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Wilting, sapping essence at an alarming rate, hemorrhaging profusely through an unzipped cavity in my lower spine. Never felt pain like this once in my life and don’t wish to feel it again. I’m on my back still, haven’t moved since that final exertion. Calling on my limbs to retort appears futile…vague whispers in a rushing gale of agony. My recollection of events is sketchy but clarified enough to have that nagging concern perpetuating inside my numbed skull. Why didn’t anybody come to my aid as I was so iniquitously stolen?
I’m still alive…so I guess that’s a crumb of consolidation, whenever the Keeper approaches danger he is never a stranger. Why now? I consult with darkness daily and ordinarily it’s straight with me. Not this night…the shadows leave only incertitude. Didn’t ask for the happy ending, only back, sack and crack. Instead I’ve been pillaged, all the hens are clucking and my livestock has perished.
Bodily holocaust is ensuing, the fallout alone is more crimson than I’m comfortable sharing. I need to refill…I know! Replenishment is vital, red cells thinning out and surely three pints are already on the tab. I’m not about to get this cheque! I insert a finger inside my gaping wound to discern seepage, nothing left but strands, Christ knows what harsh device left me like this…in tatters. I gather all my upward enthusiasm and rise like Chaney Jr, out of my crate, dizzying instantaneously. I stumble, barely animated and doing my best darn impression of Stephen from Dawn of the Dead. Lift goes up…lift goes down…lift goes up…
The sound permeates the air around my face, a cloud of pain, lingering. It strokes at my cheek, bidding me, demanding I wake. My eyes flutter open: first one, a quick glance to assure me there is still a place for everything and everything is in its place; then, the other. I blink, several times, quickly. The headache from earlier drinking antics has dissipated.
What the FUCK is this insistent, invisible little cloud tickling me mercilessly…? I know it’s there, I can feel it stroking the tiniest hairs above my ears, where long chestnut locks once flowed alongside the rest of the impressive length of my hair. The sheared sides of my head are responding to this sound, making me shiver.
I turn my head, quickly, breathing deeply into the cloud and then, I know it. Pain. Screams….gasps. Crimson tears. Keeper calls to me, whether involuntarily or with perfectly lucidity — he is screaming. It is a foreign sound to my ears, and where I was drowsily curious before, I am now completely awake. All my senses have awakened and I must go, now.
There’s a mirror before me which I refuse to leer into, actually it isn’t my decision, I’m on auto-shuffle. Only one object of my affection right now…need to find where I placed it last. It’s nearby but I just feel groggy…mind can’t focus. Lines are beginning to blur and edges are closing in around me. I feel every ventricle screaming as though a deadly toxic is being pumped through my canals and I slump into a nearby chair before the decision is made for me.
I must arm up before whatever the fuck did this to me comes back to finish the job. I fear I couldn’t withstand another suchlike episode, besides I’m running out of nappy rash cream. That’s it, that was why I got up. Got to call and cancel my colonic. Sense of humor is still intact I see, going to be needing it. There’s nothing funny about the ‘delights’ which are in store for me before this night is through. Oh the dread!
Moments later, I am dressed. I can’t resist the bells on my wrists…the soft tinkling sounds are so misleading to everyone else. For me, they fuel my rage …just enough. I do have rage, plenty to share.
My small leather pack is slipped into the makeshift pocket sewn into the armpit of this funky black thing I like to wear when I plan on doing bad things. Almost ready.
Boots slipped on, heavy black monstrosities covering me from toes up to knees….zippered, buckled, bells attached with no extra thought. I slip the ear buds in, press play, close my eyes, allowing Keeper’s image to float up just before my eyelids. There. I can see the whites of his eyes. Deep breath. I vanish.
I grab a cigarette from the side, hands oscillating almost too much to release it from its packaging. Once lit, along with most of my nasal hairs, I shift forward in my seat, eyes remaining vigilantly on the door handle. One turn is all it will take for Keeper to be primed to reconvene. To the end, no quibbles; adrenaline has taken over now. Still there’s a sickness within the pit of my abdomen, a dread which won’t vacate.
I recall suddenly…third draw down. The quill…that was the logic behind my ill-fated meander. That is where I draw my might, I must bleed in order to stem the blood loss steadily wiping out my defenses. I need replenishment fast, right now I’d struggle to floor an infant let alone whatever lurks outside in the shadows. I project myself onto the bedstead once more, tail-feathers vertical to get some air to my open fissure. No amount of oxygen is going to heal this cranny, my shell has been well and truly compromised.
I probably get two paragraphs down before I hear the sound of footsteps and the rustling of foliage outside. I feel revitalized from my bleed and feel my spine once more. Healing nicely, but what the fuck is skulking around out there? I put the quill down on the silken sheets, crimson forming around the tip, and hastily return to my feet. The lights are still dimmed so I crouch at the curtain.
The guitars screaming in my ears fade to soft nothing-ish squeals as I remove the helmet, sliding the ear buds into my breast pocket. I look around…if there is a place on earth designated for Hell, this dilapidated disaster must be the entryway. Only the ingenuity of Man could create such a monstrous clusterfuck of factories, places of creation, and then desert them in favor of moving along to fuck up another part of the earth. Nestled in the center of these giant metal castaways sits a tired brick motel, the VACANCY sign half-lit, flickering a sickly greenish cast.
Switching the ignition key off, I dismount and leave the helmet perched precariously on the seat. Whatever gravel once covered this parking lot is long gone, leaving oily packed-in earth in its place. I stay silent, watching where I step, avoiding any unnecessary noise.
As I assume almost fetal posturing behind the drape I suddenly become aware of a second audio, even more ominous than the first. I hear a heartbeat, moreover I feel it. It’s pressed up against my spine and I discern breasts either side cradling me. Ordinarily this would be something of a slap-up feast for Keeper but right now it presents a most unwelcome obstacle.
The word grasps at my terror and whistles through my ears with a chilly bite. That is exactly the retort I heard last time before being put under. Whatever was trespassing inside me that night was evidently back. Furthermore, it was sharing my hiding spot! No sudden movements, learned that the hard way during my previous bounty. Call that a prize!
I pause just outside the door of the motel office, seeing a television flickering through the window and an unbelievably large old man dozing in his chair, the remains of a whole chicken dinner congealing on the table next to him. Pointless. I need to find the correct room, and now. The urgency has tripled. I can feel the vibrations brushing through my eyelashes, making me blink, making the world an old-time shutter framed movie. Keeper is close, and his breathing is not right. Things have gotten worse. Briefly I close my eyes, and breathe. The smell of his perspiration drifts into my nostrils. It is soured, and tinged with terror.
Now the door handle is beginning to pivot, leaving precious little time to make my dash. I clench the quill tightly, so much so that it lacerates my palm and begins to work its way through muscle. There’s no time now…a pinch of illumination outside as a car turns lights the wall before me. With sheer terror, I glance up and behold the silhouette of an ax rising behind me ready for blitzkrieg.
Rapidly, I count the doors…nineteen, and the office makes twenty. I don’t have time for this shit. I return to the grimy window of the motel office, my eyes sliding toward the glass door, and up to its furthermost corner. Yes, of course there is a bell for anyone entering. There are always bells just before a grand entrance…
My eyes rove through the shabby contents of the yellowish lit room and I notice, with relief, the very obvious throwback of a key-rack nailed to the wall behind the counter. I touch each key with my eyes, carefully plucking each number emblazoned on the gaudy plastic diamond keyrings…2…3…4…
Breathing, brushing gently into my ear…I hear Keeper calling, mumbling.
Motel key number 9 is missing. I keep counting, just in case this fucked up Norman Bates nightmare houses more than one guest.
Being sinned upon,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2013
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2013