I woke up hours later to find the spot beside me cold. It was tiring waking up without my darling beside me. I stretched, my hand hitting a piece of paper. I opened it and squinted until I could see the small, elegant script in my dark room. ‘Sorry I left without letting you know, but dad forced me out. I snuck back in to give you this so that you’re not angry I’m gone. See you later. Sweet Dreams’ -Elizabeth. My heart fluttered at the thoughtfulness of my darling. A sharp pain in my head made me flinch.
’Stop mooning over that maiden and get up! We have a job to do.’ Sliding off the bed, I set the letter on the dresser and opened the window. Pushing out the screen, I climbed onto the porch roof and hopped to the ground. I nearly ran to my house, excitement sizzling through my veins. I started searching for him as soon as I stepped into my backyard. Not a single soul was in sight. How disappointing. I checked around the other side and still no one was in sight. Why did I get my hopes up for this? Damn jock. Daeori nudged me toward the tree line, his curiosity pricking at me. A figure was leaning against a tree, his phone lighting up his features. He shut his phone off and shoved it in his pocket.
“I’m so stupid, she’s not coming.” His head fell back with a groan.
“You have such little faith in me.” His head shot forward, eyes wide.
“You scared me!” He smiled and hurried towards me with hopping strides. “I thought you wouldn’t show; thought you were going to pull a fast one on me.”
“I would never do such a thing. Now come on, it’s far too public out here.”
“Isn’t this place condemned? Won’t we get in trouble?” Didn’t know he was such a goody two shoes.
“I guess we’ll just have to be careful to not be caught, now won’t we?” I turned and walked up to the back door. The big oaf tromping along behind me; rattling the floorboards beneath his feet. Grunting in irritation, I opened the door and slid inside. Dense, frigid air wrapped around me in welcome, turning my breath to mist in front of my face.
“Damn, why is it so cold?” His voice shattered the silence like fragile glass.
“Be quiet!” His hands shot up in a gesture of surrender.
“I’m sorry!” His voice had lowered to a murmur. “Am I allowed to ask a question?”
“If it helps us move on faster, than yes.”
“What really happened to your parents? Was it a murder-suicide like people were saying?” His curiosity was going to help my plan along easily. I motioned for him to follow me.
“Tell me what you think happened.” I turned to face him at the top of the stairs. His face twisted in concentration.
“Well, I don’t think it was because they left you alive. Your grandparents were killed too, meaning they’re still out there.” He was smarter than I thought.
“Very good.” I strode into my room and sat on the bed. He came in a moment later.
“This is your room, right?” I nodded. “So where’d they die?” I frowned, glancing at the blood pool underneath his feet. Could he not see it or was he just completely missing it? I pointed at his feet.
“My mother died there, my father died in the master bedroom.” I rose, urging him to sit on the bed.
“So do you know who did it?”
“Of course I do. I would tell you, but I require payment first, no refunds.” He thought for a moment.
“I’ll pay the toll, whatever it is.” He was either reckless or hoping the payment was… pleasurable.
“Lie on the bed and let me tie you down.” He flashed me a lascivious smirk.
“That all?” His voice had lowered to a husky growl. Seduction lacing his words.
“It’s only part one. Lay down and make yourself comfortable, I need to get some things.” He scooted to the middle of the bed, flopping onto his back, and spread his limbs out to the four corners of the mattress.
“I’m at your mercy, baby girl.” My lip curled in disgust. Fighting back the urge to wretch, I walked to the end of the hallway and stopped. I could hear him grumbling something about me being a tease, but there was no sound of him trying to pursue me. I snatched several instruments from the mortuary, along with a few lengths of chain from the basement, and made my way to the bedroom. He was propped up on his elbows, waiting for me. “So you going to explain your plan to me?”
“Just one and I already told you what it was,” I placed my hand on his chest and shoved him back down, “now hush and spread your arms and legs out.” I secured him, tying each limb to a bedpost.
“I never would have taken you for the aggressive, domineering type.”
“You can’t judge a book by its cover.” I finished and tugged on each one to make sure they were nice and tight. “Would you be honest with me if I asked you something?”
“Have you ever been so angry that you wanted to hurt someone? Silence them forever?” Confusion flooded his gaze, and he shook his head, brows furrowing. I pulled the tools out of my pocket and laid them down on the table. Kevin’s wary gaze locked on the dully gleaming silver. “Of course you haven’t, you’re too… normal”
“What is wrong with you?” His gaze flicked to the table and then back to me. “What are you going to do with those?” If he couldn’t figure it out by himself, then I wasn’t about to explain. I cocked my head and moved closer to the bed. “You did it, didn’t you?” He was whispering, fear filling his voice as he realized the position he was in.
“It’s an amazing feeling. Adrenaline pumping through your veins, your blood ignites setting you on fire. The pleasure, the pleasure is the best part. Unimaginably intense, so intense it makes you numb for hours afterwards.” I sighed wistfully.
“You’re fucking insane! Let me go!” The boy writhed against his bonds, the headboard groaning under the pressure. I picked up the scalpel.
“I wouldn’t say I’m insane, I just walk a more unique path than others.” I leaned over and dragged the dull edge across his cheek. He flinched away. “Everything will end up okay, you’ll see.”
“Would Elizabeth approve?” I froze, blade hovering above his face. “I saw how you looked at her, you’re head over heels. Don’t you care you might upset her by killing me?” Anger flashed through me. How dare he try to use Elizabeth like that?
’Keep your head, don’t let the imbecile get to you.’ I flipped the blade, rapidly slicing through his cheek. Blood blossomed in the blade’s wake. He yelped in pain, trying to move away from me again.
“Trying to use her against me will get you nowhere.” I shoved his head down onto the pillow, leaning closer to the frantic male. “I’m going to make you suffer,” I snarled and pressed harder on his skull, “it won’t hurt long if you cooperate.” Releasing him, I tore two strips off of the bottom of my sheet. I tied one around his forehead and attached it to the bed frame. I balled up the other one and stuffed it into his mouth. We didn’t need any nosy neighbors calling about someone screaming. I picked up the scissors and tweezers. He whimpered again, giving his bonds another tug. “That’s enough of that.”
I pinched his fluttering lid between the tongs and pulled it tight; carefully, I positioned the mouth of the scissors around the sensitive slip of skin. One small snip separated the skin easily. He jerked, the cloth muffled his cry. A small trickle of blood dripped in his eye. The tiny stump flickered uselessly. The teen was sobbing, blood and tears mixing in a macabre dance down his cheek. I set the scissors down. ’Eyes are the windows to the soul, the evil they see corrupts one’s spirit.’ I pressed the flattened joint of the tweezers against the outer corner of his eye. His wiggling became more erratic, desperate.
“Hold still, dammit! I don’t want to slip!” Muffled frantic sounds, most likely pleas, spilled into his gag. I forced the tweezers in, pushing until I hit the soft flesh of the back of his eye socket. Pressing it against the back of his eyeball with increasing pressure until the round, sensitive organ popped right out of its nestled cove. His back arched, even his gag wasn’t able to muffle his shriek. I sliced through the optic nerve, sending the orb bouncing onto the floor. “That wasn’t so bad, now was it? All that drama for nothing.” He was staring at the ceiling with his one remaining eye, it was glassy and overflowing with tears. He was still mumbling, but with far less panic than before.
I repeated the procedure on the other side; not a single sound came from him. I gazed into his wide, empty, bleeding sockets. I took the scalpel and made a shallow cut just under the rim of his bottom lid. “All that screaming and thrashing for nothing. Don’t you feel ridiculous?” All the fight seemed to have left his body. His form sagging into the mattress, not even a finger twitching. I pulled the sheet out of his mouth. Fevered moans trailed after it.
“P… please ki… kill me…”
“Now why would I do that? My fun isn’t over yet.” I put down the tweezers and grabbed the needle and thread from my nightstand. “You’re going to have to be a good boy and hold still for me.”
“No… please no mo… re.” He gasped. I ignored him, threading the thick black thread into the long, curved needle. His hollow sockets stared in my direction. “Why couldn’t you leave me a… alone? I… I… I did nothing to you.” I had to lean closer to hear the last of his breathy reply.
“There is no more time for talking, be quiet.” I pushed his jaw closed with one hand and plunged the needle through his bottom lip and up through his top one. I continued until his mouth was lined with a row of perfect x’s. Blood bloomed at each tiny little hole. The crimson against his pale, clammy flesh was mesmerizing.
’Finish him.’ I snipped the thread and stabbed the needle into the pillow. Picking up the scalpel, my heart was thudding in my chest, tingles spreading throughout my body. I walked over to his right side.
“Looks like our time for fun is over Kevin.” I sliced his neck open in one quick movement. I had to make another deeper cut, this time severing his carotid. Arterial spray spurted out of the deep wound, settling into a crimson waterfall. The vital fluid soaked into my blanket and streamed onto the floor. I bent forward, letting the heated liquid run over my fingertips. Harsh rasping sounds came from the twitching boy. His body was desperately trying to suck in air, trying to do something, anything to save itself. After a few long, drawn out minutes, a harsh rattling rush of air exploded from his throat. His chest falling still as his last breath was spent.
’We must bury him quickly and dispose of everything.’
He’s heavy I’m going to need your help.
’My strength is yours.’ I wrapped his corpse up in the soaked comforter and bedsheets, tying them together tightly. Something caught my attention. Quiet, hesitant footsteps were ascending the stairs. They were far too light for someone of Damien’s build, that means it was someone far more important. I wish she would have stayed home, safe in her bed. Her mind didn’t need to be scarred by such violence. I let go of the sodden fabric and, cursing my macabre appearance, padded out to intercept her at the top of the stairs.
“Christy?” Her wide eyes roamed my bloody form.
“Elizabeth, I need you to turn around and go home. You can’t be here!” She stayed put.
“Who did you kill?” I glanced behind me. “Christy.”
“It’s best that you know nothing about this, about any of this. It’s for your safety, not mine.” She sighed.
“I’m not leaving Christy. As much as you like to think that I can’t handle myself, I can. I’ll be fine no matter what happens.” Her voice was stern and allowed no arguments. “Let me help you. You promised me that would always be there for me, let me do the same.” Out of all the things I had expected; running, screaming and never being able to look at me again, this was definitely not what I thought she would say. Daeori broke into my thoughts with a snarl. Returning to the bedroom; I could hear her scampering up after me. I made sure she couldn’t see any body parts sticking out.
“Kevin…” I turned to her. She was staring at a crumpled monogrammed jacket, Kevin’s name peeking out of the folds. “Oh no…” She whispered. I felt ashamed at my actions now. Goddess, now I felt like a monster.
’We did what needed to be done!’
Did we really though? Shouldn’t we have chosen someone she didn’t know, hadn’t interacted with before? I bunched the comforter in my hands, gripping it tightly. I stared down at my whitened knuckles, my chest hurt and my eyes burned. Why did I keep hurting my sweet angel?
“Christy.” I turned my head away, I didn’t want to see the disappointment on her face. A gentle hand rested on my bicep, her heat searing my side. “What’s done is done, there’s no use fretting over it now.” She rubbed my arm for a moment, pressing her lips against my bicep. “Let’s get him buried, and this mess cleaned up.” I looked down at her, she was staring up at me, eyes calm.
“Why are you helping me? Why aren’t you running off to tell your father?”
“Because I love you and I want to help you. No matter what you do.” She was too sweet, too gentle for this life.
“There are cleaning supplies under the kitchen sink and a carpet cleaner in the attic. I’ll deal with the body.” She nodded and left my side.
’Pull yourself together, dammit. You’re acting like a lovesick fool!’ I closed my eyes, focusing on the task at hand and trying to push away my feelings. Where was the numbness from last time? I really could use it. Once I had regained my composure; I began the long process of hauling his dead weight out of my room. ’I’ve been thinking we can use this to our advantage if she refuses to tell a single soul.’ Daeori purred. I focused on dragging the body to the top of the stairs instead of answering him. Once there, I dropped his feet and rubbed my aching arms.
I don’t even want her involved in this. Why would I use her and drag her deeper? Absolute nonsense, I don’t want to hear anything more about it. He snarled and sulked. I glance downstairs to make sure the way was clear. Elizabeth was standing at the bottom, head tilted and eyes full of questions. “Move to the side.” I wedged the big male sideways and shoving him toward her direction. It took a moment for the body to slip off the top step and plunge downwards. I could hear bones cracking as he thumped down. Smears and slashes of blood trailed in his wake. He came to a hard, rolling stop at the bottom. I descended the stairs and hopped over his corpse.
“I’m going to start upstairs.” She slipped past me and headed upstairs. I left the body and went out to the shed in search of a shovel.
It’s dark enough behind the shed, should be able to bury him there. I got to work digging out a big enough spot behind the shed. It took hours before the hole was deep enough. When I found the depth satisfactory, I stabbed the shovel into the ground and leaned on it. I wiped a thick layer of sweat off my forehead. Slumping against the sturdy wooden handle, letting my forehead rest on the metal handle. I closed my eyes and tried to regain at least a bit of strength. The air seemed to heat around me, the inside of my eyelids got brighter. I hadn’t shoveled until sun up, had I? I frowned and opened my eyes. I wasn’t imagining things; it was definitely sunlight. I clawed my way out of the hole, freezing at the rim.
What the hell is going on? I received no answer. My mind was empty of all voices except my own. I rubbed my eyes, trying to make sense of this. The surrounding land had transformed as well. Where my neighbors’ homes used to be wild lands now stood. Long uncut grass and flowers had taken over the former home plots. I glanced at my home, expecting that to be gone as well. Pain lanced through my heart. It was still there, barely. Nothing left standing except for the back door. It was sloppily painted red with the words Demoness lives again scrawled in bold white letters. I rose to my feet, only to be sent back into the hole by a hard hand to my chest. I could see the one who pushed me as I fell, it was me but older and something wasn’t right. My eyes, my eyes were all wrong. They didn’t seem like mine, but what was so different about them?
“Christy!” I jerked back into awareness, disoriented from the fall and light change. Elizabeth was leaning over the edge of the whole, looking concerned. “Are you okay?” I took a moment to get my bearings, It was only a dream, wasn’t it? Why had it rattled me so badly? Her fingers trailed over my hand, pulling me from my thoughts. I released the breath I had been holding.
“I’m okay, just tired. Let’s finish this and get back.” She nodded and straightened, brushing dirt off her palms. I joined her. Together we retrieved the cadaver and tossed him into his new resting place. We piled the dirt back in and placed a pile of logs and a tarp over the mound. As I was going back to my room to change, the dream came back to me. I finally what had disturbed me so much. Instead of my normal bright green eyes, they had been blacker than pitch and a massive shadow had been hovering behind the doppelganger.