The Ladies of Horror
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On One Shoulder Sits a Devil
by Kendra Hale
My whole life others wished death on me so often, that when their voices silenced and only mine could be heard… I wished the narrative on myself. Where others had the big G-O-D, at eight years old I had a stuffed animal I had named Big Dog to whom I would pray and hold on tight for the mercy of death. To be somewhere, anywhere really, that felt like actual love and want were present.
I spent my teen years rebelling against a Mother who was raging the system of titles put on her by life by choking it back with a bottle. What a tangled fucking web we weave. I would often look back on these times as an adult and try to understand the bigger picture, I stopped once it became apparent that there was no bigger picture, just a way for the toxins to sink deeper into my skin.
After graduating I finally felt freedom and a taste of the bigger world that lay in weight. I cut off my family, who honestly felt more relief at my decision than I did. At twenty five years old I found my place. A chance encounter online led me to converse with a man who understood my pain because his was similar.
After months of talking we met and I became his angel. The angel to his devil, one he was willing to share with me in order to keep me by his side. My life changed to that which I had always prayed for in every way. A life taken and a blood oath formed, I soon learned just what part of the legend of Vampire were true.
Given my new status, I could have sought revenge, some semblance of vengeance against a family that had thrown me away all too eagerly, accepting of the whispered sorries over their black sheep. For years my heart pondered on just that and my devil knew that my heart still weighed heavy with that aspect of my previous life.
He was more than happy to accommodate the darkness in my soul, we watched as those who had once been family died off one by one by things that would never affect me. Sickness, disease. Some caught by chance due to genes while others happened purely based on choices made by themselves. Knowingly deteriorating their own bodies by whatever means dulled the pain of their life choices.
It happened that after years of joy, my devil showed me places I had never dreamed of seeing. Worlds I could have never pondered on in my darkness, the irony of a devil showing an angel light in her darkness was not lost on me and in fact made me love him even more.
We were preparing ourselves for a masquerade ball, one that many of our friends planned and attended for centuries. The community was so close knit but so loving to those who it took into the fold. It was to take place in a local park under the moon, like something out of a fairy tale. Everyone would be dressing for the occasion and like our friends, we were dressed in theme.
One step into the wooded circle and the night seemed alive. The smokiness of the burning wood, the moist leaves that scattered the ground. The finery reminded of something out of a movie in which magic was alive and thriving. It all seemed perfect until I heard the laughter from the past peel out.
Her betrayal had probably cut the deepest when everything had happened with my family. She had been the person i had confided in, had gone to for comfort. Having been my age I thought she would be able to relate but in truth she was selfish and manipulative. Anything I had told her was information that she would pass on to any who would listen and she was such an eager little bunny.
Such a pathetic creature. I would have pitied her had my heart still carried a beat of care. She had been a party to that destruction though.
My devil touched my bare shoulder with his hand and his breath reached my ear as he whispered “Happy Birthday.”
The others looked at me and I finally felt it as I went from one face to another. This had been planned and they were helping me with the closure that my whole form had wanted since I was young. I had family, and there was naught but love, unconditional, in their eyes.
A smile upon my face as she realized her plight. Her pleas feel on deaf ears and she might as well have been a mute for all I gave a damn. I needed to not only cut off that part of my life, it was true that I needed to destroy it. There was no need to be messy and I didn’t plan on either of us enjoying this part.
She tasted of castor oil and salt, nothing of the sweetness of life I had experienced with my devil. Such a sharp contrast.
When it was done I let her fall. The end of a bloodline, one that the world deserved to forget. I looked around at my family, at those who had loved me enough to give me the gift I would have never been able to ask for. I straightened my slightly displaced halo as my devil came up behind me and smiled under his horns.
“Thank you.” I said to them all but most importantly to him. Who would have known that by dying…I would truly be living?
Fiction © Copyright Kendra Hale
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Kendra Hale:
A Gothic Bite Magazine Anthology
A collection of poetry.