Happy Birthday by Marlon Mckay

“Are you sure you want to do this child? Once we start there is no turning back, you’ll be bound forever.” An elderly woman asked the young boy. The two stood alone in the middle of an eerily silent forest, in front of an altar. The dense set of trees that surrounded them a wall from the outside world.The night sky above was shrouded by a veil of dark clouds.

The altar, a circle made of bones with a pentagram painted in blood in the center. On the outside of circle in four corners were small pillars of stone, each with a red wax candle burning. In the middle of the circle was another pillar with a similar red candle burning. Beside it sat a large book bound by the skins of animals and a depiction of a pentagram and a screaming head in the middle.

The boy took a long breath and closed his eyes. The memories of the day ran through his mind as tears threatened to fall. He didn’t let them though, he couldn’t show any kind of weakness, not for what he was about to do. His battered and bruised pale face had a long scar just under his left eye. His lips were blue and split open right at the middle. His short hair knotted up where there was any left, his scalp red from where it was forcibly removed.

He wrapped his battered hand around a large burn mark on his wrist and let out a sigh, “I’m sure” he started before he looked up. The emerald orbs was void of any sort of emotion. There was no fear, no anger, no joy, just two endless vortexes that reflected all the pain and torment that he has experienced in his 14 years of life.

“Take me to her.” he simply said.

The woman let out a low cackle, “You are a brave one aren’t you. Most who come would turn around in fear of their lives by now.”

“I wouldn’t lose much if I die.”

The woman just shrugged and with a twisted smile grabbed the book with her wrinkled hands. The second she opened it an inhuman shriek filled the air around them. She turned the pages, each with more dark and gruesome images than the last. Pictures of people being tortured, hideous creatures rising from the depths of the earth, the souls of man being taken.

The boy’s eyes widened at the sight, but he dared not to look away. He continued to watch the pages turn, until they stopped on a particular incantation. The words were written in blood of an ancient tongue, bordered by cryptic images of snakes.

“Ah, here we are.” She said as her fingers traced the words, “This is your last chance child, you can turn back now and pretend that none of this happened.”

He gulped and tightened his hand around his wrist. Any reason for him to run away having long been forgotten.”Do it.”

“Well as you wish. I did warn you” The old woman said before she started with the ritual.

“Hoc tenet noctis infima, de luce, invocaverimus te. Abscondita hic sto invocaverimus te. Sacro orbe potestas Fascinatio hac hora invocaverimus te!” She started. The trees and grass began to rustle, and the clouds began to roar with thunder. The boy felt a dark powerful force surround him, and knew that even if he wanted too, there was no escape.

“Superi multa, oro te duce. Sume manu ducit. Perpulit eum semitam per quam non revertar!” With each word the thundering of the clouds got louder and the rustling of the trees harder. The boy felt a million eyes staring at him from the darkness, as he slowly slipped away from reality. she reached her hand out to him. With much hesitation he gave it to her and felt a surge of power.
She said, “Come here boy, repeat after me. I offer my mind!”

“I offer my mind.”

“I offer my body!”

“I offer my body.”

“I offer my soul.” She said, as she pulled out a knife and slit the palm of her hand and let the blood drip into the candle which began to rise.

“I…I…I offer my soul.” the boy choked out, as the woman sliced through the palm of his hand and let the blood drip freely.

“Audistis, vobis se offert. Tolle eum. Illum de hoc mundo. Deducere in regnum tenebrarum et redemptio. Ubi primum chaos, et sic de lumine. Ducent ad pedes domini. Tolle eum…Angelus Peccatum!” She cried. The world around the boy began to warp as she finished until everything went to black.

There was nothing. The woman and trees were gone, he was the only sign of life. He looked around the empty void, disoriented, feeling eyes on him but seeing no one. In the vast space he heard the echos of hundreds of anguished screams, yet there was no source.

He was all alone, until he heard the footsteps, and turned to see a tall slender woman wearing an all white dress. Her face was covered by the long black locks of her hair and her hands clasped together in front of her. Her appearance sent a shiver down the boy’s back, and as she walked closer he found himself unable to move.

“My, my, my look what we have here. A present for dear old me, another child?” She said, her raspy voice causing the hair on the boy to stand on end. He wanted to speak but couldn’t find it in himself to make the slightest sound.

“You’re hurt.” She pointed out, bringing her long pale fingers to his scarred eye. He flinched back and covered his eyes with his hand, any tears that threatened to spill being held back.

“Now don’t cry my child, let’s not waste any tears. Not yet.” She said, wiping a stray tear away and bringing it to her mouth under her hair. She let lose a slight moan and chuckle before she walked behind the boy and gripped at his shoulder.

“You’re filled with so much pain and sorrow my child, that isn’t good for someone your age, so young, so innocent. I can stop that you know, make things better.” She said trailing her hand up his neck, causing him to hold his breath.

“Do you want me to make them better?”

“Y-yes.” he said, the first words he has managed to speak since he set eyes on her.

“For to me to make them better however you have to promise me something. You need to promise me that when the time comes you will come back to me as my own. Can you promise that?” She asked, her hands now off his neck and over his heart.

“Y-yes.” was once again the only thing he could say. The second he said it she chuckled, darker than before, and a sharp pain began in his chest. He began to lose his breath and line of vision as he went down on his knees. A burning sensation began to run through his body, the only thing that kept his screams at bay was the constriction of his throat.

As things once again began to turn all black for him he heard the footsteps of the woman as she slowly left. “See you again soon my child, oh and I almost forgot. Happy Birthday, Leo.” she chuckled, before everything for him went black.

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