Published August 14, 2016 by

Memories of a Soul in the Underworld Chapter 7

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.

It must have happened after Alistair had been gone for one year, but perhaps it was longer. There was no reason to count days when I knew I'd live forever. My fellow souls and I continued on with our daily chores in the hope that our beloved master would soon return, but there wasn't any sign of him since the day that he left us.

"Let's play a game," said Anya one sunny afternoon. She, Felix, Angela, Alphonse and I were lifelessly lying around the sitting room killing time. It had become our daily habit since we no longer had a master and his guests to wait on.

"What sort of game?" asked Alphonse curiously as he lethargically laid back on a leather sofa.

"How about tag?" suggested Anya.

"Tag?" laughed Alphonse. "Isn't that the game the street children play?"

"Well, do you have any better ideas?" Anya snapped.

"I'll play," said Felix as he pulled himself to his feet. He smiled at Anya who happily grinned back. The two of them had become unusually close, and just watching them together was enough to ignite a small blaze of jealousy in the pit of my stomach.

"I'll play too!" I said and slammed down the book I was reading.

"Well, I suppose I don't have anything better to do," sighed Alphonse.

"You'll play too, right Angela?" said Anya. "I heard that lots of kids love this game."

"Can the winner have their eyes scratched out?" asked Angela curiously in her morbid childlike voice. "I would like that."

Anya screwed her face up in horror before deciding to ignore that crazy girl.

"Who's going to be it?" asked Felix.

"Ethan!" Said Anya.

"What! Why me?" I protested.

"Because I say so, of course," Anya said with a mischievous grin.

"Fine," I crossed my arms. "But you'll be my first target."

"If you can catch me," smiled Anya.

"We can be a team," said Felix and he put one hand on her shoulder. I tried my best not to let them see how uncomfortable that made me.

"How do you play this stupid game anyway?" asked Alphonse.

"Well," said Anya. "First, Ethan has to close his eyes and count to ten. Then we run away, and he chases after us as fast as his little legs can go."

"That's so lame," moaned Alphonse but he didn't back down.

"I'm sure you'll enjoy it once we start," said Anya, and she nodded at me to begin.

I took one last look at Felix and Anya before I covered my eyes with my hands.

"One, two, three," I counted as my fellow souls dashed away. "Five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten."

I removed my hands from my face and glanced around the room. Alphonse, Anya, and Felix were gone, but Angela was still happily sitting on a sofa staring into space. Her young childish legs couldn't reach the floor, and she looked completely unaware that the game had even started.

"Angela, you're supposed to run away."

"Shhhh," she whispered. "I'm listening to them scream. Can't you hear them screaming, Ethan?"

I closed my eyes and listened, but I could hear nothing but the house creaking with age, and the breeze rustling the trees outside.

"Angela, I can't hear anything."

"I can," she said. "They've been down there for so very long. Master Balthazar should really let them see the sun every once in a while."

"Angela, Alistair is your master now."

"I know, but Master Balthazar is still here. He talks to me all the time, can't you see him over there?"

She pointed to an empty corner where there was nothing but dust and an old arm chair. I sighed and gave up trying to talk to her. It was impossible to convince Angela that the delusions weren't real.

"If you want to play you should go hide now!" I yelled over my shoulder as I dashed out of the room.