Summary: The city was now the storybook cursed forest and I was little Red Riding Hood, a human surrounded by a ravenous pack of Big Bad Wolves, one of which I was thoroughly, completely, and devastatingly in love with. GrimmIchi for ebjeebies
Warnings: AU, yaoi, language, violence, mature themes, sexual content, first person.
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach. The chapter title was something Ernest Hemingway said about writing prose (though I never really liked his work, he did say some very poignant things about the process of writing.) :)
Kill All Your Darlings
For my dear, talented friend ebjeebies.
It's another lonely sunset
Another starless sky
The nervousness inside
It's the final kiss from a lover's fist
It's the reason why you can't cry
And we tried to change
The city noise made us strange
So we plugged our ears and learned to fight
We set the stage
But we could not engage
So we cut all ties by candlelight
~ City Noise - Scarling
My mother once told me the only one who would never leave you was death; he was the only constant in our mortal existence.
I remember I was seven years old and behind her the sun had been shining bright like an imperial topaz in the Indian turquoise sky and despite the hopelessness darkening her entire being, her beauty exceeded it ten fold. Even though she had been sick with grief, my father's death crushing her delicate heart into fine, sparkling powder I had thought she rivaled vestal white angels with her radiance.
But in the high contrast view of reality, she had always been a fragile thing, willowy with thin wrists and narrow shoulders and forget-me-not blue veins set in moonlight pale skin.
The loss of her beloved took its costly toll on her.
And six months later was dead.
She wasn't strong enough and to me, it was a cautionary tale, a devastating omen to never be weak.
In fact, before I met him I was convinced I would never fall in love, simply so that I wouldn't ever again have to feel the carmine ripping agony of loss.
Of course, I was proven very, very wrong.
The city was forever night, an urban landscape of emptiness; skyscrapers with dark windows and abandoned, shadowy streets filled with only a shattering silence that permeated every concrete crack and flickering, fluorescent light bulb.
An overly curved crescent moon hung in the ebony sky, an artificial spot of light that shone down over what had once been a bustling, living, breathing city but was now a spectral, sepia faded photograph of the past.
I remember the day the sun died, or rather I remember the day the government officials had sealed this city into a dome-like structure in an effort to quarantine it from the rest of the world. A day that would live eternally in my memories, a demoniac ghost haunting the recesses of my mind.
I had watched the sun disappear behind the tinted glass of the dome, its orange nectarine dreamsicle glow replaced by the endless night sky embedded with the never-changing waxing moon.
The sun was dead. Everything was dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. And I was alone.
Alone in a plagued city perfumed with death's rotting scent, a cloying mixture of overripe fruit and funeral flowers and aged, yellowed lace eaten by moths.
Alone in a city teeming with fairytale beasts, those once bitten, changed, cursed, condemned.
Alone in a city that held all of my best memories, and all of my worst.
Completely and utterly alone.
Just like I wanted.
I was sitting on a rooftop, booted feet dangling hundred of yards above the tar and pavement, an assault rifle slung over my shoulder. I stuck my tongue out to lick at the china white paper of a handmade cigarette and folded it over. It felt good to do something so normal, so made for television.
I hadn't seen another living being for five days now. Typical. My record was sixteen.
Humming a melody of a song whose name or lyrics I couldn't recall, I lit the cigarette. The lighter's atomic tangerine fire flamed bright in the darkness but it was gone just as soon as it had appeared, its wielder vanishing back into my jacket pocket.
Cigarette drags are breaths of death, lethal exhalations.
I liked thinking of it like that, liked believing I was shaving a few years off of my monochromatic life.
I smoked for a few minutes, the leaden cloudy vapor swirling and curling in the bitter night air.
When the cigarette was down to its butt I flicked it away, into the empty void of the street below. It spiraled out of existence.
That was when I heard it, the wicked howls of the Beasts.
They echoed off of the ghost city walls. My ears bled at the sound.
I hated that sound.
But I couldn't deny that it sent electric pulses of adrenaline and a manic kind of hunger through my blood. My veins were hot with the desire to put a bullet through a few animal skulls that night.
I stood and ran across the rooftop's ledge, the assault rifle beating a rhythm on my back. Spreading my arms out as if I was on a balance beam I reached the edge and dived.
It was peace as I free fell towards the concrete pavement, the wind brushing over my face and through my hair almost like the caress of another's touch- something I hadn't felt in an eternity of ages.
The harness caught me ten feet from the ground, jerking my body like a rag doll so that my limbs twisted into the wires. For a few seconds I was a warped trapeze artist suspended in the air.
Unlocking the buckles on the harness, I dropped to the concrete on one knee.
Another howl pierced the atmosphere. It was cruel, baneful, starving, but also sort of... lonely. I had always thought there was a sadness to the Beasts, a kind of inner light, fragile and small, struggling against the overwhelming darkness.
I could identify with that.
Their howling grew closer and closer as I trekked through the empty streets. A candy wrapper fluttered in a cross breeze, its brand name too faded to read. It looked like an insect with broken wings. The saddest thing I had ever seen.
I felt their presence before I actually saw them. They oozed an aura of exquisite desolation and starvation. Their eyes were deranged, glowing, on fire, and porcelain dagger teeth were exposed in snarling sneers. An exercise in madness and hostility. Beautiful. Repulsive.
And the thing was: they looked just as they had before the bite.
That was the disease, the change.
They were animals in human skins.
There were ten of them, eight males and two females; unrelentlessly wild as they approached me from all sides, crouched in a slow stalk, growling, sizing me up.
I reached for my rifle, swinging it around so I could firmly grasp it, pointer finger instinctively curling around the trigger.
The first one sprang, its speed rivaling the bullet that followed its spring, ripping away half of his throat and face. I didn't even blink before reloading and taking aim at the Beast closest to me, my next pewter slug cracking into its ribcage, devouring its heart.
But I liked to think it was charity. More angel of death than serial killer.
I wasn't a murderer.
The other eight Beasts descended upon me, the proverbial pack of wolves. I cracked one of them upside the head with the rifle's threaded barrel. Scarlet sprayed and stained, droplets raining across my face.
My weapon was torn from my hands. I was naked in the presence of evil.
A single Beast had the strength of a dozen jungle cats. I had naught but my own human musculature.
Otherwise known as not enough.
Claws gripped my right arm. I heard the snap before I felt it, my bone breaking in the Beast's hands like a dry, winter twig. I couldn't stop the agonized moan that slipped from between my lips. It grew into a tortured, hoarse scream as the Beast smirked cruelly and twisted the limb.
They were holding me down now, body flush with the black tar street.
A male leaned over me, dark hair overgrown and green eyes phosphorescently feral. Perhaps he had once been a lawyer. Or a car salesman.
I struggled to get away.
I knew what they wanted, it was always the same.
It was the nature of the Beasts.
They didn't want to rend your flesh or grind your bones for their bread or whatever storybook authors would have you believe.
They wanted to make you one of them.
A fate worse than death by miles and seas and continents and universes.
I saw the saliva dripping off of his fangs, eyes wide and choked, gasping wordless protests spilling off of my tongue.
Terror was my lover in that moment, wrapping me tight in its embrace, suffocating and drowning me in its blistering blanket of fright.
Teeth clamped down at the place where my throat met my shoulder and I truly screamed then.
It felt like the fires of Hell made up my blood cells, like I'd had an intravenous transfusion of boiling hot lava, like I was roasting from the inside out. Surely I was nothing more than a pile of charred bones and ashes by now.
I was vaguely aware of snarls and canine-like whimpers of pain above me, of hands leaving me, but my eyes were screwed shut and I saw nothing.
That is, until I felt myself being lifted, cradled like a child in strong arms.
Eyelashes fluttering open, I stared into a kaleidoscopic abyss of blue.
I wondered if it was the world beyond, the serenity of death, but I knew it couldn't be when I still felt like a witch at the stake.
Something pierced the wound the Beast's fangs had left, the pain intensifying to unimaginable levels.
I was shuddering, shivering, seizing in those arms. Both light and darkness obscured my vision, a grayscale mayhem in my eyes. There were gasps for breath belonging to a drowning man and keening like that of a dying animal. Was it me making those ? I didn't know. I didn't know anything. I couldn't remember my name. All I knew for sure was that these arms were holding me to the earth, keeping me safe from the oblivion threatening to overtake my entire being.
The sound of someone spitting.
A voice like a dream.
"C'mon brat, don't make this shit a waste of my time."
And then the world was nothing.
A/N: As you can see, this is a little different than my usual stuff. ^.^ I actually used to write in first person all the time but I switched when I started writing yaoi because my first person is incredibly effeminate, plus writing this way is a much more conscious effort than a limited or omniscient third person perspective. Eh, I'm still experimenting with my style and this variation of it is heavily inspired by the musical stylings of Scarling and The Birthday Massacre, and one of my very favorite authors, Francesca Lia Block.
But anywayyyyy, I hope you all liked it. You in particular, ebjeebies! I hope you have a wonderful birthday! To all else I wish a very happy holiday season. :)
By the way, please don't kill me for starting another new fic. I really will be updating more often come the new year since I'll be on break until late January and I'm only taking two classes the spring semester. :3
More to come soon...