Pain and Suffering
Shadows grew as the light of the setting sun slid off the mansion as though it knew it was not welcome within its halls. Ancient eyes studied it, the voices of suffering ringing still, new tones as well as those long gone from life, trapped by ever growing madness. The scent of honeysuckle and cypress drifted by as sadness and anger covered her like a cloak, the rough bark of the tree she braced against digging into her fragile skin. She had given that madness power in a moment of rage and agony, she had used her gift in a way it was not meant and had birthed a new horror to this world and now it spread, tirelessly.
A hundred twenty years she had lived, yet she would give all that time, all which remained of her life, to return to that moment and take back the words that she had spoken. The pristine white of the home that had once been hers blurred as her mind took her back to that day of death, forever burned within her heart. She never should have spoken, just killed the bastard where he stood as her daughter's precious life drained away at his feet, spilling out against black marble floors.
Screams echoed of the manor walls, making the boy flinch with every resounding. He waited, as he had been ordered. Not that he could do much else, the door was locked against him so that he could not flee, no matter how badly he wished to. How many times had he waited in this room, its plain white walls and dark red carpet seeming to close in on him? How many more times would his great grandfather come, teaching him his ways, things that no one should know?
He felt true fear this time, could feel that there was a difference within those black eyes as he smirked before leaving him. This was not hunting trip, no journey among the family’s dead to see them displayed so grotesquely, this time he would know the source of those shrieks that came weekly. In his heart, he prayed, prayed for the strength to endure once again, so that this man did not kill the little life remaining within him. The heavy wooden door swung silently open, bringing with it the smell of burnt candles and blood.
Cold eyes examined the boy waiting quietly, his fists clenched, precisely where he had left him. The child was on the brink of manhood, his dark eyes so similar to what his had been before he had changed. It was unfortunate that the rest of the child so closely resembled the failure that had fathered him. More importantly, inside his great-grandson there was something that had been missing from his own son. A spark of darkness that allowed him to remain stoic and cold in the face of death. The very thing that had once made the old man the head of his family, something that had made him become powerful.
That glimmer had to be nurtured and tended to, fed slowly until it too grew into something unstoppable. His perfect heir to a black throne. A grin spread across his face, far more youthful than it had any right to be. He had not been sure until the tragic deaths of his only son and grandson, just weeks apart. He had watched gleefully as the light faded from the boy’s eyes and all hints of softness disappeared. He no longer questioned him about the things he was made to do, nor cried as he had at first. It was time now to corrupt him farther, to break his mind and bring him fully to the man’s side.
Their steps should have bounced off the walls, but they were eerily quiet as they walked over the black marble that covered the main floor and all the halls within the mansion. The boy watched as his feet moved, the pearlescent shine making him think of tiny souls trying to escape the dark, forever trapped beneath the glossy surface. The screaming came again, quieter now, the voices raspy and pain filled, only adding to the image his mind had conjured. He stopped cold before the door his great grandfather opened, not wanting to step across the threshold, not wanting to see what waited inside. The old man’s gaze narrowed. “Come, boy.”
He raised his head and stared blankly at his living night mare. “I don’t want to.” Came out in a whisper. Barely a breath, but he was heard anyway. He could see the rage rising off him, almost and entity of its own, lashing out at those who dared to defy his will.
Malice lit his face as his tongue clicked against his teeth. “How disappointing. I had hoped we would be farther than this by now.” He grabbed his arm crushingly, “I am sure you recall what happens when you, precious boy, deny me?”
The boy closed his eyes as he was drug into the room. The familiar feel of metal closed over his wrists, though not as tight as had been used before. It had been nearly a year since he had felt the need to bind him, the boy following his orders mutely. He had yet to find the joy that came with the torcher, but it would come with time, the man was so certain of it. “Open them, or you know what will come.”
He forced his eyes open, concentrating on his great grandfather’s face. The man had strange abilities. He had never aged even a day in all of the boy’s life, why he did not know. He also had the ability to heal, a gift that should have been used for good, but instead was used to extend his cruelty. The last time he had refused to open his eyes, his great grandfather had cut into his eye lids until he had done as the man commanded. Then he had slowly healed him, not bothering to take the ache away as he did so. Still, the boy wished that he had not given in when the room was revealed through the curtain of his dark hair.
The space was lit by many tall white candle sticks, the man had always preferred them to lantern light. The flames danced brightly across the cream colored walls. There were few furnishings in the room, a large wooden chest at the foot of a massive, custom made, four post bed. There the normalcy ended.
Chains hung from the walls and several were attached to the floor. He had been latched to one of those close to the chest so that he had a clear view of the bed. To avoid those lying there, he focused on the other person in the room, her blonde hair beautifully curled around the silk of her white dressing gown, the edges stained red.
“Have you brought him to play too?” she asked, eagerly going to her lover of many years. He took her mouth harshly, making her cling closely to him.
“You know that he is not for you,” he said, coolly putting her from him, his face showing pleasure when he looked at the figures on the bed.
She chuckled. “We both know that will only last until he displeases you too badly.” She bent before the boy, her gown easily sliding open to reveal her nakedness. “Then you will be just as my dolls.” She gestured toward the bed, her blue eyes wild. “Do you like them?”
Through no will of his own, the boy’s sight drifted to those on the bed. They were twins, their hair as blonde as their mothers. They were bare and strapped to the bed, their backs showing scars that crisscrossed, many meeting where their skin touched one another’s. New marks welled, the blood running down onto the covers beneath them.
He had seen them before, of course. A boy and girl, identical with their light hair and eyes. They were only a few years older and forbidden to speak to him, giving them no way of helping one another. The manor house was split into three main halls so it was not hard to stay separate, neither wanting to find out what he would do if they disobeyed. The boy had seen them slipping out before, escaping if only for a while. Often, his heart had gone with them and he had never told when they had gone.
Deep within, he had known who those screams belong to, the sound of their voices forever etched into him. It would be worse for them if he showed sympathy or pity, so he battled tears away and focused on their hands which were clenched together, unnoticed by their tormenters. This small rebellion allowed him to paste an expressionless face on, hopefully pleasing his great grandfather enough to make this a short punishment.
“Leave him.” He ordered her. Her gaze cut over to him, but she responded instantly, backing away and returning to the side of the bed. Her fingers dug into the wounds on the older boys back, drawing an exhausted groan from him.
“They are your children.” The phrase slipped from his lips before he could cut it off.
She shared a grin with her lover. “They were formed from my blood and my flesh, to do with as I please, just as you are from him.” As if to prove her point, she dug harder until he screamed.
The boys eyes watered, but he hid it, the fall of his hair helping do so. He did not speak, dared not to move, for now how much they would suffer depended on his reactions. He could not save them, no more than he had saved his young father or his grandfather. His fist clenched, pulling tight against the sharp metal cuffs as they were turned, their hands falling away from each other, their breath ragged. They were too weak to take advantage of being freed from their bonds and even if they weren’t, they would not get far from the man’s strength. They began touching the two, intimately bringing more suffering upon them. The cries began anew, soft, quiet whimpers that cut through him worse than before.
Blood dripped unnoticed to the floor as he unconsciously pulled against his chains, not feeling the meatal biting into him until it slid off his wrist, taking skin with it. Automatically, he caught the cuff before it could drop, drawing attention to him. His eyes never straying from his great grandfather, he began working the other down, the burn of it sliding down his bloody hand all he could focus on.
He soundlessly sent an apology to the twins as he threw the cuffs down and ran from the room. He nearly flew, stumbling on the grand staircase, a loud bellow chased him, followed by the sound of taunting feminine laughter. It rung in his ears as he fled into the darkening forest, the terrors there far less than those he left behind.