No Rest for the Wicked

The shadowy figure sat dejectedly in the elegantly carved and gilded chair at the head of a long, equally well-adorned table. Three candelabras sat spaced well apart along the length of the table, but their dim reddish flames were more for creepy atmosphere than illumination. The walls and ceiling of this room were barely visible in the gloom that hung eerily like a fog over a coastal bayou. The shadowy figure sighed heavily, slumping in the chair with his hands clasped across his stomach.

There were other shadows in the room, and they seemed to be attuned to the dismal spirit of the figure seated at the table. They whispered almost inaudibly as they shifted and moved as if they were cast by the flickering candles. The wraiths eased closer to the seated figure, and as if of one voice they hoarsely hissed, “What vexes you, master?”

Another sigh emanated from the dreary form as he replied with a tone of antagonized irritation, “An item precious to me has been redirected from the soul it was meant to serve and instead has been locked away and is at risk of being lost to my great schemes.” He waved his hand impatiently and the shadows reflexively moved away as though they had been pushed by the breeze such a gesture generated. “Yes, I am vexed. The ability for mortal do-gooders to ruin my plans is an ever present source of frustration for me. Now I will have to seek out the Lady of the Pool and see to it that my precious likeness is returned to a place where it may yet find a use.”

The watered-down mutterings continued among the shadows as the figure resumed their agonized ponderings. Truth be told, it wasn’t so much the foiled plots that were frustrating the shadowy form. Much about what had transpired over the last couple of years had settled badly upon them. There were more issues than the wraith-like shape cared to list, and yet they swirled about in their mind all the same. The shadows in the room knew of their master’s discomfort and took care to steer well clear of making it worse by provoking their lord.

All of this was nothing but pure theater, of course. The shadowy figure had but to snap their fingers and everything would be set right. They might not even have to work as hard as that. But that wasn’t how things worked around here. The boss liked to wallow in foul moods. In the long run it made them miserable beyond description but this is the point of evil. Suffering is simply the price one paid for being evil, and there was never a shortage of evil to be had. There truly is no rest for the wicked.