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YURI (Heart Racer #7)
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
His name was Yuri Athanas.
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One Man Can Change the World
Madame descended into the basement, hoping tonight would be the night she succeeded in breaking the child’s spirit. After switching the lights open, she found the child curled up on the cold hard ground, sucking on its thumb, its eyes squeezed shut. For Madame, all the children that came under her care were objects that needed to be trained. In her eyes, they were genderless and mindless, their only purpose in life to prove that Madame was good.
Madame’s lip curled as she observed her latest project. The child was emaciated and smaller than most other seven year olds. But for Madame, it hadn’t been starved enough.
“Get up.” A kick to the child’s ribs punctuated the words.
Its eyes flew open.
Madame drew her breath sharply. She despised a lot of things about this latest project of hers, but none more than those violet eyes staring at her right now. Terrible in its deceptive purity, the eyes made Madame feel soiled and—
She shook her head violently. No, this was the work of the Devil, using the child to make her feel like she wasn’t guided by God’s hand.
But still, those big violet eyes stared, damning her, and Madame shrieked, “Didn’t you hear what I said?”
Seeing Madame taking one step towards her seemed to throw the child into a panic. It scrambled to its knees, pale body shaking hard as it bent its head. “I am sorry, Madame,” it whispered. Please make Madame believe me, it prayed. It hated itself for being a liar, but no matter what it did, it just couldn’t stop lying.
When Madame reached the child, it threw itself prostrate on the ground. Her skin crawled when it tried to kiss her feet. “Get away from me!” Madame shoved the child away with another kick to its face.
It bit back a cry of pain.
Madame’s hatred grew at how silent and stoic it was. Why was this child so different? “You don’t want to see me, do you?”
“No, Madame.” The child shook its head fiercely even while keeping its gaze trained on the ground. “I’m happy to see you.” It was lying of course, but it prayed hard that maybe this time God wouldn’t tell Madame it wasn’t speaking the truth. The child knew Madame was good and it was bad. It knew this, but it didn’t believe—
Madame’s hiss made the child bite its lip hard. Please God, please make me believe the truth. Please make me believe so that Madame would love me—
Madame suddenly cupped its chin, forcing it to look up.
The child’s eyes clashed with the woman’s.
Madame screamed, “Stop looking at me like I’m evil!”
It tried to protest but it wasn’t given any chance. Madame’s hand cracked against its cheek. Madame tried to scratch its eyes out. And then Madame was gripping its hair, dragging it up the stairs and out of the basement.
The child forced itself to keep quiet, hoping its silence would make Madame forgive her. But what the child didn’t know was that the more silent it was, the more Madame would despise it.
In its desperate, innocent desire to please, the harder it had become for Madame to remain blind to the truth.
Madame threw the child to the floor when they reached the dining room. She waited for the child to cry and fight back, but it only raised itself to its knees, looking up at Madame with eyes that neither hated nor questioned.
In those eyes, Madame saw the truth – the real truth, and not what she had tried to convince herself and all the children that she had killed in the name of her love for them.
Madame screamed, “Why won’t you just break?” Pulling the child up to its feet, Madame waited for the child to lift its head before slapping it as hard as she could.
The child swayed on its feet, and the dance began. Soon after, the music of Madame’s palm cracking against the child’s cheek played in the room.
Crack. Sway. Crack. Sway. Crack. Sway.
The child’s vision dimmed, but it struggled to stay on its feet. The child and Madame had danced to this music for as long as it could remember, and the steps were simple to remember. It mustn’t fall, mustn’t look at Madame, and most importantly of all, it mustn’t ever make Madame have trouble hitting her.
Madame was speaking/singing now, lyrics to the music that the child didn’t understand.
Why wasn’t it still broken?
Why did it still want to live?
Why couldn’t it just break?
If it had been allowed to speak, the child would have asked just one question. How did Madame want to break itself?
Madame’s voice became feverish.
“I can’t be blamed. I was so scared.”
As the child continued to dance to Madame’s music, it wondered dazedly if her own terror was the same as Madame. Did Madame feel like she felt now?