SILVER STAFF PART 4
Rey looked down on his dead father and frowned, tried to understand. For one second, he had felt so… guilty. It felt like he had done something wrong, and one thing he was sure about was that those kinds of feelings did not belong in his heart, if he even had a heart. He was glad they had disappeared as fast as they came, feelings like that made you weak, and weakness was bad. Love was bad, guilt was bad. All those feelings made you weak. He sniffed, and stepped over his father’s blood covered body. Somewhere, he knew his father kept the keys to the prison deep down in the cellar, and he needed those keys. They could be either here or in his father’s bedroom.
He walked to the desk and stared at the pile of papers lying on it, and then picked up one of them. He shook his head as he read all the complaints written on the paper, and then he slowly ripped it, again, and again, in tiny peaces, which he then let rain down over the floor, and some of the pieces landed on his father’s chest, and immediately got drenched in blood. When he ruled, he would not tolerate this kind of complaints, he would teach the people to act with respect, to fear him, however much violence he had to use, and if they did not obey him, he would execute them. A kingdom with people that did not obey the king was useless.
He shoved all the remaining papers of the wooden desk, but there was nothing else lying there but an inkwell made out of crystal, half full of slow liquid, black ink, so he started to search in all the drawers. He threw out everything lying in the drawers – pencils, more papers, empty inkwells… - and let them land in a pile of junk on the floor, ignoring the sounds of the shattering crystal, but he could not find what he looked for. The key was not there.
His father did always keep the key to the prison deep down in the cellar locked in so that no one could use it but himself, and he had a good reason to do that. It would be very dangerous in the hands of the wrong person, since not only the usual kind of prisoners were locked in down there, and there was not the usual kind of prisoners Rey wanted to visit, it was the other prisoners. Sometimes evil creatures got inside the kingdom. No one knew what they really were, people did only know they were evil and dangerous, and they ran around at night and killed, destroyed. People called them Shadows, which was a good name. These creatures were hard to find, because they looked exactly like shadows of humans, and some said they were dead criminals that had been executed in some horrible way, and now they came back to have their revenge.
Of course, that was just a lie, or some foolish story. Those Shadows were actually spirits from the evil side of the Land of the Dead, but since no one really believed you came to The Land of the Dead, when you died, people came up with other stories, stories that where easier to understand. Idiots.
And since the king could not allow those kinds of beings to go free, he had to capture them all and lock them in, and so he did, he locked them in deep down in the cellar, and they could never get up again once they were locked in, if not a living human let them out.
Everyone said these creatures did only bring disaster and woe, but Rey knew what they really could do, what they could be used for. That you could tame them. Once he had been up in the big library to search for a book Eaanir had told him to read, and when he looked at all those books, a few so old they nearly fell apart as soon as you touched them, he had seen a very old edition of a book that seemed to be about evil creatures of all kinds, creatures from the dark Underworld. He had been curious about it, and as he browsed in the book he found the Shadows of Evil, and he immediately understood those were the creatures his father kept in the cellar, and he had read about them, and when he read you could tame them, of course, he got very interested and curious. And now was the perfect time to try this, to tame one of those creatures. Since you could order them to do anything, it would be pretty useful. Of course, you could only order them to do evil things, since they did not know what the word “good” meant. Rey wished he did not know it either. It was no use that word, even if Eaanir always talked about how important it was. It did only bother him.
He closed the last drawer, which had been empty too, and now there was just one place left were they key to the cellar could be. If not… he leaned over his father’s body and started to search in all the pockets, which was not many, but his father did not seem to have the key in any pocked.
He rose, and opened the door to walk out. He stepped over the dead guards, and tried not to step in the blood, because it would be too hard to clean it away from his shoes.
When he had jumped over the last big pool of dark, red blood, glistening in the lights of the candles hanging on the wall in their candle sticks, he opened the other door leading to the room where he had killed the servants, and walked out. He carefully closed the door behind him, and sighed. It was finally done. He had killed the king. And he felt proud of it. He smiled evilly, and then turned around. But when he saw who stood there, his smile disappeared as fast as it came. This had been exactly what he had wanted to avoid.
A man stood in front of him, beside one of the dead servants, and he looked very young, although he had hair as white as snow. He was only a head taller than Rey himself, and he was also completely dressed in white, his pale skin making him look almost like a beautiful ghost. The bright blue eyes, almost grey, used to be full of happy and life, but now… they just looked sad.
“Rey…?” Eaanir said slowly and looked at him with his bright eyes. “What have you done?”