Crimson Night


                She stood at the corner of the street, her hair red, dark, but unmistakably red.  Her face was a pale slate framed by her dark hair, rounded chin, dark eyes that could bore a hole through a wall if they were to stare just a little too long.  She wore a short leather jacket with sleeves that extended the length of her arms, just beyond the tips of her thin fingers.  It was zipped up to just under her chin where it hugged her neck, a clasp pulled across the front and belting holding it tightly closed.  Her boots were black, thick and capable.  The rest of her was covered in black as well, including a skirt, but not for style, for ability.  The two swords she had belted across her jutted hips said as much.  The gun belted to her other hip said more.

She was called Mercy, though she had not been known to give any.  Not ever.  The swords at her side had seen many throats slit from their sharpened caressing blades.  It was told that the blades could sever a man’s head from its body without even an effort, just a motion.  But it was not the blades which had sent those around her running.  It was the look she gave to the woman standing across the street eyeing her with just the same intensity.

She wore white, black piping down the sides and through the folds down the long gown that she wore.  From her shoulders was a shawl that fell the length of her arms, red as scarlet, and draped to a fine point just behind her knees.   Her hair was yellow, but only just, in that it was nearly white and circled in fanciful ringlets that fell all about her face, her ears, and the back of her fine neck.  The sword she had at her hip was a single blade, a rapier with a wrapping hilt of brightest silver.  The blade, its name whispered to it only by its wielder, was known to be unbelievably strong.  The blade that could hole a steel door, for it was equally sharp as it was strong.  Glory was her name, and though the people adored her, they ran from the coming battle that was even now being decided within the stare that had come between the two combatants.  And tonight, finally, the two were in agreement that the endless battles would end. One would not walk away, not again.

“You interrupted my night at the theater, Mercy.” Glory said.

A thin smile lifted at the sides of Mercy’s mouth as she responded, “Then you should thank me.  Opera is an absolute atrocious example of music.”

“I’m sorry its not up to your…standards.  What do you have underneath that jacket of yours?  A Clash T-Shirt?  Maybe David Bowie?  Always the little fashion queen.  Always with you what is hip.  Have you ever even tried to listen to something else?  Or just what people agree is good?”

The smile fell, her eyes narrowed.  Seconds stretched before she responded.  “Glory…the people’s doll.  So prim.  So proper.  So perfect.  At least in everything but your taste in music.  Don’t you ever get tired of being better than everyone else?”

This time it was Glory that smiled.  Widely her red lips stretched as she laughed and put her hand upon the hilt of her fine blade.  “Doll?  You have never been soo complimentary before.  Perhaps your words reveal a deeper content.  Or perhaps…a desire?  Is that the root of all of this?  I, whom lost everything to you?  You, the beast, the wraith, the devil’s bitch mistress, who found your way from hell to these streets?  Is it some sick infatuation that has you coming for me these many years?”

Mercy’s eyes narrowed, one hand extending from the sleeve of her jacket and resting upon the hilt of one of her swords.  “Foul cunt!”  She said before spitting to her side.   “That I would ever find something like you of interest.  After all that I have endured, only to finally rid myself of all those that wronged me, giving them the justice that had soo long been stolen from me.  Taken from this body, you know nothing of what has been placed upon this soul, what disgusting human nature I have seen of this world.  What I have seen anyone capable of. Imagine the things that these sick and perverted people think of you, their beautiful doll.  What would they do to you if you could not defend yourself, my dear?  Hmmm?  You owe me.  You vapid bitch!”

“Owe you?!  You’re fucking insane!  You took EVERYTHING from me!”  Glory shouted and through the emptied streets it nearly seemed to echo until all had grown still again.  “The man I was to marry.  The child we had born together.  My dearest, who was everything to me, who would never harm a hair on anyone’s head. A child who never got to see this bright world, removed by the filth that was allowed to burrow it’s dark nature so thickly that it would saturate such beauty as I had once known.  I am your justice, Mercy!  The one that you deserve!”

Glory whispered a name in the stagnant air, so it did not carry, but Mercy could see those fine red lips move, and speak such a simple, familiar word: Mercy. The blade was loosed from its hilt and shone as if alight in the evening darkness.

“Quite a name you’ve given her.  That blade of yours.  Whom I have so often seen, which has pierced my skin, my fucking heart!  I’ll give you reason to call it that as I drive it into your heart!  Give you back to your lover, that trash that would make you believe his true nature was not to capture something like you and display it as a tamed beast for those passing by to congratulate such a man for capturing such a splendid creature.  That is not love, that is not beautiful!”

Mercy pulled a blade from its hilt, then took the other blade in hand and pulled it out.  One onyx, one a shimmering silver reflecting the changing streetlights around.  “Care to know which one was driven through your fiancé’s heart?  You’ve never asked you know?”

Glory had stopped listening as she was running towards Mercy, her arm extending her blade to her side, the very air appearing to split in gusts around it as it was swiftly brought up to meet against the two blades of Mercy, who smiled through her dark lips as her cold eyes thinned in excitement.

“Well then,”  Mercy began with tempered breathes between words. “Looks like you’re finally ready to find out who’s better!”

“No, Mercy.  It’s time to put an end to this, once and for all!  It’s time for one of us to finally kill the other, don’t you think?!”

To be continued…

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