An Offer

Bending down in front of this fawn who has wandered far astray into a place she knows nothing of, I tip her head back, cupping her chin in my delicate hand as I gaze into the enormous glistening pools that serve as her eyes.

“An odd turn of phrase, wouldn’t you agree? I give you my heart.  How does one go about giving their heart away? If you were to give me your heart, you would become useless to me. A mass of tissue, cartilage, sinew, and bone pulsing with – nothing. And nothing is exactly what you would be worth. Do you wish to be worth no more than slop for the beasts to have their fill upon? Offering me your heart is a ridiculous thought. Besides, what makes you think I would allow you to give what I could so easily take if I chose it?”

A tinge of fear seeps into her eyes, her creamy throat swallows a hard lump, I release her but do not rise.

“Perhaps what you mean to say is that you offer me your unconditional devotion. Yes? Ah, now this I understand. This has a place in my world, this I can make fair use of. You proffer yourself before me and offer fidelity by choice. There is great value to be extracted from such a deed, unlike the sickeningly tender gesture of giving away your heart. A fool’s notion that. But you are a foolish creature, are you not?”

Her eyes shimmer, and I pace several steps away to allow the searing warmth of the sunlight to penetrate the chill I constantly feel radiating from within. This one, she affects me… After a moment of silent contemplation, I turn back to her. Our gazes locked once more, she still on her knees, me standing above her – as it would always rightfully be.

“Should I choose to make you my pet? Allow you to exist only on a whim? To please me when I see fit, perform for my enjoyment? Or perhaps even allow you the coveted honor of prostrating yourself at my feet for all to see; recognition of what an obedient thing you have become. Or should I simply accept your heart here and now, ending what will surely be an eternity of anguish for you?”

Circling her kneeling form, I allow my hand to trail through her mane of flaxen hair. It glistens so enticingly in the brightness of the day. The feel, that of swirling one’s hand through warm buttermilk; the scent, Anise. Delicious. Too delicious. Fisting a clump of this glorious silk in my hand, I yank her head backwards, redirecting her gaze to mine once more. A small squeal uttered, her hands fly up in a futile attempt to alleviate the pain I am causing her. My stare unwavering, she slowly lowers her arms to her lap once more.

“Do not expect to receive the abundance afforded my loyal servants, I have broken them! They have not groveled their way into my good graces. They have earned their allowance, their right to breathe for as long as I deem it useful. Unlike you my soft lovely dove, they have withstood a trial of pain and torment that you could not begin to fathom; and they have lived – if life is what you wish to call it. But you, you have earned nothing more than my attention with your soft curves and deep somber eyes. When I no longer find amusement in your attentions, then perhaps you will give me your heart as initially intended.”

Fear radiates from those bottomless orbs as they now watch me with trepidation, fear, and, of all things – judgment. Snarling, I release her head more roughly than intended and move to stand before her once more, bellowing at her audacity in a harsh ugly tone.

“This frightens you? My apologies! I don’t see why it should. You served the opening volley; you began this bid for my affection with your profferance of dedication to ‘my wants, my needs, and dare I say it – my most sacred desires’. Yes, I am mocking you and your attempt at securing my affection! Ah, I see you understand the spark of anger flashing behind my eyes, the couched venom spiting through my words, yet still you do not understand your own part in inciting me. This haughtiness of yours will need to be stripped bare if you are to be of any use at all. You are an ignorant animal, you know nothing of what I want, need or desire – yet you bear enough conceit to believe you stand any hope of satisfying me with your pathetic attempt at comprehension. Do you not see it? Do you still not understand who or what I am? No, I believe you do not!”

In a near frenzied pitch, I force myself to stop. She cowers before me, trembling, terrified by what now stands before her. Glancing down, I realize that my hands have begun to morph into clawed appendages; I can feel the second row of razor teeth beginning to protrude from my rending gums. The realization that this gentle creature before me is a far greater danger to my world than I initially thought decides her fate for me. Eyes brimming with tears, mine not hers, I crouch before this lovely timid thing, allowing my deformed talon to graze the soft flesh of her flushed cheek, and speak in a hushed tone.

“More’s the pity. I would have enjoyed the game, no matter how briefly it may have lasted.”

One more sweep through her luxurious hair, but my changing flesh is no longer capable of feeling its soothing texture.  I gently cradle the back of her head and pull her soft form against mine. Blinding rage engulfs me, the cold from within takes over. With a slow deliberate stroke, I open her from pelvis to throat with the pointed tail I have kept hidden all this while; being sure to take enough time to truly feel the pain this is causing her. A single tear tips from my shuttered eye and with it, the last pretense of my humanity is shed. Leathery clawed wings tear free of their flesh covered prison and enshroud us.

After what lives in me is sated, and I have consumed my fill, I rise, releasing her corpse to the beautiful grassy field where I have defiled her. The warmth of the sun no longer as tantalizing as it was earlier. Glancing back at her remains one last time, I allow those that serve me to clean the foul mess I have made.

One dares to catch my eye as if to pass its own judgment upon me. Weakness amongst my kind is unheard of, and not tolerated.

With a feeling akin to what I understand to be shame, I spit at the thing before me, “Provided I do not choose to slit your throat for the disloyal thought I see passing through your eyes, I’ll allow you to keep your life and you will keep your tongue as to what you have seen here this day!”

He has the nerve to grin at me. She was but a frail morsel; the darkness beating in the soul of this servile beast shall sate me fully. I believe I shall begin by allowing him to give me his heart.

skull_fangs2

~ Nina D’Arcangela

© Copyright 2012 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.

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About Nina D'Arcangela

Nina D’Arcangela is a quirky horror writer who likes to spin soul rending snippets of despair. She reads anything from splatter matter to dark matter. She's an UrbEx adventurer who suffers from unquenchable wanderlust. She loves to photograph abandoned places, bits of decay and old graveyards. Nina is co-owner of Sirens Call Publications, co-founder of the horror writer's group 'Pen of the Damned', and if that isn't enough, put a check mark in the box next to owner and resident nut-job of Dark Angel Photography.

27 responses to “An Offer”

  1. moondustwriter says :

    The conflict in the main character makes the ending more bleak when you realize there is a remnant of compassion and love of pure beauty.
    Nicely done dark angel

    Like

  2. The Other Side of Ugly says :

    Dark, and sad. But the sadder thing is that this is exactly the game between that which is full of light and that which is pitch black.

    Like

  3. Thomas Brown says :

    I want to know more, Nina! What creature is she? What are these servants? You tease us with what you choose to reveal. I like the use of animal descriptions for the victim, such as her mane of hair and the descriptions of her body components, to suggest she is little more than meat and bone compared to the speaker. You pay great attention to detail, as always, providing us with luxurious language and rich imaginings of the characters. A piece worthy of the Dark Angel.

    Like

    • Nina D'Arcangela says :

      Thank you Tom!! So would it then surprise you to know that the worthless human and the creature are one in the same, and the true shedding of humanity is the ability to walk away from the light and into the dark? There is a great deal of metaphor in this piece. The lower cast of the human quality vs. the arrogance of the creature within is very deliberate, and I’m happy to know it came through strongly. The servants, they are but slaves to the creatures whim… more thought and emotion to be tolerated or extinguished as ‘she’ evolves. Thank you for the kind words, Tom! My Angel in indeed a Dark one. ;}

      Like

  4. Adriana Noir says :

    Absolutely stunning, Nina. I am in awe of your descriptive power here and the turbulent conflict of the emotions you pulled from me as a reader. Sad that I found myself mesmerized by this beast. Something about him made you want to fling yourself at his feet in offering. Such power and superiority radiated from him. His words were beautiful yet cruel, and I loved the turmoil of reverence and disdain pulsing through him as he regarded the human at his feet.

    You did such an incredible job. I loved the cruelty of this story and how the dark nature of the beast rises to secure its rightful place. Never again will I look at the offering of one’s heart the same again. 😉 Excellent work oh hypnotic angel of the dark!

    Like

    • Nina D'Arcangela says :

      I love this comment – your take on the fact that the creature is a ‘he’ made me go back and reread it myself to look for inferences that might give off that suggestion. One of the most gratifying things about emotive writing is that the entirety of the setting, characters, and actions don’t need to be fully described, you have the freedom to allow the emotions to tug at the reader, and they are then lulled into building their own construct of what this world could be.

      Thank you so much for your gracious praise, and your unwavering support, Adriana! It is very genuinely appreciated, Dark Goddess ;}

      Like

  5. Jack Wallen says :

    What a lovely post. Such a delicious line between consuming the flesh and will and respecting life. Very well done.

    Like

  6. Joseph Pinto says :

    Nina, you tiptoe in the dark and only you seem capable enough of harnessing it at your fingertips. Your tale has it all – brutality, unflinching compassion, a betrayal beyond which the ordinary heart can feel, and a horrifying want to understand and pacify this awful monster you’ve created. I bet some readers will sympathize with your “fawn,” so frightened and misplaced in this world you conjured. But as for me, I’m in awe of your creature: how terrible to be so powerful and yet one’s own fulfillment something never to be attained! The creature’s pain screams to me…its conflicted song echoes sadly in the night…aah, see what you’ve done! You’ve written a tale so unnerving and moving, you have forced me to make it my own! Wondrous and awful (in the best sense of the word) writing, as only our Dark Angel can deliver…

    Like

    • Nina D'Arcangela says :

      Thank you Joe! This is a very complex piece with a lot of subtext happening in the background. I truly enjoy hearing what each individual garners from the words. Effective writing should always strike more than one cord.

      Much like you, I find myself aligned with the harsher nature of the darkness within her. Her bittersweet bid for a small sense of peace will never be realized – no matter how hard she strives, and sometimes the realization if far more devastating than living the reality that follows.

      As always Tale Weaver, your appreciation is graciously accepted, and hungrily devoured! ;}

      Like

  7. Daemonwulf says :

    The Angyal of D’arcness does it yet again.

    There is ALWAYS such a deep, dark (or, perhaps d’arc… *toothy grin*) and brooding quality to everything that you write. And each piece never ceases to enthrall and intrigue.

    I just KNOW there is SO much more meaning to all of your words that I read on a page (or screen, as it were…), it makes me want to slice open that little brain of yours and find out just EXACTLY what is going on inside there… *devious smile*

    But, if I must, I will relegate myself to leaving your tortured skull intact, if not simply to slather up more of your emotion-filled prose on #TerrorFilledTuesdays. Well done, as always, if I do say so myself. *and-I-do smile*

    Like

    • Nina D'Arcangela says :

      Thank you One of the Red Eye! Always perceptive, you are correct in assuming there are many, many layers melded into this one piece. As any scribbler worth their digital ink would tell you: write what you know. I know darkness, I know pain, I know all to well of the struggle to control what is far beyond my paltry reach. So this I know how to write.

      As to slicing open my little brain (god I hope the juice is raspberry flavored – let me know, would ya?), my guess would be that you’ll find a hoard of hatchet wielding geeks prepared for battle – and hopefully munching on wild Raspberries!

      Thank you for your kind words, and compliments, Daemonwulf! ;}

      Like

  8. blazemcrob says :

    Lovely tale of unseen, unknown entities, Nina. The powerful one might be in control of the fate of the one subjugated to it, and yet, as strong as it may be, the being can not completely be in charge of her/his own emotions. Pity that this is the case. Evolution towards an even higher elevation could be achieved with mastery of what lies within its own soul. I so love how you tease the reader with the possibilities!

    Blaze

    Like

    • Nina D'Arcangela says :

      Thank you Blaze!! You are very perceptive and clearly see between the written lines. The character in control is in fact a slave to the fawn, as the fawn brings out in her something that cannot be controlled by will power alone. I find the point about evolution very interesting, as I feel in a way she, the speaking character, does evolve to a different, if not higher, plane by shedding her humanity in the metaphoric sacrifice of an innocent. And yet again in the second metaphoric sacrifice of a not-so innocent (the servant). All of these things are a part of her whole, pieces of her own self to be mastered or given into. Is she the more evolved creature for consuming her own lesser bits, those perceived as weak or bothersome? Or is she the lesser creature for allowing the evolution that stamps out what is left of the struggle for her own humanity?

      In either case, beware to whom you give your heart! Thank you very kindly for the compliment. I really do enjoy leaving the larger details to the readers imagination and overflowing their mind with the finer points. ;}

      Like

      • blazemcrob says :

        Ha, ha! Blaze loves reading between the lines! I also believe in allowing the reader to become a part of the story by interacting with all the complexities, the what ifs, and the wows! When we do this, we don’t “dumb down” to the reader. See: I feel smart now. Okay, we don’t have to elaborate on that.

        Blaze

        Like

  9. Hunter Shea says :

    I was actually yelling at the fawn to run like hell the entire time I read this. If anyone should have millions of minions, it’s you! There’s a subtle yet utterly frightening power behind your writing. We all bow to our mistress.

    Like

    • Nina D'Arcangela says :

      You were routing for the fawn? No way? … Ah, Damn your soul! LOL

      Well, it was my writing, so the fawn was going down – no doubt about it… but she went with a level of dignity and grace. No fuss, no muss, and certainly no running. No minion of mine would behave so cowardly!

      Thank you Hunter, your comment packs quite a wallop that I’ll readily admit to taking great delight in! ;}

      Like

  10. Copious Corpses says :

    Nina, deliciously dark tale. I love your malevolent otherworldly beings. The glimpses of humanity they offer fascinate me and I want to read on and learn more of them and what drives their passions. Thank you for posting!

    ~CC~

    Like

    • Nina D'Arcangela says :

      Hi CC – thank you for your gracious compliment, it is greatly appreciated! I could write more, but then if I did, it wouldn’t leave the delicious bits for your imagination to fill in… And that’s half the joy of writing in this style. ;}

      Like

  11. zkullis says :

    Oh Nina… I LOVED this. Dark is delightful, and I want to know so much more about this being.

    You painted him so well. It was easy for my mind’s eye to visualize the horror, the change, and the feast.

    Your words through his mouth gave away the guarded part of his human self while they also whispered the promise of his profane self; “… the couched venom spiting through my words, yet still you do not understand your own part in inciting me.”

    You are the beast, this story is the meal in the grassy field, and I feel like a minion that could not eat his fill, and is left wanting more…

    Like

    • Nina D'Arcangela says :

      Zack, thank you most humbly for your appreciation of my post! Dark is delightful, exploring it – a bottomless chasm for me. I wanted very much to convey the insecurity within even this level of arrogance. A perceived superior creature (a top), and her lowly underling (the bottom), and the interplay that takes place between the two converging roles. It is never quite as clear cut as ‘who holds the reigns’. There is always sacrifice on behalf of both players. Though in this case, one did sacrifice quite a bit more than the other.

      As to your last line “You are the beast, this story is the meal in the grassy field, and I feel like a minion that could not eat his fill, and is left wanting more…” I’m going to read that over a few more times and savor it’s appeal!

      Thank you again for the compliments, and appreciating my story so fully ;}

      Like

  12. Tyr Kieran says :

    Nina, the raw emotion pouring from your tale is palpable! I so enjoyed the dark ride of the powerful one’s indecision and subtle torment at the fate of this fawn and his glimmer of weakness for her. For mere fantastic moments we were given the notion that he might cave to his illicit attraction despite all his power and disdain for the humanity she represented. And I loved the ending that brought it all full circle. Great tale as always!

    Like

    • Nina D'Arcangela says :

      Hi Tyr – thank you! Your comments are always greatly appreciated!! I’m glad you were able to ‘feel’ the arrogant power of the MC as she evaluated the worth of the other and her humanity. Truly, it was the simple innocence of that humanity that brought about the demise of the fawn. Arrogance cannot stand to be reminded of it’s own ugliness in the face of something so pure. Destroying that purity is essential if the arrogant creature is to continue feeling superior. Again, not allowing a ‘minion’ (or errant thought) that passes judgement to exist secures her role as the dominant being. I’m happy that you enjoyed my emotionally twisted yarn! ;}

      Like

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