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Atheugorei

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About Atheugorei

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  • Age in Years
    18
  • Gender
    Male
  • Sexuality
    Bisexual, leaning male
  • Favorite Genres
    Romance
    Sci-Fi
  • Location
    United States
  • Interests
    Soccer, running, reading biographies, reading sci-fi, The Orville, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, playing piano, classical and romantic music, trap and rap, classic rock

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  1. Goofus staggered in late, yet again, to Mr. Foley’s class, disrupting the class discussion with a clang of the door and a muttered apology. He was making his way to the back of the classroom, to his seat, when Mr. Foley decided to put him on the spot. “Late again, Goofus?” Mr. Foley said in his characteristically tight, controlled voice. Normally Mr. Foley was pretty chill, but Goofus had been late to class four times this week alone, and the teacher had had enough. Goofus slunk down into his seat a nodded slightly, letting his eyes wander down to his desk, hoping that Mr. Foley would just leave him alone. “Would you like to explain what you were doing, that caused you to be late?” Fuck you, Mr. Foley, Goofus thought. He knew that the grey-haired man knew that he couldn’t give him any acceptable response. In fact, he didn’t really trust himself to speak, because his high was just now wearing off. He shook his head, in part to answer the teacher, and in part to keep his focus at the task at hand. He cleared his throat, “Uhh...no, Mr. Foley. I can’t.” “Well, you realize this will be another detention, right? If you can’t give me an acceptable excuse, then you’ve forced my hands with your negligence, son.” Goofus just continued to look at his desk. Mr. Foley sighed and was about to launch back into his lesson, when a blonde, freckled boy in the front spoke up. Smiling with impossibly white teeth, he said, “Mr. Foley, Goofus was simply trying to find my lunch bag; I thought I had left it in the gym but I guess not.” He turned around. “Right, Goofus?” Taken aback by this deft bailout, Goofus was nonplussed. Finally, he said, “Uh, yeah, that was it. Sorry, Gallant, I didn’t find it.” Gallant’s gleaming smile turned towards him. “That’s quite alright, Goofus. I’ll find it, I’m sure.” Mr. Foley quickly accepted Gallant’s side of the story, and moved on with his lesson. After this little diversion was over, and Gallant had turned around, Goofus sat in a stupor. His high was totally gone now, and he was trying to decipher why Gallant, the so-called epitome of good breeding, had bailed him out. Goofus didn’t really know Gallant all that well – all he knew was what he saw: a amiable kid, who always had his homework done, consistently got A’s on his quizzes, always smiled, and never seemed to lie or get in trouble. But, why would he help out Goofus? Goofus looked down at himself, suddenly very self conscious. He was wearing grey sweatpants and a blue, slightly rumpled jacket he got from Walmart. He had to think, but he was pretty sure that he had a solid 19% in the class. He sighed in frustration, and ran a hand through his thick, gratuitous brown curls. When Mr. Foley asked, near the end of class, that the homework be turned in, Goofus watched intently at Gallant and he opened his red backpack to get out a folder with ‘Biology’ neatly printed on the front. Goofus opened his own sack -- which was really just a Nike drawstring bag -- and pull out a crumpled, half finished sheet of paper. He hadn’t remembered really completing it -- he’d been super high at the time -- but he passed it up anyway. When the bell rang, Goofus gathered his bag and exited the classroom, and nearly ran into Gallant in the hallway. “Oh, sorry,” Gallant graciously said, moving out of the way. The brown haired teen looked at him, smiled slightly, and said, “Nah, man, it’s fine.” He debated whether to ask, then decided it was alright. “So, uh, what was that, in there?” Gallant’s ears turned a bright shade of red, which Goofus found adorable. “I knew that this was your fourth tardy, so I gave you some help. I figured you didn’t want another detention.” Goofus seemed confused. “But why? I mean, no one ever really does anything, for me, you know? You didn’t have to do that, I’ve had detentions before,” he finished, laughing slightly. “It was really no problem,” Gallant said, starting to walk to his next class. Goofus walked along with him. “What did you get on that worksheet?” Goofus blushed in shame. “I, uh, I didn’t finished it. I don’t even think the first few problems I did were right.” Gallant looked aghast. “But...what grade do you have in the class? I never see you turn anything in.” Goofus was silent for a few seconds, debating whether to tell his new acquaintance. He decided he probably should. “I’m not sure,” he admitted. “The last time I checked I had something like a 19%, or something.” Gallant stopped short in the middle of the hallway and just kind of looked at Goofus. Then, suddenly, he set his book bag on the ground and ripped off a small piece of paper from one of his notebooks. As he scribbled something on it, he said, “I’m giving you my number.” He held it out, in which Goofus took it in near disbelief. “You’re coming over on tonight so I can help you with your biology homework.” “I -- I --” Goofus stuttered, but Gallant cut him off. “No excuses, Goofus,” Gallant said, smirking. “You need some help.” * * * Goofus arrived at a neatly mowed craftsman style house on the nice side of town about 10 minutes after he was supposed to be there. It wasn’t his fault this time -- he hadn’t even smoked, he guessed to spare having to explain the smell to Gallant, but his car was acting up on the way over. He’d worked his ass off at the store he had worked at to buy the thing, but he’d had trouble saving his money, and he hadn’t had the sense to look around before buying the piece of junk. He stood awkwardly on the porch of the home after ringing the doorbell, and was soon greeted with a woman that could have either been 35 or 60. She effused vigor and gracefulness, and readily ushered Goofus into the living room. She explained her name was Dianne, and Gallant would be down in a few seconds. “Hey, Goofus!” Gallant nearly gushed as he bounded down the stairs that were near the kitchen. Dianne left back to the kitchen, and Gallant waved Goofus upstairs. Upon entering his room, Goofus noticed how clean it was. Neat, too. The bed was neatly made, and the desk, along with a slim Apple desktop computer, was arranged with an ample amount of pencils, pens, and a dictionary. Goofus sat precariously in Gallant’s bed, not wanting to mess it up. The desk, which was opposite the bed, was close enough that when Gallant sat himself in the rolling chair, they were about four or five feet from one another. “Do you have the assignment from today?” Gallant asked as he retrieved a pencil from his desk. Goofus nodded and pulled out a wadded up paper, and handed it over. Gallant frowned at the sight but said nothing. Gallant rolled his desk chair back to where Goofus was and started to explain the assignment. Goofus tried to follow along as best as he could, but kept getting distracted. Soon enough, Gallant’s words went in through one ear and out the other as Goofus focused on Gallant’s golden hair. The more Gallant talked, and the more time Goofus sat near him, he couldn’t help but feel his body heat and get distracted by his pale blue eyes and freckles. He kept looking away, because he was literally losing himself every time they made eye contact. He was so focused on trying not to be obviously attracted to Gallant that he didn’t hear the blonde haired boy the first three times he called Goofus’ name. “Goofus!” Gallant said emphatically, to which Goofus snapped to attention. “Huh?” He eloquently said, snapping back to reality. He noticed Gallant looked a bit exasperated. “I said, your paper is finished. Mom’s calling us down for supper.” Supper? Goofus was confused. “Wait, I’m staying for dinner?” Gallant laughed. “Of course! It wouldn’t be polite if I didn’t invite you.” He paused. “I kinda want you to stay though.” Goofus didn’t really know the manner in which the phrase was meant, but conceded nonetheless. “Sure.” Gallant looked elated. “C’mon, let’s go wash up.” Goofus was a bit out of his element, since at home he really wasn’t expected to do much of anything, but he did everything that Gallant did. That included washing up, and setting the table. Goofus found Gallant’s mother, Dianne, a excellent host, and Gallant’s father, Beauregard, a cheerful and thoughtful man. Beauregard -- tall, with broad shoulders and a slim waist -- was the epitome of fitness. With dirty-blonde hair greying at the temples, and tortoiseshell glasses, he seemed like the ultimate family-man. “So I hear you’re struggling a bit with Biology, Goofus,” Beauregard said kindly after they’d all set down, passing the mashed potatoes. Goofus accepted the bowl and plopped a healthy amount on his plate and passed it on to Gallant. “Yes, uh, sir, I am.” He looked over at Gallant, “I’m very glad that Gallant invited me over. I really am.” “Well, that’s good, son,” Beauregard continued. “You know, when I was your age, I flunked out of physics. I hated the course. But I studied hard -- and I’ll never forget this -- I ended up with a 83 percent. Mr. Tanner bumped up the grade from a 79 -- which was failing at my school -- to an 83. And so I passed.” He smiled at Dianne. “You’ll never regret being nice, son.” Gallant nodded eagerly in agreement. Once dinner was finished, Goofus helped Gallant wash the dishes and put them away. He was thinking about taking his leave, but then Gallant said, “Would you like to stay, and maybe hang out a bit? I have an Xbox in the bonus room. We could play that.” So that’s how Goofus ended up sitting dangerously close to Gallant on the floor of the bonus room, playing and bantering with one another. Gallant wasn’t as much of a goody-two-shoes as how Goofus had heard some other kids talk about him; he was, well, adorable. And cute. And he was constantly making Goofus blush. “Thanks for letting me come over,” Goofus said quietly, as they were searching for a new game to play a little while later. Gallant noticed the reserved tone in his voice; it was something new that he hadn’t heard before. “You’re welcome, Goofus. It was really fine. I wanted to help you.” “I know, you said that. But...why? I mean, I see you, with your perfect life, and your perfect friends, and your perfect grades, and then I look at me. Who am I to hang out with the likes of you? I’m a clumsy nobody. The friends I have are losers. Hell, I’m a loser.” Gallant just looked at him, a frown falling over his features. Putting the game he had pick up down, and strode back across the room to stand in front of Goofus. Suddenly, he sat down, cross-legged, across from Goofus and looked his square in the eyes. With a timbre in his voice Goofus had never heard, Gallant said, “You’re not a loser, Goofus.” Goofus snorted. “Yeah, right.” “No, Goofus, not ‘yeah, right,’” Gallant said sternly, putting his hands on Goofus’ own crossed legs. “I’m not perfect. But you’re not a loser, ok? You can be a bit aloof sometimes, and can get distracted...a lot. But you’re nowhere near being a loser.” Goofus was silent. Gallant sighed. “Fine, you want proof?” Gallant suddenly cupped Goofus’ face and leaned in for a gentle kiss on the lips. Goofus wouldn’t have been any more surprised if he had woken up with his head sewn to the carpet. Eventually, though, he relaxed into the kiss. When they parted, they both smiled wildly. “Do you believe me now?” Gallant said softly, gazing into Goofus’ eyes. Gallant couldn’t escape Goofus’ childlike temperament, when he really got him out of his shell. The mop of brown, curly hair was shiny and invited him to run his hands through it; Goofus’ dimples were irresistible. “I...yeah, I do, Gallant,” Goofus said, his dimples making an appearance. “I do.” Gallant blushed and looked down in embarrassment. He looked as if we were debating to say something. “I -- uh -- would you want to be -- that is, uh, do you want --” Goofus melted and smiled even wider. He leaned in and pecked Gallant lightly on the lips again. “I would love to your boyfriend, Gallant,” he said, laughing lightly. He leaned in and put his forehead against Gallant’s. “How could I say no?”
  2. Atheugorei

    Chapter 4

    Chapter 4 Drake M. Weiler had felt sick all day. He didn’t know why - it was just one of those things. He took some anti-nausea pills that morning, after breakfast, and they had seemed to work for a while. But as he got in his driver and made his way to work, the feeling of bile and uneasiness followed him. He tried to shake it off as he entered the official looking Government building - tried to make himself look presentable - but the feeling wouldn’t let go. It was annoying. “Hello, Dr. Weiler,” a brunette woman said, her large smile upturned to him as he entered the building. The sunlight from the glass door shone through, casting long strands of golden light onto the smooth floor of the entryway. His black shoes, shined thoroughly, clacked crisply on the floor as he made his way to the front desk. His black overcoat - government issued - billowed with grandiosity around him. As he approached the desk, he took off his sunglasses. What met the woman was a man with a square, handsome face and piercing green eyes. The buzz-cut, however, came standard when working with the Government. He greeted her nearly everyday, and she didn’t know more about him now than when he came in the first time. “Hello, Abigail,” he said, smiling. He was a private man. Didn’t like attention, and certainly didn’t like anyone enquiring who he was or where he lived. Though, she supposed, she could always access the Government database, she decided to let him go on with his little charade, out of a sense of decency. She honestly didn’t really care much anyway - he wasn’t her type. Drake unclipped his ID card from the lapel of this overcoat and set it in a little glass machine on the counter. After it scanned, she checked the holographic computer - called a telenode - and confirmed - as always - it was him. He snatched his card back and graciously put it back on his lapel, smiling as he glided past her and into the rest of the building. The Government building was built sometime in the last 70 years, and it’s age showed the farther back you got. Drake worked in the basement - a sprawling, clinical facility that was renovated around ten years ago. Only level 5 and up were allowed down there; luckily for him, he was the director. Doctorate in computational logistics will get you places, that’s for sure. The nausea only got worse as he made his way to the basement, and when he sat down on his desk and turned his telenode on, he was practically sweating. “Uhg,” he replied to H44-X12, his assistant, when the younger man enquired about his state of health. “I don’t know, H. It started this morning. You have anything for nausea?” The brown-haired man paused to think. “Not that I know of. I mean, I could always go to sickbay --” Drake waved that recommendation away, his head in his hands. He swallowed. “No -- no. It’s fine. Really. Just a rough morning; hell, I can get through it.” He stood up suddenly, any indication that something was wrong with him erased. H was used to it, and rolled with the punches. “What have you got for me today?” H watched as Drake took off his overcoat and put on his white lab coat. Once Drake was done fussing with it, he spoke. “Slow day, it seems.” H walked over to a large black slab in the middle of the large space they were in. Everyone’s desks - including Drake’s - were situated around it. Had someone come in not knowing what it was, they would assume it was a large heavy block of smooth obsidian. It was not, however. A red holographic keyboard popped up where H was, and he type furiously into it. On top of the smooth black piece, which was about the size of a two kitchen tables, were softly glowing red lines that pulsed and shifted geometrically. It was really kind of hard to explain. Anytime H would type something specific into the keyboard, and red line would switch, and connect to another. He did this a few times. H furrowed his brow and typed even faster while Drake looked on, intrigued. H sighed. “This is getting out of hand,” he said, stepping away from the slab. He shook his head. “The Directors need to get on board with this overhaul - they keep stalling. Parliament, I’m sure, is funneling them money to let the system degrade, but this is wrong. God!” He rubbed his forehead. “Another anomaly - just now. The whole thing is falling apart.” Drake put on his glasses and stepped to the keyboard. It a few quick strokes, a few lines shifted again and he moved forward closer to the slab. It was feeding back information he had just requested, and he was now reading it. The symbols only made sense to a handful of people; luckily he was one. H shook his head. “Yeah, but what to they care? This is the real world - they couldn’t give a crap about this,” he gestured to the slab. He looked back at Drake, who had turned pale. “Dr. Weiler?” “There’s been a disappearance.” “What?” Drake turned to H. “There’s been a disappearance. Call Davidson. Now!” * * * Lucas wasn’t sure if the machine that his dad was working on in the garage was fully functional or not. He had experimented with some frogs and grasshoppers earlier that month, but a full human? He wasn’t sure if he could do it. He gazed again at the machine, and then put his mouth next to the small black box in front of him. The red lines switched and moved almost haphazardly. “Once you jumped off that bridge, there’s nothing. I isolated your location and brought you into the void. I thought I was helping!” A frustrated, and frankly pissed voice emanated from the box. “That was not your place, dude! Fuck! I want this to be fucking over already! Just kill me!” A pang of hurt went through Lucas, who managed to look at the logs and ascertain that this kid was going to die. He was trying to help, goddamnit! He knew his father didn’t do much of that at work anyway; why is he getting scolded for trying to be a good person? He responded in an icy tone, “Maybe I just will.” They both knew he was lying. The other boy sighed, beginning to resign. “So, what exactly can you do? I’m still confused; you’re not making any sense. You tell me you’re from Heuw, but you’re describing things that don’t exist. You’re fucking nuts.” “No, you’re nuts. Just… I’ll explain afterwards, ok? Can you trust me? I’m legit just trying to help here, ok?” “Like I have much choice,” the other boy bitterly responded. Lucas sighed. “Don’t be so bitter, man. I dunno what’s up with you. Just calm down.” “Calm down?!” An incredulous Elliot replied. “You stuck me in a tunnel of light, talk to me from some far off place, and then just tell me to calm down?” He chucked, but there was no mirth. “Yeah, sure.” Lucas closed his eyes, besieged by the sudden realization that he might have made the wrong decision. Then, suddenly, his portable telenode rang. Fishing it out of his pocket, he saw that it was his dad. “Shit!” “What now?” “Fuck, fuck! My dad’s coming home. I-I think he knows about you. Jesus Christ, I gotta get you out of there!” Elliot was suddenly struck by how frantic the other boy’s voice had gotten. Despite his situation, he heard himself enquire about the well-being of the boy. “Dude, you seem freaked out. What’s the issue?” “You don’t understand. Just… you’ll be out in a few minutes, ok? And whatever happens…” he began ominously, “I’m sorry.” There was a slight click - Elliot couldn’t tell if he was hearing things or not - and the boy’s voice disappeared. He looked around himself. All white. At least he still had a body. Lucas quickly ran to the garage and turned the machine on. It looked, generally, like a large metal cage. While it whirred to life, and ran back and retrieved the black box from his room. He then ran back to the garage and nearly threw the box down on a nearby table. Going to his dad’s workshop, he got two black cables, to which he attached both to the box and to applicable ports in the machine. Pushing a holo-button on the box, which shuddered a response, a keyboard appeared. Lucas entered the same odd symbols into the smaller keyboard, cursing the whole time. He had to finish this before his dad got home - otherwise, there would be trouble a-brewin’. Drake Weiler told his driver to get him home as fast as he could. He was brimming with a rage he didn’t expect - although he knew something like this would happen sooner or later. He almost couldn’t believe he’d been this stupid - or careless. He’d told H to go back in, and to come back tomorrow while he dealt with this; the Directors didn’t need to have another needless victim, afterall. After his driver started to slow down at an empty intersection, Drake was so upset that he turned the automatic feature off and started to drive himself - the first time in about 2 years. He managed about 90 the whole way home. The whole time, he thought, How could I be so careless? And, then, sardonically, At least my son has my smarts. Drake was about a minute away when Lucas entered the last commands into the box. The moment he pressed enter, the machine sparked to life. The cage, made up of a black material that had a fancy name that he couldn’t remember, vibrated quickly. 6 black, square nodes formed a circle at both the top of the bottom, and then they started to spit out a odd type of substance. It crackled as if it were made of electricity, but behaved as if it were a type of solid substance. Lucas cringed - he had watched this done with smaller animals, but with a human it was almost too disturbing to look at. Finally, the substance grew so bright that Lucas couldn’t bare to look at it even if he had wanted to. When he couldn’t see the bright light behind his closed eyelids, Lucas slowly opened his eyes and saw a naked, goop-covered, crying boy sitting in the middle of the cage. He jumped up and approached the cage hesitantly. Elliot, his eyes tear stained, looked up. When he saw Lucas, his face moved through a variety of emotions. Before he could react, Lucas spoke. “Listen, my dad is here,” he said, hurriedly. He grabbed the towel he was holding, and went around to open the door at the side of the cage. Elliot just stood there, dumbstruck. Lucas held out the towel. “Dude, dry off. I’ll get you some clothes in a sec. We have to get up to my room.” When Elliot didn’t move, Lucas became sharp, “Here!” Elliot instinctively grabbed the towel and put it around his waist. Lucas grabbed his arm and roughly drug him out of the cage and into the rest of the house. Elliot realized that this house was much, much nicer and more spacious than anything he had ever seen. Bewildered, he noticed also that Lucas didn’t bat an eye to any of it. Lucas continued to drag Elliot, and they managed to get upstairs and into his room. The minute they stepped into his it, they both heard the front door open roughly and bang on the wall behind it. Elliot noticed that Lucas paled. Lucas led Elliot to his closet and shoved him in. Looking supremely apologetic, he said, “I know this isn’t much of a welcome, but stay put. I’ll deal with my dad. For god’s sake, no matter what happens, don’t move!” With that, the door was slammed shut. Elliot was totally out of his element. He didn’t know if he should trust this strange boy, or just leave. He decided to continue to dry off as much as he could in the smaller space, and then sit quietly and listen. At first he didn’t hear anything, but then he heard voices. Shouting. They faded in and out (presumably the boy’s father went to the garage to find out what he had done), and finally they started to get closer. Elliot gulped. The father sounded more pissed than anyone he had ever heard. He heard the door of the bedroom open, and suddenly the enraged voice was crystal clear. “You stupid boy!” The gruff man irately raged. “You idiot! Do you know what you’ve done? We’re fucked! Fucked! The Directors are going to be all over our ass now - me and your mother both!” He took a paused and breathed quite heavily. Elliot could see in his mind’s eye Lucas cowering in front of his father - hell, he would be. Smack. Elliot recoiled himself, unable to process the fact that someone had been hit. He felt nauseous when he heard the father speak again. “You ungrateful brat! I’ve given you everything, and this is how you repay me?!” There was a softer, fleshier thump, which Elliot resignedly assigned as a punch. “This is the only way you’ll know how much pain you’ve caused!” Another thump. Elliot nearly cried out when he heard Lucas’ strangled sob. After a while, the thumping stopped and he heard the older man mumble, “Now I gotta figure out how far this kid has gotten. God,” he spit. “You’ve really caused a clusterfuck this time, Lucas.” That was the last Elliot heard of the man, but he wasn’t at all consoled by the sobbing he heard after the old man had left. He decided to stay in the closet, as Lucas had instructed, until the sobbing stopped, and an eerie, pregnant silence ensued.
  3. Hi Atheugorei. The big switch, no longer a teen, now a twenty something or other? Keep on doing what you are doing. Wishing that you have a great Happy 20th Birthday, now go back to your partying. All my best to you.

     

    Take care

    sandrewn:cowboy:

  4. Atheugorei

    Chapter 3

    Chapter Three His mind reeled as he sat with his back to the bed and his head buried in his knees. He felt as if one push, one tilt to either direction would send him sprawling - creating a mess that he neither wanted to make or make anyone else clean up. Reality came crashing down upon him, and his prior invincibility melted away, replaced with pain and darkness. He hadn’t felt this way since his father died, and now he had to face it again, but seemingly a hundred times stronger. His breathing was labored; he looked over at the smashed television, a relic from another time, it’s shattered glass glittering dangerously at him. When he found his mother dead the next morning, he nearly laughed at the absurdity of it all. For about an hour, after he had stoically walked out of the room and into the kitchen, he didn’t think about her at all, instead making them both sandwiches to share together later that afternoon. He was about to slather the second two pieces to stale bread with mayonnaise when he suddenly realized: she was never going to experience anything ever again because she was dead. And that, like a faulty fuse on a firecracker, set him off like nothing he’d ever done before. Dishes were broken. The icebox was now permanently dented where he had punched it repeatedly. And the television… well, it was not non-operational. He paused in the doorway, after his tirade, breathing heavily and had to wipe the salty sweat out of his eyes. It was over. All the hard work he had put in, all the shit he had put up with… and now, he had to call the authorities to have his mother taken away and cremated, as the ritual went. He scoffed in a mixture of extreme exasperation and mirthless humor. He slid down the length of the door-jamb, and again buried his head in his knees. He felt as though he was going to be sick, and after a few minutes he was. Elliot barricaded himself in the bathroom for God knows how long until he was quite sure he wouldn’t get sick again, but every time he tried to set foot again outside the small space, he got nauseous. He felt as though the world was spinning, faster and faster - almost a kaleidoscope of motion. He had to leave - he had to get out of that damn house! He jerked up, and sprinted out, not even bothering to put anything back in it’s rightful place. What’s the use? He thought. He didn’t dare look back to the domicile that now simply held a nightmare. Blackhawk Bridge wasn’t far from his home; in fact, the river - teeming with sludge and waste - ran on the outskirts of town. He’d passed over the bridge more times that he could remember, on his way to primary school, which sat a few blocks past. A few years ago, a hopeless man who had suddenly lost his job at the factory where he had worked nearly 40 years, had flung himself off into the murky waters. It wasn’t rare - per se - but the community felt the pain and grief as hard as the next. Fuck them, Elliot thought, his mind souring to the fact that anyone cared about him at all. He realized, nearly with a blinding smack, that he had been taken advantage of. The whole time. Not only with the man and the medicine, who had lauded it over Elliot for sexual favors, but also the town and the factories. The factories, he realized, belched out their product (a transistor chip of some sort, though he didn’t really even quite know what the end product was) and thought of their human workers as supremely expendable. They could afford to lose men because they knew they could find more. And that, he realized, he could never forgive. It was nearing three when he raced onto the bridge; since it was a Sunday, it wouldn’t be as busy, although that wouldn’t have stopped him anyway. The bridge, completed sometime in the last century, was a sturdy beast, arching from bank to bank enough that many types of boats could get under it easily, if need be. He swallowed. The drop at the apex was steep, but that’s what he was counting on. He moved to one side - the walking lane - and shimmied through the already clipped wire and onto the very ledge of the bridge itself. His vision tunneled as he thought about what had, well, pushed him over the edge. The hurt. The loss. The betrayal. His life was a play, and all had been an act within it. Elliot thought himself a reasonably resilient person, but the time for reason was past when the world decided to turn irrevocably against him; no more would he be slave to its whims. No more would he not have a say of whether or not he even wanted to participate in it! He laughed to himself, thinking. No one has a say whether or not they are brought into the world, but he sure as hell would have a say about getting out of it! He must’ve been standing there longer than he intended, because he could vaguely hear hubbub surround him. Frantic chattering met his ears, and although he seemed to understand he was about to make a scene, he couldn’t react. His brain had narrowed itself now to one possibility, and nothing was going to stand in the way of it and its objective. Not when a stranger risked himself, and climbed out, half on the ledge to coax Elliot back in. Not when the scant police arrived, finding the situation interesting enough to warrant an appearance. Not even when the police issued a warning, which made Elliot laugh out loud. Yeah, he thought. Telling me that I’ll be met with consequences is a good way to have me come back to the land of the living. His laugh ended in a cough; his throat was dry. The wind whipped his hair, making it fly around him in a dizzied frenzy, much like the thoughts running through his mind. “Kid!” A man yelled, though Elliot could barely hear him above the wind rushing through his ears. He imperceptibly turned his head, mostly out of curiosity. When he caught sight of the man, however, he paused, startled. None of the other people around him seem to know he was there. He flickered and flashed, almost like a candle that was about to run out of wax. Elliot’s eyes widened when he saw a concerned young woman walk through him. Elliot gasped, and heard the man call out again. “Kid! Don’t -” But Elliot didn’t hear the rest of what the man said, because he was thrown into another coughing fit. This one required him to double over violently, and it was almost hilariously too late when he realized that he was tumbling haphazardly through the air. The bridge was tall enough to provide him some thinking time before he reached the water, and the minute he left the ledge his mind was awash in many emotions. The preeminent one, however, seemed to be one that he never thought would cross his mind: regret. He panicked - well, as much as a doomed boy could, flying through the air - and then became numb. He closed his eyes, now calming to the fact that he would indeed be dead in a few seconds’ time. No flash-of-life; no big revelation. Just resignation. But the fall seemed to be taking much longer than he thought. He should’ve hit the water by now, but he hadn’t. He could still feel the rush of wind through his fingers and his body, but it almost seemed to be keeping him afloat rather than gravity pulling down upon him. He decided to work up enough courage to open his eyes, and when he did his breath was stolen from him. He felt as though he was weightless; the wind was still coming strong, but he rather couldn’t decide whether if it was coming from above or below him. When he cracked his eyes open, he was met with a kaleidoscope of colors, but it was hard to process. The colors ran together, and he couldn’t pick out a single color by itself. He figured he was falling, but the colors were flowing in the opposite direction, disorienting him so much that he thought he was going to vomit. However, when he went to close his eyes to combat this, the colors followed; it was like closing and opening your eyes in absolute darkness: one was indistinguishable from the other. That’s when he realized that he couldn’t feel his fingers anymore. Now that he thought about it, he couldn’t feel his arms, legs, or torso. He couldn’t even be sure he was blinking now - though he had a reasonable suspicious he wasn’t - because the colors that were stalking him were practically unshakable. It seemed like he was floating - or spinning (or falling) - like this for about an hour when something startled him to his soul: a human voice. And it wasn’t his own. “Hello?” A seemly distant voice asked, almost surprised itself. If Elliot could’ve glanced around wildly, he would have done so, but since he figured he was basically disembodied - not something you think of everyday, to be sure - he realized he couldn’t. The voice spoke again, this time almost even more confused. “Hello?” What the actual fuck? Elliot thought, his brain reeling with emotions and wild inventions of the mind. Either I’m crazy, dead, or both. To his surprise, the distant voice started to laugh - a lilting, uplifting thing. The voice sounded young, but not childlike; smart, yet not wizened. “This is crazy. I don’t think you are. How did you find this frequency?” Frequency? Elliot though, bewildered. I’m in a tornado of light, and just jumped off of a bridge. I don’t know about any frequencies. “So that’s what that anomaly was?” The boy clicked his tongue. “No wonder - the frequency found you. Father didn’t tell me that it did this.” Wait, you can hear me? Elliot thought. Wha - how? I can hardly stand it; these colors are driving me crazy! “Colors - oh!” Suddenly, like a light switch being turned on, and the colors disappeared. What replaced it was a soft white light, that, thankfully, didn’t seem to move. Elliot sighed in relief. Looking down, he suddenly realized he had a body again. “Hey - my body’s back!” The voice sounded like it was grinning. “I know - isn’t that cool? And they say the corporal matrix is that hardest thing to perfect,” he said with a scoff. “The consciousness-yank can be disorienting, I know. Or so they say. Apparently that’s just an endorphin release.” “Well,” Elliot said testily to the disembodied voice, not quite understanding all the lingo. “I’m not dead am I?” “Well, I mean, I don’t think so.” He suddenly sounded conspiratorial. “Father’s going to kill me when he finds out what I’ve done. I didn’t even know you could do something like this.” “Something like what?” Elliot asked, but the voice didn’t seem to hear him. He looked around, but no real information was to be gleaned from soft, white light. “Where are you from?” The voice said suddenly, sounding as if Elliot was being interrogated now, not just conversed with. “C’mon, tell me.” “Well, uh… I’m from Heuw. The city, not the province.” “What? That’s impossible.” Elliot reared back. “No… it’s quite possible. I mean, I live there. Or, lived there. I wouldn’t be lying to you.” The voice muttered something. Elliot caught the end of it. “...but I live in Heuw.” “You live in Heuw?” Elliot laughed aloud. “A disembodied voice, that I can’t see? Ok, then, what factory do you work at?” Confusion entered the voice of the other boy. “Factory?” He laughed. “What is this, 100 years ago? Why in the devil would I be working at a factory? Don’t you go to school?” Elliot was equally confused. “School? What school? You mean, like, for kids? Do I look 5 to you?” “Well, I dunno. I can’t see you,” the voice said, cheekily. Elliot found himself blushing for some reason. “You don’t sound 5.” “Well, I’m not.” Elliot paused, however, finding this game of partial answers a bit annoying. He set his hands on his hips. “Regardless, can you please explain what’s going on here? Where are you, and how are we talking? And why didn’t I die?” It sounded like the voice smirked. “Now, that’s really the question, isn’t it?”
  5. Just found this thread. One of my favorite classical pieces (or romantic, as it were) is Chopin's Barcarolle. Easily one of my favorite pieces on the piano ever!
  6. Atheugorei

    Chapter 1

    Thanks, I appreciate it! Very true. Hopefully what happens will be a twist! Thank you. It's true that Elliot seems to be desensitized, but living in the environment he has been for his whole life seems to add to that effect, in my opinion. As you see in the second chapter, the psychological effects of what he did doesn't quite escape him.
  7. Atheugorei

    The Arcade

    “If you die on me, I’ll never forgive you,” I said, smirking wildly. Nathan wiggled the joystick gratuitously, looking over at me with amused, raised eyebrows. “Oh yeah?” He said, eyeing the arcade machine once more. The little man on the screen skittered to one side but was immediately balanced by Nathan’s practiced hand. Still looking amused, he continued, “See? Look, I’ve - the level’s complete.” “So? You’ve got, what? Like five more to go?” I made a incredulous noise, and took a large bite of my greasy pizza. Talking around the mass, I said, “Get crackin’ arcade boy. You’re the one who wanted to bring me here for our -” “First date,” he said, caressing the words as if they were a small kitten. His green eyes met mine, and I fell for him all over again. Although that seemed to be a running theme. I smiled softly, and for a minute the game was forgotten. “Yeah. Our first date.” I exhaled, still not quite believing it. “Jesus, Nate. We’ve been friends for how long -” I was meaning to continue with saying that it took us too long to get together, but at the last second I amended my statement. “- and the arcade is where you bring us for the first date?” His eyes widened, as if he had just thought of that. Sputtering, he tried to explain himself while I watched on with an amused smile. “Hank, I, I mean, Christ! If I’d’ve known you wanted to go someplace diff - you told me I could pick!” He pouted, nearly ending in a whine, which was so unlike him. I shook my head and unceremoniously ripped another chunk off my pizza. “I’m kidding, bro,” I mumbled, again chewing around my pizza. “Cut it out. I’d do anything with you; I don’t care.” “Good,” he replied, his eyes downcast. But he immediately perked back up and then shot me with a sly smile. “Ya know, if you wanted to get some real food we could go to Palmer’s.” My eyes widened. “You wouldn’t dare - Nathan!” I lightly yelped after him as he went for the exit, his mind already made up. I started to plead. “Nathan, this is so embarrassing. Dude! My brother will crucify us!” “No, he won’t.” “Yes - Nathan!” I jumped in front of him, between him and his car. “He’s captain of the swim team for Christ’s sake - one wrong word from him and we’re toast!” “Oh please,” Nate said, easily moving around me and opening the car door. “You’re not giving him the benefit of the doubt. Just because you want to lead the team next year doesn’t mean that you can’t be true to yourself.” Climbing into the passenger seat, I made an exasperated face. “Nate - I, yes it does. If he doesn’t approve then -” “Stop, Hank. Just stop.” Nate looked over at me with a mixture of empathy and stubbornness. “Look, all he does there is wait tables. If you want to go out someplace nice, then we’ll go. Hell, he probably won’t even know we’re there.” He smirked. “Plus, you did say I could pick; just think of this as the second part of our date.” “Fine,” I muttered, not meeting his eyes. “But if this goes south -” “You’ll love me all the same?” He chuckled. I grumbled a yes in response. * * * “Of course, you know Trevor,” I said, looking over the family before me. Family functions were getting more sparse as the years grow on, but this year had a strong attendance. The tent that was set up in the serene park buzzed with cousins rough-housing and parents chattering away. We were talking near the permanent, blackened grill that all parks seem to have, and even at 75 I still could cook a mean burger. A smattering of people surrounded me, all cousins and in-laws that had families of their own, and I basked in the light of the family that were around me. “He couldn’t give less of a crap,” I waved, causing the group to laugh. I rolled my eyes, “In fact, I don’t think he knew we were on a date until I told him. He was oblivious.” “I was what?” Came a gravelly voice from behind. I smiled, and turned around to see an energetic older man that couldn’t’ve been more than 65. That was Trevor, though, going strong at nearly 80. His pastel yellow polo was tucked neatly into his jean shorts, and his rimless glasses sat without complain on his still youthful seeming face. He strode over to me, still as strong as ever, and shook my extended hand. “Trev!” I exclaimed, aback with surprise. “I didn’t think you’d make it this year.” He him-hawed. “Well… Mark is still back at home, but I got away from the firm for a few days.” His eyes sparkled. “Yeah, yeah, I gotta stop working. Well, I’ll rest when I’m dead.” I was at loss for words for a moment, but then brought him into an embrace. “Good to have you here, brother.” “Me too.” He looked over to the small crowd I was talking to and said, “Could you give us a minute?” They all nodded, and then talked amongst themselves as he put a hand on my back to lead me away from the group. We walked a ways, then stopped. “What’s going on, Trev?” I asked. He looked me in my eyes and I could see hurt there. “Hank… I wanted to apologize. I…” He couldn’t seem to get the words out. “I… heard about Nathan. It’s - that a tough road to go down.” I hung my head, still too raw to say much - even four months on. Finally, I said, “He was happy. He had family… he had me.” I spoke, softly. “The end was rough, but the home was the last resort… the last time I saw him he thought I was Nick.” Horror filled Trevor’s face; Nick was Nathan’s younger brother. But, suddenly the horror was mixed with guilt. “Hank...I - I have something to tell you.” I looked up at him sharply. “Yes?” “I went back. The 18th. I know you thought that I had left for San Antonio, but I stayed. Nate meant a lot to me, with Mark you know, all those years ago. He helped me through that. I had to see him one last time.” He exhaled. “I know you didn’t come back until the 20th, but that day - that day, Hank.” I looked at him with a mixture of hope and supreme sadness. “That day,” he breathed. “He knew exactly who I was. He was crystal clear, Hank. Sharp as ever.” “Trevor!” I exploded, causing some of our relatives to quickly look over. When they saw we were in discussion, they went back to what they were doing. “And you didn’t tell me?! I could’ve -” “Hank,” Trev said, putting his hands up in surrender. His old, wizened eyes looked into mine. “Nate told me not to. He knew it was hard on you, and he knew that the pain would even be more unbearable if you saw him lucid. He knew what was happening; he saw the writing on the wall.” He closed his eyes for a moment, then opened them, looking past me. “We talked about all sorts of things - he asked me how you were doing.” He chuckled mirthlessly. “We talked about the kids. He told me to tell you that he still loved you with all his heart. He -” Trevor stopped, as if he had just remembered something. Reaching into his back pocket, he pulled out his billfold and thumbed something out of it. Handing it to me, I recognized it instantly: it was a 3D printout of the little character from the arcade game he played all those years ago. It was about as big as a small business card, and quite colorful. Trev looked at me. “Turn it over, Hank.” I did. In small, precise hand, I read Sorry about the mess. I couldn’t bear to see you hurting another day. I love you so much, it hurts. I know I died on you, but I hope you can forgive me. Yours, Nathan P. Riker. 1/18/76
  8. Atheugorei

    Chapter 2

    The guys had been silent to him all throughout his 15 hour shift, and Elliot wasn’t sure how to take it. Well, he actually wasn’t sure if it was because of his bruised and now swelling face, or if it was just because he was a person that was easily discarded. Fair weather friends, he thought, bitterly, shaking his head. His job wasn’t a hard one, but the hours took a toll on him. He work 6 days a week, 15 hours a day in order to provide for his mother, and sometimes himself, and it was taxing. He was constantly depressed, knowing that work was always around the corner. He didn’t have an outlet of any sort really, either. He’d just liked to relax. But, of course, he knew that wasn’t an option. So, he denied himself and toiled for his mother - his only family. The only thing that kept his mother alive after his father’s death was him, and he wasn’t about to let that fall to pieces because he was tired. What baby’s play. The hot factory he was used to, and when he exited the large grey building the refreshing breeze nearly brought tears to his eyes. The rest of the guys - boys mostly - skittered off to their own slums, eager to spend what little money they earned on nasty magazines and tobacco. He shook his head, both understanding their plight and pitying them for it. They wanted an outlet, he knew, but he knew that those things would kill them sooner rather than later. Or, at least the tobacco would. He put it out of his mind for now. Using spare change from last week, he picked up a meal for two at the local ready-to-eat bakery and carried it back in two paper sacks. He figured his mother would like a treat, and especially since he had tomorrow off, he could finally relax. Arriving home, he put his belongings down and stepped into his mother’s room to find her asleep and the television still on. He shut that off, made sure she was comfortable, and then went about heating up the meal he brought home. “Ma?” He asked softly, shaking her awake. Her eyes inched open, and then opened a bit more when she saw what he had. Homemade - or close enough - food. They could only afford this maybe once a month. The rest of the time they had to rely on processed food tablets and caloric enhancers. “Elliot!” She gasped. “This meal must’ve cost a fortune; it’s not even the end of the month!” He smiled slightly, and set the tray down in front of her. He fetched his own and then sat down in the chair next to her. “I worked some more overtime this week, so I used what I had in surplus to treat us. I thought you’d enjoy a treat.” She closed her eyes contentedly before she took her utensil and tried a bit. She hummed in pleasure as the food hit her tongue. She opened her eye in gratitude. “Thank you, Elliot.” She sank back into her pillow. Elliot finished up, and then sat on the edge of her bed when she motioned him over. Aria looked him up and down, supremely proud of the boy she raised. It’d been hard on her the most, and both mother and son knew that her time left wasn’t a lot. After Lawrence’s death, she had done her best to support her grieving child; so much so that she barely had time to grieve herself, though she’d never tell Elliot that. The perspective of a parent is much different than that of the child, she mused, silently. She knew that first hand, and with the medicine not having the same effect as it would’ve had even a month ago, Aria saw the writing on the wall. She cupped Elliot’s soft face with her hand an examined the bruising, setting her mouth in an unsatisfied line. “You should put some salve on that,” she said quietly, sighing. “I know you’ll never tell me, but please. Did Fally really beat you up?” Elliot didn’t meet her eyes, and she saw a tear drop; one which he brushed away quickly. “No,” was his simple answer. She let the subject drop when he faced her again, this time his eyes harboring something intense. She wasn’t sure quite how to react, so she removed her hand from his face. “I know this all has been hard on you,” she said weakly, casting her eyes down and picking at her food. “You work so hard to support us. You have really become the man of the house.” There was no response. “You know, Lawrence and I met at the Gala. Of course, I could afford to attend then,” she said, wistfully. The Gala was - or, rather, had been - a yearly soiree for the common people of the city, with the mayor and councilmen shutting down a factory and remaking it into a glittering display of almost nauseating mirth and good-will. But that was nearly 35 years ago, with the last one ending in the workers overtaking the party and demanding they get more hours and more pay. After a long hostage situation, the city felt that the Gala was to be no more. Elliot had no experience with it, but his mother had quite vivid memories. “He was dashing. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him the whole time - not that I had the courage to go up and talk to him or anything,” she laughed lightly. “He was such a good man. Strong. Courageous.” She turned to Elliot. “Do you remember?” Elliot searched his mind. He had a vague memory of being lifted up by strong arms, being chased around playfully by a man that seemed to work constantly. But that faded, and in its place he instead remember a corpse in a bed, breathing heavily, labored, groaning in pain and self-pity. Elliot couldn’t bare the image. “I don’t, mother.” She sighed. “No, I wouldn’t expect you to. But he was.” She turned to him. “You’re a lot like him, you know. There’s fire in you. I know it; I can feel it. Please, El, hold onto that fire. Don’t let anyone destroy it, or destroy you. No matter what happens, remember that you can always rely on yourself.” Elliot snorted involuntarily. These days, he didn’t feel like he could rely on anyone, much less himself. Quiet, he reviewed what had happened a few days prior. His mind’s eye turned back and saw the bloody mess on the ground he created. Greasy doughnut boxes flashed out. He saw stacks upon stack of magazines. He could smell the rancid odor of sweat and lust. He turned away quickly, wrestling with the image and what he had done. He had done it in self defense - hadn’t he? Parts of him screamed, animal! Only an animal would bring a man to such a horrid end! What a paltry and souring act that was, to beat a man to death with such brutality! Other parts tugged on Elliot’s soul as well, gently consoling him and guiding him to the conclusion that what he had done, he had done for his family, for his mother. She needed that medicine. But, the other side tugged again, would she take it if she’d known how he acquired it? He growled silently to himself, and shook away the thoughts. The simply fact was, he did what he had to do. Full stop. Yes, maybe he was confused. Angry. But things needed to be done, and he needed to do them. Someone got hurt? Too bad! That’s what they get for standing in the way of Elliot Kestle! “El,” his mother said, startling him from his reverie. She patted his arm. “Get some rest. Relax tomorrow. We’ll talk more then.” But of course, Elliot seemed to innately understand that tomorrow would never come. He could feel the icy tendrils of foreboding enter his mind as he drifted to sleep, and the next day, when he quietly entered his mother’s room, her stiff, cold fingers confirmed it.
  9. Atheugorei

    Chapter 1

    It wasn’t the fogginess that bothered Elliot, really, it was the wetness. The all-pervasive softness that permeated the air and soaked into anything that could absorb it; it was unavoidable, and the damp, dreary days did little to improve anyone’s mood. Huew was an old city - no one knew quite how long it had existed - but nearly everyone agreed that its foundations were set in place long ago. It’s cramped, narrow streets were juxtaposed with the sprawling industrial factories that lay in the middle of the city. Instead of a town hall, there was a town factory. Well, multiple factories. All of which belched acid into the air and toxins in the water - but, it was a small price to pay for having a stable job in these days. It wasn’t like a few decades ago - though the dankness and darkness still were present then. Back then, people seemed to be happier and less downtrodden. How things have changed. Elliot rounded the corner, his feet nearly silent on the shining cobblestone street. His weekly ritual was about to come to pass, and he thought of nothing as he stopped short at a grey metal door in the side of a nondescript building - not that you could really make any building in the city 'descript', he thought to himself with a dry invisible chuckle. He pounded on it one, then twice, then three time as he waited anxiously for it to be opened. Soon enough, unlocking was heard, and the door opened with an audible moan. A large man, hairy and seemingly forever in the middle of a mid-life crisis, opened the door. Elliot refused to make eye contact at first, but when the man’s silence stretched on for too long, he had to relent. “I, uh,” he cleared his throat. “I came for my weekly pick-up.” He hated looking into the man’s eyes, because all he saw there was barely restrained lust. Usually the man would just grunt, give him a long, uncomfortable undressing with his eyes, and give him the package. But this time was different, and the pit of Elliot’s stomach sank when the man opened the door wider and gave him a grin that somehow didn’t reach his eyes. “Why don’t you come in, boy,” he said, roughly, still wearing the sour grin. “I have to go fetch the package from the back, so just make yourself comfy.” Elliot stood gaping at him, but then recovered his senses enough to realize that if he wanted what he came for, he’d have to do what the man wanted. He nodded robotically, and stepped inside, taking note of the man’s wife beater and thin golden necklace. Entering into the man’s place was something he had always never wanted, but when he looked around the space, he wanted to leave immediately. The man was a hoarder; he could tell from the stack and stack of newspapers and magazines around the room, some nearing the ceiling. Empty beer bottles and doughnut boxes littered the worn green carpeting around the room, and the kitchen was flush with outdated appliances and the smell of mold. Elliot tried not to visibly gag as the man walked into the back of the house, and then return with a small package wrapped in grey paper. Relief dripped into Elliot’s face, but he regretted it the moment it did. The man, his booze and possibly drug addled brain whirring at maximum capacity, smiled widely and then tossed the package on the couch diagonally behind him. Elliot went from relief to terror in a split second. The man approached Elliot closer, looking at him with a mixture of utter disdain and unbridled possessiveness. Elliot could smell the rank body odor, and took an involuntary step back, to which the man suddenly reached out and clamped his large hands on Elliot’s shoulders to keep him in place. “I know what you want, boy,” he sneered, his face inching closer to Elliot’s, “But I know what I want too. And the only way you can get what you want, is if I can have what I want.” With that he did two things at once: grabbed Elliot’s package hard, and smashed his lips against a now writhing boy. Elliot was terrified. Absolutely, and utterly afraid. A million thoughts ran through his head in that second: would he get the package? Could he fight back? If he did, would he have to report this? What about his weekly pick-ups? He needed those. He couldn’t just go to work again like this never happened - this is what all his money was going towards anyway! Suddenly, and with seemingly all instinct behind it, Elliot lashed out, flailing to get any hit he could on the larger, stronger man. He responded by crushing Elliot’s windpipe against the wall with a force so strong it nearly made his eyes bug out. Still thrashing, he kicked the man in the kneecap hard, and when his leg failed him and his arm loosened, Elliot took the advantage and bit the man’s forearm so hard he bit off a chunk of skin completely. The older man screamed in a mixture of white hot pain and all consuming anger. Elliot spit out the chunk of skin and blood, too worried about what was to come next than what he had just done. He sucked in breath as he was let go, but pain seared the side of his face as the man backhanded him as hard as he could. Elliot stumbled to the side, his face drained of color. He had realized that the man was now completely controlled by anger, and if he didn’t fight back he wouldn’t get out alive. Elliot backed slightly into the kitchen, but was derailed when the man charged full on and tackled the poor, unheavy boy. They landed with an awkward thud against the front bottom of the refrigerator, and both were a blur of limbs to try and get the upper hand. The man’s arm was completely coated in blood, and when he tried to prop himself up using that hand to get in another blow, it failed him and slid, causing his torso to drop and Elliot to scramble out of the once close entanglement. Crawling backwards, frantically, Elliot managed to get to his feet and make his way around the island. The man, too, scrambled up and was on the other side of the island. It was a deadly stalemate. The look in the man’s eyes were something that Elliot had never seen before, and knew he never wanted to see again. Nigh delirious, the dark-headed boy looked to anything he could use to fight back with. He suddenly found it, and surreptitiously siphoned it into his hand. The man made a move around the table, but Elliot dashed around the other side, and both repeated it again. All he could see now was red, as instinct and adrenaline took over. How dare this man take advantage of him?! A defenseless boy, just wanting medication. Well, fuck him! With a roar that caught both boy and man by total surprise Elliot leaped over the table like a deranged animal and caught the man’s skull with his weapon: a standard, yet hefty, meat tenderizer. The crack and expulsion of air that emanated from the man would haunt Elliot’s dreams for the rest of his life, but he wasn’t done. The man wasn’t dead, but he crumpled to the floor in squirming pain, screaming from the very pit of his self-interested animal being. Elliot followed him, and with each deadly whack that Elliot gave the man’s skull, the more the man stopped twitching and writhing. After a few minutes Elliot, his vision narrowed to the point of blacking out, stopped and peered down clinically at the man, breathing hard. Nothing recognizable was left of his face and head. Nodding as if congratulating himself, Elliot dropped the tenderizer where he stood, walked back into the front room and retrieved the package. He wouldn’t be a victim ever again. He’d make sure of it. ~ ~ ~ Lawrence Kestle had died before Elliot could say goodbye to him, and for that he’d always be bitter. A strong man in his day, the only image that Elliot would have in his head was the frail, sickly man that had lain in the bed at the house. In the end, Lawrence didn’t even have enough strength to smile. Aria Kestle now was in the same fate, yet her son - the only one to survive of a set of twins - was trying his hardest to remedy that. She didn’t know where he procured the medication to relieve her pain and agitation, but she was definitely grateful for it. Though she was still bedridden, the medicine that he brought home on a weekly basis made her feel somewhat human again - at least for a few days. But by the end of the week, she was coughing again and her eyes seemed to sink further into her sockets. And it seemed to be happening earlier and earlier in the week these last few months, though she tried to give a brave face for Elliot. She was resting her eyes when she her the front door slam and footsteps thud towards her. She made a surprised noise when Elliot came into the room, his face bruised and cut. He looked at her and smiled, but she did not like the emptiness that radiated from his eyes. “What happened?” She asked simply, knowing that she’d never know the answer. Elliot was a taciturn and private kid, and he liked to hold his cards close to his chest. Although she knew Elliot cared for her immensely, she never saw him be completely free with anyone except Lawrence, his father. But, after he died, so did that side of her son, and she assumed she’d never get to see that again, either. His eyes betrayed something briefly, and then he put the mask back on and waved away her concern. “Fally, at work. Fucker cornered me for stealing his work tools last week.” He paused, almost thoughtfully. “Though I didn’t take them.” When she didn’t say anything, he continued. “It’s nothing.” He came forward and procured a package, which he ripped open. The small, black cardboard box was inside, and he pulled the cap off that to reveal three vials and a syringe. Aria sighed. “How much this week?” “300,” he said, busying himself with taking out the first vial and fitting into the syringe. Pulling back the stop at the end, he filled the vacuum up with the liquid, and then spurting it a few times to make sure it worked. “Last week it was 280. But as I said, I was expecting it to be a bit more this time.” He bent down and injected his mother once. As he was loading up the second vial, Aria sighed, this time with a more exasperated timbre. “Elliot, this medication and aiding me is costing you almost a weeks pay. How do you eat?” Elliot looked at her, agitated. “I have my ways.” Aria made an unsatisfied noise, but kept silent. She watched her focused, attentive son skillfully reloaded the syringe with the third vial and inject it into her thigh. Finished, he wiped where he injected off with a clean wet-wipe and put her gown back down. He turned away from her, fiddling with box, putting everything back into it so he could discard it. “Thank you, son. I already feel better,” she said in a stronger voice. She adjusted her sitting position almost as a reinforcement of her statement, sitting taller as his dark eyes silently watched her. He came back up to her, and laid a hand upon hers. “Of course. I do what I do for you, Ma,” he said with a small smile. That was the most tender he ever got, but she knew that it was more than he ever showed other people. She smiled radiantly in return, patting his hand as he pulled away. The house the lived in was small and cluttered, but felt homey. It always seemed dark to Elliot; outside was never very bright as it was. Mismatched furniture adorned the front room, but was worn and lived in. The kitchen had no appliances except for a small ice-box that was constantly dripping water out from under it. Elliot tsked to himself, remembering to get that fixed. He wandered his way into the kitchen, checking the shelving to make sure his mother had enough to eat. He decided to fix her evening meal, and once he was done, he brought it to her. Waking her up with a gentle shake, she sat up gratefully. “Eat, Ma,” he said, placing the tray in front of her. When his stomach growled and her look of near relief melted into regret, he distracted both of them by saying, “I’ll go get your pills.” Aria took all kinds of pills, most of which came from a generic pill manufacturer in a town somewhat close to them. Elliot wasn’t sure if most of them were placebo or not, but they seemed to make Aria more comfortable, even with the injections, and that he was grateful for. He brought out her pill divider and shook out a handful of pills that she was to take that evening. After swallowing them, she set into her food, and Elliot roamed back into the front room, and then into his own room. Opening his own closet, he found a few energy bars stuffed away and went about munching on those. His hunger satisfied slightly, he lounged on his bed, wary of work the next day. He checked the clock - he needed to go to sleep if he was going to get his 5 hours in. He popped back into his mother’s room to remove the tray and say goodnight, and then fell into bed, exhausted. Though he was battered and bruised, he knew that they couldn’t afford a doctor, so he would just have to suffer through it. Like he always did.
  10. Atheugorei

    Little Did I Know

    Great first chapter; the pacing is good and you make things standout clearly. The level of pain that Arnold must be feeling - even two years on - must be monumental. I wonder if he will actually cut his hair or if it's too hard a memory of which to let go; after all, he did say that it reminded him of Alex. You can tell that he doesn't subscribe much to personal wealth and material things; I wonder, too, if his Spartan lifestyle is his own or was another reaction to his lover's death. Who are these two boys? Are they together? And why do they want to explicitly talk with Arnold? Can't wait for the next chapter!
  11. Atheugorei

    Chapter 22

    Grim sees now that his action of what he thought to be violence is actually a breakaway from stale tradition. No Fedain, to his knowledge, nor to anyone else's, had used their power in reverse - save for Jan. You could definitely say that Jan was the apple seed, and Grim was the sprout of the tree; his branches are about to emanate and help many people. Though it does strike me as somewhat amusing that by Grim killing the villager, his end - saving Prism - justified the means. Maybe Salidar, with all his obvious misgivings, seemed closer to Grim's truth than he thought.
  12. Hope you have a happy birthday!!!

  13. Hey guys- a quick poem i wrote Absurdity With curious gazes do we transfix Our eyes to things bizarre; O! how we know (or entertain) Ideas that are so far From things we maybe ought to think- Or also entertain But no heads turn, no gaze transfix Upon me or my name I am the invisible; the sensible; the good; And ev’rything opposed to it (though nothing really should) Is led, descending, into, the deepest depths I know, With resounding shouts of glee: “Watch him go! Watch it go!” A droopy, weary figure draws A picture in the sheen- And though they may have followed laws Not one can really glean A story or a notion behind the shaky glyph; But the who went is able to- And does not save them from the cliff.
  14. Atheugorei

    Absurdity

    I wrote this poem the other day after watching about five minutes of 'America's Got Talent'. Hope you can relate. ---------------------------- Absurdity With curious gazes do we transfix Our eyes to things bizarre; O! how we know (or entertain) Ideas that are so far From things we maybe ought to think- Or also entertain But no heads turn, no gaze transfix Upon me or my name- I am the invisible; the sensible; the good; And ev’rything opposed to it (though nothing really should) Is led, descending, into, the deepest depths I know, With resounding shouts of glee: “Watch him go! Watch it go!” A droopy, weary figure draws A picture in the sheen- And though they may have followed laws Not one can really glean A story or a notion behind the shaky glyph; But the who went is able to- And does not save them from the cliff.
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