Preview: Raven

August 5, 2013

Raven Cover

The mind is very treacherous; its birth is a metamorphosis, a maze of thoughts and emotions that molds and shapes the essence of a specific human being with precise architecture; every person, a different infinite labyrinth changing and evolving with every heartbeat. The biological surrogate where the human essence resides, the body, can be undone, murdered and vanished from the physical world, but it is possible for the mind to transcend death and become an everlasting influence to the world through memory and admiration. A mind can be as respected and embraced as it can be rejected and feared, and if done well, it can achieve both at the same time. As for myself, I will not hesitate until I had made sure my own maze had been perpetuated.

But for now, first things first.

My name is Raymond Ventura, but I like to call myself Raven. I am twenty-five years of age, and if there is one thing you should know about me from the beginning, it is this: I like to kill, I enjoy it, it gives me pleasure and I savor it like a wild beast savors the taste of its prey’s flesh. I am simply an angel of death. I kill when I please, but killing has become more than an obsession to me. It has become part of me, like a drug, an addiction.

If you’re wondering if I have feelings or emotions, I will let you know that yes, I do possess plenty of them. Those feelings are what started all this personal Hell you find yourself forcefully submerged in. Anger, sorrow, jealousy, envy… Can you feel it: the feeling of being alone for what seems like an eternity? The feeling of wanting to disappear forever, of wanting to sleep a perpetual sleep of peace… Can you feel it?

How about love? The cruelest and the most beautiful feeling of all; it will seduce you to believe in anything and blindly give in. And just when you think there is nothing else, that you are safe and happy, it can transform the heavenly embrace of an angel into a deadly double-edge dagger to the chest.

Have you ever desired to revenge? Do you feel it? Do you crave it now like I crave death? I can tell you some things about revenge, my dear. If you let it, it can overpower you stronger than any other desire would; it can control anyone in a way that no other thing or person can, and without expectation. There is no redemption for it once you carry it out; as soon as it poisons you, you are trapped in your own maze unable to be anything greater.

Nevertheless, I see no fair reason to spare a life when everything else has been taken away from me. Why should I be the poisoned one once I return the favor?

Oh, but I beg of you, do not cringe away from the image of my appearance, my unnatural height or the grotesque deformity that tortures my left eye. I know how it cringes, much like you, on my face behind my long hair as if it hides from the world behind the secrets of a horrible scar. But this horror in my face shares my birth and I have been in hiding because of it throughout most of my life, and that is far too long. It serves no purpose anymore.

I was orphaned when I was five years of age when my parents were murdered in my very presence. Most children that age forget things as they grow older. But not me, I remember that horrible day completely with so much detail I can narrate it to anyone as if it was happening right before my eyes. There is something about traumatic moments, for some reason we never forget them, even when we think we did once upon a time.

It happened like this:

My father had a small cabin deep in some cold woods in Maryland for private family reunions in holidays, and we were going there that time for Thanksgiving weekend. My younger sister, Heather, was four years old, and she was sitting beside me in the backseats of the van. As my father drove us through the forest, the yellow sunlight that filtered through the brown leaves of the forest’s trees and into the car shimmered on Heather’s face, as her golden curls captured her beautiful face like a picture frame. Of all of us, it was clear that she was the most excited about the trip. She loved to run through the woods and lay down on the leaf-covered ground, and she didn’t get many chances to do that back home because my mother still would not let us go out by ourselves. We always took our dog, Drake, with us in our family trips. Drake was a big, black Labrador Retriever, and he sat comfortably in the back of the van looking through the window, excited to get out of the van. My mother was quietly holding my father’s right hand while he drove, telling her about all the plans he had for the weekend. The cabin was a couple of miles away from any significant sign of civilization, but my uncle Harry was coming over with Aunt Carol for the barbecue the next day, so we were not going to be completely alone. It was supposed to be just another happy day for just another happy family sharing happy moments, but life had other plans.



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