[n] wild or violent anger

I felt numb, separate from myself. I felt constantly like I was having an out of body experience, hovering just outside of my own body, watching myself move aimlessly through this hell that I existed in.

It was Thursday night—well most likely Friday now… Time seemed so unimportant, each hour, day, week dragging and going quickly at the same time, melding together until I barely knew what time it was or what day of the week it was. But I knew it was Thursday. Or Friday. I just had to get through Friday and I would have a day off from collecting souls.

Pete had promised. And though Pete was a demon, and I probably shouldn’t trust his promises, I had to hold onto it. I had to believe that I could get some kind of break from this, even for just one day.

And as if on cue, Pete was in my line of sight, looking down at me where I lay on the bathroom floor, the cold tile chilling my skin through the thin fabric of the dress I was wearing. I’m sure I was a sight. I could feel blood drying on my face, my skin pulling tight in places. I’m sure my hair was a tangled mess, also matted with blood.

The collection this evening had been particularly difficult. A mother and daughter who were particularly feisty, suddenly feeling that 10 years hadn’t been a reasonable exchange for what they had wanted: to get rid of their abusive husband and father.

I felt for them. I really did. 10 years of freedom from someone who had treated them like the scum of the earth? Of course they wanted longer to enjoy it.

But there was nothing I could do. The daughter had grabbed ahold of my hair as I stole her mother’s life, pulling hard and throwing me off so that what might have been a cleaner death ended up with the mother’s blood spraying over the two of us.

Pete had been there, had pulled the daughter off of me and held her. He had smirked at me, watching me with darkened eyes and breathing heavily as I came at the daughter, probably around my age by the look of it, and drove my dagger right into her chest.

I had felt something then that I had not expected: Satisfaction. Power.

I had felt infinite and ferocious, like a wild animal. I wanted to spill more blood.

But as soon as we got back to Pete’s apartment reality came crashing down and I felt sickened by the things I had felt. I made it to the bathroom in time, emptying my stomach into the toilet before collapsing on the floor, where Pete found me, confused by what I had felt tonight.

“You’re starting to enjoy yourself,” Pete said, smirking down at me. I didn’t say anything, just stared up at him. “There’s no use fighting it.”

He was silent now, watching me, probably waiting for some kind of response that I wasn’t going to give him.

“I have something for you,” he finally said, pulling something from his pocket.

“I don’t want it,” I said, breaking my silence. I turned my head from him.

“That’s not true,” he said. “I mean, you may not want it now, but I think you’ll want it soon enough.”

I turned my head back toward him again. He smiled when my eyes met his. He held up a red pill capsule.

“Just a little something to take the edge off if you need it,” he said. “I’ll leave it on your nightstand.”

I stayed silent and Pete left the bathroom. When the door closed, I let out a sigh and rubbed a hand over my face, feeling dried blood crumble from my skin from the movement. I sat up slowly. I wasn’t going to take anything Pete gave me, no matter if it would take the edge off. I was going to get through this on my own. There was no way this could get worse than it already was.


And oh how horribly wrong I had been. Friday evening found me someplace I would have least expected. This had to be wrong.

I glanced at Pete, but he remained stony faced. But there was no mistaking where we were. All the lights in the house were on, reflecting off familiar surfaces. I glanced at pictures in frames that were too familiar to me and thought of the red pill I had left on my nightstand.

Pete moved in front of me and headed for the dining room where I could hear two voices murmuring quietly. He entered the room first and I hovered a few feet behind him, not ready to face what I knew was coming.

And then I heard my mother’s voice, welcoming and too kind and I froze.

“Hello Pete,” she said. She sounded exhausted.

“We were wondering when you’d show up.” It was my father’s voice this time.

“Sorry, just running a bit late,” I could hear that all too familiar smirk in his voice.

“Well, should we get on with this?” my father asked. I heard their chairs scraping against the floor as they were probably standing up.

“In a moment,” Pete said. “I’d like you to meet someone. She’s my…prodigy, of sorts.”

Pete turned his head to look at me and he was definitely smirking, his eyes glaringly red in the light.

“Come on, Sophie.”

I heard my mother give a slight gasp and I closed my eyes momentarily.


My eyes popped open and Pete was standing directly in front of me, too close.

“Don’t make me make you do this,” he whispered. “If you want tomorrow off, if you want a break, you have to do this on your own.”

A sob broke free and I felt suddenly dizzy. Without thinking, I reached out and grabbed ahold of Pete’s arms.

“I can’t do this,” I choked out.

“You can,” he said, starting to back up toward the dining room, pulling me with him. “You have to. We made a deal. They made a deal. We have to collect their souls.”

Pete stopped moving and pulled his arms from my hands. In their place, I felt the cold metal of my usual dagger be pressed into my palm and I closed my fingers around its handle before finally looking around the room.

My eyes landed on the shocked face of my mother and then my father.

“Sophie?” my mother asked. “What have you done?”

I looked away from her.

“I made a mistake, is what I’ve done,” I whispered. “Just like you, apparently.”

I started crying in earnest.

“Sophie, honey, we did this for you,” my mother said quietly. She took a tentative step toward me. I looked at my parents in disbelief as they now stood side by side, facing me.

“What do you mean?”

“Your mother and I were at risk of losing the house when you were in high school,” my father said. “We were broke. We just wanted to give you everything you needed. We wanted you to have a good life.”

I swiped the back of my free hand across my eyes.

“And you were willing to just die? To have your souls taken?” I asked, suddenly angry. “If I wasn’t here right now…you weren’t even going to tell me?”

“We wrote you a letter,” my mother said, picking up a thick envelope from the dining room table and handing it to me. I snatched it from her hand and looked at it.

“A letter,” I laughed and crumpled it, letting it fall to the floor. “Because that makes all of this okay.”

“We just wanted what was best for you,” my father said.

“Well obviously that worked out really well,” I snarled, fury suddenly coursing through my veins as my hand tightened on the handle of my dagger.

And suddenly I was seeing red. And my parents were on the ground in front of me in a heap, blood speckling my face. And I realized I wasn’t angry with them, I was angry with myself.

I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“You did good,” Pete said into my ear, his lips brushing my ear. I could feel his fucking smirk. I turned quickly, swinging my knife wildly, but he caught my wrist with one hand while the other wrapped around my throat, squeezing tighter and tighter until everything went black.
♠ ♠ ♠

Got some inspiration to update! I've been planning this chapter for a while, but just couldn't figure out how to do it. Shouldn't have to wait as long for the next chapter cause I kind of know what I want to do there too. Listening to my playlist for this story really helps.