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Born from the ashes of your dreams.


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Elouise Orlav

It was pitch black. Elouise had been soaked to the bone for well over a week, but she couldn’t keep track of time any longer. Whatever day, week, or month it was above ground, she had no clue to it. She had paced from corner to corner, still water carrying the stench of disease, the entire room smelled of blood and decayed flesh. Her daughter still hung where Elis had placed her – Elouise couldn’t bear to touch her. She found herself going mad with a desire to feed, but with no source. Instead, she clawed against the concrete walls until her fingers bled to the bone, and then she’d simply scream into the darkness. Elis Griffyn had banished her to go insane, and the gravity of the lives she believed him to have taken push her closer and closer to the edge of madness.

She didn’t sleep, at least not in the traditional sense. She could close her eyes, but all she could see were the faces of her loved ones, gone. All she could hear was the whimpering and begging of Prudence before she killed her. And worse, it seemed, she could still see him, Elis. Of all of the people who had existed in her life, no one had done near the damage he had inflicted. Her former life. Despite that her heart still beat in her hollow-feeling chest, Elouise knew she was dead. Elis had promised that the organ would beat its last beat, and she would never know what it was like to be alive at all. In her mind, she felt it would be best to forget what living felt like. Instead, the only sound is her heart echoing in her chest, reminding her of her worthless, meaningless endeavors for 27 years.

Elouise Orlav knew any efforts made were inconsequential. What she had unleashed on her family and friends was unforgivable. And she would squat in this murky room for eternity.

She would sit vigil for the lifetimes it would take until Prudence’s bones became dust in the wind. All of this, she deserved.

And then, something different crossed her senses. Smoke. She stood from her shallow grave, following the scent, feeling her way against the wall in the darkness. Her eyes had adjusted some, but never enough to see in front of her. Her raw fingers felt against the concrete wall until they felt heat, and she peeled away the gray cover sheathing the back-up vent. The smoke poured into The Box, the blast of heat was almost enough to knock her back, but she struggled, lifting herself up. But her frame was too wide to slip into the vents. At least, it was until a thought entered her mind.

And with almost immediate response, the sickening pop of her shoulder is heard as she pulls her left arm from the socket, the pain insignificant as she lifted herself back up and into the vent space. The smoke filled her lungs, but it didn’t matter. She didn’t need them to continue to drag herself up and up. The source of the smoke became apparent as she broke the surface, raising herself up into the smoldering remains of her former home’s remains. Until that point, she had no idea the secondary vent existed. No doubt because this air vent had no locked gate. It was as simple as following the vent back up to the surface. Clearly, Trista had covered it long ago in order to prevent this.

The dying light of day poured in, and it was enough to blind Elouise, who was completely unprepared for the sudden change. She stumbled around without sight, her foot catching on a nail and board, causing her to land in a pile of ash and demolished drywall. She was helpless, dulled to the pain. All she could do was cower in what she would later discover as the remains of the entire compound she’d grown up on, all of the members – every last man, woman and child drained off blood, their remains left to the elements.

She wandered the destruction the next day, her wits somewhat recovered as she searched for any sign of life – if only to feed. The nearest and best thing she could get her hands on had been a herd of deer – decimated in her crazed hunger. But Elouise had no plan of action. Her mind was still catching up with her. If she could organize her thoughts, she’d already be in New York City to verify if Soleil Whitaker was still alive. But Elouise’s mind was consumed with unbridled anger and hunger. She couldn’t decide what move to make next. Instead, she punished herself, self-inflicted pain from the torture of disobeying her desires until she’s driven to the edge. But her immediate world had no source for sustenance. There was not a soul in sight who she could take her rage out upon.

No one was left, as far as Elouise knew.
October 12, 2017 09:55 pm
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