This is the end. I don’t think it is possible for me to carry anymore bare, naked sins on my back. I feel completely weighted down. And I know I can never be free of them, loosen their freezing fingers from my shoulders. Instead, I must think of them groping blindly in the darkness for my shoulders and ankles. As each one latches onto me, a blurry sequence of images slip unceremoniously past my mind’s guarded door and play for me. Just what I need. Dark deeds done and past. Wait.
This one is…new.
I can’t remember this one. It’s a foreign sin. I can pin a name-tag to every one of those…sin-hands, but not this one. It’s not vanity or envy that continuously pokes at your sides. It’s not ferocious, fiery anger or searing greed. Since when did I have this little scene filmed? I can’t remember doing this one. Odd. Seems to me I’m slightly paler in this one. In this memory, ‘me’ is not me. I warn you now, I tell you this because it’s true.
This isn’t me…
He stood just inside the door frame, the polished front door shining in the washed out colour of the moonlight. He stuck his head out feeling the chill in the air, saw nothing or no one near the silvery white lake and shut the door. He could have sworn he saw something, would have bet ￡150.
‘Probably the shadow of the oak’, he thought. Though he did wonder.
Swiftly turning on the spot, he retraced the path he took through the narrow, serpentine corridors, dimly lit by rose lamps, back to the room filled with a warm, orange glow. His irksome brother gave him an odd glance, gift wrapped nicely with a shoulder shrug as he emerged. The room was stiflingly hot. The fire cast his brother’s shadow high on the wall behind him, black and menacing. He wouldn’t think he brother had malice in him. But like most characters in dramatic stories, he was greatly deceived. His brother planned tonight for a very grand purpose. The room below the library was where the real entertainment would be. It was sepulchral, grey, complete with coarse stone walls and eerie, as it should be. Quite, in fact, very soon, the jet-black altar would be dripping dark red blood on to the floor. He didn’t know about this of course. He was trying to endure his brother’s pleasant little party.
“…and so I said to that blackguard, that scoundrel…’, spoke a guttural voice.
Silly, high-pitched laughter cut off his next words, whatever they were going to be. Foul presumably. The guests turned, bubbling champagne swirling in their glasses, to look at his brother, standing in the centre of the oval, olive green carpet.
“My dear friends, I propose we play a little game, have some light-hearted fun on such a cold night. I can already feel the blood rushing to my cheeks. What should it be? How about I get my pleasant servant to read your futures to you?”.
Some laughter. His voice took a sweet, seductive tone now…
“Why don’t I show you all my new gallery?”. The guests, caught in the gentle pull of his voice, consented and agreed, to follow. His eyes followed his brother’s sleek moves as he passed his hand down some tall, short haired woman’s neck and down her white lace sleeves. His playful smirk was plastered on his face, poorly glued on. His saucy, impertinent behaviour from his childhood obviously had stayed with him.
His brother’s devilishly handsome blue eyes almost burned in their sockets. They were bright with a newfound love of full-bodied revenge. One guest after the other passed out of the room to his gallery, all so silently. First the women followed by the remaining men. What was once a scene of hilarity and cordiality was now a cold atmosphere, unlikely to change. The unwelcome silence which entered as the last man left found him amused. The silence happily played with his features, twisting his mouth into a stern line. The silence thickened in the room, his saturnine face fell towards the stairs just beyond the room. He willed his legs to take steps forward, however clumsily. Surviving the steep, engraved steps, he kept his head down. He was snagged. Ambivalent about following further, trailing his brother, or returning to the library and the comparatively heated light. Faster and before he expected it, his legs moved awkwardly, involuntarily to the opening he saw dead ahead. Passing through the sheer curtains, he almost lost his head. The scene splayed out before his eyes debilitated him, slowly, as a child’s recurring nightmare does as it crawls behind their sleeping eyes.
It was distasteful.
I wouldn’t use ‘downright horrible’ because that would seriously fall short.
He felt the bile begin to climb his throat, the acid burning. He cautiously cleaved a passage through the massed, limp bodies still bleeding clotted blood, towards the draconian-looking sculpture near the now sordid altar. It was an insanely crass idea, attempting to hide there and wait. The devilish brother found him, his mouth curling up slightly, creeping up at the corners. He clutched the heavy cudgel in one hand and a pointed, stained knife in the other. Before he could release the air he’d been holding and make the sound of a cry, the armed brother pounced, eyes flashing. Everything went black.
No more pictures. The seats in my head where thoughts should be, are vacant. The theatre’s closed. I murdered friends, a brother. How do I atone for that? I had a consuming burst of rage? No. It wasn’t politic. It’s not pertinent for me to continue this way. But there is no possible route from here, that I can take to forgive myself. I’m dead. This is the end.