The Hollow and The Saint

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 1 (v.1) - The Saint

Submitted: May 30, 2017

Reads: 267

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Submitted: May 30, 2017

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Life, a word so simple, yet, has so many faces and shapes it could drive the most powerful mind into the brink of insanity. For me to remember my story, I have re-live the events that shaped the very essence of my dream. Which also means re-experiencing happiness and sorrow, love and hate, life and death.

***

It was 1947. This was the year where everything began. They say that a human life begins with a cry, a high voice that echoes through heaven and hell. As if I believe in either. Well, my story also began with a scream, the lousy annoying type that is.

Ms. Marie raised her voice: "Logan! Why are you still awake?! Don't you know the rules? Everyone should be asleep after 9 pm, go back to the basement with the other kids!” her eyebrows snarled while showing off her yellow uneven teeth.

With lightning speed I ran past her to the living room and rushed to the window, sneaking a clear view of the sky. Suddenly, I felt a hot sensation in my right shoulder. Like a monster fangs digging deep into his prey’s thin flesh.

"You are seven years old, and you run like a damn rat! Tonight you are sleeping in the Kagibi!" said Ms. Marie, the vein on the side of her head was about to explode.

The ‘Kagibi’ was a dark, creepy room full of rats, reserved for bad kids. Ms. Marie was the matron. The only reason she forced the kids to sleep this early is so she could begin her ‘ritual’ at night without any disturbance. She would sit on that rotten, squeaky chair, a bottle of whiskey in one hand and a cigarette in the other for two hours, always finishing three cigarettes and leaving about an eighth of the bottle.

How did I know of this? Well, I used to join her every night, from a distance of course, without being noticed. I always waited for that moment when her eyes filled with rainbows and her brain was on autopilot, so I could sneak towards the window of the living room and look at the sky. Don't get me wrong, I was not that dreamy lovey-dovey kind of person. The only reason I did it was for her. Elizabeth Rose.

***

Sitting in pitch black, with only the sound of rats’ footsteps and the squealing ventilator above my head, and the smell of rotten furniture, I learned how to embrace the darkness from an early age. I couldn't revert back to her the picture in my head. Like every other night, I boiled with anger and anxiety, knowing that she was waiting for my return. I sank with sadness.

***

Unlike me, Elizabeth had a family. She had a past, but a dark bleak one. Her father was a decent person, when he was sober, that is. Serving his country in WWII, stationed in the heart of Berlin, Walter had returned home with unresolved issues. Haunted by nightmares every night, the images of slaughter and deformed corpses never escaped his mind. Using whiskey to mask these problems, he would unleash all the pent-up rage inside of him on his wife. There was only one person that he wouldn’t touch: Elizabeth. Knowing that, and the love she bore for her husband, Eli's mother stood by that man, hoping that one day the husband she once knew would return from the war.

One night he was so drunk he completely lost his senses. He called Eli to his side, and whispered in her ear.

"Your eyes are so pure, Elizabeth, you shouldn't befoul them with the demons of this world," he whispered.

Well, that was somewhat true as her father’s drunk face, with the big scar on his forehead, was the last thing Eli ever saw. He grabbed the bottle of mixed alcohol and poured it into his daughter's eyes. That wouldn’t be the last evil she would encounter. Her mother couldn't believe what she saw, and she rushed towards her daughter, pushing her husband away and snatching the bottle from his hands.

Walter didn't like having his bottle taken away. Brimming with anger, he attacked his wife. Elizabeth’s mother was so traumatized, she lost her senses herself. She saw the eyes of a desperate, hopeless man, and she knew then that her husband was long gone, lost in the piles of corpses and gunpowder ash. Terrified for her daughter’s safety, she hit Walter with the bottle. He was still moving, and very much conscious, so she hit him on the head, over and over, until the bottle was stuck in his skull.

Blood all over the place, pieces of his brain splattered on the carpet and sofa, Elizabeth’s mother’s face and hands were covered with her husband’s blood. Freshly blinded, Elizabeth was saved from witnessing the gore of this horrible bloodbath.

Walter was dead. As for her mother, she was sent to jail. Although she was released after two weeks on a self-defense plea, they wouldn't let her near Elizabeth. Her shrink mentioned in the report that her psychological condition was not stable, and so Elizabeth was sent to the orphanage.

***

Somehow, I could sense the dark side of other people. It’s like feeling the air, it varies with different individuals. Everyone has a unique, distinctive aura. You could call it a gift, but for me it was more of a curse. I could feel a demon living and breathing inside of me. He granted me this curse. I didn’t know his intentions yet. But I can feel him feeding on my loneliness. He was getting bigger.

Despite being just a kid, I saw life through the eyes of an ascetic man. I didn’t like to play with toys, eat ice cream or even talk with others. When I was around the other kids, I always felt like a white pigeon trying to coexist with the ducks in the pond, only ending up being a outcast. I just sat alone under the tree in the garden, analyzing the surroundings. The only thought in my head was ‘Life’.

I can breathe, I can see, I can feel, then...why am I here? What is the purpose of my existence?

When I tried to ask the other kids about my thoughts, some laughed, some didn’t understand what I was saying, others picked up a rock from the ground and threw it at me.

“Begone Satan! Begone!” The kids yelled, casting me out.

When I asked Ms. Marie about my dilemma, she looked around for a second, and then, in the blink of an eye she caught something in her hand. Then she brought it in front of my eyes, and slowly opened her fist. It was a dead fly.

“See that Logan? That’s life,” she said, with a striking stare.

Somehow, I can sense the dark side of other people. It’s like feeling the air, it varies with different individuals. Everyone has a unique, distinctive aura. You can call it a gift, but for me it was more of a curse. I can feel a demon living and breathing inside of me. He granted me this curse. I didn’t know his intentions yet. But I can feel him feeding on my loneliness. He was getting bigger.

Every day, I would find new bruises on Elizabeth’s body, either on her forehead or feet, from walking into furniture. Despite the pain, she wouldn't ask for help from anyone. The other kids always laughed and made jokes about her. One day, they intentionally placed a small straw pallet in her way, followed by Lego pieces, and hid her cane so she wouldn't be able to detect what was in front of her. Hugging the wall, walking slowly and trying to feel the objects in front of her, she seemed so weak and fragile. She was walking right towards the trap.

I was watching from around the corner, imagining the moment when she would helplessly drop down screaming in pain. Something inside of me boiled with excitement, but it also gave birth to a ...disturbed feeling that I couldn't shake off. It was the first time that I had experienced this kind of sensation. It was getting stronger and stronger. She was about to fall. Suddenly, I felt my heartbeats rising and my body getting hotter. Without knowing it I found myself rushing towards her with all my might. She was about to fall, I couldn't stop her, so I threw myself onto the Lego pieces. Eli landed on top of me. Although I took most of the damage, feeling her warmth on top of me extinguished all the pain.

“Sorry! I swear I was walking by the wall, but I stumbled on something on my way. Please forgive me! I didn’t mean to…” Elizabeth went on and on, apologizing profusely.

I just stood there in front of her, unable to hear her voice, not knowing why I rushed to help her. My mind had gone blank. The other kids burst into laughter. They always teased me as if I was some kind of a demon, but after hearing their demonic shrieks, I was convinced that they were the true fiends. Elizabeth soon realized that she had been set up. She stood up, and despite being unable to look them in the eye, Eli turned her face to each one of them.

It seems she is going to give them a mouthful.

“Thank you, you have taught me to see clearly.” She said with an unwavering, firm voice.

“How can you see when you are blind?!” asked one of the kids, giggling into his sleeves.

Unable to grasp the meaning of her words, they looked like idiots. To tell you the truth, I was shocked. I didn’t expect such a response.

“Elizabeth... Sorry. I should have warned you earlier instead of waiting for you to fall,” I said, regretfully.

“What’s your name?”

“Logan.”

Then she brought her hands up to my face, feeling off my figure.

“Logan, you are an angel sent by the heavens. Thank you!” she responded, with a smile on her face.

It was the first time that someone said something like that to me. Suddenly, my heart was filled with so much joy that my hands were shaking. Then I thought to myself:

Maybe she can understand!

“Tell me this then, what do you think about life?” I asked.

“Life? What do you mean?” She asked.

  I guess, in the end, she is just like the others. It seems I will never find the answer.

Then, while I was walking away.

“I don’t know about life, but I can tell you about dreams.” Elizabeth responded.

“Dreams? What about them?” I asked out of curiosity.

“You see, unlike now, in my dreams I can see with my own eyes, I can live wherever I want. There, everyone gets along, even sheep can walk beside wolves in peace!” She said with a joyful voice.

Her words… I don’t know why, but somehow they sparked something inside my heart, igniting the first flame of destiny. From that day, Elizabeth and I were friends: Loyal and inseparable. Digging our path with nail and teeth, looking out for each other. Somehow I felt… warm around her. The other kids would call us Rover and Blindy, referencing her blonde hair with her blindness and me as her dog. We didn't mind them at all, as we were happy living in our own world.

I had always thought that maybe because Elizabeth couldn't see me with her eyes, she didn't fear me at all like the other kids who consider me ‘Satan’s son’, as if even devil would want a son like me. However, now I know she wouldn’t have feared me either way, she always had a blind spot for me. The kids didn’t get along with Elizabeth either. She was about my age, but was mature beyond her years, so at least we had that in common.

She told me the horrific story of her last moments with her parents in great detail, despite not having seen it with her eyes. The sounds that she had heard in that fight were carved in her mind. I could feel the trauma that Eli had gone through that fateful night from her words alone. Eventually, Elizabeth buried the memory of her family for good. With so little to cling on to, she willingly moved on with her life, accepting the fate she was given. I was captivated by her determination and strong will. With that brave act she gained my respect.

Eli would ask me to describe the sky for her every night. She liked the way I painted the stars with words for her, so she could image it for herself. Despite all the darkness and sinister things that life had showed her, Elizabeth still wanted to see the beauty in this world. Why? Because she was a survivor, she refused to give up: she knew her weaknesses, and she did not let them define her. It was then I saw that a person so fragile can become so intimidating and inspirational.

I admired her like my idol. I knew then that I wanted to make her happy, and for that, I had to create a world where someone like her could live in peace: where no demon could defile her purity. At long last, I had found my saint.

 
 
 


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