Remembering the Past
“Would you believe that I used to be different from the thing I am now; a thing that wanders through the pitch of nights and lurks in shadows? My life was once full of light, a beckon of hope to those around me, so determined was I. Oh, don’t misunderstand my words and think I was once a great prince or lord; nay, indeed I was but a farmer, working a plow with the staunch vigor of a destitute man, pushing my ill-born muscles more than was reasonable so that my wife and child might eat well every day. I believed my life had meaning, and God was he who could see it most clearly. I prayed for a better life, my hands clasped in ignorance as my mind drifted about the celestial realms, searching those endless vacant spaces for a deity I knew not where nor who. My wife…” Devin paused, looking down at his pocket watch. A man stood by him, waiting for Devin to continue.
She gave him a wrapped gift, her laughter light and soothing. The days had been long, and the tough soil had made his exertion seem pointless. He had come inside weeping in frustration and ready to abandon God, for he felt as though his trials were for nothing. But she laughed and gave him his Christmas gift early, a means to cheer him up. Inside was a pocket watch; the totality of its price astonished him. He knew she had saved up all her money for months to buy this, it was so well made and fine filigree adorning it. Inside was a portrait of her; another expense. “Cassandra, you shouldn’t have…” She kissed him on the neck and he held her tight, thanking God that He had allowed him so perfect a wife.
Devin snapped his eyes open and looked at the man. Glazed eyes, vacant look, wavering stance; it was how people looked. He wondered if he ever looked like that: vulnerable.
“It was a strange turn of events, believe me, when she arrived. The night was cold and late; the kind of night that inspires a warm drink and a crackling fire, yet I required a clear state of mind for the record keeping that was made inclement upon me from months of inactivity in my books. I hated book-keeping. There was a soft knock at the door and in front of me stood a woman, he skin as pale as the snow that fell around her. Immediately, I invited her in and offered her something warm to drink. My cordiality was, as life’s little ironies would determine, the cause of endless misery. She turned me into this, her slave, and for a time I continued to live in secret as a … monster. I adorned my skin with warm clothes to mask my lifeless form and avoided my husbandly duties, for my wife’s sake.” Devin paused and his eyes seemed in sink back into his skull for a moment. The man didn’t notice.
“Daddy!” The boy ran at him and tugged at his scarf, pulling it off. The threads fell to the floor in tatters. He cried and pulled at his father’s clothes as blood rained down on him, his eyes closed to the violence and his ears shut with his screams. Devin lifted his wife into the air and tore her throat out, his eyes glowing red and lacking any humanity. He let go of the body and turned, his hand slamming into the boy, flying him across the floor until his body crashed into the stone fireplace, breaking apart a firebrand and setting the floor ablaze. Devin came to, the influence of his Mistress relinquished as his family lay dead about him. He could hear her laugh resounding in his ears, her words echoing in his mind “Now you have shed your past.” Devin howled as he thought about throwing himself into the fire.
Devin looked at the man who stood before him. He was a fine meal, and Devin looked forward to the rush of blood that was about to come. Before he began, he leaned in “Do you have any other questions?” The man looked at Devin absently. Devin smiled.
Devin walked into the library and sat by a woman who seemed bored with her computer. He smiled at her and she at him. He rolled his chair over to her and leaned close, giving her a meaningful look as his eyes flashed red for less than a second.
“Would you believe that I used to be different from the thing I am now; a thing that wanders through the pitch of nights and lurks in shadows?” Her eyes glazed over and she stood and followed him absently, his words passing by her mind like a deep fog.