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In The Spirit World - Chapter 5
The Wicked Witch
When Agawe regained consciousness, he found himself sprawled on a cold cave floor. He raised his hand and realized that they were held by long chains attached to the rocky floor.
A shrill cackle drilled into his head and he became aware of a hooded figure hunched over a huge black cauldron a few feet away. The low fire under the cauldron was the only source of light in that dark, musty cave. Agawe did not need an introduction to know that he was in the presence of a witch, one of the worst spirits in the underground realm.
He struggled to stand up. At least his feet were not shackled. The hooded figure straightened up and the fire under the cauldron suddenly burst into a huge flame lighting up the whole cave but instead of comfort, Agawe felt dread as depressing shadows cast on the walls and the cave floor.
The figure pushed her hood back. Agawe was ready to see a horrible, pointy nose witch but to his surprise, he was confronted with a beautiful woman with cold, calculating eyes.
“Agawe…..” The honeyed voice sent chills down his spine. So you are the human who has that magical stone…” she laughed.
“Who are you?”
“I am Induwa, the most horrible, the most powerful witch!” She held up a staff with a small skull on one end and she burst into a laughter which ranged from shrill to low and throaty.
You’re a witch alright, Agawe thought. “What do you want from me?”
“Ahh… Agawe… your magical stone has caused me so much trouble… so I want you to hand it over ….”
Agawe looked down and realized his necklace was gone. “Where is it?” he hissed.
She laughed again. The laughter was throwing his mind into confusion.
“Oh… Agawe. Do you know how much trouble I went to get your purple stone? But you are good… not one of my useless vermins succeeded!” she screamed. Then she switched to her sickening honeyed voice, “So I thought that if I cannot get it from your world, perhaps fate would bring you down here… to deliver the stone to me personally…” Her ear piercing laugh infuriated Agawe.
“You… witch!” Agawe pulled at his chains and it gave in but to his surprise, it pulled back into the rocky floor. It was then that Agawe realized with dread that the chains were alive… alive and evil.
“You think you can escape!” She raised the staff and struck him. The skull tore at his face. Agawe felt the searing pain and he clenched his teeth.
“You cannot use the stone for evil, witch!”
The witch held the skull under Agawe’s chin and forced his face up, “You will tell me how to unleash the stone’s power… or I kill him…”
Agawe followed Induwa’s gaze and was alarmed when Gayon was brought in by a huge monster and tossed inside. Gayon curled up next to Agawe’s feet.
Under a Spell
“Gayon! Gayon… what did she do to you?”
The witch left the cave laughing.
“Gayon…” Agawe sat down and his chains clanked on the cave floor.
Gayon sat up and Agawe saw the bruises on his face and the cuts on his arms. Agawe’s heart went out to him. “What did they do to you?”
“Agawe… Induwa is going to kill me! Please don’t let her do that. I don’t want to die!” Gayon sobbed.
Agawe was taken aback. This is not the Gayon he knew but he had no idea what the witch did to him. It could be so terrible that a man like Gayon would lose his spirit.
“Agawe… tell her what she wants to know! Tell her how the stone works!” Gayon pleaded.
“It protects me… and whatever power that witch wants to know, I can’t tell her….”
“So you will allow her to kill me?”
“Gayon… even if I know how it works… I cannot tell her! You know she is going to use it for evil…”
Gayon slowly stood up and paced. Agawe stood up perplexed. He felt something odd.
“Are you sure you can’t tell me how this works?” Gayon held up the purple stone necklace and slowly tied it around his neck.
Agawe did not understand. Then without warning, Gayon hit Agawe’s face. Agawe tasted blood on his lips, “Gayon, what are you doing?”
“Agawe…” Gayon jeered. “I have been waiting for this… you arrogant slave! I have always hated you the first time I saw you. You turned my life upside-down! You robbed me of my destiny!” Gayon landed a blow on his side and Agawe swore he broke a rib.
He writhed in pain. “Gayon… you’re under a spell… snap out of it!”
Gayon answered him with a resounding slap on his face.
Induwa appeared. “You’re bleeding…” she touched Agawe’s face and he turned away. She grabbed his face, her long nails digging into his cheeks. “As I thought… you’re weak without the stone…” her laughter shook the cave.
Agawe closed his eyes. The chains were draining off his energy. He was getting weak but he fought to stay focused.
“I will give you another chance to tell me what I want…” Induwa said.
“You can never have the power of the stone… witch!” Agawe spat on her feet.
“You arrogant human…!” she hissed. She held her hand out and a whip magically appeared which she handed to Gayon, “He is yours…”
Gayon smiled wickedly as he held the whip firmly. He stripped Agawe’s shirt off and pushed him down to kneel on the cave floor.
“Look at his black mark….” Gayon taunted. “The mark of a slave…!” He laughed as the first lash cut into Agawe’s back like a sword. Induwa and Gayon laughed, drowning Agawe’s groans. To Agawe, the pain of Gayon calling him a slave was more than the pain of his cut flesh.
After the third lash, Agawe no longer felt the pain, instead he felt a soothing warmth within his body. That was when he heard the witch screech, “The Encantor seal! No…!!!!”
Read Chapter 6
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