The Bodies of Fools

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Hecate awoke to nought but darkness, her spine aching and her legs numb from cold. She knew not where she was, for when she stretched out her arms, there were no walls to feel at her fingertips.

A room she was in – or a forest, or indeed any open space. She wondered if she sat in Hades’ Underworld, but upon inspection, she felt no darkness.

No, the only magic here was that of the shadows in her blood; the glittering black oil that tainted her very core. She blinked, once, twice, and saw that there was a moon above her. Full and the colour of molten silver.

Hecate arose and found that a cape billowed around her slender frame. Was it a sign? If it was, she knew not what it represented; though she felt as though she had been born.

The night was well upon her, and yet through the dimness, Hecate saw a traveller happen upon her path. She hurried to where they were, one hand raised.

“Apologies for the interruption, but might you be able to help me?”

It was a young woman, Hecate’s own age – though she knew not what that might be – with long blonde hair and sweet blue eyes. Hecate saw that she wore a light blue tunic and a satin skirt made of light colour.

The traveller did not respond, instead pushed past Hecate and onwards her way. Hecate’s brow descended. She felt something, the evil, yes, coil in her underbelly.

“Pardon, did I not speak to you? Please, miss, I’m lost and I would like to know this place.”

The woman paused in her walk. “There is nothing for you here, heathen. Make haste and turn around, descend back to hell. I see your clothing, and you are not wanted in this neck of the woods.”

There was no sight of any trees around them – could the traveller be weary and lost? Hecate reigned in the shadows that bled to her nails, and she hid her palms away from the world.

“I only ask for directions, a sense of navigation, miss.” Hecate refused to plead with the imbecile.

“As I have said; there is nothing for you here.”

And with that, the woman hurried away, her white shawl draped over her shoulders. It was then that Hecate noticed the silver crown on the woman’s head. Not a traveller, it seemed.

A princess; lost and haggard. A growl grew deep in her loins, but Hecate paused. She would wait, then. This, she felt, was her mission. Seek the fools of this world and see to it their bodies hit the ground in droves.

She would be the righteous saviour of this unknown world, for she was Hecate.

Time did pass on until morning arrived and Hecate was sure of her surroundings. She lay in the middle of a town square, with cobblestones beneath her person and a dirt lane in front of her eyes.

The lane wound up, up until it met the door of a castle; the direction the princess had been hurrying to last night. Hecate stood, dusted off her thick, black cloke and fixed her slender dress. Her curled hair fell about her face in ebony waves, wild and in tune with the magic in her veins.

She was to cleanse the world of the wicked, that was her role. Hecate gathered her wits about her and set off for the door. Birds flitted about her, tweeting as though to try and talk to her.

With a flick of her hand, they turned to stone and crashed to the ground, shattered. Hecate reached the door, large and wooden, and she knocked upon it.

The princess from afore peered out, curious, and upon her realisation, she made as though to shut the door. Hecate was faster and made her body a shadow as she slipped through the cracks. She stuck to the wall, enveloped in the darkness, an image of terror and brilliance.

“Help, it is the heathen! Save me, Prince Charming!” The princess cried, hands clasped to her bosom. “She has come to hurt me!”

Only then did Hecate note her surroundings. They stood in a large room, a ballroom, she was sure, and Hecate was sure that every royal in the land stood before her.

They knew not where she was, and so the princess looked quite mad screeching her head off. Hecate silenced her with a pinch of her fingers. The black oil spilt through the air and swirled around the princess’ throat.

Hecate felt her hate for royals grow as she descended from the wall and stood in front of the room of fools. They shrieked as the oil grew thick. It clamped the princess down to the ground in a heap of blue chiffon and blonde hair.

The princess fell silent. The hall arose in a great ruckus.

Hecate clapped her hands and watched as the oil suffocated them all. Their bodies fell to the ground, paint caked onto their features, stuck in an expression of horror.

The bodies of fools.

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