Author: Nocturnal silhouette PM
Previously titled 'Demon'. Edited and revised. A life taken. revenge burning. She will make him pay for killing her, losing herself in the process. a oneshot.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Angst - Words: 4,113 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 3 - Published: 11-14-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2276847
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A.N. This was previously titled Demon. However, I got my hands on it again and reworked some parts of it. Severe editing so to speak. Song lyrics are from the songs 'Welcome home', 'Delirium Trigger,' and 'The Suffering' by Coheed and Cambria and 'Evil Angel' by Breaking Benjamin. Enjoy!
She had shone that deep crimson color for nights afterward, long rays that had once been a purifying silver tone reaching out now with bloodied fingers, caressing the earth, the tops of the trees that had glistened in emerald beauty under the sun's warm touch, smothering them in fire and blood. Such an angry moon, glorious in her obsession, her vengeance, as though she cried at the loss of life, my life. She shone so beautifully with her crimson mask, the darkest of her rays seeking out and discovering the one barren spot on the mountain, showering the bare, jagged rocks, the dry dirt, the small rushing stream that cut through the land with ironic beauty with bloody caresses. As though she knew what lay beneath the forgotten wasteland. As though she had guessed the earth's most treacherous of secrets.
Cold, hard soil.
Flesh and bones beneath.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Shine on pagan goddess, shine on.
For years afterward, I had often wondered how I had found that barren spot on the mountain. Surrounded by lush emerald and jade beauty, it was elusive and, because of endless foliage, hard to get to. Cut through the forest, follow the stream, and enter a forgotten wasteland. And it was in that spot, nestled there away from the world where my deepest of secrets, of desires were allowed free reign. The earth can be a cruel mistress, stripping a mere human of her protective facades, leaving her bare and vulnerable. And I gloried in it. Loving how the sun would kiss and touch my skin, more tender then a lover ever could be. How the moon would shine with ethereal rays of silver beauty. The Earth became my mother, and I her willing daughter, my mind, my soul a willing sacrifice to the nature that surrounded me. I felt safe, protected. It was irony personified, that such a haven could exist in such a wasteland, a seemingly hideous patch of land, scattered with death and only the grim reaper as its caretaker.
But I loved it.
I love it still.
My own personal graveyard.
I remember hearing once that when the body dies, memories cease to exist, fading away into nothing. I suppose the concept behind it is that the soul and body are interconnected; neither can survive without the other. And when the body dies, as the soul exits the slowly cooling body during that final exhale of life, memories are left behind with the corpse, abandoned and forgotten. As though the person had never lived. As though memories are nothing more than mere waste and unworthy of residing within the soul, instead left behind to rot with decaying flesh and bones.
But I remember it. Every detail, every word uttered, every scream, every motion recorded in my memory in perfection. I remember. God how could I forget?
I had come to my spot that night seeking a haven, sanity perhaps. I had become attached to my own barren patch of land, my soul entwining with it, coming to love it as I sought sanctuary there again and again. The fast rush of the small stream roared in my ears, the only noise in an otherwise silent world, the sky above me, so dark, a thick pure black blanket that stretched the entire length of the sky. And the moon, that conquering force that had pushed the sun out of its way to become sole ruler, so red, sanguine, as it watched over the newly won land.
I had been a history major, obsessed with the concepts of religion and figures. For years I had watched documentaries, poured through books as they divulged the secrets of the religious symbols, angels, demons, those creatures of nightmares and horrors. Some red with long tails, others with extended horns fashioned from fire and smoke, some who resembled angels rather than their evil brethren. But all shared the same intent.
Kill. Destroy. Plunder.
But on that night, buried inside my hooded sweatshirt as I sought refuge from the bitter wind that swirled around me in a cold worship, my demon emerged from the dark woods. No tail flailed from his body. No red skin. No angelic wings to confuse and fuck with the mind. Only flesh and blood. Only hate and malice personified.
My demon wore a gray tee-shirt.
He tackled me to the ground, the shock of soft skin against hard stone numbing my mind. The sanguine moon beckoned to me, the only thing I could comprehend as I lay there, the demon-stranger on top of me. Stones cut through my clothing, the jagged edges cutting deep, blood oozing out in tiny droplets. And the dirt so cold beneath me, seeping through with icy fingers, enveloping my body in its chilled embrace. I couldn't feel, my mind shutting down, and I could see only the sky. That beautiful black and blood sky.
A searing pain registered from my stomach first, and I could feel hot pools of thick blood squirting from my fresh wound. Onto my clothes, his face, his hands and oh God where had the pain come from? Why was I bleeding?Why, why, oh God, why?
He laughed, sadistic and cold, and the pain slowly forced my mind into consciousness. I had prepared myself countless times should such a situation occur, knowing that I would come out alive. I would live and my attacker would die. And as I felt my precious blood leaving my body in rushing streams, I cursed my arrogance, my foolishness. I could have fought back, but now it was too late.
The moon shone on with her crimson rays, catching the glistening silver of the long knife he held in his left, large hand. That monster hand. Dark droplets fell from the razor edges, collapsing onto the ground beside me as he held it high. My blood. My life force. Falling gently to merge with the earth; the cold, dry soil sucking it up greedily, hungry for more.
He plunged down again, and I, helpless now with the loss of blood, could only lie there, could only wince minutely as the knife raped my body so many times. Until it no longer mattered. Until the pain would not register with my mind. My head fell softly to the side, my neck too weak to support the weight of holding it upright, my cheek resting against a cold stone, fading eyes catching sight of a small insect carcass nearby. Several ants worked on it, ripping it apart with their strong jaws, taking the pieces back to feed the colony. Antennae, head, thorax, wings. Was this going to be me? Was my body going to feed thousands of generations of insects as my flesh slowly decayed, my bones the only remainder of a life cut short? Oh God I was going to die there on the cold ground, with a sharp blood-tinted knife slicing my body apart and the moon the only witness as she watched my destruction upon that cold earth, each breath a countdown to the very last. I was dying….dying….
I died with the sound of vile laughter in my ears.
I watched him as he rose up from my mutilated body, cleaned his bloodstained hands and face in the stream, the pure water rushing to splash his monster-body, returning to the source a distorted shade of deep red. I watched as he tossed the knife into the stream, heard the rushing roar as the water swallowed the instrument of torture and death in an instant. He used rocks to dig a shallow grave, pushed my body haphazardly inside, covered me with cold dirt. I watched him as he turned away, walked back into the dark forest, casual, uncaring. And I, a ghost, a newly formed phantom at his hands, was left to stand watch over my own grave.
I followed him, close at his heels, a haunting presence, to his parked vehicle. Ghost of fire and rage and vengeance. A companion at his side as he drove off into the night in his ancient pick-up truck. My eyes never left him as he pulled into a driveway, got out, entered his house. And I could only stand there on that graveled patch of land, not wanting to be inside that metal chariot of a demon, an invisible figure on the pitch-black street, watching. Just watching. A light would come on in random rooms. Shadows became a single figure.
Shadow of a demon.
It was only when I began the walk back to my grave that I realized that I didn't even know my demon's name.
I hated him all the same.
How many nights had I sat there on the ground beside my grave? How many times had I watched the sun and the moon in constant battle for supremacy of the sky, each one conquering the other in turn? I could only stare, my mind lost, so distorted. My grave. Beneath it lay more than various layers of earth. My body, so still now in death, the insects already tearing into the now frozen flesh, ripping me apart, feeding on me. An innocent life. Gone now. Forgotten forever.
I'm sure that there were search parties, though none ever came close to my spot, to my Final Resting Place. They searched, never found me. Instead passed me over, leaving me there to rot, to decay in morbid peace. My corpse falling to pieces beneath the soil, my body becoming one with the earth. Human fertilizer. There are bad people all over the world, and when a killer is never caught, there is always another ready and willing to take his place as the current 'most wanted'. Maybe the authorities forgot about me, gave me up as a lost cause. Without a body, there wasn't any evidence, no suspects, no one to condemn and damn as a cruel murderer. Maybe they slapped a bright red 'unsolved' sticker over my file, or labeled me as a 'runaway', and pushed me to the side. A manila envelope stuffed with details of my life packed away with the rest of the forgotten cases. But my demon lived free. No vengeance. No retribution. He lived free while I suffered in death. A monster breathing air, touching other people, laughing, living. All things denied me.
A life. My life. Gone now, but still so vivid in my memory. What was it that brought life meaning? Was it sitting on a porch, just gazing as the sun collapsed and the moon rose to new status, bringing with her thousands of silver, flickering stars? Was it longing for someone, that other half to complete the human soul, and the grand search for him? Was it missing a love once found, but now lost? Was it longing for the sweet embrace of a lover, the only form of peace and safety allotted to humans? Was it sitting on a swing at night, the soft sounds of a blues guitar in the background, the scent of high summer strong and heady? God how I remembered those days, those late summer evenings running for little bugs that flashed like lighthouses, later sitting on the warm, dew-laden grass as my ears caught the sounds of deep baritone voices that played over the Old Southern radio. Johnny Cash and June Carter. Elvis Presley. The stars of yesterday. God had there been anyone so good since? Those musicians that brought life to the ancient tales of convicts and cowboys. When southern drawls could woo a lady, tempting her to sin. When horses roamed the land at will, the great buffalo hunt. Gun fights and highwaymen. The roads still covered by a thick layer of dust. Spurs, saddles, and cowboy hats. Living history, told through song. Separated from me by generations but so close to my heart. A time long since forgotten, existing now only in the minds of the daydreamers. Abandoned. A memory. Just like me.
Days. Nights. Sitting by my grave. The stoic, unmoving ghost. And as I rested there, my hate swelled, vengeance and revenge building, until it was what I breathed, what I had become. My fantasies, so dark, so violent, as I killed that monster again and again.
Fire and blood. Sin and damnation. My demon would pay. For taking my life, for living, for my sanity, gone now.
Just like me.
How I wanted him to suffer, to writhe beneath my hands in agony as I butchered his warm body with the same instrument of death that he had used on me. Blood spurting as he gasped for his every breath. His body quaking, his monster eyes wide and afraid. I wanted to see fear, to see horror in those eyes. A demon dying beneath my hands.
The lullaby of the forgotten dead.
The moon shone silver that night that I went to him with revenge in my heart, an abrupt change from the bloody mask she had donned every night since my murder. Late fall now. Brittle yellow, orange, and red leaves resting near dark brown trunks, the branches stark and naked in the moonlight, reaching towards the sky in a macabre gesture of worship. Death surrounding me. How well I fit in. The wind blew, rattling the bare branches. Nature's death song.
It was the first measure of peace I had felt since I had died. Seeking comfort among the dead and decayed. Once I would have mourned the loss of my sanity, of my embracing the destroyed, but now I rejoiced in it. And Mother Earth, in her death shroud, rejoiced with me.
Phantom goddess of lost sanity, of perdition.
He was at home when I arrived, relaxing with a hot drink and a newspaper in front of his face. Flames danced with wild abandon within the antique fireplace, orange shadows creeping along the walls, merging with black shadows in sinister collaboration. He was content. Enjoying the life so denied me. My heart hard, I entered that monster's house, nothing more than cold wind of hate sweeping throughout the room, killing the flames that had only moments before begun another pagan dance as it devoured one dry wooden log after another.
I'm coming for you.
The force of it spilled the coffee cup that rested on the stand next to his chair, and his newspaper blew out of his hands. He looked around crazily, dazed, not knowing where the phantom wind had come from. Swiftly, I drew my hand back and swung. Before, in my graveyard, my hand has passed through anything I had tried to touch. Perhaps my vengeance had dominated me, let my hatred flow until I was material, giving me a false life to complete my mission of death. I cared not, felt a small measure of satisfaction as my hand connected with the back of his head. A sickening thud as he flew from the chair, sprawled on the ground in front of the fire. He was afraid now; I could see his large demon body quaking. He turned around, his eyes flying around the room, stopping on me. I felt those demon eyes on me, seeing me, and I saw him swallow. I knew what I looked like, a child of death, a product of a murder. My sweatshirt ripped into jagged shreds, dark red with blood. My jeans torn, my hair a lush golden brown mess on top of my head. And my eyes, no longer the dark blue color they had once been, but hollow now, pale, fire and revenge glowing fiercely within them. Looking exactly as I had the moment I had died. And he remembered me.
The battered goddess.
I laughed then, hollowly, coarsely. The sound echoed throughout the room, and I smiled. A smile of reborn hope, spawned of hatred and insanity. A smile of the dead coming to collect the damned. I was the grim reaper in the form of his victim, coming to collect due payment.
Pay in death.
Die for me now demon.
He crawled away from me, a mere shadow in the dark room, seeking sanctuary in the kitchen. I followed him, a ghost on his heels. I could hear him whimper, hear his cries, all the while moving on his stomach toward the kitchen door. As though it could save him. As though the night would welcome him with open arms. Another cold smile at his pleas. I wanted him to cry, to beg me for his life. I wanted to see him whimper, to fall limply to the floor at my phantom feet, in surrender, in humiliation. I wanted to watch his eyes as I cut him down.
He had a knife rack on a counter-top. Each handle made of a dark wood sticking out vertically, as though calling for my hands to grasp them, glistening from the moonlight that shined through the window. So beautiful, so pristine, so perfect for a murder. I could hear him still, crying louder now, as my hand reached out for the largest one.
Could I do this? Could I take a life, in vengeance, in retribution? He had taken my life. But how could I justify taking his in return?
Because he was a demon. And demons deserved to die.
His cries had softened as he saw my hesitance, picked up again as my hand closed around the handle, unsheathing it, lifting it high into the moonlight. The silver rays glinted off of it, as though giving it her pagan blessing. The perfect instrument of murder. The moon approved. I felt the last of my humanity leave my soul in that moment. A brief pang at the absence of the last thing that had tied me to the living, then nothing.
He saw me coming, looked up at me in raw agony, knowing the time had come for his sins to be paid for in full. I stood over him, that knife radiant, eager to taste human blood. His large monster hands covering his face, his body shaking with uncontrollable sobs and cries. He had fallen…fallen…
"Please,' he whimpered, 'please, I want to live. Don't kill me. Please don't kill me."Hoping to find a savior.
"I wanted to live! What about my life? You took it because it gave you pleasure, and now you must pay. Pay, pay, pay, pay for your sins," I sang to him, haunting, so cold.
Die for me now. Burn in hell young sinner.
"Please," he said again, a whisper this time, "please don't do this to me. Let me live. Let me live. I'm sorry. I'm so fucking sorry. Please…please."
"The sinner must pay. The condemned must die. As I have suffered, so shall you. As I have died, so shall you. And you will rot, just like my body. You will become nothing more than a faded memory, another murder mystery gone unsolved. You will join me in death. I have come to collect your soul, Demon."
So with sin I condemn you
Demon play, demon out!
His hands lowered, clasping in front of his chest, his dark eyes wide as he pleaded to me. On his knees. Like a servant. Repenting for his sins. The moonlight glinted off the knife, shining down onto his face, and I saw him then, as though for the first time. Looked into his eyes, so full of fear, begging me for his life. I had seen his face before, blinded by raw fury and hatred. Looking into those eyes now, raw dread blatant and horror consuming them, I felt my heart, so cold and hard moments before begin to soften. Looking into his eyes, I saw what I had become.
Oh God what had happened to me? My humanity gone, my sanity erased by hate and malice. For days I had called this man before me on his knees my monster, my demon. Standing before him, the knife in my hand, bent only on destruction, I had become the monster. I was now the demon. The messenger of death. And I was going to kill him. Kill him like he had killed me. Destroy his life, make him pay, make him suffer.
I felt a shift within me, my phantom body torn. My demon had slaughtered me, murdered me with reckless abandon. He was cursed, pathetic and weak now in his misery. And I, oh God, I had taken his place. The ruthless killer, bent only on the pleasure of taking a life. Rationality and reason abandoned for so long now. Holding that knife, my demon beginning to sob uncontrollably at my feet, I couldn't justify my reasons, my actions. He had taken my life. My sanity I had destroyed myself.
I couldn't hurt him.
My hand lowered, the knife slipping through ghost fingers as I felt the raw hatred pour from my body, humanity slowly returning. I looked down at him as he stared up at me in cautious wonder, unsure of what was happening. Endless days, eternal nights I had spent dreaming about his demise, how I would corner him, confront him, then kill him. I thought about how satisfying it would be when that instrument of agony cut through his living flesh and into his black heart. How wonderful revenge would be. How euphoric to watch him breathe his last at my own phantom hands.
I was tired. Tired of constant hatred, of allowing torment to control me, to guide my every action. My sanity, my humanity had suffered. I could suffer no more.
Forgive him. And be in peace young spirit goddess.
" I forgive you," I whispered to him, "I forgive you."
He collapsed on the floor, his stomach hitting hard off of the linoleum floor, not caring as he cried, cried from happiness, from forgiveness. My head cleared, sanity gaining control, and I bent down, reaching out with my phantom hand. Lingering remnants of hatred arose within me, but I fought them down. I needed to do this, needed to touch him somehow, feel him. I needed to forgive him. My fingers brushed through his short hair and he jerked, his body quickly maneuvering so he was back on his knees, his eyes wide with fear. I managed to smile at him, allowing my fingers to run through his hair in a ghostly caress. I couldn't feel it, the short strands passing through my misty fingers, but all the same my heart seized. I looked into those eyes again, saw myself again. No longer the messenger of death. The pagan daughter of the earth once more.
"Forgive me," he whispered again. "Please forgive me."
I leaned in and kissed his forehead. The final phase of forgiveness. Perhaps this was true insanity, kissing the forehead of the man who had killed me, forgiving the man who had taken my life without question or explanation, but I felt only sweet redemption, tranquility and peace at last. It didn't matter that I was given no answers, that the reason for my cruel murder would be lost to time immortal. I had forgiven him, discovered liberation from the dark portions of my mind. I had found the salvation I had been so desperately searching for.
I stood up, leaving him there on the floor, exiting his house, and walking into the moonlight. I glanced back once; saw him standing there in the window, watching me. His cheeks were stained with drying tears, and I could see true remorse in his dark eyes. And then I turned and walked away forever.
I returned to my grave, sitting down in my familiar spot next to the tiny mound that contained my body. The moon shone brilliantly in a black sky, caressing me with her sweet silver rays as though in approval and I could only smile up at my pagan goddess. Days, nights, blending into one, and still I remain. A spirit of the barren wasteland. The phantom goddess of the forest. Finding peace at last. Here, next to my grave, surrounded by emerald and topaz beauty, I found lasting serenity.