Destined for Darkness - A Letter for you

Submitted into Contest #98 in response to: Write a story involving a character who cannot return home.... view prompt

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Sad Mystery Fantasy

Dear Esser,

I watch you.

During the night, during the day... during work hours, during leisure time. I watch you all day, every day.

It sounds terrifying, right? There's a random stranger lurking about, looking into your life. Staring, never joining.

But I'm not a random stranger. I'm not a creep, looking scandalously into people that do not concern me.

No, I'm not.

I'm... Well, I'm family.

Or at least, I was.

I grew up with you. Don't you remember? Your one little sister, your one best friend. I'm her. 

I'm yours. 

But you don't remember. 

Why would you, when your life is so perfect without me? When your days number infinite, and your happiness leaks out with the viscosity of endless joy.

Why would you bother remembering?

No, it's better that you don't.

It's not like I can come home any time soon anyway.

There are... people who will stop me. Circumstances beyond your- beyond my control. They will stop at nothing to impede my existence. My memory. 

After all, as long as I am forgotten, I am theirs. As long as you do not remember me, I am theirs. As long as the world does not know, as long as you do not care, as long as I cannot come home...

I am theirs. 

I have theirs since we parted.

Do you remember?

It was a day with a golden sunset and cool, crisp air. It was a day that was almost perfect for us to run about, play.

convinced you to come. You were just a little worried. You told, in clear-cut terms that struck me as particularly thoughtless at the time (When now, they strike me as full of care and love and worry - for me), that you did not want to go out. That we shouldn't go out.

You had a bad feeling then. 

Your bad feelings, love, are always on point. I would say it's a magic few humans have, and that would be true. Except... well, it's not time to discuss that.

Where was I? 

Oh, yes. You not wanting to go out.

I still convinced you, of course. That's my magic. Persuasion.

Ha! Not that I could ever manage to persuade them to let me come home. They've managed quite a bit, you know. By the time I even thought of trying, they'd built resistance—barriers against me. 

But that's a story for another day. That's a story I might just share if I ever end up meeting you again (even in the darkness/even if you do not know/I want to meet you even then/I want to meet you now).

For now, I should finish the tale I've begun, or I might just lose my courage in sharing it with you.

I convinced you to go out that day, and we walked the whole way to the park we were never supposed to go near. That's the thing about forbidden fruits, isn't it? The curiosity, the desire to find out why. 'The forbidden fruit is the juiciest of them all.'

It's really, really not.

We went to the park not knowing why it was forbidden and not caring that it was. It was beautiful, after all, with tall, willowy trees and smiling children playing about. 

I'd always wanted to play with others - it was one of my most desperate wishes.

But we were never allowed, just like we were never allowed to go to that park.

But we did. We went. We took one step inside the gate, and everything changed.

The park, the green, the light--

It all changed.

You changed. 

Your eyes bled black, and your arms started to- to shift into something I could not recognize. Your hair fell in piles and piles until you no longer had any, and rough, gnarled horns began to poke out of your skin, glistening red with your blood.

You dropped my hand, but I was too scared to care.

You were changing, shifting, turning into-

I cannot even say the word. 

will not say the word.

[Monster]

Why? Why did it happen? Why did you turn? Why did we have to come to this stupid park in the first place?!

(It was all my fault. Always my fault.)

You began walking to the other children in the park, and I noticed, only then, that they were just like you.

And standing behind them, shrouded in golden light that was salt upon my wounds, were two people who weren't monsters. Who were normal.

... Like me. 

But they were older, harder.

Eviller.

I tried to step back, out of the park (Leaving you, but what else could I do?), but to no avail.

There was- there was something that stopped me. Magic. A barrier, perhaps.

And the two people saw me. They saw me, and they smiled, and for the first time in my life (but not the last - never the last), I felt fear.

I felt the emotion tear away from my heart and slowly poison my blood until I couldn't move. Slowly but surely, it found its way to my mind, to my legs, to my entire body.

I couldn't move, and I couldn't say a word.

... I won't tell you what happened next. It's not-

It's not something I want to hurt you with. Maybe some other day. 

Some other life.

You might be cross with me. I mean, you have every right to be. With everything I did? Everything I continue to do?

The truth is, you were my conscience. You were my tether. My morals. My ethics.

You were my elder sister, and I really, really miss you.

But I can't come home.

If I do, everything I have done will be for nothing. You'll start remembering what happened to you. Why it happened to you. You'll start remembering the horror of changing into something beyond your control. You'll remember the horror of what you've done. You'll remember me, but you won't.

You'll remember me, only to change back to that- that form that can only survive there. In that stupid, stupid park. That stupid dimension.

That stupid...

You'll change, and you won't remember anything that way, so what's even the point?

Why am I even writing this, Esser? You're never going to read it because otherwise, you'll come looking for me. And we can't have that. They can't have that.

I may be yours, but I'm really not because they will always look at me, take me to where you are, and show me that I'm theirs. 

I will always be theirs.

... Goodbye, Esser, and I'm sorry I can't come home.

Signed,

Your Little Sister.

June 18, 2021 08:00

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