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Take a long hard look in the mirror and tell me what you see. Do you like what is staring back at you? Are you filled with hope and joy? Is your future mapped out before you? If so then bully for you. You see, I currently stand before my full-length mirror clad in a crass coat of blood and not a solitary drop belongs to me. Not quite the wake-up call I had been expecting but I’m beginning to understand how this works now. I look deep within my blackened eyes and see only pain and suffering looking back my way. My body may remain intact but my soul is steadily being consumed and there doesn’t appear to be a damn thing I can do about it. Never before has my future felt so mapped out but, in the same moment, never before have I felt so utterly helpless. Every night that this darkness manifests within me, I drink it in a little more, and I’m beginning to lose sight of who I am in all of this. I have become his freak, the fleshy puppet under his jurisdiction, and vessel for his cruel puppetry. I am his messenger of death, his bloody right hand. And, as I continue to glare at myself in the mirror, I’m not even sure how I feel about that.
Please allow me to bring you bang up-to-date with current affairs. Just the other night, five local teens were slaughtered in the nearby woods, in a manner so despicable that those first to arrive at the crime scene are currently undergoing therapy. When I first heard the news, I was shocked to my innermost core, and instantly dashed to the bathroom to puke up my guts. However, it wasn’t just the cruel manner in which these kids were put to task that lodged in my throat, but the nagging suspicion that I may have had something to do with this vile act. Never before would I have thought I had it in me to commit atrocities such as these but that has all changed over the past few nights. Every time I lay down to sleep, something happens that I cannot begin to explain or rationalize. While at first I suspected that I was losing my mind, now I’m not so sure. Indeed, it is my soul that appears under duress and I can feel ownership slipping away with every dawn that passes.
Why me? Have I been harboring immense evil all these years? Could this dark metamorphosis actually be pre-ordained? I don’t believe that is the case for a second but, that said, I’m not sure what I believe any more. Suddenly the lines are blurring and one day is beginning to bleed into the next. If I were looking for cold hard facts then the bloodied hatchet beneath my bunk would be a good place to start. I have no idea where it came from or what it symbolizes but it certainly isn’t purely coincidental. Moreover, twice now it has been accompanied by a chronicle of sorts in my very own unmistakable handwriting, and that doesn’t make for the lightest of reading let me tell you as it implicates none other than yours truly in each of the misdemeanors. As far as I was concerned, I was fast asleep in my bed, and would have willingly taken a lie detector test to vouch for this. Not so now however. Doubt soon begun creeping in and has since been replaced with the worst kind of certainty as I’m quite clearly every bit as guilty as the sins being committed.
So a problem shared is one halved, isn’t that how the saying goes? Negative, should I march into my local police station and enlighten them as to my current plight, then they’ll lock me up first and toss the key away directly afterwards. It would appear that my guest has me over a barrel here as, when all is said and done, it is me acting out his callous instructions. Were the voices in Charles Manson’s head space ever charged with those murders in the late 1960s? Of course not, their host received the term and quite rightly too. I used to think he was beyond deplorable for doing what he did, but now I’m beginning to question that and it is this frightens that me more than anything. Could it be that he had no control over the residual blackness within him? While I accept that every man should take responsibility for his own actions, it looks like I’m apparently being fitted up as the fall guy here and that tends to meddle with one’s perspective some. Right now I don’t know what to believe any more.
Then there’s the hunger and I haven’t spoken about this yet for a distinct reason. I’m pained to reveal this mounting feeling of starvation as, the moment I immortalize it in words, it becomes tangible and tailored with truth. However, the craving has become just too strong to disregard any longer and disclosing these urges appears my only chance of ridding myself of the relentless pangs. There is famine in my soul, nourishment is becoming ever more sparse, and only one decidedly dubious insinuation is being made about the manner in which I should feed. I can feel my resolve slipping as I scribe this, like any other predator I cannot go on resisting the animalistic urges coming to the fore and, sooner or later, it is kill or be killed. However, I’m still fighting hard to do precisely that as, unless I’ve been passenger on somebody else’s flight of fancy for the last forty stretch, this was never actually my birthright. Should I not have something to say about my own predilection? It would appear that I possess a voice so all I really need is a plan right?
Okay so here it is. My little friend has proven himself quite the spokesperson up until now and, no doubt, he’ll be at it again once the Sandman slaps that bridle on in just a handful of hours. Heaven simply doesn’t know the kind of caustic carnival he has planned for tonight’s recital but I’d hedge a guess that it entails human suffering and the usual cruel consumption. While I can feel myself tweaking already, there is also a dash of resilience to call upon and call upon it I shall. Should words indeed be my sole weapon, then it’s high-time I declare war, and use them to banish this blight once and for all before it snuffs out my soul’s last light once and for all. Ergo I shall provide a little correspondence of my own this night; a friendly reminder that I am not so eager to surrender custody of this most precious of commodities. It is inevitable that slumber will whisk me away soon and I’m far too weary to oppose its suggestion. But my bedfellow will do well to engage in a spot of light reading himself before setting out this night. It’s a rough draft but there’s still time to tweak it before lights-out. You wanna hear what I’ve got so far? As you wish.
To he whom this will concern,
You think nobody watches when you drop that veil. You offer nothing, give nothing, and your stripes haven’t been earned as you never once tasted your own blood. Instead you binge on the dissatisfaction of those deemed inferior and fritter the most precious resources. I am charged with showing you the error in your ways when, in truth, you are already fully aware. You know who you are however, at this juncture, you have no experience of me. Well allow me to enlighten.
I shall suck the eyeballs straight from your sorry skull and spew them to the ground, before crushing them beneath my heel like lychees. That gnawing you feel inside – it’s all me. I’m balls deep in you right now, licking the marrow from your wretched bones. The taut sensation around your heart is my bloody fist, grappling it and relinquishing any tempo. If each nerve fiber feels ablaze then that would be me also. I’m the kerosene coursing through each ventricle, so you just try and escape me. At every turn it is my face you shall see until which time as I pass my own infernal judgement.
Maybe I will let your sniveling existence continue, let the buzzards take their shots. You really better had be wishing this not to be the case. I can make it all stop so, right now, I’d say groveling time is upon you. Give me a solitary reason why your blood shouldn’t be phlebotomized this dusk and I may grant you the release you request. You should be grateful as many would offer no such tryst. There are those who would take immense pleasure from cudgeling you beyond an inch of your sorry life but I shall afford you sole opportunity to elucidate your reasoning.
The contempt you show for those less charmed makes my blood molten. You punish the meek when it is the malicious magnates, the gluttonous harbingers of sorrow and the so-called leaders of this world who should incite such fury. There is indeed a fungus among us and it’s spreading like a cancer every second. I should know as I turned up every day for work with my crimson lipstick on, accepted a full quota of policy-driven spunk down my gullet and took it graciously. I took it because I loved it. You see, once you nuzzle those teats for long enough, you start to become desensitized. All that time I was storing up all that policy-driven bile, with the singular intention of puking it all up right in their stupid faces. Silver-tongued politicians may be able to pull the wool over a nation’s blinkered eyes but how would they react when faced with a true freak of nature?
I spent the last twenty years a mime artist, complete with gloves and dense quizzical look, muzzled and raped because I couldn’t locate my voice. Now that I’ve found it, you may expect me to make every last one of those motherfuckers repent for their insolence, but I shall do no such thing. Therefore it should stand to reason that I will not be offering my blessing on the slaughter of innocents either. This ends tonight foul demon, you’ve had your fun with me, and I’m happy just to call it quits with no further questions asked. So this leaves you with two distinct choices – either you leave me be and go torment some other hapless bastard, or be prepared for repercussions more dire than anything you could even dream of dishing out. It’s your choice and the only one I shall be donating so make it wisely and, remember, I’m wise to your treachery.
What do you think then? Makes the point in no uncertain terms right? Well guess what? The Sandman did arrive as projected and, after reading the hilarious drivel above, I’m now feeling even more galvanized. Bless him for trying, stating his case with an authority he knows damn well he doesn’t have in his possession. I’m rather fond of his plucky spirit as it feels that much sweeter as I compact it and remould it into hateful shapes of my own gratification. I feel he is ready now for true enlightenment, primed to battle for that all-important majority stake, and still human enough to fail miserably. This is the moment I’ve been waiting so patiently for and, little is this proud lion aware, that he has just unwittingly signed and sealed the treaty for ownership of his sorry soul. And it just so happens that deliverance is my favorite part.
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2014 (Revised Edition 2016)