Chapter One: Crazy Psycho Bitch
She stood in front of me. The little bugger only comes to my knees. She looks at her feet, her left hand playing with the tassels of her beaded belt. Her brown bangs fall into her eyes and over most of her face. One of her slippers was lost somewhere, and she was left with only one on her right foot.
I watch her silently as she hums happily to herself.
"You," she begins in her quiet, yet commanding voice.
I take a step back. I don't want to hear the rest of what she has to say.
"You," she states again.
"Me," I echo dumbly. As she looks up at me, I take another step back, my eyes looking her over with horror.
Her right arm hangs limply at her side, probably broken in several places. Blood coats her entire right side, dripping down her arm and onto the ground beside her. Her leg is bruised almost black, and the skin on her knee is torn off to reveal the bone. Blood oozes from a wound on the side of her head. The deep gash runs from the back of her head to the front of her chin. Hair matted with blood hangs over her shoulders, and her fierce red-brown eyes pierce through me with an eerie calm.
"You killed me," She says in a sing-song voice. "And I'm going to tell on you."
I woke up as I landed on the floor beside the bed. I sat up, holding a hand to my head.
"This is ridiculous," I muttered. "Afraid of children? Get a grip on yourself, Kryst."
I groaned softly as I sat on the bed, holding my head in my hands. "Great . . . And now I'm talking to myself . . ."
I'd been having that dream – or ones similar to it – all of yesterday and today. Ever since my last job . . .
I never met with the person who hired me. They just sent me notes with instructions; they even paid me in advance. They asked me to bring back their daughter, Marri-Anni, who had been kidnapped. I don't know why they didn't ask the local provost for help, but I didn't ask. I never do.
But, that job had to've been the worst I've ever done. All went well at first; I was able to find out where the kidnappers were keeping Marr-Anni, and I made a plan to get her out of there.
When I got into their, "hideout", I was about to take the girl, and had only killed one other man when everything went downhill.
I was fighting with one of the kidnappers when another one of his accomplices grabbed Marri-Anni and ran. I followed him, and when I caught up, he was standing at the edge of a cliff. Without a word, the man jumped, and took Marri-Anni with him.
And the only think I could say was, "Oh . . . Shit."
It's been two hours since my last dream. I wasn't getting much rest when I was sleeping, so I decided to stop.
I'm really fucking tired, but I won't let myself sleep.
I can only assume that the girl in my dreams is Marri-Anni.
This sucks ass.
I am standing at the cliff where she died and note with indifference the big drop below. Lazily, I kick a pebble off the side and watch it fall. No sound reaches my ears as it hits the ground.
She appears next to me, still covered in blood. I look down at her, feeling much more at ease than I did before.
"Scary, isn't it?" she says, looking down at the swaying treetops below. "But it is kinda pretty, don't you think?"
"I guess you could say that," I reply, following her gaze to the treetops.
"It's funny," she begins softly. "How calm you feel as you're falling."
I look down at her and raise an eyebrow.
"Wanna see?" she asks, slipping her hand into mine. "C'mon," she urges. "We'll go together."
I nod and look at the edge one more time before taking a step forward and tumble down . . .
I stumbled off of the chair I was sitting on and, with much talent, managed to trip over the edge of the rug and fall unceremoniously to the ground.
"Smooth," I muttered. I started to pick myself up, but decided against it. The floor was rather comfortable, really. Maybe I'd just lay there for a while . . .
"Shit! I have to stop that . . ." I said to myself. "Maybe I should drink some coffee . . ." I rolled my eyes. "Duh . . . It's in the middle of the night . . . There aren't any coffee-selling places open at this time. Besides . . . I really, really don't like coffee."
Great. Now I really know that I'm going insane. Resorting to coffee? Next thing you know, I'll be lying on a couch, babbling senselessly to a shrink while he charges me by the minute.
That's the only thing that could possible be worse than this.
That and coffee.
Now we were nowhere. That's the only way to describe it. I'm standing with her, and there's nothing but black all around.
She glares at me, blood slowly dripping down her face. "I hate you," she states.
"Well," I began, shoving my hands into my pockets. "If I were partly responsible for my death, I'd hate me too."
Oh no . . . There is no way I'll be charmed by this cute little walking biohazard. Not this time.
"You are a bad man."
"Sticks and stones will break my bones, honey. But dead people can never hurt me."
She smirks, and regards me with all the little-kid dignity she could muster up. "Yes . . . I'm dead . . . But my mommy isn't. And my mommy can hurt you real good."
I rolled over onto my back and forced my eyes open.
This was crazy.
"I can't believe I'm being threatened by a kid," I sighed, pulling myself into a sitting position, running a hand through my hair. "Oh, no . . . And not just any kid . . . But a dead kid."
Maybe coffee wouldn't be so bad after all . . .
Yes it would.
Nope. Haven't gone insane quite yet. Pretty damn close, though.
I keep drifting between fully-conscious, semi-conscious, and unconscious.
Every time I fall asleep, I'm haunted by the crazy Marri-Anni. I've got the world's biggest headache when I'm awake. I keep thinking about stupid things . . . Like coffee.
It's really warm in this room. But I think that's just me.
I took my jacket off a while ago, and now I'm sprawled out on an uncomfortable wooden chair, trying to stay awake.
I am so fucking pissed off . . . If I weren't so tired, I'd go out an kill something. Maybe I'd bust the window of the nearest coffee house.
I was drifting in that funny little place between waking and sleeping when someone spoke to me.
"You're honestly trying to stay up all night?"
"Yes," I replied, keeping my eyes closed. "I'm celebrating the new year. Let auld acquaintance be forgot, and all that jazz, y'know?"
"You're rather amusing."
The voice wasn't Marri-Anni's. It was a woman's . . . And she sounded like a pretty damn sexy woman, too.
"Do you celebrate the new year in May very often?" The woman asked.
"No, not always," I replied. "Sometimes it's in July."
I opened my eyes slowly, but shut them when I saw that nobody was there.
"Aaw . . . Hell no . . ."
"What's the matter?" she asked.
"You're not real . . . You're just all in my head. Do you know how annoying it is to have everyone and their uncle thinking you're schizoid?"
"Quite the contrary," she began. "I am very real. But I'm just speaking to you in your mind."
"Oooh . . . ." I nodded. "You're one of those 'special' people. ESP. Extra Stupid Personality."
I paused a moment before asking, "So . . . What're you doing hanging out in my head? I shouldn't think that it's a very nice place to be."
"Oh no, it's rather roomy in here."
"I'm the one giving you all these dreams."
"Aah . . . So . . . You're my subconscious?"
"Sure . . . Are you sure I'm not your conscience?"
"Yep. Don't got one of those."
"So . . . What is a subconscious anyways?"
"Well . . . It's like your conscious . . . But it actually serves a purpose. Why?"
"I wanted to know."
"Are you really my subconscious?"
"Then, who are you?""You want to know?"
"No, not really. But, tell me anyways."
"My name is Stella, and you killed my daughter."
I don't know how long I sat in silence, trying to ignore the headache that had steadily grown stronger.
So . . . The one who hired me was a woman. Still doesn't answer why she didn't ask authorities to deal with her daughter.
"You still there?" I asked softly, my throat dry.
"I'm sorry about your daughter."
"Thanks, but I can't forgive you."
"What the fuck, woman? It's not my fault some psycho ass hole jumped off a fricking cliff with your daughter, okay? So, go . . . Bother someone else," I almost shouted.
"No. It is your fault."
"Oh my freaking son of a bitch!" I hissed, starting to feel really annoyed. "Get the hell over it, lady!""Is your headache very bad?"
"Yes. It is that bad. In fact, it may even be – What the hell? Why do you care?"
"I'm the one giving you the headache."
"Wow. You're quite a bitch."
"Definitely. Eventually, my presence in your mind will take up so much space, your brain will cease to function."
I tensed up, and clenched my fists. In a flash of rage, I leaped up and swung around, slamming my fist into the wall. "What do you want from me?" I cried angrily.
"I want my daughter back!"
"I'm not a fucking god, woman! I can't do that!"
"I know that!" she screamed in my mind. The volume of her voice combined with my headache caused enough pain to force me to my knees.
"Why won't you just leave me alone?" I asked softly, my arms handing limply at my sides, and my head resting against the wall. "I can't do anything for you."
"Don't you understand? Emmie is gone. I have nothing --"
"So you decide to come and pin it all on me. That's quite the logic. Typical woman."
I winced as my headache worsened for a moment before lessening slightly.
"You and I need to meet in person," she sighed.
I stood up carefully, my headache subsiding slowly. "All right . . . Tomorrow?"
"I'll need to sleep," I began, rubbing my forehead. "Promise to lay off the dreams for a bit?"
"All right," she replied slowly.
"Okay. Now, please, get out of my head."
A few moments later, my headache disappeared completely, and Stella never did reply.
I threw the covers off of bed before falling on top of it. I covered my head with a pillow and muttered, "Crazy psycho bitch."
A/N: Well . . . Wasn't that exciting? This is a very different voice for Kryst . . . I mean . . . He IS on the verge of insanity. It's crazy stuff, this. I think this story was inspired by the remix of "One Step Closer" by Linkin Park. It's crazy cool. Anyways . . . This shall be interesting, as there is one more chapter on the way.
Oh . . . . And this "Stella" person shows up in the actual novel . . .