Black Hole

She stood on the slippery wet rocks looking out over the sea. Now and then a wave burst and sprayed her ever so slightly with its salty mist. Of course, it was night time, the moon had risen full and heavy. It spread its orange light over the water like spilled paint.

She imagined the sun might do something similar, but couldn’t remember. It had been a very, very long time since she had been able to see the light of day, much less the morning sun. Her eyes had grayed out long ago. Blessings and curses…

There was a ship. A great sailing ship, it’s gray and tattered sails moving ever so slightly. From the flags it flew, she could tell it was full of pirates. The wind picked up and the skull stamped flags were sent into a frenzy of flapping.

That same wind grabbed the woman’s long dress and tightened it around her skinny frame. All of her bones were defined sharply as the red cloth pulled and whipped around her. All edges no softness or curves at all. Her long dirty blonde hair cut across her eyes and nose wetly, making slashes across her face.

A salty drop fell from one ear. She absently brushed it away as she willed the ship to come to shore. Watching it steadily with an unbreakable gaze. If she could feel the cold, she would have been freezing. There was ice in the air, and she doubted the pirates would come ashore tonight.

Still… She watched the ship. The woman could see the little, wispy white spirits hanging around it, see them weaving around each other like snakes, like smoke. Trapped in that energy. Stuck in the atmosphere with those who stole their lives…

That was not her concern. She was no savior. She didn’t know what she was, didn’t care, didn’t think about it. Maybe she was some leftover thing from beyond the days of the world falling apart and coming back together… And here she was again. Called by something, some beat from the surface of this world. Something she had not heard in many, many decades…

A demon plagued the pirates. The woman watched it aggravate the spirits. It disappeared every now and then. She assumed it was to go harass the pirates or put foul ideas in their heads while they slept.

Again, no concern of hers. The demon noticed her. It must have felt her stare because it stared back intently. Searching. It’s black scales glittered in the moonlight, green, purple… blue. Two wings slowly beat the air around it, moving the spirits around slightly. Finally, the shadowy thing broke it’s gaze and returned to the sleeping pirates.

Three men on that ship possibly had some other purpose. Some great destiny, horrible or otherwise, to fulfill…

The sun began to rise over the horizon. Bloody strips across the sooty gray sky. She couldn’t see or feel it, and it didn’t bother her at all.

Red sky in the morn, Sailor take warn…

The sea was calm now. Like glass. Like a mirror that carried the reflection of everything. Rocks, woman, and sky. A demon-haunted ship rocked gently, the pirates inside just starting to stir.

In the sun, the dress the woman wore looked more like flesh, more like some leathery red skin. Her white arms and legs jutted out from it grotesquely, her toes looked more like claws. A breeze grabbed the wet fabric, pulling and working it into long, raggedy wings behind her.

The ship began to move slowly into the harbor and she watched. She watched until she couldn’t see it anymore. She turned to go, her bare feet gripping the slimy rocks as she scrambled down them…

The pirate had been sitting in this shitty tavern since he left the ship. He had no idea why. Drinking the same ale, and looking at that same hunk of bread… A fly bothered him. It buzzed around. The barkeep bothered him. No, he didn’t want anything else…

He was hot and sweaty from the fire and what he wanted, was to be out of here. Outside, breathing the cool, salty air. He couldn’t leave though. For some reason, he just couldn’t move out of this chair.

The woman walked in and no one seemed to notice but him. He smelled her first. The sea. He reasoned that it was a draft from the door, but it had caught his attention.

She looked at him, her eyes both terrifying and mesmerizing. Like two great pools of black water, they fixed on him and wouldn’t let him go. The eyes pulled him from the chair and guided his legs towards their owner.

He felt like he was struggling in spiderwebs. His head was full of water, sloshing in his ears, moving around in his brain. A skeletal hand dug into his arm guiding him out of the tavern.

Blinded by the sunlight and freezing from the inside out, he was unable to clear his head. The hand on him had his arm frozen solid and he was led easily by the woman.

To others, it looked as if the pirate was drunk, or had smoked too much opium at the tavern. They watched him stumble out alone, the barkeep behind him in the doorway yelling about the pay.

Farther and farther from the town they went. Down, down towards the sea. She headed towards the cave. It had been there longer than forever. These people here never knowing what it’s real purpose was. Is.

The cave, with its slick and infinitely dark abyss. She had dragged herself out of it and now must return. Poked, prodded, and dragged, the groggy pirate was forced along.

He slipped on the wet, slimy rock going into the cave. His sword clanked and banged against the walls. He wanted to scream but he couldn’t. The man looked ahead into the darkness and tried to keep his footing. The icy hand jabbed him in the back, moving him ever forward.

Farther and farther into the Earth, they went until finally, they stopped on the edge of a great and jagged round pit. A pale glow came from it and it looked bottomless. The pirate began to shiver uncontrollably.

As his eyes adjusted from pitch black to the pale glow, he noticed something familiar on the floor. A ring. Even with his foggy brain, he recognized his friend’s ring. While the pirate struggled with this, he forgot the woman was still very close to him…

She plunged her talons into his back ripping his heart from his body. The creature flung it across the cave, still beating, it landed wetly on the floor.

Tiny creatures came scurrying out of the hole, and scrambled around the heart, licking and biting it. It was devoured in minutes. The pirate was still alive to watch this happen to his body part but could do nothing. He was totally paralyzed.

The woman wrapped her long, skeletal arms and legs around the man and enveloped him in her scaly, fleshy wings. With a long, deep sigh, she sunk her razor-sharp teeth into his neck and took a bite.

The flesh, tendons, and cartilage ripped away easily, disappearing into the treacherous mouth. The pirate, like his friends, was consumed and as this creature ate them, she ate bits of the world.

While she chewed an arm, earthquakes broke all over Asia. A leg and volcanoes erupted in Italy.

As she gnawed on the bones, war broke out across Europe, sucking the marrow caused plague in the Middle East.

She was called forth to eat and that she did. It had been a long time, and she was hungry. Although she wasn’t anymore. Her full and protruding belly held the aborted destinies of three men, great and small. This planet would go hungry for a time now…

The woman slunk across the dark cave to the pit. She could hardly move she was so full but she did it. Heaving herself over the edge into the infinite darkness, the glow fades away and she floats. Down, down, down into a prehistoric purgatory where mankind is of no issue. Time no consequence. Full and accomplished, this creature will sleep until called again. Again… and again…

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