His whole body shaking with anticipation and lust for what was to come, Lord Dem took in all of the circle he had drawn before him. All of the dark incantations and spells which would help him rule the world. He shuddered just thinking about it – he was so close now to his goal! All he needed now were the sacrifices. Pitiable children from the town far below. He knew he could trust his loyal servant to collect them for him, but the wait was killing him!
A sly, victorious smile entered his eyes. After tonight, nothing would be able to kill him. No over-eager father, no dragon of the Reaches, no group of mercenaries, not even an entire army send for no other purpose! His life would finally be complete after tonight.
If only his servant would hurry up! He had not been delayed, Lord Dem knew that. There were two kinds of people in this world – those who were used, and those who did the using with everything at their disposal. He was such a person himself, as was his loyal servant. Nothing would stop either of them once they knew what they wanted, and Lord Dem himself was at the very top of the chain. Soon he would stand higher than that even.
His palms wet with excitement, he looked over the incantations and spells again. He had spilled his own blood to draw them. It had tired him out, weakened him almost too much to go on, but he would not stop now. He would do what no other man before him had achieved, and he would corrupt the next world from within. It would be a slow process, but time would no longer mean anything. What did it matter how many years, how many centuries anything took when you were immortal?
Footsteps were approaching, accompanied by the wailing and screaming of young sacrifices. His smile turned into a grin. It was time!
No knock on the door. His servant knew not to disturb his Lord with such pointless gestures, and simply entered the room without asking permission. Any other man he would have struck down immediately. His loyal servant, however, would have to wait his turn.
“Your children, my Lord.”
He turned around, eyeing his daughter and son carefully. Such ugly, hideous disgraces to his name they were. Each of them too much like their mother – too kind, too nice. Soon they would join her in death.
“What’s this?” There was a third thing his servant had brought. A tiny, yapping thing which was hiding behind their helpless masters.
“Their dog just had puppies, my Lord. It’s loyal to the brats already, and my gift to you.”
He felt overcome by a strange sense of emotion. His loyal servant had done well. Both of them knew the sacrifice this kind of ritual took. The soul of an innocent creature, close to your own blood. The dog was neither, but it was close to his other sacrifices and would do an excellent job.
In the end, they all died the same. It was their loyalties that mattered at the end. Or their blood.
Bring them here.” His heart racing, he took the knife out from behind his long cloak. It was stained with his own blood already, but a little more would not hurt. Once he had kept the blade as clear as a fresh spring, but those days were long gone. He had higher goals now, was more ambitious. What good was a weapon without the distinct stain of blood?
His loyal servant through the sacrifices at his feet.
“Father, please!” His youngest, the boy, couldn’t speak for tears, but his oldest, the girl, had always had more fight in her. Maybe he had misjudged her. Maybe she should have ruled the lands after him, since he had no desire to return any time soon.
He motioned for his servant to pull her head back, and sliced her throat. His youngest screamed and their dog whimpered as hot blood sprayed them both and the unmistakable, glorious smell filled the room.
“Cara!” His servant grabbed the boy before he had a chance to cradle his sister. There was no time to waste, the ritual demanded their blood.
The knife cut through his flesh easily, simply. He basked in the feeling it left in his hands, inside his very soul. Grown men, those accustomed to battle were tough, almost chewy, but young children… There was nothing he could compare it to.
Finally, his loyal servant held up the puppy and pulled its head back by its ears. Its angry barking had long since stopped and grown into a whimper. Lord Den regarded it with hatred. The creature could not even beg for its life properly.
A last pathetic whelp escaped it as its life bled out around it. His loyal servant threw it onto the pile before it.
“You have been a good servant to me over the years. Know that I greatly appreciate your hard work, and your sacrifice.” The tall man nodded, taking his own head back without needing further encouragement.
“It has been an honour, my Lord.”
Quickly and deeply the blade cut into his throat. It was just as easy as the children had been, if not as soft. Still, the ritual demanded loyal blood, and there was no one more loyal than this man had been.
Another one, two drops of his own life force, and the room around him exploded in darkness.Figures swirled around him and far away structures came into view.
He held out his arms, too excited to think clearly. This was it! The moment he conquered the Next World.
“I am your master. Recognise me!”
Without another second wasted, the spirits filled him, encased him, forced their way into him. It hurt like nothing had ever done before, but it was another sacrifice he was willing to make.
To die by the hands of the spirits, so he might live through them.
So he might plunge the world into darkness and enslave every last soul within it.
The darkness and pain filled him completely – and he was reborn.
All of my 10-Minute stories are improvised, unplanned, and unedited apart from spelling and grammar mistakes. The idea is to kick-start the dreaded Monday with a short, creative exercise without thinking about it, and simply writing for the sake of writing.
For all other 10-Minute shorts, take a look here.