(The following is an excerpt from a longer work.)
Bohaban proudly grinned at his little project. He could see that his toy was breaking. He had seen that for years but he couldn’t let it break to soon. Even the thought of toying with his prey gave him a tingle in his libido. Of course, he slowly had to work his way up. They become addicted to the pain he causes. They can’t help but do his bidding. They know how powerful he is, and they are driven by the fear he crests. He drains the light from his victims, and the more he drains, the more he can become them. And once all of what is good is consumed, the light cannot prevail.
Pandora had fought longer than he thought she would. He was rather enjoying this challenge. Hope is such an amusing form of deceit. Give them hope and watch them fall. He kept silent in the ears of Pandora for a few minutes.
“Let’s give her some hope then watch her fall. You cannot win this battle my dear…
I am the tormentor. I am the puppet master.”
There is a specific contrast that life drives us to follow. The battle between good and evil, the middle point that creates the balance allowing us to live in peace. One cannot exist without the other. Light is the essence of peace that makes way for the happiness mankind deserves. Darkness is the force that serves as a boundary for our actions in avoidance of misfortune.
Pandora opened her eyes as she felt the sun’s warm rays pinching at her eyes through the hole in her roof; or was it the sun? No! Flashlights directly pointed at her face while she stood alone in a dark road. She heard a soft mutter of voices in the distance accompanied by a big blurry figure. Blinded by the lights, she quickly balanced herself to avoid a tumble. The voices came closer.
“Ma’am, we asked if you were alright.” She blankly stared at them evaluating her surroundings. “Where the hell am I?” She noticed the bottle in her hand and quickly got rid of it in the tall grass growing at the side of the road. Her fists clenched in terror. “Not again.” The last time she had been in this situation she barely managed to escape due to the help of pepper spray and strong legs for a good kick. But this time it wasn’t just one figure. There were two, and after anxiously digging into her pockets she realized that apart from a kick to the crotch, she had nothing to defend herself with. She hesitated, contemplating whether to run or ask for assistance from these blurred figures.
“Who are you?” She shouted, her voice not quite as strong and intimidating as she would have liked it to be. “I have a gun! Don’t come any closer.” By now she had started to take a few steps back as a necessary precaution to run if the situation called for it. She remembered the beer bottle she had on her. You idiot!” She thought to herself. Quickly making a jump toward the tree, she grabbed the bottle by the neck and smashed it on the trunk, the glass shattering and slicing her wrist. Blood was dripping down her finger, but that was the least of her worries at the current moment. The figures still hadn’t identified themselves, but by now they were close enough that fight or flight did not leave her with the latter option. Pandora slowly stretched her arm out forward, aiming the broken side of the bottle directly at the mysterious figures. She shut her eyes as the figures emerged from the dark. Her mind was back in Newlands, strolling through the soft grass that covered the Grassy Hill, a gentle breeze leading the green blades in dance. She felt the tickle on her legs and smiled. Blissful peace. The pounding in her chest gradually silenced itself. Balance. As her eyes opened she gradually saw the green blades fade into the black concrete she was standing on, blood still dripping down her wrist. But she would not be the only one bleeding tonight. With a deep breath, followed by a brisk walk the tables turned as Pandora now became the pursuer. Without as much as a thought she swiped her weapon diagonally, feeling its jolt as it hit her target.
The figures were shouting through the chaos and the second figure painfully grabbed her by the wrist where the broken bottle had left its mark, disarming her and leaving her defenseless. Tugging and turning, shouting, general chaos as she fought for her escape. But her struggle was futile. The second figure had grasped both her arms by now, holding them tightly behind her back.
“Let go of me you psychotic piece of shit!” The struggle stopped. Pandora gazed upon her attacker… Or victim. Nausea overcame her along with a tight lump in her throat as she saw the blue uniformed figure standing in front of her. Her rage-induced state of mind had completely blinded her from the fact that her pursuers were in fact not pursuers at all; they were cops.
“You like seeing him bleed.” The voice whispered in her ear. And he was right. Through the piercing guilt, a sense of adrenaline peeked through its keyhole. This was who she was. Darkness overcame her. Bohaban had won again.
Back in Newlands, Bohaban patrolled his perimeter. It wasn’t unlikely for unwanted guests to come strolling by and he needed time to prepare for his next attack. His last plan had worked out perfectly but it was time to step things up. Pandora never falls for the same tricks. In the past maybe, but she had carefully evaluated his patterns and was slowly getting stronger. This could not be allowed. A king does not allow this throne to be taken, nor does a shepherd lose his flock. The hunter will not become the hunted. He would have to be smart about this. Careful planning would be required. Casually strolling back to his cabin, he admired the thorn trees and Amorphophallus titanium flowers blooming in this strategically placed garden. Beautiful flowers indeed, the Amorphophallus titanium, with its purple tinge and glorious, putrid odor, attracting the insects that feed off the dead, simply to be caught by the Venus fly traps that have been ever-so-perfectly positioned, enabling them to consume their meals. Yes, he took pride in his garden—his handiwork. It was strategized and planned, just like everything else he did. That is what he did best. After all, you can’t go to war without a strategy set in place. Inhaling the aroma of stench, he stepped into his cabin preparing to set up his next strategy. All it would take was one word. One trigger. He strolled over to his filing cabinet paging through the names of his victims. P. Paige. Pamela… Pandora. Carefully scanning her file, evaluating strengths, weaknesses, triggers, downfalls, and history, he searched for the inspiration that would motivate the next trick in his game. Jackpot. All it would take was one word, one trigger.
Far along the other side of the Newlands, across the waterfall, Pandora felt yet another blow from her enemy. He had enticed the fear that would once again compel her to take the actions necessary to defend and protect what was left of her. She tried to reminisce about a time where things were simple, when inner peace wasn’t an unaffordable luxury, where you had a right to your happiness, when freedom was something that existed. But times had changed, and such memories had long since faded. The throbbing pain enticing her to give in to her enemy’s sinister attack played her mind like a drum. Fast paced yet steady beats, the sound deafening her ears as it gradually intensified. She grabbed her head, fingers violently tugging at her thin blonde hair that along with her body weakened with every attack. Fear had always been the downfall that exposed her vulnerability. Compulsively, she searched her mind for a synchronized pattern to distract her mind from the crippling anxiety. Her neck made a brief jerk, and her eyes followed with a strong involuntary twitch. The fear had given him physiological leverage. He was playing her like a puppet. She would have to fight harder. Forcefully, she relaxed her short thin fingers, small strands of hair, now curling around them, dead and broken. The throbbing subsided. “Just breathe.” She readied herself for retaliation, rehearsing her plan, her bluff. He had played his card. She would simply have to return the favor.
By Marinel Taljaard