The Karmic Debt – Part 3
Jacobs Well, Queensland
Continued from yesterday …
For the last few years, a change had been coming over Ben. He had become very adept in the world of business. A hard man, but always a fair man. He had loved his wife, but had been unable to show it. Now she had left him. He had loved his son too, very much so, and had found that he could lavish all of his love and affection on the boy, that which had always been denied to Ben from his own father.
Now a further change came over Ben. One with a seeming finality to it. At last, he had become able to stand up to his father. True, the first time was in a rather underhanded way. He had procured all the necessary legal papers that would allow him to take over the empire. Now that he had felt such power, he wanted more. It gave him a kind of strength that he had never known before, and he couldn’t get enough to satisfy his newfound hunger for it. He wanted it all, whatever he could take. To Ben, the old man was nothing more than a mere symbol for everything that had previously been denied to him.
Just then, a small hand pushed the door open and four year old Jeremy stepped into the room.
‘Get out, you little piece of shit!’ Never before had Ben spoken to his son in that way, not to the only human being in the world that he had been able to openly show affection to. He was not now, however, prepared to share this moment that he saw as his glory with anyone, not even with this innocent little one.
Tears welled up in the boys eyes and he ran from the room. He had always adored his father, but this man who had his father’s face was a complete stranger to him. Four year old Jeremy was terrified. His mother had packed her bags and left the family home three weeks beforehand, Jeremy now felt completely alone.
The old man gathered up the last vestige of his pride and raised his head high, to look squarely into his son’s eyes. He could barely recognize Ben anymore. He chose his words carefully and spoke them clearly with what little courage he could muster.
‘Death to you Ben! Death be on you! May Death itself come to rest on your head!’ The rest of the curse was mouthed over and over again, but it was inaudible. ‘Baakiel … Baakiel … Baakiel …’
‘Fuck off old man! I’ve had enough of curses and the like. I am not some weak child anymore to live in fear of such things. I refuse your curse! I refuse your authority and I refuse you!’
Baakiel arrived at the house silently and invisible, three days later. He quickly surveyed the situation. Everything had changed.
The old man of the Fifth Generation sat silently, still mouthing the same word over and over, ‘Baakiel … Baakiel …’
Ben, the man of the Sixth Generation stood glaring at his father with pure hatred, almost daring him to come out of his catatonic state.
A small child lay curled up on the floor near the door, hugging himself, obviously terrified of both the men.
Baakiel touched the mind of the man of the Fifth Generation, at least what was left of the man’s mind. He saw all that had transpired and knew immediately why he had been summoned.
Reaching into the old man’s body, Baakiel removed his writhing, tormented soul.
‘No! No! No! Not me! Ben is the one that you are here for. No!’ the old man screamed to Baakiel as he saw his own body slump lifelessly on the sofa.
‘There was only ever one rule for you to follow, old man!’ Baakiel sneered at the man of the Fifth Generation, ‘You could not physically harm, nor bring harm to the next generation. You dare summon me to bring death to him? Ben is strong now, old man. He has refused your curse. Still, it has been issued and I must take someone. This was the last time that you will ever summon me, the last time that I will ever come to your bidding. Now you come to me! Don’t worry old man! Ben may have refused your curse, but he no-longer refuses my gift.’ with that, Baakiel released the man of the fifth generation from the karmic debt, and watched on with glee as the man of the sixth generation took it onto himself. The five generations of Karmic Debt bound itself tightly to Ben’s own Karmic Debt, becoming one with it, then the six generations of it were complete and more powerful than they had ever been before. Full understanding came to Ben now, and he relished its arrival.
The old man’s last scream was eternal.
As Ben had watched his father draw his last breath, and understanding was imparted to him, he had felt the power of the Generational Karmic Debt surge through him. All that it had cost him, to have everything that he had ever wanted, was his eternal soul. He glared balefully at his four year old son, who was still curled up in a fetal position by the door. The dark look that Ben gave to his son now, under the renewed and strengthened power of the Karmic Debt, was enough to make ornaments rattle in their places on the shelves.
Ben knew that he would never be allowed to bring or to cause any kind of physical harm to the child. The child was of the Seventh Generation. Ben also understood that if his son were to ever grow up to be strong enough, then the child, and only the child, could take all of this newfound power away from him. Ben deemed that he would never allow that to happen. Instead, he vowed to keep the Seventh Generation weakened.
He could feel his own power, strong, determined, sure that none other than himself would ever be needed for the final battle. He had taken on and beaten the powerful fifth. The mantle of power, Ben decided, was now his right alone to possess. He was no more willing than was his father before him to share it, and he was prepared to go to any length that was necessary not to lose it to another, not even to his son.
Baakiel spread his wings in preparation to leave. As he did, one black metallic wing tip touched, almost caressed, the small boys head, leaving a mark upon it and draining him of his destined luck. Baakiel then added it to the new power, that of the Sixth Generation.
‘Soon! Soon my little one, my seventh and last generation.’ With that, Baakiel was gone, returning to the Underworld and taking with him the tormented soul from the man of the Fifth Generation.
Jeremy was small for his age. Only a few days short of his tenth birthday, he looked only six, or at most seven, years old.
He waited, just as he’d always had to wait, for a driver to come and take him back home from the purpose built school house. The little school had been built just for Jeremy alone. There were no other students at all. Jeremy could hardly remember a time when he had even seen other children. When he had seen them, he was never allowed to play with them, or even to speak with them. His father did not want him to be in the way, hanging around the house, so the little school had been built.
He had always been told that the high walls that prevented him from seeing out from the school yard, had been put there for his protection. Jeremy hated those walls.
Through the wrought iron gates, he sometimes caught a glimpse of the guards who stood on duty just on the other side of them. He had on occasion gone over to those gates to try and befriend the guards. He didn’t bother to do that anymore. Whenever he had managed to make a friend of one, that guard was soon replaced by another. It was the same with his teachers. Jeremy had seen so many new teachers come and go, each with a different method for him to get used to, and his grades suffered badly because of it. All for his protection, he was told.
Jeremy was caught by surprise. He had not seen a car drive up, or realised that the stranger was standing beside him.
Yet another new driver, he thought.
‘Hello.’ he answered timidly. ‘Where is the car?’
‘We don’t need a car Jeremy. Why don’t the two of us just go for a walk instead?’ the stranger smiled at him. Jeremy had never seen a more dazzling smile than the stranger gave to him. It made him feel light-hearted and for the first time that he could recall, he felt completely safe.
‘What’s your name?’ he heard himself ask.
‘I have used many different names throughout the years Jeremy. Your father knew me as Zeta. Just call me Zeta!’
‘You know my father?’ Jeremy was incredulous that his father might know such a warm and wonderful human being as this young lady seemed to be. He thought it to be even more incredible that someone like her would even want to know his scary old dad.
‘I knew him! I knew him before he changed to become what he is now. I knew your grandfather quite well also Jeremy. In fact, I even knew his father too.’
At this, Jeremy gave the one called Zeta a curious look, but then he started to laugh. It was quite obvious to him that such a young lady could not have known his grandfather’s father. He liked this lady. She had made him laugh. She took him by the hand and as they walked, they chatted. It felt so good to Jeremy to at last have himself a friend, that he didn’t even notice, that when she pushed on the gate which was supposed to be locked, that it opened easily for her. He didn’t even question why there were no guards on duty. He just walked with her, trusting his newfound friend.
The Supreme Ruler of the underworld ranted and screamed, ‘What do you mean, you can’t find him Baakiel? You promised me seven generations for the Karmic Debt! Where is my Seventh? Where is the child Jeremy? If you have allowed the man of the Sixth Generation to harm him in any way …’
‘No, my King! The man Ben knows that he is not to harm the child!’
‘Then where is he? I want my Seventh!’ he spat at Baakiel.
‘My Lord, I have scoured the face of the entire Natural World for him. The child is nowhere to be found within it.’
‘Well then, Baakiel, if the child is not to be found anywhere within the Natural World, he must no longer be in the Natural World anymore. Can your pathetic mind comprehend that? If you cannot bring me the Seventh, then you have failed me. You have failed in the very mission that you yourself asked me to send you on, in exchange for the largest possible reward, I might add. So, Baakiel, tell me, what do you plan to do now, in order to keep your promise to me? Oh! Please do tell me that you plan to storm the very gates of Heaven, all by yourself, take on the vast army of the Most High God, somehow find the missing Seventh and deliver him back here to me. The thought of you attempting that would bring me no end of amusement.’
‘My King,’ Baakiel pleaded, ‘I can still get you a Seventh. Ben, the man of the Sixth Generation could father another son for you, one that could become the new Seventh.’
‘Did you disobey my direct order Baakiel?’ the Supreme Ruler of the Underworld asked, hissing.
‘Did you, or did you not, place the mark on the head of child Jeremy, as I instructed you to do? The mark that would have him found anywhere that he might go or be taken to in the Natural World?’
‘I did as you ordered Lord!’
‘Then no other can bare the mark for one hundred years, once a chosen one has been given it. Do you think your stud, Ben, will still be up to fathering another child one hundred years from now?’ the King asked sarcastically. ‘Your failure to me is complete Baakiel. Now you must face judgement.’
‘Wait! Please!’ pleaded Baakiel, ‘Many have attempted to bring you seven generations of the Karmic Debt before I did. All of them failed, my King, but I, Baakiel, came closer to succeeding than any of those before me. I brought you six generations my Lord. Surely such an effort is deserving of reward, not punishment. Who, before me, has delivered that much to you?’
‘You dare to ask for a reward Baakiel? Do you really believe that coming so close to success, before utterly failing me, deserves to be rewarded? No! The reward for success, for personally delivering to me all seven generations, was to be the highest ever given. The punishment for your failure must be the greatest possible punishment.’
The Supreme Ruler of the Underworld suddenly leaped to his feet and placed a finger on Baakiels forehead. The finger seared deep into Baakiels skull, creating a wound that could never heal. Baakiel screamed and immediately felt his power drained from him.
‘Now you have your very own mark, Baakiel. Let every demon that sees it, for all time, know that they can do with you whatever they please. The lowest ranking have power over you, for you carry no rank evermore.’
As soon as the words were issued by their king, every demon that heard it, pounced on Baakiel, whom they had formerly feared. Each of them was determined to exact their own kind of revenge. Baakiel was carried off by a seething horde and was never seen by the King again.
The Supreme Ruler had changed his appearance yet again. That didn’t surprise any of them in the Underworld. What did take them by surprise, was that an angelic looking child sat by their Kings side. ‘Just call me Zeta,’ quipped the King, ‘and say hello to the Seventh, my greatest weapon yet, for the final battle!’
Bio: David delves into the world of Supernatural Horror for this story where nothing is ever quite what it seems to be.