WARNING: Graphic Content
From the Eyes of a Seer
~In Madness Blooms~
“Come in, King Kilian. Linger no longer,” the Seer’s scratchy voice travelled through the room. Her deeply disfigured face, lined with grief beyond her years, stayed categorically still. She knew who approached, though her eyes could not see him, by the energy that flowed from his body. The scars on her face danced in anticipation whenever he drew near. Though it had been many years since the demented King plucked her from her mother’s arms, she could still feel the sizzling dagger slicing through her flesh, forcing her eyes from their sockets. The agony never left her.
“How, seer, do you forever know it is me?” Killian’s curious tone grated at her. He knew damn well how she knew, it was, after all, by his cruel hands she had received the ceremonious vision. His actions were cold and calculated, never without self-gain.
“You kindly gave me the Vision, remember? From that, my senses have grown beyond measure. I now walk hand-in-hand with my gods. They guide me through the darkness.” Angry as she felt, she couldn’t deny her ability. She truly saw what no other breathing human could see or fathom. For this, she was grateful, and at times, horrified.
Killian circled the room, stopping to fidget with some dried herbs that hung from the ceiling. The seer cringed, listening to his rough fingers slide down the crunchy leaves. She’d grown accustom to his visiting routines, and anxiously waited for him to finish. He needed time to adjust his vision to the darkness of the her quarters, but he seer had no use for windows or light, and no reason to appease anyone from the kingdom.
“I have come to speak with you about moving from this dank hole you call a home, and up into the castle with me. You’d be much more comfortable there.” To the seer, Killian’s words slithered across his tongue, sliding into the world like a serpent.
“Thank you, kind King, but you know my answer will never change. I cannot see through all of the light and chaos filling the walls of your royal home. I will become truly blind, and lost beyond finding. Not even the gods would be able to save me then. Please, leave me be. I am at one with the lands here.” The idea of living even one step closer to the King shot bile into her throat. She quietly swallowed it back down, saving her composure.
“As you will. May I?” Kilian pointed to the decrepit chair opposite the Seer. “My apologies. I am—“ After mutilating her, he acted as though nothing had happened. As though they were friends of some kind. She was the only person the king spoke kindly to, offering his apologies when he would reference something in the living world she could no longer see.
“Yes, you may sit.” The Seer stroked her claw-shaped hand with what usable fingers remained to her. Rocking gently, she braced herself, clutching the edge of the worn table. She knew what the king wanted, what she would have to endure next.
The king lowered himself into the chair, his joints cracked and popped as he settled in. A wave of visions rolled through her, stifling the air in her lungs. Images flashed, emotions roared, and she cautiously opened her mind, letting it take over. The edges of her mouth frothed slightly as her body convulsed, shaking uncontrollably. For her, it felt like it would never end, like she would be trapped in this terrifying moment for the rest of time. His dark energy needed to penetrate her own energy, though, so she could translate it, and then send it back to him, where it belonged.
“Give it to me,” she screeched, battling the spasms. “N-now!”
Killian jammed his hand into a tattered leather satchel and pulled out a small, dripping lump; a tiny organ. He quickly placed it in the seer’s crippled hand. Blood oozed through her fingers, warm and sticky, fresh. When she placed her other hand on top of the heart of the dead infant, she flew backwards, falling from her chair, crashing down to the ground. An unsettling silence curtained the room.
“Ulyana? Are you still of this world?” the king asked, referring to The Seer by her birth name. He’d never witnessed her lose consciousness before and this troubled him. He knew killing a Seer brought with it an inescapable curse for the man responsible. “Ulyana! Wake up,” he demanded, jumping to his feet. The world around him slowed, highlighting the limp body in front of him.
From the dust, Ulyana rose, and instantaneously the king found himself staring into her mutilated face. Where once sat eyes, gnarly scars remained. Each cut still as vivid as the day he’d inflicted them. The king recoiled.
“Ulyana… does… not… live here,” the Seer whispered, standing nose to nose with Kalian, her breath colder than ice. “You killed her many moons ago, didn’t you, kind King?” She lifted her hand to his face and placed the bloody organ to his lips. “Eat it,” she hissed.
Shaking, Kilian opened his mouth, allowing her to push it between his teeth. The metallic taste brushed his palate, stimulating his taste buds. He bit down, chewing just enough to swallow it. Of all the deprived things he’d done in his life, this topped everything. With every ounce of his being, he fought the urge to regurgitate the contents in his stomach all over the Seer, the table, and the ground on which he stood.
“All of it,” she said, now smiling; her plump lips the only indication she had, at one point, been human.
In one gulp, Killian swallowed the mound of flesh in his mouth. The Seer lifted her clawed hand to his forehead, swiping the gooey blood on her fingers in a stripe across his skin. “Now sit,” she pointed to the chair. Her knotted, once-orange-hair spilled from the hood of her cloak. “Hear me, King Kilian, an innocent babe died at your hands, and from this black magic a prophecy was born. But these dark acts come at a high price, one I fear you may not be able capable of paying.”
Kilian sat in silence, nodding, his black hair bobbing up and down. His normally sharp features seemed dulled and lifeless. The color had drained from his face, leaving him pale like the ghosts who frequented the seer’s dreams.
“Seven babes you will hold as your own, and seven babes you will release into all the different corners of this retched world. Far from your clutches, they will grow. A slave, a savage, a drunk, a warrior, a raven, a priest, and finally, a cripple. Only one will return to you the true heir. This is the path the chosen ones have gifted to you, King Kilian.”
“Seven babes, you say?” Kilian’s memory flashed to the seven women who all claimed he’d impregnated them one drunkenly debauched evening, several moon cycles ago. Had they pushed the issue, he planned to have all of them, and their babes, assassinated in the cover of darkness, out of sight from prying eyes.
“Mmmm,” she hummed, “seven babes from seven different wombs. Your choices have sealed your fate, dear king of mine.”
“All to be released into the world, far from my clutches?” Kilian’s whitened face revealed his true feelings, no matter how much he struggled to mask them.
“To all the different corners, yes. Are these not the true reflections of your soul, King Kilian?” She ran her tongue over her beautiful lips, a notion of her repressed humanity. The tip of it met the bumped out flesh of a scar that travelled from one corner of her face to the next, jarring her back to the reality of her curse.
“That’s enough for today, Seer.” The king needed to leave, in truth, but refused to show weakness in her presence, in the presence of the gods.
Without a word, the Seer waved her hand and the door cracked open, a small gust of wind making its way inside the room. Kilian turned to leave.
“Here,” he said, wrapping a lock of hair around her curled fingers. “Your requested payment.”
The seer grasped the hair, rubbing her thumb over the strands. “Thank you,” she muttered through a tight throat. With no tears to fall, she refused to fall victim to her emotions. “See yourself out, will you?”
Kilian slid out the door, into the alley. He never once looked back. He never once stopped. Kilian knew what he must do next.
© 2016, Anisa Claire. All rights reserved.
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