I Am Nothing
"Tell me would you kill, to save a life? Tell me would you kill, to prove you're right?"
30 Seconds to Mars
Her hair smelled of chemicals, both from the detestable hair dye and the dragon fruit shampoo. It made me wonder why I was even bothering with her. My mission was to kill Jackson Berrymoore, not ogle at a woman's body. I had eternity to do that. For now, they were calling me.
I didn't even remember how I got to the dance club, but I knew why I didn't remember. All I knew was that I had to kill somebody. It was my assignment, my bond that would never let me go. It was a disorienting change, moving from heart-filled desire to murderous motivation. But that was how I was made to function. However much I paid for the room, I left it there. I left the pouting woman lying on the bed with her shirt slightly askew. I left that particular form of me behind for a while.
The road between me and my destination was long, filled with more heartbreaks and disappointments; though clearly not for me. The steps I took didn't fall quietly. My ears were involved with a series of loud crashes with every step, the crashes of my petrified heart.
They said it would be easy. You merely lifted your gun and jerked your finger. They never said the trigger would be impervious to your will. They never said you might forget to turn off the safety and lose your chance. The act of something so heavy weighing on the conscience is enough to set your mind back. The thought of taking a soul away from this life is a heavy burden to carry.
I knew more than just. Having actually tasted what it was like to kill, I knew better than to make up fantasies. I was already a murdered, and I would be for all of eternity.
It was a calming matter to lean upon, however, because I would have gone mad without it. I was an experienced murderer with no one to hurt. I didn't have to hide who I was to my family. I didn't have a family. I killed them too. I was not one to make friends, because I knew that was one too many lives taken away.
Why did I choose the path I walked? It was not because I felt bloodlust or desire to kill. I wasn't even forced to do it through blackmail. I did not take thrill in what I did. I barely remembered doing each one. So why had I chosen to murder innocent people?
I had taken a wrong turn in life. I opened the wrong letter, and in return paid for my mistakes. I was merely a lad when I did it, but I literally flirted with death.
Jackson Berrymoore made millions. He invented a renewable energy source and made it to the top. His family was proud of him, and he loved them unconditionally. He gave money to charity organizations and fundraisers, but most of all, he died in shame. One bad act amongst a million good ones is easy to cover up. But I knew. I knew he'd have to pay for what he did. I didn't want to do it, because bound to this horrible assignment; I knew what it was like to die. Death is Kill's brother. They share the same thoughts, the same process. They are often referred to as opposites. Death is tragic and hard to watch, but Kill is thrilling and unstoppable. The only difference is: I experience them both.
When Jackson Berrymoore died, he went home with Death. My gun went home with Kill, but I stayed in the middle, cold and traumatized. I was not ranted a place in time. I was merely there. The burning fluids just under my skin, was not warm blood, a sigh of life. Neither was it empty, the way of the dead. Instead, it rushed with venom: poisonous to the touch, putrid to the smell.
I was not human.
I could morph into any shape I imagined, just not Death or Kill's rite of passage. I floated on through time, looking like a human or a beast. If I were a lion, and tried to kill a man, it would be my teeth that Kill would take, not my soul. It would be the dead man Death would carry away, not my dead soul.
So as I walked, heart crashing in my empty chest, every footfall heavy with guilt, I remembered my purpose in life. It was not to be killed, nor ever be the killer. I was to exist as a balance, to monitor the exit of life, and to cage in the gods of loss.
But I was still a murderer.
My hand gripped an intricate doorknob with beautiful engravings, but I told myself I could admire it later. I had a job to do.
Inside, the mansion looked bigger, with vaulted ceilings and wide, spacious rooms. I explored the rooms, looking for one the brothers would enjoy. Death liked gothic things, and Kill liked lace.
One room had grey doilies and dark purple walls, unfortunately for the owner. My hand rested on a black dresser, almost knocking off the pink teddy bear. My stomach twisted with guilt. It was a little girl's room. I did not want to do it, but I did. It was like a drug for me. Whenever Death and Kill entered the room, I felt nostalgic and drunk. My forms had been drunk before, but never like this. They always came in different forms each time, though Death always wore black.
It was that kind of mystery that kept me addicted. It was that kind of addiction that made me kill Jackson Berrymoore.
The little girl that saw me was a special one. No one can see me. Only my forms when I wanted. But there were some children in the world that could see my true form, and I hated these children more than murder itself.
"You know why I have come." I demanded of the girl. Her pale grey eyes could see it, the shimmering ball of darkness that was me. Death claimed all blackness, but left me to suffer with the darkness. The reflection that held only a little bit of light. Kill took away my light though, and I was left with nothing.
The blond haired girl nodded slowly, "You can't take my daddy."
They always made that mistake. They thought I was Death or Kill. They made up horrible nicknames for me. The Grim Reaper was my least favorite. I was mistaken as Death most times, but often Kill would be mixed in there. I was neither. I was both. "I am not the one who takes your loves." I was merely the door for the brothers to use.
The girl turned away to bring her father to me. None of the children fight me. I am simply too much for them to handle. I am neither scary, nor inviting. I am nothing.
"Grim Reaper, will you leave my daddy alone?" The girl looked up at me with pleading eyes, one hand squeezing Jackson Berrymoore's hands.
"Sweetie, don't call this nice man that." Her father scolded. He didn't see me, but merely a man in my place. He saw man who used to be Jackson Berrymoore's friend; now his murderer.
Suddenly the gun was heavy in my coat, heavier than I wished it to be. I could clearly imagine Death and Kill waiting behind sheens of atmosphere, waiting for me to unlock the door.
Jackson Berrymoore was saying something to me, but I wasn't listening. From the other side of the door, I heard the lock click. The girl helped me commit the murder. For that, I never forgave her.
My hand slid into my pocket and gripped the icy cold metal of the gun. I felt Kill's addicting aura wrap me in adrenaline. There was no turning back. Jackson Berrymoore's fact paled when I withdrew Kill's weapon—Death's close presence enveloping me in a drunken stupor of sadness.
The trigger was frozen, difficult to pull, sticky with my guilt. I still did it. The thundering roar in my ears wasn't the gun alone, but Death's excited whisper and Kill's pretentious cheers bellowing into my world.
That was why I was who I was. Without me, Death would have too much fun. Kill would be too flashy and loud. I was the monster that contained them.
That day, Death appeared in a cloak of billowing blackness. His eyes were always red, but they seemed to flash brighter than ever. He had no mouth. Instead it was a black hole, the entrance the soul would take to the afterlife. Death's long, white fingers were as sharp as needles. They hovered over the bloodied body, sewing the wound and draining the blood into Death's own flesh. He did his job well.
Kill entered next, this time in the form of a beautiful brunette woman. Her eyes were nothing but blazing white sockets with the message of looks can kill radiating from them. Kill wore her lips twisted into a cruel smile, bloodied sharp teeth barely seen behind the pink of her skin. Kill was dressed in a skin tight, lacey white dress. Her figure was there, but nothing was underneath the dress. From her shoulders hung a billowing white cloak, glittering swords and daggers peeking behind her hips sometimes. Her fingers were the most frightening of all. Each nail wasn't a nail, rather a sharp or dangerous little weapon. She made a gun with her hands, her pointing index finger was really a gun, and she pointed it at me.
My gun left my shaking hands, and I caught glimpse of Death standing while Kill stored the gun in her billowing white cloak. They really were opposites.
We take our leave, Death whispered in my ear, sending chills down my spine.
Thanks again, Nothing. Kill's gesture of thanks was a speedy little "gunshot" with her mouthing Pow! at me.
Death slowly treaded back into the air from wince he came, followed by Kill's flickering, fluttering form. I was left alone with the man I had killed, once again marked as a murderer of life, of all that's good and bad.
I was nothing but a cloud of dust, blowing in every direction Death and Kill called me. I was Nothing.