The few precious hours she is herself, Aminata remembers being bored the night it happened. The night she first felt herself leaving her body.
She was bored. Her parents were screaming as usual – Mr and Mrs Yasef had gotten married because Mrs Yasef fell pregnant with Aminata and they had to make it look like they were in love. The fact that they did not have any other children even after sixteen years said enough about how much they hated each other. They only ever argued.
So, Aminata remembers being bored. She remembers sneaking out of her room through the large window with the loose burglary which she could remove and place back at will. She remembers looking up at the full moon and thinking to herself just how beautiful the night was. She remembers walking, just walking to nowhere. She remembers seeing the homeless man with the bulging eyes who looked as if he hadn’t eaten in weeks. She remembers feeling unsafe after passing by that little girl who looked at her, kept looking at her. She remembers the eye contact. She remembers seeing an entire village in the girl’s eyes. She remembers feeling faint. She remembers all the voices in her head right after the girl smiled. The last thing she remembers is deciding to go home.
It is now two years later. Aminata is eighteen now. She doesn’t live with her parents anymore as no one knows what to do with her. She smokes on the days she feels like herself. She does not have any friends, they all flee when they see what lives inside of her. She has grown a shell around herself, she realises the need to protect herself. So, on the days she feels like herself, she sits on the roof where she has set up her tent and just gazes up at the moon, crying silently at her fate and regretting bitterly the decision that led her to wander out that night.
It is on one of those nights that she meets Madara. As usual, Aminata was on her roof, but she was not crying, not yet. Nobody ever comes up the roof, partly because of the height and partly because they know she lives there, Aminata is the plague everyone avoids.
She hears a dragging sound out of the blue. The sound continues on and on, interrupted by a few grunts here and there. There is a dropping sound and then there is the sound of metals dropping harshly to the ground.
She cannot deny it but her curiosity is aroused. Slowly, cautiously, she approaches the corner where the sound came from. She is barely around the tank that sits at the corner when she hears a muffled ‘shit, shit, fuck! I forgot the cleaver!’
She is scared but curious. She goes closer. She makes eye contact with the man just as she feels light headed and drops to the ground.
Oh God, not again, not now!
Madara was confused but calm. The nameless girl had just fallen right in front of him. He wasn’t afraid, he had his tools, it was just the inconvenience of one more person that he would regret.
He rummaged through his carryon to search for the tools that he would use on her. Licking his lips, he hummed a lively tune. She would be quite easy to take care of and he regretted the lack of a challenge but he could not resist it.
He sighed audibly as he found what he was looking for. A curved knife that was sure to do it’s job. He laughed softly to himself, he felt like death when he used this on his victims. He turned around and advanced on her. He didn’t need to rush, even if she woke up, she was a mere slip of a woman, if not just a little girl, she looked barely eighteen.
He licked his lips again, he would enjoy this. He could already feel the blood rushing down his throat. Just as he bent towards her with the sickle raised above his head, the girl started to stir. Her eyes opened and he could immediately sense that something was wrong.
She had a smirk on her face and looked strangely confident. Did she not see the knife in his hand? He looked at his hand just to be sure he still held it, most people were usually afraid of him at this point. He didn’t quite feel powerful anymore.
She smiled at him and he was the one that grew scared. What was going on?
‘What did you think to use that for? Surely that’s not for me, I would kill you before you could blink. Put that down before you injure yourself with it.’
She tinkered with laughter and stood up to her full height. She was small but she held herself like she was taller, stronger, than she actually was. Her voice, now that he had time to think about it, sounded decidedly manly. She had a permanent smirk on her face. She looked like a young, cocky man-girl. Madara was confused, his bladder was threatening to leak all over the place.
‘What are you?’ He asked. The fear was clear in his voice.
She stood even taller, if that was even possible and said in that weird manly voice.
‘I am Gashi of the tribe Yara. I am the first son of my father, Bani and a very well respected soldier in my clan.’ She looked down her nose at Madara,‘Who are you?’
‘I am Madara, slayer of humans, drinker of blood. You would do well to be afraid of me, whatever you are. You would be no match for me.’
Madara tried to sound like he was fearless, like he was not intimidated by what stood in front of him but his ruse was discovered when the girl let out a harsh bark of laughter.
‘You would do well to keep your subtle threats to yourself, Madara, I am not one to be trifled with. Now, get me some of that meat I see lying in that corner, I find that I am hungry.’
Madara did not immediately obey. How could this mere slip of a girl request for raw human meat?
‘Will you heed my order or will I have to punish you?’ Her eyes were narrowed.
With a bow, Madara acquiesced, he would have to play his cards right. This was no ordinary girl, that much was obvious.
He stepped cautiously towards his latest kill and proceeded to saw her right leg off. That should be enough for the strange man-girl to eat while he figured out what to do.
Madara took his time to hand the meat over, he didn’t want any surprise attacks. Keeping some distance between them, he threw the leg on the ground before her.
She growled and looked up. ‘Do you feed me like a dog? I warn you, human, the next time you do that, you will find yourself in peril. You have received your final warning.’
Satisfied, she dug into the meat with a hunger that was alarming. Madara had never seen anyone eat the way the girl did. Tearing at the meat like an animal, letting out soft whimpers in between like she had never eaten meat before. He found himself pitying the strange girl who had threatened his life more than once. The way she was eating, meat flew everywhere as she bit into it savagely.
She ate the entire thigh and a part of the calf before she decided she was full and let out a belch that was so loud and powerful, her cheeks shook.
While she ate, he sat and waited, drawing his sickle to his side, he would do well to be prepared.
She looked up at him again, ‘So, Madara, drinker of blood, where did you get the meat you just fed me? You are a hunter?’ There was laughter in her eyes. She knew. What would she do with the information?
Madara looked down, gulping hard. He forced himself to look into her eyes, those scary eyes that seemed to be flying everywhere, switching colours.
‘Like I said before, I am a slayer of humans, drinker of blood. I kill people.’
She laughed. ‘Ah, Madara, you are entertaining. We will be friends, you and I. Until our next meeting.’ And then she promptly slept off.
It took Madara few minutes to gather his wits after she slept off. He decided to leave the rooftop, he was not going to be around when she woke again. He would get rid of every evidence that he had ever been there and he would flee. He wasn’t interested in meeting Gashi again.
The girl he had killed was too heavy to carry, especially now that she was dead. He briefly considered leaving her there but someone might stumble upon the body and he wasn’t that careless. Dragging the body along as quietly as he could, he made his way to the door. He was almost to the door when she woke up again.
He heard her moan and looked back. She had the most seductive look in her eyes. She looked at him with desire in her eyes, raking her eyes up and down his body and stopping at some parts.
‘Well well, what do we have here? Prime meat, ready for the taking.’
She curled into herself in what was the most seductive pose Madara had ever seen and started.
‘Come closer. Remove those clothes so I can see what we will work with.’
They stared at each other and Madara wasn’t sure how to react. What was this girl? What was happening?
He had been sixteen when he killed his first victim and now after twenty years, he had not been caught and had never met anyone who switched personalities like this girl. Sure, he had heard of people that sometimes got possessed by ghosts but had never come across one such as this. It seemed as if she had an entire village living inside of her.
‘Well, what are you waiting for? Take them off.’ She smiled. ‘Don’t make me get angry, lover boy. I might slit your throat and look for a more willing partner.’
He had no doubts that she could. He stood up to do as she bid while thinking of the things he could achieve by getting this girl to his side. He could lure anyone into his trap and kill even more people. His mouth watered at the thought of more blood. Her tenants seemed to like flesh too, it was a win-win situation.
He had barely taken off the last piece of his underwear when the girl licked her lips, purred and latched on to him. She took him into his mouth and started to suck him with such a ferocity that he wasn’t sure he would survive it. She moaned and purred and writhed and twisted, all on his pole. It started to get painful. And when she slept off while holding him in her mouth, he had no choice but to wait.
When the girl came to again, she was back to her real self and the first thing she did when she realised she had him in her mouth was to bite him. His first reaction was to slap her so hard that the rings he wore on his fingers tore the skin on her face.
When she let him go, they both scrambled back and stared at each other as if trying to access each other’s weaknesses. He cupped his privates and struggled to keep the pain from his face. While she had almost bitten him off, she didn’t seem to feel the slap he had given her. Her skin closed up right in front of his eyes. They were both breathing heavily, she spoke first.
‘You met Itaki. Next time, don’t let her bully you. You work for me now, don’t mess up.’
Madara knew with absolute certainty that it was the girl this time, but he was suitably scared and that made him stay put. He smiled, this could work in his favour.
The girl took her time to rearrange herself. She did it leisurely as if she had all the time in the world.
By the time she was done, she looked him squarely and asked, ‘Where did you get the meat?’
Madara was confused for a moment before he remembered his fresh kill.
‘I killed her.’ He said simply and without remorse.
She smiled as if pleased by that. ‘Really? I might decide to tell on you, you know?’ she smiled and swiped her tongue across the top row of her teeth.
She wouldn’t, he knew she wouldn’t and he told her as much.
She laughed as if what he said was funny and stood up suddenly.
‘Come, show me how you do it. Let’s kill someone together. Grab your bag and let’s go.’
She started to walk towards the door. When she was close enough, she bent and picked up his bag of tools.
‘Leave this one.’ She gestured towards the dead girl. ‘No one will find her before we’re back, they never come up here anyway.’ And she was out the door. He scrambled after her.
Aminata took him to the bar she had gone after the first time she first ran away from home. She didn’t immediately lose control of her body. She had started hearing voices first. Sometimes they were whispers: Push her out of her chair. Tell her she’s a bitch. Don’t you have more guts than that? Say what’s on your mind!
She tried to fight back, she truly did, but she hadn’t been strong enough. Slowly, she found that the voices became too loud and she felt as if she was running mad. She went to her mother who immediately proclaimed that it was jinn, she had seen such a thing with one of her cousins of course and knew just who to go to. Unfortunately, the healer was already dead by the time they got to his house and despite searching for so long, they had never found anyone willing to take her on.
After the first time she lost control of her body at the dinner table, her parents had decided that they couldn’t hate each other and deal with her at the same time and so, they sent her away. She had gone to the bar few streets down the road hoping to stay there for a while until her parents calmed down and then go back home.
It hadn’t happened as planned though. She had been chased out of the bar, raped violently by the men that supposedly wanted to help and left broken and helpless in the dark alley behind the bar.
She smiled to herself, she would have her revenge now.
She told Madara to wait outside, the spineless bastard would do whatever she told him to, he was terrified of her too. She would kill all those men who had dared to rape her at that time, one by one, she swore to herself.
When she entered the bar, a hush descended. She smiled in the sexy way she knew men loved and stood by the entrance. She let her eyes scan the bar as she looked for the bastards. Three of them were in the bar and she found herself getting tempted to let one of her tenants out to take care of them. Swallowing down the urge, she started towards one of them, she wanted to enjoy this. She would take them down, one by one.
She sat beside the one she had chosen. Swallowing down the bile in her throat, she smiled at him. Grabbing his crotch, she leaned close to his ear, ‘Want to go somewhere private?’
He almost tripped over himself in his haste to follow her outside. She took him to the same alley where he and his friends had raped her two years ago. When they stepped out, she signalled Madara to follow them with a crook of her finger. The horny bastard didn’t notice.
She led him to the darkest part of the alley and kissed him. His breath was stale and tasted of alcohol and cigarettes, it was quite disturbing. She turned her head as she kissed him and told Madara with her eyes that it was time. He really was a smart man, if a little scared. The pudgy bastard she was kissing didn’t expect the knife in his back. When she felt him trying to scream out loud, she bit his tongue until she tasted blood and swallowed his scream. Madara stabbed him with that beautifully curved knife until she felt him sag against her.
She stepped away and let him fall to the ground. She leaned close and felt his breath coming out in puffs.
‘You stupid bitch.’ He stuttered. ‘you won’t get away with this.’
She smiled at him. ‘ Oh, but I will.’
She locked her fingers around his neck and squeezed. She kept the smile on her face as she squeezed until he died and continued on until after.
When she was satisfied that he was dead, she rose and kicked his face. ‘Bastard.’
To Madara, she said, ‘He’s all yours. Meet me up on the roof when you’re done.