Colorful Angel

An Audience with Acarou

Chloe had never been scared before. Not scared of the slavers, the bandits, the war in the north or of these New-English demons. She hadn’t feared the Tumor God, she didn’t even believe she existed. She joined the cult to destroy it from within. They were desperately searching for magical people to do the summoning, as most magical people were smart enough to stay away from such madness.

Chloe was full of herself though. She believed she could just walk in and end this nonsense. She believed that until she actually just did that. Walked in. They had built a hidden basement under a fake village in some obscure place in the desert. The corridors were narrow and scarcely lit. All the furniture was made of organic material.

Chloe was curious on how anyone could live in a place like this and not feel they’re doing something wrong. You can’t brainwash a whole society of people like that, right?

When she sat in her room, that more resembled some hellish dungeon, and had time to reflect on her actions, yes, she was terrified. What if they found out she planned to betray them? What would these… things do to her? How could she believe it was just like fifty people she could just mow down with a few magic attacks?

Chloe, the big fucking hero, getting rid of this festering insult to humanity all on her fucking own. Who did she think she was?

She pulled the hair off her head. She really loved hair with odd colors like violet or blue or cherry red. One day she had just figured it’d be easier to just shave her head and get a few wigs. Sometimes she’d just feel like wearing no hair at all. Mostly when she wasn’t feeling that great.

She lay down on the strangely comfortable bed and thought about how to get out of here alive.

Well, this wouldn’t be the first time she got out of a dangerous situation not just alive but stronger. Why lose confidence now. It was just like one hundred more people to fight. But she got better since last time. And these people were just normal people. Tomorrow she’d inspect these catacombs for tactically advantageous places and take them all down. She’d have to do it before the summoning. She didn’t want to harm the kids they used as sacrifices.

She felt more confident now. She’d have to be strong for the kids. Don’t let your fear get to you, Chloe, you can take ’em! She put her hair back on. A cute, colorful Chloe to the rescue!

“The Tumor God will see you now.”
The what? Chloe followed the magician. There’s no way the Tumor God was actually real. Maybe they were talking about the Azciribek. After all, everyone who read it was suddenly on board with the whole thing. It was probably cursed. What a good opportunity to destroy it. Fire spells were one of the easiest things, learned to get the hang of magic in the first place.

But they did not take her to the book. A little girl with symbols tattooed over her eyes sat on a fleshen throne.

“A new recruit, hm? A bit late in the game, don’t you think?”
“I wasn’t even a teen when all this started.” Chloe said. The robed followers left the room. There’s no way this kid-
“What’s your motivation to come now? I’m here, all of my children are here. What could I need another magic user for?”
“To terraform the land? Make more of those monsters?”
“Oh, I do that all by myself. Well, you can help me with that last one.” the kid stepped down from the throne. Chloe had to fight the urge to back away.
“You’re a special one, Chloe. No one else could keep up their resilience when standing before me. You still want to fight me.”
She did but she did not want to kill a child.
“Don’t worry, there won’t be a fight tonight. Say, what are you most afraid of? Some people are scared of tall creatures. Some are afraid of themselves and their actions. But… one thing people find very easy to be scared of… is what they can’t understand. Do you want to become that fear?”
The kid stopped before her. Chloe’s fear became hard to handle. She had to do it. Shadow magic was likely the most humane way to kill her. She reached out her hand to make the darkness in the child’s heart crush it from within.
“You’re a fool Chloe.”
The spell worked. Her heart should be crushed, her lungs at least heavily damaged. Yet she just stood there.
“I am a goddess of all flesh and bone. How do you expect to kill me through bodily harm?”
Chloe began to understand the scope of who stood before her. The darkness crushed all, bone, brain, but the child was unfazed. Her insides were destroyed, her skin should collapse like a floating bed sheet.
The Tumor God began using her own magic. Chloe fell to her knees at her command.
“I have no vital organs. Nothing I can’t simply regrow and replace. Now here’s the reward for your efforts.” she placed a hand on Chloe’s chest. Chloe felt her breathing stop. She regained control of her body as she fell over, clawing at her chest only to find a gaping hole there. She reached in to feel the ground beneath her. The edges of the hole burned her hand. She gasped for air like a fish out of water.

Once again, control was wrestled from her. She stopped flailing as her body struggled onto its legs. She looked at her hands as the flesh grew darker and darker. Muscles withered away until the skin only wrapped around the bone. Her fingers became long bony claws. She could see through between her forearm bones. She wanted to scream but all that came out of her mouth was her tongue as it elongated until it piled up on the floor. Her teeth stretched out as well to form a fleshless snout. Horns burst out of her skull and skeletal wings out of her back. Her legs turned into crooked beast-like limbs and her spine extended to form a tail. By the time the transformation was complete, her head reached the ceiling. The hunched over creature she became found the Tumor God sitting on her throne.
“I am born, Acarou.” a mind that was not hers spoke with the mouth that wasn’t hers anymore either.
“Do you see, Chloe? You get to be part of this splendid creation. The greatest fear: Ess’sinon. Now go out. Ess’sinon will spread my fear even beyond my realm. No one will know when she will appear. What she will do when she does. No one will be able to tell what she even is. Mankind will live in fear of something. Something that can come anytime, anywhere and do unspeakable things upon them. And you Chloe, you will watch it all as if you did it yourself.”

Ess’sinon looked to the ceiling. At Acarou’s command, it opened like a mouth and revealed the sky above. The skeletal wings took flight.