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A Chew Toy for Cerberus
A Chew Toy for Cerberus
“Gah! What is that foul stench?” Adrianna spat.
She had been walking through the market in San Francisco, enjoying the sunny day, the crowd and the market itself. But a group of teenagers had just passed with a crying child. As they passed her, Adrianna felt an aura so soiled that it was more of a miasma than an aura.
Compelled by her dedication to the Human race to follow this evil, Adrianna turned and kept pace until the little group turned a corner into an alley. Adrianna used a little blurring power to make herself unnoticed by the teenagers as she moved closer to them.
She saw that one of the younger teens held a puppy and the young child was crying and reaching for it. Suddenly she realized Black Aura meant to torture and kill the little canine. Instantly her fury rose, for Adrianna was very fond of dogs, and kept a pack of hounds herself.
Being still in the daylight hours, her powers were at their peak. Adrianna waved a hand and froze the group of kids. Moving through them, she realized that most of them were not in agreement with what their evil leader wanted to do, but were weak-willed and overwhelmed by his evil soul.
As she approached the leader, she withdrew a little of her control to allow him to speak.
“What is your name?” she asked.
“Thomas,” he replied obediently, to his surprise. He didn't make a habit of answering questions put to him by adults.
“Thomas,” she stated. “Well, Thomas I believe you are about to perform some evil deed to the puppy your follower is holding.”
“Yes,” Thomas again found himself responding against his will.
“Thomas, I cannot let you complete your plan,” she informed him.
The young man found he had very little control of his voice or body and began to fear what the tall redhead before him might do to him.
Taking the puppy from the child who held it, she put it in the hands of its owner, the crying child whose tears had dried on his face in the small amount of time that had passed. Reading his address from his mind as she brushed his hair back from his face, she sent the young boy and his puppy home with a small spell of protection. She made sure he would not remember this incident.
Clouding the minds of the remaining followers, she sent them home with no memory of this incident or of their former leader.
Turning to Thomas again, Adrianna suddenly shown with bright light like the sun that filled the alley.
“Wh-who are you?” he stammered.
In a voice filled with power and sadness, she replied, “I am Adrianna, daughter of the Guardian Apollo. You, Thomas, have an aura so dark with evil that I cannot cleanse it.”
“Wha-what are you going to do to m-me?” he managed to squeeze out of his almost-paralyzed throat.
“You should rejoice, Thomas,” she said. “I am sending you to your reward, but I doubt it is the reward you wanted.”
Thomas trembled from head to foot, trying to make his feet take him away from this danger he was suddenly sure he faced.
“No, Thomas, you cannot leave. I have to protect those children you’ve had under your foul spell. They will not remember you or any of the despicable deeds you have exposed them to. They will remember nothing of you or any of your work they have witnessed. You are lucky in that I found them before you were able to permanently besmirch their young souls.”
“You can’t judge me!” Thomas croaked.
“Oh, but yes, I can judge you, Thomas. In fact it’s my job to judge you and estimate how many years must pass before we can be assured your own soul is again fit to walk in a Human body. I am the daughter of one of this world’s Guardians and it is my duty to protect the Humans of this world from filth like you,” Adrianna assured him.
“I call my uncle, the Guardian Hades, to render my sentence upon this evil being.”
Another Presence filled the ally. It belonged to a handsome, bearded being, dressed in dark clothes.
“Niece, why have you called me?” Hades asked.
“Uncle, this person cannot be allowed to continue his corrupt life. He has practiced evil upon the innocent to corrupt other souls,” Adrianna answered.
“What sentence is he to be given, Adrianna?” Hades queried.
Adrianna thought of the puppy and of other puppies, dogs and cats Thomas had tortured to death in his thankfully short life.
“Uncle,” she said, “is Cerberus in need of a toy, a chew toy, perhaps?”
“Why yes, he would be very glad of a new toy as his last one completed his sentence and is now on probation in a new life.”
“Ah, perfect!” Adrianna smiled. “Then please call him here so that I may present him with his new toy.”
Hades whistled sharply and the minor Guardian, Cerberus appeared with all three heads in the rapidly dwindling space in the alley.
“Ah, there you are, boy!” Adrianna patted Cerberus’ three heads and was rewarded with three sets of doggy kisses.
“Cerberus, here is your new toy, Thomas, who has been torturing and killing small animals for years now. His aura is so dark with his evil deeds that it cannot be cleansed easily by his own suffering. I give him to you to punish. Every day he shall be chewed and pulled apart by you and every night he will be made whole again for your enjoyment the next day.”
Cerberus eyed the terrified Thomas and wagged his tail furiously.
Adrianna continued, “You may have him for 2,000 years. Each day he will feel every bite and pull to cleanse his soul. When his sentence is ended and his evil deeds wiped from even his foul memory, he will be given a new life under probation as was your last toy.”
Thomas shook, trying even harder to make his escape.
“No, no,” he whimpered. “You can’t do that. What of my family and my friends? They will miss me and know something is wrong.”
Adrianna replied to his barely hopeful query, “They have all already forgotten you, Thomas. No one will miss you at all. Your existance has been erased from this world and time.”
Cerberus’ middle head took hold of his new prize, while his left head gave Adrianna another doggy kiss. Then he promptly vanished.
“Well, girl, that dog is going to be very grateful to you for quite a while,” Hades told her.
“Yes, Uncle, he probably will,” Adrianna responded with a hug for the keeper of the sub-world named for him.
“Well, then I will leave you to your father’s daylight as it’s much too bright here for me.” Hades hugged his niece and vanished.
Adrianna walked back to the street and resumed her stroll through the much cleaner air in the market.
January 2013 (revised 2017