A Meeting in the Basement
Footsteps pounded upon the stairs, slowly descending the rickety wooden steps. We all listened in the otherwise silence. The basement was damp and dark, a musty smell lingered in the air. Around a round marble table the seven of us sat in wait, an empty chair three seats to my right. I held my head low, eyes squinted shut as I heard the scraped and scuffled across the stone floor. An indiscreet grunt erupted from his mouth as he fell into his seat. We all remained quiet, keeping to ourselves in the darkness. I could feel his eyes surveying the room and its guests, especially over me. I felt nervous. No, it was something more than that. I was scared. Terrified, to say the least.
“Welcome.” The silence broke, and some of us released startled gasps. “I am glad that you all have come.” The heads around me began to lift, and so I lifted mine. I was greeted by direct eye contact with the man who brought us here. His stare and awkwardly forced grin seemed empty, devoid of purpose and meaning, worryingly ominous. Continuing with his lifeless grin, he almost began to speak, before suddenly hesitating as he wore a foul face. The man stared with angry passion as the man to my left. I almost thought he was looking at me and my heart dropped, but by the expression on the other man’s face, I could tell he had locked eye contact with his aggressor. Upon closer look, I noticed the man beside me had the Sigil of the Blood Knight on his collarbone, not so well covered by his ill attempt at disguising it, underneath his raggedy garments. Our host placed his palms heavily upon the round table and lifted himself with arched shoulders, leaning toward the sigil holder. “With me you shall come.” He yelled. “Now!” The man with the sigil grimaced. The two steadily walked toward the stairs, with the sigil holder remaining warily three steps behind the host. As they reached the doorway at the top of the steps, our host disappeared behind the wall, and the sigiled man stood on the top stair. Without hesitation, the sigeled man reached behind his back and into his undergarments, pulling a blade from within, and proceeded to lash at the host. Not a moment later, he froze. It was almost as though time came to a stop, until his lifeless body fell limp and practically bounced down the stairs until crashing at the bottom, hitting his head upon a stone lash. Our host casually meandered back down the creaking stairs, smiling immensely.
“Now as I was going to say,” he began to say as he cautiously stepped over the red pool at the bottom of the steps. “Now that the seven of us are situated and well, I propose a cheer for the king.” He grinned somewhat maliciously as he watched over us all.
“For Darius!” The man yelled with glee. “For Darius!” He hollered loudly. “With me fellows, with me! For Darius!” We all remained silent, and his smile faded. “My friends, this is not a request.” He then paused. “For Darius!”
“For Darius!” We all screamed with him. Two of the men among the group began to cry.
“My name is Eleyrz. Nice to meet you all.” He nodded at each and every one of us. “Today I have gathered us all here for Darius.” He smiled heavier. “For the death of Darius.” Eleyrz took his seat as the red pool had reached his feet under his chair. “I want to truly thank each and every one of you for coming.”