Din…tis my first companion amid a foreboding darkness—ominous and heart-tearing choirs of tormenting din. Overbearing, desolate-laden upon myself, what affliction suffers my soul by the sounds of calamitous terror. In the present foreground of effervescence and crackling, the amalgamation of fiery kin, are showering lamentations, pain-full, anguish-full, the chaste epitome of sorrow and penitence.
The conjoined darkness and wretched sounds are an impressionable imprisonment, one that urges me against the blackness, to seek cognizance and the source of these abominable cries. With will, I fight against the paralysis of my entirety. Tis first my fingers which coil with the response of life. I next recognize my breath receiving in a questionable oxygen.
Lo, is my form afire? What insufferable blaze coheres to my flesh? What crime hath been committed against I, Father Antoni Mancini, the appointed patron of man and God?
Swift and forth, my eyes fly open to behold a sky I’ve never regarded—of a dark overcast that blends in the colors of rage and anguish.
Stiffness retards me. Tis like breaking glass, my bending bones and joints. I rise off of the rigid surface beneath me. Have I been unmoving for years? For neither pain nor impression of stabbing relieves my backside.
My silent astonishment suffocates me. I seek breath but avail none. Yonder I witness the cries, of so many men and women, falling and rolling over each other out of the mouths of Daemons’ faces carved into the masses, over the precipices and into a lake of smoldering lava and flame.
An excruciating shriek is sudden to my ears. It swells my skull with ache. I question if scars have been made, if blood will soon spill over down my cheek sides.
I take sight to a creature. Its papery wings flap and hangs it airborne, its scaly form appears devised to contend the looks and conditions of this fiery realm, its eyes are beady and yellow, full of rage and hunger, and its rotted fangs drip with a brownish, abhorrent gunge.
It flies after me. I’m not quick enough to elude it and I’m knocked. Stumbling backward, my heel slips over the precipice side and my body follows. My entire torso scratches the ledge, a creation of enough friction that I catch the ledge with a hand. Swiftly, I toss my other hand up, arresting the ledge with a desperate clutch. Peering over my shoulder, I behold the below where the imperious molten lake and the banes of souls reign unassailable.
I cringe at the imp’s sonic wails. I direct my gaze to the creature. It hovers within a proximity of which I can feel the gusts from its wings push me.
“What have I done, oh, Father, for thee to forsake me thusly?”
The creature gurgles on its mucus and snarls with feral snaps.
“Forgive me, Father.”
Miraculously, the creature ruptures, its bloody innards showering outward like a cloud before falling downward into the lake. I look forward to see an apparition of sorts. He is resplendent, the glows of white and yellow prescribe him. I help myself over back onto the flat.
“I thank thee. The Father must’ve hearkened my prayer.”
He replies to me in silent gaze.
“Art thou an Angel sent from the Heavens to right this terrible wrong?”
His muteness is perpetuated.
“Tis this occurrence not a mistake? Am I not wrongfully miscast into these Pits? Of course, I am with Sin but my atonements are true and plentiful! My love for the Lord is just! I am not a damned soul!”
My ears ring of torture for a while. Hath thou forgotten his Earthly encounter with the Reaper?
His lips never move but his words echo in my head. Telepathy… “What encounter?”
A look of suffer befalls the Angel’s expression. Afore my words can question, a blinding light illumes him. My eyes are inept to the brilliancy and I react, shielding my eyes from the light.
My eyes intake the norm of sights—a nature of Earth encompasses me with the mark of forests, a full moon so glorious tis as though day had invaded night, and the musical language of the wolves and the night beasts—my heart pulsates in relief.
What dread of a nightmare…
‘twas no nightmare, Father. My notice is pulled left. The Angel… Behold those events that led to your regretful fate. The splendor of his visage discerns intently the happenings before us.
Begrudgingly, I cast sight to that which ensnares the Angel’s notice. Yonder I behold a version of myself, battered, dissenting a fiend of terrific shadows and darkness. It out stands me, measuring four times the pinnacle height of a matured man. Equipped in its boney right hand is a powerful scythe. The gleam of the moon’s light reflects with fearsome exposition, making that which I’d taken a liking to just a moment erstwhile, the moon, oh, so terrifying.
Memories of the forthcoming resurface and a sense of pity envelopes me. I remember…Kiel. My eyes scan the Earth. Gapped by an impartial void lays the incarnation of my son.
“Father,” the creature articulates, its voice whispery yet imposing, benign though the truth of evil too lurked hidden like a cancer. “Let not thy human emotion interpose the delicate Order. The time of your son’s soul is now.”
Tortured with sorrow I behold him—me—armed with the Book of Amadeus.I look desperately to the Angel’s face. Surely, a spare moment of befallen madness cannot equate to my hellish fate…
Watch further, Father.
Reluctant, I will my attention back at the events at hand.
“You cannot have my son! I gifted him my word, my promise, of a life of longevity! I must make due my promise!”
“I plead to thee, old friend, tis not thine time of Death. Thy power is still a great necessity in escorting souls to the Kingdom. But tread hereafter with caution. I do not intend thine soul’s collection. But I will if need be to dismantle thine obstruction.”
I chant a spell that raises a domed barrier before me and the Reaper.
“Then so be it.” The Reaper’s rage is realized as his ethereal cloak moves across the Earth, covering everything in a veil of shadows. I hearken the souls of the many that which his powers stem from. Indorsing his hand with weapon, he takes assault to the barrier over and over again, the blade of his scythe making a perpetual ringing noise upon every impact. Fissures begin across the Magickal barrier.
Opposite the field, within the dome, I behold my will, my efforts to withstand the Reaper’s might until both it and the barrier are shattered. My body soars airborne before skidding across the dirt.
The Reaper looms over my son. “I do apologize, old friend. I’m bound to a higher obedience.”
He raises his scythe, preparing to take my son with the strike of his blade.
Burdened with befuddlement, I stand mouth agape as a power shoots through the Reaper—something like white fire. The Reaper’s grip fails from the blade that takes souls. As he writhes—both his and the screams of the many souls tear through the ether—his scythe impales my body and I behold as slowly Death becomes me.