Fiction Friday: The Villain, Part II

Fiction Friday continues.

***
Remorse had started to creep in.

At first it was only a tiny pang of nothingness. A blind spot. Rough and calloused around the edges, but easily ignored.

But every day that hole grew bigger.

She’d wake in the morning and see his face. She’d catch glimpses of him while she walked down the street. See him smiling one moment, then broken and lifeless the next. And it only made the emptiness grow.

Daphne wondered blandly if this is how other people reacted – or would react if they did such a thing.

She’d expected it to be different. After she murdered Carlos, she’d felt – briefly – so alive. That moment was a flash a brilliance in her dull, grey, life and she’d thought, just for a moment, she thought she’d never feel so empty again.

She expected to feel terrible or exhilarated. To hate herself or feel the rush of pride. She expected to feel… something. You don’t just kill someone and walk away the same.

But Daphne felt empty now, just as she’d felt empty before.

Some days she’d tell herself that she was a mastermind. She’d gotten away with it. No one knew it was her. It proved she could do anything. She could outwit them all.

Other days she’d say she was terrible. The villain of the story if there were to be one. A vile creature hardly earning the status of humanity.

But whatever stories she told herself, they’d never ring true.

Some days she’d stand in the bathroom for hours, staring at herself in the mirror. Wondering if there was a person under that skin somewhere or just a malfunctioning robot. That would explain a lot.

Some days she wouldn’t get out of bed, passing the time just laying there for hours, staring at the ceiling. No movement, no thought.

She started to realize she needed help.

She couldn’t quite say when she realized it. But one morning she woke up, and…really woke up.

As if she’d had a dream where she’d cried uncontrollably for hours while sticking her hand in a flame to make herself feel better. A dream where she was repulsed by what she was, trying to destroy herself because she knew she was beyond redeeming. A dream where the emptiness swallowed her whole, where she simultaneously felt the lash of self-loathing and the cool relief of nothingness, as though no pain could ever touch her again.

It felt like a dream. Had she really done those things? She couldn’t remember. Not really, anyway. She remembered it like a book she’d once read. The actions were there, but not the feelings. Had that really been her?

Almost in a trance she got herself up to go to the local mental health clinic.

She could talk to someone there. Maybe they could help her.

Probably not, she thought.

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