WARNING: CREEPY 2P ITALY AND MILD VIOLENCE
That was the name he went by. No one knew his real name, save a few who could no longer speak, or breath for that matter. Under that name, he and his companions had terrorized the people of your small country for months, years even. You could no longer remember the first time he made himself known in your country. Ever since then, he had forbade anyone from entering or exiting the country. At first, a few tried to defy him. They were never seen, or heard from again.
You were a mere child when he first invaded your peaceful country, unable to understand the true implications of what happened. But as the years passed and you grew, you began to understand that life had not always been this way, with people scrounging for food and getting into deadly fights over a day's worth of rations.
Your mother and Father had died several years ago, after a particularly nasty incident when 'Italy' became enraged over a small rebellion in one of the cities, and as a result, sent his men tearing through towns, killing person after person. Only after a week, when the violence subsided, did Italy calm and cheerfully warn the survivors that this was merely a 'warning'.
So for several years, you had been alone, trying to survive as food and clean water began to run scarce. Even as you survived, however, with each passing year you had grown into a beautiful woman. It was for that reason that you had managed to stay alive this long. Most of your pursuers would hesitate, giving you the chance to scramble over a wall, vanish into the shadows, or run off into the night.
It was a harsh lifestyle, but it wasn't as if you had much choice in the matter.
The only thing that gave you hope, that you managed to keep living for, was singing. Every day, somehow, you managed to let your voice ring through your small town. Whether sitting on top of the church, a building, or somewhere obscure, you would sing to your heart's content. You no longer remembered the words to any of the songs, just the tunes. That was all you needed. You didn't care if anyone heard you, or disliked you for that matter. All you cared about was the notes that would float over the treetops and buildings.
You weren't sure when it happened, but sometime along the way, 'Italy' learned about the mysterious voice in this town. About a week later, you began to overhear rumors that he himself was coming to the town. You were scared, but not scared enough to stop singing.
You had just fallen asleep one night in your meager room, tucked under a mess of blankets and clothes, anything to keep warm from the biting cold outside. Outside, a soft layer of snow had fallen over the town. You were on the verge of sleep when a loud pounding woke you.
"Wake up!" A voice yelled outside your door. "Get up and get dressed! There will be a mandatory meeting in the town hall in ten minutes. Anyone found outside after that shall be shot."
A burst of adrenaline shot through your system. You tumbled from bed and rushed in a mad frenzy to gather your clothes. if you hurried, you could be at town hall in five minutes.
On the street, people yelled and shouted, shoving and pushing to be the first to get close to the town hall. You were helplessly swept along by the crowd.
Up ahead, town hall stood as a broken symbol of democracy. It's wall were long since crumbled, ivy had crept into the crevices and spread along the pillars. In between those pillars stood a figure, a figure that sent your blood running ice cold.
He stood with his hands placed casually behind his back, weight placed evenly on spread feet. His violet eyes gleamed dangerously, and a triumphant smirk had crawled across his lips.
You couldn't help but stare. Here stood the man who had killed your parents, amoung hundreds of others, had terrorized your country with an iron fist, and killed without mercy.
Your thoughts were shattered as someone nearby shot a bullet into the air. People screamed and ducked. You covered your head with your hands and shut your eyes tight, expecting a bullet to pierce your shoulder or side at any second.
"Now-a that I have your attention-" Italy began, a cheerful smile on his face. "-You may as well know for-a what reason I have taken you from your beds at this-a hour."
Someone behind you shouted a string of explicitives at the Italian. Instantly his face changed from a sadistic smile to an expression of pure hatred. From behind his back he took out a knife. You watched with horror and fascination as it flew from his hand and met its target with a dull 'thump'.
A dead silence fell over the crowd. No one dared even move as Italy took out a second knife and began to run it through his gloved hands. "Now then." he murmured. "I am merely looking for a person. You may of heard of them, or heard them at least. I have been told they have a wonderful voice. They can often be heard singing at dusk or dawn."
Whispering worked its way through the crowd. You fought back a silent scream. You. He was looking for you. A series of shivers trilled up your spine. No one knew who you were, thankfully. Yet you couldn't help but have a sense of paranoia. Surely someone must have seen you? You lowered you face so your hood covered it.
"No one?" Italy asked curiously. "Surely someone would step forward and take credit for this voice?" he strode down the steps of the building. With every step he took, you could feel your heart beat faster and faster.
He stood directly in front of the crowd now, pacing up and down in front of them. Suddenly he stopped in his steps and looked down at something. For a brief moment a look of curiosity crossed his face, to be replaced by that coy smile.
He motioned to one of his men nearby, an Asian man with soul-less red eyes and a katana strapped to his side. The man stepped forward and yanked someone to their feet. Someone screamed. A little girl with a tattered ribbon in her hair shook as a gleaming sword was held against her neck. Another man, with slicked back blonde hair, held a boy about your age who thrashed wildly and yelled profanities at Italy.
Italy bent down in front of the girl, who let out a muffled scream as his eyes met hers. "Could it be you, bella?" you heard him murmur. "Let's hear your voice." He held up a knife to her cheek and pressed until a thin line of red ran down her face.
You watched with horror as the girl let out a wail of pain. Her brother screamed in pure rage and fought to free himself of the blonde man's grip. "This is my fault" you thought to yourself. "People are getting hurt because of me." Before you realized what you were doing, you had bolted to your feet. "Stop!!" You yelled. People around you gasped. Several of those around you tried desperately to get you to sit back down.
Italy smiled brightly and stood, motioning his friends to let go of the siblings. The little girl fell into her brothers arms and shook with sobs. The brother was pushed to the ground and given a sharp knock to his head. He went limp, and you prayed he wasn't dead.
You felt people begin to shift around you. You looked up and barely had time to process two shapes on either side before you felt your arms seized as you were wrestled to the front of the crowd and pushed down onto your knees in front of the madman himself.
"Ve~ Bella, do you have something you want to say?" he asked with interest.
You were frozen in fear. You felt your shoulders shake under the hands of the men behind you. Dozens of thoughts ran through your head as you looked down at the ground.
Italy waited impatiently for you to speak, his boot thumping against the ground. After a few more moments of silence, you felt your hood jerked back, revealing your face.
A gloved hand seized your chin and tilted it upwards. You stared into a pair of violet eyes that were so intense you struggled to look away, but couldn't because of his grip on your face.
His eyes widened as your hood fell back. That familiar hesitation you saw in so many people's eyes became evident in his for less than a split second.
He mumbled something in Italian before tightening his grip. "Well, what do we have here?" he asked curiously. "Are you the songbird I am looking for?"
You bit your lip, trying to summon the courage to speak. ".....I am." You murmured at last.
Italy's eyes widened a fraction. "Oh? How do I know you are telling the truth?"
A ball of ice seemed to form in your stomach. You bit back a small whimper of fear.
You were yanked to your feet and turned to the crowd. You looked out upon dozens of fearful faces. He wanted you to prove yourself. You were terrified. If he didn't believe you, you would surely be killed. At the same time, if you didn't sing, these people would get hurt.
You mumbled the beginning notes of a song that came to your thoughts, looking down at the ground.
You swallowed and let out a shaky breath. The words to a long forgotten song began to appear in your mind.
From my mind, deep inside the dark
Are my creations, born from a single spark
they come and fly on wings of glass,
laying glowing trails as they pass.
Your voice floated out over the crowd. The silence of early morning seemed to surround you as each note echoed through the town.
Through poetry, songs, and stories not yet told
Their destiny was never one for me to hold
But when you dream as I do
They will pass from me onto you.
So I will follow them, waiting as days go by
until I find the one, my precious butterfly.
You shook as you finished. Faces of the crowd has turned from fearful to hopeful. There was complete silence for several moments.
Then someone began to clap.
You flinched. That sound echoed with finality through the square The look of hope that had come across several person's faces vanished.
Italy's footsteps echoed behind you. He stepped up behind you, close enough that you could feel his breath of the nape of your neck. You shivered, but the Italian's hands firmly grasped your arms at your sides, forcing you still.
"So you are the songbird I heard that day..." he murmured in the shell of your ear. You bit your lip to keep back a whimper of fear.
You looked out over the crowd. Various expressions of sympathy and anxiety looked back at you.
A gloved thumb stroked down your bare arm. "How would you like to sing only for me, ve?"
An intense shiver ran up your spine. You looked down at the ground. A mumble escaped your mouth.
"Hmm? What's that?"
Your fists clenched. "Let go of me!" You yelled, twisting away from his grip.
The force of your thrashing caused Italy to take a small step backwards. For a moment, a furious expression crossed his face. You couldn't help but let out a tiny squeak of fear. However, he soon composed himself and gave you a cheerful smile.
"Bella, that wasn't very nice." he chided. "You should give more respect to your superior."
You glanced quickly to your left. Only two soldiers stood in your way. If you darted for it, perhaps you could escape. It was still nighttime, so you'd be able to blend in with the shadows if you tried.
So concentrated on your escape did you not notice the Italian make a small gesture with his hands.
As you sprang towards your escape, a pair of thick arms fell around you. You barely had time to scream before your voice was muffled by a foul smelling cloth.
You thrashed wildly as you held your breath, trying to get away.
There was a small, sharp pain in your side that made you gasp. The smell invaded your nostrils and you felt a sort of fog fall over your mind.
The last thing you saw before you passed out was a pair of piercing violet eyes.