Painful Pleasures

Tranquility cleansed my soul as the limpid lake washed away any worry of tomorrow. I am finally free from the restrictions of the city and the impeding, tortuous memories of Stacy. My thoughts were interrupted by a giddy scream of a human. A group of teenagers crashed through the water and began disrupting my solitude. I am not in the mood to play but the sudden excitement made me eager. A warm wind persuaded me to scrutinize the humans. It is not rare for me to stumble upon these creatures, Stacy was one, but to disturb a summer evening is unlawful. Stealthily, I pranced into the bushes but stopped. I must not give myself away…I must act human. I approached the group with confidence but with the same naïveness that they carry. I paused to have one last glance at the serenity. The sky was a vibrant and buoyant blue but the sun bubbled maroon like Stacy’s blood. Smiling, I strolled towards the teens as the sand crackled beneath my feet.

The adolescents detected my presence and I could sense their alarm. They were all of the female sex, the approximate age of 17, and had the same frivolous morals.

“Hey, pretty boy,” one of them cooed as she swam closer to the shore where I resided. She resembled Stacy. At first I was startled at her remark but quickly regained my posture and spoke their simpleton language.

“I never really thought of myself as a pretty boy. I’m Ryan, by the way.”

The young women giggled and the Stacy clone replied, “Ha-ha, you’re funny. I’m Cami, this is Kate, and that’s Tiffany. So, Ryan, any reason  why you would come to Lake Michigan by yourself, and approach girls like us?”

A light breeze tickled my frame and I pushed the hair out of my eyes and bit my lip. The girls followed my every move and I knew that I had them in my custody. “Well, Cami, I don’t see many people my age around here. Thought I could use some company out here, away from the big city. It gets lonely when you have your own lake house,” I responded.

Cami’s brown freckled eyes widened as she looked from girl to girl. “You have your own lake house, eh?” she inquired, “I guess we could come check it out.”

Two of the girls rose from the water but Kate continued to ponder. “Girls, I don’t mean to be rude or anything, but we don’t really know Ryan, um, maybe we should stay here?” Kate whimpered.

Cami and Tiffany laughed as if Kate said a hilarious joke. Personally, I didn’t comprehend Kate’s hesitation. We were only going to have fun.

“Well, Tiff and I are going, you can stay here if you want but don’t be surprised when everyone at school thinks you’re a loser for chickening out,” Cami spat. Kate remained in the water. With exasperated sighs, Cami and Tiffany slipped their dresses over their bathing suits and followed me to the house. It’s amusing how effortless it is to make humans believe you are like them.

I had no such lake house. We walked aimlessly along the beach as Cami and Tiffany jabbered about being with an older boy. Even in the distance, the tender calm of the lake inhabited the warm summer dusk. The sickly sweet scent of earth crowded my nostrils which galvanized me to begin playing.

“Where is this place? We’ve been walking for hours,” groaned Tiffany.

“We’re here.” I smiled. Swiftly, I turned to her and got a hold of her hair, “You have beautiful hair, you know that? Lovely. Yes. You know what they say about people with gorgeous hair is that they are very high maintenance. Can you believe that? Are you high maintenance? Would you like special treatment?”

Tiffany trembled at my touch, “Please, I want you to let me go.”

I tugged her closer to me and whispered, “I want to play.” And with that I ripped her abdomen open. Blood poured from her stomach as her bowels dripped from the open wound. Her large intestine flopped to the sand as Cami let out a deathly cry.

“What’s wrong?” I asked with concern.

 

“ I just want to play while the sun is still up” Before I could seize her, Cami ran away. Releasing Tiffany’s corpse, I sprinted after Cami.

I loved to play chase.

Since Cami was a human, she could not run as quickly as I could. I managed to capture her with ease. I had won the game.

“Please, for the love of god, let me go, please don’t do what you did to Tiffany, oh god please,” Cami pleaded as tears of agony spilled down her florid cheeks.

“Child, you are a petty human. There are 7 billion of you. But there is one of me. You sound like Stacy when you beg for mercy. Do you understand? You humans are all the same.” Before she could let out another tear, I slit her throat. I heard every thread of skin tear. Her hot blood sprayed from the slit and painted my hands, face, and torso. Cami’s body collapsed as more blood gurgled and dyed the golden sand crimson. The colour of my hands matched the shade of the cerise sky as the scarlet sun sunk into the night.

The journey back to the city was most arduous but tolerable. In my state of blood soaked clothing and satisfaction, the humans might deem me as “crazy” or “dangerous”. I’ve heard it all before. The humans do not comprehend my superiority over their crumbling society. They have media and government. They have marketing and technology. They feel love and sympathy. Attributions I lack and have certain distaste for. I remember love. I remember Stacy. I remember how the blade gleamed against her pale complexion as the men laughed. Giggled and chuckled. I was seven when I recall being a full breed human. I conclude that the last time I felt anything. I am doing nothing wrong by playing am I? I am hurting no one but mere pubescent humans. Lost in my thoughts, I did not realize that I have arrived to my destination. I never acquired the knowledge of driving a car so I ran a trifling distance of two miles. I entered the apartment building at intense speed and was greeted by a stench of elderly women and mouldy carpets. Silently, I reached my floor and briskly turned the knob. Darkness welcomed me as I advanced into my room. Oppression adorned the space as I searched my way to the bathroom. Flicking on the light, I studied the reflection in the shattered mirror. I recognized the lack of empathy in my eyes but the innocence in my stance. Receding from the mirror, I began stripping away my bloody clothing and replacing them with a tattered shirt and aged jeans. I placed the grisly outfit into my tub and filled the water to the brim. Carefully, I splashed detergent into the bath and began rubbing the blood out of the fabric. It wouldn’t come out. I scrubbed and scoured but the blood wouldn’t come out. Oh god, Stacy. Just like her clothes. I couldn’t clean out her sticky blood. Her pleas began echoing through my conscious. The blood has never affected me before but I feel myself becoming weak. Gelid air from fifteen years ago encased my body and I vanished from reality.

“Ryan! Ha-ha! Smile nicely in front of the snowman,” Stacy chuckled. Grinning awkwardly, I posed by the snow figure.

“Ha-ha! Perfect!” She giggled. After the click of the camera, I ran to her and enveloped her in an embrace.

“I love you, sis,” I mumbled into the hug. Her arm around me, we plodded into the snow trail and headed to town. Snow glided across the city and created a serene masterpiece. The streetlights reflected off of the snow producing a bio-luminescent glow around the glistening buildings. Moonlight sputtered along the pavement as we made our way home to our apartment. Rough human voices reverberated through a tenebrous alley across the street from our building. Stacy brought me closer to her as the unidentified figures moved alongside us.

“Where you two heading?” The anonymous man slurred. Stacy didn’t respond as she hugged me tighter.

“Hey, I asked you a question,” he barked as his friends drunkenly laughed. They circled around us on all sides and backed Stacy and I farther into the alley way.

“Please, let us go,” she begged,” At least let my brother go, he’s only seven.” The brutes restricted us deeper into the stone abyss which identified itself as a dead end.

“Are you sure he doesn’t want to play, too?” A man with coffee-grain stubble and a gaunt appearance inquired with a deviant smirk. Guffawing erupted from the group and one of them extracted a sizable knife from their battered jacket. I could sense the terror radiating from Stacy and her stone grip on my shoulder was beginning to ache.

“Help! Someone please help!” Stacy screeched. The man with the weapon snatched Stacy’s nut-brown curls and placed the blade to her innocent lips. Her shrieks ceased immediately and I was abandoned, quivering in the corner of the alley.

“Now, Missy, you may choose to play our game and do as we say,” with that the other men snickered, “or you may make the brick walls redder then they already are” Stacy’s eyes met mine. Her body emitted anguish but the light behind her eyes was fierce. All focus was on Stacy and I was left to cower in the corner.

“Take me and let my brother go,” she spat. With no mercy on the man’s face he brought the knife down to her heart and plunged it through her core. Gasping, her lifeless body crumpled to the asphalt. Petrified, I descended to the cement. I could not move nor breathe. I did not accept the reality that Stacy’s vigorous blood flowed by my feet. I could not think or feel. I had lost all concept of what it means to be human. I lost my mind.

I awoke on the bathroom floor. It was arduous for me to sit up. So, I remained laying in a puddle of Tiffany’s and Cami’s diluted blood, my perspiration, and….salty tears. Tears. Had I…..Had I been crying? Floundering, I managed to stand and gaze into my fractured reflection. My eyes puffed and gravity pulled tears down my cheeks. The tears intertwined and formed delicate lacework. I had not bore tears since I was a mere child. My tears soon transformed into sobs and I was clutching my heart as pure anguish spilled from my soul. I felt remorse over Cami and Tiffany. I felt remorse over Stacy. Why couldn’t I save her? I have inherited this memory from her that formulated me into a beast. Trembling endlessly, I entered into the bedroom and flicked on a dim bulb. “I need to get away. Stacy is trailing me. She stole my head. I need to get away,” I mumbled as I commenced thrusting clothes, money, books, and toiletries into my backpack. My hand hovered over my knife. Hesitantly, I placed it inside my pocket. Effulgence sprouted into the room as I flicked off the bulb and left my madness behind. Little did I know…Lunacy is my only friend.

Lake Isabella surged, splattering cool water on the lustrous silvery stones as the sun heated the crisp air. I appreciated the seclusion of the lake. My new home. After deserting my apartment three years ago in Chicago, I journeyed to Cincinnati and obtained an insignificant job of manufacturing canoes. I wake in the morning and begin carving into the thick oak until dusk. No human ventures this far out into the beach. Stacy has not re-appeared to persecute my thoughts. My mind is at peace and I have no urge to take a life. But I do miss the chase. To watch the light escape their eyes as power dominates your veins. The flavour of adrenaline as your feet pound the earth. Hunting. My sculpting became more rapid with the sensations and the carving knife slippery in my palms. Regaining control, I steadied my pulse and cravings. The crunch from the sand interrupted my equanimity. I looked up and saw a girl in her early twenties. A white flowing dress was secured to her thin frame by a bulky braided belt. Her hair was adorned in silver clips that pulled her vibrant ginger hair out of her face. The way she strides along the shore, as if she was lost yet knew her purpose. I became infatuated. Curiosity overcame me and I placed the canoe on the deck and advanced towards her. She was not aware of me until I was only three feet away from her.

“Get away from me!” She yelped.

Our eyes locked.

“Hello, Kate,” I wickedly grinned, “Would you like to play?”

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