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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

It was the smell of French toast that alerted her first. The saccharine smell of syrup and cinnamon wafted through her nostrils, stimulating her brain, and begging her to awake from her slumber. Cracking one eye open, she found that it was much more difficult than usual, but decided to shake it off, French toast calling her name.

She sat up in her bed, the silk sheets easing from her breasts to her thighs as she surveyed the room – it was still dark. Checking the clock, she grimaced, the bright red letters read “2:07….” She rubbed her eyes and checked the time again, confirming that it was indeed very early morning. She pondered that perhaps her sleeping mind had played a trick on her, that there wasn’t any delicious goodness coming from her kitchen, but the swirling cinnamon-syrup smell still enveloped her, and she knew that someone was cooking in the kitchen.

Looking beside her, she noticed her husband was still tucked into bed, one arm behind his head, the other stretched out under a pillow, his mouth open wide as loud snores escaped from his vocal caverns.

Confused, she surmised that one of their children had to be cooking, “Now which one of them would be up cooking shit this late?” she asked aloud. Looking at her husband again, sleeping peacefully, she decided not to wake him and handle the disciplining.

Pushing the rest of the sheet from her body, she attempted to stand up. However, her legs felt like jelly and she soon felt her knees collapsing from under her. She fell to the ground with a loud “thud,” slightly grazing her head against the nightstand on the way down.

Feeling dizzy, she blinked once, then twice, trying to refocus her vision and shake the grogginess she felt. Through the haze, she pictured, or rather imagined a dark-cloaked figure standing in front of her.

“I’ve come to collect….” The voice was gruff and resonated in her ear drums.

“What?” she managed through her haze, the dizziness having yet to fade, “what…..”

“I’ve come to collect,” the voice was less gruff this time, a bit more higher pitched, “Come..”

Drawing herself to her knees, she looked at the intruder again, certain that she was hallucinating. She coughed a bit and tried to move once more, to no avail.

Pale white fingers reached for her, she attempted to move, “Joshua!” she called to her husband wondering why he hadn’t woken, “Joshua!” she screamed louder.

“Cries fall on deaf ears I’m afraid,” the voice spoke to her, and she screamed once more. “Stop it, you foolish girl!” it called to her, “Can’t you see that he cannot hear you?”

Her mocha eyes traveled to her husband’s body, he had not stirred. He remained in his position despite her pleas for help.

“Now come!” it commanded her, “I must collect and be about my way.”

She remained frozen in her spot, she assumed that the voice belonged to a male, but she wouldn’t be intimidated, “I don’t know who the fuck you think you are,” she began with a screech, “But you’re messing with the wrong bitch!”

And for the first time, he flashed his face towards her. It was solid ivory in complexion and sunken in. The skin lay over his bones tightly, several tiny wrinkles stretched the length of his face. It was terrifying, she’d never seen anyone so pale. But the most terrifying feature, his eyes. They were charcoal black and almost appeared to contain a miniature black hole.

They were captivating eyes…captivating and terrifying.

Her breath hitched in her throat, the sight paralyzed her. She watched as his pale fingers pulled a clipboard from his cloak and produced a blood red pen, seemingly from the air. His eyes were trained on her as he wrote a solitary word on the paper.

Suddenly, she felt her heartbeat quicken and her breaths became short. Then suddenly, in the sharpest, most searing, most burning pain she’d ever felt, the letter “A” followed by the letter “R” began to produce across one of the arms she’d been using to prop herself up. The letters produced until they stretched the entire length of her arm…


She gasped as the word sat etched into her ebony skin. She looked back into his eyes, her mouth agape, fear swirling in her chest.

“Now, I said COME!” his voice bellowed and she was lifted from her spot on the floor into a standing position.

He began to walk towards the door, and she felt her limbs move on their own accord into the same direction. Her limbs were sluggish, and felt like weights.

“What the fuck is going on?” she questioned inwardly, “Why can’t I stop walking. And why do I feel so fucking slow?”

“I am collecting.” He answered her.

“How did he?” She questioned herself again.

“I can do all things,” he answered once more, “Including controlling your movements, reading your mind….and this.” He flashed his eyes towards her again and snapped his fingers.

She looked down at her body as she felt cold metal encase her appendages. “Now don’t look so confused, foolish one,” he chuckled, “Those weights were already there in the first place. You just didn’t notice them.” He turned away from her and continued at a quicker pace, “Now come, I have many more collections to gather tonight!”

She began to move at his pace, growing tired as the weights dragged her down. They continued the length of the hallway before he stopped in the living room. He approached the mantle, and trailed the frame of one of the pictures, before moving to do the same to another.

“Your husband,” he started, “Is nowhere near you in terms of complexion.”

She didn’t respond, she concentrated on breathing so that she wouldn’t pass out.

He repeated himself, ‘Your husband looks nothing like you. Why?”

She clenched her fists, she was already being abducted by this….this thing, her husband couldn’t hear her, her kids could possibly be in danger, and now that bastard had the audacity to question her about her family.


“What of it?” she spat through clenched teeth.

His eyes flashed briefly and he balled his fingers into a fist. Suddenly, she felt the brand on her arm tingle, before sending a shock up the length of her arm and throughout her body.

“Answer my question, NOW!” he bellowed.

“Fuck you!” she grimaced through the pain.

He clenched his fists tighter causing more spasms to shockwave through her body. The pain was unbearable, she could hardly breathe and she felt sweat pool at her chest. He approached her, and with two fingers he touched the brand on her arm.

The feeling of his fingertips had a cooling sensation, and briefly the pain subsided. Then, it returned full force, with an additional shock as she felt something being pulled from her body.

She watched in horror as the letter “E” was extracted from her skin followed by the letter, “M,” and so on. This continued until the completed word was inside of a bubble that he held in his hands. Looking at it, he smirked, “You know, this is one of my favorite things to collect. Sadly, I haven’t been able to collect it in a while. Not many people that I collect from carry this trait.” He continued to smirk as he placed the bubble into his cloak.


She stared at him, knowing that something wasn’t right, but couldn’t put her finger on it. She didn’t have much time to mull it over before he questioned her again, “Why are you and your husband different complexions? Don’t you foolish women usually pick men that look like you?”

“It didn’t matter to me, I loved him all the same.” She answered immediately.

“Wait, what the hell?” she thought again, “What the hell made me answer that?”

He smirked again before removing his clipboard from his cloak and writing another word across the parchment. She felt the words etch into her skin again, this time in her back. She sucked in a breath and let a tear slip from her eye as the letters were carved one-by-one into her skin.


He picked up the picture of her children before beckoning her to follow once again. “Enough of this scenery, we have much traveling to do.”

Once again, she felt her limbs move involuntarily as they carried her into the cool night air, this time, she didn’t struggle. Looking to the sky, she stared at the moon and silently prayed that she’d be able to see the sun, and her family again.

“Foolish woman, don’t you get it?” he questioned her, this time almost pityingly, “Not even God can save you now.”


Her feet were pleading for her to rest, but her limbs continued to press onward. She looked forward, he was a few feet in front of her, opting a much slower pace than he initially claimed they would be going.

“I thought he had so much shit to do,” she mulled to herself, “And yet here we are going at a snail’s pace.”

“I travel at the pace that I wish to, not the pace of my collections.” He glared at her, still fingering the framed picture of her children, “We are nearly at our destination anyway.”

They approached a tall building. It was all white – the same color of her abductor’s skin, and there weren’t any windows, just a solitary door sitting at the base. She stared at the building, and knew immediately that she’d never seen any building in her town like it before.

He opened the door with a snap of his fingers and ushered her inside before entering in himself. She shivered, it was cold in the building. It felt as if the air condition had been blowing full blast in every room, and the cold linoleum floor hurt her bare feet with every step she took.

She surveyed the hallway they were standing in, it was long and had stone doors lining the sides. They crept down the hallway, she staring at each door, and he facing straight ahead. They approached the door at the end of the hallway and he halted.

He stared at the picture in his hand, “How old are your children?” he asked.

“My oldest is fourteen, my youngest is eight.” She told him and chastised herself yet again for answering him.

“They look more like you than your husband…” he analyzed the photo, “How long has it been since you two made your covenant?”

“Seven years,” she answered and struggled to understand why she continued to answer his questions. She didn’t want to speak with him at all.

“I’ve already told you that I control your every action,” he sneered, “And yet, even after all I’ve done you still underestimate my power.” He stared at the picture, “Do all of your offspring belong to your husband?”

She struggled to keep the answer inside of her, and yet, it bubbled from her throat and out of her lips, “No…”

Smirking once more, he threw the frame to the ground and she watched, in horror as it shattered into several tiny pieces. He removed the clipboard from his cloak once more and wrote two words this time. He watched gleefully as she began to convulse in pain.

Because she would be marked with two more words, on her inner thighs.

She began to collapse as the words carved into her flesh, but he held her in place. The pain was too much, and this time, her eyes wouldn’t even allow her to weep as the words were completed.



He opened the final door and pushed her inside, her feet getting cuts from the broken glass as she entered the room.  Closing the door, he placed his fingers to her again and frowned when she didn’t even flinch as he extracted another word from her.


“You can’t be possibly getting numb to this already,” he stated, “I was hoping for you to feel it a little bit longer.”

She stared at him, her eyes darkening as they began to gloss over. Her lips couldn’t even formulate words to speak, she almost seemed like a walking corpse. “No matter,” he told her, “You won’t be able to resist everything in here.”

They proceeded further into the room and her glazed eyes trailed its features. It was completely white with bright lights stretching the entire length of the ceiling. If she were in her right state of mind, she would think that in a creepy way it resembled a hospital, but at that moment, she didn’t care too much about anything.

“I must tell you that you do impress me,” he told her, “This is the longest it’s taken for me to collect in a while. I usually only have to do one brand in order to get one of you bitches to follow me.”

Again she remained quiet as she followed him, her mind not even forming coherent thoughts.

They approached one of many chairs that lined the outer wall, “Sit,” he commanded her before removing a white rope from his cloak.

“This ordeal is nearly over for you,” he smirked, “And its nearly sunrise, your wish was almost fulfilled.” He stared at her as she didn’t respond, “However, as you must have surmised, I will not allow that to happen.” He began to tie her using the rope. The alabaster color contrasted with her cocoa colored skin and he slightly marveled at it. “You do have lovely skin, shame its wasted on such a distasteful group of people.” He tightened the last knot, “You will answer my final questions, and then we will part ways, my collection  will be complete.”

She gave a dark chuckle in response, “So, before that is too happen, may I ask you some questions.” When he raised his eyebrow in confusion she continued, “Surely you aren’t confused, you know all and are capable of doing all, correct? If I am to die anyway, what harm would it do to answer a few questions? After all, it’s like you said, not even God can save me now.”

“Very well, I do have plenty of time before the sun rises and your prayers are crushed, I do suppose I can answer a few of your questions.” He produced a chair and took a seat, producing a glass of wine that he sipped gleefully.

“What is it that you collect?” she began immediately.

“That which is most valued.” He answered.

“Who do you target?” she questioned again

“The being that is the most underprivileged in this pathetic world.” Another answer.

“Why….” She began, her voice growing hoarse, “Why me?”

“Because you, like the rest of your kind are nothing special. That is why you are easily cast aside, unprotected, not loved.”

“Like you?” she craned her neck to face him.

His charcoal eyes flashed a bit before he rose, “Enough of these questions!” he removed the clipboard.

“That’s it, isn’t it?” she continued to question, “You feel unloved, so you target us to make yourself feel better. You’re a fucking lonely bastard!”

“ENOUGH!” he bellowed as he stared at her incredusly.

She let out a more twisted laugh, “I could call you the devil, but not even Lucifer prides himself on these theatrics!”

He felt himself getting rattled, this was a feeling that was new to him. No one had ever been able to stand up to him by this point. “Just who is this woman?” he questioned as he struggled to contain his composure.

“I already told you that you were messing with the wrong bitch!” she chuckled again. In a split second, he was in front of her, and with all of his might, he slapped her across the face.

“You bitch!” he screamed, “You stop your incessant snickering!”

As she continued to chortle, he slammed the clipboard and snapped his fingers. Relishing in the silence that came as her lips gradually sewed themselves together. “Now that’s a much better look for you,” he told her as he began to calm down, “I was told that you wenches were loud.”

He glowered at her as he picked up the clipboard from the ground, and scribbled yet another word across the page. His brittle jaw tightened in anger as she continued to snort through her nose even as the letters etched themselves across her sewed lips. She laughed through the pain, even as the word completed.


Deciding it was time to end this struggle, he approached her and placed his fingertips to her chest, attempting to extract one last word. In that instance, their eyes met, and he could almost feel the fire that bore into his soul….


He began to pull the word from her chest, smiling as it eased from her skin slowly. The light in the room began to swirl around them, and he knew he’d complete his collection soon. “This will be my sweetest one yet….the fire in her will be so sweet to me.”

The light continued to swirl into darkness and she chuckled again. There was one thing that the fool never seemed to understand. Arrogant, Traitor, Wench, Whore, and Angry were words people called her, her daughter, mother, aunts, and other women that looked like them all the time. There wasn’t a damn thing he could label her that someone else already hadn’t…

….there wasn’t a damn thing he could do to depress her more than she’d already felt in her life.

And for damn sure, there wasn’t a goddamn way that he could know what she used every day to combat those feelings. So as the light mingled with the darkness, and it swirled around them, she gave one last chuckle before using her greatest characteristic……….


It was the smell of French toast that alerted her first. The saccharine smell of syrup and cinnamon wafted through her nostrils, stimulating her brain, and begging her to awake from her slumber. Cracking one eye open, she found that it was much more difficult than usual, but decided to shake it off, French toast calling her name………………………………………………..


Submitted: April 26, 2018

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