Eyes, Breath, Memory

Eyes, Breath, Memory

By Archangela

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It is dark in here.

Dark like the inside of a demons soul, dark like the dead embers that are all that are left when a fire goes out, dark like the endless sleep of death.

I like the dark.

There was a stale, musty smell in the air. Old, that was the smell, old. The smell of old breath, the smell of old sweat, the smell of old tears, the smell of old death. Thick with dust, the air would have choked a normal man.

I am not a normal man.

The walls were soft, cushioned with a red so dark it was black. I lay still on the plush, dried blood colored velvet. If I were to stretch my feet I could touch the bottom wall easily. The space in which I am enclosed in is large for a coffin, twice as large as the biggest size available without getting a custom size. And it is almost too small for me. When I first found myself in it I tried laying in it everyway that I could fit; on my right and left side, on my stomach, curled up at on end and then the other. I eventually found that if I lay perfectly still my body would go into a cationic state, leaving only my deteriorating mind trapped in dark velvet stillness of the coffin.

A small part of my consciousness recognizes the growing dementia in me, and runs in terror from it

I could slow my blood to a point of stopping, clench my heart to a point of no longer beating, still my lungs to a point where my muscles screamed for oxygen, but I could not prevent my mind from delving into the dark pools of memory within myself and bringing up tattered images from times better left alone. But, when I could finally no longer stand the bloody stillness, the quiet, the dark, I reached from those images frantically, holding them as a shield to stave off the shadows simply because some of them held a lingering remembrance of sunlight and color.

I devoured them as a starving man devours food, and, just a the rich nutrition of the first food he has taken in weeks will make him ill, they clogged my throat, deprived me of oxygen and strength out of want and need of them.

This weakness disgusts me.

I could feel the Chaos in me spreading deeper into my psyche. It reached with feathery tendrils like that of the honeysuckle plant to cling to my mind.

I feel myself slipping.

I lay there, in the bloody dark for time untold, never trying to leave though I was perfectly aware that I was able to. I could never leave; my sin was too great to allow me to.

I can feel myself wanting to slip.

Then one day, or perhaps it was night, perhaps neither, I again smelled the salt of human sweat. The sent was warm and made my tongue thicken with strange desire.

Someone is in the room with me.

I could make out strange sounds rising and falling outside my dark. There was one, deep and broken; rough, another was lighter and throaty, not deep like the first but it holding a similar broken tone in it that resembled the first. They swelled and skipped; clicking and chirping like the bats that crawl through the holes in the walls to hunt in my room. But these are not bats; they are too low and too ugly to be the night flyers voices.

There are humans in my room with me.

I reached into the dregs of my memory and pull back enough foggy remembrance of speech to be able to make out the words that they say.

" . . . One here."

A skull grinned at me out of the dark with burning eyes. No one's here. The taunt ringed in my ears.

" . . . Right. Lets head out."

I am no one. I am dead. I am here.

Then I heard a voice I thought lost to the night.

She is here. It is Her voice.

" . . . I feel someone's here."

You sound so puzzled love.

" . . . No one here."

I am no one. I am here.

" . . . Please, there's someone in here; I can feel them. It's like there's a pressure on my lungs and stifling my heart."

I am here.

I thrust my arms out in front of me, my hands sinking deeply into the rotting black-red velvet, using a strength not diminished by time or non-use to force the barrier that held in the dark away. My eyes blinked rapidly as light cut through the gloom and I heard startled shouts and curses called out at my sudden appearance.

They were not impressive, the man and the woman with Her, but I did recognize that the man wore a Soldiers uniform. The man was short with a slightly blocky frame, built on powerful lines rather than graceful, with a thick shock of blond hair falling over his brightly blue mako eyes. He was unfamiliar and a possible threat.

A snarl grows in the back of my throat as I look at him.

The owner of the throaty contralto was a woman with dark hair and hate-filled eyes, she was unfamiliar as well but less of a threat because I could smell the fear on her, thick and sweet. If she fought me it would cloud her judgment and cause her to make mistakes.

Their fear and their hate is very bright, it is strong and warms me. I hold it close.

They, the strange man and woman, fell into defensive posture as I stood, pulling myself to my full height. She stood behind them. She had changed a little since I had last seen Her but it was She: Her scent was strong and sweet in my memory.

I meet Her green eyes and see recognition in them.

She looked different from when I last saw Her, but it had been a long time and my mind was playing tricks with me, I was sure. She inhaled sharply; I could see Her throat flash with the movement. It confused me. She looked much too different; Her eyes had been lighter, hadn't they? And hadn't Her hair been darker? Shorter? Or was it longer? No . . . it was just the light.

The man was talking to me, asking me why I was here. I did not take my eyes from Hers as I climbed out of the coffin. "I am here because I committed a great sin, this is my punishment." My voice was rough and broken from disuse.

I felt amusement bubble up in my chest as the boy spoke again; the little man had the audaciousness to ask me to join them. The fool.

"Cloud." She pulled on the man's arm. I saw his eyes flicker with an emotion briefly as he turned to Her. "Let's let him be. If he doesn't want to come then he shouldn't have to."

Chaos snarls within me. The whelp desired her; I saw it in his eyes.

"Alright Aerith."

Aerith? Her name is Lucrecia.

"Lets go."

I stood there as they left; She looked back with recognition in Her eyes and the soft, pale flesh of Her throat flashed as She breathed.

How would it feel if I were to sink my fingers into the soft flesh of Her neck? Would it buckle under my fingers, turning violet and yellow? Chaos laughs and hungers within me.

I shook myself. It was only natural She should have change after all She had been through, the change of name must be a precaution against Hojo, and as for the way She looked, well my memory was blurry and this was Lucrecia. It had to be. I saw the recognition for me in Her eyes, Her beautiful green eyes . . .

. . . That had looked at the whelp with desire, though it was buried deeply in them, I had still been able to detect it there.

In me, Chaos laughs.

I heard them passing back through the hallway, leaving.

I stepped out and followed them until they stop.

"What do you want?" It was a challenge, not a question. Within me Chaos pulled lips back from sharp ivory teeth and grinned. Little man, you should not challenge what you have no hope of fighting.

"I shall go with you to atone for my sins." I offered as a reason. I met Her eyes and saw that She knew.

The man looked at the two women hesitantly, then made an abrupt motion that signaled 'come'.

I have slipped and am now falling.

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A/N: this is just a short preview of a longer fic by the same name. I'm just posting it to see what kind of response I would get from it. But, regardless of whether or not I get a favorable response, I will post the finished fic once I'm done writing it. And along with the finished fic will come a complete explanatory author's note to help any and all make some sense of my pathetic attempts at writing.

Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to any of these characters. Squaresoft does.