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Diary of a Soul in the Underworld Chapter 6

Tags: anya soul looked
Summary: Ethan is a Soul doomed to spend eternity as a slave in Hell for reasons he can't remember. After centuries of torment he finally snaps and goes on the run from his evil masters. Can he escape and become more than a regular soul, or is he doomed to spend an eternity in the underworld? 

The story so far: Ethan recalls his time under a kind master named Alistair who was sent off to war. After finding a book on magic, Ethan successfully creates a magic ball of light (by drawing a chalk circle and using a crystal) in his master's study, but he is suddenly caught by another soul named Anya.

Read previous chapters here!
Chapter 6

I Looked at Anya nervously. Why was it that out of every soul in that mansion she was the one who caught me?

My best friend looked far more disheveled than usual. Her maid uniform was full of creases and her long wavy hair was untidy like she’d forgotten to brush it. I guess Anya stopped paying attention to her physical appearance after she locked herself away to sulk.  

“Why are you in Master’s study anyway? Is this magic?” Anya asked and walked into the room to examine my chalk diagram and the light floating above it.

“Kind of, sort of, in a way,” I nervously stuttered. “I found this book in the library and I decided to give some of the stuff inside a go,” I didn’t mention that I’d done it to distract myself from her.

“Wow, you did this yourself?” She looked at the orb I’d created in amazement. “I had no idea that it was possible to make something like this, but I guess it’s still nothing compared to what Master can do.”

I’m not certain if she was intentionally trying to be cruel, but her words were a punch to my self confidence. Even when he was gone I was still nothing compared to Alistair.

“What are you doing in here Anya?” I asked without bothering to hide my irritation.

“Don’t tell anyone this,” she said nervously. “But sometimes I come in here to look around. Everything in here reminds me of him, if you know what I mean.”

“I suppose,” I muttered. Looking around the room it was difficult to imagine that our master had even left.

She picked up a glass paperweight from his desk and turned it over in her hand. It began to glow a dull pink, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if even Alistair’s stationary was magical.

“I wonder if he’s okay,” said Anya. “Felix told me that lots of people die when there’s a war.”

“I’m sure Master’s fine,” I said even though he may have already been reduced to dust. “He’s really good at chanting spells, and he’s immortal, so there’s no way that he can die.”

“Yes, I know that,” she sighed. “But I still worry about him all the time, so much so that it hurts. Sometimes I wonder if he ever thinks about me too, but I guess I’m probably not important enough to Master.”

“I’m sure he thinks of you, he even told me himself,” it was a lie, but she looked so down and the words slipped from my mouth before I could stop myself.

“Really?” She asked hopefully. “He said that?”

“Of course,” I was such an idiot. “He was worried about you being alright without him, but I said that someone as strong as Anya can survive no matter what.”

“And then what did he say?”

“I don’t remember,” I was running out of ideas and it was beginning to feel like an interrogation. “But he looked glad.”

“He looked glad? Even though he was going to a war zone?”

“Of course, because he was relieved that you would be fine here without him, and wait for ages, I think.”

Anya paused to process my words. “I’m happy that he was thinking of me, but I wish that he could have told me that himself.”

“You know how Master is,” I shrugged. “Maybe he was just too shy to say it to your face.” I’m amazed that she believed me because it was the exact opposite of what Alistair would have done. That weirdo would have never hesitated to voice something like that out loud.

I saw Anya’s mouth break into a smile and it was the first time that I’d seen her happy in weeks.

“That funny guy,” she giggled, and I can’t believe how willing I was to say anything in order to make her like me.

“Hey, you learnt this from a book right,” she said and pointed to my magical orb. “Can I see it?”

She took a step towards me, but instead of walking around the circle she went straight through it. I saw the chalk lines smudge together under her foot, and all of a sudden the drawing brightly glowed and I remembered the book’s warning about explosions.

“Anya watch out!” I cried and dived towards her. I knocked her to the ground and attempted to use my body as a shield, but I wasn’t fast enough to prevent the magical diagram from exploding. There was a loud bang, and when the smoke finally cleared there was a new burnt patch on Alistair’s floor in the shape of my circle.

It was fortunate that we were already dead, but the hem of Anya’s skirt and my trouser legs weren’t so lucky. The edges of her maid uniform had been burnt to a crisp, and the black flakes of material soon crumbled to the floor.

All I could think about was Alistair’s face looking at the damage in horror, but Anya began to laugh uncontrollably like it was hilarious.

“Ethan, I can’t believe that you just blew up Master’s floor,” she giggled.

Anya flopped back onto the floor like a rag doll and I watched her chest move up and down with each laugh. I couldn't help but think about how she was still beneath me and her face was inches from my own. I realised how easy it would be to lean over and kiss her. I wondered if it would be anything like the time when Master once kissed me, or if a soul kissing another soul can even feel anything.

Just to let you know, we really can’t at all.

These days I don’t care about doing anything that I want, but back then I was too afraid of rejection to even say I like you.

“Ethan?” Said Anya when she finally noticed my unusual fascination with her face. She looked at me curiously and that would have been the perfect moment to do something, anything, but instead I quickly shuffled away from her like the spineless coward I was. I was terrified that if I kissed her she would hate me. I was worried that if I said the wrong thing she would no longer want to be my friend.

I don’t know why I was always so concerned about how others would judge my actions and words. Thinking like that got me absolutely nowhere, and I missed my only chance to say how I really felt. In this Hell there is no time for hesitation, and I could have saved myself a lot earlier if I just did something instead of standing around thinking about it.

Anya pulled herself to her feet and brushed the burnt crisps off her skirt. It was now three inches shorter and ended just about her thighs. Luckily she couldn't read my thoughts because I was ashamed at myself for thinking inappropriate things about my friend. I couldn’t even look her in the eyes.

“Good luck explaining this to Master,” she said and rolled the mat back into place to cover the damage. “He’s going to be so mad at you when he sees this.”

“I’ll think of something,” I muttered. I came up with plenty of creative excuses over the following weeks, but unfortunately I never got the chance to say any of them.

“I better get started on my chores,” said Anya and she turned to leave the room. “It would be a disaster if Master returned tomorrow to find the kitchen in a mess. Let me know if you need anything Ethan,” and with that she walked out and left me alone in that room.

“I’m such an idiot,” I moaned and collapsed facefist to the floor. I lay there wallowing in self pity for what felt like eternity. I had vandalised my master’s precious study and I had inappropriate thoughts towards my best friend. I was obviously a rotten human being who sold myself away for my own benefit, so it seemed natural that I was only capable of terrible things.

“This is all your fault,” I said while glaring at the magic book which lay discarded halfway across the room. All I could think about was how nothing would have happened if I hadn’t decided to try difficult things. Perhaps there was a reason why souls aren't supposed to do magic spells.

Eventually I grew tired of staring at the pattern on the rug and pulled myself together. I grabbed the purple crystal and chalk and went to put them away. I tried to put the crystal back exactly the way I found it, but when I moved over to Master’s desk I noticed that the explosion had blown his notes across the room.  I crouched down and began picking up each sheet of paper. They were mostly illegible research, and one letter that Alastair had begun writing to his bank about the dismal state of his accounts. I carefully read over the words and it felt like Master was before me speaking himself. I can’t deny that I began to miss his presence. He’d stopped writing the letter mid sentence like he ran out of time, and there were wine stains on the paper like he’d scribed it while drinking. I didn’t realise it at the time, but looking back on it now Master was pretty shit when it came to money and bookkeeping.
I picked up the last page and squinted at the strange symbols written in ink. I completely forgot about that last sheet of paper, but the memory is suddenly coming back to me now.

I thought it was another magical spell until I realised that it was a badly drawn picture of Alistair and us souls. He’d drawn us all as stick people with rediculously large smiles, and I never saw Angela looking that happy in the time that I knew her. I could only recognise myself because he’d written our names beside each sketch. I guess that it reflected that weird guy’s delusion that we were all some sort of happy family who occasionally threw knives at each other.

I was about to shuffle the picture to the back of the papers, until I caught sight of a small sentence at the bottom of the page. My darling master had written, can souls become human again?

I stared at those words in confusion while wondering if Alistair was unsatisfied with our ghost like forms. Maybe he secretly wished that we were all living and breathing like him? I guess all those decades of immortality must have driven Master mad, because everyone in the Underworld knows that once you’re a soul it’s impossible to go back. Angela, Felix, Mira, Anya, Alphonse and I all died long ago, and even an idiot like myself knew that there was nothing left of our physical bodies.

I dismissed those words as strange gibberish and neatly piled the notes back onto his desk. I then locked the room and went to clean the foyer while trying my best to forget that afternoon and the damage that I caused. I never even thought about Master’s strange notes again until now.

Perhaps Alistair was on to something that I’d never thought about. I always believed that my only way out of this Hell is at the soul market’s hands, but maybe things don’t have to end that way. This is probably the insanity speaking, but I’m beginning to wonder if it’s possible for a soul like myself to live again.

Next Chapter: All good things must come to an end!!!!

Read other chapters here!

Author’s Note: Thanks for reading this chapter. I actually wrote chapter 5 and 6 at the same time, but it took so long to edit that I split it into two. I didn't have access to any of my regular spell checking software so let me know if you spot any mistakes. I always post updates about this story and what I've been writing recently on Twitter so please feel free to follow me. My user name is m_c_queen I also do tones of free promotions for my kindle ebooks, so following me on Twitter is the best way to get the dates. :)

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Diary of a Soul in the Underworld Chapter 6


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