The world was cast in the shadow of the dark side of the moon, impassive and uncaring, and gleaming from above the black recesses of the night daintily perched upon the haze of the clouds stretching into infinity.
Darkness, product of my mind, dragged me away from the light of my lucidness into spasms of tortured tranquility. It was like a trip to hell and back. Dead but not quite so, and that was the worst feeling; to know that you're on the razor-thin verge of an abyss and never fall down, but not quite safe either, just dangling from a thread over the edge above a pool of nothingness. The thread threatened to snap, however it never happened, it just pulled and dug deeper into the skin of my neck; that’s when the demon lured me with her enticing comfort, to push the needle in my arm was to release me from the thread for a brief moment.
“You aren’t afraid, are you?” the singing voice of the girl was a sweet lullaby pressed on my ears, hauling me away from the twisted silence of my thoughts. Her pale, young face was tilted up, watching me with amused eyes.
I lost myself in the haven of her twilight blue eyes and the smooth curves of her upturned smile. “No,” I replied, forcing a sliver of a smile in my lips. “Why would you ask that?”
She giggled, slipping her small hand further into the hollow of mine, “because you are so quiet, and your hands are sweating.”
I shouldered my small bag with unease; something about the place was daunting, however her icy cold fingers in my hand reassured me slightly of its safety. It was like clinging on to icicles in a snow mountain about to collapse, the only reality among this dreamlike place. “I was just thinking.”
She cocked her head to the right, her blond curls dangling carelessly and elegantly above her shoulders. “About what?”
The vein in my arm pulsated by the second; its screams for the demon bounced off the walls of my mind. The thread on my neck was tightening, but I pushed all those feelings to the back of my mind and focused on the fragile wingless fallen angel that was holding my hand and guiding me up a flight of dilapidated steps.
With each step I took, an echoing and creaking sound from the weak wood beneath me sent cries of discomfort throughout the house. I cringed as it bounced off the darkness and back to me. The banisters of the stairs were cracked and covered with several decades of dust. Upon reaching the landing of the second floor, putrid odors veiled with dust and time filled my nostrils, making my mind reel back from the rotten smells of age. The only paths left were to the left, a long hallway cloaked with the only material I had known so far, darkness, and to the right, another flight of steps toward more obscurity.
“Why do you live here, alone?” My words were a mere whisper, afraid to break the uncanny spell of silence that surrounded us. We walked to the hallway and I noticed the wallpaper peeling off, showing the decaying wood of the house, like skin being torn apart from the skeleton of a dead man. Shattered glass from broken windows and picture frames littered the way, stars in Earth, breaking to pieces and powder beneath my Converse.
She did something unexpected; her cold fingertips were tracing the length of my forearm, circling my demon’s favorite spot. “Who says I live alone?” she hissed back with eyes so dangerous and fiery that it burned holes in my skin. I shuddered, my heart beating wildly in my chest, hollering at me to run back to the road and under the blanket of stars.
However, I couldn’t move away, I was in a trance, guiding me forward and deeper into the hallway. Creeping trepidation wrapped my mind as her arms snaked around mine, she snuggled her head on my shoulder, her hair brushing against my arm like a light breeze.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “I didn’t mean to scare you.” Her bright eyes imprinted themselves in my mind, branding me her property forever and more. “Please don’t hate me; I’ve been longing for some company ever since everybody left me here. Their haunted spirits sometimes visit me, I despise them, but I cannot tell them to go away, can I? That would be rude.”
She had seriously lost it, I thought. I gulped, wondering if she was real at all. She must be, because she felt so real. We stopped in front of the only well-kept door in this decrepit house; she reached for the silver knob and turned it, pushing the door inward. She beckoned and pulled me inside.
I didn’t feel cold anymore, despite the abandoned look of the rest of the house; this room was cozy, clean, and preserved. There was a bed in the corner facing a draped window and a night table beside it, a dresser was across the bed, which was about all the furniture there was. She let go of my hand and jumped to the bed as white as her dress. She bounced twice, her laugh filling the room and echoing throughout the house. She then nestled in her blanket and extended a hand to me, inviting me.
“Close the door first,” she said as she saw me approaching her. “We don’t want to catch a cold.” She cocked her head, an innocent smile extending on her face.
Hesitantly, I did so. The door creaked on its hinges, until it bolted tightly shut. I dropped my bag on the floor beside the night table and took off my jacket. Slowly, I crept in the bed and lay silently beside her cold little body. The room was devoid of light, but I could see her clearly, as if she was emitting some sort of light of her own and I was the lucky person who could have a glimpse of her beauty.
“Why did they leave you?” I asked softly, caressing her cheek. She looked so delicate and broken beside me, just like the rest of the house.
She turned to lie on her belly, propping herself up with her elbows and gazing into my eyes. “I don’t know. They didn’t want me around. They said I was annoying, so they left.” She shrugged, that smile still in her face, “do you think I’m annoying?”
I shook my head slowly. “Why don’t you leave as well?”
She glowered at me darkly, “why would I leave my home? Just because nobody but me lives here I cannot call this place a home?”
“I didn’t mean that.” I said, quieting her temper, “it’s hard to lose a home. I’ve been looking for a place to call home, but so far I haven’t found it.”
“That’s because you stopped looking for it,” she said. “Your home is wherever you drag that demon around with you. You could find a home with me.” Her eyes were so knowing and dark.
I narrowed my eyes on her, “What are you talking about?” I felt scared by her proximity, her face was now lingering inches from mine, her lips brushing lightly on my forehead.
“Poor little Vincent,” she taunted softly, the sound of her voice was drumming in my ear incessantly, “what will become of you, I wonder.”
I jerked up, scrambling to my feet and backing away from her, angered and confused. “How do you know my name?” I snarled, “Who are you?” Within mere seconds, she leaped to her feet and was swiftly by my side, holding my hand.
“Don’t go Vincent,” she said, now that sweet smile had turned into an ugly grimace and her eyes were bulging in surprise. “I don’t want you to leave.”
“Get away from me!” I shoved her back. She swayed back, but her feet remained rooted on her spot, sneering. “What are you?!” I crumbled to the floor, immersed in my own tears and fears.
She knelt down, pushing her face close to me. Her index finger haunting my forearm, “I am your angel,” she whispered, “an angel from your nightmare.” A searing pain took control of my body; it all started in my arm, where she had pierced my skin with her finger. Rivulets of blood spilled from my arm onto the floor, soaked by her white dress, staining it like crimson tears. I screamed and writhed in agony. She faded in and out in front of my eyes before unconsciousness finally washed over me.
A kaleidoscope of bright, shifting colors blazed behind my eyelids. My eyes fluttered open, taking more darkness in, however it was not the only thing. The red and blue lights of a siren were turning just in front of me and the rough texture of the cold road was stinging my skin.
The face of a bearded policeman came into view and his mouth moved, but I couldn’t hear him. I looked around me, the stars were twinkling carefree in the sky, my car was battered underneath the towering tree, and my bag was lying on the ground, its content spilling out. I remembered it, just after the accident, I had quieted my craving for the demon by giving my body what it wanted. I must’ve passed out after that, but it was hard to tell, perhaps I pushed too much in.
The needles were broken, and the bag with white powder opened, freeing my demon on the road, swept away by the wind. “Where is she?” I croaked, turning to look at the policeman, “the girl?” I didn’t get her name but I remember her twilight stare.
The policeman shook his head, “I’m sorry, the little girl didn’t make it. The paramedics did all that was possible,” his voice was becoming bitter, “the drunk driver took her life.”
Drunk driver? What was he talking about? The little girl on the road was certainly just something of my twisted imagination and not real. If so, I was the one who had killed her earlier. I looked past the policeman; there was a crash one mile ahead of me, the car had hit a mound and the paramedics were trying to revive the corpse. Nothing made sense.
However it did. The girl from the house was standing before me, looking down at me with her wicked smile and her blood-stained dress, her hand linked with a man looking confusedly around him, his gaze lingering on the crash ahead, it was the drunk driver. She reminded me of the little girl I saw moments before I swerved and crashed.
“Is that your way of keeping yourself with someone?” I asked out loud to the girl. She just giggled. “How many times do you have to die to be satisfied?”
“Paramedics please, he is having hallucinations. We’re losing him!” the policeman shouted.
The girl just smiled, “too bad you revived, I had fun with you.” And with that she was gone.
My heart was beating so fast I was afraid it might burst, my head was light. The demon was still in my blood, loving and caring me as she knew best. I let her take me finally. The pleasure and comfort would last forever, I was sure of that. I knew that the thread had finally snapped, but at what cost?
At the cost of never opening my eyes again and gaze at the burning stars above me.