Shaking his head he cast his eyes across the room. Desolate while cluttered piles of papers, scatterings of small valuables, and furniture, all devoid of meaning. Everything had seemed to slow; every ounce of reality had come to mean nothing, and existed only to pass him on to the next recipient of his time.
Sober steps carried him from his chair in the direction of the restroom. Swinging the door open he moved to stand in front of the mirror, gazing into what he called himself. Blue eyes, transparent in their opacity, miniscule spots marking the imperfections of the lens. Raven black hair, formed into a wild array of what they considered style, yet he knew style was a joke, ever cyclical, remembering and forgetting the feelings of the past, yet never exactly the same. Style was what blundered drunkenly through the oasis of eager sheep. A smile pulled the edges from his face at the thought. Style, so meaningless and fleeting, just like himself.
Lately was not lately anymore, as it stretched over the past few years, but lately, he had been looking at his life, and the lives of others around him. They would all wake up and go to a job, earn their money, come home, and blow it on the trivialness of treating themselves to a movie or, save it. The people and scenarios varied, the activities contained the entire range, yet the constant was the pointlessness, the emptiness of it all. Every day, he accomplishing nothing, even many times not enjoying, simply living this moment to move onto the next, which happened to be as same as it was different. Pure cyclical dystrophy of his life was what came to be.
And that is why he picked up the berretta from the counter. Dark and sleek in its cast of metal, the barrel encompassed the power grasped at by men for ages. His hand slid solidly around the grips, nothing perfect, yet it seemed sealed by fate into his hand. Rolling his eyes at the idea of fate he looked into the mirror again.
He was perfectly calm, a portrait of tranquillity was displayed in his expression, he understood that he was in fact suicidal, yet, he was not of the same mind frame or driven by the common emotions and circumstances as one who would seek to end their life. Nothing was wrong, there weren’t plagues of depressive elements compounding upon his petty life. To think of it, his life was relatively good, he worked a manual job at a factory, simple, mindless work, which was easy enough for a pay check.
His colleagues were on friendly enough terms to go drinking with him; he rented his own apartment, was far from debt, and had the sociability to easily return with a Friday night date from the local clubs. His reasons were different, life, this life, his life, was simply not intriguing enough for him. He would prefer with the conscious decision to not continue on with a pointless existence. Day after day with the rest of them, he would live life passing to the next day, yet he understood this, he disliked this, and he had formed the decision to end it earlier.
Suicide for him was not a spurious event or a last resort from pressures astounding, it was a decision, a decision contracted little unlike others, when he made them, they were set into motion by his will. He disliked his life, very simply put; he found his life to be a negative experience. Therefore days ago he was dead.
Raising it to his temple he sighed, wondering if anything, what was next, and pulled the trigger.
He…had…pulled the trigger. He heard a click, not deciphering between the crack of the trigger breaking its hold on the hammer, or that of the pin striking what must be a defect. He was dead days ago though, the gleam entered his eyes as the corner of his mouth formed into a devious grin. He had made the decision to die, and therefore he was dead, yet he lived. The mechanism of man’s destruction had failed, and the attempt to blast apart his consciousness had the inconvenience of not enacting the fantasy.
“I’m dead even while I stare at myself in the damn mirror.” His smile increased to encompass the whole of his persona, his laughing echoed through his apartment, and he was alive as he had not been for years. His soul resurrected. His teeth shined with a dim glean not revealed to his eyes before today; the man in the mirror was transfigured. His eyes shone with radiance fresh unleashed, a glow of purpose, and he spun away from the mirror to walk to his apartment’s kitchen. Pointing the gun at a framed photograph resting on the TV he mimicked his earlier action, an imaginary shot to shatter the encased memory of Mona and all the tragedy she had brought.
“Bang,” shaking his head at the foolishness of the memory “Bang…just fucking bang. Shit like that, no more. People interfering like her, just no more.” He let out a short laugh as he talked to himself, “I killed Jon, he’s gone now…” And he had, watched himself in the mirror as he placed death on the doorstep and opened the door. He was something different now, he wasn’t sure what, he wasn’t sure how, but he was.
He took a breath, slid the gun into his belt like a gangster, and watched through the window as cars ran down the street. He had died, and lived. Now he stood in his living room, watching the mainstream of life he had secretly broken from, wondering, now what will he do. Before he had no purpose in life. Before he had formed plans, plans to have a successful career, yet he was enrolled at a factory job, plans to build a good social life, but no self sustained reason, it was simply what he was told is healthy. Fuck healthy. Today he was alive.
Fluid motions with the exception of the fabric of jeans chafing on each other brought him to the door; he pulled on a heavy coat. The greys of it blended together in near perfect harmony, noticing melded details for the first time since infanthood, his mind rolled at the sight of such simple beauty. Colour. Laughing he left the apt, the door stood unlocked in quiet defiance against the propaganda of insecurity that surrounded the city. Trailing down the staircase he in took all the various textures of the world around him, fibres overlapping fibres to form a plank of cracked wood that served as a step base. Everything seemed enhanced in a new reality, unless he was dreaming.
“Or maybe I really am dead.” His palm connected to open the front door as he passed an old man; he had grey mixed with silver and white. The fading of hair pigmentation was revealed as the elder ducked his head. Apparently, he wished no contact whatsoever with a man talking strangely to himself. The old man was dressed in a pair of darkened corridors and a long trench coat, typical it seemed. The mans steps picked a pace a notch higher as he went by him, the man twisted his shoulder back an angle as his vision lighted on him again, he was stopped in the doorway to watch.
“What do you want?” A slight trace of anxiety had crept into the old man’s eyes as he voiced a concern, but he just stood there, watching him. Taking in the freckles and minor scars flecking the man’s skin tones, deep brown eyes under drooping eyelids. Jon smiled, his teeth gleaming. The elder again spoke, simply repeating himself, yet with a wavering voice. “What do you…?” His voice cracked in a moment of silence and the last word breathed only as a whisper, “Want…?”
He licked his lips as they dried in the dusty air of the lower floors, and the man turned heel to flee, breaking into a run. A laugh of effortless triumph followed the coward down the halls. A laugh which learned how to cause fear, he could be a catalyst, a vampire thriving on the emotional densities of those around him. He already felt better.
Shaking his head, he finished exiting the premises. A phrase entered his mind, he didn’t literally understand it, but it seemed to fit his feeling of heightened superiority. Petty Mortals.
The light clicked and switching from red to green, his foot lowered on the accelerator. He looked out the window seeing flakes of white mist through the world, a meshing fog of snow blocking out the view of others into his oasis of existence. Small rivers of moisture ran across the pane of plastic, no longer could cars use real glass, everything on the world was focused on safety, safety from themselves. The flakes melted each time they hit the windows, and warmed up from the in car heater, they managed to keep his front wipers quite busy.
He looked back on his recent encounter with the old man, how terrified the man had been by himself. The stranger had cast his inner demons onto the face of another, seeing violence, hatred, and rash instability in the portrait of another. He had done nothing but watch him, and the man had run. He had run away from a silent gaze. It seemed most people were like that, their lives, their consciousnesses must be different, to be able to have such xenophobia, they were afraid of death.
He didn’t know anymore if he would die, if he even could. He had been alive for as long as he knew existed, the past, the history that claimed to have existed before his birth, was simply an imaginary manifestation conjured from books. But books always lied. For all his eternity, for his life being when he existed encompassed all he had witnessed. Everything before, everything that could come after, imaginations, stories. He had known people who died, but they were different, he had never touched their consciousness, and he himself had never died, and never would, his attempt proved it. He was eternal, immortal.
His car came up to another intersection, the light was red. He didn’t stop, and he survived. The car slid through, marking lines in the new fallen snow, crossing another boundary that inhabited the mortals of this world. Unlike them, he was alive. He kept driving on, through the city with no true destination.
Now he was alive, immortal, and truly conscious. He could do as he pleased, for he had all the time of eternity to do it. He no longer had to report to the factory at six thirty sharp in the morning, six thirty was simply a number created by them. It did not bind him, he refused to allow himself to be subjected to the trivial laws of mortals, he was above them.
A grin broke out on his face, now that he was true, he didn’t know what to do first. Taboos though, he would go out, and live the life held ready for his privilege. His life, the life, was awakening, and ready to begin. He turned the steering wheel of the car, hand over hand to spin it before the line of the tires changed to pull him into a parking lot of a family convenience store. The engine ran a steady beat of rumbling cylinders as he sat in the seat looking at the front of the store. There were three other cars in the small lot, leaving space for one last customer. His hand reached out and switched the key’s angle before sliding it out to be placed in a pocket, the rumbling died. A relatively loud click resounded as his door opened, and the howling winds infiltrated his hearing. The storm was strengthening.
He stepped out of the car, a nineteen eighty seven nova to be exact, a sleek paint of black had covered its exterior, but had gone dull through the years of grit and debris wearing it thin. The front seat was of the bench design, all the way across, with the fabric ripped and several chunks of padding torn out of the centre. The dashboard on the rider’s side was cracked, a gap of near inch revealed blackness behind.
As his steps carried him to the door a light post flickered on near the street, the blackness of the land was rarely pieced by the scattered lights. The triumph of the moon combined with the black clouds and snow forecasted a dreary night of this. Perfect for his awakening. A boy, looking barely old enough for a driving license opened and held the door for him as they passed, and then quickly departed. Entering the harsh glare of artificial lightening pierced his vision, blinking he lowered his eyes to the floor, it too, was very white.
“Quite a storm out there isn’t it son?” The sole cashier was in his mid forties, an immigrant judging from his physical palette and accent. A denim overall draped below a cheery smile, this man enjoyed his pitiful life, although, the greeting went unanswered as he came to the store’s counter. Encased in glass as a symbolic defence were several items of interest. Several hunting knifes were arranged in display, a compass lie with no dust on it’s surface, and several other items ranging from pens to personal address books.
“How much?”. He tapped the counter, pointing at a blade just less than three inches with a simple grip. The knife was wholly black, and the handle had plastic stick grips aligned over the ribbed gouged for the fingers. He remembered that by law any blades less than three inches was legally concealable, but that didn’t matter to him, anything longer would simply be an unnecessary hassle, an extra tip to encumber.
The clerk appraised the item, and offered a sheath to cover the blade at a few extra dollars. He didn’t hesitate as he flipped the bills onto the counter, awaiting darkness; the blade was pure darkness, a fitting match for him. Accepting the now sheathed blade he left the store after picking up a pack of needles and spindle of thread from the shelf.
“These are cheap enough to matter little,” He smiled at the clerk as he walked from the store, “enjoy the darkness.” He wasn’t stopped, and it wasn’t surprising, his confidence was solid, and no sane mortal would seek to challenge him over a single digit item, especially when they knew he was armed.
He moved the tips of his glove in a caress on the sheath of darkness as he walked down the clouded sidewalk. Snow blew through his presence, splattering on his cheap coat, melting on his face, and dodging him to flee into the blissful night. He had used the pocketed materials to sew the sheath into the edge of his pocket, the blade darkness now had a home on him, it now had a master to be wielded by. He drew it and flipped it into the air, the blade spinning end over end, his current eyes couldn’t see it, he was sure they would soon develop, but the hilt still found a landing in his palm. Darkness knew him, and it was already sure of his mastery.
A crack of thunder marked the bolt of lightening, casting down a flash of light on the broken plains. In that light he saw the man he was following throw up his hood, casting a ring of protection from the snow. Little good it would do in the end if darkness played its part. He smiled, his boots marked every step with a temporary imprint in the snow, but they were soon covered up by the new fall and gusting winds. He increased his pace, he was ten yards behind the man, and was yet to be discovered.
He felt his heartbeat sound in his ears, the crunch of the snow filtered through the winds, and his breaths fade into the air. The cold stung at his ears, every new flake pierced his skin, not pain, yet every sensation was alive and singing exaltations of his existence.
Darkness leapt into his hand as the distance closed. Five feet, the man kept moving, three feet. A new smile crept across his face, the smile of blood lust. Tonight he would kill, the mortal would know little of what was happening, and he would take what was waiting to be taken. Three feet, his left hand grasped the adjacent shoulder of the man as darkness was plunged into the side of the lower back, the blade seeking vital organs.
The man’s body shook, but gave no cry or struggle as it was tackled to the ground. He lay pinning the man’s body to the ground for many seconds, then came to his knees to roll it over. The mortal was dead. A thin gap between his lips opened in an evil smile, he had killed, as he took the man by the ankles to drag him off the sidewalk to an alley. It was surprising that no one was about for as far as could be seen through the mist, but then, there was already over a foot of snow on the ground. No sane man would venture out without a purpose. Perhaps this man had a mission, or was insane. But he knew now that he was not a man, he was…something more. He slid his hands into the pockets of the dead man, pulling out a battered wallet, a pack of cigarettes, and a cheap throw away lighter.
He didn’t smoke, but it didn’t matter as he held a straight between his lips. He cupped his hand against the wind as he struck the smoke alight, this smoke, had been made for him to take. The tip took on the fiery glow of Ifrit, a beacon lasting five yards in the blizzard, he inhaled a deepening breath of the smoke, held it and released. He never smoked, but he wasn’t simply a man, so he smoked, and came to his feet as he walked away in the storm.
Coming through his apartment’s door again, he peeled off the gloves; the right slightly damp, and tossed them into the sink. His hand caught the faucet handle, twisting it on to let the gloves soak for awhile. He walked through his kitchen, tracking snow and crud that would soon melt, an act of defilement that would enrage his old self, to the mirror where he had discovered his life.
This mirror, a single sheet of reflective glass, thin, slightly clouded, and yet it had served a purpose. This mirror was useful. He leaned in and placed his hand flat against its pane, connection. The cool surface temporarily bonded to his skin in a sensation of utter calm, the temperatures slowly melding, and drawing a liquid feeling from his hand.
Drawing away he looked into the mirror for the second time this day. His face had already begun to visibly change. No longer did his eyes droop to match the sagging depressed expression, no longer did he stare blankly into the world with the indifference of contemplated departure, he had purpose now. His purpose was to take, to crush, and to ascend above the pitiful masses of mortals swarming around him. He ha been tricked, for several years he had believe he was a part of all those disgusting and trivial laws, all the boundaries entrapping the race below him. But now, now he was like god, he had killed, crushed out a shadow of life to assume control of its power. He felt better than he ever had before. He gazed into the mirror, he gazed into the reflection of an immortal, and pulling
darkness from its sheath he tapped it methodically against the mirror, putting himself in a trance, the blade of black metal clicked in solid measures against the surface. He watched his fingers as they forced the blade to hit, every cut of the blade left a small scratch on the imperfect reflection. The blade was clean, he had wiped it on the victims jacket, the jacket was leather and would have been nice, but the slash darkness had made in it would not do. He had simply walked down the sidewalk, and then melded his footprints in with the results of the foot traffic downtown, before returning to his car and driving to his apartment. The night had been perfect, and the man, he had simply found him walking down the street, no connections.
Pulling the tip from the glass again he walked away to his living room, he let out a cynical laugh. His living room, this was where he lived, or rather, died. For years he had spent time, spent his time waiting for something better to come along, but nothing did. But carpe diem, he had taken something better today. He flipped out the wallet of the man, searching through it to find only a pair of twenties, a MasterCard, and a driver’s license. Benjamin Goldsfield, forty three on the third of March, no more today.
Tossing the contents on the TV carelessly, the wallet knocked a picture frame off its top. The shattering of glass surfaced a memory which caused him to frown. His old life had left loose ends, and today he would suffer no loose ends. She would have to be terminated; she would pay for causing him the heartache those few months ago. Being that he had allowed himself to love her, she had cut his heart in two with a jagged knife, it was not a clean break, the break was as clean as the shattered pane of glass littering his floor now. He glanced over at it
“Fuck it.” He wasn’t going to clean it up; he had greater messes to take care of. Walking over to the phone he picked it up and dialled a quick set of numbers, he couldn’t even forget them as he was dying only days ago. It rang that dull, empty, and non harmonic tone that could force a wolf to grind its teeth. It rang for six times, yet just moments before he would pull the phone from his hear it was picked up.