Chapter 6 ♕
The king of all wolves
I gave one last devastating pull, which separated his arm from the rest of his body. I felt intense pleasure when hearing his screams, which sent flocks of birds flying from the treetops.
When the sound of wings finally died out in the distance, it fell silent again. The remaining of his body I held up with only one arm. What I held between my claws was nothing more than a shell of someone who had once meant something to me. Once a great man, now fallen and worth nothing. A murderer and traitor.
He knew his end had come. He had stopped fighting and hung lifeless in my grip. There was no remorse on his face. He did not regret his actions. But neither did I.
Every murder I committed. Every bone I’d broken, every limb I’d torn was to avenge them. The ones that were taken from me. He would be the last. Then my revenge was complete. Then my hunt was over.
Then I could finally go home.
But first I would enjoy this. I wanted to make him suffer, pulling every muscle and every part of his body to pieces. I wanted to watch the life slowly fade from his eyes.
My other side. He had to feel satisfied. He had to experience that all the suffering we had endured had not been for nothing. And so, with one final devastating motion, I let my arm shoot right through his chest. I felt the organ pulsate under my touch before squeezing it to nothing with minimal use of my force.
He started gasping for breath, tried one last futile attempt to save himself. But I just laughed at him. The sound exiting my throat was dark. There was no emotion in it. Not a shred of regret or sympathy. I had long ago left behind the capacity to experience those emotions.
And before it even had started, it was over. And I dropped his remains on the ground next to those of his previously fallen comrades. I looked down and slowly let my eyes take in every little detail of the field. I had not left any body intact. Heads, legs and internal organs were scattered all over.
I stopped and waited. I wanted to experience the feeling I had been waiting for so long. Satisfaction. But nothing came. The hole in my heart didn’t get any less. The rage, the anger still swirled through me like a hurricane. It consumed me from the inside.
The feeling hit me like a wrecking ball. For days, months, years I had been convinced that this would have been enough. It was the only thing that had kept me going. The thought that we could go on if we had destroyed the perpetrators. That we would then find rest and peace.
I heard him laugh relentlessly in the back of my head. He made fun of me for ever expecting someone like us to experience that. He would never be satisfied. He would always wanted more. More blood, more destruction, more death and more victims. It would never be enough for him.
It slowly dawned on me. The realization. The reality.
I have been handed over to him. My other side. Who had taken advantage of my moment of weakness and took full control. Instead of being there for each other when it was most needed, we had let each other down. I had disappointed him. He had betrayed me. The only thing that could save us now was a faded dream.
Someone who would balance us, understand and stabilize us. Again I heard him laugh mercilessly. According to him we could no longer be saved. He had accepted long ago what kind of life was meant for us. A cold, empty and lonely existence.
I didn’t know why, but I was still stupid enough to still have hope. I still tried to imagine her. And when I did, I always saw the same thing. A upcoming sun. A brightly colored dark red sky. A sign of hope.
But he didn’t want to be confronted again and again with what he knew we would never have. So whenever I tried to nurture hope, he tortured me with proof of why we weren’t worthy of the moon goddess’s ultimate blessing.
He made me relive old memories every time. Tormented me with their screams and pleas for mercy. He wanted me to face that I had failed. That it was all my fault. That I deserved to be tucked away in the farthest corner of my own consciousness. That he would never forgive me for not being able to save them. The loss of my loved ones had damaged me, but he.
He had broken me.
When all those emotions finally started to settle, I felt my last bits of resistance break off. What was the point of it all? He was right. I had failed. He never would have.
I separated myself. Built a wall around me. Until eventually I would no longer exist. Only he would be left. That would be better for everyone.
I slowly started to lose my grip on reality. I was giving up. But before I had a chance to sever the bond between me and him for good, a voice came forward.
“Take care of her, my son” said my mother distant voice.
I didn’t have much to offer this world. But that promise was like an anchor to which I desperately clung. It wasn’t much. But it was enough for now. I wouldn’t give up yet, not yet. Bethany was all I had left. Even my other side, who Bethany feared more than anything, loved her. She was the only thing that kept us going.
But even though we loved her. We were two halves of a whole and as much as we tried to suppress and deny it, we needed each other. Bethany hated my other side. Each time I’d released him in front of her she’d flinched back, her face contorted with disgust and panic. She tried to hide it at times, but the emotions were so evident that it was undeniable.
And then there was my title. One that I had not yet fully accepted to now belong to me. After their death, the crown had simply been passed down to me. I was not fit for that, and all the people would soon find out.
It had once been different. I was ready to take over the title, to continue the strong and prosperous rule my parents had cultivated, but that had been a different life.
It had been years since I had taken my human form. I no longer knew what it was like to be human. To love or to feel mercy towards others. My animalistic traits had become more dominant over the years, eventually oppressing my human side.
The humiliation and shame I felt had left me unable to stop him from taking control. He had taken over both of us, oppressed me and dismissed me as nothing more than filth.
As we slowly turned and left the field behind us, we walked along a lake. I saw him lean forward to look at himself in the reflection of the water.
Although he enjoyed the sight of our bodies smeared with the blood of our enemies, I still persuaded him to wash. With a powerful leap, he landed in the heart of the lake. For a second we were surrounded by darkness before he surfaced, swam back to the edge with just two hard strokes.
Even though the blood had disappeared, the smell was still there. It made me sick. It was as if it was stuck to us and didn’t want to leave.
I immediately knew what his plans were now. He wanted to go home. That was perhaps the only point where we shared the same view. Because in the end, even my monstrous other side longed for affection. Someone who would accept him.
Because since our parents were murdered and he pushed me aside, he had no one left either. We shared a body, but were both alone. He would never admit it, but the look in Bethany’s eyes when she looked at him tormented him. But he was proud.
He wanted to be accepted, just like me.
But in the endless time we walked this planet, no one had come, and no one ever would. I was of the first generation of my kind and had lived several lives. Everyone had always kept their distance from me. I was the one people sometimes could accept. It was he who feared and detested everyone. I didn’t blame him, because in spite of everything and whatever he said or thought. I was him and he was me.
I felt him push me back steadfastly. He wanted more space. Claimed more and more from me, just for himself. I allowed it and was pushed to the most secluded point of my being. Sometimes he let me see through his eyes, but most of the time I was shrouded in darkness. He pushed himself against the earth and started to run. The forest flew past us like a haze as we made our way back home.
Or what was left of it.