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The whispers of Death
I coughed, feeling dust fly from the ground into my face. The summer sun beat down on my skin, it wasn’t enough to burn but it still was uncomfortable. I was with a few friends walking down to Japanese Gulch. It was a little dicey down here but we didn’t care. We’d heard rumors of werewolves, a few more of murders long since past, but we didn’t care. As we walked down the trail we saw footsteps on the sloping ground, “A lot of people have come down here today,” I looked at the speaker. Nia was about three inches shorter than I, and her body was built like a horse’s. She could run forever, hear better than anyone else in our group, and her hair was always a wild, spiky, dark brown mess. “Yeah, I hope there aren’t too many…” I turned to my right, almost tripping over my feet. Leo walked with her shoulders slumped, and her hands in her pockets. She wore John Lennon glasses that always caught in her blond and cream orange stained hair. She never wore female clothes, but insisted on wearing pink combat boots covered in mud whenever she left the house.
“Don’t be silly Leo,” Nia said. She looked at me then, curiosity and worry dancing across her face, “Hey Sauda, didn’t you say Amylase was going to meet us down here?”
I shrugged, “She said she might but I think it’s too sunny for her.”
We got to the bottom of the sloped ground and moved to the side of the path so we could sit in the shade. There were trees arcing over us, and we were right by a parking lot that was only partially occupied by cars. Surprisingly I didn’t see anyone coming or going from his or her car. Usually when there were people here they didn’t stray to far... Unless they were like us. We were the crazies in town, and everyone knew it. Amylase, Leo, Nia, Bain, and I were all artists, all creative thinkers, and had all been in legal trouble at some point in our lives.
I looked over the cars, wondering if I could figure out which stereotype owned which car or if I recognized any of them. That’s when I saw them.
Two men, sitting on the ground by a white flatbed ford truck. It seemed odd to me that they just sat there. There wasn’t a car close to their own truck, and were in the whispering to each other under the light breeze that’d picked up. They wore dark pants with clean bright white shirts, and they looked identical to boot, which didn’t do anything for the uneasy feeling inside of me.
I tore my eyes away from them and began to inspect their car; I heard Nia and Leo talking about the latest mythological discovery the government was trying to cover up. I knew they wouldn’t mind my silence. I wasn’t the type that liked talking. I was the type that listened, however when I did have something to say it usually had a lot more meaning than one could take in if they were just taking it at face value.
Their vehicle looked like it had seen more than its share of lifeless bodies. Something like blood was splattered in its bed, and looked like at one point it had trickled over the edges. I stared and tapped Leo on the shoulder.
“Sssshhhh, not now I think I got her on the ropes.”
My brain jumped back to my friends and I slowly turned to face them. I noticed right away that Nia wasn’t sitting up anymore and neither was Leo. Leo had pinned Nia under her on the ground. My face turned as red as a rose when I saw that Leo’s hand had pulled up the bottom of Nia’s shirt and was resting on one of her breasts. She didn’t move her hand away as my face turned redder, she only squeezed. I knew I should’ve expected it. I mean, they had been dating for over two years after all. I turned away again, leaving my two friends to their games. “Never mind,” I sighed “but if you two lovebirds are going to get it on right here, give me some warning so I can move out of ear shot…” I turned my attention back to the truck and the strange people there, mentally blocking out the wrestling bodies of my friends behind me.
The dusty haze made it impossible to see the details of the faces of the men before me, but I had a feeling they were looking at us. A third man got out of the car, “Bain?” I wondered aloud.
He had a black cloak on, and his hood was pulled up. But I could see the greasy black hair I knew Bain had, and I recognized his jeans. Bain wore the same pair of pants every single day; they had drawings of cartoon stick figures all over them.
He walked toward me and as he drew closer I saw his face grow clear. It was covered in fresh cuts and showed a large toothy grin too big for his face. I shuttered for only a second, averting my eyes it wasn’t Bain.
Then as I listened to his footsteps I plucked up my courage to look again. I reached into my pocket as I looked and pulled out the pair of brass knuckles my father had given me, just in case he wasn’t friendly.
My eyes wondered over him, taking every detail in. I always did this when I met anyone new. I drank in what I saw, and wondered about all the things it told me about them.
There were stitches on his arms, but his skin was soft and smooth. Even though his face was bloody, it was very handsome, and his eyes were a rich blue that had copper scattered across them. I took note that in the moment I had taken to examine him, he had examined me. I wondered what he thought…
Before I knew what was happening he was in front of me. He grabbed my arm and yanked me up, and he waved his cloak over me. In this same action he pulled me close, and whispered in my ear. The words were meaningless talk of blood and lust, yet…. Somehow they cooled the sudden fear that had stricken my heart to the depths of h*ll. I wondered why neither Leo nor Nia had said anything or even noticed, they were probably kissing… I remembered last summer when they’d started kissing on the railroad tracks and were so into it they didn’t notice the train heading right for them till I dragged them out of the way. It was one of the scariest moments of my life.
Time stood still longer than it ever had in my history class back in high school as the man spoke more. As I began to lose myself in his words he vanished.
I couldn’t understand what was going on. I stood still in shock as every moment was stretched out to an endless age. I looked around feeling as if someone had thrown a black bed sheet over my head instead of an extremely odd cloak… As I moved I realized the ground below my feet had changed, it was black and ice cold. At the strange mans sudden absence I found myself desperately wanting him, wanting to hear those words again. It was aching inside of me, that need, that desire, it was eating me up even though I knew the man was probably trouble.
I heard clicking and the whirring of gears inside my head, and I stopped moving for a moment and placed a hand over my ear. The sound grew louder as the sound of the world was cut short. I started and continued hunting around, and looking for the man who owned the infernal cloak. I was hoping I’d find a way out before my friends left me to go add this place to the list of places they’d done it (they do that a lot). I was wondering if they and I were even in the same world anymore. I fumbled for a few more minutes cussing under my breath and praying to the God I’d heard about in church to show me the way. I finished my silent prayer and was confronted with the calm face of the cloaks owner. I looked into his eyes for less then a second then he said “You rang?”
I was bodiless, floating in the air. My eyes were heavy, so, so heavy…
As I lay there I suddenly felt my body’s form, but not its weight. Slowly that changed. I felt my skin first. It shivered coldly and I felt that there was nothing in it. My senses felt numb, unreal, and untrue. They were dulled, but I could hear the faint sound of clockwork ticking away inside of me. Next I felt my flesh fill up the skin, like stuffing being put into a doll. Then lastly I felt my bones. I screamed as I heard the crack and strain of them being shoved inside of me, strengthening my body so I could stand. My eyes flashed open; I was lying in a hospital bed.
“This is the third time this month she’s done this,”
It was my mothers voice and as always she sounded completely scared out of her mind. I sat up, and then thinking better of it I pressed my head against the pillow again.
“What happened?” I moaned,
“You passed out again.” A woman’s voice squeaked.
It was the doctor; I looked at her little form and clip board, and decided she looked like a pixy.
“Do you remember anything?” It was my mother talking now
“Um, just a man” I said.
To this my mother started shaking in fear, “Oooooooooh!!!! My poor baby!” She cried.
I sighed and shook my head a little, which did not work very well because of the squishy pillow my head had sunken into.
“I’ve seen him before… He’s always in my dreams”
My mom covered her face with her hands and peeped through her fingers at me. “You sure he wasn’t some creep?” Before I could answer she turned toward the doctor, “You’re sure she hasn’t been…” She paused unknowing of how to ask if I was raped, or drugged.
I growled low and sharp, “I haven’t been raped, or taken any drugs!! What? Do you trust me to take care of myself so little?”
I shouted the last words. I shot out of bed and began to hunt down my clothes.
My mom grabbed my arm, “Honey you’re sick, get back in bed”
I turned toward her, ready to let my anger free. I didn’t care if she was my mother, I didn’t care if I was sick, I just wanted out! Out of everything. However, as I turned I saw him, the man with the cut up face sitting on my hospital bed.
I stopped moving…
A crooked grin covered my face. I felt my eyes half close, and my head flop too one side as if to heavy to be held upright.
“Wha, what’s wrong?” My mother looked sweetly concerned
“Naughty, naughty little girl” I crooned.
Then, slowly raising my free hand, I let five long black nails burst forth from my fingertips like cat claws. My mother looked at me, fear in her eyes but she didn’t let go of my arm. She only squeezed tighter, her unknowingness numbing her to the danger that had just been released.
“Children shouldn’t touch us, shouldn’t play with dead things.”
I struck her face with my claws feeling her flesh break and four long gashes open in it, I ran out the door, forgetting my clothes, the man following behind me, guiding me like a puppet on strings. I laughed, hearing my mother scream, and the doctor calling out for someone to grab me.
As she called the hospital floor faded away and I saw dirt under my feet, the air was on fire it was so hot, and a sword was in my hand. My clothes had changed into a long black dress with dark blue ribbons. I kept running, joy filling my whole body like a toxic love. I saw a man from the hospital drift from that reality to this, and swung at him cutting him down out of my way. I found a long spiral staircase and saw the man at the bottom. Wondering how he had gotten down there so fast I waved. He blew me a kiss and walked out of my sight.
“No Wait!” I yelled after him.
He popped into sight again and I waved grinning like a child.
“Come home!” He called out and vanished.
That was the last day I saw him, and after that day I was confined to a single room. They gave me medicine that dulled my head, and slowly I forgot the images I’d seen. They’re going to let me out for the day tomorrow, for Leo and Nia’s marriage. It’s funny how after five years that is what they determine to be a good enough reason for me to see sunlight. I can’t wait though, and I hope there will be cake… After five years of Insanity there better be cake.