Fool’s Hand: Part II

Two minds connect to become one

Fool's Hand: Part II

Burke Bischoff

All Baethan could see was white – a vast empty whiteness that seemed to travel on into infinity. He could not feel his arms or legs when he tried to move them. He could neither blink his eyes nor open his mouth. He felt nothing. He saw nothing.

“Where am I?” Baethan thought. “What is this place? Mama? Papa? Help me, please!”

A booming and yet calming voice echoed into Baethan’s thoughts.

“Enough of your grief, child.”

Baethan immediately ceased all thoughts and actions. This was not of his own will; he heard someone singing a song in his mind, and although he could not understand the words, the beautiful voice was enough to sooth his sorrow.

As he calmed down, he could see something dark shimmering faintly in the white void, like a small black candle flame hovering in the air. The flame began to grow and expand, forming itself into a human shape. Soon, Baethan could see what appeared to be a female figure covered in long, black, flowing flames.

“What are you?”

Baethan tried to speak, but he could not form any words. He could not even be sure he still had a mouth.

“You cannot speak. Your body is no more,” the figure’s voice echoed in his head. “You are now merely a mental being. Think.”

Baethan remained as calm as he possibly could as the song continued to play in his mind. He thought, “Who are you? What are you?”

“I am a non-physical being. I am of the wind,” the being said to him. “As for a name, I do not have a given name. You see, there was never any reason for me to have a name, but I suppose you must address me by something. Very well, you may call me Charisma.”

“Where am I, Charisma?” Baethan asked. “What is this place? I thought I was being killed…”

“You were killed, child,” Charisma said.

The words dug into Baethan’s mind. Killed. He wanted to scream in anguish, desperately wanted his parents to bring him home…

“You have no more tears left, child, so there is no need for your anguish,” Charisma said. “As your body perished, I extracted your mind and transported your subconscious to a different plane of existence, another realm. You see, I have the power to control the minds of human beings. I am keeping your mind alive as your body withers away on your world.”

“I don’t understand,” Baethan said. “What happened to me?”

“You fell victim to one of His traps,” Charisma said. “The rose was laid there so that you would be tempted to seek it out. When you tripped His snare, the Corrupted were called to exterminate you.

“The Corrupted?” Baethan asked.

“Yes, they are His minions.”

“Whose minions?” he asked.

“His,” Charisma said. “He is an unstoppable force who has consumed many worlds before yours and He will continue after this world is devoured. Through corruption and death, He ripens a world so that He may engulf it when it is on the brink of total destruction. He is no more than a hungry beast.”

“Why would you save me if He was going to destroy my world anyway?” Baethan asked, feeling no less comforted from the information Charisma had just given him, perfectly aware that he would be feeling a terrible panic if not for the echoing song in his mind.

“I saved you from death, child, purely out of pity,” Charisma told him. “You were too young and ignorant of even your own world when you passed. It is a shame, really.”

Charisma’s words flashed through Baethan’s head; he could not completely understand all of the information that was being forced onto him.

“I do not expect you to understand it all,” Charisma said, as though reading his mind. “You are nothing more than a child. However, you will become more than that by the time I have finished with you.”

“What do you mean?” Baethan asked.

“You will survive, child,” Charisma said. “You will see His anger. You will see the Corrupted’s wrath. You will survive it all. Be comforted, for what you see and learn will help you to achieve a brighter future for yourself. I will make sure of that. Be prepared, for you are about to see the true tragedy that will befall your world.”

Burke Bischoff can be reached at [email protected]

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part II (AUSTIN BRUSSARD/The Maroon)