Fictober, Prompt 30 – “I’m with you, you know.”
Warnings: general weirdness, brief mentions of stabbing and beheading, but nothing graphic. Fantasy of some sort.
I passed down an old road.
Once, I would have done so alone.
I wished that it were still so.
“I’m with you, you know,” he reminded me from behind. “I will always be here.”
“Not always,” I said. “I know of always, and you do not.”
“I have the means to follow you no matter where you go, or how you may try to escape.”
“For now,” I agreed. Already, long years had passed, and thus far his words had been true. I had given up attempting to escape or evade him. No matter what power or path I tried, by the next night, he always dogged my trail once more.
Acceptance had given me patience, and strength. I had not stopped looking for a way to sever the connection, just as he had not ceased to try and destroy me.
I was not indestructible, none of my kind were, but the means to end my existence would never be within his grasp. He had corrupted his own soul to gain the power for this…this leash. The power that he would need to destroy me had to be gained by other means, ways now closed to him.
Perhaps if I told him this (if he believed me), he would go away.
But I was cruel, and since he tormented me, I had chosen to silently torment him. At the end, he would know that all of this had been in vain, and despair. But only when I could be free of him.
He would not have believed me, in any case, though lies had never once passed my lips.
That was why all the others I had met, those who did have the power and will to destroy me, had never done so. We spoke, and they let me pass on, walking the old roads as I had always done.
I was older than humankind, and no friend to any. But that was not always the same as being an enemy, and my sustenance I could take in various ways. That this human did not understand that there were differences in my kind, just as in his own, was another mark against him.
This road, this was one of the oldest. I did not allow myself to hope that what awaited us at the end of it might allow me to be rid of him for good. I had had such hopes before and been disappointed.
But I would continue to walk this road, and the others, and he would follow me unwittingly, unlearning, uncaring, and long forsaken of the chance to have been something more than he was.Continue reading