Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Things We Leave In The Twilight.

My body trembling, I braced myself for what I was about to do. I knew if I didn't, I'd fall over in despair and ruin everything. Carefully, I pulled the blade from its sheath, letting every ripple of the hilt fuse with my hand. Weaving my fingers around the handle, I took one last look at Samantha. Her breath had grown shallow. The pool of blood beneath her, now massive, only fueled my anger. Rocks, dust and gravel had formed together in devious little mounds of regret.

She mustered the last ounce of strength left in her glorious lungs. Instinctively, I knew this would be the final time I'd hear Sam's voice.

"I'll be... okay."

I turned away just to process the moment. I couldn't have her watch what was coming.

"Yes, you will be."

Closing her weak eyes, I could just barely feel the breath escaping from her mouth. It was cold... colder than any January wind I've ever faced. I picked my spot carefully -- a point between her ribs that I knew the blade would easily slide through. The tip of the blade perched onto her skin, ever so gently... how could I?

And slowly, I pushed the blade in. It snaked through the cage of bone and found its target. Her heart gave way to the release only lifeless metal can provide. Thankfully, Sam's sense of feeling any pain was already beyond functioning. The behemoth had seen to that. Sam's insides... oh, I did not want to ever see so much... her insides were pulled across the mountainside. Those beautiful legs that I had so often marveled at... one rested half chewed beside a patch of thistle. The other was swimming in what remained of Samantha's torso. She used to kick those dazzling legs up beside the pool, letting them glisten in the sun. I would miss those days.

No sooner had the deed been done, she was gone. Thank goodness for that. She'd suffered enough. Her lifeforce coated my face, arms and chest. It surged all over my body like a rain of thunderous absolution. My hand, still welded to the knife, couldn't turn loose. My fingernails were cutting into my palm; her blood mixing with mine. I stood before the portrait of agony, not the same man I was just an instant ago. As the remains of the setting sun sliced through the pines, Samantha's body seemed to radiate a vibrant orange and red hue. Even in gruesome death, she was angelic.

Resting in boastful satisfaction, the beast's low, throaty rumble was rising through the evergreens. Here and there, I could ascertain rapid movements. Casting shadows and chaos, the crunch of leaves beneath its feet frightened me. What right did I have to be afraid? Poor Sam took the brunt of the attack. I should have never walked away for timber to start our campfire. This was all my fault.

"Finish what you started, you son of a bitch."

The sound of the creature's movement stopped all of a sudden. The forest, once alive with the sounds of nature, became hauntingly quiet. And then...


It was coming for me, just as it should have done to begin with. Every log, every tree limb, every flower petal shook with a quaking unease. A mighty shriek erupted from the forest, now completely blanketed in twilight. Taking the safest position, I put the deep valley below to my back.

A strike of lightning seemed to split the entire forest in half as a gargantuan form blasted forth. An unidentifiable mass of steel blue hair and rippling skin; its fangs exposed for all the world to see. There was no mistaking the beast's mission.

I was next.

Galloping on all four claws now, it shredded the soil beneath its stride. Still wailing as a banshee, the monstrosity flew ever closer. I pulled the blade behind my back, aiming to surprise my executioner. Mumbling beneath my breath...

"Come on... closer... closer..."

Engulfed by barbaric fury, this thing sunk its two front claws into my kidneys. Like fiery rail spikes, I could feel an intense blaze growing inside. It took everything in me to maintain consciousness. Swinging both of my arms over my head, I slammed the blade behind its neck and pulled with ravenous determination. I pulled harder... harder... harder! Finally, over the cliff we tumbled.

Once glued to the knife handle, my hand finally let go. Kicking my legs into the fiend's chest, I pushed away as we entered free fall. I could see it scrambling to retrieve the death sentence I placed in its back. That is, right up to the point the savage slammed face-first into a sharp mound of rocks, jutting from the side of the cliff. Exploding like a balloon of blood and viscera, a deluge of the once whole monster launched in a dozen different directions.

The light grew ever more rare as I fell. It must have been an eternity, or so it seemed. As I waited for my own release from this torment, I could see Samantha gliding through the eerie final moments of half-light. Glowing like the aurora borealis, she seemed enveloped in waves of blue, teal and green. Extending her hand to me, the sun finally disappeared.

But all I could see was the most glorious light.

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