in which one breaks up with a bastard.
I stand at the entrance to the slaughterhouse, the scent of rotting flesh twisting through my nose. I know from the few times I’ve been here that it penetrates your sense of smell no matter how long you hold your breath. It contaminates every part of you. I can feel it now, seeping its way into my skin.
This will be the last time I will have to scrub myself so harshly I’m sore for hours though. Hopefully.
Mysti still hasn’t shown any indication of noticing my presence, though I know they have to be feeling some sense of it. Instead they’re bent over some half-alive corpse, pulling out a tooth with pliers.
“Mysti,” I say. My throat feels tight.
They look up. I swallow, trying to ignore the way I want to throw up. Their eyes are glassy, blank. Not a hint of anything there that resembles the person they once were. Just divine apathy.
“What do you want?” They ask.
“Can we…” An image of them in the chair flashes in my brain. “Can we talk?”
“We are.” They huff, and look back at their… experiment.
My fault for not specifying. But the tightness in my throat, the twisting in my chest, makes it hard to speak in more words. “Can we talk somewhere else?”
“…Fine.” They put down the pliers and adjust their coat. Even with the black leather I can see the spots of blood across it. They walk over to me and I have to swallow. Swallow. “Where to?”
“Um..” I walk out into the hallway, out of view of the bodies. They close the door behind them, sealing it off. It seals with a boom, the way all other tombs do. “Here, I guess. I just didn’t want to talk with all those bodies around.”
“Pussy.” They chuckle. It rings hollow. So goddamn hollow. “So, tell me, what did you want?”
Despite the sunken in cheekbones, despite the hollow eyes, it still looks so much like them. Like they used to be. The thought makes my eyes water and I quickly blink and look at the floor. I have to do this. “Mysti, I…” I suck in a breath.
“Spit it out.”
“I can’t be with with you anymore.”
“What?” There is a semblance of something there and I look back at them – the split second of their frown before their face blanks out again. “Alright. Its your loss.”
“This will be the last time we talk, then.” My eyes water again. Fucking crybaby. “…I’m sorry.”
Their emotion rips its way through my chest cavity like thorns. I wish I never did this. That I didn’t listen to Azrael for once. But the last time I didn’t – well. I still feel the fucker’s fingers on the inside of my thighs sometimes – even though they’ve been burned to a crisp for years. Besides, he knows this. Runs in the family, that destruction. That apathy that feels like rotting flesh. It runs through Mysti’s veins just as strongly as it runs through their father’s, and his parent before him.
Like radiation, being around it will only destroy me.
“There’s no need. You were only a distraction and a hindrance anyway.” Their voice is devoid of anything.
“I know.” I look away. “Goodbye.”
“At least do the dignity of looking at me.” The unspoken curse is obvious in the way they ground out the words.
I look directly into those red, hollow eyes of theirs and my stomach curls. I wish I could just leave them all bloody and bruised, my blood and theirs mixed on our flesh. Like we used to back when we destroyed things together, us against a world of bastards. It was never good, but at least we were in sync after, tending to each other’s wounds. At least it helped.
I could destroy this version of them a thousand times and it would do nothing but make them laugh.
I turn and walk down the hallway. My eyes water.
The tomb opens, and then shuts behind me. For the final time.
Hot liquid spills down my cheeks now, blurring the world. I stumble against the wall. At least they can’t call me a fucking crybaby anymore.
I wipe my eyes and stumble to my room. Door close. Take off my clothes. Contaminated. Stumble into the shower and scrub, scrub, scrub until it burns. Pull every last bit of contamination out. My body burns.
When I get out though, I finally feel clean.