We sit here now, in the dark. Our hands, bloody and bruised. The bruises are ours but the blood belongs to another. Many others. And I am indifferent. Hell, I was a killer, but I had purpose. It has no purpose. It kills for sport. It kills for kicks. It kills for the sake of killing something. No purpose there. I know it’s wrong, yet I remain indifferent. Perhaps it’s because there’s nothing I can do about it. It has control now. It guides my hands. It speaks in my voice.
It wasn’t too long ago that it was once that tiny voice in the back of my mind. It would snicker at my attempts at leading a decent life and laugh out loud when I failed. It, The Voice, would mock me every chance it had, broke my spirits and lowered me to a helpless being. This was its intent and it was successful. The Voice told me of how great I once was. It said I was a cold-blooded killer, a souless creature that harvested no love, no mercy. That doesn’t sound so great to me. Of course, I never believed it, despite having no memory of who I once was. But everyday, I found myself doing things I normally would not do. Terrible things. And I would smile. And I would love it.
I surrendered. I did not fight it, really. I just let go. Now I am indifferent. I am a silent witness. I am a mere passenger on a ride that is spiraling out of control.
We sit here in the dark, hands bruised and bloody, smiling and loving every moment. We are passengers on an unatural ride across a wasteland of scorched earth. We may feed for blood, but this carriage, it consumes so much more. Flesh, bone and soul. This is the price we pay for transport across a land of eternal sun. A soul to fuel our voyage. The man that sits across from us is payment for this ride. His soul will be consumed and he will become another spoke in the wheel, another voice for the horses, because they never want to speak alone.
We had stopped at a desert camp. The sand storm provided us with cover from the sun. We destroyed every single living being. The children did what children always seem to do: cry for their mothers. The men fought valiantly but it was not enough to stop us. Others pleaded with reason. They begged us to spare the children and the women. Their words fell silent as we tore into their throats. All were dead, except for one.
The man who sits across from us is grieving. It is this emotion that the black carriage feeds off. Soon, his body will fade but the emotion will remain. We feel it. We feel his pain and the pain of the many others who had faded before him. We sense his movement in the dense, cold air inside the carriage. An air that is like a curtain of mist. He tries to be still but he shakes with fright. He whimpers at times, and when he does, we smile. We too feed off his misery.
Outside, we hear the horses. They growl, snort and scream. These are sounds that horses should not produce. There are undertones of men’s voices expressing their misery and their torment. Their wants and desires, all wrapped in the growls and screams, begging for more, not wanting to be alone. The man who sits across from us hears them too. He hears them speaking to him. The horses pulls us through the desert in a massive black carriage. A fleshless spectre with the widest grin of multiple rows of teeth is at the helm, whipping the horses, urging them foward. It brings the storm, this carriage does. It brings the storm.
One can imagine the sight of this monstosity. The inhabitants of the desert camp running for cover from the storm to find an erie calm moments later. When they emerged, they find six horses, black as night, eyes burning blue, starring deep into each of them. One can imagine them recoiling in fear as their eyes move to the black carriage and its driver, grinning like a devil. But curiosity moves them towards the carriage, it moves them towards their doom.
The carriage brings the storm. We are the storm.
We found the man who sits across from us craddling the heads, some of them severed, of his family. We moved in to end his despair, or perhaps to enhance it, when the driver warned us, telepathically, not to touch him. The man had all but surrendered as we led him into the carriage. It was such a solomn scene, much like that of a prisoner being led to his execution. Not so far from the truth. I’m sure, had he known what was to become of him, he would have gladly accepted whatever cruel end we would have delivered. There is no end when you fade into the carriage. There is no rest.
We learn his name now. Josiah. The carriage reveals truth, a ploy to enrich the pain. He learns our name and he whispers it: “Marco.”
He sobs, softly. We smile, softly, loving every moment of it.