July 15th 2010
I dreamed of a burning world. The flames of suffering licked at humanity’s heart. Billions of lives extinguished in a millisecond never to return. Showering the world in an eternal blanket of ashes, leaving only the memory of life. Images flashed before my eyes, too fast for my mind to grasp any meaning from. Then nothing……..total blackness engulfed me.
My eyes searched for light, hoping to find some reassurance that death had not taken me so soon. Then I realised I had escaped sleep when the diamond like glitter of the midnight stars caught my eye. As I gazed out my bedroom window at the alluring night sky a chill swept over my body, turning my very blood to ice. I looked towards the window but it was shut just as I had left it. But I could not shake the feeling of something else’s presence in the room. I rolled over in my bed and instantly felt a wave of fear wash over me.
A black silhouette stood inches from my bed. My brain begged me not too but my eyes disobediently looked up at the creatures face. A set of scarlet, slitted eyes gazed back at me. Sweat plastered my wavy brown hair to my forehead. The creature lowered its face towards mine. I expected the creature’s breath to smell of blood and decay but not once did the creature breath nor did it twitch a muscle or bat an eyelid, it was lifeless. As I stared into the eyes of the lifeless being my own eyes began to draw heavy. The darkness began to swallow me whole, my mind, my heart and my soul began to slumber. But it was not the familiar darkness of sleep; it was something else, something darker. As my eyes were forced shut the image of the dead creature’s eyes was imprinted in my mind. That would once again resurface in every dream, every nightmare I would ever have.
I welcome death. Life has no value to me anymore. I have not seen the suns radiant light for who knows how long. I have not heard the voice of another for too long. I am isolated and alone. I flit in and out of reality unaware and uncaring of time. Days, weeks, possibly even months have passed since the night I first laid eyes on the red eyed man. I was drugged and bound in rope. I danced in and out of consciousness and at one point woke to the sound of crackling, and the smell of burning wood, I felt as if I could feel the flames tenderly brushing against my skin. But who knows if that was real. I’ve been struggling to tell the difference between reality and imagination these days. The life I’m living at the moment seems to be a mixture of the two. The pain I feel is too intense to not be real but feels so distant as if it’s not even mine.
When I am awake, he tortures me. He pumps me full of drugs, whips away at my flesh, digs deep enough to press the blade of his knife against my heart. I’ve been blind since I arrived in the place that I now refer to as hell. I have relied on my other senses to paint a mental picture for me, but they are able to tell me nothing. I feel nothing; my body is numb and dying. I hear nothing but my own pitiful screams that deafened me long ago. The scent of death and decay lingers around my nostrils. I have become…….nothing. The floorboards to my right groaned over the weight of someone nearby. I became silent but although the floorboards groaned I could hear no footsteps. Then from behind my left shoulder came a voice sadistic, cold, yet comforting, ‘it’s time’. I stood up and allowed the man to guide me out of the room. My feet were bruised, and my legs broken from my last encounter with the man but I walked on feeling weightless. I was caught in a trance. I started to slip from reality again but tried to anchor myself to this world long enough to see where I was being taken. ‘You’re ready’ the man whispered. As he led me into another room I curiously waited to see what my first sight in so long would be. As the hood was lifted my eyes blinked a mile a minute as they struggled to adjust. Even though the room was dimly lit, it was almost impossible to keep my eyes open, as this was the first time they had been put to use in what felt like months. Three large smudges lay curled in the corner while the man seemed to have disappeared. I tried focusing on the smudges, rapidly beating my eyelids.
The smudges slowly took form. Finally my eyes were able to take in their surroundings. They were able to take in the familiar faces of the three people curled up on the ground, their terrified faces, and the dried blood that caked their bodies. My family. Then from seemingly all around me our kidnapper spoke, ‘I’m sorry for your suffering’. There was no time to ponder the meaning of his words. All at once my mother, my father and my little 6 year old brother let out screams loud enough to deafen the world. They writhed on the concrete floors, clutching at their heads. I stood motionless. I wanted to run to them, to stop their pain, to scream with them. But an invisible force kept me rooted to the ground like a lifeless statue. Only able to do one thing, watch them die. Blood dribbled down my father’s chin and stained his already blood soaked shirt. A single tear escaped the grasp of what kept me still and slithered down my cheek. My mother collapsed to the ground, her eyes blank and distant, her face twisted in agony. Her blood pooled around my bare feet. It was warm. The hold broke and I dropped to the floor. The door burst behind me and uniformed officers charged into the room but I knew it was too late, they were already gone. All I could do was curl in a ball and whimper in a pool of my mother’s own blood before I blocked out reality. Our kidnapper was gone but his voice still whispered to me in its cruel, cold tone, ‘even in death they will suffer’.
August 1st 2010
I awoke to a world of white. The bare walls that surrounded me were white. White sheets chained me to the bed. The gown that clothed me was white. Even my skin was pale as snow. I held my hands up in front of my face. The memories of cuts and burns still vandalised my body but they had all healed cleanly. At first glance I seemed unharmed. A man in a snowy white coat strode into the room. He looked up from his clipboard and saw his patient was awake. His face suddenly lit up. He rushed to my bedside. ‘jacob your awake!’ his words came out fast in sloppy. ‘I have so many questions! Everyone does! And you’ve made such a miraculous recovery! It’s only been two da……’
‘Where are my family’ the words came out harshly. I did not care about this doctor’s feelings. The only thing that mattered was my family.’
‘Um …oh.’ His excitement vanished as fast as it had appeared. The man who could not stop talking seemed lost for words.
‘Tell me.’ I already knew the answer. I just wanted to hear it from someone else.
‘Well your brother is in the room next door, but your parents never came to the hospital. I’m sor…’
I shoved the man aside and dashed out of the room. I knocked the neighbouring door open so hard that the very hinges shook in fear. Then, as I stood in the open doorway and looked at my helpless brother hooked up to machinery, barely hanging onto his life all anger left me.
I slowly made my way to a chair pushed up against the nearest wall and pulled it over to lucas’s bedside. I looked down at his crippled body. His entire left arm was black with bruising and he was scarred by the many marks of his torture from head to toe. ‘Oh Lucas,’ I whimpered, ‘what have I done to you’. ‘I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, it’s all my fault. You’re my little brother, I should have protected you. i….’ I placed my hand over his. It was only the slightest touch but his body jolted upright, as if he had been electrocuted. The machine on the other side of his bed let out a high pitched beep. But it wasn’t the same beeping it was giving off before. It was one continuous beep, long and high. ‘No,’ I whimpered.
A group of doctors rushed forward and surrounded Lucas’s bed, oblivious of my existence. One doctor pulled out a defibrillator. He pushed the device towards Lucas’s chest. ‘Clear’. His chest heaved forwards but the beeping continued. I broke through the barricade of doctors and jumped onto his bed. I grabbed him by the gown so tightly that my knuckles turned white. ‘Don’t you dare leave me!’ I roared, choking back tears. ‘You can’t die! You can’t die! Please Lucas, I love you’. Unable to hold them back any longer, tears streamed down my face. The doctors grew silent. All that could be heard were my quite sobs. They knew there was nothing they could do. So I lay there, holding tightly on to my dead six year old brother. I had lost everything. I was alone.
September 2nd 2010
It’s been a month since my family died. I expected life to end now that I had nothing to live for. No reason to exist, but it goes on nevertheless. As I wandered the streets the wind tickled the leaves on nearby trees and softly whispered to me. Saying words I didn’t understand, laughing at me. I have nothing now. My family died long ago and with them went my sanity. The charred remains of my home sit untouched since the night of the fire a lifetime ago. The only thing I have that keeps me in this world is my purpose. To find the man who robbed me of everything and make him suffer just as much as my family did. I’ve been searching for him. The man with slitted, red eyes. But so far I’m as lost as when I started.
I sit outside drifting in and out of reality. Watching people pass by. Walking their dogs or catching up after the weekend. They are too blind to see the world for how cruel it really is. I envy their ignorance. No one will talk to me anymore. They all see what I have become. They are afraid of me. They should be. I’m not the boy I once was. I spend every waking second struggling to control my inner demons. I try to fight back my madness but it’s a battle I don’t plan to win. I decide to go for a walk to keep my mind off the inevitable. I walk past the faces of many. They pretend to ignore me but I see them staring, I hear their whispers. Then something totally broke my train of thought. Someone was behind me I could feel it. I turned to see a man. Neat black hair, a cleanly shaved face. He wore a tightly pressed suit and had eyes that seemed to eat away at my insides. There was no other way I could describe him. He was death.
Everyone else had disappeared. We were alone. ‘Hello Jacob, your making excellent progress’ he said with a sadistic smile.
My lips moved but were unable to form words. As if already knowing my question said. ‘I am suffering. I am humanity’s foe. I am the lord of the underworld. I lead the army of the damned and feast upon the souls of those who sin. I am the devil.’ I couldn’t speak. I didn’t want to speak. The man’s voice seemed to drain my sorrows. His words comforted me. I wanted to hear him talk longer. ‘I have watched you suffer; I have felt your pain. Humanity has stripped you of your dignity, of your sanity, of your loved ones. You have demonic blood in you child, just let me bring it out, let yourself fall in to my arms. Become my apprentice. Give me your soul and I will stop the pain. There was genuine compassion in his voice but there was something about him that sent shivers down my spine. His face was only a mask for something else, something evil, something demonic. He clicked his fingers and a window of light appeared before him. ‘Come child our destiny awaits,’ and with that he vanished through the window. This man could give me power. The power to destroy anyone in my path. The power to find and slaughter the red eyed man. But most important of all, he would give me the power to stop the pain. Without a second thought I followed the man. I stepped out of reality and arrived in hell.
November 12th 2010
After an eternity I returned. Jacob grey died long ago, the being I had now become was now nothing but a servant to the fates. I stood at the gates of hell looking out over the city with my demonic eyes, my scarlet pupils searching for life. Looking out at the abomination that was humanity. I looked out at the world that had taken so much from me with malice and disgust. From behind me millions of demons swarmed out of the portal. Repulsive creatures of nightmare. They beat their leathery wings and dug their scaly talons into the dirt. We attacked at nightfall. The city of man stood no chance against us. We were merciless. Now all that remains are the rotting carcasses of those who have perished at my hands. My army of demons bathes in the rivers of red that flood the streets. The battle we have begun isn’t a war, it’s an annihilation. This city is a precursor of what is to come. This night of carnage is only one of many. Humanity will fall. Everyone will die.
January 2nd 2011
From the comfort of hell I look down at the world I once knew, the world I have now concurred. In just a few short weeks humanity fell. Their world crumbled. I look down at the fallen cities of man. The buildings lay in rubble. The streets run red. The lifeless bodies of billions lay sleeping throughout the demons playground. I am the last of my kind. I have served my purpose. The man with red eyes must be dead he could not have survived. They all died, except for me. When I think of the lives I’ve ended, the suffering I have caused, I feel nothing. I feel no grief, no sorrow. I will not shed a single tear. Emotions have become meaningless to me. I will live forever, alone and lifeless. In my kingdom of the lost. ‘We have done well haven’t we?’
I did not bother turning to face my master. ‘Yes my liege, mankind is dead. Their souls are yours to feed on for all of eternity.’
‘I knew I made a wise choice when I went back, it was risky, but a risk that needed to be made.’
‘Forgive me but I do not understand my liege.’
‘True, you do not. I suppose it is time i told you’ I remained quite waiting for my master to continue.
‘I believe it is time I told you who killed your parents.’
My teeth clenched. My fists tightened. Purple electricity circled my body, leaping all around me. ‘It does not matter he died with the rest of humanity.’
The devils voice was still calm and polite. ‘No he did not. He still lives.’
‘Impossible!’ I roared. Losing myself to emotion for the first time in what seemed an eternity. ‘Tell me who he is!’
‘He is us’ he said it matter of factly. ‘He is my past and your future.’
I stared at him blankly. So close to grasping the truth but just out of reach.
‘Allow me to show you.’ My master dug his fingernails so deep within the flesh of his head that blood poured down his chin. With bloodcurdling gruesomeness he tore the very flesh from his face. Beneath the mask he had hid behind for so long was the truth. The man who stood before me had long wavy brown hair, deathly pale skin and a pair of slitted, red eyes. He looked down at me expressionless. This was the first time I had seen the red eyed man. But the face I looked up at scared me more than I ever would have imagined, because it was my face. ‘You killed my parents?’ I whimpered.
‘No. you did. You just haven’t done it yet. We are one in the same Jacob. In the years to come you will become what I already am.’
I wept tears of scarlet. They stained my cheeks with the grief I had locked inside me for so long. ‘How is that possible?’
‘In my time our parents are alive. I awakened my demonic powers later in life than you did and took my rightful place as ruler of the demons. We waged war on humanity. I was not as strong as you are, we were losing the war. Just as the last of my demon army turned to dust beneath humanity’s strength I used my powers to travel back in time.
I tortured you in hopes of drawing out your demonic power sooner. When that failed I decided to kill your family. I knew the only way to bring you to hate the world as much as I did was to make you suffer.’
‘Why are you telling me this’ I spat.
‘Because, it’s your turn to continue the cycle. You must now travel back and kidnap yourself. So that the process will continue again.’ With a flick of his wrist a portal appeared. ‘I took away your pain Jacob I can just as easily give it back. I trust you will make the right decision.’ With that he left. I stood before the portal, realisation threatening to drown me. I had taken my family from myself; I had killed my mother, my father, my brother. But the power I had gained was infinite…. As I stepped through the window the battle between my humanity and my demons concluded. One side had won, but as I stepped through time even I did not know whether I would continue the cycle or change my fate.
July 15th 2010
A black silhouette stood inches from my bed. My brain begged me not too but my eyes disobediently looked up at the creatures face. A set of scarlet, slitted eyes gazed back at me. As I stared into the eyes of the lifeless my own eyes began to draw heavy. The darkness began to swallow me whole.