Title: Destroying the Looking Glass
Summary: And he won't hold her hand because the flowers she holds, they smell like blood.
Warnings/Notes: Cursing. Very "disjointed" kind of writing. Weird line of thoughts. I don't know. Did I mention cursing? It's not extreme, of course. *ahem* I'm planning on using this as my entry for CW...? (I haven't proofread this yet, so there are mistakes.)
Boy meets girl. Boy meets girl and girl meets man, man meets boy and boy...
It repeats in her head like a mantra. One will suppose that it’s driven her to insanity, but au contraire - no, it’s what keeps her sane, what has kept her sane, all these years, all these years...
The haunting piano music that wafts from the music studio chills her to the bone. Her mother: the sweetest creature, the most docile and refined; it perplexes her to know that the woman is able to play the most beautiful tune - beautiful, so very beautiful, but terrifying at the same time. She wonders, everyday, why that is, when her sweet mother, the most docile, the most refined...
And then it stops altogether. She pauses.
She almost spits out her heart.
There are instances when her mother does... things that really scare her. Like, really, really scare her. She doesn’t know if her mother has noticed, but Mother is slowly losing what’s left of her. She holds her hand close to her heart, trying to calm down the palpitation. She walks along, away from the studio, away from her mother, conveniently forgetting the bit where she almost loses her composure.
Mother changed when Father disappeared. Her mother loved him. She still does, she thinks, maybe that’s why her mother insists he’s only gone - gone, but not dead.
It repeats in her head like a mantra.
Her father’s gone, not dead.
And the mantra mocks her.
Your father’s only disappeared, you stupid girl, he’s not dead!
He’s only gone.
He - is - not - DEAD!
Of course, Mother.
Of course he’s not dead.
She doesn’t tell her mother about the blood and the dug grave and the mangled body.
She doesn’t tell her. She has conveniently forgotten that bit.
And she only knows her mother is insane.
There are two things her mother brings home the next week.
And a boy with tousled auburn hair and green eyes.
There are two things her mother has brought home.
And later in the day, she finds out her mother is wrong.
There aren’t just two.
There are three.
She says hi to the other boy. No, not the second thing, the third one. Not the boy with the auburn hair. No, this boy, she finds him looking a lot like her. Like a twin. Like a long, long, long lost, finally found twin.
At first she hated that, him looking like her, but she gradually accepted it. She finds that she quite likes it. He even sounds like her, talks in the same manner as her, moves like her.
She asks him why he’s only appeared now. Had her mother lied to her? Lied to her and kept him from her?
"You’re my twin,” she says, attempting to hold his hand. He shies away, stepping back, and he looks at her from beneath hooded eyes.
“Not your twin,” he says, shyly, but he smiles and she finds herself smiling back. “But I’ve always been here.
“You just didn’t know where to look.”
She recognizes the fact that he doesn’t like to hold her hand. Rather, he doesn’t know how to. Like he isn’t permitted to do so. Like he’s too far away.
But she never asks. Only initiates. And she feels her heart surely breaking into two.
One day the boy with the auburn hair comes to her house. She sees her mother welcome him into their home. Then she notices that her mother has never, never greeted the other boy, in all the times he’s been here. Auburn rarely comes to visit. The other does. But her mother has not made any sign of recognition. She wants to ask but is too afraid to do so; the image of her mother screaming about her gone-not-dead father burns in the back of her mind.
Auburn hair turns to her, static green eyes fixing themselves on her form.. He greets her and smiles at her, but she realizes, in the midst of her internal turmoil and fright, that she can’t quite return the gesture. Her mother barely looked in her direction.
She doesn’t notice that his smile never quite reaches his eyes.
Another day comes and Auburn visits again. She thinks his presence to be increasingly alarming. She wonders why. He seems like a nice guy. He’s a bit like Other Boy, but with darker colored hair and a predatory smile. No, she convinces herself, he’s a lot like Other Boy. Only difference is that he likes to hold her hand, and Other Boy doesn’t. And Auburn does this quite precariously, too.
Later that night she finds out her mother is marrying her off to Auburn.
She’s surprised to know that she has actually consented to it.
Another Day again, and Auburn shows up holding a bouquet of white calla lilies. She accepts it and gives it a cautious whiff.
And she finds her world spiraling to the ground.
Tick-tock. Tiiiiiiick-tock. Wake up, precious poppet!
She opens her eyes, and her sight is greeted with the still darkness. Her head is pounding, and the toxic fumes she had inhaled lingers underneath her nostrils. She feels cross-eyed.
“How are you, poppet?”
He doesn’t sound like Other Boy.
Why’d you do it, she tries to say, why’d you do it and let me go! The skin of her wrists feel raw as the cold, hard metal pushes against it.
She barely sees his figure, but when he flashes his pearly whites, she completely recognizes the same predatory smile he always seemed to wear. He’s wearing it now.
He doesn’t answer her. She hears him walking away, and she thinks he’s going to leave her to become rat and worm fodder.
But he doesn’t.
Suddenly the light switches are on and she immediately knows where they are. The music studio.
And his hands are now closing around her neck.
Her breaths come out jagged and uneven, but oddly she could still breathe. Like he’s allowing her to talk.
“I’ve decided to get you first. I wasn’t going to let myself fall prey to you. I’m going to get you first.”
She doesn’t understand! She doesn’t understand!
She begins to choke.
“You didn’t think I’d notice? It’s too hard not to ignore the flowers. I know how they are. They don’t smell like that. Not supposed to. You know?”
No. She doesn’t know! She doesn’t understand! What does he mean? She’s not like her mother. She’s not like her mother!
“I’ll end you first. I’ll be first. You can stay beside your dead father!”
She hears her mother screaming.
He’s not deaaaad! He’s only gone, you stupid girl, he’s not dead!
The chair she’s chained to crashes to the floor when he lunges at her. She screams, but her scream is cut short when he shoves down white calla lily petals down her throat. She flails and thrashes, but he holds her down, and he’s simply too strong for her. The chains on her wrists dig deeper - deeper and deeper and deeper until warm liquid flows - and she almost screams again.
But she can’t. If she did, the calla lilies would lodge themselves down, down, down, down into her esophagus.
Her eyes cloud with tears and she doesn’t blink, she doesn’t even notice that she hasn’t. She gasps, taking in nonexistent air and fucking flower petals, her attention fully on her attempt to breathe and not on blinking.
She hasn’t shed a tear. Not yet. Not until she -
“Hee... elll... p... helllp meee...”
Help. Help -
He forces her head to the side. The tears pooling in her eyes slides down the side of her face.
But she doesn’t cry.
She doesn’t... doesn’t...
She sees Other Boy, and he does nothing to help her. She calls out to him.
But he wouldn’t even hold her hand.
Why should he help her?
Talk to me, bastard.
Talk to me.
You take my face. You take my voice and you take my movement.
And yet you refuse to hold my hand.
The scream she always hears from her mother - the one in her head - is the same scream that escapes her bluish lips.
You’ve killed me.
This time Auburn’s smile really has reached his eyes.
You’ve killed me!
The last thing she sees is Other Boy crying tears of blood.
And yet she doesn’t understand.
She never will.
The soft breeze slightly caresses his auburn hair, and he stills himself to brush his bangs from his too green eyes. Setting down the garden shovel, he hoists himself from the ground, his hands caked with soil and dirt. But he doesn’t really mind.
A jolly tune is heard, the melody playing in the air, and he looks up to see his employer by the grand piano.
The woman glances at him, smiling. “Hello, Jack.”
He doesn’t dare comment about the faraway look on her face.
“Jack, it’s a pity that my daughter has run away. You two would have been a dream couple.”
He chuckles. “I’m sure.”
“You’ve finished the flower bed,” she says. “The white lilies are beautiful. What are those flowers beside them?”
“Won’t you tell me what they mean someday? The language of flowers.”
The woman presses a lone piano key.
“Say, Jack, I think I’ll give you a possession of my daughter’s. I gave it to her before but... she won’t be able to use it now, won’t she? She has gone,” she laughs, “just like her father.”
His smile is lopsided.
“Is that so? Thank you.”
“You’ll find it in her room. Well, Jack, for now...”
She begins to play another haunting piece, just like she does whenever she had finished conversing with him.
He leaves her to her thoughts and makes his way to the daughter’s room. It looks the same as ever. Nothing has been moved nor removed. But he supposes that it’ll have to be changed today.
A glint - passing, fleeting; if he hadn’t paid attention he wouldn’t have seen it - catches his eyes and he turns, finding himself face-to-face with...
The girl looks just as disheveled as he is. He’s surprised to find that he’s beginning to feel very self-conscious.
Instead, he smiles and says, holding out a hand,
Title: Destroying the Looking Glass