Saint Allie Rodriguez the Martyr

She takes a long drag from her dirty cigarette, delicately hanging in her mouth between two full, but dry and blood-stained lips, then looks up at you with eyes so dead you could swear you stood beside her in Hades. The cig dances up and down as she speaks, threatening to fall out, but never does, “You know, I’ve been dealing with ’em longer than I can even remember. In my earliest memories, my family and I were being terrorised by this ghost. I’ve heard stories that it used to pull me out of my crib and drop me on the floor– but then, that could have just been a cover-up for my deadbeat meth-head dad’s fuck-ups. It doesn’t matter much now, anyway, because when I was five, it took possession– or something– of this old-timey girl doll in my bedroom, and murdered my entire family with it. Pinned it all on me.

Doctors came to take me away, put me in a psych ward most of my life. I went to school there, made my only friends there . . . I see you keep eyeing my arm,” and at this, she paused to take another drag and hold up her left arm– which was missing from just beyond her elbow on, replaced by a thick, silvery blade, “Pretty sick, huh? A good friend of mine made that for me. For a long time, it was just a mangled stump. When I was 17, I had been excelling in my studies at the Asylum. Yeah, you’re right, they don’t call it that anymore, but I do. It is what it is. Anyway, I wanted to become a doctor. I wanted to heal people. Biology was my strong suit– but one day this real shady character came into the group room, saying he was a new doctor. He took me and my li’l sis– yeah, a sort of ‘adopted’ sister (unofficially) but you learn to make your own family when you lose your bio-fam. So this ‘doctor’ comes in and says he’s gonna set us free from this place. He takes us down into the boiler room, handcuffs me to a hot metal pipe, and does– something– to her. I don’t know what he did, but she just went stiff all of a sudden, wide-eyed, and totally out of it. Then he BITES her neck! I heard her grunt only softly– but I heard it. Then everything got real weird. . . It was like I could suddenly see everything differently, you know? Nah, you couldn’t know, but it was. . . It was just weird, okay? There was something profound in it. I somehow knew exactly what the doctor was– he was a suck-head– or ‘vampire’ to you squares– and I would be DAMNED if I was going to lose my only new family the way I lost my old one.”

Here, she sheds a single tear and looks away, trying to hide it, and her voice trembles for just a moment before regaining its former cold strength, “I was too little to protect my bio-fam. I was just right when it came to this asshole. I pulled and pulled at the cuff on my left arm, but the pipe would come free, nor would the cuffs break. So I twisted my arm around it until it was pinned to the hot pipe, and used leverage to snap the bone, and tear the flesh free. The pain was immense, and it made me barf instantly, but I pushed through it and as the suck-head turned around to see what was happening, I slid the sharpened points up under his rib-cage and directly into his heart. I locked eyes with him as I fell with his body to the ground. Who knew biology would come in so handy, huh? My sis snapped out of it, and I told her to bring me a bone-saw we saw hanging on the wall as we passed through the halls and other rooms to get down here. It felt like it took forever, but she eventually came back with it. I sawed that fucker’s head off slow, satisfaction burning deep as I kept eye contact with him the entire time. My memory of the events are somewhat fuzzy, but I know I had a little smirk on my lips the whole time. After that, I passed out. When I woke up, I was in a regular hospital with my arm all bandaged up, in I.V.s and all kinds of crap. My sis was allowed to come visit me once, she told me that the dude turned to ash after I took his head– and of course she tried to tell the staff the truth, but nobody believed her. They already thought she was crazy, so no biggie.

Four more years of the asylum for me after that, but I never saw my sis again. I still don’t know what happened to her. They saw enough progress in me though, that they decided to let me out. So what’s the first thing I do when I get out? Immediately make the wrong kind of friends, of course– or I guess depending on your perspective, the right kind. The kind that got me into, and out of, big trouble. The real question is, would anything have been any different if I hadn’t met them? They taught me how to hunt and kill the kinds of monsters that I seemed to be already unable to avoid. And hunt them, I did,” she chuckled here, motioning with her now nearly-finished cigarette toward her missing right eye, “That’s how I lost this. I just threw myself right back into the fire. I made a lot of brash choices, nearly got myself killed a thousand times, but I always seem to come out the other side– or at least most of me. They call me a Martyr. Some of have called me a saint. I just say, I’m sick of the bullshit. I’m sick of the victimisation. It’s time for change.”

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