Heavily based on the video of "Das Letzte Streichholz" ("The Last Match") by German band OOMPH!. Translation is from the official English fansite. Title from "Hamlet", by Shakespeare.
She began to hear the voice not long after her father left.
It told her that she shouldn't be doing all the work around her house herself; that she had the right to a normal bedroom, like her two stepsiblings. That she didn't deserve this treatment.
At first she thought she was tired from all the work her stepmother was giving her. Suddenly she had to do the housework, cook, wash and clean. Her stepmother's excuse for laying off the household staff was that there was a war going on, and they needed to be with their families; but they all knew it was because she wanted their wage-money for herself.
School was closed because all the teachers had been killed or sent away to fight. The three children stayed at home, her stepsiblings enjoying themselves while she took care of the house.
When it became apparent that her beloved father wasn't going to come back so soon, her stepmother took full advantage of the free labour. She eventually became used to the constant bullying and mistreatment, and it was then that she really started paying attention to the voices.
As she lay awake in her small closet-like room in the middle of the night, she would hear the voice whisper to her. It was nothing like her father's voice; this was deeper, almost a growl but in a very comforting way. It was friendly and kind, which was more than what she could say about her stepmother.
It told that that this was an injustice, that she deserved more than those two fat useless brats. That she should take action, but she ignored that. She was living in relative comfort, after all; her father could be suffering out in the middle of a war zone. Or worse, dead.
As she walked through the large house alone, carrying the laundry or a mop, she sometimes could hear the voice talking to her. She didn't speak to it but in her heart she agrees with everything it says because she knows it is true. She hears only one voice but she feels three presences. Somehow she knows that only one of them is talking to her.
She begins to think of them as her angels. The one who speaks is an angel and the presences mean that her guardian angels are watching over her.
A year passes. Still no news from her father at the frontlines.
The voice grows quiet for a while. She feels the presences much less now, almost as if they've forgotten about her. She is sad about it; she liked the voice and the feeling of her angels was soothing.
Her stepfamily gets worse. She's bullied much more now, and her few possessions go missing. She longs for the voice again. One night, when the rest of the house sleeps, she whispers to her doll, telling it that she misses it.
The next night, she sees them.
She is walking past her father's study carrying the things to the linen closet. The door to her father's study is usually closed, but today it is slightly open. She thinks that the brats were exploring again, but she just sighs — she will close it on her way back to the room, her hands are full now — but then she sees them inside and stops.
There is one sitting behind the grand oak desk. Another one is by the window, but he is looking at her. The last is seated at the other chair in the corner. They are not looking at her; the one at the table has his arms on it, and his face is resting inside.
They all look different. One has no hair on his head at all, but the one at the table has a head full of hair that is brown and spiked up.
She is terrified at first. Who are these people? How did they get in? What do they want? Will they kill her?
Then the man at the table looks ups directly at her, and she knows that she is safe. Somehow in her heart she knows that her prayers have been answered. Her angels have returned.
For the first time in a long time, she smiles. They smile back and she just looks at them, marvelling, joyous. She laughs in awe but quietly to ensure that the others don't hear her. The one in the middle speaks to her, his words as clear as if he were standing next to her. It is the voice, her angel's voice. We have returned, he says. We will take care of you. She says yes, yes I know. I missed you. Will you stay? He says, yes, we will. And then they are gone.
She does not see them again, but she feels them. She is happy and she does her work with a new vigour. Her stepsiblings notice and they resent it. The voice comes back in the night-time, quietly speaking. Telling her to take her justice because no one else will. Telling her to take action.
Then one morning she thinks she hears her father come through the door. She jumps out of her bed because he is back, is the war over? She must have missed the announcement on the radio — but when she reaches the hall, it is empty. He has not returned.
She is crestfallen. She thought her suffering would end, that things would be back to normal, but it is not to be. A shout from her stepmother tells her that she is needed. It echoes through the house with her name, causing the china in the cupboard to shake.
She goes to her room to change from her bed-clothes. When she reaches the door she steps back; her stepsister is sitting on her bed holding her china doll. The doll is a gift from her father before he left for the war so it is very precious to her. To see her stepsister holding it stops her blood cold.
Please don't, she whispers, knowing full well what she is going to do. Her stepsister just gives a smug smile and then the doll is launched through the air. She tries to catch it — it is the only thing she has of her father — but she cannot move fast enough. It shatters into thousands and thousands of pieces.
Her heart breaks the same way. Her stepsister smiles and leaves her, skipping down the corridor as if nothing has happened. Shattered, she just looks at the remnants of her father.
There are heavy, fast footsteps outside. Her stepmother is screaming for her again but she is too numb to move. Seeing the smashed pieces on the ground and assuming that it is her fault, she screams at her, telling her that she is good for nothing and just looking for trouble. She threatens punishment, slams the door and locks it.
She is too upset to say anything in her defence and just sits there, broken as her doll. The voice returns, telling her that this is too far. Too much. She will be justified if she took action, but she cannot bring herself to do it. Her heart is in too many pieces for her to do anything.
Her exile in her room does not last long. By the next morning she is back at work, because they cannot bear to do the housework by themselves. Their mother is far too proud, her children far too spoilt.
The voice was far more insistent now, telling her to do something, anything to avenge herself as she makes breakfast for the family. But she won't.
There is a pan on the stove as she pours the juices and coffee. Putting them on a tray she brings it out. Her stepbrother, a fat pig of a boy, sees her and sneers. He sticks out a foot in her path and then she is falling, the glass shattering and the liquid going all over the place.
Her stepmother is angry. To her this is another transgression and she screams at her again. She goes to the kitchen to get a cloth, forgetting about the stove; and as she is cleaning the floor behind the children, her stepmother encourages her children to litter more.
They laugh cruelly as they throw their breakfast behind them, covering her in food and making her work much harder. Her stepmother approves. She tries not to cry.
She feels an angel in the room, and taking a discreet glance between her stepsiblings' legs, she sees one of the angel's feet. She can tell it is his because when she saw them they were dressed in the styles of another century, perhaps from previous occupants?
She stands up, done with the cleaning and she sees the bald one. He looks grim, almost angry; his cravat is knotted tightly around his neck and his face is taut with emotion. He does not speak; only the spiked-hair angel has.
She is about to return to the kitchen where her stepmother is taking something, and then they all smell the acrid odour of burning food. In disapproval she glares at her, and she knows that she is in trouble again.
This is the first time in a year that she is allowed to eat from the same china plates as them. She is not eating the food she cooks for them; instead she is forced to eat the charred lumps of what was once food. She cries but they force it on her, and by the end she is sick to her stomach. She runs crying from the dining room as they laugh.
She can feel the angels and their wraith. Between her sobs she can see them; one is standing in the corridor, the bald one is still at his spot. The one with spiked hair is in the kitchen, scowling.
Strange things have always occurred in the house, but they have been harmless and rare. After this day they begin to happen often. Doors slam in the middle of the night, and windows open. The hot water mysteriously stops but only while her stepfamily is bathing. Lights switch on in the middle of the night even though there's no one in the room.
They are scared, but she knows that it is her angels. This is their justice. They will not hurt anyone but they continue to wreck havoc in the house.
She is washing the sheets and hanging them up on long clotheslines to dry. Her stepsister comes to her, smiling a deceptive smile. Before she can stop her there is blue dye in the water, staining the sheets.
No matter what she does she can't get it out. The sheet she was scrubbing is stained a light blue and when her stepmother sees it, she is not pleased. She grabs her by the hand, dragging her to the disused cellar, screaming obscenities at her.
She is thrown inside, and the old door rattles as it is slammed and locked. She is assured that her punishment will not be so short this time.
She does not cry, but she is utterly miserable. She sits on the stairs, waiting it out; she is only given some bread and water every day. Meanwhile the angel whispers to her, insistent and angry.
During her isolation she feels all her anger well up inside of her; the angel prods it along, encouraging it, telling her that it is right and that she should i do /i something. She agrees wholeheartedly. This is hell, he says. This is hell you are in now. You can stop this.
But she dares not do anything.
A week on the door suddenly rattles again. She shrinks back, thinking it is her stepmother; but it is not. Go on, go on, the angel whispers to her. Take action. Do what you must for justice.
It is night and she tiptoes into her stepmother's room. She feels brave now, encouraged and almost liberated; this is her freedom. After tonight they will know that it was wrong to treat her as they did. They will know what they have reckoned with.
Her stepmother sleeps like a rock, snoring loudly in her designer sleepwear. In her father's cupboard there is a matchbox. She takes it quietly, and also the framed pictures of the beloved children.
Into her stepsister's room she goes; she sleeps with a precious teddy which she takes, along with several important things. The fat pig of a boy has toys that he loves, things that he values more than anything else. She has learnt to move quietly and she uses this skill well. They do not stir.
She gathers these into a heap outside. It grows until it is very large. All along the angel tells her that she is doing the right thing. She feels almost possessed and it is almost a trance. She is disgusted as she gathers the things. This is a perfect world her family lives in. A perfect world that she is refused a piece of. A perfect world that they took from her ruins.
She sees the angels standing on the other side of the pile. All three of them are there; the angel who speaks to her looks pleased. They approve and encourage, even point out to her things that she has missed, and she takes those too.
The heap stops growing as she is done. She stands in front of it, and strikes the matches. She throws them into the pile; they smoulder and smoke, but when she throws in the last one it finally catches ablaze.
The fire jumps into air, dancing through the pile. She feels a new person now; the light dances in her eyes. It does not take long for them to realise that there is a fire outside; they come running and yelling.
What are you doing, what is happening, they are shouting. My bear! My pictures! Our things!
She does not take pleasure in knowing that their world is, literally, going up in flames. It is justice, she tells herself. It is right.
They cannot see the angels but she knows they are happy. The one with the spiked hair is pleased; she has done what she should have done a long time ago.
They are helpless to stop it and they scream, pulling at their hair, begging their mother to stop it. She does not look at them; she just looks at the fire, the beautiful fire that destroys and gives life. It will renew her and it gives her hope. It will destroy her hell and open the way up to her heaven.
Beyond the fire, the angels smile.
ihr wisst, wie es ist
In der Hölle zu sein
Damit ihr wisst, wie es ist
Nach erlösung zu schrein
Nur deshalb komm ich zurück
Mit flammendem blick
Ich nehm das letzte Streichholz
Und vebrenne eure schöne heile Welt
- "Das Letzte Streichholz"("The Last Match") by OOMPH! (#1)
you know what it's like
To be in Hell
So that you know what it's like
To scream for redemption
So I'm just going to come back
With a burning gaze
I take the last match
And burn your beautiful perfect world