To Kill An Angel

To Kill An Angel

A Story by Aurafiex
"

A man tries to kill someone out of unthinking hatred.

"

Beggars’ Row, aptly named by the geniuses who engineered this city, is the collective hive that holds the wretched poor within the city’s grasp. It is not an actual addition to the city per se, but rather an extension of it, much like a diseased limb.


Separated from the main city that houses the more respectable folk by a massive iron gate and equally sturdy walls, it is a wasteland of ash filled roads, dilapidated buildings and imposing iron mills that belched smoke like how one would breathe air. Wretched indeed was the place, to the point that Pandora’s advisors came to the calculated conclusion that it would be cheaper and more practical to slaughter the inhabitants and raze the place rather than instate any semblance of meaningful reform.


Regardless, this hive would endure, for it was the perfect place to blunt an attack from invaders as well as being a ripe ground to conscript cannon fodder for Pandora’s legions. Home to coolies, beggars and numerous types of unsavoury men and women, most stayed here out of necessity rather than choice. Alas, such was the will of the gods, who in their loving graces made sure to bestow suffering upon many, while ensuring that their priests grew fatter and greedier with every passing year.


Perhaps those wretches would have rebelled, given their deplorable lives under the oppressive yoke of Pandora’s rule. Thankfully, they probably knew better than to argue with well-armoured soldiers with deadly crossbows. Then again, it might very well be due to the mentality developed within the inhabitants of Beggars’ Row that kept the unruly in line. Still, I couldn’t blame their lack of ambition, for the smoke-filled sky blocked out the rays of the sun, along with the entirety of their hopes and dreams. By far, the only things remotely visible to the naked eye from these slums were the spires of the Crystal Tower, the seat of Pandora’s power nestled within the upper echelons of the city. Its spires constantly glowed with a sapphire hue, as if watching over the wretched poor with the vengeful eyes of god, that they would know their place within Arcadia through its unblinking gaze.


Despite the hopelessness of Beggars’ Row and its inhabitants, some from the upper city believed they could make a difference. As laughable as such foolishness may be, it was through this insanity that I found Natasha. A particularly striking young lady, I had first seen her at a soup kitchen, a ramshackle but well-kept hut of stone built along the southern edge of Beggars’ Row. She was not one of those good-for-nothing gutter rats, mind you; rather, she was there to help those wretches from themselves.


And neither was I looking for a handout, being there to oversee the area at the behest of my father. You see, we run a rather profitable racket here, collecting dues from the residents. Not a coolie or merchant missed out on our protection, paying us generous tributes in exchange for their continued existence. Through this, our family and associates lived comfortably within the city, extravagant even, the say the least. Even so, my father would have me traverse the gas-lit warren of streets of Beggars’ Row from time to time. Experience the business and learn to keep the men in line he said, because someday I would inherit his wretched kingdom.


People like Natasha were an annoyance to business. A minor annoyance, sure, but being worshippers of the status quo, we preferred the current degeneracy thriving to any prospect of cleaning up the streets. Thankfully, most of such “holy” men were short lived in their tenure, either giving up eventually or leaving when their ulterior motives of evangelism were met with deaf pleas. They knew naught that the people wanted material comfort rather than the solace of the gods. Fools I say, the lot of them.


But Natasha, she was different from the rest. She seemed to be helping for no other reason than kindness. It could very  well be so, judging from the radiance that shone in her blue eyes as she thrust a bowl of piping hot soup into my hands, a beaming smile upon her lips that radiated warmth and love rather than pity.


It was then I felt something well up within me, an unthinkable hatred that reeked of irrationality and unexplainable disgust. Maybe it was because she had mistaken me for a beggar, or perhaps it was the way she radiated joy and hope in this hopeless place. Perhaps I was a devil in this hell, and in my madness, I could not tolerate the existence of an angel in my dark utopia.


Unable to fathom my hatred towards her, I abandoned my father’s task in favour of understanding myself. From hours upon weeks spent watching her, I learned of her name. Natasha. A beautiful name it was, one that was simply elegant. Not one of noble descent she was, but somewhere in the middle of society’s strata. Dressed in robes that were both clean and well kept with equally simple sandals, she seemed an angel of hope, descended from the heavens to bring light in the face of desolation. The way her blonde hair flowed as she stirred the soup cauldron, the kind words she spoke of to her fellows, everything about her infuriated me to the extremes. Even the mere thought of her existence brought forth spasms of anger within me. Ultimately, I could not make sense of her motivations, of her altruistic desires, of what made her tick.


And the more I thought of it, the more I longed to seek revenge upon her for what she had made me feel. It had to be so, for I felt her smile stalking my every thought, and even my dreams went without respite from her warm visage. There, she loomed over me like a bad omen, as though mocking me as though I was but one of the many poor wretches that lived on her swill.


And thus, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Stalking her under the callous embrace of the night sky, I waited and watched as Natasha packed up for the day. By now, it had become clockwork to me, an experience derived from stalking her every move for weeks on end. She would always spend a couple of minutes tidying up before leaving for the night.


And those precious minutes would be the apt moment for my revenge.


Leaping out from the shadowy veil that separated me from her world, I seized her by the neck of her robe, forcing her to turn and look at me. Unsubtle it was, but I wanted her to make her watch me as she suffered by my hand. Savouring her terror-stricken expression, I could not help but laugh as she screamed when she saw the glimmer of steel in my hand.


However, much to my surprise, she demanded to know who I was and what I wanted, thinking me little more than a common mugger. Audacious! The mere thought of her not knowing who I was sent spasms of anger through my arms, prompting me to strike her down. Even so, I restrained myself, opting instead to slash the right side if her face with reckless abandon, mutilating the entirety of it with multiple broad strokes.


Watching as she clutched her face in pain, I cackled in triumph as I savoured the visual delicacies that were her bloodied face and robes. Yet, even as she writhed in agony, I could feel her left eye upon me, pain-stricken and confused. Despite this, I did not care, for my mind was lost within the throes of euphoria stemming from a well-deserved revenge.


With half her face bloodied and mutilated, I let her flee into the night, bleeding and screaming each step of the way. Truth be told, I wanted to finish her off, but I knew better than to deliver her from her pain. After all, death was far too simple a luxury for someone I hated with such irrationality.


And besides, what better way was there to kill an angel than to humiliate her so that she may live in shame?


Satisfied with the success of my mission, I returned to my duties in earnest. However, one week later, as I made my usual rounds through Beggars’ Row, I was surprised to see a line forming at the soup kitchen, whose operation I thought to have shut down that fateful day. The line was as long as ever, and the scent of freshly boiled soup was strong in the air. Confused and half-angered, I moved in to investigate, wondering if another fool had taken her place.


Much to my horror, Natasha was still there, still attending to her duties, as if nothing between us had ever happened. Somehow, she still gave off an aura of warmth and kindness despite the mutilated mess that was the right half of her face. She had made no effort to conceal her wounds, for the mutilated flesh that was the entirety of the right side of her face was on full display for everyone to see.


If the pain and ugliness ever affected her, she did not show it, for her lips and left eye still beamed with the same radiance she had given me during the first time we met. Worse still, her clothes and charity were still as pristine as ever, as though my revenge was nothing but a sweet dream.


Watching her scarred visage, I felt myself scream, my hands clutching my face as though trying to cover my eyes from a horror beyond reconciliation. Yet, even as I did this, I saw her turn to look at me from the corner of my eye.


Even through my tear-filled visage, I saw a sad smile plastered upon her face that glowered upon me with pity and sorrow rather than hatred. Watching me intently, a single tear streamed down her eye, falling into the cauldron to mix with the broth. And after what seemed to be an eternity of awkward silence, she turned away from me, resuming her duties as if I was never there.


Unable to fathom what was happening, I felt my legs develop a will of their own, propelling me away from Beggars’ Row. Seeking the sanctuary of home, I ran past everything, screaming and howling like a man possessed.


And now, I lie motionless on my bed with the curtains drawn, away from the object of my hatred. No longer dare I walk in the sunlight, for it reminds me of the blue-eyed angel whose light I shunned in my hatred, whose kindness I had reciprocated with violence. Not anymore do I dare set foot upon Beggars’ Row, for every step upon its wretched ground brings forth memories of my unthinking hatred, memories I want to excise from my mind with the brutality of a broadsword. I will abandon my father’s empire, knowing full well that I am weak and unworthy, that my mind has betrayed me, that I am not as ruthless as I pride myself to be.


But despite everything, I cannot escape it. Just like how I cannot escape her sorrowful eye, unblinking in its sadness, watching me like the eye of god.


© 2016 Aurafiex



Author's Note

Aurafiex
Hi!

Do let me know what you think! If you've enjoyed this story, do check out my book on the Amazon Kindle Store, The Best of Aurafiex - A Short Story Collection.

Buy it now at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GX7EVLC

Have a nice day!

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Reviews

A vivid tale of dystopian hopelessness told so that the reader understands both the plight of the helpless inhabitants of Beggar's Row, as well as those who prey upon them. However, what needs to be clearer is who the charity workers, like Natasha, really are. What group they come from, and especially why they are such a threat to the parasites who use the poverty and inability to defend themselves to further their agenda. Read protection profits. I fully understand the correlation between good and evil here, but why is being an annoyance a reason to dispense violence? Your story is well written, and you paint a clear picture of the setting, but as the reader I feel a need to fully understand why dispensing good (Natasha) is responded to by dispensing evil. (The narrator) Also, if he feels so remorseful about his heinous attack against her, does it cause him to change, or simply run away? Like I said: a well written story, but one with many unanswered questions.

Posted 10 Months Ago


Very interesting and good!

Posted 1 Year Ago


I disagree with what people have said about the beginning being too long. This may have been true if the piece was more of an 'action' story, but it's focusing on the thoughts/feelings of the main character and what motivates his actions. The environment in which he lives is going to have an impact on this, so his background is quite important.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Wow. I'm gonna need someone to come get my foot out of my mouth because that was so amazing. I especially enjoyed the description of Natasha angelic acts against the hatred of the one who desired to kill her. The suspense of the story was very intense and the ending was incredible. Keep up the good work and good luck in your future endeavors. I look forward to reading more works by you in the future.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Aurafiex

1 Year Ago

Thanks! I do look forward to your reading of my other stuff!
Desirée Tolliver

1 Year Ago

You're Welcome :)
For me, this is the best story of yours that I have read. It is interesting, great description and raises emotions of anger and sadness. It lets evil have its day but shows that compassion and kindness still rule the hearts of men and women. I enjoyed your story and see growth in your work.
Richie b

Posted 1 Year Ago


Aurafiex

1 Year Ago

Thanks! I do appreciate your kind comments!
It is a beautifully written story. You have a very nuanced and exquisite language that will inspire me in my further writings.

I felt that the beginning and the background of the setting was a bit too long for my taste. If this was just the first chapter of a longer story it would be fine. But I get some information, that I don't need to understand the story. Maybe you could make the story sharper and more to the point by dropping a few of the descriptions in the beginning?

The sentences: "From hours upon weeks spent watching her, I learned of her name. Natasha." comes after we have been told her name. Maybe you could cut it or not mention her name until this point?

I really enjoy the 'twist' of the story. How his sudden hate urges him to destroy something good, because it makes himself even worse than he is. But the kindness and empathy of Natascha endures his violence - very Gandhi-ish :)



Posted 1 Year Ago


Aurafiex

1 Year Ago

Yeah, seems like the beginning is kinda unecessary. I did all that explanation largely because I int.. read more
I positively love the themes in this story. I like the steadfastness of Natasha's character. Despite the deplorable living conditions some deal with and the way she's been treated, she refuses to stop helping others. The tone is consistent and the narrator's evolution, as it were, advances quite well, if a bit quickly. The story is fine as is, but the growth of character could better be shown in a longer work. Overall, very good work here.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Aurafiex

1 Year Ago

Thank you!
A powerful tale told. You create place, situation and good characters. I like the internal thoughts leading to the good ending. I like the logic of the story. Can't kill good.
"But despite everything, I cannot escape it. Just like how I cannot escape her sorrowful eye, unblinking in its sadness, watching me like the eye of god."
The above lines. Perfect ending. Thank you for sharing the excellent story.
Coyote

Posted 1 Year Ago


Aurafiex

1 Year Ago

Thank you! The pleasure is all mine.
Coyote Poetry

1 Year Ago

You are welcome.
Cyndy Robinson

1 Year Ago

mm, this one the beginning is to long. I love all of your stuff. But the 4 paragraphs in the begin.. read more

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8 Reviews
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Added on June 11, 2016
Last Updated on June 11, 2016
Tags: Attempted Murder, To Kill, Angel, Hatred, Homicide, Pyschopath, Insane, Charity, Kindness, Love, Sorrow

Author

Aurafiex
Aurafiex

Singapore



About
I've published my first book of short stories, so, if you're looking for a rich reading experience or a short story fix, do check out The Best of Aurafiex - A Short Story Collection. A link for it .. more..

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