Waking Horror

She could still hear the screams.

He’d railed at them, cursed them. His eyes – Lord above, his eyes. What fire had burned within them; what madness had stirred in their depths! They had been two pits, as if the long-nailed hands of Insanity had dug them crudely into his face: twin portals into a dormant darkness unleashed upon a man who had broken and yielded under its yoke.

Greed had crawled into his heart and bled it dry. Envy had devolved him into a creature consumed with covetousness, one that looked about each corner and suspected all.

“I will not let you have it!” he had wailed, voice hoarse from howling. He’d lunged at her, and she had been able to smell his breath, stale with starvation. “The Red Light is mine! I am the next Alchemist! Your lives… mine..!”

Then he’d dissolved into hopeless laughter, his body limp with it.

“You will all beg for mercy!”

For this, the Doctor’s daughter cried bitter tears outside her father’s cell, ruing the day he ever discovered the Philosopher’s Stone.

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