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Saligia: Part 1: The Beginning of a Storm

It seems like it's always raining. Millions of tiny hot rain drops tearing through everything in their path. A horizontal rain that rips muscle and splinters bone. Splashes of red pain against an all too familiar black and gray background.

I have suffered many bizarre events since the time my eyes first opened. There are moments when I think that I can't possibly live much longer; it doesn't seem healthy. But I can't quit; there's still too much left undone. This passion that consumes me is the only thing keeping me alive. My fire animates me even after all strength has left me.

My mother died when I was young, so I've only ever truly loved one woman. I watched helplessly as she was violently taken from me - her essence spilled out onto the cold kitchen floor. Her screams pierced my soul and changed me. To even consider that I would ever forget the dying screams of my lover is inconceivable; I am those screams. I am that pain being unleashed into this dismal world with a final breath.

The rain has stopped. My beloved breaks the silence with a wet cough. Thick sticky blood falls in my hand; I'm sobbing. Like a child, I'm weak, only able to stare at the fading light in a dying angel's eyes. Five light snaps break out.

Bang bang bang bang bang

That's dear old dad. This is his mess, but at least he's able to clean up after himself.

The dream always ends with him holding me and telling me to let it go, to walk away, just like he did with Mom. But his past followed him. I wake up - Sweaty and cold.

The window was left open and it has started to rain. Real rain. Water hits my body and runs over old scars. I'm still holding her dagger. I fell asleep with it in hand again. The water still hits me, trying in vain for attention.

The blade traces an old scar perhaps remembering its mark fondly. It's Obsidian or something, a family heirloom of hers, probably once full of meaning. A red string is tied beneath the hilt. Its only significance now is my connection with her.

I get dressed, the tightness in my body from another night of restless sleep slows my movements. Tired of reminiscing, I walk out the door. The window is still open. It's alright; that kind of rain is nothing to worry about. No, the only rain you need worry about is the storm I now bring with me.

Saligia: Part 2 � Patience

Sigh�

Tick�

Mr. E sat at his desk examining his pocket watch. The white face slowly counted away the time left until he finally got what he deserved.

�Tock

A little bit closer, the time for change was coming.

Tick�

But, as with all transition periods, there also comes a time of unpleasantness.
Unfortunate but necessary.

�Tock

"Right on time!" Mr. E stood up to shake Mr. W's hand. The black rings of a troubled sleep lay around Mr. W�s eyes, matching the darkness behind them. Mr. W combed his left hand through his hair, the other was hidden inside his jacket.
"Still having those dreams?"

Mr. W loosed a small mirthless chuckle, "Which ones?" He sank back behind his eyes again trying either to escape his pain or chasing after it to wring it by the neck.

"You know, the ones that happen after you kill with that dagger.� Mr. E vaguely waved at Mr. W, �It creeps me out. Why are you so attached?" His words fell on deaf ears and blind eyes, seeing and hearing something that didn't exist.

Glowing brown eyes looked out from behind long black hair. A beautiful smile curves lips from which let escape a giggle. A sound of pure innocence and hope. This is the part that kills him. This hurts the most. Remembering her awe-inspiring beauty as she twirls playfully. She stops. This is familiar, easier to see. Her beautiful face twisted by horror. He can watch this. This steels him. Her voice that sang so well it could make stones dance torn apart by a scream of total terror. This shapes him into the weapon of revenge. She always looks him directly in the eye. I'm so sorry.

"You said you had information for me." Mr. W growls and runs his hand over his face. He is no longer surprised by the lack of tears. No time for grief until he is finished.

"Yeah." Mr. E sighs. "I just worry about you. Without you none of this would be possible." He only half means the richness of the room. �Soon the dried up old men who pretend to run this syndicate will all be dead or kissing my ring. No longer will their fat bloated bodies weigh upon the backs of the community and the ones working to protect it. They won't be able to look down their noses at me or anyone else. I will be the one staring down at them as they cover their heads, wallowing in the knowledge that they are nothing. That I am their better. It will be a glorious time." He was standing now.

�You said you had some information for me."

"Yes, my apologies. Sometimes I get a little too passionate about my job, but you, you�re always going forward, rushing toward your end, whatever it may be. It pains me to think of the life that those old men lead, when it could go to more deserving people like you or me." He passes a folder to Mr. W. "It took me time and money to get that info, but I do owe you. This is the exec who sent the strike force who killed your father. I�ve included the location of his office and the hours that he works." Mr. E looks at his pocket watch and admires the golden shine, he already knows what time it is. �He should be in his office for a couple more hours.�

"Why didn't you give me this sooner?" Mr. E notices Mr. W�s arm flex as he squeezes the dagger hidden in his jacket.

"I called you as soon as it came in. I told you it took a lot of time." The door had already shut behind Mr. W.

Tick�

Always rushing. But inevitably on time.

�Tock

Mr. E sat down.

Tick�

He could feel the passage of time in his hand as the small watch shuddered with each second.

�Tock

Sigh�

Saligia: Part 3 - Exercises in Restraint

The evening breeze slowly skips over my naked body. Below the second story window I watched a car roll to a stop. The driver stepped out and walked to the front door in no particular hurry. The sound of the doorbell chiming so innocently, made me smile. There was no mistaking the driver of the black car. He was here to kill. This was all quite familiar to me.

For some reason the young man with the deep green eyes came to mind. He had visited me a week or so ago, a young up and coming mob boss. Desire in his eyes, the same as anyone who looked upon my body, always craving my splendor. From the first person who so desperately wanted to have me, for which he paid and paid, to the old, faded man sleeping on the bed, still in the process of paying.

His soft snoring continued, completely oblivious to the gunshots and the screaming. The driver of the black car seemed to be taking his time.

But the young man had been different, in a way. He didn't want me physically. Or if he had, he didn't let it show. He wanted me for a different reason, I represented something to him. I was a pawn.

Thinking about it still makes me furious. I have worked long and hard on becoming what everyone needs. I took pleasure in flicking the cigarette out of the window; watching the burning ember fade into the distance. I buried my resentment as well. Never in my life was there anyone who didn't need to have me.
But his question was simple; would I be his. I said I'd think about it, trying to draw out everything that I could get. I�m always open to bettering my position in life, so I fully intended to think about it. But I could see that it wasn't really me that he wanted.

He told me again that I had a choice. I told him no. I used the no like it was slap in the face. I reveled in it. I was going to have the last laugh, I'd be the one causing the pain. Yet he didn't say another word, just put on his jacket and left. Next time we meet though... next time he'll beg. Next time he will acknowledge how important I am.

Odd thoughts these, probably due to stress. I have been in this situation plenty of times, but it still makes the heart beat faster. Being a professional possession of the wealthy and dangerous, I�ve seen hits before. Been in the same room with most. I guess one never gets used to watching a violent end.

He was a good guy, this last one. Let me take control. Enjoyed the pain. It�s a bit bittersweet. I'm sad to see him go, but he deserves it. They all do.

Is that why the young man is in my head tonight? No. Anyone but him. He'll have to beg. Till his knees are sore. "Get up!" I feel the need to beat something. The old man began to wake.

"Huh?"

"Turn over."

"But I-"

"No talking." The paddle came down hard again and again.

-------

Mr. G kicked open the last door available. "Hello? Anyone home? I hope I'm not disturbing anything." The possession stopped mid-swing and smiled. The old man's eyes flew wide. He began to scramble and fell off the bed, twisted up in the sheets. "Who are you?"

"Meet your end," the possession smiled while slipping into a robe. The possession casually lit a cigarette and took a seat on the windowsill to watch the fun. A queen regally watching fate unfold.

"You know him? You did this?" The old man's voice creaked, "How could you? I gave you everything..."

"How I do enjoy seeing you snivel and cower, but you are mistaken. I simply know him because his boss visited me some time ago. It seems that you are on the way out and I'm on the way up. It will be fun having a new powerful man to break in." The possession smiled, full of arrogance and conceit. Even the possession's breath was in precise scripted movements, chin raised, back arched, grand gestures.

Mr. G smiled at the confusion, "No, no. He's not the one I'm here for." He couldn't help but chuckle, "Though I am a big fan of the dramatic. How are you? I've heard some good things - you're a fighter. It�s a pleasure to meet you."

For me? The killer was here for me?

�I don't understand, why me?�

�Well I'm not the person to ask. I'm really only the messenger. To tell the truth, I'm a little excited. The boss told me a bit about you and your exploits.� Visions of whips and pain and struggle leapt deliciously through his mind, �I've really wanted to meet you.�

"Just like everyone else. For one reason or another..." The possession stood up, the robe opened slightly showing a glimpse of what he could have.

�You know you don't have to do this...� The possession blinked slowly, showing off dark blue eyes and confidence. A few steps forward, hips swaying like an erotic pendulum with every step. �I could be yours. I'm very good at most everything, especially when it comes to satisfying men's desires. You could hide me away. Just say you took care of me. And I could be your secret little thing."

"Sorry. I think you have me all wrong. I tend to break my things." Mr. G held out his gun, handle first. "I�ve heard of your legendary abilities to satisfy, so don't disappoint. I have been expecting a lot. Please, let's make it interesting."

The possession stormed forward and slapped the gun from his hand. "Don't you know what I'm offering you?! Don't be an idiot! Give in to your desire and I will fill your being. Take me and be free from yourself. Only I know you. I understand you. I can see what you need. I will satisfy you."

"Look, I'm giving you a chance. Either you�re going to die, or I am. That's the only satisfaction I need." Mr. G met the possession's glare, a shiver of pleasure at the passion and hatred in those dark blue eyes. In his own mind he was screaming into the maelstrom as it swirled around him with its threats of swallowing him whole. With insistence heavy in his voice he repeated, "So please, let's make this interesting."

"No." Fury blazed in the possession's sapphire eyes. Who is this man to dictate my actions to me?

"Please?" Mr. G's fist struck fast, connecting with a splash of red. �You need to fight back. At least then you will have a chance to survive.�

The possession smiled from behind a trickle of blood.

"No." Again his fist came, the possession crumpled to the floor.

"You need to fight back."

"No."

This continued.

Please
Strike
No
Please
Strike
No
Please
Strike
no...

Minutes passed and the pleases began to degrade into pleading and then begging. A lover pleading with a parting partner. The possession never stopped smiling. Reveling in the agony, as it consumed. No one would ever possess this glorious being again. No order would ever need to be obeyed. This �No� was final. Broken and bloodied, the possession laid there feeling the night air skip across a fractured body. With the last breath, no...

Mr. G looked at his hands; covered in dark crimson, he could feel the edges of his mind beginning to crack. He could hear laughing. He needed something, anything, to occupy his mind until he could regain control. From inside him a feral scream tore into the night. He kicked the body. The laugh was getting closer. Looking around he saw the old man. The faded old man was peeking over the bed, staring at the gun mere inches from his face, frozen. "You. There. Come here." Mr. G smiled; ah, he had found his something. He walked over and grabbed the gun,
"You had your chance." He grabbed the faded shell of a man, pulling him to the window.

"Wait! You said you weren't here to kill me."

"Very true." Mr. G fired the gun into the back of the old man's head and watched him fall out of the window. He was able to spin end over end twice before hitting the ground. Mr. G emptied the other eight bullets into the corpse. Unnecessary but therapeutic. Perhaps the cracks were still there, a nothingness waiting in between, but he didn't have to think about them now. It was a pretty sunrise. Orange rays coming through the dark trees made for a pretty scene.

---------

On the way home, his phone rang. "Hello. Am I interrupting anything?"

"No, Boss. Just finishing up." He still wasn't satisfied. He could feel gnawing at his frayed edges.

"Is the old man still alive?"

Mr. G smirked, knowing the boss already knew the answer "No. Sorry. But it was necessary to eliminate him."

"Sure. That's ok, a little more work for me, but then I was probably just delaying the inevitable."

"So, in a way, I did you a favor."

"Yeah, and now I need you to do me another. Though I don't think you will mind. Do you remember the job when you went out to take care of that snitch that put a few of our family in jail?"

"Yeah. I remember." He dreamt about it every night. Before that day, four years ago, he had been empty. The same emptiness that lay in waiting just beyond his vision. Just him in a dark room with shadows that hid a terrible nothing. The non-entity teasing his sanity, slowly cracking away bits and pieces. But that day he found her. Like the personification of War come to earth just to satisfy his needs. Their fight was a thing of beauty. Unquantifiable. True Art in ways that artists only dream. When he finally stood over her, watching her struggle to live, it was the first timed he smiled. The first time tears ran down his face. Even the void lay quiet out of respect or fear. He remembered saying thank you as he shot her in the head. All these years he had been trying to recapture the magic of that moment, with varying degrees of success or failure depending on one's level of optimism. He couldn't forget...
"She's still alive, and I know where she is."
The information hit him. His world shook. The abyss wailed. He was spinning with confusion but smiling. "I thought I killed her." Though I should have known that bullets couldn't have finished my angel of fire with death for eyes.
"She was hurt. But she's not dead. And I owe you. Without you I wouldn't be where I am today. Without you by my side I could never have stripped away the dead skin from the syndicate. And that's the reason why I offer you this. But you don't need to take it. You could just walk away. It might not be like you, but its never too late to change. If you have ever considered having a normal life, now is the right time. Grow old and frail with a pretty little thing, dandle grandkids on your knee, while rattling off stories of former glory. You can still have this.
"Or you can choose to find this woman. This woman who almost killed you. Who might be able to finish the job this time."
Mr. G had almost forgotten that. He had taken extensive damage without noticing. He had been too caught up in the fight, too busy smiling and laughing at death.
"Ok." Saligia: Part 4 � Running to the End 304...
Mr. W's heart continued to pound, yet he hardly noticed the bullets and death swirling around him. His heart pounded with anticipation. He fed off his emotion, his desire to see this end. He fired three times in quick succession over the shoulder of a surprised corporate guard, dropping the man behind him, then pressed the burning barrel to the face of the man in front. Mr. W didn't notice the shriek as he stepped over the guard now writhing on the floor.
305...
Mr. W stepped up the pace and stepped out the elevator. He could see the office door, the last step of his destiny. The ebon blade cut through the guard's artery, spraying blood into an arc pattern on the wall - a monochromatic rainbow. The guard never made a sound as he lay there clutching his now useless arm, eyes staring wide in horror. A few more slashes, a few more shots sounded out, and the door kept getting closer.
306...
Mr. W saw his goal sitting behind a desk. He hadn't known what to expect so the sight didn't really surprise him. An old man hunched with age, a glass of seventy-seven-year-old scotch in one hand and a gilded picture frame in the other. The office screamed wealth with deep mahogany and black leather. Even the visitor chairs along the wall would have cost more than most families made in a year.
"So, I guess it�s time." The old executive sipped his scotch. He took what he knew would be his last look at the picture then set it face down on the desk. His movements were not hurried, despite death walking slowly towards him.
"So you knew I was coming?" Mr. W held the dagger low and behind his back.
"Not you, personally. But yes. In my line of work I'm always making enemies. Different corporations, families of employees, government officials. Being the head of security isn't a job for those that want to be popular. I knew someone would show. And with the bloody way you came in, I knew that this was the end." He sighed and straightened his tie.
Mr. W was behind him now. "Don't you want to know who I am?"
The old executive closed his heavy eyes and bowed his head. "No. I made my final choice some years ago. I could have let it go. In my line of work business is business. Never did I take it personally. Except once.� He was seeing somewhere else.
"I sat right here at this desk. Someone had almost taken something away from me that meant more than I would normally admit. I got greedy; I needed to have everything taken care of. I needed the piece of mind that all the loose ends were tied up. That no one could take away what I had almost lost. I could have just left it alone, but I didn't. I guess that was when I realized my choice was to die in my office instead of at home. Well that's all in the past. I'm ready."
Mr. W spun the Old Executive to face him. "You're ready? YOU'RE READY!?!" Mr. W screamed at the Old Executive. "After your little sob story of how you almost lost something. ALMOST lost something?" It felt as if he was going to explode. His heart pounded in his ears - kill him, kill him. "I lost the very foundation of my life!" His voice exploded in the old man's face. The dagger swept out from behind him to slice across the old executive's face. "Your goons killed my father! The only thing I had left!" He was stabbing now, forcing the dagger into the Old man's body. Where the dagger's edge failed to cut Mr. W broke through with sheer ferocity. Soon the knife was lost, buried in the old man's frail frame.
"YOU DON'T GET TO BE READY!" Fire coursed through his veins. Molten anger surged through him; He hit the wealthy exec so hard the man tumbled over his chair onto the floor. Mr. W desperately grabbed for something, anything, and began beating it against the old man's head, screaming. You took away any chance I had of a normal life!! Soon there was only the dull squish of gore and the old executive's silence.
Mr. W, still breathing heavy, stood up looking at the shattered body. It was over. This was where he had been trying to be, always rushing toward this moment in time, yet knowing that when he got here he would be terrified ;when he would no longer have any direction in life. Killing hadn't brought her back nor had it dulled the pain of losing her. He knew it wouldn't. But... what now?
He felt the anger rise and he grabbed the desk pulling it onto the Old Executive's shattered body. WHAT NOW!
And then he saw her. He had grown used to seeing her everywhere. The love of his life smiling at him before stepping onto a bus. Smiling at him from across a crowded room. Hearing her giggle from right around the corner. But this was different, this was real.
Mr. W cried out as he dove on the floor picking up a shattered picture frame. She stared back with that smile that haunted his dreams, pointing at something off in the distance.
An aching numbness settled in the back of his throat. A younger version of the old executive was standing a little off in the distance, smiling with a woman who looked just like her daughter.
Mr. W flung the picture away. It burnt him. He recoiled from it. The pain of life flooding back into his reality.
He quickly uprighted the monitor and found the keyboard. They both were a little damaged, but after replugging them in they seemed to work well enough.
Quickly he began searching through files for anything he could find. It had to be his imagination. He had finally cracked. His mind couldn't accept that everything he had worked for, for so long, was now over and done with...
password:_
His fingers trembled as he typed in the name of his love. For the first time in years, tears began to flow as the screen allowed him access - Dates, monetary amounts, names of doctors. It seems as though she was still...she can't.
An address...
10637 Dorothy St. apt number...
307
Mr. G kicked open door 307 and unleashed rapid streams of molten death. A security guard and nurse were torn asunder. Soft tender flesh ripped open by hard uncaring reality.
The ground was already sticky with blood when a young guard roared as he flew toward through the air curved katana in hand. Mr. G simply smiled, caught the youth in midair by his jaw, and took away his sword. Fear flooded into the young man's eyes as his own blade disemboweled him. Mr. G walked away as the youth scrambled to collect his insides. Another guard fired in haste as the dark figure walked toward him.
Flash, the blade struck with quickness and the guard's arm sprayed the hallway with blood. The cool metal then sliced through his neck mid scream. He fell gurgling, eyes wide.
Another guard jumped out from a doorway, but Mr. G was already there. He smashed guard's head against the doorframe and pinned him to the wall with the sword. His victim shrieked as he shredded his fingers in a vain attempt to remove the eastern blade; all the while, his life poured out of him.
Mr. G saw her and she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. She was sleeping. Resting for their climactic battle.
Wait no; something was wrong. She wasn�t sleeping. She was no more. Her body was still warm but inside her there was no pulse. She had died only minutes ago. Passing on to another plane of existence, his Lady of War and gone home to the sky.
How could she do this to me? How DARE she leave me alone! He could feel the cracks at the edge of his sanity growing larger; he was unable to stop them. He could only watch the as the thin layer of sanity broke beneath his feet. It shouldn't be long before he fell into madness' cold numbing grasp. He heard a soft chuckle.
The emptiness inside him began to chant his name. It was a low sound - each syllable drawn out infinitely. It was here inside him, closer than it had ever been before. It surrounded him. Tunneled his vision. "What the fuck!?" He could feel it. The nonentity. The swirling gaping maw, consuming everything, unable to be sated. Long had it feasted on the soft layers of his psyche, still it demanded more. Its pure black formlessness burned itself into his mind until he knew nothing. He had to get away. The gnawing nothing who had feasted on his mind, who he had sacrificed to, who he had tried to sate. Now he had nothing left to offer it. Only himself. But the mere thought alone brought terror. He couldn't face it. He had to get away. He had to� Unheard footsteps hurried closer. He would follow his Lady of War into the sky. She had saved him once, shown him that the void could be kept at bay. She could save him again. The emptiness couldn't follow him into death. hAhA
Then he saw the instrument of his demise, the tool that would reunite him with his salvation. He grinned. mAniA AttAcking his brAin. this wAs it, deAth! Mr. W stepped into the final room. After so much carnage and blood he shouldn't have been surprised to see him there. Staring back. Cackling like a madman. "You sick..." Mr. W leapt and tackled Mr. G. Mr. W raised the dagger but was thrown up and over, cracking a window.
Mr. G cackled. He grabbed the metal IV stand and wildly began waving his weapon. His arm made a broad arc as a swath of death reached out across the room to Mr. W, which was only narrowly avoided. "thAnkyouthAnkyouthAnkyou" He laughed as he split a chair in two.
Mr. W continued to jump and dodge around the room. He threw half a chair catching Mr. G across the face. The steel pole flew from his hand and skidded along the floor as pieces of shattered furniture fell. Mr. G continued to laugh.
Mr. W came down hard onto Mr. G's chest. Ribs cracked as the breath left his lungs. Pain was coursing through his body, blissful distrActions! The dagger bit deep into his side and he felt his life begin to escape.
Ah here it comes. My Lady; take me! She never came. Where was she? Maybe... Horror twisted Mr. G's face as realization came to him. The pull of the vortex crouched behind him. There would be no glorious battle of reunion on the fields outside Valhalla! She had tricked him! That WHORE! He heard the laugh of the void pulsate through every fiber of his being, coming to exist in the space between his cells, between his body and his soul.
Mr. G writhed under Mr. W�s weight, searching for something, anything. There. He stabbed a splinter into the shoulder of Mr. W, which did nothing to slow down the inevitable. A too-late gesture of a dying man.
"DIE!!" The dagger cut twice. Once across the gut and another up the middle. Blood sprayed as the heart continued to beat rapidly, expelling more and more of Mr. G's life out onto the floor.
Mr. W tried to control his breathing and fell off of the bleeding man. He watched his victim struggle to stand. He felt oddly complacent. "Why were you here? How did you know about this place?"
Mr. G stared back. He had killed more than enough people to know that he was already dead. He was merely waiting until the rest of his body realized it. His wish had been granted - a little too late. "The boss... he called... told about her..." He coughed wetly. "I thought I had killed her... already... just here ... to be thorough." His legs kicked as the pain took him. His hands slid on the floor now slick with blood.
"So you didn't know she was my girlfriend?"
"HA!... no... small world though... heh..." The nothing was here now. He could feel it all around him, slowly engulfing the perimeter his vision.
"I loved her. And you killed her. Though I guess I should thank you for not slaughtering her."
"I didn't kill...she was... already dead...when I ...got here. I don't think that... anyone..." it was almost time, "could have loved ... her more... than me. ...She ...was my....
Anger filled his vision. Mr. W pulled the splinter from his arm and stabbed it into Mr. G's throat. "You don't even deserve to know her. I hope you suffer." It was stated as simple fact. There was no emotion left. No malice, just his anger made into justice.
Mr. G watched him leave dispassionately. He was deep within the abyss - its cold caressing the skin around his neck. He didn't care anymore. He had always had an inkling that the void would win in the end. A thin tendril of darkness pulled him down into the black.
Mr. G tried to sob.
Now.
Now he was truly empty.
Now he was nothing... Saligia: Part 5 � The End Mr. W walked out into the night and the rain. He didn't know what to feel as he looked at the night sky with its myriad of twinkling stars peaking out from the holes in the clouds. He had fulfilled his vengeance twice tonight. Though if what that sick-o had said was true he would have to do it one more time.
Fate is a funny thing.
"Nice night." Mr. E's voice seemed pleasant. Though the double-barreled shotgun he was aiming at the side of Mr. W's head said something different.
"So did you always know?"
"What? That your girl was alive? No. That would have been cruel. But I did know who you were. I was there when your mother died. You know right after your father threw mine in jail."
"So were you just using me satisfy your own vendetta?"
"No, no. Just business. I knew who you were. I just didn't care, until, I found a way to use you. You can't be in the mob and think you are going to live forever. We've both killed plenty of people in this line of work. I'll probably be killed. Not for a while, but probably. The only difference between you and me is that you carry your grudges around with you. It makes you irrational and predictable. An odd combination, but one that I can use."
"So that�s it; you were just using me."
Mr. E shrugged, "Yeah. Just like you used me to get info on all the mob bosses that had a hand in your own personal tragedy. And I could still use you again. I meant it when I said that I appreciate what you have done for me. I may be manipulative but I'm also grateful.
"You have an odd way of showing it."
"What? The gun? Well I was just getting to that. Basically you have two choices. The first is that you stop the cycle. Throw down the dagger and walk away. Because you have helped me out, and no matter what you say I'm not a completely horrible person, I'll let you leave. You get to just walk away. Forget all this. Put it behind you. Get married, have kids, grow old and fat on life. Vengeance hasn't really done much for you."
"And the other option."
"It doesn't exactly fill me with hope that you ask that.� Sigh. �The other option is you can see how fast you really are. I know you want to cut me open with that knife of yours. And if you think you can before I pull the trigger... Well that's the other option."
Mr. W weighed the dagger in his hands, seemingly lighter. (the red string tied below the hilt was missing) He felt the weight of all the memories inside. The times she laughed with him. The hidden places they would steal kisses in. That would never be. She was gone now. Really gone. It was over. In a way it was tempting to leave. But it also held its own new fears to be confronted. No way out. No chance of love. No magic twist of fate would bring her back into his arms. And he knew why. He looked at the knife's edge - a thin line dividing left and right. But even that was an illusion. And there was really only one choice.
Before Mr. W could turn Mr. E had already pulled the trigger. The body fell to the ground - dagger still in hand.
The rain had finally stopped. Saligia: Part 6 � Questions and Answers A ray of sun peaked around a cloud and warmed Mr. E's face as he walked up to his apartment. He smiled as he felt the warmth of the sun and saw the cold shadow that seemed to always hang across his front door. It was times like this he thought about his life. His father talking to him in that sterile room and the constant presence of the police. The hum and flicker of the fluorescents, sucking out all color from their faces. So long ago. Being so young, he kept drying his eyes with his silk tie, tied into a perfect double Windsor knot by his mother who will kill herself three days later. He was angry and pumped up on tales of romantic heroes with blazing guns cloaking themselves in night and killing all that had wronged them. He would scream in response to everything, an emotional outburst that would scare his mother, a small skinny bird completely unsuited for the life her husband had led. Then his father clothed in glowing orange with thick black numbers would grab his head and stare into his soul. Light honey brown eyes flecked with gold looking into deep green and young eyes rimmed in red sadness.
A calm and clear voice would resonate through his mind. "Stop this. No more crying. Life is about power, but to be able to get it you must remain calm. This is essential. Don't let your personal feelings get you killed. Keep control so that you can control the situation. Remember that business is business. And if you can't do this, if you can't keep your feelings in control, walk away. Leave. Because, you are then playing in some one else's game, and that's when the better man loses. It doesn't matter how smart or how quick; you will lose."
Then the boys in blue walked in and it was over. He walked out. On his own two feet. The way I will always remember him.
I had stopped crying and I led my mother back outside. Our lawyer was waiting for us, dressed in gray and serious. He placed his hand on my shoulder and handed me my father's gold pocket-watch. It had stopped and needed to be wound. I helped my mother into the car and told the driver to take us home. It was the last time I saw my father, though, after that, there wasn't really a reason to. He had explained it so that even my ten-year-old brain could grasp it. It was just business. My business.
Feeling the warmth and seeing the darkness. This is when I hang in between and wonder if I could walk away. Wonder if I could just leave and raise a family. Wonder how I could do it. I don't really know what a normal family is. I feel that I could probably learn, but why? Still the choice was there somewhere between the dark and the light. The coolness felt natural on my skin. ------- Mr. E felt something amiss the moment he walked in. He was able to trace that feeling to his desk; and the man that sat behind it, a very large man smiling sickly at him. "And to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?" The fat man just blinked and breathed heavily. It always took him some time for the words to make their way out from inside his bloated body.
"Some things were," large breath, "brought to my attention concerning," his enormous suit stretched as he breathed shallow, "your loyalty."
"I am nothing but loyal to the syndicate. You have nothing to worry about with me," the lie slipped through his teeth "the petty power squabbles should be beneath your notice. I'm always available for any request you might have."
"In such a short amount of time you have gained quite a lot," the sweat reflected little sparkles as it rolled down his fleshy cheek, "of power through petty squabbling." He wiped away the heat with a red handkerchief. "I just decided to come here and have you reaffirm your loyalty." He held out a large garish ring. A shining symbol of everything that Mr. E deserved.
Mr. E studied his watch in an attempt to buy some time, noticing the hands which had always kept perfect time had stopped, �Don, I assure you. You never have to question my�� As his last lie slithered through his teeth he never saw the gun, never heard the click, never noticed the bullet. Ironically he died with the word loyalty on his lips. No regret. It was just business. Saligia: Part 7 - The Epilogue ... That's all I ever hear... ...These memories skitter across my brain... ...flickering little bits of my life...
In no certain order... ...If I try...
concentrate... ...Focus on one particular time in my life... I don't know... ...wait... I can remember...
...Is that the right word...
hold on to... coherent thought...All the effort it takes...
And I can still feel it slipping away...sliding out of reach...like drops of mercury...I'd like to think more and more each day... but I have no way of telling how much I've lost... Am I alive...could I tell if I was... a woman walks in and out of my vision... ...I fade to black and back to light... is it a memory...
...is it now... does that even have any relevance... ...time laughs at me as I float in my own consciousness... but I can't hear her...
All I can hear is that awful silence...
...it pierces through me...
memories leak out from the exit wound... ...I don't have the strength to care...
I just lie here bleeding to death...where is here... why...
...Am I still desired...
...I've opened my eyes and rediscovered memories... ...memories of me killing...
slashing and stabbing... ...with my obsidian dagger... Rage...direction... ...all in front of the silence of a grave yard... That dagger�
...an old family heirloom said to be connected by a red string to its owner� that connection�it was supposed to keep me from harm�
�a sick joke now�
�my useless body lying here� with only these dreams inside of dreams� Have I died or� �must I wait until the dagger is returned to my family� Meanwhile my spirit shall remain tied to this shell in this cold
cold
�silence ...time teases me... how long ago was it that I could move...
...how long ago did I stare into the faces of men dying on my blade... Idon't know them... did I... ...will I... I'm dead...
I remember dying...sudden tiny explosions all around shattering furniture... I ran...
...straight into the arms of death... ...his pale mask expressed continual boredom as he threw me to the ground...This I remember... I struck quickly...
the dark blade thirsty for its first taste of blood... it was a warm wave of satisfaction that ebbed through me as it bit deeply into his side...
time deserted me... coward...
...hours past...
...days... without any movement what so ever... we stared at each other... ...his blood began to trickle down my fingers...
it felt cold... still he only looked at me...with curiosity... I saw a slow smile slide across his face and stars as the back of his hand sent me flying...
the sound of his gun was deafening... BANG BANG...
...I dodged close enough that I cut him again... his sent shivers down my spine as he brought the butt of the gun down on my head... the dagger leapt out as if on its own accord biting deep into the inside of his
thigh... I scramble to my feet... the world swayed as my head rang... a thick crimson trickle ran d
o
w
n the corner of my eye... the back door was open...
welcoming me... I wouldn't make it... it was all a tease...a vicious taunt... BANG... it hit my left leg causing me to spin as I fell to the linoleum tile... I landed on my side... ...my back to the door of freedom... I lay facing the living room of the modest house I had been trying to escape...
step, drag...
...a young man lay bleeding and crying, staring at me... step, drraagg... ...his hand reaches toward me... a spasm in my chest sends a spurt of blood from my mouth... its almost time...
step, drrraaaggg... I always struggle but I know that it is futile...Have I dreamt this before... ...shouldn't there be pain...
I feel the thick metal of a gun barrel press against my jaw... I try and plead but it only manifests itself as bubbles of blood... ...The last thing I ever hear... "Thank you."... I'm in that room again...
...choices...someone once said that life was about choices... all I can do is mutely laugh... I never had a choice...I was always the chosen... I guess I could have chosen to run away...
but when did I have the chance to choose it...
at what time did it become to late...and how was I supposed to tell... There's my father...he's so much older... I guess Time does leave some evidence if her passing... he saying something my deaf ears can't hear...
he straightens his tie... impressions were always so important... maybe that's why he freaked out a little when I started spending time with another man... not that I had left my father...
but it would be seen that I wasn't daddy's little girl...
that dagger again... I can feel it in my hand... the man I was with was never that important... what is this familiar weight doing in my hand...
it lashed out taking my hands with it...I'm stabbing him...O god!!..I feel his ribs crack... no...
over and over and over and over...
please... I can't stop the dagger... I have no strength... its soon buried inside him...
warm blood slickens my hands...
please no...I could never have done this...
I can't be doing this... ...o god... no... NO!!!...
I pound his face until its unrecognizable...
in the midst of all the beating I hear something... the faintest sound of a string snap ...
 
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