I enter the open hall, taking in the white ceiling and I spin, slowly letting my eyes trail down the walls until I find the spot. That’s it! It’s over there! I think as I see the rusty coloured spot on the wall. The blood shines in the moonlight as if my eyes have been injected with Luminol. I can tell it’s this spot as opposed to the other rusty spots because this one still has flecks of red in it. A royal red. Some might even call it blood red.
I grin at that thought as I proceed to the spot on the wall, getting on my hands and knees, inhaling the metallic scent of blood. I let the scent penetrate my nostrils, feeling it sink straight to my stomach and bring up the bile that excites me so much. I close my eyes and revel in that scent, as my hands nimbly find the dagger hidden behind the wallpaper.
I stand up, clutching the dagger to my chest, calming myself as I feel it’s comforting weight against my heart. You need to be more careful this time! Last time it took too long to heal, and soon enough there might not be another ‘next time’ I silently berate myself.
I survey the room, deciding on a disgustingly white patch of wall opposite to where I’m standing. I slowly prowl to the corner of the room, enjoying hearing the clicking of my shoes against the polished wood floor. I sit down on the first plush chair I see, the one in the middle of the room. The one he sits on. I laugh evilly as I imagine his reaction if he found out what I do in his special room.
I drop my hands to my side, still clasping the dagger in my right. I join them under the chair, carefully marring the underside of his special chair. The one I was never allowed near. I imagine his surprise when he finds the tally I’ve been keeping on the bottom of his special chair. I make this dent extra hard, just so he knows. Because I know he does. I know he’s aware of every single move he makes, every single night I’ve cried. Every. One.
I move from the first plush chair to the next, once again revelling in the rebelliousness of it. This time, I switch the dagger to my left hand before once again joining my hands under the chair. I clumsily draw a shape under the chair, unaware of what shape it is. I think of the image that he will find when he lifts up this chair. It may look like a crude drawing of some kind, but what it will really be is my heart. That’s what my heart looks like, and it’s entirely his fault.
I glance at the other plush chairs, and decide to leave them for tonight; there are bigger things for me to do. I walk to the wall I had chosen, letting my shoes scrape the newly varnished floor. Let him wonder where that came from. I think as I stomp a spider into the varnish, leaving a mess on his perfect floor. Always perfect! He always has to be so bloody perfect! I snarl at the spider and stomp it once more, just for good measure.
I slowly look at my shoes, seeing a piece of paper stuck to them. My eyes widen in surprise and I remove my shoe, bringing it to my face. I hold the shoe up to the light, surprised to see writing. I grin as I think how he would react if he knew that I, his dishonourable son, were to be in possession of a letter meant for him. I carefully peel the note from my shoe and unfold it, reading it slowly, savouring every special word.
My dearest son,
I know what you do in here, and I want to help you. I do not know why you do what you do, but I trust that you have your reasons. If I am the cause, I beg of you to stop. You are worth more than you think. Contrary to your belief, I do not care about my chair, or my whitewashed walls or varnished floor. All I care about is you and Cain. Cain cares about you too. If only you were more like Cain…
I stare at the note in disgust, knowing all but one line is a lie. All of it has always been a lie, except for that. If only you were more like Cain… That had been the motto of my life since my twin and I were born. Cain and Me. Why can’t you be more like Cain? Cain did amazingly well in his test, how about you? You should learn from your brother, Cain.
Cain, Cain, Cain, Cain. Even just thinking my brother’s name sends me into a fit of rage. I take the dagger and drag it through the middle of the paper, tearing it in half just like my father has done to my heart. I then tare it into tiny pieces, letting them float to the floor and settle in a disgusting heap. That’s what Cain did to my heart.
I take the dagger and add a line to my wrist, watching the blood pool in my palm. I let it fall through my fingers, grinning as it splatters on the wall. Cain. I snarl at my blood. It’s not enough! I need more! I look at my other wrist, the canvas blissfully blank. I equal up my wrists, adding 10 lines to my other wrist. I let each drop of blood land on the white wall, grinning as I look around and see the other spots where I have done the same thing.
The weight on my heart lifts and I laugh uncontrollably, holding my sides with my bloodied wrists, letting the elation fill up my heart. I drop the dagger, smiling as I hear the boom as it hits the floor and the splash that each little drop of blood makes as they detach themselves from the dagger and splatter on the floor.
I spread my arms out wide beside my body and spin in a circle, feeling the wind rush beneath my arms and lash at my bloodied wrists. I keep spinning and spinning, gaining speed until all thought is focused on the tunnel that I’m making. The pieces of paper that I had previously discarded are picked up by the gale that I’ve created and they float towards me, landing on my arms. I feel each piece individually latch onto my skin and I stop in annoyance to remove them.
I peel one piece of paper off my arm and glare at it, trying to locate which word decided to attach itself to me in my time of joy. I bet it says Cain I snarl cynically. I turn the paper over slowly, savouring the suspense. When I have finally turned the paper over it is disappointingly blank, and I glare at it in anger. I discard it quickly, not noticing where it falls. I peel a second piece of paper off my arm and find that one blank too. Panic quickly takes over and I tear each piece of paper off me, checking it methodically to find the writing I know was there.
I kneel on the floor, joining each piece of paper together like some kind of torturous puzzle only to find nothing. No writing. Nothing. Just a plank piece of paper. I stand up and grip my hair, attempting to pull it out of my scalp, as I yell in confusion and anger. I walk to the wall and slam my fists into it with each screech that tears itself from my throat.
I stumble back to the paper and collapse in front of it, looking down at my bloody knuckles and wrists. My hands tremble above the paper, twitching and shaking, showing weakness. I quickly hide my hands behind me, vowing silently to never show weakness. Weakness gets you sympathy, and sympathy doesn’t get you respect. Never respect, only pity.
I glance up at the walls, hoping to find solace in the rusty stains, but all I see is blank, white wall. As pristine as they were they day I was born. I rub my eyes, hoping to wipe away the sheen that has covered my vision, but all that does is send shooting pain up my arms.
I look around with this new vision. It’s as if I previously had rose-tinted glasses. The room was lit by a soft glow, as if by firelight, and there were rust-coloured spots on the wall where I had meticulously coated the wall with my blood. Now, the room was blue, only lit by the harsh moonlight streaming in through the glass windows. The walls were a harsh white, the way that my father had always liked them.
I back up, tripping over my feet in fear as I take in this new room. I fall on the floor, and crawl on my hands and knees, never taking my eyes from the white walls. The walls that mock me. I hit the wall and freeze in fear. I close my eyes, hearing a mocking laugh reverberate around in my skull. The laughing voice is a combination of that of my father and that of Cain. The laughter of these two men who have plagued my life with pain, bounces from one end of my skull and travels to the other.
“Stop! Stop it!” I yell, grabbing my ears in an attempt to stop the voices from continuing their path through my head. My hands shake as they grip my ears, and the blockage only makes the voices louder. I drop to my knees, scrunching my eyes closed.
I open them, and startle at what I see; blood everywhere. Blood is leaking from every crevice in the room, from the ceiling to the tiniest crack in the wall. I look down at my knees, and see blood pouring out from them, too. I cringe, waiting for a physical pain that will take away the manic laughter still reverberating in my head, but the pain never comes.
I close my eyes for a moment, resting my pounding head against the blessedly cool floor. I stay there, my forehead on the cool ground and my knees folded under me, until I start to float. I groan at the disappearance of the cool floor until I feel the air under my body, and I collapse in release, surprised to find myself still floating. Suddenly, orange assaults my eyelids, letting the light filter through to my eyes. I try to turn over, and feel a hand next to my cheek. No, the hand is on my cheek, trying to wake me up.
My eyes flicker open and I see an unfamiliar face. “Hey there, do you know your name?” The face asks. It’s not a face or a voice that I know, so I remain silent. “Alright, do you know where you are?” I continue staring at that face, waiting for my sick body to make it disappear. “I’m from the hospital. Someone called and said that someone was in there bleeding.” I wait for it to sink in. Someone sees what I’ve done. Someone has found my dagger.
I look down at my bleeding arms. The unfamiliar face is busily wrapping bandages around my arms. They are making clicking noises in their mouth like they are talking to a cat. “What have you done to yourself, you poor thing!” They coo. “You must be in so much pain”
“My – my name is Abel.” I croak out. “Can I have something to drink?” I watch as that unfamiliar face nods and turns around. While their back is turned, I let the smirk twist my face into an expression of joy. No Cain here. This is my time to shine. Mine.