Inner Demon (Part 1)
Sun light shined down worming her cheeks, the smell of winter was still heavy in the air, but spring was already trying to make a stand, and claim it’s time in the world. Holding out a fist full of sunflower seeds, Amber watched, the little goldfinch perched on her fingers, selecting which seeds to consume and which to toss aside.
She smiled at the bird enjoying the feel of its talons clamping down on her fingers. Beautiful, delicate little bird, she thought. She didn’t move, didn’t’ twitch, just stared down smiling at the little bird hopping around in her hand. It would be so easy to curl her fingers into a fist, crushing the small animal. Feel its hart beat against her fingers as she crushed the life out of it.
The thought came and was gone in an instant, leaving a sour taste in her mouth and an insatiable hunger she had no way to sate.
She pushed to her feet startling the bird, and dumping the hand full of seeds to the ground. Wiping her hands on her jeans, she turned around and walked back into the house she shared with her mother, sister, and stepfather.
The house was small but, cozy. The perfect place for a young family just staring out. Not that she ever felt welcomed there, the product of her mother’s youthful indiscretion, Amber had always been the one to be shut out. Out of her mother’s heart, out of her mother’s life, until two years ago, when her maternal grandmother had died, leaving the then fourteen year old Amber to her mother’s care, snits she had no other living blood kin.
Her mother had accepted her with the same cool courtesy she had always held for the child she had never wanted, and hadn’t been able to get rid of. Amber sighed; her grandmother had threatened to disown her mother if anything happened to the child.
Even in death her grandmother protected her. Her grandmother’s will allotted her mother a stately income, for each month that she lived with her until Amber’s eighteenth birthday, at witch point, Her mother would receive the rest of her inheritance and her grandmother’s estate would be split between Amber and Lara her eight year old sister.
Her grandmother had owned two homes, a large summer home in southern Florida, and a Manor House in eastern Washington. The summer home would be given to Lara and their mother, until Lara was eighteen, and then the house would be solely hers. The Manor would go to Amber.
But that was still two years away, her sixteenth birthday had only just passed, and she was as of yet still under her mother’s thumb. She thought sometimes, that her mother did love her, in her own cold sort of way. But Amber knew that was just the wish of a heart sore girl.
She wanted to love her mother, did love her sister, and found her stepfather to be tolerable, at times.
She knew the feeling of unease in the house was because of her, but there was nothing she could do about that.
As she walked down the hall heading for her room, Lara came out of the bathroom. Seeing Amber, she smiled and gave her sister a quick hug, before skipping on down the hall heading for the living room, Amber shook her head and continued on her way.
Lara was always doing odd little things like that. She had an innocence that Amber envied, but knew wouldn’t last. Their mother would see to that.
Closing the door to her bedroom, she strode across the room before flopping down on the bed, and burying her face in the pillows for a moment. With a sigh, she propped her self up, and reached for the book she was reading, switching on her lamp she put on her reading glasses and steeled in for a quiet afternoon.
Amber swept the floor absently, her mind wondered to better days, a time when she had cleaned for enjoyment, not work, not for pay, not for anything other then the fact that she had enjoyed it.
Pulling up the curtain of copper hair that hung down her back, Amber waved her hand fanning the back of her neck. She hated summer, it was always too hot, and being stuck in a stuffy house, doing chores she no longer found any pleasure in.
Amber sighed wishing she could be anywhere but here. The front door slammed and she heard her mother’s nastily voice.
“It’s not like the girl dose anything useful. She is just a waist of space and money, if it wasn’t for that damn Will she wouldn’t be here at all.”
Temper flashed in Amber’s eyes and for a moment, she saw the world in a red haze, imagining her hand closing over the largest knife in the block, and using it to paint the walls in blood. She could almost feel the blade slicing through flash and bone. Could almost smell hot fresh blood, and hear her mother’s strangled screams.
Then she blinked, and the moment was gone, leaving that familiar a sour taste in her mouth and insatiable hunger. She shivered, when she saw her hand was clamped down on the knife ready to pull it from the block, It was several moments before she was able to convince her muscles to release the blade’s handle.
She heard her mother heading down the hall heading for the room she shared with her husband. Amber quickly finished her sweeping, before heading to her own room, and changed clothes.
Fantasies were one thing, she thought lacing up her boots, acting up on them… That was something else…. Something else entirely. She thought, shaking her head in dismay.
Leaving the house Amber made her way, to the small barn, that held the family’s three horses and single pony.
Dark Dancer was a Hanoverian, black, with a white sock on his left hind leg and a blaze of white down his face. She loved the delicate warmblood, he was strong and sturdy, but despite being gelded he was stallion mean.
This unfortunately meant that no one other then herself could, brush, groom, ride or touch the horse, with out getting, stepped on or bitten. The beast’s temperament cased Amber quite a bit of heartache, but she loved the mean spirited animal with all her heart. All thirteen hundred pounds of him.
Her mother had threatened more then once to be rid of him, and Amber feared, one day she would come down to the stables and find him gone. The thought saddened her, he had a rotten temper, but a strong heart, he was a good friend. The best she had.
She kissed him, once on the muzzle. Clicking softly she led the horse from his stall. Once saddled she climbed on to Dancer’s broad back, slipping her feet into the stirrups she settled comfortably into saddle.
Once settled on the horse’s back, reins in hand, she took a deep cleansing breath, the scents of horse, leather, hay, and fresh air.
Keeping a tight hold on the reins, she squeezed with her knees, signaling the horse forward. The only sound was the gentle clip-clop of Dancer’s hooves on concrete as they left the stables.
She waved at Thomas, one of the two stable hands her mother hired to look after the horses, and single pony. The gate leading to the rode was no longer open, Thomas must have shut it she thought.
“Oh well” she said with a shrug, “come on boy’o.” she said urging Dancer into a quick trot. They didn’t need much speed to make the jump. Though standing the gate reached her shoulder’s, but
Though originally bred for pulling caches and war, Hanoverian had been used and bred for sports snits the end of World War Two, and both of Dancer’s parents had helped their rider’s to medal in the Olympics some years ago.
Dancer had been expensive, the last gift from her grandmother before she died.
She rose in the stirrups, bracing her self. Dancer’s muscles bunched, a second before he jumped. They flew over the gate smoothly, landing on the other side with a heavy thud.
Amber urged he horse into a gallop and the two of them disappeared down the rode.
“Come to me… Come to me… Child… Wake and come to me…”
She knew that voice, this dream was o familiar. Always, always the same. It was her own voice, and yet not. She fallowed the voice, walking down a dark corridor. Doors passed and still it called.
“Come to me… Come to me child… Come to me…”
It seemed like ages had passed when the corridor finally ended she came to the ironbound door. It looked to be made of dark cherry wood, with wrought iron vines, unfurling black leaves and flowers as they climbed over the wood. She looked at the door frame and glared at the dozens of gleaming silver locks.
She knew what called to her was behind the door. Amber noted that ever snits she’d begun having this dream at the age of twelve, more and more of the locks had been coming undone. And now after four years only one lock remained.
She stared up at the large silver deadbolt, it was the final lock on the door of locks, and the damn thing was just out of reach. The lock was positions in the far left corner. The door was at least eight feet in height, and being only five foot three, she knew there was no way for her to reach it. But by all rights she shouldn’t have been able to reach the last three lock, then again this was a dream.
Reaching for the lock, she stretched her arm and fingers as far as they would go. Just a bit more, she thought rising up on her tip toes. As her fingers brushed the bottom of the lock, she grimaced, realizing there was no way for her to reach the lock well enough to turn it.
As she started to pull back, the shroud of disappointment at her failure, she stopped startled by the site of black mist rising up from her finger tips. Entwining its self around the lock the mist seemed to become more and more tangible, until seemed to from a glittering black ribbon. The ribbon wrapped its self around the lock and Amber’s own wrist. Grapping the ribbon she have it a gentle tug and felt the lock shift ever so slightly. Excited, she pulled the ribbon harder, and felt the metal give way, and herd the soft, “shink” as the lock slid open. The large door made a soft creaking grown as it swung open.