The Sufferings of the Flesh

Blood trickled down the Kunai’s dirty cheek, the red of his lifeblood mixing with the black of the soot. Ashlar leaned forward and Kunai’s face gave way to more bleeding. His grip of the shard tightened.

Oh, how he hated them all, how he envied them… these lesser little creatures with fragile lives and brittle bodies. What could they know of endless torment? What could they know of pain? These finite beings. These wretched, blighted mortals!

He was close now; closer than he had ever been to a middling. Ashlar lifted Kunai’s shirt. He could see it all so clearly now. Deep scars – some of them older, a few of them fresh – covered the most of the lad’s skinny body. Kunai had been tortured; doubtlessly whipped and flayed and flogged to the very bone. Perhaps he had deserved it. Perhaps…

Ashlar’s bandaged hand had started to shake. The Æbe’trax was inches away from Kunai’s bloodied face.

‘Equal Punishment is… is pain,’ he whispered, his lower lip atremble. ‘For only in p-pain, are we all kindred—’

He couldn’t do it. He wouldn’t. In fact, he downright refused to. Young as he was, Kunai had known pain, and agony and the true suffering of his mortal flesh.

Ashlar gently lowered the Æbe’trax shard upon Kunai’s face. There was a flash of bright orange light, followed by a wrinkling of the space-time fabric as Father Time returned to the great city of Abdju.

To be continued...

- Louise Blackwick

Advent 2019