Published June 17, 2016 by

Memories of a Soul in the Underworld Chapter Two.

Story Summary

Ethan is a soul in the Underworld with no memory of his life on Earth. He is bought and sold by various masters for centuries. Traveling from large industrial towns to scorching hot deserts. During his journey he picks up the skills, knowledge and magic to escape his enslavement. He runs with the intent of living a free life, but is pursued by agents until he's cornered on a remote mountain range. With little time left, Ethan begins to recount his life and masters in the hope of leaving a record of his existence. These are his memories.

So many years have passed that my memories have become vague and foggy, but some events and people stand out above others. One of them being my first master.
The man was an overindulged aristocrat who went by the name Alistair. He may have looked like a thin young man in his early twenties, with gleaming long blond hair and a wicked smile, but that sneaky playboy must have been over two hundred.
Such an age was something he obtained through demonic magic.
Unlike me, Alistair came from a well renowned family that had money to waste on an expensive academy for their precious only son. There he mastered over one thousand magic spells, including the one for immortality.
"How fortunate you are," said his overweight carriage driver on one of my first days in Hell. "Most guys round these parts treat their soul slaves like trash. But Master Alistair's a decent bloke, and immortal. You're set for the rest of eternity without having to suffer like those unfortunates out there." He pointed to the street outside.

I glanced through the rain to see an old mortal dragging his soul slave along by her hair. The ghostly girl was wearing a faded green summer dress. Ripped in several places, leaving her body exposed, but the girl's face was expressionless like such abuse wasn't unusual.
I shuddered and felt thankful that it wasn't me, but I was foolish to assume that I'd be immune from such things.
You're so lucky, were the words I continued to hear over the years. Your master is so kind, and he will never die, so you never have to worry about being resold to some terrible monster.
But what did they know?
The carriage rolled through a set of large iron gates, and I looked through the window to see a yellow sandstone mansion. Three stories tall with gleaming glass windows, neat brick paths, and sprawling flower gardens.
The driver led me out of the carriage, then handed me over to Mira who was patiently waiting before the large wooden door.
Mira was a tall thin soul who wore so much make-up that she looked almost human. Her lips painted deep red, with shimmering orange powder covering every inch of exposed skin. The girl's black maid uniform was spotless, and her white hair was perfectly arranged into a neat bun. She was civil that day, and showed no hints of the crazy animosity that would often overcome her.
"Most souls can only dream of living in a place like this," Mira lectured as we strolled through red carpeted halls with tall painted ceilings. "Master Alistair comes from one of the most renowned magical families in town. They've owned this home for several generations and expect nothing but the best from all their hired help and souls."
"Uh huh," I said while curiously examining everything we walked past. So easily impressed, like a small child. A gold statue of a dog caught my eye and I reached forward towards it.
"And that means no touching things that you aren't supposed to." Mira slapped my fingers away. Sighing in frustration. "Honestly, I don't understand what Master sees in guys like you."
We continued through the house until we reached a large oak door that Mira politely knocked on.
"Come in!" called a muffled voice from inside.
Mira pushed open the door to unveil a dusty library with thousands of ancient books, haphazardly crammed onto shelves over five meters high. The collection extended as far as I could see, and it was only my fear of Mira which prevented me from rushing in to explore.
It was then that I caught sight of my new master casually hanging off one tall bookcase. Dressed in a pair of black pants and a loose white shirt. The tips of his bare toes were balancing on one shelf, while his hand gripped another. Meters above the ground as he casually scanned the collection on demonic languages.
"Master!" cried Mira with horror. "How many times have I told you to use the ladder!"
"There's no need to worry, my darling." Alistair stretched his arm to grab a book that was just out of reach. "There's no chance in Hell that I'll fall."
"But Master!" Mira protested and stamped her foot, but her words had no effect on that guy.
Alistair glanced over his shoulder and finally noticed me there. "Oh, so this must be him," he said and leaned back to get a better look.
Suddenly, Alistair's grip slipped from the top shelf. With a cry of surprise he quickly tried to grab it again. Clutching nothing but air. Loosing his balance completely and toppling towards the floor.
"Master!" cried Mira with horror, and I was certain that Alistair would go crashing down, but to my surprise, he suddenly flipped and slowly floated to the ground like falling through water. His mouth softly chanting words that I couldn't catch.
My new master then gracefully landed on his feet and confidently strolled over to us.
"See, nothing to worry about." He affectionately ruffled Mira's perfect hair. Ruining it completely. But Mira just looked up at him with her mouth open in awe.
I watched my new master in amazement while trying to figure out if what I saw was real. I didn't have long to think because Alistair spontaneously reached out, grabbed my right hand, and started shaking it was so much enthusiasm that I thought it would dislocate from my shoulder.
"I'm so glad you're here," my new master said with an excited grin. "Mira, can you go prepare some new clothes. We can't have him walking around in these drab Soul Market pajamas forever now, can we?"
"Y..Yes, Master." Mira hesitantly bowed.
She walked out of the room, but took one last look over her shoulder like she didn't want to leave me alone with her favorite person.
As soon as the door closed, Alistair crept closer to get a better look at my face. I backed away until my body hit the bookshelf behind me. Then there was nowhere else to run.
The creeper continued moving closer until his nose was just inches from my own. I got a clear view of smooth skin, large emerald eyes, and several gold piercings hanging from his ears. His long blonde hair was immaculate, and it was probably Mira who brushed it every morning.
"Wow," said that weirdo who had no concept of personal space. "You're even cuter than I remember."
"Ah...thank you," I mumbled as my thoughts became jumbled. "I think..."
I was taken back by how unnervingly friendly that guy was, but I wasn't special at all. He acted that way towards almost anyone. Alistair would shower people with compliments, play with their emotions, and string girls along for weeks before letting them go. Like he couldn't think of any better way of passing the years.
"Do you have a name to go with that pretty face?" He grinned dangerously and it became difficult to form words.
"I..I..I," I stuttered.
"No one's given you one yet, have they? Not to worry, you can have any name you like. Except Alistair, that one belongs to me."
"I don't mind what you call me...Master."
"Hmmm." He cupped my chin with his hand and turned my head from side to side. "What's a good name for you?" His stare was intense and I resisted the urge to flee. "Ethan," he finally decided after several minutes. "You look like an Ethan. How does that sound?"
"It sounds fine, Master," I said so quickly that the words almost blended together.
"Then it's settled." He clapped his hands and backed away. "From today onwards you will be Ethan. Ethan, I have a feeling that the two of us are going to get along splendidly, Ethan. Don't you agree, Ethan?"
"Ah..." I stuttered while searching for the right thing to say.
He laughed at my hesitation, probably basking in his own skills, then turned towards the door. "Anya!" He called out.
Alistair stood there and waited, but all was quiet and nobody came.
"Anya!" he yelled out again at the top of his lungs.
There was the thud of someone running across the mansion as fast as they could, then another soul burst into the room. A petite girl not much older than myself, with wide pale eyes which instantly drew me in.
"You called for me, Master?" said Anya as she began readjusting her lopsided skirt. Her shirt was inside out and her long curly hair was a mess. Just like me, Anya was new to serving rich masters.
"Show Ethan around the house and find him some chores," Alistair ordered. "I want him to know that he's more than welcome here with us."
"Yes, sir, I mean yes, Master." Anya hastily bowed and beckoned me to come closer.
I followed her out of the room and took one last glance at Alistair who'd resumed climbing the shelves. Feeling anxious about my future in that large house with its eccentric young master.
Anya closed the door behind us, then cautiously glanced over her shoulder. She grabbed my shirt sleeve to pull me closer.
"There's something I need to ask you," she whispered so that Alistair couldn't hear. "Now that you've met him. Do you think..." She paused like she'd just realized how awkward her next question was. "Do you think there's a possibility that you might like the master?"
"What do you mean?"
"You" She then leaned forward and whispered something into my ear that I'll never repeat.
"What! No!" I hastily replied and backed away.
Anya lit up like I'd said the right thing. "That's great!" She latched onto my arm and began dragging me down the hall. "I'm sure that the two of us will become the best of friends!"

It didn't take long to discover that my new master was an intense party animal, who regularly held late night gatherings. There, he ordered us to serve exotic wine and fruit, while rich living beings danced away until morning.
"Just serve them whatever they want, then clean up the mess," said Mira when she shoved me into a crowded ballroom for the first time.
There were colorful lamps hanging from the ceiling to illuminate the dance floor, as well as young men and women dressed in gold and rich silks. A pianist rapidly played away in the corner, along with a violin and flute.
I looked around the room in terror. Unsure of what to do as dancing couples knocked me out of their way.
"Here, pass this around," said Alphonse as he shoved a cheese platter into my chest. Alphonse was another soul with short hair who towered over me. He easily carried another four platters in his large arms as he gracefully circled the room. Smiling graciously at guests with the ease of a man who'd been waiting on mortals for decades.
I watched him out of the corner of my eye. Trying to copy his every action, but my eyes were drawn to Alistair who took a running leap through the crowd, then gracefully landed on top of the beverage table. His shirt missing, cheeks red, and a white lacy bra hung from his neck.
"Friends, acquaintances!" Alistair bellowed out to the living. "The stunning girls who just showed up on my doorstep." He winked at several teenagers in gaudy jewelry who screamed in delight. "For the last hour you've been plagued by an indescribable disaster that I've been tirelessly working to save you from. I'm speaking of course about...the absence of wine."
"I checked the cellar and we're completely out, Master!" cried Alphonse.
"Thank you for checking, my dear Alphonse," said Alistair. "I appreciate your valiant efforts. When I planned tonight's gathering, I foolishly assumed that three hundred and thirty two people couldn't dispose of my stock in one evening, but you drunken idiots have all proved me wrong!" He punched his fist into the air and the crowd roared with delight. "To reward you all for your efforts, I courageously rode into town and shook the tavern keeper awake from his bed. At first the old man burned with rage. How dare you awake me at three in the morning! But you should have seen the look on his face when I offered to purchase his entire stock-"
Alistair's speech was suddenly cut off when one of his friends, a young bald man in a red robe, grabbed hold of Alistair's wrist and yanked him down from the table.
"You've got to be joking, Alistair!" hissed the friend. "That must have cost a king's ransom."
"Did I mention that I paid him double!" Alistair yelled out to the crowd.
The friend smacked his hand against his forehead. "There are far better things you could have used that money on, instead of holding parties for people you barely know."
"You need to relax," laughed Alistair as he yanked his wrist out of the other man's grip. "The night is still young, and we're immortal. Aren't we supposed to act like we're going to live forever?"
"There's no point in living forever if you have to do it on the street," the friend grumbled, but Alistair ignored him completely and jumped back onto the table.
"Honorable guests!" my master cried. "To entertain you all, while we wait for the forty two and a half barrels to arrive, I've prepared this exhilarating half time show! It's tonight only, so don't you dare look away!"
Alistair closed his eyes and began to chant mysterious words. The lights around us began to dim.
"No, no, stop it!" cried the friend. He attempted to grab Alistair again, but my master used his left foot to push the other man away. "You promised that you weren't going to do anymore magic when you're drunk! Remember?"
"Long, long, long ago!" Alistair boomed and a thousand tiny balls of light appeared above our heads. "Long before any immortal can remember. There was nothing but stars. And more stars. But then came Heaven, Earth, and finally the Underworld. Which was probably whacked together from whatever was left over. Our great ancestors ventured here from Earth to find a land of savage demons!" The lights disappeared and we were back in the darkness. The walls and windows violently rattled like someone was attacking the room. "Frozen wastelands." Small flakes of ice began to float from the roof like snow. "Scorching deserts!" All of a sudden the room was brightly illuminated by one large yellow ball of light above our heads. "AND THE FIERY HOT INFERNOS OF THE CEREBUS VOLCANIC RANGE!" he dramatically cried and the ball of light morphed into fire that went speeding across the room towards a crowd of guests!
I was certain that it would set several people ablaze, until it was stopped by a large torrent of water which seemingly appeared out of thin air.
I looked over my shoulder to see the friend chanting his own spell.
"Enough already!" cried the friend. "Are you trying to kill us all?"
"Oh, please," said Alistair with a grin. "After all these years, I can't believe that you have so little faith in my skills."
"It's because I've known you all these years that I stopped you!"
"It was all part of the show."
"The old you would have loved that. When did you become such a killjoy?" Alistair jumped from the table and almost tripped before quickly regaining his composure. He walked forward, but staggered, then wrapped one arm around his friend's neck to regain his balance. "I'd throw you out if you weren't my dearest darling friend. Now let's dance."
"I'm not dancing with you. You're clearly intoxicated."
"Nonsense! I only had one or two."
"In the last ten minutes? I'm beginning to suspect that you may be the reason why your stocks are depleted."
"Ha, ha," laughed my master sarcastically and he slapped his friend on the back. "You've clearly wasted all these years learning magic when you could have been a comedian."
"I wasn't joking."
"Mira! Mira! Come here!" Alistair called and beckoned Mira towards him.
Mira put down her tray of desserts and walked towards them. Her thin lips curved into a large smile as she swung her hips from side to side. Tall heels clicking on the wooden floor with each step.
"A present for you," said Alistair as he took off the lace bra and hung it over her neck. "It should fit, if you stuff enough padding in."
Mira was lost for words and looked down at the bra with disdain, obviously not wanting anything to do with it, but too polite to refuse.
Master then took a step back and turned to face me. "Why are you just standing there?"
I looked over my shoulder to see who he was addressing, but then Alistair grabbed hold of my arm and reluctantly dragged me out to the middle of the ballroom.
"Hey, wait! Master, please let go!" I protested but he ignored my request.
"This is a party!" Alistair laughed and spun us around in a circle. "You should forget about all your boring little chores and just enjoy yourself!"


01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 5051 ,52,53