“The stars are pretty tonight… don’t you think?”
I try to speak, but my mouth won’t open. Instead, I shake my head.
“What’s that, you see no stars?”
With disfigured stumps, I point to the scorched mess where my eyes once were.
“Oh, right. You have no eyes.”
A few minutes pass, and I start to believe he has left me to my fate…
“Don’t worry. I’ll give you one of mine. But, on one condition.”
I perk up, attentive to what this curious stranger says henceforth.
The voice that comes through is almost unrecognizable from before.
“Find him. Find the demon who robbed you of all you held as dear. And, with your own two hands, end him.”
And then, a plopping sound…
“There you go, my one-eyed boy, my destiny.”
The stranger shoves something hot and slimy into my face, and the sensation that comes after is worse than being burned alive. I try to scream, but only muffled and inhuman sounds come out.
“Don’t worry. The pain will soon pass. The eye will settle in its new host, and your body will mend with time.”
The demon, one eye less than before, regards the disfigured boy thrashing about on the ground — tears mixing with the blood trailing down his now-empty eye socket.
The one-eyed demon turns his gaze to the vaults of heaven, and in a broken voice, he whispers: “The stars are pretty tonight…”
Around him stretches the village of Carthim; nothing remains but a heap of rubble. Generations of people are now dead, burned to ashes by his own hands. There’s not even a place for their scattered memories to gather, for he has burnt that down as well.
Inside the demon, a war rages. Between murderous instincts and a gentle soul. And It is only when his appetite has been clenched that his gentle nature resurfaces, but for a moment.
At the very least, some hope remains for humankind — The sole survivor of Carthim, this young boy.
The boy with a demon’s eye.