“Miss Collier, you can’t even imagine how excited I am meet you.” The psychology student shuffled his papers into a neat stack, not a single edge out of place. I remained silent, focusing on the paper. He cleared his throat, a sound that betrayed his nervousness. I heard a quiet creak of leather as the guard’s hands tightened on their weapons. They didn’t need to be concerned I couldn’t hurt the child; I couldn’t hurt anyone anymore.
“Let’s get this over with, preferably before they inject a cocktail into my veins.” I shifted my gaze to the barred windows.
“Of course, my apologies. As I explained in my memo, I am here to get the truth. Nothing that is twisted and expanded by media and word of mouth.” I couldn’t contain the inelegant snort that escaped me.
“Stick with the media’s tales kid, the truth that burdens me is not for the soft-hearted. Kids like you don’t need to carry the burden.” I slumped forward. “It’s too much for me most of the time.” He stared at me for a long moment.
“You don’t know what I’ve experienced in my life, what I know. I can handle this and so can everyone else.”
“We’ll see about that.”
The voices were crowing in my mind again; whispering heinous things, inflaming the rage building inside of me. They screamed for me to wrap my fingers around the red-faced woman’s neck; to tighten my grip until she collapsed to her knees, gasping for every bit of precious oxygen, her skin turning a shade of sickly blue. The woman’s voice rose an octave, overpowering the voices.
“Will you listen to me for once in your miserable life? You live in my home; you will show me respect!” I stayed silent, allowing her to rant. “Are you even listening to me or are you trapped in your own little world of craziness again?” I gritted my teeth until they ached.
“How many times must I tell you? I am not crazy; I never have been.” The longing to feel her writhing flesh between my palms nearly overpowered me. “Have you ever thought that living with you has made me this way?” Her eyes narrowed, straightening to her full height.
“I’ve fed you, clothed you and gave you a warm comfortable place to sleep at night. Is that not worthy of respect? You owe me, child; you owe me a lot.”
“I don’t owe you a single thing. I never asked for you to bring me here and treat me like the filth under your shoes. Even a 6 foot hole in the ground is too good for you.” I didn’t see her move, only felt the sharp pain of her palm striking the flesh of my cheek. Her expression was smug. “Pathetic bitch.” She hissed, her hands balling into fists.
“Gerald!” She couldn’t fight her own battles and tried to command respect? Footsteps rang off the glossy hardwood floors. My foster father’s enormous form came to a stop beside me.
“What is it now, Diane?” His tone was filled with annoyance.
“She is being rude and disrespectful to me. Do something about her!”
“I have the right to defend myself from you.” Gerald sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose and grimacing.
“I will not punish you Christy, but I will ask you to wait in your room for a little while.” A disbelieving, outraged gasp came from her. Her face was bright red, scrunched up in her fury. Her eyes were blazing with malice. “Christy.” The tone in his voice brooked no argument. I moved past the couple; climbing the stairs and slipping into my room, slamming the door shut. I leaned against the solid slab of wood and slid to the floor, thrusting my hands into my hair, I clutched at delicate strands. They came loose in my fingertips, showering the floor.
Voices, far too many to understand what they were saying, flooded my mind, drowning out every noise. A few broke through the cacophony. He’s never been on your side… If he had truly loved me like he said he did, he would have protected me better. He wouldn’t have ignored me or, if he was in a cruel mood, joined in on tormenting me. They only want someone small, weak to take their anger out on… Loveless adoption, heartless humans… Your life is worthless to them… A shiver of rage washed through me. It rapidly settled into my veins. Salivating thoughts of ending my tormentors planted themselves in my brain, growing louder until I couldn’t think of anything but them. I needed to see their frigid, stiff corpses laid out on the ground, never to move again. I deserved the chance to take their lives.
I released my hair, letting my hands drop to my sides. Closing my eyes and leaning my head back against the door; I listened to the sweet lullabies of freedom and retribution singing through my thoughts. Blood lust intoxicated every cell, swirling through my veins in a haze of heat. I opened my eyes and stood, stepping lightly over to the window and settling on the sill. The door was flung open seconds later.
“I should have left you there to rot. He just had to be a bleeding heart and beg me to adopt you.” She swept her hand agitatedly through her hair. “Our lives would have been perfect without you in it!” She stomped over to me, yanking me off the sill by my bicep. She stuck her face close to mine. I stared evenly at her, not allowing her to see the immense hatred boiling under my skin. My non reaction was riling her further. Her mouth tightened into a thin line. “Your existence has no purpose; you should thank me for not burying you in the backyard. Grovel at my feet and begging for my forgiveness, my mercy.”
“I don’t bow to cruel people who care only for themselves.” I shoved her away “I could’ve had a family that actually loved me if it weren’t for you. You took all choice away from me, stripping away any chance I had at happiness.” Her face was practically glowing with rage. Her breathing was rapid and harsh. “I’m going to make the same promise you made on the day of my adoption,” I leaned closer, “do you remember? ‘I’m going to make sure you get everything you deserve’.” Striding over to my dresser, I searched through the contents.
“What the hell does that mean? Face me and tell me, dammit!” My fingertips knocked against the cold, smooth handle as I wrapped my fingers around it.
“Maybe I should thank you instead. You’ve shown me that love is just a tool for manipulation. A mere ruse.” I cradled the weapon to my chest and turned towards her. Diane’s eyes widened, taking a quick step back.
“Put that down and we can talk about this, okay? All the things that were just said were out of anger, they meant nothing. You know we love you dearly” She gave a bit of a nervous laugh. I lunged, unwilling to hear anymore of her nonsensical drivel. She was almost to the door when I grabbed her shoulder, driving her into the ground. She landed hard on her front, a cry tearing from her throat. I straddled her, struggling to keep her pinned down. I gripped the weapon with both hands and raised it above my head. Using as much force as I could muster, I thrust the blade through the back of her neck and through the front. A thin streak of crimson slashed through the stark white carpet fibers.
She stiffened, spasming involuntarily. Wet, gurgling sounds came from deep in her wounded trachea. I left the blade and stood. She was trying to crawl forward, pain slowing her down. I stepped on the middle of her back and stooped to snatch the blade out of its new holster. I kicked her onto her back.
Gentle trickles of blood bubbled out of the wound and streamed down the sides of her neck. I gazed into her wide, panicked eyes. All she could manage was a wet gurgling sound. Her eyes were wide with panic. Her hands crossed in front of her face, trying to save herself. Too little, too late mother dearest. I swatted her limbs away, enjoying the rush of complete power. It was intoxicating. “Your suffering will end soon, I promise.” I rested the bloody steel against her cheek, smearing crimson over pale, clammy skin. “It’s such a shame that I waited so long to do this.”
Her struggles were weakening beneath me. She locked eyes with me. They held no fear now, only the reluctant acceptance of her fate. Taking pity on the poor whelp, I drove the knife deep into her eye socket. She twitched once more before falling completely still, a harsh rattling sound tearing out of her throat. I pulled the knife free. Blood pooled in her socket, coating her destroyed eyeball.
I had finally rid myself of one blight darkening my life. Relief and an overwhelming sense of satisfaction filled me. I couldn’t help but smile. Something approached me from behind, bringing a shudder inducing cold with them. Jerking away from the body, I searched the room. I could find no one, but could still feel that horrible chill. ’Welcome to your new life, the reason for your existence.’ Frigid breath brushed my ear as the deep voice spoke. It reeked of pure power, demanding attention and not leaving room for disobedience. I shivered as a cold, burning sensation trailed down my arm. ’Blood, death and rage… you will be worshipped by few and feared by many.’ The presence faded.
“Diane?” How could I have forgotten about him? “What was that noise? Are you girls okay?”
’The bigger they are, the bigger the splatter. Scramble his brains.’ This time the voice came from inside my mind.
“Diane? Christy?” The stairs were groaning under his considerable weight. My attention flicked back to the corpse, Gerald could wait. His footsteps drew closer, halting at the door. I gripped the knife tighter and glanced up at him. His eyes were on his deceased wife, his mouth opened and closed, but no words escaped. Disbelief and rage rolled off of him in thick, suffocating waves. I moved away from him and climbed onto the edge of my bed. He dropped to his knees beside his fallen queen.
“She makes a lovely sight, doesn’t she?” His head snapped up, fury filled eyes locking onto mine.
“What the hell have you done?” He slowly rose to his full height, his face flushed with anger.
“You’re not that stupid daddy. You can see what I’ve done, now ask why I did it.” A low growl rolled out from between his clenched teeth.
’Get rid of the useless puppet.’ I sat up straighter, watching his every movement. He leapt at me. I slipped under his arm and out into the hallway.
“You blind fool! Why can’t you see she was a disease, she needed to be euthanized!” Tears slipped down his reddened cheeks. He was trembling with a mixture of anger and fear.
“You killed the love of my life… she wasn’t a disease, everyone just misunderstood her.” His voice barely rose above a whisper. He slumped over, gently nudging his bride. I jogged down the hall and into their room, quickly rummaging through the bottom of their closet. I located the ornate box holding his precious, fully loaded, Colt. It was only fitting for him to die by his most prized possession. Gerald stumbled in, tears still running unchecked down swollen cheeks. Rage was bubbling beneath his weepy exterior. “I’m going to-“ His gaze trained on the weapon in my hand.
“You know what I used to dream about?” His expression turned to one of confusion. Moving towards the door, I forced him further inside the room. “I dreamed of being adopted by a loving family.” Planting myself directly in the opening completely cut off his escape. “I wrote letter after letter to this nonexistent family telling them how much I would love them. How much I needed them. Then you two came along and ruined my potential future.” I took a step forward, making him take two back. “Don’t you see? I have to kill you two, it’s only fair. You destroy my life and I destroy yours.” He held his hands up in surrender.
“Christy, you’re just sick; very, very sick. That’s okay, I can get you the help you need. You just have to put the gun down and come here. We’ve done nothing wrong to you. We loved you.” Of course they did nothing wrong, it was always the victim’s fault, right? The victim should take accountability instead. After all, it was their fault for being abused.
“Stop lying! Just stop!” I pointed the gun. “You’re wrong, I’m not sick and you’ve wronged me more times than I can count. I’m going to make an example out of you, show everyone what happens when you cross me!” I pulled the trigger. A bright red spot bloomed in between his eyes. Blood and brain matter splattered the wall and cabinet behind him. He fell forward, shattered skull thumping on the carpeted floor.
’As close to perfection as one can get.’ The voiced purred. ‘They weren’t worthy of such a precious gift.’ I dropped the gun and knelt by his form, dipping my fingers into the still heated fluid. I raised my fingers to eye level, admiring the crimson coating my pale digits.
Who are you? Why are you in my head?
’Wash the gun in straight bleach, destroy any evidence of fingerprints.’ I stood picking up the gun and walked into the bathroom. I scrubbed the gun and knife with bleach and leaving it in a sink full of the harsh smelling liquid. As I walked towards the stairwell, I slowed with each step. Bloodlust was welling inside my very core. I needed more blood to soak my world in heated silk.
My vision flickered, each flash coating the hallway in red. I came to a complete stop at the apex of the stairs. Darkness was rapidly overtaking my vision as I gazed at the river of blood tumbling down the steps. The ground rushed up to meet me.
‘We will strike anyone who stands in our way down.’
“Come on sweetheart, I know you’re awake in there. Open those eyes for me.” I didn’t recognize the soothing baritone speaking to me. “You can do it, hun.” I pried open my heavy eyelids, bright lights assaulted my retinas. I groaned and clamped my eyelids shut again. The voice chuckled. “Easy does it now. Try not to move too much.”
I kept my eyes closed and pulled myself to a sitting position, pain lancing through me with every movement. Keeping my head down, I slowly reopened my eyes. Once I was used to the dimmer lighting, I surveyed my surroundings. I was in a small hospital room. I peered at the speaker. He was tall and muscular with sharp, handsome features. His eyes were a mesmerizing electric blue, short white hair topped his head. His face was neutral, the expression far too carefully maintained to be natural. He had on his uniform, badge gleaming dully in the light.
“It’s great to see you awake.”
“Who are you? Where are we?”
“I’m officer Damien Soren, we are currently at the South Chester medical clinic.” He leaned down, large hands gripping the railing. “Christy, we received a call from your neighbors reporting a domestic situation…” His gaze swept over my face, “sweetheart, I need to know what you remember.”
‘Your silence is crucial.’ I gave him a mental affirmation and licked my dry lips.
“The last thing I remember is going up to my room to clean it.”
“Are you sure that is all you remember?” I nodded, working to keep my expression normal. “They found you at the bottom of the stairs, unconscious and covered in your own blood. Are you positive that you don’t remember?”
“My blood?” He nodded.
“There’s a nice gash on your forehead, bled a lot. Don’t know how that was your only injury besides some bruises.” I frowned, carefully running my fingers over the bandage wrapped around my head. He sighed and gently tugged at my arm until I put it down. “I know you just woke up, but you need to know something. Your parents, I’m sorry, but they’re gone.” He gently placed his hand on my shoulder.
“What do you mean they’re gone?”
“I can’t, and won’t, tell you the details, but your parents are deceased.” He hurried to finish before I could even get a word in. “Please know that we’re going to do everything we can to help you, we’ll also bring this killer to light. They won’t get away with this.” He removed his hand and left the room, closing the curtained sliding door behind him.
Will you tell me who you are now and why you’re in my head?
I am known as Daeori, a high daeminion.
That doesn’t explain why you’re in my mind.
You will find out in time, patience is key. I sighed, frustrated at his non response. Letting my head fall back against the flat pillow, staring listlessly at the pocked ceiling. I felt like I was going insane. Maybe Gerald had been right, I was sick; I needed help. Had everything I seen and heard been wrong? Was I truly in a hospital with something non corporeal speaking to me? Were they actually dead, or was I lying in my room vividly hallucinating? I can promise that you are not hallucinating. Every bit of this is real. The door opened and Damien slid in, his expression troubled. He pulled up a chair and sat.
“We’ve called your grandmother,” he paused for a second studying my expression, “she has refused to take any responsibility for you. She hung up as soon as she told us so.” There was no shock at this news. She had always been against me, acting like I was the devil’s reincarnation. I’m more than sure she had helped fan the flames of Diane’s hatred. Our dear grandmother would come to regret her actions.
“I’m guessing I’ll go to a foster home?”
“You could, but I have a much more… unique offer for you.” I cocked my head, curiosity piqued. “My commanding officer has allowed me to invite you into my home. It’s up to you, of course, but the offer is there.”
This could be interesting.
“I have a daughter about your age if that will help make you more comfortable about accepting. She’s a little angel and could be an asset to your healing process. I think she’d truly enjoy your company.”
“Seems like there isn’t much of a choice, is there?” He waited patiently, gaze gentle. “Alright, I’ll come with you.” I shifted to stare at the wall, I was feeling unusually drowsy. I drifted, Damien’s gentle baritone following me down into sleep.
Something warm and sturdy gripped my shoulder. I hissed, jerking out of sleep to shove the offending appendage away, aching body protesting at the swift movement. “Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you. There are clean clothes on the chair over there, get dressed and we’ll leave.” He paused. “Are you sore? Any headaches or body pain?”
“Nothing that I can’t handle.” He nodded and left, shutting the door behind him. I slid off the bed, my body protesting every movement. I stripped and dressed in the new clothes.
‘There are other ways that we could take advantage of this. He could become a potential breeding prospect. He is quite a lovely specimen.’
That has to be the worst suggestion I’ve ever heard.
‘Use your brain, girl. Use him to produce powerful offspring and continue the bloodline.’
Not going to happen. The entity snarled, angered by my disobedience. I slipped out of the room and headed towards Damien, who was leaning against the nurse’s station.
“Ready?” He asked once I was standing beside him. I nodded and followed him out through the sliding doors to his car parked just out front. He opened the back door and waited for me to slide in before taking his place in the driver’s seat. Something was really bothering me, like an itch I just couldn’t scratch.
“Why are you really taking me to your home?” His hands tightened on the wheel. He was quiet for a moment.
“Christy, I need you to be one hundred percent honest with me. Do you know who killed your parents?” I calmly met his gaze in the mirror.
“I don’t know; I remember nothing.” His eyes became harder, steelier.
“I think you know.” His gaze was full of accusations.
“Then you’ve thought wrong. I couldn’t kill a human if I tried.”
“Why were you left alive then? Why did they just leave you at the bottom of the stairs without finishing you?”
“As I’ve said before, I don’t know.” He sighed again, harsh and frustrated.
“Tell me about them.” His voice was nearly a growl.
“They adopted me about 12 years ago. Gerald and I were close at first, he was the one who had convinced Diane to adopt me.” I swallowed and looked out the window; it hurt to talk about this even after what I’d gone through. “For a year everything was perfect. On my 6th birthday everything went south.” I closed my eyes. “Diane suffered from a miscarriage. They cited me as the cause. They became very different people after that. Yelling at people passing by our home, screaming at me, telling lies to friends and family about what a vile creature I was. Friends and family left, refusing to have anything to do with us. She scared away everyone until we were completely isolated. Through it all I still loved them, hoping for the day they would return that love a thousandfold.”
“Did they ever physically abuse you?” I refused to answer, holding the answer, singeing my tongue back. He didn’t need words to guess what I wouldn’t say.
You gave away too much!