*Letter delivered to Baelian Black on the one year anniversary of Alexei Katorga’s death*
If you’re reading this, then you have survived my death and know the truth about who you really are.
I’ll not stand on ceremony, nor will I explain myself. I told you once, long ago, that life was cruel and the only way to survive was to be crueler…you were too young to understand then, but I know you understand now.
There will be no apology, your forgiveness is neither required nor welcome – such sentiment will not serve you in times to come.
You may ask, as I once did, why you? Why of all the wretched souls on this shithole of a planet were you the one chosen to this life, this charge?
I often asked it for you, watching you with your little Alya at Jerald Black’s parties…what had you done to deserve the hand you were dealt?
I knew the answer then as surely as I know it now. It was because you were my son.
You were to be killed when you were born, Niki, your mother did not want you, your grandparents despised you. The amount of times that little Belladonna tried to miscarry or abort you was astonishing even to me. And I have seen a lot in my day.
Yet you lived on, stubbornly refusing to go…and when finally you were born and they told me you were mine, well, then I knew you were destined for great things.
I recall a night when you were barely a week old. I caught your whore mother trying to drown you in the bathroom sink. I took you from her, I placed you on the marble floor while I beat her. She cried and pleaded and fought me as she always did, but I made her pay.
You were my property, you see, and the little slut had no right. That night she learned what happened when you defied a Katorga. It was not a mistake she made again.
A bargain was struck – your life for hers. I made her give you to me, I told her that I would get her out of the hell of her father’s house if she swore to leave you behind.
She did not need much persuasion.
For two years I kept her under my thumb, forcing her to coddle and care for you…not the result of paternal affection, mind you, but that your sense of loss would be all the greater when she finally let you go.
And she did. Willingly.
It was not my wish to have you blamed for Belladonna’s ‘suicide,’ it was Jerald Black and his weakness that created that fantasy. That he would take you into his bed almost immediately I was certain. That it would destroy you I had no doubt, just as I never doubted that you would find a way to build yourself up again…just as I once had.
Of course you led us all a merry dance, with that unstable young mind of yours. More than once I warned the others that they went too far too quickly with their games. They never understood the patient skill of one carving marble into an infallible statue. No, they always wanted too much of you too soon. It was how I lost you, in the end.
But I know you are not gone, my Nikolai, I know that fire burning within you will never be smothered for long. They will tell you that you are weak and unstable, that you are sick and need help. They will ply you with medicines and give you to doctors who will scramble about in your brain and try to make you another pawn in their pitifully limited world.
Do not let them.
There is nothing wrong with you, Niki, nothing you need to fix. You are a Katorga if ever there was one…I have seen the darkness and bloodlust in your eyes and I know it as I know my own.
Your mother is alive, she left you in hell to save her own skin. I have kept her safe for you, so that one day you might look into her eyes and she into yours, and then you too can show her the wrath of a Katorga.
Do not fight what you are, Nikolai. You will become what your blood demands of you one way or another. There are those who would see it done for their own aims.
Let it be your choice, not theirs.
You are my son, my true heir…and no one’s pawn. I have no doubt that through you my legacy will continue.
All characters and story lines remain the property of N.Ristovski and the Underground. All character writings within the Underground are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013. Natalie Ristovski.