locked

Never did I think I would see the day where my current situation would be so void of drama that I would have to pull out a writing prompt. Constance, Calum, Ophelia, and Maxine are all out somewhere, probably trying to figure out the cluster**** (don’t you hate it when you have to censor profanity for some reason, but that profane word is the exact one you’re looking for?) that is the state of the Zorphian War at the current moment. Is the war still going on, even though we’ve been out of contact with whatever is left of the rebels for over a month? Or is it somehow over, Allaketo winning by placing Emma in a situation that she might never recover? (The doctors say that there will most likely be an eventual full recovery… of the body, at least. There was no comment on the state of her mind when Maxine pressed the doctors further.) To be honest, I would prefer that someone who wasn’t a raging homophobic rule this country, but judging from the Zorphians we’ve had the good fortune not to come across, the king’s probably just reflecting the people’s opinions and beliefs.
So onto the writing prompt… I was supposed to weave beautiful poetry about how the sunrise looks when I first step outside or something cheesy like that, but the sun is barely out when I go to school in the morning. For sure, if you have to wake up at five in the morning in order to have enough time to get ready so that you aren’t dashing down your street in a desperate attempt to catch the bus, your school starts way too early. (For reference, my school starts at 7:30 AM and ends at 2:00 PM.) Therefore, I don’t think I’ll be writing any poetry about sunrises or sunsets or the sun at all anytime soon.
I have a lot of repressed memories. It’s not that I actively tried to block out most of my childhood into the beginnings of middle school out, it just kind of… happened on its own, and it’s probably because the cringey events that I inadvertently made far outnumber the good ones. And besides, it’s not like I’m the only one who at least somewhat knows what I’m talking about- the brain naturally has a bias toward negative memories in a crappy attempt at self-defense. But this is worse… I mean, is it normal that I can remember every single detail of my old home that I grew up in until the first move to the city that my family moves in now, but I can only remember a handful of actual events that occurred within those walls? The one night when I fell asleep trying to sneak glances at the airplane simulator my father was playing around with back when the computer was on the other side of the room… the afternoon spent under gray skies slipping around on oversized tennis shoes because I didn’t have the balance or motor control required to stay up on skates… a tiny moment when I am five in which my mother yells at me for making a mess on the living room floor with Pokémon cards, trying to shuffle them the way my dad used to just because I wanted to play with him… why is most of my mind inaccessible to me? Whatever happened to make me so emotionless is the bigger question, probably. When did my personality retreat so far from the world that I’m often chastised for being rude or cold towards others?
What happened to me?

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iron grip

“Emma? Emma, please wake up…” I brushed the greasy and matted hair out of her eyes. You’d think that they would treat a queen better than this, seeing as she’d have authority over the whole of her country later. “The doctor said that the sedatives would be enough out of your system by now to wake up somewhat…”
“Well, considering the amount of internal damage, it’s very well possible that she’s completely gone. We’ve done all we can in this area, Maxine.”
I brushed her hand, picking it up and intertwining my fingers with hers, trying to stomach the fact that she’d never respond again, and- get this-
“Oh… oh my god…” Her hand had clenched in mine, and no matter how hard I tried to pry my fingers away, she just grabbed tighter. “Emma?”
And then I could see her mouth moving ever slightly, struggling to form words. Is that an N… no, an M… MA… “Maxine?” she whispered faintly.
“Emma? Oh my god, Emma, I’m here, I’m here for you, beautiful.” I desperately restrained myself from throwing myself at her, not wanting to disturb anything that could be keeping her alive at the moment.
“Maxine, I can’t see. My eyes won’t open…”
“You’ve been blinded by Allaketo, Emma. The doctors are working on restoring your vision… it’ll be okay, beautiful, I promise.”

a longing for home

they wake up to bleached skies
one feeling as light as air and the other as heavy as his heart
for he is longing for a place he cannot return to
and only with death can he see his family again

“Calum?”
“Yes?”
“Isn’t Gehenna another word for hell?”

and he launches into a lengthy explanation
of how Gehenna-Altaris is what is interpreted by humans
as both heaven and hell
but not all Mithrae, demons, are bad
and not all Mithral, angels, are good
and life is just as morally grey
as it would be if everybody was a human
As above, so below.

be knows that he will have to explain all of this again at a later date
for Maxine and the others
but for now, Ophelia understands
and in this lonely moment in the skyskipper dome
that is enough

home is not necessarily where the heart is

image

I am powerless…
We were hanging around inside of the skyskipper that we’d moved from the hospital’s helicopter pad to their front parking lot, taking up a lot of their space that they’d tried to get us to move away from until we convinced them that the skyskipper wouldn’t fit in the adjacent parking building. The staff wouldn’t let us stay inside the main building for the night since we had no relation to Emma, even though we were the ones who brought her in, but hey… technically, we weren’t even supposed to exist, and Maxine was Emma’s girlfriend after all, so I suppose they had a valid reason to keep us out and Maxine in.
“So, Calum…” I was trying to get a decent sleeping area put together at the opposite end of the hall from the pilot room, the piles of blankets and pillows strewn about reminding me too much of the castle to give me any fair chance of a good night’s sleep. “Remember that one day where I asked you what it was like back at… what was it called again?”
He spun his chair around, pulling himself away from whatever he’d been doing on the main computer. “Gehenna-Altaris?”
“Yeah, that place. Remember when I asked you what it had been like there, and you refused to answer?”
He sighed, clearly exasperated and giving in to my pleading eyes. “What do you want to know, specifically? It’s all too complex to make sweeping generalizations about it.”
“What was your family like?”
This question shocked him clear out of the blue, too speechless to even comprehend what was asked. “What- what did you say?”
“I said, what was your family like?”
He paused to compose himself, brushing a hand through his hair and looking down at the floor. “Well, my mother wasn’t exactly the caring type, I guess. She always focused on her work as an escape from her own thoughts, but she never neglected us at all, just spent the bare minimum of care on all of us so that we didn’t go completely wayward. My father was slightly overbearing and worked from home with flexible hours, so he always had time for us, no matter if it was harassing us with something hard that he could have done himself or something fun that I dreaded at the time but ended up loving at the end.” He took a deep breath, trying to ease his anxiety. “I had two sisters, and they were really detatched from everybody, staying away from social contact for as long as possible. I don’t know whether it was due to some social anxiety disorder or a weird form of autism or whatever, but they didn’t really talk that much or as fast as the usual person, but when they wrote…” He had calmed down by this time, and his gaze was drifting off into the distance, his eyes fixed on memories of days past. “It was like Shakespeare and Poe themselves had reincarnated twice in both of them. Scary, their works were, always outlining the future perfectly, darkly, and poetically to a T.” He unexpectedly shook his head then, cutting himself off there. “But that’s enough for one night. Hey, why’d you stop setting up the sleeping area? I thought we were going to have decent beds by midnight.”

here, have an update, I spent all of five minutes writing it

May and Constance are in school, choosing to continue their education during the day so that they aren’t hanging around the hospital unnecessarily. The doctors want the space around Emma’s room to be as quiet as possible so that she can have the peace to rest and heal as quick as possible, even though she’s in a medically-induced coma and it’s not like she’s going to be woken up by some background noise and complain about it. And I’m still here at this hospital, doing odd jobs that the doctor wants me to in order to make even the smallest dent in the inevitable hospital bill. Even though she’s the rightful queen of Zorphia, they aren’t going to just let her go for free. My, um, experience in the medical field helps more than the painful memories hinder.
The two people who freed Emma, Ophelia and Calum, had a talk with me last night, and it turns out that they’re part of some experiment that Allaketo’s doing, taking the consciousnesses of various animals and objects and inserting them into human bodies in order to make an army. But where is he getting the bodies? Were they lab-grown? Were the people in them already dead? Or… or… did he torture them until he was able to wipe them out of their own rightful bodies and then insert unwilling ‘souls’ in? I asked them why he was doing this instead of just recruiting willing soldiers to grow his regular army, and it turns out that each of the consciousnesses had powers that normal humans don’t have- and they can shift, temporarily taking on some of their original attributes. But some of them have gotten parts of these without shifting, which Ophelia said explains why Calum’s already got slightly longer canines in a human imitation of fangs and reddish irises.

a glimpse of the future

“That Emma leaving you thing, it’s mostly a politically-fueled move. Things on Zorphia are getting worse, and Emma has to choose who she’s going to take with her into the new era, and there are limited seats for those she trusts. It’s not all her choice. There are higher-ups controlling everything. Be awake, aware, and careful who you trust.”
“I see. Using Zorphia as an excuse.”
“Open your eyes, young one. Zorphia is real; I’m on it right now. The multiverse theory is real, and we have found a way to bridge the gap in between worlds.” She takes a breath. “She sleeps during the day, and worries at night if she made the right decision or not. And her love sleeps beside her, reminding her with gentle touches that she has found her true allegiances… but everything is not as it seems on the surface. And the country around her is in turmoil, a hurricane in her heart and a standstill in her mind all over the one with too many faces.” Another pause ensues. “Ready for more?”
“Yeah.” The other girl’s attitude has changed.
Alright. Too many things are coming full circle these days, although in a backwards fashion. The left becomes the leaver. Post-break, the broken becomes the strong. An identity crisis becomes a celebration of change, and the same cold weather ensues over and over, just like the struggles of the two who almost seem doomed to always be locked in a cycle of breaking and pulling back together again.” The other girl passes her the money agreed on when the interworld link was opened. “My name is Lucia. You’d do well to remember it whenever you need foolproof information about the future.”