Monday, July 27, 2015

Day Eight-Ninety-One: Is it me you're looking for

For one terrible second, Dragomir didn’t know what to say, what to feel, or what to think. He was utterly without expression, an inanimate object, devoid of life. Then, as though the flood gates of his soul had burst opened, rage seeped uncontrollably into his veins.

You,” he rasped again, fingers clenching into blackened claws. Half of his face melted into oily darkness.

“Yep.” Bora took a sip from her glass, wincing as she did. “Y’know, I always had to fake liking this swill. Not what I’ve got here, specifically, but alcohol. Tough to be a barmaid if you don’t show at least a little bit of an inclination - “

Bora stopped short as Dragomir stumbled off of his stool. Limbs swaying weirdly, he allowed his head to droop, chin striking his chest. His whole body was turning black, now, his clothes disappearing into a smoothed, muscled surface that grew and grew as his madness swelled. Soon he was towering over Bora, almost ten feet tall, and both figures disappeared into the darkness as one of Dragomir’s claws brushed the bar’s single candle and snuffed it. Only Dragomir’s glowing green eyes, almost violently green, illuminated the gloom.

“I guess,” Bora whispered, taking another sip, “this’s one way it could go down.”

Sweeping one arm sideways with a strength he didn’t know he possessed, Dragomir knocked Bora from her stool. Growling, he stooped over her, pinning her in place with a knee to her stomach. She grunted loudly, coughing up something liquidy, and Dragomir leered in at her, his face as inhuman as anything he’d ever fought in the past four years. He opened his mouth and roared at Bora, the shrill caw of an enraged, unearthly eagle.

Bora flinched away, or as far away as she could get. But she didn’t struggle, didn’t change forms, didn’t try to free herself. She closed her eyes and waited, shaking slightly, either from fear or the pressure on her belly.

Die,” Dragomir hissed, hovering one clawed hand in front of her face. “Die, damn your fuckin’ black soul.

“If… mine’s… bl… bla…” Bora tried to speak, but Dragomir pressed his knee even harder into her belly. She settled for a weak flick of her wrist, from herself to Dragomir.

He got the implication. “Then mine is too, I guess? Fine. That’ll make this easier.

Dragomir’s spindly fingers spread, and with unruly concentration he pulled the Catastrophe to life, ignoring the blossom of pain in his temples. Green pixels swirled around his fingers, at first a small circle, soon a blossoming cloud. They arced and flowed inches above Bora’s face, and when one dipped low enough to cut her cheek, she yelped - but nothing more. Her eyes remained firmly shut.

Dragomir hissed again, hand shaking. For a reason he didn’t immediately understand he held the Catastrophe back, one metaphorical hand on the switch that activated the weapon in his brain. The pixels shuddered at the pressure, but they maintained their unsteady orbit. “You feelin’ too fuckin’ guilty to fight back, bitch?

Bora shook her head. Dragomir noticed dully that her hair had grown back, and it was almost eclipsing the sides of her face. For a time he thought he’d loved that face, that hair, that exotic brown skin, that… everything. But the love had been a lie, half concocted by his son and half by this thing, and now all those wonderful attributes were mere artifice for an ugly, ugly creature hiding beneath. And yet… yet

SAY SOMETHING,” he demanded.

Choking, Bora pointed to the knee on her stomach. Grudgingly, Dragomir replaced the knee with a claw. His fingers grew so long and thin that he wondered how they held such incredible strength as to pin a grown woman, well, single-handedly. The fact that she didn’t seem to want to fight back probably helped.

Coughing loudly, Bora took a moment to compose herself. Then, her voice phlegmy, she spoke. “You don’t… augh, fuck, that hurt… you… you don’t have it… in you… to kill me…”

Anger and irritation bloomed in Dragomir a second time, and he lowered his tone an octave. The Catastrophe grew enough that two of the swirling pixels sliced strands of hair from her bangs. “You wanna bet on that? You just fuckin’ wanna bet?

“I already… did…” Bora pointed out, cringing. “Besides… I… I honestly… don’t know… what’ll happen to you… if you… you… kill me…”

That bit of logic gave Dragomir pause, and his anger subsided a notch or two. He considered the story he’d been told, of his connection to Bora, how he’d been a part of her at one point, and wondered what exactly would happen if he gave in to the delicious impulse to put the Catastrophe through her face. Would his body give in and immediately collapse? Would the Non part of him shrivel up and leave behind a perfectly normal human being? Would he remain exactly as he was now? Or would something he could never even begin to imagine or fathom happen instead?

Bora waited. She’d opened her eyes again and she was watching him, wincing at the intense glow of his own gaze. He wondered if she had similar eyes, or if she’d given up her own, normal Non form long ago in order to appear as the bug-like monstrosity he’d witnessed when last they’d met.

“You can’t… kill me,” Bora said, after several taut moments of silence, “because you’re too… good… for that.”

Fuck you,” Dragomir replied.

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