13 STEPS TO EVIL Writing Competition Winners

Yesterday, Sacha Black announced the winner of her
13 STEPS TO EVIL Writing Competition.

The assignment was to write a short piece (exactly 208 words) with a “seriously kick-ass villain.” Fortunately, I’d just read Sacha’s book: 13 Steps to Evil, which is full of awesome tips about creating dastardly bad guys.  Now, I swear I’m a nice person, but this challenge was irresistible, and I’m honored that my story placed first in evilness. Congratulations to Charise de Becker and Judy E. Martin for their winning submissions. Pop over to read their evil writing at 13 Steps to Evil #Writespiration Writing Competition Winners.

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Pixabay image

Barus

The woman studied him in silence. Barus sensed her eyes on his face, begging for a glance, on his hands as he cleaned the delicate needles and polished his blades. He possessed exquisite hands, long-fingered, soft and nimble. Hands for caressing the cheeks of children and lovers.

His preparations complete, he faced his charge. “Are you comfortable?”

Her brow furrowed, and he sighed, for how could she answer such a question? “An unfair inquiry. My apologies. Are you in pain? Thirsty?”

She shook her head, the gag preventing all but a muffled reply.

“You must understand the empire’s need for a flaying, a warning to all who flirt with rebellion. Your ordeal will save hundreds, perhaps thousands of lives.” He took a stool beside her chair, brushed a bright tear from her eye, and stroked her iron-bound arm. “I shall be quick.”

Her fingers curled into a fist. He withdrew his touch, the time for compassion ended. The life of his young son depended on unbearable pain, and he, the emperor’s latest executioner, would comply.

He unbound her gag, and she spat in his face, cursed his spirit to the shadowlands. He smiled at her prophetic appeal. Needles first, then knives. The entire city would hear her scream.