Oh look, someone new today. Quite the dashing one, aren't we? You some kind of lawyer?
No, no. Clothes are all wrong. And you look too honest to be counted among those bloodsucking parasites. But there is something familiar about you…
Wait! I know you! You're the bastard who took Lila away!
I should recognize my own handiwork, though it is rather poor, even for my standards. I see your cheek scared quite nicely though. Too bad. I was going for your jugular, but I would have been happy to take your whole cheek. Did you know cheek meat is one of the more tender parts of the body? A delicacy to some.
Oh, did I make you shudder? Don't give me that. I'm not some depraved filth that dines on human flesh. Forbidden though it may be, it would be appalling for such meat to tarnish my palette. But I've gotten off topic. We were talking about you, right? I'm surprised. The only one to visit me would be her, but I guess you're not letting her. Don't think I don't know your intentions. You're just like the rest of the slime wanting to taint such perfection.
You came here for her, didn't you? No? Ah, a curious one then. Ha! There have been many before you, boy, so don't flatter yourself.
I know what you must be thinking. Doubt me, if you like, but I have seen your kind before. Those who peer at me through the glass. Wondering.
"What did this man do to end up here?"
But of course, you know why I'm here, don't you, wretch? Yet you still come because you're curious. Deny it all you want. They always want the same thing. You want to know my story. She won't speak of it, innocent lamb, but you bear the hunger of wanting to know. So you've come I me instead. Well, I shall tell you.
See, I really did nothing wrong. I was locked up for protecting my dear, beautiful Lila.
Sweet Lila. A ray of sunshine amist the blackest abyss. She has no idea what life was like before she arrived. It was a cruel place.
Our parents never saw it, not like I did. Oh, but how our mother coddled her. She was a miracle baby. Rightly so. Our parents were through with children after I came along. My own birth was a mere accident. But you know how it is? Condoms only have 97% rate, and mother tended to double up on her pills.
They said I was enough. Quite the handful. Not my problem of course. You can blame an infant when the parents are too young and inexperienced to know what they're meant to do. So, they agreed no more children. Of course, the old fool couldn't quench his desires and mother was all too eager to please him. Lila was the result of a night of rotgut drink and hot ecstasy.
Don't turn your head from me. You won't hear the rest of the story if your cannot even handle that.
Now, let me see… Ah yes! Lila's birth. Mother wanted to keep it a home birth, same as my own, but there were complications. I was told to stay out but I found myself drawn. I had never seen another's blood before. The color was like none I've ever seen.
Father grew distressed. Despite the risks, he took us to the hospital. I remember him screaming at the doctors.
"I don't care what happens, just get it out of my wife. Save her!"
For a moment, I agreed with him. I had not seen it, but I looked upon my unborn sibling—this thing growing inside my mother—as a parasite. It fed off her life source and now it was killing her. That all changed when my mother managed to grab a scalpel. Hit the old man between the eyes. Told him to never speak of her child that way again, or she would carve out his heart. Another contraction prevented her from speaking then.
I wonder, do you think she would have killed me, knowing my thoughts at the time? I too didn't care for the child within her. I suppose that was the way of thinking for children who become siblings for the first time. Anger. Jealousy. Well, perhaps not the last. After all, the only time I wanted attention was when Father brought home his latest kill. It was always wrapped so I never saw the meat right away. Mother worried the sight of a butchered carcass would give me nightmares. Little did she know he would take me down, down to his own personal butcher shop. Said a boy can't become a man unless he knows how to handle a knife.
That all changed with Lila.
I remember the first time I saw her. Wrapped in a yellow blanket, laying swaddled admits a see of tiny screaming beings. So soft and pink. The others looked like some mangled form of primate. Those shrieking chimps, each crying out for their mother's warmth, disturbing the serenity of that place. But not Lila. She slept so peacefully among the chaos. A tiny living doll with pink skin and warm brown locks. Perfection!
I knew then I had to protect her, to keep her from anything that would ruin such perfection.
That's why I got rid of them. No one knew what was best for her. Not like me.
When did I start cutting, you ask? Oh, I have always enjoyed it. Nothing like the thrill of carving a blade into flesh. That was the only thing that old man could teach me. I was three when I held my first blade. By five I was a master. I wanted nothing more than to work with meat. It was the only thing my father and I had in common.
Did you know it is a skill to cut meat? I swear by it. It takes a true natural talent to know where the best cut will be. Slicing and slicing, making the perfect cut. I could cleave meat right from the bone without leaving so much as a scrap.
I should tell you about the bones. Not as lovely as meat, but have you listened to them? Bones can tell a story all their own. Nothing is quite as satisfying as when their broken into pieces. So strong they are, the body's support system. But one shift in force, at just the right spot, and a sweet sound fills your ears. Oh, what that sound does! I cannot think of music more sweeter. Well, perhaps, one thing…
My blade. Oh, but what sweet odious sound is the music of my blade as it rips through flesh. The satisfaction of tendons torn apart. Knowing just the place to carve without nicking the important parts. Though, I must confess, every once and a while you have to let the blade slip. If you are always careful, you miss out on a wondrous sight. A wonder dressed in fine red.
The life source of all things. It has captivated my being from the moment I first learned its name. Most would find if odd when a child does not cry from injury. Why would I? I was far too entranced.
The way the blood spills from the body is quit fascinating. How it blooms into a beauteous red when it confronts oxygen. Oh, the color! Have you ever seen a true red that could compare with the shade of blood? I doubt it. Your kind tends to turn in disgust at the sight. But you miss a true glorious, natural beauty.
It was the one pleasure I took. Sometimes I would take the rats that crept about at night. Lila would watch. She thought the furry vermin disgusting and would help me catch them. I insisted Lila use the traps. Her hands were too delicate to touch vile creatures. I cared not if I were bitten or scratched. All I wanted was to see my lovely red.
Oh, don't look at me like that. I know, I know. You want to know about the others. Well, I was getting to that. Honestly, you seem to think I haven't noticed the time. I know soon the guard will take you away and then our chat will be over.
Very well. I will skip over my escalation. We are running out of time, so I'll get down to brass tacks.
I guess to put it bluntly, I chopped. I chopped anything that sought to take my Lila away. Can you blame me? I am her older brother. I know what's best for my sweet little sunshine. No one was good enough for such perfection.
Those wretches! Ignorant fools who thought they were worthy of my Lila. I had to make sure no one would take her. I had to let them know she was mine. I thought it over, how I could make it so no one could have her. I thought of creating my own brand. Something to imprint in the meat. It would set me apart front the others. Not one of them could appreciate the craft. But then I would have to mar her perfect skin.
Oh, that skin! Such flawless beauty. It cried out for a hint of color. Red really was a perfect color. And she was so sweet too. Offering an arm, or leg to ease my troubles. I never cut deeper than the skin. I couldn't, not even when the blade screamed at me to. No, not my sweet Lila. To scar such an angel would be the true crime.
Haha! It's funny. You were the only bastard to escape my blade. But it was your fault. She told you to stay away. But not you. You wanted to play the hero. Well, heroes don't take the girl to the ICU.
Oh, that's rich! My fault? Lila was only doing as I told her. If you hadn't barged in like some crazed lunatic, she wouldn't have moved into the serrated knife. It was you who ruined her!
What? Get back!! This bastard ruined my light! He stole her, and now she bears his mark, not mine!
Damn it! Get that needle away from me! Aaargh!
Shit… That little trick won't-won't work forever…
Oh dear, now I've upset the guards. It appears our time is done. So sorry. I would've liked to chat more, but it appears I'll be having a nap now. And you were so hoping I'd tell you all.
Do come again. I would very much like to get your cheek before they give me the gas. I heard third times the charm, but to be honest, it just smells like sulfur and rotting meat.
Do say hello to Lila for me. Let her know something too, will you?
Tell her… Big Brother Caleb, is coming home.
And very, very soon.
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