Sorry about not getting the second installment of our weekly story time in… well… on time. This week features another of my stories; this time with a girl who has to face the darkest part of herself. depending on various factors, I may either continue Ultraviolent or present a third new story. Either way, I hope you enjoy Sedeciem
In times past, there was a sect of priest that took up a particular cause. They believed that if only the demons of Hell would repent their sins, they would be accepted back into Heaven. But, knowing that no fallen angel would willingly beg The Almighty to cleanse their evil, the priests developed the ability to combine the soul of a human and the soul of a demon. In doing this, the demon would have the chance to repent through the human.
The priests began their work well before the birth of Jesus Christ. The first five demons that they caught put up such a fight that their ranks dwindled by 60%. Unfortunately, it was a time when the world was much larger and control over a single culture felt nearly the same as controlling the entire planet would now, so those combined demon/humans ran amok as pagan gods and creatures of the night.
The first became the Niddhogg of Norse lore. The second would father creatures that inspired the tales of bloodthirsty vampires. The third would feed off of the xenophobia of human beings. The fourth came to be known as Hecate, Goddess of Magic and denizen of the Greco-Roman underworld. The fifth would cause the burning of the Library of Alexandria just to keep its secrets to itself. After causing all of this trouble, the priests didn’t seal another demon until the lifetime of the Messiah.
During the crucifixion of Christ, there was a man who mocked him. A priest in attendance combined the man with a demon that was in the audience as punishment for the mockery. This man would never die and would forever walk the earth. Forlorn, the man dedicated his life to repenting his deeds and would become known as the Wandering Jew. Using this as an example, the priests’ partially changed their cause. They would now seal the demons to the souls of humans to save them and to punish them. And, though the demons put up a fight as they did in times old and the priests’ number dwindled again, it was mostly their fellow human beings that killed them.
Since that time, 11 more demons were sealed within humans, but very few of them became as evil and destructive as the original five. Once the 15th demon was sealed, it seemed that all of the priests had died. It didn’t take long for many of the demons that had hidden from the priests to come back into the open. In one, particular case, a demon took over a military complex to eat all of its inhabitants.
Standing over the dead bodies of his enemies, the demon licks its blood soaked hands. It floats down the hallways, lazily dragging its nails against the walls. The dead littered the complex; all seemingly dead of totally different means. Some with their heads smashed in, some with torn limbs; others looked like they had been dipped in acid or just plain immolated. This made the demon absolutely filled with ecstasy. It mocked the dead humans, telling them that their God, if they even considered His existence, had surely forsaken them. It then altered its appearance to eat the bodies and feast on the hate, pain, and confusion that still clung to them like a terrible odor more pungent than the rotting of their flesh.
As the demon’s form took that of a human male, it heard the sound of whimpering among the bodies. Had it missed a target? Surely, even the ones that had bleed to death had to have died hours ago. It sniffed around and found out the source of the whimpering: a little girl. She must have been the offspring of one of the humans it had killed earlier, the demon reasoned. As it looked deep into the whimpering child’s glazed eyes, it only felt innocence under the fear. How could the offspring of such a tainted species by so pure of heart? Perhaps humans mature only by committing sins, like certain demons that it had encountered. Perhaps humans were merely a form of fallen angel that never truly reached demon-hood, but got really close. It was then that the demon heard a rustling sound to its left.
A priest in all too familiar clothing run towards it with a dagger in his right hand that was chained to the very skin of his arm. The priest was one of the Order that could seal demons to humans. No demon in Hell knew what its purpose was, but the priests had always said it was to change their very souls, so they assumed the worst. The demon also realized that it had made a fatal mistake in not crushing the skulls of every one of the humans. The priest had a gapping hole in his chest and was covered in several cuts. That wasn’t stopping the priest. In fact, it was almost like that was what was driving him. The demon, more frustrated than angry, swiped at the knife arm of the priest, lobbing it off in one swing. This did little to dissuade the priest. He grabbed the demon’s face and used the momentum to bring the demon to its knees.
The priest invoked the powers within himself to seal the demon. Even though the priest’s grip had paralyzed it, the demon’s spiritual energy was more than enough to lacerate the priest’s body. Undeterred, the priest poured all of his spirit into the invocation and turned the demon into a glowing mass of energy. Tired and quite literally half-dead, the priest uttered a prayer of thanks and attempted to take the energy into himself; to seal the demon within himself. However, it didn’t work. It wouldn’t have anyway; the power was constructed to keep a priest from doing so, as to keep the Order’s technique from being used by a rouge priest to gain power. On the verge of tears the priest, last of his Order, turned to the little girl.
She was the child of a man that he had known for all his life. The girl felt more like his niece than just the daughter of a friend. He motioned for her to come to him. He knew what had to be done. Lying, he told her that everything was alright, that he need her help to get up. Shaking and sobbing, she lumbered over to him, weakly extending out her hands. It was almost like she knew what the priest knew: that his injures would kill him at any moment and that nothing was alright. As she approached him, the priest snatched her up and sealed the demon’s soul to her’s. Pain and fear shot into every point of the girl’s body. Blood ran out of her nose and mouth as the energy changed her body. As the glowing mass disappeared, the priest reiterated the final part of the invocation with his last breath. As the last word left his lips, his body fell apart, as he could not long hold himself together with his own energy. The girl passed out, unknowing of what had just happened.
Years later, the girl had matured into a young woman. She had no memory of the day when she became half-demonic; she could only remember that she had gone through a terrible ordeal. However, she knew that she was different. She would feel urges. Odd urges. When she was pushed around in middle school, she felt something within her tell her that is she would only try, her could make them pay; she could kill them with her bare hands. She shook off these “thoughts”, thinking that everyone had these types of thoughts. One thing that always irked her about these “urges” was the fact that it felt like it was someone else talking. She knew her own inner voice, but the voice of the “urges” was different; still a part of her, but different. It was sinister and smug. She somewhat yearned to follow these urges, as she felt incomplete in not doing so.
While in high school, she took in a very disturbing sense of humor. During the announcements one morning, the news of a terrible car accident that took the lives of three students and a teacher the previous night caused a classmate of hers to burst into tears, as one of the students in the crash was his friend. Somehow, both of these events where terribly funny to her. Asking to leave, she could not hold it in any longer and the halls of her school were filled with the chilling sounds of terrifying laughter. The students knew that it was about the accident, but they did not realize that it was the girl who laughed. This sorrow that was placed before her was like a drug to her. She reveled in it, to the point of almost sexual satisfaction. Calming herself, she was filled with dread over her reaction and distanced herself from most of those who knew anyone involved in the accident.
Her most dire change came upon the night of her graduation from high school. Amongst her graduating class were the girls who had bullied her in middle school. The inner urges were still growling over the revenge that she could have. As she watched them at the graduation ceremony, it appeared that they hadn’t changed; still as haughty and vicious as ever. The longer the ceremony when on, the more enraged she became. The urges were coming to a screaming climax; the inner voice howling for vengeance. The girl could take it no longer and let her urges take over. As the students of her class dispersed and went to their families, she hunted the ones who had wronged her. As she slipped through the halls to find them, vague memories began to flood her mind; memories of a satisfying slaughter and of wanting to stop her pain. She soon found the girls and bared her teeth at them. Even after all of this time, they still looked at her with disgust and mocked her. They laughed at how she looked; her eyes twitching, her fists and teeth clenched, her growling, and her body shaking, They made crude jokes and approached her, all with malice in their eyes. They were not prepared for what was about to happen.
As they got within arms-length, the girl’s back arched violently. The robes that she wore began to stretch and bulge. Her mockers became quiet and stood with their blood frozen. The sounds of growling and fabric ripping filled the hallway. Black, bat-like wings burst from her back and curved over her shoulders and pointed towards their necks. A sickening smile etched itself over her face as she let out a maddening laugh. The mockers shook in fear, as the girl, who they had belittled for years, was now the closest thing to a demon that they had ever seen. In her mind, the girl’s urges completely bounded with her own desires. Unbeknownst to her, her soul and the demon’s soul had finally become one. She now possessed all of the powers and abilities of the demon that had been bound to her. The mockers turned to run, but the girl was too fast for them. Each swing that she took at them was enough to shatter bones. One of the girls was hit hard enough to burst a hole in a wall. Their screams only egged her on, adding to her thirst for violence. She laughed the entire time; paying them back, blow for blow, for every insult, taunt, and rebuke that they had ever given her. As she held one of the mockers by the neck, she heard the sound of approaching people. She let go of her tormentor, who had passed out from nearly being suffocated. The girl had felt justified enough to leave them there; they had learned their lesson.
Walking back to the auditorium, her mother called her on her cell phone. She told her about the girls who had been beaten to near death and how they had to be taken to the hospital immediately. Her mother was worried about her, but there was something odd about her tone. It was almost as if she knew that her daughter had something to do with it. After a long silence, the only thing that the girl could say was “Good” Her mother’s breath seemed to quiver over the phone. She had known how the girls had bullied her daughter, but one wouldn’t expect such retaliation from her. But there was something that she knew that would make everything make sense. Hesitating, the girl’s mother told her that she knew what had happened on the night of her daughter’s traumatic incident. The girl stopped dead in her tracks. Before she could say anything, her mother told her that if she wanted to hear what had happened, she’d have to fly home. The phone went dead, as did the blood in the girl’s veins. Standing silently in a torn graduation robe, the gravity of the situation began to sink. Why had she grown wings? Where did that amazing strength come from? Why did the voice of her urges disappeared in that moment of vengeance? Shaking with fear and confusion, the girl opened her wings and flapped them. Slowly and heavily, her wings produced enough lift to pull her from the ground and carry her home.
At the doorstep, stood her mother, whose face was covered with a dark, grim expression. The girl veered out of the air and landed rather clumsily at her mother’s feet. Her mother looked at her with eyes she had never seen before. They were cold and distant. Her mother broke the silence with on word: “Sedeciem” The girl asked what it meant. Her mother told her that that was what she had to be called, now that she and the demon were one. The flood of vague memories now came to the forefront of her mind. She finally remembered that night so long ago. She remembered the demon and how the priest placed it inside of her, but she also remembered what the demon remembered of that night. Tears streamed down her eyes. She realized that that voice and her urges were that demon. It hadn’t fully become one with her, but still wanted her to use its powers. As the girl tried to come to terms with these new memories, her mother told her of what she already knew. Coldly, her mother continued to refer to her as Sedeciem. She explained about the priests and their creed. As she was the sixteenth person to be sealed with a demon, she was to have the Latin word for sixteen as her name. Her mother then told her to go find her other sealed kin, as she would only cause disaster if she stayed with her.
Sedeciem couldn’t believe the coldness of her own mother. She demanded to know why she was being pushed away for something that her mother knew would happen anyway. She became hysterical, wailing and sobbing, as she demanded an answer from her mother. Unable to contain herself, her mother broke into tears and told her that if she couldn’t control her anger, the events with the girls at the ceremony would continue over and over. She would become a danger to everyone around her and to herself. Embittered, Sedeciem spread her wings and shot into the air. She screamed at the top of her lungs, letting out all of the pain and despair that was in her heart. It shattered the glass in nearby windows, animals in the area wailed in pain, the sky filled with clouds and thunder peeled out. She tumbled from the sky and feel on her hands and knees, weeping bitterly. She understood the pain that had been the priest’s face. He had forever damned her to be excluded from human life. Sedeciem’s mother embraced her and told her that she had to find on of the other’s like herself. She stayed the night one last time in her mother’s house before departing to find another like herself. She gazed at the rising sun as she opened her wings. The morning breeze covered her body like a blanket. With weary eyes, she bid her mother farewell as she lifted into the sky. She would never look back upon her mother face again.
Deep underground, on the roots of the Norse World Tree, the Niddhogg half opens a weary eye. The Roman Catholics brought about the Ragnorok ages ago. They had taken the fun of annihilating a culture that begged for death from it. The birth of the Sedeciem broke its slumber of boredom. Perhaps it was time to bring an end to another civilization. And this time, it may convince another of the numbered to help it.
Strolling along the graves of peasants long since dead, a pale, cloaked figure is followed by a group of teenagers. A faint shriek echoes through the figure’s ears. Another one of the numbered has been born, and once again, it was in pain. A smirk ran across its face. The teenagers began to yank at its cloak, trying to warn their master of the coming sun rise. It stood silently. Rice had helped him find new gullible children to join the ranks of his spawn, but most of them were less than worthy. As the sunlight bathed the graveyard, the teenagers burst into flames. The figure’s cloak rustled as it raised a book to its face that open of them had read. As he turned to their ashes, it chuckled. While the sunlight didn’t make them glitter like diamonds, they were very bright.
In the halls of the underworld of Greece, Hecate sat on a small throne. Her child-like body shook with a sense of foreboding. She knew that the Sedeciem had finally awoken. She raised a hand and a mirror lifted itself off the ground and showed her Sedeciem. She smiled broadly, as her eyes absorbed as much as they could of her new “sibling”. Perhaps she would be different from the others. Maybe Sedeciem could still live as a human. But she could wait. Living forever teaches one patience, after all.