Cole Bangert and Haleigh McDole - November 29, 2022
The navy night whispered and the stars flickered on and off. This flushed out as the rage in his head boiled uncontrollably. Every footstep and every mumble of a person’s voice threw his brain into a frenzy. Slanting towards the rusting, steel bars, his eye latched onto the sight of a man strolling down the dim hallway. The black base of the baton recoiled off the bumps of the bars until it reached Belvedere’s pale face. His expression contorted into a creepy smile that reached all the way up his cheeks. Petrified by the sight, the baton acted on its own and slammed into Belvedere’s nose. He flung backwards and suddenly encountered a familiar face. A bruised and beaten mask of a girl floated into view; his dear sister Millicent was, of course, with him.
She spoke softly to him, “You’re not going to allow him to get away with that are you?”
The girl’s words crawled through his ears, triggering a response known only to him. As soon as the guard’s attention was diverted, Belvedere lunged at the man, snagging his shirt through the bars. He drug the man against the metal, relishing in the rips ensued by the decaying bars.
The guard’s shirt clung to him by a string, trying to protect his flesh from the same fate. Specks of crimson decorated his back, growing with every passing second.
Millicent’s voice continued ringing through the air, encouraging the violence Belvedere was committing. “Don’t let him get away with it,” she repeated over and over again, a quiet yet urging tone laced in her words.
Belvedere took her words as a drug, letting them seep into the darkest parts of his mind. They were addictive in such a sense that he couldn’t stop. He couldn’t stop hurting the guard. He couldn’t stop fawning over the screams. He couldn’t stop himself from finding the guard’s eyes, thrusting the tips of his fingers into them. He couldn’t stop when the blood trickled down his hand. He couldn’t stop when the alarms began to blare. Even as he was being dragged away to a place unknown, Millicent’s words still hung in the air. His obsession to cure Millicent’s will swept over him entirely. It drove his thoughts into an endless spiral until Belvedere was instantaneously thrown into a room he knew all too well. The padded whiteness blinded his eyes as he was knocked down onto the padding. The door slammed shut behind him.
He glanced around the room, shaking his head violently. He crawled pathetically into the corner and rocked himself to the beat of his heart. He shook with fear, Where’s Millicent, where is she? He mused to himself. Then to his relief the sound of her soothing voice put his mind at ease.
“Please don’t give up now! Get revenge, punish them! Kill them!” she cackled.
Belvedere cracked a smile and became mesmerized by the scarlett blood splattered on his fingertips. He stumbled towards the door like a ferocious bear and thrashed at the colorless door. He screamed maniacally as his fists started to throb after the repeating action of cuffing the door. The guards shouted from the other side, demanding him to stop acting like a child. He couldn’t stop. The anger emitting from the guard only fueled his desire to irk the man.
Then the door let out a caterwaul as it was thrown open, revealing a vexed guard. His mind was no longer in control as he sprang towards the guard. He could only hear the pitiful wailing of the man that struggled under Belvedere’s weight as his grip around his prey’s neck tightened. He stopped screaming. Belvedere wasn’t finished. He hooked his fingers under the small, shining, white platelets of teeth and wrenched out each one. He heard only the noise of cracking and tissue tearing; then came the sound of blissful giggling.
“All of this is for you, my dear, precious sister,” he hummed to her.
The satisfaction overwhelmed him as he saw her cherished smile pop on her abused face. He then felt the need to cup her face and wipe off the specks of blood off her cheek.
“My dear sister tell me, who inflicted these injuries onto your beauty?”
Her face then darkened with a pain Belvedere couldn’t stand to see. Her soft whisper then filled his head with his next assignment.
“The Warden did this to me,” she murmured.
Belvedere could feel his sight start to blur in a red hue as he now started to crave blood. Not just any blood, the blood of the Warden who dared to put his filthy hands on Millicent. He stormed out of the room that failed to stay in its perfect white color. He trudged through the dim and leaky halls knowing the leash was off and the monster was now loose.
The other asylees flooded to the entrance of their cages, peering out at the chosen one. He who had broken from the chains was the one they shall follow. He is the one they shall cherish. He is the one who shall avenge them.
As Belvedere passed by the others, Millicent following behind, he met their eyes, recognizing their beliefs. He was now their leader. He was their god.
“Brother,” Millicent sang, “We must take them.”
Belvedere stopped in his tracks, turning to face his dear sister. “Why must we?”
“Because Brother, you mustn't be harmed. They may protect you from those aiding the Warden.”
Retrieving the keys from one of the deceased guards, Belvedere began releasing his disciples. “Friends,” he called, “The Warden has harmed my dear Millicent. He must pay for his sins.”
Yells of agreement echoed throughout the hall as more and more predators were released. They had but one mission to fulfill: protect the chosen one to cleanse the world of evil.
Belvedere allowed his followers to cover him and Millicent, praising them for their obedience.
As they breached the entrance of their wing, more guards appeared, signaling alarms that had yet to go off. The asylees lunged at each uniform, disarming and attacking them.
Amidst the chaos, Millicent’s eyes found Belvedere’s. Both at peace. Millicent hummed a tune from their childhood, pacing quietly towards the Warden’s office.
Belvedere couldn’t help but smile when hearing the ghastly screams, knowing they were all for his sweet Millicent. He couldn’t help but blindly follow his precious angel who was laying down the path for freedom and revenge. The taste for vengeance was so close he could taste it. The sweet and sugary desire for retribution clouded his senses as the light at the end of his tunnel finally shined brighter than any sun or star.
He beamed through the final door that withheld the Warden inside. Having heard of the riot, he had a gun in his hand, locked and loaded. Belvedere wasn’t phased, however, as his disciples acted as a shield to defend their God from his wretched gunfire. Then slowly, Belvedere crept towards the Warden with his wall of followers quickly dropping like flies. The Warden’s sharp shooting could only get him so far; it wouldn’t be enough to stop the siblings. Then finally Belvedere could feel his battered fingers seize the fragile neck of the Warden. This was it. It was now only the Warden, Belvedere, and Millicent. There was now nothing stopping him from assassinating the Warden for what he had done to his precious angel. All it took was one little flick of the wrist to snap his neck in half like a twig.
“Any last words, Warden? Any apologies to give my sister before your end?” Belvedere uttered.
“Your sister? As in Millicent Shaw?” the Warden choked, clearly taken aback by the mention of Belvedere’s twin.
“What? Did you not even bother to remember her name?” Belvedere hissed.
“No, no I didn’t forget her name, I just don’t understand what made you tie her to me.”
Belvedere felt his blood boil like molten lava when he heard this, “Don’t you see her face? Don’t you see the way you’ve crushed and whipped it? This is all because of you,” Belvedere pointed to Millicent, “and you must pay for your sins you have committed.”
“No one’s there, Belvedere,” the Warden sighed.
Belvedere swiveled his head over to Millicent in disbelief. His eyes scanned the room in search of Millicent. Nothing. She was gone in an instant.
“Belvedere,” the Warden called out, “Millicent Shaw has been dead for a year now.”
Belvedere could feel his hands shake violently. She couldn’t be gone, right? She was here with him, protecting him. She wouldn’t leave him like that, right? Belvedere laughed to himself as tears slithered down his cheeks.
“Don’t you remember that night? They found her dead at your feet; you murdered her. Your sister has been underground for thirteen months,” the Warden explained, his eyes sparking with the same devilish tint Belvedere’s held: one that longed for others’ pain.
“No she was talking to me this entire time,” Belvedere defended.
“No she wasn’t. It was all in your head, Belvedere.”
Belvedere’s fists coiled tighter as his thumbs started to dig into the Warden’s skin. It wasn’t true, he would never hurt let alone kill his own sister. She was too important to him to ever do that. Then it hit him. The Warden was lying. He was spitting out lies just to save himself, but Belvedere wasn’t going to let that slide. He twisted the man’s throat and snickered at the sound of his airways crunching under the force. Then came the ever so satisfying crack.
The Warden looked wide eyed as the man trying to strangle him fell limp onto the floor. The crack wasn’t that of his neck, though, it was Belvedere’s nose as he flopped onto the concrete tile. The remaining guards burst into the room. One of their guns was releasing smoke, for it was the reason Belvedere Shaw now lay dead in the heart of the asylum.