Thunder boomed and the wind of a massive storm howled throughout the evening. There he was, lying on his bed with a pillow over his head. Calix hasn’t moved since he fell onto his bed earlier. Elpis vanishing before his eyes shocked Calix and with the noises louder and more ungrateful, Calix seemed to have lost his will to even move. 

He tried to piece everything together, but was stopped by laughter echoing throughout. Was he going insane, Calix thought. Was Elpis just a fragment of his mind? He didn’t understand and nothing made sense to him.  

Over the past few hours, he had given up trying to stop from hearing these pestering noises. He slowly gave in and let them rush around in his head. Moving the pillow slightly, he looked up at the ceiling. He began thinking of Elpis, but her appearance and voice seemed to be fading away, as if she never existed in the first place. 

Frantically, he stood up and grabbed his journal off the desk. Flipping through the pages, he ended up where he had left off, but what he found was nothing.. The pages where he wrote about Elpis; they were gone. Not ripped out, but just not there. The panic in him rose even more, he started rummaging around, trying to look if they were somewhere in the room, but nothing. No trail, no evidence, no pages and the thought of Elpis started to slowly escape from his mind.

Calix sat down on his bed and stared blankly at the floor. No thoughts going through his mind. Just blank space. Even the noises that still lingered about didn’t phase him.

He would sit there for another hour, still the same. Until a banging on his door made him jolt up. Calix looked over at the door, frustration lying on his face. Slowly creeping towards it, he placed a hand on the door knob and took in a small breath before opening it. The door was wide open, but no one was there. Taking a look down the corridor, he was surprised to find no one in sight. Not a single soul. 

Frowning, he closed the door and leaned his back against it. He became tired and the need for rest came out as a yawn. Calix trudged over to his bed once more and was about to fall down onto it.

“Hello again, Calix.” a raspy voice was heard inside his room.

He turned sharply around from where he heard the voice speak, but nothing was there.

“Who is there?” he asked harshly.

“No one and everyone, my dear Calix.” the voice spoke from another corner of the room.

Calix jolted his head towards the area, but nothing once more. 

“We were a little worried that you would indefinitely ignore us, but you didn’t in the end. I am glad you have returned.” it stated.

“Yes, Elpis tried her best for our dear Calix, but I fear you will always belong to us, won’t you?” another voice came from the ceiling.

“Elpis? Who is Elpis?” Calix yelled up at the ceiling.

“Wow, I am astounded at that mind of yours. I know it is something else, but to forget Elpis that quickly already, that is very interesting.”

Tears welled up in Calix’s eyes. Gritting his teeth and clenching his fists, he screamed out at the voices all around him. Their laughter bellowed as he screamed. Obviously amused at the frustration that has consumed him.

From the corner of his eye, he saw a figure fade into the light. Turning his head towards it, he saw a short woman with a mask on; white and black, with small horns on top and the face emotionless. A moment passed and Calix was surrounded by three people, wearing the same mask.

“Get away from me! Leave me be!” Calix yelled.

“It’s time to go, dear Calix.” the short woman spoke.

“No! You can’t make me!” he backed up frantically.

With the same movement, the three pulled out sharp knives from their long black cloaks. Backed up against the wall of his room, Calix didn’t know what to do. He was sure he was going to be killed right then and there. 

The one to the left of him grabbed Calix by the arm and yanked him. His fear filled scream bounced off the walls. With panic at the highest point for him, the sharp knives that they all held started to penetrate him in different spots of his body. Agony escaped Calix’s body. The screams of pain being released and then suddenly blackness engulfed him.


Calix woke screaming, still feeling the pain. He stopped when he noticed he was in his bed. Quickly removing the sheets and checking his body for wounds and blood, but there was nothing. No sign of any form of torment. The sweat on his forehead dripped down as he breathed heavily.

Must have been a nightmare, he thought to himself. A bad nightmare. Climbing out of the bed, he made his way to the mirror to give himself a better look. Checking his face, he did notice how bloodshot his eyes were. Odd, but perhaps he hadn’t slept enough. Although it was still night time with a heavy storm passing over outside with the howling of the wind pushing against the window.

Deciding that he were to leave the manor once it was morning and the storm had passed, he started for the door. Opening it and stepping into the corridor, he briskly walked towards the staircase. Uneasy at how quiet it was. As if those noises he’s been hearing all disappeared. 

Then, in a sudden loss of air in his lungs, he fell backwards onto the ground.

“We’re not done yet, Calix.” the raspy voice from his nightmare came out again.

No, he thought. It was all a dream, this isn’t real. Before being able to stand up, the masked woman became visible, sitting on top of his chest. This time she didn’t have her black cloak on, but rather just underwear. She held her knife against the mask she wore as she tilted her head.

“You’re not planning on leaving right, Calix? We were having so much fun!” she yelled with wicked laughter.

“Yes, fun indeed.” another mask appeared upside down above him.

“Hello again, Calix.” the person laid their hand on his forehead softly.

“Wh- who are you people?” Calix stuttered in fear.

“Just your keepers. You know, the ones who test your wills. Especially that precious mind of yours.” the woman sitting on him spoke.

She laid the knife on his chin and applied little pressure, causing blood to already escape from his flesh. Raising her knife to her chest, she sliced across and her own blood spurted out from the cut.. She laughed wickedly again, bringing her free hand down to her pelvis and reaching into her underwear. 

“Ah, yes! That feeling of your blood in mine. It- it gives me such excitement!” she screamed with delight. 

“You’re such a lustful freak, aren’t you?” the masked man standing above Calix said to the woman.

“Shut it! I just want all of him! With me, inside me, everywhere!” the woman yelled as she moved her hips and looking up at the ceiling. 

The man sighed, but gave her no more attention. Rather, aiming it at Calix once again.

“You’ll be coming with us now, dear Calix.” he spoke as everything went blank.

Once Calix woke again, he was in a dimly lit room with his ankles and wrists strapped tightly as he lay on top of a table. He couldn’t see much of what was surrounding him, but the smell made him nauseous. A stench of dead bodies and sage. 

“Welcome back, Calix. I hope you slept well.” the man from before spoke once again.

“Whe- where am I?” Calix asked weakly.

“Some place… safe.” he answered.

“Now, time to start. Let us revert him back, shall we?” 

With that said, Calix saw all three with the emotionless mask surround the table he was strapped to. He noticed he was wearing nothing. Everything he wore before stripped from him. He didn’t know what to do. He started to fight against his restraints when he saw their knives being pulled out. His pleading and fear escaping from his mouth.

With no hesitation, they started to carve into his skin. Deep cuts too. Etching symbols and words into him. The pain he felt, surged through Calix’s body. He wanted it to end. Everything to end, but his mind wouldn’t allow himself to feel the hope he so desperately needed. Where was hope? Hope is nothing, but a lie.

Vigorously stabbing and cutting into Calix’s body, he soon began to feel nothing. The emotions and pain he felt started to fade away, as they continued to ruin his body. Nothing would stop them. Not him, not some savior, not hope itself. 

Taking a look down on the damage that was being made, he saw knife after knife being slashed and pushed into his body. Dark blood, spilling onto the table and staining his skin. Nails beings ripped out from his fingertips and toes. Some skin from his arms being ripped off. The muscles from under that skin, flapping down. Intestines and other organs starting to spew out from the massive wounds dealt onto him. Not blacking out from this much pain, was a shock, but he kept his eyes on the ceiling. His body mangled and being punished with the knives of the masked people. 

“Everyone stop!” a woman yelled.

The three stopped as the woman came into view. Wearing the same mask with barely any other clothing; but she was different from the rest. More refined and in control of her emotions.

She climbed on top of Calix and planted her hips against his groin. Her hand held a clean knife as she laid both hands on his open stomach. She leaned down, still watching Calix’s face. Getting closer to his body, her free hand reached for the mask she wore and slowly raised it.

To reveal an attractive face, with curly brown hair draped over her bare shoulders and hazel eyes burrowing deep into his. 

“Nice to see you again, Calix.” the woman spoke as she started to licked the blood from his stomach.

“Wh- who are you?” Calix asked weakly.

“Try to remember. I am your hope, Elpis.” she answered, while moving her lips across his body towards his face.

The memories came flooding into his mind then. Elpis, the woman who is his hope. The same scenes kept replaying in his head. Calix walking up to the manor, entering and meeting Lady Violet, then meeting Elpis and eventually ending up on this table with her on top of his damaged body. Over and over, in his head he saw her. It was too much. Nothing made sense, he thought to himself as a tear escaped from his eye.

“Elpis… you returned.” Calix spoke as she met him face to face finally. 

“I never leave you, Calix. Remember this. I love you. I want you to continue.” she spoke softly, leaning in closer.

“You are… you are my hope, Elpis.” he replied softly as well.

“Yes, yes I am.” she said.

Elpis planted a kiss on his forehead. While embraced, she stuck her knife slowly through his chest, puncturing his heart. The last bit of breath Calix had escaped from his lungs and onto her neck.

“You will be ready eventually. Trust me, Calix.” Elpis spoke as his eyes stayed wide open and the small light in them faded away. The life, Calix had, came to an end.



It was a cold and bitter night. The storm that was passing by, caused much disturbance in Calix’s slumber. Waking up from the thunder that rustled above, he got up with pain jolting throughout his body. He didn’t know where it came from, perhaps he slept uncomfortably. 

Deciding to keep moving and to try to find what he was searching for, he got up. Picking his pack up off the ground, Calix started down the muddy road, towards probably nothing, but hopefully something.

After hours of walking through the storm that had finally ended, he got a glimpse of a perfect place for him to stay; a stoned manor. Calix decided to take the chance and started walking towards the property. This was what he truly desired after all.

In the end, all Calix wanted was a haven to get his mind straight; to focus.

Well, that is the ending. I hope you enjoyed reading this piece of mine. Remember that awareness is power.

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Cover Photo


Part One

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