Even the couch seemed to vibrate as he sat there, his eyes almost glazed over as the alluring music caused him to rock from side to side in his seat. His head bobbed to the sound, and at the moment the entire world, along with all of his responsibilities, was tuned out. For that one split second did his lip twitch upwards, almost forming a light smile, of which rarely ever touched his face at any given time of the day. Ever since the words, "Your smile does not matter," touched his brain, he made damn sure to never give anyone the benefit of seeing that particular expression on his face. Though anyone around him would note that not only did he refrain from giving a smile, but a frown of sadness, or even a grimace of anger never seemed to show upon his features. His grey eyes, like that of a forgotten thunderstorm in the middle of an empty sea, had no particular focus at this moment in time, yet somehow they focused on a girl across the room. The first sign of light inside their murky depths occurred when a flash of recognition seemed to make them glow for half a second. But just as soon as the vague sign of life made its mark, it was gone, as if it never had been there in the first place.
Her mouth was twisted into a wide, excited grin as she bounced around, her flawless pearl-white hair swaying with her. The music never ceased to decrease in volume—in fact, the ever-increasing vibrating of the room indicated that perhaps it was only getting louder. This did not bother the ten to twelve inhabits in this room, of which was maybe big enough to hold five or six. Several males and females alike seemed to dance along with her, their limbs snapping and cracking every so often as if almost unnatural. After a while of staring her down with his own grey eyes, he let out a light sigh, which might as well have been more of a growl, and stood up to approach her.
She looked up now, her blue eyes capturing the very essence of happiness. Were there stars hidden within her gaze? Certainly by the varying looks of adoration from the crowd, indeed there would be a mutual agreement that there definitely was. As soon as their gazes met, a thousand years passed over the course of less than a second. The connection was like a circuit being made, as if lightning, powerful and unyielding, made its way from one of them to the other. That included all of the hellish burning that came with lightning, of course.
Her giggles rang out like the pit-patter of rain on a mountain stream of Olympus itself. After several moments that took hours to him but seconds to her, she gracefully stepped away from her gathering crowd, doing an effortless spin in place as the music kicked up to a particularly exciting part. Despite the delay of her feeding the crowd with her exuberating body motions, she eventually reached him, plopping down onto the couch beside him and causing him to bounce just slightly at the transfer of energy there.
"Greetings Diaval," her voice rang out like the call of a songbird. Or a vulture, one would suppose it all depended on the context. A long time ago, his mouth would have twisted into a joyous grin. More recently, his mouth would have twisted into a dark scowl. Now, however, he just sat there, not acknowledging her with any sort of words for a good minutes or so. Finally, Diaval sighed and allowed his shoulders to slump.
"Clarice. Long time no see. It has been what, about five minutes? Must be a new record, my dear," he muttered in a low tone, his voice hollow an empty like what a dead man would sound like should he actually be able to speak.
Clarice reached up and ran her delicate fingers, their beauty enhanced by flamingo-pink neon nail polish, through Diaval's jet black hair, careful to move several strands of it out of his partially closed eyes. The music's volume seemed to increase, and Diaval's lip quirked upwards again, solely putting his focus on that rather than the soft touch of the woman beside him. She was too much like a doe to everybody else around here, what with her wide, innocent eyes and tiny physique. The woman sniffled just slightly, leaning closer to Diaval, so much so that her lips barely brushed his ear. "New record? Why, this is a competition? Quite a surprise, I had no idea. You seem so happy to see me, Diaval. So sad at the same time. Have you finally learned that you cannot stop the inevitable?" she whispers, now leaning away from him.
Quite a shame that none of her admirers ever could pick out what Diaval noticed. The way her mystical eyes widened, the way malice and eagerness flashed within their dangerous depths. The way her voice shifted from the sound of a siren's call to the sound of a banshee's curse. No, they could never know, her gaze and aura was much too hypnotic. Only those of whom could catch her true nature would realize, and like Diaval, realize too late, that she really wasn't as innocent as everyone thought she was.
Clarice's followers began to swarm around once more, with fragmented bits of speech here and there relating to the food at this party, or perhaps what a person called Jackie would be doing tomorrow in regards to going to the movie theater. Mindless talk, to Diaval, but then again what creature didn't partake in such casual tone once in a while? He used to, before the woman sitting next to him ruined even that. Yet Diaval's entire composure neither shifted to negativity nor positivity. He simply sat there, quiet after his somewhat sly response to her. Because regardless—whatever he said or did to the woman, the end result always would be the same.
Like a cycle, so it began again. Diaval did not bother this time to put his hands over his ears to block it out this time. The music was much too loud to not block out their screams. It only took a few seconds for the quivering crowd to convulse. Each and every person of whom had been admiring Clarice began to jerk a little bit more violently to the music, unable to resist it. Yet still the booming of the sound increased, and as it did so, their uncontrolled forms reacted with much more power. Soon enough the movement was too much for them; their screams might not have been louder than the cursed music, but the snapping of bones certainly was loud enough. Up to this point, Diaval had been able to watch a bit further than last time and every time before. Without fail, however, he shifted his gaze to his lap at this exact moment of the event. And without fail... Claric's boney hand swiftly darted over, cupping his chin and forcing him to look upwards and observe the music's effects of those in front of him.
"The Earth is alive and man is a parasite...**" Clarice sings, perfectly aligned with the lyrics of the song. The blood round the couch begins to pool, about an inch high, like a red river of hopeless dreams. Diaval is unable to resist now... he begins to sway back and forth again, matching the tempo of the woman sitting next to him. Always did this happen—why he was not among those who ended up in the red river, he had no idea.
"Why, Diaval, don't you realize? A good deity cannot die. There are ways to make a thing with horrible, horrible power. At first you reacted with a smile...then you reacted with a cry...then you reacted with a shout. Now you barely react at all, and the end result is all the same. Don't you see the punchline, Diaval? Isn't this hilarious, isn't this funny? All one big joke. Just one, big, joke. The world is created for our amusement, for us to do whatever we want. No matter what you do, you know I will not stop, not as long as I can laugh," Clarice told him, seeming to sing the words to the beat of the song as it continued. The screaming of the crowd all but died down, and there remained a single living soul aside from the two on the couch.
The music finally seemed to quiet down, enough so that the two could observe the sound of gurgling blood coming from the last living admirer's throat. Clarice's excited blue eyes fell onto Diaval as she wrapped her arms around him—Diaval could smell the flowery taint she always sprayed herself with before another session like this. Yet again did she whisper in his ear. "Your turn. I don't think I need to remind you what will happen if you do not, hmm?" she asked. Diaval's lifeless eyes dulled even further, and slowly did he shake his head.
"But of course not, my dear," Diaval replied smoothly, his voice now more dead than a corpse. As Clarice let go of him, he stood, reaching around his back pocket and withdrawing a knife. His lifeless gaze met the pleading eyes of the person laying at his feet. Fingers twitched, the person's head rotated just slightly, as if trying to signify the need for aid. There was unfortunately no aid to be given from Diaval, however. His lack of reaction and neutral expression made that clear. Kneeling down, he brought the blade to the pale skin of the person's neck, allowing the knife to break flesh just enough for beads of blood to form on the edges of the weapon. Luckily Diaval had never been one to delay; with one swift jerk of his arm, the person's neck was slit ear-to-ear, and the blood spattered across Diaval's cheeks as well as onto his lips.
He returned to the couch, not bothering to wipe the crimson liquid off. Clarice bounced happily, squeaking with sheer delight. She grabbed him by the shoulders and took him into an embrace, making sure to lock her lips with his in order to share the taste of blood that remained on them. Pulling away once more, she stated, "My, these parties always get me so excited. Lighten up a little bit, will you?"
YOU ARE READING
The Patchworked Short Story CollectionShort Story
A random assortment of short stories I happened to write, usually over the course of a few hours to a few days. Some of these are edited, and some are not. You be the judge of the ones you like or dislike. Also, if you think one of these can be a no...