I pushed open the glass where the midnight chills drew its mysterious flowers. Beyond the translucent border laid the city, afar and cloaked in white. The snow muffled lights and sounds alike. It stiffened the night life. It deadened my senses as it flown past my face on the winter’s wind. I stood in a dream. Blessed be the cold, I thought.
The thought sparked a flame. It rushed through me and burnt its way to my tear ducts. I was trapped and helpless. I hurt all over as my blood slowly smeared the varnished floor. I felt like I disrespected, disgraced the spot where I was standing. As the imagery hit me, the soft scrunch of leather reminded me I wasn’t nearly the most desacralizing element of the decor. Your rasped breath drove my rage a bit further and it overflowed my lashes. Through the blur, I looked at the sleeping city and wondered what would happen if I yelled. Would someone hear me? Would they be saviours or latecomers? Should my fire keep me alive until a real opportunity presents itself? Would it ever come? I stood in a nightmare. Blessed be the heat, I thought.
I spit in the snow bank, five-stories below. My copper-tasting saliva spread into a flower, a bloody rose by the footing of my grave’s stony façade. It will probably shrivel at the next gust of wind. I shrugged: its ephemeralness might still outlive me. I closed the window then reluctantly turned away from the frost’s garden and back to the sweaty room. My eyes fell on your blank face. The reaction in my muscles was instantaneous: a single angered thrust forward made me tug on my leash for the umpteenth time. A hard snap back to reality.
I should have seen this coming.
I dropped to the floor, my legs giving up as my will wavered. The shock resonated through my feeble body. My stomach growled. My headache spun the world out of focus. My multiple cuts electrocuted me. Despite my best effort, I moaned out my pain. When I grasped reality back, your doe eyes were fixing mine. If you’d only come closer, I’d pull them out of their sockets. But your buns remained comfortably hugged by the fancy couch. It occurred to me that someone of your demeanour could only be at ease sitting on dead animal skin.
Deciding my recent string of noises was nothing to worry about, you turned back to the muted television. The screen’s lights danced on your face, giving you sparkles you didn’t deserve. Without them, you would be as colorless as despair, as black as your wretched soul. I would love to replace your borrowed color scheme by gray steel bars. They’d be far more suitable. Unfortunately, things were not going my way. Because if they were, my life would not flow away in red rivulets nor bathe a corpse well on its way to dust.
The horror struck me once again. Your emotional range was as thick as the pink slip you got a few months ago. I could somewhat understand bashing the head of an ex-coworker in a moment of blind frenzy. I could even go as far as to accept a bit of careful planning and justify why I was an ideal target. Even so, I could never fathom a serial killer leaving his victims to rot in the very room where he tortures the next one, dines and enjoys soap opera with an unfaltering bland face. Where the hell was the person I used to know and have water cooler moments with? Her face disappeared behind an emotion-free, plastic-cold mask. Killer dolls have more facial expressions. I hated your neutrality with every unscathed fibre of my being – which was admittedly not a whole bunch of them.
Then again, I so should have seen this coming.
My eyes followed the lines of your hunched figure down to the floor and ran over the grim display of flesh and bones a few feet away. My heart momentarily rose to my throat. I coerced it into falling back in place. I had seen dead bodies before. On TV, they were always graciously displayed following the movies’ aesthetic rules of slaughter. On the job, they were somewhat distant though deprived of Hollywood’s glamour. I wished my mind shrivelled away from my surroundings. However, distancing myself from the greenish and smelly face eyeing me was a feat my mental state could not easily pull off.
I breathed in quickly, having no other choice but to pull in all the olfactory nuances of decaying flesh. My bruised ribs complained but I kept on inhaling. Once my lungs were full, I shut my eyes and hold my breath, creating a temporary barricade against the suffering. For a few seconds and all the way to the end of my exhalation, my spirit soared. I pulled myself together as best as I could: it was just about cooking time. I needed to regain control and stop thinking of defeat. I was going to beat this, to beat you.
Like clockwork, which applies equally to your timing and your mechanical movements, you rose up and left the living room. In 30 minutes, you will be back with my meal.
I turned to face the wall, securing my feet against the marble. I gripped my chain with both hands and all the strength I could muster, fuelling my muscles with anger, fear and my reliable survival instinct. I yanked, twisted, yanked, twisted… so on until my body grew numb. And then some more. During my relentless half an hour attempt to spring myself free, I went back up my recent trail of thoughts: from the frost’s flowers to the mayhem. Too much flourish for my usual self, almost poetic. I bet there was a worthy haiku somewhere in there.
Red on floor
Winter on glass
I thought it not so bad for a spur of the moment improvisation. Soon after, I decided I definitely had hit a new moral low. It was the third one since you last fed me. They were growing closer, probably mimicking my time. I sighed and doubled my yanking beat.
I should have seen this coming. I mean: what good is being a psychic?