I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, red trailing behind me where they drip from my bloodstained hands. Fires licked at my heels from all the wrong I’ve committed, searing my soul with innocence lost. Yet I had no fear, for I will walk through the fires of damnation again and again with open arms and a wild grin in the name of those little few I had promised the pieces of my broken beating heart to.
When I had opened my eyes to this new life, they were filled with confusion. My memories were warbled and twisted, jagged like broken glass under the burning sun. My first steps filled with uncertainty, the fire on my back burning wildly out of control more often than not. I was lost, confused about myself and although the guidance from my Creator was appreciated, it honestly did little to help. At least at first. Slowly her guiding hands brought me to where I was now. Pieces of my memories tangled together - still sharp at the edges and where they had been haphazardly sewn together - but I had a clearer picture of who I was. It was still foggy in most places as the older memories were practically non-existent to me in this new life, but the little I had managed to piece together made me…grateful, I would say, for this next life. However, although I was not as confused as I once was, I still felt lost.
And dare I say it, even afraid at times.
I never told my Creator this, but some of the few memories I had pierced together were not as pleasant as she might think. Flashes of red, the screams echoing in my dreams, the phantom feeling of cold metal in my hand that easily sliced through soft flesh. Sometimes I would even wake up from what would pass as sleeping from my kind with the thrill and adrenaline of another job well done and the excitement of once again coming out on top coursing through my soul. If I concentrated enough, I could even see the piles of bodies that lay broken and unmoving at my feet. A few times I find myself drowning in the memories, hearing nothing but the screams and cries of accusations of all the lights that blew out by my hand. I know my form flickers during those times, turning more spirit than solid and the fire that burns everlasting on my back at the thickly furred tip of my tail burns in low embers.
But then there are talons digging into my fur and the weight of my companion a solid and comforting mass on my head. A peck of a sharp beak and a flash of blue as his enchantment flares to life and then I can see through his eyes where the familiar burning lands span before me. Vast fields of red and orange grounds as far as the eye can see, broken only by patches of cacti, and grasses. humongous towering rock formations that reach up and up into the sky, throwing shadows onto the land below and giving a reprieve from the burning sun. My boundary. My home.
No broken bodies at my feet. No screams of the lost. No blood staining my paws red. The silence seemed piercing in the wake of my visions but I relished it. It was better that-
A screech came above me followed by another harsh peck. I shook my head as if clearing it of cobwebs, wincing at the louder screech of protest and another this time more annoyed peck. Right. I don’t know what I’d do without Bucky. I’m not sure if the large owl was the same soul as my companion in my first life, but I’d like to believe so.
I sighed and pulled myself together, piece by piece. I wonder if my Creator knows these thoughts. These moments of instability that I can’t quite explain. Maybe she does but lets me be. We all have our demons, I find.
The shadows of my past follow me with claws gripping tightly at my soul. An echo of a time long gone and forgotten, at a pace where ghosts dodge my footsteps. Even in this life, I can't escape them...but I am grateful for a second chance to live in a way I was not allowed to. Most of my memories faded in my transformation but I could still feel the blood staining my soul a deep red that I know will never wash away. I was forced to do bad things, willingly committed even worse and my memories ring with the cries of all who I had done wrong to. I am not a good person, and I will never pretend to be one. But even if those echoes might never fade away, that the ground still stains red from the blood only I could see, and the ghosts still cry for my damnation, at least for the first time in as long as I could remember...
I could finally breathe.