Portis Hostem

Your time grows short Nicholas. I tire of your grief, your self-pity, your sad wallowing. In you I believed I’d found an equal, if opposing, force. But still you cower. You drown your pointless pain in drink until you can barely stand. (Oh yes, I know of this.) You have become precisely as predictable and every bit as pathetic as they are. The Non. Your brokenness is not a testament to my greatness, as it should rightly be. Instead, it is but a pitiful demonstration of your weakness. I have not yet even begun to unmake you, Nicholas. If you crumble to pieces every time I outmaneuver you, every time someone you care for dies, I fear there will be nothing left of you when I am done.

I’ve killed in your absence, obviously, but those, save perhaps one, lacked the fulfillment that I’d come to enjoy from the Chaos killings. And, no, that little diversion on Halloween does not count. That was a crime of convenience and, frankly, unworthy of me. But it was lucky for you that I came along when I did. Your young friend appeared highly motivated to kill you, and at the time you weren't putting up much of a fight. So I did what you were too drunk or too devastated to do yourself. I killed him. And the knife between the ribs... quite a bit of poetry, that, wouldn’t you agree? Alas, between the alcohol and a smidge of midazolam, I don’t imagine you remember much about that evening, but I assure you a joyous time was had by all. Well, all except for young Adam, of course.

My intent was to let you take the fall. Go to jail. A lovely bit of irony to go with the poetry, it would have been. You, locked away for a crime I committed, while I remained free, calling slaughter down like so much rain upon the Non. But that would not do, Nicholas. That would not bring me back my pleasure. That would not prove my superiority. It would be but to take advantage of the wounded, to bleed the already bleeding. No, that would not do at all. For me to emerge the victor, I must defeat you at your best. And now that dear Connie is no longer a factor, you no longer have a handicap (though I’m certain in your naïveté you’d have described her as an advantage). A distraction then. Without her, there is nothing left to distract you from me. I will become your mission. Your life’s work. My demise, your every moment’s desire. It’s only fair, Nicholas, as that is what you are to me. Our methods, of course, are different. My end might be your salvation, but it is your continued existence amid the misery and darkness which I intend to create for you that will be your undoing. A slow, torturous defeat, measured not in points, but in victims. In bodies. Those you might have saved, were you up to the challenge. Call it a race of sorts. Will you find and stop me before I strip your soul of any light that remains? Who will fall first? Who will remain standing when the last body has fallen? Who will ENDURE?

This is our destiny, Nicholas. Our fight. The Else demands it. Demands a champion. I will not wait for you forever. If you refuse to come to me, I will next kill those you love until none remain. I will dismantle the wall you hide behind, brick by brick, body by lifeless body, and then, I will come to you and extract a torture upon you far greater than that which you place upon yourself.

It’s time to buck up. Reclaim the saddle, cowboy. It is time to give me back my joy, Nicholas. One way or another, I will have it.

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