The boogeyman comith! The beginings of the darkness to come to the world of Spellbinder.
|Spellbinder: Innocent Dolls - Introduction|
The child’s eyes reflected the orange brilliance of the raging fire that burned ceaselessly in the center of the large, cluttered room. The flames almost seemed to reach out to grab the child, but mere inches from the frightened child’s face they would bend unnaturally away, as if teasing. Yet, more frightening than the taunting fire and which held the child’s full attention was the man in the shadows.
Like a boogeyman from every child’s earliest dreams, he came. Woken from a fitful dream by shouts and screams, the child had looked up to see the man, grinning over the bed, his eyes and teeth seeming to glow in the darkness of the room. With no mercy, this boogeyman snatched the child from the bed and away from the house; empty now save for the corpses of two dead parents.
Save for placing the child into a rough, thick, wooden cage, the man had been in the shadows, his back to the child, since they arrived. The child had shouted and kicked, and clawed and screamed, but to no effect. Every once in a while, a soft, almost reddish glow emanated from in front of the man. Once… twice… thrice the brightest, the glow pulsed, outlining the man in the shadows. After a time, the glow flared no more and the man stood slowly, and placed an object... a doll of some form, upon a haphazard cluster of shelving filled with uncountable others of various designs.
The child shouted, “Let me go! I want to go home!” The man did not move, seeming to simply stare at the collection of stuffed childens toys. “Let me go!”
Like lightning, the man flashed around and brought his face right up against the bars. The child, shocked, fell to the back bars and curled up.
“Oh yes,” the man hissed, “yes indeed, you will be a good subject! Do you know why I chose you, little one?”
The child's head shook.
“You are brave! You’re brave! You order me to let you go! You attack me! You do not call out for the protection of mommies and daddies. Brave, indeed!” The mans eyes grew cold, and, as he spoke, he spoke gravel, “Bravery is dangerous and cannot be suffered.”
The man threw his hand within the cage and grabbed the child by the arm, digging a single, sharp nail into the child’s soft flesh, drawing blood. The child yelped and tried to get away, but the man had done what he wanted, and backed away, turning toward the raging flames.
He slowly stepped into the fire, chanting words the child had never heard before, and the flames parted to let him safely pass within. The fire grew more violent and the man became little more than a blurry shape, distorted by the heat that, otherwise did not harm him. The air within the room grew thick and started swirling, gently at first. Papers and light objects started moving and shifting about. Soon, though, the gentle gusts grew ever stronger and soon the gusts turned to winds. The winds swirled within themselves and turned to small tornadoes, each dancing about one another and bolts of energy, not quite lightning, shot between them.
The child watched, growing terrified. As the winds grew stronger and stronger they seemed to almost blow right through the child, as if not even in the room. With each gust, it felt as if a piece of the child's soul was being renched away and darkness clouded the child's vision. Thrashed within the cage, battered and thrown, the darkness came permenantly.
The winds died and the fire fell, becoming no larger than a warm camp fire. For several moments the room lay silent. Nothing stirred. The man stared at the strewn pile of dolls that spilled down to his feet and waited. Fabrics rusled and shifted and a small dolls hand moved. The man laughed the laugh of a boogeyman.