Hel - Volume 1
“They say, ‘Hell hath no fury like a scorned woman’. Funny that…” Raena Exe
She sat naked from the waist down, staring out the window, thinking about odds and chances, and the likelihood of death.
Well… of course she was about to die. She’d known that for a very long time. Only… now she was determined to be in charge… of the how.
You see, everything else had been decided for her the entirety of her life. The battles, the victories (few as they were), even the future she’d envisioned. It had all been scripted by blind fools who only ever saw what used to be.
She often joked with herself that she’d been born way too soon – because she knew the march of time would eventually bring most folks around to seeing things the way she saw them now – that a long-sanctioned tyranny had doomed her and those just like her to less.
To a famine of spirit, mind, and soul.
Then she remembered the dreams she often had as a child.
“Always alone,” she whispered into the ether that had been her only source of comfort these many long and lonely years.
The dreams, you see, had always been the same omens of loneliness. Forever dooming her to going it alone.
Until the day he would come and collect her.
You see, he’d been her only friend throughout the fifty years she’d shuffled across the planet. Always drifting like a wayward seed, with no origin and no final destination.
A random bit of dandelion tuft blowing in the wind.
But now that was done.
Now another road beckoned her, through the long hours that were stretched impossibly thin by the endless pain.
Now, as the time to shed all the things that burdened her crept closer – she wondered one last time… what might have been.
Then, without so much as a tear in her eye, she turned and looked at the items she’d collected on a nearby table; a bottle of pills, a loaded gun, a mirror, a copy of the last book she’d written – sprawled open to page number 75, and a knife.
He’d told her it was her choice - whichever way she chose to go would be fine with him. Just so long as she did… finally join him. Her ghost.
After all, this was what she’d been waiting for – for him to finally come and claim what was his.
Once more, she looked out the window, because honestly the choice had already been made.
Made a long, long time ago and reinforced ever since - in her every imagining of this moment.
Without looking, a cold hand wrapped icy fingers around the sharp knife.
“Just a tiny little nick…” she whispered to no one at all.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” a voice said from nowhere at all.
“Pardon?” the woman asked of the empty space all around.
“He’s not what you think,” the voice told the woman who didn’t really care.
“So?” the woman asked, as the knife went limp in her hand.
“He’s not your long lost love, calling to you from the grave,” the very feminine voice informed the suicidal woman.
“Honestly, he could be Satan for all I care.”
“Be careful what you say,” the voice intoned in a very menacing way.
The woman laughed, and then she slumped back in her chair, as if already defeated.
A moment later a young woman of no more than nineteen years appeared out of nowhere.
“You’re younger than I imagined,” the woman remarked dryly, not really caring much for the conversation or the interruption.
“I come as I come. For some I am old and ugly and mean.”
This made the woman laugh.
“Am I already dead?” the woman asked, a sudden light flickering in her once emerald eyes.
“Oh yes,” the young woman remarked. “You were right – just a nick – and it was done.”
“So… I guess that makes you too late,” the woman retorted with a somewhat laugh.
“No… I’m just on time,” the young woman with the sinister smile said. And then she pulled the woman by the hand and replied…
“If you had chosen to go with him you would have been enthralled. Lost, forever beyond my help.”
“But instead?” the woman who was trained to see every possible motive (hidden or not) inquired.
“Instead, you get to come with me so I can teach you – the ways of Hel.”
The woman smiled broadly at that, and then gave a simple nod. But then, as a thought hit her, she planted her feet and refused to budge.
“But what if I don’t wanna come back?” she asked, her voice suddenly filled with trepidation and dread.
“Well I guess you should have thought of that before you made yourself dead.”
(To be cont.)
© Raena Exe 2023
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