A thousand days and a thousand nights I have survived the realm of evil, restless among the Plutonian shore where ghastly ravens perch and sit and nothingmore, forever in isolation with no censer in presence—and for what? To what extent of wrongdoings must the Spirits have seen within thy feeble soul to punish with such brutality? –Ah, yes. I remember, clearly—quite clearly—it is the only memory the demons grant me in the Darkness; quite the maiden she had been, skin whiter than the Seraph’s gowns. It had been Venus who called her Amour. Alas! —her love burned far too strong for this world to endure. Yet, my love surpassed hers in ways many—if not all—beings could not. A gentleman—yes! A gentleman I manifested without a second thought to mon Amour. Hearken! –only eternity waits for our souls now.
Perhaps integrity the cyanide to my inevitable death, though only I am to be the judge of my own selfless deeds. I love Amour, as she does I. Our inseparable bond hums low and symphonic and pure, two violin chords vibrating in a single melodic tune. It is in the placid night of spring when Darkness steals her in the twilight, vanishing with the roaring and the thundering and the echoing boom of the plaza’s clock tower’s bellows, the twelve waning vibrations signaling her retreat.
Of course, it is not curiosity that pulls me from the chamber. Who am I to stop a woman’s pleasures? Only craven men would follow out of paranoia, of fear—but no! I adore the dear Amour—as I simply know she does me—adore her for the enchanting countenance of beauty she wears, shrouded with the dreams and mystery no man can decipher, not even myself. No, it is the thought of her safety that fastens the whetted blade—a small iron sliver carved with a single open eye on the bolster, granted to me by the mademoiselle—into the fold of my midnight cloak. An onyx porcelain mask embraces my features with a frigid touch—she mustn’t know of my crimes. No, no, no; mon très cher must never know—she mustn’t think herself weak, of course, on account of my wrongdoings.
I found her in an instant, as only I could feel—not see—her physique under only the guidance of the dim crescent stark against the black sky, flickering with the essence of a dying candle. Sparse, hungry trees in the dead suburbs extend to the ludicrous buildings of the city, each stoutly built structure lightless in the spiritless night. The wind howls fiercely against the night, fracturing the silence with its roars, each breath louder with the ever-quickening steps of Amour. Perhaps it is the wind that carries her away from me. Yes! —only the wind would be so vile.
Amour neither flutters nor prances along the cobbled roads in her usual fashion. Her demeanor is that of a puppet, the wind nearly blowing her delicate form onto the road and shattering each willowy bone in her body. Though with much disdain at myself for the thought, I chuckle under my breath, the deep sound carried away by a single melancholy gust.
Oh, but you should have seen me—with such stealth I pursue her with. Each current of icy air only quickens my stride, my cloak like the Devil’s dark wings thrashing behind me. With each of her sudden stops, I quickly dive into the nearest abbey—the odor certainly would conceal my presence, had the mask not—merely a shadow of stealth in the stilled town. Never before had I felt such sagacity, such sovereignty. A dozen streets I had done this, hiding and creeping and back again as her silent steps hasten; my steps swiftly follow her pace. Once—only once does she glance back (on account of my misstep against the pavement), and with that look I froze. Her icy eyes linger only a moment on the dark cloak and mask, flashing first of anxiousness—then of terror. How viciously did I then swear under my breath—a multitude of colored words shriveling the wind in its domain—but yet I have not dared to move.
The moon then permanently extinguishes its withering flambeaux, and her saunter becomes a sprint, each quick step battering against the cobblestone like a thunderstorm. I grin fiercely under the mask; running had turned her thick, auburn hair into a river of blood. No regret churns my stomach with the morbid thought.
Ah, but still I follow for her safety (as only a gentleman should), a wolf bounding along in pursuit.
Among the presence of the main square, luminous in the Gothic clock tower’s scarlet light, Amour slips anxiously into one of the many magnificently grotesque apartments—contorted and arced with a mien only that of a Flying Buttress could achieve—each building encircling the haunting clock, humming of an unearthly presence that has me gripping the dagger from within my sleeve. Furtively—oh! ever so furtively—I slink toward the edifice, electrifying against the clock’s glares. The plaza lay dead and bare, no townsfolk to witness my spectacular slyness; a shame, really. Such a shame! But no matter! —only Amour matters now, and only a peak would I need to ensure her upmost safety. Only a second I should need, then I shall take my leave.
Oh, but with such precision I take upon entering the apartment, as a simple peak simply will not do. No! —I must watch upon her, a god upon a mortal, for only this shall satisfy my curiosity—curiosity of her protection, obviously. I take note of the Gothic window lining the side garden, tracing the lattice beyond the window’s frame to insure the wall sturdy enough. Then, with the force of Mars’ rage, I pummel the glass pane—then again—shattering the window with multiple sharp, sudden crunches into millions of diamond fractures. I peer cautiously within the living space, loosing a breath upon seeing the dark chamber empty, bathed now in only the distant crimson of the clock.
The ebony mask had been merely an extra precaution, as an attempt at dissimulation. Here now I discard it, setting it upon the stone mantle. Now must my caution be truly tested as I hesitate before the giant oak door, then push it ajar, keenly—ever so keenly (if the hinges should creak)—creeping into the bare hallway, wary of the hushed occupants within. Just a peak—one look to quench my ever-rising hunger—then I should say my goodbyes.
Then I hear the sound: a giggle beyond the wall. A sound like the jingle of chimes during the holiday festivities. A sound I know like the back of my hand.
A sudden illness overwhelms me then, strangling my poor soul with vociferous impressions of hurt—then fear—then rage. With what lust had made me server the plaster wall, I have yet to know. My blood boils with the sight of mon Amour, savagery and ire and fury I simple cannot describe ripping the dagger from within the cloak’s folds. Her giggle stifles as quickly as it had been released, hurriedly nudging away the man’s arms. Both sit petrified hip to hip on the mattress, wide-eyed like startled deer. One minute I stand here, unmoving at the sick sight. No longer do I feel the hum from Amour, disgusting me to my core.
“Les trompeur,” I seethe, a cold, evil smile spreading from cheek to cheek, “oh, will the Devil surely praise your stupidity.”
Then the first note of the clock’s melancholy song strikes like an alarm, and I jab Amour with a single blow of my fist, protecting the fowl man from her ideocracy. She shrieks a single utterance of stupidity—only one. Then I drag her to the ground, pinning her limbs with my own, relishing each crack and snap of those delicate bones. Les trompeur, such a feeble thing, slumping like a rag doll in her defeat. Glistening orbs dribble helplessly down slim, gossamer cheeks, though not so much as a whimper escapes her throat. Oh, such a pity! However, I grin viciously at her pain, indulging in the pure terror that sparks in her wide, glassy eyes.
“Les trompeur,” I whisper, again, so close I hear only her labored breaths and the thrashing sounds of her beating, alive heart, “may you rot below for infinity. Au revoir, Amour.”
I stab her in the heart. Then I stab her again. And again. And again. Only Tempter must know of the times that I bury the dagger, glistening now with the tinge of ruby, the tinge of her hair. The man on the mattress squeals at the sight, hiding meekly in his bed for two. I laugh sourly at his cowardice, carving a deep tunnel into Amour’s heart with my blade. Her love had never been for me.
Only when the clock’s ballad ceases do I retreat, quavering against untamed, invisible wind. Only now have I truly seen my crime, the dead lover—my lover—staining the floor with maroon. Only then do I scream, a sudden paroxysm of wailing until my voice turns raw, and even then, still I yowl—yowling of the false vehemence my revenge had borne.
I must suffer no more! No, no! I mustn’t! I cannot! Oh, the soreness of my heart had become too much to bear!
—There I slit my throat, collapsing on the floor next to mon Amour—
It had been seraphim who uplift Amour’s soul to the realm above; it is the Devil, laughing bitterly at my stupidity, who drags my soul down below, embedded with the iron knife, forever.