How did I get here (Life Number One)

From the Story Arc: My Nine Lives

(posted Tuesday, July 05, 2005)

Pair by pair their wings are shattered
One by one their feathers molted
Left here to eat of the earth's dust
With knees in the mud
Eyes and hands to the sky

I am writing in this journal for the first time in my travels since my home was destroyed along with much what was now labeled the Rikiti crash site. I see this place as home now. Perez Park it was the nearest settlement after my prolonged sleep and I have become accustomed to living here. However, not all is well; I wage a silent war.

Poetry aids me as my greatest ally in my war against insanity. I tend to drift. I am losing my mind I can no longer discern dreams from reality. I write what I feel and pour my soul into this journal. It is all a war against insanity and angst. All I want is peace. I write as I wage this war. The only noise in this entire park is that of my pen scratching this paper. I fight the silence by writing my emotion I have been losing and the silence winning but all of that is about to change. I write to these empty pages and serenity overtakes a troubled mind. This journal is a happy place to escape the dark nature of my purgatory un-life. I think about it angst…

A soft breeze fingered the treetops of the park. It worked its way down to the grassy earth, searching for the prefect dance partner. Drops of sunlight glowed through the swaying foliage, appearing and reappearing in different places on the ground where, illuminated by bits of silver light, the dance began.

This placid breeze was melodic, it was soft, it made noise, and to Damien it carried a song that spoke to the depths of his being. The melodic resonance echoed omni presently throughout the park as Damien sat under a tree reading. His coat shifted in the breeze and he looked up from the old book. He watched the seemingly undead leaves with contempt and a dismal disposition. They reminded him of what he was.

He stopped to listen to the fountain a moment…he rose and walked over to it, to see his reflection. It was there. It was there with all the ripples of water distorting the image. He looked at himself and sighed a heavy sigh. There was nothing to improve his disposition. He returned to the tree and kept reading.

The chill like that of autumn accompanied Damien as he walked. His figure disappeared in the thickening fog. Damien’s black leather trench coat swayed in the wind gracefully wrapping his legs and letting go it was almost a ballet. His wavy hair flowed about his face.

Everything was so tranquil, filling him with a wonderful sense of calmness.

Damien dozed off without knowing it, because the next thing he knew, the sun had descended below the tops of the trees, and a fiery halo radiated from the silhouetted pines. The clear sky was light enough that it was still blue, but he could already see the stars glimmering in the heavens. They weren’t this visible from the city no matter what time it was. An utterly sublime feeling overcame me as he gazed up at the boundless dome. As his eyes panned the vast expanse, it seemed like there must be someone out there somewhere among the infinite number of stars, maybe looking back at him and feeling the same way.

However, it was serene, and enthralling, melody that captivated his senses and lit him ablaze within. He suddenly stopped. It was calling him. He had to know where the quiet song was coming from. He followed the ballad on the wind and came to a cemetery.

The darkness arrived at a rapid pace, so Damien decided he should be leaving. He started back to the shore, but while doing so, he could have sworn he heard a strange noise. He scanned the lake and surrounding forest but didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. He continued to head toward the shore but lost his sense of direction as what seemed to be a blanket of fog enveloped me.

“That’s odd – only seconds ago the sky was clear, but now I can’t see anything”.

He didn’t think much of it, figuring he would be out of it as quickly as he entered it, but as he continued to inhale, he started feeling very lightheaded and slowly drifted out of consciousness.

Stirring from my unwitting slumber, he hadn’t the slightest idea as to how long he slept. He immediately realized he was no longer in my boat on the lake, but was instead in a pitch-black room. Despite his current lethargic state and the room’s lack of illumination, he took quick note of the fact that he was naked. Something tiny was lodged in each ear, and something else was fastened tightly around my neck. After reaching his hands up there to examine it, he concluded it was some type of metallic collar.

“Okay…if this was supposed to be some kind of kinky joke, I don’t find it amusing one bit”.

Then he realized this couldn’t be a joke.

“Who would play a joke on me? I didn’t have any friends…I hardly even had any family. My parents died in the great Rikiti invasion, although it was more like lambs being led into slaughter, we never stood much a chance against them – I was so young I couldn’t even remember them – and I was an only child. My only close relative was my mother’s brother, who took me in and provided material comfort but left me wanting for anything more”.

As his eyes began to adjust to the darkness, he lifted his body from the floor and surveyed his surroundings more closely, feeling strangely heavier as he walked around, like he had put on some extra pounds while asleep. He was in a large, cubic room, perhaps fifteen feet long in each dimension, with no furnishings of any kind. No chairs, no tables, nothing. The negligible amount of light that did enter the room shone through several small holes in the ceiling. That seemed to be the only connection to the outside he could find, since he didn’t see any doors at the moment.

“Hello?” he called out. “Somebody? Anybody?”

He received no response and continued pursuing his futile quest to escape his predicament. He was past the point of being worried now; he was scared. He was alone in what seemed like a sensory deprivation chamber, spinning his head all around, trying to find a way out of it. If he stayed in here much longer, he would probably end up going insane.

Damien was convinced this was all some horrible nightmare. Nightmare or not, he desperately searched for an escape route, but the only way out was up. He just stood there, frozen, like a deer caught in headlights, staring up at the emptiness that surrounded him, which stared right into his eyes. Whatever brought him here, he was sure it could smell him and tell that he reeked of fear, and it was probably trying to decide the best way to torment me before I became intimately acquainted with its jaws. I never took my eyes off of the darkness, and it never took its eyes off of him. Perhaps meeting its gaze was not the best idea, since some things interpreted that as a sign of aggression. If he acted in a submissive manner by looking toward the floor, it might realize he knew his place and leave him alone. He tried that for about five seconds, but his sight inevitably veered upward once again, for I could not stop myself from examining the emptiness that seemed to stare back at him.

The strangest things appeared in the vast darkness, what looked so much like eyes. They were white with sapphire irises surrounding the black pupils, but that wasn’t what captured his attention. There was something more to them. They weren’t looking blankly at him – he could see a hint of true intelligence. The eyes seemed like they were almost…Human.

The two soulless, obsidian spheres stared blankly, the light reflecting off their surface because it was seemingly unable to penetrate the nefarious depths.

He simply imagined them as a bodiless entity of pure malevolence: a nameless, faceless, ruthless executioner. In an instant, that spirit was given a clearly defined identity. As he gazed into the hateful eyes of this personification of all evil, he became overcome with fear.

“I had broken memories of what happened next, but my brain gradually pieced them together like a puzzle, gathering the missing pieces to fill in the blanks”.

A small tear rolled down his face next to his nose, and he closed his eyes and let his head sink down to his chest, trying to get a hold of himself.

“Upon waking, I found myself slouched over, my back on a cold stone wall. My arms and legs chained and bound to the very same wall. All my limbs were held in place by metallic braces fastened tightly around my wrists and ankles. One was also fastened around my waist, much like a belt, and another was around my neck”.

“That’s when I started to become aware of what was going on, a voice, actually voices”.

“What kind of voices? Whose voice was it?”

“I didn’t know at first, but they weren’t happy to see me, and that was not only evident by their tone, but by the long stakes they continuously prodded me with”.

‘Damien begins recalling what happened’

“Wake up you maggot!” one of the guards yelled as he jabbed me in the ribs causing me to bleed. He could feel it dripping down his side over his waist.

As the heavy chains that weighed him down were being removed, he so wanted to stretch just to remove the tension from his arms and legs, but they beat him down to the ground before he could do so. Each one of the guards, creatures of some sort, disgusting laughed and mocked his pain, each one with a fowl stench that lingered through the room.

Damien was led into the battle pit with heavy chains dragging on his body. His garments, once beautiful, were now simple tatters, the colors faded. As the guards around him released him of the confining chains, he swung his head up and glared at the hordes, hate burning in his deep green eyes.

As the links fell away, tearing his patched shirt with it, Damien straightened and even from the seats in the far back, the watchers could see that he came a full two heads above the guards. His muscular torso tightened with fury as the guards sneered at him and backed away. When all but two guards had gone, Damien turned back to the hordes of creatures and looked at them in their eyes with dead calmness.

Spinning on his heel, those razor-sharp claws – which protruded at least a foot past the end of his fingers – rushing toward them like a wall of swords Damien slammed his claws into the stomach of a guard that had been in front of him, and then ripped it out to block a cut to his side. Stabbing through the chain mail on another guard, he ducked under a slash and came up, the blood stained blade held firmly in his bare hands. The six guards stared in fury as their companion fell to the ground, clutching the gaping hole that had been his abdomen. They attacked Damien with anger now, and his flowing movements cut them down like small pests. He danced among them, sometimes playing with them, sometimes killing swiftly. He was a tiger among deer, a hunter in a group of boys. The lords that had been ignoring the entire fight were now staring in open-mouthed wonder at the warrior as he cut down each and every elite guard that opposed him.

To be continued…