Heightened Midnight

Heightened Midnight~ The Clock Strikes Twelve

 

Would you believe me if I told you I was a demon?

 

            It had been several days since the Kishin incident. I had trekked through those crumbled ruins, passed the lonely abyss, limped through severed ties to the room where he stood cackling at the eroding walls. Had it simply been my imagination? Were his hands really soaked blood red with the twisted expression of enjoyment and release? Were his eyes tinted a pale, wolf-like ferocity, howling a mad storm of pleasantries in this room raining of red, red, red? Was that truly the waist down of the woman I had seconds ago grown to despise with a fiery heat of jealousy’s searing flames? And was that honestly the upper half of her body fading away into the thick air weighing heavily upon our souls, devouring, suffocating, and digesting the deepest remains of our sanity?

            Had that actually been me laughing maniacally just as he was, reaching out to taste a drop of that delicious, salty, memory soaked dreamland? Swallowing days of hatred and nights of plotting. Heartless was the flavor. Evil was the spice.

Just like me.

 

            Screams echo in my mind, the torn lines linking history to present. It takes me a while to note these screams are all my own. I am sitting, trembling, holding myself dearly in the midst of the tangling of these blankets, gasping at the pained cries, fighting away forming tears of discovery. Splotches of paint the color of melting roses drip around me. The gentle ‘plip’ ‘plop’ frightens me as hands weave in the crevices of my hair, pulling, tearing, ripping. The smell of something burning fill my nostrils. Singed flesh. It is my own and I am soon joining my own chorus of past exclamations, screeching to the dead night. Not too long after, the door to my room bursts open and he is standing there, bewildered, eyeing me as if I am some luscious piece of candy, eager to tear into its contents.

            The hands are tightening, piercing skin, drawing flecks of precious blood.

            “Kaze!” it speaks, lunging at me, blade in hand, glinting the mad gush of craving for numbers and results and needles and serums and tests and…

            Hands are now wrapping comfortingly around me, swallowing me in the scent of familiarity. Warmth shrouds my every darkening thought, blearing into foreign dots of white where they slowly yet surely delve into a calming deep meadow of green and grey.  I relax the tension, draw away my shaking grasp, impervious to the strings of earthly brown clinging between throbbing fingers.

            “Sorry. Nightmare,” I whisper into the closeness of his skin. The sickening stench of his memories block my sense of smell, blinding me into a seething hunger. Pulling away gently, I can only manage a single weak willed grimace, dismissing his attempts of comfort.

            He doesn’t believe me. I can see the hurt, longing, and disappointment blazing in his dull stare as he stands without questioning and shuts the door softly behind him.

            The remainder of the night passed by without so much as a sigh.

 

“Subject seven, proceed to examination room A for today’s procedure.”

I shuddered, clenching and unclenching my slick palms, swallowing back a wave of nausea. Rooted to the spot, I willed myself to move cooperatively towards the men shrouded in white and grey, observing me with an unnerving sense of starvation. Instead, I cowered into the furthest corner of my cage, hugging the cool bars, whimpering. In their eyes I was simply their prey. Their only focus.

I was nothing but a toy.

“I repeat, subject seven, proceed to examination room A for today’s procedure.”

Glasses twinkled in the flickering lights of my isolation, emitting an ominous glow to draw me deeper in my imprisonment. A single chuckle brought forth a pecking need to strike at each and every – thing – that dared to touch me. Yet even so, fear bites its horrid teeth into my feet, suturing me to the spot, unwilling to let me go.

“You heard him,” one of the demonic voices cooed, enticing me forward, “Time for today’s operation, come here little birdie.” A ghastly white blob of a hand extended bravely into my territory, waving with a mock friendliness, beckoning me to my destruction. I shiver away, curling talons, poised to kill. But how could I? What little strength in my body had been brutally smacked down, pulled out, cut in, ripped apart, and poured in droplets of salty despair.  This body of mine practically held no use for me but to salvage the tiniest of dignity I treasured so dearly.

So pushing the future’s consequences aside with a stubbornness unlike any other, I replied to the man’s invitation with a firm chomp and a sloppy swipe at his exposed, lifeless left eye.

The room exploded in black and blue as it dawned on me my victim had fought back. Fragmented pieces fell together as I slowly began to lose consciousness. Swearing angrily and screaming hysterically, where his eye once was bled an ocean of revolting, blackish liquid that seeped its ways through the cracks, slithered along the floorboards, wrapped around my ankles in hurried whispers.

‘run’ ‘run Alice’ ‘away, away, into the rabbit hole’

Punches were thrown at me as I tried so frantically to avoid them, to maneuver my way past them to the calling door that shone so brightly. How long had it been since I basked in the sun’s rays? I had powerful, healthy arms for a fifteen year old child. And what of now? Where these, as I clashed and returned several blows, the very same wrists? These frail, weak, trembling, flimsy parts? Were they truly, indeed my own?

‘come to Wonderland’ ‘fall into my shadow’ ‘Lightning will strike, wind will howl’ ‘come to Wonderland’

Slipping away into my paradise. I was fading away in the background noise, blankly staring at the hands engulfing my neck. At the voices who were not my friends screaming for them to stop. At the shimmering figure of my mother’s face watching helplessly; the final attachments of my mental stability.

‘Wonderland.

I come for you.’

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