When Death Pays a Visit
AUTHOR’S NOTE: During these months while my stories seemed to exist untouched, I was actually revising them: adding changes, deleting small parts… the usual. Now that summer’s here, I’ve found the time to make serious revisions and the time to send it in.
Grasping the locked and embellished ceramic box to her chest, a pale-skinned young girl with long dark chocolate hair cautiously laid her miniature hand on the double doors. Wearily, she looked to her left, and then to her right.
No one was there.
Princess Kitana pushed open the towering doors to her bedroom and slipped inside. Brushing aside the long skirt of her sky blue gown, she closed her doors and hurled herself onto the bed. She stretched for her nightstand, pulled out her mother's ornate skeleton key from the drawer and unlocked the gold and white chest.
“Now,” whispered the 5,000-year-old girl. She reached inside the chest and pulled out the Scroll of Prophecy. It was brown and torn along the edges, signs that the document was just about ready to fall apart. “What do you have to say?”
Kitana’s parents, King Jerrod and Queen Sindel, ruled the Kingdom of Edenia for countless and prosperous millennia, but from what she had been overhearing, there would soon be a major change. The Edenian armies had just lost their tenth consecutive Mortal Kombat tournament to the evil conqueror known as Shao Kahn. And according to the traditional legends, once a realm lost ten tournaments, the new victor would gain power and control.
But Kitana couldn’t comprehend what all the fuss was about. All the talk about the Conqueror taking Edenia was just nonsense. There was no way that a simple martial arts tournament could possibly decide the fate of any world, let alone hers.
Or was there?
“Don’t worry, child,” Kitana’s parents responded once she began to show concern. “You’re still too young for all of this.”
“On the contrary. If I can read,” she thought as she unraveled the scroll,
“then I’m not too young at all.”
Abruptly, a loud explosion sounded. Kitana dropped the scroll in surprise and lunged to save the ceramic chest from falling to the ground. She jumped off her bed and looked around, wondering what had happened. Realizing that it had come from outside, she started toward her balcony and peered through the window. Looking up, she saw the color of her gown in the sky, and the three glorious suns were all out. Two were overhead, while the largest of the three was about to set.
Cautiously, she opened the door and stepped out onto the balcony. She approached the railing and looked down at the world below, and there stood her father, King Jerrod, locked in a fighting stance with two of his guards behind him.
The explosion sounded again as a portal appeared, and out stepped the Conqueror himself. Kitana gasped in fear but remained silent to intently listen to the scene below.
“Greetings, your Highness,” Shao Kahn bellowed.
Jerrod sneered at him, still keeping his stance. “What do you want of me this time, Kahn?” he demanded.
“Oh, you know what I came for, King Jerrod,” Kahn responded. “My forces are victorious. I have defeated your Chosen Ones, and so I have won Mortal Kombat.”
He came right up to Jerrod and peered down at the King of Edenia. His large figure totally shadowed the man he stood before.
“And now,” Kahn continued, “Edenia is mine.”
Jerrod’s two guards rushed forward from behind to protect their King. “Not so long as we’re around, Kahn!” one yelled.
“As you wish.” Kahn raised an arm. Instantly, two blasts of energy flew out of his palm and sent the generals flying backwards. They hit the ground loudly, unconscious.
“You see, Jerrod,” Kahn turned to him. “There’s really no use in resisting. I could do the same to you…much worse, actually.”
Jerrod stared up at the Conqueror defiantly. “You know just as well as I do that I refuse to let Edenia go without a fight, tyrant.”
Kahn snickered in utter sarcasm. “Another battle? Must we end this in violence?”
“Bite your tongue, Kahn!”
The Conqueror laughed maniacally as he abruptly landed a hard punch in Jerrod’s stomach. The aging king collapsed to his knees and eyed Kahn. But no sooner as Jerrod raised his head, Kahn kicked him in the face, sending him flying backwards.
Jerrod wearily rose and faced Kahn. “You will never take Edenia!” he spat. “Never!”
“Oh, never say never, Jerrod,” Kahn laughed. He hid his hands behind his back, and a large spiked mallet mysteriously formed in his hands. “Besides, I already have.”
As Jerrod struggled to stand, a shadow fell over his tired, powerless body. He looked up and saw the Conqueror’s figure looming over him. His eyes widened in fear as Shao Kahn revealed the mallet to him. He watched, terrified as the Conqueror raised the mallet over his head.
Kahn delivered Jerrod’s death brutally, thrashing the Edenian King over and over. Finally he dropped the mallet, and began to laugh hysterically once again. “FATALITY!”
Jerrod’s death replayed in Kitana’s mind. She watched in horror as Shao Kahn brought the mallet down on her father’s head, crushing it to pieces. She was frozen with the sickening sounds of the crushing of a skull and a gush of blood echoing in her ears. She blankly stared at her father’s body, lying lifelessly in pool of his own blood.
“Father…dead?” she thought.
As soon as the child realized what had happened, her jaw dropped. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
Kahn looked up in surprise, his glowing red eyes wide open as he searched the area for the one who had screamed. He turned around just in time to see the horrified child running off the balcony back into the palace.
He smiled evilly. “You can run, young Princess, but you can’t hide!” he yelled towards the palace. He looked down at the dead king and his guards one last time with an expression of victory and triumph. And as he began to approach the Royal Edenian Palace to claim his prize, the largest of Edenia’s three suns slipped away beneath the horizon.
End of Part 1