Bella Muetre

//She smiles, thin lips peeling back, large eyes swimming with darkness, revenge and blood. "It's Spanish, y'know? Bella muetre... beautiful death. I always thought that it'd be a cool name. All mysterious and cruel" I don't say a word- I don't dare- and she shrugs. "But whatever. People like me don't need names. 'Killer' is a good enough title."//

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1. Prologue || Blood ||


 

There is a luxury in self-reproach.​

When we blame ourselves, we feel that no one has a right to blame us.

It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution."

-Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

 

 

 

I am kneeling in a pool of blood and noise.

My ears are ringing, soundless screams swelling like waves in my ears, rising and falling with each ragged breath that  drag into my lungs. My eyelids are pressed together, almost as if I could block out the world, as if the  last few moments haven't been painted into my memory with a coarse-bristled brush, the seconds, the screams, captured in vivid scarlet hues.

My head is throbbing like a struck gong; careless pinpricks of icy cold scraping down my neck and back, crawling down my spine, from my lips to my toes and slithering back into the deepest, darkest crevices of my mind.  

And my hands are bloody. 

They're tingling, adrenaline buzzing through my veins like a shot of caffeine first thing in the morning, even though my arms are so, so heavy. I could run right now. Part of me- the guilt-ridden part, with anger and desperation clinging to my soul like leeches- wants to run. Run and run and never look back. 

The other half of me wants to burn my house to the ground. To douse the place in alcohol and petroleum and light it up, watch the flames clutch at the building with starving fingers and devour the place whole. To burn all the secrets, the smothered whispers and scarlet water to ash, and to scatter those feeble remains into the wind. To destroy everything that was until there's nothing left.   

That's how the 'fight or flight' response feels, I assume.

My adrenal cortex must be releasing cortisol which is suppressing my immune system and saving my energy. My adrenal medula is releasing adrenaline- my pupils dilating, my heart rate increasing, my blood sugar levels rising- the human body readying itself for a battle and preparing to flee like a frightened rabbit, just as it had evolved to.

I am kneeling in a pool of blood and noise.

The world around me is silent, the only sound the drip, drip, as blood trickles between my fingers and onto the carpet. Like blood leaking from a bullet to the heart, through the ragged tears of skin and flesh, swelling like a rose within winter. Ruby petals spreading like bloodied angels' wings, looking exactly how Lucifer's would have as he fell from grace, fell from Heaven, the wind clawing at his humanity and tearing feathers from his wings.

The floor's ruined now. My mother would be furious.

If she wasn't dead, that is.

There's no real noise- all I can hear is the earthquake of an orchestra in my head; cymbals crashing as the music tumbles like rain, flutes and clarinets screaming a high-pitched wail of tortured agony, the scream of choking and breaking birds. It's a burning, acidic cacophony, winding around every neuron, blocking every synapse inside my brain and rendering me helpless as I stare down at my hands, my scarlet-stained hands, and whisper out a howl of agony. 

The scream is trapped inside my throat, clinging with serrated claws to my windpipe, refusing to move as I drag in another breath before throwing it back out into the cold room, oxygen dancing between my lips, mocking the life that was, the life that was trickling through my veins and clung to the kitchen floor. I throw out a strangled yelp, the sound whispering from my lungs like cigarette smoke- dark grey and acidic.

I'm cold- so incredibly cold- icy to the point of shivering, muscles twitching and shuddering, the tiled flooring leeching any heat that remains from my skin. Dragging the warmth from my pores with hungry, grasping fingers as the blood on my hands cool; the colour darkens, becoming rust-like in colour, clinging to me like ugly scabs that refuse to heal after being picked and tugged at for months on end. I scratch at my skin half-heartedly and dried blood flutters down to the floor, a twisted, sadistic mockery of snowflakes tumbling from the clouds during December, coating the ground in an undisturbed blanket of smothering whiteness, like fresh linen on a clean bed.

And there's the pain, too. Excruciating, blinding agony, flowing in fiery waves from my toes, up my legs and winding around my abdomen before condensing in my eye-sockets, as if my brain was trying to force itself free from its cage, trying to burst out of my skull. I choke out a sob, arms wrapping around my midsection, as if such a feeble act could hold my cracked frame together, but I may as well be taping a shattered window back together with wrapping tape. The cracks are too wide, gaping chasms splitting my skin and leaving puckered furrows in their wake.   

My hands are bloody, and for once, the blood I'm seeing isn't just inside my head.   

 

 

 

[Cover by @Sanguine]

 

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