I groaned as I woke up – my head was banging and my right arm was numb. I raised my head and saw burns healing slowly. I closed my eyes again and tried to recall what had happened. All I knew for certain was that I had destroyed the Soulsphere… there was no escape for me now. I turned my head to see Harmony sitting cross legged on the floor with folds of white material in her lap, humming quietly to herself. I tried to ask what had happened but hardly anything came out of my mouth. She told me to lie down again, and something about having a rough spell…
I sat bolt upright and struggled to keep my head up. “I-I’m not –” Dead.
“No Sylvester you’re not dead.” She laughed and returned her attentions to the dress.
“How long was I out?”
“A couple hours.” She seemed so peaceful sewing sequins onto the lace of the dress. How could she not hate me for what I had done?
“Harmony…” I was about to ask her why she wasn’t angry at me, when the door opened and Asha entered the room. She smiled at me, and then caught sight of her dress. As she and Harmony gushed over the dress, and the ring and the engagement party I could feel my heart rate speeding up and the hair on the back of my neck stood on end. This was all of a sudden too familiar…
They all burst out laughing as she spun around the small room, showing off the tiny beads that sparkled in the light of the gas lamp, and the intricate lace design of her veil which was not yet covering her icy blue eyes.
I gripped the edge of the bed, determined not to remember any more, but as I sat watching Harmony hold up the dress and Asha’s jaw drop, it was exactly as if I was standing outside in the darkness, looking in on a distant memory…
There was a tap on the door and she ran to hide behind the screen in the corner of the room. One of her bridesmaids opened it a crack and the groom’s glowing face could be seen from the window. He called out to his bride and then left. She emerged from behind the screen and sighed, falling lightly onto the bed as the other girls fussed over her dress.
“I just want to talk to Sylvester quickly.” Asha’s voice brought me back again and I panicked, jumping to my feet as Harmony left the room silently. Asha faced me and crossed her arms. “What was all that about with the Soulsphere? I don't buy the story about bringing Kyoshiro back, if I am perfectly honest. There's a demon in your past that you can't let go of and it’s tearing you apart...”
The rage, absolute fury, took over. Blood spilled over the flagstones and the sound of flesh ripping echoed off the walls. Shrieks filled the church as people tried to escape, but the exits had been locked. He stood in front of her, as if he could protect her. As if he could save her from me.
“…The past will never let you go unless you put it to rest.” Asha stood between me and the door. “Talk to me Sylvester.”
I couldn’t look at her but I tried to speak. My voice came out small, not at all like my usual clear, assured tone… but scared. “I have not been completely honest with you.” The crack as his neck broke reverberated around the dead Church. God was all that remained between me and her. “Clara was not my fiancée at the time of her death.” The priest stepped in front of her and she begged him to save himself. “She turned me; I was obsessed… I still am. But she did not love me – she was engaged to someone else. A human – a filthy, rotting excuse for a man... She could have had me for eternity – she refused me again and again…”
“Have you no remorse?” she cried, cradling the dead body of the priest in her arms. “Have you no feelings? Look at what you have done!”
“You made me what I am,” I spat, “A monster. Is this not what our kind do?”
“I would never kill for vengeance, Sylvester.” Her tear stained face was defiant. Still she spurned me.
“… so I killed him, I killed the congregation, I killed the priest… and eventually…” The sweet crimson blood trickled down my chin. “I killed her.” Her fingernails scratched at my face and neck but I held her down, drinking until she was dry. Until her rosy cheeks turned white, and her grey eyes stared coldly up to heaven.
Asha drew back in horror. But I needed her to know.
“I regretted it the moment it was over. I tried to turn them all into vampires – any life I thought would redeem me… but they were all, all of them, gone.” I bit back my own disgust. “I can never go to heaven – not after what I have done. But I know she is there – she was a Pureblood… I thought if I could use the Soulsphere then I could exchange my life for Kyoshiro’s – or anyone’s – I don’t care who. I have to see her again – you don’t understand the torment.”
Finally I met her eyes. I was breathing heavily and clutched myself as if nothing was holding me together. “I truly am a monster.”