Journal Entry #7

Hear the prayers of a tainted heart…

I'm so clueless. Everything used to be so easy to understand. I was the slave, never the master. I rarely felt remorse. I never had to care or comfort another. Why is it now that I can't allow myself to go on without…

My pen can't even finish my thoughts, and nor can I. What is wrong with me?

Fillmore struggled with the walls, using a broom to get the soot and ash off the wall. When Pain came in for work that evening, the sight wasn't the least bit bizarre. Fill's predictably unpredictable method was actually quite efficient. Luckily, they would be closed until the mess was cleaned up. Pain approached him. "May I?"

Grateful to pass the job on to someone else, Fillmore quickly handed him the blackened broom. Pain began mimicking the movements Fill had made, putting his back into the strokes to erode the soot.

"Maggie still broken up over everything?" Fillmore inquired, though he of all people should've known.

"Unfortunately," was Pain's reply.

With a sigh, Fillmore reflected. "When she was littler, her problems were so much easier to fix. Scraped knee, broken toy, daddy yelled at her…"

Pain's envy stirred. He had no idea how to comfort anyone, especially not the one he desired to comfort the most. Here was the opportunity to learn; he may as well pursue it. "How? How did you fix them?"

"I'd hug her and she'd cry till she was out of tears. I just let her let it out," Fill reflected.

Immediately, Pain decided it was hopeless. He couldn't do that. The unintended embrace was challenging enough; an intended one…

However, Fill was not quite finished. "Then I'd show her something beautiful."

Quizzically, Pain arched an eyebrow. "Oh?"

"Little artifacts I'd scored on online auctions, a new stuffed animal, or something that she found beautiful."

As though it wasn't enough for his hopes to fall once, they fell once again. Beautiful was not something Pain could manage. It never had been and never would be. Fill noticed the crestfallen look of his young employee. He quickly picked up where he'd left off.

"And sometimes just something from someone she cared about. Something from the heart."

Oh yeah, something from Pain's dark abyss with in him. Not even a mother could find it beautiful. Pain silently continued trying to scrape the blackness off with a thoughtful look about him.

Something from the heart…

Did Pain even have a heart? It seemed just like a jumbled mess of human emotions. And even if he did, how would he spawn something of his heart? That was more than definitely unheard of. How did one achieve something of the heart? All there was there was blood and the leach of remorse.

Pain walked around the city, not quite ready to go home to Marshall. Today had been painful, all this thought. His headache was excruciating.

He wandered into the park, not realizing the overpowering negative energy his demon spirit released with every step. He hardly noticed a few children stop to stare, or a couple dogs bark at him. With every footstep, he didn't observe the grass taint to a sickly black color. A trail of black grass marked where he had traveled.

Before he knew it, he had lingered into the garden which was kept by some female committee he never bothered to inquire about. Flowers… Flowers were beautiful to women, weren't they? But they'd never have spawned from his heart. They would whither and die at his simple touch. Still… He spotted a white rose, perfect and pure. It was beautiful, even to Pain. So innocently perfect. He knelt and laid a simple hand on it.

The rose, so perfect and pure, changed. Its pure white petals darkened to a solid black and the stem turned the color of fresh blood as he picked it from the vine. The gorgeous flower had turned from an innocent white, to a tainted black. He slowly realized…

The rose was now a reflection of himself. Tainted dark and vile. It had been stolen of its innocence by an outer force it did not know as he had been nearly seven thousand years ago. It had been violated and taken from its home without consent. However, he could not imagine himself still having such beauty when tainted as this black rose did.

Still…it was so much like him…

It was a spawn of his heart. As close to literal as it could be.