Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Soldier X24K
By Madeline Dyer

Jealousy, it’s like a blanket. It closes in on you, blinding you. It holds you, whispers to you, lies to you. The green-eyed monster.

Just thinking about it makes me cringe. The memories come flooding back to me with every breath I take. I shouldn’t have done it. It was wrong, I know that now. Now that it’s too late.

Horrible words.... Too late... Gone forever... I can’t change anything, not now.

The snake doesn’t visit me anymore, he doesn’t try to put his thoughts of fury inside my head, because, because he knows that he’s won. He got what he wanted, didn’t he? Yes, he definitely got what he wanted. And he didn’t even have to do any of the ‘dirty work’. Yet, when he calls, I’ll go running straight to him. I know I will, the instinct’s inside me. He planted it. A tiny seed that grew and grew. A tiny seed that won't stop growing.

How happy he must have been to find me! And at such a brilliant time too... it didn’t take long for him to sliver up to me, to help me, to use me in his evil games of violence and death.

He knew I disliked her. Yes, the snake knew I was jealous of her, of course he did! He must have. Jealousy... a powerful weapon... I was just a pawn that he was willing to sacrifice, so he could kill the Queen, checkmate the King.

Of course, I hadn’t known that she was a Queen, a Queen of the ‘Otherworld’; a world of magic that lies hidden beneath the human realms, a world that should never be touched by humans. Claira, that was her name. It’s engraved upon a stone now.

The Otherworld is a deadly place. The beings there, they’re amazing: intelligent, magical, amazing, dangerous, lethal, uncaring, beautiful and different. They all stare at me in my cage. They come to visit me. They point and laugh. They wonder why I don’t escape from my prison of vines, they know I easily could. I know I could.

If I break away from this safe haven, there’ll be another snake. I know there will be. They’ll use me again, just like he did. I’d kill again.

No one can touch me here, apart from him, the snake. But only if he comes. And he hasn’t. Yet. He’ll be waiting for me to tire of this loathsome game, to tell him that I want to help him kill. After all, he did win the first game.

I’ll win the second. And the third. And the fourth. I won’t go to him voluntarily. I won’t become jealous of anyone again. He’d love it, he feeds off it. The dangerous emotion pumps him with life.

I’m not the only human he’s ever ensnared in his trap. There are hundreds of us, his soldiers. ‘Nameless beings’ who don’t understand the Otherworld.

All of us, we’re the same. Victims. Murderers. I’m the only one who killed a royal though, does that make me special?

Claira, she was beautiful; long golden hair that spilled languidly over her shoulders and beautiful deep brown eyes that could touch the soul of any mortal man. Her beauty was inhuman, she was inhuman. No wonder I couldn’t compete with her.

No wonder Zarence chose her over me.... I didn’t stand a chance.. She brainwashed him, programmed him to be her consort. He had no choice. I had no chance.

The snake hated Claira. Her family and belittled his species. Oh, he was just waiting to get revenge. A revenge that he couldn’t be implicated for. Because how could he possibly be implicated with a murder that the guards saw happen? They saw me kill her.

The magic has touched my soul, I could do anything with it. But I chose not to use it. The torture would be unbearable and I cannot die. And yet I cannot leave this place. Forever, I will be stuck here in the Otherworld. They’ve sealed my lips and cut off my hands. My eyes no longer see, but I see... I see everything.

I see the snake. He’s cosying up to some other unsuspecting human girl; soon she too will be a murderer locked away in here. His own personal army that he can call at anytime. He only cares about us for a short time, those first few months. He has to care to plant the seed. Then it grows. It takes over you, a blanket that suffocates rational thoughts from you, a blanket that squeezes and pulses, reminding you that you’ll never be free again....

I’m just a soldier. A soldier whose caught up in the war between the magical snakes of the Otherworld and the Witches. And when he, that beautifully evil snake, returns, I’ll have no choice but to follow his orders. For I am his servant and I can kill with my mind.

Sometimes, I wonder what happened to Zarence. He’d be long dead by now. Humans don’t live more than eighty to a hundred years on average. Five hundred and thirty-one years ago was the last time I saw him. I just hope that he never had a reason to let jealousy control him, because once it does, it’s too late. He’d be another soldier trapped in this land, tainted by jealousy. I hope that I don’t ever feel his presence.

I just hope that he had a happy life, like the one I wanted. Like the one that Claira wanted.

And I hope that someone kills the snakes, these serpents of jealousy. I hope they all die and that the gap between the Otherworld and the human realm is sealed. No more humans should be taken. No more humans should be used as disposable soldiers to fight for these merciless beings in a war that we don’t understand.

For I’m just a soldier, a machine to them, to the snakes. We’re not supposed to think, but we do. We’re not supposed to plan, but we do. We’re not supposed to communicate with each other, but we do. Because we will save the human race from these evil beings. We will wipe out the snakes. Somehow.

I’m Soldier X24K, and I’m leading this mission.

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Madeline Dyer lives on a farm in Devon, England, and has a strong love for mythology and folklore; this in particular inspired her to start writing fantasy. She is currently working on her sixth young adult fantasy novel.


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