Prisoner of Castigation

By Lynn Daniels

Fantasy, Magical realism, Paranormal


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3 mins


It did not take very long for Sunjata to return and when he walked towards me, he said, “Come with me”.

I reluctantly got up and followed him wondering if it was the right moment to take him down. I felt it was a little cowardly of me to attack him with his back was turned to me, so I decided against it. I followed him until we reached the large meeting chamber where The Elders held their meetings. Already waiting was Hiroma, my father Oscar and another Elder, Manuel. I began to feel more nervous because I knew there was no way I would be able to take on four powerful men at once.

Once things got started, my father seemed to take up for me. He seemed annoyed and questioned why we were having a meeting because a mortal ended up dead.

Hiroma however was still wildly upset with me and argued, “My wife is dead! He needs to be punished.”

Before things escalated into a spat, Sunjata interrupted them and professed that Lia’s death was not the reason why he called on them to discuss things.
It was then that Sunjata told them that I had been ‘cavorting’ with Meredith and Verdell. I was shocked he would even use words like that because I never did anything physical with either of those women. I wanted to protest, but Oscar started to demand that Meredith and Verdell needed to be punished.

Sunjata told them that he had punished then and banished both of them to this place called the Spirit World. Verdell told me about it briefly, but I knew it was a bad thing if they were both stuck there. I worried that they may try to kill each other in there and I started to get upset. I blanked out in my thoughts because I started to get angry. I thought about just attacking Sunjata, but as I turned my head to look up at him, I saw a burst of energy coming directly from his hands that went directly into my eyes.

I could not recall much from this moment. All I felt was searing pain while my eyes welled with tears. I fell to the ground and covered my eyes screaming in agony. I screamed so loud that I could not hear the last thing Sunjata tried to say to me. My tears began to ease the pain in my eyes, so they did not hurt for a terribly long time, but after I finally got my bearings and felt comfortable enough to open my eyes, the Elders were all gone. I started to get enraged at Sunjata’s cheap diversion tactic against me and I wanted to get my revenge against him.

I began to seek out Sunjata, but I encountered my father before I could find him.

He put his arm around me and said, “Looks like you are well. We need to have a discussion, father to son. Come with me right now.”

I was not in the mood to be scolded by my father once again, but I thought it was just best to go with him and talk to him.

We reached my father’s quarters and he asked me the strangest question.

“A man of my status needs assistants. I have decided on two, but I need your opinion on them. You are an adult and you will need to make decisions like this in the future.”

He then clapped his hands and a man walked in.

The man walked in and there was nothing particularly impressive about him. He seemed capable enough to do whatever my father needed him to do, but I thought it was strange how my father would even ask my opinion on this. He dismissed the man and clapped again. This time a woman, or what appeared to be a woman, entered the room. The thing was quite hideous actually. She looked as if someone took a sharp blade and cut out chunks of her skin and then burned her flesh completely. Her teeth looked rotten and her hair looked brittle and frayed. My father urged her to come closer to us, but all I could do was cringe.

Finally, my father dismissed her and turned to me asking, “What did you think?”

I did not know if my father could see what I saw. The woman was hideous, but I did not want to let on about my feelings.

“There does not seem to be anything too different about either of them. What do you need them for?”

My father chuckled and said, “My son. A leader needs a team. He needs a team of equals and a team of servants. All of those things work together in harmony. They keep the leader focused and grounded. Are you following me?”

I was not following him at all. I was still terrified from the image of that woman still stuck in my thoughts. I simply nodded just so it would appear as if I was not completely out of it. I then excused myself and told my father the man would make a great assistant for him.

“Great choice son, but of course this means the one you did not pick for me will now become your assistant. Do not protest. You are coming into your own and you do need to learn how to deal with assistants as well. You look like you need a rest. Go take care of that and I will make sure Ellie is ready to work for you when you come to.”

I was horrified. This seemed like some sort if cruel joke. I had my eyes attacked and now I would have to deal with being around a hideous female assistant I could not get rid of. It was madness and I was not sure if I could maintain my sanity.

As I went to rest, I seriously considered gouging my eyes out. I would rather go blind than have to look at that woman every day. I wanted to get rid of her any way possible without having to harm her. It was not her fault that her looks were unfortunate. I just had no idea how I could manage to evade her and still keep my father happy. I could not just tell him that I did not want to have an assistant. I truly did not need one, but he seemed so determined to groom me to be the leader that I was not ready to be.



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