Status: Work in Progress.

Acrylic Bones

"These violent delights - have violent ends."

The young man's feet echo slightly, the soft padding sound whispered through the street down which he walks. He pauses in front of an alley, glancing into the dark inlet. The streetlamp overhead buzzes like a trapped insect, the sound low and insistent. It flickers once, causing the shadows against the young man's grim face to ebb and deepen.
It is the kind of cold where the very air feels almost greasy. His breath mists in front of his face, the small plumes staining his nose and cheeks pink. His eyes water at the chill. The wind was still, but a sudden thunder rippled through the sky, rolling in its deep intensity from horizon to horizon.
His eyes, so pale blue they are almost white in the streetlight, seem calm and void of emotion as he stares down at the small bundle on the pavement. Like slate boards, they rise to roam the street restlessly. He seems calm, but tired.
It is deceptive. He mostly feels like he is being destroyed; a roaring, cocoon-like darkness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood. He is not tired - but exhausted. The kind of mind-numbing exhaustion that fills your bones with lead and staples your feet to the ground.
He bends down slowly, feeling the backpack pressed into his deep-hooded sweater pull against his back. His deft fingers close around the lace ribbon at his feet, and he brings it up into the light.
"God damn it." he whispered. His long, slim fingers curling around the ribbon, it's matted, mud-coated silken length rough beneath his soft touch, he felt a single tear trace its way down his cheek. It fell to the pavement with a splash.
It was like the silence after a car crash. The vibrations still echoing on the air. It's a strange, intoxicating mix of chaos and calm.
"I'm so sorry." whispers the man behind him.
"For what?" he hears himself ask from somewhere far away, the words falling hollow on his ears.
"You know - she was a good girl. She loved you."
"Yeah, well..." he trails off, not knowing where he was meant to take the sentence. "Nothing breaks you like caring about someone, huh?"
"The murderer is still out there, you know." the man murmured, his deep voice comforting. His breath tickling the back of the first man's neck. "One day we're going to wake up, and it will be alright. Maybe not today, or tomorrow ... but one day. I promise."
"It will never be okay," he whispered, his voice hoarse. His tears had frozen against his cheeks, and his lip bled into his mouth from where he had bitten into it. The bloodied bandana hit the pavement without a sound, the young man's fingers curling into a fist. His nails dug into his palm so hard they almost drew blood there, too. "I will never be alright again. But I will have my vengeance. I will kill the one they call the Saint." the fury in his voice was like venom.
"How do you know?" the man whispers, his voice low and serious. He can taste the anticipation in the other man's silence.
"Because," he licked his lips quickly, tasting salt and blood, "he has never had to compete with someone who has nothing left to lose."