That’s how the story always goes, isn’t it?
You meet your protagonist and follow them on a journey while they battle something bigger than themselves, all the while knowing they will inevitably succeed and fall blindly into their happy ending. You close the book or stop the movie and you feel a few moments of bliss.
You’re so happy for your main characters and you find yourself hoping that everyone is lucky enough to find their own happy ending.
But you never think about what happens after the end. No one ever warns you of what comes next. Nobody could ever prepare you for the moment you discover that the love of your life is truly an evil son of a bitch.
There is no ‘how to’ book explaining what to do when someone rips out your soul and holds it for ransom above the fireplace mantle, like some prized trophy. You could have never expected to be what you became in this new world.
There are no rules in this life anymore. There are no morals to guide me. I do what I’m told, without hesitation.
At first it was difficult and strenuous. Everything in me despised what I was and wished to go back to before this nightmare began. I fought to escape, but that was the worst mistake I’ve ever made. I didn’t get far and the half assed attempt wasn’t worth what followed.
I searched for other ways to get free later on. I racked my brain for anyway to make it out of this. But all too quickly I learned that you really can’t get far without your soul. With the proper tools in the right hands you can be permanently tethered to it, wherever it may be.
In the beginning I was sure that if I were to die, I would be released from the responsibilities of what I would be forced to do.
I killed myself, slit my wrists and bled out on the floor. But I soon found that the anxiety leading up to that moment was as futile as the attempt.
He brought me back, only moments later. Patching up my body, making me perfect, and whole. He even removed my scars, just for them to dismantle me later on.
To call what I endured torture would be an understatement. I spent days in pieces as they salted my wounds and played with my organs. Eventually, when I thought I could no longer stay conscious, he came to me. He put me back together once again, but he knew that I was broken in ways that were beyond repair.
After that, I was ready. I would do whatever was necessary. I no longer thought twice about the acts that I was instructed to commit. I didn’t flinch when I inflicted pain, no matter how badly I had previously wanted to.
There was nothing left inside of me to empathize with anything, all compassion was replaced with the desire to do wrong.
I’m not sure if he left my conscious out when he brought me back after my suicide. I don’t know if it’s the lack of having a soul or if they removed everything good when they took me apart. All I can say for certain is that I am no longer human, and the hunger is insatiable.
I’m exempt from the trials of humanity. I worry about nothing outside of me and mine. I think about no one else, I just do what I’m told.
You see, I am the thing that goes bump in the night. I am the shadow in the corner of your eye. I am the chill that twirls down your spine and the goose bumps of fear that flood over your skin. I am the one that killed your husband. I am to blame for your missing child. I am the beast your neighbor swears she saw, ‘hand to God’.
I am all of your worst fears rolled up into one and placed atop high heels. You can’t run from me anymore than I can run from myself. Go ahead and try it, I don’t mind the chase.
I would apologize because I used to be sorry. But your suffering is minimal to me now. I don’t sympathize for you, as you knew what you were getting yourself into from the start. I know they explained it to you, that is their job. Your choices were obvious and you knew there was only one way for this to end, regardless of your decision. We both know that you deserve your fate much more than I deserve to inflict it upon you. You made the deal. All I do is collect.
“Who are you?” He asked, trembling underneath my boot, gurgling through the blood spilling out of his freshly broken nose.
I let out a sigh while I reached down and slid him up the wall by the black silk tie that hid beneath his white collar. “Weren’t you listening? Didn’t you hear me howling out there?” I hissed with a smile as I gazed passed his eyes and into the dark depths of him.
“You already know. I’m a hellhound, and I’m here to collect.” I opened his throat in a single motion. All it took was a quick snap of my teeth. Once it was cut, I sucked out his soul with a sharp breath and allowed it to electrify me. Then, I let his body drop and I took off into the night.
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