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Oliver D. Bernuetz's Stories

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The Death of Cora

There came a time when Sheng pressed Moonson unmercifully and appeared to be winning in his war to destroy the Empire.  Moonson had escaped Sheng by being killed by the Mad Sultanate in 4/40.  He hid as a mortal man in Doblian married to a weaving woman.  Many of the immortal parts of His Soul He hid out of Sheng's sight.  One part He hid in Sheng's plain view.  As part of the spoils he had taken from Moonson Sheng had captured Cora of the Two Mouths, one of Moonson's courtesans.  Before they had parted Moonson had secreted part of His divinity in Cora deep within her.  He did this with the full knowledge and agreement of Cora.  Cora then wandered alone until she fell prey to some of Sheng's troops.   They realized what they had and turned her over to Sheng who richly rewarded them.   During the eleven years that Moonson hid from Sheng while His plans neared fruition Cora stayed with Sheng and was his tool to do with as he wished.  She suffered in silence never speaking through the long years and was subjected to many indignities and brutalities.  When the time came for Moonson to reclaim His divinity Cora knew that it was time because of the piece of Moonson within her.  After keeping her silence for eleven years she spoke, at first rustily and then with increasing clarity and taunted Sheng before his generals.  She challenged his manhood and his divinity, she compared him unfavourably to both Moonson and to domestic animals.  At first Sheng stared at her with incredulity and then growing anger.  Not stopping to question her actions he ordered his torturers to punish Cora both before and after death.  They stretched her out on a rack and tore from her what beauty remained to her.  They took her fingers and her toes. They cut her ears and eyelids off.  Much more did they do before they were ready to kill her.  Through all this Sheng sat and watched. They took her eyes and then were going to take her tongue.  She had remained quiet as long as she could but had been screaming for quite a while by this point.  As the guards reached for her tongue with their hot pinchers she started laughing and Sheng gestured for his torturers to stop.  "Why do you laugh?" he asked.  "Have I not taken everything you have from you?"  The torturers told Sheng that she could no longer hear him so he asked again using magic.  Inside her head she was laughing as well, not a hysterical laugh but one of joy.  Sheng asked her what she was laughing at and she answered, "At your blindness, o Master of Mine.  You have been searching for something for eleven years that I have carried safely with in me!"   And then Cora spit out the piece of Moonson's Divinity she had been carrrying and the bright thing soared up past Sheng's head and out of his grasp.  And behind it in Its claws it carried what was left of Cora of the Two Mouths.  It flew to where Moonson hid and Moonson spared a moment to weep once more at what had befallen Cora.   As He had wept all along at what had befallen the Empire.  He tucked what was left of Cora safely away and vowed that she would received divinity and worship for her actions and so she did.

This page last modified May 03, 2000 

Last updated September 26, 2016

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