Who: Berith, Horror What: A deal with a demon sometimes works out quite nicely. When: Spring, 1946 Where: Spartanburg, South Carolina Warnings: Surprisingly, none at this point in time
There were times when he didn’t want to bloody his hands. Well, maybe that phrasing wasn’t quite accurate….it would be better to say he sometimes wanted to experiment with words a bit more. With slowly but surely naming every fear that waited and worried inside a heart, with taking the nameless and giving it a name, causing it to cast a very real shadow over the person he pulled it from.
The fears of werewolves and ghosts, of vampires and things in the dark and blood and things gone wrong were all fears of deeper, darker things, things that really could harm people. Death, disaster, secrets, the unknown future. It wasn’t difficult to play them off each other, to use little touches and hints of one to drive home the point of the other.
It was, actually, quite fun.
This was how Horror came to be in a small, dark room, lit by lamps that just didn’t seem to illuminate as much as they should. Darkness cluttered the corners like spider webs, dimness covered everything like a fine layer of dust. He was in the room with a short, nervous little man, and what had gone on so far made Horror a very content god indeed.
It had taken some time to get to this point…..because he had wanted it to. He had enjoyed the slow build to this, had enjoyed every carefully chosen word and every horrible image he’d had to conjure up to cajole the mortal man into the state he wanted him in. Of course, to this man he was a saviour, he was a promise of great things, he was the only one willing and able to make incredible promises and back them up.
And if all he asked in return was a little promise of his own and maybe a signature or two, well, what of it? It was so little when what was to be gained was so much.
The pen he handed over to the mortal man scratched at the thick paper that sat between them, and all that was left was to send the man on his way. Not out the door, no, but through the lovely silk curtains at the back of the room, the lovely curtains that had framed Horror as he sat in his chair, a smile of good nature on his mouth.
A word of congratulations, a shake of the hands, and Horror’s part was played.
As he heard the curtains whisper as they parted, he smiled and waited for realization to set in. It was, perhaps, his favourite part.