It’s another Weekly Writing Challenge! Yayyyy.
The picture is called Emptiness, but when I see it, I see a lonely building, which may be fun to play the How To Survive the Zombie Apocolypse Game. And I think of my most recent venture in Delirium, which turned out more…positive than normal. Do you want to hear about it? Of course you don’t. But I don’t care.
Where am I this time? I don’t know this place. But since when have I ever known where I am going?
The building is dark and crumbling, and blue, plantlike objects cover the walls. I reckon I have about five minutes before Daniel pops up next to me, so I decide to explore further.
I wonder what all this used to be. Another time, another world. It would’ve been filled with people, alive and bright.
There have been many places I’ve visited in Delirium. I remember a temple under water, filled with light and colour, the sweet singing of sirens echoing throughout it. I look at my dilapidated surroundings and I find myself asking what is so wrong with this earth that they would build a temple underwater instead?
I walk along the hallway, looking for light. It is long and is barely illuminated by the holes in the ceiling. I finally come across a door and I struggle to pull it open.
What I see makes me turn around and vomit.
The girl has golden hair, and her eyes that stare dully at the window are a turquoise that would’ve been beautiful. She hangs by her arms and a single leg from the ceiling, her head and arms pulled back by cords attached to her body. What shocks me most are her lips. They’ve rotted, and are pulled into a twisted smile, is that meant to be beautiful? This girl was once a dancer, a girl on the brink of womanhood, a girl who loved to be free. This display, a bloody puppet dangling by several threads, is anything but.
There’s another smell in the room suddenly. “Don’t come near me,” I warn.
He chuckles. His body might as well be a corpse, its temperature is no different from the dead girl’s. “You shouldn’t be here.”
“There shouldn’t be a body hanging here either, when you think about it,” I reply. “Not exactly pleasant decoration.”
“I meant here.” He gestures to the world around him. “You aren’t from here.”
“Of course not.” I don’t look at his face, his dead, twisted face. “What had this girl done?”
He gives a high giggle. “Wrong place, very wrong time.”
I grimace. “Her skin…”
“So you understand.” This is no question he’s asking me.
“I’ve seen your prisons. I can say they’re the only thing worse than this place here. And more importantly, I’ve seen those in them.” I remember my temporary imprisonment, and the deal with the devil that set me free. “This girl is one of them. Well, was one of them. What happened to her?”
“The same that happens to them all, eventually. Afterwards, some of our dependants are left to deal with them.” He has not moved this whole time, but I feel his voice in my ear all the same. “There are more of these around this place, if you would like to look further.”
I shake my head. “Forgive me, I have had enough of corpses.” I pause, and I’m surprised that I feel calm, despite this psychopath standing behind me. “Kaya is not a puppet though.”
“No, she isn’t,” he concedes.
“And she didn’t die in your prisons either.”
A smirk appears on my face. “What happened there?” I ask, playing devil’s advocate.
“…they thought the girl was useless, a dud. Five years had gone with her, and nothing had happened. Well, nothing they could see; had someone stronger seen her, they would’ve known immediately what she could do.”
“So why didn’t they?”
“I believe that’s enough. Curiosity killed the cat, I believe?”
“I can’t die,” I tell him. “I’ve tried too many times, Delirium and Reality. And I’m still alive…somehow.”
“Well.” His voice takes on an edge I don’t detect until there’s only a split second to do something. “How about we try something new?”
And he rushes at me.
I dive out of the way, skidding across the ground. “Oh, are we running today?” he calls. “We can play tag, Ms Madigan.”
I’m less slow this time, and I crash against the wall. The two seconds I spend in stunned immobility are my undoing, and he catches my arm and twists it. I howl with the pain, and he gives me a laugh that turns my stomach. “You lose,” he informs me. “Don’t worry, we don’t have to play this game again.”
Then, all of a sudden, he is the one howling.
It’s not Daniel who attacked him. Or even Kaya.
My hands are burning with something akin to fire, or perhaps electricity. These thoughts don’t matter, as I throw back my arm and hurl a mass of light at him. It hits the wall behind him, and it crumples. I think I see the dancer’s corpse dissolve before me. “Do not,” I snarl. “Ever.” I launch another at him and this time, his arm turns to ash. “Think.”
He turns to run, but I throw myself through the air at him, and land on him. I start throwing punches, I want to hit him, to beat him senseless. “Call.” My voice got shriller every word I spoke. “Me…”
He manages to flip me onto my back, only to get singed by my hands. “WEAK!” I shriek, my voice echoing throughout the building.
The next few seconds are a blur, but the outcome still angers me. I let myself be distracted for a split second when Daniel dashes into the room, and the monster takes the opportunity to run from the building, fleeing through the wall, in which I completely destroyed.
I crumple to the ground. “Shit!” I cry.
Daniel runs up to me. “Don’t touch me!” I plead.
“Cat, what the hell happened?”
My hands are still glowing, but they begin to fade. “What do you think?” I croak, watching my hands return to normal, only my five letters retaining a glow to them.
“This…” Daniel shakes his head. “There is no way-”
“But it happened.”
“What are you Cat Madigan?”
“Something weird,” I whisper. Everything swims in my head; my hands of fire and lightning, the smell of charred flesh, but most of all, the desire to watch the man die, burning and screaming before me.
I am sickened by my thoughts, and before I say a word, I fall into Daniel’s arms as everything goes black.