Here comes another of Eden Freed’s short stories for our liquid Friday fun.
This one is a fairy tale based on Slavic and Balkan tales, written in collaboration with Dimitri Romanov. Enjoy this short read on Kindle or Kindle Unlimited. Glimpse the world of magic and fairy tales with Tartarus Bellows.
What should we drink tonight? What would you expect a hero of a Slavic or Balkan tale to have? Of course a nice glass of Rakia. You say there are many types: yes I agree, and the best one is Slivovitz, a plum brandy. You choose your brand, pour yourself a glass and stop wasting time. Kick back, relax and grab a copy of Tartarus Bellows for full enjoinment. Remember, it’s free on Kindle for the next two days. The book that is, not Slivovitz, sorry.
Our perfectly flawed hero Erroris embarks an adventure to discover that love is as ancient as the forest Baba Yaga lives in and maybe just as dangerous. Journey to the heart of the matter and find out if good really does triumph over evil and whether or not the devil does get his due. This short story is based on old Slavonic and Balkan tales with a modern twist. Would you be willing to brave the perils on earth and dive into the depths of hell for the sake of love?
“Erroris, you pitiful excuse for a demon, get in there and drag out the wicked for judgment!” Likho screeched and angrily cocked his one eye at the lesser demon. “If I didn’t know any better I would think that you pitied these deviant mortals. Tartarus has a place for demons that fail to serve.”
Likho’s words caused Erroris to hold his tongue, lest the coals be raked across it again. He had no heart for his job. How could he help bring the wicked to justice when he had no concept of true evil? Can one know evil without first seeing good? There has to be more to this existence than torment and torture. What I would give for one mortal lifetime!
As if Likho could hear his thoughts, he walked over and squeezed Erroris’ mouth open forcing his tongue to hang out like the three-headed beast Cerberus’ after a run. Without releasing the pressure on the hollows of Erroris’ cheeks, Likho bellowed, “I don’t see it in there, but if you have even the smallest piece of goodness in you we will scare it out, once and for all. You will go live among the mortals. Once your talons begin to show, you’ll be back here and Zmey, the dragon guardian of Tartarus will slowly devour your black heart.” Likho loosened the grip on Erroris’ face and grinned a wicked smile that could inspire fear even in a demon.
Mustering what little courage remained, Erroris asked, “And if I’m good?”
Doubled over and clutching his abdomen with two clawed hands, Likho laughed. It was a sound that anyone in Tartarus seldom heard and it struck a dark chord of fear in even the bravest demon. The sound reached Zmey and roused the dark beast from slumber. It shook ash off its leathery wings and sharpened its claws on the jagged obsidian rocks where it bedded down. Erroris felt the sudden and unmistakable sensation of claws digging into his shoulders.