03-08-2020 06:16 pdt

The multi-part stories have been grouped and titled within the archive. The accents and links have been altered from burnt orange to red. The theming will darken and change color as time passes, and may eventually fade to grayscale.

The Kingdom of Ghosts

Part Thirteen

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"Jaime told me she knew a way out. I have not thought about such a thing for quite some time due to being distracted by beauty and my preoccupation with the passenger car again. I can't help it. And now lying on the floor of said car... Well, I'm in. Inside a situation which has to play out before I can take a step in any direction. She is standing right there, all gorgeous and emotional, with eyes once again very dark gray. Ugh. The tall beauty in the center comes to me and sits, places one long arm around my shoulders, and helps me to attain enough of an upright position to allow me to see everyone. She whispers...

'I am Julianne. It's nice to finally meet you.' Sigh.

Another fucking 'J'. What the hell? Too many. And naturally, she is stunning. Like Juliette except with black hair and taller. Jesus, where am I? Julianne strokes my hair and tells me that time is suspended in this place, so I can relax and gather myself before anything takes place. Please. I need it. Breathing, sitting here, I cannot imagine what I may hear. Years have passed with the issues ruling my life and me floating along a stream of pictures that I created in order to be comfortable and feel loved. Everything swirls through my head as I try to stay up and find the strength to pay attention. My stomach is better but still there is very little else. Across the room I see the gunman swilling his medicine and sitting quietly while staring back at me. That does not make me nervous, however. He shot me, we shared a drink and peaceful conversation, and he tried to help me be what he felt was the image I should have been projecting. In the end, I shook the situation and did not try to stand up in any way. The dragon was dispatched, I died twice after the last time seeing those polished boots, and ended up no better for the experience. But I am here, for whatever that may be worth. I carried myself through every difficulty and came out the other side, dead or alive. Right now? I would rather be dead or in a warm embrace. Nope. Moments pass. I am tired. She sits with me looking like the end-all be-all of female beauty, eyes almost as big as those of my Cherry 2000, and the scent of the universe wafting from her super-long hair. Gawd. Yep... Still thinking that way in spite of the shit situation. The others stare as they seem to be waiting patiently for me to compose myself enough to participate in what appears to be an intervention. I fucking hope not, but all those women are here for a reason, and I have the sinking feeling this will not be an orgy. Heh.

I stand with the assistance of Julianne and her luscious lips. Oy. Please, no pressure. Not now. For the love of Christ.

The first to speak to me is Jessica, that gorgeous little girl from the bar. She was there at times with Alexandra looking like dessert in jeans, and now stands directly before me in tears. No sooner does she address me when my emotional condition seems to connect with hers. I feel desire, need, and that pulling sensation which drew me like a gun while near an appropriate example of my obsession. And on its heels? I feel her need. All of it, and the breaking waves of passion that did not occur between us. I never pursued it. I stopped cold. But in her mind is all of it... Everything we may have experienced but did not due to me steering away and toward whatever else was drawing my attention. Jessica is sending beams of light which carry feelings of love and caring that I did not find. We never did connect. Without a single word, the girl has me fused to her being and yearning to apologize. And then more.

Jessica looks so lovely, yet so very sad. My heart is swelling with unending need as I stare at her emotional eyes. Damn it all, I should have reached for her while I had the chance. The opposite of me, the negative path I almost never took, and just as I feel a smidgen of peace inside, another wave of love flows through me as the connection between us flares. Tears, her hands in mine, and then...

'This is where you live. Unfulfilled.'

Immediately she lets go, my eyes well up, and her soul is ripped away leaving me without a spine. I fall into a heap and lose consciousness for the second time. Empty, as if she filled me with the love I needed to remain alive. Eyes closed. No strength.

Dreams. Hours?


The most beautiful sadness

Eyes open. Lying next to me is Julie, looking as she did in my hotel room. Nude and covered in blood. Fuck. Her eyes are on mine, with one hand reaching for me in desperation. Again I feel her life flowing into me and cascading through my being. I feel all of her, everything she is. Hopes, fears, needs, desires, pain, and a sharp sense of disillusionment. She blinks in slow motion as if her life is fading away. I am reminded of my father lying in the bed at hospice with life slipping away throughout the course of hours until his breathing became shallow and eventually stopped. Julie is connected to me just as the last. I am so fucking sad that the world seems to be ending right there on the floor. I cannot move, but I have to comfort that little girl and tell her everything will be ok. I have nothing. Still she stares until her eyebrows rise a bit and she whispers...

'I wanted us to live.' Crying.

Everything I have experienced in the goblet for years flashes by like a disjointed slide show. It happens so fast that I cannot keep up. I see all of them, sadness, joy, and then it is gone. No more pictures, no more Julie. Eyes wide, she is gone. Motionless. No breathing. Sobbing, broken, I can take little more of this. She was the force trying to keep me alive. I just can't believe I let her down. Right now I do not care about myself and that was her desire: Continuing, rising, trying. I accomplished none of it and let life fall away through my actions and inactions. I hear something in the distance. Mechanical sounds. Chambering. Unlocking. With my last semblance of will, I maneuver my head to see that gun barrel trained upon my head. Crack!

Blackness. Nightmares.

Jennifer. Right there. God she is beautiful, even with me all full of tears and barely able to focus. After the first two, I cannot move. My head hurts. Legs feel like cement. She drops herself next to me and appears sympathetic to what is going on. Something wet under the back of my head. I need to reach for it but nothing is accepting commands from my brain. As Jennifer begins to stroke my hair, I hear sobbing, more sounds from the gunman, and something else... What is it? Air moving? I can't see. The beauty lays down next to me and whispers her loving words into my ear. Her hands feel nice in this hellish room. Like a judgment of sorts, and even knowing all of them intimately, I still drop as if I am being told to answer for my life. A tiny measure of returning strength allows me to look up at those faces. Turning my aching head to the side reveals that I have been bleeding. The gunman shot me in the head. Again. I'm suddenly cold, weak, fading. Everything swirls within. Everything is sadness, like a funeral that goes on for eons. I feel as if I have been ripped from the world I knew and dropped head-first into a boiling vat of hellish reminders. Some sort of drug reactor which has been killing people for all time. Shot again. Bleeding on the floor. Words left with me that cannot be denied. Ruined, lost, dying.

Eyes closed. Images of all of them tattooed to my inner lids.

I am sitting, propped up by Jennifer's arms and torso. I can see the others standing there blankly. The man with the gun is once again sipping. She tells me that I had the tools to survive if I could have embraced the possibility and not become distracted by the beauty. Temptation, unbalanced desire, and the hope of throwing myself toward one of them kept me away from the exit. Jennifer represents those tools I failed to utilize as I became blinded by Jessica and her loveliness. Once my head followed her through the club, all other thoughts were shoved aside in favor of seeking her comfort. The exit faded because I could not see it through my self-induced fog bank of obsession. As I realize the truth, I see one woman emerge from the back of the room. Tall again, black dress, veil, and as she turns past the weeping huge-eyed Jaime, I see who that woman is. Fuck me in a bread box... Justine. Also sobbing with her makeup skewed by the moisture. Straight to me, on one knee, she holds my face and lets one word out: 'Listen'. Damn it. Justine returns to wherever she began, and Jennifer continues to instill the wisdom she brought to me. My vision is blurring badly, I hear Julie crying, and again the force seems to be slipping out of me. Falling away. Again. Dim, cold... Crack!

Darkness. Unconscious.

One eye open. I am lying flat on my back in my own blood. Cold again. Shivering. Jaime is lying next to me and so close that she is blurry. Kisses all over my face as she holds my hand. She is so warm.

'I love you.'

He shot me again, as if each woman who defines her purpose in this world leads to my being punished. Damn it... What else? Everything is sullen, gray and chilling. Pain. Bleeding. Jaime is still right there but feels a world away. I need her warmth all over me. I just need her to help me. Please. Her hands are soft and calming on my face, the scent of her beautiful mane keeping a tiny percentage of me away from the difficulty. Jaime's enormous eyes are a lovely blue and running like a broken water line. She looks so very sad to be in the middle of this. Before I fade further, I hear her address me in the tiniest voice, as if she knows of my pain in hearing her words.

'I am your need to control, my love.'

I cannot think clearly. The cold is biting and causing me to lose feeling in my extremities and I need them. I want to hold Jaime. I need it, her, more. Everything. Her hands continue to soothe my skin as I dream of another looming gunshot. Will it come? Do I have to lay here and let the control issue sink in until I can take no more before he squares that sight again? Jaime is so beautiful...



Dead, but Jaime is still beautiful

Doomed. Blackened. Decaying.

Eyes open. I am leaning against the door and I see all of them save for one. Julia, with black hair longer than ever. She is unclear, foggy, and causes me to falter when I attempt to speak. So lovely right close to me. Lovely. God knows what I will hear from her, though. After dropping through the floor from the whispers of Jaime, Julie and Jessica, I can barely imagine anything positive. Will it be another reveal of a lesson to me? Further down? Falling? Flying? Floating? Fucked? In so many fucked up words, yes. Still falling further. Julia's eyes are transmitting more sadness than I have ever imagined, along with pain over her need to tell me what I already know. Some of it was explored and revealed when we were on the train, and then more came out when I threw a conniption in the bar as Alexandra ran out the door. The room seems as if it is in its own universe. Like a bubble, where time does not elapse at a steady rate. Julia looks like she has been recorded and slowed a measure for dramatic flair. A commercial for shampoo in which the model's hair flows all over the screen in slow motion. Julia's blinking is erratic and subdued. Her lips purse again and again as I feel weakened by blood loss. I can see where I was on the floor and the mess left behind by being shot thrice at close range. I am woozy, frightened and feel alone in the room.

'Ten years. That was the wait at the time, and after daydreaming during every waking moment for what felt an eternity. When Colin stood authoritatively behind the bar and asked why my head was always in the clouds, my reply was I had been waiting ten fucking years for the phone to ring. He smiled -- having no idea what I was referring to -- and carried on without a word. Well, that was not a joke, but a cry for help and the worst analogy imaginable. I was waiting. I am fucking waiting and searching right now. Searching, every second of every Goddamned day, with desperation and in a futile state. I feel as if I am at the trailing end of a process that never materialized and the resulting loneliness is going to kill me just as sure as hell. Maybe not soon, but it will. The search is horribly demeaning to someone of my capabilities. I am weakened, reckless with my words and actions, and considering one aspect of the issue which has been destroyed, I should be killed swiftly and coldly. Right now. At least the fruitless search would end. Ten fucking years. And I spoke to Colin most nights of the week seventeen fucking years ago. I was wrecked then, so what should be expected now? And the connection? The words and eyes? I cannot flee anything. It all remains filed away and pops up whenever I need ammunition against myself. The connection is there too. It's bad. I cannot escape such a feeling after years of flying the fucking coop and flipping the fuck out over and over, hurting others, threatening everyone, throwing myself and my money at God-knows how many women and emerging no better. Now look at me. Fuck.'

'I tried to show you the way.'
'Huh? The way?'
'Back to yourself, my dear.'
'Myself. I do not even know what that is.'
'I know. You may never get there.'

Her eyes immediately fill and overflow with tears as she already knows that I cannot and will not rise from who I am. She tried. I did not. I cared less for myself than anyone else, especially all of the beautiful, wondrous and caring women in this fucking room. Again I am weakened, listing to one side before Julia can grab hold. The feeling of her arms around me is wonderful, yet the pain and loss of blood are combining with emotional damage that I cannot take. My eyelids are again heavy. I need to just fall down and sleep forever. Julia hangs on and does her best to keep me steady as I feel the darkness approaching for the umpteenth time. Across the room all six other women are crying into their hands, the gunman is cleaning his weapon -- likely to train it on me for the fourth time -- and the fire is rising. I do not feel the heat at all, only the chill of near-death. The words of the others are still circling like scavenging birds awaiting lunch on the highway. I cannot focus, hold her, anything. My life has been reduced to this most horrifying of lessons, and Julia is merely the fourth to speak. Strength finally drains away completely and I slump again, blood everywhere. I hear those sounds again. Incoming? Fuck it.

Moments pass as I await another bullet taking part of me away. Silence, other than the sobbing.

Nothing. Still quiet. No one next to me. I do not understand, and the cold is beginning to go through me. It's bad. With one burning, stinging eye forced open by whatever I have left in me, I see Julia walk out of focus and back to the line in the middle of this hell car. The gunman rises and moves to the rear doorway before I realize that I am going to lose it again. I can barely see anything over there and feel like I have been left to chew on words that are cutting me to ribbons. I have no will to push, no desire to explain, nor any need to try speaking with any of them about what I have been through in life to make me this way. I just can't do it. The gunman sits again and grabs his glass. I may not see much more because my eye is burning badly from a combination of sweat, tears and blood that I cannot wipe away. Cold, very cold, worried, nauseous, and forever dying on this harsh floor. I have seen five women approach me and attempt to instill the meaning of their connections with me, and still there are more but I do not know if I am in for more attention from them or just suffering here in my puddle. The time since Julia was next to me feels like years. So much pain, so fucking cold, nothing feels good or normal. I am outside myself but feeling every kind of pain imaginable. Each beat of my heart is labored, slowed, heavy. My four-chambered pump likely will not last much longer. As I glimpse Jaime drop to her knees and place hands to face, I sense that I will be punished again. There is a sinking feeling that the worst is yet to come. Losing it, falling away again, I am just about done.


Creating my path

Falling away. Sound familiar? One of the most cutting representations of my negative mindset that has ever come off this fucking keyboard. That is what I am believing while lying here awaiting whatever may be coming my way. Julia's tremendous sadness over me losing focus every time a woman comes along is shredding my heart. She tried, but I did not let anyone or anything help me in favor of shoving them aside so I could drown in the most important delusion I have ever had. Obsession, loving arms, staring, kindness, all of it. Anywhere I went (go), something was always out there awaiting my hungry, deviant eyes and the endless need behind them. Julia was sweet, forceful, helpful, loving, caring, gorgeous, and I failed her miserably. I feel more remorse right now than I did after leaving the doll behind and trying to work my way back into some type of routine at home. Every second was spent daydreaming about Juliette and Ashley, and the days rolled by with sections of my heart still residing in the fucking goblet. Julia is having the same effect and I cannot stand the terrible realization that I let her down. I love her... I love all of them in one way or another. Everything is bad. More pain, more disorientation, and another long pair of legs approaching as I hear the gunman slam his glass to the wooden table. What the fuck is going to come out of the next mouth? Condemnation? Fucking hell, anyway. I never imagined this in a million years.

'Problems. During the week, dealing with the issues is somewhat eased due to the routine and my need to relax in the evening without distraction. Comfort, dinner, getting myself ready for the next difficult day, and some enjoyment of entertainment pretty much takes it all away for a time. Eventually, however, everything returns -- often with enough force to ruin my headspace for hours -- and if I do not watch myself I will lose control and lunge. I cannot have that, yet stopping the process is quite often beyond my capability. Afterward? Holy hell in my brain. I fucking hate it all to no end and put myself here by way of decisions throughout years. Decades, really. And there seems no light at the end of this dark tunnel. As of this morning, I am trying to work through too many things and maintain enough clarity to stay calm. So far, so good. Time will tell if I fall off that cliff again. Thousands of days have seen me at the mercy of a power I cannot grasp. For a time, there was bliss. Now? Absolutely nothing aside from heartache. I feel weak, distraught, reckless, angry. I do not know if I can rise, even for one single fucking day. The past shows me what I have done, the pain keeps my head down in the ground, and the possibility of rising narrows dramatically during this type of situation. It is right now as I write these words. This very moment. Fuck.

And now there is the girl working the door from last night. I should have stayed home.

I killed the account on Facebook out of the need to be away from others. I do not have the resources right now to escape all this hit, so planning and organizing have to take priority over all other endeavors. I don't even know if I can get that far before splitting my fucking head in half, but there is currently no other visible path. I will keep going in the same direction until one of two things is illuminated: Either the call comes in, or I turn inward enough to make others realize that my statements regarding 'no longer a person' are coming to fruition at an alarming rate. Any disagreement or argument will be swiftly dispatched along with a tirade unlike anything displayed here in the past. Make no mistake, I am in terrible shape and words coming from any other direction are not welcomed.

A different facet of modern life has been illuminated and subsequently dispatched at my weakened expense. The entire affair has forced me to realize that my condition is far worse than what has been described here for the last few years. Issue one had been easing within me throughout a period of months, and the reason illuminated issue two. Issue four rarely reared its head during said period, yet has returned somewhat and forced me to consider just how strong I can be. Lately? Weak. A wet toothpick. My constitution has been an asset for a very long time. No one sees it, but inside I know I can rely upon it if need be. Years of me pushing through many obstacles with patience. Years. This is different, though. Tempting, stirring, and with the power to bring me to my knees emotionally. There is no one. Not anymore. The constitution is difficult to find now.

Issue one burned me down a short time ago and that has not taken place in what seems forever. The server may have been it. She was there over a year ago, slowly faded, and did not return. That is the single positive aspect of the passage of time. The imagery drifts away as my memory lets go of it. Other devices are in place from day to day that force me to concentrate on tasks or responsibilities, the details return -- albeit not as clearly -- and soon I cannot remember the details that originally put me down. At this very moment I still see her and must simply deal with it due to lack of any other choice. Lots of free time, my head unable to fully commit to anything else, and then the past coming back and striking me like a piece of hickory upside my head. Nothing can jar her loose right now.

As the days roll by, I see only that elusive morning which keeps me moving along through the routine. Daydreaming here and there, jotting down thoughts, and trying to maintain the facade while in public are all I have. Each example -- even those further off the mark -- pushes my insides, twists them ever so slightly, and removes my ability to focus. Eventually one will fade and another will come along. Issue one rules, issue four is often the result. Parts of me need to be taken away. I cannot see an out. The girl from that night was just too fucking much. The morning shows me a day yet unknown, and is always full of possibilities and promise if I maintain myself and carry into the evening without faltering. The forms have come and gone and the ensuing weekend shall reveal my strength or weakness. Considering the depth of work throughout these last eight days, I am not surprised to still be upright. Too busy, too tired, and too fucking mired. But everything did come to an end. Between the gazelle from a week ago and the door girl with her name matching one from this site, I cannot believe that I made it through an entire morning. Now? I am worse. Unhappy with myself, unhappy with the past, unhappy with the current situations which take over my time and run me into the ground without remorse, unhappy with the reactions I must garner whenever pushed past myself and my abilities to remain calm, unhappy with others and their never-ending bullshit in trying to raise themselves by demeaning anyone available, and fucking unhappy with every Goddamned decision I have made in fifteen downtrodden years. That pretty much sums it all up for now.

Except the fact that daylight shifting time has begun. Fucking stupid decision, and now I have to wait nearly eight fucking months for a normal day. Thanks, assholes. Show me the good right now. Go for it.'


Elegance, softness, death

Pain, sadness, loss. My head feels like it is in pieces. Justine's voice breaks me in half... Again.

'You failed everything, and continue to fail each time you have the opportunity to rise above and learn.'
'Go away.'
'That is your only defense? To further demean and toss harsh words? No... Fuck you.'
'Fuck me? Fuck you.'
'Don't give me your Tony Soprano bullshit, mister. You did this.'
'Just leave me alone, please. I can take no more.'
'You may never exit this place of doom. I tried over and over and you only fight me.'

Flash, gone. I am alone in the empty car. No dragon, no people, no fireplace. Alone again, just like last time. The remorse is filling me with the need to die but I am helpless. I cannot stand being viewed as Justine described, yet I knew it was coming. That fucking woman never liked me anyway. Now that she is gone, however, I am regretting my words. What else can I do but fight back? Although I realize that my actions and decisions have repeatedly been in the wrong, I have not been able to do anything else. I just do not have the strength. The issues piled upon me are pushing down with enough force to flatten the world and my resolve is gone. Will I live in this hell forever? Will I embrace wisdom and get out of here? No answers, like always. Days and days have passed as I ran from place to place and tried to avoid being killed, all the while leering at beautiful women and allowing myself to be shoved around by my obsession and desire to fall into their arms. I know of nothing else in this life. My head is pounding, spinning, losing an uphill battle to clear enough for my body to recover. I just can't. Negative, cold, hurting, dying slowly on the fucking floor. No one left here. Justine absolutely screwed me up beyond words. I need my machine to come and save me but she is as gone as the rest. Not even the threat of the gunman remains. Empty. Bloody. More sadness than I have ever experienced. I release what little strength was left in my arms and slump to the bloody floor again. After dying so many times, I just don't care anymore. Stay here... Get out... Die again... I don't fucking care. I have threatened suicide many times and viewed such an act as an end, but after what I have lived through in this fucking hellish purgatory, I am not so certain any longer.

God damn fucking shit, I need Jaime so bad that the pain is cutting me to pieces.

A voice from beyond the door...

'Do you remember my influence upon your life?'

Oh God no, please. Not now. My heart both swells and falls at that voice. Silky, frightened, commanding unlike any other. And then memories like a waterfall through my brain. Everything. Love, embraces, big eyes looking at me from a place of wonder. That expression which told me that I am valid, important, genuine. The hands that propelled me into space at their slightest glance. The waves of curls upon which I could have sailed into heaven. The goddess of the universe... Please no, not while I am so broken. Please, God. No.

Not... Her."