No One Mourns the Wicked
Notes: The characters are not mine
and the story is. This is a drabble, and I've made a few modifications now. Dunno if it's any good, but it
was one of those things that I had to write. The idea just came to me
while I was out running errands. As usual, I combined a couple of
working ideas into one. And I'm not sure of the timeline, though I'm
thinking that it's some time before Ghosts. And yes, the title
is from the song in the play Wicked, which I've never seen but
which I've heard a lot about from my good friend Lisa.
He was a murderer.
He had killed countless people through the years. Now, he lay dying himself, amid the unmowed grass of a local cemetery. An appropriate place to die, he thought to himself with a weak, wry smirk. For the umpteenth time he pushed his palms into the ground and tried to force himself to rise, but after a moment he gave up, knowing that it was in vain. He fell back into the blades, breathing heavily just from that failed effort.
He could feel the life slipping from him, departing along with the deep crimson liquid that was oozing from his wounds. He had long ago lost count of how long he had been there. Logically, he knew that it could not have been very long, judging from the nature of his injuries. Otherwise he would be unconscious or even dead by now. Still, that did not change that it felt as though it could have been hours. He gazed ahead blearily, his vision obscured by more than one hindrance. It would not be long now and he would indeed be dead. And then what?
He had spoken sometimes of Heaven in passing, but when it came right down to it, he doubted that he believed in it or in Hell. He had little use for religion and what came with it. He only needed to rely on himself. In his opinion, those who followed religions were either helpless beings in need of a crutch or else complete fanatics, so wrapped up in their views and in gaining personal salvation that they became hypocrites. Instead of following whatever teachings they would profess to adhere to, they would stubbornly believe themselves to be entirely in the right and everyone else to be in the wrong, and they would persecute anyone who did not agree with their narrow-minded and warped opinions, and in the name of their gods, at that. He found it rather pathetic. If there was a Heaven, he wondered what would happen to people such as that. Perhaps they were not murderers, as he was, but he could not imagine such people gaining paradise any more than he could visualize it for himself.
Of course, on the other hand, he wondered if he was too much like those religious zealots, in some ways. If someone was a traitor, he believed that they had to die, no matter their reason. He relished it. And yet, at other times, he still wondered if that was just his way of rationalizing things. That was probably how it had begun, at any rate. Those first times, when he had been forced to complete assignments, it had been so difficult even though he had wanted to think that it would not be. And he had tried everything he could think of to lessen his guilt. That was how he had become addicted to cigarettes.
He supposed that some could look at the consortium and call all of the members fanatics. And perhaps they even were. They were desperate for immortality, were they not? Or at least . . . some of them were, including the mysterious leader. As for he himself, he could do without it. One lifetime was miserable enough; why would he want to endure it endlessly? He was loyal to the Organization because he abhorred traitors, and because it was all he had ever known. Death was the only true escape from such an existence. Even if he had ever wanted to get out, he would not have been able to.
He coughed weakly, tasting blood on his lips. Idly he wondered what it was like to die. Would it creep up on him without him ever quite realizing it? Would he slip into unconsciousness before actually passing away, or would Death simply take sudden and complete control of his body? Well . . . it seemed foolish to wonder about it. He would know soon enough. But he supposed that he had always been morbid to a certain extent. He could not quite help but ponder over it.
He had given death to so many others. And despite all of his efforts to forget, he still remembered more of their faces than he would like. He did not know hardly any by name, and he would not recall their names even if he was told, but he would sometimes still see various faces flash before his eyes. It was not hard to kill traitors, or people who meant harm to him or other agents, but he never had liked it when innocent bystanders had to die. Their faces were the ones that haunted him, the ones that he tried to block out. Sometimes he succeeded, or he would think that he had, but then at the strangest and most inopportune times, he would recall them once again. But at least, he would try to rationalize, when he did not remember their names and whatnot, they were just anonymous bodies that had once breathed and now did not.
He wondered who would find his body. They would likely never realize who he had been and what he had done. He would become an anonymous corpse himself, which was fitting, he supposed. And even if his identity was discovered, it would not matter. No one mourned the wicked.
He was not certain when his eyes finally closed or when he began to lose all sensation. It happened without him fully realizing any of it, just as he had thought might happen. Then it was simply dark all around him. He could feel it, and again it seemed appropriate. He sank into it wearily, no longer trying to resist. It was so icy, the chill seemed to permeate clear through to his bones. He wondered if he would always feel that, even after he was supposed to be dead.
It was strange, to suddenly feel a bit of warmth. Something had touched his shoulders, stunning the new sensation into his battered form. He liked the feeling. It reminded him of how things had been years ago, when he had been with her. . . . When they had not realized that their relationship could not last. . . . He whispered her name, never knowing whether he had actually spoken it aloud or not. It seemed that he only existed now in this strange world of darkness. Perhaps it was a world within a world, the realm of Death within the realm of Life.
He heard something, vaguely. It was far off in the distance, and could have been the jumble of noises from the wind sweeping over the grass, for all he would know. But it was the first sound he had heard in a while and he focused on it. Sometimes he thought he caught traces of words. Then he would be more confused and he would listen harder, trying vainly to determine if it was truly a voice and where it was coming from. Once he was certain that the phrase "Come back" was uttered. But come back to what? Life? Death? Something else? He was no longer even sure where he was. He struggled, wanting to be able to see what was going on around him.
A burst of colors swirled into his vision. They were all mixed, and he could not tell what he was actually viewing. There was a lot of green, some brown, various grays, red, and black. What he thought was a voice spoke again, but he could not make out the words. And as soon as the colors appeared, dizziness swept over him mercilessly. He fell back into the darkness, and this time he did not sense anything further.
He was never certain whether it was the feeling of something soft, the irritating beeping sounds, or simply his own determination that caused sensation to wash over him again. But in any case, it came, bringing with it a pounding headache and pain that swept through his entire body. He growled weakly, deciding that it would have been better to have stayed unaware.
A familiar voice spoke, asking him if he was awake. The thought went through his mind that No, of course he was not awake. He was still unconscious, or dead, or whatever he had been before. It was only afterward that he realized he had spoken aloud and with extreme sarcasm, his voice weak and rasping.
The other was silent, and for a moment he wondered if he was alone in the room now. But then came the reply. "I guess you must not be feeling too bad off, if you can say that. . . ."
He grunted. "What happened?" he managed to ask. It took quite a bit of effort to even get the words to come out of his mouth. Somewhere in his mind, he knew that he should not be talking, but he ignored that. He would talk if he wanted to.
"We were trying to get a target, and he ended up having a buddy that we didn't know about. You killed the target and then his friend went after you before either of us could do anything about it. You were shot by him and then hit by his car," the other told him after a hesitation. "You hit your head hard too, on a gravestone, I guess. I didn't find you for a long time. . . . It seemed long, anyway. . . . We'd gotten separated." Another pause. "I thought you were dead when I found you. . . ."
He mulled this over in his mind. "Did you tell me to come back?" he asked. He recalled the phrase from a fog in his mind, though he was not sure of the circumstances. The last thing he remembered was falling into the darkness, though as he thought about it, it did seem as though he had been held back. Probably it was due to his own stubborn determination. But maybe the other had wanted him to stay as well? Perhaps that was the voice he had heard and focused upon.
"Yeah. . . ." He had the feeling that his companion was somewhat embarassed.
". . . I just didn't want you to die. . . . I didn't know what to do. . . ."
He leaned back into the pillows, making a sound that seemed to be a grunt of derision. It meant that much for him to be alive? He was surprised. And yet in another way, perhaps it was not surprising at all.
Again there was silence. It seemed to stretch longer this time, and he started to doze. But then he was startled back into full consciousness once more.
"Do you . . . remember me?"
He opened his eyes, looking at the other incredulously.
His companion flushed. "Well . . . you've been unconscious for three days. . . . The doctors thought maybe you'd end up with your memory jarred because of the accident and hitting your head," was the explanation. "I didn't know. . . . I thought maybe you did. . . ."
"I didn't," he said flatly. "I remember you."
The other relaxed.
Muttering weakly to himself, he turned painstakingly onto his side and brought the pillow closer to him. He was still exhausted, and he wanted badly to have a natural sleep. And while he did know his own identity, and that of his partner's, he was bewildered over the events that had left him in his current state. He did not remember being shot or hit by a car. Perhaps his memory had been somewhat jarred after all. But that was alright. He did not need to recall that.
A weak smirk came over his features as he closed his eyes and allowed a peaceful oblivion to settle over him. It was interesting. . . . He seemed to have been wrong. Someone would mourn him, if he was dead. Someone would mourn the wicked.