This is a short story I wrote as part of a little challenge from the AW musical chairs blogfest. I’ve never written in second person before, so this is very rough. Honestly, I’m not happy with this piece, but as its due in a couple of days it will have to suffice for this month’s challenge.
Yes, I know it sucks. Get over it.
Even when the forest senses your death is near, never will it show you mercy nor understanding. You see, the forest must remain impartial to the sins humans have committed, for it is the final gate into the underworld. Whether you rise to the heavens or fall into the flames has already been determined by the choices you made in life. The trees are the reaper’s instruments, Morella, your screams don’t gather mercy here. You are nothing.
Perhaps you never were anything to begin with; just the flesh and blood product of a diseased bitch of a mother.
Poor, innocent Morella. Do not struggle against the ties that bind you. You have reached the end now; and it is best to embrace your new life rather than fight against it. Soon, you will feel pain unlike anything you have ever been able to imagine; pain so fierce you’ll be begging for the blissful end within minutes. Your hunter will be pleased.
You like it when the hunter strikes, don’t you? Let’s see you pray to your savior now. There is no salvation for cannibals of the soul, Morella, only destruction. You have done very bad things… inhumane things. Judgement is now. Ah, the way of the universe; we are born into sin, we crave victory over death, we are destroyed and the world continues as if we never existed.
Fire floods your veins as the poison is introduced into your blood. You thrash and scream but he only laughs. Your hunter’s bloodlust rises as the scalding pyre races through your wrists, up your arms and down your chest. Each breath feels like acid as it races down your trachea. He grins. Though you don’t realize it, your body isn’t what is being consumed, Morella, it is your soul. You didn’t think you could destroy so many others and not pay, did you?
Leaves rustled their eager applause as the sight unfolds before them. Tension hangs thick in the forest as it waits for the game to begin. Contrary to popular belief, the very first strike is not the worst, sweet Morella. For a split second you think you will be able to withstand anything yet to come. You tighten your jaw and stand defiantly, willing your body to deny what your hunter lusts for most. The whip he holds is woven from rose stems; long talon like thorns protruding every few inches along the twisted instrument. Only a poet could take something once so beautiful and twist into a sick instrument for the wicked to bear. Only your hunter…
Before using rope to bind your body to the tree you once sought sanctuary by, he wraps it around your throat and pulls tight. Your hands fly up as you gasp for breath, but there is none. He’s crushing your throat, laughing as he pulls the rope tighter. The full gravity of the situation pulls you down. This is no longer a nightmare. This is your reality, Morella.
He releases the rope as you fall, only half conscious, to the ground. White spots dance before your eyes as you try to gather the strength to stand and try to make a run for it. Your hunter is faster. He ties your wrists together and then your legs before lifting you and forcing you against the mighty willow’s belly. Three times, he walks around the perimiter. Three times you catch his face out of the corner of your eyes. It is a face dark enough to haunt even the most holy of places.
Then… he strikes you. You feel the muscles in your shoulder tear as it is violently ripped from its natural position and left to hang at your side. You cannot adjust yourself because of the ties that bind your wrists behind your back. Your body is trembling from this first attack. Welcome to your judgement day, Morella, this is only the beginning of Hell.
A low, sickening laugh echoes throughout the forest; but you barely hear it over the pounding of your own heart. The hunter is going to enjoy killing you.
The tears are raining down your face, making a muddy mess out of the dirt and blood that cake your cheeks. Though the tears fall, you force your eyes to stay open. You must fight this death; fight to survive.
The whip connects with your skin, its tail twisting around your neck. The thorns pierce your skin as he pulls it back, bending you backwards so that your face is looking skyward. For a moment you panic, thinking this is it… but the hunter releases you and leaving you to prepare yourself for his next strike… but it doesn’t come
You feel something foreign run slowly up your thigh, resting on your hip. The only reason you notice is because it is going in the opposite direction of the blood spilling from the open wounds on your naked skin.
Violation. His fingers reach around and touch you. The tenderness with which he feels the most private of places disgusts you more than the feel of the thorn whip against your tender skin. You can feel his breath against your neck, hot and full of desire. With his other hand, he brushes the hair away from your neck. In it he holds the thorn whip. The end dangles against your ankles as his hand lingers on your ear. He leans in and, instead of kissing you, licks the stream of blood flowing from one of the wounds on your neck. You pray for him to stop touching you, to just return to beating you. In the only act of mercy you’ll be shown tonight, he steps away.
Your legs quiver, the memory of his fingers still upon them. You curse your body for liking the violation.
Shame, sweet Morella, is much more destructive than pain. The soul has the power to destroy what God has created to be rehealed. Your mind can kill you from the inside out.
There is some movement behind you. Your hunter is changing tools. He no longer favors the thorn whip; it is time to graduate to something much more invasive.
The air is heavy with the scent of blood; your blood, Morella. The hunter throws his new weapon forward. Hundreds of little metal hooks burrow into your skin and sit for a moment before he pulls, shreading your body further.
A single hooked tendril whips around and catches your eye. He pulls it, ripping through your eyelid and blinding you. Oh how you wish death would come! There is no more blood left in your veins, instead it lays pooled at the foot of the willow tree. The end is near.
Instead of striking you again, the hunter you from the tree. First your hands, then your legs, and finally your waist. Your broken shoulder sags pitifully; you are unable to hold yourself up. As you hit the ground you feel your teeth connect with the earth. Pain can no longer touch you, you are beyond it now. It is time to die.
Just as you expect the hunter to raise his hooked instrument, he turns, and lets it fall to his side. His job is finished.
Perhaps Hell is not the worst fate a soul can endure, Morella. Living a life in fear of memories will torment your soul slowly into madness. You shall cry, you shall scream… but the flashbacks and the anxiety will live on through the veins that heal. Your body will heal, but once your soul has fractured, you will exist in only half a life for all eternity. That, Morella, is your fate, the fate of the truly damned; to live.