Chapter 14:

A Flicker of the Past

There's a Demon in my Basement!

Everyone had a past that shaped them, made them who they are today and provided them with the knowledge and skill necessary to live their daily lives. And even a demon was not exempt from this. Or maybe especially demons were not exempt from this. Bookmark here

In Astaroth's case it all had its beginning long, long ago, in an age, before the existence of mankind itself. The Godfather Zeus was unrivalled in his position as one of the mightiest beings in existence. Only a few were above him and even less were feared by him. One of those few was Nyx, the Goddess of the Night. Yet, the fear he had for her, didn't stop him from casting an eye on a Moirai, one of her daughters.Bookmark here

Naturally, a conjunction like that resulted in a being more powerful and knowledgeable than most; Astaroth. Sage who knew the past, present and future. From their very birth onwards they had spent their days locked away in a prison in a far-off corner in the Olympus. Bookmark here

As terrible of a fate that might have seemed to be, for Astaroth it wasn't. They were content spending their days alone, not knowing anything else. The boredom could easily be swayed away by using their access to unlimited knowledge. And after all, it had been their father who had made this decision. So how could it have been wrong?Bookmark here

It was fine. That's what they told themselves each and every time they felt even the slightest touch of loneliness. Bookmark here

It was fine. That's what they told themselves when they looked into the future and saw the grim fate awaiting them.Bookmark here

It was fine. It would be fine. There was no way this vision could turn out correct. Their father would never send them into exile. Why would he? Astaroth was staying put. Just like they had been told.Bookmark here

Repression was a mighty weapon. They knew what they were doing but they still chose to ignore that nagging feeling. That fear was eating away at their soul. Bookmark here

Yet, after seeing something this cruel in the future, they had stopped looking at it. Instead, they just lied down in an almost catatonic state. Staring at the bars of their small cell. It would be fine. They wouldn't have to leave eventually. There was no reason after all.Bookmark here

Not even Astaroth could say for how long they lay there repeating the same thought over and over again. Time never seemed to exist for them in the first place so it did even less now. But after sitting up again, their eyes felt as if someone had set them on fire and there was a weird type of fluid on their cheeks. Bookmark here

More out of a habit than anything else they once again took a look into the future. The usual content feeling inside of them was gone and replaced by a terrible form of dread. Maybe looking even more into the future was a terrible idea. But what else were they supposed to do?Bookmark here

Maybe they should just look at the past or the present. Somehow doing so had always felt dull and right now-...Bookmark here

They stopped. They just sighed and slumped back on the ground. What was even the point?Bookmark here

Maybe they could stop it from happening. If they just gathered some more info, maybe then they could-Bookmark here

They couldn't. Of course, they were aware of that, but...Bookmark here

Somehow being unable to do anything about it just made everything so much worse. And so they didn't lift a single finger, dreading the day that they knew would come eventually.Bookmark here

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It felt as if only a few seconds had passed since that horrible vision, even though they knew that wasn't the case. It must have been hundreds of years. Yet, that didn't make the cold shiver running down their spine any better.Bookmark here

Maybe the man on the other side of the bars would go away if they just ignored him. They knew that wasn't going to happen and yet, they still hoped.Bookmark here

"You must be Astaroth."Bookmark here

They only slightly grimaced at the voice. They glanced up slightly, before looking down to their lap once again. There was no doubt that the person in front of them was no other than Hades, Lord of the Underworld. And they hated him with all their might.Bookmark here

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"Okay... But did you ever consider to like... just not?"Bookmark here

Blake's voice disrupted their thought process. Astaroth blinked. Why were they thinking about the past now? They hadn't in so long. Bookmark here

"But that would result in not filling the lake with rubber ducks! I can not take a cruel fate like that!" Snow argued as if she was talking about someone’s life being in danger.Bookmark here

For how long had they been discussing this topic?Bookmark here

Drake snickered. "Yeah, that would be a fate crueller than death wouldn't it?" Bookmark here

"Look - no. Just no." Blake massaged his forehead and looked directly at Drake. "And stop giving Snow ideas like that! All of this is already bad enough!"Bookmark here

"But a lake filled with rubber ducks sounds amazing! You could let Mr Duck Duck swim with his friends!" Astaroth beamed as if they had been listening to the conversation the entire time.Bookmark here

"Stop bringing him up, you're not even supposed to know about him!"Bookmark here

"But I would love to meet him," Snow said as if the rubber duck was a conscious being.Bookmark here

With a deep sigh Blake just sunk back into his seat. Where did he go wrong to end up in this situation? Was this Karma for wanting to end the world? It probably was, wasn't it? "No rubber duck lake for anyone. Are we clear?"Bookmark here

A disappointed groan filled the room. Bookmark here

Real Aire
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