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[OS] All Is Violent, All Is Bright
PERMALINK // POSTED ON: May 14 2014, 12:25 AM
Vincent stumbled up the hill. There weren’t a lot of hills way out here in Louisiana, but he had found one, and he had climbed it, the land shifting and slipping beneath his feet. He dug the balls of his feet into the mud, and it sucked at the toes of his boots each time he lifted his leg to take another step up. One half-empty handle of whiskey dangled from his left hand. A full one was clutched in his right.
A year and a half of sobriety, gone, just like that.
The werewolf sat down, rather heavily, at the crest of the hill and jammed the full handle into the softening soil. The grass was damp with humidity and a recent rain, and it began to soak into his jeans as he lifted his head and gulped down more of the amber alcohol. The sun was setting, and a few stray rays glittered as they passed through the glass and whiskey, casting dancing spots of light on the green.
For a long moment, the only sound was the steady glug of Vincent’s throat accepting the alcohol with a steady swallow, and the lazy whispering buzz of mosquitos and dragonflies.
He let his arm fall, hefting the now-empty whiskey bottle for a second. Blue eyes narrowed, and were offended.
The bottle shattered when it hit a nearby tree trunk, pieces of glass embedding themselves in the ground. It was an anticlimactic result—aside from the initial crash, the sound of it was muted, dulled, like a distant clashing so quiet it could be neglected amidst the hum.
Just like his voice.
In Vincent’s mind, he had gone from one of the most trusted to the most despised. In his mind, he knew the truth, and what was right and what was wrong, and there was just some sort of damn disconnect between his brain and his mouth, making everything he said come out wrong. It wasn’t that he was misunderstood, no. He was the harbinger of doom, the crazy homeless man preaching Armageddon. But no one wanted to listen. Never mind that even in the maddest mind there was always a glimmer of authenticity.
Maybe they were tired of it. He could understand that. It was a lot easier to go into the good, sweet night when you were ignorant and oblivious. He wouldn’t blame a soul for choosing that.
Mackenzie, in the hospital… again. She was getting so scarred up. Vincent wasn’t a fool. They were all beacons for the darkness, when you got down to it. If it wasn’t their species as a whole making them a scapegoat for the preternatural world? It was the mere fact they were supernatural in the first place. Any of them. He believed firmly in the idea that they were drawn to each other, but if you could draw in the good? You could draw in the bad. And, as much as Vincent hated to admit it, as he tore the cap of the second handle loose with his fingernails, he and Norah were no match for the bad. Hell, none of them were. And Mackenzie had born the brunt of that.
There’s only so many times you can blame yourself before you believe the blame you’re hearing. For a while, any parent can blame themselves and still continue to believe they have some value in their children’s lives. But obviously there was a limit, as of yet untested by anyone but him—or so he believed—that could be reached, and Vincent had reached it.
How could he ever possibly fix this?
He tilted his head back and drew in half the bottle of whiskey in one long draught.
It hadn’t been easy to acquire the concentrated wolfsbane tincture he pulled from his pocket now. Getting into the French Quarter, even on free days, was a minefield. Buying it, when he just knew the person on the other side of the counter was perfectly aware of his nature? Not only did it make him distinctly uncomfortable, but it had forced him to constantly check his six all the way out here. Although, honestly, why anyone would look at the two pieces of evidence side by side and decide it was worth bothering with? He didn’t know.
He uncapped the bottle and dumped it into the whiskey, swirling it around while the handle filled to its original point. Blue eyes dilated as a hint of burning wafted past his nostrils.
Maybe it was silly to pine after humanity. But, he thought, some people hadn’t had any choice be changed—like him. He had embraced it, at first. Not now. But what if they could go back? He didn’t know why saving Mackenzie from the change, so many years after the fact, seemed like an idea he could live with. It was egotistical, really, to even assume an experiment like this could be beneficial to anyone, because it assumed if he succeeded, that others would want to try to do the same. It assumed Mackenzie, or anyone else he loved and cared about that was suffering because of his actions, and their nature, would want to be “saved”. Hell, it assumed they even believed they needed saving! Or that what he was doing was an act of salvation. Would they even want to give up this thing he now so aptly called a curse? Whatever colored glasses they looked through, they weren’t the shade that his were. But surely they saw some of the same?
He eyed the bottle. The world was starting to swirl, and he thought he could feel the thinning of his own blood, blood cells lazy and bored. Somehow, that seemed detrimental to his chances of survival, but… the thought that seized on that slipped away into the abyss, between the gaps in his lubricated synapses and he didn’t think of it again.
If he failed, no one would know where he had gone. So, he had left his GPS on. Not so he could be saved, but just so they could have something to bury when the time came. If it came at all.
He had thought it would be tougher than this… but it was very easy to swallow his deadly little mixture as it passed his lips. It wasn’t suicide, not in his mind—he wanted so very much to live. But somehow, deep down, he knew it would be an immense relief if he could be pardoned from his past and his mistakes. Deep down, there was a part of him that really wouldn’t mind if he failed. Even as the literal fire flowed from tongue to stomach, he knew he was prepared for anything to happen. For any end. There was a part that wanted to live, yes, to survive this as intended (or not, it didn’t matter which), but there was a part…
There was a part…
It hit him like a sledgehammer to the face. The last few drops didn’t spill, though the handle fell from his fingertips and began a loping tumble down the hill. He bit his hand to the point of blood to keep from vomiting up what he had just consumed, choking and coughing violently as bile and alcohol and the remains of his lunch tried to travel northward, failed, were breathed in… He was drowning, soaked, sweating, melting off his own skin… His cells recoiled in disbelief, and did so immediately. Was that even possible? Time had to suddenly be misbehaving, lurching forward like the shot from a gun. That had to be the answer. No way it could hurt this bad this quickly.
Convulsions. And darkness. That was a relief.
For a while, anyway.
Above Vincent’s prone shape hung a silvery orb. The full moon. All about his body lay the evidence of destruction: beaten mud, blood, the contents of his stomach…. His clothing was torn, and beneath the cloth, his skin was whiter than the reflecting sunlight hanging in the sky above. It was night.
His eyes fluttered open. He tilted his head, and for a long moment, just stared up at the sky. His hands rose into view, and he trapped the moon between his palms, trembling with the passion of an illness gone past. Back and forth, he turned his hands, back and forth again and again, front to back, side to side.
He closed his eyes.
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