A supernatural flash story by Erin Zarro
“I have killed, Master,” The Penitent Agatha said. She sat in a circle of flickering flames. “See that girl?” She pointed to the limp, pale figure of her latest kill, naked and still bound with rope. “Her screams were a symphony to my ears. Did you enjoy the music she made as she died?”
“And I will enjoy the music your daughter makes when she dies, Penitent,” a voice whispered.
It was him.
She placed her sweaty hands on her lap and bowed her head. “Master, I can't kill my only daughter.”
The candles snuffed out and Agatha found herself surrounded by darkness. What was happening?
“Penitent,” a voice said, loud and sharp as a blade. “Do you not want your dead husband restored to life?”
Agatha took a deep breath, then let it out. “But she's my flesh and blood, Master. I'll kill anyone else, just not my daughter!”
"This was our agreement, Penitent. You are not allowed to change it." Twin balls of amber flared. She wanted to curl inside herself, get away from his eyes. “You'll do as I say. Bring me your daughter's corpse tomorrow. This one will do for now,” her Master said.
She took a deep, cleansing breath and steeled herself for what was to come.
Ahh, the turning of the year. Tis the season for dissecting the year past, and planning the year ahead. Cynicism, guilt, hope, and optimism make an unlikely mix at this time of year. Everyone is looking back, or looking ahead, or both. Kit Campbell can't believe 2013 is gone. Erin Zarro has some big dreams for 2014. Siri Paulson is on vacation.
Me? Well, I'm living up to Kit's proclamation that creative types get a little wild in the resolution department. I'm resonating with Erin's rejection of fear in the new year. Mentally I'm vacationing with Siri.
Being that we're almost to Christmas, I thought I'd talk about Christmas traditions. We all have our own, some handed down through families, and others are from our spouses, or our spouses' families. Or even some of them are brand new, but will be observed by many for years to come.
When I was a kid, my family had traditions. As I look back on my childhood, I've realized how much I miss them.