cantarella.

You really didn't want to. Every pore and cell in your body was screaming at you not to do it. All those thoughts implanted in your mind by third parties rioted and rocked inside of your brain, begging and pleading you to just stop it. Who knows what could happen if you did it...? The world might be erased. You alone might not live to see the sun or moon tomorrow. But you didn't care. You're mind was too busy being plagued by other thoughts, much more important than reason.

You are a careful man. You keep your thoughts and deeds to yourself. You are a master of hiding your intentions behind chains and plastic. Nobody notices what plan you are concocting - not the boy, not the silent girl nor the bashful, and certainly not your victim. You continue to smile for them, just barely paying attention to what they're rattling on about.

Your apartment is filled with ingredients. You have read about poisons and elixirs, of how they mask death and bring life. Calculation is your strong point. You have leads. You have ways. Soon enough, a small, sparkling vial is full of raw sin. Poison is just fancy talk. It amazes you how scholars who spent their lives researching such things couldn't decipher the ancient recipe.

She expects nothing, of course, when you invite her over. Homework, you bluff, or something like it. It's so trivial, you can't bring yourself to think about how, just what. She expects nothing when you get her a drink, and secretly slip it into her favorite cola. She's so blissfully oblivious, taking in the state of your now-neat apartment and the fact that you seem to understand the numbers flying across the page better than she does.

She sips her drink. Your heart twists in anticipation, and a little, meek voice called Sense is telling you can still back out of this and pretend she just fainted. You promptly ignore it. You've planned this for months - you're not backing out now.

Her brown hair sways as she falls to the ground, and her ebony eyes flutter shut. Her hands are loosely clenched, and she twitches slightly before nodding off. It takes an agonizingly long time before she's finally dead.

You take her surprisingly frail body in your arms, holding her close. You cannot feel her pulse. The energy burning inside of her has flickered out. She's cold. You press her body close to your chest, as if any moment you'll be able to feel her warmth. As if any moment she'll look up at you, smile, and pull you even closer, forgetting about that other boy. But she doesn't.

Her lips are dry. You knead them with your own, with such gentle passion that it's almost poetic. Her limp body still doesn't move. You don't know what you were expecting. Did you think this was going to be good? Did you ever think for a split second that you'd actually proceed with your plan? Months were spent planning before and after, but you never thought about during.

Her body is beautiful, naked and laid out before you. There's no other way to describe the way her dark hair curls or how her skin is soft and luscious. Beautiful. And, just for this small fraction of time as you're bathing in your foolishness and sinfulness, she's yours.

But then, you realize, you can't do it.

She never moves. She never objects. You observe her body for the longest time, and you just can't. She's not yours, after all. She's not even his. She's a free-spirit - she'll never belong to any living being. You can't take that away from her, as badly as you want to. As badly as you want to explore and press and please yourself, you can't. You love her too much.

The dressing process is slow and tentative, but you have to get her back to normal. Your fingers linger and tremble over certain, tender parts of her body, but you resist and manage. Her skirt slightly ruffled and her hair is in disarray, but she's clothed. And then, she wakes up.

She rubs her head, asking what happened. You say that she tripped over the table. It's a weak excuse, but she buys it. She sees the time, her lovely eyes widen, and says she should get home.

You let her leave, watching how her skirt rustles as she skips out the door.

You crawl onto your bed where her body lay hours before, her scent still sweet in the air. You feel like crying and screaming and throwing punches, but you don't. You just lay there breathing heavily, staring up at the placid ceiling. Your chest heaves unevenly, but your expression doesn't change to rage or sorrow. Perhaps it's stuck in a curious state of limbo. Maybe you won't even be able to bear your mask anymore.

You know that nobody will ever find out. You're too crafty for them. It's between you, the walls, and that vial of sin. The lovely Cantarella that gleamed smugly at you for nights on end. And, the knowledge that it will always be somewhere in your home, whether you want it to or not, prickles at the back of your deranged little mind.