A sorcerer is tormented by nightmares of a hideous creature.
The sorcerer genuflected before the statue of Maakar, the Lord of Darkness, and prayed for deliverance. Tormented by dreadful visions of a hideous creature, he was unable to sleep. Invoking Maakar’s blessings, he believed this would cure his wakefulness.
That night, as he tried to rest, he felt a peace of mind he hadn’t known for a long time. It seemed that Maakar’s blessings had worked their magic, and he drowsed off to a peaceful slumber.
In the middle of the night he woke up with a start. It was pitch dark and he couldn’t see anything, but the obnoxious smell hitting his nose made him aware of a sinister presence. He could feel himself suffocating and an enormous weight seemed to press down his arms and legs. A terrible fear gripped his mind and his body drenched with sweat.
“You’ve no right to sleep, sorcerer,” hissed an angry, alien voice.
“Who’re you?” the sorcerer asked in a trembling voice.
“I’m the Spirit and I’m thirsty.”
“Thirsty! For what?”
The Spirit laughed aloud producing a sound which chilled the sorcerer’s bone. “For your blood!”
“My blood? Oh, no! What’ve I done?”
“Don't pretend to be so inncoent, sorcerer. What about the children you flayed so that you could offer their skins to the evil Maakar,” the Spirit growled.
“Because my child has a terrible skin disease and there was no cure for it!” The sorcerer blurted. Something told him that his sins were finally catching up with him.
"To save your boy, you thought it right to take countless lives!" The voice was cold and menacing.
He felt strong arms seize his shoulders, hurl him down from his bed and drag him out his house. All the strength in his body vanished and he felt powerless to struggle as he was dragged over the dusty trails. With consternation he found himself within the precincts of the temple of Maakar. He was brought to the same spot where he had skinned countless kids.
It was a cloudy night and he couldn’t see clearly the face of his tormentor. He could only feel and smell his presence. A streak of lightening illuminated the surroundings for a moment; it was sufficient for him to see his captor. He was shocked. He saw his own image and in its raised hands was the same axe he used to behead his innocent victims before he peeled of their skins. And he realized what that stench was; it was the scent of rotting carcasses of his hapless victims
Next morning, the sorcerer’s lifeless body was discovered by his followers in a puddle of blood. His hands clutched the handle of an axe whose blade was embedded deep inside his own throat.
Word Count: 458