I barely let him get into the cab before I push her into him, “It seems that fate has finally caught up with you Mr. Collins,” I peer at him through the rear view mirror.
“Who are you?” he demands.
“Yes, I can imagine that my face has faded from your memory,” I say, “Much like that of the innocents that have suffered at your hands, much like those of my people.”
“Your people?” Silence fills the car as I put her in drive and start to pull away, “Where are you taking me?” he asks.
“Look down?” I call to him, watching as his eyes finally register what has happened, “Do you recall where you were twenty years ago?”
“How can this be?” he asks.
I twist the blade which causes him to react violently, “I know a great many things about you – actually I know everything about you,” I continue to look forward as we drive, “By the end of the night you will be dead,” I speak with certainty, “First we are going on a trip down memory lane.”
“Fuck you,” he spits, as I simply add pressure to the blade that is wedged through the front seat directly into his stomach, causing him to flinch in pain.
“What do you want? Who are you?”
“What I want should be obvious,” I continue, “As for who I am well that is the question isn’t it?”
“You know who I am?”
I slowly pull to a stop turning on the inside lights, “I know exactly who you are, you are the man responsible for taking me away from my mission, you are the man who is responsible for turning me into what I am today,” I sigh, “Where were you twenty years ago?”
“Twenty years ago,” he starts, “What are you?” his question trails off.
“I see you are remembering.”
“It can’t bed,” he stutters, “no one survived, I killed everyone.”
“You thought you killed everyone,” I turned around letting him see my face for the first time, “you really should have gotten all your facts straight before you came into my home.”
“Impossible,” he says as he sees the scars across my face.
“Nothing is impossible,” I reply, “Did you even bother to learn anything about my people before you set out to slaughter them,” I ask.
“It wasn’t you I was after,” he says, “It was the sword, you were just collateral damage.”
“Collateral damage,” I scream, “You killed my people and all you can say is we were collateral damage.”
“Wait you can’t kill me,” he pleads.
It goes against your –”
I cut him off before he can finish, “Against my what,” I yell violently, “My code, What code? After you slaughter my people and leave me for dead, after you turned me into this?”
“Then why not just get on with it and kill me,” he challenges as I see a spot of blood at the corner of his lip.
“Do you know the legend of this sword?” I ask him, “Did you even know what you had when you first took it?”
“It’s just a sword.”
I shake my head as I proceed to twist it once more causing him to scream, “No Mr. Collins,” I start, “It is much more than just a sword, she is called ‘Soul Collector'(.) (D)do you know why?”
“Some kind of superstitious bullshit,” he spits out as blood foams from his mouth.
I start to laugh, “You know nothing, nothing at all,” I turn away from him, “You know I can never die, on that day I was the first person to feel your wrath, as you entered the sacred room and took the blade,” I pause, “you didn’t see me as I slept on the floor behind the altar, but I felt your wrath as I was consumed by the fire you set.”
There is a long silence before I look upon him again, I can see the blood pooling even more upon his lips and realize my time is short, “I want you to know that even though I blame you for slaughtering my people,” I pause, “I know you did so at the behest of others, I want you to know that when you are gone, when your soul is resting with my Brothers and Sisters, I will seek those others and they will join you.”
“You have no idea who you are dealing with.” he whispers.
“Oh I do,” I state matter-of-factly.
“You know it took me more than three months to get out of that valley, after I pulled myself out of the charred remains of my home, I mean” I push forward. “My body was weak, well as weak as that of a twelve year old, but I pushed forward, my mind was blank then, I had nothing, only knowing that I could not die – so I just walked.”
“When I thought I could walk no more I became delusional, seeing the ghosts of my people, hearing their pain within my soul,” I continue to look into his eyes. “Hearing all their screams, experiencing all of their pain was enough to drive me insane.”
“When my walk was done, I found myself on the streets of Shanghai, this is just before the second world war,” I stop again to reflect. “I saw a lot of change happen over that time. To survive I became a common street thief, stealing from the unsuspecting, – that was until I met her,” I pause again. “She found you for me.”
“Who is she?” his breathing short desperate.
“She’s the reason I am here today,” I continue to reflect. “The war had come and gone, China was becoming a much different place and I happened upon a mark that could read me better than I could read her,” I smile. “The way she flipped me using all the tricks of the east I am a warrior, I could not die and a western woman, lets just say she showed me a few things.”
“Who is this woman?”
“Karla Windcroft,” I finally answer, “she took me in, she brought me back here and raised me, she taught me how to live my life again,” I pause, “but she also knew that one day it would come to this, that I would have to finish this chapter of my life,” I pause. “When she wasn’t traveling the world on one adventure or another she was here helping me to find you. I think she realized it was better to help me rather than let me go off unprepared into the world.”
“Why would she even care?”
I smile as I twist the blade again cause more pain and even more blood to pool, “Why because we had something in common, I not you in particular, you were mine, but something,” I speak briskly as I know the time is almost at hand. “I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be prepared for you tonight. We found out that you were going to be here but something was missing.”
“Her,” I say as I look down upon the sword that stood between us, “I could not find her after you took her away from me, I would have killed you one way or the other but Karla had a gift for me. She never told me, but while she was out in the world without me, she was seeking ‘Her’.”
“Mr. Collins are you ready?” I say, “Do not worry,” I tell him as I slowly pull the sword up ripping through his chest, “They will be joining you soon.”
“Those set you on this path,” I say calmly, “Those people who feel they can destroy innocence, that they can take as they please without recourse.” I look into his eyes, “Do you know why they call her ‘Soul Collector’?” he shakes his head. “Well you will soon,” I say as I rip her out of his chest stealing his last breath along the way.
3 thoughts on “Soul Collector”
Loved it. Spooked out by your character and hope my soul is not to be collected by him and Her. Great story!
I really like the ending Justin. Having heard the idea before you wrote it I was pleasantly surprised with the ending. You took it to a place I would not have expected.
Oh. I usually hate 1st person narratives but in the context of revenge stories like this it works for me. I admit it got a little confusing in the middle, but your protagonist gave me chills. Good stuff,