I turned my gaze toward the man who stood before me shift and move with a slight limp. It wasn’t until he kicked Rhonda’s skull that I focused on his feet. There before me was a man standing with one cloven hoof and one rooster foot. I flashed back to my childhood. Warnings of gentlemen who offer too much affection, giving too much when it wasn’t earned, or too appearing they were good to be true. These were just stories told to girls as a way to give warnings about men, but how could I call them stories when before me at this moment desecrating Rhonda’s bones was the very man from the tale?
The man stared at me and chuckled as he looked to where I had been staring. He clicked his tongue at the mess of vomit that was around and on me. He made no movement or sound, but suddenly the hostess was before me, wiping me up like I was some kind of baby who just spit up some food. I tried not to focus on him as she cleaned me and was unsure of his next move. I was now shivering from the shock of all that had transpired. The worst for me was that it didn’t matter for all the warnings I had received from my childhood I was in the situation that could lead to eternal damnation.
He spoke gently as he watched me. He was giving me options as I hadn’t been the one to seek him out and I hadn’t broken any of his rules. This seemed off. I felt like something was missing because of him. One usually sought him for wraith, vengeance, or deep lust. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do in this situation. He moved to me and took my face into his hand that wasn’t holding the cane. He smiled and it wasn’t unkind. Knowing hardship, fear, and true self had prevented me from breaking the rules that had been set. I was now free to leave, but the friendship that I had with this girl would be removed as she doesn’t exist except in eternal torment. It was at the mention of torment that a wicked grin began to appear across his face. If I didn’t want her to be in that situation I could play him for her soul. I met his eyes and slowly forced myself to stand before him. One can not take back the mistakes they made, but they could learn from them. I turned to walk away when he called out to me. He could always use good women, the kind that don’t corrupt easily, if I didn’t crumble with that betrayal then I was indeed valuable.
I shook my head no. I couldn’t find my voice as I stared into his eyes. I felt like a cow that had been just underweight and missed being taken to the slaughter house, but the scent of death was all around me. My flight response kicked in and I didn’t wait for him to continue his conversation I just turned and fled from him.
Quickly, never looking back, I made my way through the house using the memories of the way we had been guided. I used those photos with symbols and colored doors to attempt to navigate out of the house before my time ran out. There was a sense of change, but it wasn’t from the feeling of being sabotaged into being there longer, there was no confusion, no trick doors or people stopping me. I was unhindered and able to make my way back out to the front door. Before I could leave there stood a podium where the book I had signed before stood open with my name signed on it. There it was glowing red and as I approached the book with my name on the page I watched as an invisible figure struck a line in black through my name. The door slowly opened and I felt hands on my back as something in one fluid motion shoved me out of the house.
I walked home alone that night and listened to the sound as the church bells struck midnight. Nothing had sounded so wonderful before or since.
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