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|The screenplay is better.||
The day's colors were reduced to shades of gray, but despite the lack of cheeriness, the downtown setting continued its schedule of hustle and bustle.
Within the crowd of adults there was a boy. He didn't look lost, innocent, or afraid as the older men pushed him away from under their feet, cursing him for walking against the crowd's constant pace. His bright blonde hair was matted and dirty, although it showed up distinctly against the gray. His green eyes were dulled in the morning's ray of gloom. He looked as though he'd just woken up and was struggling to stay awake with the look of hunger in his eyes.
He was pushed up against a wall, and being careful, he slid himself into a dark alleyway. The aroma of old garbage filled his nostrils; he wrinkled his nose against it for a moment. He stayed close to the wall, walking through the heaping piles of trash. He looked at a door full of graffiti, launched himself at it, and knocked.
A small, balding man opened the door and looked down at him. There was sympathy in his eyes for an instant, but his eyes hardened once he realized who it was.
"Roman," he said.
"Hello, sir," Roman whimpered.
"What do you want, Roman?"
Roman stood up from his crouching position, his head up high. He didn't say anything as Sir opened the door wider and let him in.
Inside, the light was a foggy blue, smoke billowing at the ceiling. There was a rug, dirty and shaggy, and couches along the walls. People sat on the couches, either crashed out or getting high. Some people lounged on the stairs, poking the blue light and giggling.
Roman walked up the stairs, the thick air stinging his eyes to swelling point, but he held back the tears. Upstairs, it was colder, and the air was fresh. The paint on the walls was chipped and falling off. At the end of the dark hall was a door with peeling letters. He knocked on the door.
A gruff, "Come in."
Roman opened the door, stepped in, and sat down in the nearest chair without looking up at the broad-shouldered man.
"So," he said simply, pausing. Roman shuddered. "Another hit, right?"
Roman nodded and looked up at him, his green eyes fierce.
"Don't look at me like that, Junkie," the chocolate-skinned man growled. Roman continued his stare. The man huskily laughed, putting out a cigarette that was too small for his hands. "You've got guts, kid. Even for being a Dark Junkie, you've got guts."
Roman felt the twinge of respect. "Yes, Marco." Roman held out his right hand. "Have I not been faithful? You owe me." Marco eyed Roman, then reached into his desk and pulled out a small plastic baggy of green marijuana plant. He set it on the desk between them. Roman slowly closed and took back his hand, looking at the bag.
Roman shook his head. "No, that stuff's too weak for a Dark Junkie. I'll get a few giggles out of that, but it won't be enough."
Marco smiled, showing off white teeth and a gleaming gold cap.
"You've got brains."
"I've been cheated too many times," Roman said simply, narrowing his fierce green eyes. "I have to survive, too," he finished.
Marco stood up, his head almost touching the high ceiling. He walked over to a wall and tapped it lightly with a knuckle. Roman sat immobile, his eyes wide.
The wall opened up and Marco murmured something to the person on the other side of the wall. The wall closed, then opened again shortly. A balled up piece of tissue was passed, and Marco sat down, setting the tissue beside the marijuana.
Roman licked his lips, his eyes hungry.
"What is it?" he growled.
Marco smiled and gently opened up the tissue. Inside, there was a small bag, and in the bag a black bottle.
"Where's the syringe?" Roman asked.
Marco laughed. "No, no. No syringe is needed for this." He opened the bag and took the small bottle between his thumb and forefinger. Roman flinched. Marco could smash the bottle that way, with only a little bit of his strength. "All you need is a mouth." He uncapped the bottle and dumped an even blacker pill onto the table. It was no larger than the tip of Roman's pinky.
Roman eyed it crazily.
"What does it do?" he whispered.
Marco sighed and leaned back in his chair. It creaked slightly. "I don't know," he said. "We've only just made it. I haven't seen the reactions for myself, and when we gave it to a Light Junkie, she died."
Roman looked up and raised an eyebrow. Marco smiled. "A drug specifically made for Dark Junkies. I imagine it'll give you quite the pow." He spoke softly. "We do need to test it though… I'm not sure it's safe…" He turned his head and looked at Roman sidelong. Roman was shaking. "I don't imagine that someone of your size and age should be taking it. After all, it did kill a Light Junkie."
Roman was shaking as he shouted, "Light Junkie's aren't anything to Dark Junkies! You know that almost as well as I do! You know that! And I might be small, but I'm certainly not young! I'm older than you are, don't you deny it. You know what Dark Junkies are…" Roman stood up on his feet without knowing, pointing at Marco, who stayed laid back in his chair, having lit a cigar, and taking big puffs of it into his massive lungs.
"Roman, calm down boy. I know, I was just teasing." Roman sat down obediently. "Listen, I'll give you one, not the whole bottle, though that won't even kill you…"
Roman snorted. "There's a difference between immortality and being ageless."
Marco raised an eyebrow. "Is there now?" Roman stared.
"Dark Junkies… Forbidden Curse, you don't even use the old word anymore." Roman saw Marco flinch as he said, "Vampires. What's so bad about saying it? Vampires, vampires, vampires!" He rose to his feet in childish fury. "There's Incubi and Succubi, ones who can't stand the light, ones who can't stand the dark! So many, and yet there's only one left… us, the 'Dark Junkies', the ones who can't stand to live without a fix…" He settled down, sitting in the seat again. Marco had broken out into a sweat, leaning far back in his seat. His gloomy cigar burned low in his hand. Roman continued, "You know us… Marco you understand somewhat. That's a lot that I can ask for…"
"What is it, Roman?" he whispered.
Roman narrowed his eyes. "We can't become earthly again if we can't find a pure soul, someone who hasn't yet been blackened."
"Why not steal a child?"
"No," Roman turned away, closing his eyes hard. He forced out the words. "The soul has to be pure, but has to have the ability of speech; it has to have the capacity to be listened to and taken seriously!"
Marco swallowed. Roman looked at Marco. "Marco, you don't have to help me. Just tide me over until I can find it myself."
Marco snorted. "How're you supposed to possibly find an innocent soul if you're goddamn high all the time?" he roared.
Roman leaped up again, placing his hands firmly and flatly against the desk, leaning over it and coming dangerously close to Marco's face. "You know better than that Marco. You know better. The drugs aren't enough, no matter how strong. We don't see the colors the Light Junkies do, we don't get the same sensation. All we get is a temporary numbness to our depression. We're living in a damn nightmare, all of us. Dark Junkie's just happen to have it worse, because we really are tainted; we can't grow up, we can't live on our own… Long after your death, I'll still be like I am now, mayhap a little wiser. I'm stuck like this forever! You're not. You're the lucky one. There's not much I can do for you, since I'm already tainted; but I can be your assassin. That's all I can offer you, Marco."
Marco sat immobile, the cigar’s ashes piling on his oak desk. He chewed on the inside of his lip, looking at Roman reasonably. “Alright. You win.” He emptied the bottle and replaced four black pills, then tossed the bottle in the air and Roman snatched at it, hugging it to his chest and making it disappear under his shirt.
“Whom do you need killed?”
Marco sat for what seemed like centuries before he spoke. “My nemesis’ daughter.”
Roman stood near the door looking at him. His face full of hunger froze to stone, becoming impassive. “Name?”
“Her name is Adelaide.”
Roman nodded, “Easy enough to find. How old is she? Just to get a start, you know…”
“She’s somewhere in her middle teens. I’d guess around fifteen or sixteen, about the age where you half-died.”
The sky cleared up as the days went by. Roman took refuge as an orphan and went to a clinic to get cleaned up and a new dress of clothes. After, he went to the middle of the city of Adamma. The downtown part was glittering by the time he got there, the fake night sky hovering over the strip joints and pubs, the bright lights shining into the blue sky outside of the dome. Roman walked past it with all the willpower he could muster. He still hadn’t taken the black pill, and all he wanted to do was go into the strip club, take the pill, and crash out; get away from the nasty world.
But he didn’t. He had done his research and spying, and figured out where Adelaide, the daughter of Enoch, usually hung out. He was happy with himself, though disappointed that a girl her age wasn’t out drinking or having sex.
Oh no, she spends her time in the library or coffee shop, Roman thought bitterly. He just had to check every bookstore and coffee place in the city. Wasn’t hard, since there were only a few; all the malls and strip sets took up most of the world.
Roman walked past the first coffee shop. He’d seen a picture of the girl taken a few years back in his research, so he had an idea what she would look like. Just plain, probably not grown into her face.
He walked into the coffee shop, instantly looking over to the girl with the book. Her long auburn hair flowed from the back of the chair, nearly to the floor. She was sitting with her back to him, the pages of her book being turned frequently. She seemed completely engulfed.
There was a woman by the door, her purse slung across her chair. He swiftly reached into her purse and grabbed a few dollar bills, going up to the counter and buying a drink. He went over to the girl and sat in front of her. The book clouded her face.
The sun shone brightly through the window, the shop’s chrome glinting teasingly around, creating random bursts of light. Roman shifted in his seat and sipped his drink, then cleared his throat when the girl didn’t notice. Then he nudged her foot with his.
Adelaide lowered the book, showing her forehead and her deep, golden eyes. Her long eyelashes batted at him with a question in her eyes. Who are you?
Roman blinked away the surprise. Her swirling gold eyes mesmerized him. Her eyebrows curved gently like wings.
“Excuse me?” she said softly, her voice rich and sweet.
Roman shuddered at her voice, his own breath gone from his chest, but his heart beating wildly. He could feel the blood pounding in his cheeks. Roman saw the gentle crinkles of her finely shaped eyes as she smiled. She lowered the book more, revealing an adorable nose and high cheekbones. The book lowered, Roman’s eyes following. The gentle curve of her upper lip, like an angel’s, her bottom lip soft and pouty, pink and welcoming… how he would love to linger his lips over hers…
Roman shook his head, trying to take his eyes off her beauty and focus on her eyes, her eyes that made him blush with their gold innocence.
“I’m Roman,” he said huskily, then mentally slapping himself, trying to control a different kind of hunger.
She smiled, the crinkles appearing at the edges of her eyes, her lips curving up softly, lines of happiness appearing. She sat up and extended her hand, putting her book down. “Adelaide.” Roman reached and took her soft, warm hand in his rough one. Roman stood, twisting his hand and brushing his lips against her knuckles.
Adelaide laughed, a chiming, velvet-coated, silvery sound.
“Oh my, you’re very charming,” she said, smiling, showing off straight, white teeth that glowed in the bright light with the rest of her golden skin.
Roman sat back down, trying to focus on something behind her, remembering with a sudden pang, I have to kill this innocent girl.
When Roman didn’t say anything, Adelaide took her hand gracefully away, closed her book, and sat back, looking down for a moment and then back up, her innocence glowing all over her. “What can I do for you, Prince Charming?”
Roman took a deep breath, trying to mask the want from his voice. “Would you like to go for a walk?”
Adelaide’s eyes widened like a kitten. “I’m sorry, but I don’t even know you and my escort will be here any minute to –” She stopped and looked out the bright window, the light bouncing off and hitting her eyes, making it look like there were gold specks in her long eyelashes. Roman looked too, seeing a long black limo.
“There he is,” she said regretfully, getting up. Roman stumbled out of his seat and pulled the seat out for her, grabbing her coat and handing it to her. She smiled and shook her head. “That’s not mine,” she said. She walked past him with a dazzling smile, out the door and to the car, where a blonde man opened the car door for her, helping her inside. He drove away.
Roman was frozen, having smelled her wonderful scent of candy and fruit. He still held the coat and thought about her last words, That’s not mine, and then the secret smile she gave him. He looked around at the other empty tables around them.
He hugged the gray windbreaker, smelling her scent on it, then looked at the tag.
On it was a name, address, and phone number.
Roman rang the doorbell to the large house. A young maid opened it and let him in. He stood uncomfortably in the large hallway, fidgeting with her windbreaker.
He’d gone to Marco begging, asking, and pleading to lend him a decent home for the time being. It was another two assassination jobs, but he’d done it, moved in with some of Marco’s ‘clean’ relatives that provided him with food and shelter. It would have to do, since he would never physically grow up.
He was dressed in light khakis and a green shirt, hoping the green would bring out the brightness in his own eyes, though the color had been dulled over the many years he’d been a Dark Junkie. He had to take a hit in the morning to tide him over for the day, the black pill still in its little bottle, completely forgotten now that there was a girl he could look at; a purely innocent girl.
Adelaide walked down the large stairs in a pink nightgown, rubbing the sleep from her eyes with a fist, her long hair reaching down to the back of her knees, her dainty feet being careful with every step. She saw Roman and gaped at him.
“My coat!” she exclaimed.
Roman nodded, shifting his weight from foot to foot, holding it out. “Yeah, you… you left it at the coffee shop… you know, a couple of days ago. Turns out it really is yours…” Adelaide gave him her secret smile.
“Well, a person such as yourself deserves a reward. Do you want to go out for breakfast?”
“How about lunch?” Roman grinned. Adelaide looked at the grandfather clock and blushed. “Oh…” She turned to the maid who stood quietly in the corner. “Tell Dad I’m out, if he comes back,” she said, turning and going upstairs. From the top of the stairs she said to Roman, “Stay there, I’ll be back soon.”
She came down wearing a white outfit. Her skirt billowing tenderly when they walked to the limo outside, the zephyr being kind not to tangle her hair. Roman helped her into the car, sitting besides her and trying not to lose his composure.
She was a pure soul, sweet and innocent. But she was a virgin. Roman would have to be careful with her.
They went to the library first, then back to the coffee shop. While they were there, Roman was looking deeply into her eyes.
“Do you want to go have some real fun?” he asked. Adelaide looked confused for a moment.
“The park?” she inquired.
Roman took a deep breath, feeling the need to take another hit. He suddenly remembered the black pill, and broke out in a sweat.
“Sure, the park.” Adelaide smiled and stood, but Roman grabbed her arm, looking at her desperately, “I want to walk though.” She tilted her head.
“Are you feeling alright, Roman?” She purred his name; he shuddered.
“Yes, I just… need some fresh air. C’mon.”
He stood and walked with her to the back of the building, opening the backdoor and leading her out.
“We’re sneaking out, aren’t we?” she asked excitedly, breathless.
“Yes, we are,” Roman smiled.
They took a long walk downtown; it was dusk by the time they got to the park. Roman could see the park ahead, and led Adelaide away from the park, taking her to a Junkie place.
He didn’t want to, but he really had no choice in the matter.
Adelaide spotted the park, though. “Oh Roman, there it is!” She rushed over and sat on the swing set, swinging her legs high, her skirt flying around her like a silky cloud. Roman watched, feeling himself urging her, needing her. He sat on the swing next to her, and reached out his hand, grabbing the chain to her swing and stopping her with a jolt. She swung around, laughing, and planted her sandaled feet into the ground, looking at him. She tilted her head; the remnants of the sun making them glow brilliantly. Roman leaned toward her.
“I want to whisper something into your ear,” he said softly. She blinked, and leaned in, offering her ear. Roman gently got out of his swing, sliding the hand on the chain to hers, covering her hand. He felt her living pulse.
He used his free hand to run his knuckles over the side of her face. Her eyes closed and she shuddered, her toes curling. He gently cupped her face and licked her ear, down her jaw line, and to the velvet-soft skin of her neck. He kissed her throat and chin gently, then covered her mouth with his.
Her lips were as soft as he had imagined them to be. He opened his mouth, and could feel her beginning to pull back, but his hand was on the back of her neck. He forced her mouth open with his tongue, being gentle with her as her tongue eagerly played with his, exploring his mouth. He felt her pulse quicken, felt his hot breath against her cheek as he blew it out of his nose. The sensation was fantastic; he could kiss her for hours…
Then it ended. Roman looked at her half-closed eyes, dazed and happy. A small smile was on her lips, and she grabbed his hand, lacing their fingers together.
“You really want some fun now?”
“Hmm-mmm…” she nodded, standing, gently swaying.
They walked together to the depths of downtown, Adelaide still drunk with happiness, Roman’s eyes gleaming with green and gold. They stopped walking in front of a door, but before Roman could knock, Adelaide shivered. He looked at her, then pulled her into his arms, hugging her to his chest. She smiled and gazed up at him, the yellow lamplight above making her eyes exotic.
“Your eyes are so beautiful,” she said to Roman. Roman breathed in sharply.
“They’re green with specks of gold. They’re beautiful.” She stood on her tiptoes and kissed him lightly on the mouth. He buried his hand in her hair and pushed her lips back onto his, urging for a deeper kiss.
He felt the strong pulse between her legs when she pressed up against him.
The door opened.
“Roman,” a cold voice said.
Roman looked at the man standing in the door, hugged Adelaide closer to him, and walked through the door before she could protest.
Adelaide scanned the area. The room was a large warehouse with concrete walls and a concrete floor. There were jumps; some kids were skateboarding on them, doing 360s and 180s and other neat tricks. Additional kids were playing video games or card games, cigarette smoke clouding their faces. The adults were in a backroom, doing drugs.
Adelaide’s eyes were wide as Roman led her to where the adults were. She struggled in his strong grasp to get away, but he purred in her ear, calming her. She relaxed and sat down on a fluffy pillow in the room, the adults laughing uncontrollably. One of them handing a joint to her, already lit and ready to go. She shook her head.
“Aw, c’mon chica, live a little!” the man laughed, taking a large puff for himself and letting it out slowly, then laughing so hard his face turned red.
Adelaide looked at Roman, scared. Roman lifted an eyebrow and took the joint himself, taking a long drag. Work before love… he thought coldly, his inner self frowning and screaming in frustration. He had to do what he came to do. Right now, there was no going back. He exhaled quickly, extending the end of it to Adelaide. She hugged herself, shaking.
“Adelaide,” Roman purred, “it’s not going to hurt you, I promise.” He felt malice for his own words. He leaned down and brushed her hair away from her naked shoulder, kissing her neck and tickling her ear with his lips and breath. “Like the man said… live a little.” He extended the joint to her again. Adelaide looked around the room, at the laughing faces, the smiles, the smoke. Slowly, she reached for the joint. She grasped it and held it away from her.
“Take a puff, before it burns you,” Roman whispered. She reluctantly put the end to her lips and inhaled. She choked and coughed, the smoke swirling around her making her look more ethereal than ever.
She giggled and took another drag.
Roman stood a few hours later, looking at her from the top of the wire balcony, not letting the tears well up and fall, refusing to give in to his feelings. Her skirt was hanging half-off her waist, her shirt exposing her right shoulder and part of her chest. She was giggling with some other high children. The boys grabbed at her and she responded with laughter. Occasionally she would look up at Roman and smile her gorgeous smile. On the outside, Roman smiled and nodded back. On the out, he was yelling and throwing an emotional fit of rage.
Adelaide finally broke free of the crowd, staggering her way up the stairs, giggling when her skirt ripped up to her thigh. Roman watched, his hands in his pockets. When she finally reached him, she put her arms around his shoulders, looking up at him. Roman looked at her in adoration and sorrow. She leaned up and kissed him forcefully, making him respond eagerly. She pulled away laughing, putting her hands to cover her mouth. Roman looked at her feet, then her slender golden leg; his eyes traveled up to her curvy waist and torso, stopping briefly at her chest and smooth shoulder. He felt desire.
Roman pulled her close, feeling her pulse again, and kissed her, taking the taste of drugs. Even after four joints himself, it wasn’t enough to get him woozy.
He took her back to the drug room with the pillows. She staggered in and sat on a cushion, still laughing.
“Oh Roman, I’m having sooo much fun!” she giggled. Roman glanced behind his shoulder, smiling. He was opening a shabby wooden box. His hand paused over the box for the slightest moment, then continued. He pulled out a small plastic baggy that had two white pills in it. It was Ecstasy.
Roman extended the bag to Adelaide, who looked at it with wonder and started laughing.
“What is it, Roman?” she asked gleefully.
Roman shrugged. “Let’s find out.” They both took it. Within fifteen minutes, Roman was feeling his loins on fire, his head swimming slightly, and his body aching for a caress. Adelaide was shifting uncomfortably, eyeing Roman hungrily. She crawled over to him and fell onto him, her lips smacked clumsily on his. Roman’s body lit on fire in emotion; he caressed her arms, her legs, the silky skin of her inner thigh, he kissed the velvety softness of her neck and lips: she tasted so good!
She reacted by pressing herself against him, her purrs of pleasure, and his groans of want rumbling between them.
Roman couldn’t remember in detail what happened. He remembered her laughing, moaning, crying out in joy, and his desire. Then the deep, dark passion passed between them. He remembered the taste of her skin and lips. He remembered looking up at the ceiling as she slept beside him.
Then his head cleared. Some of the kids were in the doorway, smiling wickedly and giving him thumbs up, some others were laughing. Then they cleared away, reluctantly, slowly, as they got bored.
He looked over to Adelaide; she looked peaceful. Her hair lay scattered over the soft pillows, her torn skirt covering her and him. He got up and put his clothing back on, then shook Adelaide awake. She moaned in pain as she got up and dressed again.
She wasn’t quite sober; the drugs still took affect on her. She dressed slowly, then looked at Roman, and smiled a happy-drunk smile. She embraced him and kissed his lips. He responded. She tried to pull him back down to the cushions, but he mumbled against her, “No, no, I’ve got another present for you…”
“You do?! What is it? What is it?” she exclaimed, looking at him full in the face. She paused, looking confused.
“What?” asked Roman cautiously. He glanced behind him, making sure no one was there.
Adelaide shook her head, then said in a gentle tone, “Your eyes, Roman, your eyes.”
“What about them?” Roman yelled, putting a hand to his eye. Adelaide swatted his hand away.
“They’re gold, Roman,” she purred. “They’re a beautiful golden light…” She looked into his eyes, and for a moment he saw the sweet innocent Adelaide.
Roman remembered. Roman remembered all to vividly. “We've only just made it. I haven't seen the reactions for myself, and when we gave it to a Light Junkie, she died.” … “I don't imagine that someone of your size and age should be taking it. After all, it did kill a Light Junkie.”
Roman felt in his inner shirt pocket. He felt the bottle. He felt like it had been ages ago, but time really flies when you’re a Dark Junkie. A vampire. He pulled the black bottle out, snapped open the cap, and then took two of the pills out.
The only way… “After all, it did kill a Light Junkie…”
“Ooo… what is it Roman?”
“It’s… something… new. Try it.”
She took one of the pills, holding it up. “It’s completely black! What do I do with it?”
Roman nodded towards the pill. “You take it in a swig.” He looked over to the wall of the room with a table and drinks. It was only hard liquor. It would have to do.
Roman took a bottle of vodka and handed it to Adelaide; she took it eagerly, taking the pill in the firewater. Roman watched her face scrunch up as the liquid burned the back of her throat.
Roman put the pill to his lips, tasting it, and then swallowed it with nothing to drink.
Adelaide closed the door to the room and sat on a cushion. Roman joined her. They sat in cold silence, realizing that nothing was happening.
They looked at each other, then kissed, both wondering if the sensation was supposed to enhance with the pill. Nothing happened; it felt like any other regular, sober kiss.
Adelaide pulled back. “I don’t feel so happy anymore,” she whispered softly, twirling her hair around her finger. Roman lifted her chin and looked into her eyes. “You’re not high anymore,” he said, confused. She looked depressed. He kissed her again, harder, deeper. When he pulled back, she’d gone pale. He kissed her again, feeling her body go limp; her lips stopped responding. She fell over, gasping for air.
“Roman!” she half-yelled hoarsely. He lifted her up off the ground slightly, breathing hard.
“Roman… what… what was that…?”
“It wasn’t meant for you,” he sobbed. He felt the tears coming; felt them welt up; felt the hot trail they left on his cheeks. “It wasn’t meant for people who’re alive!” He sobbed into her neck. He felt her murmur, “What? What do you mean ‘alive’?”
“Adelaide! Oh my sweet, innocent, adorable Adelaide… please forgive, before you go, please, you’ve got to forgive me, I was being so selfish… so selfish… please Adelaide, forgive me!!”
“Forgive you for what?” she whispered.
“For… for being so young so long ago… for…” he sobbed, the tears wetting his face and her neck, he could feel her pulse becoming sluggish. “For becoming a vampire so blindly, for becoming a Dark Junkie because I couldn’t get away… Adelaide, forgive me for killing you… for giving you this pill only meant for me… Please, Adelaide. You’ve got to forgive me for loving you…”
She smiled, a soft, charming smile. “You love me… How odd… I’ve fallen for a vampire…”
Roman sobbed harder.
“Roman, please look at me… look at me with those golden eyes of yours.” He obeyed, kissing her tender lips clumsily, weeping his pity to her, his life, his emotions.
“Adelaide, I love you,” he said forcefully. He looked down at her.
Down at her dull eyes. Her soft, dimmed smile.
He kissed her limp lips, gently dropped her dead body, and left.
Roman didn’t feel anything on his way to Marco’s, to go tell him the news. He angrily wiped the tears from his face, but when he pulled his hand away, it looked like his skin came with it.
Roman gingerly touched his hand. When he pulled his finger away, skin came with it, only it was as if the skin had been boiling and bubbling.
He ran as fast as he could to Marco’s.
When he entered Marco’s office, Marco smiled wickedly. Roman felt like he was down to a stub for a body, after crashing into people, his running feet leaving the soles of his shoes and the bottoms of his feet in the cement sidewalks; his vision was blurred, his emotions gone to a wild, hot anger.
“What’s going on, Marco?” Roman bellowed with no lips.
Marco smiled and said contentedly, “Illusion, my friend.”
“Marco I killed her! I killed her for you! Are you happy now?!” He stood in front of Marco’s desk, screaming and swaying.
“Not quite,” Marco smiled. Roman closed his eyes without eyelids.
“What was the black pill, Marco?”
Another moment of that same, disgusting silence.
Marco laughed. “My dear boy… it was the end of the great Dark Junkie Roman.”
Roman was silent for a moment.
Marco continued, “Roman, Roman, Roman…” he laughed huskily, shaking his head. “You’re my nemesis, don’t you understand? I had to get rid of you. I set you up; I knew that Enoch’s daughter was of pure soul. She had to die as well, which she has, which is another problem off my shoulders; she was going to be a great and powerful person one day, did you know? She was. But now there’s no way that can happen.”
“Why did you… why did you…” Roman still had his eyes closed; he took a deep breath and sat down in one of the chairs, letting his body melt into it.
“Why did I have to get rid of you as well? Let’s think about this… I had to get you to kill Adelaide. Of course I knew you two were going to fall in love, but I also knew that you would get your work done. You chose your work, as you have always done.” He paused for effect. “But, after she died, I knew you would be useless. You would stop doing drugs to get away, feeling bad and good at the same time. You would have been useless information, and there’s things you know that no one else can or should know. You have to be eliminated from this game. I know, you’re wondering why you can’t just live: well, here it is. If you live, you will convince others not to do drugs, which will destroy all my plans for world domination. You don’t understand how important a figure I am now, Roman. You don’t understand very much, for someone who is supposed to live forever. … But wait… you won’t live forever.” He smiled malevolently. “Who would’ve thought it? I’ve discovered the secret to killing a Dark Junkie.”
“What is it?” Roman asked, his eyes half-closed, dimming, his body slack and paralyzed. “How come… it took longer… to… take affect… on… me?”
“It’s simple really. It’s a component of bad memories and worst nightmares. Simple as that. I take it that your worst fear has always been to burn to death. Feeling your skin become sticky and waxy, able to glob off your very muscles… Yes, I think that’s it. Burning alive not living forever. I think you understand how powerful this stuff is. And to answer your other question, it took longer to take affect on you, because you’re a Dark Junkie. Now, tell me, what was Adelaide afraid of?”
“I’ll never tell you, you dirty bastard. Never in a million years…”
“If you wish.”
They sat, Marco watching the golden light in Roman’s eyes dull, Roman watching the black, beady eyes of Marco.
“He really loved her,” was all Marco said when Roman’s body fell to the floor. “It’s odd… a vampire falling in love…”
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|Vision of Depth||Licorice Shadow|
|Lips and Iron Nails||The Wizard's Library|
|A Black Flower||Numb Chapter One|