Sunlight shone down upon the cities ruined remains. Illumed shadows showed crumbling walls and cracked cement. The walls themselves, rotting—hung thick with creeping vines such as honey suckle, morning glory, and wisteria—their strong scents sweetly perfuming the air. Sidewalks lay hidden beneath waves of wild flowers, heads bending gently in every breeze. Nearby street lamps—choked by ivy. Buildings—abandoned. Throughout the city—not a soul to be seen. All that was left—dreams. Dreams from a time before, now bereft, abandoned, alone. Dreams lonely as they had always been.
As they had been ever since the fall.
Bitter winds blow down the streets, mourning, weeping, arms outstretched, outstretched and crying to the clouds. Rattling smashed window panes because of bitterness. Howling through cherry tree's because of pain. Her pain? Lonelieness. Locked out of the city, by a gentle summer breeze. Left outside, within the woods and its kingdome of winter. Outside looking in. Looking in: into a city haunted by eternal summers' glow.
The glow, everything glowed! Bee's buzzing of their dizzy daydreams; birds singing of their simple loves. No unkind wind could reach them, no frozen snow could harm. They were safe. They were sheilded. Glowed, everything glowed! A haze of unreality shimmering, shimmering. All of it shimmered, including a muttering man.
A man? Yes a man! Pacing up and down the street, angerily swatting at bee's. He too buzzed but angerily, a steady stream of curses falling from his lips. Of course he was angry, he had a right to be: exiled and like everything else, alone. Alone, alone, always alone! No mother's kiss, no fathers touch, nothing but fantasy—a fantasy was all he'd ever known. In the end even that had rejected him. Everything had rejected him, everyone. That was what drove him mad: he was ugly and unwanted, suffering and in pain. Blood dripping from his chest, never ending—always flowing. The stench of death surrounding, choking, filling every breath of air. That was his life, would always be his life. So he was angry…fiendishly angry…
But when who wouldn't be?
"Mother-goddamn-fucker!" He cried, fists drawn tight in balls. In a fury he pounded a nearby wall. It didn't hurt, or if it did he couldn't feel it. Already the agony was too great, he had no energy left to feel. What remained of his strength shone in his face, fading from his flashing eyes. Bushy eyebrows, squirming like caterpillars, drawn into his a perpetual scowl claimed the last remnant of energy. He was fading, fast and knew it. His mouth, a frowning gash said as much. Below sat, a porcupine-like beard, hiding an unsightly cleft in his chin.
Oh yes, he was dying, and he was ugly. Pock marked from acne, red gashes leering on his arms. His hands were too big, his feet too large. What did it matter if he had a perfect six pack? Who cared about his sexy voice? He was bloody, sweaty, rotting, and damned. That was all that mattered—almost dead. And yet, he was unafraid.
"Ah damn it all to hell!" he yelled "I'll get my own back…shove bugs up their shit packed asses…the bloody fiends…"
Pacing up and down, crimson droplets pooled at his feet. 'He' had no name, just a solid determination for revenge. It was this that kept him pacing, pacing—despite his flagging energy. He was ripe for revenge, like a peach, bursting with its own sweet juice. They were at fault, weren't they? They'd asked for it, hadn't they? If only they'd been a bit kinder, he would have been content. He would have been happy, he would have been content. To be normal, that was all he asked. To have a life, maybe be loved…what the fuck was wrong with him that he should have been denied? Why did they single him out? Why did the other dreams get perfection, a chance to claim some bliss? What made them good—what made him bad? He got to be a bloody nightmare because of what crime? He never asked for a slice a cake, only a stale crumb. Might have been nice to lick some icing…but those mother fuckers went off and gave him none!
"There's no fuckin justice in this fucked up universe…" He whispered hoarsely as a spasm wracked his face. "I wanted to be the good guy…beloved…goodlooking…"
Exhausted, he wobbled, then sat down on a stump where he promptly buried his face in his hands. Wanted to be? I still do. The thought struck him sadly—disgusting, unwanted—all he'd ever be. Worse, the physical pain was nothing in comparision to his emotions. It was the desire, the yearn to be better that he couldn't bare. To want to be angelic and be unable to…desire a friend, a lover and never have one. To know that any act of justice would be labled a brutal, and unfair revenge! It wasn't fair. Life was never fair. Or at least it wasn't to him.
The only way to get anything, would be by taking it for himself.
They might call him evil, they might call him all sorts of nasty names. But then they always did: that would never change.
Desperation etched clearly into the lines of his face. All blood left in his bloodless face drained away. "Nuts…not again…" That was the last coherent word to pass his lips. Eyes rolled back, annoyance flew across his mind. He gasped for air. Then clutched at his chest. Blood rushed in a warm waterfall down his fingers. A final gasp for air. Afterwards he fell down—dead.
All dreams, and he too, was a dream. A fantasy, a romantic delusion—created by her teenage mind. His thoughts, his feelings, even his appearance were the product of her masterful art. He was her masterpiece, her only example of genius. She, at fifteen, had concieved and given birth to him: Dalziel. Since then in her solitude she loved him, loved him like no one else. He was her child, her best friend, her soul mate and more. He was all she wanted from life, the only part she claimed. He was her claim on life, her sole reason for living. As such she had claimed him utterly. In the unreal ever changing reality of dreams, she had made him her slave. He was her thought, her creation. Dalziel…custom designed down to his name…his only job was to listen. Listen and obey.
Afterall, he was only a single puzzle piece in her 'life turned fantasy.'
(Ever since her sister's death, she'd turned away from life. Nothing left, she'd decided to live, forever within a dream.)
That was when she'd made him, demure and protective, an angel. Her angel, perfect in his dispositions, perfect even in his looks. In a way he was like her sister, the lost one that she'd loved. His hair like hers, was a reddish gold, his eyes a crystaline blue. Small and delicate, soft and fine—so like her sister. Even his brow, unfurrowed, free from care. And graceful, so graceful! His voice a soft murmur, warm like the babbling brooks'. But he wasn't her sister, that much, of course she knew. How could she not? Unlike her he was beautiful, almost disturbingly so. Her sister was pretty-sweet, he was heavenly-angelic. At least his appearance said so. Looks, in dreams that was all that mattered. He was her dream, to do with what she liked. Sweet words and good looks (who cared about motives or emotions?) was for her purposes, all she would need. So she had kept it. And with the creation of a firey bad boy, her fantasy had begun. The bad boy—her sexy, shape shifting trouble maker. Useful but not special. Dalziel was the one who was special. He was her unicorn-unique.
(Needless to say they disapproved, her father and her nurse. "There's so much" they said "To live for. A dream? What substitute is that for life? A cowardly retreat, no more. You're simply afraid. And should be, but not afraid of us. It's the dreams…the dreams…those monsters who haunt the night." She didn't listen, Aurora never did. Instead she ran away, despairing. That was how she got here: in the woods, after dark, alone.)
And so it was that Dalziel was doing what he often did, chaining Aurora to a stake. Minutes before she'd run in screaming from the bushes, after witnessing them sacrifice her cousin to their pagan gods. Bad boy had stood to the side, holding his red stained knife. That was when Dalziel, driven by the mob's furious demands, had grabbed her. From there, he had been further forced to chain her to the aforementioned stake. Wrapping her bonds tightly around her, he didn't pause to chat. Instead he slunk around, both godlike and magnetic in his sympathy. That was exactly how Aurora liked him, unreachable yet down on earth. Heavenly, yet within her grasp. Of course, he couldn't talk! Words would spoil his otherwise divine effect. She, hardly perfect herself, couldn't begin to forumulate the perfect words for her creation. Whenever he did speak, he sounded either sappy, bland, or too aggressive. His intelligence, his heavenly attributes, just didn't come across! So, he never spoke. Never—unless it helped drive the plot.
"Please, darling, dear one, most beloved of those god's playing chess…let me go!" Aurora screamed, inwardly pleased by her ingenius loquacity. "Or if you can't, my heavenly diamond, protect me! I'm sooooo afraid that they'll hurt me…please…"
Dalziel said nothing in return, but his eyes, (his blue shining eyes!) said sweet and inviting things in return. "Shut up, witch." Bad Boy ordered, shoving his way to the forefront with his customarily wolfish grin. Without any sign of grace or manners, he reached foreward: hand carressing her cheek, body pressed insistently against hers. "You're ours, to do with what we like. And I''ll take advantage of that—definitely." Aurora shivered while the bad, bad man stole a long, lingering kiss. His scent invaded her nostrils, dirt and perspiration mingling into a single spicy whole. The smell of it overpowered her, just as his strength over powered her, though he was so far from divine! However, as her protector, Dalziel reacted swiftly, saving her from that which so quickly resembled a pleasant fate. A name was on the tip of her tongue, something devilish. But Dalziel stopped her, Fate made him intervene.
"I wonder who carved you…" He spat in melodius currents, as he slammed his opponent furiously against a tree trunk. Aurora flinched, his voice was so sweet it sent shivers running down her spine. The sound of his snort, of the rage choking his voice—pure music. "And what materials they used. They must have thrown together bits of garbage. Only that could explain your stench." Aurora recoiled, this time from pain. The final effect of Dalziels words were far from what they should have been. Garbage? No cherub such as he should let the word profane his lips. But then, every word profaned his lips. That was the problem. And now it looked like a fight was about to result. Not that she minded fights. It was only when Dalziel started them that she objected. Smiling with grim satisfaction, Dalziel watched as bad boy slumped to the ground. During this time, the mob had faded to the backgrounded. Aurora no longer needed them, so they were banished. Each gone as though they had never existed. They would only get in the way of her fight afterall. And her fight would be underway any minute. Which explained the tell tale gleam of excitement in bad boys eyes.
Rising from the ground, he was unfazed. A little bit of dirt had wandered onto his pants, but that aside, no scratch marred his muscular frame. Being a head or two taller only boosted his confidence, on the surface that is. He was afterall like Dalziel—a dream. A dream who in reality slept, perhaps, for life. He might never have a life. He might die before awakening. Dreams often do, only idealists cling to fantasies for life. (Wake up, stop dreaming! Be practical. That's the practical way of life. No beauty, it gets in the way. Dreams have a beauty—crush them, then move onto reality. Realize: beauty is only a concept, it doesn't exist. That is the path to success, its all we're ever about.) Which is why, despite whatever appeared to go on amidst the surface, bad boy wasn't feeling confident. He wasn't feeling anything. Nor was Dalziel beautiful. Neither one existed—yet.
"What beautiful, begging for a fight?" Bad boy sneered, his fiction of emotion, thought, and action steered ever onward by Auroras guiding mind. "You have me at a disadvantage. Technically, true gentleman aren't supposed to hit girls. Even little girls like you. But I suppose you did ask nicely…" Grabbing roughly ahold of Dalziels arm, Bad boy flipped him smoothly over his shoulder. Suspend momentarily, like a bird about to take flight, he came crashing down to earth with a mighty thud. Not one to miss his chances, bad boy kicked him soundly in the face, before he could rise. Afterwards, the action became confused. Someone ran foreward roaring like a bull. In the background Aurora screamed "HELP!" loudly enough to shatter glass. Not that anyone heeded her, they weren't supposed to. Bad boy was busy kicking ass in a literal sense. A shreik of pain—Dalziel had bitten off more than he could chew. More roars, more pounding fists. More mess, more fuss. Scratching, hitting, kicking, bitting. On and on they fought in a contest for pure male dominance. In the end, they wound up on the ground, breathing heavily. Both had fallen during at the same time. Dalziel, doomed but for his agility. Bad Boy done in by a tree root and his rotten luck. If they had had their way, they would have gone at it again. Or at least, so the mind that controlled them both determined. However before they could, they looked up:
The stake and Aurora had gone.
(Something about the woods that night scared her. Maybe she had just decided that her father was right. But by herself, in the dark, she was frightened. What made her come out here? Why did she leave her father, with only her nurse and her cousin to see after his needs? The mist of unreality that clouded her thoughts, why did she chose to give it free rein? It was her fault, she had been willful. She'd wanted them to find her, to prove somehow, that they really cared. But they hadn't found her. IF they had even come looking. Still, she was frightened. And the bushes rattling so ominously behind her, only sent a wave of panic to her head.)
"She must have been working out." Bad boy whistled, impressed. "Either that, or you didn't chain her right." Dalziel shook his head, disbelieving. "She couldn't have broken free. I couldn't have broken free. Only someone with superhuman strength would have a chance." "Oh right, I forgot…" Bad boy replied sarcastically "If darling Dalziel can't get loose, then no one can. Puhleeze! Like being stronger than you takes any work. I've got more strength in my pinky than you have in your entire bicep." Opening his mouth to argue, Dalziel thought better of it the moment he glimpsed his companions face. Aggression was stamped all over it. They never had managed to get along. Besides, he wasn't supposed to speak. Unfortunately his speaking was essential—otherwise she'd never be rescued. And she had to be rescued. That was the finale, the showdown. It would also mark the entrance of her fantastic new villian. So obviously Dalziel had to say something. He was the hero afterall.
"Rescue!" Dalziel ordered.
Bad boy shook his head, instinctively understanding everything unspoken. "Fantastic, an evil vampiric villian, who incidentally happens to be sexier than I am. Thrilling."
"Even better. My brillant and witty dialogue is unappriciated. Hence, I have clearly gone from arch enemny to stupid and boring side kick. Most likely I'll even die in a selfless attempt to save your life. The excitement is killing me."
Ignoring bad boys meaningless banter, Dalziel pushed through the underbrush with violence.
(Meanwhile something equally violent pushed through the brambles toward her)
They were headed through the woods, following the source of Aurora's screams. Branches brushed against their faces, thorns snagged at their clothes. None of this deterred them, time was running out. Brambles rustled, insistently! Brambles? There were no brambles, only leaves, and dirt and trees. Something, in the brambles. Something, coming to get them. No—not coming to get them, coming after her. Coming? What was coming? Nothing! For a moment everything trembled. Stillness followed. A stillness that sang of death. Pitch dark followed swiftly, swallowing them whole.
Later on they woke up, left to wander: free.