- Word count: 950
- Genre: Suspense
- Character: An architect
- Material: A bottle of champagne
- Sentence: “I can’t see you.”
- Bonus: Your character is imprisoned.
“I can’t see you.” He took a shuddering breath. “I can’t see you any more.” His voice sounded less powerful than before. His eyes slide across the slimy prison walls to the executioner standing behind the bars. Closing his eyes, he went back to staring at the ceiling. “Lydia.”
The guards in their ‘infinite wisdom’ wouldn’t allow him to write a letter. No visitors. Minimal food and water. They all did it because he was the Killer with Fire. Countless victims had died at his hands. Countless people had begged and not received mercy. He wouldn’t beg for mercy. He wouldn’t ask for his life. They tried to keep him weak. It was the only reason he was on the floor. The first, second, and third time they had tried capturing him it had been a disaster. He had destroyed them with fire. Hence his name. The writers at the newspaper were so imaginative. Still, his only regret was Lydia.
“My love. If only we could have been together. If only we had taken the same path. I know I would have turned out different. What could have been had I not walked away. What could have happened had you and I run off together?” He spoke to one stone in particular. If he imagined just right, it almost looked like her face. “Why couldn’t…” He trailed off remembering what had happened. “I’m sorry my business didn’t take off like it was supposed to. I wish I could have some how…done more. Who knew people didn’t like dark magic items as much as me?” He shrugged. His laugh sounded sick as it reverberated off the walls of his prison cell. Perhaps all those fools wouldn’t have died had they just bought something. No. They had to be all high and mighty. They had to go and tell him what he was doing was wrong. They had to-
His eyes flicked to the guard and away. He couldn’t afford to get worked up now. The guard was bored for now, but he wouldn’t be if he knew his secret. Taking a breath, he let his strength seem back to his core hidden from all eyes but his own.
“Oh, Lydia.” He started again. “After all of that, you looked at me different. I knew I was a failure and you knew too. If only I hadn’t left to go find work. Maybe we would have worked things out.” This time the grief in his voice sounded real even to his ears.
“Come on. It’s time.” The guard stared down the hallway watching something. He could see him waiting until the very last moment to open up the door. Perhaps, these guards were more intelligent than he gave them credit for. He’d have to adjust his plan slightly, but it should still work.
“Get off the floor!” The guard roared at him. He seemed satisfied when he saw his prisoner have great difficulty getting up off the floor. As far as he could see, there were half a dozen high level guards at his door, then the warden and the executioner. His black eyes focused on one guard. No real rhyme or reason for it, but just to unnerve him. The effect was immediate. The one he had stared at shivered and looked away. There was still fear in them. The monster of madness born out of darkness and fear had sway still in their hearts. He breathed deep of his terror. His arcane magick squealed with delight within him.
“Get out here.” The warden snatched him from his cell dragging him out into the corridor. Almost every man here was large and heavily armored in the royal insignia. “You won’t be getting out of it this time.” He snarled down to the prisoner. The Black Killer stared into his eyes just enough to make him worry but glanced away to make him think he was subdued. This was a dangerous game. They knew it. He knew it. Everyone knew it. “Go.”
He marched down the silent hall, down the staircase, and out into the courtyard. Laughter almost erupted from him when he saw the gallows.
“Your death will be painless, though I believe you deserve worse. The Council wants to prove they are better than you.” The warden sounded almost disappointed. It wouldn’t be for long. A hand pushed the killer forward starting the long walk to what they hoped would be his death. He stepped up onto the platform but stopped. “Having second thoughts?” Warden laughed at him. “Wishing you had done differently?” The man leaned down the the killer as if to show he wasn’t afraid of him. “Are you afraid? Tian?” He used his name as if to strip him of the fear always surrounding him. That was a miscalculation on his part.
The Black Killer moved faster than they had anticipated. His hand shot up grabbing the warden’s throat. Black oozed from his throat. His eyes bulging. He stared into the warden’s eyes. The guards found themselves unable to move.
“No…” The warden gurgled. “How…”
“You see.” He licked his chapped lips. “This is a place of fear and death. Do you remember where a black mage gets his power?” He grinned vicious and surreal. Leaning in he breathed in the man’s pain. “From fear.” He glanced at the guards terrified in their paralysis. “Death.” His eyes flicked to the well used gallows. “And pain.” He turned back to the warden. “You Council has become weak. They no longer remember how to properly execute a black mage.” He laughed letting the sound echo around him as he gathered his power to him. For just a moment, he leaned back in to the warden breathing in the man’s last breath. Tian turned from the gallows hopping down the few steps towards the double doors that would lead out into the city.
To his surprise, the doors opened leaving a councilman standing in the doorway. He gathered his magic around his hands ready to fight.
“Oh, there is no need for that.” The councilman shook his head. A grin forming on his face. “There was no mistake made that sent you to this particular gallows.” The Black Killer found himself grinning madly. When the killer stared into Councilman’s eyes, he saw the darkness that lied there. The other lifted his hand. Instead of a magic attack, he held a bottle of champagne.
“Indeed.” He whispered finding a new respect for the man. Nodding his approval, he stepped up to him. “Indeed.”