It’s the same every fucking time I wake up. I don’t know where I am. The panic sets in the moment I regain consciousness. My mind automatically reaches to feel for the pain, to assess the damage and see what I limb I have lost during the night. It can’t be helped, that was my life for five centuries. I open my eyes, listening to the noises in the room. The ticking of the clock, the sound of the mortal world outside this building. Even through glass and brick I can hear it. Admittedly, it’s better than the sound of screams and moans of pain, still it grates on me like nails on a chalk board.
I wait for the torturers to arrive. Despite knowing in my brain they’re not coming, my heart still tightens in my chest in those first few moments before my brain catches up with reality. Then I take a breath, the scent of fresh coffee and bacon and eggs coming from the kitchen reminding me I am not in the Pit. No longer can I smell the rank scent of piss and shit; the stench of old blood and putrid fear isn’t sticking to me anymore. Still doesn’t help that part of me expects this to all be some kind of fucked up mental torture designed to finally break me. Scanning the room, I look up at the bed from my position on the floor, rubbing the back of my neck with my hand.
Even though I have a perfectly good mattress, after five centuries of sleeping on a stone slab I am finding it hard to sleep on anything else. Rolling over, I begin my morning ritual–pushups. As many as I can muster before they come to inflict more pain upon me. I stop after twenty. Of course they aren’t coming. My arms barely feel my weight as I hold myself up. Why continue to do this? Because it’s familiar? No, because this is all I have now. It’s routine. So I continue. Forty, sixty, one hundred, two hundred. My mind is blank, but I can still hear my brothers outside the room.
Four months have passed since my release from darkness, back into the world of light. They look at me like I’m a stranger. I guess I am. I don’t even recognize myself. I am no longer Mammon. The demon who was imprisoned five hundred years ago in that vile place was ripped away. The Sin was all that survived. If not for Greed, I might not have endured with any sanity intact. If you can call what’s left sanity.
Sweat barely glistens on my scarred body as I move towards the bathroom. Now this is one modern luxury I do appreciate. A bathroom so lavish it has a huge tub and shower, it reminds me of the Roman baths from so long ago, with a hell of a lot less company. Now if the Romans had known what a shower was, I would have seen a lot fewer penises swinging about. I most definitely don’t miss that.
Pausing before the mirror, I stare at my reflection. It still shocks me to see my own. The same green eyes; the same black hair. Yet, I am no longer me. Fuck, I just realized how long my hair has grown. In the Pit, the jailers kept my head shaved. Running my fingers through the dark curls, I wonder if I should cut them off. Like the torture and pain, I have also become accustomed to having no hair. Aw screw it. I’m free now. I can do what the hell I want. So how come I get this tight feeling in my chest when I think about stepping out of my comfort zone? Fuck me sideways, I just referred to the Pit as my comfort zone. Now I know there’s no saving me.
How do you tell those who have waited so long that they should have just left you in the damn darkness? That the ceaseless torture had almost become a welcomed companion in the endless shadows. The nightmares and chattering teeth a lullaby to my shattered mind. Truth is, I can’t tell them. They want their little brother back. I don’t think they’re quite ready to accept the fact that Mammon is never coming back. Mammon is dead. All that remains is Greed. They keep walking on egg shells around me like I’m going to rage out on them. Like Tanus does. I’m a bit fuckin’ insulted. I’m not the one with the Sin of Wrath inside him. He’s the god damn walking nuclear weapon.
Wow look at me, using big new words. Nuclear. Humans are more dangerous and deadly now than they ever were, and my brothers are worried that I might have anger control issues. When I became the main course at “Ristorante au Greed”, mortals were still slashing at each other with blades and using cannons and muskets to maim one another. Look at the fuckers now: AR-15’s, nuclear bombs, missile launchers, Drones. Anyone would think the bastards were actually trying to wipe themselves out. It’s pathetic.
“Mammon! Come on dude, I don’t got all day!” Fucking Abbadon, he is going to teach me to drive. I might as well slit my wrists right now. Those metal boxes are death machines. Who in their right mind wants to drive one? Maybe if I stay quiet, his namesake of Sloth will take over and he will get interested in a TV show or some shit and forget about the driving lesson. Fingers fucking crossed!