#10 Formerly the kid known as Frederick Barnet X

| November 10, 2011 | 0 Comments

Wasn’t life wonderful?

It was indeed, and you’re sitting on your bed, curled up into a little ball as if making yourself smaller would mean that he wouldn’t find you. Get you. Kill you.

It’s not really dying, said Mum. Mother. That person who met another person, shoved their DNA in the metaphorical blender of life, and made you. You’re just living a different way.

But it was dying. You wouldn’t get to go skiing again. Hang out at the theatre with friends. Finish reading those books, that whole pile of half-read stories and lives. Running. Feeling the sun and wind on your face, Winter’s bite and Summer’s burn, Spring’s beginning and Autumn’s ending. You’ll never do anything again.

You’ll never breathe again.

No, it’ll be your body breathing, your body running, playing, learning, sleeping, loving, living. But it won’t be you. You’ll never be older than fifteen, but he will be over six hundred.

Somehow, it was right. Somehow, it was fair. Just. Destined. Somehow, you are supposed to stand on your own two feet and walk to your death like the cattle you were raised to be. And how like cattle, you were never supposed to know, not until the end of his life and the soon-to-be end of yours, too.

You were never meant to live. You were raised to die.

You were never supposed to know that, just like you were never supposed to (never should have) read that book, the one that left you with nightmares of blinding lights and warped shadows, curling around you in impossible shapes because there was nothing to cast them. Except there was, there always was, has been, and will be. Shadows can’t exist without light, light can’t be noticed without shadows.

You learnt real fast why dark grimoires aren’t real.

You know, though. You know, you know, you know too much now. You see the shadows in the light and the light in the shadows, the workings of Air (Aether, they call it, the Whispering Ones, slumbering no more), the way your life line splintered in two and one side continues on and the other stops short. You know which one you want to be, but that choice isn’t yours. It was never yours.









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For Whispers, they are awfully loud. So loud, you almost miss your genetic donor’s footsteps. The door is opening, it’s now or never.

You’re fifteen years old and going to die.

Do you want to live?


Then live, says the Ivy, little green vines growing out of the shadows and wrapping round you like a lover,  live, Frederick Barnet X.

The crown digs into your skin, making new lines on the palms of your hands (new futures, new lives, and all of them yours), and sings to you, You need a new name.

The door is open, and she’s there, dressed in black silks and jet jewellery, like you’re dead already but didn’t she tell you that it wasn’t really dying. Liar. Liar liar liar who can’t even believe her own lies. She’s dressed for the funeral you’ll never have.

Because you won’t die here.

Frederick Barnet X might, but he was never supposed to live.

You don’t know who you’re going to become (ou              rs, they Whisper, because they always have to have the last words), but for the first time in your life (all of your fifteen years, and it isn’t splintering any more, it’s black and white and green and grey and red red redredredred she’s bleeding you’re bleeding oh god there’s so much) you feel alive.

You’re fifteen years old, nameless, and jumping out your bedroom window to the rest of your life.

Category: 2011, Fantasy, Horror

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