She Burns With A Passion

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Everyone likes attention. But, what happens when you get all the attention? Too much attention in a way where people see you as a God, is that still what you want? Especially if it runs your life, and you have been revered since you were a child? Change is inevitable, and change is not always clean.

Submitted: October 05, 2016

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Submitted: October 05, 2016

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She was perfect. The loveliest hair. The sweetest smile. The most alluring baby blue eyes. A slender body, and the most delicate face. She was the human embodiment of an Angel. She could do nobody no harm. Or so they thought.

Gwendoline Fairbairn was the wonder of her town. No one could match her beauty, her brains, her anything. Her slender, smooth body made her look like she was a marble statue. He golden hair flowed like a brook. Her gait shone with a confidence displayed by no other individual within 100 miles. She, was perfect. Or. So. They. Thought.  

A regular day with Gwen in her small town of Whiteington starts with her getting ready for school. She rises at 5:00 AM for a shower. She would rise from her bed and get straight into the shower. Gwen had her own personal bathroom; her room had been finished in such a way that it looked more like a 5-star hotel room. “ A room befitting of a Goddess” as many put it when they first gazed upon her quarters. Her royal bath; marble floors, and specially crafted appliances. Her marble shower with golden handles and showerhead glazed her with water, the light would glisten off her moistened body. She would get out, dry herself, and then go about preparing her face.

“ Where the hell did I put my eyeliner?” Gwen was searching through her bags and drawers, unable to find her eye liner. A dark hand appeared, holding the eyeliner in front of Gwen.

“ Thank you, knew you would find it.” Smiling, Gwen took the makeup from the shadowy hand and kissed it, then went about finishing her makeup. Once ready, powdered, eyes lined and shadowed and lips as red as blood, she picked out her outfit for the day. She was having trouble picking between two tops, holding them in front of her over and over as she looked in the mirror. The hand appeared again, tossing both tops away and handing her a third; a red top, slightly low cut to show off her impressive bust, with a matching half skirt that had golden embroidery on it, and a pair of red stilettos

“ Ooh perfect. What would I do without you?” She smiled and her shadowy companion. The hand flipped with the palm facing up, like one does when they shrug, and the girl laughed. Then, a knock at the door.

“ Gwendoline, my young Goddess, are you ready yet?” The hand vanished and Gwen groaned and rolled her eyes.

“ Almost mother, just a few more minutes.” She called out with such a fake tone of cheerfulness you would have to be stupid not to notice. Her mother was.

“ Oh of course my lady, I apologize, I’ll go finish up your breakfast.” The sound of feet descending a staircase followed by more silence, and Gwen sighed. The hand appeared again, lightly patting Gwen on the shoulder.

“ I know, I know she is my mother but ugggh” She let out a frustrated groan. “ She is such a bother.”

“ Soon.” Is all the hand responded with.

“ I know, lets just get going already.” Gathering her things, Gwen traveled downstairs to her mostly normal home; no marble, no carvings of sorts, save for a series of life-sized golden statues of Gwen from throughout her life. Gwen had thought them nice in the past, but now they were more of an eyesore and took up space. Her mother came out of the kitchen, a fresh plate of fluffy pancakes atop it with butter, maple syrup and sugar.

“ Your request from last night my dear.” Her mother nearly bowed as she held up the plate. Gwen smiled and took the plate, shooing her mother away as she went onto the front porch to eat.

Sitting in her usual spot; a simple wicker chair that was worn from years of use, and a old glass table that still had a crack on it from when her father had punched it when she was young. The day he left. She ate her breakfast in peace, no company but that of the birds. Since she was treated as a Goddess, Gwen took it upon herself to help the other living creatures around her. She had set up a bird feeder near her table and the birds did not mind her, sometimes they would join her at the table. Her favorite was a little sparrow; a beautiful gold with black wings and cap, the color hair Gwen wished for. She named him Jack and would often pet him when he came close.

“ Dear, you forgot you orange juice-!” Gwen’s mother let out a terrified shriek when she saw her daughter petting a bird, dropping the glass of juice. While Gwen liked animals, all those around her thought she was too regal to even bother with “vermin” of any kind. Hence why Gwen had never had a pet; her father had had an old dog when she was young, a big Mastiff named Duke. He died when she was only three, and her mother despised him.

“ Mother come down it's just a-”

“ Get away from that creature Gwendoline my Goddess, it will contaminate you with low life germs!” Her mother grabbed a broom and tried swatting at the, but Gwen stopped her by yanking the broom away. When she turned back, Jack and all the other birds had flown off.

“ Goddammit mother, why did you scare off the birds? They were just starting to get comfortable around me!”

“ You should not come even close to creatures like birds! You are a Goddess, they are simply creatures that should worship you like the rest of us!” Her mother was only angry when Gwen was “tainting” her Godly form.

“ Forget this, I’m going to school!” Gwen snatched her bag from beside her chair, which her mother then realized she was sitting in a plain chair and not one of her “Goddess Thrones” made of stainless steel and clothe. Gwen stormed off, blocking out whatever nonsense her mother was yelling at her as she stomped towards the school. She had to drop the anger otherwise others would think they angered her and spend the whole day “repenting.” Last time it happened a boy had thrown himself from the top of the stands at the football field; luckily he lived. Gwen slowed her pace and let out a deep sigh as she came towards the back of the school.

“ Soon.” The voice from before said again.

“ Not soon enough, whatever it is.” She murmured as she put on a straight face and moved towards the school. As she reached the rear staircase all things seemed as usual; it was just after 6 o'clock and there was nobody else there yet, letting her get to the media center before the crowd formed. However, she then saw someone sitting on the stairs she so confidently would normally just go up. She was stopped by the smell of smoke specifically. When she looked down, she saw a young man, about her age, sitting there smoking a cigarette. She had never seen him before and he was not worshiping her; was he new?

“ Excuse me.” She cleared her throat and turned her head to face him. At first, he did not move, seemed to not have heard. “ Excuse me.” She repeated herself louder, and this time he heard.

“ What?” He turned to look up at her, his dark eyes intrigued her. His entire attire was dark; a dark beanie, trench coat, shirt, pants, and boots. His hair was long and dark, hanging slightly in his face, it was so long she thought the cigarette might ignite it. In contrast, he was as pale as the moon, and not a single form of acne or facial hair. Spotless, like her. She was lost in his eyes for a moment, not realizing she was staring.

“ You, ok there?” He question of concern broke her focus.

“ Ah, y-yes, bit out of it there, sorry.” She smiled a genuine smile, though it had been so long since she had done it last she thought she was acting. “ Who are you? I haven’t seen you before and it's half-way through the semester.” The crisp fall breeze reassured Gwen that winter was in fact approaching; her favorite season.  

“ Yeah I’m new, just moved to town a few days ago. Name’s Beau Abel.” He held out his hand. “ You?”

“ Gwendoline, Gwendoline Fairbairn. But you can call me Gwen.” She reached out and weakly grabbed his hand; wasn’t used to shaking hands, only having hers’ grabbed and kissed and such.

“ So you are the “ fair Gwen” I’ve heard about.” She sighed, seeing that her chance to be treated normally was already gone. She had closed her eyes, and when she opened them he was standing and very close to her face, examining her.

“ U-um.” She stuttered, being frazzled for the first time. She could feel her cheeks warming up, this was embarrassment?

“ Oh sorry, just.” He paused, stepping back and putting his hands in his coat pockets. A chain on his hip jingled a little as he moved. “ You seem pretty normal. You’re just a really pretty girl, no offense, but I don’t see why you are treated so highly.” She was shocked, and he smirked slightly. “ But I should watch my mouth, if the others hear me I’m sure I’ll get lynched or sacrificed or something for ‘offending the Goddess.’”

“ N-No!” She shouted suddenly, shocking both parties. “ Y-you won’t get lynched or sacrificed or anything. I, actually like the fact that you see me as nothing special.” Gwen held her hands up to her face, she had a giddy excitement coming over her. “ No one since my dad has treated me like a regular person. I’ve been treated like a God since I was a young girl. At first, I liked it; the attention, the praise, the gifts. But as I got older, it grew bland and I wanted to just be seen like all the other girls. Sure, I’m better looking than them, and smarter, and more athletic, but, but I’m not that special.” The excitement quickly faded to a depression, memories of the father came back to her, memories of the few days she knew true joy.

“ No to pry, but, what happened to your dad? Why did noone act like him and see you normally?”

“ My, my father hated the way my mother treated me, like, this. It spread to everyone else in town except him. His parents saw me as such, and all others on his side of the family. But, my mother corrupted everyone else in town somehow, making me appear as a Goddess. They often fought, and my mother formed a mob to chase him and whatever family of his that was in this town out. Though I remember him leaving before hand, and the mob was just for show; cementing my place in this small, crazy ass town.”

“ Yeah this place is something else. It’ll be a good change for a bit.” Hearing “for a bit” scared Gwen suddenly.

“ Wait, ‘for a bit’ are you going to leave Whiteington soon?”

“ Yeah, probably towards the end of the semester, part way into the second one. I move around a lot, go to lots of places, cover a lot of ground, meet lots of pe-”

“ Take me with you when you leave!” Gwen suddenly grabbed Beau’s coat, pulling herself close to him, needing to look up because he was just a tad taller.

“ Wait what?”

“ Take me with you when you leaving Whiteington! I despite this place, all the people, it's just so, so.”

“ Infuriating.” It wasn’t Beau.

“ Yeah, infuriating.” She turned to see Beau shocked. “ What?’

“ That voice such now, the one that said ‘infuriating’ you heard it?”

“ Yeah why-” She covered her mouth. “ You heard it!?” Beau nodded and began to back towards the school doors.

“ Wait, I can explain!” Gwen did not want to lose her one chance at freedom; her chance to be normal. Beau was hesitant, glancing between Gwen and the distance,  as others started to filter in from the far end of the courtyard, he dashed into the school. Defeated, Gwen slowly moseyed into the school, her confidence, her fake joy, gone. No ray of sunshine and hope from the Goddess this morn, but a heavy dark cloud of depressing, heavy rain. She ignored her “worshipers” and their pleas to please the Goddess, nor did she listen to any of the faculty or staff. Gwen barely carried her own weight from class to class as the day went on.

But in her last class, her hope shined through again; she saw Beau sitting in the back of her art class, looking out the window. Not only that, but he was sitting on her table, and no one else had yet arrived. When she did however, she was followed by a flood of classmates who were also in the class. Upon seeing Beau at Gwen’s table, the other students mobbed him.

“ How dare you sit at the Goddess Gwendoline’s table!”
“ You fiend! Do you know no respect?”

“ You need to be punished for such a heinous act against our Goddess!” They turned to Gwen herself, who was still in shock to see him there. Beau on the other hand, was still scared from the morning.

“ What shall we do to punish him Goddess Gwendoline?” They waited patiently for an answer.

“ Nothing, he is to join me at my table. The rest of you, do your work.” Shocked, for Gwen had allowed them to punish other students who acted out of line since she didn’t care enough; but Beau was different. She took her seat across from him as the others got their things and began to work. Glancing at the two; Beau in a state of shock and confusion and Gwen with a true smile on her face. The two remained in silence for some time, neither moving or breaking eye contact.

“ So, the Goddess stuff is really taken seriously around here huh Gwen?” Hearing him call her Gwen almost made the class jump from their seats, but she held up her hand and they stopped.

“ All of you, do not listen to us, do your work and pay us no mind.” And sure enough, the entire class tuned them out. “ Sadly, yes it is very serious.”

“ Don’t blame you for wanting an out, but I might not be that way.”

“ Then what other way is there for me? I can’t go anyone in this town without being recognized. And they certainly wouldn’t let their ‘Goddess Gwen’ but a train ticket to another town.”

“ True. Let’s, see how things go for now. Down the line I’ll give you an answer, alright?” She nodded, full of joy.

So, the semester went on. Gwen and Beau spent most of their time together, and all the others in the town were suspicious of him. He called her Gwen, and despite the fact that she granted him permission, they didn't like the disrespect. Gwen kept Beau a secret from her mother, sure enough she would run him out of town if she learned of him. And she was not letting her ticket out of Whiteington fly off into the wind like any random piece of parchment. Also, she grew very close to Beau, she liked his stories of other places. Beau had been all over, to many major cities, multiple times for some. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, Atlanta, all kinds of big cities and little cities across the US. And he as a person, he was different for sure. A good different? A, bad different perhaps? Gwen cared little of which, only of what Beau was at that current moment in time, and he sure as hell was not bad.  

Nearing the end of the semester, the time Beau said he might be leaving. It is the dead of winter at this point; snow covers all of Whiteington, everything is carefully decorated with just the right amount of white powder to give it the mystical appearance that Gwen loved. The pure whiteness of Whiteington in winter, the only thing she would miss. But one morning, Gwen woke up and things just felt, off. Not with her, but in general.

“ Today.” The voice, her shadowy hand, said this as soon as Gwen woke. “ Now.” It kept going between these two words; Today and Now. Gwen had known of the hand since she was a young child, shortly after her father left did it manifest. It was once scary, but it grew to be Gwen’s one true friend; her support, it kept her centered and from going insane. “ Friend.” was the first word it ever said to her. Hardly ever speaking in anything but one word sentences, though Gwen could not recall the last time it spoke in a full sentence. Maybe she had imagined it.  

“ Gone. Betrayal.” As they made their way to school, the hand said these words. It was also not hidden like usual; it was instead perched on Gwen’s right shoulder, hidden just below her frosty winter coat. It was not till she reached the back steps did she learn what it meant. There was note left there, where Beau would always sit waiting for Gwen in the morning. It was beneath a switch blade; black with a ram skull on the bottom of the handle. It was the same one that Beau had always carried with him. Terrified and shaking, Gwen picked up the note and read it.

Dear Gwen,

I’m know when you find this you will be shocked, angry, and sad. But listen, I wanted to take you with me, I truly did. But, I run because there are people after me. I’ve done things, things I am not proud of. Things that have really hurt, and really angered, a lot of different people. A lot of powerful people. They had learned I was in Whiteington, apparently the other kids finally ratted on me to your mother, they were talking about me and my people on the news the other day. Your mother formed a pretty sizable horde to chase me down, luckily I live in my car and the streets are not icy here; I made a clean getaway. But, I was leaving you behind, and I couldn’t just leave you hanging. So, I risked it, wrote this and came back, leaving it with my knife so you would know its me. Leaving it where you would find it; our place on the rear stairs. I know I never gave you an answer if I would take you, I was going to tell you yes today, but shit hit the fan and I had to go. I will come back for you and get you out of this hell hole one day, that I promise you. When that is however, is uncertain. Once I get some things figured out, I’ll be back.

Love your biggest fan,

Beau

As she had read the note, tears flowed from Gwen’s eyes like a powerful current. The coated the note in water, smudging much of the writing and ruining the paper. But Gwen stiffened up, for Beau promised to return. But, before he did, Gwen knew what she had to do; what she wanted to do. Her town caused him to leave, trapping her there for who knows how many more years, who knows how many more years of worship. Not once had Gwen uttered the name of the hand, for now she remembered its on full sentence, back on the day they became “one.”

“ I am Gremory. Speak my name when the time comes.”

“ Gremory.” The hand grew in size and mass, turning from just a hand to an entire shadowy figure. With burning red eyes, the once simple hand gazed deep into the tear-stained eyes of the girl whom he had been in for so many years.

“ It is time to leave this place Gwen.” Gwen bit her lip and nodded. “ You will leave this place.” Gremory seeped slowly into Gwen, causing her to be lifted off the ground as the shadows filled her. Returned to the ground, Gwen had finally acquired what she wanted; a way out. The shadows leaked and jumped from Gwen’s body, rippling like a roaring river. The power that flowed through her, it was the power someone called a Goddess deserved. A few of the school kids came into sight, and now with one burning red eye, partly obsidian colored hair and a garb of shadows, Gwen turned to face them.

“ Oh, Goddess Gwendoline, rid of the foul boy Beau now it seems huh-” One of the boys, his name Rade, or Radek, Gwen never cared enough to remember, began speaking and walking ahead of the others. Gwen blinked forward, in front of Rade, severing his head with one clean sweep of her arm. The head, whose mouth was still in the shape of a warming smile, soon faded as it sank into the cold snow. The body twitched slightly, unsure what to do without the head, before collapsing into the snow behind it. Blood shot from the neck like a fountain, though it quickly turned to a weak trickle of liquid as it stained the snow the color of flames. It looked almost like a red snow cone, a sick image Gwen had thinking of making and selling them.

“ G-goddess Gwendoline?” One of the other students spoke up, all were standing there horrified.

“ Repent.” Gwen blinked forward again, impaling the boy who spoke this time, lifting him off the ground with ease. His warm blood flowed down Gwen’s arm, being sucked into the shadows. The life slowly faded from him, the shocked expression on his face; a mask of horror was the face that would rest on the boy’s corpse. When he went limp, releasing the grip he had on Gwen’s arm in an effort to escape, she lowered her arm and letting the body hit the ground with a thud. The remaining three students; two girls and another boy had already begun to flee.

Gwen raised he blood stained hand and shadowy flames shot forth, engulfing the closest one, one of the girls. She burned like gasoline soaked wood, her screams of immense pain filled the void for just a moment, before fading as quickly as they came. The body, now a charred husk, blew into the wind when a light winter breeze blew by, scattering her in the snow and beyond. The last two Gwen decided to have fun with.

The last boy was still running, the girl had tried to hide behind a dumpster. Gwen noticed as she walked by it, hearing her panicked pants to catch her breath. Despite covering her mouth, it did not conceal her. Gwen simple shoved the dumpster, reducing the girl to nothing but a past on the concrete. A lone finger is all that remained of her, and Gwen despised it; a perfectly crafted nail, painted the color of the sky on a clear summer day, just the right length. Gwen crushed it beneath her foot as she turned to go after the remaining child. He was far down the street, yelling about how Gwen was “sick.” She blinked to him. He halted in horror as their faces were mere inches apart.

“ Sick indeed.” She grabbed his face and lifted him off the ground. As he struggled, calling for help, Gwen slowly crushed the head. The sound of his skull cracking like an egg filled Gwen with euphoria; she had never enjoyed anything more than this before. Sadly, her joy was quickly fleeting, for the egg cracked and he went limp like the others. With a disappointed groan, Gwen dropped the broken egg in the snow.

“ Now, for the rest of them.” Gwen went around Whiteington “cracking some more eggs” as she put it. She cleaned out every house, every apartment, every business. Blood stained the walls, organs and limbs lay scattered like rubbish, and shadowy flames engulfed each and every building. All of it was burning; Whiteington was a mix of white snow and jet flames. All of it, save for one building; Gwen’s home.

When she returned home this day, every house on the street was already reduced to cinders, its inhabitants nothing but scattered parts and ash. The birds were not at the feeder, they must have left town when the fire started. It was better that way, they wouldn’t be hurt. Gwen turned the doorknob and pushed the door open. It creaked open, but as it went it too was reduced to ash. The flames spread slowly into the hall, creeping like a shadow as Gwen entered the place she once called home. The paint melted and boiled, the floorboards charred, the furniture burst into flames. Gwen stopped the the statues of her, going back to when she was nothing more than a few months old. The slowly melted like a block of ice as the flames jumped to and fro around her. Gwen watched one of the most hated things her in life melt away into nothing more than a metallic puddle. All that remained, was her mother. Gwen made her way through the kitchen, her meal from the morning sat upon the counter. The half eaten flapjacks faded to black as the fire remained. The room melted and burned as Gwen made her way to the door of her mother’s room. An old door, wooden, cracks and paint stains, worn from years of use. When she opened the door, there her mother sat, already dead.

“ Mother?” Gwen was shocked, not sad, finding her mother with a blade protruding from her chest. She was more annoyed than anything that she was not the one to kill her, the woman that made her life the hell that it was, gone before she had the chance to say her last goodbye. There was no note, no sign of struggle, no one would have come to the house anyway, let alone get past the front door if so. There was only one reason as to how her mother died; suicide. The blade was lodged into her chest by her own hand, but why? Grief of what he daughter had become? Not wanting to see the Fallen Angel she had become? Gwen didn’t know nor care’ she was gone.

“ Farewell, Gwen.” The only thing she shared with her mother was her name. Dark hair, bland brown hair, basic clothes. Her mother was nowhere close to the person her daughter was, and Gwen liked it. She was in fact, different. She was a special case, a true individual.

“ Where shall we go now then, sweet, Gwen?” Gremory manifested alongside her, connected to her by a shadowy stem like a plant.  

“ To Beau. And to my father. They will give me answers, and a home.” Gwen turned, leaving the charred wreckage that was once her prestigious home. All of Whiteington burned, all its inhabitants lay dead in the crimson coated snow. Gwen just walked forward, in attempt to find a place where she belonged, a place in which she could live a normal life.

At the far end of town, back at the school, the note lay alone on the blooded blacktop. It too had begun to burn, from the top to the bottom. The last bit of parchment was a folded part, a part of Beau’s letter which Gwen had overlooked.

P.S. I know you will leave before I return. The hand will guide you.

A boot stomped on the burning parchment, reducing it to ash. This boot too had the shadowy flames, but only for a moment did the lunge from it in search of things to burn. The man these boots were attached to was simply taking in the scene; seeing Gwen’s handy work was a sight for the ages.

“ And all this but that little girl huh?” Another woman came up alongside the man, a dark cloak over her head, only her silver eyes, and dark violet makeup visible in the burning light.

“ Told you she was impressive. Whittington population at 6am this morning: over 400. Current Whiteington population: 0. All in a matter of hours.”

“ Should have known she could do this, she does take after her father.” The cloaked woman looked at the man, his shadowy companion lurked on his shoulder in the form of an infernal crow. He lit a cigar on the crow, much to its annoyance.

“ Aye, she sure does.”

“ Aren’t you lucky Sorin? You’ll have your hands full with her.” The crow murmured. The girl laughed.

“ Aye. Very lucky. Very proud. And a very large hand full.”

 


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