24th March 2005, 5:51 AM
A Life's Worth (Oneshot - R)
Author's Notes: I'm reposting this because 'A Life's Worth' was one of the unlucky stories here who got pruned... Fortunately, I managed to save all my reviews before it was deleted. This one-shot will (hopefully) soon go to the Completed Section so this deosn't happen again. Enjoy (once again) my first horror one-shot.
A Life's Worth
In just one moment, the world had turned into a nightmarish pit of death for its inhabitants. As the day approached its end, the sky turned a magnificent red hue that resembled the blood that soaked the ground. But the sun’s rays were soon being blocked by the thick, dark smoke the enemies’ guns left. All that remained was a black barren wasteland that was still burning from the bombing that had turned the land into a flaming hell. The battlefield was covered in carcasses of once living innocent people, and now they were just mere bodies that the soldiers ignored. The distant sounds of gun blasts echoed across the battered, bloody field, mixed in with shouts of pain, that were so normal in this place, that the survivors tuned them out.
Despite the horrid world that she now belonged in, Michelle remained oblivious to her surroundings. Her vision was obscured by something heavy, and it was hard to breathe because of its weight. Using her small, weak arms to push this object that pinned her down against the rough floor, she was able to shove the burdensome mass away from her.
Finally able to see, Michelle could barely suppress a scream as she took in the atmosphere around her. Pulling herself up to a sitting position, she was unable to believe the sight that was before her.
There was nothing left of the neighborhood in which she had lived in since she was born. Where was her home? The park? The little pond? And her friends?
While she tightly clutched the ash-covered doll her mother gave her for her last birthday in terror, she suddenly remembered her family that were with her just moments before. Searching frantically for her loved ones, tears burned in her eyes when she saw her unmoving friends. Michelle averted her gaze from them, when the bothersome thing that was on top of her caught her eyes. Realization widened her brown eyes, and she forgot to breathe.
Her mother’s eyes were void of the usual love and admiration that Michelle always saw in them. Instead, they were glassy and had a cold, hard edge that Michelle would’ve never dreamt of seeing.
She was covered in dark, thick blood and her usual wrinkled, cheerful face was contorted in unimaginable pain.
Her young mind couldn’t accept, nor comprehend, the painful truth that lay in front of her very own eyes. She shook her mother’s shoulders with such heartbreaking desperation, yet her mother still remained in the same lifeless state.
Michelle’s hands were smothered in the same, dark liquid that her mother had on her. It was so foreign to her, yet, at the same time, it brought an almost forgotten memory to the surface of her mind.
Some time ago, Michelle had been making a paper airplane, but one of its corners punctured her little finger. A little spot of red fluid, similar to what she had on her hands right now, made her cry because it hurt her so much. Of course, Michelle’s mother gave the small cut a light kiss, and surrounded it with a band-aid, but Michelle only remembered the pain. Seeing this sticky, red…thing on her hands, made her ask herself mentally something so unbelievably painful.
No! She had been hugging Michelle and telling how much she loved her, while they were both laughing at the funny imitation her brother, Daniel, was doing of a Bulbasaur. Where was Daniel? And what happened to the large grass field that they had been in, that tickled her toes when she ran? And to the large jar of strawberry jam that they had been eating with their fingers while their mother scolded them playfully?
Where was her world?
But Michelle had once seen a Pokemon that was so similar to her mother right now… It had been a Pidgey that didn’t move despite her insistent shakes...
“Just like mommy…” she whispered to no one.
Her mother’s long spoken words came to her, and reality came to her like a harsh blow.
Don’t shake the Pidgey, sweetie. He is…sleeping forever…that’s death. But he’s fine, and happy, because he is with all the angels…
So don’t worry, sweetie…
Michelle began to shake with unsuppressed sobs, and tugged at her mother’s coat with even more despair, now that she knew the full meaning of her words.
“Mommy! Please don’t sleep forever, mommy! I want you here with me…” Michelle’s anguished cries rang in the air, but her heartbreaking pleading was never heard by anybody - there were only silent corpses around her.
Michelle snuggled closer to her quiet mother, and didn’t care how the slightly warm blood felt on her skin. She was crying harder than she had before in her short life, and the painful constriction around her heart didn’t lessen, yet she felt protected in her mother’s limp arms.
She stared at her mother’s open eyes for a while and wondered to herself if she was really sleeping or if there was some chance that her mommy wasn’t with the angels. Wiping her tears away with the back of her sleeve, she clung to the naďve hope that her mother was still alive.
It was her only lifeline.
She grabbed her grimy doll with both hands and shoved it in front of her mother’s face. “Look who’s here, mommy! It’s Mrs. Daisy!” Forcing herself to smile, she grabbed the doll by her neck and placed it against her ear and pretended to be hearing a whispered secret from the doll. “Mrs. Daisy told me that it’s tea time and she wants some cookies with milk. Will you get her some, mommy?” Michelle said in a strangled voice, remembering her life and how it all seemed now as a fading dream.
Her mother didn’t respond and still lay unmoving on the ash-covered floor. Though she had been denying to herself that her mother was dead, Michelle knew deep down that her dear mother wasn’t with her anymore. Her happy façade slowly crumbled as the truth truly hit her in all its agonizing reality. Her filthy doll fell limply from her trembling hands, landing softly on her mother’s side.
“No…” she whispered and didn’t brush away her falling tears.
The world was just a blurry haze as she began crying with more force. The grief overwhelmed her completely, shaking her small frame with her heartbreaking sobs.
Her vision, blurry from all her tears, started to darken. Michelle felt cold all over and she was feeling very lightheaded. She felt herself fainting, but just a few seconds before losing consciousness, a last stray thought entered her mind.
I want you back, mommy.
She heard someone calling her name, but ignored it, wanting to stay longer in the peaceful darkness.
“Open your eyes, Michelle.”
She slowly opened her eyes at the persistent insistence, but she forgot for a moment what would await her once she did.
“Michelle, wake up.”
She couldn’t hear too clearly the words that were being said to her, but her heart started beating faster at hearing the sweet, melodious voice.
Mommy? Michelle thought to herself with renowned hope blooming in her heart. She opened her eyes wider, hoping that her mommy was the one who was calling her. Her heart sunk all over again, and she felt hot tears in her eyes when she saw her disastrous world again.
Michelle immediately went over to her mother, but her corpse was still as unmoving and cold as ever. Her small body once again started to tremble with her unrepressed sobs, but wanting to know who was calling her, made her stop wailing.
“I’m right here, Michelle.”
The voice was louder and clearer than before and without much thought, she began crawling across the black ground in search of the mysterious caller. She accidentally crushed her doll’s face with her knee, and immediately the voice responded in a calm, but strained voice.
“You’re hurting me, Michelle.”
“What…?” Michelle said in an shocked whisper, unable to believe her ears. She carefully lifted her filthy doll from the ground and looked at her in amazement. “Mrs. Daisy…?” she asked slowly.
“Yes, that would be me, Michelle.”
Michelle dropped the doll. She had always imagined, even wished, that Mrs. Daisy would be alive, but had never expected this. Of course, she knew that the doll was an inanimate object, despite all the times she talked to it when the lights were out. They had been inseparable, and was given to her when she was born and had since played with it since as far as she could remember. But – this was too much.
Michelle could only gape at the doll.
“Am I that astounding, Michelle? I’m flattered.”
Michelle closed her mouth and brought the doll closely to her face. “Mrs. Daisy?” she asked again, still incapable of comprehending the truth.
“I’m sure that I have answered that question before, Michelle.”
“H-how can you talk, Mrs. Daisy?” she stuttered, wondering quietly to herself why she was so nervous.
“I can talk because you’re alone, Michelle.”
The doll’s words impacted her more than the crushing feeling she had felt when she saw the reality of her cruel world. Michelle hugged the doll tightly to her chest as she sobbed hysterically. “I want my mommy…” she said as she cried into the muddy doll’s hair.
“I can help you, Michelle.”
Michelle focused her teary, brown eyes on the doll’s smudged face. “Can you?” she said in a high-pitched voice full of desperation.
“Yes, but I need your help, Michelle.”
“What can you do?” she said sadly, and the hopeful glimmer in her eyes was gone.
“I can bring your mommy back, Michelle.”
Time stopped for her when she heard the doll’s words. They echoed inside her head a thousand times, and filled her heart with unimaginable happiness. “You can bring my mommy back?” she repeated again, a smile spreading across her face.
“I can, Michelle, but I need your help.”
“I’ll do anything!” she exclaimed gleefully, all her previous tears drying on her rosy cheeks.
“That’s a good girl, Michelle. Now, come closer to me, and I’ll tell you what you have to do.”
Michelle eagerly pressed her ear against the doll’s face, even though the doll could talk to her without moving its eternally smiling mouth.
“Are you willing to do anything, Michelle?”
“Yes!” Michelle said happily, while nodding her head vigorously.
“Of course!” she said earnestly and pressed her ear against the doll even more.
“You have to kill, Michelle.”
Those words erased her smile. She looked at the doll questioningly. Maybe I didn’t hear Mrs. Daisy correctly…
“I’ll tell you again in case you haven’t heard properly. You have to kill, Michelle.”
“I-I have to bring more people to the angels? Where mommy is?” she asked, her fear growing with every second.
“No, not people, Michelle. Pokemon.”
“Po-pokemon? Like Bulby?” she said, while her tears once again stung her eyes, remembering her brother Daniel’s loveable Bulbasaur.
“Yes - Pokemon. Now that isn’t so bad, right, Michelle?”
“I-I guess so…” Michelle said uncertainly.
“Inferior lives for bringing back to life a vastly superior one. It’s quite the fair deal, Michelle.”
“Right…” she whispered, while her tears fell to the hard ground.
“Your mommy will be so proud, Michelle.”
She started crying harder than before and nodded to the doll, though she felt as a part of herself was dying as she did so.
“Stand up, Michelle.”
Michelle did, obeying her doll without question. Her knees were scraped and bleeding slightly, but paid them no attention. She lifted her doll higher so they were face to face. “What do I do?” she said in a choked voice.
“Take that shiny blade over there, Michelle.”
She walked to the direction she thought the doll was referring to. A man, wearing a green uniform, was covered in dark mud and blood, but what caught Michelle’s attention was the shiny metal beside him. She grasped it with trembling fingers, and didn’t like its rusted red surface.
“The thing you hold is called a dagger – it’s so nice and shiny, isn’t it, Michelle?”
She didn’t respond this time, but just stared intently at the dagger.
“Find some Pokemon, Michelle. And kill them.”
Without saying anything, Michelle walked across the burning battlefield, searching for any living Pokemon. Corpses and severely injured people who were pleading Michelle to help them, covered the land. But she ignored them all.
She could see in the distance soldiers fighting a pointless war for an unknown cause. A cause which she neither cared, nor wanted to know about. She only had one thing in mind – kill Pokemon in order to get her mother back.
Michelle kept on walking, seeing no signs of any type of Pokemon, or any place where they might live. Mrs. Daisy was thankfully quiet as she trudged the land in hopes of seeing any kind of living creature. It hadn’t uttered a word since it commanded her to kill in order to bring back her mother to life. She knew her faithful doll would keep the end of the bargain and not cheat her in any way. Mrs. Daisy wouldn’t do that to me. She’s my friend! Michelle thought when she started doubting the doll that she was holding.
“Here’s the moment you’ve been waiting for, Michelle. Just look.”
Michelle squinted her eyes in order to see what her doll was talking about. Her heart paralyzed for a second when she saw a lone Zigzagoon carrying a piece of a partially burnt berry in its mouth. It walked out of sight, unaware at the girl who was watching it with slightly horrified eyes.
“Do what is needed to be done, Michelle.”
Michelle licked her lips nervously, and her suddenly sweaty hands made it difficult to hold the dagger. She hurriedly ran after the Zigzagoon, though the guilt felt as if her heart weighed a thousand pounds.
The Zigzagoon had made its home beneath twisted piles of metal and scraps of cloth that it had taken from the corpses. Michelle cautiously made her way through all the junk and crept slowly towards the Zigzagoon. A tiny yelp stopped her in her tracks and she saw that under all the dusty cloths there were some other Zigzagoon smaller than the one she was going to kill. She tried to muffle a sob at the hideous murder she was just about to do.
The Zigzagoon turned its furry head around at the suspicious sound, and bared its fangs at the intruder. Michelle stopped in fright and held the dagger protectively in front of her. The Zigzagoon began to growl at this obvious threat and stood directly in front of her infants defensively.
“Show who is the greater one, Michelle.”
Michelle heard Mrs. Daisy perfectly but she stood still, not making any move, as if she were frozen. The Zigzagoon, still watching her and the dagger with hateful eyes, used its front paws to create a cloud of dust.
Michelle was blinded by all the dust, and she sneezed constantly as it entered her nostrils, and made her eyes water. She backed away and tried to tell the Zigzagoon that she was not going to harm it; she couldn’t and didn’t want to. Her mommy would’ve never allowed her to do this; she had loved Pokemon with all her heart and had dedicated her life in bringing them protection and food. This felt like a betrayal to her mommy’s memory – she would have never been proud of her only daughter committing murder. Michelle collapsed in a small heap on the floor and cried for forgiveness to mommy – wherever she was.
“Is that so, Michelle?”
Michelle began to shake in alarm at her doll’s simple words. Would it leave her alone? Was that what it meant? Yes, Michelle thought to herself. Mrs. Daisy would never let her do all those horrible acts it had said; this was all just joke – a terrible one, yes, but a joke nonetheless. All of this would soon be over – perhaps this was all just a traumatic nightmare that she would soon wake up from. Michelle sighed in relief, despite the dust that was surrounding her.
The Zigzagoon came out from nowhere, baring its dark claws at her and trying to scratch her paralyzed body. Michelle screamed in dread as the Zigzagoon, unable to properly slash her with its claws, tried to bite her with its yellowish fangs. It sunk its mouth on her bare arm, where crimson blood began to pool at her feet.
Michelle still had her mouth open in numb fear, but no sound came out. Her mind was filled with a buzzing sound, and was painted with bewildering tones of colors, but red being the one that stood out the most among the confusing mix of it all.
Without even thinking, just doing it in blind panic, Michelle used the sweat-slicked dagger in her hand to bury it in Zigzagoon’s striped fur. Blood pooled around the Zigzagoon’s neck, and with a weak sputter, it let go of Michelle’s throbbing arm. It walked limply toward the young Zigzagoon, who were whimpering at their mother and licking the wound in order to stop the blood flow. Its fur became matted and slimy with blood and began to trickle down to the dust-covered ground. With a final groan full of pain, the exhausted Zigzagoon dropped to the floor and finally allowed itself to yield to death.
“Congratulations, Michelle. You have lost your humanity.”
Michelle covered her hands to her face, too horrified to speak or cry, instead, she sat on the floor without a sound. She uncovered her blood-covered hands from her face to see properly the murder she committed.
The immobile Zigzagoon was being prodded gently by the small Zigzagoons’ noses. They were howling pitifully, mewling at their mother and trying to make her move, but their actions were pointless. Michelle began sobbing dryly, and gripping the slimy dagger in her small, pale hands tightly.
“How could you be so foolish, Michelle? Believing that your mother would be proud of a murderer? Do you know how she died, Michelle? She saw the impending death and tried to protect you… such a worthless child, and this is how you pay her filthy memory? Believing the first thing you heard – hoping your mommy would come to life, you gullible girl?”
Michelle held the dagger even more tightly in her hands, hearing every word the hateful doll said to her. With fury she never knew she was capable of feeling, she lunged at the doll, and with a harsh swipe of the dagger began to rip apart the doll who had caused her this personal hell.
“I hate you… I HATE YOU SO MUCH!” she bellowed at her doll with unsuppressed abhorrence, her hate fueling each slice that she did with her dagger. She severed the clothes, cut apart each hair, and split apart its cotton-filled body.
“You know I never failed you, Michelle…”
Michelle heard it say her name weakly one last time and she lost it. “Stop saying my name! Stop saying my name! Stop saying my damn name!” she repeated over and over to the now blood-covered doll because of the dagger that was dripping with the Zigzagoon’s blood.
Michelle, looking at the mangled doll with one final savage grin, ran away from the place that destroyed her life.
She ran, trying to escape from everything. No, she thought. She was only escaping from herself and her inner demons that started feeding on her debilitating soul.
She saw her mother, as still and as lifeless, as ever; Michelle felt something inside her break, as she sobbed and pleaded to her mother for forgiveness.
She wiped her tears away, and grinned at her mother with every last ounce of happiness she had left. Michelle lay down beside her, closed her eyes, and waited for sweet death to come to her.
“Michelle, wake up, darling.”
She felt the forgotten sun’s rays on her face and blearily opened her eyes. The voice… the sweet, touching voice that she remembered, and had feared that she had forgotten it. Was she with the angels and her mommy again…?
Her small hand felt something warm and full of life next to her, and she knew deep in her heart that she was still living and this wasn’t a dream.
“M-mommy?” she said in an unbelieving, small voice and not fully opening her eyes.
“Yes, darling. I missed you so much, but now everything’s going to be ok. I love you so much, my little angel,” her mother’s gentle voice touched something deep within Michelle’s heart.
“I love you too, mommy,” she wept, holding her mother close to her. She felt deliriously happy and a million of other emotions that overwhelmed her young mind. Everything that she had done and experienced evaporated in that second from her young mind, as she felt her mother alive in her arms.
She cried joyfully, hugging her mother and opened her eyes fully to see her dear mother once more.
The Zigzagoon stared back at her, still covered in blood that still pooled around its open neck, but with the unmistakable glimmer of love that she had always seen in her mother’s eyes.
“You know I never failed you, Michelle…”
The doll’s words echoed once more in her tortured mind. Madness dawned in her brown eyes as she heard them repeated over again and again, while she stared into the love-brimmed eyes of the Zigzagoon.
Her mommy was back.
Twins with Sike Saner! She loves to stay in the shadows.
24th March 2005, 5:16 PM
I remember this story. I read it a long time ago but anyways, still like this story hope it doesn't get pruned again...
25th March 2005, 2:48 AM
Horror mistress, indeed. This seems so much like something that would have emerged from my own ideas, it's amazing. Despite careful rereading, I wasn't able to find a single error in any category. The description was utterly vivid, and I had no problem visualizing it all. You've done a wonderful job with Ms. Daisy's character, beguiling yet sinister at the same time, very much like my Banette from Malice. ^^ You've also captured Michelle's innocence very realisticially, especially when she attempts to deny that her mother isn't dead. Bravo on a splendid horror story. ^^
25th March 2005, 4:30 AM
wow...that was deep.i couldn't understand the ending, but i caught the jist...
it just seemed to stick in my mind. so she went mad, and hugged the dead zigzagoon thinking that it was her mom? or was it actually happening? because this is really good. forgive my ignorance.
rating:9.99999999 (reapeating)/10. perfection is impossible, but you can get close!
25th March 2005, 5:46 AM
I remember reading the first copy of this and realizing that I had no clue what the heck I read. =P That's a good thing though.
Extremely creepy. One of those fics that sent chills up my spine. The innocence of Michelle and the pure evil of her doll . . . *shudder*
Whoever first called you Horror Mistress described you (fanfiction wise) perfectly in just two words.
Excuse me for the crappy review, I just got back into it heh. I know, excuses are bad. -.-;