One last breath

She runs through the night, heavy footsteps are following her. Eating up the space between her and her predator. Her lungs are burning and her legs are slowing down; her muscles are tired and shaking from the unusual exertion. Her breath puffs out between her lips in visible clouds. Panic is all she can feel. And cold. Icy cold that spreads inside her bones and infests her entire body. The footsteps behind her come closer. She keeps running. At least she tries to keep running. Panting. She is trying to fill her lungs with oxygen, but she doesn’t succeed. Her breathing is too shallow. It’s quiet in the dark. Lonely. She can only hear his steps. Her own steps. The blood in her ears. Please, please. Please! She whispers. She prays that someone will stop the demon behind her, but the cold in her heart lets her know that she will not be saved. Her soul is lost. Rotting. Decaying. Turning to dust. She will be forgotten. Erased from this earth. And no one will remember that she ever existed. She never left a trace. She rounds a corner, losing foot on the slippery pavement. She struggles to get her feet under her body again. In her back, she tries to crawl away from the creature that has been following her. Eyes wide, she finally sees him up close. He isn’t running anymore. Like the predator he is, he comes closer. And closer. One last attempt to get up and run away, but her body doesn’t belong to her anymore. It doesn’t follow her orders, and when he kneels in front of her, with his long cold fingers touching her throat she looks in his dark eyes for the first and the last time. Like obsidian. A dark abyss. Beautiful. Beguiling. Pleading. As if they were asking for forgiveness and permission, all at the same moment. But then he blinks and the gentleness she thinks she has seen a is gone. It made room for something cruel and soulless. The hand around her throat closes and the breathing air becomes less. And less. She tries to gulp in some air, but the hand on her throat prevents it. Her body spasms. “Please, don’t let me die like this” are her final thoughts before she feels a strange and uninvited sense of lust. Her eyes keep staring at him but her soul is on its way out of her body. The horror and confusion she felt will be forever painted on her face. In rivulets, blood runs down her throat from where his sharp claws had held on to her. The demon lets go of her empty vessel and pushes angry tears off his face with the back of his blood stained hand.
I have to do it. He bares his fangs and with gusto, he buries them where his claws have left a bloody wound on her throat.
The heat leaves her body as one last breath, one last puff of air, is pushed past her lips. He stills his hunger. His thirst. And he feels the energy of the young woman setting in his veins. He sighs satisfied, but he wants more. He needs more. It is the nature of things. He lets go of the limp, pale body and gets up. He looks at her. Desperate. He is desperate for a companion, a mate. But who could ever love what he is? Who he is? She was his first for this night. A good start. Growling, he pulls his fangs in again. A tortured sigh escapes his lips again as he turns to leave. One last look at his prey and the peaceful way she looks. All dead people have this look. If he could only feel some serenity. If his tormented soul could only find peace. His hands turn to fists in his pockets as he pushes weak and romantic thoughts aside. This is his life. His hunt continues. It has to. It will never stop. Because if it does, he will cease to exist. And the tiny fragments of the souls of the people he has had the privilege to empty would be gone too. He can’t let that happen. They all are part of him now. Some of them is in his bloodstream and nurturing his body. Squaring his shoulders, he walks into the dark moonless night. He was a man of honour and principles. At least he has been before he turned into this… The taker of the last breath.

Curiosity killed the cat

Sunday night. The weekend was uneventful, and I am watching reruns of the Gilmore Girls. Half a bag of chips is gone. Half a bottle of wine makes me feel comfortable and warm. There’s a knock at the door. It’s late. Dark. No moon. I wonder if I forgot a date or something, but there is nothing and no one that I remember.
Should I open the door? I’m scared, and my eyes lose focus. Something isn’t right. I was watching TV and mute the volume now. Is it too late to pretend not being in? Did I make a lot of noise? I pull my legs closer to my chest and forget to breathe. My ears are on high alert and in my nervousness, I bite at the skin surrounding my thumbnail. Nervous habit. Another knock and a sound piercing the silence. Like a wail. Was that a human sound? I don’t know. Fuck! I run my hand across my face and try to think of what to do. My mind is blank. I am scared. That much I know. I am curious, too. Who is at my door at this time of the night, and what is happening? I put my feet on the plush carpet and move in slow motion. The sound of my beating heart is annoying. I can’t hear much else. Can I move the curtain without anyone outside noticing? Maybe if I don’t breathe. My heart races, it almost hurts. My clammy, shaking hands touch the cloth, but they don’t move it. Too risky.
I look at the door. Maybe they are gone by now?
And now curiosity wins. This is the exact moment in a horror movie where the brainless woman is killed in a surprise attack. Still, I open the door, just a crack. There isn’t anything. Just dark. Relief floods me. I feel the searing heat that kept me on my toes vanish and make room for a reassuring cold. I smile and shake my head looking at the floor.
There’s a liquid on my doorstep. A puddle of it. But it’s dark, and I can’t see its nature. Did someone release themselves against my door? I scoff. Drunks are everywhere. The entire time I had been hunched over and tense. Now I straighten my back, and relaxed, I turn to close the door. I will make sure to lock myself in. I don’t need this excessive agitation. I push the door, but it doesn’t close. Something is preventing it. And I see what it is. A foot. A heavy boot. I panic and push harder at the wood, but the foot doesn’t budge, and the door doesn’t close. A hard shove and I fall flat on my ass. A man enters. He’s huge. And while I try to get my feet under my body, he laughs. An evil laugh. Deep. My gaze falls to his hand. Right one. It is covered in a crimson liquid that drips on my floor. Will I be able to get those stains cleaned up again? He is wearing a black coat. Heavy. Appropriate for the fall weather. My eyes continue their journey, and they stop on his face. A scar from left to right. From the left eyebrow to the right corner of his mouth. His lips are twisted into a sneer. I have never been this scared in my life. Specks of red – maybe blood, cover his face. No visible hair, apart from the eyebrows. His eyes are dark pits staring at me. Wide open. Horrifying. I want to say something. Beg for something, but there is no sound. I am just as mute as the TV. It is still playing. I see the colors and the play of light and dark. The stranger closes the door with the heel of his right foot. The banging noise resonates in the silence. Why do I notice these things? The blood keeps dripping onto my floor. Is it his blood? Whose blood? More importantly, is it really blood? Blood. The word keeps spinning in my head and the many reasons why one loses blood keep my mind occupied. There’s no rational thought in me. But I still try to move away from the intruder. My arms and legs are no use. The more I try to move, the more my limbs refuse to cooperate. And when the man bends down over me, I freeze. I shake my head. I want to say something. Anything. Beg for my life. But someone must have stolen the words right out of my mouth. His sneer is burning itself into my brain. No one will ever find it there. His bloody hand guides my chin to look upwards. His breath doesn’t stink, and his touch isn’t cold. It’s almost gentle. I didn’t see the blade before. But I can feel its metal now. Cold a first, it warms quickly against the skin of my throat. His eyes keep mine hostage. How can someone have empty eyes like this? Ouch. It hurts. I try to take a breath, but no air fills my lungs. There’s a strange smell, and I feel so light. As if I am losing twenty-one grams. He moves closer and kisses my forehead. He whispers something. I can’t understand him. I panic and try to get away from him, but the way he is sitting over me keeps me from moving. I realize that I am being killed. No. No. I don’t want to… Curiosity killed the…

THE END

Broken promises

image

Broken promises.

J’ai fait une promesse
And I broke it
Ton coeur fragile
I couldn’t keep it together.

J’ai fait une promesse
But I never stood a chance
Ton dernier sourire
Forever in my soul.

J’ai fait une promesse
I wasn’t there
Tes yeux pâles
Haunting my dreams.

J’ai fait une promesse
Bitter tears of goodbye
Ton âme disparue
Forever alone.

***A mix of French and English. It had to be done like this.***

Catherine Micqu xx