My powers had always been stronger. Stronger than my parents and twin. My brother is different. He has the strength but wouldn't push for more to win as I would. I used to laugh so hard I'd cry when I did something to annoy a sibling. Now I can't find my smile. The days before this eternal pull are a blur. Hells garden eating with Lilith I remember glimpses but nothing lasting. Always fleeting away again. Why those days are precious to me enough that I fight to remember I'm unsure. Only sure that they were the last I could smile, laugh, love… feel anything beyond wrath. What happens when I'm done with the earth? Where next? Heaven. Unlikely even I am bitter about the fact it wouldn't take long. Hell. Home. Is that the next place this plague will force me to set myself loose upon? I could never. Yet I couldn't stop even if I tried.
"We are close." I speak to my hounds. Reaching the top of the grassy hill I look down at the town below. Wolves. Rather than a large pack house its many individual ones that cluster closely together. Most lights are off but the clear view of souls as I bound closer comes into my vision. Almost like shapes sprouting up above houses. So many innocent people here. Yet I feel as my powers push their way forwards. The door to them creeping open. Maybe two handfuls need killing here. I do not need to destroy the town. It's as though I lean against the door to try to contain the beckoning power. Turning away isn't an option. "Make noise." Uni and Mis look at me and I'm sure I see confusion written in their eyes. "Howl now."
I demand them and they begin. It's so loud almost like they howl into speakers that are placed between the brick walls. I can't stop it. Can't hold it off. The inevitable. Wrath. Me. The differences seem to become less and less with each slaughter. Some human forms shifting into wolves begin to emerge. It had to be wolves. The protective type, territorial. They'll not let me take their homes and run.
"Ugh." I moan. Crumbling to my knees. My wings throw themselves out to full length and my head falls forward. The ground does its usual performance, the new hands that don't feel handy begin to swoop up tearing down the first houses at each side. I watch through a haze. Watch as wolves try and fail to come at the howling Uni and Mis. Either sinking on the uneven ground before falling within newly created holes. Or my hounds bat them away. I watch innocence fall. Human forms of teenagers and kids. Begin to be ushered from homes further down the line. Still not within the grasp of my powers. Yet. They are innocent and yet I know I'm about to kill them. "No."
As though the simple world can stop it. I fight to take the wheel of my powers, my body. Urging myself to truly believe that I can. Even as the sinking feeling that I am no more than a puppet here threatens to overwhelm me. Guilt almost chokes me as I watch the hands from the depths rise high and move quicker. As though trying to catch the kids now.
"Stop. Ugh, stop." It doesn't of course. Howls of pain as wolves are hit by debris from collapsing houses. Or being pulled under before they choke on soil, gurgling just loudly enough for it to be heard over the screams. My destiny. My plague. My curse. I can only watch through glazed-over eyes. Is that tears building?
"Fight it." Theo shouts. I look up to see his light glowing magnificently. Maybe this is what they mean by shining armour. Just a shining angel. His wings flap keeping him away from my power attacking the ground below. "Nemesis fight it. Give me time. I'll get them out."
Did he know? I'd tried to stop those being reached? Fight it. Simple right. The term makes it sound as though that would be nothing at all. I see Theo ordering those to run for the treeline. Shouting at them I'm giving them seconds to run away. Am I? I have to try. When I could believe they were deserving I could handle this. When my powers didn't try to kill innocent people. Uni and Mis stand as though waiting for a command.
"Help him." Two words that shouldn't be significant but they are. I'm going to try to give that much needed minute. Maybe. Downright crazy to think I have any control here.
Uni and Mis rush forward hopping over the ground with little care to the destruction that obliterated the ground around them and continues to. They nudged the innocents, growling behind them with a grumble of impatience.
Trying to rain in my powers feels like catching a shark on a fishing rod. Pull too hard or quick and the line snaps and I've lost the shark. Lost control of the situation completely. Instead, you simply place your hands to the handle and slowly begin to drag it in. Slowly. I picture it. I can't ignore the moments of silence when the hands stop pulling and burying. It's working. Momentarily I have control and I feel amazing. I feel a glimpse of what I once was. Happy, free, spirited, powerful and yet not a danger. This bliss of the memory has me closing my eyes, embracing the past life I once took for granted not understanding how quickly it could be snatched away. Simply in my sleep, it would seem. The bliss is taken. The memories slinking away even as I reach out for them. Try to hold them tightly in my hands but just like sand, they slip through my fingers, become pictures with no emotions once more.
Opening my eyes, I see me. Destruction. Buildings entirely obliterated in seconds rather than minutes. The ground still growls beneath my knees. It's hunger and thirst stemming from my powers. It is so dark in the solace of my soul. No escape from the calling that has possessed me. Did I save anyone? Theo’s flies elegantly back towards me. His wings flapping gracefully in the breeze. Mis and Uni steps in front as they bound back towards their doom. Their crumbling master with each step closer to her demise.
"You must stop this." Theo says as he lands before me. I'd roll my eyes if I felt the act had any ability to make him understand. His words are futile. The more I lose control the further I am plunged into darkness. The less I will see between the lines. There will be no grey, only black and white. Evil and innocent. As it would seem even that makes no difference anymore. "You stopped for a minute or so."
"With great difficulty. Do you think I chose this? That I haven't cursed my mother and father out with words uttered behind closed doors for as long as I've felt this way?" Is it their fault that I have this destiny, this plague? My name is meant to link my powers and yet all I am is one. Wrath. I do not bring happiness by consequence.
"What if you returned to hell?" I push myself from the ground. Trembling slightly as my shaky knees give way beneath me. Uni and Mis automatically righted my balance before Theo who had reached to do so. Not touching me as he instinctively moves back again.
"I cannot. You wouldn't understand."
"Then explain. You don't want to go on this mass slaughter mission and yet you won't leave to stop yourself." He sounds irritated now. It raises my hackles and I find myself snapping my head towards him before speaking.
"I would not stop the slaughter only be performing it in my own home. Can you understand now? I chose to come here because I've lived containing myself for as long as I could. I had no more fight. I've drained everything that was there and now what exists is simple instincts. Follow the urge. Don't fight it."
"You chose to kill here rather than slaughter your whole family?"
"Wouldn't you? Even an angel cannot lie. If you were in my position with my choice. Would you kill cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, siblings … people you've grown up with your entire life. Imagine your car is parked on the rail tracks. You thought you wanted to die, you still feel as though you do and yet the train hits the car and only pushes it along. You are now just a passenger on the journey. The windows are stuck closed so you cannot throw yourself from the car in the hope to end the suffering. You must endure. Watch and feel nearly nothing."
"You do feel. I watched you. You didn't want to hurt those innocents. Even some young adults. You wanted it to stop."
"It doesn't matter what I want. I am merely a vessel for a higher purpose as it would seem."
"You truly feel nothing?" He tilts his head at me.
"Bar exhaustion, guilt and pain from hunger occasionally. You are the first thing to make me feel. Your touch brings a physical shock but it would be painful to touch for long." I reply with complete honesty. He watches me. Carefully. Almost as though fearful I may break which of course I won't.
"I believe something is wrong."
I scoff and begin moving with my hounds safely beside me. Wrong. Of course, there is. I'm a demon of the highest power and yet have no control over it. Almost bewitched by the need to cleanse the world and then the next. I'm delaying the inevitable that it will happen at home. My kind.
"Nemesis I truly think something isn't right. I feel like I can help you. I'm sure of it." He walks in front of me and I stop to look up at his height.
"There is no helping me Theo. Are you to fly ahead and save every town? The vampires would bite you before you had the chance. The wolves rip you to shreds. A winged immortal who cannot even command much weaker species. You cannot always pray on them being scared enough to follow. Some are not scared, just pissed off."
"I'll do what I can to help but I do not believe your name linked you to this path and yet here watching you I see you don't want it. I couldn't see that before but I do now and I want to help." He looks serious. Does he believe all these kind words will get beneath the darkness? That may be beneath some of that is the soul I've lost. He is wrong beneath that is an endless pit. I sold my soul to myself. My own wrath once I end all worlds. All realms.
"I will be the death of you, Theo, as I was your father. As I will your grandfather when he and his army inevitably come for me." His face slumps in sorrow but not anger, so I push further. "I didn't even feel guilt over killing your father Theo. The man was foolish to follow an order to his death and even more so to believe he stood a remote chance against me. I have nothing left to save. So live whilst heaven is beyond my grasp because it will be the next place I come."
I hope my words have shocked him. The hatred I feel palpable in the air. I not only hate the world, my powers but myself. I hate everything. Every damn step that takes me closer to another town, city or congregation of species. I hate every time my shoe rubs against my blister on the back of my foot. I hate that he is so bright and forgiving whilst I cannot do anything more than move forwards. Follow the relentless beckoning call.
"You are wrong." He has caught up. Not that I've gotten far. Even after resting my body is tired once more. My powers though. The surge within me is ready to spill out any time. Theo touches my shoulder. The action was without warning and my hounds did not react. Simply seeing him as no threat I assume. But my body does. Almost as though it recoiled back on itself and instincts took over as power forces forwards zapping the hell out of him. He flies back a few feet and just for a split second the image of hurting my mother in a similar way shoots into my mind. I'd not been as far gone then. I felt so upset. Running to her to apologise. I almost felt that urge just now. Almost. "It's ok. I startled you."
"No, you proved my point, Theo."
"No." He climbs from the floor. Getting to his feet and shaking out the arm and hand that had dared to touch me. I would almost compliment his bravery. If it wasn't so foolish. "I know there is more here. I just do somehow."
"Then you have more faith than I.” Which is laughable because of course he does. He is an angel after all.
He cannot stand by and watch what I am going to proceed to do. I cannot even do that without physically enduring days of pain as a self-punishment.
“Well one of us will need to have faith. I cannot stop you, I already realise this, but I can join you.”
“Join me?” My eyes bug out of my head and I know it. He thinks he can join me on this path. He is absolutely out of his mind. Not as much so as me but somewhere up there.
“Yes. I’ve told you that I believe there is more to this story. How can you go from a normal demon to this one day?” I quirk a brow at his response and he continues. “I mean, well, you are killing in the hundreds. Not that there is anything else, erm wrong with you.”
“Do not backtrack now, be direct. I am beyond different. I’ve abandoned my kind in hope that I do not slaughter them all. Only to come here and do that to others. Just because I cannot stand what I am doing does not mean there is any more to this. You must see that Theo. This is just my destiny.”
“Do you not believe we each create our destiny?”
Once. I’d believed that. When I felt normal. When I could sleep at night without a nightmare that refused to stop giving. Reminding me over and over that I would be a plague to not only this world but every realm that I follow onto afterwards. Why would Theo willingly join me on this journey? Who is crazier? The one who could leave this never to watch as life is dwindling to nothing. Species dying. All at my hands. I do not possess the ability to have faith as he does. I’ve waited for so long for this time to come. To allow the power to be unleashed. Finally breathe without having to contain every inch of myself in fear of what I may set free. Afraid to be around my family in worry I may just release everything that wants to engulf the worlds.
“Theo, I believe that I must keep moving. If you want to move along the same path you will inevitably change. You will never look at life the same way and as strange as it is that you don’t hate me already. Just for being what I am or for killing your father. Your light will be dwarfed by my darkness.”
“Or your darkness will be turned light.” He replies. Our eyes meet and for a single second, I feel a glimmer of hope. Not in him though. He is full of faith in his actions, his words. I feel hope bloom in my chest like the rarest of flowers. The precious second that allowed me to feel, it wasn’t happiness but it was a glimpse of something more than the long-suffering I’ve been experiencing.