“Please spare us,” the man feverishly pleads on his knees. “This is all I have left! I’ll repay him, I swear! Just, please, don’t hurt my family!” He takes a shaky breath and continues on: “Forgive all we’ve done in the past! Our debts shall be repaid!”
“Nothing remains, o’ follower of the darkness, which may cease your callous intent; I call thee forth to heed my will, and in exchange, destroy all you please.”
“I can pay you!” he jumps to his feet and digs in his pocket, pulling out golden currency in such abundance even most loyal would turn on their masters. She still pays the man no attention.
Fire encircles her, flames kiss her skin, until she directs them towards the castle of the unfortunate. Surely, his family is still inside. The man screams so loud it makes the girl look over at him; she can see the very meaning of his existence crumble as he falls to his knees.
She does not pity him. She does not pity anyone.
“My family…my wealth…my home…” he shakes violently, clenching his fists. “You’ve taken them from me!” Thinking himself swift, he stands once more and grabs her arm, now that the flames have dispersed themselves among his life.
The man opens his mouth to spit a threat as the girl turns to him; it is now the man is struck with such a force that he falls to the charred ground, never to move again. The girl looks at who dealt the blow: Gilbert, the Overseer’s son.
“They’ve started to whine more and more, haven’t they?” Gilbert scoffs and shakes his head, glaring down at the dead man. “Next time someone even moves towards you, I’ll rip their throat out with my teeth, [Name].”
Behind the straight-faced Venetian mask, her expression is eerily similar. [Name] turns back to the home just as the Pyro demon devours the youngest daughter of the family, aged at 5 years old, without a shred of remorse. By now, the town’s people have begun to peek out their windows, but none dare approach the two fiends in the night, or even try to rescue the rich man’s family.
[Name] walks away from the scene, her scythe dissolving into black flames as it is no longer needed. Gilbert is too busy shouting taunts at the fearful people behind their curtains to notice. It is moments later, after he’s grown bored with the lack of challenge coming from the people, he realizes she’s gone.
After catching up in an easy jog, he yells one last taunt, “You better watch your backs or you’ll all be next!” followed by a menacing laughter. The girl still says nothing, still feels nothing, still cares none.
“Welcome back,” the servants stop what they’re doing, bow and greet. [Name] passes them, like she does every time, whereas Gilbert struts before his audience with a gruelling retelling of everything that happened while they were out. [Name] was sure the servants didn’t want to hear the stories each time, but what can they do? Defiance would mean death, and surely the Overseer wouldn’t come from his wing of the castle just to deliver the punishment: he’d make [Name] do it. And she would do as told.
The girl treks up the stairs leading to her chambers, walks down the long corridor that separates her room from Gilbert’s, and puts her hand on the knob just as Walter, a servant boy, calls for her.
“[Name]! Look at what I made for you!” He carries a silver tray, his feet moving so fast it is almost impossible to tell the left from the right. Walter stops just before crashing into [Name], and breathlessly holds out the tray. It’s covered with different pastries and sweet-stuffs, a cup of tea miraculously filled to the brim without a drop spilt.
[Name] opens the door and gestures for Walter to enter, which he does, before entering herself and closing the door. She pulls off the mask and sets it on her table as Walter lights a few lamps so they can see besides the moonlight. The chambers are glowing by now.
The red-haired, freckled, brown eyed boy holds the tray to her persistently. “Please eat.”
She plucks the tea cup from him and takes a sip; it is sweet, just as she likes it, with the slight zing of lemon. [Name] sets it back on the tray and begins to remove her shoes.
“I said to eat, not drink,” Walter pouts. “I spent all night making these for you.”
Her cold eyes stare at Walter for a moment before concentrating on unlacing her boots. “Thank you,” she says quietly.
The young boy’s face instantly brightens while he sets the platter onto the small table. “Well, I’ll leave these here and be going! It’s lights out early tonight! Can you believe midnight is considered early nowadays?” He bows and hurries from the room. Halfway down the hall, she can hear him giggling like a school girl.
Oddly exhausted, [Name] pulls the book she was reading before and flops down onto her bed. Her eyes hungrily spy the scene where she was interrupted by an Order, made to kill a man and his family in the middle of the night. Raphael was just confessing some abstract concept he called “love” to Elizabeth…
There’s a soft knocking at her door, requesting permission to enter, but not waiting for an answer as the door opens nanoseconds later. It’s Gilbert.
“I must admit,” he says while closing the door, “I’ve never met anyone as heartless as you. I’ve met people stronger, but not nearly as callous. How do you do it?” He looks at her with a mischievous glint in his ruby red eyes. [Name] does not reply: instead, she buries her nose in the book, crossing her legs while doing so.
Unsatisfied without an answer, Gilbert crosses the room and takes the book from her, tossing it over his shoulder with a grin. “You don’t have to be shy, [Name]. I thought we’ve known each other long enough to be over this stage.”
He tilts her unresponsive face and presses his lips on hers. To his dismay, she makes no movement, gives no reaction, so he pulls away with a frown. “You understand what I’m doing, ja?”
She just stares at him, her eyes vacant as if she’s in some other world. Gilbert refuses to be defeated; he climbs on top of her and presses his lips to her neck, expecting her to gasp, hitch her breath, anything…he gets none of that, so he bites her, digging his teeth into the soft, supple skin, hard enough to taste her blood in his mouth. [Name] remains like a doll, allowing him to do as he pleased without resistance, without pleasure.
Gilbert licks the wound, trailing the blood to her lips. “Taste it. You bleed. You live. You can love. You can love me.” His cold hands caress the shape of her body hungrily. “I love you.” He bits her bottom lip, causing it to bleed; he sucks up the red liquid oozing from her until he’s had his full.
Gilbert pulls away, searching her eyes for something…anything.
“What is love?” she asks him, looking away. “I don’t understand it.”
“You don’t understand anything do you?” he whispers. “You’re so innocent, but not pure,” he laces his fingers around hers. “So many you have killed; so many you have rid of life, yet you know not what you steal from them: greed, envy, desire, love, hope… and you can’t even return the feelings I have for you…” he pauses for a brief moment. “Why don’t you love me, [Name]?”
“I am not permitted to ‘love’,” [Name] replies mechanically. She watches as slow gush a salty water wells from his eyes and rolls down his face. Her eyes follow it, as she is confused. She does not ask what this strange phenomenon is; silently, she observes.
Gilbert asks, his voice oddly quiet, “Why are you so cold…?”
“I am not cold, Gilbert. I am the same temperature I always have been: 37 °C*.”
He laughs a strained, painful laugh, “Of course you are.”
The pitiable albino crawls off of his bloodied victim and silently takes his leave. The doll retrieves her book, sits on her bed, and continues reading, caring not for the wounds she has sustained because she wants to discover the ending of such a tragic and gruesome story.