** Image ID #953647 Unavailable **
Ash Hunt pulled his jacket in close to his neck and shivered as the wind picked up and chilled him to the bone. It was a cold night, colder than usual. He had grown accustom to cold nights, but tonight seemed to be the worse he’d felt in years. Well, almost the worst. Ash looked up and saw the intersection in front of him. He pressed the button for the walk sign and waited patiently.
Screaming in the night. A crash of metal and the crack of bone. Crimson rivers flow forth and a cry sounds out. Police sirens. Screams. Cries. Tears. Blood.
Ash shook his head. "Not now." He whispered to himself as the walk light came on. He looked both ways and then crossed the street. He watched the road pass under him. A road he would never forget.
Flesh meets metal. Cracking bones. A new crimson suit. Screaming, constant, piercing, screaming.
He reached the other side and he took a deep breath. He shoved his frozen hands into the
pockets of his long black trench coat and continued walking. He blew puffs of moisture out of his mouth and watched as his breath froze in midair, plumes of mist encircling him.
Screaming. Tears. Blood.
His eyes glazed over and he shook his head. "Stop." He told himself. A few more blocks and he had finally reached his destination. He went into the soothingly heated building and took his hands from his pockets. The hospital walls were plain and dull, engraved deeply into Ash’s memory. He walked the familiar route to the same hospital room he had been going to for months. Ever since that night. It was a blessing he could visit.
"No!" "What have you done?" "Come back to me!"
Ash bit down hard on his own lips, tasting blood in his mouth. It didn't matter to him. His own self mutilation didn't matter anything to him anymore. Nothing mattered, not tonight, not on this bitter cold night. Nothing mattered except one thing.
Entering a dimly lit room, Ash took of his coat and hung it over a chair. He went to the light switch and slowly turned up the lights. Glancing back over his shoulder, he saw the body of a young man, in his early twenties, lying there. Full life support was the only thing keeping him alive. The man couldn't live without the help of a machine. He looked like something out of a science fiction movie, wires and machines helped him live and breathe.
Blood. A crimson suit. Crushed bones. Metal against flesh, flesh against metal. Flesh against concrete. Flesh scraped down to the bone. A new crimson suit.
Ash walked over to the bed and kneeled down next to it. He took the body's hand and kissed the gentle fingers that looked so fragile and weak. Ash put the clammy fingers to his cheek and felt tears swell up in his eyes. He looked into the face of the man, such a familiar face. The same one he had seen a million times in his dreams and nightmares. But now, it was a face torn and bruised, broken and shattered. Bruises and bandages covered nearly every inch of this man lying in front of him. He was no longer the smiling, laughing man that Ash had once known. Ash could hardly remember the infectious laughter of the man lying here. At one time, it had been his favorite sound.
The tears flowed freely.
"No!" Blood. Screams. "Joshua!"
Joshua. Joshua was his name. A weak, frail, innocent young man who would never hurt a fly. A gentle hearted, good natured young man who couldn't find it in him to be evil. A broken, bleeding, near to death young man who lay in a coma.
A new crimson suit. Broken bones. Flesh against metal.
"Josh. I went into court today." Ash whispered, not taking his eyes from the young man's face. The face with soft pale skin. The face with deep sullen eyes. The face that had nearly been torn off the bone.
Metal against flesh. Metal against flesh. Metal against flesh. "How could you do this!"
"I…They say he's looking at up to ten years for involuntary man slaughter. Josh, isn't that great? Isn't that great Josh?" Ash smiled and kissed the man's fingers again.
Flesh scraped down to the bone. Bones piercing skin. Snap. Screams. Blood. A new crimson suit.
Ash stood up and let Josh's hand fall lifelessly back to the bed. He gave one last glance at Josh and a final sob before he walked back and grabbed his coat. He slowly hushed the lights and looked back at the man who he had known his entire life. The man who had flooded his dreams, the man who had flooded his nightmares, the man who had made him laugh, made him cry. The man who now lay dormant in a bed dependant on a machine.
Blood. Metal against flesh. Flesh against metal. Broken bones. Scraped skin down to the bone. A new crimson suit.
Ash walked out of the hospital. He didn't bother cover his hands or his neck from the frigid cold this time. He walked back to the intersection and stopped. He stared out at the passing cars. The death machines. With a glance over the shoulder at the hospital where Josh lay still, Ash waited to hear the sound of the approaching cars before he walked out into the street, not bothering to press the button, not bothering to wait for the cars to stop.
Blood. Metal against flesh. Flesh against metal. Skin scraped down to the bone. Broken bones. Shattered dreams, hopes, memories. A new crimson suit. A broken life, one in the balance.
Later, a note was found in the right breast pocket of a body brought to the city morgue. An unrecognizable body who no one had reported missing.
I love you. I know that one day you will wake up. You were always the strong one. You will always be the strong one. Words cannot express how regretful that night is. I am sorry for what I did. I never saw you. I never saw you.