The stars are pretty tonight… don’t you think?”
I try to speak, but my mouth is closed. Instead, I shake my head.
“Hmm, what’s that, you see no stars?”
With disfigured arms, I point to the empty sockets on my face.
“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, fixing the burned remains of my ears to the sound of his voice.
The voice that comes through is almost unrecognizable from before. Ominous. Melancholic.
“Find him. Find the demon who did this. And, with your own two hands, end him…”
And then, a plopping sound…
“There you go, my one-eyed boy… my destiny.”
The strange man 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 underneath his breath.
“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 burned that down as well.
At the very least, some hope remains for humankind — The sole survivor of Carthim, this young boy.
The boy with a demon’s eye.