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MOMENT 39: HOPE'S CLAWS
Shannon falling to her doom caused something inside to snap. She'd just told the entire story of our relationship, and that she felt guilt, and she was sorry for believing the lie. At that moment, I felt like I knew my choice. I wanted to go back to Otherworld with her, but then Harry had shown up, and my friend sacrificed herself--for ME!
I couldn't comprehend the feelings raging through my being. I felt hatred; I felt remorse; I felt depressed, I felt the urge to kill. Daniel had vanished in the blink of an eye. I couldn't even be sure that Magna-Racha still existed any longer. I knew only one thing; I wanted the Monster of Mt. Arkhamm gone, and the Golden Box of Hope destroyed.
What if I didn't destroy the Golden Box? What if I used it to bring back all the lives lost in one fell wish? It probably couldn't bring back more than one person, if even one at all. Then what if I used it to reverse time, so we never attacked the Monster of Mt. Arkhamm with the Sky Kraken? Again, no, the attack needed to happen. I could wish that I'd never even made my first wish to save my life? Then Katherine would be okay.
All of the thoughts racing through my mind didn't seem right. They seemed obtrusive as if something forced them on me.
I walked forward, gripping the Bonknir Hammer in both hands, seething.
These thoughts were coming from a source of fear; of terror. They weren't coming from me at all. They came from someone or something nearby. I could feel it. They, no, IT feared the hammer. IT feared destruction.
I looked up to find a long tunnel before me. A child's cry came echoing from nearby.
"Katherine." I breathed.
She'd been here so long, under the watch of Pa-Burger. How had he taken care of her? Fed her? Changed her clothes? Bathed her?
I shook away my fears. The Golden Box of Hope, the entity behind everything had to be my focus.
I resisted the urge to shout and continued my silent walk through the tunnel. Katherine's cry grew louder as I got closer.
How long had she been crying like this? Every waking moment for months? The rage within grew with every step. I would slaughter that cow, and then the artifact behind him.
A hundred steps later, I entered a gigantic chamber. I noticed the pedestal in the center first. Sitting atop it, Golden Box of Hope. It shined, and the top had been left open, unlike when I first encountered it.
Then it hit me. The voices in my head, the urges of fear and anger--They were coming from right in front of me.
Katherine's cry echoed from every corner of the cave.
"Kat?" I called out. "It's okay. I'm here; it's your big brother, Daniel."
The crying stopped, and for a moment, I thought she felt relief, HE manifested behind the pedestal; a dozen foot tall bull. It glared at me with bloodshot eyes. In its hand, it held my little sister by her ankle, right above the open Golden Box of Hope.
Katherine and I locked eyes; tears streaked her face.
"Don't you dare," I said through gritted teeth.
A wicked grin spread across the bull god's face. "You've finally come, Magna-Racha. Just as I've wanted for many moons now."
"And why have you wanted me?" I asked. "Because none of this has made any sense since the beginning."
"I wanted you here so I could sacrifice your sister before your eyes!"
"What do you mean why?" He furrowed his brow. "To see your pain!"
He shook Kat violently, and I shouted. "Think about your actions! Think about why you've wanted any of this? For revenge? I didn't kill Ma-Burger. I killed Shaggy. I made my wish; Clementine the Red was the sacrifice. I did NOTHING to you!"
He lowered Katherine, and she sobbed.
"What are you getting at?" Pa-Burger asked. "This whole plan to meld the worlds was orchestrated just to get to you. To make YOU suffer."
"No, Harry Butterbean wanted me to suffer. You, you and I have no beef."
"Then why would I do all of this? Why would I allow the Golden Box of Hope's energy to flow forth?
I grinned. "You said it yourself."
"Said what?" he growled. "That the Golden Box's energy is flowing...forth?"
"That's precisely the reason," I said. "The Golden Box. You didn't do it because you wanted to, you did it because the Golden Box willed it so. It used you Pa-Burger. It has been using everyone since the beginning."
Pa's eyes widened, and he stared down at the magical artifact and the energy coming out of it.