Shades of Ambivalence
AKA: Sickest Shit Ever
"I know you're out there, you miserable beast," the sorceror grumbled, lifting his head momentarily from his work to glance out the small window. He was hearing the noises again. The benign grumbling and scratching against the dungeon walls.
"Enjoy your time, for it grows shorter." he told it, although he was almost certain the creature beyong the walls could neither hear nor comprehend his words.
"I've just the right poison for you, you wretched thing."
More growling and snuffling sounds.
These sounds were made by a dragon. An odd dragon, at that. Not at all like the traditional green fire-breathers that were seen in Delain once upon a time.
This was a foreign dragon. Heard, but not seen. Furthermore, it was never reported to have caused anyone any sort of harm. It merely seemed to be searching for something.
Nevertheless, the people of Delain would not feel at ease until the creature was cast out. Thus, the Kingdom had turned to Flagg, the King's sorceror, for a solution.
Flagg, being who he was -- wicked, that is -- chose to kill it.
The magician tittered gleefully at the thought of his own sinister plans, and added the finishing touches to the vile, glowing, green brew he had concocted during the night.
After a while, almost surprisingly, the dragon had given up its feeble attempts to get Flagg's attention and had floated away into the night. The only other sound it had made was a barely audible thump near a window sometime later.
The magician had slept soundly for the remainder of the night; dreaming his dark dreams, scheming his dark schemes. But come morning time he would be in for a rude awakening.
For the first thing that he saw when he had awakened was a small, slumbering form curled up by his fireplace. It appeared to be a pre-pubescent child with golden hair that stood up in a queer way, not unlike a cock's comb. The child was wearing a simple white priest's robe with a hood; it was the exact opposite of what Flagg usually wore.
Feeling acutely pissed, the sorceror whipped his blankets away fiercely and got out of his chair, preparing to give the boy a swift kick. If there was anything worse than an intruder in his dungeon apartments, it was a little brat.
He hesitated, however, as the child stirred. He rolled over and opened his eyes slowly. His eyes were an unusually bright blue. They seemed to glow.
"What are you doing in here?" Flagg hissed. The boy looked up at him coyly.
"I don't know," he replied. A soft, cherubim voice.
"How did you get in here?"
"I don't know."
"Don't play dumb with me, child! Don't you know who I am?" said the magician, raising his voice.
"They call you Flagg, but your real name is Walter," the little boy responded. This made Flagg's eyes widen in surprise for a moment, but he continued to hover intimidatingly over the child.
Flagg was frightened by the fact that this strange child knew something that no one could possibly know. He decided that he would have to change his plans, and keep the boy closer. It was for his own benefit to keep the child from exposing this private information to the public, and who knows what else he was capable of knowing? For this reason, Flagg knew he must either fish some answers out of the boy, or else...
He had an idea.
Flagg kneeled down next to the small child and looked at him face-to-face. His voice took on a softer tone.
"I pray thee, what is your name, child?"
"Little Cloud Strife."
Little Cloud? Flagg thought it was a sissy name for a sissy-looking boy.
"And you are an altar boy, is that right?" he asked the child, who simply nodded.
"Well, as you may know," Flagg said, smiling, "I am no priest, but I think that you can be of some assistance to me. How would you like that?"
"Yes, yes! That must be why I'm here, right?" the little boy giggled, his sapphire eyes twinkling with glee.
The child's odd nature was making Flagg think. Hard.
He didn't like that.
"Tell me, Little Cloud," the magician said, as sweetly as he could manage, "How would you like to see a dragon?"
The boy's eyes lit up even more brightly.
"Really? I love dragons!" he beamed, cupping his cheeks with his long-sleeved hands.
Oh, this is too delicious, thought Flagg, trying to mask his grin beneath the shadows of his dark hood.
"Wonderful, wonderful. You must be a very brave boy, indeed!" he nodded, "I'll tell you what. If you do a good job serving under me, then I'll have a surprise ready for you. A big, scaly surprise."
Little Cloud stood up and hopped up and down a few times, cheering and giggling. Although Flagg thought the boy's behavior was quite stupid looking, he knew better than to underestimate this young fellow. This pixie.
Over the next couple of weeks, Little Cloud was assigned various tasks by Flagg. His chores were simple, but enough to keep him busy. Such included were cleaning, sorting, and tending to the caged animals.
In the meantime, King Roland pressed the sorceror about the dragon problem. Flagg assured him, however, that he had the predicament well under control, and that it would only be a matter of time before it would be resolved.
One day, Little Cloud was sweeping up the floor by one of the poison cabinets, when he accidentally knocked dowh a small vial of green liquid. It had shattered to pieces, and the green fluid inside bubbled and smoked.
Little Cloud wanted to hide the mess, but he couldn't clean it. He was afraid of what would happen if he were to go near the strange poison.
As if he had heard what had just happened, Flagg had returned to his dungeon apartments a few moments later and saw the mess lying beside the nervous child.
There was an angry blaze in his reddish eyes.
My...dragon poison...destroyed! he observed.
Flagg was enraged, but he knew it was vital to keep his temper under control, or it would cost him the boy's loyalty and trust. He had to keep reminding himself that the poison wasn't like Dragon Sand -- it was far easier to obtain and required less caution when handling.
However, apprentice or no, Flagg felt it was necessary to practice discipline on the child.
"I-I'm sorry, mister Flagg," Little Cloud seemed to be paralyzed in the sorceror's death glare, like a small animal under the hypnosis of a cobra.
"Of course you are, little one, of course you are," Flagg said calmly, after forcing himself to take a deep breath. His fists were still shaking.
"It was only an accident, but you must learn to exercise more caution. The contents found in that specific cabinet are dangerous substances. If something awful had happened to you while I was away, well, then, that would be a grave situation, now wouldn't it?"
Little Cloud nodded slowly, his shoulders hunched, and his head pointed downwards.
"Now, you have broken one of my creations, and I must see to it that you are properly chastised."
The child subconsciously grabbed the broom beside him and started wringing the handle nervously.
"Now, how do you suppose I should go about doing this?" Flagg asked, placing one hand under his chin thoughtfully, "How should a clumsy little boy be punished?"
There was a pause.
"Well?," Flagg said, gesturing toward the boy, the sound of his voice breaking the silence, making him jump, "What say you?"
"I don't know," he said softly, "I'm n-not sure," his eyes darted around anxiously. Flagg took a few steps closer toward the wall. He turned around and Little Cloud watched as he took down something that was hanging on a hook.
"Tell me, then," he said with his back still facing Little Cloud, "Do you think a sound paddling would help him learn to be more careful whilst doing his chores?"
Not so confident and carefree now, are you, my young priest? the sorceror thought, trying not to smile.
"Yes," Little Cloud uttered, trembling.
"What was that now?" Flagg asked, turning around and wielding a flat, wooden paddle.
The boy cleared his throat and repeated what he had said, in a louder tone this time.
"'Yes' what, my dear child?" he asked, patting his palm with the flat end of the object.
"I think I deserve a p...paddling, mister Flagg...sir." A blush crept up his neck and into his pale cheeks. Suddenly, the magician's robes felt a bit tighter.
By gods, what's the matter with me? he thought, feeling slightly alarmed.
"I agree. Now, come hither," Flagg beckoned.
Little Cloud hesitated. He was very scared. He knew what kind of man Flagg was, and how it was a mistake to be on his bad side. But he was sure that it was an even worse mistake to disobey the magician's orders.
The boy walked slowly over to Flagg, who suddenly grabbed him by the hair, making him cry out. He was dragged painfully over to "the chair" where Flagg often fell asleep reading spellbooks, and after the sorceror took a seat there, was thrust belly side down over his lap, squirming and making soft noises filled with fear.
Flagg did not say anything. The only thing Little Cloud could hear was the sorceror's breathing, which was heavy and shallow.
He felt his robes being flung over his back, exposing his underpants. The hands that reached under the hem and eased them off his body were very chilly and made him shiver.
A long pause went by. Little Cloud had braced himself for pain, but it had not come just yet. He did not know it, but the sight of his pale rear end was giving Flagg a rather painful flashback.
Walter had been traveling with his friends for a few days now. It was a long way to where he was going, but he was having the most exciting time of his life on the road.
But one night, his life would change forever.
As he was watching the sun set in the gorgeous Delain summer sky, the young dark haired boy was accompanied by an older boy. He wasn't too close with this fellow traveler yet, but the older boy had been very friendly to him on their journey.
They had been talking for a while, and the sky began to darken, the stars twinkling brightly. The other travelers had made camp and had gone to bed, except for Walter and his companion.
He didn't quite remember what had happened next, but soon after, the older boy had harassed him. He was stripped naked, and was forced to do something terrible. The older boy stroked Walter's dark brown hair as he held the younger boy's head down to do his bidding. Walter was crying and choking on the terrible taste of the organ forced in and out of his mouth.
Next came the worst. The older one got on top of Walter and began to defile him. Walter's blue-green eyes were flooded with tears and his screams were loud enough to make the crows fly away in alarm. He was being torn apart from the inside, and there was nothing that he could do. Walter was no longer innocent.
After that night, everyone went their seperate ways. Most significantly, did Walter, who swore his revenge not only on the bastard who raped him, but all of Delain. That was when the crows returned. And with them, the Crimson King, who promised Walter he would have all that he desired in exchange for his soul and servitude. Still driven with rage and vengeance, Walter had eagerly agreed. Thus, he became a powerful sorceror and necromancer and has lived many different lives for hundreds of years, sowing chaos and strife, but particularly in his birthplace, Delain.
"They call you Flagg, but your real name is Walter." Trembling with rage, Flagg delivered a loud, sharp smack upon the child's skin. Little Cloud cried out in pain as he was flogged over and over, harder and harder, as he received the pain that was reflected in Flagg's own tortured soul.
Little bastard...you think you know it all, don't you? Well, let's see how you like it, shall we?
Overcome with hatred and the need to inflict his own suffering, as well as some odd sort of lust, Flagg took hold of the boy and and brought him close to his chest, binding him there.
Little Cloud whimpered as he felt a hot, wet feeling in his ear. It was Flagg's tongue, licking the inside, as his cold hand groped around the front, squeezing and pinching the tiny nipple buds. He then moved downward, stroking the smooth tummy.
Please, don't go any lower, Little Cloud begged, even though his breathing matched Flagg's, and he was uttering soft, quiet moans.
Instead, as the warm tongue continued to lick and twist in his ear, the hand probed around his bottom, looking for...yes, there it was.
He started caressing the little dimple with his fingers.
"Mmm...aaa...," murmered Little Cloud, as two of the very cold digits began to slide inside. He tightened his muscles to try to deny them any further, but it only seemed to increase the good feeling they made.
Flagg's other hand moved up to the boy's mouth, stroking his lips. Little Cloud stuck out his own tongue and licked the fingers, which followed his tongue into the tiny, wet mouth, where they were suckled on. At the same time, he was beginning to grind his bottom against the other two fingers, moaning a little bit harder.
He's enjoying it!...And...so...am I... Flagg thought, shivering and pushing his fingers harder into the tight warmth.
Little Cloud looked up at Flagg's face. He began to kiss his pale neck and lick him sweetly. Flagg, who had removed his wet fingers for this, bent down and licked the child's lips, and they began to kiss passionately, their tongues running over each other, both moaning and breathing hard.
Flagg led Little Cloud's hand down to between his legs, where the tiny hand found a very big, hard something-or-other beneath the black robes. He squeezed it curiously, and Flagg made a queer noise.
The sorceror then took his own moist hand and brought it down to Little Cloud's groin, where he rubbed some of the wetness onto the soft patch of skin above his sensitive parts. The boy began to giggle. Flagg smiled and tickled him with his lubricated fingers, enjoying his reaction, as he gently pushed his other two fingers in a bit deeper. As he did, they slid over a delicate spot inside, and Little Cloud cried out loudly, arching his back. There was a small squirt of warm, sticky liquid inside his robes, and he began to pant, his eyes watering with tears. He collapsed against Flagg's chest, holding on tightly.
Flagg removed his fingers and held the child for a few moments, letting the youth catch his breath. He sounded as if he had been running a marathon.
"How would you like to see that dragon?" Flagg whispered into his ear, grinning wickedly. Little Cloud nuzzled him and said that he would love to, at which that point the mage opened his dark robes and took out his "magic wand".
Little Cloud eyed it with wonder.
That's not a dragon, that's just a dinky.
"This dragon is looking for a nice, warm, little tunnel to play in," he whispered softly. Little Cloud cocked his head, and he added, "Just like in your bottom."
Little Cloud thought it was a game, so he eagerly volunteered. When he turned around and showed him his rump, Flagg swallowed hard and quivered.
"Now sit down very slowly, yes, that's it," his hand guided him down lower and lower until his tailbone met something hot and blunt. From there, something queer had happened.
"Walter not like!" Little Cloud groaned. Flagg's eyes widened. Blood began to trickle from inside of the boy, and he was moaning and shaking.
"Don't hurt Walter!! You're scaring him -- stop!! Get off of him! Please! For God's sake, don't do it!! Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy! Make it stop! It hurts so bad! I'm dying! Somebody help me! God, where are you!? Help me!"
Flagg was so terrified that he immediately lost his erection altogether, and all he could do was stare.
I cannot go through with this...the pain is too much to bear, even after all these years.
"You deserve it, you fool. You know that the sacrifice must be a virgin."
The voice of the Crimson King. He was the one who had planted the wicked idea in Flagg's mind for the disposal of the dragon. He was to use the young virgin priest as bait to attract the beast. The child would have to consume the poison, and then the dragon would unknowingly devour the child and die quickly.
"Stop it!" Flagg cried, and the child fell on the floor. When he moved again, he sat up weakly and started to cry softly.
"I'm sorry," he uttered feverishly, and collapsed in a heap in Flagg's lap.
"No, it is I who should be sorry for hurting you, Little One," Flagg whispered, stroking the boy's hair. The boy did not respond.
There was a poison-tipped glass shard sticking out of his back.
The poison! Flagg's mind screamed, The mess was never cleaned up!
It was true. Although on the other side of the room, the broken glass must have scattered when it hit the floor.
It was too late. The child would die now before the dragon could even be summoned. Flagg was filled with a numbing bitterness that he assumed would be sadness, had he not had a damned soul. He closed his eyes and emitted a long, heavy, mournful sigh.
Little Cloud began to glow. Flagg's eyes quickly snapped open and he watched the tiny body lift up into the air and begin to change. It became longer and longer and his hair grew long and silky. When the glow faded a bit, Flagg could see an Eastern Dragon -- something he had only read about in his spellbooks.
It was a slender, scaly beast with long hair and feelers. Its face was almost wolf-like, and overall it was of a purple hue.
"There is no need to be sorrowed, Walter. I am Little Cloud, and I am the dragon. I will be all right."
When it spoke, an adult female's voice emitted from it in an echoing flow of sound. Her mouth did not move while she was talking.
"Who are you? Why are you here?" Flagg inquired. He recalled asking these same questions to the sweet little boy not long ago.
"I have come from the future to visit you. You will remember who I am a very long time from now. I must leave now, and take your memories of Little Cloud along with me."
"But...why, I pray thee?" Flagg frowned, tears forming in his red eyes.
"Walter, you are not a wicked man, but you must live out your destiny as the half-demon servant of the devil. This is the way things must be, but when the time comes, you will remember me and your life will change."
"But I am damned to hell forever. It's certain," the sorceror said.
"That is not for me to decide. However, you have done a good thing when you showed mercy towards the innocent. You still have a heart, and therefore a chance."
Little Cloud bent down and gave Flagg one last kiss.
"Don't leave me."
"I love you Walter. Farewell."
When the sorceror awoke in his chair that morning, he was troubled by both a headache and a cloudy feeling in his head.
He had kept thinking that something was missing, but he had no idea of what that could possibly be. He only knew that he had forgotten something very important, and it had disturbed him all day.
When King Roland had asked him if he had taken care of the dragon problem, Flagg's eyes narrowed. There was a thunderstorm all week long that had made rumbling thunder noises similar to a dragon's growl.
"My Lord King, there was never any dragon," he assured him, "It was only a little cloud."