Prologue: His Light, Brighter
He sat upon his intricate throne, slowly tracing the detailed designs with a slim, pale finger. Sighing, he stood, slowly walking to the window of his vast castle. Boredom. As the same years passed by hundreds of times, the human emotion had somehow seeped into him, infecting him with its painful ache. His crimson eyes scanned the horizon, and a smirk rose on his flawless face as they spotted a small town, easily close enough for him to reach in less than a large time period. A deep chuckle slipped from between his lips, and his crimson eyes flashed brightly.
“Tonight, I hunt…” he muttered, his perfect voice full of malice.
“Keika, come inside! It’s getting dark, you can play more tomorrow!” My mother’s gentle voice carried across the wind, reaching my young ears, comprehending in my mind. I glanced at the castle on the horizon once more, that same feeling from earlier washing over me. It was like what little I had experienced of fear, but with a less negative hint, like… excitement? I just knew, somehow, that something was going to happen, and whatever dwelled inside that castle was involved. Pretending to shake the feeling, I turned back to my mother, who was standing in the doorway of our small house on the edge of the village. She also glanced up at the castle, and her eyes darkened at the grey clouds flowing over the battlements and towards our little village. I ran into her arms, wrapping my own skinny ones around her waist before rushing inside, where my father sat at the table, which was laden with all kinds of delicious treats. Sitting down myself, quickly followed by my mother, I hungrily wolfed an entire plateful of food, before sitting back and glancing out the window, once again locking my sights on the distant castle.
“Mommy, Daddy?” I asked softly, piquing their attention and directing it to me.
“What is it, sweetie?” my mother asked, softly stroking my hair.
“What people live in that big pretty castle over there?” I asked, pointing out the window. My parents both tensed, and my father’s knife clattered onto the table quite loudly.
“No person lives there, sweetie. Only a wicked monster.” She said, spitting out the final word, her voice laced with hatred.
“Well, they must be lonely.” I said, worrying for this ‘monster’. I know if I were them, I would want someone with me. My father scoffed.
“He deserves to be lonely forever. That monster has done unforgivable things.” He said. At that, I frowned, standing from my seat.
“No one deserves to be lonely…” I muttered, before quickly leaving the room and my stunned parents.
Another corpse laying in another pool of blood. Screaming, crying, begging for mercy. Still, I was bored. Sighing and licking the blood off my hand, I walked slowly toward a large house. Just as my hand reached for the door, ready to open it and slaughter anyone inside, the creaking of a swing caught my attention. Slowly turning my raven head, I caught sight of a young girl, seven or eight at most, gently swinging back and forth on an old rope swing. Mentally chuckling, I slowly advanced on the girl, pausing when she let out a small giggle. I remained still, unsure of what to do, when she turned her sparkling silver eyes to me.
“I was right. You’re the boy that lives in the pretty castle, aren’t you?” she asked in a strangely happy voice. Tensing up a little more, I nodded.
“Yes, that’s me. The monster that haunts the castle on the horizon. Xeren is my name.” I said cautiously, still wary of the young girl, who giggled again.
“Xeren. Could you come here?” she asked softly, turning back away. I inhaled sharply, before my face heated up. I was a demon! Why was I so terrified of this child? Growling lightly, I walked toward her and stood in front of her. She looked up at me, and the moment our eyes met, my breath hitched in my empty chest. She smiled, the small motion sending shivers down my body, before sighing contentedly.
“We’re exactly the same. I see it in your eyes, you’re lonely just like me.” She whispered, and if I still had a beating heart, it would have instantly stopped. I stared at the girl as a tear ran down her cheek, and a warm feeling engulfed me. Almost subconsciously I stepped forward, wiping the tear away and pulling the willing girl into my arms. Just feeling her skin on mine sent jolting waves of pleasure down my entire being, and my arms tightened, determined to never let go.
Clearly the world was against that wish.
“Keika, what are you doing? Get away from that monster right now!”
Her chest dropped as she huffed in irritation.
“Don’t call him a monster, mother.” She said sharply, sounding much older than her age. Her mother clearly thought so as well, because she shrieked.
“You aren’t my daughter! What did you do to her?!” she shouted, glaring at me. Just as I was about to reply, a man that I presumed was Keika’s father appeared, wielding a pitchfork pointed in my direction. My eyes widened as he leapt at me, and just before the weapon hit my chest, a flash of silver entered my vision…
Time froze. I saw things in photographs; Keika’s parents, looking in horror. Blood running down my shirt, but not my blood.
Keika, laying on me with a pitchfork sticking out of her chest.
It was her scream and that final photograph that brought me back to reality. My eyesight tinged red, my entire body trembled. My hand curled around the handle of the pitchfork, smoothly prying it from Keika’s chest. Aiming the weapon at her parents, I snarled.
“You hurt her. I’ll kill you!”
After disposing of them, I turned back to the young girl, her silver strands of hair now stained red. Dropping the weapon in horror, I fell to the ground beside her, pulling her protectively into my arms. My hands frantically gripped her wrist, trying to find a pulse, but to no avail. Panic seeped into my brain as I lay my ear on her chest, silencing my rapid breathing.
B-bmp… B-bmp… B-bmp…
I let out a shaky sigh, pulling Keika to my chest and smiling. My smile fell, though, as I realised what I wanted- no, what I needed. Laying a hand across her forehead, I did something I knew Keika could never forgive me for.
I erased every single one of her memories.
Her parents, her home, her identity, gone. Lifting the now peacefully unconscious girl into my arms, I began the return to my castle. I’d decided. This girl was precious, so very precious, and no one else could have her.
She was mine.