Sunday, August 12, 2012


I hid, as stupid and useless as the idea might seem. I hid and waited. I could only see what was in front of me, whether it was real or not was something I had to decide for myself. I tried to use the sense of paranoia to tell how close Judgement was, until eventually he appeared in my little box of vision.

He knew where I was, of course, but I also knew where HE was. I'd like to say I was prepared for him, but that would be a bit of a lie. I remember reading about what happens to the people CRITIC possesses, and for the most part, that's what I got. The little neighbor kid had hair and skin singed and falling off in places, but what made me cringe was the state his face was in. His eyes had fallen out, or maybe he plucked them out, but either way when he appeared I found myself looking into two holes, empty yet full of hellfire. I could see the depths of my sins, past and future, and I could see how much I would pay as Judgement is passed on my arrested soul, after CRITIC frees it from my body.

Of course, that didn't happen. The visions made me hesitate, I admit, but I've heard many times before about the torture to come, no matter what I do, no matter who I fall to. The Alighierian torment of FERMATA, the fires of Judgement, the eternal servitude of the Lord of the Dead. The Choir lovingly explained how there was no hope for safety, not for me, and not for anybody. Seeing it from Judgement was only so much worse than hearing it in detail and imagining the rest.

So I'd like to think that Judgement was surprised when I attacked him with a large shard of glass. He may be an unknowable eldritch being, but he was inhabiting a human body. And human bodies break rather easily. I managed to stick the glass in one of his shoulders before making an attempt at his knife. However, despite being human, Judgement still isn't quite normal, as evident from the lack of blood that should have been pouring from his shoulder, and he had one hell of a grip. I wasn't able to get the knife then, and nor was I able to prevent being stabbed and thrown at a wall. As he was walking towards me, the wound in his arm glowing with the internal fire eating him away, the light making the shard of glass glow a reddish yellow, I kicked out wildly, catching the glass with the sole of my foot and pushing it all the way into his arm.

Apparently that was all his shoulder could take, as his arm fell off, knife and all. Judgement stumbled backwards, and paused just long enough for me to wrench the knife from the dead grip of his severed arm. I took no chances this time, and slashed the neck of the boy-demon. It was a deep, but bloodless wound, so I thrust forward again and again, until the thing fell on its back. One last plunge, and I severed the head from the beast, its eyes closed and the stump covered in charred flesh and blood.

I briefly wondered if Judgement was dead, but decided that it was better to be sure. I severed both legs and the remaining arm from the corpse, so that there was no possible way the body could be used again. And just to ensure inactivity beyond a shadow of a doubt, I cut into its chest and removed the heart from the body. I looked down on the bloody remains of Judgement, and finally felt that I had scored a point against these things.

The arms I left there, in the dim alleyway where a man stood against Judgement and survived. The legs I carried to the center of the city, where I buried them in an inconspicuous dumpster behind some sort of shop or restaurant. I pondered over the chest cavity for a while, wondering how something so small could cause me so much trouble, so in the end it went in the trash of a toy store somewhere on the north end of town. I walked the head down to the creek near the park, where I used to play as a child, and threw the head in the waters, to lay the boy to rest with my brother. Even though I know that child will know nothing close to rest now. The Choir had an interesting idea for the heart I still had, and as disgusted by it as I was, I couldn't think of a place to put it, so I just went with their plan.

I hold no fantasies about being free from CRITIC's glare. In fact I'm sure that it's only a matter of time before Judgement returns, this time in a body less prone to breaking, and with one more sin on his tongue to attack me for. And I can feel the untimely chills that herald FERMATA's appearance. He will not be pleased, either. The Choir screams these facts even louder now, assuring me that their Hell is the one I should assign myself to. And then there's the distant, wordless pull of the REQUIEM. I feel him now more than I see him, and more strongly than I've ever felt him before. His presence is the fear of death itself, and as I finally have exhausted every sane plan and route of action, he is making himself known.

All I can do now is run, and hope that in running, I extend what life I have left. Whatever game they're playing with me is over now. The Fears are finally out to kill me.

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