lightning BoyMature

It's about galvanism. To a wicked, wretched extent.

The room was immaculately, apocalyptically clean. There was no furniture anywhere, no carpet on the floors, no windows on the lone walls, no paint on any of them. There was almost no light, excluding a small frosted nightlight flickering in the distance only 9 feet away. All around was a smell of blood, bleach and sand that seemed to be stained into the air. Every now and then, a shifting sound would flutter in the shadows. One door hung loosely on its hinges as it swung from side to side; the doorway itself was dark past the frame, a pool of dusk. Raides sat slumped against the grayscaled wall, head hung low and eyes slit open. He was still and silent, and would have seemed dead if not for the minuscule movements he made with his fingers, along to the beat of whatever it was he had blaring from his earbuds. The blushing amber glow from the other side glazed his eyes, dulled them. His pupils made imperceptible shifts from side to side, half a motion, half a gesture. He was asleep, REM active with his mind off in rest.  He slowly voiced out everything he dreamt as time slid on. Occasionally, he would jolt into a semi-awake state from seemingly nothing, only to slip back into Arcadia. Hours sewn from minutes woven of seconds lapsed, the night was still.

A noise from the door's frame snapped him awake. His red eyes scanned and sliced through the dark, furtive in their search; nothing appeared, nothing worth noting. He slid down until his rear slammed against the floorboards, then closed his eyes and sank into the rhythm he had in his ears. It pulsed and squeaked, tiny slips of a saxophone ringing out against the barren walls. Sound seemed to echo forever in this room, this house. The racy jazz tones ricocheted around in infinite darkness and shook the rafters a little; they streamed around the corner and out into the beyond, never to return.  Again, the noise sounded from the frame. Raides woke and began scouring the inked shadows for any sign of anything, eyes trained on absolutely nothing. He ran the perimeter of the room for nothing in particular, skipping over the tall, slender woman silhouetted by the nightlight she stood near.

She stood leaning against the wall, one hand on her hip with the other held centimeters from her face. Long black hair fell from her head like a waterfall, wound double around her neck like a scarf. Her figure was thin and awkward, accentuated by a "two sizes too large" men's button-up shirt and long, faded, baggy jeans held up by two ragged, cracked black leather belts strapped around her waist. All across the denim was a strip of stitches, logos and patches thrown in here and there. Her shirt was pressed and clean around the torso, but the sleeves were torn and burnt at the shoulder and wrists. As she lowered her hand, her face came into view; it was lean and long, eyes brown and eyelashes lush. Her lips were pressed into a thin, but crooked smile that might have looked out of place anywhere but here. Her light, breathy, sultry voice powdered the room as she spoke, almost as if her words were snow.

"I'm over here, pumpkin."
Raides whipped his head around to face this woman in the corner, pupils shifting from side to side as his blurred vision cleared. He had barely made out the figure before he slowly shut his eyes and whispered: "Goddamnit."

"What's wrong, Raides? Not happy to see me?" She looked disappointed.
"No. No one was supposed to find me here."
"And? You know I'm always here for you." A loving tone, but it was hollow.
"...I know, Tsukiko. I know." An apologetic tone, still hollow.

Raides stood on his feet and strode over towards Tsukiko, umbrage dripping off as he bathed in the light. Raides was immensely tall, towering over her by at least a foot; the crown of his greasy dreadlocked head almost touched the ceiling. His faded platinum yellow windbreaker was crinkled in all the right places and glimmered with ancient reflective layers peeling away. He was bony, yet stable; muscles stretched and bent under his sprinter's outfit. His face was long, but solid; his scratchy red eyes were two holes in his shallow visage that just didn't belong. His voice was raspy and gruff, deep like chocolate.

"I just needed time, more time. Always more time, time to do everything. Every fucking thing."
"Calm down. You're getting ahead of yourself again."
"But that's just it, don't you get it?" He turned his back in a brooding manner.

Raides ran a moment of silence between them before Tsukiko broke the ice again.

"No, I don't. You already know what's going to happen, don't you?"
"No. I'm not some miracle worker, not some fortune teller. I can't figure things out in the blink of an eye."
"I know that. But you've at least got a plan, right? You didn't get this far without one."
"…Yeah, I do." The words were slow, stern. He sounded resolute, absolute.

Raides sighed and smashed his foot into the nightlight under them, effectively soaking every inch of the room in deep, dusky nothingness. A whisper came from nowhere as footsteps slammed from across the room, somewhere inside the black. Tsukiko made an invisible motion of her hands, unsure what the situation was; fear washed over her. Finally Raides stopped walking and let loose a short huff, turning to face the other side with the words: "First step is getting rid of you." After a momentary shock, Tsukiko reeled back in horror, stumbling backwards in the darkness; she crawled back until she hit the wall. "What?! Are you insane or something?" she shouted as she scrambled to her hands and knees. As she got ready to stand, a firm hand clasped down on her shoulder with nails digging into her skin. A voice whispered out: "No, I am."  The unseen look of terror on her face was met with pain as a second hand gripped her neck. "And I don't appreciate you biting my style either." The hand tightened and pushed her face to the floor. "By the way, I'm Tsukiko. Nice to meet you." Gradually, the floorboards took on a blue sheen as crackling filled the air; a bitter tang shot through the false Tsukiko's body.  Raides' voice rumbled and resonated throughout the floorboards, walls, and beyond:

"I don't like spies."

Tsukiko shivered as she felt her double squirm out of her hands and sprint towards the door, only to hear a sickening crack rocket through her chest and out the other end; a thud shook the house from side to side.  The double was laid out on the floor, twitching slightly, with a wicked look of pain clinging to her face; her back had been cleaved in two, burn marks marring both sides. She was irrefutably dead.

"I love it when you do that." She sounded lustful.
"I do too." He sounded disapproving.
"What's wrong now? She's dead."
"Honestly, she sounded more in love with me than you do."
"What? You know that was only the truth."
"Is it my fault if this is just a fling for me?" She sounded absolutely serious, even if it was a joke.
"No, it's mine. I just didn't love you enough or something. I saw it in a movie once."
"You are the least romantic bastard I'll ever know."
"But isn't that why you love me?" He smiled, even though she'd never see.
"Yeah, I guess."
"You are so apathetic about everything."
"But isn't that why you love me?" She smiled, knowing that he didn't have to see.

Raides stepped over to the corpse and picked her up, tossing her aside like garbage; Tsukiko laughed and spat on it as they walked past the doorway and out into the night.

The End

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