This is the second in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing from 2nd December 2012 until the 1st December 2013. It’s intent is to keep me writing throughout the year, and not just in November. you can find out more about the challenge here.
Damnation in the Living World, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 3rd December 2012
Word count: 1,000
Theme: fantasy, sex, devil’s pact
Warning: Some relatively mild sexual content, and gore beyond the read more
In an inn, a huddled figure wrapped in a hood, drinking from a mug.
A well dressed noble entered the inn and looked around, and walked over to the huddled figure.
“You’ve caused me quite a bit of trouble,” the noble said, his voice was that of a snake’s hiss. “Might be, you can make up for your transgression, Raynard.”
The figure grunted, and suddenly found his mind flying backwards through his recent history, quite involuntarily.
Raynard Climes looked around blinking. He had been lying on the battle field amid a pile of soldiers, all dead or dying, his guts trying to escape from the gash across his belly, trying to hold them in, struggling to stay alive. Now he found himself stood up, on what he did not know, because it was just glowing red, all around. He was still holding his stomach though, he could see the blood still seeping.
“Ah, you poor dear,” a woman’s voice said.
Raynard turned behind him, looking for the voice, as he turned the red gave way to something more solid, a bedroom, the likes of which he had never seen before, a room fit for a noble. In the centre was an ornate four- poster bed, and equally ornate furniture.
Then his eyes focused on a lithe woman dressed in a gossamer gown that seemingly covered her modesty, yet offered tantalising views of the figure beneath.
“Won’t you sit?” she asked, nodding at a chair.
Raynard struggled to get words out, through his constant need to concentrate on holding his guts in.
“Oh,” she said seemingly reading his mind, “Here,” she waved her hand the gown seemed to move with a mind of its own, and drawing itself from her body, wrapping it around him. Then he had the oddest sensation. When he looked down, the gash across his belly was pulling itself together, far better than any battle field surgeon he had seen.
“How?” he asked, “Who are you? Where am I?” the questions just spilled out of him.
“Ah, that’s better,” she said, the robe returning to her body once more obscuring her. Raynard realised with a pang, in the bizarreness of the moment, he had missed seeing her naked. “Sit down, we need to talk,” she said, there was an edge of force in her words, Raynard felt obliged to obey.
“I’m here to make you an offer,” she said.
“An offer?” he asked, confused.
“I wish to give you comfort on your final night,” she said.
Raynard looked perplexed.
“This is difficult. You’re dying, you know that? In mere moments out of this room you will slip away. It’s unfortunate really, your soul was in balance. You know this means no promised land for you, instead you will go to purgatory, where you will stagnate for eternity. Just one more act, one little deed and we can tip the balances, I want to help you do that. It comes with a cost though.”
“I’m dying?” he asked incredulously.
“You’re dead, get over it,” she said dismissively. “Do you accept my offer?”
Raynard felt he should say no, he had been brought up to respect the gods, if after all the ill he’d done he was to be doomed to purgatory, then that was what he must suffer. Yet, he felt compelled, she was alluring, and if he was to die maybe, then surely a night of passion in exchange for moving his soul out of purgatory would be more than worth it. It had been so long since he had seen his wife, he had left her to go to war over five years ago.
“Yes,” he said.
“Ooh good,” she said clapping her hands. “One night of passion, true happiness, joy,” she said repeating the deal. “Come to me,” she said gesturing with her arm.
He got up and walked towards her. The gown slipped off her, and he took a moment to admire the view, she was like a noble well-bred noble woman, long legs that went all the way up, flat stomach and breasts that were large and round and inviting.
She lay back on the bed, alluringly. Raynard was suddenly naked, he didn’t recall removing his leather armour.
Without waiting, he entered her, compelled by a deep urgency.
“Yes,” she screamed, and as she did he saw something flash across her face. He realised it was some kind of demon, and he realised the trap he was in. Her legs were locked around him, he had no escape.
He pulled her back, and then collapsed to the floor, now she was on top, and riding him hard.
“Oh baby,” she said, in throes of passion.
His armour was on the floor, he reached for his knife, but felt himself close to releasing. In a panic he drew the knife, and in one smooth motion swung at her neck.
The head came off with ease, despite the angle.
Suddenly Raynard was back on the battle field, consciousness ebbed, and he died but suddenly awoke, he looked down at himself. The wound in his stomach was still healed, yet somehow he knew he was dead.
He pulled himself up. He clambered over the bodies and headed across the battle field, eager to get away from the horror.
Over the next several weeks, salvation didn’t come. Decay did. Causing village protectors to hunt him, as though he were the mindless undead that roamed the land. He wasn’t like the undead, he had his mind, and no hunger like them.
After more weeks the smell had finally gone, but parts of his skin, and other parts of his body were falling off. He was falling to pieces.
He holed up at an inn, trying to keep cool, to preserve himself that bit longer. That’s when the stranger walked in.
“Might be, you can make up for your transgression, Raynard,” he hissed. And Raynard knew he needed to make penance, otherwise he might rot forever, and never die.
Today’s flashfic was a real struggle. It was easily pushing a thousand words before I got to the sex scene. So that ended up being short, and still I had to have a frenzied editing session, cutting bits out to squeeze into 1,000 words (which I managed exactly, using MS Word’s word count).
I think this is a flash fic I want to turn into a fully fledged short story. It’s certainly open to it, wouldn’t take a great deal – add some story to the battle and the wound (maybe), and flesh out the sex scene (obviously), bit more background about the world it’s set in, and the follow on from the well dressed noble entering the room.
I might make it my project for the weekend, (on top of more flashfic – which will be done every day regardless of what else I’ve written or done).
No visual prompts this time, it started by someone telling me about going to rock club last Friday, and it I decided to do the whole demon deal thing. However I started, didn’t like it, and switched to a fantasy setting instead.
Hope you enjoy it.