AW Blog Chain: Child of the Devil
It’s been way too long since I last participated in the monthly blogging prompts over at Absolute Write. I haven’t written as much as I wanted lately, so this was a great way to get the creativity going. Don’t forget to check out the other blogs participating this month!
I had a lot of fun with the prompt and I think that it has potential to turn into something more later on. If you’re interested in seeing more from either character, give me some name suggestions in the comments. I’d love to see what you guys and gals come up with.
Disclaimer — this writing piece has not been properly edited. I’ll possibly edit the scene over the next couple days for grammar fixes.
August’s Prompt: Child of the Devil
Total words: 787
A child skips.
Her feet grip the rippled creases of the ruddy sandstone like a bird’s as she moves from crevice to crevice. Toenails twice the size of a human’s and curved have caused the girl to be barefoot since her arrival years ago. She scraps the tunnel wall with her fingertips and whistles a tune by Otis Redding.
A swift twist to the left opens the tunnel into the main cavern. The girl’s tunnel is situated forty or fifty feet above the floor of the main cavern, but with the ceiling over sixty stories high, it’s relatively close to the ground. Her talon feet creating a solid grip on the rock, the child inches closer towards the transition between ground and cliff. She leans over the edge fearlessly.
After all, there’s no risk of dying, when she’s not alive. Or when she has wings.
A breeze strikes the child’s face and lifts the corners of her mouth. The endless flow of spirits from the surface is the source of the wind. A labyrinth of portals and lines, all pointing towards an eternity of punishment, functions only at a back-breaking pace. Each year the lines seems to process faster, as more of the population crumbles into a sin.
Screens on the portals flash a snapshot of the surface, then spit out a spirit. A seemly random place on the surface, but, in fact, the portals reveal the spirits’ location of death. The child watches the portal with a predator’s gaze.
A disruption in the flow catches her attention. A spirit, double her age, pounds on the portal’s glassy surface. The portal freezes on this spirit’s last moment: A bridge across a green-blue water. A malfunction in the equipment wrapped around the man’s feet made his elastic adventure a skull-splitting nightmare.
The man cries out. He shakes his fist skyward.
The child’s wings itch for flight. She spreads the leathery limbs and descends off the ledge. It takes her several minutes to locate the man within the labyrinth. When she spots him now, his face is stained from crying.
She hesitates above him. Though the seed of evil grows within her core, her youthful self is still vulnerable to rejection. Half child and half monster, the girl is often met with disgust and fear from the spirits. She’s learned not to associate with the unsorted spirits. The ones who still believe that God can save them from creatures like her. Yet, this one seems different. She’s never witness anyone resist the flow towards punishment for so long. Usually, the guilt of their sins propels them forward.
“You’re holding up the line,” she calls down to him.
He looks at her, puzzled.
“Is there a rush? I mean, we’re both here for eternity, am I right?”
She echoes his puzzled gaze, until a rumble of laughter breaks out of his body.
The sound is so foreign that the entire cavern pauses until it stops. The child is so stunned that she forgets to breathe, forgets to flap her wings. She tumbles to the ground a few footsteps away from the man. Pain gathers in her ankles. It’s minor compared to pain that’s been inflicted by her father, the Devil, in the past. He wouldn’t approve of her showing weakness now.
“What was that?” She snaps, as she picks herself off the ground.
He sticks out a finger at her. “What are you?”
“I asked first!”
“I asked first,” he mimics.
“Stop doing that.”
He grunts. “Must be Hell. Ain’t no one has a sense of humor.”
“What is that?”
“What is what?”
“Humor,” she asks.
“What is humor? Man, don’t think I can answer that. It’s a conversational icebreaker though –“ the man looks around — “I guess you don’t have any need for that down here. Being in Hell. Where it is hot. Oh, come on. Not even a half-smile?”
“Hell is hot. Ice is not. This is funny?”
“Technically, that was a rhyme.”
The child folds her arms and puffs out her lower lip.
“My niece used to do that,” he says softly, before continuing, “So, what does a little um…whatever you are…do for fun?”
The girl points through the labyrinth towards his awaiting punishment. “You’re suppose to go that way.”
“Eh, I’ll wait until off hours. It looks crowded. Rather get the local tour than get stuck in a tourist trap, if you know what I mean. Okay, maybe you don’t. How about showing me around and we can deal with this eternity of pain and suffering later, okay?”
The girl knew her father wouldn’t approve, yet she found herself nodding in agreement. What harm could come from delaying his punishment for a few measly hours?
Bonus: Come up with character names for the guy and devil kid!
Participants and posts:
ishtar’sgate - http://chickenscratchbc.blogspot.ca/ (link to post)
orion_mk3 - http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
areteus - http://lurkingmusings.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
BDavidHughes - http://bdavidhughes.com/ (link to post)
Ralph Pines - http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
articshark - http://www.drslaten.com/blog (link to post)
Anarchic Q - http://anarchicq.com/ (link to post)
meowzbark - http://www.lizzylessard.com/ (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes - http://www.taraquan.com/ (link to post)
grace elliot - http://graceelliot-author.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Angyl78 - http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
milkweed - http://www.thistlequill.blogspot.com/ (link to post) [after 8/15]
pyrosama - http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to post)