Antagonist’s vice…


There are nights when sleep just doesn’t seem to come. At such nights he sits in his grand armchair with a glass of amber whiskey and the hound curled at his feet. He gazes into the striking flames of a fire burning briskly in large marble fireplace. On such nights he is not alone. They come to torment him, never letting him forget.

Ghosts of his past.

Haunting, taunting, moaning in the darkness, beyond the warm, flickering light of the fire. They say dead men tell no tales. Well, there are some that cannot stay silent even in death. The echo of their screams reverberates in his head. Time after time, on nights like this. There is no way to silence them.

He remembers the boy. Dirty little thing, looking more like an animal than a human being. He remembers that the boy was hungry, so, so very hungry… Always trying to nick some fruit from street vendors. Every day the child fought viciously to survive in the gutter, in the lowest level of a social ladder. Funny little thing just didn’t want to give up and die, even though everybody thought it should. The boy’s haunting eyes seem to challenge the world, promising to take every obstacle head on. Always trying to endure, day after day…

Then he remembers why the child was so adamant at striving to live. Each time the boy would crawl back to the little murky room in an old, rickety building which reminded a hovel rather than a living quarter. Every day the child would return to this room and to the woman that would always be there. Motionless, distant, silent…The one person in the whole world that loved the child unconditionally.

The boy’s mother. The now catatonic woman, who was once boy’s guardian. The boy would sit on her lap and lay his head on her arm, hugging her, not hoping that she would embrace him back. Her closeness was enough. The fact that she was here for him, even if not fully awake, she was still with him. The boy liked to play with a simple silver locket that hung sadly from his mother’s skinny neck. The silver ellipse was the most beautiful thing the boy have seen in his life. The locket belonged to other times, better times, to a life that was no longer his…

The loud crack of burning wood brought him back from his musings. The knuckles of his clenched fist were turning white. He looked at his closed hand and opened it. In his palm was the silver ellipse shaped locket. He looked at it and smiled. Better times…


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