Sorry. Listening to Counting Crows. They’re very depressing. E-cookies for anyone who catches a song refrence.
Three years now.
People still come to me, and ask for the time. I tell them I don’t know; they will have to find somebody that does. But what I don’t tell them is that they never will. Nobody keeps track of time anymore. It’s rare enough that I still keep a calendar. I don’t know why I do. It only brings more pain.
When that kid came… the guilt. It wasn’t long after the attack, maybe a month or two, and some cheeky little kid came up to me. He asked questions, lots of questions. With the memory so fresh in my mind, I lost my temper. I think he started the rumours, because they were everywhere the next day.
People still look at me funny. They will tell you I cook the misbehaving children for dinner; that I’ll set my giant rats on you if you make me mad. They say my mind isn’t well. And it probably isn’t, not anymore. But the rest of that’s not true, nor is anything else you may hear.
And that’s just what the People say. The humans say I keep tigers on a leash, and cook exotic birds for dinner. They say my spare time is deticated to blowing up Artemis’ grave.
Yes, Artemis has a grave.
The humans stand by and gawk at where the man who blew up the world was supposed to lie dead.
But he’s not there.
He’s not there. He’s hunting me.
Here’s what happened.
It began in the morning in Haven- no, not even. It began the week before.
We’d been out of touch for a while. I was delighted, no, less delighted and more relived when he called. I jabbered uncharacteristicly for an hour or so, with Artemis contributing little to nothing. Finally, I slowly caught on that he was troubled. When I asked him about it, he paused. When he finally spoke, I remembered every word.
“It’s the biggest yet, Holly. The biggest plan I have ever come up with. The biggest. Ever.”
“What is it?”
“I have to go now. My plans need attention.”
His last sentence had the edge of adventure, of personality that had been absent the last hour. Something was wrong, and when he hung up it lingered in the air. I breifly considered calling the authouroties, but I decided to wait this one out.
We bolth changed that night, without knowing it, for the worse. It almost hurt.
The next morning passed in a cold, clammy quiet before the storm. A horrible feeling passed over me, the feeling you get at the top of that rollercoster Artemis took me on, right before you go down. But I didn’t associate it with Artemis.
Four awkward days and nights went without incident. But on the fifth day, everyone awoke at exactly the same time. All over the world. And everyone screamed at the same time. Because their town was blown up.
Everything was aflame. I panicked and forgot my training for a moment. But when I caught myself, I realized something– I needed to get to the surface. Fast.
My memory is a blank up untill I get to Artemis’ place. In his room, to be precise. I remember him turn from his computers, and look me in the eye.
My world turned upside down. I understood. Artemis had done this. He’d placed bombs in every city in the world. And then he set them all off at the same time. The People are no exeption.
The last thing I remember from that day was his hair. Raven hair.
Now I live here. Alone in the rubble. I don’t belong here. I belong anywhere but in between life and myself. Where I am now.
People still respect me. I know more than anyone. If you tempt me, I will tell you my story. I’ll tell you that Artemis is still out there. I’ll tell you that he is planning his next attack, that you are never safe. I’ll tell you I’ll never stop untill I see him down on his knees, begging.
Untill then, I’m counting the crows feasting on decaying corpses. American crows- Corvus brachyrhynchos. Artemis taught me that. I heard once that they were lucky. And it hurts, because they’re the same color as his hair.
Untill then, I’m drowning in my own sea…
Untill then, here’s one for my sorrow, for evermore.