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His Fight to Breathe Category: Stories
Disclaimer : I wrote this piece during a time when Tempest is trying to defy a fate that was set in stone long before his exile from Minrathous. It is a scene of self-mutilation and a vague grasp at his older memories.
Breathing in. Breathing out. Breathing in again.
The process repeats to calm his nerves but it never seems to work. The bundle of nerves continued to send a shock to the pronged foriegn objects that stuck out from his back. How very ironic that they were to break his skin now and arch so high and proud. How very much he hated them for existing. He hated them for making a mockery to every choice he had ever made--as if nothing in his life mattered.
For these large white gossamer wings to even exist would mean that in some way--somehow--his father and the cultists that once stood around him were correct. It meant that one day, very soon, Tempest would be destined to create a paradise of his own and in that paradise he would be destined to bring forth every soul that helped to guide him into this majestic being. It meant that his life and freedom, no matter how hard he struggled to declare it otherwise, was nonexistent. He was a slave to the premeditated machinations of others, who were not even truly seeking the greater good in anything but rather attempting to obtain an eternal bliss through selfish means.
He could still hear the laughter in their voices. Just a boy then and not hardly reached the double digits. But that didn’t matter. What mattered was that he showed promise through his magic -- at the time. He heard the chanting and the taunting over and over again in his mind. He felt his flesh burn from the ritual brandings. The hot iron stuck to his skin and sizzled its surface raw like bacon fat. It burned so much that the pain struck him nauseous and dizzy. Hot tears scorched his cheeks when he cried and his body bathed in the hissing steam of his own burning skin. The burns on his back were much larger and they spared no little to the imagination of what was to break free, when the time of maturity came...or maybe it was the time of self-awareness. The scabbed wings would remain a curse for him to carry. It was done to forever mark him ugly but desirable. Holy and still tainted.
Crying out through the darkness, he called for his father. He shouted and called for him until his voice broke from the screams. His stubby fingernails clawed at the emptiness and poor lighting; trying to reach him. Trying to grab his cloak and beg for anything--any piece of salvation that could be of any sort except for this. Anything; anything but this fire! Though the man who stood before him was his father; he too, wore a mask just like the rest of the cultists around him. His father stood so very tall and frightening to him while Tempest struggled in facing his fear of him and yet still pleading for his mercy. He remained just a boy--alone, stripped and chained to a table used for blood sacrifices, rituals and the like. They had not even been done by far, for after the Demon of Greed was forced into him, through this exercise, the cultists believed they could “control” the creature within him. Years of even more strange tortures had been what followed after that.
Such was the kind of lunacy that the wings insisted was necessary for him to exist as he does now. It was what ‘created’ him to be who and what he became. For that, Tempest wanted the wings erased. He never liked the implication of his future being decided for him or to have it predicted. Those ideas took the control out of his life; which was -- and always would be -- his own.
So, Tempest stood with a desired goal and a problem. He wanted the wings removed. He detested them so much that he was desperate to rip them out from the scarred flesh of his back. However, this was also a dilemma; for he could not see a way to do it. Tempest only had one hand to grip the wings with. His left hand was cut off through battle, and the stubb of his wrist was shapen into a hook. How does one do it by themselves when they were unable to even grab the unwanted appendages? He’d have an easier time asking someone else to yank them out--which still leaned more on the preposterous spectrum of Tempest’s situation. Yet, regardless of which that he’d choose (be it himself or asking for help), Tempest would still have to break the bones of those massive holy wings at their base against his back.
Previously, he stood at the edge of a cliff and arched his right wing at a high angle. Taking the plummet and twisting his body into the air, the only thing that Tempest could do was hope that he would have landed at the exact angle needed to break the bone where he had wanted. The pain shot like fire through his nerve endings and stirred even deeper against his sensitive back. The flashes of red blood and a seering white blindness managed to immediately empty all other thoughts from his mind--except for the pain. The howl that Tempest gave in that moment still seemed to echo in his ears even in this current moment; which in truth was now rendered to silence and heavy breathing. He wasn’t even sure if he managed to accomplish the task or not. For now, all he felt was pain.
Breathing in. Breathing out. Breathing in again.
He cursed between clenched teeth and in a language that still remained foriegn to his own tongue. The wings behind him were displayed outward and twisted behind him. The blood he was coated in all was his own and in response, his dark miasma reacted to initiate bloodmagic. His body remained laying among the jagged rocks in such a manner that it was a wonder how muscle and limbs managed to escape the fate of getting impaled.
He was a sickening creature; an innocence that was tainted before his eyes could truly open to the rest of the world. So, he was ruled by vengeance. Tempest didn’t want the ability to create his own paradise. He would rather live in his own Hell. He would rather drag down every monstrous cultist to his reality of damnation. He would scorn their selfish wishes by simply existing as an imp who refuses to learn of his people’s traditions, their languages, and writings. They could all sink to his sense of stagnation, and Tempest would writhe like a mauled beast in heat, just to see their futures tortured for an eternity.
His eyes opened as the pain centered in a blazing throb at the center of his back. Broken foriegn bones and bruised to bloody flesh almost seemed to cry out, “Why” in anguish and abusive trauma. However, Tempest refused to become some prophecy-made-reality and he refused to fade from existence for simply not fulfilling the wishes of demon worshipers. What was done to him was unforgivable and Tempest was preparing himself -- even destroying himself -- to fight in any way that he could. For now, all that he could do was stare up at the storm clouds that were rolling by. For now, he could only shift his focus to each grey anomaly and gather his strength to try again.