And there I was.
Kneeling, my head bowed.
And there he was.
Sitting on a black throne. The devil. The most dangerous being of all.
And there they were.
His minions, all around me, just waiting for the word from him to run their swords through me. I could practically feel their dark anticipation in the air. They were craving it.
How did it come to this? I asked myself in amazement. Just 24 hours ago I was at my home in California, reading my favorite book, Angel & Devil. When all of a sudden I was in that book. In that story. In that world.
And as if that wasn’t enough, I’m apparently also the protagonist now. Or at least, everyone thinks I’m her – Vivian, the brave warrior. And Vivian, the real Vivian, is nowhere to be found. If she’s even alive or in this world, that is.
So now? Now I’m kneeling in front of Vivian’s arch enemy – the devil. And he must think I’m Vivian, too. So, basically? I’m a goner.
Never give up.
I wanted to laugh, or cry, or maybe do both.
It sounds so easy when you read it in the books. When the MC says it to themselves or when someone says it to them. When you’re reading it from the comfort of your home, you’re filled with hope and pride. “you can do it! Don’t give up! I know you can do it!” You silently think.
But they don’t know you’re telling them that. They don’t know you believe in them. They are characters in a book. They don’t know if they’ll succeed. Just like you and me, they don’t know what their future holds. And when you don’t know any of it, never giving up is the hardest thing someone could ever ask you to do.
Because for never giving up you need to believe in yourself. Completely. You need to have complete faith in yourself or it won’t work.
And right now? I can’t say I’m my biggest fan.
It only took me one day to undo everything Vivian worked so hard to achieve. In just one day I brought destruction of the villages beyond the wasteland, got my only allies in this place captured or killed, and to top it all: got myself captured by Vivian’s arch enemy and most terrifying being of all – the devil.
So you understand why it’s not the best day to believe in myself.
Which brings us back to the here and now… me, kneeling. My head bowed. Him, sitting on a black throne. And his minions, just waiting for the word to end me.
I could feel his gaze on me. If he was even a he. His gaze was searing, urging me to look up. I fought it as hard as I could but it was too compelling, too demanding. Vaguely I remembered the time when he put Vivian under his spell, making her do horrible deeds until her friends finally released her from his dark hold. I half wondered if he was doing the same thing to me now. But it didn’t matter, because my head was already lifting up.
When my eyes were brought to eye-level with his, I froze. Everything in me froze. Because for the life of me I did not expect him to look so… so…
He was tall but not too tall. He sat on the throne like a king. His dark hair like a crown above his head. His hair was so dark and thick, it looked like it was made of shadows. And his eyes… one red as blood and the other black as night. I looked straight into those eyes, both confusing and enchanting. I couldn’t look away. He looked like a 20 years old young man. Except… he wasn’t. He radiated raw power. Power so strong it almost flattened me to the floor.
He may have looked all young and beautiful but I knew better. I knew he was a demon, the devil king, a being of dark power.
He killed Quay – brave, innocent Quay. He destroyed Vivian’s village. He butchered and captured every last person in the revolutionary army. He beat me and brought me to my knees.
So when I looked into his eyes, I didn’t care he thought I was Vivian – his greatest enemy. I didn’t care he was probably going to give the word to his minions to end me. I didn’t care about any of it. All I cared about was for him to see the hatred in my eyes.
For a moment there, I could have sworn his lips twitched. Like my pure hatred amused him.
He coked his head to the side, regarding me as if I was a strange thing he had never before seen. And then, to my complete and utter shock, he opened his mouth and said:
“And who might you be?”