“You mean to tell me, that the reason we are trapped in the damned cabin from hell, is because of something she did?” I growled, pointing an accusatory finger towards the little girl who sat in the corner. I glared at James, who just kept my gaze calmly, which only pissed me off more.
“To an extent, yeah,” he replied, his eyes skidding to the girl. Her head was hung down, her dirty blonde hair draping her body like a curtain. Twigs and mud were entwined into her locks. Her back rested against the rotting wood of the four walled cabin. She hugged her knees to her chest, whimpering slightly.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, avoiding my gaze. Rage flickered inside me. How dare she apologize when she has nothing to lose. I stormed forward, ignoring James’ protest. I stopped just in front of her.
“Look at me,” I demanded, scowling down at her bent head. She remained still. “Look at me, you worthless inadequate brat, LOOK AT ME!” Slowly, she raised her head to meet my eyes. Her bloodshot eyes bore through mine. Dirt streaked her face and tears paved their own way down her cheeks. Her pale pink lips quivered and her fingers flexed and unflexed around her legs. Her white dress hung in tatters around her ankles, the hem burdened with dirt and grim.
“Yes?” she whispered, her mouth barely moving.
“You are going to tell me who you are, what you did, and what we have to do with all of this, you understand?” She nodded slightly and cleared her throat.
“I am Corrine Lynn Johnson. Daughter of Duke Charles Johnson. My father was murdered last night. His people think I have committed the crime. The hunters have seen me come into the cabin, they are probably setting guards around the perimeter as we speak.”
“Why won’t they come in?” James interrupted from his perch against an old rickety oak table. A flash of annoyance flickered in Corrine’s eyes.
“Because this cabin, this very cabin. Is cursed.” She replied, as if it were nothing. I laughed dryly, rolling my eyes. I looked at James, whose eyes were furrowed in confusion. I looked back at Corrine, whose face was nothing but seriousness.
“You-you’re joking right?”
“I’m afraid I’m not.”
“How?” Josh mumbled.
“Hmm?” Corrine asked, her eyes blazing blue across the room, to where Josh leaned against the wall. My little 15 year old brother.
“How is this cabin cursed?” he repeated, looking up, his brown eyes meeting mine. Concern twisted its way into my heart. He was so old, yet so young and vulnerable.
“Exactly 23 murders happened in this building. My father labeled this cabin off limits for everyone in the dynasty.
“23 murders,” I echoed. “And why is that significant? There are millions of other places in the world that have witnessed more murders and deaths than that.” She looked at me like I was dumb.
“They were all royal figures and officials. Their bodies are built into the walls of this cabin.” She explained, her eyes darting to each and every wall surrounding us. Josh scrambled away from the wall, stumbling to stand by James, who ruffled his hair affectionately, yet worriedly. He loved Josh like he was his own brother. I mean, he practically was. For 7 years now.
“Why were they murdered,’ I asked. She smiled, twisting her face into something terribly beautiful.
“Because they disobeyed the rules set by Leviathan. The almighty demon lord of Envy.”
“The- who?” I exclaimed, my heart beat quickening as her words sunk in.
“Leviathan. Demon Lord of envy; Gatekeeper of hell. Our master and savior.”
“Ookayyyyy, Your fucked up,” I said. In a flash, Corrine stood up, her eyes angry and hateful. She got up close to me, leaving only an inch between our noses. I was surprised by how tall she was. She looked so little.
“Do not judge our lord Leviathan. He saves our souls from being tempted by the golden cursed spirits. We are beautiful, perfect, and pure beings. Not like you filth!” She spat. I backed up, letting James wrap his arms protectively around me.
“What role do we play in this,” I whispered hoarsely, my throat going dry. She smiled wider.
“You, Amber Lynn, you are the key.”
“You’re the key to unlocking our lord,” she said.
“Umm- I think the fuck not,” I exclaimed, pressing myself further into James arms or protection. Anger flashed in Corrine’s eyes, subsiding as fast as it appeared.
“Amber, you need to understand. Our people cannot be whole unless Lord Leviathan is released.” She explained impatiently, tapping her foot against the stone floor. She stepped forward, reaching out a hand. "Come with me, and you will see and feel the full potential and power or our Demon Lord."
"And if I don't?" I asked tentatively. Her gaze hardened.
"Then we'll end up having to use the hard way, Amber. And I really don't want to do that."
"What's the hard way," Jost demanded boldly.
"Josh!" I hissed, elbowing him slightly. We didn't need to prod her and make her angrier than necessary. I needed to come up with a way to get us out of this situation. I was the one that got us into this mess in the first place. With my secret.
23 years ago
"Amber Lynn Voss. Daughter of Narissa Voss and of Lord Leviathan. Welcome to you kingdom." The little girl, not older than 5, opened her eyes, to be welcomed by a castle of stone and granite. Her mother, a regal women of satin and silk, entombed in a body of beauty and pureness, gazed down at her new daughter with love and pride. The very being that held her hand would rise up to rule not only a kingdom, but the world. She nudged the little girl towards the throne of which her father sat.
"Go on, love, go see your father," she prodded soothingly. "He's been dying to see you." The little girl walked forward slowly, her eyes never leaving the gaze of the man on the throne. His regal violet eyes bore into the girls young cobalt ones. When, she reached the base of the throne, her father swooped her up into his lap, holding her close. The crowd watching gasped as she grabbed a fistfull of the Kings dark hair. The king, however, merely chuckled.
"Do you know who you are, little fish? Do you know what power you hold?" The girl gazed curiously at his face, her tiny chubby hands running over the gills on his neck and the points of his ears. She shook her head, her silky black hair smacking him the face.
"Call me father." He corrected, tucking her hair gently back behind her ears.
"Okay, father. I do not know who I am." she replied. The mighty divine Lord of Envy and Prince of Demons, only smiled, revealing rows of sharp teeth.
"You shall learn, little fish, you shall learn."