3 Part Pale-(Fill up 1)
"Oh my god-" I groaned as I slid my back down a brick wall. My feet were throbbing from the lack of support in my boots. "What the hell was I thinking?" I mumbled under my fake mask.
I had been trotting around the town's waste dump for hours. Regardless of the chilly fall weather, the smell of corpse flesh was wreaking the air. Not to mention, the sight of the half frozen bodies were repulsive, to say the least. My stomached growled horribly. The hunger pains were growing more intense as the day lingered on. I was now regretting not finishing my meal.
"I can't believe- I thought -I could find Ume like this. No map, no phone, no GPS, oh yea- F/N smooth." I glanced at my scuffed boots.
A small trail of blood pooled at the tip of my heel. Normally, I would have darted out of its path, except I needed it. With queasy stomach I hovered over the foul liquid. I pulled my scarf down and exposed the lower part of my face. Thankfully, the odor from the fresh bleach was the only smell penetrating my senses; otherwise I most likely would have vomited. With two fingers I managed to collect a glob of the substance. It wasn't the typical watered down-runny crap from the films either. Instead, it was thick and still slightly warm.
With regretful uneasiness I plastered the infectious plasma around my lower cheeks, chin, and under my jaw. Even though I had already done this procedure earlier, the grossness had yet to grow old. I pulled my scarf lower and applied the unknown donor to that area of my body as well. I had to shake off the shivers every time my fingers touched my skin. The dried blood was now covered with fresh and I hoped my disguise would remain.
"Couldn't have been cake eating Ghouls or ice cream lovers. Heck no- that would make life too enjoyable." I rose to my feet and was greeted with another knock of hunger pains. I clenched my gut. Never had I ever had to endure starvation. It felt as though my own insides had turned into cannibals and were devouring themselves.
Another twisted moan gurgled from under my hand.
I looked further down the alley. Under a well-lit light was a dumpster in plain sight. Yes, I was desperate. "Alright, just a quick check and then I have to keep searching." I thought of Ume as I made my way down the tight alley. My mind kept escaping to the conversation that caused me to go rouge. Kaneki planted the seed that Ume was in fact alive. His words were like receiving CPR. I remember clinging to him, begging for him to inform me of her whereabouts. Kaneki repeated his 'all the glitters are not gold' remark, which left me flustered. It wasn't until I threatened suicide that he proclaimed that Ayato took her to his own location. That of which didn't resolve any of my worries. I wanted to physically see her. Being told by word of mouth, or intuition, on his behalf was like playing that mindless game Telephone in elementary school. The final vitric was Kaneki implying Ayato wouldn't have taken her outside of the city boundaries.
And the conversation ended at that.
I lifted the lid to the dumpster. To no surprise the bin was as scented as rotten meat and damp fugues. If I were bold enough I would have shopped for better pickings; however I was concerned with being noticed. And after my last happening, of setting of the store alarm, I wasn't about to take my chances. With a grimace I reached my hand over the rim and dug around. My hand touched-god knows- how many different slimy, mushy, and tender items. Eventually, my search landed on a slim firm object. Quickly, I pulled out my fine. I had stumbled upon a flatten pizza box. The top was covered in a sticky substance and the cardboard looked a little soggy. However, hunger was eating away at me.
I flipped open the box and to my surprise a few pieces of pineapple and Canadian bacon slices were available. With a flick of my wrist, I removed the moldy meat. The tomato sauce was another obstacle, but I closed my eyes and envisioned another tasty delicacy.
The semi chewy bread built up around my mouth like clay. It tasted as though I had shoved mounds of molding sand into my cheeks. The texture scrapped my tongue as the cool food soon turned moist between my teeth. I beat my chest to force the waded of paste down my throat. The pineapple might have been the only tangy ingredient left.
Refusing anymore, I tossed the box and went for better pickings. I barely had my hand in the dumpster before a blistering grip latched onto my arm. A startled scream erupted from my lips as I tried to yank free. It's a Ghoul, it's a Ghoul! My mind filled with panic as the bloody nails from my predator began to stain my sleeve.
Grumbling moans echoed from the depths of the trash. The noise reminded me of brewing coffee machine. Fear pricked my skin as the rustling of garbage items were increasing the more I stirred. No matter how hard I pulled, the other side wouldn't surrender either.
"Let go! Let-" Before I could be sucked further in, I remembered the emergency defense I had brought along with me. My elbow was starting to pass the rim of the dumpster. I winced as my bone had to endure the odd broken angle. The monster from the other side kept putting the pressure on. I could feel my joint starting to crack as I fumbled trying to obtain my weapon. Again, another jerk propelled me further into the trash. My body slammed into the metal bin. I struggled to reach the tool that was stuck on the right side of my hip. I had to twist my frame around and reach my left hand behind my back. My right shoulder kept having to take the brutal beating as I kept being knocked repeatedly against the dumpster.
"I-gont-eh-food-" The creature gurgled its insidious voice. I braced my foot against the bin as my fingers wrapped around the pipe.
"Fucking let go-!" I shouted boldly before the metal pole collided with the monster's grip. A sickening clank pounded the air, followed by the blood-curdling scream from the buried demon. Losing my mind, I decided to obtain the upper hand and become the predator instead of the prey. Reacting on impulse, I climbed full force into the trash. Regardless of the beating fear within me; I was going to eliminate my attacker.
Without hesitation, I started violently bashing blindly at the garbage. I was swinging and thrashing at anything. I wasn't even sure what I was hitting, nor did I care. All that mattered was that I was no longer going to be the main dish. Before heaving a final breathe, I mustered all my strength to unearth the wretched creature. I somehow managed to gather the energy to drag the body over the rim of the trash. My sore hands had wrapped around the animal's clothing before ripping it from the dumpster. I watched as the disguised devil was thrown to the ground.
The monster's chest rose and fell steadily. I was surprising shocked at the ample amount of blood that was flooding underneath its frame. I glanced at the discolored pipe within my stained hands. Had I really caused all that damage?
I pinched my brows as I noticed the twitching movements arising from the distorted body. Even within the dim lit alley, I was able to see the massive chunks of flesh missing from their muscles. The individual's arms and bare legs looked as if they were Swiss cheese. I noticed clumps of hair plucked from their head and their schoolgirl outfit was torn to shreds. The victim's congested coughs mimicked the sounds of fluid filled lungs. I gradually inched closer with my weapon in hand.
"On't et-" The creature mumbled as squirts of blood drained from their mouth. Though I was curious; I was also cautious. I had never seen a Ghoul injured from a human's touch. Did they have an intolerance to metal?
"D-Don't-et-Don't-Don't-", The monster kept repeating its unclear message. I was mortified to see the arms of the devil starting to attempt to crawl away from me. My eyes widen in horror.
"Oh my god!" Instantly, my aggression and skeptical self vanished. I rushed to the person and in the process dropped my tool. The pipe rang as it hit the ground while my knees collapsed in disbelief. The girl before me struggled to breathe. Her face was swollen and more defiled than the assortment of trash I had pulled her from. She desperately tried to drag her helpless body away but her wounds were so significant, I was shocked she was still alive.
"Golulf-no-et-" I could sense the worry, the fear within her jumbled words. It took me a moment to finally realize who exactly the monster was.
"No-no-no-no I'm not a Ghoul. No-wait-" I put a gentle hand on her shoulder, "I'm not going to hurt you." The young girl tilted her head towards me. I wanted to shield my eyes from her mutilated face. It was obvious her nose was broken, a massive lump protruded from her hairline, and the bone under her eye was bashed inward. I wanted to cry for her. Her blue puffy lips were sucking in what little air they could muster. The substantial cut over her eyebrow was severed to the core. I wasn't convinced that this was entirely my own personal doings.
The brunette took little gasps, like a fish out of water. She was on the verge of passing out; her body was so weak from exhaustion.
"Oh god-oh shit. Shit." I twisted my hands around my jacket. I ruffled my hair and nearly pulled the skin down from my face. "Ok, um-it's ok-its going to be alright. I'm going to get he-help." I did my best to reassure her. Though I wasn't entirely sure how I was going to aid in her recovery. I glanced around.
I wasn't even positive where my location was.
For a moment, my mind drifted to Kaneki.
He wouldn't save her; would he? The girl's gasps soon turned to dreadful whimpers. Her pain was a reminder of mine not too long ago. If it hadn't been for Kaneki caring to my wounds, I probably wouldn't have a heart beat right now. I felt the old staple wounds to my arm tickle. Would I give up now, surrender everything; even forsake my sister's rescue, all for a stranger? The girl's body trembled as she lay in her blood. Her life weighed on my shoulders.
Being strong is realizing when to forsake one thing for another.
"Kaneki-" I looked out towards the vacant city street.
I knew returning to him, Kankei would be a jail sentence. But, my eyes fell on the injured person in front of me, I also knew leaving her was cruel. Subconsciously, my fingers touched the pipe that I had dropped earlier. This wouldn't be considered murder, right? I pulled the metal pole closer to my side.
"I'm-I'm so sorry-" I let out a sniveling apology. My insides turned to juice as I tightened my hold. My throat became watery with sickness at the thought of pounding the rusty pipe into her skull. Would I be able to handle the cracking sound of the bone? What about the gushing appearance of her brain squishing out of her head like a broken egg? Her screams; could I keep going?
This wasn't murder, right?
This was humane, wasn't it?
The choice is mine; I decide her fate. I choked at the thought. My hands started to sweat as I raised the pole slightly back. I kept adjusting my knees on the pavement. I couldn't stop fidgeting; I couldn't get my muscles under control. The girl looked at me. Her battered face, her swollen lips chanted a silent 'no'. She pleaded with me with bruised eye sockets. She could no longer crawl. Her body was worn and was not functioning any more than a corpse. I guess that's what made me justify my second thoughts.
She was no more alive than bait on a fishhook.
I leaned in closer.
My eyes started to produce light tears. I had never killed anyone before. Swatting at bugs was heart wrenching enough. I placed a hesitant grip on the girl's back. My forearm shook violently as I mentally prepared myself. I took a shallow breath before swallowing the remaining clumps of pizza crumbs down my throat. I begged to God, that I would be forgiven.
My grip quivered as I aligned the pipe with her exposed scalp.
Could I? This was someone's friend, their daughter, their precious baby that I was about to beat to death. How can anyone ever justify this, this crime?
The girl slightly squirmed. I felt her fading heart trying to keep pace with her adrenaline. I remembered those excruciating moments, when all hope is lost. The feeling of being trap encases your mind and the torturous suffocation sensation that clamps around your neck. Yes, I recall it all too well.
A little squeak chirped my ear.
I wasn't sure if it was psychological or a message from God, but that tiny noise made me freeze. That familiar sound was the reality check I so desperately needed.
"No matter how pathetic their lives may seem-everyone still wants to enjoy life. They want a chance." I whispered to myself as I envisioned the rat. That one rodent was making me prove against my theory.
" Eh bonjour Madame-"
My heart short-circuited as unrecognizable voice interrupted my unease thoughts. I tensed my hand around the pipe. However, I didn't jump nor did I flee instead I remained still. My head only slightly turned to face the approaching figure from the depths of the ally. Was this punishment?
"Oh so sorry my lady-" A well-tailored ornate ,.man appeared. His hands gestured toward us delicately, "I couldn't help but be enticed by such an exotic aroma." I went completely stiff. He fluttered with his eyes and danced his fingers in the air as he talked. He was an actor without a stage.
"What a sensational variety of human claret we have this evening. " The man's eyes widened with excitement, his tongue played over his upper lip. "I must say-" The stranger sniffed the air. My heart pulsed like a jump-started engine. His tone turned serious.
He strolled up closer to us. I could barely breath. The girl under my hold shuddered and small bloody hiccups escaped her agape mouth.
He sniffed again. "Oh Madame do tell why you smell of human?" His brows creased over his chiseled features. My teeth were about to chatter when the Ghoul broke out in a hysterical chuckle. I could feel my face flush from stress.
"Oh good gracious! Please excuse me Madame and except my sincerest apologies-" The man placed the tips of fingers to his shaking head. "Where are my manors? I had not realized I had intruded on your le banquet!" My eyes darted around in horror. What was he referring to?
"Uh-I- um-no-" My mouth acted like a broken speaker.
"Here Madame-" The Ghoul extended a crisp handkerchief, "S'il yous plait." I reluctantly shook my head. What was he saying? The man smiled before waving the napkin in front of me.
"Please, accept my apology for the terrible inconvenience."
I was a deer caught in headlights before my brain snapped me out of inanimate self. I had to interact. I swallowed before gradually taking the fabric cloth. It was textured as soft as baby skin. I held the napkin awkwardly between two-pinched fingers.
"Madame-?" The man had hunched over next to me. My body heat was reaching its limit. I could feel my back starting to become damp even though the air was cool. "for your face." He stroked a finger on my chin. I clenched my jaw in fright. Face? Why do I need-?
I saw the Ghoul pull his coated finger back towards his mouth. His tongue savored the metallic taste as it happily kept licking the digit clean. Almost instinctively, my fingers brushed around my lips. I had forgotten that I had applied blood as a scent deterrent. My stomach twisted. But why did he mention I smelled of human? In fact, how did he find me so quickly? I looked at the napkin then at the wounded girl. Was it her pheromone that lured him in like a hungry wolf?
I am wearing a Ghoul's vital fluid, right?
My eyes snapped up to his embarrassed gaze. He ran a hand through his fixed locks. Then promptly adjusted his black tie under his violet suit. The stranger let out a nervous choke to clear his throat and the unpleasant silence between us.
The man then rose to his full-towering height. I remained still; my mind was sparking like a damaged fuse. I wasn't sure what to do. And for once, I felt myself turn hollow. I so desperately wanted freedom; but now, I wasn't entirely sure if I was ready to be on my own. I squeezed the handkerchief tighter. Kaneki you wouldn't be mad would you?
"I do apologize for intruding on your dinning Madame. But may I ask, as to why you haven't killed off your meal? " The flamboyant Ghoul's lips slithered into a smirk. I could feel the blood drain from my cheeks. The fear of being caught bubbled in my stomach. Don't throw up.
"I-well-uh-it's because-" My raspy voice stuttered horribly. The more I tried to talk the worse the internal trembles became. The girl underneath me started to weep.
"Ah!" The man shrieked with excitement as he clasped his hands together. I nearly jumped out of my skin. "You must be like myself and prefer them fresh. It does have a more savoring taste, would you not agree?" His plum colored eyes gleamed at his discovery. I did my best to collect my thoughts. With steady hands I maneuvered the napkin around my face. Only delicately did I blot at the cover up. Then I placed my homemade mask back over my nose and pretended to have finished cleaning.
I shoved the dirty fabric into my pant pocket.
"Actually-" I removed my hand off the girl's back. "I don't find this-this individual appetizing at all." I clutched the pipe in my other grasp. My confidence returned once my false image, the ghoulish stranger from the mirror, took over. Behind the scarf, I was no longer of human origin. At least, that is what I tried to secure.
"Oh-? My what a shame, she smelled rather lovely." The Ghoul sniffed the air. "How dreadful that it took several bites to conclude such an abhorrent diagnosis. I pity you."
I pondered for a moment.
Think like a cannibal, think like a monster.
"N-no need-I don't mind the chase. It's the most exciting part of the entire experience." Thankfully the girl kept her breathing light. She seemed to understand the game that I was playing.
"Do express your Kagune methods-" He crossed his arms as he waited for a response. My mind turned to soup. Kagune? I couldn't recall anything of the topic. Kaneki usually reframed from mentioning any spouts of ghoulish- conversations. I answered blindly with a hard swallow.
"Uh-that's classified." I nearly fainted.
"Family secret, hm?" He grinned devilishly. I dared not to look at him.
"Yes of course-" I bit the inside of lip. "Do excuse me, but I think it's best if you be on your way." I tried to adhere to the proper dialect. Even though, I wasn't certain of his mixed French tongue.
The Ghoul let out a sigh.
"Yes-yes. " He waved his hand, "Except, I do feel disheartened about impeding on your supper." I watched his fingers drum his chest. I shook my head.
"Please, no apology needed." I straightened my aching back.
"Oh, but I do feel vile. If I may be obliged, as to ask you, to company me this evening to an extravagant bouquet-?" He paused and saw the concerned expression creep over my eyes.
"That's quite alright, sir. I do however; appreciate the offer-" The Ghoul interrupted my words.
"Madame, it would be the highest of honor if you would join me tonight. It will be a delightful feast, indeed. A special variety has a limited availability. This is a once in a lifetime treat. Do let me show you an enchanted time-" The man slightly bowed and held out his feminine hand.
My eyes rapidly blinked as I thought over his last sentences.
"Variety?" I questioned.
"The finest assortment of personals we could bargain for." His tongue licked the corners of his grin. My heart leapt.
"Even girls?" The stranger let out a small cackle.
"Enough to satisfy your taste." He motioned towards the bleeding girl at my knees. I shrugged off the repulsive statement. Inside, all my excitement was geared towards locating my sister. Ume.
"Shall we?" The man offered his hand. I nodded but then I held a finger.
"One moment-" My eyes suggested the victim at my feet. The Ghoul rubbed his fingers together before spinning on his heel. A look of satisfaction tailored to his face. I held my breath.
"Ah yes, well I'll leave you to your dramatic conclusion. Just head towards the near corner on Popular Street once your finish. I'll be waiting. "
My attention turned towards the innocent person I assaulted earlier. My knees were throbbing from having knelt so long. My chest ached from the entire decision-making, however I knew my choice was the best solution.
I gripped the pipe.
"Oh Madame-" I heard the stranger call, "do your best to not stain your exquisite ivory skin-à bientôt! " A humorous laugh echoed as the man left the alley.
I saw her pleading blue orbs and gurgling lips mumbling to me.
I exhaled before leaning in closer.
Well, so would you forsake one thing for another?
Choice is yours ;)
Chapter 6 (part 1)