Prompt: A super villain tries to educate her incompetent goons on the basics of villainy.
The Rain of Hatred was a truly ancient event. Any of the books that survived it had scorched covers at the very least. Whatever cruel god had passed over the world, sobbing into his hands, was long gone. Everyone thought the red hot drops of hatred that had fallen were gone as well, absorbed and neutralized by the Earth.
Spinneretta knew better. She had one of those books and she had the arcane knowledge necessary to read it. It told her where a few of the drops had pooled against the rock. It was an arduous journey, especially alone, but she’d never known anything else. Such journeys had molded her. She was only seven when she took her first: a trek across a field of petrified family. The magic there had tried to claim her as well, eventually petrifying the eyebrows off her face permanently.
Each obstacle added to her rather strange appearance. When she claimed the head of the fish-lipped bog beast, for profit of course, its long yellow teeth had left permanent scars across her shoulders. That’s what you get for letting something half-swallow you.
Then there was the time she’d brought low a den of thieves who had stolen her enchanted girdle. Each and every one of them had died, burned to a skull from the neck up, but with their last thought one of them loosed an arrow and caused an explosion. One of her ears was now permanently red as a result.
Spinneretta’s isolation grew with each experience, with each scar. She came to hate the rest of man, rather than finding them annoying as she had since birth. That was why she sought the remaining drops of hatred, so she could use their power to bring man low, to subjugate the world, and to finally have some well-deserved respect.
She found the pool deep in a mountain cave, overlooking an idyllic village full of milk cows and cheese goats. The sight was insufferably bright with its golden hay thatched roofs and bright pink wings of local songbirds. Spinneretta would strike there first. All she had to do was hone the power of the drops.
The pool itself was dark red and steaming. There were bubbles here and there, but they never popped. They simply rose and fell, looking like frog eyes retracting in and out of an amphibious head. She didn’t mind its ominous appearance; she knew her own was worse. Spinneretta was delighted to see a number of stalagmites growing up out of the pool, infused with some of its red color.
They would make fine experimental subjects. They were neutral material with some of the liquid hatred’s power. All she needed was a basic animating hex.
Her red and purple robe had struck fear into the hearts of thousands, partly because of all the little magical doodads and vicious insects she had tucked into it in equal number.Out came the shed skin of a creation viper.
Spinneretta leaned over the edge of the pool and rubbed it between her fingers, sending gray scales falling onto the stalagmites. The reaction was immediate, attesting to the hatred’s power. The stalagmites wiggled until their bases cracked. They slowly made their way to the edge of the pool, like the tips of pointed snails. Spinneretta shuffled backward and cackled as her pin-headed stone minions waddled out of the pool. Tiny pieces had separated, becoming discus-shaped feet. In total there were more than fifty of them.
She was the kind of person with unlimited free time, so she named them all right then and there, even using a bit of magic to give them distinct eye and mouth cracks in their stone. She already had her favorites; they were the ones that fell over the least: Vicious, Murk, and Spitter. They followed her like ducklings around the cave.
She lectured them on the proper ways to be evil: always defeat other evils first, as it both eliminates the competition and clouds your motives, be sure to harm an innocent, usually with a wild magical overreaction, at least once a month, don’t be too predictable, and have clothing that couldn’t be associated with anyone else. She asked the mites to repeat what she said.
They stood there, tiny stone points aimed at her face. One of them tried to dance and fell over. She screamed at them, which echoed throughout the cave and knocked several more over. They flailed. She had to kick most of them upright again. This would never do. They were too stupid. She would have to train them, grind the evil into their forms, rather than go at them intellectually.
The key was role play. She singled a few of them out to be innocents and let all the others act out the greatest and most dramatic evils upon them. She watched little plays of mite robbery, betrayal, and murder. They were very good at playing dead, but mostly because they were terrible at walking upright in the first place.
She gave them a possession, a small crystal from one of her bags, and watched them fight for it. The little pile of tumbling rocks grew more sincere with each of their exercises. They tackled each other of their own accord. They ganged up on the smallest and weakest, snapping those who couldn’t defend themselves.
She told them that was very good, which confused them. Evil. It was very evil. It was good that they were evil, and good in that context was fine. Their little pinheads spun. ‘Context’ was much too complicated a word. Perhaps it was time for their first mission before their little limestone souls dwelt on it too long. To them the world was simply a stage, and actions were either on it or rolling you into the empty dark seats of the audience.
Spinneretta yelled at them once more, but it was an order, full of the closest thing to love she had in her rotten silk cloth of a heart. She called them adorable vile little idiots and pointed them towards the mouth of the cave. Go! Pillage! Stab them in the ankles with your ancient points! Infect them with the borrowed hatred of the mighty Spinneretta! She cackled as they waddled towards the light.
Playful malice was all they had. This was a game. All of life was. They were simply on the evil team. Life didn’t matter, nor did death; all that mattered was the clatter they made upon the stage, the mess they made of it all.
The mites leaned over the cliff edge and saw the steep drop to the peaceful village. The path was quite far and their feet were so very tiny and button-like. It would be much quicker to slide. That’s what the mite in back thought anyway. It pushed forward and bumped the next one, who bumped the next, who bumped four more…
The mites rolled down the side of the mountain, gleefully shouting evil obscenities in high-pitched voices: whistles carved from stone. They swore, cursed, yelled, and rolled. Their forces seemed to grow as they picked up clods of dirt, uprooted plants, and other boulders on their way down.
The mites only stopped when the force of gravity tumbled them too hard and broke them into a hundred pieces. Spinneretta watched as her favorites yelled the foulest of words before being crushed. The roar of the landslide would have drowned them out anyway.
The landslide destroyed the entire village, burying that obnoxious golden hay. Well. Close enough.
Author’s Note: This flash fiction story was written based on a prompt provided by wolvesunited89 during a livestream. I hereby transfer all story rights to them, with the caveat that it remain posted on this blog. If you would like your own story, stop by twitch.tv/blainearcade during one of my streams and I’ll write it for you live!