WELCOME TO MY WORLD
+ Total Eclipse Of The Heart
It's over now. No more games. No more fear.
It's funny, isn't it? Coming home after all this time. She was shaking. Looking at the mansion that stood before her. A building made of the work her and her brother had done. Every moment of pain to a place she had never enjoyed. The cocktail parties her father threw. She remembered it all.
That pain was a part of her. The reason her father's voice was able to shake her. The reason she never enjoyed anything anymore. Because that phone call made her home unsafe. The thought that any moment he would knock and she would be back with her mother and father. So instead, today Bunny, no, Astrid, would knock. Knock on the door and open a life she deserved. A life unconfined. A life free.
That word, free. What does it mean? Is it love? No, it's not that. Is it hate? Despair? Hope? Bravery? Something within you? Something within your heart? Possibly, it is simply the dictionary definition of free.'not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes.' Or 'not or no longer confined or imprisoned'.
She had read books in her childhood. Of those who were chained up for all their days, to become heroes and men. To become people of the light.
But Astrid had left the light a long time ago. Not of her own wishes, but instead in the pursuit of a place to hide. A place to hide from what was behind the noise of a knuckle on her door. 3 hits of a hand on a piece of wood to flip her life and take her home.
Except she had not given that knock time to come. She did the knocking instead. Knock, knock, knock.
It was time for them to face their past.
Astrid's Mother was a small woman like her daughter. 5'1, thin, and light pink hair. Her face smiled that fake and awful smile Astrid had come to know from her mother. She didn't even seem like her daughter had been gone for a year. It seemed more like 3 days in her eyes. For Astrid, it felt like an eternity. An eternity where she got to feel real. Scared, but real.
"Ah, I was- uhm- just cooking dinner. Welcome home, little Bunny." Her mother said happily.
"Mother, that isn't my name."
"Bunny, your father and I have missed you a lot-"
"My name is Astrid, mother." She stated firmly. "In the way your name is Rose Dubois, I am Astrid Dubois. Not Bunny Dubois, but Astrid Dubois." Her hands quivered below the table, as she awaited a strike from her mother. Maybe the pot she was holding? Or just her hand?
But that never came. Just silence, as her mother stood in the kitchen with her jaw dropped. She had surprised her. Surprised that she was no longer the quiet, obedient daughter they had raised.
"I hope you're hungry. It's spaghetti. Your father will be awake soon, he's napping."
'Oh, so she wants him to deal with me. That's it then. Soon he will yell and hit me, and they will think that will be the end of my disobedience. The last time I raise my voice at them.'
And Astrid was right. She was sitting in her room, her replacement iLac in hand.
"Bunny, did you raise your voice at your mother?"
"Why? Haven't you hurt us enough?" As if you are the victim.
"Bunny is not my name." Couldn't you see?
"We will call you what we like. We are your parents." The pain I was in.
"But my name is Astrid. You named me Astrid, didn't you?" When you struck me?
"Bunny, that's quite enough. We missed you, and this is no way for a young woman to conduct herself when she gets home." Each time you say it. Call me that name.
"Stop calling me that. I wanna be called Astrid, okay? I decided to return home, so I can decide to be called Astrid, too." I want to scream.
He struck her. Hard. It bruised her cheek, making it go a bright red. She fell to the floor, looking up at her father from his feet. "And it is our decision that you stay here. You will not leave this time. You will do the jobs we tell you. Be called as we wish you to. Marry if we say. And we will find you a husband this time. Is that clear?"
She nodded. "Yes."
"Yes?" He questioned, glaring.
"Yes Sir." She emphasized sir. She watched him leave. Heard the door lock click.
She looked around her childhood room. Glass dolls. Each painted perfectly. Rosy cheeks. Bright smiles. Easily Breakable. Just like she had been. She had been.
A picture of her and her brother. In front of a tree. Her hair was bright pink. She leaned on him. It was perfect. The perfect and most peaceful moment. Was she asleep in that photo? He must have joked with her about it. Then, the picture came to life in her head.
"Hey, Asty, come here!!" He yelled from under the tree.
"But Dorko, I'm tired." She had responded. Dorko was her nickname for her brother. One that he had grown to like after a while.
"Just come on!! I have something to show you!!" He yelled, holding a black book. She ran up to him. "See, I stole it from dad's room. It's totally about the dark magic our family has I guess. I mean just read-"
He stopped when she realized she was basically asleep under the tree. "Dorko, can we read..." She yawned, "...Later?"
He sat down next to her, putting his coat over her and placing her head on his chest. "Guess it's fine. I'll talk to you when you get up."
She slept for hours. So did he, after he got his camera to take that photo.
Astrid set the photo down. Dorko, did he know the trouble she was in? Would he still love her?
It was night. Cold and silent. Other than the clicking of Astrid picking her lock with a pin. She held her spear in the other hand as she heard her mother in the hall coming closer. That tapping of her mother's nimble feet against the cold wooden floor.
Knock, knock, knock
She can't see her behind the door with her spear.
Knock, knock, knock
She's standing now, almost as tall as her mother on the other side.
The lock goes. There's nothing to stop her now. She's going to end it.
"Bunny, your fa-"
The spear is in her chest now. Some of the blood is on Astrid. Is she crying? She hated her mother, so why? Why does this hurt? She finally did what she has wanted for so long. Her mother falls backwards as the blood pools.
Astrid hits the floor too. Her bloodied hands try to stop the tears that fall. She's laughing too. Is it sad and funny? Sad and funny. Sad for no reason she can find, but funny because she cries for a black-hearted woman she once called 'Mommy'.
She can almost see herself in the hall. Her hair is long and pink. She holds a stuffed bunny in her crossed arms. She's only 5. She's looking down at the woman who lays in her own blood. Then she looks to Astrid.
"Are you happy?"
I don't know.
"What you did. This blood is on our hands now. No matter how much we shower, it's going to stay."
I know that. She deserved it.
"No one deserves to die. We don't know where she went."
She went to hell.
"Won't we just meet her there?"
Maybe. But I'll just kill her over, and over, and over again.Father too. They'll be on my hands.
"What happened to us? Who did we become, that we have no remorse for them anymore."
Astrid got up from the floor she was crying on, taking her spear in her hands. She stepped over her mother. Her shoes tapped on the ground as she walked the halls. She was like a predator on a mission, her eyes blank.
"What are we?"
She walked down the stairs. She knew where her father's study was. She opened the door, noticing the difference of the layout of the room. Most specifically, a pendant that rested on top of a book on his desk.
She recognized the book as the one her brother had taken in their childhood. She traced their family name 'Dubois', which was engraved in gold on the front of the book. A symbol lay beneath it.
Opening the book, she realized it was a journal. She read and was horrified.
The journal talked of cultivating a soul of the Dubois name. Of the lost magic useable by the cultivated soul. Murder, lust, power, and much more of the cultivated soul. Of the lost magic, some of the spells had been written down. They were enough to scare her. But perhaps the way a soul was cultivated to use the magic scared her more.
Because it was the way she was raised. A lack of love, hatred, abuse, everything she had gone through was there. It was like a guide on how to raise a serial killer.
Astrid couldn't even turn around fast enough when she heard her father talking. She just began to see black and...
She was somewhere dark. Her knees at her chest. She looked around. Nothing. No one.
The floor beneath her rippled when she moved. A liquid? She tried to pick some up, finding it to be dark red. Oh. Blood. After seeing the blood around her mother, the substance didn't worry her anymore. She was unfazed now.
Then there was someone. A woman. She was pale, contrasting with her dark black hair. Matching her hair, her wings rested on her lower back, against a long white gown. She had horns that wrapped to her forehead. She spoke, her tone calm.
"So, you are the one who is mine now, small girl?"
"I guess so. That's what the journal was about, right? Eclipsing my heart so you could live here?" Astrid looked up at her.
"Indeed. It is the destiny of a woman of the Dubois family to bare my Lost Magic, as we share this body. Since your father uttered those words, we have become bonded until your death. Right now, I am causing your father's death. I know how much you hate him. Would you like to tell me what exactly he did? It is a story I long to hear."
Astrid told the woman the story. Everything that had happened to her. Her family, her brother, her guild. She told her about how weak she could feel. It was like having a therapy session with a demon.
The woman before her laughed. "My, my, girl. They sure went through a lot of trouble to get me here, didn't they? Don't worry, though. While I'm having my fun, others will learn to respect you. No one is going to hurt you anymore, and those who try will fall as your father has."
Astrid looked up at her. "I don't want to be Bunny anymore." She said calmly.
"Then let's pick a new name. One that we can share, so that Astrid can be a gift to those you choose to trust."
They both thought for a moment. Astrid thought of her current state, and what the process of cultivating a soul was called.
It was called "Heart Eclipse"
"We can be Eclipse." She said. "It will represent how we will share this body, as the moon and sun share the sky."
The demon woman smiled at the name. "I like it. Eclipse then, that will be our name." She paused. "And just so you know, I will use this body whenever I please until you are powerful enough to say otherwise. They will come to fear the lost Demon Heart magic of the Dubois family when I am around."
Astrid nodded, then was awake again. She saw her father's dead body. She picked up the Journal and pendant. It was a pretty piece of Jewelry. She placed it around her neck.
She tidied up the mansion, as it was hers now. Wouldn't want that blood everywhere.
She found her mothers hair dye. Time to change up her look.
She cut her hair. Dyed the tips pink. Put on some old armor from the attic that went well with her spear.
She looked in the mirror. She could hear the demon woman in her head. "It is our turn to hurt the world now..."
ALL THE GOOD IN ME WAS TAKEN BY MY FATHER'S HANDS