I don’t usually write in first person POV. However, for the ROSACon2016 scene competition entitled Three’s Company, I decided it might be an interesting angle to explore. My submission came from a character’s POV in the world I am writing my trilogy, Battle of the Custodians. The first book, Resurgence, is written and currently undergoing revision. I have no idea if this scene will make it into the second book and will depend entirely on the route that Rebellion takes. I can tell you that it was inspired by a song I was listening to at the time by a favourite band of mine. Song linked at the end of this post. And so, without further ado, I give you my version of, Three’s Company.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before, said Edgar Allan Poe. But, I am no mortal and my dreams are fearsome. The stuff mortals call nightmares, I call planning. And she is not a part of my plans. At least not in the way It wants her to be.
“Tell her,” It hisses at me. “Tell her we wants her.”
I resist its insidious cooing. Turn my back on it and start to pull the door to its lair closed behind me. It flies through the air and attacks. Digs its claws in and bites down hard. I feel its heat. Feel its fever rushing through my veins. I start to drown in it.
Fuck that shit! I am Murphy, bastard son of Hades and I have plans, and my plans don’t include a confessional of the heart. Love is weakness. Love devours. Love blinds. This, this is not love. This is necessity. One more goddamn day with her in my head and I’m going to start puking up my soul. If I had one. I’m not so sure I do.
I fucked up. I accept that. It’s how she has came to be trapped in my mind. But, when she had lain dying, I offered her life. Not love. I am incapable of love. Impervious to the spell it weaves. I tolerate her. I don’t love her. But It, It wants her. I can feel It stalking her whenever I’m not around to keep an eye on It.
It has no name so I gave it one. I call it Hyde. Quite fitting really since sometimes it feels like I’m split right down the fucking middle. An unholy pairing if ever there was one. If It is Hyde, then I am Jekyll. I want the light, he lives in darkness. We are one and the same yet exist with two separate heartbeats. Two variants of one life. One birthed in Hades, the other from the loins of a heartless bitch, thrown together by the circumstances of our existence. The thing that shouldn’t be but is.
The scent of marshmallows drifts through my senses, growing stronger. It’s her. I brace for impact and try to stuff my demon back into its dungeon and fail.
“There you are!”
I hear her first. Her delight unfurling like cotton candy. Sweet. Sticking to me, coating me. I try to shake it off but Hyde, he’s having none of it. He wants her and laps at it, rasping his pleasure. But he’s a killer. A Shade from the pit of Hades with an insatiable hunger. Thriving on pain, devouring the weak. I can’t risk letting him near her.
“Aye.” I keep my interactions short and to the point. It doesn’t seem to matter. She just fizzes along regardless. The bubbles in champagne.
“Tell her,” Hyde insists and bites down on my spine.
Can she see him? Does she know the threat to her soul if he gets his claws in her?
“I figured something out today,” Hailey tells me and steps into a dim pool of light cast by the illusion of a sconce on the stairwell wall. Here, in the dark places of my mind where she is trapped, she has finally learnt to adopt a form.
Though I had little to do with her at the time, I remember her as she was in life. Thick chocolate hair with eyes that reminded me of toffees. Petite with a whole truckload of curves packed into her tiny stature. And now, here in this place where she exists between life and death, she’s pulled it all together into one bombshell of a package. Her spirit indomitable as always.
I forget to breathe. So does Hyde. In unison, we stare. And then, we hunger. I’m not altogether sure if his need is so different to mine. It feels…almost the same. That pounding rush of adrenaline. The spike in our heart rates. Every part of us lusting for what we cannot have.
“We wants her,” Hyde whines.
There is nothing that I fear. I am the thing that others fear. I am the only one of my kind in existence. They have no way of controlling me. But she, she does not fear me and that? Well, if this is what fear tastes like then I’m fucking screwed.
She steps in closer, hands held out at her sides a sweet smile on apple red lips. Coy. Flirtatious. She does a little twirl, the skirt of her turquoise dress flaring around shapely calves, long hair floating about her shoulders. “Murphy? Did I get it right?”
Hyde is panting now. Kneading at me. I can feel the sharp tips of his talons across my shoulders. He’s practically drooling all over me. It’s getting harder to concentrate. Harder to hold him back or deny what he wants since…No. I cannot risk it.
“Aye.” I hear myself answer. It sounds strangled.
She touches me then. The palms of her hands flattening against my chest. For the first time, I can feel her. The shockwave of that realisation torches through my bullshit and lies.
Hyde was right. We want her. We need her.
Perhaps I am not as impervious to the idea of love as I would like to believe.
Warning: Lyrics NSFW