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Covered In Skin, Accused of Sin



 
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Yzu Coldtree

(TW: references to alcohol abuse, bad parenting, drugs)

 

 

Janurary 10th, 1980

 



The heady smell of cigarette smoke engulfed him the minute he stepped past the doorframe. The door slapped shut behind the young man's back and he jolted in slight fear. He'd never been all that good with loud noises. Not this point in time. His nose wrinkled as he passed by the living room. The place was an absolute dump, but it was a dump he was quite used to. A dump that gave birth to him, and a dump that nursed him. Just from the smell alone, Yzu was aware that thr apartment was not at all unoccupied as he'd hoped. Glancing from the open frame, leading to the living room where only one dirty couch sagged sadly in the middle, and a television set with a bent clothes hanger sticking up from the box, Yzu sees his mother sprawled over it with a large bottle of vodka and a cigarette poking between her yellowed fingers.

Myrtle Coldtree does not bother to look up, and Yzu does not bother to say anything. He didn't want to, not when he spotted a pair of legs poking out from the edge of the couch, not when he notices the look of blissed out obscenity on his own mother's face.

Mother, it is my birthday today. I am twenty this year.....

Did Myrtle even remember that? No. Probably not. She never cared for anything out of the sphere of her deubached sphere of existance. Even if that was her own son. Slipping from the hallway, the sounds of pleasure fading from his ears as he shut the door to his bedroom. If one could call it that. A single uncovered mattress took up half the space in the room, one singular sheet and crumbled pillow was his bed. The paint on the walls, once white, now peeled downwards in yellow streaks. Clothes spilled out from his closet. In whatever less-disgusting corner of the room he could find, were posters. And, his only prized possession: A stack of carefully cataloged cassette tapes, all scrawled over with unartistic drawings on index cards stuffed inside the plastic cases.
Last year he had nipped a radio and casette player from one of his mother's many boy toys. The man beat him bloody when he could not find it, ripping up the young teen's  room up from top to bottom but Yzu was unfortunately stupidly good at squirreling away things that he wanted to keep hidden. It was worth it. His only source of entertainment was this. And that is what he pulled out from the chaos that was his closet, turning it on and tuning in to his favorite station. The volume was on low, low enough that Yzu was forced to press his ear to the little speaker.


The soft baritone voice of the host drifted in and out,
"For those just joining us, we were just about to open a few letters from our dedicated listeners out there..... As you know, our creative writing contest includes a rather exclulsive prize. Here at the Nightly Neverworld, we are always looking for new... [A static chuckle breaks through the words]fresh blood out there. Those of you on the outside looking in, so to speak."


Yzu leaned in closer, as far as he could go. Weeks of waiting come to an end, finally. It really was easy to hide things from his mother, because she didn't care what Yzu did unless it was bothering her. But then again, Myrtle Coldtree was like a storm, unpredictable... Waiting just around the corner to berate him. A rustling of paper brought Yzu back to the here and now. Alain, the mysterious host of Nightly Neverworld, began to read out the first letter. And then the next, and the next. Yzu deflated with each one that he realized was not his own when...


Day. Night. Midday. Around and around in a circle.


Smoke fills my lungs. The rhythmic pound of bed springs.


Your hand curled around locks so similar to your own. Skin turns purple.


Vodka, whiskey, cocaine. It blurs in my mind. How am I to know anymore?


Outside, the world spins. Inside, we're at a standstill, suspended.


The void calls, and I stare. Eyes blink back at me, expectant and loving.


More love than you've ever given. I am cold, seeking warmth.


Yet the warmth offered is a double edged sword. Do you hear?

Yzu held his breath. Such an odd feeling, hearing his words echoed back to him by a stranger. It was silent for several minutes, enough that he wondered if this piece of shit radio ran out of batteries and fizzled out on him and he was about to smack the side of it when Alain's voice came back into focus.
"Short and sweet that was, huh? [he gives a sharp laugh]but we're looking at a picture that quite frankly, shows an ugly portait....."


Today was Janurary 10th, 1980. He is 20 years old. Sitting in a tiny bedroom, laying on a mattress that should be a bed. He is 20 years old, shackled. And the voice with no face attached was his only company.
And today, was his last day of life.

 


Present

 


Who are you?
Who am I?
Wind in wings
Two angels falling


Yzu's eyes fluttered closed, flickering behind eyelids. A song played in his head like a broken record. Over and over, reaching to a scream. Blood exploded in his mouth and tongue. His shaking pale hands squeezed wrinkled, mottled skin. Soft gasps drifted in and out of his hearing. Sharp fanged teeth attached to the throat like a babe suckling for milk.


Ash, cheap booze, unwashed sweat.


Even the blood tasted poisoned. And yet he forced himself further into the scent of it. Until there was nothing left, until the erratic beating heart under his palm stilled. Yzu jolted away, wiping his mouth and near on wretching. The disgusting carpet with faded tacky designs of flowers came up to meet him. The gurgles of the old woman a few feet away did nothing more than to coax the bile to pour out from him. Crimson red staining his chin and the carpet. And in that old woman's eyes, mama's eyes, Yzu found the same age old hatred.


In all these years, he thought that by writing the end to this story, he would be free. By ending his own mother's life, he wouldn't have to go to sleep at night knowing she still roamed around. He thought.... What? What did he think?? That the past could be erased with one pen stroke?
Yzu did not feel bad for seeing her die. He couldn't bring it in himself to care. Just as Myrtle did not care all those years ago. But....


Standing up, the black haired man wandered back toward the hallway. Old memory coming back to him, guiding his steps, dazed. This was what he wanted, wasn't it? Ever since that day in 1980. Since his words had been read back to him by a stranger. Since... That one night.


Pulling open the door of the apartment, Yzu shut it behind him and locked it. In the hallway of the main building, he leaned against the wall that probably wasn't all that clean (not that he cared right now) and breathed in the air of some unidentifiable smell. At least it wasn't that apartment. After a few minutes when Yzu felt that his hands were not going to betray him, he pulled out his phone. And dialled a number.

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