Erin had been baptised in pain and a flood of saltwater tears, earth still crusted beneath her fingernails from the silt laden waters. She emerges still riding her rage; the tang of blood at her lips, ratty snake tailed hair hissing into her ears, the ghost of a slit-smile kissing the base of her throat. Somewhere beyond this, she can hear her call. To her, it roars. She is clear where she must be, though crimson colours her vision; the beat of fury coursing – quickening - through her veins. His name is the curse clamouring upon her lips. He is where she must go. He is the favour owed her before the remainder. Before she truly becomes one of those formed from sorrow, favouring the wronged, seeking to restore balance through chaos’ call.
Dark limbs on shadowed wings’ flight, she spreads them wide, to travel swiftly, skirt shifting slightly with the winds. His pain will be her pleasure – the necessary price. She knows this to be true; the justice of blood for blood. She is his storm cloud summoned.
Justin. An irony, that. One date and she had known herself drowning deep, though she might still have made an escape - then. She hadn’t meant to fall in love. By the time she had realised, she was already teetering on the brink - and then up and over. She had thought herself loved. Told herself he had had a bad day when they had words. Stayed. He had made a mistake. It wouldn’t happen again. Trite self-assurances.
It is difficult to remember the night it happened; blurred as it is beneath her collapse into unconsciousness. She recalls sticky, carmine stained fingers, clutched towards her throat, before the floor rose up to greet her. The silver scar tracing her skin reminds her of the end. She touches a fingertip to its ridges. There is satisfaction in seeing into the secret depths of others, where once one could only guess. Now, she can know the truth; can practice virtuous vengeance where its weight sets its summons upon her.
Erin feels pressure pulling in her bones, where previously they were light. She is near now. She dips lower, boots coming into contact with tarmac as she lands; the slight initial shock of impact reverberating through her soles. The suggestion of feather shading at her shoulders fades as she stands. A slight smile as she recognises her surroundings. It would be here.
Crouching slightly, Erin pushes the four figure combination into the key safe, hearing the click as it opens on its hinges. The code is unchanged. He could scarcely have expected her return to use it, given how he had left her. Still, she is here, restless coils slithering –soundless now - about her temples, whip wound about her waist. Raised by her calling, claimed by blood’s bindings, irrevocably promised to her mission once it is over. Once she is beyond him.
The stairs towards the bedroom are steep; higher than in the average house. Erin is used to their proportions. She has climbed them many times before. It is the first doorway on the right. She turns the brass handle slowly. It creaks if one is less than careful. A light jump and she is passed the raised floorboard just beyond the entrance, liable to catch one’s toes and stub them. He is a slight snore beneath the duvet; a cocooned length in its white folds.
The movement about Erin’s head increases as she nears the bed. The red is with her now, singing through her body. She feels dizzy drunk on its spinning, as it pulls her under. Somewhere, there is shouting, a frenzy of serpentine seething and they are eye ball to eye ball as Justin startles straight from sleep into wide eyed stare, immediate. Locked into contact, Erin sees a form of recognition, accompanied by something else, as his gaze cracks. She sees herself reflected upon his eyes, as they stare openly into hers. Leaning forwards slowly, gently, she bestows her final kiss upon his lips. He is still as she does so; unmoving, scarcely breathing; blinking rapidly now. Somewhere, inside, she hears him scream. And cry. And cry.