Illae Post Relictus

I think of them sometimes. The survivors. When I’m done drinking in the ecstasy of a kill, there’s a time in-between. An in-between time. A place where the memory of the Last isn’t quite enough to sustain my voracious appetite anymore, and the Next is still to be chosen. That’s when they are with me.

The parents, the children, the husbands and wives. Their tears fuel my soul in those empty moments.

Understand—I could take them all. I could wait until entire families slumber in darkness and send every one of them to the still darker Else. There would be fulfillment in that. Pleasure unparalleled. I could torture each for hours until they shed blood from their eyes like tears. I am a sadist, after all. Isn’t that how it should be? A symphony of screams and sobs and useless pleas?

No.

To leave some behind is the purest form of torment that I can inflict. Those few short hours of bliss I find by way of blade or blaze or blows are nothing compared to the lifetimes of anguish that churn in my wake. The never-ending pain of loss, the relentless memories of the butchered shells I leave behind to be found, the constant fear that I might someday return. Unanswered questions. Unspoken goodbyes. These, these are my truest legacy. Those I’ve undone are but kindling for an exquisite inferno of agony and grief. There are hundreds, possibly thousands that suffer and live for those that have suffered and died at my hands. They are the survivors. But they are broken. They are destroyed.

I think of them sometimes.

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