“Death to the dog.”
The walls were plastered with it, over and over. Sometimes in blank ink ; sometimes in red blood. Days were counted off in notches of crimson, drew with a fingertip.
“The dog is no more”repeated its self across the ceiling. Filling cracks and covering damp.
Circles were scratched and burnt into the floorboards. Fingernails and hair were caught in the joints.
But, where was the beast?
The howling could be heard from the second floor ; it was inhuman, wild and high pitched. Crying and baying went on at night and, on occasion, came the rapid use of tongues.
"Vapauttaa koira." Release the dog.
In the room, which had become known as the watchers station, sat a man of thirty years. Brandon Margera had been on this watch for just over a month. He was here when the 'disease' had struck down his best friend and he would be here until it ended. Each shift, he smoked his French cigarettes and took note of the haunting noises from the cell. Grunting and baying, hissing and snorting, Finnish and Latin; he recorded it all.
“Margera.” it whined, in a deep, inhumane snarl, “Margera.” It carried out the 'a' and gradually lowered it's voice.
“Shut up. Damn animal.”
The man felt terrible addressing his best friend like that, but, he had to remember,the thing in that cell, was not his best friend ;Not any more.
“Permissum mihi vado vos sus.” Let me go, you pig.
“That's a new one.” Margera muttered to himself, and recorded the Latin in his notepad.
A heavy door unlocked, the sound of chains rattled and another of the victims companions entered the room. He wore the same uniform trench coat that Margera wore and held the same gun in his holster. He pushes his blonde dreadlocks from his face, stretched and sat.
“Has he been crying for long?” he asked, his voice heavily accented.
“Mostly. Ville was a handful when of sound mind, now ; he's a devil.”
The man laughed, “Literally.”
He sat opposite to Margera, took a smoke from his pocket and lit up. Margera morbidly went back to his on cigarette.
“You shouldn't say it like that, Linde. Don't say the 'D' word.”
“Whatever, man; he's still a fiend and you can't deny it.”
Margera rose from his seat, lifted his trench and made for the door.
“Your gun.” Linde pointed to the weapon, “and your notepad.”
He back tracked and lifted the items, whispering a small 'thank you' as he did. He bid the older man good bye and hesitantly left the watchers room.
“Oh, and Bam!” Linde called after him, “Don't go by his cage! You hear?!”
Margera rolled his eyes, already on his way to the cage. He slipped quietly past the heavy iron door and avoided tripping on the high threshold.
In the darkness ahead, he heard the high pitched canine whines and the bone splitting crunches. Curse words were thrown at him in different distorted languages, each of which he understood through persistence and practice.
“Now Ville. Don't be like that.” He moved closer to the bars.
“The dog is dead.”
“No, he's not. He's in there with you. Don't play your games with me, beast, I won't have it!”
“Está muerto. Más muerto que tú.” He is dead. Deader than you.
Silently, Margera contemplated ; demons knew too much. He stood, watching his lost friend, watched his swift movements; watched him as he clawed at the walls with his raw fingertips. Ville would sit, naked, on the floor, his back to Margera, and sing softly to himself.
'Mommy's skull is cracked.' a high pitched whine, 'Mommy's smile is red'
He glanced over his bony shoulder with wide, blood shot eyes, and then quickly returned to his singing.
“Bam!” Margera jumped and looked towards the saftey door, “Bam, I thought I told you to stay away from his cage!”
“Linde, man, he's not good today. I'm just going to sit here and watch him.” he pleaded.
He heard the other man sigh, “Fine. Whatever. I'm not hauling your carcass out of there. Stay back from the bars and I might not have to leave it there to rot.'
As soon as Linde had disappeared back to the watchers station, Margera sat carefully upon the cold floor. Ville was now facing him, hunched over in a sitting position with his hands drawing circles on the floor.
Margera lent forward and balanced his head in his hands. The watched each other.
“You in there, Valo?”
“You can't bullshit a bullshitter.”
“He's dead. I'm Satan.”
Ville scrambled forward and shirked. He took hold of the bars and began to rattle them with an inhuman force.
“Я сатана. Я Царь. Я мог бы убить вас. Я убью тебя. Я буду рвать горло и праздник на вашем сердце. Вы червя. Ничто. Ты умрешь.” I am Satan. I will kill you. I will rip out your throat and feast on your heart. You are a worm. Nothing. You will die.
Margera held onto the wall behind him. His heart pounded in his chest at the sight of his best friend. Valo's voice was so full of venom, it was too deep to be his own and to distorted to be human.
“Vous allez mourir, putain!”
Valo screeched and reached through the bars for Margera. He snarled and snapped and howled, his eyes dark, his skin grey and covered in wounds.
“Stop!” Margera cried. He sat, curled into a ball with his knees to his chest and his hands fisted through his hair.
To his surprise, Valo sat back. The man frowned and lowered his head, as if upset that Margera wouldn't 'play' with him.
Margera sat still, in able for him to catch his breath; his eyes never left Valo.
“Mommy's skin is black, mommy's teeth are cracked, hey Jack, the devils back, Mommy's skull is cracked.' The demon whispered.
For longer than he had planned, the watcher watched. He listened to the haunting song and it was all he could not to cry. For fear, for bereavement or from realisation; he didn't know. This man, even with the help of an exorcist, was gone.
Sadly, but with no regret, he stood up and retreated back to Linde.
“Well? Pleased? Satisfied?”
“He's singing again.”
Fixing his coat, Margera headed for the exit but, before trotting up the stairs and into the streets of Hellsinki, he turned to his finnish friend.
“The dog really is dead, Linde.”
Linde cocked an eyebrow, “Dude-”
“The dog really is dead.”