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The Lost Marble

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

Acrid air crept into my lungs, turning my stomach, but somehow I managed to keep the food inside. I didn’t move. Soon, I was going to die, that was certain. He was young, almost my age, slightly taller. He looked at me, analyzing my every move. But in his movement he also expected something from me, and I didn’t understand what. He raised his knife and slowly put it to my chest. I didn’t retreat, speak, or show fear. It seemed to surprise him “You’re quiet.” – It wasn’t a question.

She didn’t dance as I wanted. She hasn’t backed away, neither cried, nor even begged for her life. I couldn’t understand why. Everyone prayed, begged on their knees. She looked at me with her green eyes, staring into my soul. It was disturbing, even painful for me. I clutched her hands against her body pressing it harder as I stepped toward her, but she remained standing in the same place, calm and serene. I haven’t felt the pleasure that I’d normally experience when confiscating their last breath. The sweet ecstasy covered me when I heard the desperate screams and I felt the power of destroyer in my vein. In their last desperate fight, they’d plunge their nails into my skin as I hammered the knife blade into their womb. And now, she stood there, looking at me blankly, almost without emotion, it was frustrating. “Why!” – I growled. My hands quiver as I waited for an answer. I didn’t like this change, not at all. I don’t kill out of anger. I want to satisfy my growing desire, of power, something that I was deprived of as a child. If she doesn’t satisfy my urge now, then more people will lose their lives.

“You think I’m not afraid?” – I whispered to malodorous air. Earth beneath my feet was cold and stale odor that spread throughout the small alley. We were surrounded by rusted metal and decaying walls of something that might have been called home in past. The reason I haven’t shown what I felt, I hated emotions. I have been hurt so many times, it numbed me. Life was too complicated for me, I wanted to end the pain. I longed for it. For emptiness, for death. And look again, fear, you have no place in the heart of someone who desires the gift of mortality. The feeling reminded me of the smell of poppies and iron. ” I am scared, terrified. But I know that your knife offers salvation. If you drive it in me now, I’ll never have to feel again. I want it. I yearn for it. “- I sighed wearily before I continued. I felt his grip loosen. Sweat dripped from both our skin even in the frigid cold. “The desire … another feeling. But I’m able to endure it if I get what I want. “- Permanent hiatus, I hoped.

I watched her lips while she was telling her last thoughts. It was so sensual when they uttered the words. But it was different for her, it distracted me from my aim. It made me weak and I hated it. In the rage I pushed her body up against the wall and pressed the knife to her stomach. She didn’t exclaim, and kept looking at me, staring with those eyes. Icy sweat enveloped. We both saw death as the only way out. I breathed on her neck and watched the tingling on her skin. The beast in me growled, struggled and wanted to taste her blood. She suddenly took the knife and pressed it harder. “Take it!” – She whispered in my ear. And the whole world stopped. I lost the desire as something new, something unknown enveloped me. Roughly, I grabbed her neck and pulled her close taking her further, in the dark alley.

I don’t know what made me stand up and force my legs to take my weight on the snowy night. The street was empty, just the night lamp gave away my presence. His ferocious growl filled the alley. We moved together closely, almost dancing in the pathway. I felt the warm blood on my feet as it dripped down. I savored the moment.

I saw her as she moved about in the cold wind. My hands were covered in blood; I could smell it now. Her grip on the knife tightened even more and I kept clutching her now cold hands. In my life I have grabbed the hands of many women, but I felt it for the first time today. We shared the joyous moment together. I buried my face in long hair, it smelled of fruits and orchard, the purity of nature.

Blankness, it has finally arrived. He was opening his mouth and looked at me with those big dark eyes, but I did not understand anything. My senses were blurring now. I didn’t see him. I’ve just … watched. Everyone can look, but not see. Finally, I understood. I smiled. He looked at me puzzled, and then he smiled. He had a nice smile. I didn’t have the strength to keep my eyes open. Slowly, I closed them, but the young man didn’t want to leave me at peace. He shook me. Then he did something I would have never expected. He hugged me, tightly. This kind of hugs would only be shared between people who had known each other for a long time. As if we were lovers. I somehow managed to put my arms around him. Hot tears poured down my cheek and blackness enveloped me. I sank into beloved void as the sounds of a distant cry filled me.

I watched her grow fainter by the second. The thought sunk into me. I have always been alone but this time I felt lonely. I kept saying “Don’t go”. She’d leave me now. I panicked at the thought. Her eyes were closing. I shook her up. I wanted to relive the moment without the blood. It was too late now and in a desperate attempt to feel her I did the impossible, I hugged her. And memories came back of the lonely child whose bruised eye wept tears only to be stopped by the mother’s embrace. The sweet love. It wasn’t ecstasy, it was more. And as her heart stopped, I cried and screamed. I was tired and lost. I took the knife and plunged it into my heart. The pain was overwhelming as I knew I neared her once more. Finally, somewhere in death I found love.

- Rév O’Conner and Karolina Škaljin

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