Chapter I: Snitches Get Stitches
Mariable gazes at the time. She rolls her eyes to see it not going by slow enough. She just wants to get her sketch done as much as possible in a short time. Mariable is diligent when it comes to working on her art; hence, she gets left behind. As a gifted student and Professor Kilen's friend, she is allowed to work on it after class. She makes classmate's art look indecent. As much her art shines in the spotlight, she doesn't care one bit. She only wants solitude from people. Even though the irreversible time saved her from her bastardized step-father, it's leading her back to him. Him as in it. It blackmailed her from informing about their 'relationship.' She's reluctant to paint her life as a canvas; it reminds her. Sure, she loves drawing dark or ethereal art; however, never that.
Mariable glances back her own paper as she becomes frustrated with time. She just wants to kidnap time and tie them in a boring room. She will never torture them or kill them because every second there is torment and long. As long as time is in her clutches, Mariable can control it whenever she wants.
Hell, if that were possible!
She scans her classmates' detailed sketches. The project for December is drawing religious figures. Mariable mostly sees sketches of Adam and Eve, Jesus, and other monotheistic heroes. Mariable, on the hand, is drawing Lilith, the Princess of Hell, and one of Satan's five wives. She heard many stories about her, likewise, to be Adam's first wife. She left him because of his dominance; she wanted to switch roles. Then she met daemons including the Prince himself then so forth. She was the Daemon Goddess of Childbirth. The irony, the Bible teaches that she's the destroyer of children. What lingered in Mariable's mind was if there are billions of people on the planet, why the population is still booming and the children haven't been slaughtered nor tormented by her?
Mariable looks at her own sketch. In her canvas, Lilith will be nude along with her flowing light colored hair going past her right shoulder. She is going to be in a full lotus position while a flourished forest with animals in the background. So far, she only finished sketching out her pose. Mariable has always been diligent on her work, but sometimes she gets behind in class due to she wanted it to be exemplary. Her professor sometimes lets her in; therefore, she could do her artwork after class. When other students had seen her work, they felt envy because she makes their artwork look like it was done by an intermediate.
"Who's that?" Professor Kilen asked fraught with curiosity. "Mainly, I see every student drawing Bible related themes."
"I am drawing Lilith," Mariable explains. Professor Kilen gives her a strange look. She didn't take to any offense; she anticipated it. "Anyway, looks good as always, Mari." She politely comments before heading on to the next student.
The girl that sits across from where Mariable sitting glared at her with abhor. "Why are you turning a girl who murdered children into some kind of beautiful art?" She asks offended.
Mariable glared at her with silence. Many words to say rummage through her head. To avoid starting a fight with a Christian, she retorts, "there's no proof of Lilith harming innocent children. You either try to make someone else look bad because your little cult killed more people than others. Other than that, I never had the taste for Adam and Eve, Jesus, and the Bible. How about you mind your own business and stop questioning mine?"
The girl rolls her eyes. She didn't lash out and either try to assault Mariable. The girl resumes working on her unorganized sketching of a scenario of The Crusades. Mariable does the same while clutching another pencil just in case the girl tries to physically attack her. She could care less if she gets expelled. She isn't going to fall for the same stunt that her stepdad done.
"I know you were trying to tell your mother about this, you little whore, " her stepdad crept over to her and grabbed her by the throat. The little young Mariable trembled in tears.
"I wasn't; I was trying to ask to go with her to the store!" She struggled to speak while her body felt dramatically weak.
"Fine!" The stepfather fiercely growled as he shoved her to the ground. Then he walked away.
Mariable was trying to think about what just happened to her. She stood up and turn the other way. Then her stepfather came up from behind her hollering, "you liar," and blown a glass bowl at the back of her head. Little Mariable collapsed to the ground; feeling little shards rain down on her as her head exploded with pain.
She wept; however, the stepfather turned her over. He started violently bashing her with his fists.
"Listen to me, you little brat, don't even try to tell mom, otherwise, I will kidnap you and take you far away." Her step threatened. "Crystal clear?!"
"I won't tell mom! Leave me alone!" Mariable whined in tears. She was smacked and patronized for crying. She had to go to school with long sleeves on a hot day just to mask the bruises all over her arms even with a concussion.
She was only seven years old. The age when her mother, Melissa, remarried her stepfather, Mervin. The same asshole that her mom had an affair with. Nowadays, Mariable wondered that Mervin performed that stunt just to get to her.
Unlucky seven, Mariable thought, I hate number seven.
After class was over, she left to her dorm. She lay her stuff on the bed before heading out again. Majority of Alabama is a forest. There's even the woods area south of the campus. Mariable kept her head down to avoid any gaze among other students. They're heading out for the day. She didn't even care about them. The people she had grown up with didn't help her, instead laughed at her and queried her in nonsense. Once she made to the outer border of the university, she checked for any signs of pedestrians. Not going to risk of being called a psychopath for going into the woods, she thought.
Then she scurries out into the forest. The winter breeze smoothly brushes the side of her hair. Fifty-two degrees is freezing for Alabama, but Mariable was used to it. She was in a jacket as she heads into the woods. Ever since her Freshman year, she built a small hut about two kilometers away from Alabama State University. It wasn't on the premises and neither someone else had visited it yet. She crafted the small hut out of the wood. First, she cut a small size tree down. Piece by piece, she carefully used the knife to remove the splintery edges of the wood. She dug a square hole to map out the layout. Mariable grabbed the wood from the university's workshop to set the level out. The wood she cut down were glued, tied, and scaled down to construct the floor. Mariable did smuggle in some wood from Lowes just to built the walls even the roof. To avoid any possible leakage from the rain, she covered it with a dark plastic mat.
Over the past months, she added soft pillows, a blanket, hanging lights, and also some of her paintings to make it more homely. Mariable set her homework from other classes down and gets settled in. Like anybody else, she hated homework, but she wasn't a procrastination master like any other student; she gets it done before screwing off. Once done, she works on her personal sketches. She looks at her watch and her eyes widen.
"Shoot, it's past the curfew!" Mariable panics as she hurriedly packed her stuff and ran out the hut. The new headmaster of the school decided to set a curfew on the students to make sure they head back to their dorm for plentiful rest for the next day and also lower the chances of getting drunk. The curfew's set at eleven at night, but revoked for the weekend. You know what Mariable's and her classmates' view of it: "It's fucking stupid."
She stealthily heads onto the campus and ran towards the dormitory. She didn't care about the boy who passes by her while she was heading inside the dorm. She eases herself as she set her stuff down. Luckily, no teachers neither security had caught her.
The next day after the first class of Calculus, she was summoned to the headmaster's office because the boy gained suspicion by her hurrying to her dorm last night. They checked the cameras and saw that she was past curfew.
"The cameras also picked up you were also south of the campus; where were you going?" The headmaster demands sternly.
"Woods. I always go there," Mariable replied annoyed. "I lost track of time doing work."
"You know you can do your schoolwork in your dorm or in class," his condescending tone vexes her.
"I am not any student that goes out for the night for a booze-sex-party night neither a night with friends. I go to a place that's peaceful. Even at night with the moon in the sky is lovely. It's never even scary enough for me-"
"I don't care if it doesn't scare you; I care about your safety." He cuts her off.
"You know it's rude to cut someone off," Mariable retorts hissing, " I already escaped death several times throughout my life. Pretty sure, it won't be my last. Do you know what's scarier than the setting of the woods at night? Humans. Humans make themselves monsters; worst than the demons of Hell."
The headmaster decided to put restrictions on her; she's no longer allowed to go into the woods. He also warned her not to give him an attitude because he will extend her punishment. The moment Mariable clamp the door shut, she utters, "let's see if you can try. You don't control me, you didactic snake."
She went to her dorm after her classes were over. She caught the same boy in the hallway. She notices it was Erick who'd snitch on her. He was one of the preppy boys with nerd glasses. Once he saw her, he gently smiled at her.
"Was that the smile of you being a snitch or trying to greet me?" Mariable asks irritatedly.
"What?" Erick asks confusedly.
"I knew you were the one who tattled on me for going pass the clock," she queries.
"How did you know?" He replied with a hint of nervousness. Mariable felt satisfaction. Good, she wanted him to be afraid of her.
"He informed me. He didn't mention, but I know it was you because you saw me ushering me to get into the door." A grin appears across her face.
"Stop! Don't get too crazy on me," Erick warns; alerting the students on the floor. They all watched intently between Mariable and Erick.
"Y'know nobody likes a snitch. You might be a goodie bag, but doesn't mean you're safe. Someone can rip you to shreds. Trust me, you don't want the stitches. You will never be the same even though you're a whole again. It's best not to snitch on someone who just realized they screwed up. Furthermore, only snitch on a guy who deserves a smack on the wrist." Her voice sounded monotonically sinister.
Erick begins to flip out even more: "Don't threaten me! I will call security! I'd bet you don't wanna be in more in trouble than you already are."
Mariable laughs at Erick. "I was just giving an F-Y-I," she says, "I am smart enough not to fight you. Trust me, last time I spoke out, a monster almost killed me again." Mariable reversely walks back to her dorm. She then unlocks it before glaring back at him. "Have a wonderful day!"