Three Steps Below

STEP 1: Motivate

“It was a dark 1998 night as I recall; nearing the December nativity scene, filled with little children playing around the parks and watching out for Santa’s sleigh or simply the food in their homes. A nice sweet meal you know, Noche Buena, laid out for the family, groups of people flocking to one family member’s house just to eat some of that sweetened Christmas ham.

“I’d remembered wishing for a bike for Christmas. Not just any bike, but the bike that I’d wanted so much; The Stumpjumper. We were well to do, and honestly, I doubt I would not have received my bike; I was a good little boy, mommy. I was good this year. Nevertheless it was something straight out of a movie, what happened, that fateful Christmas Eve.”

Croix Flores said, lighting a cigarette. The rich smoke dissipating before him, the slight hints of dried smells reminded him that he was smoking Marlboro’s. He hated them; one could see it in his eyes as they pierced mine through the smoke.

“Fuck. Ya have a Pall Mall, there, bro?”

“Here. Now, shut up about the cigarettes and tell me more about your fucked up shit, you goddamned son of a bitch.” I said, tossing him my pack of cigarettes. I’d already lit one up. It soothed me as I continued to listen to his testimony. We were on record.

“Alright. Now, where was I?” He said, placing the cigarette conveniently on the crease in the ashtray on the edge of the table. There was a glass of clear, cold water resting next to it, untouched.

“Christmas Eve.” I replied impatiently, blowing smoke from my nostrils like a bull, ready for the red flag.

“Oh, right. Anyhoot, it happened. A riot, for one of those labour unions tore through the small suburbia where I lived, just outside the streets of Paranaque. People were on an inhuman rampage, for some petty thing I can barely remember. The blood filled the streets, people were wailing, people were crying, people were dying right before our very doorstep. My father, bless his soul, had ordered all the doors locked. The maids, or as we in my homeland would call them, “Ya-ya’s”, followed the order, however, had failed to secure the back door in time. The riot had spilled into our house. My father took his double-barrel shotgun and began to fire at the rioters wielding knives and the local version of machetes; the “Itak”. It wasn’t enough. They’d gotten into our kitchen, and they had picked up one of the plastic chairs, flinging it at my father, causing him to drop the shotgun. They began beating him, and the others began harassing my mother.

“I was only seven. I’d picked up a kitchen knife. In a rush of anger and fury, I’d stabbed one in the back; the one that was on top of my mother. He turned around to face me, shock surging through his body. A deafening cry came from his lips and I silenced it by stabbing his gut. He’d later be declared dead on arrival by the ambulance that arrived through our doors. They saw and began to approach me; that was when my father, with no one left to hold him down, picked up the gun, and shot the one nearest me. The blood hit my face, and it felt great. The warm liquid of life felt good against my face. The others scrambled at the sound of the oncoming police car’s “wang-wang” as they called it. My father lay there, resting, relieved that the family was safe. My mother embraced me tightly.

“Now, you may say that’s fucking irrelevant, by your standards but let me tell you something.” He said pointing a pair of fingers at me, his cigarette lodged between them. His other hand was cuffed to the metal table, which was screwed to the floor.

“It stirred something in me, man. It really did; all the gore. I needed it. I wanted it. They’d kept me on pills for that, but somewhere along the line, I discovered cigarettes. A cheaper alternative, but it was good enough. Halfway through college, another riot came. This time, my parents never made it out alive. It was during the elections, and that was when I began killing again. I’d killed seven people in that riot. Someone from a local gang called “True Brown Style” saw my potential, and since I had nowhere to go, I accepted the offer. I was paid for my services, and soon enough, I left them because others needed me on international shores. The pay was higher of course, but the jobs were more complex, just the way I liked it. It gave me a professional sense of myself, a philosophical and necessary job in any society of humans, regardless of time or place. I became a PMC, in essence, but more profound; an assassin.

“You remember the 2016 elections for your country? I was the one that killed Sarah Palin. I’d gutted her 20 miles off the eastern seaboard, letting her innards spill into the sea. She was in shock, and I tossed her near-lifeless body into the pits of the ocean. I was paid by the millions for that job, and of course, I had a crew of 7 with me; all of them working menial jobs, right under the world’s noses. Take it from me, you’ll never find them.” He said, stubbing out his cigarette.

“Trust me, Flores. We will. We found you, didn’t we?” I replied, flicking my cigarette butt at him.

“I wanted you to. I need you to deliver a message.” He said calmly in his seat. I’d walked out of the room, a slight tinge of fear in my gut. Going over to the other side, where some of my fellow officers were observing, I placed my hands on my hips.

“They’d want him back in action; his employers would definitely not let him go. Sarah Palin with 7 others, that’s got to be a new world record in criminal study.” I said, feeling up my Ruger SR40.

“Yep. I want him on maximum security detail. He’d just admitted to the murder of Sarah Palin, and we’ve got him in our clutches for the death sentence.” My commanding officer, Ram Marino replied. I pulled up another cigarette pack from the nearby cupboard for electronics.

“Keep talking it out. We’ll get more what we need from him, and soon, we can pin most of the political murders to him. We’ve got the “circumstantial evidence” and he’d just given an open admission to the crime. We just need a few more, and the name of his employer.” The other man replied.

“Nightingale?” I asked.

“Yes.” They replied simultaneously.

STEP 2: Demonstrate

I took my leave, exiting their room. As I walked towards the door to Flores’ room, the janitor nodded to me, smiling as he began mopping the hallway floors. It was time. He passed me, dropping something in my hand; a small, handcuff key. I entered the room. I realized as I opened the door, that I nearly blew the whole operation out of proportion by mentioning the Tier 4 code “Nightingale”. I wasn’t supposed to know about it, I was only Tier 2. They could’ve been on to me from that very second. I’d never know.

“So, Flores. How do you suppose I bargain with you for more information? Say, a shortened sentence? I could give it to you, but I need that information. I could give you a day, maximum, since everyone else is after your head, bro. When will you come to a decision?” I asked, placing my hands on the table, near him. His hands reached mine, clasping them tightly as he replied with a faint whisper;

“Now.”

He took the key from the palm of my hand, and unlocked the cuffs. I’d swung open the door, and tossed him the silenced Colt 1911 Compact from my ankle holster. As I began attaching the silencer to my weapon, I saw that he’d caught the 1911, and without hesitation turned to shoot the two I’d spoken with in the adjacent room. The janitor had already pulled out his silenced Colt SCW, and began shooting suppressive fire down the hall with a 6 pack magazine bandolier slung across his back. He shot away from the stairwell, using the open door to our room as cover. Sure that the two in the opposite room were dead, he picked up the Pall Mall pack from the table.

Croix and I, using the janitor’s push-cart, which was modified with DragonSkin, had worked our way through towards the stairwell. He had fired all but the last bullet in his magazine, and I had already unloaded three magazines. The janitor had begun popping smoke grenades and switching places to cover for our retreat towards the stairwell. I had picked up the extra homemade Sten Mk2. silenced sub-machine gun, and began unloading the rounds down the hall. Flores had gotten the small tactical pack containing his change of clothes from below the place where the Sten was located. The janitor had taken a few hits, as planned. He wouldn’t receive his part of the cut, and the only way to certify Croix would get his money was to have me call our employers accordingly. We had begun our descent down the 9 floors.

The sounds of silenced guns were blazing above, in the smoky fury; the agents had begun to kill each other, thinking that they were killing a multitude of enemies. Somewhere on the fourth to the last flight of stairs, they’d realized their mistake and had begun to chase us down the stairwell.

STEP 3: Motivate Again

“You know, Croix, just a heads up. I’m giving up my job and good position for this. I know your employers pay you well, but they’re sure to pay me, right? We’re buddies, right?” I asked, as we bolted down the stairs, with me shooting at the oncoming agents; my former co-workers and friends.

“Yes, my friend. They’ll be sure to pay you as long as you follow your instruction package to the letter. With me, I don’t need to, since they know how I work. Your story is a different one… A completely different one.” He said, pulling another Pall Mall as he calmly, but briskly kept the pace. He changed his clothes with the small pack he took  from the push-cart.

As I turned around on our last flight of stairs, he reached into my pocket for the lighter, as he said, and took it. Walking down a few more steps I noticed something was odd. My pocket felt oddly lighter than expected, and as I fired one last load of bullets from the magazine at the enemies above, I checked for my cell-phone and the last extra magazine.

I had turned to face him as he pointed the 1911 at the point-blank centre of my chest. He was holding my phone and the extra magazine. I pointed the Sten at him and he simply winked with his insanely happy grin in reply, pulling the trigger.

I fell to the ground, letting go of everything. With a .45cal bullet in my chest, pain began surging throughout every part of my body. I didn’t even notice the bone-breaking fall down the last flight of stairs. He’d walked calmly, reloading the Sten and firing it blindly at the agents above us. The shells hit my face and I’d blinked several times, adjusting to the surroundings. He stood above me, smoking the cigarette, flicking the ash at my open wound. He dropped the phone and crushed it under his boot.

“You fucking idiot!” I tried to scream, but my voice was coarse and wheezing.

“Now we’ll both never get paid for this. You wasted all our time, effort, and money, man!” I tried screaming at him as he put on the pair of contact lenses and the shades that were in the pack as well.

He checked the pack and found another 2 smoke grenades. Pulling the pin off of one, he tossed it upward, causing the smoke to disorient the agents once more. Checking the hidden pouch for another pistol, he found another 1911. Placing the extra magazine I had given him earlier in the pack, he calmly searched for the alcohol. Taking the bottle and spraying both our guns and my open wound, he lit everything up, including the bottle itself, with the lighter. I screamed as he stomped the flames on my chest out.

I rolled to the side, pain doubling in intensity. He snickered as he put the baseball cap, from the pack, on his head. Finally finishing up with the pseudo disguise, he began his descent out into the open world where a silver, DragonSkin covered, Mercedes was about to pass for us. With all the energy my torso could muster, I forced myself to utter the word; “Why?”

“You see, my friend, movies are movies and the nature of killing another human being is actually, very unpredictable. Even detectives have a hard time with every single case. Now, what you failed to see, with me, my friend, is this; “I do not kill for money, I kill for the thrill of killing, and that’s what makes a man like me, dangerous.” I never really did it for the money. I did it for the sake of doing it.” He said, tossing the empty gun at my feet and opening the door as he walked into the blinding sunlight of the open street, three steps below.

DISCLAIMER:

* Any references to real life people, places, things, and events are fictional and are for entertainment purposes only.

*  There is no intention to badmouth, infringe upon any rights, or give a bad reputation to anyone or anything (particularly cultures, ethnicities, and etc). This is just fiction, for entertainment.

For Kyle Flores, my close friend.

(c) Anachronic Works 2013

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Let The Rain Run Its Course

They let the rain run its course around their intertwined fingers. It soaked them, their clothes, their hair, her glasses, and his goatee. He wore a pair of torn cargo pants and simple t-shirt top that referred to an obscure band name and she wore a doctor’s uniform. He smiled as he listened to her stories, and incessant blabbering. At some point, he would laugh and say something vaguely interesting to relate to her story before she’d switch the topic again. Fickle… It wasn’t derogatory, it was bubbly; charming, really… At least they wouldn’t run out of things to discuss. Not that the world has a limit to that, though. The interest didn’t wane, to say the least. He’d wait for her to smile, whenever she’d figured something new to discuss. Sometimes he’d wait for her to slow herself down to a halt, noticing his lack of words. Then he would smile, and she would mouth the words “I love you.” Winking to him at times had his grin grow wider. He would reply, in turn, saying the same thing, this time with added vocals, to break his silence. They were slightly amused by the ironic reciprocity of actions.

 

They never let go, throughout their walk. Their hands were firmly held, apart from the rare times when she’d use a little action to help elaborate her idea. She would always shift around, though their hands were locked. Her fingers would often times extend, as if revealing her palm, and then return to their original hold. Other times, she would squeeze his fingers, which seemed to move only because of her hands actions. His entire arm seemed lifeless once he’d clamped on to her fingers. Wherever she moved her arm, his arm followed. His figure depicted contentment, as if he’d been doing it for a while now. His body movements did not reveal any anxiety to the situation. Hers on the other hand, seemed hyperactive. Their and bodies still synchronized well.

 

I watched them as they walked along the road, from distance to distance, talking and walking. They did not seem to see anybody else, but they seemed to see everything. I walked towards them, and soon enough, passed them, my eyes never leaving the sight. The gray clouds matched the colour of my smoke, and I finished my cigarette, finding some solace in the distraction that was the two lovers. I was walking towards the bus stop, heading home to meet my own sweet lover. Flicking a little ash off of the stick, I took in another drag from my slightly wet cigarette, looking back and eyeing them still, as they left my field of vision; heading towards the main road. I turned and flowed away. Let the rain run its course.

 

(c) Anachronic Works 2012

He Was Somebody

“Fuck it.”

Not an appealing choice of last words; he couldn’t care less. As the gun in his hand tore the flesh of his brain, there was no hint of regret. As the blood splattered across the room, there was no hint of sorrow. He did it with a smile. Nobody knew why though; why he videotaped it. Nobody knew why he’d left the camera on as he shot himself in the head. His letter was covered in blood, and what else was there to do but to try to decipher.

His ex-girlfriend understood his letter as an escape. The world was unbearable without her presence. Cocky, and self-admiring, in a way, it seemed unlikely. She needed the importance. She wanted the point to have something to do with her. As their relationship was, she was always the one important, and so, even in his death, why shouldn’t she play the biggest role of all, one could find in a suicide. Why shouldn’t she be the reason he died?

His parents couldn’t even comprehend how that would have led him to such a death. Such malicious acts, self inflicted upon himself. It wasn’t her, they believed. Written all over his arms with the crude force of a fountain pen were the words “Forgive Me”. On his legs, his arms, his chest, his fingers even. His guitar, his passion, was broken; splinters were in his eyes, and on his face. It was them. They knew the blame was to be sought within their hearts. His father, for the first time, cried over him. His mother, out of the innumerable times, cried once more. She would shed more tears later.

The police saw what he did as a simple act of rebellious chemical reaction to whatever it is his emotions were. His brain had probably produced more emotion-inducing hormones than expected, and it led him to the gruesome sight that they had before them. With a relatively tired sigh, the detective simply recorded it. It was just the simple science of love. It was recorded, analyzed, placed as data, and stored. Forgotten by most, remembered by the lucky who had the data. It was the average case of a suicidal teenager. They had the closest answer.

However, they were all blind. They were all a stoop lower than the steeple of his thought. They were all numb to the reality of life; the reality that it was empty and mundane, the reality that religion is bullshit; merely characterized by people as a necessity for the sustenance of life, the truth behind the arts; which was to express the same old god damned emotions, the truth behind the science; a pastime to endure living, and a great way to achieve their regular definition of “success”. He had achieved the highest success that anyone could achieve, death. He knew this at an early age. Names are forgotten. What was the point of fame, of exerting effort? All humanity is doomed to die, and the entire purpose of doing well for being remembered is not as appealing as it seems. Of course, over the years, people will remember, and some may even study you in their books, but how else, would people look at you? They would see you as a mere subject that they had to take to achieve their pre-defined definitions of success.

What was life really? Science says it’s just form after form evolving to fit the system. Religion says it’s all God’s fault, and we were made to worship a being that didn’t even fucking communicate in ways clear to us. Art says life is simply the existence of a being that feels and would express it in mediums; practically a being that made art. Philosophy and other social sciences would go on and on and tackle all of this bullshit. What is the truth? The answer is in death. Nobody on this godforsaken earth could answer you these questions without leaning towards one of the representatives above. To find the truth, you take a house call from the Grim Reaper. You talk to “God” face to face. You talk to the “Devil”. You talk to the failure of your internal organs. You talk to other dead people out there, assuming ghosts exist in an alternate universe aligned to ours.

Those however, were not the reasons; they merely led him to realize that he never knew himself. He never knew what he was. He never knew who he was. His name was a mere “Proper Noun” reference to a regular human being, whether or not he was capable of feats, talents, or science. His body was just meat and organs, with a little organic tissue on the side. He knew that humans were animals because all they did was live, just like other animals, following the instinct of what they want, sometimes neglecting what they need and often brought to do something by thought sprung from emotions. What he was taught in school was obliviously irrelevant. What he was taught at home and with friends was senseless in the light of his thought. What he believed in dearly was, in reality, in essence, nothing.

The reason why he did it was simple. The reason why he committed this self-destructive feat from which there was no turning back was written on the walls in the blur of blood. The reason why he carved his skin was shaped with the splinters from his smashed up guitar. The reason why he videotaped himself smiling as he did it was seen on the screen. Everyone was merely blind, numb, oblivious, stupid, or just plain scared of what they were to figure out if they saw the world through his eyes; his splintered blue eyes. There, in fact, was no reason. It was just that,

He was just somebody that he used to know.

(c) Anachronic Works 2011

Once We Were

They were lovers, the two. Regardless of status, regardless of what anyone said. It was too true to be immortal. Unreal, and yet some of it held the slightest grasp of mortality. They knew that not only plants and animals and humans and gods lived. Relationships lived as well. Relationships fed off the words that they would speak. Relationships breathed the emotions they felt. Relationships were sheltered by each person’s comforting thoughts and acts. Relationships were needlessly alive, and they knew enough to hate that it lived. Life needed care, and so, without the fundamentals, emotions, actions, and words, such relationships would die. It was a bother, a nuisance, a hindrance to the love, but they disregarded it. They decided Emotion should rule; whether or not the relationship died. And so they went on day after day, doing what they felt, doing it in ways that they felt was right.

Until there came a clash about the money; of course it was the money. The money was everything that led to emotion. The money was what brought them their possessions and these provoked the emotion from their hearts. And the emotion that sprung to life from the clash was as devilish as Satan himself. Their blood boiled, and soon enough, he had struck her. She had retaliated, as well. She’d brought a knife to the fistfight, such overwhelming violence could not be held in silence and so their screams echoed. And soon he was on his knees, knife in his leg, bloody from cuts. She was bruised, spotted with dark marks that reminded the devil of his prowess over the simpletons of humanity. No. They realized. They knew they had to stop. They knew that the love was enough to overcome it.

And so they did, after months. Time heals all wounds. They were introduced by a friend of a friend. They smiled and claimed “Yes, I believe we’ve met before”. They shared a taxi in the rain; the three of them. After the friend had left on account of the relative closeness of the cab to her place, the two were left inside. She smiled shyly, recalling the finer things in what was once the baby of a relationship. He recalled the death, and his face was as cold as a tombstone. However, that smile crumbled even the toughest of stones. His heart melted, as if steel to a furnace. His eyes softened and he began to smile. She broke the ice and spoke first “Hey…” He replied a whispered “Hi.” It was inevitable that they were led back to each other. They conversed. Such conversations lasted more than a taxi ride down memory lane. They stopped over at a cafe, and chatted as they glanced out from their chairs into the rain that splattered on the glass walls. Those glass walls. They turned their hearts into crystals, remembering the tears, the sorrow; the rain of their relationship.

He invited her over to his place for dinner and a drink. It was relatively difficult, but the memories flooded her mind as the smell of his body filled her nose. The smell emerged as soon as he opened the door. His apartment was rather trashed. She always fixed it up, as she recalled. She recalled those times, while she, in the midst of cleaning his apartment, was pulled onto the couch. She recalled the passion, as they made love on the couch. His playful smile was as uncanny as it was unbearably attractive. The slightly untrimmed facial hair that grew on his chin that looked peculiarly like ants from afar. His chin that sported the rugged look of someone who’d just gone through a muddied field captivated her. His eyes, they were not sparkly, no that was rubbish to her. They were those stone eyes, tough on the world. Yet, she knew that behind them held a damaged soul, and she was there to comfort it. She enjoyed his touch, protective yet sensitive enough to let her know that she was there. And soon the actions were back. After dinner, she pulled him into the room, which was surprisingly kept clean. Her picture was still framed on the mantle. Action bore its fruit, and the relationship was revived.

Days turned into weeks, and they had not yet left his apartment. Oh, the joys of delivered goods. She awoke to the smell of breakfast; the start of their third week. Lovely. He was frying and turning over to her side, she reached for his phone. It was tattered with missed calls. ‎23 of them, missed. The caller name was: Dr. Samantha. She knew it was not his regular doctor. His regular doctor’s name was, of course, irrelevant to the issue, so she couldn’t find it in her mind. In a rather panicked and frantic search, she stepped around his room. She pulled out his drawer and she noticed a pamphlet for a cardiologist named Dr. Samantha. The Dr. was beautiful. Red hair, chisel square black glasses, a lab coat that made her look like a prostitute ready to open and reveal her naked body. Her face could have been that of a porn star. It tortured her, and she slammed the drawer shut.

He turned and ran into the room to check. His heart was racing. She screamed at him. She threw the phone. IT became a blur. He tried to explain, but the dying relationship could not sustain any more of the screams and torture. The relationship died. This time it was for good. His explanation was flimsy. He’d claimed that he’d had several occurring chest pains. Apparent heart problems, so his doctor referred him to Samantha. Bullshit. She knew better. Why would a doctor like that call 23 times in the middle of the night? He was in tip-top shape. They had sex, every day for the past 3 weeks. How the fuck would he not be alright? Just as she began to leave, he ran to the drawer in a final attempt to salvage what he could. She was out the door.

He chased after her, and he reached her, just in time to show her the prescription. To show her the ECG, that resulted badly. She didn’t believe him and crossed the street. He was still half naked in his underwear. He chased after her, but just as he did, the pain in his chest returned; shooting right up his arm, and around the back of his shoulder. He stopped, frozen in a hunched stance, and faintly called her name. She turned in time to see him, and having a sense of human decency she ran towards him to see what was wrong. He was having a heart attack. He wheezed “I wasn’t allowed sex, or anything for the past 3 weeks, but I couldn’t help it. I loved you. I needed to act upon it… Like we agreed.” She was in tears. The onlookers stood there, stunned to see such an image. She turned and frantically reached for her purse which inadvertently fell from her shoulder. She pulled the phone, and dialled 911. The phone rang, but a unanimous scream of the onlookers, followed by the honk of a truck’s horn made her turn. Seeing what she saw. She fainted.

Waking up in the hospital, she looked around. She ran to the front desk, disregarding her demeaning look. She inquired about him. D.O.A. She knelt down in tears. It was a sad 3 months. After handling enough to finally live normally again, she entered his apartment, along with the aid of his sister and brother. As they scoured and cleaned, she noticed something she hadn’t seen before. IT was in the drawer next to the pamphlet of Dr. Samantha. It was a ring box. She lifted it, and there was something stuck to it; a note. It read:

“My Dearest Sarah,
How these weeks have been such bliss. How ignorant we are, to the relationship we have. The relationship does not die due to the lack of something. The relationship is a living thing, and like all living things, it learns to evolve. It learns to manage without action, that’s why there are long distance relationships that work. It learns to manage without love, that’s why there are so many friends with benefits. It learns, just like I have learned to love you. Regardless of what you do, what you prefer, what you dislike or like. Whether or not you hate me, love me, or just want to be friends. I have learned to love you. I love you my sweet. Please, be mine, the every next time we meet?”

She dropped the case, never bothering to open it.

* Please bear with me because I wrote this line per line on the internet so that I could save it which accounts for the rather poor quality of wording.
** Enjoy the story!

(c) Anachronic Works 2011

I’m Sorry

“I’m sorry.”
Abused words that encompass all feelings of negativity. Numbness spread over his body like oil thrust upon the surface of water. She began to walk away. Slowly away. She was in numbed tears and he was near-suicide.
The slight shower stencilled the moonlight upon the road. He couldn’t lose her. Not now. The ring was in his pocket. The one his father used to propose to his mother. The one that alone could pay for an entire fortune of millions. He was ready to give it to her. It was to be done the next day, but a day too late.
“Jut please, don’t ever leave me here. Don’t leave. Please.”

She couldn’t love him. Never. The closer she got, and the more she hated herself. What was she doing? She was leading him on; Pan to innocent children. And the sweet chaos of the electric guitars could not drown the noise of her mind out. It screamed at her in anger and the prowess of such was too much for her ears to bear. She couldn’t fall asleep those days. She was only 18 and it felt as if she’d been fucked over one too many times, and such lack of emotion was undeniable. It was too noticed, too felt.
“Darling, I’ve been thinking about us. How long has it been since we last had sex, David? How long has it been since we last made love?” She said. “There is a difference between the two. You of all people know this. Of all people, you should understand.”
He looked at her and wondered at the question posed. After a day’s worth of completing activities that mattered, it no longer did. Why was she cuddled in his loving arms? Why was she still doing this when what he meant was no longer what meant to her? He took his coat and placed it on her shoulders, to warm her from the outside rain’s ghastly chill. The apartment was silent, and she lay there in his arms in tears. He was sleepy, but stayed awake, for her. Consciousness was irrelevant when it came to her, and she needed him more than ever. And he did stay awake.
“Don’t you ever get lonely around me? It’s not really better for me.” He was silent.
She sat up, and he followed, rubbing her shoulders, placing his chin next to her neck. His under-grown beard was sharp, but comforting. Her red hair smelled of shampoo. Her neck smelled of him. He held her waist and rubbed his hand round her. With his free hand he turned her face and he kissed her. She accepted it. It was his test, now. A final examination of a love no longer felt. It was over and she was numb.
“I have to go. It’s been great. I’ll move out in the morning.” He was stupefied and in tears as she dressed herself and began to leave. He stood up and grabbed her wrist, in one last futile effort to revive her lost soul. She was in an emotional comatose, and there had to be some way to wake her. To make her see his love. He’d tried everything imaginable, from physical needs to emotional, to spiritual. He converted for her. He believed, for her.
Wait.
She pressed on further down the road she couldn’t feel, and he followed, half dressed in his jeans, but barefoot. Shirtless in the moonlight and rain. She turned on the corner and a man in black snatched her purse. He followed the man into the nearby alleyway and with a single echoed cry, there was silence. He never returned. She knew what happened, and there was no way for her to comprehend the fury of the emotions that strangled her mind. She peered into the alleyway, half in tears, half in angered shock. The ring was still in his pocket.
She walked on, leaving his dead body to cry in the rain. She arrived at her apartment, and dove into the bed and fell asleep as if she never knew him. She slept peacefully.
“I’m sorry. I really am.”

(c) Anachronic Works 2011

I Paint For You

She had been fond of colours since her childhood. She’d been good at it. Pure gold didn’t do justice to what she would create.

In the depths of the bomb shelter that they cowered in, only the two of them were left. They had seen their friends try and die. In tears they waited out what seemed like endless bombings. It was December in the motherland and it was being bombed. The Nazis were on the run. Hitler had tucked tail and hidden himself away in one of his distant bases. Germany was falling. The radio held nothing but bad news for the Germans. The Allies were enraged with what was done to the Jews and were claiming their pound of flesh.

The snow and ash covered the streets. Bloody buildings that once held so much love were consumed to rubble. Ashes and dust covered the cobble streets. Distant cries filled the roads every night sending harrowing chills down any survivor’s necks. Automatic gunfire would occasionally erupt and break the breathless silence. Everyone was hiding in their bomb shelters. Down this street though, no one existed in its delved depths any longer. All were gone in their fear of the enemy who knocked down their doors and threw grenades in. They were all gone except the two.

The door to their shelter was sealed shut and only a bomb from the outside could tear it down. From the inside, a simple unclick of a lock and the door would slide open. Being the daughter of a great general in Hitler’s army had its privileges. With her mother and father dead in a plane crash, all she could do was wait it out. The only consolation was her bodyguard/boyfriend. Given to her by her father as a gift, he had guarded her since the first offensive of the Third Reich. She was a skilled painter, and she knew nothing of the profanities of war. All she knew was painting. She needed protection, and on her 16’Th birthday, she was given the bodyguard. A specially trained SS soldier, fresh out of the camp, to protect her from harm was her father’s way of showing his love to his 16 year old daughter. That was 5 years ago. What had happened?

The war had. It took away her sisters, forcing them to flee to Switzerland where the war hadn’t touched. She’d never gotten the chance to leave since her parents never made it back for her. Only the servants and her bodyguard were left to take care of her. Soon, the servants as well had to flee to their homes. Her bodyguard was so caring, even if her worth died along with her parents. He had let her into his home with his family, and even when his family was finally killed by the Allied soldiers, he gave up his eyesight just so she could live. He’d fallen in love with her, and she with him.

Now the war had taken even their home. All that was left was one last canvas, a small set of paint, the soldier’s Walther P38, and the bomb shelter. As the Allied tanks rolled on outside, she did the only thing that she knew how. She painted.

Streaks of white upon a white canvas blur the edges ever so finely.

“Tell me your favourite things.”

A few blotches of blue darken the purity of the whites.

“Right now, you, my dear. You most of all. But there are others. My pin that was given to me by Hitler, himself. My service rifle which I held dearly and had served me well. None of it matters though.”

A dab of orange and a lull of gray cover each end.

“Do you love me?”

Cherry red dot the small pattern her mind makes as she works.

“I will always love you, Hannah. Always.”

A little brown for the mix of what hands hold and a little gold for shine. She hummed that sweet tune that would always put him to sleep. He listened carefully and followed with lyrics. The sound of the men outside came closer and closer until it reached the shelter door. She knew they could be heard but she still kept humming and he still kept singing.

“I love you.”

And finally, a light blue sky.

“Hannah, my dear, what is it you do?”

She sat down beside him on the cold floor. She looked at the white gauss that covered where his eyes once were. There were still blood marks in the shape of his eyes. The soldiers had put explosive charges on the door. Their shouts meant it was time. The blast could kill. Leaning her head on his shoulder, she turned the painting around to face her blind interrogator. And with one last sentence, she set down her brush for the final time.

“I paint, my love. I paint for you.”

(c) Anachronic Works 2011

Neglect.

———————————–
She’d left him. Again.
Why?
The scratches of blood lined the walls, echoing screams into oblivion. Obvious misnomers were presented in the form of blood. The staff were obliged, yet they did not gratify for fear of what lay behind the door of the man’s mind. Such twisted dimensions of thought were no place for a human being. Holding the only thing that he had as a remainder of the life that he once led, the life filled with love and beauty, he would scream as he used it to mutilate his own skin. Although he was consistently taking medication, it never seemed to work, since there lacks the existence of a cure for sorrow and despair.

“IMPERFECTION!” he would scream, followed by sobs. Every night, he haunted the chambers.

———————————–
She’d left him. Again.
Why?
They were happy together, living serenely as if the world outside didn’t matter. There were no ghosts, there were no skeletons. There were no fights too large. There was no blood, except for the monthly hellhole, but otherwise, they lived peacefully. They’d kept their distance, comfortable with spending the afternoons simply sitting beside each other, taking on different tasks. She could depend on him to understand her, and he could depend on her on whatever it is he depended on at home. The only regrettable note was that they never had music. The only music that ever came from the house was that of the tiny music box that was left at all times on the centre table. They rarely opened it; not even on special occasions. Most often, the people who would come by would ask as to what song it played, since nobody was allowed to open it. It was in almost every music box, and they’d never cared to check the title. Ironically, it had the same name as she who would always reply.

“Fur Elise.”

———————————–
She’d left him. Again.
Why?
Neglect.
.
.
.
(c) Anachronic Works 2011