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By Keira Lane

Apollyon: the destroyer; the angel of the bottomless pit; Abaddon.

The overzealous ends crowded around to capture a tiny sliver of her soul. Glitz, glam, and strobes of light mixed with lustful pleasure from the throngs of envious devotees elevated her to the heavens. Risen from the ashes of her impoverished youth, she had taken care to expunge every impurity that weighed her down.

She had struggled against the forces which had bound her, breaking free from their deathly cold chains. The demons of her past lay in wait, itching to drag her back into her personal purgatory. It was a costly endeavor, as all momentous transformations were, but fame was a caveat in its own right, and those chaotic moments wait for no woman. She had changed her namewith her appearance following shortly after—disassociating from her past. Long gone was the timid and forgotten child from early life. Her tumultuous history had been cleansed.

Each reaction she got further elevated her towards the prosperous yet pretentious throne. Tortured beings cried out in great pain as she drained them of life. Never once did she look back to see the havoc caused by her insatiable thirst for fame. There was but one single goal: shine brighter than any star had before. Sacrifices had to be made, even if it cost her soul. 

Tires squealed upon the smooth drenched pavement. The putrid stench of burning rubber filled her nostrils. The curve in the road had appeared out of nowhere. Her knuckles were ghostly white from gripping the steering wheel as she braced for impact. The screech of crushing metal, as every revolution met the unyielding asphalt, pierced her ears and sent shockwaves through her body. Pricks of icy unease burrowed through her flesh, settling deep within her bones, echoing the tune of unfathomable dread. Shards of glass rained upon her, drawing out her life force. 

For a single ethereal moment, her soul soared like a bird in flight, distant and free. 

Darkness itself came to claim her soul.


Apollyon clutched her, dragging her away into the ghastly abyss. Her once flawless physique lay warped, contorted in the most unnatural and hideous ways. She scrabbled, desperate, fighting for her life, her heart beating a subdued rhythm with every damned step Apollyon took. She spiraled into oblivion, a place where only darkness and darkness’ allies dared to tread.


Traces of light flickered through her eyelids, a dim lightbulb on its last legs. Razor-sharp agonizing pain cut through her body, catapulting her to the furthest reaches of consciousness. An otherworldly electric pulse jolted her arms and legs with each labored breath she took. It was impossible to think through the pain; confusion clutched her mind. She opened her mouth, pleading for her lungs to compress, but something stopped her from screaming. 

Open your eyes. Open your eyes. Open— 

Her eyes uttered open. Terror filled her as the blurriness of her new world gradually came into view, inundating her senses. Paint was peeling on the wall. Even this place, it seemed, didn’t care much for survival. Her tongue pushed and prodded, searching for immediate escape from its prison. Her eyes widened in horror once she realized her lips were hemmed shut, like a crudely stitched-up toy doll. 

Bending her head to scan the environment below, her stomach lurched at the awareness of her body dangling in midair by an unseen force. Her arms were raised as if pinned to an invisible crucifix. Echoes of blood dripping onto the floor below haunted her. She made every attempt to curb the bile that threatened to swell to the sealed surface. 

White noise drew her attention to the far wall. There, a screen hidden in the shadows had turned itself on. She gazed at the screen, trying to focus despite the unbearable pain. Crackling hisses filled the void. Pictures moved in a slideshow across the display. Her eyes broadened to panicked ovals as she recognized some of the slides, private photos from her god damned social media. A toneless sinister voice spoke out, its words resonating throughout the abandoned pit.


The heaviness of a chain added to an arm startled her, upon it the word lust was written. 


Just as her left arm had been bound by the burden, so too was her right arm, the word pride etched on the chain. 


Tightness around her waist constricted her ability to breathe. 


The pull of the chain upon her right ankle commandingly anchored her down. 


Her left ankle joined in the creaky chorus that was the melody of her sins. 

Fresh wounds burned with the salt of her tears. Sounds of metal grinding upon itself paralyzed her as the chains moved in cadence, shifting and bending her. The slideshow of her photos on the screen disappeared, and in their place, a pair of beady black eyes. A menacing smirk of a hellish creature grew. Insurmountable dread consumed her. 

Dance, my marionette. Dance for your fans.