We are merely degenerates, spilling blood like savages.

Degenerates – Scary Kids Scaring Kids

The war was coming, the kingdom slowly tearing itself apart from the inside. Schala’s head settled in the basket, staring blankly at the sky, blood dripping into her eyes from her detached body, twitching lifelessly above. The demonic creature twisted its way around Maximillian’s body and soul, causing as much pain as it could. It swelled and fed on his silent screams, before leaving, whispering to him. It needed an extension beyond Maximillian’s body. Unable to fully leave, the demon contemplated the challenge it faced. It had to have a human image, a construct of sorts.

Quietly, the demon waited, as Maximillian paced restlessly in his room, sleep refusing to come to him. The demon sent out searching tendrils, looking for ancient power. Though the humans around him had scarred and twisted the land beyond recognition, the demon could sense the power of old nearby, on the borders of the city. It was a construct, an artifice in the shape of a human man. It still buzzed with energy and the demon surged with joy. Maximillian felt a strange sensation as the demon split itself, a portion of it’s being to be implanted in the construct, the rest to inhabit Maximillian’s body. Early morning sun shone through the window, the weak rays illuminating Maximillian, casting a pale shadow on his wall. He stopped dead in his tracks, gasping and clutching his chest as the demon sent its power out to the construct. On the edge of the city, the artifice opened its eyes, flexing its muscles beneath the layers of earth that covered it, concentrating on shifting the soil. By day break, it would be freed from its earthen grave.

The construct stalked through the crowded streets quietly, his short dark waves of silken hair falling gently into orbs of steely turquoise.  His strange eyes were encircled by thick long lashes that met and parted slowly as he loped past staring strangers. His softly sculpted lips were pressed together placidly. Freckles had scattered themselves over his lightly tanned skin, only serving to enhance his subtly defined features. A child scampered across his path, tripping over in the construct’s way. Frowning, the construct rigidly bent over, picking the child up, throwing it aside with casual carelessness. He carried on his way, attracting scared stares as he passed. Petrified whispers followed him, spreading down the alley. People shied out of his way as he approached, though his manner suggested no violence.

He turned right, towards the heart of the city, reaching a richer part of town, where the more refined people lived. The whispers hadn’t reached this part of town – no slum dwellers ever entered it. So when the construct came across a meandering merchant, idly chatting to a companion in the middle of the street, it came as a shock when the construct threw them aside as easily as he had the child in the slums. He made his way past the rich houses, the villas becoming manor houses and eventually mansions as he got closer to the palace. He passed a temple on the way to the walls around the palace, and stopped, turning slowly to the place of worship. Men and women in worship robes milled around slowly, talking and praising their gods, carrying offerings from visitors to the altar. The construct watched through his cold eyes, fascinated. A worshipper noticed him watching.

‘Hello?’ the worshipper said, walking over to the construct. Tuning into the language, the construct opened its mouth, flashing perfect white teeth at the worshipper.

‘Hello.’ He replied, taking in the worshipper’s appearance. The worshipper was a short woman, smothered by the female’s robes of worship. Her dark hair fell around her shoulders in a tame mess. Her hazel eyes were bright in hope and love for her gods.

‘Would you join us in prayer?’ the woman asked, indicating at the rows of benches inside the temple. The construct considered the offer.

‘No.’ He said bluntly. The woman’s smile faltered, but she persisted.

‘Please, sir. Prayer in this temple is the most enlightening experience!’ she took half a step back, making to guide him inside. She put an arm around his waist, gently pushing him towards the mouth of the prayer hall. At the contact, the construct grabbed the woman’s hand with a grip strong enough to break her wrist, she screamed in pain and fear as he pulled her towards her, but her voice was muted by the construct.

‘I said “no.”’ The construct’s voice was low with the raging fury of a demon bound by these people for so long. Shards of the woman’s wrist bone poked through the skin of her arm and strange angles, the blood oozing out over their hands, dripping slowly to the ground. The construct sapped the life from her body, ensnaring her soul, feeding all the time. It was only when she fell to the ground dying that anyone else seemed to notice. The construct looked up, his placid exterior masking the cacophony of suffering and shrieks. The hissing demon behind the glamour would have grinned, had it a face of its own.

Soon, Maximillian. Soon. The construct smiled, abandoning the growing clamour of shouts and angry cries from the temple. It carried on its way to the palace. So soon.


The End

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