Chapter 11 Scene 2

by Richard Perkins
This entry is part 41 of 65 in the series Doormaker's Fall

Tor floated in a darkness lit by clouds of purple fog and showers of incandescent sparks. He sensed the lurking presence of the shadow but could not see it.

“What have you done?”

No more than what you asked. Have you forgotten your words so quickly?

“What words? I agreed to share my vision with you, nothing more.”

A form gathered before Tor, a darker shadow superimposed on the flash lit darkness. It laughed, and Tor swore that he could see the sound of whispers emanating from the rippling shape.

Nothing more? But you swore to pay any price for the power of the Shadow Chamber, and gladly.

Tor’s heart stopped. He remembered having such thoughts during his report to the Oracle. But he had never voiced them. Then he cringed as he realized the foolishness of such distinctions. The shadow could read his most intimate thoughts when they were bonded within the crystal matrix. One could not keep secrets from the shadows in their own prison. Tor had been careless.

In confirmation of his grim suspicions, the shadow’s laughter rolled through him again. It was a dark sound, full of savage triumph.

We share your sight now. Wasn’t that our agreement? My strength for your sight?

“Our agreement was for you to see through my eyes for a time, in payment for passage through the crystal matrix! Not for you to take my sight from me!”

I have not taken your sight! As a Prophet you could hear fragments of the truth. But you were blind. Now you can see.

“But I can’t see, fiend! Talk sense! What have you done to my eyes?”

Opened them, little fool. How else could I see through them?

“Opened them! To what? I see only shadow and illusion here!”

Because you have chosen blindness. Your eyes are closed. You lack the strength to keep them open.

At last Tor saw how cleverly he had been trapped. While he lay senseless in the Shadow Chamber, his vision had been enhanced by this manipulative spirit.

But evidently this new vision was more than his body could bear without the shadow’s strength. He would continually have to rely on the creature’s help, perpetually renewing their contract.

He would never be free. He would bear this dark rider until his death returned him to the sands. This demon was clever for a shadow. Tor had been caught off-guard, but he would not let it happen again.

“What do you want of me, shadow?”

Would a little gratitude be too much to ask? I have granted you a gift, one most would beg for. You were a mere Prophet before. But now you are so much more.

“What do you mean more?”

Through me, you shall see all. Very soon the time will be right for you to embrace your destiny. But first you must cast aside your weakness and open your eyes.

Tor floated in darkness, while the shadow waited. He considered what the creature had told him. He could choose to remain here in darkness, allowing his body to waste away. He could choose death. This would sever his connection with his dark rider, but would also end his carefully laid plans.

Tor wondered how he might turn this setback to his advantage. What if the creature spoke truly? What would it mean to see the shadows of things to come the way he had learned to hear their whispers? Surely such power would make him first among Prophets. Then he might put his grandest plans into action. The Oracle’s failing sight would be swept aside. Yes. Everything would fall into place once the Oracle was out of the way.

“All right shadow, I have made this contract and I will honor it. Lend me your strength that we both may see.”

As you wish.

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