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#6: Blade of Karma.

She seemed to have grown accustomed to these moments now. To the voices that arose when she thought of blood and death, screaming to the silence that was forever broken in her mind. She remembered the first time it happened, being completely engulfed in the act rather than her rationality. The machete was sharp, sharper than most of the tools in her uncle’s shed. She admired how it fit in her palm perfectly, like the handle was specifically designed for her. The python seemed asleep, taking in some rest after swallowing an entire calf, all the way up to the horns. It barely moved when she inched closer to it, her heart pulsing with excitement. She had become a huntress, a sword of vengeance, a weapon meant to conquer other weapons, and she wielded herself to the sky, basking in all that was gore & glorious, taking down monsters in the swift of her judgment. Minutes after, the head of the serpent was gone. She sliced down the blade along the length of its body, trying to see if she could somehow save the calf, but was rather disappointed to find it dead.
***

She was 15 when she saw the bruises on her mother’s face, a bloom of purple and red around the bags of her eyes, as she spent countless nights watching stars pass by, the ones into the sky and the ones that lingered in front of her, dining with the ache in her head. She was never around home those days, spending most of the time at the refuge of her boarding school, where she wouldn’t know of the beatings she took from her father. She came home earlier than expected that day, her mother perched on the kitchen counter, nestling vodka in the fragile ends of her lips. Mrs. Diana Lall was beyond her tears…beyond the quake of her anger…beyond the broken and jagged ends of her self that was living in constant pain, both outside and inside. She couldn’t look at her daughter, couldn’t tell her what had happened. But there was no point in saying anything when the eyes could hear anything the body spoke.

It was no easy task with a human. The head is help by stronger neck muscles, and even in death, it fought as hard as it can to keep itself attached to the spine.
“I need a bigger weapon”
She realized, after spending hours trying to cut off her dead father’s head. The revolver she found in the glove compartment in his car was faster at killing than a machete, but it lacked the enthusiasm of killing altogether…of sating the dragons of her anger from tearing at the sanity of her mind…at the desire for vengeance that she lived for.

“There’s an axe at the back…”

Her mother called out from behind, watching in mute silence as her daughter exacted 3 years of pain on her husband. They had planned it out carefully, at least they thought they needed to. But he came home drunk, staggering all over the house while he broke everything he touched. He was in his violent phase, throwing dinner plates at the mother of his child while he branding her all sorts of names. He didn’t hear her daughter come from behind him, couldn’t do anything when the chair hit him from behind, bringing him back from his drunken stupor and into the world of pain he had created. The white of his eyes shone in the dark, fear crushing his pupil down into a small speck.

“NO! Please…don’t do this! I’m sorry!”

The gun weighed heavy on Mrs. Lall’s hand. A little heavier than how she thought it would. But it was no matter, this was a night she wouldn’t look at stars, but send them into the heart of the beast swiveling on the bedroom floor. The gunshot was loud, sparks coming out of the barrel like miniature stars of fury, sending to darkness the ghost that haunted her living life. They cut out his head 15 minutes later, the first 12 wasted on the futility of using a kitchen knife. The remaining limbs of his body followed suit 5 minutes later, and by the hour, they had gathered his pieces together in a trash bag and gave him a solemn 5 minute funeral over more vodka and cigarettes.

“TJ…”
Her mother called at her, relief shrouding the exhaustion in her voice.
“Thank you.”
“Anything for you mum.”
***

She met Luna during her college tenure. She was preparing herself for going into the police academy, and having a friend at the time felt like a good release from the hard training and studying she had to endure everyday.
“I feel like I’m in a boarding student during the day and a military student at night.”
She told her one day through pillows soaked with sleep and thoughtless dreams.
“Why do you want to be a cop?”
She asked then, curious about her choices. She remembered the snake in her Uncle’s farm…the beast of a father in her mother’s home…
“I like the idea of being a defender of the innocent. To exact the hand of righteousness on crime. To be the gavel of justice itself, or the blade of Karma, that sounds like something I’d like to have on my resume.”
“Whoa! That’s deep. I was expecting something like your dad being a cop too but that will do”

She laughed then, so simple…so innocent…she was a butterfly, and daylight blinded her from the bat that reigned over skies she has never flown in. She found herself laughing with her…at her…at the ignorance that was so majestically her bliss…she laughed, at the simplicity of the innocent.
“Well, that’s a story for another day…”
***

She watched her that day, broken…a scattered reflection from the million glass pieces of her mirror eyes as she liquid orbs fell through the blush on her cheeks, tearing the scent of joy she had been wearing for months on the lining of her sky-blue eyes, drowning her world in silver.

“I found Sin with Kat some 3 weeks ago. They seemed to be arguing, so naturally I asked why they were on each other’s neck at the eve of my wedding…
I found out they were having an affair for 3 straight months, and she wanted to confront me saying she wasn’t going to let me have him by myself. What kind of sister says that?! And during all that, he says nothing! He doesn’t even look at me! I couldn’t believe it, so I walked out.

Yesterday I get a message from Kat saying he’s decided to move in with him, and that he’s making plans to marry her now…”
“Hey don’t think on it too much. Look, if you want you can come live with me, stay away from everything else and just focus on your healing. I want to be of help to you…
“Hey! Hey Luna! Are you listening to me? … Lu I know what he did to you was wrong, but you have to let me in, I want to help you. You have to let him go. I have to see you letting him go.”
***

The room was silent, dark under the gaze of moonless eyes. It was no hard task getting into the house. Everything was intact. Pictures and figurines stood next to graying walls, unable to shut their eyes close from the intent that snaked into the tranquil of their world. She found her bedroom, the door refusing to stay closed to her deathly presence…

She took out the syringe in her pocket, put its needle lips on her skin as poison left its mouth and into her bloodstream. She roused from the deep pools of her slumber, her eyes meeting the mask she wore. She saw her scramble to her feet, trying to push her attacker away, but the drug was already settling into the nest of her mind, pulling away the roots of her consciousness.

“Kat!”
Another man walked into the room then, hands clenched to a kitchen knife. She pulled out her gun then, the muzzle tip attached to a silencer that muffled the noise with every squeeze of her trigger. She made her way to the man, taking the knife he dropped and plunging it into his gut…his chest…his neck…going deeper as her rage took the better of her. She stopped when his head rolled to the ground, the body as lifeless as coffin nails.
“You should have stayed asleep, not walk into a girl’s room in the middle of the night. I guess chivalry really is dead”
***

Things started to go wrong when she received a call from Chief Inspector Said.
“Detective. Hope I didn’t bother you today. I could use your help in something.”
She had been feinting sickness to plot her next move with Sin.
“No problem at all Chief. What can I do for you?”
“New information just came up from the forensics…”
*The fingerprints*
“…We found fingerprints in the crime scene. We can officially declare the deaths as a homicide, and right now our lead suspect is your friend Luna Valentine. I’m bringing this to your attention because I know she’s your friend, but I have to take her in nonetheless.”
She saw her sprint off into the rain, her talk with Sin evidently having gone down the drain.
“No problem detective. I’ve just seen her leave, you’ll find her on her walking down my street alone.”
“Alright, thanks. I appreciate it. Also, there’s something else that you need to know. Lab results came back and it turns out Katherine Valentine was carrying a child during her time of death.”
“What?!”
She didn’t know that. She wasn’t told anything about a child. An innocent life, washed off by the sins of her mother.
“Yeah. She was just one month old though. Didn’t she tell you guys?”
A month old.
“No, I wasn’t aware.”
Anger wound a noose around her voice.
“That’s weird. We found message threads between her and her sister. I’ll talk it over with her, I’m already on the way there.”
***

She has never taken an innocent life before… She felt tainted, blemished by the fault. She was in her assigned duty car, driving up to the street she knew Luna would be following after days of watching her take walks around the suburb. She left her car a block away, walking down the length of the remaining distance to where she could see the chief’s car, blade in one hand, gun in the other…
…The Chief didn’t have time to shoot, her blade keen to meet its intended mark, leaving him sprawled on the floor, shock engulfing his sanity in the short burst of seconds…
…Luna met her full blown punch, driving her into the ground faster than she could react …
…Three more stabs at the detective…
She brought out the chloroform-soaked the handkerchief & put it on Luna’s nose as she was about to scream, trying to get her unconscious as fast as she could and carry her to her car. She was out within 15 seconds…

Sin came running from the corner she had emerged from, her surprise slowing her reaction. He was sprinting away when she pulled out her gun and squeezed the trigger, the first bullet hitting the wall, the other whizzing into invisibility as it sailed into thin air.

She reached for the Chief’s radio com
*Officer down. I repeat, officer down. Chief Inspector Said has been stabbed. Suspect currently running down Second Street into Shire Park. Suspect is armed and dangerous. Shoot on sight.”
***

She found him running into the main road, a pack of police behind his trail firing shots at him. He was looking to take out a motorcyclist and run away on the bike.
“Not a chance!”
Ramming him was a clean kill. He was dying before he even hit the ground. She stopped the car between her & the coming officers, temporarily blinding their line of sight. She tucked her mask deeper into her jacket and pulled out the blade that tore through the Chief’s torso, placing it in his hand before the officers got to her.
“Nice work detective Lall.”
An officer said as he came in panting, gun out of his holster and aimed at the corpse in front of her.
“Call it in”

Blood.

The night was silent.
Moonless stars gazed down the dark
From the inky banks
Of their depth-less oceans,
Their milky eyeballs
Hooded
By the backs of
Stray clouds cursed
To endlessly chase the sun
Into the edges of
Forever.
She remembered breathing,
Summoning the free air
To the broken halls
In her chest,
Where shattered glass lay next
To empty mirrors
That wore reflections
Of the world that died beneath her skies.
She remembered water,
Born from the heaviest silver,
Melted by fires that dared to point
Fingers
At sacred flames of the sun.
She remembered its false smoothness,
The way it washed down
The spines of her hair,
Turning her copper mane into
A deeper brown,
& felt how it
Pricked
At every corner of her mind.
She remembered it all,
& then at once,
As if by her own will,
Let it go,
And threw the knife back
To the other broken parts that were as
Lifeless
As herself,
And walked on to the silence
That the dripping blood
Sung to.

***
She was exhausted. Tired to the point where she couldn’t remember when she ever got this tired before. There was a throb at the base of her cranium, rippling waves & waves of a silent chaos in the already collapsing haven of her mind. She wanted to sleep, desperately. But the events that had transpired that day were nails that pinned her eyelids awake.

“Oh God! How can anyone sleep after seeing such a thing?”

She let her mental thoughts out to the empty room, to the walls that have ears. Sighs escaped the worn out spaces of her lungs, seeking out for her relief like they were prayers from a hopeless heart, but they found only silence & wind as absent as God in a sinner’s heart.

Thankfully the kids were asleep, and her husband would probably be sailing with them in the distant shores of slumber, riding night mares to dreams she now longs to reach. She walked up to the coffee machine, let the whirl of its mechanism agitate the eerie quiet of midnight, as she let her mind loiter to the events of the day.

It was well past 10 o’clock in the morning when she received the call, a couple found dead in a suburb apartment, one body torn beyond recognition. She thought she’d be walking into another episode of CSI, waiting to find a team of forensics at the crime scene drawing up chalk marks on the floor where the body lay while they looked for clues around the murder site. But what she saw was something television never prepared her for, let alone her 2-year police training.

The local police had issued a quarantine around the building, evicting everyone out and conducting procedural questioning of the tenants as was the protocol. Inside, there were some federal agents and a few detectives, but no one dared to go beyond to the room of the murder.

“I have a bad feeling about this!”
“Detective Lall.”
Tiffany turned to see her boss walking over to her with a smug that (she was completely convinced) never left his face, even if he got rid of the stubble he called a beard that seemed to make him look like a living fossil.
“Chief?! I didn’t expect you of all people here. I thought you had a meeting with the mayor to discuss resource management & distribution?”
“The mayor is here. We were forced to cancel everything after we got this distress call. Its messy inside detective, I don’t think you’re gonna want to see it. I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
“You don’t have to worry about me, I’m sure I can handle it”

I was wrong.

There was blood everywhere. Too much blood, it was impossible to think all that came from the woman lying dead on the mattress. She could still hear it dripping on the floor after having soaked the entire bed. Its only when she came closer that she saw the thing next to her…
“Is that human?”
A torso…
“…what the hell…”
A leg where the left arm should be…
A huge tear on the right leg, a too muscular leg to be another woman’s…
“A man…her husband! Wait! Where’s his…”
His head was being cradled by the woman, intestines slung around her neck as if they were ornaments…
“Dear God! Are those from…”
The man’s torso had been gutted, the insides removed…
“Oh my God!”
The woman held his head on her lap, held lover-like in her own hands…
“I need to sit down…”
Vertigo swirled in her head in rhythm to the flies that circled around a blood red wine glass on the bed stand…
“Don’t tell me that’s…’

Flies danced at the tip of the glass…inside the brim…and on the droplets that had spilled over to the flat of the table. Right next to a white note…
“That?”
“Suicide note”
Chief police Said spoke for the first time after watching her horrified reaction.
“It just says ‘sorry’. There’s a bottle of prescription pills at her side if you look closely, so we are assuming it’s a murder & suicide.”

There was too much gore around her for her to find sense in what he was saying. She looked up to see the girl now for the first time since she walked into the room, and the swirl in her head grew ferocious.
“I know her!”
She realized, horror choking out the air in her throat.
She closed her eyes trying to shut down the memory. Shaking her head over and over again, waking up to find herself in the hush of her own home, away from the violence the world had thrown to her feet. She let out another sigh…
And another…
And another…

Slowly, she downed the coffee into the depths of her that had turned cold, bracing herself for her last duty of the day.
She walked to the guest room, where Luna had been sleeping for the while as she sorted out her fall out with her fiancé.
“Hey, Lu. You awake?”
The girl in the bed whirled in absolute laziness, turning her face through the colossal tide of her pillows and waves of sleep to see what her best friend wanted in the middle of the night.
“What? Is it morning already?! I swear I have just slept for five minutes!”
“Luna… You have to hear this…Its about Kat.”
At the mention of her sister’s name, she was awake. Tiffany considered this moment, knowing very well that the mere mention of her name was a thing Luna especially forbade. She saw the anger rouse in the shadow of her eyes, lingering behind an invisible leash as 3 month old ghosts zombied in her thoughts with memories she prayed to forget.
“She’s dead”