My Lonely Child
rating: +10+x

I see you standing there.

You brace your arm against a tree as snow piles upon your shoulders. You can’t be older than twenty, clad in an orange jumpsuit and a dark gray raincoat. Your tiny body shivers as you trudge through the snow. After five steps or so, your foot gets caught on something and you fall to the ground. The impact leaves you with a deep cut on your leg, but your face betrays nothing, not even a single twitch of pain. Each droplet of blood which hits the ground twists my insides a little.

You get up and wipe away the dirt and ice that clings to your raincoat as if you didn’t even think about it. The wind tousles your brown head of hair as you look around. Fog floods through the forest, and waving your arms does little to clear it. You peer further into the low-hanging clouds. Are you looking for me? I fiddle with the question in my mind as you slowly turn and begin walking away. I follow at the distance so that I may see your form while you remain unaware of mine. Ice leeches on my back, sucking out blood through my skin and turning red as a result.

I can handle it. Even as my hands pulse with pain from hoisting my body above the twigs and leaves which would betray my presence, I continue. The sight of your face is enough to drive me through the suffocating cold. The face which I helped to grow and mold and give to the world — the face of my child.

But now you flee, fearing that your life is only minutes away from ending. Where is this monster that chases you? I haven’t seen one yet. I stay low to the ground, carefully avoiding your gaze as you stumble your way up a small hill. You pull yourself over a fallen log using bright pink hands, uttering an obscenity. I shudder, shaking off the thick layer of snow that accumulated on my red skin. You don’t seem to notice.

I crawl around to the side of the hill through a thick grouping of trees which pricks off tiny bits of my skin as I slide past their bark. I bite my tongue, pulling myself over the top. Before me is a large outcrop of silver rock which folds inwards, forming half of a metallic-colored hemisphere. You’re huddled inside, shivering in the dark. I cling to the side and shut my eyes, letting a barrage of frozen raindrops and pebbles strike my body. I withstand the pain for your safety, child.

My breaths are short and labored as to not disturb you. I force my heart to pump more blood through my body so that I give off more heat to warm your cold body. Then I hear the rapid, staccato thuds of tears striking stone. I peer in through the cracks and watch you bury your face into your hands. Each tear sinks into my heart like a knife. Why are you sad? What frightens you? I search my surroundings, my face growing pale, seeking that which terrifies you.

The sky is empty, the fields are clear. The silence is only offset by the sound of your croaking voice. My search grows more frantic. I raise myself higher and higher as clouds of snow cover my face and chest in white, desperate to catch the slightest twitch of movement. Figments of my imagination manifest themselves into the reality around me: the leaves grow bug-like legs and skitter around, the logs open to reveal maws full of jagged teeth, the trees hide bloodshot eyes. I try to slap my mind out of its delusion; it feels like punching a concrete wall with my bare fist.

There is nobody for kilometers that can harm you. I repeat the sentence in my mind over and over again. There are no monsters here. And if there is a beast which has avoided my gaze until this point, I am here to serve as your manic protector, ready to tear it to pieces. You cry louder, like a dying sheep surrounded by wolves. I lower myself back down to the cracks as a bitter realization seeps into my mind.

Is it me? Am I the reason you stand terrified in the cold? My grip tightens on the wall and my teeth sink further into my flesh to stop myself from weeping. Millions of thoughts float around in my brain, telling me to speak or whisper or fucking scream at you, but I don’t. I let my voice die for now. The infinitely tall tower of emotion in my mind that teeters on the edge of collapse settles, and I let my anger leak into the wind as you talk to yourself.

“God, kill me. Please fucking end me. If you can see me here and now, take my life. I’ll be fine if I go to Hell, just bring me anywhere else but here. Goddammit. Please, God, please just hear me for once in your stupid fucking life,” you say into your hands.

I scream. The pain and anger and frustration shoots out of me like spikes towards you, overflowing my vocal cords. Rocks turn into dust in my hands as I decimate your fortress. You pray for death? You would rather die out here alone in the cold than take one look at me?

Then that’s just what you’ll get.

I crawl over the remains as you bolt away. You trip and tumble down the other side of the hill that overlooks a circular field where the snow is light enough to where you could run comfortably. Your raincoat flies from your arms as you fall to your almost certain death.

Red tears fall from my eyes, partially blinding me as I advance. I know I kept saying that my love for you is greater than any pain you can inflict upon me, but that wasn’t meant to be taken as a challenge. This test of yours only fuels the stupid, deranged side of me that wants to do something I know I'll regret later. I yell these words to you, but my throat closes with emotion, only letting incoherent shrieks and howls through.

Falling to the bottom of the hill, you crack your head open against a hard patch of ice, spraying blood out onto the snow. You cover your wound and continue running, screaming for help. You want help? You would have died already if it weren’t for me, you ungrateful bitch. I roar for the umpteenth time — blood begins to shoot out from my throat — before rearing back and diving into the earth. The dirt splits like water, and I dig through the hard earth which cracks my fingernails. The sound of your footsteps guides me, and my anger and frustration motivate my arms to dig faster.

My back protrudes out of the earth as I swim towards you. My exposed skin bristles at the sudden influx of cold, like someone took a freezing rod to it, thawed it, and then refroze it again all in a few moments. You ask again for somebody to save you or kill me. The now blood-red ice that clings to my skin dislodges, forming two long trails on either side of me as I surge towards you. I dig faster and faster, barreling past you on your left. Your legs hit the ground faster, desperately trying to get ahead of me.

I suddenly veer right, blocking off your path with a mountain of ice. I circle around to the hole that marks where I dug into the ground initially, forming a massive ring around you. There’s nowhere else to go but back to me. I emerge from the ground, and see you scanning the wall for any possible paths through. There are none. You drop to your hands and knees for a better look, careful not to touch the ice. I walk towards you, my steps slow and deliberate. You wanted a monster? Oh, I’ll show you a monster.

My body reveals itself to you. My arms, the dozens and dozens of limbs which tightly hug my serpent-like frame, unfurl to carry me to you. Hundreds of hands create claw marks in the ice as I am pushed up towards the sky. I am above you now, my arms acting as the fleshy bars of your prison cell. Spots dot my underbelly, leading your vision towards my head, a large mass of pink flesh which extends out of my mouth like a tongue. Slowly, strips of flesh detach themselves from me with a large suction sound. They’re eyes. Many, many eyes surrounded by puffy mounds of skin and bones that are attached to my skin with long red tendrils. My vision splits into twelve different spots as the tendrils encircle you.

You weep louder. Oh, I’m sorry, do you not like your wish? I’m giving you exactly what you ask for, yet you blame me when you realize that you can’t handle it. I extend two sets of hands out to you, and you scream in protest. A grin composed of misguided fury and death grows on my face. You look down at the ice for a while, in deep thought. You take one last look at my body, extend your hand out, and try to slam it down onto an icicle. The last of your rebellions ends as the rest of them did, for my arms are too fast.

I catch you in my grasp. Your whines and sniveling grunts excite me, but I don’t know why. I’m scared. You pound on my fist, screaming that I’m a monster, that you’re not my child, that you would be better off if you had snapped your neck on the hill. I hold you to my chest, ignoring your comments. I will not cry, not in front of you. I will withstand your attacks. I will still love you.

“Somebody please help! Please, God, don’t let this thing hurt me. Someone just fucking kill it,” you say.

And I still love you.

"Fuck you! Get your hands off of me you…” you say.

And… I still love you.

“Well? What are you waiting for, you fucking… Kill me! That’s what you always wanted to do. How long have you been waiting, just watching me from the shadows? You sick fucking coward,” you say.

And I still…

“Wait, I… I can’t… St—”

And I…

And…

And then there is nothing left of you to love. All you are is a lifeless piece of meat and bones in my hands. I crush you in my palm, pushing your face and arms and legs into the pulpy mess of red that is your skeleton. There are no death throes. I rear back and scream to the sky: my child has died and I am the murderer! Please kill me, whoever is out there. Slay the beast — the monster that felt nothing when they took the life of their own child. Please, anyone.

My grief is only interrupted by a small, hard object which moves through my throat. I cough violently as pain shoots through my body. Instantly, I know what the object is. My vision shakes, and my consciousness wavers. I lay on the ice next to your broken figure. The color fades from my body as I slowly regurgitate the object into my maw. One by one, my eyes lose strength and fall to the ground.

I pull you closer to me, carefully extending my heart out with my teeth. I consume your body, which mixes with my heart and turns into a frozen sculpture of flesh. Long strings of viscera coagulate and spool into my stomach as I feel my life returning to me. You feel so warm, so happy. I weep, but I’m not sure whether it’s due to sadness or joy.

I look up at the empty sky and icy forests. Everything has an aura of loneliness about it. I suppose if someone was looking upon me now, they would think the exact same thing. Well, I’ll let them think that thought. None of them can hurt me; I only feel through my child, and my child only feels through me. I slither back across the field, beginning the long and rough journey home.










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