Heart by Heart

She looked at him, this was the first time she’d seen him in years. And she didn’t leave on the best of terms. But when she stopped at the diner, she didn’t think he’d still be there. There he was, sitting across from her and he’d grown into his looks.

“What are you doing back?” he asked, his gaze not leaving hers. By his tone, he still had a problem with her.

“Was just passing through and needed food.” She said simply, keeping her face neutral. She wanted to express every ounce of guilt she felt over the years, but not here and not now.

“So, you plan to leave again?” he asked, looking out the window.

This time she gave a shrug and looked at the table. “Nothing to keep me here anymore.” Was all she said before standing up. “Sorry I ruined your life.” She mumbled before walking out, leaving some money on the table.

She got back into her car and was about to shut the door when a hand stopped her. “What do you mean by that?” He asked, anger in his voice.

“You told me you never wanted to hear from me again, and so I left. Then suddenly Seila shows up and tells me you’ve been asking about me and trying to find me.” she hissed, glaring at him. He glared back before shutting her door. He moved to get into the passenger’s seat.

“Drive anywhere.” Was all he said. And she did. She drove to the spot they met. The waterfalls. Getting out, she moved to sit by the water’s edge, looking into it as he moved to stand a few feet away.

“Talk.” She said, trying to keep her feelings under control, but it was hard with so many memories in this one place.

“I’m sorry. Things were crazy and… I don’t know.” he said as he sat next to her.

“I was pregnant. Back when we were together and we had that fight… I was pregnant. Ended up losing the child 2 days before that big fight.” She replied.

He turned to look at her, his eyes wide. “What?” He asked, moving her to look at him.

She shrugged and looked away. “Doctors say I can’t have children. Ever. I guess I took my frustrations out on you.”

He pulled her close, his emotions getting the best of him. “Oh Liz. I’m so sorry. Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked.

“You never gave me a chance. I made one comment and boom. I’m driving out of town and you’ve moved on.”

“I never moved on, I regret what I said. Ever since the words left my mouth.”

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Zofia-Huntress

She is a huntress in my Novel “Caustic.”
She has Bright Red hair, that is in an inverted bob cut.
Attire: Grey gas mask and goggles; Black Shorts; White cut off tank top; Black combat boots; Black hooded jacket with white buckles.

There is not much known about her other than she is feared. She hunts the mutated creatures that roam the lands, but she will not hesitate to kill a person if she has to. She doesn’t talk much, and carries a fair amount of knives on her.

Zofia carries 8 of these knives per leg. This is a Cold Steel Bushman that is 12 1/4″ Overall, has a hallow handle. the blade is 7″ in length and 3/32″ thick.

This is the SOG revolver Hunters Knife. it’s blade is 4.75″ x .15″ in length. It’s overall length is 10″. She uses it to help rip open skin and cause major damage. It also has a hook at the end of the blade.

This is a Buck Nighthawk Tactical Knife. It is a fixed blade knife, it’s blade being 61/2″ in length. She carries 2 of these.

This is a Smith & Wesson H.R.T Neck Knife, serrated with black blade. This is 5.75 in overall, it’s blace being 2.13 in. This is one of her smaller knives, and she has only 1 of them that she uses in close combat.

This is a TOPS mini Bowie Boot Knife. She carries 2 of these per boot. They are 4 5/8″ overall. The blade is 2″, 3/16″ thick and has a skeleton handle.

Heartache

When will the pain stop?

When can I smile again?

When will I be able to stop crying?

It feels like I have my heart ripped out

And torn in two.

This is something I should be used to.

I’m not used to so much good

In my life,

So when It all turns bad,

I know not to hide.

It;s something I’m used to

and will never forget.

I just wish I could hide the pain.

I wonder why we cry when it won’t ease the pain.

Or why we sometimes lay around for days.

Some don’t eat for days and others eat their pain.

And some just can’t shower.

We all cope in different ways,

some worse than others.

Hell, some just want to die.

I just wish this heartache would pass

so I could smile and live again.

I feel like a burden on everyone

And would love to just end it all.

But something stops me every time.

Fear maybe?

I just hope everyone can forgive me in the end.

No matter what the outcome is.

The Start of the Journey

Lilyth opened her eyes when she heard the lock on the door give way. She didn’t bother to lift her head, knowing what was to come. The guards would come in, drag someone out and kill them just to make an example out of one of the criminals in the cell. She sighed and closed her eyes, resting her head on her arms as the chains pulled on her wrists again. She could feel the blood dripping down her arms, but her body had long since gone numb.

She jumped slightly when she felt a cold hand move under her chin, causing her head to hit the cement wall behind her. She groaned slightly and glared at the men before her. They wore hooded cloaks, shadows falling upon their faces. She looked away, not wanting to think about who they could be.

“I’ll take her as well.” A velvety voice said behind the two hooded figures. She lifted her head, her gaze meeting a pair of soft blue eyes. She quickly looked away, pushing herself up onto her knees. Once the chains came off her hands dropped down into her lap, her blood slowly starting to dry.

She wasn’t paying attention, letting a gasp pass her lips as she felt someone pick her up. The man with the blue eyes had picked her up and was now carrying her out of the cell with two other men. She didn’t dare question why he chose her just yet, not trusting her voice.

Months passed and she soon learned who the man was that saved her. He was Lucifer, Prince of hell. She was his servant, and had to obey his every word.

“Servant!” She heard from the next room, causing her to jump from her thoughts. She ran over to him, bowing before him.

“Yes My lord.” She said, her once dull red hair falling into her face. She dared not move, waiting for his command. She jumped slightly when she felt him move some hair away from her face, his fingers brushing against her flesh.

“Sit with me.” He said, patting the seat next to him. She quickly got up and sat next to him, her hands in her lap, her hands staring at the tattered dress she wore.

He let out a soft laugh, relaxing against the couch. “You can relax and look at me. I won’t punish you for that.” He said, moving some of her hair over her shoulder.

She nodded and sat back, moving her body so it faced his, her eyes finally moving up to meet his. She hadn’t seen a pair of eyes like his before, and soon stopped breathing.

“Tell me, what is your name?” he asked, moving his hand to the back of the couch.

“Lilyth my lord.” She said softly, not once removing her gaze from his.

He nodded, looking away. “Lilyth, such a lovely name. Tell me Lilyth, how did you end up in that cell?” He asked, looking back at her.

She sighed and looked back down at her hands. “I was created to be Adam’s wife, his equal. But he doesn’t see me as such despite the fact that we are both made from the same dirt. When I made it clear that I wasn’t going to lay beneath him, I was banished from Eden. I worked jobs that only men are supposed to work, got into fights and displeased god. So I was thrown into a cell so I wouldn’t tempt any more women to my way of thinking.” She said, biting her bottom lip.

Lucifer stared at her for a moment before he started to laugh. “That’s why you were locked up? Now I’m really glad I got you out of there.” He said, shaking his head. “Look, god has some issues. But I want you to feel like this is your home.” He said, resting his hand on hers. When she jumped slightly, his eyes narrowed. “There is something you’re not telling me. Why won’t you let any of the men here touch you or be near you?” He asked, moving so he had to look at her.

Lilyth’s eyes filled with tears, her gaze not once moving from his. “I’m one of the first creatures to have a soul. I’m temptation and word spread of me. Men raped and beat me, so I don’t exactly trust anyone. Not even you.” She whispered the last part, closing her eyes. Tears fell down her cheeks as she waited for the yelling and the beatings to start. She knew better than to tell the Prince of Hell that she didn’t trust him, but for some reason she felt that it was ok to say it.

Lucifer’s gaze softened as he moved to crouch in front of her. He gently wiped her tears away, inhaling sharply as she flinched. “Lilyth, I promise you I would never hurt you.” He whispered, cupping her face in his hands. He gazed into her green eyes and smiled softly. “I won’t let anyone here hurt you. Ever. You are under my protection.” He said, pulling her into his arms as she started to sob. He was drawn to this woman now more than ever. He wanted to protect her and give her a way to protect herself.

Months passed and soon Lilyth grew close to some of the reapers. She would laugh with them and always had one of them walk her to her room if Lucifer was busy. One day she was talking to some of the reapers when Lucifer approached her.

“I think I have a way for you to protect yourself.” He said once they were in his private office, away from listeners. “I want to make you Mistress Death, the leader of the Reapers. You will help organize them, make sure that souls find their rightful location and best of all, anyone that wrongs you will be yours to kill.” He said as he leaned against his desk.

She let it all soak in, loving the idea. “What will it cost?” She finally said, looking up at him. She wanted to be strong and this would help to protect her.

“Your soul.” He said with a  smirk, crossing her arms over his broad chest. He wanted to see this woman strong and see what she was made of.

“Deal.” She said and walked over to him. “My soul is yours, just call me Mistress Death.” She said.

Walking out of the office, Lucifer walked with her to the group of reapers waiting for orders. “I would like to introduce you all to the leader of our Reapers, the one who will be in charge of souls and making sure those who are the list are the ones that die. This is… Mistress Death!” He announced for everyone to hear, pulled the hood off her head. Her once fair skin was now white, her red hair turned black as were her once green eyes. She was still a beauty, but she was also dangerous. Her touch could bring death if she wanted it to, but it could also bring life.

This would mark the start of Lilyth’s new life, and the journey to the change the world would need for it to remain balanced. This is where the story of the Book Of Souls Starts.

Fear

I’m afraid. Afraid of caving in on myself, of not being strong enough to fight anymore. Of losing everything. My mind, my friends, my family… everyone and everything that I love, just… gone. I’ve been afraid for years now, but I’m good at hiding it. At least for the most part. Now, I’m not so sure. It feels like I really am starting to lose control. And in losing that control I need to find ways to control other things, and thus a vicious cycle of losing things, controlling other things and losing more things keeps happening.

I know I can’t control everything, but I’d at least like to be able to control my thoughts, my emotions, my ability to just let things go and be happy. It seems like every time I’m left alone I go more and more insane and I don’t know what I should do. I want to cry, but that would make me weaker. I can’t be weak. I need to be strong enough to hold on… just a little bit longer. Just long enough until I can be around people again. Until I can put my mask back on and pretend that I’m not broken, that I’m not afraid.

Why do I keep putting the mask back on? Why can’t I leave it off and let people see that I’m broken, just like them? Why do I always need to be strong? Why can’t I just curl up and cry? That would make me feel better. Wouldn’t it? Or sitting in the park and listening to music. That usually helps.

I end up staring at the wall, talking to the voices. I can’t tell anyone about them, otherwise they’ll have me committed. I can’t tell anyone how broken I really am, because then I would lose everyone. I’ve lost so much. The pain of losing everything… it’s too much. Way too much. I can’t think straight, the voices keep steering me in different directions. They keep yelling at me.

“You’re weak” “You’re losing control.” “You’ll never truly be loved by anyone.” “Just use the kitchen knife.” “You can’t run from your past for too long. Everyone you meet will keep reminding you of your mistakes, of your faults.” They yell at me. I can’t handle it. They get louder and louder.

Some tell me to hurt myself, but those I can ignore. I’ve heard those voices long enough that they mean nothing to me anymore. But that one voice. The one that reminds me of my past… I can’t hide from it; can’t shut it out. Too loud.

My past, it’s so dark. I don’t like it. Burned that mask, pushed the darkness away for so long and it should be gone. It’s back, haunting me, wanting me to fail. Making the same stupid mistakes… driving everyone away. Driving the people I love and care about. The few people that have helped me fix myself, can’t let them see me weak. That one person that I trust. The ones that knows what no one else does. That is my escape. Don’t want to lose him. Can’t let him see me weak. Have to stay strong.

Thoughts everywhere, can’t think straight. Have to be happy. Can’t cry, can’t scream. No one to talk to. They’ll run away and think I’m insane. Can’t go back on those pills. They’ll make me numb. I have too much going for me to lose it all to stupid pills. Need to stay strong.

Got to find that mask. Got to put it back on until I’m strong again. Need to be strong. Need to be tough and happy. Need to do it. Falling, I’m falling. I’m caving in on myself slowly. Angry… so angry. Not at anyone in particular, just angry at myself.

Can’t focus, need a drink. No, alcohol will make it all worse. Need to talk… Can’t, no one will understand. Everyone will judge me. The past will be my end. It’s too much. Too strong. What to do?

 

Darkness. It takes over as I close my eyes. Sleep is safety. I can hide there. I open them and I’m awake. I can’t be awake. That’s where it will get me. Consume me whole. Insanity. It’s too much. I need to run away, keep running. Out of breath. Need to stop. Can’t. Have to run from this. Before it caves in. Before I lose myself.

I’m crazy. I know it. I’m going to lose him. Lose everything, everyone. I can’t lose them. They help me stay strong. Stay alive. More people keep coming into my life. More people that I have to hide the truth from. More people that keep me strong.

 

I have to tell them. They have to see. I’m not strong, I’m weak. I’m fighting every day to stay alive. To fight this… disease. This illness that haunts me. That consumes me when I get tired of fighting. Fear, fear takes over and it goes down hill. I can’t tell them that I’m insane, that I hear voices and have a dark side that I want to hide. I can’t tell anyone. No one can see that side of me. No one can see me fall. I have to stay strong. Need to find some way of controlling this. Control, that’s what I look for. A way to distract me from my greatest weakness.

I can’t control this illness. I fight to every day but I can’t. At some point it comes to get me. It consumes me. It wants to steal my soul.

I’m caving in on myself. Can’t breath… can’t think. Need to fight. Just a little bit longer. Need to hold on. Need to fight. Have to fight. Have to find the light. The darkness sucks me in, threatening to consume me. To end it all. Need to bury the past. Need to hide the mask. Can’t bare it any longer. I want to scream.

I have to find my voice. I have to scream. Be rid of the past and look for the light.

I can’t cave in. Need to fight this fear. All my fears. I need to… think.

 

 

The voices. They’re gone. They have finally stopped talking. I can feel the fear fading, the darkness running from the light. The anger is fading slowly. I can do it. Just a little bit longer. I can fight this. Put the mask on and hide all of this. Long enough to make it another day. Another night. I am strong. I am a fighter. I can fight this fear.

But for how much longer, I don’t know for sure. But I can do it. I will do fight it for as long as I can. I can do it. I am strong. I can think again. Breath again. Darkness, it’s hiding. I can feel the light. I can do it. I can be strong. I will be strong. For him, for all of them. For everyone and even for myself.

Prolog and Chapter one of BOOK OF SOULS

Many years ago a war waged upon earth. Thousands of lives were lost, but the prize that they were fighting over for was never acquired by either force. They searched for a book, one that would give ultimate power to anyone whom had it within their possession. It is known as the Book of Souls. In it were the names of every living being with a soul and when they were to die. It was how the Reapers knew where to go and when. Of course, things were subject to change. If one person was seen as a threat to society and to the world, their name was moved up the list and their soul taken. It was how the underworld kept peace. It was part of the treaty created once the world was created. The Reapers would take only the souls in the book when it was their time, and the Guardians would leave them be in peace. But soon, other dark forces heard about the book and soon everyone was fighting for it. The Reapers sought to protect it, but others wanted it for their own personal gain. Some planned to use it in order to rule over the human race. But once the war was over, the book was missing. Years have passed since the great war and no one knew where the book had gone off to. It is said that a Rogue Reaper stole the book and hid it, determined to use it for his own personal gain. Others say that when the Dark Queen was slain the book vanished with her damned soul, never to be seen again. No one knows for certain which is true, but the search still continues. The Reapers have rebuilt their city, and laid their queen to rest, hoping one day her soul as well as the book would return. The Guardians, keeping true to their word, still supply the Reapers with a list of names. The world moves still, not knowing about what hides in the shadows… but there is a new wind blowing and soon another war will break out. This time though, it will consume all of human kind with it.

 

Years later, March 2012

Lilliana stared out the window, a soft sigh passing her lips. She had been at the coffee shop for an hour now, waiting for her friend to show up. Glancing at her phone, she shook her head. “Every time.” She muttered, standing up from her chair. Lilly had just returned from seeing her family in Italy and wanted to see one of her best friends. The problem was, Claire had the habit of being a no show and apologizing days later. Cleaning up her table, she grabbed her bag and left. She had things to do and wasn’t about to wait any longer for someone that wouldn’t show up. Dialing her friend’s number, she put the phone to her ear and waited. It rang… but no one answered. She hung up and stopped walking. That was weird. Claire always answered her phone, even if she was a bit flaky. She called again but this time it went straight to voice mail. That was even weirder. “Hey Claire, it’s Lilly. I’m headed home, so if you have time tonight please stop by. I would love to see you. I hope everything is alright.” She left the voice mail and continued to walk. Maybe I should stop by Clarie’s and make sure she is alright. She thought, worried for her friend.

Arriving at the apartment, she noticed cops surrounding the area. Running up to the building, she snuck in and made her way to Claire’s apartment. As she made it to the door, she let out a soft gasp. The walls were coated in blood and on the floor lay Claire’s lifeless body. Lilly shook her head, staring at her best friend.

 

“Ms. You’re not supposed to be here.” She heard one of the officers say when he noticed her standing in the door way.

“She was my best friend.” Lilly whispered, dropping to her knees still in shock.

“Are you Lilliana D’archangelo?” The officer asked, helping her to her feet. “We found your name as the contact she was trying to call before this all happened.” He added, helping her into a chair in dining room.

“That’s me… but what happened? I talked to her last night and she was perfectly fine. We were supposed to meet for coffee today, but she never showed up. I called her twice and… What happened?” She asked looking up at the officer. She noticed that his name tag said Donovan on it. Why did that name seem so familiar to her?

“We aren’t sure yet. We got a phone call earlier today saying that there was a loud scream and then silence. When we showed up this is what we found.” He said, kneeling in front of her. “Do you know anyone who would want to hurt her?” He asked, pulling out a pen and paper.

She shook her head, running her fingers through her red and black hair. “No. There is no one that would want to hurt her, at least none that I’m aware of. She was a very sweet and loving girl.” She said, shaking her head. “I just got back from Italy. Every time I talked to her she seemed fine. Though there is a message she sent me…” She trailed off as she pulled her phone out of her purse. She showed the officer.

“It’s all numbers and gibberish.” She said, writing it all down.

“I know, but it has to mean something. Claire hated text talk and she wouldn’t have sent something like this unless it meant something important.”

“I’ll have my boys check it out and we’ll-“ He was cut off when of the officers walked out of the bedroom. “Boss, you might want to take a look at this.” The other officer said, pointing over his shoulder.

Lilly followed Officer Donovan into the bedroom, stopping dead in her tracks. On the bed were two more bodies completely drained of blood. But what was worse, is they had no skin, teeth or hands. There was no easy way to tell who these people were. On the walls were words, all of which were in Latin.

“What the hell does this all mean?” Officer Donovan asked, taking pictures of the wall.

“One soul is ours, more to go. Catch us if you can.” Lilly translated, pointing to the words above the bed. “The words on this wall says ‘All hail the Dark Prince.’ And the ones on the ceiling say ‘Prepare to die in this great battle that will consume the world.”

“You speak Latin?” He asked, writing everything down word for word.

“It was something my parents taught me growing up. They said It would help me when I get older.” She made her way towards the attached bathroom and stared at the mirror. “In here it says ‘The Book of Souls will be ours.’ What is the book of souls?” She asked looking back at the cops.

They both shrugged and walked out of the room. Lilly looked around and sighed. “Claire, what have you done?” She asked, making her way back out to the kitchen.

“Ms… uhh can I call you Lilliana? Do you know what this tattoo means?” Officer Donovan asked, pointing to the tattoo on Claire’s hip.

Lilly crouched down and examined the tattoo. “I have no idea. It looks familiar but… This is a fresh tattoo.” Taking a closer look, she quickly brought her gaze back up to Claire’s lifeless face. “This is a brand of some sort. Some… Cult of something has branded her as theirs.”

The symbol on her hip looked like the symbol for Saturn, the god of harvest and time. Staring at the tattoo, she couldn’t help but shrug. “I don’t know what this means, but this is the symbol for Saturn, and the alchemical symbol for lead. Why it’s used as a brand is beyond me though.” She said as she stood up, wiping some stray tears away.

Office Donovan stood up, running his fingers through his dark hair. “How about I give you a ride home.” He said softly, giving her a sympathetic smile.

She nodded and followed him out of the apartment, taking one last look back at her best friend. “When will her body be released?” She asked, looking up at the officer next to her. Now that she was out of the apartment she had a chance to look him over. He was tall, maybe 6 feet tall. He had broad shoulders, obvious that he had played sports when he was in school. By the look of his facial features, he had to be in his late 20’s. He had a strong jawline as well as the most vibrant blue eyes she had ever seen. He radiated safety, and all fear seemed to fade away.

“Once we figure out what happened to her. We’ll have the coroner look over her body, run some tests and see what we can do. I promise we’ll take good care of her.” He said softly, making sure to reassure her. He opened the passenger side door of his squad car and let her get in before shutting the door behind her.

She waited until he was in the car before looking over at him. “You’ll release the body in enough time for us to have a proper funeral for her right?” She asked, waiting for his answer. She wanted to make sure she could have an open casket funeral for her best friend, allowing family and friends to say goodbye before they burried her. She let out a sigh, knowing she would have a long night of phone calls to make to tell everyone the bad news.

“Don’t worry Lilliana, we’ll get everything done as soon as we can so you can have her funeral the way she deserves.” He said as he started the car. Lilly gave him her address and leaned back in her seat. “May I ask why you chose to be an officer?” She asked without thinking, looking out the window.

“It runs in the family. I wanted nothing more than to be a doctor but my father wouldn’t let that happen. After my mother was shot one night on her way home, my dad wanted me to follow in his footsteps. Make sure that the streets were safe. I still want to be a healer but this was a good second choice.” He said, smiling over at her. “May I ask what you do for a living?”

She glanced over at him and shrugged. “I’m a librarian. It helps pay the bills why I work on getting my novels out to the world.” She said and looked out the window again.

“You’re a writer? That’s awesome. What kinds of books do you write?”

“Mostly fiction. My novels deal with the gothic culture, as well as the darker side of history.” She said, looking over at him. “I don’t know how many people would really be interested in that though which seems to be the problem on why I can’t get published.”

Officer Donovan looked over at her once he stopped at a red light and smiled. “I’m interested. Believe it or not, I happen to be part of the goth culture.” He said as he gave her a wink before he pushed the gas peddle again. Stopping in front of her house, he quickly got out and helped her out of the car. He walked her to her door and smiled. “Here’s my card.” He said as he handed her a tiny rectangular piece of paper. “If you need anything at all, give me a call. Be safe Ms. Lilly.” He said before turning and walking back to his squad car.

She watched him leave before walking into her house. Looking at the name on the card, her brows furrowed together. “Ezekeal Donovan. Why does that name sound so familiar?” She mumbled to herself, pulling her boots off. Shaking her head, she tossed everything on the couch. Brushing off the sense of familiarity, she pulled out her address book and cell phone, beginning the long night of phone calls with the bad news about Claire.

The conflict (Random writing)

“The reason why I tend to be so cold? Well that’s an easy answer. I’ve always been let down. Why not be cold when everyone I’ve come across has let me down? Let’s start with my creation. I was created from the same dirt as Adam and yet I am expected to be submissive. I’m just supposed to take orders and not stand up for myself. But that’s not in my nature what so ever. And then once I left, I was replaced with Eve. Moving on through time it’s always been the same. Because of my gender I am… expected to listen to men and do as I am told.” She scoffed, sipping on her tea. “Why would I ever do that? I am equal to man, from the day of my creation. So why should I act any different? And in today’s day and age if you don’t have a college degree of the experience you’re treated as if you’re an idiot. I am in no way an idiot.” Lilliana looked down at the table and sighed. “Why is it that everyone must treat me as such? Why is it that when good things come my way, they must all be taken away by the bad? Have I betrayed Lucifer that much that he no longer wishes the best for me?” She asked softly, looking over at her companion. “To answer your question in a few simple words, I am cold because it seems to be the best way to not get hurt. I have always been let down by god’s creations and I refuse to let that happen again. I’m tired of giving so much and not getting anything in return. I’ve been yelled at for stupid things and it appears that I am not fit to make anyone happy. Which is why if mankind were to fall, I would not stop it. It is no longer my problem as to what happens to man. I am simply here to watch the fall of those that have treated me wrong, for I am stronger than they have given me credit for.”