Character Pieces, Fantasy, Home

Stained White Claws

She’s not sorry. Is that the worst of it? That she’s not even sorry despite all the blood and the aching in her limbs and the silence — they’re not screaming anymore. Hadn’t that been what she wanted? She’d wanted them to stop. Stop talking, stop lying, stop being so cruel. She’d wanted it so bad she’d reached out and sliced through —

Had her claws ever been this wet? She stares at them. Pointed tips dark with blood, porcelain white flesh stained red. She’d never gotten blood on them before. Not even after so many centuries. Not during her take-overs, not when she punished all those who disrespected her Title or her kin. Not even the first time she met Wrath. Their fight hadn’t been bloody, though Wrath often argued she’d cheated by knocking him out but.

She’s no stranger to blood, to violence or death, but, she’d never actually gotten blood on her hands before. It’s a strange realization. She breathes in, tasting iron and dirt, and breathes out. Her chest feels no lighter, despite the ease of her breath. She can’t look away from her stained hands.

They’d deserved it. She knows this, she feels no remorse for her actions. Should she? Should she feel some flicker of remorse or pity for those who lie at her feet, broken and drenched? She doesn’t know. This is unknown territory, and she’d forgotten to bring her lifejacket.

Breathe in, and out. In, and out. The red’s still there, drying on her fingers. She should go wash it off. She doesn’t move. She doesn’t understand what’s wrong. She’s killed before, murdered so many, too many to count. She’s killed for lessor offenses, so why is it bothering her now? Why does the red on her hands feel so horrible?

Clink. The scrap of armored plates brushing together. Heavy steps. Breathe in, and out. Smoke. Ash and heat. Oh, Wrath’s here.

A shadow falls over, sending a shiver down her spine. She blinks. She should look up, greet her Brother, but. There’s blood on her hands and everything feels wrong. She flinches as larger, sharper claws come to curl around her own. She twitches, she doesn’t want to dirty him. Not that he’s unfamiliar with blood but still.

She doesn’t stop him from cupping her stained hands. His body warm even with his armor between them, waves of heat rolling over her, relaxing her. She leans back with a dull thunk. Wrath chuckles, the deep menacing sound reverberating in her chest. The sound pulls at her soul, relaxing the unseen tightening sensation on her chest. She breathes, it’s easier.

“I’m not sorry.” She whispers. “Is that wrong?”

“That’s for you to decide.” Wrath rumbles, thumb scrapping her palm. A line of white blooms up from beneath the red. She breathes, her fingers tremble in his hold. It’s her decision. Does she need to apologize to the wretched humans who lied and screamed and spit curses that burned like drops of acid?

She’d just wanted them to stop. She hadn’t just wanted their silence. She didn’t even try to put them to sleep. Knock them out and leave their minds to be devoured by their own dark twisting thoughts and nightmares. She flexes her stained hands, remembering the feeling of flesh parting for her claws. Remembers the feeling of blood spurting across her face, tasting iron on her tongue.

“I’m not sorry for killing them.” She says. “But I am sorry for how they died. That feeling, their blood on my claws…” Her voice falls, she clenches her fists, pressing back harder against her Brother. “I’ve never had it on my hands before.” She admits. “I’ve never needed too.”

“And this time?” Wrath asks.

“I don’t know.” She says, finally tilting her head far enough to meet her Brother’s crimson gaze. “I just moved. I was so angry. I don’t know why. I tore through them with mu claws. It was easy.” She tells him.

“Did you enjoy it?” Crimson eyes narrow. She shudders at the sight, Wrath’s judgement hanging over her head.

“No.” She answers. “I don’t like the blood. I don’t like it on my hands.” Her eyes burn as she stares into Wrath’s eyes, knowing she too is being stared into. Wrath’s eyes soften, as much as they’re able. He breathes out with her, smoke spilling from between his teeth. She breathes in, tasting ash, burning wood, and iron.

Wrath says nothing as he lifts her into his arms. He turns as she snuggles close, smoke swirling around her head. She is so tired. Her hands are still red. Her Brother’s steps are heavy, the earth trembling, rocking her cradled body. She thinks of her own Title, of how un-sloth-like her actions have been. She thinks of the things those humans said about her and her kin.

She is tired. She doesn’t want to think anymore. Her Brother is warm. They are going home. Sloth shuts her eyes, and slips into the darkness of sleep.

(PS: This story might be a part of a longer work I’m thinking of. Let me know what you readers think.)

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