With a fearful wince, she reluctantly met with the monsters fiery eyes as his voice began to bellow through the entire office. Her seafoam green eyes began to burn from the tears pooling up within, desperately trying not only to hide her fear, but the pain he was inflicting to both of her arms from his grip.
“… I…,” she began in a trembling voice, “… I want… I wan-“
“Speak up, and answer me!” he cut her off, now tightening his grip more. The woman couldn’t bear the pain any longer as his razor like nails began to penetrate her skin through her shirt.
“Yes! I want the job!” the woman cried out as her legs finally gave out, falling to her knees. Once the ground cradled her legs, the claws of the beast finally retracted and he allowed her to be free of his binds. Blood began soaking into her now ripped blue shirt, all while she began to feel cold and her vision slowly became nothing more than a blur. The behemoth wiped his hands on his pure white shirt, instantly staining it with the feeble creature’s blood. She began breathing faster and louder while latching her hands to the wounds on both arms, as tears began to stream down her face.
“I expect you here every morning, thirty minutes before your shift starts at eight,” he explained while walking around her, not once making any eye contact, “I also expect you to not question how things are ran here. I am the law, what I say goes, and if you cannot abide, then I suggest that you never show your face here again.”
He stopped behind her, and slowly turned his head until a pair of glowing ember eyes locked on to her body. Slowly, a smile began to creep up his face, now baring his fangs. “But, I know that won’t be an issue.”
‘… What does he mean by that remark?’ she asked herself, managing to gather enough strength to look over her shoulder. Once he locked his eyes with her gaze, his smile faded, and he then proceeded to walk around her once more, allowing his arms to fold over one another.
“You will refer to me as ‘Brewcifer’ and ‘sir’ from now on. I don’t think there is anything more that needs to be addressed at this point,” he said walking over to his desk, “I loathe repeating myself, and I hope that you don’t cause me to have to. If you do, it’ll be a lot worse than your arms.”
The ivory horned behemoth took one of his pens and began writing on a piece of blank paper directly in front of him.
“Make sure you wear your hair pulled back, and wear long sleeved shirts from now on. I don’t want my employees seeing my secretary with self-inflicted scars up and down your arms,” Brewcifer said in an arrogant tone while smiling as he continued to write.
The woman’s eyes widened at his remark, instantly causing her to forget about the pain in her arms. Oh, how she wanted to say something to him, but she dared not cross him; he knew as well as she did that she needed this job. Swallowing what pride she had left, the crimson haired woman slowly nodded to him and exhaled. “Yes, sir…”
His long-pointed tail began to sway from side to side as he finished writing. Setting his pen down, Brewcifer folded his blood dried hands together, and stared at the thick-horned woman that was still on her knees.
“Stand up, Alaundre!” he commanded in an angry tone. Reality came back to her, and she did exactly as her boss said. Alaundre struggled to stand up losing her balance in the process, which rewarded her with a scoff from her boss. She fixed her black skirt, and was finally able to stand up straight, awaiting what he had to say to her. The purple beast just looked at Alaundre, almost as if he were waiting for her to say something to him. Silence.
‘Why won’t he say anything? I have nothing more to say to him, nor do I want to,’ she thought to herself trying not to break their locked eyes. It was then that she noticed his ember eyes began to lose the intense glow, and that’s when she realized it was his pupils that had been dilated the whole time. The more they shrank, the more his sclera was introduced; blackest of black. A long sigh escaped Brewcifer’s mouth as he began to stretch in his chair.
His sturdy arms made their way to the back of his neck, causing a reaction from his tail to stiffen, allowing him to slowly close his eyes to which granted permission for the woman to let her eyes move around freely, until she was made aware of his wings unfolding behind him. Once they revealed themselves to their maximum span, Brewcifer let out yet another sigh, this time with a sense of pleasure. She managed to break her gaze from his wings, and looked back up waiting for him to lock his eyes with her once more.
“You’re dismissed. I will see you tomorrow, and remember everything that I told you,” he said never once opening his eyes, while allowing his wings to slowly collapse against his back, “I’ll have your assignments waiting for you once I arrive in the morning.”
Alaundre felt like he should go more into detail as far as what the do’s and don’ts are at this factory, but she had a feeling burning inside of her screaming to not do so. With that said, she turned around and made her way out of his office, making sure to close the door behind her.
After about a minute of hearing the door latch closed, Brewcifer opened his eyes halfway, while slowly bringing his arms back down and allowing them to rest against his sides. The beast got up from his throne and made his way to the window that was directly behind him, and focused his sight on the chaos that was revealed below him of the workers and machinery.
‘I don’t even know why I hired her…,’ he thought to himself narrowing his eyes at the workers closest to him, ‘I have too much on my plate, and I can’t afford to fuck this up.’
While watching the male imps work for a while, he began to grow bored of their repetitive ways and finally turned his back to the window. Brewcifer’s tail began to sway from side to side for a moment, until he looked over on his desk at his lit-up cell phone that shined 6’oclock at night, causing him to smirk.
“Let’s hope she can keep up,” he whispered to himself, popping his knuckles.
Brewcifer reached for his phone and a silver key that was neatly placed next to it, now making his way to the door. Stopping now at the exit, he moved his hand to the light switch, mildly flipped it off, and made his way out the same way the injured woman left, while proceeding to now untuck his bloodstained shirt. Upon exiting, he used the key to lock the door, and made his way out of the facility to retire for the night.
Alaundre kept her head down the entire walk home, allowing for her silky crimson hair that was perfectly tipped silver to hide her face from the world.
‘What have I gotten myself into? If the events from two years ago never happened… No… No, it would’ve been much worse. Damn you, old man… Why did it have to be me? Why couldn’t you have given me a different life? A normal life…?’
She felt her face begin to burn as the rage within began to fester to the breaking point.
“Fuck you…,” she accidentally said aloud while stopping at the crosswalk. It took a few seconds, but the stinging pain of embarrassment surged through her body as she looked up to be greeted with pairs of eyes burning their gaze into her. She was surrounded by different kinds of beasts and monsters, since they did after all live underground. Although the surface was no different, the city buried within the earth felt like a whole other world entirely. The once ivory skinned woman now had her face painted a whole new shade of red as her eyes widened and her expression began to twist into horror.
“I-I! I’m so s-sorry!” she exclaimed trying her hardest to not stutter and have a breakdown, while attempting to wear a reassuring smile, “It wasn’t a-aimed at you, h-honest! I-I was just thinking-thinking aloud about something I read today!”
The group of monsters looked more confused than angry, but they never once said anything to her, just stared. After what felt like an eternity, the familiar sound of three ‘chirps’ went off, granting everyone permission to cross the street safely. With no hesitation, she bolted across to the other side and never stopped, nor looked back until she reached her residence, panting heavily as she made her way to the door.
The house exterior gave off a vibe that wasn’t exactly a place one would think she lived at, due to the poor nature it was in. Those that passed it on a day-to-day basis would gossip that it was haunted, and some even went as far as to say that the house belongs to the devil himself; Alaundre wouldn’t argue against that one. She began to fumble her keys trying to find the one that would lead her to her sanctuary, but was so frazzled that she kept dropping them. After some time, she finally found the holy item, and unlocked the door. Upon entering, she quickly locked the door behind her only after she slammed it shut, and let out what seemed to be the longest sigh ever, throwing her keys on the small table next to the walkway.
Alaundre began to kick her shoes off as she walked down the three-room corridor, not caring that she left her discarded clothes in the walkway. To her left, there was a small room that housed a king-sized bed, with brown and blue sheets that matched her pillows and blanket, along with a single table that held a lamp and a closet. Instead of going into that room, she made an immediate right which led to a good-sized bathroom. Placing her hand against the wall in the black painted room, she began to feel around until she touched a switch, and made the light come on. She smiled as her porcelain cauldron became clear in her sight, and began to slowly make her way to it while undressing herself. Piece by piece, her smooth skin became more and more visible until she was appropriately ready to bathe, stopping to the side of the tub.
The smiling woman grasped both nozzles above, and began to twist them until water began to finally stream out, allowing her hands to fall to the water and soak them for the perfect temperature. Satisfied, Alaundre slipped the plug over the drain and stood up straight, then turned around to be greeted by herself in the mirror. Her smile faded as she looked at her reflection, seeing the damage that Brewcifer bestowed upon her arms. Three separate holes were introduced to the petite woman, with one on her left arm trickling blood down to her almost about to drip. Her eyes began surveying her bare body, only to be reminded of her other scars that the “devil himself” inflicted to her mutilated body due to him ripping out IV’s, and cutting her open for his twisted experiments without ever having the decency to paralyze her from the pain.
Accepting the gift that Brewcifer gave to her arms, she turned back to her bath and climbed into the water, immediately shutting off the flow. She sat down and began to press her back against the wall of the tub, and slowly allowed her body to adjust so that she was almost completely submerged underwater, only allowing her face and the tips of her thick black horns to stay above.
‘I’m so tired… Ugh, why can’t I stop dwelling on the past?’ she thought to herself focusing on the ceiling, ‘I thought that I would be able to get through the year without thinking about him, but with how much of an asshole Brewcifer was to me, he gave me the luxury of remembering… I need this job, so you’re going to have to suck it up, Ally… All the money that was given to me is gone… I have no food left after tonight either.’
Alaundre inhaled deeply, then allowed her face to fall beneath the water, instantly warming up the last of her body. After about a minute, she came back up for air, waited for a moment, then began to clean herself all while trying to figure out what she was going to wear to work tomorrow since she had a strict dress code. Alaundre began contemplating if she’ll take what food was left in the house with her tomorrow for lunch or to just go ahead and eat tonight. She then let the water drain while now standing up and grabbing a towel to dry herself off, attempting to leave the bathroom and go to her room.
Once she finished drying off, she walked over to her closet and revealed that it had a dresser tucked away in the back, and pulled out a dark green underwear. She slipped them on, and began to rummage through her clothes that were neatly hung up, and decided on a long sleeve red shirt with a black skirt to match. She then sat them at the end of her bed as she climbed under the covers. Looking over, she realized that she had forgotten her cellphone before she left, and grabbed it to be met with a message telling her it was about to shut off due to the lack of power. Resting her head on the pillow, she unlocked the device while using her free hand to plug it into the charger that was tucked under her. Alaundre now began to set her alarm for six in the morning, which seemed to be a sufficient time since it only takes her about thirty minutes to walk to Java Lava, and gods know Brewcifer made it clear to be there early.
It was then that the tired woman tapped the screen to close out of her current display, which caused a new display to light up with a picture of what seemed to be a young girl in a purple and blue kimono, with a green bow on both sides of her head being held by a man. The little girl was holding on to the man’s collar of his shirt with her left hand, while he held her tightly in both his arms close to his chest, and was reaching out with her right hand trying to catch a butterfly. The man holding her was smiling and enjoying her reaction to the bug that she so desperately wanted, while his light silky brown bangs ever so slightly cover his glasses.
‘That was the happiest day of my life,’ she thought to herself, setting her phone on her pillow above her head. Alaundre then rolled over and began to wrap the thick blanket over her exposed body, warming her up as she then closed her eyes, relaxing into the bed. ‘I’m going to be 30 this year…’