Ch. 07 - Unconditional Love
A Chapter by Seratha
Gently, I brush away locks of auburn hair from Hannah's dozing face. She's still sleeping, or should I say, she's still unconscious, and sitting limply in her chair. Her mouth is hanging open slightly, a line of spittle forming at the edge of her glistening pink lips. I dab it away with my finger, cupping her cheek and raising her silent visage up to mine. Her innocent expression brings a smile to my face. She reminds me of a small child falling asleep in her mother's bosom.
The sun's dimming radiance against the Music Room's drawn shades do little to detract from her features. White, lightly tanned skin, a small button nose, and underneath those closed eyelids, brilliant hazel eyes that glimmer with excitement whenever they see me. At first glance, it's obvious what drew me to her. But that isn't why she is sitting here, unconscious and alone in this room with me. It's this face. This perfectly peaceful and innocent face. It's almost a shame it won't last much longer.
I allow Hannah's head to droop lazily back into her chest and get about to double checking everything. Admiration is fine, but perfection is absolutely necessary.
The curtains are drawn and the doors are both closed and locked. No one will be coming around this part of the school for the rest of the day. It was a brilliant stroke of luck, really, Drentin finding that scheduling error for this week's use of the Music Room. All it took was a form resubmission by yours truly, along with a few white lies here and there for me to have this room all to myself today. The Debate Club will have it for the week starting tomorrow, and the Light Music Club starting next week. No one will be the wiser.
I even managed to send Ven home for the day, leaving his curiosity a nonissue for this afternoon's agenda. Haruka went off and disappeared too. As far as anyone is concerned, I'm either holed up in the Student Council Room working alone, or at home studying like the impeccable student that I am. While I hate to admit it, such things cannot be orchestrated so perfectly. If I bothered to believe in any sort of higher power, I would surely be on my knees, praising them for an opportunity such as this. Truly, the universe is working in my favor today.
Hannah stirs in her sleep, but other than that, shows no sign of coming to. It will be a few more minutes. I sigh impatiently and begin to pace the vacant room. I had pushed back most of the chairs and music stands away from around the piano in order to give us a wide berth. Only the grand piano, its bench, and the lone chair Hannah is bound to remain in the room's center. Her legs are bound to the chair's two front legs, while her hands are tied behind it with a plastic restraint.
The room grows steadily darker with each blisteringly slow minute. It will be dusk in just a few short hours, and I prefer to do this while there's still light out. Nighttime never sat well with me. Our time together won't last long, but I do plan on enjoying it as much as possible. Not only that, but I feel differently this time. Strange new urges, along with this agitation and impatience. Normally, I am calm and relaxed, but this time, even the slightest hint of movement from her slender frame sends my heart racing.
I read in a book somewhere where the protagonist would use smelling salts to wake himself and his clients up from their dreams. Perhaps I should invest in some for next time. Still pacing around Hannah, I twirl Iza around my hand out of habit. Iza is one-half of a pair of beautifully crafted, and equally deadly, daggers. Her left-handed sister, Nami, sits on the piano bench within arm's reach of Hannah's chair. Beside Nami is the pair's resting place: a sturdy yet plain black box that was gifted to me on my birthday by my uncle so many years ago.
I remember when my father, despite all of my mother's harrowing protests, finally allowed me to open it when I turned twelve. I knew, even back then, how important they were. How important they would become to my life. Iza's narrow, black leather-wrapped grip runs just past my wrist, widening out and ending in a sharp point. Its hilt is small and white, adorned with a small red jewel dotting the center. From it, the hilt blossoms into a flower of murderous looking spikes that surround and decorate the weapon's long, wickedly jagged blade.
Nami is Iza's exact mirror, except she has a blue jewel, the same shade as my left eye. My uncle, who is really just a close family friend, jokes that the daggers were made just for me. They weren't, but they may as well have been given the way they fit so perfectly in my hands. They are an extension of my will, of my very being. But these daggers are ancient, named after a goddess of death and creation that has long since been replaced by more contemporary deities. I have not bothered to ask where my uncle had gotten them, or why he had given me, a mere child at the time, such valuable and dangerous items.
None of that really matters to me anyway. No, what matters is here and now, in this moment. And in this moment, Hannah is finally waking up.
Returning Iza to her sheath, I take my seat at the piano bench. My eyes flicker over Hannah's stirring figure, studying her slightest movements. Waking up is one of my favorite parts. Each time, it's almost always exactly the same. First comes the groaning. As if on cue, Hannah shakes her head awake and moans tiredly. Next, the confused questioning.
“Where...” Hannah asks groggily, moving her head around lazily to get a better view of the room, “What happened?”
“Good morning, sunshine,” I say sweetly, resting my chin in my palm.
Hannah's eyes focus on me, seemingly shocked that I am greeting her. “M-Miss President! What is"Wha-!” she sputters, finally becoming aware of her predicament. Her hazel eyes frantically search her body. She struggles, first her arms, then her legs. The chair sways from side to side as she futilely tries to release herself from the plastic restraints. Realizing her helplessness, she brings her gaze back up to me, a distraught smile etched on her face, “Miss President, what's going on? Why am I"Why am I tied up like this?”
I can't help it. I laugh. A soft, polite, little laugh that echoes through the room. Hannah accompanies me with her own feeble laughter. Still so innocent. Not once does she accuse me of anything, of knocking her unconscious, of tying her to a chair. Such naivety is truly endearing. But her eyes belie her true emotions. I can see fear in those wide-eyed orbs.
I rise from the bench, stepping toward her and taking a seat in her lap so her face is level with my chest. The chair creaks at our combined weight. I cup her cheeks in my hands and bring her eyes up to mine. “Please, Hannah, call me Claire,” I say softly.
“O-Okay,” she mumbles, the fear in her eyes dampening somewhat. I feel her cheeks begin to flush.
“You and I are going to have some fun together,” I say, leaning in and pressing my lips against hers. Hannah's eyes spark with surprise, then droop with submission as I deepen our kiss. A spark ignites in my chest as well. Something is smoldering there. Has been smoldering there. For how long, I have no idea, but I know what it wants. It wants to become a raging inferno, and for that, it needs fuel for the flames. I pull back, licking my upper lip with satisfaction. The slightest hint of peaches. Hannah gives me a dazed expression. I direct myself to her chest. I quickly brush aside her blood red tie and begin unbuttoning her blouse.
Hannah snaps back to attention as she notices her clothes being undone. Her cheeks still flushed a bright pink, she flusters, “Wait! Claire! You can't"!”
But it's too late, her bra is already exposed. Black lace. It's almost like she was expecting this. I give her a devilish grin and slide my right hand underneath. I overpower her protests to my fondling by locking her in another kiss, deeper this time. My tongue invades her mouth, sloshing itself around the inside of her lips. Slowly, I trace my left hand along Hannah's exposed thigh. I press my fingers against her panties, noticing they are not only warm and slightly damp, but also made of lace.
Hannah struggles away from my lips, saying breathlessly, “C-Claire, stop! Girls shouldn't"Girls shouldn't be doing this kind of thing toge"!” I tweak her n****e with my fingers, causing Hannah to cut herself off with a sharp gasp. I muse on how sensitive her body is as I take my tongue to her neck, licking and gnawing my way up to her ear. My left hand continues its work between her legs. I push aside her undergarments and tease the thin, soft line of flesh with a single finger.
Hannah's protests to my advances reduce to quiet panting. It isn't enough. I need more. Much more. I reach back to the piano bench and grab Nami, still resting in her sheath. After taking a final nibble behind Hannah's ear, I pull back to show her the elegant weapon. I hold Nami by the sheath and roll my tongue over the sharply pointed tip of her pommel.
“No, no! Claire, please don't! Please don't do this!” Hannah pleas desperately, seeing me reach from behind my back to bring the dagger's pommel between her legs. I rub the cool metal tip against her, making sure to find to the correct spot. Hannah rocks back and forth in the chair to try and unseat me. Her screams of protest only grow louder as I insert the pommel's tip. It's no use, really. This room is completely soundproof. Her cries of defiance only serve to drive me further, to egg me on, sending a shudder of excitement up my spine.
“Stop! Stop it! Please!” she continues. Still so polite, even now. I'm going to enjoy this. In one swift motion, I thrust the rest of the pommel and grip inside of her. Hannah's entire body jolts, her back arching out toward me. A pained scream gags itself in her throat. I don't bother to stop and gauge her reaction. I pull Nami partially out and thrust her inside Hannah again, harder this time. Another cry escapes her lips.
Again and again I drive the dagger’s pommel into her, each time faster, harder, more forceful than the last. I relish the grunts of agony, the contorted expression, the tears forming at the edges of Hannah's eyes with each movement I make. “Claire! Please take it out! It hurts"! ” she manages to moan.
I clench Hannah's cheeks between my free hand and force her gaze up to meet mine. These eyes. These lovely hazel pools. The agony, the desperation, the silent pleas for mercy; the fear welling up inside them is truly invigorating. “It hurts, doesn't it, Hannah?” I say, bringing my face closer to hers, “Show me! Show me more of that pain!” I begin twisting and turning Nami with each thrust, exploring every crevice of her insides.
Hannah's screams are now pained, exhausted grunts, but I don't relent for even a second. I will break her. Sadistic pleasure controls my every motion, until it happens. In that brief moment, everything changes. Suddenly, Hannah's vibrant hazel eyes, those eyes that beg me for forgiveness, appear to me as a beautifully luminescent amber. I stop.
They’re just like hers. The same color as Haruka’s. That same unmistakable amber.
I stumble off the chair and onto the floor. Nami slides out and follows me down, clattering to the ground. I inch backwards on all fours, like a crab. Horrified, I look over Hannah's limp figure. Tears stream down her cheeks, her head dipped down at an angle. What am I doing? What have I done? Is this who I am? Is this what I am? To overpower someone, to violate someone so completely? No, I am not that. I get on my knees and crawl over to Nami, taking her in my hand. The pommel is covered in a thick layer of bodily fluids, most notably blood. I unsheathe her and place the blade along my right forearm. This isn't me. This is someone else, something else, much darker than who I truly am. I must never allow it to reach the surface again. To remind myself of this, I slash into my arm, creating a thick gash that quickly bleeds out and seeps into my black blouse. The cloth dyes itself an even darker shade. The wound stings, but only for a moment. It will heal in time and the scar will be a constant reminder. A warning, of sorts, never to go down this dark path ever again.
I get to my feet. Hannah remains motionless, though I can hear her sniffling behind a shade of auburn hair. The inferno within my chest is quelled, and in its place, my original motivation for this encounter rises from the ashes. We aren't finished yet.
I take my seat in Hannah's lap again and wrap my arms around her, burying her face in my chest. “Hannah, sweetie, I'm so sorry,” I say soothingly. Almost immediately, she bursts into a fit of sobs, dampening my blouse. “I don't know what came over me, I just...” I trail off, not really knowing the answer myself, while gently stroking her hair to try and comfort her, “Will you forgive me?”
After a few more minutes of muffled weeping, Hannah nods. “I-I will,” she hiccups quietly, “I won't"I won't tell anyone about this.” She wipes the remaining tears from her eyes into my blouse and looks up to me, “So will you let me go? Then"Then we can go home together, right?”
I look into her hazel eyes for a moment before answering. Red and puffy, but still filled with hope and innocence. “Let you go?” I say with a quizzical look, “Whatever do you mean?”
Her hopeful expression begins to fade with my response.
“Hannah,” I say lovingly, “I'm going to kill you.”
The color drains from her face. “Wha"No...” she shakes her head in disbelief, “Wh-Why?”
I respond by leaning in and kissing her, my hot, writhing tongue coiling itself around hers. Surprisingly, she doesn't resist. When we release, a translucent line of saliva connects our lips together. “Because I love you,” I say simply, bringing Nami up to her cheek. I graze it lightly. A thin line of blood forms and trickles down to her neck.
Hannah remains speechless as I unsheathe Iza and do the same to her right cheek. I continue making small cuts along every inch of her body that I can reach. “I love all humans,” I say, nicking her neck, “everything about them is wonderful.” Hannah winces while I slice at her arms, “I love how they bleed.” I admire the way the crimson streaks melt together when I cut into her chest and collar bone. “I love how they scream and cry,” I say, smiling and tearing into her thighs, “and I love how they beg for mercy.”
The white of Hannah's skin blends together with the red of her own blood. Her body is covered with a various assortment of cuts, tears, gashes, and nicks, none of which are particularly deep, but just enough to allow blood flow. “No matter who you are, or what you do, or how you behave, I will always love you.” I say sweetly, lightly licking Iza's darkened edge.
“No...” Hannah stares at me in wide-eyed horror. She gulps back her words between gasps of pain, threatening to break into tears at any moment, “No, you wouldn't"You can't! You wou"This isn't like you! This isn't you, this isn't Claire!”
Again, I can't help but laugh at her naivety. Only this time, it is a dark, maniacal laughter. My malicious chorus rings throughout the classroom. Hannah's expression turns to shock at my sudden outburst. Good, she should be. All of that is just a front. The perfect, amicable, admirable Student Council President is merely a facade. A ploy to hide my true self.
“And what,” I say, nearly snarling now, “makes you think you know anything about the real me?” I take Iza and slash into her naval. Hannah cringes, letting out a weak groan. “This",” I continue, doing the same to her left shoulder, “This is the real Claire Walker!” I make my rounds over Hannah's body yet again, cutting and tearing deeper than before. Hannah does little else than cry out and whimper with each slash of my daggers.
After finishing, I lean back to admire my work. Her clothes hang loosely over her body, tattered and soaked. The new cuts cover nearly every inch of her skin, though her face remains relatively untouched. Don't worry, it won't stay that way for long. The gashes still aren't very deep, but Hannah is choking for air. The blood loss is draining her.
She looks up at me, fresh tears streaming down her cheeks. “You're a monster,” she spits bitterly, her face twisted in resentment. My lips curl into a sneer. Finally, the fire comes out. I love it when they have a bit of fight left in them before they die. It makes things so much more enjoyable.
I lean in and say into her ear, “You're right.” I bite down on her ear. Hard, until the metallic taste of blood covers my tongue. “And do you know what little girls do when they see a monster?” I poise Nami just above Hannah's thigh. “They scream,” I whisper, thrusting Nami straight into her soft, exposed leg.
And scream she does. She screams as I send Izanami all over her body. She screams out of pain, out of desperation. She screams for help, and finally, she screams for forgiveness. She screams until the hoarseness of her throat, or the loss of blood overtake her. But at the last moment she begs. Hannah begs for mercy, begs for her life, before I send Iza through her throat. Her last words come out as a bloodied gurgle.
The torrent of crimson fluid that splashes onto my blouse notifies me that it is over. It's finished. I remove Iza and get to my feet, allowing Hannah's lifeless body to freely bleed out into a puddle on the floor. I replace Izanami into her sheathes and back into the black box, which I place gingerly into my book bag. I notice the piano has remained untouched by my recent activities. The sun's warmth is still glowing against the classroom's drawn shades. With that, I decide that I still have a little while before I need to be home to make dinner. I sit down at the bench and place my still bloodied fingers on the keys. Without a second thought, I begin playing. The notes come naturally to me and flow down to my fingertips. I had memorized this piece so many years ago. Each chord, each movement is imprinted on my mind's eye. It was, and still is, my favorite piece. A simple, yet hauntingly unearthly sonata by Beethoven. It is one of his lesser known works, but breathtaking nonetheless. Blood from my hands and fingers smear onto the ivory keys. Swaths of crimson race along its entire length. I can see it. A tiny little demon formed out of the imprints of blood, dancing happily on the closest F-sharp key. He claps excitedly with each note, cheering me on to the end of the piece. Yes, the thrill of murder may be over, but this"this beautiful, wondrous, captivating music"is eternal!
My phone rings. I hit a sour note out of surprise.
Normally, I might be annoyed that someone would interrupt me while I am playing the piano, but today has been too perfect for such trivialities. I look to Hannah's corpse with a smile of pleasure before pulling out my retracted holoscreen. A small green light at the top corner blinks along with the beeping ringtone. I tap it with my finger, causing a thin pane to flip out to act as a mouth piece.
“Hello?” I say, making sure to adjust my voice back to my usual, pleasant tone. The voice that greets me instantly sends a chill down my spine. It's a man's voice. A young man by my first guess. “Cunning” is the best word I can find to describe his tone. Cold and cunning.
“That was a beautiful rendition of Beethoven’s twenty-fourth piano sonata,” he says.
I freeze. The chill that crawled down my spine is now spreading over my entire body. It reaches my throat. My mouth moves inaudibly, unable to even speak. Not that my brain gives it much to say. Only one word races through my mind: How? The line cuts off as quickly as it came.
Slowly, I lower my phone. I snap my head around the room, my eyes frantically searching for anyone, or anything. Nothing, of course. I am the only living thing left in here. But even then, how? This room is completely soundproof. Even by pressing yourself against the walls, or the doors, or the windows, you won't hear a peep. Wait, the doors? I search the doorways from my seat, unable to see anything suspicious, as expected. Still locked. The windows, still shut. The drapes, still drawn. I take my gaze to Hannah. Still as dead as she was a few minutes ago. How could someone possibly hear me playing the piano then? And not only that, but name the very piece I was playing?
Then it hits me. Someone knows. Someone, somewhere, somehow knows. They know who I am. They know what I did. They know my deepest, darkest secret. This mysterious caller. This person knows my true self. The self I only dare show my victims in the fleeting moments before I steal the life from their eyes. He knows everything.
This feeling envelopes me. A new emotion that suddenly overtakes my body, my very being as the reality of the present sinks in. Something that, until now, I had never experienced before. Until now it was an emotion that I, as a predator, a monster, a demon, thought would never claw its way out of the deepest recesses of my mind. A cold, infinite darkness, darker than black...
© 2012 Seratha
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Point of view changed to first person-present. Grammar/description fixes. Hyphens seem to translate as " marks for some reason. Will keep until I can think of a fix for it.