Memories of a Soul in the Underworld Ch11

Story Summary

Long ago I sold my soul and doomed myself to an eternity in the Underworld. I was treated like a slave for centuries, but no more! I'll find a way out of this destiny or die trying!

I found a place to hide in the lower levels of the factory once he finally let me go.

I wearily walked as far as I could from that room, until I reached a small corner of the basement full of pipes and mold. The floor was soaked with water, and every once in awhile I'd hear a hissing sound that I couldn't place, but I didn't care. I wanted to be there. Anywhere other than that room or the factory floor was fine.

I must have sat there for hours. Shaking in the dark. It was unusual for Foreman to leave me alone for so long, but perhaps he wanted me to stew over what happened. To make me relive it again and again in my mind without any distractions until the punishment really sunk in.

"Ethan?" called a faint voice from somewhere in the basement.

I flinched and raised my head, but there was only one person who knew that name and I didn't want to face them. I backed away to hide amongst the pipes, but I forgot about the water and my splashes were a dead give away.

"Ethan?" said Anya.

All of a sudden she was standing before me like the girl had appeared out of thin air. It must have been a trick of my broken mind.

"Ethan, they said that you have to come back now," Anya said gently but I didn't respond. "Ethan?" she said more forcefully to try and grab my attention.

"Who's they?" I asked coldly.

She paused like she knew that the answer wouldn't make things better. "Foreman, and the others too. I think-"

"So you're friends with him now?" I said darkly.

"Look! Something like that doesn't matter. Come on, let's just go back."

She reached out and grabbed my arm but I slapped her hand away. "Don't touch me!" I snapped. Being touched reminded me of what happened, and I never wanted to think about it again. "How can you easily follow people like that who treat everyone like crap? I thought you were better than that! I thought you were my friend! Didn't we agree to support each other no matter what?"

I expected her to try harder. To actually sit down beside me and be the kind friend that I had in the past, but instead Anya let out an exasperated sigh like she was tired of dealing with me.

"Not this again," she said bitterly. "You're always ranting on about friendship this and friendship that, only when it suits you Ethan. Let me ask you something. What sort of guy says that he'll support his friend no matter what, but then goes undermining them behind their back?"

"What are you talking about?"

"What are you talking about? Don't play dumb with me Ethan," she snapped. "I'm talking about you and Master Alistair. You always said that you didn't care about being the favorite, but I knew you did. You were always trying to make him like you when you thought no one was watching."

"That's ridiculous! I would never do that!"

"Do you think I'm an idiot? I was there. I saw everything!"

"Nothing happened!" I yelled. I couldn't believe that she was saying something so stupid after what David put me through. I was the victim! What sort of petty person would bring up old crushes when their best friend was clearly suffering? "I never once thought that way. You sound like a crazy person!"

Anya screwed her face up in rage like she was about to explode, but then closed her eyes and attempted to calm herself down. She opened them again and looked at me while trying her best to control her emotions.

The two of us were like that for over a minute. Angrily glaring at each other without saying a word. Patiently waiting for the other to give in and admit they were wrong.

I refused to loose, so it was Anya who broke the silence.

"Hey, Ethan," she said calmly. "I have an interesting idea. Some souls believe that it's best to shed your old identity and start fresh with every new master. Apparently it makes it easier to cope with the things that happen in our lives. I've been doing some thinking, and the two of us have become different people, so maybe we should start over as well."

Anya stood there and silently waited for my answer.

I understood what she wanted. A week earlier I would have refused to let her go no matter what, but on that day I couldn't make myself care.

"Fine," I muttered.

"Great." She forced a smile. "So let's go back to zero. My name is Toilet Brush Hair and yours is Girly Boy. We are now meeting each other for the first time." She held her hand out for me to shake. I didn't move so Anya hesitantly withdrew it and frowned. "Unfortunately we didn't get off to a good start. I doubt that we'll hang out together in the future."

"I doubt it as well."

Anya sighed and turned to leave. I couldn't tell if she was sad or proud of what she'd done.

"A long time ago I used to have a friend who looked like you," she said. "But he was sold to a different master."

"I used to have a friend named Anya, but she died on the same day as Alistair."

"But then again, he was a crappy friend who ignored all my advice."

"And she was a manipulative old cow who'd use anyone to get what she wanted."

"If I saw him on the street I doubt I'd even bother saying hello."

"I hope her new friends turn on her and make her life miserable."

"Goodbye, Girly Boy," she said before disappearing from the room. "I hope you enjoy the new grave that you've dug for yourself."

And then my friend Anya was gone forever.

I drew my legs up to my chest and rested my head on my knees. I knew it wouldn't be long before Foreman sent someone else to forcefully drag me back.

I should have felt sad that she left me, but our friendship ended long before that fight in the basement.

"Alistair," I whispered into the dark, but there was nothing I could do to make my late master come back.

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, Alistair?" I thought of the time he spent with us 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 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 food chain. 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 favorite 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 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.

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