Archived: Creating Fear by Stephen Tillotson

A tall man passed looking as if flowing over the battlefield. The commanding air he had would have driven the eyes of everyone looking to himself, but all that lay before the man was death. His face was solemn beneath his long whitening beard. His eyes were deep with sorrow, as if the weight of the world was resting behind his forehead. Yet even if the grief was apparent, he strode with a purpose. As he approaches the ridge at the edge of the gruesome scene, a voice rose.

“I see the old man has come to meet his challenge.” A chuckle drifted from the ridge, a young man stood there, blood dripping from the tips of his fingers, his back turned towards the lean figure. A black trench-coat flapped in the slight chilled breath of wind that drifted lazily over the field. “Always impetuous, child. Too quick to violence, too slow to learn patience.”

“You know, I’ve always envied you, old man. So much power- you’re revered across this entire world! The very name ‘Merlin,’ can inspire hope in the ‘commoners’.” He grimaced as if they caused him pain. “And inspire fear in the eyes of the enemies of the King.” The young man kicked a body with his foot as he walked by, the helmet slid off, revealing a golden crown that dropped off the head and fell, symbolically on the ground. “And yet here you are, late to the battle, letting your precious King die- and die slowly and painfully.” He laughed, more loudly this time. His head rose revealing his throat. He smiled at the blood and destruction he had created. Merlin’s deep voice spoke out, over the laughter. A tear dripped down his cheek and his voice wavered a little as he spoke: “Who would have guessed that I would have made my own King’s destruction? You, my child, need recompense for your actions.”

“You buried that sword in the ground long ago, you may be powerful, BUT I will be the most powerful. When I kill you, then, well, then I’ll be the feared one. I’ll have the strength to rule this kingdom.”

“Ariadne, in everything I have taught you, ever taught you, I have never told you fear was the path to power.”

“No, no you haven’t but that’s how you rule, and everyone knows the real power behind the throne was you. It’s been that way for decades.” His dark eyes, arched with pleasure at the destruction he had caused, the fear he had created. A soldier that was barely still alive shook with fear as he clutched an arm to his chest. “No, please no!” He cried out at the dark figure, now haloed by a drifting sunset. The sword now held lightly in the man’s hand struck.

“Now it’s time for you to die, old man.” Ariadne spoke as he knelt down next to the man.

“No My son, you will never kill me. I brought you into this world, I trained you.” More tears dripped into the white hair below his chin. “ I gave you everything, I even told you never to drift into the magick you’re using now. The Blood Magick.” During this Merlin was drawing a small orb from his dark blue robe. He rolled it between his thin fingers the symbols on it glowed a dull gray.

You and your inherent talent, always outshining me, always making me look the fool. That ends now.

“Oh Daddy, forever the one to fear the power stronger than your own. Do you know how much I envied you? How much I wish all this, the Magick came easy to me? You and your inherent talent, always outshining me, always making me look the fool. That ends now.”

The young man dipped his hands in the dark red blood seeping from the fresh cut. There were no word spoken, Ariadne flung his hand out, dark red streams flowing out of it, the smile on his face, sadistic, wide in his new found power. Merlin let the small orb drop to the ground, another tears dripped from his eyes. Pain and despair, the shadows beneath his eyes, ages of life had done nothing to harden him against this pain. The red hit him. There was no explosion, no extreme reaction- it simply flowed into his body.

“Now you die father, now you die.” The dark figure stalked closer.

“I never do anything without reason, son.”

Ariadne, whispered in his father’s ear, “I don’t care. I’ll never hear your voice again.” The smile grew ever larger. “I win.”


I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. My mom is an English teacher at a local high school and trained me to write everything from creative non-fiction to poetry to, my personal favorite, science fiction. This year I honed my skills as a writer in Creative Writing, and now I’m here to submit works.