history lesson-


Chosen One
by s.a.

She doesn't remember being born.

She was simply there.

From the moment she was given existence by foolish mages who believed they had any semblance of control, she has heard the pounding of her heart, beating with the world. She listens with ear pressed to the ground, and feels the out-of-time rhythm of the not-humans. She knows her purpose, the reason for her borrowed existence. She is a warrior, made to destroy that which humanity fears - to keep it hidden, locked in the shadows to allow people to lead normal lives. Is she normal? She doesn't know the meaning of the word. But she knows her existence is dependent on the survival of the demons, and though she kills them, she knows there are so many more out there that she will never be finished.

She was pulled from the aether, given form, and named Slayer. Her dark eyes first alighted on eight strong shamans. She could smell their fear. They called her Fbullu, Slayer, and led her to a demon they had captured. She crouched low to the ground, circling the makeshift cage held together by loose beams and creeping ever closer to the beast. As it snapped at her, baring its fangs in its hideous guise, she reached a preternaturally strong arm through the weakening bars and wrenched its head from its body. It crumbled into dust, returning its demon to the aether. And Slayer's destiny was made.

The people bring offerings to her, the Fbullu, in thanks for her protection. She does not think of them; she has only her purpose to sustain her. She accepts what little they give in the way of food. She sleeps on a pallet of dried grasses in a low-lying cave, far from the humanity she was created to protect and among the animals, with whom she feels an odd kinship. She lives, and destroys, and sees another day. She doesn't know her name. She has only her purpose.

They send a small girl to her, with a basket of food. The elders of the villages believe that the Fbullu will not harm a child - they do not realize Slayer has no concept of childhood. They fear her, the mages who called her. They do not know what she is. She is not of humanity, not of the demons. She is both, fitted loosely together in a form that calls strength from the bowels of the earth and knows no fear.

She is restless, moving among the desert and the plains as a solitary nomad. She hunts the demons, can feel her pulse beat faster and her gut twist in revulsion when she nears the creatures. They track her as easily as she finds them, and she does not always begin the dance, the ritual of death. Perhaps they are smarter than she, aware of their surroundings. Perhaps they have lived far longer, aging past centuries. Perhaps they are stronger, with an unnatural power wrought from other worlds and tempered only by the fragility of the one she protects.


But she is Slayer, and she destroys them all. She is soon feared by these creatures who would best her, and word spreads that Slayer has come long before she sets foot near them. The fear of her is often enough to keep the demons at bay, and though the people for whom she was called seem pleased, she finds herself more restless than ever before. What is Slayer, without purpose?

So she begins to hunt the dead and their kin, preying on those who fear her, forcing their deaths on them. They go further underground, and yet she hunts them. They run from her in terror, or in rage, but still she destroys.

And one night, as she wrenches the heart from a silent victim, she screams into the night air. Her shrill cry reverberates through those knowledgeable enough to listen, and small children tremble in their beds, waking from nightmares of a dark predator. Her wail tells of her pain, her anger. It gives voice to the anguish of her existence, and of her ignorance regarding her creation. It calls for her to be returned to the place from which she came, to be finished.

She runs fast, so fast, to the caves where she first stayed. Going deeper, deeper into the womb of the earth, she immerses herself in clear, cold water. She hides beneath the still surface, gazing upwards in the dark to see impossibly old drawings of people who came before her. She floats to the surface to get a better view, and as her head crests the surface, she is struck by a vision.

She sees the girls who will be her. She sees the future, worlds she could not possibly understand. But she comprehends the lives the girls are leading - they are Slayer too. Comprised of her, called from the other place to defend the world. And Slayer feels for the first time fear.

She is destined to return endlessly.

With growing tremors in her heart, she goes to the clay baths. She smoothes the grey-colored clay slowly over her face. This is her marking, her sign of war. She is Slayer, and her strangled voice will be heard. She ties the bands of cloth around her body, and silently leaves the caves where she felt some small peace.

She moves slowly, purposefully, her darkened mind moving over the fragments of memory and thought. She comes to the place where she was put into existence. She remembers, though she does not know it, being here.

She waits.

The mages come, drawn to her by a force that cannot be denied. They are not those who called her, but their descendants. Slayer has lived many, many years. They call the fire, and circle around her. And she begins her dance once again. Slowly, deliberately, she moves to the nearest shaman. She snaps his neck. The others are stunned, shocked, unable to move as she goes to each and destroys them.

She comes to the final one, the oldest of them all. He knows who she is, why she has come. And as she cuts the air from his throat, she rasps out in an unused voice:

"No more Slayer."

For death is her gift, and what would Slayer be if she did not give it to herself?