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Loss and Decay
I watched in horror as my father crumpled to the floor, unmoving, blood spilling from between his eyes. The group of burglars laughed as tears fell down my face. My fists clenched at their audacity to laugh at my pain. I had already lost my mother, and now they had taken my father. Let me in, child. Let me ease your anger, and avenge your losses. I heard a voice whisper within my mind. What about Lizzy? Will she be okay? I return. Release me, and no one else you care for will be harmed tonight. The voice replied soothingly.
“Okay.” I said aloud. The men looked to me in confusion as I spoke with confidence.
“What’s wrong with you? Your dad’s dead.” The leader sneered. A malicious smile spread across my face, only it wasn’t by my control. The voice had taken over.
“What is wrong with me? Dear children, you have crossed the final line.” She spoke, her voice a chorus of whispers and murmurings, filled with venom.
“What line?” One of the men asked nervously. Our hair turned raven black, our skin ashen grey with gashes and bruises scattered along its surface, as our eyes glowed white with no iris or pupil. A large spear made of black, cold metal materialized in our hand as we grinned again, revealing our large, white fangs.
“The one holding back the monster.”
After the incident with the burglars, Lizzy and I were sent to foster care. It was better than nothing I suppose. Most of the kids helped us settle in and the women who watched us were careful about mentioning our parents around us. Whenever we got in trouble at school, the women would sit us down in their office and would ask us if we wanted to talk. If we said no they would nod their heads and tell us they were there if we needed them. I wasn’t really good with people after Dad died. Lizzy wasn’t afraid of monsters in her closet anymore, saying “I’ve got a better one protecting me.” I smiled at the thought, there were good and bad of everything. Including monsters. And I was a good one. But it wasn’t always easy. Some of the kids at school would snicker and make crude jokes about my situation. Some would even go as far as shoving me or hitting me. I didn't really care as long as they didn't bother Lizzy. The voice, however, tried to take control and hurt them. I didn't let her though.
Today was particularly quiet on the Jerk-O-Meter. Only a few people teased me today. Lizzy and I were on our way home in the cool, November air. We kept our hoods up and our hands in our pockets, protecting them from the bitter cold as we walked down the Chicago streets. We had a few more blocks to go before we reached the orphanage.
“Mia?” Lizzy asked, gaining my attention.
“Yeah, Sis?” I replied.
“Why does your skin look all sick when you use your powers?” The 10 year old inquired. I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, turning Lizzy by her shoulders.
“Lizzy, you know you're not supposed to talk about that in public.” I scolded gently. My sister looked down in guilt.
“Sorry.” She mumbled. I sighed, pulling her into a short hug.
“It's alright.” I told her. Be on your guard. The voice suddenly commented, causing me to go rigid. Why? I mentally questioned. Just stay alert. She replied.
“Mia? What’s wrong?” Lizzy interrupted our conversation. I plastered a fake smile on my face as I looked down at her.
“Nothing. Just tired.” I lied.
“Oh...Okay then.” Lizzy mumbled. We continued on our way down the streets as if nothing happened, but i kept my eyes and ears finely tuned for anything.
“Somebody help me!!” Someone, most likely a woman, screamed. I looked to Lizzy, briefly.
“Stay close to me. Run when I tell you to.” I ordered before running in the direction of the scream. We turned around a corner to see an Asian woman, maybe late twenties, held against the wall with a knife to her throat, by a large man in a mask.
“Hey! Let her go, ya jerk!” I shouted. Both were shocked when they turned to see a 15 year old girl and her kid sister confronting him. The mugger stared at me for a minute before bursting into laughter.
“Oh yeah? What chu gonna do bout it, kid?” He asked. Oh he’s asking for it. Let me out so we can show him. The voice growled. I could practically hear the smirk in her tone. Not yet. I replied.
“How bout you get out of here. ‘Fore I have to hurt ya.” The mugger threatened. He walked forward, an arm around the woman’s throat. Lizzy stomped forward, jabbing a finger at him.
“Let her go or Mia’s gonna kick your ass!” She shouted. The mugger laughed again.
“That’s a bad mouth ya got there. And I ain’t scared of your sis neither. Shove off!” He pushed Lizzy to the ground. I growled at him, clenching my fists.
“The hell you didn’t.” I hissed through clenched teeth. The mugger turned to me.
“What if I did?” He questioned smugly. Now it’s definitely my turn to drive. The voice purred menacingly. Our hair turned oily black, our skin ashen grey scattered with grotesque gashes and bruises, as our eyes glowed white with no iris or pupil, looking empty and dead. We smiled maliciously as both adults stepped back in fear. We waved our index finger at the mugger scoldingly.
“Ah, ah, ah. That’s not nice now is it?” The voice asked mockingly.
“W-what the hell?” The mugger gasped fearfully, causing us to laugh.
“Sometimes the most innocent looking people have the ugliest monsters.” The voice sang. The mugger put his knife closer to the woman’s throat.
“S-stay back, or I’ll kill her!” He shouted. Lizzy smirked.
“Told you she’d kick your ass.” She remarked. The voice and I grinned as we suddenly appeared in front of the mugger, disarming him and freeing the woman.
“Indeed.” The voice purred. We grabbed the mugger’s arm, twisting it so quickly in such a way that a loud snap filled the air, followed by a shrill scream of pain. The voice laughed, twisting it again, before kicking his knee, effectively breaking his leg. The voice and I frowned mockingly.
“I hope you've learned your lesson. If not I'm quite hungry, so I could use a snack.” She threatened.
“The hell is wrong with you?!” The mugger yelled. The voice laughed.
“Honestly? I've lost count, the list is so long.” She replied with an airy laugh, turning away. Suddenly, we felt an uncomfortable pressure in our side, just above our left hip. Looking down, we saw another knife handle, sticking out of our decaying skin. We rose a brow at the “wound”, before looking to the mugger.
“Ouch. That hurt.” The voice remarked with apathy. The mugger stared at us in horror as we simply pulled the knife out of our side, flicking it away from us. Thick, black blood dripped from the wound, as we glared at the mugger.
“You shouldn't have done that.” The voice growled. We stalked towards him, our fists clenched.
“Look away, Lizzy.” We ordered. The sound of frantic footsteps, let us know that Lizzy and the woman had rounded the corner. The mugger watched us with fear as he attempted to scramble back.
“W-what are you gonna do to me?!” He questioned. We grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and lifted him up.
“We already told you.” The voice smirked. Realization set in his eyes, along with fear and dread.
“No! Please no! I-I’ll leave! I promise!” He begged. Our lip curled in disgust, as we snarled at him.
“You had your chance.” The voice replied. The mugger screamed as we plunged our hand into his chest and ripped out his heart, enforcing our threat.
The voice and I rounded the corner, still covered in blood. All that remained of the mugger was the blood covering our clothes and the blood stain in the alley. The woman we had saved was long gone. Lizzy turned towards us, her eyes widening.
“You really ate him?” She asked. The voice chuckled.
“Yes. But he deserved it.” She replied.
“Well, what are we gonna do about your clothes?” Lizzy inquired. We shrugged.
“Tell everyone it's paint.” The voice answered.
“Oh. Well, you might wanna go back to normal. You'll freak people out.” Lizzy stated. The voice sighed in annoyance.
“Very well.” My skin regained it's rosy hue, the injuries disappearing, my hair returned to a light brown, and my eyes filled with a vivid bluish grey.
“Let's go home.” I told Lizzy, taking her hand.