Published March 07, 2018 by

Memories of a Soul in the Underworld Chapter 48

Story: 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.





I dragged the demon's unconscious body back to an abandoned shack on the mountainside. The old timber walls were rotting, and there were gaps between boards, but it was enough to protect us from the fierce winds outside.

Others had been there before me. Haphazardly overturning furniture and ripping open cupboards and drawers. Shattering plates and glasses across the dirt floor. What could have once been a table had been hacked to pieces to create a fire in the middle of the room, leaving just enough wood to recreate a small blaze of my own.

I needed the heat to keep the prisoner alive. The demon wasn't allowed to die until I got what I wanted.

I pulled up a wonky chair and sat back to watch him.



My prisoner was bound to a chair using strips of my shirt. Hands positioned out before him, right where I could see. His fingers were bound most tightly of all (so that he couldn't move them for spells) but I didn't doubt that the demon could still pull off plenty of tricks without having to move.

My stalker was younger than I imagined. Perhaps early twenties. Blue skin smooth. One stark white horn poking out from his head while the other looked to have broken off. Mouth wide open as saliva dripped down his shirt. Exposed teeth yellow and rotten.

Blood still dripped from his head, despite the dirty cloth that I wrapped around the wound.

"Not much of a looker, is he?" said a voice from behind me.

I turned to see imaginary Alistair looking over my shoulder. There was a thin white shawl wrapped around his head, much like the delusion I once saw in a desert.

"Now that's going to scar," Alistair muttered. "Looks like he won't be forgetting you in a hurry."

"Good," I muttered back.

"What's the plan, Ethan?"

"I question him."

"And what makes you think that he'll talk."

"He will." There was confidence there that I needed to back up. "If I use whatever means necessary."

Alistair sucked in his breath. "And here I was thinking that you despised torture and enslavement. How quick you are to sink to their level, dear Ethan."

"He deserves it," I snapped while trying to suppress any lingering guilt. "He's one of them."

"And yet you barely know him."

"He's been stalking me for weeks, Alistair!" I barked. Exasperated with his skewed logic and lack of understanding. "Trying to drag me back to be a fucking slave. If it wasn't him in this chair, then it would be me. That's the way things work in this world!"



Alistair glared at me coldly with those bright green eyes. "If telling yourself that makes you feel better, then by all means, go right ahead."

The delusion was right, but it was already too late. I'd gone too far to ever back down.

"What would you know," I angrily muttered. "You're not even real. The real you wouldn't have taken his side."

Imaginary Alistair laughed. A deep unnatural cackle which instantly unnerved me. "Oh, Ethan dear, it's been so long that I doubt you can correctly recall the real me at all."

I glanced away, incapable of looking at that face, but when I returned my gaze, he was already gone.

My shaking hands clenched into fists. What did one stray delusion know? Of course I didn't want to lower myself to the Soul Market's level, but what other choice did I have? I had to sacrifice what little humanity I had left if I wanted to win.

With a moan the demon began to stir. He gradually cracked open his eyes, blinking once or twice, before his mind caught up and he jumped back in horror. Frantically struggling against the fabric, tugging on arms which refused to slip free. His mouth flew open, spewing out words which sounded like the beginning of a spell, but I quickly slapped my hand across his face to silence the bastard.

I ripped a burning coal from the fire with my bare hand, then menacingly held it before his ugly mug.

"If you so much as begin to chant a spell again, then I'm burning your bloody face off!" I cried.

The demon ceased moving and eyed me wearily. No doubt having heard enough terrible rumors to know that I was serious.

"What in Hell do you think yer doing?" the demon angrily hissed through clenched teeth.

"Getting you to talk," I said as confidently as I could.

"About what?" he snapped.

"Everything. Starting with how the Soul Market works."

The demon growled. "I have nothing to say to a soul."

"Really?" I waved the coal in his face. "Then how would you like being on fire?"

The demon laughed. Shoulders violently shaking. His eyes had a hint of craziness which made me suspect that I wasn't the only one who went mad on that mountain.

"And what's gonna stop you from killing me anyway, soul?"

"My word."

"Your word? As if I'd ever trust the words of a fucking lunatic soul who murders people?"

"Because if you answer my questions, then you'll be different. I promise," I said gently with the kindest smile that I could master, but it did nothing but further convince the monster that I was insane.

The demon leaned forward. Face stone cold and eyes full of hatred. "I ain't giving you shit. You crazy piece of scum."

I sighed. Not the least bit surprised. "I had a feeling that you'd say that."

My hand reached into my pocket and pulled out a knife. Five inches long, rusty and slightly bent, but it was enough for that bastard. I then grabbed one of his bound wrists and held the blade above it. The demon instantly began chanting a spell (the disobedient prick) until I shoved the knife right into his blue hand.



"Fuck!" he screamed in pain. The spell instantly forgotten.

I placed both my hands on the knife hilt and used my strength to slowly press it down further through his flesh. If they all thought I was crazy, then why not live up to their expectations?

"Still don't wanna talk?" I hissed.

"Wait! Wait!" the demon cried amongst profanities and screams. "I'll talk! I'll talk!"

I stopped pushing the knife and sat back in the chair. Eyeing him warily just in case the demon decided to pull something.

"What do you wanna know?" he breathed through the pain. Chest slowly heaving up and down.

"How you managed to find me?"

"Tracks."

"Liar," I hissed.

"I ain't lying!"

"It's rather difficult to find tracks after a blizzard, don't you think?"

"I'm very good at tracking."

I raised my hand towards the knife.

"It's my job!" he cried with panic. "I've done it my entire life!"

I pressed the knife down further.

The demon screamed in pain. "Fuck! It's the truth, damn it! I swear!"

Part of me almost believed him. Almost. But I'd been in the Underworld long enough to know that the Soul Market's methods went far beyond basic tracking.

"How about we try something else," I growled with frustration. "Tell me why I sold my soul!"

The demon winced in pain. "Money."

"Liar."

"I'm not lying!" He roared with anger. "I read your record and it was there!"

There was something different about his eyes when he said it, but I refused to accept those words as the truth.

"What?" the demon laughed. "Does that come as a shock? Did you think that a crazy bastard like you would have done it for some kind of higher purpose? Don't kid yourself, idiot. You were just another dirty pauper who'd sell themselves away for a handful of change."

"Stop it!" I hissed.

"You were too stupid to even write your own freakin name. You signed the contract using a fingerprint of your own blood."

"I said stop it!"

The demon shut up for a moment before he thought of something new and stupid. "I still have a copy of it, you know," he said with fake sincerity, tilting his head to the side. "Out there in my other bag. You can go out there and check, if you want."

"As if I'd ever fall for such a pathetic trick."

"Fine, soul. Suit yourself!"

The room fell silent and we sat there angrily glaring at each other. I was trying desperately to plan my next move, without letting on, keeping my face as neutral as possible, until I was hit by another question.

"How do they do it?" I asked while trying not to sound the least bit curious. "How do they bring in people from Earth?"

"Magic," the demon grunted.

"Ha! That has to be one of your most pathetic lies so far. Even I know that it's impossible to use magic on Earth."

"What would you know," the demon snapped. "As long as there's a connection, then anything is possible."

"Whatever," I hissed. "How can I go back there?"

The demon laughed. The sort of unnerving cackle which let me know that I wouldn't like the answer. "Back? There ain't any going back for you, soul. Dead idiots like you can't exist in that world. Without a real body you'll just disappear. But by all means, go right ahead. You'd be doing the rest of us a favor."

I kicked him in the shins and reached for the knife, pushing it down further.

The demon cried out in pain. "What the fuck is your problem?" He hissed. "I'm telling the truth!"

"How did you find me!" I yelled back.

"I already told you!"

"You told me lies!"

"It's the truth!"

"I've been in this world for centuries," I spat. "Serving masters with abilities you could only dream of. I ravaged their libraries and plundered their knowledge. So I don't doubt for one moment that you've been using magic to track me around Hell. Now tell me what it is."

The demon clenched his jaw, and I could see a guy who'd never back down. "I'll die before I tell you anything, soul."

"Then so be it." I said coldly.





Chapter: 
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


      edit