Chapter 18: Darkness
Copyright © 2018 by Brian Bixby
I remember Pedro looking surprised, then horrified.
I remember blood dripping from the roots of my fingernails.
I remember blood.
I remember Pedro lying on the floor, naked, exhausted, terrified.
I remember the taste of his blood.
I remember using him at my pleasure.
I remember mangling his hand as punishment.
There is blood everywhere.
I remember Pedro’s confusion before I stripped him of everything.
I remember laughing as Pedro bled.
I am covered in blood.
I remember his clothes shredded and his flesh.
I remember drinking his blood.
I remember arousing him against his will.
I remember knocking Pedro to the floor.
I remember his screams.
I remember his moans of pleasure.
I remember our bodies pressed together in pleasure, in violence, in death.
I remember pushing him beyond human endurance, because I had to, I wanted to.
I do not want to remember any more of it.
I cannot forget any of it.
Seventy-five minutes after I call her, Vesta Fox arrives. I am sitting in my bedroom, washed and cleaned, dressed in a bathrobe, shivering. She lets herself in. There’s a lot of noise out there, more than one person would create. They talk in hushed tones.
Vesta comes into the bedroom and closes the door. She’s carrying a bottle of my scotch in her hand with two glasses. She pours a short one for herself, a much taller one for me. She hands it to me. “Drink it,” she says. “You look like hell and I’ll bet your nerves are shattered.”
I take a sip, Vesta jostles my arm, and I swallow more than I intend. I glare at her. It bothers her not at all.
She puts on her official Gestapo-like voice. “I am going to ask you questions. Unlike the last time I did this, you will answer my questions as briefly as possible. Do not volunteer any information. Do you understand, Daphne Vane?”
“Do you know the name of the dead man in your living room?”
“It’s Pedro something-or-other.”
“I thought so. Who offered violence first?”
“He pulled out a gun.”
“Did he plan to kill you with it?”
“You killed him?”
I look over at Vesta and drink some more scotch before replying. “I crushed his neck with my jaws as I disemboweled him.”
Vesta doesn’t bat an eye. “I’d call that self-defense, then.”
Vesta resumes her questions. “The victim had his pants and underpants pulled down. Did you two have sexual relations?”
I do not want to go into this. I nod.
“This was before he pulled the gun on you?”
I shake my head. “No, after.” I turn to look at Vesta. She is looking at me in disbelief. So I tell her the truth. “I raped him before I killed him.” I drink more scotch. Vesta pours me more.
She waits quite a bit before asking, “You used your eyes to mind control him?”
“No. I didn’t have to.” I wait a few moments before finishing the explanation. “I think my pheromones overwhelmed him. He was just an animal by that point.” Just an animal. See, I’m not the only one.
I look over at Vesta. She seems at a loss for words. Finally, dropping her official tone, she asks, “Forget my previous instructions, Daphne. Can you explain this for me? Because it doesn’t make any fucking sense at all.”
I smile, a nice, crazed smile. “Why, fucking sense is the only kind it does make, Vesta. I’m a goddess. And gods and goddesses can rape and kill as they please, so long as it’s a lower ranking individual. Pedro was just an assassin, can’t get much lower than that.” I can tell she’s not pleased with my explanation, nor its light and airy tone. So I switch to anger. “I’m a hell cat, and he got me mad. That’s all the justification I need, isn’t it?”
Vesta’s eyebrows go up when I said “hell cat.” Now her voice goes very soft. “I am taking into consideration that you aren’t used to killing people, Daphne, and are still in shock at that mess in your living room. Look at me, Daphne.” When I don’t react, Vesta reached over with her hands and turns my head to face her as her voice becomes intense. “Look at me, Daphne. I know what hell cats really are.” She sees my eyes go wide, knows I’ve understood her. She lets go of me and goes back to her soft tone again. “We get reports from Exile now and again. Enough that what happened here makes a lot more sense to me now. How much hell cat are you, Daphne? A half? A quarter?”
“A quarter,” I acknowledge.
Her voice still soft, Vesta says, “Now listen to me very carefully, Daphne. That man came here to kill you. You had the right to kill him in self-defense. How you did it, that’s a worry for another day. You just keep the thought that you were justified in defending yourself front and center. I’ll have the place cleaned up for you. You just stay here in your bedroom until you feel like going to sleep. And I’ll have someone stay with you, around the clock, to keep you safe. You don’t have to worry that you’ll have to do this again. Okay?”
I agree, and Vesta disappears. I’m not so shocked that I don’t realize she’s humoring me, but I don’t care. A half hour later a young woman shows up, bearing hot cocoa, takes away my scotch, and puts me to bed and to sleep. I think she may have drugged the hot cocoa. I still don’t care.
She’s still there in the morning, cheerfully bringing me breakfast in bed, helping to scrub me in the shower, assuring me the living room shows no signs of violence so it’s safe for me to go in there. Along the way, she tells me her name is Charlotte and that I am in no danger because she can kill people just by looking at them.
I don’t think she realizes that I am not worried about someone trying to kill me. I am worried that I’ll try to kill someone else. And that I’ll enjoy it just as much as I did killing Pedro.