The Master Race, Chapter 10
The End Draws Near
His hands gesture, arcanely. Wards and warrants invoke. The room is now “sealed”.
Only the most powerful conjurer can do what he is about to do. Only a conjurer of the First Order.
But. Unfortunately for him there is no knowledge on this world of that which would render a Nosferatu, or any supernatural being for that matter, unable to resurrect and thus venerable to destruction. What good does it do to kill something, if it can just come back into existence over and over again, ad infinitum?
“You know your days are numbered, count ‘em one by one. Like notches on the handle of an outlaw’s dagger. You can outrun the devil if you try, but you’ll never outrun the hands of time. In time there’ll surely come a day. In time all things shall pass away,” Jaspers intones.
It smiles evilly at his bold proclamation. It’s trembling with the ecstasy of homicidal glee.
And … Inside of The Master, Fisher more than just watches in first person. She’s living it!
“Bold words for someone who is already dead,” It, the dead thing, taunts.
“Now, that’s the pot calling the kettle, black,” He responds in kind.
“I’m neither pot nor kettle, but I am a thing. As dead a thing as the pot and the kettle.”
Jasper’s pursuit of revenge has morphed into something else entirely, something which he will not admit even to himself. It is the obsession with predatory behavior touched on in Ernest Hemingway’s most famous muse.
“On the Blue Water”, Esquire Magazine, April 1936.
“Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man. And those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter. You will meet them doing various things with resolve, but their interest rarely holds, because, after the other thing, ordinary life is as flat as the taste of wine when the taste buds have been burned off your tongue.”
Ernest (Miller) Hemingway (1899-1961)
Gestural magic. The magician makes arcane, vibrant gestures with his hands as he intones loudly in increasing decibels toward a thunderous crescendo. The air crackles with the power of magic wrought for the sole purpose of mayhem. Here, on this world, in this age: wizard, witch, sorcerer, magician, conjurer, etc, monikers for practitioners of all of the magical disciplines are used interchangeably. Because here, and now, that’s how they are practiced. Specializing leaves too many gaps in your game. Gaps that can prove “unhealthy”, if they were to be exploited by an enemy.
The room is suddenly intensely-lit. But, the source of the illumination is neither discernable nor earthly. There is a loud hum, like the sound you hear given off by high-voltage power lines in the hot, humid nights of August.
“I bind you, foul spirit. I bind you, by your name.”
Sensing that her master, The Master is in peril. Having rushed upstairs from downstairs. The Ogre, faithful “dog” that she be, pounds on the door and hammers on the walls to no avail. She can’t get in. The room is “sealed”.
“To punish and enslave,” boasts the dead thing in total refutation of what he’s trying to do. And, with a mere sweep of its hand, so trivial a gesture as that, it’s all over.
The room darkens. It’s deathly quiet, again. The “seal”, the so-called unbreakable iteration, is broken. Jaspers lies flat on his stomach on the floor, sprawled like a ragdoll. Arms flailing uncontrollably. Legs askew. An impossible weight upon his back. Foaming at the mouth as if he’s rabid. He can’t breathe, gasping for air. His vision narrows. He’s blacking out. In his worst imaginings, he never thought that it would be like this. It was as if he was nothing, a fly to be swatted. It was as if it, the dead thing, wasn’t in a fight. The anti-climax: He can hear it move toward him, slowly, cackling, taunting him. It’s taking its time, prolonging the torment.
Then … It’s just there … Upon him. He must have had a flash blackout. It flicks out its long, facile tongue and licks the back of his neck. He can feel its hot, foul breath. Breath fouled by the anticipation of its coming meal. It flips him onto his back as if he is a sheet of loose leaf paper, a back raked by spasms. The room is rapidly getting darker, from his perspective. It lifts him up by the shoulders as if he is a small child who weighs absolutely nothing.
“Welcome to slavery,” It gloats, flashing a razorblade smile from ear to ear. A fate far worse than death, awaits him. It’s decided to make him its thrall.
In a final act of betrayal, his mortal body shuts down completely. His vision fails. He goes blind. It is pitch black. The last thing he hears is its bone-chilling laughter. It has won. The outcome was never in doubt. Casting aside his pride, the last thing that he manages to get out of his mouth are two words.
“Help me,” he pleads, seemingly to no one in particular. Then, he blacks out. This time for good …