaning that his father was working and his mother was shopping. Samuel remembered that his mother gave him a key to the house in case there was no one home.
He reached into his pocket and felt around for the key. He pulled it out, but realised that instead of just the key, he was holding the coin along with it. His eyes widened. That’s it! He could give the coin to the witch and then she would have to help him. He unlocked the door and walked inside his house.
“Tomorrow.” He said to himself “Tomorrow I will meet the witch. And then I will finally learn what is in the book!”
The next day arrived quickly. Samuel told his parents he was going to play with Grace, but instead he headed off to the forest. He found himself confronted with the dark trees, void of light. He was terrified. But at the same time he was excited. Adrenaline rushed through his body at the thought of what he was about to do. He put one foot forward into the forest and felt a chill travel down his spine. A strange, nearly twisted, smile appeared on Samuel’s face. He entered the forest.
Due to the red cloths, which he had tied around the trees when he went into the forest with Grace, he could find his way fairly easily. The deeper he entered the forest the more fearful he became. Every piece of his body didn’t want to go deeper, but Samuel kept going. His heart beat like a drum, playing an anthem of fear.
Samuel didn’t understand death, but he knew he didn’t want it. He knew that if the witch was mad she could and would kill him. His life rested upon the coin.
Samuel’s head was filled with dark thoughts. But then he saw light.
“The field!” He exclaimed
He stopped before entering. He took a deep breath and attempted to calm his mind. With pure strength and resolve he stepped into the field.
Suddenly his body froze. An immense cold and evil feeling overtook him. The creature appeared in front of him. Her eye sockets stared him directly in the face. The stench from her rotten skin entered Samuel’s nostrils and made him want to vomit. Samuel had to force himself out of his state of shock.
“I have come here to apologise and make a deal with you!” He shouted at the witch.
“Speak.” The witch said in amusement.
“I’m sorry I stole your book!” He said “But I beg that you teach it to me.”
A horrible cackling sound emerged from the witch’s rotten mouth. Samuel could only interpret this as laughter.
“Tell me, child.” She said “Why would I teach you anything?”
Samuel swallowed his fears. Everything rested on this moment.
“Because I have this.” He took out the coin.
There was silence once again. The witch seemed shocked.
“A coin?” She asked in bewilderment.
Samuel didn’t know what this reaction meant.
“YOU OFFER A COIN!” The witch laughed “HAHAHA! A COIN! HAHAHA!”
Samuel didn’t find the situation quite so funny. It was clear that the copper coin was laughable in the eyes of the witch. This could bode death.
“I will not accept this coin.” The witch spoke again “But there is something you can give me.”
A glimmer of hope appeared on Samuel’s little face.
“Anything!” He offered the witch.
“Oh, that’s good.” The witch said “Well then, hand over your eyes.”
Samuel’s hope immediately disappeared, leaving a hole within his heart.
“M-My eyes?” He asked, wondering if he had heard her correctly.
“Yes. They are quite peculiar; I’d love to have them.” She said “As you can see, I’m missing a pair.”
She cackled as if it was the funniest joke in the world. When she saw the fear on Samuel’s face she sighed.
“Don’t worry. You won’t have to live without your eyes.” She said “After all, you’ll be dead before I take them!”
Her mouth opened up like a snake’s mouth. It expanded to a size ten times of what it should be capable of. The mouth was easily capable of swallowing a young child whole.
“Goodnight!” The witch shouted as she lunged towards the petrified Samuel.
Samuel threw open the door to his home. With a bright smile on his face he was about to walk in. However, before he could even step inside, his mother had already appeared in front of him.
“Where have you been, young man?” Evelina said calmly.
However, Samuel knew that she wasn’t calm. She was furious. Her face was red and her voice quivered with anger. Samuel knew that putting one foot wrong would lead to serious consequences.
“I… I was playing with Grace.” Samuel said, nervously smiling at his mother.
Evelina crouched down and looked Samuel directly in the eyes. It was as if she was looking into his soul. However, Samuel did not let the psychological penetration of Evelina affect his eyes. He stood tall with a perfect poker face.
“Why are you so late then?” She asked.
Samuel did not let his poker face falter.
“We lost track of time…” He said nervously.
Evelina sighed and let him in.
“Fine.” She said “But make sure to not be out this late again.”
Samuel breathed a sigh of relief. If he had faltered at any second his mother would have pressed him harder, to the point where he might have had to reveal everything that had happened. And Samuel knew that if he said anything about what had happened his mother would never allow him to leave the house again.
It wasn’t that Evelina was overprotective, but rather that Samuel needed protecting. Not only was he often shy and had difficulty communicating, but he had red eyes. Everybody in the town was used to Samuel and he wasn’t seen as special or evil in any way, but what about outside of the town? How would someone react to seeing Samuel for the first time? Red was often synonymous with evil, and if Samuel was seen as such he would not live very long.
Seeing that Samuel was fine Evelina could also sigh in relief as she let Samuel in and closed the door.
Samuel went to sit down at the dinner table. He put his book down next to his plate and began to eat the wonderful meal his mother had made him. As the phenomenal smell of the meat on his plate entered his nostrils he nearly teared up. There was something about good food after a day of hard adventuring that made him truly appreciate life.
Just as Samuel was about to take a big bite of his luscious steak a large shadow emerged, covering both him and the table. Samuel suddenly felt two large hands grab him and begin to tickle him.
“Hahaha! Dad! Stop!” Samuel said while giggling.
Richard put down his son and sat on the chair next to him.
“You know. You worry your mother a lot when you’re out that late.” Richard said seriously.
Samuel looked a little guilty.
“I know. I won’t do it again.” He said.
Richard patted his sons head and said “Good.”
Richard looked over to the book near Samuel’s plate.
“What’s this?” He asked as he picked it up.
Samuel decided to make up a reason for why he had the book.
“I found it in the field.” He nervously said
Richard blew the dust off the book and read the title of the book.
“Possessing creatures…” He began to read the title but stopped halfway.
Samuel fell off his chair and held his cheek in pain. He looked up and saw his father standing over him. His eyes were serious and intense.
“Don’t. I repeat. Don’t ever even think about this book again.” Richard said “Forget it ever existed.”
Samuel, being a child, couldn’t understand the reason why his father lashed out in such a manner. He had never been hit by his parents, and his father had never even shouted at him before. In confusion Samuel could only begin to cry. Tears flooded down his face.
Evelina immediately rushed over to see what had happened. Upon seeing the look on Richard’s face she started. It had been a long time since her husband had made such a face. She knew something had happened. She looked at the pitiful Samuel, whom was lying on the ground crying. She picked Samuel up and carried him to his room, and locked the door so he couldn’t leave.
Samuel could only sit there, crying in confusion. But while he was confused, he was mostly just hurt. He was truly hurt that his father would hit him, and he couldn’t wrap his head around it.
Suddenly he heard his parents talking about something.
“Why did you hit him?” Evelina said angrily.
“Look.” Richard said, Samuel could only assume that he held up the book.
Samuel heard a gasp.
“A possession book manual!?” Evelina said “Our son found a possession book manual!?”
“Yes.” Richard said “Do you understand now?”
“Y-Yes…” Evelina said “But what are we going to do with it?”
Richard stayed silent for a bit.
“If anyone sees this book then we would be condemned, and we can’t let Samuel see it either.” He said “We would have to hide it…”
“Yes… Oh! I know where!” Evelina said
“Shhh!” Richard interjected “Don’t let him hear it.”
Suddenly Samuel couldn’t hear them anymore, but he seemed to understand the basic premise of what had happened. He understood that the book was very, very, bad. He also knew that it had something to do with possession, but he didn’t really understand what that was all about. With all these mysteries Samuel found a strong curiosity build up in his heart. He wanted to find the book, even if it meant going against his parents will. However, he simply had no idea where his parents would hide the book.
Unfortunately Samuel’s door was locked, and he still wasn’t really in the mood to go searching for a book. His only option was to sleep, and so he did.
In the morning Samuel found that his door was no longer locked. He walked out of his room and headed to the breakfast table. There his parents sat, with a tired expression on their faces. Samuel could only assume they spent the entire night hiding the book. He was still angry with his father, and he decided he wouldn’t speak to him until he apologised.
Samuel sat down at the table and began to eat, refusing to greet his parents.
Richard and Evelina looked at each other. Richard looked incredibly guilty, but he felt that he had to hit Samuel; otherwise he wouldn’t understand that the book was bad.
“Samuel.” Richard began to speak “Do not ever tell anyone about the book. I’m sorry that I hit you, but you must understand that having a book like that could lead to serious consequences.”
Samuel looked at his father. He was unsatisfied with his apology, but he knew he wasn’t going to get anything better.
He sighed and nodded in understanding.
Breakfast was long and rather awkward, so Samuel decided to take it as an opportunity to think about where his parents might have hid the book. He knew that if they spent all night on hiding it then it would definitely be hard to find. Samuel looked around the dining room for any clues. He focused his eyes as hard as he could on every area of the room. But all that led to were his eyes tearing up. He rubbed his eyes and began to look again, but this time things seemed to look a little different.
He noticed a small red fog, leading in a certain direction. Samuel’s eyes lit up. He didn’t know if his eyes were fooling him so he rubbed them again. He opened his eyes and saw that the fog had only gotten thicker. He excused himself from the table and began to follow the fog.
“What could he be up to now?” Evelina asked.
Samuel continued to follow the fog and he saw that it led into the basement. The basement was a dark and unwelcoming place. At least that was what his father told him. Samuel wasn’t allowed in the basement for one reason or another, and he never particularly wanted to go there either. But now it was different. The red fog led directly into the basement, and Samuel wasn’t going to let a bit of fear stop him.
He opened the hatch and found that it was unlocked. Probably because there was never any danger of Samuel wanting to go into the basement, since he was so afraid of it.
When Samuel entered he found that it wasn’t such a dark and horrible place at all. It was a cosy area, with lanterns still lit. There was a fancy wooden desk in the corner with an even fancier chair. There were several paintings on the walls. There was one with two people, a man and a woman, standing side by side. The man was tall, strong, and had a white beard. He resembled Samuel’s father a lot. The woman was slightly different. She was fairly short and stout, but her eyes were just like Richard’s.
“Are these… my grandparents?” Samuel asked himself.
He had never questioned why he hadn’t seen his grandparents before, but looking at them Samuel felt a little sad.
‘Are they still alive? Do they even know I exist?’ He asked himself.
He pushed these thoughts to the back of his mind and focused on finding the book.
He saw that there was a bookcase hidden in the darkest corner of the room. The red smoke seemed to encompass one book. He quickly grabbed it and looked at it, but he realised that it was not the same book. This one was clean and had a red cover, the one he had before was dirty and slightly blue. In addition to that this book had nothing to do with possession either, and seemed to be a romance novel.
However, the red smoke still seemed to point towards the book. Samuel thought back to his parents. This morning they seemed incredibly tired, and they definitely wouldn’t be tired if the book was simply hidden in the basement. He sighed, realising that the red smoke had led him astray.
He sat at the desk and looked at the painting of his grandparents. He realised that they didn’t have red eyes either. All of a sudden he felt a bit strange. He had always received strange looks from strangers. He knew he was different, and he didn’t like it. He felt so lost. Everybody always told him that he should be unique and be different, but he just wanted to be like everyone else. Normally one could relate to their parents or family, but even his parents had normal eyes. Samuel felt his eyes begin to tear up.
A single tear fell from his eyes onto the book in his hands. He looked at the wet spot on the book and began to see something strange. The tear seemed to dissolve the red cover. As the red began to dissolve he saw the cover of the old book emerge. He read the title out loud.
“Possessing Creatures: Basic Manual” He read.
He remembered his father saying the first two words. This was the book! But why was it different in the first place? Samuel was incredibly confused. He began to look inside the book, but realised that it was still the same romance novel. His eyes were still wet and a tear fell onto the pages of the book. Just like with the cover when his tears fell on the pages it revealed the pages from the old book. Samuel laughed in shock and happiness.
He looked at the book and he saw that it really was the exact same as before. He had no idea what had just happened, but he didn’t really care. He had his book. In excitement he began to read.
“The possession of creatures, both humanlike and other, requires a strong consciousness. It is important to understand that this possession does not mean to own a creature, but rather to truly possess it. To the point where it will be a part of you. In this manual one will learn how to split one’s own consciousness and control that split consciousness perfectly.”
Samuel’s head was spinning after reading that. He simply had no clue what the book was talking about.
‘What does it mean to possess something? What does consciousness even mean?’ He asked himself.
Samuel knew his limits. This book, even though it was supposed to be basic, was way above his ability. He simply did not understand anything the book was talking about.
He walked out of the basement with the book hidden underneath his shirt. Grace was going to be mad if he didn’t go out to play so he put the book in his room and began to walk towards the field.
On the way to the field Samuel began to think.
‘If I want to understand the book then I would need someone to help me. But it’s apparently really evil, so it’s probably a bad idea to just ask someone. If only there was someone who could help me with it.’
He eventually made it to the field. He saw Grace sitting there, clearly annoyed that she had to wait so long. He looked in the distance and saw the forest. A dangerous idea appeared in his mind, but he laughed it off.
‘No. That would be insane.’ He thought to himself.
Samuel faced his fears and walked past the 100 meter point. This was the furthest he had ever been from his home while alone. He walked for a bit longer and found himself to be on the market street not too far from his home.
“Aah! Samuel! What are you doing out here on your own?” A woman said.
Samuel knew this woman. Her name was Laura and she was his mother’s best friend. Laura was wearing a large purple fur coat, which was rather strange since it was the middle of summer. She was an interesting character. Laura was not a pretty woman; she had a flat face and generally normal features. However, her personality was not normal in any way. She spoke as if she were an important lady, when in reality she actually came from a humble middle class family. She loved gossip and was known as the one person in the village that you should never tell a secret to. However, this uniqueness of her was probably the reason why Samuel’s mother and Laura were such good friends.
Samuel felt rather uncomfortable with Laura staring at him so intensely and could only muster a small whisper in reply.
“I.. I am on an adventure..” he said.
While Laura did make him feel extra uncomfortable Samuel tended to be rather shy when it came to speaking to anyone other than his parents.
“An adventure, huh…” Laura thought for a bit. Suddenly, her face lit up.
“I’ve got an idea!” She said “Why don’t you bring along Grace. She’d love to play with you!”
Underneath the large coat a small girl emerged. She looked to be around 6 years old. She shyly smiled at Samuel. However, her large brown eyes showed a hint of mischief.
When Samuel saw those eyes he shivered. Laura and her daughter had visited his house many times, and every time that Grace played with him he had gotten hurt in one way or another. Grace only spoke in single word sentences, however, even with this limit in her communication she always managed to make her intentions clear.
Before Samuel could say anything he saw that Grace had already grabbed his hand and Laura had disappeared.
“SWORD!” Grace exclaimed while looking at Samuel’s sword.
She grabbed it and immediately began to slice the air with it.
“…That was my birthday present.” Samuel said with tears in his eyes.
Grace looked at Samuel and seemed to feel guilty.
She looked at Samuel and held the sword out while shouting “SORRY!”
Samuel looked at her and shyly said “You can play with it too if you want…”
A big smile appeared across Grace’s face and she gave Samuel a big hug before pointing in the direction of a big field.
“FOLLOW!” She shouted.
Grace dragged Samuel along to the field, where they played by slicing the grass with the sword and having pretend fights. After a couple of hours they collapsed together on the grass. They were exhausted, but both were happy.
Grace suddenly stood up and pointed towards the ground.
“TOMORROW!” She said.
Samuel understood what she meant by that and nodded in response.
That day he walked home with a massive smile on his face. He completely forgot about the fact that he was so far away from home. Luckily he knew the way back. That day was not much of an adventure, but Samuel considered it to be training so that in the future he be able to have a real adventure.
The next day Grace and Samuel played together in the same field, and again the day after. They ended up playing together every single day. Due to Grace being so direct there were rarely arguments or misunderstandings. Samuel genuinely felt comfortable around her.
About a month later Samuel had his mind set. He wanted to go on an adventure, and if Grace went with him then he wouldn’t be afraid of anything.
Samuel was not the type of child to blindly attempt something. He had already created an intricate plan for what the adventure would be.
When he arrived at the field he saw that Grace was already there. Before she even had the chance to greet him Samuel began to speak.
“We are going on an adventure!” Samuel said loudly and assertively.
Grace was shocked by this behaviour, but seemed to be incredibly excited.
“WHERE!?” She asked
Samuel had a smug smile on his face as he revealed his plan.
“We will go to the forest!” He said.
“FOREST!” Grace said in wonder and slight fear.
The forest was the place where they were not supposed to go. It wasn’t necessarily dangerous, but a small child could easily get lost. Luckily Samuel had already prepared small pieces of red cloth, so that they could mark where they had been so they wouldn’t get lost.
Without another word they went on their way. Grace seemed incredibly happy and excited, even more so than usual.
When they reached the forest they both began to have second thoughts. The forest was dark and the trees seemed immensely high for the six year olds. However, Samuel would not give up now. He tied a red piece of cloth to a tree and walked in. Grace hesitated slightly and then walked in, following Samuel closely.
They walked slowly through the dark trees. They used a system where they would mark every fourth tree. However, Samuel had only brought so many cloths, and they both knew that they would eventually walk out.
After they were quite far in Grace pulled on Samuel’s sleeve. Samuel stopped and looked at her.
“Grace… We can’t stop until we’ve done something. This is an adventure!” Samuel said.
Grace still wasn’t very optimistic or happy. Suddenly, Samuel grabbed her hand and held it tight and dragged her along.
Grace was surprised by how dominant Samuel was, and she somehow felt a bit safer and ready to keep going.
The pair kept going deeper and deeper into the forest, and as they got deeper the forest got darker as well. Light had trouble piercing the dense leaves and Samuel realised that it was difficult to see even a couple meters in front of him, causing him to be rather nervous about if they would be able to find their way back. Because of this Samuel decided that they could only continue to move and hope for the best.
Suddenly, they saw a very bright light a couple meters away from them. They walked and saw that there was a small field. There were no trees in this small field, but there was a small lake. However, what was most surprising was the small log cabin in the middle of the field. The entire area was like a masterful scenic painting.
While entering the open area Samuel and Grace sighed in relief. Samuel breathed in the cool air and felt safe again as the light cascaded upon his skin. One never appreciates something until they have lost it, and Samuel felt this exact way about the bright area. Samuel decided to go towards the cabin. If he was lucky there would be someone that lived there, who might find it within themselves to help them get back to the town.
Grace and Samuel approached the cabin. Samuel knocked on the door, but alas there was no answer. After a couple more tries his curiosity got the better of him and he opened the door to look inside. The interior of the cabin was fairly quaint. There was only one small window, which provided all the light within the cabin, causing the rest to appear rather dark. There was a small fireplace, a table, and a bed. Samuel was disappointed by what was inside. The inside was very dusty and it was hard to breathe, leading Samuel to believe that no person lived there anymore. He made sure to inspect every corner of the cabin. Just as he was about to give up on searching for something he saw a book. It was in the darkest corner of a cabin. It was too dusty to make out the words on the front of the book, but nevertheless it enticed Samuel, and he quickly picked it up.
After they thoroughly searched the cabin Samuel left to join Grace, who was waiting outside. However, when he exited the cabin he saw not only Grace, but also a beautiful woman standing in front of her, talking to her. Samuel quickly went to see what was going on.
As he got closer he became even more shocked by the beauty of this woman. Even though he was young, and he did not really know anything about attraction between individuals he was still able to recognise how truly pleasing the woman’s appearance was.
The woman had long and straight black hair, blue eyes, and incredibly white skin. The contrast of these colours was fit incredibly well with the woman’s appearance. She had a small nose, large eyes, and thin alluring lips. The woman was wearing a small blue skirt, which perfectly showcased her wonderful curves.
“Oh, hello!” She said while looking at Samuel “You know it’s not nice to look through other people’s things?”
Samuel seemed a bit embarrassed, but then asked “Do you live here all by yourself?”
“Yes.” The beautiful woman responded.
Grace watched the beautiful woman talk to Samuel and seemed a bit scared of what she might do to him.
The beautiful woman approached Samuel, and seemed ready to scold him and take the book. However, when she got close Samuel’s eyes began to hurt incredibly much.
“AAAAGH!” Samuel screamed while holding his hands in front of his eyes.
“SAMUEL!?” Grace screamed in worry.
The beautiful woman also did not seem to understand what was happening, and she immediately backed off from the screaming child.
To Samuel it felt as if hundreds of ants were biting his naked eyes. He wanted to cry, but instead of tears a thick red liquid poured out. The second the liquid touched his hand he felt an excruciating pain and immediately removed his hands from his eyes. The liquid was like acid, and when it touched the ground it completely dissolved the grass.
The dripping continued for a couple seconds, and when it stopped so did the pain. When he looked up one could see that his eyes were even redder than before, like two shining rubies. His pupils seemed to pulsate.
When Samuel looked up he went to look at where the beautiful woman was, but he realised there was no longer a beautiful woman. Instead there was a zombie like creature in front of him. It was like a corpse of a human. The eyes were gone and the nose had already fallen off. Where there used to be teeth there was instead just a gaping black hole, which seemed to be capable of eating a soul.
When Samuel saw this in front of him he began to scream. Survival instincts kicked in and he grabbed Grace and began to run. He ran far into the forest.
Back in the field the now not so beautiful woman stood there shocked.
“Could he see my true appearance?” she asked herself.
Samuel and Grace were running through the forest trying to find a way out. Samuel’s eyes had luckily gone back to normal. Grace suddenly grabbed Samuel’s hand and pulled him back, causing him to fall over.
He looked at Grace in anger.
“What did you do that for?” He angrily asked
For the first time Grace spoke using proper sentences.
“Why did you run away?” She asked
Samuel looked at Grace in shock. How could she not have seen that evil creature?
“Didn’t you see!? She was like a witch or a zombie!” Samuel exclaimed.
Grace seemed confused. In her view the woman stayed beautiful the entire time, and it was only Samuel that had been strange in the situation.
“But she was so pretty.” She mumbled to herself.
Samuel didn’t say anything else and instead stood up and continued to walk. Eventually they found a red cloth and they managed to find their way out. When they exited the forest they realised that it had already turned night and they went they both left each other to go home.
The entire time Samuel couldn’t help but think about his eyes and what had happened. How did he see something that Grace couldn’t? He looked towards the book in his hand and wondered what it could be about. He felt his heart begin to beat again. Today he had successfully stolen a book from an evil creature. It was like a real adventure. It was almost cooler than python slayer Warwick. He realised that he sort of enjoyed the day. Even though it had been dangerous, painful, and terrifying he felt like he wanted to do it again.
With a smile on his face he ran home. He was hungry, and after a day like this he deserved a big meal.
The old man opened his eyes and looked around. He saw an incredible world around him. It was a beautiful world. It was similar to many gardens he had been in before. There were flowers, trees, and grasses of innumerable quantities. The sky was blue with not a cloud in sight. There was an ambience of tranquillity.
A path led through all the flowers and trees which led to a mansion. The mansion looked old, but it was still in incredible shape. It reminded him of the house he wanted when he was a kid. He wasn’t born rich, and he used to dream of having a house like this. This made him rather happy.
As the old man walked around he found that his body had changed.
“I guess I’m not so old after all.” The old man said.
His body had become youthful again. He jumped up in amazement and happiness. However, there was one thing missing. He scanned all over for that missing thing, until finally his eyes rested upon her.
A beautiful woman sat by the patio of the mansion. Her long blonde hair rested on her shoulders and she held a peaceful smile. She was looking at a picture gallery of their wedding. The man teared up just looking at her. The second she saw him she began to run towards him with tears in her eyes. They shared an embrace filled with love and true happiness. As they shared their embrace he felt in his head that this was true bliss, and that he would happily spend eternity with this woman.
Time seemed to fly in paradise. Every day passed by quickly and joyfully. During this time the man had found out about many things. He realised that just by thinking about what weather he wanted it to be it would change to that weather, and if he ever wanted a material item he would simply have to think it, and it would appear in front of him. However, a material item was nothing when compared to the true beauty of paradise.
In his previous life the man had been an avid outdoorsman. He had walked on many mountains, walked many long hikes, and was a passionate environmentalist. And yet, even with his vast experience of seeing beautiful picturesque scenes in nature he had never experienced as beautiful a place as this paradise. The trees, the rivers, the lakes. It all came together like an orgasmic constellation of true natural beauty. With such beauty you’d imagine that the man would get used to it, but the sight never got old to him.
Even with all of this together the man still had one concern. The red eyed baby. Perhaps there was some sort of parental instinct that made him feel uncomfortable having left the baby behind, or maybe there was something else. Ever since he saw the baby he felt a strange connection to it. He just wanted to know if the baby was all right. He looked up towards the sky and saw the two suns that lit up the paradise.
‘Perhaps he is out there somewhere. In a different universe or dimension.’ The man thought ‘Maybe the baby had been born again, and will be loved again.’
A voice suddenly broke his thought.
“George! What do you want to eat?” His wife asked.
The man, or George, smiled at the sight of his wife. Even with the baby gone he would never, ever, regret his decision of choosing paradise.
“Honey.” He said “I would eat rocks if it made you happy.”
Somewhere in a different dimension entirely there was a planet, and on that planet there was a country called Aegria. Within Aegria there was a town called Firden. It was a quaint little village. It was placed within the grasslands of the country, but there was a small forest just by the side of it. Rivers coming from the mountains provided the town with clean water.
On one summer morning there had been a strange occurrence in Firden. A baby had been born with red eyes! The mother and the father both had brown eyes, so a baby being born with red eyes was rather peculiar.
The strange baby had been born into the Terret household, where he was given the name Samuel. The Terret household was one of the richer families within Firden. They were known for their connections to one of the noble houses in the capital.
Samuel was lucky to have been born in a family such as this. Any other family might have thrown out a baby with red eyes, as red could be sound of evil or malevolence, but the Terret family took the opposite approach. They boasted about how their son had beautiful red eyes, and showed him often, as if he were a prize of some sort. Somehow the Terret family’s openness and willingness to show off Samuel caused the rest of the town to no longer worry about Samuel. If anything, he had become a minor celebrity.
As time passed the celebrity status of Samuel began to fade and his life began to get more normal. He was just a little child living happily with his parents. His red eyes had simply become a physical feature, and he was no longer judged by them.
One morning Samuel lay peacefully in his bed. Suddenly a sound was heard outside. It was their neighbours annoying rooster again. The rooster had some problems with its understanding of the day and night cycle and it would often crow at random times during the night. However, for once, the rooster actually crowed right when morning came.
The second Samuel heard the rooster he jumped out of bed, already fully dressed. With a big smile on his face he ran towards the door of his room. He did a little jump to reach the handle and managed to open the door. His red eyes glistened with mischief as he ran across the empty halls of his house.
Eventually at the end of the hall he reached the final room. He opened the door in a similar fashion as how he opened his bedroom door. This revealed the sight of his parent’s bedroom, with his parents still snoozing on the massive bed. A gleam of light flashed across his red eyes as he ran and jumped right on top of the body of his father.
“PAPAA! MAMAA!” Samuel squealed out.
Both of his parents groaned simultaneously.
“Leave us alone! It’s too early!” Samuel’s father said playfully.
“NOOO! It’s my birthday!” Samuel exclaimed while giggling as his father tickled him.
Samuel’s parents eventually managed to get out of bed and got dressed. They marched together towards the kitchen. The entire time Samuel was singing about his birthday. His parents exchanged smiles at the sight of their happy son.
They all sat down at the dining table. The light shone from the windows, revealing the happy family in all its glory.
Samuel’s mother was called Evelina. She was the most beautiful woman in all of Firden. She had bright brown eyes, light freckles, and ginger hair. However, while she looked lean and frail she was truly a devil when she got angry; at least from the perspective of Samuel.
Samuel’s father was rather different from Evelina. He was called Richard, and had the true body and look of an honourable knight. He was a large man, standing at an impressive 190 centimetres tall, and while he had gained a bit of weight after he stopped working in the army he still had his strong cheekbones and generally handsome look. He currently worked as a guard in the town.
Richard and Evelina were a typical love story. They grew up together in Firden, but grew distant when Richard went to leave for the army. Several years later they saw each other by pure coincidence in the capital city, they hit it off again and the rest was history.
“Samuel! Guess what present papa got you?” Richard said excitedly.
“WHAT! A present? For me?” Samuel reacted hysterically to the concept of getting a present.
“Before we do that shouldn’t we sing happy birthday?” Evelina said.
In unison Evelina and Richard began to sing the happy birthday song. Samuel tried to sing along, but it was a bit too difficult for him to follow the words.
After the song was finished Samuel had become even more restless.
“I want my present…” He mumbled.
“Yes, yes. Here it is.” Richard handed the present to him “It’s your sixth birthday so I thought you should have something special.”
Samuel inspected the present and looked at it for a while. Suddenly he realised what it was. It was a sword. But it was not just any other sword, it was a model after his favourite book character called Python slayer Warwick. Samuel always requested to listen to this book as a bedtime story. In the story Warwick has a longsword made of pristine steel and had a handle made out of the scales of a python. While Samuel’s sword was made of wood it had been painted to look exactly like the one in the book.
Samuel hugged his mother and father before immediately running into the backyard to slay some mighty ants.
“I guess he’s more like me than I thought.” Richard said as he saw his son run outside.
Samuel was chasing after some butterflies with his sword until he realised he had gone a bit too far from home. Samuel was an incredibly cautious and careful child. He would not go further than 100 metres from his house unless his parent’s accompanied him. This did mean that there was not much opportunity for Samuel to make any friends. However, this did not bother him much. For Samuel found playing alone entertaining enough.
He slowly walked back to his house. Suddenly he stopped. He looked at his sword and thought back to the books of Warwick the python slayer. At that moment he decided that now that he had a sword he had to go on an adventure.
An old man walked the mountain path with determination. He had a smile on his face and his eyes looked forward towards the glowing sun. He would reach the top; there was no doubt about that. One might expect an old man such as this one to have trouble reaching the top of a mountain, but this was no ordinary old man. For this old man was very rich; both in mind and reality. He possessed only the finest clothing and shoes. His watch was made out of gold and his cane was made out of wood imported from Ginya. However, these possessions did not matter to the old man. What he truly valued was his fantastic successful son, his beautiful daughter, and his two genius grandchildren. This was what this old man had. The old man had lived a fulfilling life. However, not all was so perfect. Just a month ago his wife had died. She was worth more to him than even the sun which lights up the world.
As the old man continued to walk up the mountain he began to sing a song, his voice was old and he could not manage the high notes, but one could tell that he sang it very happily. The song was an old song his mother used to sing to him when he was young. It was in an old language and he never understood what it meant, but whenever he heard it he felt warm inside. His mother used to tell him that the words in the song were not important, and it was rather the way one sang it.
Eventually the old man reached the top of the mountain. It was flat and rocky, with each side being a cliff other than the side the old man walked up on. However, the man did not stop walking, even while at the top. He walked with more vigour than ever. Each step was faster and faster, his pace going past that of what an old man should be capable of. Unfortunately, the old man reached a point where there was no longer a ground to walk on. His feet hit the air and went straight through it. His body fell down the mountain; the smile on his face never fading.
The old man was not afraid as death came to him. Luckily his vision went black before he could reach the ground, probably due to the physical shock of falling. However, surprisingly after an unknown amount of time the eyes of the old man opened up again. He looked around and saw the most immense and incredible spectacle he had ever seen. It was the afterlife.
It was as if he was standing within the cosmos. There were stars and galaxies all around him. It was a sky he had never truly been able to appreciate in his previous life; he somehow felt that this sight completed him. As the old man looked around more he saw that he was standing in a line. The line consisted of all types of people and other creatures. These creatures were rather peculiar, as if they came from a different reality entirely. There were giants, dwarves, half animal human hybrids; the list went on and on. The old man was not shocked by much, but these creatures did make him very curious about where they all came from. Were there multiple realities? In his life the old man had travelled the world, gone to space, and married a wonderful woman. And yet, now the old man was wondering how little of the universe he understood or ever saw.
Suddenly the old man heard a noise.
“WAAAH! WAAAH!” a baby cried.
The old man turned around and saw a crying baby. Seeing this made him rather sad. It was clear that the baby died not long after birth. To think of a child dying before their parents was a depressing thought. Parental instincts kicked into the old man and he picked up the baby. However, even then the baby would not stop crying. Suddenly an idea appeared in the old man’s head. He began to sing the song. The song of his mother.
Somehow the second he began to sing the baby calmed down and stopped crying. For the first time the old man could properly get a look at the little baby. It was clear that the baby was a boy, however, what struck the man most about the baby were its eyes. It wasn’t that the baby’s eyes were particularly large or small, but rather that they were bright red. The eyes presented a curious intelligence. It was as if they could look straight through you.
Suddenly the old man’s daze was broken by the screams of a voice.
“NEXT!” The high pitched voice screamed.
The old man looked to see where the voice was coming from, but he saw no source of the sound. All he saw was a giant cauldron, right in front of him. Within it was a boiling mixture of red and blue liquids. The mixture looked rather ominous. However, even though the mixture was so ominous the old man had a strong urge to jump in. The blue and red attracted him, it was so inviting. There was something within his mind that made him really want to jump in. He looked at the baby in his arms and was about to put him down and jump in, but as he looked at the curious red eyes of the baby he began to have second thoughts.
‘I can’t leave him unattended. Can I?’ The old man thought.
In a slight moment of madness the old man jumped into the cauldron with the baby in his arms. Once again his vision went black, and once again he opened his eyes to an unfamiliar sight.
He was in a fully white room with not a door or window in sight. The baby was still in his arms. After looking around he found himself standing in front of a man. The man looked middle aged, but he had a long white beard and white hair. The middle aged man’s dark blue eyes appeared to hide endless amounts of knowledge.
“You have lived a fulfilling life.” The middle aged man said to the old man.
The old man was still too confused by his surroundings to answer.
“I will give you a choice.” The middle aged man said “Either, you can start a new life in a new world, with no recollection of your previous life, or you can go to live in paradise with your wife for eternity.”
The old man regained his senses. He looked at the middle aged man and thought about what he had asked. He knew that he had to respond, but what decision would he make? He thought of all the possibilities of a new life. He could truly live again, love again. It was an inviting proposal. But then an image of his wife appeared in his mind. The old man smiled a little bit and realised that there was no life for him without his wife, otherwise he would not have left his old world in the first place.
“I will go to paradise to live with my wife.” The old man said resoundingly.
The middle aged man smiled and within an instant the body of the old man disappeared. This left the baby and the middle aged man in the room alone.
“And where do you want to go little man?” the middle aged man asked the baby.
Unsurprisingly there was no response other than the blinking of the confused red eyes of the little baby.
“I’d say that you are deserving of a new life.” The middle aged man said “I cannot control your fate, little man, but I can give you a little advice.”
The man squatted down and put his finger up to the baby’s temple. A message was sent into the baby’s mind.
‘Never let your hatred overcome reason. Keep a heart of stone as your enemies whimper.’
Those were the words that were transmitted into the baby’s mind. They were simple words, but they clearly meant a lot to the middle aged man, whose eyes had moistened as he performed the action.
The middle aged man picked up the baby, who had already fallen asleep.
“Goodbye little man.” The middle aged man said.
And so the baby disappeared.