Alicia Free’s Audio Journals

Alicia Free is a monster to some. She's a threat to most. Under all of those vicious monikers is a woman who has been through hell and back. Hear some of Alicia's thoughts on the world around her by clicking (or tapping) the highlighted parts of the image.

Alicia Free’s Audio Journals
Yenna Astor Drowned Women Devil Syndrome What a Tragedy

Yenna

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Yenna would tell me, often, not to call myself sick. She demanded that we approach ourselves with more appreciation. I couldn’t call myself ‘devil’ like the others, the humans, did. I had to call myself a ‘person with Devil Syndrome’. It was nonsense.

We are what we are.

No, maybe we’re not demons. Maybe we’re just a different type of human. I never really managed to find out. Yenna opened up an entire world to me. A world of stunning beauty and lavish fabric and big, scary pupils.

She taught me about the other things out there. All those...other things.

But Yenna couldn’t teach me to be loyal. She couldn’t teach me not to hurt others to save myself. She couldn’t teach me to love and appreciate like I had when I was a girl. And it backfired for her.

I like to talk about it like it was her fault. Like she’s drowning forever somewhere in the ocean, surrounded by beasts because she did too much for me.

But I would’ve betrayed her no matter what she was like.

I can admit that now.

Astor

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I’ve had children. Many. I’ve killed some of them, abandoned some of them. Most of the ones I liked are at the bottom of the sea somewhere. The creature masquerading as Yenna did promise to take my loved ones if I kept killing hers.

And I refuse to stop doing that.

Astor was different. I hated her when she was born. Wanted her destroyed like the others. I was bored of her. By the time Astor was born I was suffering from a type of exhaustion that only death can cure. I’d been through family after family and hadn’t managed to produce another immortal child.

I need one for my plans, you see.

And Astor seemed just as normal as the rest, at first. Oh, she was such a quiet girl. And she never protested. She didn’t give me any trouble through the worst of neglect, through the worst abuse. Astor was as solid and stoic then as she is now.

It wasn’t until my little Astor glowed that I felt anything. And then it was like a surge of love hit me, everything I hadn’t felt in all the years I’d been alive.

The first time I saw her blood flash yellow, I actually breathed.

And I’ve been breathing ever since.

Drowned Women

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My, how the world will devour you.

My first daughter died in my arms, the ocean sunk deep into her chest. It is always the ocean that takes my young. It is always that sea that seeks the love I’ve birthed, given, spared. Those things in the sea come up and find me, they find us, and they make sure I’m screaming in agony at another lost soul.

I cursed my bloodline in the sea and there they end up. But not Astor.

Not Astor.

I’ve watched so many of my loved ones sink into the ocean. Scared. Alone. Wrapped in things the ocean births - seaweed, tentacles, brine, disgusting wet things that soak the poor things down to their souls. I’ve watched them pulled down into depths that conquer them so quickly, so effortlessly, that they could never claim humanity.

I am sorry, Yenna. But we are not human. The humans die. We, the likes of Yenna and my father and the rest of our kind, we meld into that...thing. We drown and drown and...and…

We are devoured.

I have watched that THING devour my young. Devour my elders. I’ve watched it snatch us from our lives, unassuming and free, and...and…

It collects us. There is no other word to describe it. And it saps us for the rest of eternity.

I am, however, Alicia Free. I am not Yenna. I am not my father. I am not any of the others.

I WILL end this fear. I will destroy the cursed blood that courses through my daughter. There’s one thing I never managed to do in my cursed life. Save someone. Save someone I loved.

And I will spare Astor that ocean. I will spare myself a second trip to that brine pool. We will perish, filled to the brim with this life, and it will be glorious.

The end of the drowned women.

I drink to it every night.

Devil Syndrome

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Mostly, Devil Syndrome is a cruel joke. It’s a cluster of ‘symptoms’ - sometimes you get the good ones, sometimes you get stuck with the bad ones.

I’ve met enough ‘Devils’, as the fanatics like to call us, to know that I lucked out. The worst of them get stuck with the syndrome and an actual lifespan. They get the free trial version of it. Immortality not included.

My father had the wrong type of Devil Syndrome. The type that comes with madness, with never-ending madness. His big pupils used to scare me as a girl. They were both black as eternity, doll eyes, and he would stare through things. There was nothing scarier than watching that man daydream.

I expected movies to play across his eyeballs.

When he was hunted and killed, my own eyes were still natural. I could’ve passed for a sick girl. I could’ve lived a normal life if they hadn’t tried to kill me, too.

But they did. They tried to kill all of us, and of course, the rest of my family died. I didn’t.

It takes a lot of loss to understand something like this. When my father died, I was too young to understand what it really meant. That his surprise as he lay dying wasn’t from the attack. It was from his life seeping through his wounds. I wouldn’t understand the immortality he thought he’d had until Yenna came along.

Devil Syndrome is a cruel joke. It’s quick drying blood, not needing to eat, no needing to breathe. It’s immortality if you’re lucky.

Or rather, if you’re not.

What a Tragedy

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What a tragedy, to exist with no possible hope of an ending.

Death is a promise. You can look back on all you’ve done and smile when you know there’s an end. It can light a fire under you, knowing that today may be your last day.

I wake up day after day knowing that there will always be a next. I watch world events knowing that I will see dictators and presidents and messiahs come and go. I’ll be here. I look at my husband and know that I am trapped in loyalty for an eternity, trapped to watch him age and wither. And then what? Another man? Another cursed child?

I see my daughter and understand that we will continue on with me required to teach her and forced to love her and guide her, forever.

I don’t want this immortality. I don’t want this family. I don’t want this life.

I cry so much that sometimes I think maybe I CAN die. Maybe I’ll suffocate on all this sorrow. My child, Astor, her hope disgusts me. My love for her degrades me. How do I explain to this worthless monster that we are not natural? That, if she could cry, she would, too? She’d never stop. I never stop.

Don’t you know you’re stuck here, girl? We’re stuck, eternal, in this cesspool.

What a tragedy, to exist. But I have nothing but time.

I’m going to end this rancid existence even if I have to take everyone else with me.