Fruitless Retribution

“Who are you?” His voice was weak and shivered in his throat. I pushed the sword down harder into his bedding underneath. “Yatagarasu.” His eyes grew wide, so I spat in them. I had no sympathy for his cowardice. This was justice. Moonlight glistened and swirled with the blood in his eyes. His teeth clenched and ground together as I wrenched the blade in his chest, ribs cracking as cars hummed on the distant highway. “I'm sorry,” he whispered with a shaky breath. I ripped the blade into the air, blood shooting onto my face. He gasped and flailed under me. A worm, fighting to hold onto a life that was no longer his. It was mine. He kicked and heaved his opened chest up and down, until the strength left his body. My head dropped back, and my eyes faced the ceiling, streaks of red and blue neon lights from the streets painted across the wood. I thought to slash him again. To carve him, like the pig he was. Cutting open his jaw, and leaving him mangled when the police cameras arrived. I raised my sword high above my head, the steel shining with the night's light. “What have you done?” His voice was faint. He stood in the doorway, translucent. Barely visible. Except his face. The horror etched into his wrinkled eyes was more than visible. He didn't look at the man on the bed. He stared at me. “I did it for you,” I said, lowering my arms as I spoke. “For Katon.” “No. I didn't want this.” His gaze left me to look towards Katon whimpering behind his leg. “Neither did he.” “What he did to you two, I couldn't --” “You should've!” His voice boomed against the silence. “Now, you've made yourself truly alone.” He turned back out the doorway, disappearing into the darkness. “Father wait!” I cried. But, it was too late. He was gone. I looked back at the man. His eyes wide and still. The same horrified expression staring into me. I dropped the sword next to the bed. As I sat on the man the lights outside the window began to fade and warp into the familiar soft glow of our lanterns that sat on the front porch. The wooden floor planks cracked and spread as carpet grew from between them, spreading and covering the floor. The walls of the man's bedroom bled into blue drywall. Our drywall. My childhood blankets slid over his bedding until it became mine. The one I slept in every night next to Katon. I looked over and saw Katon sitting up in his bed. He stared at me, his mouth gaping. Dark tears filled his eyes. They were the same as the man beneath me's. Wide, full of blood. I looked back at the man. He was the only thing that stayed. Just as horrified. The sweet sting of burning wood flooded my nostrils. Flames licked out from underneath the bed. They crawled up the walls, tickling the roof until it gave way to their demand to spread. My childhood room, engulfed in these tireless flames I couldn't flee, as I was stuck to the man. Or he was stuck to me. Regardless, we were one. Together, forever. Prisoners to our decisions.

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Niki

Writer and Playwright

London, United Kingdom