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Paladin of Darkness

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White paste upon his lips, both of them withered to crinkled versions of what they should be. The corners of his mouth ache with his room swallowing yawn, the skin made less flexible by dryness. Freaks throat feels dry and sore; every lungful of hot air robs more water from my body. There is a pain at the back of his head that threatens to grow into a powerful migraine. It was a burn that didn't go away but instead grew steadily stronger and harder to ignore as the day went on.

Freak peered out through the vent of its cupboard, watching in mild interest as Aunt collected the mail from the mat. She sorted through it absently as she wandered back to the dining room where Uncle and Cousin were devouring their breakfast.

Freaks stomach snarled and howled and from it came the not-so-subtle undertone of pain. It came in waves and it seemed as though his stomach was slowly digesting itself. Freak clutched at it, pulling it this way and that in an attempt to silence it but to no avail. It cried even louder, it was a slow pain, eating away at his stomach and leaving Freak feeling drained and empty. Water was a wishful dream and food was a concept not even worth the effort of hoping for.

Freak could smell the aroma of the cooking, a meal he'd never be able to eat through the pain that cut each breath short. Freaks belly rumble loudly.

Loud enough for the Dursleys to hear. Almost immediately his cousin began winning about how Freak was disturbing him. Freak was immediately subjected to his Uncles glaze.

The way his eyes squinted when he glared at him reminded him of a pit viper's slit-like pupils. Freak gulped nervously. A burning animosity was developing in his Uncles brown orbs, and he could tell he was likely gonna get it. It promised pain.

The color drained from Freaks face, white as a sheet, he's rooted to the spot, frozen, clammy, cold sweat running down his forehead, unable to control his trembling body, wide-eyed, edging backward, hands clenched, white knuckles, heart pounding, too scared to comprehend.

Freak hid, quaking and sweating with fear as his Uncles boots creaked the floorboards. Tears streamed silently down his face as the footstep grew closer and closer.

Trapped. No way out. Freak frantically searched for something, anything, a crevice, a seal.

Freak whispering to the wind: Please. Please no.

But his silent prayer went unheard as the door swung open.

“Tut tut, I did warn you. Now, look what you've gone and made me do...”

At once her neck and head became rigid, frozen. Freak felt her head being turned to the door, the door became a wall. His hand hit and Freak fell with the force of it.

“Now, pay attention, my boy, we have a game to play. The stakes are high, they always are...”

Though his hand was empty, it was like being hit with a hunk of meat nonetheless and afterward Freak would endure his words of hatred, all spilling from a man that was supposed to be family.
A searing shot of pain ran up the young boy’s body, a scream escaping his pale lips as the devastating sounds bounced off the living room's walls. A man sat opposite the weeping boy, an iron fire poker by his side. His hands were firmly clasped under his chin, a gleeful grin stretched across his face. The man didn't seem at all bothered by the screams that came from his victim. If anything, he seemed amused by his pain. His stony brown eyes stared down at the twitching body before him as if he were inspecting a freshly plucked turkey, all ready to go into the oven. The flames that licked up the sides of the fireplace reflected off the beads of sweat that had settled on the boy's forehead.

The boys’ agony was his entertainment.

At first, there was guilt, an attempt to stop, but soon he gave way, realizing how much he enjoyed beating his fists into the boys' skin. With every hit, he felt a cold zing of delight, a buzz he could get no other way.

After a time, his screams had subsided and his tormentor had grown bored with his silence. Sending a single kick to his stomach, the man stood and left, but not without giving one last lingering glance to the boy.

All Freak could do is writhe, the occasional whimper escaping that echoed off the walls. The pain is increasing in waves, small lulls giving false hope of an end.

In his very short life, eleven-year-old Freak has only known pain. For as long as he could remember, he was constantly yelled at, punished, left alone, starved and beaten by his aunt, uncle, and cousin.

Freak lays there for what seems like hours, barely keeping in suppressed screams, blood seeping beneath his skin, ribs fractured. There would be no doctor, no evidence. Though silent sobs slip past his lips. His vision swam, and black spots fit his vision. Nails digging into his palm piercing his skin and coating them in blood. He clenched his teeth, trying not to scream. It was too much. Blackness came with such completeness it obliterated the memory of the day that had just been.