Published April 02, 2017 by

Memories of a Soul in the Underworld Chapter 23

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.

Chapter 23

Compared to my life in the factory, my time in Alistair's mansion felt like a dream. One that shattered to pieces the moment he passed away. That factory wasn't exceptionally bad, it was just the way that souls like myself usually exist in this world. We're not human any more, so most living being see no reason why they should treat us like we are.

"Why didn't you tell me?" I thought of Master Alistair and all the happy hours when he treated us kindly without ever hinting to the real world outside. "Why didn't you tell me that things were like this?"

And then I broke down and cried alone in the dark.

I wish this was the story of how I rose up and overpowered Foreman and my terrible masters, but it's not.

This is the story of how I lost.

Because real life isn't like the fairy tales that I once read to spoilt children to put them to sleep. Most people like me stand no chance in this world, and I found that out the hard way.

I had no real friends in that place, and I soon discovered that almost every soul in the factory was willing to backstab and destroy each other just to accumulate the smallest morsel of power. We were the ones who sold our souls, so maybe we couldn't be anything other than selfish and cruel.

A month later Tomboy attempted to overthrow Foreman, but she was crushed and knocked back down to the bottom of the foodchain. No one would have guessed that the huddled mess in the corner used to help run the place.

After that, Horseface managed to somehow frame Big Guy and replace him. Even I didn't see that coming. Foreman changed that guy's name to Strong Dude, and that bastard took great pleasure in insulting anyone who got in his way.

Anya of course was in on the action. As my position in the factory plummeted downwards every day, hers moved in the other direction. Through lies and manipulation she managed to work her way into Foreman's inner circle until she was his fourth in charge. She would stand beside Spots on the second floor balcony and shout abuse at us while her new friends laughed. Maybe every once in awhile I would see what looked like regret when she towered over my loom, but that didn't stop her from kicking the chair out from beneath me if I didn't work fast enough.

I hated her for years and wished for her death, but now I finally understand why she did it.

We walked into that factory together but saw two different things. I saw a battle I had to fight, but Anya took one look around and immediately knew that she couldn't win. Rather than be reduced to a gibberish mess like the others, or sent off to be one of David's toys, Anya realised that the only way to survive in that place was to join Foreman's group. If she could remain close to him, then hopefully he could protect her from Frederick, David, and the excruciating work.

I was just a nuisance who couldn't adapt and was dragging her down. Friends were only a burden in the factory and I wished I realised that sooner.

I was stupid enough to stand up for myself one last time, but that attempt was quickly crushed. Foreman took great pleasure in punishing me for as long as he could, and I became his favourite target for abuse. I was used as a mental punching bag by all those around me until l lost the will to speak, let alone fight back.

As years passed, I became just another washed out ghost on the factory floor who would do anything without question. No matter how terrible or mortifying it was. Only then did my tormentors lose interest and leave me alone.

"You're just no fun anymore, Girly Boy," said Foreman five years after I arrived. He held me up in the air from the collar of my shirt to try and get a reaction. My face was emotionless and my head lifelessly flopped to the side.

I was tired.

I had worked for weeks without rest and I couldn't even muster the energy to answer. I had already faced every torture that he, David, Fredrick, or his minions could think of, and I had learned to take them all without saying a word. It was pointless to fight back. Things would only become worse if I did something.

Foreman growled and tossed me aside like a doll. He then went off to terrorise someone else who was more entertaining, leaving me to rot there like a piece of trash.

He was so powerful and smug that I thought no one could beat him, but even that guy lost to someone in the end.