Stages of Grief

February 28, 2012
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I saw her when she was alone, just like I am now. The light of the dingy streets became beautiful in her bottomless eyes, and her waves of hair shone despite the murky air of the city. Regardless of the plain covering of mussed, torn jeans, and jacket, her skin shone; she was a jewel in the midst of silt and stone.

With erring mortal vision, she could not have seen the inky figure slipping about in the shadows of the alleyways. She could not have heard his dreadfully silent approach. She didn’t even think to suspect anything after her hellish day, divided between work and school. So that was when-- and who-- the boy decided to strike.

He clutched at his side a serrated blade with merciless hands, gnarled from begging on the streets. And his eyes, vacant of humanity, brimmed with pain and famine. He asked for her money, speech lulling in complete exhaustion. He was hungry.

It was as if the devil had possessed him as he flitted behind the girl, and pressed the weapon against her throat. He asked her once again, despite her silence. Choked by the boy's grip, and rather at a loss for words, she did not reply again-- she merely struggled and flailed about in the stone cage of his arms. When he let out a terrifying cry of frustration in her ear, she released every ounce of strength in her possession for an escape against the prison bars that held her captive.

But then she fell to the ground, pain spiking in her abdomen, and crimson gore splattering the pavement. She heard, beyond the pounding of adrenaline in her heart, the ragged gasp of the boy followed by the slaps of his feet on the road, growing farther and farther away. She winced at each little sound.

A single, unblemished hand was placed upon the wound, and it came away drenched in a dreadful shade of red. She heard a single, piercing scream before the world slipped away, and her body was pitched into blackness beyond the dire night.

I watched the scene repeatedly, feeling each and every time, completely and utterly forsaken. I begged the blackness for any way out- how could I just go back, and get the light in those eyes? How could I stand that girl up again, and send her on her way home? It wasn't too late-- I couldn't possibly be dead.

Things like this, so sudden and unrefined, didn't happen to people like me. How could I be left with nothing beyond a night-stained, solitary street, and hands drenched in innocent blood? I sobbed, screaming into the dreadful ebony to go back. I would do anything to cease this agony, this isolation.

“Anything?” spoke an echo, ricocheting about in the walls of my mind. “Surely you would not risk anything for that world, child?”

Tears streaming down my face, and with a quavering voice, I replied “I want to get it back. I want a life again. I need a life again-- this is too soon for me. You made a mistake!”

The voice chuckled. “I did not make any sort of mistake, my child. That boy did. He caused you this pain-- it is in no way a fault of mine. Perhaps you could get him to repay it for you... it isn't such a horrible idea.” It paused, as if a parent contemplating something as trivial as whether a child should visit a friend's house or not. “Well, it all depends on if you would even wish to confront this boy, and demand he give you back what he took. Well?”

“Yes.” There was not a second of hesitation. That boy owed me my life. And I wanted it back.

Fire began to spurn in my gut, taking the place of the previous hollowness. In that mere moment of conversation, something cried out from my heart, demanding my revenge. I had to inquire about this boy, and why he had acted so savagely-- why he had led to my demise, so cruelly.

When I stepped out of the ebony, only a few days had passed since my killing. The body had been cleaned up, like a mere spill of juice on the kitchen floor, but people were still wary while prowling the city. I grinned, and once again practiced what the voice had taught me, making body solid and present in the eyes of a human. When I felt the road under my tattered sneakers, and heard a gasp from a lady on the other side of the road, I knew it had worked. It was time for my revenge.

Letting myself vanish back into the shadows, completely nonexistent, I sauntered off to greet my murderer.

Hours later, I first caught a glimpse of him outside his grimy, so-called “apartment,” pawing through stolen trash cans for food. He was alone. I could feel the grin slathering over my features and the loathing burn in the back of my eyes. Tears scorched down my face as I approached him, and fists clenched at my sides.

As if the boy could feel me looming behind him, he ceased in his rummaging through the garbage, and looked around the foul alleyway with flat, deadened eyes. Such eyes haunted me beyond belief-- and I wanted them closed forever. My grin spread from ear to ear... it was truly as easy as this.

In an instant, I materialized before him, and let out a piercing, bloodcurdling scream-- a replica of the last sound that I had ever heard. I stared into his face now, glistening with fear and remorse as he stumbled away and stammered words of regret.

“You can never pay me back with words” came my torn, throaty growl. Your life is hardly enough.


I sat quietly weeping in the dark, completely devoured by grief. The emptiness within me had been filled with festering hatred, which had then rotted away to leave nothing but despair. Rather than seeing my death over and over... I now saw his.

With enraged hands, I had shoved him into one of the walls in his apartment, my howls ricocheting about the room. I clawed at him, and bludgeoned him with my fists, blows strengthened by the pits of animosity roiling in my heart. All the while, he never prayed for help, never lifted a finger to protect himself, never even met my gaze. He had known why I was there, and that he had been devastatingly wrong in what he did; the dole of losing me had overwhelmed him. He had never meant to kill me. My death was an accident, of sorts, and yet, his was complete murder. He had just wanted a little money, and after all, I’d been the one that fought.

I look upon that moment with the sheerest of horror at my actions. It astonished me that such cruelty could exist within a single person, let alone myself. I could not comprehend what I had done, nor the strange light in my eyes when I crushed, killed, and scorned the body of the dead boy. It had to be a dream, but I knew that something so morbid could never be a product of even my own ridiculous imagination.

Each time I witnessed the scene, my clothing would be drenched with the mourning that flowed freely down my face, but my hands would remain limp at my sides, and my legs too weak to stand up and run as far away as I could...

I wailed out to the velvety stygian, once again calling the voice to console me.

“Why are you so sad? You killed the boy, did you not?” replied the voice. After my mangled response, the Devil spoke again, “Did you not get what you wished for? You are alive again.”

I convulsed with sobs, and bowed my head with repentance. I felt the flare of hostility once again at the Devil for cheating me, and through my tears, I whispered back “Yes... yes...”

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manga_maniac said...
Mar. 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm
I thought this was really well written. It was very descriptive , and I could feel the main character's anger and sorrow as I read this. It took me awhile to understand that she was watching herself at the beginning though, that's the only thing that could be more clear. :)
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