The Storm I Dreamt Of

I stare out at the city in ruins, the streets piled high with stinking rubbish and bodies. Flies move in swarms, devouring rotting food and flesh alike. The sun winks off a million shards of broken glass that line the sidewalks. To the west, thick black smoke rises sluggishly from the Court of Justice. We are the law now, and the scum cower in their homes. This is my world. I am the ruler of this city. But I can’t find the bloodlust I had before.

Arms wrap around my waist, a sharp chin on my shoulder. I breathe in Kit’s perfume, pressing into her embrace, reaching for her body. I want her comfort, I want to feel – something. Her sly voice whispers in my ear. “Look at it. Isn’t it wonderful?” I look, and can’t feel the wonder she does.

“It’s chaos.” My voice sounds empty, even to my own ears.

Kit laughs, her hot breath against my scalp. “It’s the storm you always dreamt of,” she murmurs, pressing her lips into my neck. She’s right. I’ve wanted this ever since I was a child. Having nothing makes you greedy, and in me it created a thirst for power and wealth. As I grew older I grew stronger, more ambitious.

My bitterness grew as I watched the rich, owning more money than they could ever need, while they pushed the rest of us into starvation. There was a storm brewing, gathering on the horizon, burning inside my heart. I vowed revenge on everyone that pushed me down, on the corrupt and powerful and selfish.

But this city – a burning hulk, spread out beneath my feet like a map – this lawless anarchy is out of my control. I thought that I’d created this storm, but now it’s taken possession of me and I am lost. This city is wild, power-crazy, and more people die every day. Their bodies rot on the streets and in houses behind boarded up windows. There is no rich or poor, there are no good and evil. It has become a war between the people – each man for himself. The heartbeat of the city is the constant throbbing of gunshots.

Kit’s warm hands reach for the buttons of my dress, her calloused palm sliding over my stomach. I’m so numb. No guilt; no triumph; no regret. The war is won, but I’m so lost. My hands itch to tear my skin from my bones, just to feel the pain, just to embrace the ache. Kit pulls my dress off my shoulders, her tongue tracing bare skin. I want to feel her. I need the heat of her skin on mine.

I surrender, closing my eyes so that I can’t see the hell I brought to earth.

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