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A Sacrifice

Argaline's grandma is doing something that could be really dangerous; not only for her, but for Argaline too. How would the story end for Argaline? Would it be a happy ending, like any other stories?
The loud whistling of the wind could be heard, and the rain wouldn't stop pounding against the weak roof of the small house. Argaline watched her grandmother pace back and forth with worry written all over her face.

"The Dark Lord is mad," she muttered to herself with her raspy voice, "I really should have not delayed the sacrifice! Now, the Dark Lord is mad at me, oh, I'm so ashamed!" Old Adelena continued pacing back and forth, her black duster constantly lifting due to the strong wind. Suddenly, she stopped and stared at the startled Argaline. as if she realized something.

"Argaline, come here. Quick!" She ushered. Argaline obeyed and came over. "I want you to fetch my black candles and my chant book. Bring them to my room and hurry, before the Dark Lord destroys our home!" The little girl nodded, and just at the same time, a lightning occurred as if agreeing with the old woman.

Grandmother scurried to her room while Argaline went to the small kitchen to search for those ritual things. Then she ran to her grandma's room to give the candles and the book.

"Good child," she said as her shaking hands grasped the items.
"Granma, do you need anything else?" Argaline's squeaky voice said.
"No, darling. Go to your room and sleep. Everything would be fine tomorrow." Adelena assured and kissed her granddaughter's hair. Argaline went out and closed the wooden door, but instead of going to her room, she peeked through a tiny hole and watched her grandmother do the creepy ritual. She'd make sure that demon wouldn't do anything to her grandma, because this time, nothing feels right.

Adelena removed the large mat that covered the big pentagram drawn on the floor. Then she placed the candles on every point of the star, and the biggest candle on the altar. She stood in the middle of the symbol and started mumbling foreign words, and the candle at the altar magically lightened. The other candles followed.

Suddenly, a tall, dark shadow formed on the wall in front of Adelena, and it didn't look anywhere like the old woman's shadow.

"Adelenaaa...." A low, scary voice rumbled.
"Y-yes, my Lord?" The old woman stuttered.

"WHY?" The figure boomed. It sent chills down Argaline's spine.
"S-sorry my Lord, I-I didn't mean to delay the sacrifice. My granddaughter was sick and I went to fetch her medicine..." Adelena trailed off, knowing that it wouldn't make a difference. But she still hoped that this creature would forgive her.

"Do you expect that your apology would excuse you? I do not need your worthless explanation. What I need is your sacrifice NOW!"
"B-But my Lord, it is raining so hard and.. and I wouldn't be able to search for an animal in the middle of the night." Poor grandmother bowed her head, helplessly waiting for the Dark Lord to scold her.

Unexpectedly, the demon laughed. "Do you want me to make this easier for you?"
Adelena desperately nodded. "Well then... How about your child? She's just right outside," The Dark Lord's eye concentrated on the hole on the door where Argaline was looking through. He grinned widely as he spotted Argaline, and she flinched and froze in place. Then he looked back at Adelena who looked horrified.

"She's a healthy little girl. She would make a very good sacrifice." The demon laughed once again as Adelena fell to her knees.

"No, my Lord! You know I can't sacrifice her, she's everything I have! Ask for anything, just not my innocent child.. Please.." Instead of feeling pity, the Dark Lord just looked down evilly at the weeping lady.

"If you sacrifice her, I'll give you all the riches in the world, and everything that you would ask for." the demon mocked. It took Adelena a while to answer.

"N-no, I'm so sorry my Lord.. I really can't!"
His evil grin disappeared. "You SHOULD. You know the consequences. Either you give her to me now and be rich, or I'll take everything away from you. EVERYTHING." He laughed.

"I beg you! Just.. Just take me! I would do anything!" The demon's laughter decreased into chuckles for a short moment, then he laughed a lot louder than before. The flames of all the candles rose and swirled around the old woman. Just before the fires clung to her, Argaline saw her terrified face.

"Grandma," she managed to whisper before an agonizing scream erupted from the burning woman's throat. Argaline started weeping at the sight of her dying guardian, while the purely evil demon laughed in amusement.

"My almighty God, please save my Grandma!" Argaline shouted and looked at the heaven's direction.

The fire stopped. The laughter quickly faded and finally, the house was silent. Even the rain and the violent wind stopped. Argaline burst into the room and crouched beside her grandmother's partially burned body. She smelled so bad, but Argaline didn't acre at the moment.

"Argaline," Adelena croaked, and held the pendant around her neck. She tugged it off and gave it to the little girl. "I give this to you. This has been passed generation to generation. I'm done now, and it is your turn. We should remain loyal to out Lord, and take care of that pendant." With one last gasp of air, she shook, and finally laid still.

Argaline stared at the pendant in her hand, and then threw it at the remaining fire to melt it. She refused to fulfill her grandmother's wish and no matter what, she would remain loyal only to the true and one God.

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Published: 2/18/2012
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