I, Stalker: Part 2
Read I, Stalker: Part 1 Here
Why did I tell her my name, this question has been haunting me since I arrived at the studio. I have no idea. I never know where I am going with a project until I am already there.
Ah, the studio, my work place, my haven. It is a city block in size. No one lives here. The buildings are long decrepit. The lighting is faint at best. I have used this place for at least most of my art works. I used to have another place, yet I can’t remember that place at all. I remember it only as being a room. Now I work under the stars, listening to the helpless screams of my canvas. The street is my floor. The cracks in the tar and cement give character to my studio. It is the beauty of life retaking the bitter brittle holds of society. It is poetic I think. Yet then again, I’m not a poet, just a hapless artist. I’ll let the world itself write the sonnets of change, I’ll just add the visuals. I must begin soon. The hours are passing quicker every second of my life. I swear the sun is creeping up on me as we speak.
I lay her gently down on the ground, so as to not bruise her. I want the skin to stay the same. It is everything else that must be changed, mostly the insides. They must be remolded, brought out, some put back in, some discarded, some remade, all must be changed. I will make her as angelic on the inside as she is on the out. I will be her savior once again, and when this world comes to an end and we meet before the creator, she will thank me for this. They all will.
I produce my blade, the one I took all day to get to a perfect edge. She deserves no less. She will be difficult to perfect. Yet now I must begin.
The Chloroform must not have been strong enough, for the first incision awoke her with a start. She sat up so fast that as I was incising her chin, she forced the blade to sink deep into her cheek. I was very upset by this act. I wanted to keep her face the way it was, at least for now. That struck me as very strange. I usually find the face to be the most disturbing thing, yet hers is different, I cannot begin to understand why I felt this way, I never have in the past, and I suspect I never will again. It must be simply for the fact that we are linked.
The important thing is that she is now awake, and she knows something has changed. I can now see the typical fear in her eyes. She doesn’t know where she is at first, and then she recognizes the place. Her sanctuary has now, in her eyes, turned into her own hell. I am beginning to lose interest in her natural beauty. She is beginning to seem quite disturbing to me again, just as she did the first time I saw her, god, when was that? Just how long have I been connected to this piece. It could be years by now.
She stagers away from my grip, still drowsy from the drug, yet with enough energy to swing her leg up and knock me in my face. The pain is an incredible feeling that forces me to reawaken. It is immeasurable as to how much I enjoyed that kick. It brought a sense of duty back to my soul. I get to my feet and replace the knife into my pocket. I watch as she places a hand to the injured cheek. She has no idea what is going on. Suddenly I feel like a wild animal stalking my prey. She is my gazelle, I am her lion. I prepare to sink my teeth into her and let my claws rip into her soul. She is smarter and faster than I give her credit for. I feel the heel of her hand break my nose. A bite of pain enters as she wheels around and lets her foot connect with my mid section. This is unimaginable. She has completely brought back my original intentions. I must perfect this angel. She is so close, I can make her better, I know I can.
Now she is screaming. I have but one advantage over this angry creature. I am in my environment. She is still unaccustomed to the night. We are in my world and I own everything in it, including her. I can see her squint as she backs away from my form. It is now my time to remind her that I am the artist and she is nothing more than a subject, a canvas, a lifeless block that I must mold into art. She will be my master piece.
I gain composure and start walking sideways into the shadows. She can no longer see me. Better yet, she has no idea where to run. All she sees is destruction and rubble. I see a safe haven and great big walls. I have long ago decorated this place with my own instruments of art and creation. Times like this, which happen few and far between, have called on me to use those decorations.
“What do you want?” she yells into the shadows.
“To take away your fear, my love,” I respond, shocked again at the sound of my own voice.
“Stay the hell away from me!” There is some fear there but above that all is anger and confusion. Soon she will have full understanding though.
I quietly reach for a long pole with a hooked barb at the end. Its weight feels natural in my hand, it feels strong; it feels perfect. I made it, only it’s not wood. I crafted it out of three young men. Their bones where strong, stronger than anything I had used before. This was their contribution to my art. The barb at the end is made out of steel. A cold metal used for cold acts. This is not a brush. This is a setting tool, something to capture my image so I can properly work it.
I look out from the shadows and see her searching for an escape. What a silly creature. She will learn to accept her fate. She should be happy; she is about to experience the beauty of perfect darkness. The more I think about it, the more I realize that her fears are reemerging. Those fears reach out to the voices I have worked so hard to quell. They can taste it better than even myself. I must begin my work; I must relinquish her of these useless fears. The voices do not deserve this one. I walk past another wall hanging, this time two daggers protrude from the abdomen of some soul that I hung as a tapestry long ago. The flesh is taking on a beautiful putrid green. The daggers hold it together more than its own flesh does. As I remove the bone-handled blades from the former body, it falls to the round with a sickeningly sweet splash as old flesh is turned into nothing more than a pile of perfection, form without form. What else could be more perfect than a conundrum that is life stripped away of all that can be seen as ideal and good. It is as if one’s eyes are opened for the first time upon seeing my art. This is what I will do to the world. Rip their eyes open before I rip out their very eyes themselves. My art does not need to be seen, it simply needs to exist. For now, she will make my next display. Her form will be a perfect image. Her hair shall be remade into a fine rope. I will choose to use that rope in my next expedition of art. I must play with her insides and find out what needs to be taken out for her soul to be clean.
I do not hate this woman, I love her, as do I love all of mankind. It is my love that forces me to do my work. My need to contribute to a society that is so far down the tunnel to hell, that I’m not even sure that the work I do will be enough. God, I pray that there are more like me out there. Perhaps I will one day meet another like me, another deadly perfect soul. Until then, I will continue to expand my museum.
She is screaming for help again. That never helps them. They never realize that there is no one near enough to help them. Even if an army of invalids were within earshot, they would never reach her in time. She is mine. No one can change that, especially her. She lost all her rights as a human when she accepted her role in society. I must defuse that reasoning deep within her. It is time to strike.
I see her begin to hobble across the street to my left, I creep up behind her, learning the secrets of silence long ago, so that she knows nothing of my whereabouts. I raise my tool up high and swing it down in an arc. I miss! I only hook her arm, when I was aiming for her neck. She must have heard me. I only tear away a small chunk of flesh as she struggles to free herself. Her blood is spilling everywhere now. All that wasted art, getting soaked into the earth. Every drop I was planning on saving, as a testament to who she used to be. It is really a shame.
I despise running, but she is forcing me to. She runs into my favorite part of my studio. It is her biggest blunder and my best luck. She runs full force into my hall of wonders. My very best art I have ever preformed. I filled it with mirrors, all shattered and jagged to truly bring out the broken light of perfection within. She keeps making the mistake of looking behind to see if I am following her. Of course I am following you, you stupid creature, do you really think I would just let you wander alone in here. I decide she is moving too fast and I fling one of the two daggers at her right calf. Instantly there is a cry of pain as I see the short 3-inch blade go in about half way into her flesh. She doesn’t stop, but slows to rip the blade free. As she looks back up, she realizes she should have come to a full stop.
Now she is on the floor. She is crying blood from her one remaining eye. Half her face is dangling on a ragged mirror remnant. One eye is completely whole hanging free on a piece of glass. The other half of her face is amazingly blemish free. Not a single scratch. I have no idea how she cut it so cleanly. I believe the shock has hit her, because she does not seem to realize what has happened. I walk over to the half mask of her, and lift it to the rusty light. It is in beautiful condition. I shall keep it for a great portion of the artwork. I feel a mild annoyance at first. Her face was to be mine to sculpt, but then the initial anger ebbs away. The wonder at seeing her change herself begins to entice me.
It is amazing the power of adrenalin. It has always been one of my goals to learn to bottle that substance and to use it for myself. For the woman upon waking from her shock bolted up slapping me down off balance as I was, and proceeded to continue her flight. I stand up, knowing I would no longer have to run, simply knowing where she was headed.
I find her a few moments later crawling away on a trail of blood most resembling a slug. She has crossed a threshold that would have meant nothing if the poor dear had been wearing any type of protective footwear. Yet barefoot as she is, the floor behind her for nearly twenty paces was covered in razors and various other instruments, all hidden beneath an inch of gasoline and dead flesh. I can see the remnants of her feet. It is most lovely. Yet at the same time, I knew this was meant to be. She will truly be my best work. I can already see the outcome and I am already amazed at it.
She surprises me once more. She actually struggles to her feet once again at the sight of me. Her imperfections must truly blind her from the light that I shine. Or maybe she is simply afraid of the light. I will let her wander in my hall of amazements a bit longer. She seems interested in what will happen next, just as I am. The excitement swells in me once again. I have never seen a canvas paint itself in such a startling way!
I have let her wander alone long enough. Down the next hall I find her laying face down. Physically she is weaker, but I can smell the change on her. She knows that death will come to her soon. Her fear is almost entirely gone…but not completely. We still have a little more work to do. The walls of my hall of mysteries are lined with various tools. I run my hands over the instruments until my fingers close around a slim wooden handle. The iron head of the hammer weights about ten pounds. When I bring it down on her left hand there is no crunch of bone or dry thud. There is only a wet splash as muscle, skin, and bone are liquefied. She amazes me more by not crying out in pain. Only a small whimper escapes her lips. I believe she is finally beginning to fully accept what is happening to her. I was worried for a while that she would end up like many of the others, screaming until the very end. But she will not do that. Her screams are over, her tears are dry. I turn her onto her back and look into her one remaining eye. There is no fear staring back at me.
I take a step back and smile at the beauty the two of us have created. I step over the trail of her blood and kneel down next to her. My hand slides through her hair, still mainly blood free. I slowly run my blade close to her scalp cutting the strong lovely locks away. Her breathing has grown shallow, which means I do not have too much longer to perfect my art. I carefully tuck the hair into my pocket and let my fingers run down her remaining face. For the briefest of moments our eyes meet and I can see that she finally understands what is about to happen. She has accepted that she will die tonight but she knows that death is no longer something that she must fear.
It is almost disturbing that the voices have remained quiet so long. Perhaps they know that I have freed this one almost completely from their hungry maws. I know they will eventually return but for now I relish the silence I find myself embraced by. Without their echoes in the back of my mind I am finally able to open all of my senses to enjoy the work in front of me in all its glory. I take another step back and let the sight of my art fill me entirely. She is so beautiful. What I have done to her flesh has made her soul into a perfectly cut diamond.
In front of us on the wall is a series of straps. I feel fate intervening again. She brought herself here to this perfect wall hanging. There are remnants of colored glass above the leather and steel contraption. A faint amount of natural light somehow finds its way to this place. This will be her sanctuary for all time. I already know as I fasten her arms and legs into the restraints that I will visit this place more than all the rest. I smile up at her as I tighten the bolts holding her Christ like to the steel beams behind her. For the briefest of moments, it almost seemed as if she was returning that grin.
“Take her life!”
The voices are back. Damn, I thought they would stay away for a short while at least. I can feel them trying to take control of my hands; they have never done this before. They need my body still. The voices aren’t yet strong enough to work on their own. Before, they seemed content with telling me to do this, now that I want to savor this, they are angry. The voices are much clearer than they have ever been. Perhaps tonight they will hear my voice instead.
“Why do you need me to kill?” I ask to my own head, I can only imagine what this sounds like to the young woman strapped to the wall. She seems to have stopped moving. That’s not good, I can’t be done yet, I have more to show her, more wonders to explore with her in my great and miraculous house of healing. She is not yet completely free of her fear. I did not expect the voices to actually answer me.
“We won’t need you…for long, yet for now, we need you to indulge us, kill her let your art work spread but take her life from her,”
“I will not kill, that is not what I do, killing is your feat, mine is to create. I make them perfect, you want to take away my skill.”
These voices are angry. I can feel them trying to force the gray mist over my vision. They have never done this before. It takes every bit of concentration I have but I am able to clear my head of the haze that usually only visits me with sleep.
I can feel the voices deep in the folds of my mind, though I cannot tell if it is my defiance of them or my ability to fight them that angers them more. For now I know I have control but I must not let another moment go to waste. I look up at her and frown at her limp form. For a moment it sees as if the voices have gotten their treat anyway, but I see her stir a bit and the joy returns to my face. I slap a hand firmly across the smooth half of her face to rouse her. Her one eye snaps open and stares directly at my own.
“Stay with my, my love, I have much more to show you.”
Her ability to cling to life yet understand that death is so near makes my pride erupt. Though her movements have become slurred by lack of blood I know she hides much more life inside. I can’t let myself slack off. My art is not done yet. She is so close to being beautiful. I must continue the process of purification. My heart swells with anticipation as I stalk nearer to my prey. Her face is still warm to the touch but her fingers and toes are beginning to turn blue. I know our time together has grown short as her breathing becomes even shallower.
No one has ever made it this far in to my inner realm. I cannot even remember the last time I was here. The mirrors are still mostly whole here. I look into one and I see my own reflection smiling back at me, but I am not smiling. It is the reflection of the voices I see smiling back at me with their hungry gaze. They want her soul for themselves. They want her fear and her screams to satiate them. I can feel their hatred towards me for draining her of that fear. A fearless death will starve them. It is so rare that I deprive them of a meal. I can only hope they sleep hungry tonight.
I do not do this because the voice tells me to. They want me to simply kill her. I can’t do that. It would be such a waste. I need her to enjoy the process as much as I do. She is a transient, a wanderer into a new way of being. I am simply her guide. I can see the remnants of strength behind her one remaining eye. She still does not see me as her savior but I can also see something else behind that eye. She can hear the voices now as well. They want her to fear me, to fear what I am doing to her. Yet they will not win. My hand raises to her face and I clench her jaw firmly to force her attention on me.
“Ignore them, abandon your fear my love,” I say to her. I sense confusion at first from her but behind that I know she understands.
The apparatus she is attached to is something I must have constructed long ago. The hinges are rusty and the leather straps are cracked. Her wrists and ankles are looped through the leather while her neck is held secure by an iron shackle. My hand grips around a set of ropes. I pull until the ropes and chains are taunt, stretching her arms up into a human ‘Y’ shape. Her feet are forced together and her back is arched. I gently cut away the remaining bits of silken robe from her body, revealing every inch of her porcelain like skin. I let my fingers trace over her stomach. Even in this state she is in, most men would still find this example of woman sexually appealing. That concept is foreign to me. I love her for what is inside and I grin at the anticipation of soon seeing just what is hidden there. She looks down at me, still silent, but the fear is gone. I think she was able to silence the voices. If only I could learn her secret!
I can feel the voices scratching at the back of my mind. They hunger for her fear. Their hunger is insatiable it seems. The screams ripping slowly away at my inner thoughts will eventually become overbearing. Of that I have no doubt. But for the time being, I am still able to push them back. I fear the day that they actually make it to the surface and take over. I am sure that is the day I will lose myself completely. The sound of her shallow breathing wakes me from my revelry. It is time to complete this work.
I let my special blade conform to my hand, my paintbrush. It is time to start my last touches. I tilt my head to the right and measure her up. She makes a wonderfully colorful canvas. I could not have asked for a better position. The shadows are casting a perfect light onto her form. I step forward and lightly trace the razor edged blade through her skin right under her left breast. I drag it down watching the warm blood spill out. The abdomen now has a large incision in it. I have only cut away the skin, not the muscle. She is a great specimen; her stomach wall still holds everything in. The grin on my face grows as I look at the glorious sight before me. I lean forward and get as close to her face as I can. Our eyes lock and I see she knows what is to come and she is prepare for it. Her eye goes wide for just an instant as my fingers pierce her muscle and I tear my hands outward opening her stomach into a cavernous hole. Her body shudders as the very last bits of life seep out of her. I let her dying sight be my own soul through my eyes. My god…she is so beautiful.
I can feel the voices rise up in hatred as her fearless death forces them to taste pure hunger and starvation for the first time. I have denied them their nourishment and I know that their wrath will soon be set upon me, but I do not care. Those who let these chaotic primal voices take over only lose their own souls. They become mindless automatons who have no better purpose than to force feed this ancient hunger on fear and death.
I look down at my hands and watch the thick blood drip between my fingers. I feel exhilarated at the climax of this piece. I laugh as the voices scream at my defiance. I cleanse my hands in a basin of running water protruding from one of the walls and sit below my master piece. As I take the strands of hair from my pocket I carefully begin to braid them together into a thin but strong length of rope. Perhaps some of her strength was stored in this hair and will be transferred to my next project. Oh how wonderful it would be to deny the voices yet another meal.
I sit there below my love until the first hints of daylight begin to shine through the stained glass above her head. The brilliant light sends a rainbow cascading over her form, creating a holy aura around her. The voices have receded to the back of my mind, reverting to a mere manageable whisper. I smile as I place the braid of hair back into my pocket and stand up. I can feel the gray haze returning and soon I will let it take me to another dreamless sleep. With my work done I prepare to head home. I give Emily one final glance as I leave this hall of wonders and feel a slight shudder. I close my eyes and leave my studio
I must prepare for my next piece of art.