Monster

“Wait, do not leave me in here with her!” He bellowed, scrambling to the door.

“Why? I’m a delight.” The door slammed closed, and he froze, knowing damn well he may never get out. He turns toward me, eyes wide in fear. I stand up, looking him over from head to toe. “This could be really fun.”

A sharp inhale. A pause. “You’re the monster.”

I chuckle, “That I am.”

“You don’t look like a monster.”

I smile at him, all teeth. “And what do monsters look like human?”

“Well, I don’t know. I mean I assume there should be claws or huge fangs. Green skin.” I chuckle. “Not like…” he waves his hand up and down toward me. “This.”

I bark out a laugh. “Sorry to disappoint.” He smiled, a little, more of a twitch in the upper right corner of his mouth. I might have a little fun with this one.

“Monsters wear many faces, you would be smart to remember that. If you get out of here alive.”

At that he tensed, any confidence fleeing his body.

“What are you?” His voice barely more than a whisper, his eyes on me.

“I many things, I am fear. I am malice. I am despair. I show you things, I can do things to make people beg for their death.” I fixed my eyes on his face. He took a sudden step, his back slamming into the door.

I transform my face, giving him a tease of what I really look like. My mouth suddenly fills with more teeth, rows and rows of razor sharp needles, my eyes go black, and my skin begins to turn to ashy layers.  “All you have to do is look into my eyes, human. Don’t you want to see the things I can do?”

He turns to the door, “Help! Get me out of here! I didn’t do anything! Help!” Once again he is slamming his fist against the door, pulling on the handle as if by sheer will he would open it. I know that it won’t, how many times did I hit that door until my knuckles bled, tore at the handle trying to open it, voice raw from my screams.

Even in my true form, there was no getting out.

Yes, I may be a monster, but being caged goes against my nature. I do not like being alone with myself.

His eyes are filled with tears, understanding hitting him like a hammer. He won’t be getting out. He falls to his knees, head in his hands.

I have put my features back in place. Brown eyes, teeth rounding and shrinking, skin milky and smooth. I chose a beautiful face. Gives my prisoners something good to look at while they die, that is when I get prisoners. I am only used in the darkest of circumstances.

Men who murder, rape, and pillage are my typical prey, men who do not deserve to walk in this world. Men who need not just to be killed, but destroyed completely.

I wait a few minutes, but curiosity gets the better of me. “What’s your name?” I walk over to stand in front of him.

Silence.

“What did you do to end up in here?” Nothing. I wait a beat. “Well my name is Azezel, and it is so nice to have a guest.”

He shifted, slightly, bringing his head up. No more tears in his eyes. Green. He had bright green eyes. I can’t remember the last time someone who was thrown in here had such pretty eyes.

“Bran,” he mumbled. “My name is Bran.”

“Well Bran, it is nice to meet you.” He cocked his head to the side. Confusion written all over his face.

“Why would I be sent to you for my execution? Wouldn’t it be easier just to cut off my head?” Bran’s voice came out a little stronger, he sat up straighter, as if maybe I didn’t scare him as much as I thought I would.

“There are plenty of ways to kill someone Bran. They don’t all have to be bloody.” He paled. “What did you do to end up in here with me?”

“I…” he stopped. I know why. Why tell me this? But as I find, most people tend to confess, to go into the next world clean of sin and with a clear conscience. I don’t have the heart to tell them that there is nothing after death.

Literally. I don’t have the heart.

“You don’t have to tell me, but I have done this awhile now, and I know most people feel better confessing. Something about relinquishing their sins.”

“I have nothing to confess, this is a mistake.” He shakes his head, rubbing his hands along his trousers. A nervous tick. This mortal confuses me. I sat down in front of him, where his legs are extended out on the floor. None have sat and talked like this. Usually its more on the begging, crying, and puking side. I prefer this. Less messy.

He looks up at me and meets my eyes, and his entrap me. So green, earnest, and… innocent. I didn’t look away, and his gaze held steady. No man has ever gotten my attention like this before.

When I was free I used men as play things, just a toy to use before I took their lives. That’s how I sustained. But this man in front of me was different. Maybe I will let him live a little longer, have a companion instead of being in here with my wretched self.

“Your eyes…” I snap out of whatever daze I was in. “Your eyes are less black when you shift, more a very dark blue, like the night sky before the sun is completely gone or… velvet.” I just looked at him. His tear-filled eyes of minutes ago were dry.

Bran must have known this took me by surprise, because he kept talking, picking at a rip in his pants at his knee, never looking away from me. “I mean, that face is terrifying. But I have looked many devils in the eye, and yours are the first to show me no fear.” He had moved a little closer, we could almost share breath.

“And why would I fear you, Bran?” My voice coming out in a breath. I couldn’t move. I feel a little unsettled, unsure of how the events have turned to this.

He leaned in closer, his fingers no longer playing with the rip, but moving slowly to his waist line. “Because, they didn’t lock me in here with you.” A pause, perhaps seeing if I could catch up on his meaning. “They locked you in here with me.”

And then with the speed no mortal man could possess, he attacked, a dagger in his hand and aimed right at my throat.

I dodge quickly, ducking around him, getting my back up against the wall. No one, none, not a single one, ever fought back.

“Who are you!?” I hiss.

“I am your doom.” He lunged again, faster than a human should be able to move. His eyes, no longer green, glow gold, really, his eyes are glowing? “I am your ending. I am the Hunter, And now its your turn to die.” He spits his rage as his attacks keep coming, never growing tired or sloppy.

Strong, this man was strong. No…not man….god. He was a god.

It clicked.

Most men died when I gave them just the faintest look at my real self, I used to show my face to make death clean and quick. Not since I arrived here.

I fully transform. Gone are the long locks of hair and brown eyes. Now I wear the face of death. He had the audacity to smile. Oh, what a good actor he was.

“A god huh?” He moved back, we stand their facing each other. No fear in his face, just rage. Neither panting or out of breath. We do not tire. He bares his teeth at me, staring with his calculating eyes, those beautiful god-damned green eyes. “Its been awhile since I came across a god. Tell me, how is the the realm of mortal man? A little boring I assume.”

“I am surprised you didn’t know what I was right away. But you’ve been locked away in here a long time, Azazel.” I growl. He is right, I have been gone too long, I have gone soft. When no one fights back, killing is as easy as blinking.

“Men no longer fear you and your kind.” He jabs again, I block the blow with my hand, using my knee to slam into his stomach. He snarls, and stumbles a step. This is pointless.

I shove him away. “You cannot kill me Hunter. No one can, believe me I’ve tried.” At my confession he freezes. He regards me with hatred. And pity. He pities me. That’s annoying.

“Oh, do not feel for me small god. I will be reborn. I only tried to kill myself to see if I would rise from the ash outside this hell-hole.”

He pauses.

“Then why won’t you just lay down and let me kill you?”

I snort. “Because godling, I am not one to shy away from a fight, makes the ending a lot more fun.” I lick my teeth. “And if I can’t kill myself, what makes you think you can?”

“I am a god.” His voice is deep when he speaks, his eyes narrowed. “And it is my duty.” He steps forward, thrusts his dagger bearing hand toward my neck, I block it and step back, my chest squaring to his, and in his other hand a smaller knife appeared, something he had hidden up his sleeve. And with this knife he stabs me directly in my chest.

I didn’t see that coming.

My eyes widen. Not in pain, but in pure shock. No one has ever gotten this close. Not even the men who captured me and locked me in here. They got lucky. I was young, and stupid, and they would pay one day.

But this was… unexpected. Too bad there is no heart to stab inside me.

“Was that supposed to hurt?” I smile, pulling the knife from my chest, Bran still gripping my shoulder.

He bends his head down and whispers in my ear, “No, but this will.” And then my world exploded.

The heat was unbearable, and it flooded through me, singeing me, burning me from the inside out. I couldn’t tell if my screams were audible, but that’s all I heard. My screams ripping from my chest, tearing out my throat.

Now I almost feel sorry for those sods I had to kill, because I did not make it a mercy when I ended them.

Does the life you lead flash before your eyes if you are a demon? All I see are the faces of the lives I took.

I am going to be better in my next life, I promise myself. Just because I am death incarnate doesn’t mean I have to be evil, right? I don’t want to see faces morphed into pain and suffering the next time I die, if there is a next time? I am very confused now.

And then it all went black.

I’d have to remember to thank him when I am reborn, thank him right before I kill him.

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