Writing prompt #1:
‘Human start out at birth with milk white blood. The more crimes they commit, the darker their blood becomes. One day, you meet your soulmate. Skip a few years, and things are amazing… until your soulmate trips, falls, and exposes black blood.’
[trigger warning : this story discusses physical and emotional abusive issue]
The name is Ezra and he have bad blood, black ones.
I stared into the black pool. It was so black and reflected back my own eyes who had lost all hope. “You’ve always been a fool, child,” the voice of my mother echoed in my head again and I should believe her.
“Mom, please, stop it! It hurts, please..” the child within me begged. Those were the days mom surrendered to demons and relished the pain on me.
When the child broke off from crying, she took a quick glance on the hands that swore to love and care for her. The calloused palm streaked of black blood.
It was so black and she never thought of seeing it again that night.
At least, not blood of the man who together vowed to love and care one another.
The name is Ezra and this is the story of my milk white blood slowly turned into red and ended black as endless void.
My stomach could not stop rumbling since afternoon. It had been hours since I had breakfast. The stale bread was unpleasant and I had no desire to savour the taste of newly breed fungi. So, I swallowed it just to pass through the hungry state.
Mom had been in bed for days. She was too weak to move and getting on with life. It seems the harshness of reality had suck out every living essence she left even there was nothing much to start. Her face was paler over the spill of moonlight passed through the window.
I remembered those nights she let me stay with her because the nightmare I had. A nightmare of father becoming a monster.
She enveloped me in her warmth embrace and soothed the uneasiness, “My sweet little Aidan, your father isn’t one and he will never be,” she stroked my hair affectionately.
I buried my face in her shoulder blade, “H-h-how do you know that? He was angry, he-he-he yelled at you. H-h-his voice..I am so scared, mom”
“Everything will be alright, Aidan,” I looked her in the eyes. “I promise you,” she smiled and the moonlight didn’t make her look paler back then instead she was radiance. That was her last real smile.
I knew she broke her promise and everything went wrong since that day. The beginning of the worst. But days, months and years passed, you got used to it. Numb by all the pain you should feel. I stopped having the monster’s nightmare because father had become one for real.
She looked so peaceful in sleep as if the eyes never went through this horror and seeing only the good things life had to offer. How I wished the eyes would stay close forever if it means to end all of this. It had been difficult for both of us and death’s invitation was more tempting than this misery we endured.
I pick up my way towards the door an halted when a faint voice called out my name, “Aidan, Aidan. Is that you, my sweet little Aidan?”
“Yes, mom. It’s me, Aidan,” vanished all serenity on her when the eyes opened with insurgence of reality was painful. “I am here,” I crouched down by her bedside, taking her frail hands in mine. Her skin was cold and I couldn’t remember how warm she was before.
“Are you okay, sweetheart? Is everything okay?”
“Everything is fine. You don’t have to worry about me, mom. Are you in pain? Do you need more meds?”
“It still hurts a little but nothing to-,” every words ceased, tumbling into non existence and replaced by sickening dry cough.
She covered her mouth and instantly hide it away from my sight. But I knew she was coughing blood, a white milk blood. Symbol of purity even how many times life giving her very right chance to stain it but she would come out clean. I wander if I still have mine and I didn’t want to find out.
Every single moment the dirty hands of father strike her face and the ruthless feet that knew no mercy kept on knocking her down, she gave up her chances. The consequences of violence’s ballad were her swollen lips, salty tears, bleeding nose and broken ribs.
“Stop it, father! Stop it! I begged you-”
Her other hand found a safe spot under the ribs, acting as support to keep on guarding the precious lung and continuing breath life. Over and over again.
“Have you eat, Aidan?,” it is unbelievable despite the mess we were in, she was still the light in my darkness. What kind of mess I lived in? The kind of mess you kept a small knife all the time just in case.
“Yeah, yeah. I already did,” thinking of that unfortunate breakfast. “You must be hungry,mom. I’ll get the meds you need and something to eat, alright?”
“Do you have enough money for that?,” her watery eyes, struggling to find my face in the shining moonlight.
“Yes, enough as it can be,” and of course, I lied. I had none but my mind already strategized so many ways to acquire both.
“Good boy, Aidan. Good boy,” her shivering fingers tracing uneven lines on my face and I tipped my head, savoring the tenderness she offered.
She was my everything and would always be. I would do anything for her. Lie, steal and even kill.
The real name is Aidan (not Ezra) and this is the story of my milk white blood finally changing into the colour it meant to be
I hastily returned home with a strangers’s wallet that I pick pocketed, mom’s favourite oatmeal porridge and painkillers. Luck was on my side that night because there were still some money left to be used on days ahead.
I went upstairs and saw mom’s door was left ajar. It was closed when I left and she was too tired to get up from her bed. Besides, she treasured privacy so, who-
I lost air to breathe and world tilted upside down because I now realized that the monster was home.
The door slowly been pushed to see whether I was right. This was strange because it was deafening silence , not any shout heard which usually came along with. I saw him bent down with both hands clasped around mom’s throat. Shit, he was strangling her!
“Where do you hide your money?! I need it now!,” Mom was chocking and tears started to damp her reddened cheek. “Tell me before your dear Aidan come home”. That was enough and I needed all of this to be over.
“I am here,” I trod my steps towards him. “Get your bloody hands away from her. Now,” my voice stuttered a bit despite growing up, the boy who still afraid of him never truly left.
“See, Anne. Your saviour is here at last,” he spatted the word ‘saviour’ on her. Humiliation to her for being his fragile thing. He made her that way after all and he was going to pay for what he deserved.
He turned and faced me. “My boy,” he mocked with arms spreading wide. His breath stank alcohol and how I hate that disgusting smell.
“Don’t you ever dare call me that ! I am not your son”
“I don’t even care if I was your father. We both agreed with that. What I care is I need..MONEY!!,” his piercing yell reminded me the thudding sound of mom’s head when it hit the floor or wall.
“Stop it, father! Stop it! I begged you-”
Every nerves within set off and I had been thrown back into the void this monster created out of me. The thud became much louder and each fall ripped my very humane, shredding it into unattainable waste. Then, I was elevated by a force and I could feel its endless grief, rage and melancholia. I knew I was losing control in navigating as the force took over me. The thud gradually dissipated .
“Do you hear me, kid? I want your money,” our faces were inches apart and his foul breath raked the very air I inhaled.
“I have money, yes but it was for mom,”. That was the moment, the beginning to an end for I didn’t recognize the voice came out from my mouth, the bold tone. Shrinking away had been my self defense in his presence but not that night. I didn’t know from whom I borrowed that Aidan’s version. However, without him, I would never escape.
“Your mother? Well, she’s better off dead. Now, give me your money or I-,” his eyes bulged as my oldest companion, the knife finally found its true home.
“She won’t die because I won’t let her. But you will,” I watched as the light in his eyes faded. “because I want you to.”
My right hand held the knife steadily while another gripped his back. I drove the knife deeper and no sound was more beautiful than the gurgle of blood out from his mouth.
The thud was silenced, I could hear no more of it. Tell me, how can you not kill a monster without becoming one?
I bear his weight til he drew in the last air and slowly laid him down. His merciless hand that had done unimaginable damage clenched mine, a last action to stop me from becoming much worse monster than he was. The one who killed. But the only judgment mattered to me was mom’s.
I let my fingers trailed over his eyes and shut them, forever. He looked so peaceful like he was not the same man who treated mom as emotional punching bag.
The knife been pulled out and I hide it where it supposed to be. I stood up with my hand slicked of black blood. Mom’s eyes traced over the dead monster and both of her hands up to chest were trembling. Steps by steps, I approached the bed and her gaze was fixated on me. I did not register any fear in her weary eyes instead a relief it was all over now. She knew this would happen sooner or later and at some extent, she believed I had the courage to do so.
“Come now, mom. We have to go. Far far away from here,” I said shakily while helping her to rise. This was the Aidan I knew. Recoiled in the presence of his father despite he no longer alive.
“Yes, Aidan. My brave boy,” she wrapped her arms around me and I felt the warmth seeped into her again.
I took one last look on the black pool and I hated that some vulnerable part of me wished he could be saved.
“Everything will be alright, Aidan,” she gathered my trembled hands, the one she could reach for. “I promise you.”
I kept thinking that she never broke her promise and was right all along.
The name is Lyanna and this is another black blood’s truth.
“I am so sorry. I did not know,” I carefully got the sterile dressing done by bandaging the wound after cleaning it with alcohol free wipe.
“How could you possibly know all of that, Lyanna,” he huffed “You came to us when we are established with a stable life”
“But the very least, you could trust me enough to tell it all,” I stood up, tidying up everything into order.
“And would you be with someone who have black blood then?,” he stared longingly at me, scanning my expression for any piece of truth.
He always good at reading face and once told me that the eyes is an open door to the heart. Your eyes can’t lie and the truth will always be reflected back. But I didn’t know the right answer to his question. I wouldn’t want to know.
I make my way to the sink and washing off the same colour of blood in my hands again.
“Mom, please, stop it! It hurts, please..”
“Lyanna, are you alright?,” the air whooshed back into my lung as he touched my shoulder. The begging evanesced into the old memories.
I turned to face him. “Oh God, your legs!,” I wrapped my arms around his waist. “You’ve been limping all the way to kitchen. Can’t you just stay put?”
“No, no. I am perfectly fine, Lyanna,” I assisted his walk even he was trying to resist but I knew, he loosened a bit just to let me helped.
I sat him down in one of the chair at dining table and settled myself beside him.
“I was so worried, you know. That silence. I-I-I understand there are a lot to take in,” he explained himself, taking both of my freshly cleansed hands in his.
I needed to know more. There were plot holes in his story, something he had been trying to keep.
“That night, um, was it the time your blood turned black?,” I felt the urge in my strain voice where he might find ill-suited.
He paused the gentle caress on my knuckle and released his hold.
“No, I wish it had. But, it was just deep red,” I able to see glimpse of fallen tears before he lowered his head, hiding it away from me.
“So, when did it-,” he cut me off briskly as his gaze fell on me. His eyes started to reddened from keeping the despair at bay.
“Do tell me, Lyanna, what you must do to have it black?,” and this time, I could not escape his question. Should I be afraid of him? He was no longer my Ezra but a man with past I just learned named Aidan.
“I-I-, well um, you must have committed the worst kind of crimes,” the words stumbled and burned by the tip of my tongue but they got through. My palms was sweating and I was so glad he no longer holding it.
“And do you know, what worst kind of crimes that would be, Lyanna?,” I shrugged.
“The crime you committed are not to strangers,” he closed his eyes. “but to those who come to love and care about you. That is the worst kind of crimes, Lyanna”
‘to those who come to love and care about you’
“Mom, please. Mom, wake up! Please, wake up..”
The reality swept through my whole life, rewinding it in a flashback of all bad and good happened. Connected all the missing parts and came to piece it into one perfect picture puzzle.
“You lie to me, Aidan,” the name sounded strange to me. “All this time, I am happy, we both are but you don’t?”
“I am, truly happy,” he tried to hold my hands but I brushed him off. “You are everyone’s dream come true. And I could never been any happier,”
“But you never loved me because you know..oh you know,” I was drowning in this harsh truth. “You know how much I love you,”
“Mom’s last wish,” he smiled, the thought of his mother never failed to make him happy. “She was very fond of you. A kind and sweet girl, reminds her of a different life she could have,”
I missed his mother too and I was grateful that she able to have a good peaceful end after how chaotic their life had been. “Aidan, why can’t you love me?,” my eyes burned with tears, betraying me when I tried my best to hide them.
“Look at my father, Lyanna,” he began to whimper. “Look at what love did to him and where it leads. It only leads to damage and pain,”
“No, it isn’t,” I delicately cupped his face, fingers soothingly traced every stiff edge. “It isn’t, I promise you,”
He surrendered under my touch. “But I am still my father’s son, a monster’s son. I am afraid, Lyanna. So afraid I will become him if I dare to love,”
“Violence isn’t inherited. You are a different man from your father,” I kissed his forehead, a gesture of reassurance.
“I can’t Lyanna. I can’t-,”
The name is Lyanna and this is what I choose.
Mom had been given rights to get the custody. That day in the court, was the last time I saw dad. He walked out, walking away from me and never turned back. I wished he knew about mom’s demons so, he could save me.
“Mom, please, stop it! It hurts, please..”
“Mom, please. Mom, wake up! Please, wake up..”
I wished I had been the one who ended her but she killed herself first. She went away bloodless, a clean death. But I knew its true colour.
‘to those who come to love and care about you,’ I love you, mom and I always care about you. When the demons gone, you said sorry to me like a prayer and I would clean your black blood every single time.
The day she died, for the first time, I felt so lonely. A girl with no one to claim sent away to the orphanage.
Growing up in loveless environment was not easy for me when all I wanted to do was to pour all the love I had within. Bits and pieces left of it, I always choose to love.
I once knew great things about love from dad and mom. Their eyes shone when met and hidden smile of bliss when they were in each other arms. I also knew some won’t last longer from them. But love was never the problem because the mess started when there was no love to begin with.
“I can’t Lyanna. I can’t-,” he uttered with such guilt. “I could only love one person and that was my mother. I had none to give, Lyanna,”
“You are not define by your father’s mistake. You are define by what you choose,” I stood up and looked at him longingly. “You are no longer a man on your father’s term. So, choose to live freely. Choose to be free, Aidan,”
He took a long breath. “I wish it was that easy. I wish I can, I am sorry, Lyanna,”
I should foresee this. I knew he was a headstrong with an unyielding principle and difficult to sway over. I also knew that it could be undone with his own pace and timing. Even though I now recognized him with different name but he was still, through and through the same man I came to know. The same man I came to love and care. I knew him long enough to acknowledge the choice I made was for the best.
“I am sorry too,” I let him learned my heart through the eyes. “Goodbye, Aidan,”
I chose to be free.
“Wait, Lyanna. Wait, wait, what’s the meaning of all this?,” he tried to catch up but the wound restrained his movement.
‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ that was what I learned from mom. How the demons took control of her and my dad was not around.
Just like my dad, I walked out, walking away from him and never turned back.
But I was not define by my father’s action, I would be ready when Aidan needed me back because he still deserve the light he lost from his mother to get out from the darkness his father created.