After she made sure they were in bed, she went to stand on the porch. She looked up at the stars. She gave a sad smile. She remembered her obsession with them when she was four. Her dad had bought maps and books and helped her learn about each and every star. And the myths surrounding all the constellations. She knew it all. A quirk of hers. She was still just as obsessed with myths as she was then; except myths did not pay the bills, and she had much more powerful ambitions than being a professor. No, she wanted to change the world. And she was a sucker for power. That she knew. That she accepted. For as much as she loved the stars, she loved the world just as much. She wanted power. And she would fight to gain power to achieve her goals. But never at the cost of her siblings. Never. She shivered as she wrapped the sweater she grabbed around her tighter. The stillness of the night suddenly disturbed by a breeze of night frozen air.
Lysandra hated the cold. The chill in the air was unusual on an Iowa summer night; but it went bone deep. She was sure it was just grief. But she hated the cold. Heat was easy to deal with; she could strip off her clothes and lay in the bed of the truck, or on the hood of one of her cars, and get a tan. Or she could strip and dive into the pool, or the lake just down the road. When she dives deep into the cool water, she would come back to the surface feeling refreshed. Like the glacial lake water washed away, just for the moment, all the weight on her shoulders.
But the cold… she shivered as she wrapped her arms around herself; the cold was hell. For the cold, there was nothing she could do to escape that. It clutched at her like death’s claws and laughed at her as her lips turned blue. She had been in a few places, where no matter the layers, no matter the body heat, and no matter the temperature, the cold went deep into her bones as if preparing her for death. Each time she fought the cold of death. But the cold filling her bones tonight was a different type. It was not the fear of death. No, she knew that cold all too well in the spots she had been in during her time in the Army. No, this cold was a deep soul cutting grief that comes with losing one’s parents. Something almost every child must go through, but does not make the grief any easier to deal with. And that cold? She did not know exactly how to fight.
“Blood houses the magic of life… The soul… And that is why it is the cost of magic and death…”
Blood. I could feel the dark red warmth drip down my fingers as I tried to stop the bleeding. I could see the red stain on the pure white gown of my bride. I had turned my back on tradition to marry for love, and my bride paid the price. The shot rang in my ears again as I woke up with a scream torn from my throat.
I took a deep breath. I looked down at my hands, expecting to see blood, her blood, the blood of a truly innocent soul. Instead, the scar on my own chest glinted into the moonlight. I was dying, my soul had died. Where I was saved from death’s final grip, where I was prevented from leaving this mortal plane, my dear sweet bride died in my arms the day of our wedding, that cold, dark, gorgeous winter night.
I screamed at that moment, the moment where I realized it was not just a nightmare, but my living hell. I sat on my bed and screamed. I was a powerful and influential witch and I could not save my bride. I screamed, my throat raw; then I got up and stumbled to the bathroom to look in the mirror.
I tinted my once icy blue irises black because of the magic I had been performing since I woke from my coma three weeks ago. The magic that was forbidden in nature, the magic I had once sworn to myself I would never even contemplate. But no matter the cost, I was going to get my vengeance. I had forsaken my patron goddess, Astraea, and veered from the path of Justice into Vengeance.
I had done the darkest and most forbidden of magic to call for the lives and souls of those who were responsible for my soul being killed, for taking the one person who deserved nothing but love, life, and peace in this world away from me.
I closed my eyes as I thought of the pleasure I took as I ripped their still beating hearts out of their chests. I closed them against the visions of me taking their magic within a heart cut ruby, known as the Blood Ruby. A forbidden artifact that I searched the world over before killing the man who had it. He should have really just let me buy it from him. I would need their magic for the final ritual I had planned. The ritual that would seal my place in Hel, as I will have created a sin so grave that my soul would be dishonored.
I looked into the mirror. The price I had to pay was extreme; but then to do the forbidden magic I was about to do? It called for an extreme price. A price I would gladly pay, for I have crossed that thin line between justice and vengeance.
I stood in a black dress, a dress that matched my wedding dress, but it was now black with the death of my soul; the sun was setting, just like it had upon my soul. I stood in front of my family grimoire. I had it turned to the forbidden section. A section of magic that I only got to glance upon until I was twenty-one, before I had to embrace the rules set forth by our gods and mother magic, before I had to learn what they forbid me from doing. The magic that was against nature and turned to pure darkness. It was soul damning magic.
I looked at the evil I have already done, from the vengeance I sought, to the horrific things I have done for this ritual. In front of the grimoire laid upon the finish of silk was the preserved body of my beloved bride in her pure white dress, an exact replica of her wedding dress that night.
For this ritual, I looked at the actions I had taken, from the killing of a pure silver dove for its heart, the trapping of fairies so they would die and burst into fairy lights, and the sacrifice of three innocent mortals. But it was worth it, for I could not live without her. Without her, the darkness of my family’s magic would have consumed my soul. Like it had done on that moonless, starless, clear winter night, that I swore my soul and life to her, to have my own brothers rip my love, my happiness, and all that was good from my very soul. I died that night. And that night I was forever damned.
So, tonight I give up a dove’s heart, two lives of fairies, three bodies of blood, and my very soul, all for her life.
All rights reserved as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976. No portion of this book may be reproduced by any means, mechanical, electronic, or otherwise, without first obtaining the permission of the copyright holder.
This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to persons living or dead (unless explicitly noted) is merely coincidental.
This is for all those who have ambitions, who want to make a difference, who are different. The world would be nothing without you.
“We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.” Oscar Wilde
“Don’t try to be a hero. Just try to not become the villain of your story.”
The man standing in the mask growled. “I am no hero; I am just trying not to be the villain.”
The man left the woman and kid he saved at the police department and disappeared into the night.
He left the woman and kid staring into the dark as the police came out to find a tied up mugger would be rapist and his would be victim and kid.
A man who never thought he would have this life.
“There is one moment, one moment that changes the way the world views you forevermore…”
Ronald Wriedt sneered as he walked into his little house. He could not stand this world. But they needed him, rather he liked it or not. He was just looking for redemption for all the things he has done in his thirty-one years. He sat at his desk and looked at the file in front of him.
He sighed. People are, in essence, lazy. We see those who are not as ambitious, greedy, or even evil. The world saw him as evil. Pure evil. He pushed the boundaries in his work.
He just wanted to cure those things that took people from their loved ones. Those that people have deemed the work of the devil himself. Cancer was a big one.
He closed his eyes as an image of his kid sister lying wasting away as the cancer ate at her six-year-old body. He pushed to become a medical researcher. He would cure cancer… one day.
He used the military to pay for his college. But killing as they ordered him to do, his ledger still was bleeding red and always would. For nothing can erase the lives he took.
But this… This saving people thing would help while he fought to not lose himself in his work. His work with stem cells, with cloning, with killing, with annihilating cancer…
Because sometimes he could understand why people called him evil. Because in the end, humans, in essence, are lazy. We see those who are not as ambitious, greedy, or evil.
And sometimes evil is just too greatly misunderstood for that evil to do anything but evil things… but sometimes… just sometimes… rare in fact… from that evil a hero is born.
And as Ronald watched the video of his last failed experiment to annihilating cancer, as the person died in pain, he hoped that he could become that hero as he remembered a promise to his light in this darkness.
Twenty Years Before
Ronald looked at the white hospital bed. He was a fourteen-year-old genius. But nobody needed to be a genius to see what was happening. His sister. His light in the darkness was dying. His father was an abusive bastard and ran off when his sister was only three. Their mother was addicted to pain pills and booze. So for his sister, he pushed through. For his sister, he went to school and worked odd jobs. For his sister, and now she was dying. And there was nothing he could do.
The cancer to advance. An evil in the world that bred evil. The darkness he knew he had inside of him was aching to break free. To make the doctors pay for not saving his light. To make his parents pay for making him feel this pain. To make them pay for not protecting his light. He stood in this hospital room in Iowa City, hours from his home in the middle of nowhere, Iowa; and vowed that even if he had to become a greater evil than cancer, he would destroy this evil that had been unleashed upon the world and took his light.
He moved and took his sister’s hand. “My light. Helen, don’t hold on to the pain. Go home. Go to heaven and I promise you, my light in the darkness, that I will destroy this evil. Even if I have to become a greater one. I love you my Light. My sister. My Helen. I love you.”
The little girl on the bed. “I will always be with you, my king. My savior. My hero. Show the world that hero. Nothing you do will ever make me love you less.”
Ronald cried into her hand. “To wise beyond your years, my sweet sister. I will always hold you close to my heart. My soul. My light. Even if the world is expecting the worst, I will show them the best. I swear to you.”
“I love you, my king. My brother.” Helen stated as she closed her eyes.
Ronald stayed with her. He knew she would not last the night. He knew that she even knew that soon she would be an angel. He was not sure if he believed in God, but he was sure there had to be something for Helen’s soul to find peace in when she was taken so early in life.
It was unfair that she did not get to live and he, who, though smart, was going down a bad path, even if he loved her and tried to not go down the worst path. He avoided the gangs and the drugs. But the violence and the delinquent behavior had gotten him with a juvie rap sheet. He looked at his angel. His sister, his tears, blurred his vision. He stayed and held her hand and cried. It was the early morning hours when the alarms went off. He stayed with her as she took her last breaths. He had gotten his mother to sign a DNR for Helen. The pain was too much, and he never wanted his sister in pain. Never. He closed his eyes in pain as the doctor declared her death. January 1st 1999 0115 hours. It was the day the light that kept his darkness back flickered and thought to have went out. Instead, it dimmed and went to the back of his soul for when it was needed. Until then, the light seemed to know the boy, the young man, needed to work out his grief with the darkness.
Ronald Wriedt stared at the small grave. It had been two years since he held his sister as she died. Helen Anna Wriedt May 16th 1992 to January 1st 1999. Beloved Sister. A Light In The Darkness. He was seventeen now and just got permission to join the Marines. He had graduated high school and even had a college degree now. Medical school was almost done, but his biochemistry and organic chemistry doctorates were next. He would destroy the evil that took his light. But for now, he would do his duty to his country, and the Marines were going to help him pay his college loans. And they allowed him to work out his darkness.
“You try and clear the red from your ledger… But you never can…”
Ronald came back to the present. He shook his head as he made his notes. He could not allow himself to get lost in the past. Too much of the present depended on him to be lost in the past. He stood and stopped the video after he had made his notes. The last formula had been a disaster. It not only did not work. It killed the test subject. He should feel some remorse for killing the man, but the man knew the risks. And he was dying from the work of the devil anyway. Ronald poured himself a glass of whiskey and sat down in front of the television. He hit the on button to some sports channel. He allowed himself to be lost in the college basketball game as calculations churned in the back of his mind. The next formula would have to work. And he would have to work harder on making his amends. After all, he had too much blood dripping from his ledger. He was about to turn off the television when the news started. It intrigued him when he heard his research company’s name.
“Today the Helen Anna Foundation announced that the owner, and main researcher, Dr. Ronald Wriedt, was stepping down as CEO and focusing solely on research. Dr. Wriedt is known for his controversial treatments of cancer and other diseases that have nicknamed the man the Harbinger of Death.” The blonde news reported started.
Ronald snorted and turned off the television. When he cured cancer, they would hail him as a hero. All his medical advancements he had been part of, from finding a way to head off the flu to making a better drug cocktail for AIDS were all hated and got him the title of ‘Evil’ from the media and public until he perfected the formulas and then suddenly he was a hero and winning prizes. But the news reporter was right about one thing.
He stepped down and allowed his board to take over. He just could not stand the day to day running of the research company. He belonged in his lab. And he may be ‘evil’ but, this evil was created to keep anybody else from losing their light in the darkness of a hard life.
Ronald went into his bedroom and ran his hand over the last picture he had of his sister. “Soon sister. Soon, my little light, I will make you proud. Until then, I will be an unknown ‘hero’ while I work on this true evil in the world.” Anybody that would have been listening would have to be a complete idiot to miss the sarcasm in the word hero. He stripped and got into bed and by the time his head hit the pillow, he was asleep.
The next morning, he was in his lab working with enzymes and other things to battle his demon. He was reading an article about a Swedish doctor who was injecting cancer cells with heroin. It was destroying the cells and ‘curing’ the cancer. Something was not adding up totally though and the heroin addiction would be just as bad as the cancer and soon healthy cells would kill each other because of the addiction. But injecting cells… now that doctor may be on to something there. Hmmm… he put on his music load. He smirked. He loved music. It was something from his old life and his life as a Marine and research that stayed. He turned it up and started bouncing around as he worked on his huge dry erase boards and chalkboards. He kept them for sentimental reasons. When he told his sister his dream, she had looked at him with awe and said, ‘You totally have to have huge room long chalk boards! Like the scientists in the old movies!’ Ronald had laughed and promised her he always would.
He got into his grove as he bounced from board to board. “You, I need. You, I don’t.” He talked to himself as he worked. It was how he worked best. Talking it out to the light that always stayed with him; that one that never left him and kept him from becoming the evil the world viewed him as. He crossed out a large equation. “You are just annoying!” He went and added a few more equations to the board and looked at the particles. It was after many hours, many songs, many cups of coffee and computer reminders to eat that he left his lab. He threw on the ski mask, hooded jacket, and black pants. He was going for a walk. He might be able to protect another tonight. Help clear out that blood in his ledger.
“To be ambitious can make you the villain…”
Ronald walked the streets and stopped a few drug dealers from dealing with kids. Scared the kids and delivered the dealers to the cops. He also stopped a few more muggings and attacks. Nothing every really large. But who knows? The smallest actions on his behalf could save a life. He liked to think he saved them, at least from the pain. He did this every night. It saved him from going crazy and becoming too obsessed with his greatest ambition. After all, those who are ambitious are views as abnormal in this world. He shook his head.
One day. One day, for all the evil he had done, he would rid this world of a devil. For his light. For her memory. So another person would never know what it is like to see their light in their darkness snuffed out way too early. He knows the psychology behind his obsession. He could not deal with the loss of a child, and since he had raised her, she was his child. It broke his mind. He was not an idiot. After all, he was a genius.
This was his life. His penance. After Helen died, he straightened up just enough to graduate school. He had long ago got his GED and had been taking college classes though the fighting and the arrests were sealed now; he still knew of them. Then he got into a bad situation.
He needed money to pay for some classes and he finally allowed a gang member to tempt him into the money. It was his first and only run for the man. And he was arrested. He was seventeen. His life would have been over. But the judge had taken pity on him. Told him to join the military and learn some discipline and he would wipe this incident off his record.
He joined the Marines. He was good at what he did. They helped pay off the college loans. Then 9/11 happened and things changed. Suddenly, he was fighting a war. He was killing people. Innocent or not. He never wanted that. But it was killed or be killed, and his darkness took over just a bit more, so that he did not lose himself to the things they forced him to do to keep his country safe. To make sure he made it out of the war alive. He moved up the ranks quickly over the six years he was in the Marines. He left as a Gunnery Sargent. He refused to become an officer, just become he had a college degree. He was an enlisted Marine. But he had made some calls. Took lives. And that… that weighed on his mind.
And on that light that kept burning in the back of his mind so he never lost himself to his darkness.
So, he left the Marines and started his research company. He had few expenses in the Marines and with his degrees, he first got grants. The business grew quickly. And soon many things were coming out to help the sick. But the media labeled him evil. He went beyond what they called humane and moral. But then praised him when it was all said and done. Always the villain, always evil.
People forgot that advancement came at a price. But then he always thought humans were lazy. As a whole. Humanity has become lazy and anybody with ambitions as great as they labeled him wrong. Evil. He has faced many trails to get where he was. Paid many fines for his trails. Watched many lives lost. But in the end, everything would be worth it. In the end, they would save more lives. Because failing was not an option to Ronald Wriedt. He would not, could not fail in this; because then he might never gain that redemption he needs to see his sister once more when his time comes that God or whatever higher being takes him home to her.
Ronald snapped out of his thoughts of the past when he heard a scream. He ran to find a gang circling a couple of teen girls. He growled. “I would leave boys.”
“What can one man do to us? We have guns!” The supposed leader sneered and waved the gun.
Ronald was glad for his time in the Marines and soon took all five of the boys down and called the cops. He waited in the shadows as the cops came and arrested the boys and comforted and got the girls’ statements. He left before they could even think to say thank you. Shock is great for escaping the situations one does not want to be in. He left after the cops did and headed home.
Not The Hero
“I am just trying not to be the bad guy of my story… Not the hero…”
Over the months, he saw this ‘vigilante’ being hailed as a hero. He snorted. Oh, he knew of heroes. Police Officers. Fire Fighters. Soldiers. Marines. Sailors. Doctors. But he was not one of them. No matter what anybody stated. Oh, many saw him as such. Just as many that called him evil. He threw the newspaper down. How had this gotten out of hand? He went down to his lab. He had work he must do. He had to get this done. Something was telling him his time would be over soon. He just hoped he could gain his peace.
Months went on, and every night he tried to keep people safe, while he worked all day trying to save people from a true evil of the world. Months in which the news was calling his nighttime persona a hero and his public persona the villain. He was both the villain of the story and the hero of the story. He sometimes smirked at that. The irony.
Years went by of this. Soon he was feeling he was close. So close. The final tests were set and soon he would have beaten the evil that killed his sister.
He looked at the chalk boards. The final equations on them. He smiled. This would work.
He set up the whole thing that night. And then the trails started in the morning. The weeks went by and he watched as they injected the patients right into the cancerous cells with his new drug. No addiction. No attacking healthy cells. It was working. The news was hailing him as a hero, when he was once a villain.
And that night. That night, he went out and did his duty to the public. To help clear the blood from his hands that would never be cleared.
His ledger would always be in the red. Even with this new ‘cure’, but he could try. And hope that God was merciful and allowed him to see his sister before they sent him to hell for his punishment.
He ran when he heard a screen of a child. A little girl with blonde curls was screaming over the body of her mother as her brother tried to protect them. It reminded him so much of his life. The ‘father’ was beating on them. He did not think of the consequences when he thought of the knife and tackled the man.
The fight was fierce, but the man was in his thirties and Ronald was now a man in his late sixties. But Ronald would not allow these children to live the life he had. He wouldn not, even if it was his last act on this Earth.
He fought. He felt the knife as it entered his chest; just as he got his arms around the neck of the man. He twisted. Killing the man and then fell to the ground. He was bleeding out. Help would not make it. He could hear the teenage boy calling the cops. He took a shallow breath. He looked over when he felt his mask taken off. The little girl looking into his eyes. The little girl had crystal blue eyes. He was so reminded of Helen. “What… is… your… name?” He got out between labored breaths.
“My name is Anna. Anna Helen Willams.”
“That… is a lovely… name.” Ronald smiled. “My sister was named Helen Anna… she was my soul.”
Anna smiled and took his hand. “You are going to go be with her?”
“You are a hero!” Anna smiled.
“I am no hero… just a man trying not to become the villain…” He whispered.
“But you are my hero. You saved my mom, my brother, and myself.”
“Just a man…” Ronald gasped.
The little girl looked at him as he took his last breaths. “Your sister will tell you the truth when you see her again. Thank you, my hero.” The little girl kissed his check as Ronald took his last breaths.
The sirens were in the background, but they would be too late. He had no regrets about the way he died. He saved the little girl. His last living thoughts were he hoped his sister would still love him after all that he had done. And that he had become. And all that he was.
A man trying not to be a villain.
“I just wanted to go home…”
“Ronald Ross Wriedt.” A voice stated.
Ronald blinked at the bright light. Pearly gates? How… cliché. “Yes?”
The man smiled. “I have someone here to meet you. Welcome home.”
Just then, a blonde hair girl with crystal blue eyes ran to him. “Ronnie!” She threw herself at him. “You are home!”
Ronald looked down at his sister. “Helen.” He whispered. “My light.”
“Welcome home, my king. My savior. My protector. My hero.”
“Not a hero… just a man trying not to be a villain.” Ronald stated.
“That is all a hero is Ronnie. Just a man trying to gain redemption and trying not to be a villain. That is all a hero is Ronnie. Now let me show you our heaven.” Helen smiled as she led Ronald through the cliché pearly gates. And Ronald could not help but to smile and for the first time in many of years he felt peace.
Mistakes, Love, Life All Rights Reserved Copyright 2011
Trigger Warnings: Violence, Drug Use, Attempted Murder, Prostitution
I look down and see myself. I am dying. I know I am. The doctors are trying to save me. But I know they will not be able to, and that makes my soul grieve. Not for me but for him. My baby. The only thing that made me clean up my life. And for my soul mate, our son and her were the only reason I knew I had succeeded in staying clean. So if I cleaned up, why am I laying dying on a table at the age of 32? Well follow me as my life flashes through my life, and the answer will show itself. My mistakes, my hopes, my dreams, and my losses brought me here and the journey was a wild ride. Let’s start at the beginning.
I was born on a very cold summer day. It was raining, and I was brought home to a very cold house. My mother didn’t really want a baby, but she wanted my father. He wanted a child. But he worked all the time, so I was left alone with my mother. She ignored me. So I went and learned things out on streets. I only went to school because the city made me go. I was smart, but I didn’t really want to be in school. I was bored. I couldn’t sit still. I was running already with a bad crowd. By the time I was in my early teens I was having sex, doing drugs, drinking, and doing a whole lot of things that I shouldn’t have been doing. My father passed away when I was fourteen. I ran from home. I was not going to be stuck with my mother. I ran to New York.
Within weeks, I knew I had to do something, shoplifting and steeling was only getting me so far. I was still on drugs, my drug of choice being cocaine, and it was expensive. I met a woman one night she told me that as a teen I could make a lot of money as a hooker. So I let her show me the ropes. Soon I had my own apartment; I was making enough money to keep up bills, and to keep up my drug habit. I met a man who ended up becoming my pimp. But I thought he really cared for me. I did what he said, gave him most of my money, and let him feed me even stronger drugs.
By the time I was twenty I had been working on the streets for six years and only the Goddess knows how I didn’t catch something. But I wasn’t going to give it up. It was party all night and sleep all day. The fun seemed to never end. The only part I didn’t like was the sex. I never really felt attracted to men, and here I was sleeping with at least one man a night. A lot of the time it would be more like three on a weekend night. On the slow nights I would go down and strip at a strip club, where I would be able to meet more potential ‘clients’. So I kept up this life, until one fateful night.
I was at this huge house party, some of the other girls and I were ‘rented’ for the night by this frat house. I was watching the party. I looked and saw the girl who was everywhere never wanting to be alone. I saw the girl who drank until she was numb. I saw the drugs, which for so long had been my protection from the nature of the world I chose. I knew that at the age of twenty three that the party was over. But how did I live a life sober, away from the drugs. I never graduated high school. I had no skills. How was I going to have a decent job? I sighed and took a line of blow, and went to the room with another strange man, knowing that I had to break this circle.
I woke up one morning, looked at the pile of money in my dresser. I dumped it out and counted it. Ten thousand dollars. I had ten thousand dollars to start and new life. I packed nothing; I grabbed some of my nicer clothes and grabbed a cab to the airport. I bought a plane ticket on the first flight out. I needed a new life. A clean life. I found a rehab center, and checked in under my real name. I name I hadn’t used since I left my father’s funeral. Within in two weeks there I found out I was pregnant and I knew I wouldn’t be able to give a name to the father. I felt as if I already let down the unborn baby. But I knew with a new life, I would really make an effort to keep clean. And I was excited. For once I had a real chance at a real life.
After my six weeks at rehab the set me up in a halfway house, which helped me find a job, get my GED and really start a life. By the time I was six months pregnant I had gotten my own place, and was taking night classes. And for once I was happy, without the drugs, without the numbing effect the drugs gave me. I didn’t need that party anymore. That party ended and the silence no longer scared me. It no longer spoke a truth I couldn’t hear. I for once could look at myself and love myself. I was going to be a mom, a better mom then I had. I was going tell my baby the wrongs I did. I was going to support my baby no matter what. I was going to have a real life.
My baby was born on a cold summer day, just like I was, on my twenty fourth birthday. I was happy. I got my birthday gift. My gift from the Goddess. I had found a faith that accepted me. I had a good friend that helped me find myself, to discover who I really was, where I was meant to be. And I was happy. I started a new healthy relationship, with someone I never thought I would, with a woman, who was a doctor. She knew my past; she knew everything and still loved me, she was my saving grace, my Krista. And my baby, she loved him as much as I did, whom I named after her, I named him Chris. Not Christopher. Just Chris. And we were a family.
My days went by quickly. But they were good, I watched our son grow up, and I fell more in love with the woman who was there for me through all my choices I have made once I choose a new life. I had just graduated with a degree in psychology and I wanted to help out as a therapist at the rehab center. My own had helped me, and I wanted to help others. We had planned a family vacation; we needed one after all the legal paperwork we had just done to make sure if anything happened to me, then Krista would get Chris. I had to stay late at the rehab center, as I was an intern, and was going to meet them at them at the campground we had chosen.
I had come home first to drop off some work stuff; and when I turned on the light there was a man with a gun pointed at me. My past had found me. I knew that one day he would find me. I had made him a lot of money. “How did you find me, Louis?” I asked trying not to show my fear.
“My darling, Darla, you didn’t think I wouldn’t find you?” Louis asked in a voice so cold.
“My name is not Darla, it is Rachel. I have a new life. You are not welcomed here. Leave.”
“Yes I see, a lovely woman, and a handsome son. Will they really mourn the loss of a former slut?” He asked in a sneer.
“She knows my past. She loves me no matter what. Do you want money?”
“No.” Is all he said then he pointed the gun back at me and pulled the trigger. “You took Darla’s life, so I will take yours.” He stated as he walked through my blood.
“Darla was never alive…” I stated, but I knew I was going to die. I don’t know who called the paramedics or the cops, but someone did. I was aware of how they loaded my body, my soul crying, and I was begging the Goddess to let me live. I wasn’t ready.
“I don’t think she will make it…” I heard someone say.
“NOOOOO!!!!!” I heard Krista cry out. She was holding Chris, he was crying into her shoulder.
I looked at them, wanting to tell them not to cry. I was fighting. I would fight as long as the Goddess let me. I wanted to keep my focus on them, but soon I was in a room at the local hospital. The doctors trying to do everything they could. Tears in their eyes. All friends wanting to save my life. And again I begged the Goddess to let me stay with them. To let me have this chance at peace on Earth. I knew it might not happen but it didn’t stop me from fighting.
“They got him. He tried to board a plane. He went down shooting. He is dead.” Someone yelled into the room. “The man who tried to kill Rachel is dead. How is she?”
“Not good, but thank God for small favors. The piece of scum should burn in hell.” One of the doctors stated, his eyes never leaving my open wounds. “My Lord please, Jesus please, Krista and Rachel deserve a chance. They have been through so much in life. They were happy. Please Lord please let me save her. My sister needs her.” My brother-in-law, James, was working on me. I knew it was against the rules, but I had to smile. It made me fight harder.
I don’t know how long I fought, but I heard them close me up, I heard them saying that if I lived through the night it would be a good sign, but it was in heaven’s hands. I heard James, tell Krista that I was a fighter. That there was a good chance. I heard Krista talk to him in a bunch of clinical terms. Mostly she was afraid to say my name, because she knew my chances were less than one percent.
But I fought. I counted their breaths as I fought. As a begged, as I cried for my chance at a normal life not to be taken from me this early, I didn’t want Krista and Chris to feel this grief. I knew what grief could do. I didn’t want to think of the pain, but I knew that if I focused on the pain then I might get a chance. Soon the cold I was feeling was going away. I didn’t know why. I thought the Goddess was taking me, and I was crying out, begging to say. Then I felt a flash of pain and I screamed out. I screamed out! It woke Krista.
“Rach, honey, can you hear me?”
I opened my eyes and smiled, through all the pain I smiled. The Goddess wasn’t taking me; she was going to give me my wish. “I love you.”
“I love you.” She stated bending down and giving me a kiss, the sweetest thing in the world was her kiss.
I smiled and looked into her eyes and I knew that I was really going to get my chance. I was really going to have a life to lead. No matter the cost, no matter the pain, I knew life with my Krista and Chris would be worth it. No matter the past, that no longer mattered, no matter the future, which was to worry about tomorrow, all that mattered at that moment was I was loved. All that mattered was I was alive. Nothing but the present mattered. And I was going to seize the day, and fill it with nothing but love. Every day for the rest of my life, I would work to stomp out hate, and replace it with love. “I love you.” I stated one more time and then I just held on to her as I thanked the Goddess for love, and prayed that everyone in the world was loved. I closed my eyes, letting my body rest, knowing that our love was why I was alive. I was alive because of love, and I smiled.
All Rights Reserved CW: Death, language, tiny bit of gore, cannibalism mentioned.
Jay looked down at the body. “Is that a fucking candy cane sticking out of his eye?” The ME looked up at Jay. “Yes, yes it is. This is messed up, a candy cane as a weapon.” “Look, I always joked about my candy canes being used as a stabbing tool, but this is ridiculous, where did this guy even get candy canes in July?” “Stores are having Christmas in July specials. All sorts of Christmas drinks, candies, treats, etc. Virtually untraceable right now.” “Fuck.” Jay cursed and turned away for a moment. “Can’t we catch a damn break with this guy. He is all over the place. Fire, stabbings, torture, gunshot, and now a damn candy cane used to pluck out one eye and stabbed another in another eye.” Jay held up the evidence bag that had what appeared to be a half of eye and a candy cane. “Where is the other half?” “I think your killer ate it.” “Number one, gross. Number two, DNA?” “No, it was covered in some sort of liquid when we got here, and the enzymes in the eye would have eaten away any chance at DNA.” “Fuck.” “You are good to have Crime Scene collect everything, Jay.” Jay waved his hand. “Thanks, Tony. Just this guy is getting on my nerves.” “I know, Jay. You will get him.” “It is almost like he is going through nightmares. The first victim, he was deathly afraid of fire. I know, he was a CI of mine. The second victim had a phobia about being shot. The third victim the family stated had a fear of needles, knives, anything sharp. If this man had a fear of fucking candy canes, I swear the media is going to fucking name him. That is not what I need; at all, is this guy getting an ego boost because the media has named him.” “I think your Crime Scene guys have started calling him The Boogyman.” “Fuck!” Jay hit his head with his palm. “Go, talk to your witnesses. I got this, Jay.” “Thanks Tony.”