Freedom.

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Photo by Nicolae Rosu on Unsplash

‘Go on, if you can dream it, you can do it.’
‘Don’t be so ridiculous, is that a quote from  your latest self help book.’

‘I’m only trying to be supportive on your endeavors and ambitions.’
‘Well that may be so, but save your silly positive incantations for someone who may actually be damn well interested in them’.

Another nail in her heart. Another tearing down of the relationship that was once warm and loving, but now was nothing of the sort.
She was just too nice, too pleasant. Too gentle. He had grown quiet tired of her ceaseless positivity, never ending support. The way she looked. The way she dressed. Her attitudes. Her character. Just totally sick and tired of her. A change was badly needed. Fresh blood, a new interaction. An energetic shift.

‘I’m going out for a while, no need to wait up.’

She sat alone in the darkened living room, watching but not really seeing the images flickering on the TV screen. She began to question in her mind, just what in Gods name she had to do, to make this relationship work. What she wanted most in life was a peaceful, tranquil, loving relationship. To be happy. To be in love, and be loved in return. But this was not happening for sure. She was very giving of her support, her love, her physicality, her warmth, her everything. Yet it now never seemed enough to satisfy him. She really did not want to leave him, but the never ending nastiness, caustic, cutting remarks about her weight, her looks, her abilities, her aspirations, her career. Were just becoming too much. Thoughts of suicide crossed her mind from time to time, but she had resisted up to now. Although he had encouraged her in that regard, reminding her, many times, helpfully, that no one really liked her. That she had no friends, and that she would not be missed if she decided upon that avenue. Her life, her relationship was causing her way too much unhappiness and despair. How soon would it be before his anger turned to physical violence, and would she accept that also. All in her search for the loving relationship she was seeking. She tried to understand why she was afraid to leave him. Was it, that after soo many years of verbal jibes, the cutting, destructive remarks, she no longer had the psychological strength to believe she could ever be attractive, or a worthwhile partner to any other man. He had told her on many occasions, that no other man would ever want her. After hearing such words over and ever again, she had come to believe them. To say he was a toxic individual, would be an understatement. In her occasional lighter moments she laughed silently as she concluded how he could keep psycharisitics busy for years. But those moments were few and far between.

Even those still close to her had seen, and some had commented on the change. Her family had asked her many times, how things were with him. Fine she lied. But they could see her spirit was being drained, and she was a shadow of her former self. The few girlfriends she meet secretly, so as not to anger him, could see and sense her unhappiness. But she denied it all, even to herself. Her self esteem lowered, to nearly none existent levels. Her once high self assurance disappearing bit by bit. Every day, she died a little. Day by day, under the, if not daily, but fairly regular verbal assaults. Words uttered under the guise of humour, banter, and sarcasm. But words that had a deeper, more nasty intent. Designed to hurt and destroy. To undermine and tear down. Ever fearful of another day living with him. She had tried speaking to him, but he just quickly cut her down any such communication. At this stage she was no more than a nobody. Someone who provided him with sexual release. Now an empty a pointless experience for her, which she dreaded. Devoid of love, warmth and compassion. She was more than happy when it was over, glad when he no longer touched her body,

She did not want to go back to them, but now it seemed like her only option. She wanted to move away from that lifestyle. She wanted to play life on a level playing field, with no extra advantage, and succeed by her own means, without help from them.
The cat, sensing her despair, moved from its resting place in the corner of the room, and jumped up onto her lap. The animal moved its body closer to her face, as if she wanted to embrace and comfort her. She lamely smiled and put the cat in her lap, and stroked it nonchalantly. She slowly drifted off to sleep, as the animal keep her company.

In the noisy atmosphere of the pub, the discordant music thumped loudly from the speakers. The heaving crowd moved as one to the music. Strangers bodies entangled like long term lovers. This to him was more like it. Action and energy with people not so full of love. Glad to be out of the damn house. People with a rough edge. These were the people he wanted to be around. He held the glass of beer in front of him, as he too moved to the music. Watching from the sidelines. The tight leather jackets. Some dressed in Pvc clothing. Sexual in nature.
She came and stood beside him, and brazenly asked him for a cigarette. Dark black hair, dark, black clothing, and heavy boots. With light white make up, and heavy dark eye shadow, and red lipstick, that covered her full lips. She smiled, revealing her perfectly set teeth. He took note of her body, thankful for her revealing, tight fitting clothing. He approved of her look, and offered her a cigarette.
She took the cigarette, letting her hand linger on his, and smiled. It was clear she was as attracted to him, as he was to her. He looked into her wide eyes, and she held his gaze. Just something about her confidence, made her even more attractive. He studied her lips, and moved closer. His confidence boosted by the alcohol, with no words, he moved his lips to hers. She responded. Her lips were as soft and tasteful as he had imagined. He moved his hips to hers. They stood together as one, while the music thumped loudly, they began to gyrate to the beat.

After a short time, after they both ingested more alcohol, which was effecting his vision and stability, unusual for him.
‘Come, lets go from this place’, she demanded.
‘Where to ?’
‘Come with me’. Her voice was loud, and commanding.

In the cold evening night, as other revellers noisily made their way from one drinking establishment to another, she hailed a black cab. She quietly gave the address to the driver, and helped him into the back seat. In the rain sodden night, the cab mad its way to the suburbs. He sat close to her and breathed in her scent. His imagination firing up, about the night to follow. He smiled in anticipation. Somewhat troubled by increasing sense of disorientation. But he comforted himself by expecting it to clear up once out in the fresh air.

The others began to gather in the dilapidated church. Quiet, muted murmurings barely hiding the building excitement. To any outsider, they looked so ordinary, dressed in their day to day clothing. Housewives, elderly people. Doctors, Businessmen, Consultants. But as they donned their dark robes, and began to decorate the large black altar, with the pentagram, chalice, the elements of the earth, wind, ocean and fire, and the unlit candles. The horned skeletal head. Representing the demons worshiped. An opening to that gateway. They no longer seemed innocent. Now, way more sinister.
It had being some time. But she was a good hunter, and the high priestess always knew she could be relied upon to do what was required. The black cab dropped them outside the padlocked gates of the dilapidated and run down church. The city lights, of the vast metropolis looked so inviting, from the elevated area overlooking it. She took his drunken head in her hands and gently kissed her lips. Pressing her taunt body again his, encouraging his speculation. Taking his hand, she guided him towards the church.

‘Come’, she said softy, enticing him.

He smiled foolishly, and followed her through the rusted gates, she opened with ease. From the outside, the church was covered in brambles and leaves, much of the stone work was broken and cracked. The church was darkened within. Up the gravel path they went together, she linking his arms, as he struggled to steady himself. Slightly irritated he was unable to clear his head. Agin he glanced at her well defined body, and his excitement grew. She pushed at the large oak door, that gave way easily enough. Slowly it opened, creaking as it did so. The church was empty. Dark and cold. She took his hand and lead him into the foyer cold stone paving and dark wood panelled interior, empty. They moved through a second door, into the confines of the church.

The door behind him, shut rapidly, loudly and with some force. Once inside, she broke contact with his hand, and moved to stand by the high priestess. Tall and also dressed in black. They embraced each other, and kissed each other softly on the lips. He stood, dumbfounded and watched the scene unfold before him. Rapidly coming to his senses. His disorientation now replaced by a thumping heart, shaking legs and a real sense of dread. The large number of participants busily going about what they were doing, dressed in dark robes. The dim interior, lit by large candle’s. The palatable sense of excitement, of the robed congregation. He watched in some disbelief, as bramble and broken trees were piled high, in front of the black altar. He turned away and towards the door he had entered.
The high priestess laughed as she raised her hand, and pulled him back energetically from his possible escape. She weaved her hand, as she manipulated the energy that existed between them, to forbid his escape. He danced like a pupet in response to her manipulations. She pointed her hand towards the floor, and he sank immediately to his knees, as her forceful evil energy controlled his. To ensure compliance, she formed her hand into a v shape, between thumb and index finger, held it out in front of her, and brought the fingers closely together. He grasped at his throat, trying to release the energetic pressure that was crushing his windpipe, and smothering him. She released her energy, as he fell to the floor, holding his throat. Again she laughed.

At last they had finished building the pyre, and took their seats. The chanting began. Low, monotone, but hypnotic in its flow. He was brought, struggling to stand in front of the pyre. The High Priestess stood beside him, and began to recite in Latin. Her voice took on a deep, almost manly, demonic tone. Rasping and frightening in its intensity.  She then turned to him, and spoke again in latin. The attractive woman he had met in the music pub hours earlier, translated for him.

‘Our sister has called out to the heavens, in her hour of need. She may not have wanted this, but she is one of us, and will always be. It is our belief that you must make reparations for your cruelty. We offer you as a live sacrifice to feed the demons who rule our lives, as we bow down before them, and worship them’.

The chanting became louder, rasing in volume. Reaching towards a crescendo. The perspiration began to stream down his forehead, and his back. His heart palpitating at an enormous speed. His breathing, fitful, and hard to catch. Roughly he was taken to the stretcher that lay on top of the pyre, and tied to it, with old ragged, but strong rope. He struggled as the briars and brambles beneath him were set alight. Quickly the blue and yellow flames rose up the wooden pyramid temple that held him.
She awoke many hours later, the cat having long left her lap. Now securely resting in its basket on the other side f the living room. The shone shone brightly through the light curtains, that covered the living room window. Something was different, she could sense it, or perhaps it was just the result of a good nights sleep.
But she felt clearer and more energized than she had in a long time. More light and free. With all this good energy running round her, she could not stay still and had to dissipate it some how. She set about cleaning the house from top to bottom. Not something she had done for queit some time. Happily she began to prepare dinner for her she and her partner, hoping for a better day. She knocked on the bedroom door, when the food was ready.

Written in response to a photo prompt seen here : https://creativewriting.ie/writing-prompts/

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