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The Path to Darkness

by Llwyd L. Brenin about a year ago in Short Story
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Llwyd L. Brenin

Wess could remember now! He remembered CJ as a small child; He remembered his parents, he could even remember their deaths. He was there. Not hiding in the closet, or under the bed. He was brave back then. When Wess was awakened one night, his parents were locked in a desperate battle with four dark magic users. They had his parents pinned in a corner. Wess ran to help them but it was too late. They struck his parents down. At four years old, he was already powerful. He fought with such ferocity that his attackers thought they had unleashed a demon. But in the end, he was no match for the three remaining dark magic users.

His mind jumped back further in time. Three weeks earlier, Wess had snuck into the attic. While he was there, he came across a book. He didn’t know it at the time, but the book was dark magic. He was enthralled by the elegance and the incongruity of the spells. When you hurt someone you would hurt yourself. Even at that age, Wess realized that everything in this magic had a price. The more powerful the spells the greater the cost. But it could also have its rewards. While using this magic, you may damage your physical body, but you damage the soul of the one you use it on. In the process, you absorb some of their life force. When you recover, you become more powerful.

He memorized several spells, not knowing what they did or even how to cast them. The words in Wessier, however, were mesmerizingly beautiful. He was suddenly pulled back into his previous memory when he remembered the pain of his arm being blasted off as he was struck by a detonation spell. At first, he wasn’t aware of a spell. There was just a green light that started with a flash. It seemed to last forever until the pain hit him. But the pain didn’t last forever. It was soon replaced by rage. As his assailants stood over him, his fear was suddenly gone. Somehow, a calm swept over him as he whispered a spell that he didn’t even remember memorizing. Fire leapt from the floor consuming his attackers. But the hotter the fire burned, the colder Wess felt. Then, Wess felt a tingling sensation followed by a stabbing pain in his arm right where it was severed.

Wess looked down at his arm. It was growing back! The more his enemy burned, the faster his arm grew. When it was complete, there was nothing left of his attackers but ash. Wess started to cry. He didn’t cry for himself. He didn’t even cry for his parents. He cried for these men. They killed his parents, attacked him, and blew his arm off. But their death was worse than anyone deserved, even after what they did! He would have found it hard to care, considering his loss, but he felt it. He felt their pain. He felt their fear. But, most of all, he felt his elation for their suffering. Even worse than that, he knew that there was no chance of redemption for them. They would not be going to an afterlife. He had consumed their souls!

“I remember,” Wess said snapping out of his past, “I did put a curse on myself! I hated myself for what I had done. And for performing that piece of evil magic, the curse was my payment.”

“From what you’re describing, that was a powerful spell,” CJ said. “And very complicated. Not many adults could even attempt an inferno spell of that magnitude.”

“So, it’s hopeless?” he asked, “I’m just cursed forever?”

“No, the curse can be removed,” she said, “but it’s very complicated and will take time. I have a lot of research to do.”

“Don’t bother!” Wess said, “That’s the price of dark magic, and of cheating one’s fate. I will be redeemed one day but until then, this is my cross to bear.”

He walked out the door, disappearing into the dark. This is where he belonged. He was a creature of darkness now. His whole life was this way. Dark, cruel, and cold. But now he knew why, and if he embraced the darkness, he could deal with his fate head-on. He used a transport spell to return home. Climbing the stairs to his attic workspace, his sanctuary. Now he knows why he forgot! It wasn’t the curse or the pain, it was a memory that haunted him. He read somewhere that detonation spells don’t give off any light. If that’s true what was that light? He searched his memory. He was missing some time. He wasn’t sure how much time, but he knew that it was more than a few minutes. The more he thought about it, the less he could remember until there was nothing but the green light; haunting him!

Short Story

About the author

Llwyd L. Brenin

The stories that you see labeled chapter one - chapter sixteen are chapters from my completed book, The story of Promiseum - Dream Walker. So if you decide to escape to my fantasy world, start with chapter one and read them in order.

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