Published author and Univ. Of Colorado grad. Buy my novel "One Day, Forty Nights" at any online bookstore. It's Editor's choice - I need money.
Love to make people laugh and video games.
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You have to sometimes break the dam and tumble down the rabbit hole. Here is a bit of the sequel to my book that will hopefully start to blossom and be resurrected from the back burners of my mind.
Chapter Eighteen: A Last Stand
Swarms of fighters, darting in between the cruisers and frigates, exchange vicious fire. The smaller, weaker craft of our enemy valiantly fight for their lives and the lives of their families that cower in fear on the rocky planet off yonder. The starry view in front of me is filled with the multi-colored cannon fire of the fighters and their larger ships that have come to face us. They stand in defiance of our will and their fate. With asteroids floating freely around space, the fighters, their pitiful band of rabble and our easily sacrificed pawns, duel each other in passionate contests of bravery, sacrifice, heroism and ultimately, suicide. Their larger ships move carefully to avoid the chunks of rock and ice to positioning themselves across the space that is to be the battlefield. Their crafts and the debris of rock and ice is the pitiful defense they can muster. We will swat them from the stars.
I exhale slowly as I fully take in the battle. My meditation is undisturbed by the destruction and losses of life that fill space. The viewscreen comes to life with different displays as ships start to come into range. Our ship glides effortlessly toward them. We have nothing to fear as they start to fire. Their cannon fire fills the screen. Wave after wave smashes into our shields, but the ship does not stir; not a single tremor resonates. My mistress laughs at the useless display of firepower. She waves her hand in front of her with a smile. The armada of ships flanking us returns fire. Hordes of torpedoes and shells glide forward, laying waste to whatever is in the path. Ships burn and explode in a mass of plasma, steel, and flesh. It should be rather frightening to the psyche to see such merciless destruction to such silence, but the stillness of space offers no joyful audience to the orchestra of death and annihilation. Besides, there is nothing to fear when slaughtering gnats.
A squadron of fighters swoops through the ashes of one of their fallen comrade’s ships. They fire upon us in a pathetic attempt to attack. Luckily for them, their ships are too small for our armada’s volleys. They try a hit-and-run technique on our ship, but their weapons wouldn’t even tickle the skin of our ship if our ship was made of flesh and blood. Seeing the error in their disastrous offensive maneuver, the fighters try to scatter. Alas, it is our turn to show them how to attack. They swoop back and forth as they try to dodge the concise cannon fire of our ship, but it is futile. Their fighters turn to orbs of flame before becoming patches of charred innovation.
Chapter One: A Little Girl Amongst the Violence
I don’t really know how to start this. I was never the writing – or even talking – type; I was more of a quiet and shy kind of girl. Perhaps it is best to start at the end. No, that will not work. I can’t even express the range of emotions that run rampant through my soul. So much has happened, so much has changed. This has been a very dark chapter in my life. It’s the type that scars you. But to fully understand the events that have transpired and the future that has been born, I should start at the beginning. Yes, that is for the best. However, those were indeed the real dark times…
I don’t have very many memories of my childhood; none of them fond for that matter. Many of them have been banished into a hiding place somewhere deep within my troubled soul. That is where they all go. They go into that dark, locked away space where the running through darken alleys, the restless and petrified nights, the images of splattered blood, the dismembered and decapitated bodies, and all the fear, resides. But they never leave you, do they? No matter how deep they are buried away, they always bubble back to the surface. Alas, they make up who we are. With that being said, to call my younger years something of a “rough childhood” would be an understatement to say the least. The only fond memories I do have of it are of my mother. She raised me the best she could; even with the hellish and dark life she chose. I can almost remember her nowadays. It seems like so long ago when she was with me last. I can still remember the night I finally came to grasp her plight, and the plight I was cast into.
It was a stormy night if I remember it correctly. I was six – or maybe I was nine – at the time. It seems so long ago. Either way, I was just a mere little girl in a galaxy full of them. I wasn’t a princess in some castle on a heavenly, blissful planet somewhere, waiting for my prince to come sweep me off my feet. Nor was I a little girl that resided in the gutters on some rock thriving with tyranny. I was just a little girl, just an innocent adolescent, trying to find my rightful place in the universe. At the time, my place was usually at my mother’s left side; she always held her blood-coated rapier tightly against her right. I never could understand why she carried that blade with her at all times when I was young. She’d never let me touch its shiny metal – it looked so pretty to me at the time. I didn’t know how dangerous and powerful it truly was.
To go back to that night, there I was, curled up in the tiniest ball possible in the bed of a cheap motel room. I clutched my dolly, my companion amongst the terror, with an unbreakable grip. I tried to sleep, but every clash of lightning and the following roar of thunder would startle me awake. I was such a scared little girl. Mother couldn’t – wouldn’t – sleep either that night. Most nights, I’d be in her arms, cradled like a baby. That night, however, was one of the few nights I wasn’t in her arms. It was one of the worst nights; one of the bloody nights.
A flash of lightning lit up the room for an instant. At the foot of the bed, my mother sat silently in the dark. Her back was to me. She sat in the direction of the lone door of the room. It was as if she had turned into a statue made of stone. But I knew that her eyes weren’t just on the door; a small window in the wall was the only other accessible entrance to our room. There was another flash of lightning. The rumbling howl of the following thunder disturbed the room and stirred me again from my delicate, light slumber. I sobbed out softly, showing my disliking and fear of the storm outside.
“Mama?” I whimpered out from under the sheets, trying not to cry.
She answered me in her usual comforting voice I was used to before she even turned her head around to show me her kind face. “What is it baby?”
When I looked into my mother’s face, especially those kind eyes of hers, I immediately felt safer. It was like looking up at an angel and having her aura instantly cure me of my fear. She pushed the brown locks of her hair out of her face and gave me a small smile. Her smile could freeze the fieriest of rages, and warm the coldest hearts. I always felt better when she smiled at me. Slowly she climbed out of her chair and crawled across the bed on her hands and knees. She let out a soft giggle as she sat down next to me. I immediately shifted up against her side. She kissed the top of my forehead as I barely peeked my head out from under the blanket. “It’s alright my princess…. it is only thunder.”
The moon is full and high in the sky tonight; or so I hear. If you were to be in my vehicle with me, you would not see the gleaming moonlight. All you would notice is the hazy clouds that blanket the sky above, and the dense, grim fog that envelopes all. The only other sound, other than my strained breathing, is the light pitter-patter of rain that echoes through the cab. I can imagine the droplets of rains plummeting from the grace of the heavens above and shattering as they crash onto the roof of my car. It is not enough to be considered a downpour by any means, but just enough to draw my attention from my dire needs. But the aroma from the bottle at my side stirs me back to my vice. The glass is cold within my grasp as I take a sip; the liquid burns a little. I swallow and return the bottle to my side. Time to get on with it.
My fingers grip the keys that dangle from the steering wheel, and with a turn of the key, the engine ignites. The engine rumbles with a thunderous roar before it reaches the point of idling. The music of the engine serenades me, but it does nothing to ease my torment. I inhale for a moment, drawing a heavy drag from the cigar between my lips, and for a brief instant, the glow from the vice illuminates the dashboard. According to gauges, the tank is near empty and the mileage is high. It has been a longer-than-expected campaign up to this point. The winding roads, the undiscovered voyages, and the driving-in-circles have taken their toll. However, remaining stagnant in this fog is undesirable. I flip a knob, and the car becomes less gloomy. The dashboard flickers to life with a dim glow, and the headlights radiate ahead of me. My foot presses downward on the pedal, and the car lurches forward into the unforgiving mist.
I drive slowly through the grey fog. The beams from the headlights have trouble penetrating the dense miasma. There is no sense of direction as my hands turn the wheel. Am I going forward? Perhaps I’m going backwards. Is there even road underneath the bald tires? I haven’t a clue. All I know is that I am alone on this journey; been abandoned long ago by comrades that were mere shadows of humanity. Another puff on the cigar draws the toxin into my lungs. It provides warmth within my chest that is quite different than the chill within the cab. The following exhale blew the smoke into the dashboard. The fuel gauge is dropping further, and the fog is growing thicker. Am I ever going to reach the destination I crave?
There is more pitter-pattering on the roof as I push the vehicle on. Murky water splatters onto the windshield. The wipers slide across the glass, allowing my view to be not obstructed. Suddenly, there is a bump and a thud against the car. More of the murky water splashes across the windshield. The wipers swing faster and faster, right and left, right and left, but they only seem to smear the liquid on the glass. It is much thicker this time; perhaps like tar or some other substance. Slowly the car comes to a stop as I apply the break. The gears shift into park, and after another swig from the bottle, I open the door and stagger into the misty, frigid air.
The cool mist engulfs and coils around me like a snake. The illumination from the headlights refracts off the fog and gives the area surrounding me a dim glow. The only sound in the air is the rumble of the motor under the hood. I stare ahead of me with my eyes gazing around my intermediate area; there is nothing but fog. I move to the windshield, where the wipers continue to smear, and run my hand across the glass. My eyes continue to scan the fog. The liquid coats my palm and fingertips; it feels too thick to be water. My finger and thumb slide together with the substance in between. The consistency baffles me. I turn my attention to my hand which is covered in red; the liquid is blood. My wrists sting as I raise my bloody covered hands.
The sight buckles my footing. I scamper back from the car and draw my revolver. The metal shines in the light as I raise it ahead of me and aim it all around. Disruptions in the mist become visible as my movements send vibrations through the heavy air. All of my senses become keen and alert, but nothing has changed. There is only fog and the rumble of the engine. I slowly step back toward the car door, keeping my pistol ready to unleash violence against any foe. Cautiously, my frame slides into the vehicle. The pistol is the last enter the cabin before the door is slammed shut. I look down to my hand, and to my surprise, it clean; not even wet. I look up to the windshield to find nothing smearing across the glass; just the wipers slowly going back and forth in the drizzle. My mind is messing with me; that is all it is. One must regain some essence of composure during these stretches of hysteria. I holster the weapon and take a swig from the bottle again. Deep breathes, deep breathes; enough with this madness; I drive onward.
The fog seems to thicken as the winding road offers no clear sense of destination. It makes no difference on how heavy my foot is on the accelerator; the objective of this journey is no closer. I slow the car to a crawl as the gauge flutters and teases with the empty and cruel E. There must be some sort of reason, some sort of solitude, for this passage to have come this point. My foot shifts and sinks the brake pedal into the floorboard with a slow, crushing action. The automobile stops, now frozen in time. The fog slowly swirls ahead in the beaming lights. It has if this car is a derelict ship at sea. The engine putters, gasping for the motivation to press onward as the last fumes of combustible essence fill its core. I sip from the bottle while the next move is contemplated. But alas, it is all for not. This trusty steed has run aground and will carry me no further.
The engine groans out its last whimpers and jerks its final futile moments of life before it becomes still as stone. The cigar burns at my lips as the last length of tobacco is turned to ash. Soon the smoky warm and companionship it provides will cease. The aurora of light around the cabin slowly begins to fade as the battery is drained of voltage. The encroaching darkness of the blanketing fog is all around. There is only one thing to do with the time left on this everlasting excursion. My hand again finds the pistol at my side, and the other finds the bottle with a few droplets of poisoning elixir; these are my only companions now. Any resemblance of the lost souls, which were mirages of camaraderie, have long turned to dust much like the cigar that once kept me company.
Suddenly, the mist stirs in the dwindling light. A sense of inescapable dread and gloom penetrates my soul. My fingers affirm their grip on the cool metal of the pistol. The fog quivers and suddenly doesn’t look like the all-encompassing mass it once was. Is there something moving outside my car door? I hold the pistol close; it is my only barbaric defense to the demons outside this car’s cabin. The last flickers of light try to illuminate the growing terror of the outside world, but it is an inept attempt. Shadows become the owner’s of this arena. Silence is all that my senses can obtain within the dark.
The slow progress of time in that instant is unbearable. My eyes are steady on the clouds all around. Every follicle of hair and each platelet of skin is awash in perspiration. My ears pick up on the steady beat of the heart in my chest and the struggle of my lungs to stretch with fresh oxygen, but there is something else that tickles my sense of hearing. It is a gentle whoosh in the air that loops over and over, as if something swings back and forth, and every-so-often it is paired with creak. Is it just the wind that is disturbing this cell of mine? The only answer I can give is the click of the hammer of my revolver.
Just as the sounds had disrupted the silence in the air, they vanish just as quickly. The deafening of nothingness drives my ears on the brink of madness. Suddenly a tingle starts to form around my neck. The hairs stand on end and the skin feels ablaze with irritation. Suddenly it dawns on me; the matches. I fumble in my pocket and pull out the small box of stick matches. They rattle in the box; the rattling seems to echo forever. I quickly set the pistol down and pull a match from the box. After a few strikes, the match engulfs into flame. I hold the source of dim and dwindling light up to the side window. The fog seems to be blowing and shifting swiftly now. But there is no wind? You fool; the car is moving.
Suddenly there is a mighty crash. All the windows shatter and send glass flying through the cabin. My body crumbles into the steering wheel before being flung across the dashboard. I am knocked out cold. The frame of the car bends this way and that like an aluminum can. The car wobbles on its wheels for a moment before becoming still once more. The scene is quiet as the fog blankets everything once more.
Slowly I regain consciousness. The same gentle whooshes and creaks as before tickle my eardrums. The pain around my neck returns, much stronger this time. It is as if my entire neck is burning. My eyes flutter, begging for the lids to open. They slowly do, and all there is around me is darkness. I am spread atop the dashboard, gazing upward into the darkness. The strange sensation of floating deludes my current state. My hands reach upward for something to grab a hold of, and strangely enough, they find something unexpected: rope. Thick fibers of coiled twine feel rough in my palm. The rope swings back and forth against my hands. Suddenly there is a bright flash that illuminates everything. In that moment, I see the rope that swings above me from a sturdy branch. It is not a sight I expected to see; it’s a hangman’s rope.
A mighty boom of thunder jolts me from my slumber. I spring upward from the dashboard to darkness. A flash of lightning brightens everything, and I glare up at the tree. There isn’t a rope hanging from any of the branches; there is nothing at all. The darkness returns just as quick and is joined by the slow-rolling thunder. I slowly tumble out of the car to the soggy ground. The grass is long and stiff as if it is a bed of nails. I claw through the soil toward the front of the car until my bearings and my strength return. Using the destroyed bummer and grill as leverage, I stand up. Another flash of lightning gives me sight just for a moment. But in that moment, there is only fog; the tree is gone.
I feel the front of the car in the darkness; it is in disrepair. I have no choice but to continue down this path on foot. The fog is thick and darkness is all that is around me. Slowly I stumble forward, weaving this way and that, with no clear distinction in direction. Thunder continues to rumble all around much like a church’s bell echoing through the hallowed ground. Droplets of rain start to fall from the heavens above. This is inconsequential to the trek before me. I continue my march through the dense mist even as the rain starts to pour. It splashes on my shoulders and back, pounding and pushing me downward with all of the storm’s desire.
The darkness of the storm and fog surround me as if I was in need of a thick blanket during a cold winter’s eve. Through the blackness I wander with no clear distinction of direction or destination. The rain pours, and the thunder howls; that is all there is. My gasps for breath are barely audible over the sound of the heavy drops of rain that pelt my trench coat. A bolt of lightning fills the sky and causes the fog to glow. In that moment, a shadowy figure appears before me. I draw my pistol, but the darkness returns much too quickly. “Who’s there?” I call out, but the only response is the thunder of the storm and the pouring rain. Another flash of electrons lights the fog, and the shadow appears much closer, almost within arm’s length. I fire my pistol as the scene goes black again. The flashes of my barrel disturb the dark, but I hit nothing.
Suddenly, the pounding rain slows to a drizzle within a matter of moments. I swing the pistol back and forth, aiming in all directions into the shadowy veil of the fog. I have no knowledge whether my tormentor has abandoned his prey or not, but my pistol is ready to bark fire if it comes too close. The ground feels soft underneath my boots as I slosh around in circles. My trigger finger is itchy, especially in the unknown force against me in darkness. Suddenly something grabs a hold of my wrists, and lifts them high above my head. The grip is strong and feels as cold as ice. I struggle and fire one shot up into the air. The flash lights up the face before me; it is mine.
Just as quickly as my wrists were bond, they are released. I tumble to the soggy clearing floor with a sudden loss of balance. It is as if my strength has been siphoned away from my very being. I struggle to my knees as a crash of lightning jars my nerves. I look up at the sudden flash of light, and all around me are shadows of gloomy figures. An eternity of time passes as they all stare down at me. They are all different shapes and sizes, and all glare down with blank faces.
I scamper backwards on my hands and feet, trying to crawl away from these villains, but no matter how hard I try, I they hover over me. I hold the gun upward and aim at all of them. They all approach, gliding effortlessly to me. I pull back on the trigger, but the gun does nothing. Again and again and again I pull on the trigger, but the weapon only clicks to my disappointment and bewilderment. I glare up to the figures with fright spread across my face. They continue remain emotionless, but as I frantically search my pocket for rounds of ammunition, each one slowly spawns a sliver blade. My fingers grasp one bullet from my pocket, and with great haste the bullet is jammed into the chamber of my pistol. The figures enclose one me; the cold chill of death breathes on my neck. I raise the pistol to them, but then turn it on myself. There is only one escape from this madness. I pull the trigger as darkness engulfs me. There is no flash from the barrel.
The body aches, and the soul stirs. Slowly but surely, feeling returns to me. My eyes flicker within my lids, and soon they are forced open. I gaze downward into the black abyss below my dangling frame. Wind howls through the bottomless chasm of damnation. There is no ground underneath my feet to stop this crucifixion from being complete. The plummet into the bleak darkness would be my ruin if not for the painful support that prevented such a tumble. All across my back, from neck to rear, knives have penetrated my hollowed and damaged body. Each knife has been stabbed into my deep; right to the soul. They are the only humanity that keeps me from the bottom of the void below. Without their cruelty and reckless abandonment for my well being, there would be nothing but a cadaver deep in the darkness. But alas, here I dangle above the cliff, with cold daggers so deep they pierce the heart and soul, knowing the only future is either a painful tearing away from the only representation of humanity that is left or to remain here bound by the razors, living in bleak submission of sympathy’s treachery.
The moon is full and high in the sky tonight; or so I hear. If you were in my vehicle with me, you would not see the gleaming moonlight. All you would notice is the hazy clouds that blanket the sky above, and the dense, grim fog that envelopes all. The only other sound, other than my strained breathing, is the light pitter-patter of rain that echoes through the cab. I can imagine the droplets of rains plummeting from the grace of the heavens above and shattering as they crash onto the roof of my car. It is not enough to be considered a downpour by any means, but just enough to draw my attention from my dire needs. But the aroma from the bottle at my side stirs me back. The glass is cold within my grasp as I take a sip; the liquid burns a little. I swallow and return the bottle to my side. Time to get on with it.
My fingers grip the keys that dangle on the steering wheel, and the engine ignites. The engine rumbles, spiking up and down in a thunderous roar, before it reaches the point of idling. The music of the engine serenades me, but it does nothing to ease my torment. I inhale for a moment, drawing a heavy drag from the cigar between my lips, and for a brief instant, the glow from the vice illuminates the dashboard. According to gauges, the tank is near empty and the mileage is high. It has been a longer-than-expected campaign up to this point. The winding roads, the undiscovered voyages, and driving-in-circles have taken their toll. However, remaining stagnant in this fog is undesirable. I flip a knob, and the car becomes less gloomy. The dashboard flickers to life with a dim glow, and the headlights radiate ahead of me. My foot presses downward on the pedal, and the car lurches forward into the unforgiving mist.
I drive slowly through the grey fog. The beams from the headlights have trouble penetrating the dense miasma. There is no sense of direction as my hands turn the wheel. Am I going forward? Perhaps I’m going backwards. Is there even road underneath the bald tires? I haven’t a clue. Another puff on the cigar draws the toxin into my lunges. It provides warmth within my chest that is quite different than the chill within the cab. The following exhale blew the smoke into the dashboard. The fuel gauge is dropping further, and the fog is growing thicker. Am I ever going to reach the destination I crave?
There is more pitter-pattering on the roof as I push the vehicle on. Murky water splatters onto the windshield. The wipers slide across the glass, allowing my view to be not obstructed. Suddenly, more of the murky water splashes across the windshield. The wipers swing faster and faster, right and left, right and left, but they only seem to smear the liquid on the glass. It is much thicker this time; perhaps like tar or some other substance. Slowly the car comes to a stop as I apply the break. The gears shift into park, and after another swig from the bottle, I open the door to the misty, frigid air.
The fog engulfs me and my transportation. The illumination from the headlights refracts off the fog and gives the area surrounding me a dim glow. The only sound in the air is the rumble of the motor under the hood.
She was warm in my hands. Even in the icy rain that showered down on me that fateful night, she felt warm in my hands in the dim moonlight. She must have been there for no longer than an hour; she was still surprisingly fresh and not sour. The chill and grim mist in the air did what it could do to cool her lifeless flesh, but it still felt warm to my touch in the grimy mess. Against the wishes of the rain and the steady stream of murky water that had trickled through the gutter, blood had remained pooled around her form in gothic manner. A flash of a camera, and a smoky crackle that was like thunder to my spine, lit the scene for an instant, and within that moment, the whole world seemed to be silent, still, and rather carelessly distant. It was not like the warmth within my grasp.
The passing world wouldn’t have noticed that scene on any other night. It was just a snippet, hardly a grain of sand, in the fabric of time and space that was unrelenting in its motion forward like any other night. Another flash from the camera, followed by another toll of bell, and the scene was frozen; locked in an inescapable cell. However, it was not the photograph that trapped this scene in a bondage of context, spectacle, and interpretation. It was the feeling of that setting, the atmosphere of that gloomy night, that will haunt my observation. She was still warm in my hands.
The cobblestones of the alley did nothing to cushion that giver of life. She would dance and beat no more after that fateful night. It took all my fortitude, all my constitution and will, to look down upon such a dismal sight. There was nothing I could do, nothing I could say, that would deter such feeling misery and blight. She was surprisingly strong, must have put up quite the fight, even though she had been battered, bruised, and cast out during every midnight. I could do no more with the horror at my feet. I called for my carriage and left the sight. All I could do was remember warmth, and hope that some pearly gates she did meet.
The horses thundered through the narrow streets; their hooves echoing off the bricks of the path and close-knitted buildings. The driver hopped from his perch atop the carriage and opened the door so I could quickly take my seat. However, I was in no mood to hurry from the graphic scene of dread amongst the dreary sleet. I marched past the powerful horses to my ride, and I swore their strong, bounding hearts could be heard from their chests. Thud-thud-thud-thud went their organs deep within their breasts. One last look back toward her was all I could muster. The thought of her warmness was all that conjured within my mind without much fluster.
Darkness engulfed me as I climbed into the carriage. I had escaped the rain from the heavens above, but the devilish carnage of the scene still clawed at my soul. The crack of a whip shook the foundation of my being, and away we went with great haste and flow. The carriage rumbled and tumbled through the town with a grim howl, and all I found myself doing was wandering back to that image of foul. No manner of comfort in that coach could resurrect me from the depression that weighed on me that eve for I found it cold and muggy like a moor once owned by thee. The lacking of the warmth that my fingers had once touched plagued my concentration that entire ride home.
To my bed chamber I did climb, hoping to escape the reality of the world and to leave her far behind. The rain continued outside, much harder than before, pounding the roof in a manner that resembled a drum. My soggy clothes fell from my body like a snake that had shed its skin, and in that moment of being cold and in the nude, I found myself surprisingly numb. My flesh was balmy and cool, unlike the smooth, warm touch of hers. Enough of that madness and dreary thought; to bed I went to forget the mortal sin and dark plot. But no manner of bedding or furs warmed my slumber; all I could think of was her warmth and temperature.
My eyes felt heavy, and against the wishes of the outside world, I fell into sleep. Tossing and turning, my rest was disturbed with the nightmares that did creep. They seeped into my consciousness, these dreams for me to keep, and soon there she was in front of me as I counted sheep. So full of life and love she once was. Even through all the turmoil, the unrelenting strain, and the constant need to resist every perversion that would do her harm, she remained true to her cause. No manner of destruction seemed to stop or tarnish the thought of beauty, love, and compassion that fueled her strength. The auras of beauty and romance were what attracted her the most, and to obtain this she went to such great length. But no manner of travels seemed to fulfill her need for warmth.
Closer she came to me; she was so full of desire. Each step she took sent trembles through the air. Boom-boom-boom-boom; each strike of the chord stimulated my passion for her love and made it into a raging fire. I could feel with warmth of what I saw and inspired, especially in my breast. With great determination and will, it took a leap of faith into the dismal quagmire to retrieve the long sunken chest. The key is old, sturdy and worn, especially in these dark times, but no manner of lock was to keep affection from being born. Her hands gently pressed against my chest, and they felt warm; just like the standard norm.
But the stroke of midnight did much to unravel such a blissful dream. Gong-gong-gong-gong – like old father time – and all happiness was tore away at the seam. The warmth of her touch across my breast vanished. The strain was intense, a pain unlike no other, and she was ripped away and banished. Screams filled my ears, blocking all that would be music in my slumbering delusion. She, my once loving, compassionate mistress, was then turned into a vile mirage of fear. No longer was she warm to the touch. She was cold as ice and left me in great distress.
Broken was my slumber, and upward from the sheets my body sprang. My revolver on nightstand was my protection against all evil, and my hands quickly grasped the cold steel of the firearm. BANG!-BANG!-BANG! My shots echoed through the chamber, but no manner of bullets could stop the evil that lingered. I stretched the pistol ahead of me, into the darkness of my room, but there was nothing, nothing at all. The wind howled outside my bedroom window, rattling pictures on the far wall. I shouted for the demon to show itself; I got no response. I clenched at my chest; my heart should have been racing and ready to launch. But there was nothing, nothing at all.
There was no pounding or turmoil within my breast. My organ should have been furiously beating as if to abandon its nest. But nothing, nothing at all resonated from my chest. I was awestruck with fear and terror until it all became clear. The images of her laying there on the stones brought back the feeling of dread and fear. Instead of the being full of life and passion which once was her calling, she was shattered, abandoned, and trampled from continually falling. She was what I cherished most in this reality, my reason for living, and all that was left was a hole in my humanity.
There I sat, amongst the covers of my bed, the feeling of nothingness enveloping my fat. There was no life, no passion, remaining within me in a world that was for the taking. She had fought with all her might, but sadly, she couldn’t withstand my blight. Forward time went, into a future so bleak, with me playing the living dead, a lifeless wreck. No compassion, no love, healed the grave that was left. She was all I had, and all the warmth I felt came from her; she was a piece of art. T’was miserable what happened to her my beloved heart.
The pitter-patter of the rain echoes off the walls of my bedroom. The steady beat of the falling tears, splashing onto the tin roof, encompasses me – besieges me. I sit here on the edge of my bed, alone. My only company – my companionship if you will – is the sinister darkness of my ambiance. A tempest resonates outside, and the grand flashes of lightning illuminate my gloomy cell for instants at a time.
My head feels heavy – overburdened with nightmarish rationales. It limply hangs from my neck as if it is still barely attached to my form. The connection remains, but has the control been lost? I gaze downward in a meditative-like trance. Another flash lights the room. My arms rest on my thighs, and my palms are open and turned upward toward my drooping face. My watery eyes itch; it is an irritation from my soul. A tear collects in my eyelashes; entrapped in the protective barricade for the portals of the soul.
My reddening eyes – my distressed portals – strain from the overwhelming pressure; the tear plummets into the shadows. In the dimness, the tear splashes onto one of my palms. A second starts its descent toward my mittens of destruction. There is another instant of illumination; I perceive bloody hands. The blood – the sanguine liquor – is still wet and warm. It drips from my fingers to the floor. The second tear lands unnoticed, joining the blood that covers my appendages for love and hate. Darkness engulfs the chamber once again. The pitter-patter of the rain echoes off the walls of my bedroom. Everything slowly quiets to a hush – a silence fit for a tomb.
“Daddy… I’m scared… I want Momma…”
I stood in the doorway of my baby girl’s – daddy’s little princess’s – room. All her Barbie dolls, teddy bears, and other trinkets of blissful childhood innocence were scattered throughout her room. The rain – a restless barrage of sorrow – assaulted the roof, and the wind howled and bellowed against her window. Just a simple plate of glass shielded us from the true feelings of the tempest’s misery. With a flash of lightning, I was enveloped in pink wallpaper and Barbie posters. My eyes scanned her room – her sanctuary. They eventually made their way up to her cradle and across the pink bedspread. Another flash and I saw all I needed.
There was my girl – the better parts of my essence – all covered up in her blanket. Her little fingers held onto her chainmail tight, and she had it up so it was just under her chin. Her long brown locks stretched down around her shoulders and over the blanket. Her eyes – those sweet green eyes – were wide with fright. Darkness returned, but just as quickly as the shadows spread, flash! Only a covered, shivering, innocent silhouette remained in the bed.
“Where is momma? I want to be with momma…”
She missed her mother Jennifer terribly. I used to call my angel – my goddess – Jenni. But Jenni wasn’t with us anymore; hasn’t been for many sad, lonesome nights. She was off in a better place – a heavenly bliss I myself will never experience. She was taken from me; more like stolen. Abandonment in the gutters of humanity was not fitting – not acceptable – for a princess.
“It will be ok baby girl… Daddy will make it all better…,” I told her in the softest, most certain voice a father could. “I’ll be right back.”
My footsteps echoed throughout the apartment as I marched down the corridor. My feet felt heavy – more resigned – for each step bellowed from the wood floor. My room was the destination; it would be the commencement – even the conclusion – of Fate’s transgression this eve. Without reflection or a second consideration, I stood solemnly at my dresser. My fingers twitched – a hesitation. I opened the top drawer. No manner of concealment would prevent my search. My hand – my wand of force – slithered through the layers of garments with a cool precision. Cold metal excited the nerve-endings of my finger tips. I had what I was looking for.
By wrapping my fingers around the smooth furnish of the handle like a serpent around its prey, the connection – the amalgamation of sad will and definitive force – was complete. I exhumed the pistol from its supposedly final resting place. I raised it above me like a chalice – a Holy Grail of destruction. A flash of lightning; the gun glowed with an authority of domination. Darkness returned.
The firearm suddenly felt too heavy – too encompassed with historic damnation – to carry. It was lowered downward until it hung limply at my side; the bond was still intact. Muscle memory took over. We, the armament and I, had been at this point before. The skeletons of the past – the inner demons of the blackest part of the soul – were afoot once more. I eerily stalk the demons toward the familiar place. The thunder – the tempest’s groans of agony – rang through the corridor. It was an effective covering – a murderous accessory – for my footsteps and expedition down the hall.
Wooden panels, the tiles of lumber, changed to soft, fuzzy, pink carpet. There was no disturbance – nothing had changed – since the heartbeats that had previously transpired in this domicile. My little princess was still where I had left her: in the safety of her blanket-made cocoon. I slipped my hand behind my back; the gun, the purveyor of disheartening eradication, was hidden from my girl’s eyes. Slowly – with unhurried dedication – I traipsed the distance between us. I knelt down, on one knee, at the side of her bed. My fingers – soothing to the touch – combed their way through her hair.
“I’m scared…,” she whimpered; it was a tender shedding of tears.
“I know you are hon… but you have to be strong for daddy.”
My girl gazed upward to me; there was confusion – innocent uncertainty – in her eyes.
“I can’t daddy… I wan–”
The flash of thunder and instant roar of thunder cut her off; she bawled in terror.
“Shhhh…. It will be okay my little princess. The storm won’t hurt you sweetie.”
I pressed down the hammer.
“It will all be over soon…”
I knew – I prayed – that this was for the best for her.
“I want momma…”
My finger traced the curve and cold metal of the trigger.
“I know you do love… I know…”
She deserved to be in a better place – an existence partaking that of a princess.
“Just go back to sleep… It will be all better in the morning.”
I shut my girl’s portals with the softest compassion I could harness; there would be no judgment from her soul. My sweet baby did what she was told. She settled into her shelter – her protective barrier from the evils of the world. Slumber’s sweet persuasion hopefully enveloped her. One final glance of her radiant purity and beauty was all my soul could partake – could consume like a sweet liquor.
The thunder – the tempest’s groans of agony – echoed. It was an effective covering – a murderous accessory. The inner demons of the blackest part of the soul were afoot once more. There was no stopping Fate’s transgression this eve. No need for reflection or a second consideration. The steady beat of the falling tears encompasses me – besieges me. My eyes, reddening under heartbroken strain, ran down the barrel while I took aim – steadfast and sure of the exploitation. The feel of cold steel – the icy sickle of Death – empowered the tiniest of nerves and silenced the loudest of adversaries. The gun – the contrivance of final resolution – fired.
A flash shrouded the room in light. The pistol kicked in my hand; my fingers lost their grip on it. Rumbling drums of shook the residence. The crack of the shot – the explosion of terror – rang through the house; followed by the grim thump of the pistol crashing to the wood floor. I prayed – begged – that the temptress outside, my sweet collaborator, did her part in covering my exploitation. The deed was done. And so, the memoir of the past, tragic transgression – the haunting of such destruction to such sweet innocence – was recited to my soul.
I still remembered – recalled every tragic detail – of the horrific episode. She sat there, looking like her angelic self as always, in her bed. Her eyes were brimming with trust; with faith; with hope. I never doubted – never mistrusted – her resolve in me. Her green eyes – her emerald gems – never peered away from my own; not even her luscious, brunette locks – the locks I’d run my fingers through every night before bed – could thwart her gaze. Even when the gun, that bludgeon of savage temperament, was pressed against her brow, I knew her love – her undeserving adoration – for me would never hinder.
I was powerless – void of enough resolve – to stop the incident. I was but a mere mortal; a pitiful excuse of a man. All my strength – my total allegiance to my deity – turned to icy stone as if she was not the goddess at all, but Medusa. Every muscle, every nerve, was frozen. The destructive blizzard was not caused by a seeping repugnance by my doppelganger, but by sheer terror and panic. There were no words that could illustrate the devastation that ensued. Just a flash; a flash was the only description I could conjure.
She was gone – stolen from me – just like that. No manner of existence, no manner of life, was complete without my angel. A storm, a tempest of melancholy, brewed. Tears – the rain of my heartbreaking – fell every eve. I was no longer a part of humanity. There was no resurgence – no resurrection – from the plummet. Such an act of self-obliteration – the abolition of my goddess by her own will – destroyed the soul; it only left a hollow frame of flesh behind. Why Jenni – my angel, my goddess – why did you do it?
The pitter-patter of the rain echoes off the walls of my bedroom. The steady beat of the falling tears, splashing onto the tin roof, encompasses me – besieges me. I sit here on the edge of my bed, alone. My only company – my companionship if you will – is the sinister darkness of my ambiance. A tempest resonates outside, and the grand flashes of lightning illuminate my gloomy cell – my entombment – for instants at a time.
The blood – the sanguine liquor – is still wet and warm. It drips from my fingers to the floor. The second tear lands unnoticed, joining the blood that covers my appendages for love and hate. The pitter-patter of the rain echoes off the walls of my bedroom. My eyes slide to a close. I feel weak; my last strength – my ending essence – drains. Everything slowly quiets to a hush – a silence fit for a tomb.
“I love you Daddy…”
I stir awake. Slowly, I gaze forward. My girl, my princess, stands, cuddling her teddy bear in her pink pajamas, at my door. A tear – an innocent tear – trickles down her cheek as she stares toward me. Back down I gaze. The blood – and my sad soul – soaks through my shirt from the bullet hole, the single wound, in my chest, above the heart.
“I love you too baby girl…,” I am able to let out in a soft sigh. “I’m sorry…”
There is a flash – a single flicker of illumination. Then, there is only darkness. No echoing rumble follows; only a single beat – a singular pulsation. It’s quiet now. Everything is numb; everything is silent. Only a hollow form – a bare urn – of flesh remains. A storm, a tempest of despondency, brews. Oh how the tempest came.