She had red eyes, but not like the clear eyes commercial. They weren’t red and itchy, but they were a solid, glowing red that popped out of the dark the way a fox’s eyes might when they gleamed against the moon’s clear-night grin. Nothing but those eyes could be seen in the midnight’s barren snow hills. Sometimes when the moon would shine through the clouds, I could see also the outline of her crouched body, the robes of her black cult which hid the slender body of a girl barely deemed an adult.
Oh, how time flies. Yes, I think God sees even the magma burning with its desire–release from the tomb of the earth’s skin.
Today was not that day, or perhaps today was so much that day that it flew way over my head. Whatever the case, today was the day of the guardian; look, but don’t touch. See, but don’t expect to be seen in return. Expect all that you do, every sacrifice that you make, to be invisible to the person you are giving it all for, even if its the one thing that saves their life and kills yours.
I closed my eyes and focused the way they taught us at the academy; I could hear the wind blasting bits of snow over every cubic foot of space within a mile. I could hear the angels singing in the choirs of heaven–or perhaps that was the night birds whittling their native tunes out of the air. Then, I could hear the panting of the girl with red eyes climbing a snow hill. Her breath sounded hot and deep, like a sprinter’s. Navigating snow was difficult work on the legs and core, and so was hill climbing and hiking.
I pulled my bow from around my neck and drew an arrow from a quiver at my waist. Black feathers adorned the back of the arrow, giving light to the black hawk emblem carved into the wooden handle of the bow and stretching to its tips. I notched the arrow and looked closer. The cold wind burned my eyes and sucked the last of the warmth of my nose. I could barely see before I started squinting, but thanks to academy training, I managed to make out the images before me.
Behind the cultist girl, snow flew up as if from a little explosion. In the wind and chaos of night, I doubted she heard anything. She didn’t turn around to look, and she wouldn’t have seen anything if she did. When the creature popped up, I pulled back the bow. About forty meters and southwest of my perch, I took aim and released the arrow. It flew straight, curved just a little and burried itself in the neck of the grump. The grump dropped back down into its hole, and the girl was none the wiser.
I wondered what the girl would have said or done if I had not killed the grump. Maybe say I let the thing creep up behind her with its centipede body and get close enough to take a swipe with its knife. Then say I shoot it in the back right as it makes its strike, throwing it off balance and negating its attack but forcing it to fall into the girl. Then, she turns to see the creature following her, and she sees the arrow in its back.
She knows her life has been saved, though the creature is not dead yet. Another arrow hits the creature in the head, ending its movements and staining the pure white snow with brown murky blood. Now, all doubt is removed. Someone else is here in these lonely woods, not just her. That someone just saved her life–although for what reason, she couldn’t have the slightest clue. Then, she sees the twinkle of a shadow on a hill not too far away, just enough for her to ask herself, did I really just see that?
Then she starts looking, afraid to turn her back on her mysterious, freaky stalker who still won’t reveal himself fully.
I don’t blame her; I’d be afraid too. But it’s not like I have a choice in the matter, and its not like she had a choice, either. For her it was, let the stalker save my life and reveal himself, or, let the grump kill me because I didn’t know I was walking into a field of grumps and my devoted-to-death stalker, whom I didn’t even know I had, didn’t want to reveal himself.
But, the whole point of being a stalker was to observe and assist. No, that’s not all that I wanted. That’s not what drove me to do what I did. That’s just what I had to do to keep her safe. You don’t get to pick who you love; you just get to decide if you’re going to do what it takes to keep them safe, what keeps them fed, what keeps them alive.
So, don’t judge me. It could be said that I’m one of the best creepy stalkers on the planet, but you don’t know everything behind why I trudge through seventy miles of snow to make sure a cult girl makes it to the finish of her adulthood trial without being eaten alive by any one of a thousand prairy monsters. You don’t know why, you don’t understand it, and your brain could never understand it if I tried to tell you about it, so shut up and accept it. That’s what I had to do.
Yeah, yeah, I know. That’s what all the creepy stalkers say. Only, I’m not trying to kidnap anyone or take nude pics to post on the internet or commit some other act of personal ethical weirdness or crime. I’m here to play the guardian angel.
I sighed thinking about it. If I am a guardian angel, I must have lost all my powers when I fell from heaven. Actually, I’m not sure I can even call myself a guardian angel because I am such a sorry excuse of an angel. And, I’m not really an angel in the first place, so, let’s drop the “angel” and just say “guardian.” That’s a lot better than “stalker,” at any rate.
Sorry. I’m just trying to make myself feel better.
But really though, for the longest time, that’s all I thought I’d ever be–a stalker. I had no reason to believe otherwise. Or, maybe I did, but the reason didn’t seem strong enough to be able to stand on with two legs. But then, one day, as I was minding my own business, her eyes turned red. Itchy, blood red. Like something even the Clear Eyes guy coulnd’t cure. From then on, I couldn’t mind my own business anymore. The fire in my heart rekindled without my permission.
That stupid, goddamned fire was the one thing that kept me running around in this snow. I hate the snow and the bitter cold, but for her? This is nothing. But let me tell you what is something. Having to hold back the sun’s burning brilliance in this heart of mine–the kind on bent knee and postrate, grovelling at the feet of the universe to let it be released; the oceans of the earth swollen in its womb and churning to be birthed across the face of the deep; the pitiless journey of Adam throughout the earth and all created things while he searched for the one missing part of the universe which, unfairly so, hadn’t even yet been created.
See? I told you that you couldn’t understand–you judgmental little prick. Your heart is hard and you cannot heart the voice of God, or of the earth or of anything else talking to you other than your ego. Go on–ask God to bow at your feet one more time.
Sigh. All I’m saying is that you shouldn’t judge me. Go and heal your lepers and raise your dead; I’m going to be here in the cold, holding back the swirling universe inside of me and hoping I don’t get cut to pieces by the spinning tornado of swords slashing at the inside of my heart, at the nuclear detonation held back by nothing more than a paperthin wall of force many years in the making and turbulent with ripples compromised by years of pain and struggle.
I grip my chest and wonder that it won’t be long before something breaks–in me, or perhaps outside of me; probably both. I’m more than due for another breakdown. But, those damned red eyes of hers…they’re so…mesmurizing.
“Every person has their own personal language–and it seems that God will speak to them in that language, if they have the will to listen.” -Ninjafrk77