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Victory by HarrietHopkirk
Format: Short story
Chapter 2: You have me.
Victory is close. It is attainable.
My feet strike the wet ground and the water sloshes up my legs, but it doesn’t bother me. The rain bursts from the sky, and it cools my boiling skin. It drenches my clothes and hair, but I ignore it, hardly feel it. I continue to swerve through the streets. I find myself panting like the dog I am. The orange light from the lampposts is merging with the silver moonlight now, the thin rays distorted by the falling water. Individual beads settle on my eyelashes and I blink them away, the drops tumbling down my cheeks like tears. Brilliant... now, it’s like I’m crying. I am not weeping for you, although I know you want me to.
I've gotten out of the habit of doing everything you want me to do.
Or do you want me here? Now? Do you want me with you?
I slip and slide on the wet paving stones, winding my way towards you. I twist and turn, dodging buildings and weaving through the abandoned pathways. I can smell you now; you are so close. I am the hunter. You are the victim.
I know where you’ve been. I recognise you.
You had to pull away because this was just a hunt, even if I was your favorite prey. So you stilled for a moment, and I could feel your beating heart, and I relished in the feeling of my arms wrapped around you, and the forbidden atmosphere of it. But you had to let go.
And you did. Tossed me aside when I fulfilled my purpose.
I stop in the middle of the road. The rain still falls.
I am suddenly overwhelmed by visions of you.
You’re at some stupid boring compulsory party, looking so radiant in your dress that I want to rush up to you and kiss you so earnestly the breath leaves your body and you die.
It is your eighth birthday, and your pink lips are surrounded by a thick layer of icing.
My heart stops. Your lips were pink, but they should have been red. I rub at my forehead, trying to fix the memory. Red lips. The stain of your lips would run red, and would be as blood, like the merciless bitch you are.
You are a plague, devouring and tearing at my flesh, rendering me helpless. For someone so exquisitely pale, you are as black as death. My hands claw at my own lips now. I can feel sweat on my forehead and on my back, mixing with the rain.
You’re sitting by a Christmas tree, and it’s snowing and you are camouflaged against the whiteness, your eyes pools of crystal clear water in the cold ice.
A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.
I laugh. I burst into hysterics, the sound causing the curious residents of this sleepy town to leave their beds and return to their windows to hear the dog bark.
I start to run again. Great resounding leaps that let me fly over puddles and around corners: a dark shadow flitting amongst the light of the moon and the orange of the streetlamps and the white of you.
I am coming.
It is a brilliant day. The sun is shining and you are in my arms. You are warm to the touch because of all the time spent in my company.
Your hair fans out over the pillow, your porcelain skin perfect, your lips rubbed free of the red stain from our kissing. I like you this way: cleaner, purer, mine.
The red turns you into something hideous, something fake.
Your hand is lying flat on my chest, sensing my heartbeat.
Your breathing is almost too faint to hear.
Your eyelashes are fluttering.
Your fingers are tracing a scar on my arm.
“My daddy is a werewolf,” you say.
“No he’s not,” I reply, and you lift your head off the pillow to look at me, your blue eyes searching mine, “not like my father.”
“Your dad is dead.” I wonder how you can sound so cold, so unfeeling. “Do you miss him?”
“I never knew him.”
You suddenly swoop down to kiss me, and our limbs entwine for a moment. Your actions always speak louder than your words. Your words are so jumbled, so conceited, so overwhelmingly incomprehensible that I always have to decipher you through your movements, through the slight flicker of your eyes or the way you kiss me.
Because when you’re touching me, I cannot feel your coldness.
For a moment, all I sense is you and I like to think that this is the real you. We share the same oxygen. You only kiss me like this when we are alone together. Never in public. Passion should believe itself irresistible. It should forget civility and consideration and all the other curses of refined nature.
You define nature, not refine it.
“You and my father, you’re the same,” you say afterwards, and your lips are now naturally red, “you’re half and half.”
You’re looking somewhere else, not at me, and I take the moment to admire you in the sunlight. Your features astound me, they take the air from my lungs and sometimes it is difficult to regain it.
“I wonder what that makes me.”
“Beautiful,” I reply, half spontaneously. My breath returns just in time for me to form the word.
You smile, and I see a glimpse of your pearly white teeth.
“I know.” Your confidence eludes me.
You put a hand on my cheek, your delicate fingers stroking along my cheekbones and my jaw line. I want you to kiss me. I want you to share your beauty with me.
“But I was born with it,” you say, “you can make yourself beautiful.”
You perpetually blind me.
“I like that,” you continue.
I press my lips to the vast expanse of purest white between your neck and your shoulder.
“I love you.”
I hear you laugh. You’re laughing at me. I try not to show the hurt on my face. I keep my eyes closed as I kiss you again. I know you can read my eyes, look deep into my soul, see my secrets and exploit them.
“You can be beautiful. You can be whatever you want to be,” you say.
I lift my head up to look at you. You are only inches away from me, and yet you seem as far away as the moon, the stars, and the galaxies.
“What do you want to be?”
“Ugly,” you respond, quick as a beat. I think I can see the real you - if only for a second - through the impenetrable shield of white skin and perfect hair. Through the red lips.
“You don’t mean that.”
I kiss you properly now, and your mouth is cold. I place my arms around you to heat you up, but I know it is too late. It will consume you. You will leave this room, the red stain returned to your lips, and head for colder climates, where you will be alone and without the intimacy that I know you so crave.
“You’re too bloody beautiful for your own good.”
You kiss me. You tear at my flesh and grasp at my hair; you sink your fingernails into me, blood red dripping from your fingers. You laugh cruelly, writhing against me, and I spread my arms to be at your mercy. I gaze at you with a hint of a dreamy smirk and lust-filled eyes as you heartlessly consume me.
You have me.