A Myriad of Stories

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Monstrous Mistake

Postby ghostyghost » October 17th, 2018, 9:18:17 pm

A small thing for spooktober and Halloween. Maybe I'll do more spooky stuff, who knows?

Smoke curls lazily around his head as he exhales, and I forcefully tear my eyes away from the oddly enchanting sight as I focus on the plants in front of me. Bathed in the cold light of the moon, their “fanged” jaws look even more threatening than usual, and I lightly trace the edge of one. It snaps lazily but otherwise remains unreactive.

“So why'd you call me out here?” Nati questions while curiously slips up next to me, the smaller male having no qualms about personal space as he presses right against my chest, and it takes all of my willpower to keep from jumping him right now.

“Needed a smoke,” I casually answer, playing his game as I slip a hand into his pocket to grab the pack of cigarettes and lighter for myself. A sharp, surprised intake of breath is his only reaction, but I still allow myself a devious grin before I meander over towards the center of my small garden plot. Green eyes, bright and almost glowing in the darkness, narrow mischievously at me; an uncomfortable warmth spreads through me despite the chill of the night.

Calm down, Adrian. Control. Lit cigarette held between my teeth, I toss the pack and lighter back to Nati and quickly strip off my black jacket, and after a few seconds of thought, I unwind my black and grey-striped scarf from my neck. As always, the dark red eyes on either side of my neck remain shut, and the sewed-shut mouth stretching across my neck seems to almost quiver in the cool air. Glancing over at my rambunctious companion, I'm surprised to find him staring rather intently at me as opposed to antagonizing one of the several carnivorous flowers I've been growing.

“You never really told me why your neck-mouth is sewed up,” Nati points out after a few moments of intense thought. Taking a slow drag, I drag out the moment so as to provide myself with a few more moments of thought. My shadowy wings spread out nervously, and it takes a rather impressive display of self-control for me to reign them back in.

Should I…? Glancing over at his form, I stare almost enviously at the closed mouth on his forehead, nestled between two cute horns. Wait, cute? Blinking, I curse under my breath and shake my head slightly. As ashes drift from the end of my cigarette, I try to gather my thoughts, scattered by stupid invasive compliments, and with a sigh, I put my cigarette out in the ashtray before stretching out on the soft ground.

“After we get this over with, you and I are getting wasted,” I grumble. Nati snickers as he glides over towards me, his long pastel red jacket streaming behind him impressively. I take a few moments to admire the way his dark red pants fit him, and my eyes flash immediately to the small strip of milky white skin, teasingly peeking out from under his pale red tank top.

Why does he have to be so tempting? Clenching my jaws against the uncontrollable feelings swirling inside, I avert my gaze from the sex god strutting towards me, and a harsh breath escapes me as he plops down on my stomach. Vivid green eyes stare into my void-like ones, and only the soft touch of fingers against my sensitive neck drags me out of the daze that simple action left me in.

Right. Suddenly grateful for the distraction, I slowly recount the events that led to my neck-mouth. Essentially, my mother hated it; she said that it ruined my perfection, just like the eyes on my neck. As such, I always kept them covered up, but apparently that wasn't good enough for her—since when was anything? In any case, she had my mouth sewed shut and the eyes blinded, and she had been about to inquire about surgical removal, a dangerous and outlawed practice, when my “doctor” tried to—”That's that.” My mouth snaps shut after those two words to keep the rest of it from spilling out, all of my secrets almost laid bare to someone who probably doesn't even care about me.

But I care about him, want him to care about me, need him so deeply and desperately that it physically hurts. Emotions writhe around in my chest, so many that I struggle to breathe, and I find myself so distracted by my inner turmoil that I don't realize Nati is hugging me until warm tears soak through my shirt.

Instantly, I carefully but quickly sit up, cradling Nati delicately between my arms. He trembles on my lap, and I soothingly run my hand through soft curls as I whisper sweet nothings in his ear. His sobs slowly dissolve into whimpers; it's not until he peers up at me with bloodshot eyes that I really begin to wonder why he was crying in the first place.

“Sorry,” he croaks, “but that just reminded me of my father for some reason.” Familiar with his uptight jerk of a father, I merely nod and pull him closer, and I'm only vaguely aware of my wings moving to enclose us in a shadowy ball as Nati’s fingers trace the edge of the larger scales on the back of my neck. A shudder wracks my body at the feeling; my teeth dig into my lip as my self-control slips away.

“Nati,” I breathe out. Despite my intentions to warn him, it comes out like a plea for more. Green eyes stare into my own, and I swallow thickly. For a few moments, it seems like there's something more between us, a storm of emotions that has been brewing for a while now. Leaning towards him, I unleash the storm as our lips connect.

He tastes like cigarette smoke and freedom. Not just rebellion but actual freedom, like maybe I can walk away from my past one day and live without the chains of painful memories dragging me down. Based on the look he gives me as we part, surprised and desperate for more, I know that he feels it, too, and in a silent exchange, we come to the same agreement. We both stand up, with me quickly gathering my things, and make our way across campus to his cramped one-room apartment.

Electricity crackles between us. Every brush of skin against skin, every meeting of gazes strokes the fire burning in my stomach, and by the time we step into his apartment, I can't control myself any longer. Once again, I allow myself to become lost in the pursuit of happiness, almost drowning in excitement and pleasure, but instead of chemicals or alcohol, I’m chasing away the memories with the taste of freedom and cigarettes and the feel of skin against skin. For the duration of the night, we forget about everything but each other and the way we feel together.

Morning rolls around, as it always does, and as the light slowly spills into the room, all those memories come crashing down again. The walls begin to close in as my mind races with all of the possibilities, and I slowly untangle myself from Nati. He groans a little but wraps himself around a pillow instead; while I would like to stay and admire the adorable scene for a while, I can't.

I can't do this. This was a mistake, such a big mistake. I can't be what he needs me to be, I can't be anything! My breath comes in short, erratic bursts as I hurriedly tug on my clothes. Casting one last regretful look at the male sleeping on the bed, I shamefully slip through the door of the apartment, and as I said my way to my dorm, a feeling of finality settles over me.

Why do I have to screw everything up? Letting out a harsh sigh, I creep into my dorm and quickly gather my things for the day ahead. Throwing on a black hoodie and black skinny jeans, I keep my scarf wrapped around my neck and sling my bag across my shoulders. Exhausted but humming with an odd energy, I sneak back out of the quiet dorms and make my way towards the plaza. Settling down on a bench, I pull out my laptop and pull up a new document.

For once, I wish I didn't have so many ideas. Smiling wryly, I begin typing away, the words flowing smoothly onto the screen as I write. Oftentimes deleting entire sections at once, I struggle with myself to keep from writing too close to reality, but eventually I give up on controlling it and just allow the words to come. By the time my first class starts, I have a few thousand words, all going in circles over the issue, but I have come to a conclusion.

I can't let him know I love him. It hurts, so badly, but… but I just can't. Is that unfair? Am I selfish? Is this the right answer? Doubts and questions plague me, even as I try to focus on the lectures. Throughout the day, I find myself getting lost in thought and unable to focus. Finally, the dreaded class rolls in, the class I share with Nati.

Almost instantly, his eyes meet mine. I force my gaze to remain passive as I look away, but I continue to look at him out of my peripheral. His face falls instantly; my heart aches at the pain and disappointment obvious in his expression. All those doubts from before double, but the professor quickly begins his lecture.

As soon as class ends, I rush to pack up and catch Nati before he leaves. I manage to corner the quick male in the hallway, and he glares up at me with such pain that I'm left speechless.

“Don't explain yourself, Adrian. I know what you're going to say. You don't have to worry about me getting clingy or anything, I understand that you just wanted some fun. See you around, yeah?” Nati forces out, faking some of hid characteristic enthusiasm before pushing his way past my numb body. Too shocked to react at first, I simply stare at his retreating back. Suddenly, I realize exactly what I need to do.

“Ignatius!” I call out, chasing after him through the crowded halls. He ignores me and walks even faster; even though my legs are much longer, he takes advantage of his smallness to weave through the crowd. Before long, I’m just watching his head of short curls disappear into the crowd, and as everyone slowly dissipates, I remain standing there, bolted to the ground by my own self-hatred. “I just wanted to say I love you.”

The words escape me without my awareness, and I, numbed by my monstrous mistake, slowly make my way back to the plaza to await my next class. Sighing, I sit down on the bench and stare blankly ahead. Once again, the chains of the past wrap around me, and the taste of freedom is quickly replaced by the bitter taste of self-hatred and worthlessness as I just accept that I’ll never be anything but a monstrous mistake.
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Re: A Myriad of Stories

Postby ghostyghost » November 4th, 2018, 3:48:56 am

So I missed the one-year anniversary of this, but hey, whatever. In any case, let us continue on!

Another dreadful day. Heaving a rough, weary sigh, I flip the sign on the door to read “closed” and cast one last look around the interior of my cramped store. As always, the customers left it quite messy, and I'll have to come early tomorrow to clean it up. Well, I could stay late tonight, but if I stay in this place for one more second, I’m going to go berserk.

Man, I need a break. With another sigh, I walk out of the small space that has become both my prison and my paradise. Locking the door, I take a moment to stare into it and allow myself a smile. I love my store, I wouldn't give it up for anything, but… but it's certainly cost a lot.

Maybe too much. The memories begin to weigh me down again, and I quickly set off down the street to the bar, which has become my go-to place after work. Usually, I’d spend an hour relaxing there before I dragged myself back to my desolate apartment, but depending on the day, I could spend up to two.

Today seems like a two-hour day. Pulling my jacket tighter around me, I hustle through the streets, and as the warm glow of the cozy bar comes closer and closer, I can already feel myself relaxing a little. By the time I slip into the building, a small smile has managed to work its way onto my face, and I take my usual seat with a sense of relief.

“The usual?” Frank, the bartender, questions as he already moves to prepare my drink. Nodding, I gratefully accept the glass and take a slow drink. My eyes scan the interior habitually, noticing nothing out of place. A lot of the same people as usual loiter around, drinking the same drinks as usual. Nothing out of the ordinary, just as cozy as ever.

More homely than home. With a small, dry chuckle, I turn back around to face my drink. At about the halfway point, an unfamiliar (yet oddly familiar in an odd way) man staggers up from his chair across the room and gracelessly slings himself onto stool next to me. His oversized jacket sits lopsidedly on rail-thin shoulders, and a pair of jeans, tied with a shoestring, still hang treacherously low.

“Hey, barkeep,” the man calls, his voice surprisingly clear and strong for someone so unkempt and wiry. It’s accented, though I can't tell what accent it is—even though it sounds familiar. Either way, Frank sighs good naturedly, like he’s put up with this man several times before, and quickly fixes a drink without any guidance or request, and as he gives it to the man next to me, the bartender flashes me a sympathetic but knowing smile. That one smile catches the attention of my bar neighbor. He turns towards me and gives me an expectant look; awkwardly, I smile and hold my slightly-trembling hand out for a handshake.

“Liam,” I introduce myself, my voice surprisingly strong despite my insecurity. The man smiles widely and clasps my hand between two boney ones, and I laugh nervously as he continues to clasp my hand for a few seconds too long. It feels like some of his feverish energy seeps into my skin, though, as I feel myself relaxing and even catching a little bit of the madness I can see in his eyes.

Just a little, though, so I'm still uncomfortable with the prolonged contact. Although, I suppose I'm more uncomfortable with my level of comfortability with him. Carefully pulling my hand out from his, I take another drink, cautiously and smoothly. My unnamed companion seems to throw image out the window as he carelessly pours his drink into his mouth without a care, some of the liquid spilling out. With a wild expression that’s half-smirk and half-grin, he fixes his intense grey eyes on my own.

“Liam, eh? That's a good name for a lad as graceful as you. Mine’s Z, like the letter,” Z informs me good-naturedly. I can't help but grin at the energy in his words, as odd as they are, and I manage to pin his accent down as South American—maybe. Can that even be a type of accent? Honestly, I suck at accents, so I don't really waste too much brain power trying to decipher it.

Besides, I’m too busy trying to wrap my head around the fact that he called me graceful. Then again… I glance over my temporary companion again, taking note of his ruffled shirt and messy hair. Compared to him, I suppose I am indeed graceful, but while such a sloppy appearance (and a boisterous personality) would usually repulse me, there’s something shining in those maddened grey eyes that draws me closer to him.

Because of his odd magnetism, I find myself staying in my seat, and our stools slowly scoot closer and closer until we become entangled in one another. Frank watches the scenario with vague amusement and an odd kind of reluctant approval, but Z’s insistent poking of my face distracts me from the bartender. Turning towards him, I’m met with the sight of a stick figure, jacket long since discarded in the heat of the bar, leaning in a crude imitation of a cool, elegant pose with a glass clasped dangerously loosely in hands too prone to sudden movement for comfort.

Pose aside, Z seems completely serious, and I manage to force myself to sober up just a little bit as he leans in. “There are two kinds of people,” Z muses, pausing to take another artless swig. “Those who are found and those who are lost. Which are you?” Maybe it's the liquor or the madness throbbing in my veins, but in this moment, his words seem so wise, so profound, so much deeper than what I’ve ever heard. I blink owlishly at my companion, who nods sagaciously as if his question had been answered.

Then, after that, everything blurs together. Waking up the next morning, I can barely even remember stumbling into my cluttered apartment at some time early in the morning—a certain guest right in tow. I sit up quickly, far too quickly, and immediately regret it as unbearable pain sparks in my head. I yelp and curl up under my blankets in a childish effort to hide from the pain.

“Here you go, Liam. Just what the doctor ordered,” Z, creeping in from my door, places a tray of food and medicine on my nightside table, and I can't help but feel a pang of worry as I gaze at his too-thin form. A loose tank top hangs off of his shoulders, and a pair of shorts seem to be just barely clinging to his thin hips. Is he okay?

Then it registers in my head that he's there, it's the morning, and are those my clothes? Furrowing my brow in quiet, calm concern, I grab my phone off of my nightstand and check the time. Ten in the morning… ah, wow. Okay. Letting out a quiet groan, I swallow the medicine, push the food towards Z, and take the cup of coffee as I carefully stand up and walk into my bathroom.

As soon as the door closes, I call Jamie, a close friend. “Hey, uh, I’m not going to be able to work the store today. Can you swing by there and check to see if everything is alright?” I question, my voice dry and hoarse. I clear my throat and patiently wait for the answer, and while I wait, I take the time to glance over myself in the mirror.

Wow. Is that… really me? I blink and step closer to the mirror, but Jamie answers before I get too lost in my reflection. “Yeah, sure, man,” he mumbles, “but why? I mean, I’m glad that you're finally taking a day for yourself, it's just unexpected.” He sounds… happy? I sigh softly and turn around, resting against the counter as I begin to just think about it all.

“I had a late night. In fact, I still have stuff to do, so I’ll call you later, man,” I distractedly inform Jamie, not even waiting for his response before I hang up. Have I really been that obsessed with my store? Turning to face reflection again, I stare into the face of a stranger. Stressed, hollow eyes stare at me, darkness wreathing them, and I seem to have lost quite a bit of weight, now looking more like Z than I ever could have thought. On top of that, any healthy color I had has disappeared completely, leaving behind a ghostly pallor. Everything that used to be me is just gone.

“I really am lost, aren't I?” I mutter to myself. With a dry, humorless chuckle, I take a drink of my coffee and set about my morning routine. By the time I step out of my bathroom, towel wrapped around my waist, my headache has mostly gone away, leaving behind just a slight pain that has become commonplace in the past few months. Z lays on my bed, tray of empty plates back on the nightstand, and I smile slightly at the look of pure contentment on his face. After a few seconds, though, I clear my throat to get his attention.

“I-I’m sorry but I ate all your breakfast,” Z stutters out as he sits up and looks over at me. Any confidence from the night before seems to have left him, and I smile warmly at the nervous man as I stride over to my closet. I can feel his eye on my back while I rifle through my clothes, but instead of being weirded out, his gaze seems normal, like it's supposed to be there, like it's always been there.

Or maybe I'm just still really tired. I chuckle and grab my clothes for the day; as I turn around, I flash the stunned male a warm smile. Z blushes, red quickly spreading over pale cheeks, and the entire situation seems so intimate that I forget I just met him last night. Setting my empty coffee cup on the tray, I slip back into the bathroom to dress.

He probably needs to shower. I hum at the thought as I slip on an slightly too-large shirt and cargo shorts, and when I step back out, I smile at Z once again and ask, “Do you need to shower?” He stares at me in shock for a few seconds before nodding shyly, and I quickly get him set up in the shower before I lay out several clothes on the bed for him to choose from.

Why am I doing all this for a complete stranger? I frown as I remember that odd familiarity from last night, and my mind wanders through the years while I wash empty dishes. A thin face, hidden behind large glasses and filled with the same feverish sort of excitement, stares up at me from a sea of mist; with a soft sigh, I dry off the last of the dishes and lean against my counter.

Who is he? Frowning, I decide to ask him as soon as he gets out. Sitting down on my couch, I distractedly turn on the television and flip to some random channel, and by the time Z steps out, wearing my clothes once again, I have become sucked into the movie playing on screen. It's only when he sits next to me that I remember my previous thought process, and I waste no time.

“Do I know you?” I ask him. Z blinks at me a few times, his big grey eyes wide in a mixture of confusion and fear. An odd wave of dread washes over me, like I’ve uncorked some horrible secret of the past, but there's that underlying hint of magnetic madness that draws me closer to him. It takes all of my willpower to not lean in and cover him with my body, wrap him up and protect him from everything.

“Y-yeah, uh, you do,” Z nervously admits, and I listen as he explains everything. Slowly, the memories, which had been lying under a layer of defenses put in place to defend me from the blackness of the past, seep through, and as horrible as all of them are, there's a sense of satisfaction at the fact that Z is back, he’s here, I’ve found him again just like I promised.

As we spend the rest of the day, reminiscing and reconnecting, I also feel like I’ve found a part of myself again, the part of me that stays up all night just to see the stars and sits out in the rain to watch the lightning. That stupid, immature, invincible part of myself that got lost in the mess of life, trampled by the stampede of stress. Oftentimes, the things we lose have the oddest way of coming to us, but as I stare into the excitement-filled eyes of Z, my oldest and closest friend, I find myself unable to think of a better way for it all to come together.
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Hollow Words, Our Only Comfort

Postby ghostyghost » November 9th, 2018, 12:59:56 am

We lay awake in the silence. She shifts beside me, her warm skin brushing against mine, and never have I felt so alone in the presence of another human. Especially not next to her.

Can you hear me? I'm screaming for you.

The seconds tick by agonizingly slowly; it seems as if time drags on for an eternity, always too slow or too fast but never the correct speed. It's rather funny, actually, the tricks that time plays on us humans, stupid beings of mass intellectual prowess that still waste too much time, too much precious time.

It's not my choice.

By this point, the silence has become suffocating, yet all my words cling, like reluctant children, to my throat as I try to force them out. I almost think she's asleep, almost give up on trying to speak, almost fall back into the merciful grasp of sleep to hide away from my issues once more when she twists suddenly, and I find myself gazing into a face full of cold, guarded passion, flames trying to escape from a prison of ice. I open my mouth, about to say something. Her eyes gain an almost unnoticeable spark, one all too unfamiliar in these recent days.

Can't we just hold each other, like we used to? I miss you.

As always, the words die in my throat. She gives me a disappointed look and moves to turn over, and in her eyes, I can see that this is the end. If she turns her back on me now, she's turning her back on me forever. Automatically, my hand reaches out, gently grasps her, pulls her close—close enough to smell the lingering shampoo from her earlier shower. “New shampoo?” I whisper hoarsely, stupidly.

What I mean to say is that I miss you and I'm sorry and please don't leave me, I love you.

She stiffens in my grasp, anger breaking through her cool façade, and I curse inwardly as I tighten my arms around her and pull her struggling form against my chest. “I'm sorry,” I whisper, over and over again. Slowly, she calms down and simply rests against my chest.

Can you feel my heart beating for you? Tell me, do you love me still?

Once again, a blanket of silence settles over us. A thousand questions and answers dance on the tip of my tongue, each straining out towards freedom only to hide as soon as the doors open. All the while, she stares up at, passionately apathetic, and the longer I fumble, the further away she drifts.

Do you stare at your other lovers like that, or am I the only one who deserves such an expression of icy fury?

Eventually, I manage to stutter, “I'm, uh, I have to leave in a couple of days. Work.” It's the wrong thing to say, but since when do I say anything right? Her expression hardens again, tries to shut off, but I can clearly read the hurt in the way she pulls away and turns her head but still leans towards me, craving my touch but too wounded from the callousness of my words to accept it. I wince. Why do I always screw up?

Why can't you just talk to me? I'm trying! Can't you see that? Please, love, ask me a question. Accuse me of cheating, of abandoning you… just say something.

“I know,” she bitterly remarks, the first words she's said all night. They're dripping with poison and scorn, which burn as they sink into my soul, but I soak them up eagerly. My fingers twitch, straining out towards her; it's too soon, though. Instead, I run a hand through my hair and try to come up with something that will at least somewhat lessen the ever-growing divide between us.

I think of you every day when I'm away; when I close my eyes, I see you. Do you see this scar? I was distracted thinking about you, spent an extra month just healing.

None of that escapes me, though. Perhaps some deep part of me is afraid to admit how much I miss her because it knows that she doesn't miss me, or maybe it just knows that there's really nothing I can say to fix this anymore. Still, I have to try! I can't just let her slip out of my hand, can I? “I would have been home earlier,” I explain, “but I spent a month in the hospital.”

Do you even care anymore? Am I just talking to a wall? Is this worth it at all?

She doesn't react, except maybe a small flinch. Her eyes seem to darken with guilt, another common emotion on top of all the other negative ones, and I swallow thickly as I try to shove away all the ideas of what things she has to feel guilty about.

Do you prefer his touch over mine? Does he kiss you better? Is he here when I'm not? Tell me, love, does he love you in this house, in this room, in this bed?

“I miss you,” I rush out. She glances over at me dubiously, and I find myself rambling about how much I love her. Her jaw tightens, the way it does when things don't go as expected and her actions have unintended consequences, and I talk faster, trying to outrun the inevitable revelation.

Please don't say what you're going to say. I know it's true already, I already know, I know but please don't tell me. Can't I have this weekend with you? Just one weekend of hollow words and empty touches and cold passion.

She places her finger on my lips, a signal to be quiet, and my heart threatens to beat out of my chest as I await the inevitable words, the soul-crushing admittances of guilt. Eyes stare into mine, their icy cast almost entirely gone; before I can help myself, I'm crushing her body against my own. In a desperate attempt to preserve this love of deception and emptiness, we fall into a whirlwind of desperate touches and pleading kisses, every action as much a question as an answer.

Tell me, love, was all of this fake? Was there always someone else, or did I ruin it?

We lay once again in silence, this time with limbs entangled in each other's. Still, that sickening sense of loneliness seeps through me, and I lay awake long after she's fallen asleep. Hollow words, our only comfort… what do you do when they stop working? Unsettled and terrified, I close my eyes and try to pretend like the next day won't bring about the ending of my relationship, like my empty apologies and cold love haven't torn us apart.

My love… were you always so cold and hollow? Or have I made you this way?
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Galactic Confusion

Postby ghostyghost » November 11th, 2018, 2:10:35 am

With a sigh, I flop back onto the bed. The colorful male sitting at the end of my bed peers over at me curiously, and I scowl at him. He smiles brightly back, which only worsens my mood.

“This isn't working, Nova! They just think it's a stupid phase,” I growl, turning over and burying my face in a pillow. For a few moments, Nova remains still, and I mentally thank whatever gods exist for the small reprieve as I take a few deep breaths to chase away the impending tears. Slowly, I calm down, and I allow myself to relax a little with a soft sigh.

“Why did you think they would care anyways? Are they homophobic?” Nova questions after a pause, his voice sounding much closer than expected. I resist the urge to flinch and instead calmly turn over to stare into his surprisingly serious eyes. Something about him seems… prettier than normal, which is certainly odd to say about a male, but it fits much better than handsome.

Why is he so mesmerizing? Suddenly entranced by him, I lose myself in his colorful eyes for a few seconds before I snap out of it, and, disturbed and incredibly confused, I quickly slip off the bed (and away from him). I can feel his eyes on me as I stride over to my mirror, but I ignore it and think back on his question.

Ah, yeah. Taking a deep breath, I close my eyes and try to calm down before I answer, not wanting my voice to tremble and hint towards the nervousness fluttering in my stomach. “Well,” I begin, “they aren't really homophobic, it's just that they always made it clear I would marry a female and sire an heir. They even told me that would still happen if I were gay, that they'd force me into a relationship and—well, it's just not in their plans.” I take another deep breath but find myself unable to, the air not filling up my lungs all the way. Trying to remain calm and in control, I distract myself from my racing thought by unbraiding my hair.

“If they made it clear, though, what made you think they would change their minds?” Nova questions, his voice not condescending but genuinely curious, and I curse him for his sudden interest in my motivations. We've been playing this charade for six months, why get so interested now? Still, I feel obligated to answer him, so, with trembling fingers, I run my hand through my loose hair and try to assemble my scattered thoughts into a logical explanation.

“I guess… well, I guess I just wanted to see if they cared. About my happiness, I mean. I thought… never mind what I thought,” I force out, my eyes focused not on me but the reflection of a picture on the far wall. Even if I can't make out the details from here, I know every small thing about the photo, the image imprinted in my head. My twelfth birthday… the last year I was happy.

That's emo, wow. Chuckling mirthlessly, I turn around and lean against my vanity as I try to force away all the emotions threatening to swallow me whole. Nova stares at me, and I stare back, uncomfortable but unwilling to back down. As I stare at him, I allow myself to focus not just on his eyes but on his entire body. His always wild and colorful hair seems even wilder today, the bandanna that usually keeps it out of his face having had been tied around his neck instead, and all of his normal silver piercings have been replaced by glittery gold ones.

An odd change, but not an entirely bad one. It works surprisingly well with his black skin, even though explosions of color spread over a majority of it—I assume, I haven't quite seen all of it yet. I find myself wondering if dark blue would look just as good, and I curse inwardly as I find myself unable to stop the train of thought.

Thankfully, Nova interrupts my self-destructive thinking. Smiling slyly, he slips off the bed and glides towards me, and I swallow thickly at the change in motion. His normally erratic and sharp movements, unsettling and wild, have been replaced by slow and almost seductive steps, tantalizing and…and confusing. Confusing because why is this so arousing and what is he doing?

“Well, why don't we prove to them that you're serious?” Nova suggests, his pink and red lips curling further into a grin as he takes in my discomfort. He places a hand on my chest, and my heart beats rapidly under his palm. Encouraged by my reaction, Nova leans up. His breath ghosts against my lips, and I find myself about to lean in subconsciously. Grateful that I managed to catch myself, I force my gaze to remain on his pupils, spots of black in the middle of color.

“And just how do you propose we do that?” I breathe out, my voice surprisingly steady and confident despite my racing heart and erratic thoughts. Nova seems taken aback by my response, his smile fading a little, but it quickly twists into a (deliciously) devious smirk as he leans in further. A shudder wracks my body as his warm breath puffs out on my sensitive ear and neck, but that sensation fades into the background once I register the feeling of his warm body pressed against mine. So… so… so confusing, my mind whirls and spins with the weight and speed of my thoughts, but I find myself enjoying the lack of control I have, the storm of emotions, the adrenaline racing through my veins.

“I'm sure you can figure it out,” Nova whispers in my ear, his hand slipping the my chest. I resist the urge to move or make a noise, even as his hand slips up my shirt. His fingers, warm and impossibly soft, gently caress the skin above my heart as he pulls away from my ear, and I stare impassively down at him. He pouts, an adorable expression that makes me want to—no, Renzi. Calm down. Self-control.

“I'm sure you'd love that, but, unfortunately, I'm not as serious as you seem to be,” I casually inform him, and a smirk spreads over my face as he narrows his eyes. He leans in closer, just barely away from actual contact; this close, I can discern small details, such as the more intricate designs in his eyes and the faint grey freckles spread over his nose and cheeks, barely visible. Additionally, I can pick out a warmer tone of black across his cheeks, a blush, and as my confidence grows, I draw myself up to my full height.

As expected, the shift causes him to back up slightly, enough for me to take a step forward, and Nova instinctually steps backwards. Feeling almost drunk on confidence and new experiences, I take another step forward and continue guiding him back until his knees hit the bed. He sits, and I slowly saunter up to fill the space before him. Nova smirks up at me, one hand lazily lifting and gently grabbing my hair to pull me closer. I obey, awkwardly bending over him; there's something drawing me ever closer, something that's growing ever harder to ignore.

“Are you sure about that, Renzi? You seem pretty serious right now,” Nova teases, except his voice isn't as playful as it usually is. He stares at me, an oddly serious and almost pleading expression in his eyes, and that small break allows all rational thought to come flooding back in. As if scorched, I quickly stand back up and retreat across the room.

Oh, gods, what did I just do? Nausea washes over me as I recall the past events, the loss of control, and war wages in my head. On the one hand, I like it and want more, but on the other hand, I'm not gay. Even if I was, I'm Zailrenzi, Prince of the Galaxies. The next king, someone who has to have children. Besides, that's Nova lying on my bed! Nova, a punk, wild kid high on life and doing anything to keep that high going.

As soon as I stop being interesting, he's going to drop me and move on. The thought threatens to bring everything crashing down, and I grit my teeth against the wave of emotions as I stand, back to Nova. My hands curl into tight fists, my nails digging into my palms, and the pain provides enough of an interruption in my thoughts for me to hear Nova padding up to me. As I turn around, he stops in tracks, and for a few seconds, we just stare at each other.

Why does he look so… sad? I frown and reach out to do something, anything, to make him small, but he gently pushes my hand down with a forced smile. “No, it's fine,” he assures, though his voice is tight and suggests the opposite. “I'm sorry if I did anything wrong… I'm just going to go, okay? Call me… if you still want to.” He turns to go. There's a few seconds of pause by the door, and his head turns slightly, as if waiting for me to say anything.

I remain silent. There are so many things I want to say, but they refuse to come out, clustered at the exit, each fighting but failing to reach through. “Stay,” I finally croak out, but it's too late. He's gone.

What…? I swallow, try to fight back the tears, and allow my shoulders to slump in defeat as it registers that he might never come back. Maybe… maybe he's more serious about this than I thought. The idea makes me breathless and sick to my stomach and stupidly happy, and it's the last straw. Tears break through their prison and stream down my face; like a little kid, I curl up under my blankets and sob.

Unlike a little kid, though, my parents don't come and soothe me. They're too busy trying to groom me into a perfect king when all I want is… I don't know. Freedom? Happiness? Both? Nova? I'm not sure, and the confusion only makes me cry harder because at the end of the day I don't have any of those, not anymore. My future is all planned out, a future that I don't want surrounded by people I don't want, and the only person who could save me from such a colorless life just walked out because I'm an idiot that can't control myself.

Life sucks. Sniffling, I slowly sit up and against my headboard, and with a heavy sigh, I reach over and grab my headphones, phone, remote, and controller. Turning on my phone and the T.V., I slip my headphones on, drowning out the world around me and the war inside me, and as I turn on my game console, I glumly recognize that video games and music will always be with me. My two best friends… my two only friends. Life sucks.
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Postby ghostyghost » December 2nd, 2018, 12:50:43 am

Bottles of potions sit neatly on the shelves lining the walls, and labels, each one in Ancient, clearly mark each spot on the shelf. A lanky teenager peruses the potions, not even glancing down at the labels. Having been taught by the greatest alchemist in Eroan, he knows all the nuances of alchemy, such as how to tell a potion's nature by its color.

For instance, he needs a potion to settle a stomach upset by ingestion of magical mushrooms, so he deftly picks out a reddish pink potion for healing—general healing, so he picks the center one—and a dark greyish red for nullifying. Potions in hand, he strides across the open tile floor to the neat workstation on the other side.

Carefully measuring out the needed portions of each, the young alchemist meticulously mixes together the potions to create a new one, and he carefully writes the materials used to make the new potion on a label, which he applies to the vial. Finally, the teenager ties a string, which has a label with the effect of the potion and the name of the client attached to it, around the vial, and he places the finished product in a small box, adds yet another label with the potion's effect and client, and places the box in the outgoing container.

So many steps to take. He sighs and cleans up the workstation, and once the space is as spotless as before, he takes stock of everything, both potions and ingredients. Almost immediately, he notices that there's a worrying shortage of several potions and ingredients, ones they don't commonly use, and his heart sinks into his stomach as he realizes that somebody has to be stealing.

More specifically, his younger brother, a known delinquent. All the stolen items are either very valuable or have some recreational uses, two things his brother takes great interest in. Muttering a quiet curse, the apprentice alchemist begins to search for his master, the most renowned alchemist in Eroan.

Really, the teenager shouldn't even be his apprentice. If anything, it should have been his younger brother, troublemaker that he is, but the apprentice won't complain about being chosen—even if it is only because of blatant favoritism. So, feeling grateful about the opportunity and extremely worried about losing it, the teenager hesitates before the entrance to the Master Alchemist's lab.

Should he really tell him? He could lose his position, simply because of his association with the thief, but he could also lose his position by trying to hide it. But what if his brother finds out he snitched? That thought makes his heart pound, and the apprentice almost turns away, about to pretend like nothing happened, when he realizes that this could be his chance to finally punish his brother.

The thought is too tempting. Taking a deep breath, the teenager steels himself and returns back to the door. Raising his hand, he hesitantly knocks. No answer. Confused, the apprentice knocks more confidently, but there's still no answer. Furrowing his brows, the teenager tentatively turns the doorknob—unlocked.

Odd. The apprentice carefully backs away from the door, but before he turns, the door creaks open slightly, just enough to reveal a sliver of the interior. At that point, the teenager realizes he has never seen the inside of the Master's personal office. Curiosity grips him tightly, and as hard he tries to resist it, he can't.

Curiosity killed the cat, he reminds himself, even as he creeps through the barely open doorway. Even though he tries to be careful, the door squeaks a little, and he flinches at the rather loud sound the door makes right before he slips all the way in. Still, there's no answer from the Master Alchemist, and the apprentice relaxes slightly as he realizes that he's completely alone.

Of course, there's no telling how long that will last, so the teenager doesn't waste time and instantly begins to examine the large space. It's as meticulously organized as the outside lab, and the apprentice feels a sense of disappointment as he comes across nothing of importance or shock. There are quite a few more rare ingredients and elaborate potions or other alchemic creations, and the teenager gawks over the skill of the Master Alchemist.

However, he also quickly notices a common theme. Power enhancing, magic absorption, emotion manipulation… uncommon and even some forbidden potions line the shelves, each one as clearly labelled as the rest. That display of blatant disrespect for the laws forbidding those creations takes the student aback, and, entirely unsettled, he slowly backs away as if trying to escape some fierce beast. Perhaps he is; such horrendous truths as to the use of dangerous and forbidden potions could be considered fierce beasts indeed.

Still, curiosity keeps the teenager captured within its harsh grasp, and he finds himself distracted by a suspicious space behind a shelf while he tries to silently escape. Cautiously, the apprentice sneaks over and peeks behind the shelf, and he manages to barely catch a glimpse of yet another lab. His heart races, his mouth goes dry, and his body trembles, yet he presses on. Swallowing thickly, the scrawny teenager presses between the small gap and manages to squeeze into the space. Once again, it's a meticulously organized space, but something instantly captures his attention.

Sixteen cages line the walls. Sixteen figures float, encased in limpid liquid, within those cages. Sixteen cages full of potions that should not be clear; not only can the apprentice feel the magic radiating from the cages, he can read the labels on the cages. As he does, though, he wishes he couldn't. Power enhancing, magic absorption, godly magic, crystals… all sorts of dangerous and forbidden ingredients combined to create a sinful and lethal broth.

Even worse than limpid potions, though, are the figures within. Once-normal humans float serenely within their new homes, and the apprentice has to fight back bile at the grotesque mutations. Some have crystals protruding from their body, taking place of eyes or piercing through vital organs, and others have exposed bones. Some have been so disfigured as be indistinguishably human, their muscles swollen disgustingly beyond normal and crystals deforming whatever remains untouched.

Kismus, help him. He grits his teeth against the waves of nausea and slowly advances. As he continues, the figures grow less grotesque, more recognizably human, and with an ever-growing sense of dread, the teenager begins to recognize the faces. Finally, he stops before the last row and stares up at the horribly recognizable face.

His best friend. His closest companion. His most trusted. Dead. Deformed. Defiled. Now, he can't fight back the bile, and his stomach rebels, forcing up all its contents. The apprentice grimaces at the lingering taste of stomach acid and wipes away the tears that fall down his cheeks, and he slowly gathers his wits and stands up straight. A sense of disbelief settles over him.

He has to be dreaming, right? Shaking his head, the teenager takes a shuddering breath and tries to gather enough courage to move, but he can't. As soon as he steps out of this room, the events will be set in stone; there will be no turning back. He will have to tell people of this room, have to deal with all the questions, have to relive it over and over again—Kismus, help him. He can't do it.

The apprentice stands, quaking, in the middle of the room. He's so caught up in his thoughts that he doesn't hear the shelf being shifted to widen the gap, or the clicking of shoes against the tile, or the first call of his name. The second time his name is called, though, the apprentice reacts. His head snaps up, and his eyes widen as he finally notices the person in front of him.

“I see you stumbled upon my secret lab, Rezir, and made quite the mess of it,” the Master Alchemist casually remarks, glancing over at the bile on the tile with a vague expression of disgust. Once he looks back at his terrifies apprentice, though, the Master smiles pleasantly and glides forward. The terrified teenager finds himself glued to his spot, paralyzed by fear, and it takes all of his willpower to remain conscious.

“W-why?” the apprentice barely manages to force out, and the Master frowns in response. His face contorts into quiet and controlled rage, a thirst for revenge blazing in his eyes, and it seems as if everything around him darkens. The apprentice stops breathing for a few seconds, too horrified by the events of the day. As if wanting to soothe Rezir, the Master's scowl smooths into a pleasant but hollow smile, not quite reaching his eyes and only making him seem as inhuman as his creations.

“That, my apprentice, is easy. I want the gods to feel pain like they never have before, and you're going to be my greatest achievement. Rezir the god-killer… a name to be feared by all, especially those arrogant immortals,” the Master growls, which clashes harshly with the smile still plastered on his face. He doesn't give his apprentice any time to process the information before he mutters a spell, and the last thing the teenager sees before his eyes close is the hollow grin and crazed eyes of the Master Alchemist.

Humming a tune, the Master carefully picks the limp teenager up and settles him within the cage. As he carefully disrobes his apprentice, he allows himself to dream of the gods being torn apart by his creation, and he carefully attaches the necessary tubes and wires into Rezir while lost in bloody fantasies. Treating his apprentice, someone he might have considered a son at some point, like just another alchemic creation, the Master, calculating how much he needs of what, gazes coldly at the figure before turning away.

Soon, he reassures himself. Soon. And, indeed, it will be soon; in less than a year, the apprentice has undergone a full transformation. At least, the Master Alchemist hopes it will be full, but he has yet to find that out. Soon, though, he will discover just how complete the transformation really is.

Eyes snap open. They carefully peer through limpid liquid and examine the room before them. Sixteen other containers of limpid liquid and floating figures. However, none of them hold any magic within their bodies, so the eyes pass over them without a second thought. No flicker of recognition sparks in them; in fact, seeing that there's nothing of interest, the eyes close once again.

As soon as the shelf creaks open, though, the eyes reopen. They snap to the Master Alchemist as he slips through, and the figure within the cage tenses. Magic. Not just magic, but godly magic. A low growl reverberates from its throat as it prepares for an attack, and the Master notices with glee that his experiment finally worked.

It isn't until his creation bursts forth from its cage, shattering glass and breaking metal and spilling liquid, that the alchemist realizes just how well it worked. Eyes widen in terror; the Master turns to escape. Too late. His former apprentice grips him, sharp crystal claws shredding cloth and flesh with ease. A sick, twisted grin spreads over the Master's face even as blood runs thickly down his body, and he cackles madly at the strength of his own creation.

Rezir the god-killer indeed. Too drunk on revenge and driven mad by magic, the Master accepts his death with the knowledge that it will only make Rezir stronger. Before he dies, though, he forces one word out, a word that makes his creation pause in its feeding.

“Ezio.” Kill. With a savage growl, the figure obeys. Soon, it rises from the corpse of its former master, its hunger not satisfied but instead increased, and with only one thought in its mind, the former apprentice stalks forth and begins its never-ending search for godly magic to absorb.

As the god-killer emerges, already splattered with blood and stronger than before, it looks down at the town spread out below. People mill around peacefully, unaware of the monster unleashed upon them. Nobody, not even the gods, could predict this, and as the mutated Rezir prowls onwards, they continue on with their normal lives. Soon, though, their routine will be disrupted, lives thrown into chaos and ended, for the god-killer has been released with no one to stop it.
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Sweet Poison

Postby ghostyghost » December 21st, 2018, 1:45:05 pm

Cigarette smoke wraps around her head like a sinful halo, and she crosses one bare leg over the other, her black skirt riding up a little on her thighs. As hard as I try not to, my eyes feast upon the newly revealed sliver of milky skin, and her dark red lips pull into a smirk.

“Why don't you take a seat? It's easier to discuss important business when you're nice and relaxed,” she suggests, her voice a silky purr. Gritting my teeth against temptation, I cautiously sit down on the chair before her. She hums contentedly as she puts out the remnants of her cigarette, and I quickly work up the courage to speak while her piercing grey eyes aren't draining me of all strength.

“You've been sleeping with other me—people,” I blurt out, fixing my mistake. Not just men, I remind myself, ignoring the sick stirring of arousal that occurs whenever I think of her in any sensual position. Almost as if sensing my weakness, she slowly stands up from her seat and strides forth; once in front of me, she leans down to be at eye level. I stop breathing as my heart pounds in my chest, and all I can think of is how many other people she's held in this same position.

I feel sick. The remnants of cigarette smoke and her perfume and and everything else swirl around in my head, and I'm too dizzied by her presence to register her movements until her lips are on my own. As if revived from the dead, I snap back into the reality of her and begin hungrily kissing back, desperate to devour the essence of her. She smirks at my weakness as I easily fall back into her, but I can't muster the strength to pull away.

Even as thoughts and images of dozens of other people in this exact same situation, I don't stop, not until we're both lying sweaty in the bed of sins. Our chests heave with the after-effects of tainted passion, and she tosses me a lazy smirk as she slowly sits up, every movement fluid and sinfully graceful. She is sin personified, and never have I seen anything more beautiful.

“Oh, I'm sorry, did I interrupt what you were saying? My bad, I just can't resist you,” she coyly informs, her eyes wide and innocent. Anger flashes through me, long since dulled by her poison, and I frown. Christ, how long do I have before her toxins kill me? Already, I've lost a piece of myself and have been turned into just another boy toy for her to play with.

“Or anyone else,” I mumble, numbed by the essence of her. I have eaten the forbidden fruit once again, and my soul has been offered up to the Devil's mistress once again. With a smirk, she takes a bite, just a small one, and painfully injects it back my hollowed body. She likes to savor her meals; why ruin the fun so soon?

“Don't be like that. Sure, I have some fun with other people, but you're the only one I take out. Doesn't that mean anything to you?” she asks, her face falling into a long perfected image of sadness, and even though I know it's fake, my heart twists in agony at her false pain. Instead of answering, I pull her into another soul-stealing kiss.

How twisted am I? Pulling back, I give her a shaky smile, and she smirks back. Perfectly manicured hands snake their way down my body, and with a soft sigh, I allow our poisonous passion to begin yet again. Every single touch burns itself into my soul and reopens old wounds, and the sweet pain of it all creates an addicting but destructive storm that I can't escape.

The Devil's mistress's favorite toy. With a sigh, I fall back onto the bed, drained once again, and numbly accept that I'm in too deep. Her claws have sunken into me, and she won't let go until I'm dead or someone better comes along. As my eyes slowly slip shut, I can feel the poison seeping ever deeper into my soul.

Oh, please, kill me sweetly. Tear my limbs away from my body with a sickening grin. Feast upon my heart while you tell me how much you love me. I love how you destroy me with your sweet poison.
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Illusion of Free Will

Postby ghostyghost » January 21st, 2019, 3:30:20 am

I have no idea what this is supposed to mean or hint towards. It's something, I guess?

No choice. Never a choice.

Their stares are burned into my mind; there is no solace from their gaze. Forever their terrified eyes will accuse me of horrible, horrible deeds. Every waking second, I will feel it, a deep burn in the very core of my being. The feeling of my soul burning into ashes.

No choice, why don't they understand? No choice, God, please give me a choice.

I can't think; it's too loud. Why is it so loud? Who's screaming? Please, stop, make it go away! I just want to sleep, to think, to rest. I'm so tired of all this, tired of living, but I don't have a choice. How can I make you understand that I didn't have a choice? No matter what I say, the screaming and the cursing and the horrible, horrible words don't stop. So I make it stop.

No choice, just want to rest, please let me rest. I'm so tired of this, how much longer?

Expectations. Always somebody expecting something of me. The best, never second always first. Still first? No, no of course not, don't you see how they look at you? They don't even know you, and they hate you. They haven't seen the sickness growing in your soul yet, the writhing, ravenous sickness that aches to be fed. Feed it. So what if they hate you? You'll be the best, don't you want that?

No choice… right? No choice, only this path, nobody has any choices it's all just the same road to nowhere.

I can't tell the difference between me and it anymore. Was there an it? Or was it always just me? Or was there even a me? Is there an us? Or are we all just it? My mind whirls dizzily with half-formed thoughts as I stare up at the ceiling. Images of accusing eyes and sounds of screams and memories of expectations press wrap their emaciated fingers around my neck and squeeze, stealing my breath. Choking on my own imagination, I roll over and bury myself under threadbare blankets to hide once more.

No choice, no me, no anything. Nothing exists anymore, all just floating in a void, why does any of this even matter?

Empty. So empty. Nothing remains. So tired, so empty, just let me rest. Never the best but that's okay because it doesn't matter. Nothing really matters; why would it? We don't have a choice so why would it matter? Just a fixed path, and I've reached the end of my road. The parasite within me has drained me of everything; here, I will allow my reflection to show what I truly am.

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Behind the Mask

Postby ghostyghost » February 2nd, 2019, 2:26:44 am

The rustling of leaves, the soft sounds of the wildlife, the wind teasing my black hair… peace. With a content sigh, I lean against the tree and close my eyes to let the sounds of nature further encapsulate me. Letting go of all my stress, I focus on the energy inside of me; it writhes and screams under my attention. Despite my fear, I try to force it to become calm, to obey, to do anything but destroy. It doesn't work, though, and frustration builds up, which only antagonizes it more.

“Young One,” a soft, gravelly voice pulls me out of my mind, and I slowly open my eyes. Sighing, I look over at the figure standing by the edge of the clearing, and guilt gnaws at me once I see the concern in those warm brown eyes.

“Kayn, I'm sorry,” I apologize softly, my words muffled through the fabric of my scarf. The guardian doesn't mind the lack of clarity, though, as he slowly makes his way over to me. I resist the urge to stand up and help as I watch pain flash across his face with every step, but eventually, he settles next to me with a large huff.

“I know you're feeling guilty, but you shouldn't. I protected you as I would have protected anyone, and this wound doesn't bother me as much as you being injured or dead would have,” Kayn sternly reminds me, repeating the words he's said a hundred times over this past week. Frowning, I lean further against the tree and stare down at my gloved hands, so different than his large, rough paws. So much weaker.

“I know,” I whisper after a prolonged silence, “but I want to be stronger. How, though? If I'm not strong enough to even control the energy inside of me, how could I be strong enough to do anything?” The question hangs, unanswered, in the cool air of the forest for quite some, and my eyes naturally wander across the familiar but ever-changing clearing. As always, they come to rest upon a small stone, engraved with one word: Mother.

Kayn saved me then, too. And countless other times, but have I ever saved him? No. My hands clench into fists in my lap, and I focus on taking slow, deep breaths before my frustration gets the better of me again. Relax.

“I know this is hard on you, Young One. I wish I could give you the secrets to strength, but each person finds it their own way. The only thing I can tell you is to follow your heart,” Kayn informs me, slowly rising to his paws. I help ease him up, and we walk home in silence. Kayn nudges aside the vines hiding the entrance to the house-like cave, and he limps over to his soft nest before flopping down. Almost instantly, Syrez rushes to his side, herbs held gently in his jaws, and I look away before the guilt overwhelms me.

I can't believe I was so stupid. Sighing roughly, I push aside the vines sectioning off my room and mutter a spell to create a barrier across the entrance so nobody will bother me. Unwinding my scarf, I fold it up and neatly place it on the rock acting as a table, and I untie my half-mask and set it on top. My gloves, shirt, shoes, and socks follow, and I push my curly black hair out of my eyes with a huff.

Calm down. Frustration and chaotic energy swirl beneath the thin surface of self-control, and I sigh as I stretch out on the bed-like nest. Closing my eyes, I focus on steadying my breathing; once that's accomplished, I focus on relaxing each body part one-by-one. It takes much longer than normal, though, and after the twentieth time restarting, I groan and give up.

Relaxation is just too far away. Frowning, I sit up and lean against the wall, which is cushioned by a layer of vegetation, and I focus my attention on my arms. The left one has been almost completely taken over by my curse, the top layer of skin having had crystalized. Like a snake, fine scales of crystals make up the top layer, their surface slightly faceted, and today's color seems to be a deep purple with highlights of blue. Sad?

Another reason to keep them covered, I guess. One look at me, and you can read my mood based off the color of the crystal scales. Kayn doesn't need an additional thing to help him read me even better. Sighing, I reluctantly bring my right, uncrystallized hand up to my face; the scales have spread across both cheeks and seem to have created a sort of mask around my eyes. Bringing my hand down, I gently feel the smooth, newly crystalline surface creeping down my neck in two thin, snaking lines. Within a few days, scales will form, but for now, the surface is completely smooth.

Will my entire body be covered in crystal? Is there any way to stop or reverse this process? Already, they've made their way up my arm and across my shoulder, and my face has independently begun crystallizing. Who's to say my legs won't do that? Or anywhere else? What would happen if I did fully crystalize? Would it start attacking my organs? My blood? Where does it end? Why any of this?

So many questions, not enough answers. Questions that even Kayn can't answer, but I know who can. Zelrith, demon of crystals. My father. The unreachable tyrant of the spirit realm, the elusive king, the unpredictable piece in this entire thing. While there is no official hierarchy, the demons respect or at least fear Zelrith, and the spirits feel the same for his guardian counterpart, whoever that is. As for the reason why, there's really no telling.

Except for maybe the natural energy that crystals hold, the obsession with them and belief bordering on worship humans have, or the lack of a boundary they have, not being tethered to a specific area. A combination of all three, perhaps. Either way, I need to find one of the few demons that could be literally anywhere at any time to get some answers.

But do I need answers? Will they help me find inner peace and control myself, or will they just confuse me more? I don't know. I don't know anything, I'm just lost. Sighing, I move to lay down in my bed and wrap myself up in a cocoon of soft blanket, and as much as I wish to go out and talk to Kayn, I close my eyes and try to will myself to sleep. I can't face them right now, can't handle the accusation in the eyes of Kayn's friends, so I don't. I hide in my room, under the blankets, just like I hide behind my mask and my scarf and my gloves.

Just like I used to hide in my mother's arms when the world started turning against me, but then… and now—no. Kayn wouldn't turn against me like that. Just shut up, stop thinking, sleep. Mind whirling, I try to force myself to sleep, and eventually, I manage to slip into an uneasy rest full of accusatory glares, shadowy and dangerous figures, and memories better left to rot.
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If We Could

Postby ghostyghost » February 15th, 2019, 12:21:19 am

Happy Valentine's day. Totally unintentional but a very nice surprise nonetheless

Our eyes meet.

Life's all a game of chance in the long run, no planned destiny or whatever else people may say, but for short bursts of time, fleeting seconds in the depths of infinity, it feels like maybe there's more to living than just bumbling around on some meaningless path.

Even from across the room, I can tell that he’s different, the oddly colored flower in the flower bed. Before I really realize it, I’m weaving between people in an attempt to reach him.

It's odd, isn't it? How crazily close life comes to seeming like there's an actual purpose, a reason for being here? In the end, though, nothing means anything, and everything happens only by chance.

There's a sense of breathlessness as I stand in front of him. He gazes shly up at me, his amazing red eyes peeking up through long, thick eyelashes, and for a few moments, silence dances between us. Here, in front of him, it feels like the rest of the world fades away; I never want this moment to end.

Sometimes, it's cruel how life will tease you with the idea of an actual destiny. It’ll feel like something will be meant to happen, like there's no way anything could ever happen to the happiness you feel because it's planned, but nothing is planned. It's all just a random, chaotic mess of chance. Always has been, always will be.

Soft, fluffy locks of white peek out from his cream hood, and the paleness of his skin makes him look like a snowflake, drifting alone in a sea of dark clothing. My breath hitches in my throat; the urge to just forget about normal social things and kiss him grows almost overwhelming. To anyone else, this moment must seem ridiculous, two males just standing in the middle of this space and staring into each other's eyes with a dumbstruck look.

To an outsider, certain events can look like destiny. A smile can lead to a date, and everyone is quick to name fate. Is it fate, though, or just the peculiarities of human nature? Aren't we naturally drawn to the unique, to someone different from what we already know? In the end, doesn't everything just lead back to us?

His pale lips part; he draws a breath. There's a pause. I wait, anxiously, for the first word of our lives together. Under my expectant gaze, he blushes and closes his mouth again, and I nervously bite my lip. After a few moments of thought, I pull out my phone, and he frowns in thought. Once again, I wait.

Take, for example, your first relationship. Did it just magically happen, like it was supposed to exist? Was it a fateful meeting, a collision dictated by the stars? No. It wasn't because that doesn't exist. It was a random occurrence brought on by the chaos of human nature and emotions, the ebb and flow of passion and desire.

After a few moments, he pulls out a piece of paper from his bag, and I eagerly offer him a pen. He accepts it with a shy smile; anticipation hums in my veins as I watch him write. With a nervous expression, he hands me the paper and scurries off before I can even read it. I watch him, a white flower petal being pulled away in the breeze, until he's swallowed up in the sea of darkness.

Sometimes, it feels like the world threatens to collapse under the weight of all the chaos. Fissures appear in the cracks of reality as the delicate balance becomes upset by humanity's natural sense of rebellion. Most of our decisions lie in our need to rebel against something for whatever reason. We rebel against our parents, against society, against religion… against anything and everything. Should destiny exist, we would probably rebel against that, too.

There's a deep, gratifying sense of rebellion that day as I slip into my dull house, more than a few hours past my curfew. The memory of my snow angel from before flashes in my mind, and I allow myself a rare smile as I caress the paper. Pulling it out, I unfold it and smile at the number and name neatly printed on the paper. Jack… perfect.

If we could, we would rebel against the very essence of life itself. Humans hate being constrained to one certain thing, hate even the idea of being trapped within any number of walls. The thought of having to tread the same path for any amount of time elicits such a strong feeling of deep-set panic within us, an animalistic fear of stagnation and death of the species, that it becomes completely unbearable. If only for our sake, we must at believe we have will. If not, what could we do but give up?

Over the next few days, a flurry of messages flies between us. He's a breath of fresh air, the cold breeze momentarily lifting the suffocating effects of the heat of low expectations. With him, the blackness of my past falls away and leaves behind a pure white, me without the stains of society, and for once, I find myself shrugging off the slurred insults of my mother, the weary gripings of my father, the condescending scorn of my teachers. With him, none of that matters; it’s just us.

Inevitably, though, we end up right where we started. To suggest that we truly have free will would be ridiculous; how could we? So much of our being comes not from us but from those around us, our parents and peers, and there is no controlling or changing it. Of course, we can say that we’ll be different, the generation of change, the one to break the cycle, but we know, deep in our hearts, that we will die having had turned out like our parents. All we can do is hope that we chose the best parts, not the worst.

Of course, all good things must come to an end. One day, I am hiding behind my wall of snow, a pure barricade against the sins of society, and the next, the facade crumbles at my feet. Huge white chunks lay strewn across the floor, and with my wall, with Jack, goes my sanity. Everything seems too much to take; I can't go back to the prison I lived in before. For the first time, I lash out against the people keeping me chained down.

Then again, it's not like we really have a choice, do we? Sure, we can try and change, but in the end, is there really anything we can do? After all, our future does not depend on us; it depends on society. The way those around you view you, the way they choose to see you, whatever distorted vision of you happens to dance in their gaze, determines your fate, and more often than not, they screw you over. It's funny, isn't it? We rebel so much against everything, yet we end up in the exact same spot as before. Can we ever win?

Nothing changes. I mean, I didn't really think my temper tantrum would actually result in anything, but there's still a volcano of frustration bubbling in my chest. It threatens to explode and decimate everything, including myself, but I grit my teeth against the pressure. If I let myself self-destruct now, I won't be able to find Jack later, and I need to find him. I need him.

Rebellion. It's something humans both fear and crave. Yes, we rebel against everything, but we also turn our nose up at the rebellious teenagers, the ones who dare rebel against society, those who stand out against social injustices. Are we not all simply searching for a break in the cycle? Do we not all seek out a different path? Aren't we just people, each a part of the world, trapped on this world, in this society, in this cycle? Are we really all that different in the end?

Graduation comes quickly. A few messages, hurried and secretive, have been exchanged between my snow angel and I since that incident, and as I scan over the crowd of newly-freed high school students, I just feel empty. The only person I care about and who cares about me isn't here. My eyes slide over the dull, uninterested faces of my family as I descend from the platform; a cold wind blows, pulling my black hair in front of my face and covering my view. For a few seconds, the oppressive heat of the day lifts, and I grin to myself, a minute, hidden smile meant for someone far, far away.

To answer, no, we aren't. We all die just as dumb as we are born; no matter how much junk we stuff our heads with, it changes nothing. At the end of it all, death overtakes us all, no matter what, and there is no outwitting him when his black fingers reach for your soul. He will grasp the essence of your being in his skeletal hands and squeeze, mercilessly and coldly, until all that remains is the very essence of you, a small pebble soon to be tossed into the abyss. When that day comes, everything you have done up until then will mean nothing. It all means nothing.

Even in the freedom of college, we struggle to find the time to just revel in the other’s peaceful presence. Whenever we manage to scrape together enough free time to spend with the other, there’s an underlying anxiety poisoning every second; what if the wrong person finds out? What if someone comes in and ruins this? The longer this sneaking around continues, the more I feel compelled to just throw away everything I've worked for and bury myself in his embrace, but that would be selfish. I can't drag him down with me; instead, I will remain by his side, in the shadows, there to catch him when he falls and quietly tend to his wounds.

Around and around we go, swirling a giant drain, and what does any of it amount to? We try to assign meaning to random events, rebel against perceived walls threatening to close in on us, but for what? To die… what? More deluded? More self-important? We are mere mortals being tossed around in the chaos of life; we have no control. We have nothing. We are nothing.

Even with him, though, the sneaking around begins to wear on me. Even knowing how much he loves me and I him, I can't help the doubts and the questions that slink their way into my heart, and the whiteness I see with him gets slowly tainted by black tracks of negative thinking. Slowly, we drift further and further apart, an emotional abyss that cannot be bridged.

We cannot change the world. We cannot change even our life. We cannot change anything. We are miniscule in the face of the universe, each of us doomed to walk the exact same cycle. We are rebelling against a system we cannot change, a system we don't even understand, and we are failing. But can we handle this truth?

Over the days, he seems to be getting weaker. I've noticed his weakness before, of course, the coughs and the nausea and the fatigue and the way he looks at me, like every glance could be his last. Eventually, he can't hide his illness from me anymore, and it takes everything in me to not break down then and there. Instead, I rock my snow angel in my arms and whisper to him that everything will be alright, even though I know it isn't.

No. Humans are not truthful beings; we do not see reality in its purest state. We see our version of reality, the version where we control our destiny and the world, but we don't. Whatever we do, it all ends the exact same, every story ends the same, yet we still cling so tightly to life. There is no point, though, because it's all a random, chaotic soup that means nothing.

Watching him steadily deteriorate into nothing, still having to sneak around and keep our true relationship secret, it eats away at me. Countless nights I've spent cursing everything out there, trying to find something or someone to blame, and there is no answer. No one speaks to me because no one exists, and as I sit here, my dying secret love beside me, my previous illusions of control and destiny break to the tune of a stopping heart monitor.

We exist to die.

For the first time in my life, I openly weep in front of a crowd of strangers as snow delicately drifts down in the sea of blackness. I throw caution to the wind and rant about the lack of a god, lack of fate, and the cruelty of reality and our secret love. They shun the truth, but I know. I know.

The foolish would call this a story of fate. In reality, it's nothing but a collection of human behavior, our tendency to be drawn towards the different and need to rebel against something and our fluctuating passions and everything that makes us human. In the end, life proves itself to be the same meaningless chaos it always has been, even when it seems to laugh cruelly in your face. Truthfully, the only person you have to blame is yourself; after all, if we could, we would rebel against even destiny itself.
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