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Seven Deadly Sins.


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Cirilla Renarde

It's hard to remember what the tipping point was, and if you asked Cirilla about it, she’d say the same thing. 'I can't remember. It just sort of... happened.'

It's possible that we all have those moments in our lives. The big ones. I'm not talking about marriage, or the birth of your first child, or the day you bought your new home. I mean, that tell tale, 'this is going to change your life', can you believe that just happened? Kind of moment.

For Ciri, the precursor to this event happened on a Tuesday night. It took her two days to leave her apartment. Two days without the feeling of the suns warm rays on her sheltered and delicate skin. Two days without human interaction. But these were no ordinary days, dear reader. They were forty-eight hours spent trapped inside of her own mind which, you'll come to learn, is a rather dangerous place to be. When Ciri had an episode, she had a tendency to spiral hard. It started with an inkling of a feeling that insisted she needed more. More love for her life. Goals. Dreams. People who loved her. This progressed quickly into a battle of internal wits, between an inner monologue that first tried to convince her that there was nothing in this world worth living for, and that there wasn't anything here for people like her. People who couldn't function in the same capacity as the rest of the world who'd simply settled for less.

On the other end of this forty-eight hours, Cirilla had awaken from a shoddy slumber. It felt like tens of minutes. An hour, maybe. The tears that had flown freely down her hollowed cheeks felt damp against her skin even still. She has to tumble out of bed, throwing a blanket that hadn't been washed in weeks off to the side. The day had passed over into night while she had slept, and so she stumbled her way to the closest light fixture and quickly filled the room with light.

It was then that she’d realized that the damp mess against her cheeks hadn't been tears at all, but the sticky and unmistakeable lacquer of blood. The girl froze under the hot light of the lamp, her hands out in front of her as she inspected the substance that had begun to crack against her skin. Ciri didn't panic. Her heartbeat didn't increase with worry. Somehow, all of her vitals remained level, as though there were nothing at all to be concerned about.

Cirilla, still, performs a quick once over of her body. There were no wounds. No cuts or scrapes that were intentional or otherwise. The blood was, without a doubt, belonging to someone else. And by God, was there a lot of it.

She follows the trail from her tiny bedroom into the the space where the kitchen and living room collided. Each breath that she takes becomes heavier than the last, and with each new step forward her confusion seems to settle into acceptance.

I did this. I did something bad. Why don't I feel worse about it? That's easy, Cirilla. You don't feel anything.

The thrill that lead her beyond the hall and to the bathroom pounded viciously inside of her chest. Unable to recall the events leading up to this point terrified her, but she couldn’t look away. Couldn’t stop herself. The large cream colored door that separated her from whatever mess she would need to face was simply a gate to some form of understanding.

What is she capable of?

A better, less implicative question might be, where do her boundaries begin?

Nothing stops her from turning the doorknob and forcing open the door. Except that she doesn’t need to force it at all. It glides through the air with ease and stops only when the shower wall obstructs its path. What can only be described as a stunning silence is interrupted by the sharp sting of air inhaled into Ciri’s lungs.

Nothing. Theres absolutely nothing.

The air goes stiff once more. Stale and secretly impaling. Cirilla touches her face and finds that its dry. Fingertips clean and without a single trace of the blood that had been there moments before. A few soft pats against the floor carried her lithe form to the bathroom basin. Quietly, she reached out to flip the switch to the vanity light and basked in the immediate warmth of the lamps.


Except that for each of her eighteen years her eyes had always been brown, and in her current reflection they were blue.
April 08, 2018 01:10 am

Cirilla Renarde


There are no intricacies in the intention of Cirilla to attend this weeks Sunday service. While she doesn't fancy herself a religious girl, perhaps it was people themselves that were a better suit to her worship. Her attendance is part of the facade that had become important for her to maintain. It made the girl seem normal and unassuming. It kept the whispers from circulating. As far as everyone else was concerned, there was nothing out of the ordinary about Cirilla Renarde at all.

But while she sat near the back at the far end of a pew, fingers laced in her lap against the black slack of her pants, it's not the preacher that garners the majority of her attention. Through heavy lids her mahogany stare bore down against the families that would soon sing praise; whimsical in their attempts to please God through congregation. Fathers with their wives and children. Grandparents with their swarms of kin in early staged church gowns. They all looked so content and Ciri, as always, yearned to learn the secrets of their happiness.

It would take a half-hour for the church to fill as heavily as it did each week, and she would be there for all of them. Watching, silently, as man, woman and child ushered in. The eldest members would greet the masses, but she’d dip right by them as she often did. Today however, she’d managed to land on the radar of some elderly crone. As polite as she’d come across, Cirilla has no idea what her name is.

"I see you here every week, you know. You're always alone. You never stay for communion." Abrupt as her words may seem, the tone of her voice is nothing if not warm and gentle. "Don't you have a family, Miss Renarde?"

"I, erm..." The silver haired lady takes a seat next to the girl in the pew, and suddenly Ciri is stumbling over her words. "Yes, but t-they don't live..." She’s anxious, eyes darting around in a desperate attempt to land anywhere besides her own inquisitive stare, "I live by myself. I'm by myself." She repeats, fingers churning against one another while she hopes her answer is sufficient enough to encourage her leave.

"Well, we're glad to have you among us. It's nice to see you." A moderately wrinkled hand lands upon her shoulder, patting gently while she offers a smile and scoots away. Visibly, Cirilla deflates. She can feel the sweat beading against the back of her neck as a deep breath catches in her lungs.

Some Sundays were harder than others. But they kept her feeling human.

It felt like forever had passed before the dryness in her mouth began to subside. Mere moments and the atmosphere shifts when the church organ comes to life. Now that all of the attention was turning to the preacher, Cirilla could finally relax. There was no threat to her comfortable bubble now - no one would dare interrupt a sermon for the likes of her.

As usual, she was half listening, her eyes jutting out over heads that wore hairs of various colors. Some of them bobbed when the priest had touched on one of his biblical points, their mumbled 'amens' serving as a form of punctuation. Others whispered among themselves when he'd directed a question at the crowd. Ciri wondered how many people inside of the church were here strictly because of faith and not because they'd been dragged. Just as often she wondered again if it was faith or the unsettling idea of a hollow afterlife. How many husbands would have preferred to be home watching football? Surely most of these children would rather be outside.

Is this what her life was destined to become? Is this just what people DO? At some point in your life, do you succumb to a monotonous work week and a congregation on Sundays? This is the human notion at its finest. Ten dollars into the communion plate. Lunch at the diner after the service. There must be some sort of satisfaction derived from this function that Cirilla didn't understand, and it was another thing to add to the list of things that made her feel different.


"How many of you need peace?”

Cirilla’s eyes flicker from the mess of fingers in her lap, to the preacher standing tall behind his pulpit.

" many of you are lonely?”

It's almost painful how hard she has to swallow to force the lump down her throat. It sits heavy in the pit of her stomach, like a hot coal burning it's way through her core. Once upon a time, the motion would have brought a salty wave of tears to the bridge of her ducts, but tears were eons behind her. She had truly become so calloused to her own emotion that it didn't affect her in the same way that it used to.

For a brief moment, she catches the priests eye, her own chocolate stare locked on while her hand pleaded with her brain.

'Move me. Raise me. He's talking to you, Ciri. It's okay to admit how you feel.'

But her jaw tightens beneath a stretch of pale, sallow skin, and reluctantly she peels her gaze from the speaker and allows it to fall back against her fingers. Today would not be the day that Cirilla admitted in front of an entire church full of people that she was a lonely girl at war with herself.

Though, neither would she flee despite her discomfort. Because what would people think then?
April 09, 2018 12:05 am
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