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So Amelia told me the story way back.

[I remember she had her head in my lap then, an arm flung back lazily across me, and her cold steel eyes were actually dreamy from the night of feasting.   Funny what stays with you, yeah?   Me though?   I tell you, I was too fucking dazed to say a word or ask a question or even bloody breathe without permission.]

Her family wasn’t rich: her father had died in the shadow of the very tomb he was building and his body joined the thousands who had already fallen under the insane labor.   She’d go back there sometimes: the great monuments to death, still standing and swarming now with tourists, made her laugh, she said.

So her mom was stupid and grasping, and would have given the handsome stranger far too many liberties with her pretty girl-child when he arrived in their community – if only he’d bothered noticing.   Amelia reckoned that was as close as she herself ever got to some kind of real human feeling.   She already liked sex, she had no qualms slaughtering their scanty store of livestock when needed, she never knew empathy.   Ever.

[She was blinking up at me languidly, drawing a line under my chin with a bloodied finger, and saying she thought in hindsight she was probably one of the first sociopaths the world had ever seen – even then.]

But him, she wanted.   The fresh careless face she showed him, the healthy and relatively clean hair, the new scarlet robe got her nothing though.   She could fuck any local boy she wanted, but she wanted the new one.   And he didn’t seem to give a shit.

Until the night she woke to find him in the room, silent feet on the earthern floor, the joyous violent coupling as she tore his hair and bit his lip – until he bit back.

In the morning, there was death and pain, and she felt both. Her mom screamed about demons, so Amelia shut her up very quickly.   Then she bit her nails until nightfall, put on the red robe, left the earthern floor to soak up the last of the blood, and went to find the wolf.

She found him heading north with a small caravan.   She killed the unsuspecting fellow travellers and broke the camels’ backs for good measure, and ripped the boy’s fucking head off.

[I must have made some kind of noise – I remember her eyes snapped suddenly up to my face again.   “Darling,” she said disapprovingly. “He didn’t ask.”]

And that’s how she played then.   Kept going north and had games everywhere she went.   They ended up writing the bloody fairytale about her, for fuck’s sake: she’d tell the dirty old men (or women – oh yes) that she was going to her grandam’s (yeah, I did spell that right), and lead them right down the garden path and off into the woods, but like I said – they always got the predator and prey the wrong way round.   The red capes and whatever didn’t show the blood much, you see – she still likes that kind of thing.   And she liked being thought of as an avenging death angel or something – even though she didn’t really give a shit about it.   It was just fun, and she was always so hungry.

I was an unusual exception apparently.   But that’s another story.




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