The Karmic Debt – Part 1
Jacobs Well, Queensland
Unfurling his long black wings, Baakiel felt a tremor of excitement wash over his entire body. Not that his face conveyed any such information to those who were around him. They saw that which was always there to be seen, intense hatred for all around. Hatred for everything, both of the Natural World and of the Supernatural World. If Baakiel had love for anything other than himself, it was for his one true master, the King of the Underworld. Even toward his king, he had always felt a certain amount of jealousy and had often imagined himself in the position of Supreme Ruler.
Baakiel knew that someday it could be that he would challenge God himself, but never the King who had raised him to such a high position here among the other demons. No never! He knew that if the Earth were to be taken by the Underworld in the final battle, his King would set his own temple upon it, and he Baakiel would remain here, where the mantle of ruler would then be his alone, and he could do whatever he pleased with this underworld kingdom. He would be set to rule, unchallenged, over the remaining demons and over all the souls, those of unredeemed men.
Another tremor of excitement coursed through him, causing his black almost metallic wings to shake as his quivering lips twisted up in a strange approximation of a sneering smile. Then, lest any should mistake that smile as being a sign of weakness within him, Baakiel suddenly lashed out at two lower ranking demons, whose great crime had been in standing too close to Baakiel, close enough for him to strike.
The first demon screeched and got quickly as far away from Baakiel as was possible. The second was not so lucky as it writhed in agony, almost cleaved in half. Unable to escape, it felt the full force of Baakiel’s fury in an onslaught that seemed to last forever but could not have been for more than a few minutes. Demons cannot die, but the wounds that Baakiel now inflicted on it, would cause the demon to curse its own immortality for many decades yet to come.
Now Baakiel’s ‘almost smile’ would not be seen as weakness, but rather as anticipation for some horror that he was planning to bring upon the unsuspecting Natural World.
He had heard his name being called. All those here had heard it! Summoned like a lowly jackal to do the bidding of a fool. Baakiel knew this man well. He had known them all! Five generations now, father, son, father, son, and now father again. Yet another mortal, one who believed that he had control over Baakiel himself, and for a measure of time they did have, but Baakiel knew that in each case their audaciousness would have to be paid for in full.
With each generation their power increased, but so too did the Karmic debt, passed on from father to son.
Baakiel recalled the first one, the first father. A simple, unintelligent man who was somehow filled with an unjustified sense of his own importance. That man’s self-righteous attitude had made it easy for Baakiel to claim him, to teach and guide him on a path of destruction that would last for many generations beyond himself and to be visited on his sons, sons, sons …
For as far back as he could recall, luck had never been a close companion of his. From his early childhood he had possessed a strong understanding of right and wrong. Right? … Well … one could just feel it. Wrong? … Most everything that his father ever said or did. Ben usually chose to do what he thought was right.
So often now, Ben had begun yet another project that was designed to make things just that little bit better in his own corner of the world. He always had grandiose ideas of the kind of good that they would bring to people. Yet rarely did any of his projects seem to work out in the way that he had planned. Unforeseen events continually rose up to prevent his dreams from ever reaching their fullest potential.
When something did seem to gain any form of success, Ben’s father would either belittle the result, or claim credit for it himself, taking it over and leaving Ben to feel betrayed yet again.
Soon after the take-over of a project, it would fizzle out to nothing, or be incorporated into his father’s powerbase over people. It never became that which it had been intended to be at all.
Ben wished that he had more guts, guts enough to stand up to his father, like others in his family had. Standing up to his father had gotten them all disinherited, a fate which Ben both feared and wanted at the same time. He had seen that some of those disinherited family members had fallen apart to become almost ‘basket cases’, out in the world with no preparation for it. Still, others of them seemed happy and stable enough, even if they didn’t own much to boast of.
He had heard many stories of how kind a man his father had once been, until one day his entire personality, for no known reason, changed, and he became the man he now was. However, Ben could not recall a time when his father had been anything other than a complete arsehole.
Often Ben wondered whether he had been born under an unlucky star, or whether he was in fact cursed. He knew that all of his father’s money and power had come about through generations of suffering, all in the name of redemption and salvation. He didn’t understand the rhetoric or why a God of love would want to test people well beyond the limits of their endurance. All he knew, was that if he one day should inherit the mantle from his father, he was sure that he could turn it all around to be able to do some good on this Earth, and maybe by doing so, break the seemingly endless cycle of harm that had been done over the years. He allowed himself to daydream of such a day coming, but subconsciously he felt the weight of doubt pressing in on him, until he questioned whether he would ever be able to escape from beneath his father’s shadow.
Baakiel felt the cool air of the Natural World as he soared over it. He needed to exert little effort as his metallic-like black wings carried him aloft. He wondered as he often had, why his king would even want such a disgusting place from which to rule. The only reason that Baakiel could even imagine for it, was that it belonged to The Most High God, and that was more than enough reason for his king to want to claim it for himself. After all, wasn’t it this God who had cast them down to this miserable planet in the first place? Did this God really believe that Baakiel’s king would allow man to, one day, claim all that had been taken away from himself, and to rule in his place? For me, Baakiel decided, the Underworld will be more than enough to rule over, but for my king, he shall have all that was taken from him returned again to him.
He seethed with rage as he watched small fluffy white clouds part before him, crackling with electricity, though no storms were near. On a planet which was mostly covered with water, not one single drop could he draw near enough to ease a ten thousand year old thirst. Baakiel knew that were he to plunge himself into the sea, the very oceans would boil, but it was not time, not yet.
Strange phone calls were made, three in all, to Ben. They always came when he was alone. It was the same voice on the line each time, that of a young sounding lady. The first time that he received one, Ben laughed openly at her, telling her, ‘You must be crazy! I think that you must mistakenly believe that I’m rich and you want to scam money from me. You need to find yourself another pigeon Miss. I have nothing of my own, and I would not be so foolish as to part with it for something so ridiculous if I did have.’ He laughed even more after that first phone call, but only because it had him feeling spooked.
Ben couldn’t decide where the lady’s accent came from. ‘Probably fake,’ he mumbled to himself, ‘just like her fake story!’ but still he felt shaken by the conversation. ‘I should have just hung up on her!’ he scolded himself, but the truth is, she had held him enthralled for twenty long minutes and he had almost given in to her spiel during that very first phone call. Almost, but not quite.
The lady with the accent had told Ben about so much from his past, things that he had talked about with no-one. She spoke of his luck being cursed, of all good fortune that had been destined to come his way having been stolen from him, by the same man who had placed the original curse upon him, because of the man’s great jealousy toward him. That man, she had told him, was his own father.
‘It is too late for your father!’ she had told him. ‘He carries the Karmic debt of the four generations that came before him, as well as his own. You are the Sixth Generation Ben! Please! It must be stopped at you, before it is too late to do anything about it. Let me help you! Please Ben! I know that you won’t be strong enough to fight this on your own. Your father believes that an angel of the Lord guides him and does his bidding, but it is the dark side that is in control of him. You must listen to me Ben! You are in great danger, perhaps your very life is in the balance, or worse, your soul. It has to be stopped with you! I will help you if you let me! You have subconsciously fought against this since you were a small child and you have fought against it all alone, without even understanding what was happening or why. You don’t have to fight it alone anymore. I’ll be with you! You have a good heart Ben, and it is there in your heart that you know that I’m telling you the truth. All I need is your permission Ben, and I will help you for free. There is very little that you will need to do at all. I can protect you, but I need your permission to even allow that much.
The second phone call was short. As Ben answered it, he heard the same lady with the strange accent say, ‘Hello Ben! In three days you will hear of an event that science cannot predict, an enormous solar flare erupting from our sun. The size and magnitude of this flare will be reported as having had the power to wipe all life from the face of the Earth, had it actually travelled in our direction, instead of out into empty space.’ With that, she hung up.
Ben was left feeling dazed. ‘Bullshit!’ he said to himself, but it was only to quell the questions that were coming into his mind.
For the next few days, Ben managed to push the words that he had heard from the accented lady to the back of his mind, replacing them with thoughts of starting yet another project in his neighbourhood, one which, he had hopes—if it worked, that his father might actually let him keep.
He made the plans for his next project away from the house, in the fruit grove at the back of the six hectare property, to keep it away from any prying eyes until he was happy with it. He was just about to add the last detail to his plan, when the sky lit up as bright as a camera flash for an entire six seconds.
‘War!’ was his first thought. ‘Some bastard has just nuked us!’ He waited for the Earth to rumble and shake, as he would have expected that such an explosion must cause it to do. Nothing! Even the birds remained silent for a long time afterwards. All was silent …
Every television and radio station covered the event. It was reported that the largest ever recorded solar flare had erupted from the sun to go hurtling across space with such speed and force, that had it travelled in the direction of the earth, it would have wiped out every living thing on the planet. The oceans themselves would have disappeared in a flash.
Ben was ready to listen now, as he waited for the third phone call from the lady with the strange accent.
She made him wait, for another two full weeks. For two weeks, her previous words continued to play havoc with his mind. ‘Cursed luck! Karmic Debt! Sixth Generation! Me! Me! Me! It falls all on me!’
Then came the third phone call.
‘Hello Ben!’ unmistakable accent. ‘Are you ready to listen to me now?’
‘Of course I’m ready! I don’t even know who or what you are. At least tell me who I’m dealing with! What is your name? Where are you from? How do you know all these things? Tell me!’
‘It isn’t necessary that you know everything about me, Ben. The important thing is, for you to believe that I am willing to help you and that I have the ability to do so. For the sake of a name, you can just call me Zeta. I will help you but you must follow all of my instructions exactly, or it will all be for nothing and you will lose this battle that you never should have had to fight in the first place.’
‘Okay! Okay! Just tell me what I have to do to beat this thing!’ his voice was far shriller than he intended for it to be, but he was beginning to panic now.
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.