When blood spilt from the chasm of your ripped chest, you knew the nucleus of your soul had been fractured, too. Splintered and would come to be a scar, if at all the odds of healing were in your favour and fate was kinder to you than most.
As you lay there, your little boy now cold to the smouldering cuddle of death, and his body; tiny and frail as a puppy’s fur, lying by your side, despair was the only emotion that took form and kept you company.
It was short, his life in this world. But you tried to give him the very best. He was yours, after all. You’d feared he wouldn’t last that long. Not in this cruel world. So it didn’t hurt as much as you’d expected it would.
It didn’t hurt watching him lifeless just a yard from where you are. What hurt was seeing him covered in the pool of his blood and some of yours. That he didn’t die because he had to, but because they snatched him from you. Because you were too weak to do your job as a caregiver. As a parent.
So everything was lost, leaving just you and an empty shell without a purpose. Not until she spoke to you. The girl who glowed like the sun, whose feet never touched the ground, and whose eyes were yellow as the source of all allure. Someone who offered to fill that void in you in exchange for your body. The spirit who offered to give you strength for the one thing you held dear as a human. So in return, you signed her oath and offered the only thing you have left in you; your pain.
“Who are you?” you asked. Not that it mattered anyway, despite that, you had to. After all, in your intuition, if you were going to let the devil do with you what they please, you should at least go out with a name in mind. The name of the one who’d taken interest in something, in someone as broken and purposeless as you have become.
But she was gone. Your sight failed you and your senses didn’t. You could feel her strongly. Her scent seemed all over you, and your chest felt cold. You felt something gather within you, swirling, cold as ice and harsh as the pain you’d never known.
Your heart raced, and your mind spiralled. For one who was on the doormat of death, so many feelings coursed like a herd of cattle stampede in your head.
It only lasted no more than a few minutes, and your chest felt at ease. All that anger and pain you felt seemed to wash away. You felt nothing close to happiness, but though still there, your hurt and misery and hate felt as though something else had taken them up and channelled away from your fragile heart.
You sat up and stared around you as the world appeared it was on fire. You straddled so near to a deep crack in the earth that you almost fell in. So close that the greenish gas seeping out from the foggy glow within its endless depth of darkened green seeped into your lungs.
You reached for your throat and coughed, coiling farther away from the rift. Your spasms came with a tight blow to your chest, and before your eyes, a red streak burned its way out and around your left hand, all the way to your wrist. The moment it stopped moving, your heart thumped, as did your brain.
“Who am I?” The voice was seductive, yet the evil in its tone sang no less pronounced. It giggled stylishly and your heart looked as though it’d just been gently stroked. “The day you know that, my love, I’ll lose you to death.”
You held your head as it throbbed from the headache spawned by its malevolent laughter. Her laughter. And not long after, you realised the world’s landscape had just been rearranged, and what you would best describe as demons had crossed into it through these rifts.