Crow: I stand in darkness. I am the darkness. The maroon, velvet drapes are pulled tightly closed, shutting out the world as I attempt to quiet my mind. Visions stole time again last night, robbing me of sleep. The monster lurking. Always there. Voices like background noise never leave. Pain so deep, nightmares constantly speak to me.
My dedicated martial arts room failed to pacify me this morning after a grueling workout with knives and swords. I need more. A kick of pain greater than my bare limbs can provide.
Using the straight edge of my trusted friend, I slice the final letter into the skin on my torso, making sure it’s back to front so when read by another, it will make sense. The smell of sweet metal a hit to my senses. Heady. Intoxicating. I feel the upward and downward strokes, not needing to see. The sharp tip stops its journey and I let the knife drop to the floor, sated. I allow my fingers to brush across the wound, gathering the red nectar and placing it to my parched lips. The workout has left me dehydrated so when I swallow and allow the fine liquid to coat my throat, I let out a groan of relief.
My body is a work of art. Ink covering half of it. This new tattoo is another piece to the puzzle.
The bright lights shooting like laser beams through the cross-barred windows have me squinting. The ornate gold mirror to my right, allows me to view the masterpiece. With my chest bare and a pair of sweats hanging under my hip bones, I grin broadly.
It’s complete. I’m branded. I finally have a name. An identity even he can’t steal from me.