The Karmic Debt – Part 2
Jacobs Well, Queensland
Continued from yesterday …
‘I need you to calm down Ben! I am here to help you, and I won’t abandon you, not if I get your solemn word that you will see this through until the end. Whatever you do, you must not stop half way through this. So long as you do everything that I tell you, and I do mean everything, your life will turn out far better than you could have ever imagined that it would. All of the luck that was destined to be yours, from a time before you were even born, will be restored to you in full. You will have no Karmic debt at all. The debt was never yours Ben, and if you do everything that I ask of you, it never will be.’
‘Sure! Okay! Tell me what I must do!’
‘Your solemn word first Ben! If you give it, then you must keep your promise, not only for the sake of your own soul, but for the sake of your future generations.’
‘You have my solemn word Veta! I’ll follow your instructions, all of them! Until you say otherwise.’
‘Zeta! Veta! It makes no difference. I have your word! That is all I needed. Thank you! Now we can begin in earnest to bring this mess to an end. Keep your promise Ben, and you have nothing to fear.’
This man of the Fifth Generation, had summoned Baakiel more often than any of his predecessors ever had. He always wanted more.
Baakiel would strike the man dead and personally escort his soul to the underworld if he could, but the Karmic debt was not yet ready to be transferred to the sixth generation. Or, that is to say, that the Sixth Generation was not yet ready to receive it. The one who was known as Ben had somehow managed to avoid it for all these years. Though with no luck and no protection, he was slowly but surely being worn down. He was not considered by Baakiel to be a particularly strong minded individual, yet even with his soul being gradually eaten away, to be replaced with a sense of hopelessness, somehow the man of the Sixth Generation had managed to hold out against the onslaught.
Even the King of the Underworld had lost patience, at one time, with the slow speed of Ben’s induction, and had ordered Baakiel to attack the man of the Sixth Generation in a much more direct manner, and to force him into compliance with the plan for him to take on the Karmic Debt. That was the only time in many a millennium that Baakiel had ever felt fear. It was the only time ever that he had directly refused to follow the King’s orders.
‘He has never even once stood up to his father, who even with all the power that we have granted him is still as nothing. This Ben is a weakling of mind.’ Baakiel stated the opinion that dared to challenge his Lords order.
‘This weakling of mind, as you call him Baakiel, has successfully stood up against all of your efforts so far!’ the King of the Underworld spoke to Baakiel with a venom that was usually reserved for lower ranking demons. ‘You will obey my command!’ he screamed.
‘I will not!’ Baakiel spat out, then immediately regretted his rashness as fear almost overwhelmed him. He quickly hid his fear but not before his King had noticed it. Then adding in a softer tone, Baakiel said, ‘If I attack him in a more direct manner, his mind will turn to mush, and the sixth generation will be of absolutely no use to us. I will not fail you my Lord! We will have him doing our bidding, but he must be brought along carefully. I do not want to lose this one, my Lord. Too much work has been put into achieving our goal for us to risk losing everything now. We need this Sixth Generation.’ Then almost as an after-thought, Baakiel added, ‘Many have tried to bring the Karmic Debt along before me, but only I, baakiel, have managed to bring it this close to fulfillment.’ it was something that his King could not deny.
Baakiel recalled that argument, as he flew toward his summoning. He had won the debate in more ways than one. His Lord had ceded to his reasoning. The King of the Underworld knew that the Sixth Generation had to be won for the Karmic Debt to continue to gain the momentum and power that would bring about the final battle not only for the Earth, but for Heaven itself.
He had won the argument and all the demons of Hell now feared Baakiel, the only demon to ever directly refuse their kings order, but the price, should he now fail, was incomprehensible.
For the next three months, Ben continued to receive unusual mystic symbols. Each time that they arrived, they came with simple instructions of the way in which they were to be used and a warning that those instructions must be followed to the letter. They involved moon phases, planetary movements, the lighting of white candles and Latin sounding chants.
He had no idea just how the mystic symbols arrived. One time, he opened a new pack of cereal for his breakfast. Just inside the pack, was yet another symbol. At first, Ben thought that the woman, Zeta, must have come into his home while he slept, and placed it inside the cereal box. Then he saw the instructions for it. They were clearly printed on the inside of the previously unopened cardboard box.
Another time, a symbol and Latin sounding words gradually, over the course of a day, appeared on his left forearm. Ben was unable to wash it off. He wore a long sleeved shirt to hide it, so that no-one would ask him questions about the strange symbol and words.
That night, under the power of a full moon, just as he was instructed to do, he lit two white candles and placed his forearm on the table between them as he chanted the words that were given to him to recite, seven times over. Immediately after Ben had uttered the last word of the chant, for the seventh time, the flames of the candles rose to a height of fifteen inches and enveloped him in a brilliant blue light, before slowly receding back to their normal yellow flames again. Ben sat feeling stunned for a while but was then galvanised into action and blowing the white candles out from left to right, he wrapped them in white cloth and took them to the street outside the family home. He placed the white, cloth wrapped candles inside the bin for rubbish that was due to be collected the next morning.
It was the same ritual with the candles every time. New candles were to be used for each mystic chanting. Afterwards, they were to be wrapped in white cloth and thrown out. He had been warned, never to keep the candles or to use them more than once each.
At first, Ben didn’t notice any changes at all, but as his confidence grew, his luck seemed to change and everything that he turned his hand to began to bring him success.
While Ben knew that his father had never loved him, he did begin showing Ben some grudging respect. Still, he could detect a jealousy in his father’s eyes, a deep resentment that he held towards his son.
Over the next two years, Ben’s confidence grew in leaps and bounds. Business could not have been better than it was under his guiding hand.
While there was still no part of it officially in his name, it remained only in the name of his father, the aging tyrant had not had any other choice than to give Ben a greater and greater control in the everyday running of the Empire.
Ben could not have been happier than he now was, married to a beautiful if somewhat naïve woman. His first child was now on the way and business was booming in an empire that was destined to one day become his own. His stolen luck had been restored to him in greater abundance than he ever could have imagined.
Then came the phone call!
‘Hello Ben! The time has come now, for you to keep your final promise that you made to me, your final instruction. You must take your wife and leave your father’s empire forever. I will help you to build a new and far greater empire!’
At first, Ben didn’t recognize the voice that he had not heard for two years, and then he remembered.
‘Zeta! Things are different now Zeta. I no longer need your services! I am running almost the entire empire by myself, and I have my father’s respect. He doesn’t like it but he has no choice in the matter. He can’t hurt me anymore and he knows it. Everything has changed now!’
‘Don’t be such a fool Ben! Your father still has more power than you can imagine. He is the Fifth Generation of the Karmic Debt. You gave me your solemn word!’
‘Karmic Debt! Karmic Debt! If there is a Karmic Debt, born of generations before me, then as you yourself said, Zeta, it is in no way mine. If I have incurred a so-called Karmic Debt myself, then I will give a little more to charity. Not that I don’t give more than enough now to deal with any kind of debt that you think I might have. Do you not read the papers, Zeta, or watch the news? In the last two years, I have personally donated over one hundred thousand dollars to charitable organisations.’
‘You have made over two hundred million Ben! Do you really believe that a few thousand dollars given here and there, can somehow absolve you of any guilt?’
‘Then I will donate another hundred thousand! My guilt is not that large! I have done nothing wrong! You want me to take my wife and my unborn child away from here, to just walk away from everything that I have worked so hard for? You want me to just give up everything and walk away, the empire, the money, everything? I won’t do it!’
‘It is the only way that I can protect you from Baakiel and his intentions toward you Ben, and even more importantly, your unborn son. You are the sixth generation! If you don’t leave now, Baakiel will win your soul and place the entire Karmic Debt on you. Let your father be the last one Ben, not you. Let me help you! I have proven that I have the ability! I have already got your stolen luck back for you. You can build a new empire, one that has not been tainted by generations of Karmic Debt. I will help you! If Baakiel wins your soul now, he will become the second most powerful force of the Underworld. You will have no hope of ever escaping the debt or being in control your own destiny again.’
‘Fuck off! I am in control of my own destiny now, and no-one, not Baakiel, not even you Zeta, will ever take that away from me again!’ the venom with which Ben now spoke, surprised even himself, and reminded him of the way that his father used to speak, before Ben had managed to get control of his own life. Now, Ben thought to himself, this bitch, calling herself Zeta, wants me to simply throw it all away?
‘I have done all that I can do to keep Baakiel from claiming your soul for himself Ben. You know that I have! Last chance now, to keep your promise to me!’
The line went dead and Ben wondered whether Zeta would try to do him some harm with all her mystic spells, but in all truth, he no longer believed in any of it. ‘No! My luck finally changing for the better, had nothing to do with her. It was simply because I have become stronger and more confident.’
Zeta did not bother to cast mystic spells on Ben. In fact, he never heard from Zeta again.
Baakiel took his own time to go to the summoning. He had no choice other than to answer the call from this man of the Fifth Generations, but he refused to be rushed.
He could sense that something was different this time. The call had been desperate, almost begging in its nature. The man of the Fifth Generation had become weakened in so many ways, and the man of the Sixth Generation, Ben, was becoming stronger. Baakiel knew that soon he would claim yet another soul and that the Karmic Debt, which had been nurtured and grown for generations, would be passed along to someone new. That is the way that it had always been. The next generation always resisted taking on the Karmic Debt, but given a little taste of power, here and there, they eventually became hungry for it. The lure of the Karmic Debt’s power became like an addictive drug to them. Once they had taken on the debt of previous generations, it melded intricately and inseparably with their own, growing in power with each new merging. It was in the merging with the new receivers own Karmic debt that made it impossible to remove again, until it was passed to yet another generation.
Below him, Baakiel saw a few lower ranking demons, playing mindless games which brought despair to a few hapless humans. The demons squabbled among themselves in their own pointless little political struggles to gain position over one another. Baakiel knew that not a single one of them would ever have the chance to climb the ranks and become anything of significance, either here in the natural world, or within the underworld, so he chose to ignore their foolishness. Even so, as he soared through the sky above them, his shadow alone was enough to send them scurrying like frightened mice.
‘Empire? Empire you say!’ his words were toxic towards his father, ‘You have no empire old man! These papers, that I hold here in my hand, say so. They say that you are senile, incompetent and not able to make reasonable decisions for yourself. Read them!’ Ben shoved the papers into his father’s face with such force that a small droplet of blood trickled from the nose of the former tyrant and settled on his quivering lip. ‘I have an Empire!’ Ben continued with his tirade ‘You! You, old man, have nothing! You are nothing, not anymore!’ he vented his anger against his father, remembering all the years that he himself had been made to feel like he was nothing, but now the power was all his.
To be continued tomorrow …
Bio: David delves into the world of Supernatural Horror for this story where nothing is ever quite what it seems to be.