PART three: buns
Chapter 18: The Criminal
BUNS threw her bottle once she had finished it, watching it, until it disappeared into the trees below her. She was tempted to throw it towards the town, but she decided against it, for the simple fact that she would have to leave her spot once the ensuing commotion had calmed down, and the OSZA in the town realized where the bottle had come from.
“I didn’t take any of it lying down, SKIMMY,” she said, as she cracked open another bottle. “I fought back.”
“My mother didn’t believe me. None of the other adults I talked to did. I could be remembering things wrong, but I am quite sure that some of them seemed to know what I was talking about, even though they denied the possibility of it. None of them were willing to help me. But that didn’t deter me.”
“I made sure that my brother never left my sight. I did whatever was needed. I skipped school. I stopped meeting my friends. I only went to places I could take him with me. I kept him close. But it wasn’t enough. I fought that realization, long and hard. But ultimately, there was no denying it, SKIMMY. I realized that no matter how hard I tried, no matter what sacrifices I made, I couldn’t be with my brother all the time. I would have to leave him alone at some point. Life, and one’s circumstances, unfortunately, cannot be controlled to that extent, no matter how much one may wish to, no matter how genuine, and urgent, one’s reason to do so is.”
“And that, SKIMMY,” BUNS said, as she gulped down a large part of the bottle, “left me with one option.”
“I couldn’t keep defending my brother. I had to go on the offensive, against the one who wished to harm him instead. And so I did.”
BUNS stayed silent for a few minutes, clenching her teeth and scowling as she remembered the past.
“I had no real plan. I thought I did, but that was just me fooling myself. I was sure that I knew what I was doing, and that things would go the way I had planned for them to. But that was just me being naive. None of it went the way it should have.”
“My plan was to scare that fakuchin piece of excrement. To blackmail him into leaving the ANJALIKA. That would ensure my brother’s safety, not to mention that of all the other children he played his sick games with. And so, I waited for an opportunity, and cornered him one night, when everybody else was busy with one of the larger prayer functions. I kept it simple. I told him that I knew what he had done to my brother. I told him that I knew what he was doing to the other children, and that it had to stop. He had to leave. I would expose him if he didn’t. I would tell my mother everything. I would tell the other SPRITES, and everybody else who worked in the ANJALIKA, all about his disgusting deeds.”
“He just stood there, listening to me with a serious face. I thought I had gotten through to him, and that it was all about to be over, that it was fear that I saw in his eyes. But I was wrong. He simply laughed at me when I was done threatening him. He told me exactly what had happened to me already. That nobody would believe me over him. That he would convince them that I was just seeking attention, because everything that had happened to my family had created some serious psychological issues within me. He told me that my brother wouldn’t utter a word. He may have told me what happened, but he wouldn’t tell anybody else. And even if he did, nobody would believe him. He was as psychologically scarred as me after all, perhaps even more so.”
“I just stood there, SKIMMY. I didn’t know what to do. I remember crying. I remember him mocking my tears. I remember him walking away. I know what happened next, but I have never understood it. I clearly remember every moment, every breath, but I still don’t know where it came from.”
“He had walked past me as he continued to laugh. He had taken a few steps, when a rage took over me. I had never felt anything like it before, SKIMMY. It was uncontrollable. My mind wasn’t controlling me anymore, and my body simply followed whatever was. I grabbed the nearest object without even realizing it. It was an electronic torch, almost completely black in color, except for the slivers of gold that ran across it in various places. I still remember how cold its metallic touch felt.”
“I ran towards him, and struck him in the back. He turned around almost instantly, shocked and bent. I smashed his head with it. He fell to the ground. I remember how sick I felt at the sight of his blood. But none of it stopped me. What was controlling me held back the vomit and the disgust I felt. It made me smash his head in a few more times. And when I was done, it made me turn on the torch’s ignition.”
“As I waited for the torch to light up, I watched the green liquid that spilled out of his head cover the ground, and finally envelope my shoes. I could tell that he was still alive, and that he was trying to scream. I threw the torch on him once its flame had reached its fullest potential, and watched as he was consumed by its fire.”
“I ran away the second I heard footsteps. Everything after that is a blur. I remember packing my things, and kissing my very confused brother on his forehead, telling him that nobody would ever hurt him that way again, promising him that I would be back for him someday. I don’t really remember bolting out of the church, but I know I did. I didn’t have a lot of money, but what I had was enough to get on a bus. I didn’t even know where I was going, SKIMMY. I just purchased the cheapest ticket I could get at the machine. It didn’t take long for me to meet the OSZA who set me on this path. But that’s a story for another time.”
“Today is another anniversary of that day, SKIMMY. Today is the day, when, all those years ago, I took that first life, in that fakuchin ANJALIKA, with that bloody torch. I don’t regret it, the deed itself I mean. It needed to be done. That SPRITE deserved to be killed for the things he did. My only regret is that I allowed my life, and more importantly my brother’s, to reach a stage where such a drastic step had to be taken. He shouldn’t have had to go through all that, SKIMMY. This day always brings back memories of everything he went through, and everything I had to do to stop it. And that messes me up every year, despite my best efforts to not let it.”
BUNS pushed back her tears, refusing to let them leave her eyes, as she silently looked at the horizon for a few minutes. She picked up her bottle once she had composed herself, and raised it to the sky.
“I hope you, and those false gods you peddled, are rotting wherever you are, you fakuchin piece of excrement. I am here. And you, are not!” she screamed, as she took a large swig of her bottle and finished it, before throwing it into the town below her.