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Darkís leathery hide crackled and flaked as he climbed the side of the old brick building in the bowels of the city. The further he ascended, weak and wheezing, the more his skin crinkled and flaked off, like that of a shedding serpent. The demonís wings were a useless tattered ruin of thick muscle-less flesh that hung on his back, unable to hold him aloft or aid him in his climb. The longer he was away from his home in the pits, and the greater his own physical exertion, the weaker he would grow. Someday, as others in the pits told him, since he had become trapped in the world of human, he would become a toughened withered husk, and sit upon the corner of a building to become a lifeless gargoyle, never to move again. Dark knew that someday was coming soon.

The thought of turning to stone did not shock Dark. After being cast out from Hell he doubted that anything would surprise him. His thoughts returned to the time just prior to being banished, and he halted his climb momentarily to catch shallow breath and remember.

Day was eternal and blood red in the pits, filth and the suffering of others was grand. Emotions were dark and hot like anger and fresh blood. Dark enjoyed being damned, because eternal damnation was all he knew. He was pleased with his existence, until it happened-

The demon, for some unfathomable reason, had begun to feel things other than the joyous laughs of pain. His blackened heart told him how wonderful evil was, and how horrid goodness could be, but the more he watched the suffering of those brought down to the pits, the more he felt alien emotions. At first the feelings brought tingles to his thick skin, and wetness to his eyes.

For a time he tried to hide it. He masked the new feelings that were taking over his vile existence with howls of laughter, but as the feelings grew, he began to feel physical pain. Each time he felt something other than joy for the suffering of others, he was overcome with spasms of gut wrenching agony.

The demons around him soon saw that Dark was different, and cast him from the pits. They taunted him as he faded away, shouting about how he would soon turn to stone and be trapped in a body that would become a toilet for the birds.

Dark found that he was in a new pit, which after a time, he learned, was called a city. He had truly been cast into the world of man where his body would wither and turn

to stone. He cursed himself, for his existence had become a nightmare because of a feeling he could not even name.

Darkís thoughts return to the present, because his body had grown even more stiff and sore from his lack of movement. As he pulled himself further up toward the roof of the building, he spied a slim figure through one of the dirt-crusted windows.

It was a young lady, lying in a tub full of water in what Dark had learned was called a bathroom. Glassy eyes, she had taken a slim blade and sliced into her wrists. Dark recognized the color of blood as it flowed out of the woman. Agony clutched at his chest when he felt sadness. The woman would die, and for some reason, he cared.

With a stiff arm, he shattered the window and fell into the room, landing hard on the floor. He grabbed some rags that were hanging from a rung on the wall and wrapped the arms of the bleeding woman, who had since fainted. He flung her over his shoulder, and tried to shout for help, but found that he had lost his voice since arriving in the world of man.

The demon burst through the bathroom door, passed through another small room, and after knocking his way through another door, he found himself in a hallway. Doors all around him opened, and human stepped out of their rooms. Dark howled and held the woman out to one of the people. It was an older man. He held her tightly and stared wide-eyed at the demon. Dark gestured to the womanís arms. He was satisfied that the woman would receive help and turned away. He rushed back through the woman dwelling and climbed back out through the window, feeling agony grip him more powerful than it ever had before. He knew the end was coming, and he did not want to find it in front of human beings.

As the demon reached the roof, he fell and a rasping breath escaped his stiffened lips. The wings on his back crumbled and fell off. He skin turned to dust as he realized that he had felt compassion for a human being. The pain intensified and he twisted over to his side as the dawn of a new day broke through the sky. When the bright orb reached its zenith, it was not a stone gargoyle with eyes black as coal that sat on the corner of the roof, but a naked man with a soul sprawled on his back waiting to awaken into a new life.


nick kisella


The following comments are for "compassion"
by darque

That was beautifully written. The ending actually gave me chills. Great job!

- coma

( Posted by: coma [Member] On: May 18, 2005 )

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