Happy hump day!
This day is dragging. And yet I only barely made some time to take my lunch break, so here I am. Let’s cut to the chase. Today’s piece is inspired by Plots and Prompts For All again.
Prompt: “There are only a few things in this world that are truly important to me.”
To be honest I didn’t think Marcus would answer my question. And yet here he is now, giving me the spark notes version of his life’s story.
“There are only a few things in this world that are truly important to me.” The demon looks away from me as he speaks, his voice dejected. “My sister was one of them. Back when I was alive, she nearly died by my hand – actually went blind because of me.” I don’t ask for specifics, and even if I did don’t think he’d hear me. His mind is elsewhere and I can tell by the pain on his face that he’s trapped in that memory. “My deal with Lucifer was to help her – give her sight back. He took my eyes – gouged them out – and gave them to her. He replaced mine with my demon mark.”
“And my eyes…they remind you of your sister? Of yours?”
“It’s not just a reminder. They are my sister’s and mine.” He says it with such certainty, like there’s no way they couldn’t be.
“No, it’s not. Did you know they glow? Max and Videl can’t see it, but I can. Why else would they glow for me if they’re not the same ones I sacrificed for my sister?” His words turn bitter, annoyed.
“But it’s impossible. It doesn’t make any sense.” I stand, unable to sit any longer. Was this part of the plan? Part of why Max singled me out in purgatory?
“My sister had a long life, and as far as I know, a long line of descendants. You might very well be one of them. If I’d known my deal with Lucifer would be passed down this way…” His eyes darken, just before being overwhelmed by his mark again, the green pools replaced by black tar. It streams down his face like tears. For the first time, it’s a menacing look, and I’m frightened at the thought that it’s directed at me.
“Sorry I was gone for so long.” Max’s voice makes me realize Marcus isn’t looking at me, but at the angel standing behind me.
I turn on them, directing my own angry look at Max. “Did you know?”
“What?” Taken aback by our sudden anger, Max takes a step back. They look between us, confusion on their expression. It looks genuine, but I find it hard to believe they had no idea. “What did I miss? Are you two okay?”
“Why me? Why did you pull me from purgatory? You could have pulled anyone else – why did it have to be me?” At this, Max falters for a moment, something lighting behind their eyes. They glance at Marcus, and seem to consider the consequences of what they’ll say next.
“Your soul was tainted. Touched by Lucifer. I don’t know how or why, but it was already like that when I found you.” They pause before taking a step forward. “What is this about?”
“We should go.” I don’t look back at Marcus until I’m at the door. When I do, some of his anger has passed. “I’m sorry. If you don’t want me coming around anymore, I understand.” The last thing I want is to cause anyone pain, and it’s clear that’s what I’m doing to Marcus. Even if it means isolating myself again.
“It’s not your fault. You’re always welcome here. I just need time.” I nod, and for the first time, Marcus offers a smile in return.
Max has the presence of mind to just follow me out and keep their questions to themselves. At least for now.
And there it is, the connection shared by Paola and Marcus. I’m still not sure how this plays into the bigger picture, but this is what I’ve had in mind since the first time they encountered each other.
As always, think happy thoughts!