This is your friendly author coming with a slight warning. This chapter is both graphic and disturbing, I really earned the violence tag I put on Web Fiction Guide with this one, after writing this I needed a shot of something expensive. I know this warning won’t scare any of my dear readers off but I still feel the need to put it here. I won’t be putting any other warnings around but I will say this is not the last chapter that will be like this.
Anyways read at your own risk, kinda like you were doing before this little note, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Chuck Barlow was in pain, even by his standards it was fairly bad. Not ‘I pushed myself too hard when I was sick during practice and my appendix exploded on the field’ bad, but it was certainly worse than anything; other than that unfortunate incident, that he had experience on or off the field. This was apparently the kind of pain one could expect after accidentally hurting a sylph’s girlfriend in a drunken fight. Chuck really wanted to take some kind of painkillers but there was a drug test on Monday. A few years ago after a college player OD on painkillers on the field, regulations had gotten really strict. Chuck couldn’t afford to have anything in his system not prescribed by a doctor and approved by his coach or he might lose his scholarship.
The scholarship really had been his only hope of getting out of that small town and make something of himself. He had to do well so he could go home and get his sister out of there. She was the special one, and honest to gods lie, almost as rare as a dream walker or an enchanter. But no, his fucking parents didn’t want their secret shame known, so instead of letting her make something of herself they locked her away and did their best to pretend that she didn’t exist. Fuck it hurt, emotionally but also physically. That sylph really hadn’t pulled his punches.
Chuck heard the door open, probably his roommate returning from whatever party he had found. Chuck rolled over in bed and caught sight of his alarm clock. 5:43am, well at least one of them had managed to stay out all night. Chuck, now on his back. looked up at the door. It wasn’t his roommate standing there silhouetted in light, it was someone smaller. The small figure entered fully and closed the door silently. It took a couple of seconds for Chuck’s eyes to readjust to the dark and he saw the figure fully. It was an angel.
The angel looked down at the boy on the bed who laid there silently, eyes wide. The boy appeared to be in shock, but there was no fear in his eyes. That was to be expected, angels were no longer a common sight in this world, existing almost purely in scripture, but that would be changing very soon. Not that this boy would ever learn that, no for this boy salvation would only come as oblivion. The angel normally didn’t particularly enjoy this kind of thing, normally delegating it out for others. Exceptions could be made however, after all debts must be paid in full, with interest.
The angel spun architecture throughout the room, the lines so very delicate and fragile. The architecture started with the door, covering it, engulfing it. It expanded to the walls centimeter by centimeter, covering them with agonizing slowness, but to the angel it happened in a fraction of a second. Then it engulfed the boy, not with the delicate strands but with thicker ropes. The boy couldn’t see the architecture, he would never know what it was, but he could feel it as a tingling on his skin. With a thought the angel pushed power into the architecture, and it ceased to be a concept and became a thing.
The effect was immediate if not totally visible; the door ceased to be a door. It looked the same but it was now an immovable object, a force of nature, an impenetrable shield. It blocked everything, even sound and the hall lights that once filtered beneath it. The walls were treated similarly, effectively cutting the double dorm off from the world, the alarm clock started blinking to indicate that it was switching to battery power. Chuck was pulled flat, arms away from his body feet spread slightly. He could no longer move anything but his muscles. Breathing became difficult; it was possibly to use the diaphragm to breathe without external movements, but difficult, since almost everyone used their ribs as well. Chuck was no exception, and his breathing became labored almost immediately. He started panicking and would have hyperventilated if he was still capable of it. Chuck could still move his eyes, so he watched.
The angel walked towards the bed Chuck was bound to, slowly and deliberately not making a sound. Chuck was only able to track the movements of the angel by the slight red light of the alarm clock and the colorless glow of the angel’s eyes. When the angel reached the bedside it stripped, revealing its nude sculpted form.
“No point in letting those get dirty now is there?” Chuck couldn’t reply.
The angel sat delicately beside Chuck and ran one of its slender fingers down his chest, cutting his night-shirt off of him. The procedure was then repeated with Chuck’s boxers. For a moment the angel sat there and contemplated his naked form.
“Don’t worry about your things, you won’t be needing them anymore.” The angel’s voice whispered throughout the room quietly, and it danced over the light produced by the alarm clock.
Slowly, delicately, the angel placed a finger on Chuck’s collarbone and started to cut. The blade was so fine and so perfect that he wouldn’t even feel pain unless it severed a nerve, at least until his blood started to flow. The angel worked, never cutting more than the skin as Chuck tried and failed to scream. Both cuts connecting at the base of the neck, tops of the collar bones to the shoulders down the arms stopping at the wrists, base of the neck down the chest to the groin, mirror cuts down the inner thighs, down the shins, terminating at the heels.
“This part is going to hurt, I’m sorry.”
The angel leaned forward and kissed Chuck on the forehead as delicately as a parent might kiss their sick child to reassure them. Then the angel started peeling his skin of. Chuck started screaming, no sound came out of course, but he still screamed until his vocal cords ripped and then he kept screaming. Chuck’s chest was easy, the arms and legs slightly more difficult, the hands and feet came off like form-fitting gloves and socks. At this point the angel had to flip Chuck to get to his back. The angel decided to extend the collarbone cuts to allow Chuck to keep his face.
The angel seemingly satisfied kissed Chuck on the forehead once more, “That was fun, I should do this more often.”
Cleanup was simple, a quick layering of architecture and burst of power to remove the blood from the angel’s body and allow clothes to be donned once again. After the architecture was scrubbed from Chuck, he no longer had the strength to move or even scream. Return the walls and the door back to their original forms of simple walls and a door. Discard the single piece of skin at the foot of the bed, no, spread it out on the other bed in the room. The angel laughed as it left, leaving no trace of itself except for the skinned dying boy.
Lisbeth walked down the hall back to her room, she was still in the dress she had worn the night before. She wished she could have stayed with Nerissa today, but Sinclair would be here soon and debts must be paid. She had stayed with Nerissa that night, but neither of them at been in the mood for anything but cuddling. Lisbeth entered her room and stopped. The angel was waiting for her. She slowly closed the door, locked it and engaged the deadbolt. She turned back to the angel.
“All debts must be paid in full, too late for any other outcomes now I suppose. Sorry Sinclair.” She said with a slight wishful, sorrow-filled smile.