I unmade that old bitch just as her family walked in. The shriek of her daughter and granddaughter still echo in my ears as they slowly went away with her. I can’t pause to worry about them now, it’s not my fault. They are merely casualties of this war. This war…my…duty.
The war has been going on for unknown millennia, but I have only been at the forefront for the last 500 years. For the last half-millennium I have been searching for the one in the hopes of earning my freedom…my freedom from “living.”
It is my destiny – and hers – that we should meet in a glorious battle and it shall end with our death. The prophesies were written eons ago and foretold of a great battle. And so, from “birth,” I was taught that it is my duty to wage this war to end all wars.
My duty…there’s that **** word again.
I walk through the darkened alleys, my black, leather cloak trailing behind me. There’s an aching feeling burning through me of something left undone, but I don’t know what it is. I walk out into the open street; a lamp burns brightly above me. I take out my address book to look at the next target.
A shudder washes over me as I remember the old lady from a couple of nights ago saying my name out loud. It’s been at least 200 years since I’ve heard it uttered in my presence.
Nostalgia runs thick through my mind. Yearning for the freedom of death, I quicken my pace to my next target, openly hoping that this will be the final battle, yet knowing that it is not.
I pass by a window on the street and catch my reflection. My face is so pale it looks grey in the dim light. The hood over my blond hair casts shadows over the scar down the left side of my face. My eyes are sunken into the recesses of my skull and dully emit a bright red glare. My nose juts off to the right just below the bridge. I smile cruelly, showing two rows of yellowing, rotting teeth.
I am not a monster. I am just caught somewhere between the living and the dead in search of the one who started the conflict – the starter of all conflicts.
I make a left, veering from main street and head north. The fog begins to settle deeper onto the ground and the mist swirls around me as I walk, determined to carry out my duty.
The houses to the left are large and colonial in style. They all seem to have a front porch with swings to the right or left…sometimes on both left and right. Flower boxes of petunias adorn many front porch sills.
I walk north five blocks and then east for two and arrive at my destination. I stand at the corner under the street lamp and watch the house, waiting for the inhabitants to turn out the lights and go to bed.
A car passes by and one of the passengers stares at me. I’m being careless now, but I don’t care. I’m so close to the end of my journey. My address book is almost completely full of names of the unmade.
I slowly walk across the street toward the giant, blue trimmed and cream-colored colonial house. I don’t want to alarm those inside just yet, so I gently slither into the bushes just below a window. I painstakingly ease my head up to the sill, and peer inside to see what they’re doing, hoping that it won’t take long.
There, on the couch, is the boy from this afternoon. The look of horror on his face as he saw that girl vanish into thin air was almost worth the last 500 years of carrying out my duty. He doesn’t remember what happened, but that doesn’t matter. I quietly grin with a grim satisfaction. I am not a monster.
My eyes pan to the right, searching for my next combatant. I see the boy’s mother and father talking quietly at the dinning room table.
I quickly scan back left looking for the crone. There she is, hunched over, leaning against the banister as she makes her way up the stairs. She must have sensed me.
She stumbles and the boy puts down his book and quickly runs over to her. He puts her arm over his shoulder and starts to carry her up the stairs.
He thrusts his head to the left and stared out the window as they start to walk up the stairs. He is staring at me. His bright blue eyes defiantly burn as he dares me to enter his grandmother’s room while he is there.
I am not one to pass up a dare. Before I start to climb up the side of the house I look at what book he has been reading. It is my book…our book. The hag knew that I would be coming and has tried to prepare him.
Contentment oozes into my cold, black, un-dead heart. We both know what is about to happen. My scar begins to pulse as the adrenaline from the impending battle courses through my veins.
I quickly climb up the drain on the side of the house to a second story landing. From the time I left the corner to now, someone has turned out the lights upstairs. It must be that brat thanking he can somehow save his crone of a grandmother.
I’m sure that she thought that she’d outlive them all instead of being their eventual unmaking. I’m sure that she thinks that she’s prepared her grandson for me. I'm sure that she’s wrong.
Predictably, the owners have left their window unlatched. I make my way in despite the darkness. I don’t need to see, I can smell my way to the bitch. I creep through the window like a lion in search of its prey. I silently take a deep breath, absorbing the odors of the house.
Downstairs I can hear her daughter and son-in-law arguing about money. I wait patiently until I can smell the furniture in the room around me. Directly in front is the door to the hallway.
To my right is a large, old armoire filled with moth-eaten clothes. To my left is the bed with the hag trying to breathe silently so that I can’t hear her. Fool.
My pathway is unobstructed and I slide over. I sense something to my right. I look over and I see the un-wavering blue eyes of the youth staring at me. I sense him moving and hear him take metal out of leather; the cold glint of steel glows faintly in the dim room.
Good, I need the exercise. I unsheathe my own katana hidden beneath my cloak.
My scar is pulsing fiercely, now, as I prepare for battle…