10 years later…
Glistening sunlight crept over the horizon, the shadows of all that struck its path fell to the knees of enlightenment.
As the sun rose just above the tree tops, the rays traveled through a familiar opaque window, and began to sparkle on the palette of gold that shone on a small boy’s short hair. He awoke, shielding his eyes from the blazing light with his hands.
Slowly, he rose to his feet, leaving the crumpled covers of his bed in a rustled curvature similar to that of a whirlpool. He began to regain his consciousness as his bare feet stepped on the cold cement flooring of the workshop, and of his bedroom.
Throwing a few chunks of dry firewood into the brick kiln, he used an iron prong to push the dieing flames back to life. Sitting down to rub his tired eyes with his knuckles, he grinned a large grin. He hopped back up on to his feet, and rushed over to a small drawing table that was made of old wood he had stolen from the day’s fire. He gazed upon a large construction of beveled glass.
Today was his 10th birthday, and he was going to finish his most prized creation.
In a nearby chair, he sat and began to fit the final pieces of transparent material together on which he had spent three years secretly creating. It had been his pride and joy.
Today he prayed, he hoped that he could impress the toughest critic other than himself. He wished to show his father that he was worth more than the left over scraps that he was fed as dinner, and he did not even receive those apple cores and pin drops of wine every day.
I shall tell you a little more about this young boy, and his relevance to this story that will be shared.
In his home, there lived three people, give or take a few of the women his father brought home of the streets every now and then. They consisted of his father, himself, and their maid, Ariana. Of which, it could be said that only one lived in the house, considering the boy’s position was just about the same of a young slave, though he held the title of “son”.
As his “father” went out to drink each and every night, the boy took comfort in anything he could get his hands on that caused a reflection, such as the left over bottles of sour liquor, which he gratefully added to his collection.
Looking down at his arms, which were bathed in dark magenta, blue and black bruises, the smile disappeared from the child’s face. Although he hated that man whom he called “Father” with all of his might, he could not stand for himself, for the fear of the nights when he could hear the leviathan stumble down the dust pathway yelling “Boy! Come!”. Those words only meant that he would have to come and fulfill the never ending requests of the beast and his many mistresses.
There was a knock on the door, the sound ricocheted upon the walls and echoed in the boy’s ears, causing his head to sting. That previous night, he had been bashed with a thick bottle, and he could still smell the smell he felt to often; the scent of blood.
“Pssst. Master Kavanagh?” whispered the maid, her long flaxen brown hair back in a long French braid. She hustled quickly into the room, and turned to lock the door tight. The boy ran up and embraced her, his arms only high enough to hug her by the waist.
“Ariana!” he yelped, nudging his face into her abdomen, clearly she was a good seven years older than he. Removing his body from hers, he smiled and said,
“Remember, Ariana. My name is Kol, not ’Master Kavanagh’” he cheered, flinching at the sound of rustling and banging from beyond the hallway which led up the stairs. It was the sound of a man who had awoken with one enormous hangover.
Ariana made haste as she shoved her hand into a large pocket in her sand-colored apron. She pulled out a large, red, luscious apple, and handed it to Kol.
“Happy Birthday, Kol.” she said, turning to rush out and serve her master.
Immediately, she felt a small hand tug on her pastel green dress. The frail little boy dragged her over to his work table.
“Ariana, look! Look! Perhaps, if father sees this, he will gain the heart to let you go!” he said, hopping up and down while pointing to the finished masterpiece.
Ariana smiled at the thought of the imagination of a small child, and wished she too could have the same vigor and vivacity.
Ariana knelt down and placed a worn hand on Kol’s tiny head, and rubbed his soft cheek with the other.
“Kol, it is absolutely beautiful.” she whispered, straightening to gawk at the glass painting. In the center, there was a lotus, the interior petals were a scarlet, blood red. While the exterior was a marooned black. Surrounding the flower of ring mottled glass were patters of beveled, clear material that stole the colors of the soft white light and rebounded them as many vivid, rainbow hues.
Once again, the pounding of furniture and voices came from within the nearby hall. “Maid” was called, and she left the room after giving her young friend another hug.
Throughout the rest of that day, Kol finished the last, minuscule details to his work. After being completely satisfied, he leaped onto his cot to dine on his gourmet birthday meal. The apple that Ariana had given him.
Following the best thing he had ever tasted in his life, he crawled beneath his old, patch-work blankets, and slept.
Meanwhile, as he enjoyed the greatest slumber in weeks of nonstop work, Ariana was in the kitchen, fetching Ludwig Kavanagh his cheap wine.
Many a day, she was severely tempted to grasp the arsenic powder from the back tool shed and stir it into his drink; but what would she do once he was dead? She knew for certain that she didn’t have nearly enough money to run off with Kol, who had become almost a brother.
In all, she never had to heart to kill another living thing. Pouring the red wine into a fine wooden chalice, she brought it to her master. With great pace, she entered the room where Ludwig always sat in his comforting rocking chair. Clumsily, she caught her boot in a large hole that had been torn into her dress. As she fell, the chalice’s content splattered all across the wooden floor, and the hot-headed master.
Angrily, he stood, kicking her as she pulled her cleaning rag out to wipe up the liquid. Constantly she yelled, “I’m sorry! Master, I apologize!” Eventually, he paused to move his black hair back, and to slip a shirt over his tuned figure. Persistently, he moved his shaky hands into a back pocket to grab an expensive pipe; he lit it and inhaled the pasty smoke. Then, he knelt down on his knees, and gently grabbed the maid by her chin.
“What is today? I must know in order to dock your pay.” he said, staring into her eyes. The thought made her laugh on the inside, it’s not like she was ever paid anyways.
“That is, unless you would like to do me a favor.” He grinned, and pulled the maid to her feet by her sleeve. Swiftly, she shoved him backwards, and reached behind her to grab the empty wine bottle. Forcefully, she threw it, hitting the man squarely in the nose. She let out a small scream,
“It is your son’s birthday, you bastard!” The sudden statement stopped Ludwig in his tacks, and shunned an immediate grin to his face.
“Yes, it is his…10th birthday.” he hissed as he quickened and began to storm through the kitchen, that had just been polished to a glow. With great enthusiasm, he jogged into his bedroom, which owned many useless paintings and a large bed of feather down. He plunged toward a bureau that he had kept for many years.
Throwing open the first drawer, a dagger, piece of dirtied parchment; and a dried, dead lotus were revealed. Thrusting it closed with a loud band, he rolled the parchment open, read it with the utmost caution, then rolled it back up. He grasped an old, half-filled bottle of heavy alcohol, and sprinted out, managing to knock the slightly conscious maid back to the ground.
Stopping only for a split second to watch her hit the hard floor, he continued on through a the slender hallway that led to an old, creaky staircase. It descended down into the workshop.
The movement of air that trailed behind him furthered the peeling of the crusted brown paint on the walls, which if you looked close enough between the cracks, you could see covered red brick.
Though the sound of the man’s footsteps were as loud as a fierce crack of thunder, the child below remained in his deep slumber. Ludwig halted to catch his breath, and slowed his pace. He began to look. He searched for a creation, the creation of the boy he had been blessed with. The work of the boy given to him by the woman of perfection.
The very thought of her thrilled him, but her wealth attributed as such.
“Where? Where is something I can use?!” he growled in a deep, terrifying tone.
Out of the blue, a flashing light came from his clenched fist, opening it, the once deceased lotus shone to magnificence and began to float.
As it bobbed up and down around the room, it began to fly faster and faster. Suddenly, without warning, it flew over the beveled masterpiece, over Kol’s creation.
Freezing in mid-drift, it levitated about the reflection of itself, though the glass one was a screaming red surrounded in shadowed black.
The glowing flower began to descend, and gradually landed on its duplicate.
Fascinated by the life revived to the dead being, the man approached it with ease. The feeling returned, the same sensation that he had had the day he spent in confusion so many years before. Without caution, he precisely threw his hand toward the source, the lotus; only to be disappointed once again.
Just as he clasped his fingers around the petals, the lotus began to liquefy. It became the consistency not of water, but of blood. Creepily, it soaked deep into the crevices of the glass beneath it, and together they became one.
At that moment, memories flashed inversely in the man’s envious eyes.
“Engrave him with the sign of the melted sands.” The image of Kol drowsing capsized his mind.
“Engross him with the glazed glass of his own creation.” The woman’s flawless face invaded his soul.
“Follow as I request, and I shall forever be yours, and for eternity, you shall have my never-ending wealth and riches.” The chime of her voice infiltrated his consciousness.
Now, enveloped in envy; elapsed with the choice of wealth and beauty, he chose the path toward his vision of eternal life. For the wealth, the elfish woman, for the sake of greed within every person’s heart; he would mutilate his adopted son, even if to him he was nothing more than a pile of pale gravel that existed only to be stepped on.
Stealing the glass portrait that now shone both with a magical demeanor and the moonlight, he thrashed it upon the ground, shattering it into a hundred pieces.
The sudden crash sent Kol hurtling out of his bed in shock. The thing he had spent so much time on, was gone.
Almost as fast as a flick of lightning, he felt a painful clasp on his right wrist, and was sent flying over the span of the room. With his back, he hit the kiln, which knocked the wind out of him. Flaming ashes were sent in every direction.
Through his squinting eyes, he saw his “father” hurl his dagger’s tip deep into the boiling flame, and within the same time span, had pulled him into a reverse headlock, his face and front to the floor.
A strike of pain unlike any other, the smell of bitter blood and burnt flesh, the feeling of skin being stretched. Then, a dull lapse of pain as a shard of glass of his own making was slid beneath the wound, and sealed with yet another burn from the dagger’s hot edge. A blood-curdling scream escaped from his lungs as he realized what had begun.
“Ariana! Help me!” he yelled as clear tears streamed down his pale face. Again and again, the sequence of pain slashed at his back; he could predict the sight of the creation being recreated in pieces on his shoulders.
With a large cry, Ariana jumped down the stairs with large leaps, reaching the bottom and stumbling clumsily over her makeshift brother while pushing the being of greed away.
“Kol!” she screeched, viewing the bloodshed and scars that had been carved into him. Yet, as swiftly as she had come, she had been sent across the room, bashing into the work table. Once again, the man continued his work.
With each new piece, he poured warm alcohol into the wounds, and after what seemed like hours of endless torture, the mural was complete.
From what could be seen, other than the gushing of crimson blood, Kol had what looked like small plateaus on his back, though in all actuality, they were the shards of glass laid flat.
“It’s mine. The wealth, the glory. It is all mine!” Ludwig cheered, not taking any regard to the boy dieing on the cold cement. As the man could not see, blinded by greed and pride, he could not notice the sudden transformation occurring before him. All sound that could have been heard from such could not be heard over his roaring laughter.
The plateaus on the back of the child began to glow, and emerging from beneath their placement, the glass could now clearly be seen protruding flat from Kol. It remained there, glowing with a great refraction of beautiful colors. The creation was now forever bound to its creator.
After calming himself from the horrific act, the man stood, and again grasped his dagger that was now coated in a smooth layer of blood. Creeping over to the semi-sleeping woman whom had served him for so long, he kneeled down, and gently slid the blade close to her chin. Softly, he began to play with the placement of the weapon; finding the correct position, readying himself to slit her throat.
With deadly speed, he moved his entire body behind her, and slashed the blade at her Jugular.
It never reached her.
A sudden downpour of blood spattered upward, hitting the man in the face, and with enough force, was thwacked against the opposing wall. This time, the blood was his own.
Cocking his head down, he witnessed five blade-like structures protruding from him. His body began to convulse with a great strength.
The structures were built up from many branches of glass.
Turning his shaking head to look at his opponent, he saw a blond boy who was soaked in crimson blood. He had eyes who’s luminosity shone a frightful marble color. They were the eyes of Kol Kavanagh.
The boy spoke as he lifted his small right hand, which in turn appeared to suspend the surrounding left over shards of glass that had been to minuscule to be placed inside of him. The long, tree shaped trunk of pitch black glass which contained multiple branches had been what were piercing Ludwig’s core.
“You shall NEVER harm her!” he chanted loudly, pulling the branches out of the man who had become a living voodoo doll. They retracted to form the shape and material of a normal human arm. At last, he clenched his right fist, just as his father had so many times against him. The remaining shards charged rapidly, skewing the last of the lust ridden man.
Within moments, the man who was once of the poor, but had become one of greed, was dead.
10 years later…