want to participate?
login or register
The Game-Halfling  by AxTADxSTRANGE

 

Tic.

Tic.

"You are aware of how irate I can get when you keep me waiting, correct?"

"What difference does it make? This game never ends."

"Care to place a wager?"

"Again? Well, I suppose. What shall it be this time?"

***********************

Vanessa was rather ordinary as far as people go. Mediocre college student by day, bookstore worker by night. Except for that night, it was one of the rare ones when she had no obligations. Those nights didn’t happen often and Vanessa intended to make the most of it. At least she had been trying to, but after the seven thousandth lame pick up line she had begun to lose hope. That’s when she first laid eyes on Nicolas.

It was as though they had known each other their whole lives in that first second when their eyes met across the room. It took his breath away, a feat in itself considering he didn’t need to breathe.

Nicolas was unlike anyone else in that bar. That fact was unknown to Vanessa as she made her way towards him, green eyes flashing with excitement. There wasn’t a human alive that could have understood just what Nicolas was.

***********************

For as long as this planet has existed God and the Devil have been sending angels and demons to interact with humans. Popular opinion would like you to believe it’s because they are trying to balance good and evil, claim our souls and all that comes with that. In reality the situation is a little less about the morality of our souls and more about petty bets. The angels and demons sent to Earth are merely pieces in an elaborate never-ending chess game. Humans are nothing more than short lived pawns.

You see, God and the Devil grew quite restless. They decided a very long time ago that they must find a way to pass the time. Being immortal does have its downsides. The meaninglessness of time being just a small part. So the pair set up their game board.

More bets than any mortal could possibly count have been placed between the two. Those bets have included everything imaginable and some that are probably unimaginable to the average person. It wouldn’t be fair to say that those other bets did no harm, but in comparison they didn’t even scratch the surface of pain.

********************

Nicolas and Vanessa’s relationship seemed destined to excel. Everything fell into place in a way that no one around them had ever seen. Even though it all happened very quickly their love was obvious and extraordinary and they received full support from their friends and family.

Within a month they were married and less than a year later the blissful couple welcomed their first son into the world. A beautiful child that after much thought they decided to name Elijah.

**********************

Life went on as smoothly as ever for a few years following his birth. You see time is hardly a concept among the immortals. In some instances when rules are broken they go unnoticed for centuries, however, being a prime player in the this round gained Nicolas some attention.

It is perhaps the cardinal rule upon being chosen to walk among the mortals, positively no breeding. There had never been a hybrid child. Thousands of stories of them? Of course, how else would you spread the fear? Not even God or the Devil knew what could happen if that rule was broken. That’s why it was such a tempting bet.

Punishment for breaking this valuable rule was written as banishment into nothingness. In this case though, that consequence would ruin the game, so it was decided that Nicolas would be stripped of his power and connection to God.

This in itself would present an extreme problem should the child choose to show power. The likeliness of that happening is a just another variable. There is no precedence for either player to use. There was no way to know what might happen if a child was given such gifts. With no one around who could be any help whatsoever what choices would the small Halfling make?

Nicolas was lucky enough to be home alone on the day he was forever changed. He had never before known human things like pain or fear. In an instant he was overcome with these emotions, pulled down in the depths of darkness. All at once it was as though every ounce of light in the world had gone black. The reassuring comfort that was his God no longer filled him. He gasped in panic and surprise, but in that moment he knew what had been done.

He was well aware of what he had done. In marrying Vanessa and fathering his son he had gone against his vow. Nicolas had always been a careful one, always focused on the light. Since that first night with Vanessa though, he had drifted further and further from his path. He didn’t think he would be noticed. There had been stories about Halfling children for thousands of years. Usually those stories ended in death and heartbreak, but Nicolas was doing everything he could think of to keep his story from ending the same way.

Elijah was an extremely bright boy, normal like his mother. He was always happy and eager to help. That all changed the year Elijah turned five. He had just started kindergarten when his parents began to notice that he wasn’t like other little boys at all. It started innocently enough, mumbling under his breath, avoiding eye contact, he just seemed to have lost his spark. Vanessa and Nicolas were only mildly concerned, writing it off as an aversion to starting school. Once again life went on, their once always happy little boy had turned into a slightly moodier version of his former self.

*******************

The day that Nicolas knew for sure that his son had been granted the gifts was the day that he found Vanessa being tied to the ceiling by her son who was doing nothing more than staring at her. Elijah had asked for candy and being so close to dinner his mother had said no. This provoked the child in a way that she couldn’t understand.

Nicolas stopped the horrible scene and comforted his wife. He knew he had to tell her the truth. The truth about him and what he had done. They were not a secret keeping pair, but Nicolas had been terrified to lose her if she didn’t believe him. For that he had chosen to keep his secret and protect his family.

After putting the now sleeping Elijah into his bed, Nicolas wrapped his wife in his arms for what he believed to be the last time. He spoke calm and low not leaving out a single detail. When he had finished Vanessa raised her head and said “ I know you were different and your not anymore. But, he is. He’s a monster. What do we do?”

Nicolas buried his face in his hands and wished for the millionth time he could still speak to God.

*****************

As quickly as all had gone right for the young couple it went wrong. Elijah had to be pulled out of school as his behavior became impossible to control or predict. They couldn’t risk him injuring a child, he was creating enough injuries at home. People had began to suspect that Nicolas was abusive because of the marks and scratches that covered Vanessa. The rumors and questions became to much for her to bear at work, so she decided to stay home with Elijah. This, of course, only increased the suspensions.

Elijah had no desire to strike out against his father, only her. Nicolas would come home every day to see new marks on his once beautiful wife. He tried everything with the boy, from threats to bribes. Nothing worked, all Elijah would say in regards to his mother was that she had deserved it.

Day by day, life went on this way for another year. Elijah growing stronger, Vanessa turning into a ghost of the woman she once was, and Nicolas feeling helpless to stop any of it.

Nicolas had a business trip he was required to take, and no matter how much he begged he couldn’t convince Vanessa to go with him. He was terrified to leave her all alone with Elijah, more nights than not lately, he would find her being tortured. The thought of leaving her with him for three days was incomprehendable. She insisted that Elijah was getting better and argued that she couldn’t possibly keep him entertained in a hotel room.

Agreeing with his wife is a mistake that haunted his every waking second. During the trip he had not heard a single word from mother or son. Laying in bed the second night, Nicolas had been filled with sorrow and pain. He knew in that moment that his wife was dead.

When he returned his house was a mess of police tape and questions. The detectives deemed the horror they found inside as a suicide. Mainly because no one imagined the small scared looking child could have been responsible. As the social worker apologized for his loss and handed him a trembling Elijah, it was all Nicolas could do to not break down.

Later that night, alone in the dark, Nicolas tried to pray. Hearing a noise in the door he looked up to see his small son watching him.

“He’s not there dad, not for you. “

************************

 

“Just how far are we going to let this go on?”

“Does it matter?”

“I’m sure it does to them.”

Very well, just kill the boy and be done with it.”

“Ha, and they call you the good one.”

**********************************

Nicolas began working from home the week his son murdered his wife. He had been telling people for a while that Elijah was autistic, so upon the death of his wife he deemed it necessary for the boy. For quite a few months following the incident life went by surprisingly uneventful. Elijah’s behavior seemed to have tampered down to small fits instead of his usual room shattering meltdowns. Nicolas had started to wonder if maybe it was over. Around that thought he began rebuilding his life.

Elijah in the meantime had been busy. He had found other victims, the mailman, for one. He took him cookies and would walk and talk with him while he completed his route. After the mail man young Elijah had begun to realize the full potential of his power. He could kill or save with nothing more than a passing thought if that’s what he wished to do. Upon absorbing this information he decided to try a little test of his own.

There was a little girl, scrawny and dirty, who was always at the park. All day long, unattended. She played alone, never getting near the other children. There was something about her though, that drew on Elijah’s attention almost constantly. He couldn’t understand what it was that attracted him so much. Couldn’t even decide if he loved or hated her. He began following the girl, watching her. He could tell she noticed him, but she ignored his stare effortlessly.

This blatant disregard burned through Elijah like a wild fire. He believed that he was the strongest thing walking the earth. The mere fact that another person could be unique and special in a way like he was drove him nearly to madness. There is no way that quiet little girl could have known what was about to come.

Elijah’s plan was to be exceedly simple. He decided to take the little girl before she reached the park that day. With the child being seen there so often it would easily be assumed as the crime scene. He had found an abandoned warehouse near the dock. Elijah had become convinced that the girl’s magnetic power came from her heart. All he had to do was take it out and he would be free. That pull could never taunt him again.

******************************

“You put that monster in the same city as the LifeBearer? Cheat much?”

“ I can quite assure you that I was not aware of this particular situation.”

“Well then, what now?” If you let him kill her we’ll have to start that planet over.”

“That’s not even the problem. If he takes on the power of the LifeBearer with his existing connection he will be stronger than even us.”

“Make the father kill him. Then at least we’d tie.”

“Fair enough.”

*******************************

Hate was a new emotion for Nicolas. The way that he became filled with the white hot rage scared and excited him. He found him self detaching from everything in his world. More and more each day he grew suspicious of Elijah. Nicolas was in his study, lost in a picture of his wife when he decided the monster would have to die.

Elijah could feel the anger seeping out of his father. It washed over him every time he was in the man’s presence. Elijah had been told once that he was special because of Nicolas, but what he didn’t understand was how someone who should have been so strong had become so weak. He had thought it was the fault of the whore that was his mother. If Nicolas had known how many times Elijah had seen her with other men, he would’ve killed her himself. The boy had decided against telling his father, thinking that he would trust his judgment. But, no, instead Nicolas seemed to act that he had no son, only a situation. What Elijah was most disappointed in was that killing her had been a waste. His father would never again return to the power that was rightfully his.

Nicolas’ new found hate was what made him decide to follow his son when he heard him sneak out the house before the sunrise. Elijah had done this everyday for a week, and Nicolas’ racing imagination could no longer handle not knowing what the boy was doing.

For Elijah this was a most exciting day. His anticipation was so great he didn’t even notice his father following rather clumsily behind him. He knew that the little girl would be crossing the bridge just as he met up with her. Every morning the child seemed to emerge from the first rising light. From there it would be a mere two blocks and Elijah would be free from her hold on him.

He didn’t expect the bony little thing to be strong but he had assumed she would at least struggle. To Elijah’s surprise the girl didn’t say or do anything, simply allowed herself to be lead toward the warehouse. Nicolas watched this exchange in disbelief, he had met this child before he had lost his power. How had Elijah found the LifeBearer, and what was he planning to do with her? The boy couldn’t know just what was resting on that dirty little child’s life.

***********************

“Maybe you should give him his power back.”

“I thought you’d never say so.”

“After all, he does have to be strong enough to even stand a chance.”

“You think the boy could still win?”

“Always been a betting man.”

***************************

Nicolas cried out as he felt the light return to his soul. All at once he was himself in its entirety. Elijah heard the noise and whipped around to see his fathers shadow in the cracked warehouse door. Without a moments hesitation he shoved the door with every ounce of strength he possessed. It wasn’t fast enough to slow down Nicolas. With his power returned he charged at the boy and ripped the LifeBearer from his grasp.

“Run.”

The little nodded her head solemnly and bolted toward the back of the warehouse. Elijah suspended both Nicolas and the girl into the air. For a moment he simply stared at his father as he came to the realization that now there were two like him. For that, they would both have to die.

Elijah didn’t get past that thought as Nicolas overcame the hold and threw his boy in to a useless piece of forgotten equipment. In Nicolas’ haste to save the girl from the grip of Elijah he seemed to have forgotten that she too was dangling in the air. Elijah raced toward his father in a ball of flame and the LifeBearer’s now limp body hit the concrete floor.

The light that had filled the young girl, the life source for every creature in the world now hit Elijah like a ton of bricks. He had taken her power with his murder. Elijah couldn’t see, couldn’t breathe. He had been born the way he was, he had never felt anything as intense as taking the new power.

Nicolas saw this as his opportunity. He grabbed the first thing he saw as his weapon. It was a decaying baseball bat. With a tear in his eye he connected the wood with his sons temple. Elijah dropped to the floor unmoving. The father began to sob as he looked down on the bodies of Elijah and the little girl.

When his eyes cleared Nicolas dropped the bat and began walking toward the door. He knew what would happen when the boys body was found, they couldn’t connect him in the slightest. The girl troubled Nicolas though, did she have a family, would anyone miss her?

With a flash of panic Nicolas realized that he had not absorbed the power of the LifeBearer. Stars danced in his eyes as his son took his revenge. It felt as though quite a bit of time had passed when Nicolas woke up. He was strapped to a small table, it was merely an annoyance to get out of. He swiped his eyes, thinking about how that tiny table would have been the grave of that innocent girl. The fact that instead of saving her all he had managed to was change the location ripped at his soul.

Nicolas knew that he had to make sure this time. He wasn’t sure he could fight another round with the double gifted child. He raced around the warehouse grabbing things he thought he could use. After he had chosen what he felt would be the best weapon he started to light small fires around the edges of the warehouse. Against his better judgment he did not leave himself an escape path. Nicolas didn’t want to live anymore anyway, everything he had loved would soon be gone to him.

Elijah had been watching his father from the rafters. When the fires had begun to spread Elijah pounced. Father and son fought back and forth, both physically and mentally the two gradually began to wear the other down. Nicolas knew he wasn’t as strong as he needed to be to continue this way.

Elijah had noticed his father tiring and decided to turn up the stakes. He knew now what power he possessed in being the LifeBearer. With a passing glance in his mind he began to shake the world in earthquakes, drowning entire continents with the sea. In mere seconds there were only small handfuls of humans still alive all over the world.

Nicolas felt his world dying and attacked the boy with his last strength. With the Halfling wrapped in Nicolas’ arms he threw them both on to a length of broken pipe. Nicolas held on long enough to feel the power start to seep into his body, as soon as the father was sure he had killed the child, he to was gone.

***************************************

“Well, I guess that means you win.”

“If that’s what you want to call it. What shall we do about the LifeBearer and the couple humans left?”

“Reset? Or better yet, make a new one and leave them to see what they do.”

“The way it is now? You are just begging for another bet already, aren’t you?

“just trying to pass the time, old friend.”

?

rank & voting
2.9/5 (1 votes)
Be heard! Login or Register to vote
continue story


  'The Game-Halfling' statistics: (click to read)
Date created: Feb. 11, 2012
Date published: Feb. 11, 2012
Comments: 0
Tags: angel, demon, devil, drama, fiction, god, horror, immortalility, religion
Word Count: 3995
Times Read: 156
Story Length: 1