The steam seems to rise from the streets in a muggy haze. You can almost taste the storm that is sure to rage tonight. I’ve sent my wishes for a thunderous wind-driven cataclysm out wherever they go. I’m counting on it. I need it to cover my tracks, for the disposal of the bones of tonight’s meal. Six months of hell ends tonight, that is IF I can keep my movements off of someone’s radar. It’s been months since I’d seen other people, Brother Grim choosing to place me in quarantine as punishment for my deeds as I slayed with Greg. It appears that he does read Casper’s reports after all. And the little bastard didn’t edit anything out. It’s a good thing he’s dead or I’d have already eviscerated him. Perhaps a reminder of the lengths I will go to make my point is in order.
My litle slip-up wasn’t looked upon kindly by some of my loved ones either, and I incurred the wrath of Mr. I’m-Death-and-I-Own-Your-Ass Brother of mine. Of course he does. HE’s the ONLY sure thing in life. He didn’t like that I fucked with his day, his timetable, but I don’t give a rats ass. Besides, my little tale was a best seller in one and only bookstore in Hell. Talk about your over inflated prices, Casper had told me that it would cost a year of purgatory to get hold of it right now. Apparently Death frowns on my methods, but He’s just jealous that I thought of it first.
*”Hello Majesty. It’s frightening to see you.”*
It’s an unbelievable thing to me that tonight of all nights, my first night of relative freedom, that Grim would send his minion to watch the fun. I’d behaved, for the most part, one or two slip ups do not unreformed inmate make. As though he’s innocent. My sister in devotion will be hearing about the object of her affections.
“Casper. Why are you here. I’m off probation, I don’t needs a chaperone so kindly leave, or I’ll throw you out,” I snarled, resentful at the intrusion that had so blatantly been thrust upon me.
*”You resent my presence.”*
I glance at him, narrowing my eyes as he shifts the hand holding his recorder, the red light blinking, “He shows a lot of audacity to the one who brings him so many, and the topic of my husband is not one Grim need be concerned about. Your presence makes me itch, and the interest HE shows in my extra curricular activities is frankly unnerving. And he bothers me. THAT you can edit out thank you.”
*”Just bothers you? I wonder about that”*
“Do you find yourself amusing Casper? Do you think you would find yourself so amusing in the same spot as my good friend? Or worse? Keep that up. He bothers me. You’ve heard it twice… now drop it.” Be damned if this minion of my Brother’s would intimidate me into revealing anything. The less Grim has on me the better. The clock on the wall reminds me of my meeting that I must be on time for, and I head for the door, glancing over my shoulder at Casper, who simply stands, watching my exit with surprise.
“Are you coming then? Or will you wait here for me to return?”
I don’t wait for his reply, but smile to myself as I sense him behind me. I have a dinner party planned for tonight, an intimate group of eight innocent souls that I am preparing a delightful meal for. But the entrée must be fresh, and so I need time to retrieve it, clean up and prepare it as the guests arrive. It will be messy.
The long grass whickers against my bare legs, and I barely notice. Every attention was focused on the darkened path that leads through the trees and the shadow that lurks there. Fear? I have little, save the healthy fear of my compatriot in arms, He of the Brutal Attentions, and his sister. She bears watching as time marches on. What waits there, likely in wait, is neither of them. A much more dangerous animal. A flicker and a shuffle, looks like Grim has chosen to show up after all. His presence tells me much.
A dark chuckle reaches my ears from my right and I reach back to pull my weapon free. Be damned if whatever that is would catch me unarmed. I’d drive it into its eye and end it. I was disinterested, bored as hell and gave not a damn for anything in my world. I was hungry. “Regret?” That voice, I’d know it anywhere, and I wished I’d ripped out his throat and been done with it. Instead I’d married it.
“Not a bit. You should be rotting in there. Which one did it? Which one let you out of your cage?” He snickers, his voice full of malice and gravedirt, and it sets my teeth on edge. “I’m a joke am I? You think I’m amusing? I killed you already, you just don’t have the good sense to stop breathing yet. Let me fix that for you,” I snarl, pulling up on the haft of my blade and finding my hand blocked. I despised his touch, worse than how my body reacted to it. “What are you up to Jes? Sneaking away with your lapdog? Hello Casper.” His grip tightened on my wrist and waist, expecting me to twist away.
It mattered not. I throw my head back and slam the back of my skull into his face, feeling the hot splash of blood that must have exploded from his nose. “Fucking bitch. You broke my face,” He snarls into my neck, using his other hand to twist my arm higher my back, effectively stopping my next move. “I should kill you right now, snap that pretty neck and leave you for whomever can run fast enough to find you. Why are you laughing? Jesus you are sick in the fucking head.” I laughed harder, knowing full well it was driving him batshit, and still gave zero fucks for it.
He releases my arms, and turns me so that I stand facing him. His hand finds my cheek, his rough fingers stroking the edges of my jaw lightly before latching on like a viper and pressing in hard. The pain is immense and feel my knees buckle beneath me, unable to help myself. Casper simply stands, making no efforts or attempts to lend his aid. I will see him tortured for this. “Jes. Planning a dinner party and you didn’t invite me? That’s not nice.” Greg.
Married life is not for me, I discovered early in, when I began to awake with the insatiable urge to cut off his face, the temptation nearly overpowering as he slept unaware. I’ve grown bored with his so-called prowess, and need to be involved in every activity I’ve participated in. So I locked him in a cage in my little hideaway, affording myself some me time. I had intended to conserve my energy but obviously he has other plans. Someone has much to answer for. The grass rattles in the small meadow, the cattails banging off of each other lending a light percussion to the air. His hand grasps my arm and hauls me to my feet, and I let him enfold me and murmur the words he thinks I want to hear, my hands trapped between us, while his travel my curves.
Casper stands to the side, speaking quietly into his recorder, a nasty smirk on his face. I watch it turn to pained sympathy as Greg drops to the ground, holding his hands to his crotch and spitting curses. Even Reaper looks sympathetic, if that is even possible. “I told you when I kicked your ass out. You don’t get to touch me. If you are coming, get the fuck up and follow. Otherwise take a hike.” Casper winces as I glare at him before turning back to my task. I would be returning home as dusk fell. Left me little time to prepare myself but so be it; For reasons yet unknown, I was given sisters to assist, normally at a price. I’ll pay it.
Far back on the property, tucked into a small grove of trees, I have my home away from home, my hideaway. Someone has been here, recently, the flittering firelight definitive proof. The door is ajar, albeit so slightly that the unused eye wouldn’t see it. Greg brushes by me, brusquely, posturing and putting on a display. I’m far more dangerous than most anything that could await my arrival. Inside, the fireplace is burning hot, a cauldron hanging over the flames, steaming. The table has been set, for 4. Presumptuous.
The shadows are deeper here, thicker, almost a residue that leaves me wary. Casper drifts towards the nearly invisible doorway, his eyes on the panelling. I can hear her now, a skittering sound, no doubt scratching along the floor like the vermin she is. Behind me, Greg is spooning whatever concoction was left on the fire into his ever open mouth, making appreciative grunting noises. I hope its poisoned.
He turns his head, expression forcibly blank, and raises his eyes to mine. “Get your hand away from there. That room is not for you or your recorder. You either,” I point behind me at Greg, who had pulled his face out of the bowl long enough to look over. I gestured for Casper to move, and waited until he was seated before slipping inside, and standing suspiciously staring at the woman I’d expected to find crying on the floor, instead strapped to the long butcher’s table I’d had installed. How glorious a surprise…but who do I owe my thanks to, I wondered, picking up the striker saw and relishing the tearful terror that leaks from her eyes.
“This might hurt.”