I expect some form of horrified sound to come from the girl in chains, but nothing comes. I feel her eyes boring into me, though she is silent, watching for my next move. Anticipating death but holding her fear in a knot in her throat. She expects my hands to be upon her in seconds and life to leave her humiliated flesh. The thought doesn’t hold the same appeal to me that it does with my other victims. Why don’t I want to kill her? Why does the image of her death not amuse me as well? Sickness stirs in my guts at the thought. How strange.
She is moving. The black shadow of her figure my mind shows me is sitting up on her knees, even as her arms are held back to the spike behind her that connects the chains.
“Are you going to kill me now too?”
The voice is innocent, quiet and barely there. I know it is hers but I don’t understand. The villagers said she couldn’t talk. It is the reason she had been given to the beast. Yet she just spoke, and with intellect as well.
“No, I will not,” I speak through the confusion. Obviously those now dead were wrong. “Lift your chains into my hands and I will crush the metal into dust. You will be freed.”
Silence follows. She isn’t moving. I wait, hand outstretched.
I don’t know how to answer her. I don’t know why I wish to free her. My hand closes into a fist and I allow it to drop to my side. Before all this, I had deliberated my motives for the girl. The angel wanted to have her blessed. The monster wanted to control her. What is it though that I had decided? I cannot remember, and she is waiting for an answer.
“You have been treated worse than the rats outside that lay dead in the streets. You were given as a toy to a beast in man’s clothing and had done nothing to deserve it. Why would I give you the same fate as those who betrayed you?”
“Why would you care?” It comes with no hesitation or scorn. Simple, raw curiosity inspired her words.
The monster answers before I can stop him. “I thought this treatment would give you knowledge higher than vermin. How dare you question this gift we have offered you!”
I hear her flinch as his words bite into her. The chains begin to move and something cold is being pressed to my knuckles. It takes a moment to realize she has given her chains to the monster. I open my hand and she places the linked metal into it. Barely a breath of strength is behind my fingers as they close around it, disintegrating the metal into shiny silver dust as easily as blinking. I hear her gasp and can’t stop the smile on my lips. She is scrambling to stand, but I refuse to help. There is a scraping of rough fabric moving and the angel is relieved to know she is clothed.
“Why did you refer to yourself with a plural?” She is asking as she stands before me, scuffing her foot against the ground casually.
I am confused until the monster reminds of what he’d said to her. Ahh yes, I get it now. How careless he is at times.
“I am one being, but I have two others inside my mind. An angel and a demon,” I admit, seeing no reason to hide my companions from her.
She is silent and so am I. Minutes pass until I finally decide that I have no more reason to stay. The girl is free. The town is drowning in blood. I wish to move on.
“You can’t leave me,” she declares with a trace of fear as I begin to walk away.
Her bare feet pad on the floor beside me and her hand slips through mine. I cringe at the thought of such a child sharing the blood which is thick against my skin. This is a foreign feeling, though. This contact with flesh that does not cause a need to harm its delicacy.
“And why not?” I ask with irritation that does not meet my heart. I do not like this feeling of protection over her.
“I don’t know how to care of myself. If you leave me alone, I’ll be dead within the week.”
I am stopped in my tracks. This is what the monster has hoped for. Make her our apprentice he says. She can be a murderess at our side and we can teach her to use her exile from humans to its deepest advantage. The angel is horrified by this idea. I don’t know who I should listen to. This terrifies me. I always follow the monster, but this girl has seen enough monstrosities to last for her short life. Yet I cannot bless her as the light wishes of me. My head begins to ache.
“You don’t want to follow me, girl. My path is one filled with blood and death. You’ve known enough horror for this life; you don’t need to live more of it with me.”
Both of my inner beings are horrified. We cannot leave her! They say in unison. It is strange to hear them in agreement. I ignore them and close my fists at my sides, slipping my blood soaked hand from hers.
She exhales heavily beside me. “I am not as scarred as you think. I have never cared for this body, as it belongs to them. My spirit is still strong. Blood does not scare me, nor does death. Please, don’t leave me alone.”
The intelligence she speaks with is far beyond her few years, yet still her request is childish. Harsh strings of sadness are taking hold within me. It is my own, though. Not the angel’s and especially not the monster. I feel her eyes on me. She is waiting for some kind of answer that I’m not sure I can give her. She is still a creature under God’s thumb. I can’t spare anyone!
No, but this could be the greatest horror in His eyes, the vampire whispers. Let him watch such beautiful innocence fade. Let him see her become our demoness and allow him the knowledge that he cannot save her. He won’t interfere in a mortal’s life without being asked and you know that.
Ah the thought makes me smile. My monster has made a very good point and I cannot deny the image in my mind. Yes, I will turn her away from the heavens and fill her soul with enough darkness to be forever trapped in Hell.
“Fine,” I say through the grin, “you may join me. Come now. We must be gone before the light of morning.”
She asks no more questions and I expect no response. Her hand slips back into mine as we proceed forward again. Both beings inside are satisfied. It is strange to not hear them bickering in my head. I allow a small smile to form on my lips. Does not the madman love the silence brought forth when his insanity grows weary? I am content. This is foreign to me but I do enjoy it.