Fantasy, Two young women battle evil in todays world.
| Sunamii stood atop the eastern side of a canyon, at the bottom was a vast body of water stretching from north to south for as far as she could see. The water had a greenish tint from the algae growing on its surface. The vegetation growing along the edge seemed to be in a constant struggle with the surrounding desert for a foothold, and judging from the sedimentary layers in the opposing hill, the desert was winning. The water level had been slowly receding over the years, to where now the only source of life was this sea and the river feeding it.
Looking to the south, she thought she could just make out a city and decided to head in that direction, but discovered after taking only a few steps she was suddenly much closer. This momentarily struck her as odd, but the feeling quickly passed. It turned out what she initially thought was a city was in fact the spitting image of the ancient cities of the Middle East she had studied in archeology. A tall thirty foot stone wall seemed to encircle the entire city and towers appeared every hundred or so feet. A gate at the north end was open allowing a large caravan of wagons to enter.
Sunamii was appalled at the sight of the wagons. Sitting atop the wagons were cages filled with men and women. The lack of proper clothing led Sunamii to believe they were either prisoners or slaves. Again the feeling of wrongness came over her, but it passed before she could examine it. Just outside the gate and running along both sides of the road ran a number of tents. Small children were dodging back and forth between the wagons and throwing stones at the occupants in the cages. Occasionally one of the guards walking along side would chase them off, apparently not wanting the cargo unduly damaged.
Sunamii spotted a few women huddled together on the opposite side of the road watching the passing caravan. Perhaps they could shed some light on what was going on here. As the she got closer though one of the women looked up at her and became frightened, she said something to the other women, who in turn glanced up and seeing Sunamii became fearful as well and scattered towards their individual tents.
Sunamii was momentarily surprised at the reaction; she looked down at herself and saw she was wearing a white dress that ran to her ankles, a dark blue lightning bolt between her breasts. What the hell? I don’t own a dress like this. I certainly look out of place compared to these people. Still none of this makes any sense.
With the women gone from sight and the last of the wagons inside the city, Sunamii paused to examine the city closer. She noticed soldiers positioned at the gate, perhaps they could provide some answers. As she got closer she could just make out their uniforms, something looked familiar about them. She couldn’t put her finger on it, then she saw the symbol on their on their helmets, she felt lightheaded. The Dead Sea. Worshipers of Bael. What was that? She tried to capture the thought, but it was gone. She felt uneasy.
Then the sky lit up like a thousand camera flashes going off at once. Sunamii turned away from the blinding light, shielding her eyes. As if someone opened a furnace, the heat became unbearable. A strong gust of wind picked her up and tossed her several feet to the ground. She could feel her skin burning, pain activating all her nerves. Only one thought came to her, escape! She picked herself up and ran…
Instantly she was back atop the canyon, the heat gone, she stopped, looked at her arms, no burns, the dress replaced by jeans and a cotton blouse. Slowly turning to look towards the city, all she could make out in the distance was black smoke billowing up as if the whole city had been caught in an infernal blast. What happened back there? Oh my God, all those poor people. Looking back she tried to make out if anyone was still alive walking along the road, but at this distance it was difficult to tell. If I can get back there, I might be able to help. Sunamii was certified CPR., and a volunteer firefighter and knew how to treat burns. Ignoring her own safety she began running towards the burning city.
Up ahead on the road stood a figure who appeared oblivious to his surroundings, his focus was on Sunamii. He was wearing an unbuttoned long sleeved black jacket with a white lapels, black pants and black boots with the tops turned down. He wore a red shirt under the jacket. As Sunamii approached, he stepped onto the road.
“So there you are” As though he had been looking for her “Did you think that by destroying them you could keep them from me?”
“I am afraid I do not know what you are talking about” she said stopping “There are people back there who need help”.
The man frowned momentarily, “There is no one to save” he added levelly “You killed them all”
Sunamii was startled “I killed no one!” she turned to confront the man “Now if you don’t mind, I would like to see for myself”
“As you wish” he said and immediately both of them were again just outside the city walls. The smell of ozone was thick and smoke filled the air. Not many fires were burning, but charred corpses lay all around. Nothing stirred in the rubble, perhaps no one had survived whatever occurred here.
“I don’t understand” Sunamii obviously emotional over the tragedy “What happened?”
The man gave a Sunamii a cruel smile “You killed them” he turned to face her “All those women and children died at your hands” he said accusingly.
“NO! That is not possible” she stated emphatically
The man pointed to Sunamii “Do you not recognize the dress?”
Sunamii looked down and discovered she was again wearing the white dress with the blue lightning bolt between the breasts. She became light headed, “But I don’t…
“Come with me” the man said “You no longer have to be a weapon of destruction. How many innocent people did you kill in this city? How many deaths were you responsible for? How much longer will you allow your strings to be pulled by another?”
Sunamii was still feeling dizzy, her emotions conflicted. What is he talking about? This has to be a dream. Of course! This is a dream. Slowly the fog began to clear.
“I am no weapon!!” Sunamii declared “Who are you?”
The man seeing the change in Sunamii dropped the smile “In past times I was called Bael. In fact I was worshiped in this very city” he said indicating the smoldering ruins. “Philosophers credit me for the existence of free will”
He paused to see the effect on Sunamii then added “I have told you who I am. What do they call you?”
He is speaking in riddles. This a dream, follow it to its conclusion. “My name….” then it struck her. Bael. The dead sea.
“This was a city of evil” Sunamii stated “It was destroyed for its sin”
The man was unperturbed. “Were those women and children you saw evil?” he continued “is freedom of choice evil? I am offering you a choice. Join me” he said extending a hand “let us put a stop to this senseless killing. How many more innocent souls must die?”
This is a dream. I am a college student at Northwestern, he is trying to confuse me. “I will NEVER serve you!” Sunamii declared
The demeanor of the man instantly became dark and menacing, he appeared to grow in size. She stepped back.
“If you will not serve me” he said an icy edge to his voice “Then you will die” Flames shot out from his mouth and engulfed Sunamii.
She awoke screaming.