Vengeance is a Poisonous Prayer

A moment of anger leads to murky consequences.


Photo © Erin Leary

The creature who had been Marrak cackled, drooling.

As the slime crept toward the opposite shore, they would be praying, chanting protective rituals.

Thinking they were safe.

Nobody was safe.  Gral the Amorphous devoured all.  Gral the Corrupter showed no mercy.

They deserved none.  Not after destroying him, taking his property, accusing him of…

His head fogged.  Something unfair.  That much he remembered.  That’s why he invoked Gral.  Brought the plague.


A face.  A young girl.  So familiar.


Marrak dove in, paddling desperately through the slime.  His skin bubbled, mutated, dissolved.  Gurgling out his daughter’s name, he sank.


Word count: 100.  Submitted for this week’s Friday Fictioneers‘ photo prompt challenge.  Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, as always, for hosting, and to Erin Leary for the photo prompt.  Click here to see other stories and to submit your own.



33 thoughts on “Vengeance is a Poisonous Prayer

    • Thanks! Hm, I was thinking he was obviously dead, but now that you mention it, it could be read as ambiguous. Gral is an icky god who mutates and tortures rather than kills outright. Who knows what that slime really did to poor Marrak!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Pretty gruesome all around, indeed. And no, his death wouldn’t stop the spell — invoking a plague spell that strong, it was going to kill him anyway, he just didn’t realize it. Hopefully there are stronger clerics or wizards in the village than Marrak knew about!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I tried to leave it ambiguous. Once anyone has contact with Gral, they deteriorate pretty rapidly. Marrak might have been a pretty bad apple to begin with, perhaps a devoted follower of Gral who got caught doing bad things and this is how he retaliates. Or Marrak might have been a petty criminal, or even a tradesman who made some bad decisions and went afoul of the local authorities, and in a moment of anger and weakness he called upon this evil god, not realizing what he was doing. On the other hand, maybe he ran across Gral accidentally and was lured in, and this whole idea that he was wronged is part of the insanity caused by Gral.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That same kind of insanity, oh yes — although anyone actually worshiping Gral may be even crazier than in Howl. Or it will make you crazier, at least. Gral is ever-creeping plague and mindless destruction, the mutation of anything beautiful and healthy into oozing pus and decay. Pretty creepy stuff… Thanks for commenting!


  1. Exciting and chilling piece … and so much to keep us guessing about. I’m not sure whether to pity or despise Marrak – perhaps a bit of both. But one thing is clear: Marrack evidently didn’t know what he was getting into when he invoked Gral. His quest for revenge backfired so badly: great death scene.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Millie! It kept me guessing too. Although yes, I agree — he certainly did not expect this to happen! I do like to kill off my characters, especially when they need a good moral lesson. But the more I think about it, the more I wonder whether he really did die. Perhaps he mutated into an unrecognizable monster who spreads the plague of Gral… even more chilling!


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