Chapter 3 – Settling Up

I found Evol doing whatever it is that he does – usually outta sight; but NOT today. He was standing right outside the alley where he usually lurked in the shadows. Today though it was like he was expecting me and he kinda had this look on his face. He was smiling. “Howzitgoin Grimm?”, he asked me in an almost Troll-like whisper still smiling.

I found Evol doing whatever it is that he does - usually outta sight; but NOT today

I looked at the ground moving an imaginary pebble, “It’s alright E…I was kinda wondering if, uh-”

“Yeah,” Evol said like I told him some factual and he understood, “I had a hint you might be droppin’ by; something in the air today, y’know…something in the air”.

So Evol began to school me in the things people don’t see everyday like when things go bump in the night or creak. He showed me that that chill down your back when you read something creepy – yeah like you’re getting right now. Well, that ain’t natural and it ain’t your imagination neither. So I became a warlock and Evol showed me how to use the power of the shadows; it was like trying to strike tinder at first: just a spark here and there but then it catches…it burns…and it gets outta control. It’s hard to tell whose doing whom: was I controlling the shadows or were the shadows controlling me.

Evol taught me how to use what was left of folks when they got in the way; how I could kinda recharge from it or save it for later. That’s what the malook in my pop’s office wanted. “Fingers” as he liked to be known send me on an errand to Ogrimmar to take care of some business. I didn’t go back though; I kinda expected to wake up dead but deep down inside, I think Evol knew I wasn’t coming back. I never did come back, at least not the same.

From Ogrimmar, I went through the Barrens and built my skills and from there I went barreling into Ashenvale to fight with the Horde. All these year’s I worked at making blood stains disappear and now I was the one making the mess; seems I had a new talent. After things cooled down in Ashenvale, I was off to Stranglethorn on some business with a cousin who owned a suit shop in Booty Bay with some trouble of his own. I cleared that up in a hurry and made some influential new contacts. And just when I got used to the humidity, I was off to the desert in Tanaris went from the Badlands to worse in the Blasted Lands. I fought from the shores beyond in Outland to the the snowy shores of Northrend. I climbed the Stormy Peaks to make some new connections at G2 and almost fell in love and finally came to face the fury of the elements themselves in Hyjal, Vashjir, and Deepholm. That’s when I had enough…enough to settle my debt and keep some on the side to help the family. I know ma had been workin’ the business and things were ok. I got a friend to sail me back to Kezan – I wish I hadn’t. I didn’t know I couldn’t go home – everything was gone.

When I got to shore, it was twilight and the sky was just starting to brighten, the dock was pretty burned up and the smell of smoke and ash was everywhere. No one was around even when I made my way back to Exit 28; the sign was twisted pointing straight down.

The door to the Laundromatorium was wide open and everything was smashed. I put my hand on the counter to feel the cool, smooth wood one more time but it was rough…charred…dry. Then my hand touched something cold. Somehow, a single token sat undisturbed in all of this cataclysm. I grabbed it and clipped it to my Embersilk cloak. I was just about to leave when I smelled that sickening sweet smell, “What’s the hurry my dear fellow? I believe we still have some unfinished business to complete. Payment is long overdue, even for an eternal such as myself, and payment shall be made.

“YOU! You did this!”

The man looked genuinely amuzed stroking his short beard, “This?”, he said almost in a laugh, ” my dear Grimsparkle, you flatter me; you’ve learned much since we last met and you’ve become quite powerful.” His face slowly melted into a stern piercing gaze, “And from what I can sense, you have become rich with soul shards. Shall we settle your father’s debt?”

Remember what I said about things not being your imagination? Well, just at that point, the shadows began to stir like a smoky haze. The guy stretches his hand out and my pop appears out of the shadows all ghostly like. He looked tired and sad. I put the sack of shards on the counter between us; it crunched softly. As i was staring at my pop, I said, “It’s all there. I figure you could count it but I know you can tell.”

The man looked at satchel for a moment and then back at me, “You forgot the interest.”

“Interest? C’mon I’m a goblin, 6.66% interest compounded annually; it’s all there.” I argued back.

“Poor Grim, I’m afraid I just can’t let you go yet,” he said wrapping his hands around the satchel and it started to glow, ” I think I’m going to keep you as my pet for a while.” The man began to sprout horns as his skin changed and beard sprawled into unruly tendrils are fire red and dull golden-brown. “You and your father will make me quite a prince in the new order of-”

I had had enough of this guy. I unleashed everything I had on him; we fought. I think we pretty much destroyed what was left of my father’s store in the battle. But being an immortal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I mean, you’ve got of forever to do stuff and you can get jaded, lazy, comfortable. He thought he had me . A fel fire bolt crackled into me and lit my robes on fire; green smoke and flame dancing everywhere celebrating my demise. I sunk to my knees; another bolt struck me.

“You?” the man laughed, “You thought you could defeat me” and he coughed seriously injured but slowly regenerating. “I think I will devour you right now and be done with this. Then I’ll finish your father’s soul for desert…” He hit me with a shadow bolt and that’s when everything went black.

Grimsparkle’s corpse lay burning in a flutter of shadowflame and charred embersilk. The demon turned, looking upon the Sal Sparkle’s tortured soul; he could only groan as he absorbed the pain of what he saw. To be dead was painful, to watch his son die and be powerless was torment.

The demon struggled to turn, laughing or coughing, it was hard to tell the difference. Sal looked down and saw a purplish haze covering his son’s body first a little then glowing. “And now for dessert, and his mother…well, his mother is…” Suddenly sensing something, the demon spun around, “No!”

Grimsparkle stood as a shadowy form backlit by the rising sun; it’s first fingers of sunlight coming through a window behind him. The demon stood in the eclipse of the warlocks shadow; his arms tucked and clenched conjuring a huge shadowbolt and suddenly unleashing it upon him.

The demon never felt the torrent of curses, banes, and shadowflame that followed. Before he could get up the burning bright soul leeches screamed over him tearing up his demonic flesh. “No one talks about my mother. Time to close this account for good.”, Grimsparkle shouted, as his Fel Hunter minion clamped a killing blow on the fallen demon’s hulk.

Grim’s father weakly looked in disbelief,”How?”

“Soulstone… Fingers taught that to me a while ago, springs you back from the dead with a vengeance. Now I’m gonna fix things pop.”

“Grim, you can’t help me.”

“Dad, stoppit. I’m a warlock, I can fix this; I’ll make you proud of me, I fix this and”

“Grim, I’ve always been proud of you. I made my mistakes, I pay my dues; it’s OK.”

“Dad, wait. There’s one thing I gotta ask you; I just gotta know…”

Sal’s eye’s glistened with tears, “Yeah son?”

“When you sold out…sold me…did you- I mean, did y-”

“I made him pay retail kiddo plus upcharges”, Sal said with a satisfied smile.

“I love you,” I said as he vanished into the shadows like a bad dream echoing “I love you too…”

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