When I have empathy in this world, hate is all that I can feel. Love is something I can hardly grasp. I want it, but it seems like a figment of my imagination. Long ago I could feel love, now I can’t feel much of anything. Love has been replaced by hate. Hate is my love.
It all started with a book. The tale of romance and giving not just your heart, but yourself to another person, enthralled me. I decided then and there that I wouldn't settle for a normal, amiable girl. Early autumn, when the leaves were changing colors and clinging to trees, I rushed through a park filled with trees, on a gray concrete pathway through the color. My car had refused to start, so I was forced to run to work, I couldn't be late to my first day on the job. I'd just moved into the city, just finished college, and things were already going south.
In my focused bubble vision of the world and singular driving desire to get to work, I crashed into a girl strolling the concrete pathway. What should have been a short delay, had a greater effect. It was not a girl, but a beautiful woman. She was in her prime, dirty blonde hair, tight jeans and a tank top, with firm breasts and soft, inviting pale skin. As a result of running into her, I dropped my briefcase, we both knelt down to grab it. When we came up, each with a hand on its handle, we looked into each other's eyes. I fell for her blue, gray stormy eyes then. Then and there I fell for her.
She extended her right hand out to me, we were both standing. “My name's Makaila.”
“Um, Jason,” I said and shook her hand.
At this point, work became a memory, my car trouble, became a memory. If I had been asked to predict what would happen next, when my car refused to start, I would have predicted something which would aggravate the situation, not make me forget about the problem entirely. To say the least, I didn't want it to be the last time I saw Makaila, so I pulled from somewhere deep inside of me, I found bravery.
I handed her my business card with my number on it, still smiling from the moment I met her. “Here's my number, we should get coffee some time.”
“Maybe between the madness that is my life, but right now I have somewhere to be,” Makaila told me.
Happy with her response, I stayed strong, avoided being the shy guy who had gotten one girlfriend of three months throughout all of college.“See you around Makaila, you won't regret calling me.”
She smiled. “Call me Kaila.” Kaila waved goodbye and we went our separate ways.
In an unexpected turn of events, I got a phone call from her at the end of the week, Saturday afternoon. I'd already accepted the fact that she wasn't going to call, I figured all women of the planet had an amicable agreement to stay away from me.
I answered the call, “Hello?”
A short pause, before she replied. “Hey, it's Kaila, the girl you ran into at the park.”
“Oh, hey, how have you been?” I asked.
“I was just wondering if you wanted to meet me at Saint's Sin in an hour, it's a quaint coffee shop nearby where I live.”
“Yeah I know the place.” I checked my schedule in my pocket-sized notebook, already aware I had no other plans. “Sure that works for me.”
“See you then,” she replied.
I said bye and hung up, rushed to my room to find something to wear. There were many nice suits in my closet and funny, casual t-shirts, except I didn't want to wear something so fancy, nor so casual. I needed to adapt to the situation, so I adopted advice a friend of mine once lent to me. “You can never go wrong with humor.” I wore my funniest shirt.
Saint's Sin only had a couple of tables, I arrived early and made sure to get one for us, right by the window. Kaila arrived five minutes late.
“I'm sorry I'm late, I had to help my irratating boyfriend with his advanced math class, he's never been good with numbers.” She said when she arrived.
She's not single.... But she did say irritating, so maybe I can traverse the adverse circumstances. Hey, I rhymed.
“It's okay, I'm just glad to see you again.” I told her, smiling.
We drank Saint's Sin Special of the month, a coffee with some special spices in it, and talked about ourselves, evaluating each other. Kaila was studying art in a college nearby, though from talking to her, it seemed likely she could have studied anything she wanted.
After she mentioned she was a student, I said, “I'm an alumnus myself.
Her eyebrows raised. “Excuse me?”
“I went to college.”
“So you won't be calling yourself an alumna when you get out of college?”
She rolled her eyes. “No, like, do you always use those kinds of words? Is that what college did to you?”
“No, I am afraid I've always been this way,” I said, smiling.
“All right,” Kaila said, returning my smile.
I do not feel liable for what happened next, my emotions took control. Over the next year we became good friends, my love grew stronger, and I waited patiently for Kaila to become single. I've always been a shy guy, never apt to get a girl, but Kaila gave me confidence. After meeting her, she was the only girl I cared about, resulting in my spike in confidence with other girls. The confidence had no affect on my romantic life, since I only wanted Kaila. After years of waiting for Kaila to become single, up until she finally became engaged, I became depressed. Depression remained for a while, as I was unable to amend it. I stayed good friends with Kaila and hid my feelings from her.
I am not anti-love, I acknowledge what a wonderful thing it is. For a lot of my life, I was in love with Kaila. I died alone, in love with her.
After a year of knowing Jason, still in college, Kaila was in the antechamber of her apartment, helping her boyfriend emend his essay.
“Why do you say alumni here?” Kaila asked, pointing at the computer screen, she and her boyfriend were huddled around.
“Isn't that how you spell it?” He asked.
“I think you meant Illuminati... Sometimes I wish I was among my alumnae friends, I just want to be done with college, and the amount by which I have to help you...” Kaila replied, with a frown on her face.
“That's why I love you, you are so selfless and ready to help.” He said, smiling, and then leaned in and kissed her.
Makaila wasn't completely averse to her boyfriend, but she was longing for someone else.
Jason would be such a better boyfriend, she thought and sighed.
Spun around three times, blindfolded, and a single push into the unknown. I know I have no choice but to move forward. There are many walls in my way, after running into them one by one; I make my way around them. The sharp rocks on the ground try to trip me, but only succeed in making my feet bleed. My blindfold is one with my skin, my sight a memory. A wave of heat hits me, I run into lava, momentum carrying me into it, my reaction too late. I collapse and die.
Startover. I’m pushed back to the endless paths, my eyes now free to see. Restless movement takes over, bringing me somewhere in nowhere. Another choice, three paths, one red, one blue, and one a highly saturated pink. The blue path reminds me of water, I want a glass of water, so I choose it. Through the blinding blue tunnel I come through to a room full of floating knives, all ready to stab me. I attempt to run through to the glass of water, turning my back on the knives. I collapse and die, with many knives in my back.
Startover. Pushed into the darkness, I absorb it. Movement takes over and I walk towards my disguise, the light. Ugly creatures gather around me, they are attractive for eyes. We move forward, we reach a choice between 4 tunnels. I push them into the tunnels; I follow the one that doesn’t scream. They collapse and die.
I continue on through the labyrinth, I do not hesitate with my choices. Cool and confident I continuously take the right most paths, I end up in a room with no doors. No memory of how I got in, no knowledge of how to get out. Time withers me away, I collapse and die.
Startover. I turn around. I see the aggressor, the black shape trying to shove me. I run past it and keep running. It follows, it dies following. I don’t stop running, I smile.
She won’t expect it.
The man rushes past the long line of restless fans, through the guards checking for ID and tickets. Once inside, he increases his speed further. He gets backstage before anyone reaches the stage. Backstage, no one notices him, too busy preparing for the show, already used to people running around.
Now I just need luck, she can’t have seen me, they can’t find me.
Hidden behind the large wardrobe of the three bands he becomes completely silent. Hired security searches to no avail. They warn the performers that someone had rushed past them and was now somewhere in the venue, then suggested that it would be safest to cancel the show.
The bands replied with a unified, “The show must go on!” They used different words.
It will be time soon, can I move yet?
Thirty minutes pass, the line of people outside has crammed themselves inside the venue. The “lucky” few get to be jammed in the very front, directly in front of the stage. Among these few is Allison Striker.
I have to risk it, it’s starting.
He breaks free of his hiding spot, ignores the surprised looks of those near enough to the wardrobe to see him burst out from behind the various outfits. Music has started to play, with no time to lose he rushes out to the stage. No one notices him initially, but then he steals the mic from the lead singer and shouts into the mic, “I hate you Allison! You refused to come here with me. You said you weren’t feeling well!”
The crowd stares blankly forward, confused as to what was going on. Allison starts to boo, everyone else follows suit. Security takes him away; the singer gets his mic back. Security throws him out back and warns him to never come back.
It isn’t enough, it didn’t work. I just want her to care.
Two weeks go by before he decides what to do. In the meanwhile, he can’t help but constantly send longing stares towards her. But, then with a plan in mind, he watches Allison at cheer practice, waits for it to end. Follows her to her car.
“Hey can I talk to you?” he asks.
“You need to leave me alone,” Allison replies.
“I just want to talk, please just hear me out,” he says.
He moves closer. Allison sticks her hand through her car's window and grabs something from her backpack. She faces towards him with her back closely hugging the car.
“I just want to-
“Stay back!” Allison screams.
He moves a tiny bit closer and opens his mouth so as to speak, Allison thrusts forward with the scissors she had grabbed from her backpack. He starts to bleed, Allison leaves.
I am stuck in a dark and evil place waiting on an old wizard to get me out, so that I may help him go on an adventure to kill the evil that is currently trapping me. The wizard takes much too long for my taste and keeps telling me to wait. I become restless and find my own way to escape with the aid of another prisoner, a horse, and an ever changing portal for a door.
I end up on the streets of a place I don't recognize. There is a large group of highly religious looking people preaching on the street to passing strangers. Tired and unsure of what was next I called out multiple times, "Does anyone have anywhere for me to sleep?"
After I started calling this out it came to my attention that one of the religious preachers was looking at me, she looked younger than the rest of them, maybe even my age.
"I know where you can stay for free, follow me," she said.
So I trailed behind the only attractive blonde preacher I could see. As we walked her clothes changed on her body to jeans and a rather normal looking t-shirt.
At our final destination she introduced me to a man in his forties with little grey hair, and a strong beard. He was supposed to be running the place. Said place was a strange sort of shelter for those with nowhere else to go. The first thing the girl led me to do after meeting the man, was meet more people of varying ages, and play video games on an assortment of pcs.
After a good year at the place and half a year dating the blonde girl, I left the place, broken and lost; I'd long forgotten everything that had come before it. Literally nothing then happened, black consumed my world. I soon found myself once more at the shelter for the abandoned.
"Welcome back, did you learn anything new while gone?" the runner of the place asked.
I shook my head. Skip forward and I am preparing for a play with a bunch of people from the shelter. It isn't your traditional play, we intended to perform it in front of a gas station to raise some money, and we were implementing all of our individual skills, of which I had none to contribute, so I was just going to play a main, but simple role.
The play happens. I say vague things with confidence to men and women. Eventually I confess my love to the girl with the most makeup and fanciest dress. We kiss and music starts. (She does so reluctantly.) With most of the acting done, everyone begins to show off what they can do. Fire breathing, playing weird instruments, singing, and joke telling are the biggest focus. When everyone finishes we collect our money and walk up to the edge of a cliff with a nice overview of the beach.
On the way there I can't avert my eyes from a beautiful, but short, and short haired girl with black hair and brown eyes. Then a friend of mine says I should really get over my last girlfriend and says, "She's cool and available." Pointing to a girl behind us, who immediately blushes when she sees were looking in her direction.
My friend pushes me towards her and I ask her out, we become a couple in the short time it takes to reach the cliff side. But at the cliff regret takes over and I know I don't care for her, but rather the other girl, so I jump off the cliff into the water with the short haired, short girl.
Landing in the water hurt, on the way down I did however manage to tell the girl that I really liked her, she hadn't replied yet. Right before I hit the water I see a rock that I seem to be on course with, I move a bit to the right, barely missing it, and end up having to bounce off of another smaller floating rock to end up in the water. The girl and I hang on to the rock, unsure of what to do; there are other people around us, also holding on. Then a lifeguard seems to appear out of thin air and save us, bringing us to the beach, but only after I start bleeding as a result of a rock falling down on me.
At the beach, I get into an argument with the girl as we walk away from the beach back onto the streets.
"I'll break up with her as soon as I can," I plead with her.
"Fine, fine," she says, finally giving in.
We walk down the street, holding hands, into the distance, engaged in conversation.
Wind is surrounding me. I have never really thought of it as something with motivation, or goals, but as it comes in contact with me, I realize nothing can exist without motivation. Now it hits me that I have no real motivation. I am standing here for no reason, alone, cold, and bored.
Flashing images. So beautiful. They always provide such a nice distraction from the fact that I am never in reality. The ironic bit is that I pretend they are my escape from reality. Brief moments of pleasure are still lived by me. Though not genuine, they still exist. Somehow, someway, these colors and sounds grab emotion from me. Not just one emotion either. No, they allow for me to feel things besides regret, pain, loneliness, and longing.
Epiphany. A strange word to describe a complicated thing. I now understand what my problem is. My actions are in the present, but my thoughts are anywhere but. Thinking about things that can’t be changed, as well as things that will not happen for a long time, if at all.
Finding an issue is never enough, trying is never worth it. You give two hundred percent, and you will get twenty percent back. As you attempt to solve all of your problems, the problems of the world are looking for the shortest line.
Finished, exhausted, and retiring temporarily.
Tired without real reason, and the feeling that failure is just the start.
Thinking is dangerous for someone who has no set rules. Every thought leads to an unanswerable question. The many unspoken ideas seem to contradict each other and go in circles. Yet everything seems as likely to be true, nothing stands out as strange, or wrong.
A façade is created in the mind; the body moves on to provide distractions for the brain.
Substances of all kinds can be relied on for many things. They can detach people from reality, without putting them to sleep, or killing them. Confidence, self-esteem, and even looks can be replaced by strange substances in bottles.
Regret and despair come in a timely fashion and end the evening.
It’s all okay. For the first time in a long time, inner peace seems to be mine. Goals are set, hopes high, and the future seems promising. A single good day has lifted my spirits so high, it is finally possible for me to fall again. With joy I decide to end it while ahead.
The sun is coming up, and the moon isn’t leaving. Old faces are still lurking around in my head, but I have already replaced the people.
Cynical can no longer describe my mindset, nor negative. Hate is all that seems to exist in what has often been thought to be empty. The space past my skull is filled, filled with hatred for everything, for no real reason.
Frustrated, blocked and surrounded. Accused by the attackers, no solution in sight. Love for all the distractions creates only more barriers. Will work ever be finished?
Brandon’s room matched his personality and showed quite clearly what his interests were. His walls were lined with posters from his favorite rock bands and TV shows. Behind his custom built computer hung a nude calendar that with every month showed a new girl. Then there were his surround sound speakers, which allowed for him to blast his music, to the dismay of his neighbors. Despite all there was for the eyes to see in his room, when he walked in on the 17th of December all he could do was stare at the back of the head of a stranger.
A man in his 40’s with a mix of grey and brown hair stood with his back to Brandon, staring out of Brandon’s window.
“Who are you?” Brandon asked.
“Why are you getting back so late?” The man counter questioned.
“Excuse me?” Brandon replied.
“My name is Alex and you are late, you’ve kept me waiting too long,” The man said and turned to face Brandon.
A scar across the man’s face was now visible to young Brandon, but what was much more threatening was the sadness in Alex’s eyes, they implied that he had nothing left to lose.
Brandon took out a pocketknife and threatened Alex, “What do you want from me? I will call the cops and if you try something I won’t hesitate to use this.”
Alex didn’t feel threatened; he had to repress his laughter, so as not to insult Brandon. Because Alex couldn’t speak for fear of laughing and Brandon didn’t know what to say, silence ensued.
With his motives once more in sight, Alex spoke, “I’m here to help you, help me save a lot of people.”
“Am I just supposed to trust every old man that shows up in my room late at night?” Brandon asked.
Alex had predicted a question of this kind and he’d prepared accordingly, so he responded confident of his words, “No, but I am not just some random man. I’ve found a way to manipulate time, which I can demonstrate here and now. I can help you get what you want by demonstrating this, if I do this, however, you must help me to prevent a great tragedy.”
Disbelief overtook Brandon’s face; he couldn’t imagine how crazy the man in front of him actually was. First he broke into his house, then he waited for him patiently in his own room, and now he claimed he could “manipulate time”.
“The girl you like, tomorrow she will be at your bus stop, waiting for a bus that will never come. Two very annoying girls will be harassing her at the time; you can “rescue” her from them, finally giving yourself the chance to be with her,” Alex explained.
Brandon opened his mouth, ready to ask how this man could know who he liked, but before the first syllable could be pronounced, Alex had disappeared. Dumbfounded by the entire experience, Brandon decided to dismiss it as a result of not enough sleep and to go to bed.
The next day he said nothing of the conversation he’d had in his room, but he did get to the bus stop faster than usual, eager to disprove that Alex was a real person. When he got to the bus stop, there was no one around him to be seen. A sigh of relief came from Brandon. It had all just been leftovers from the mushrooms I had taken plus my lack of sleep, he thought.Then Celia came into view as she turned the corner, headed towards Brandon, and sure enough there were two skinny, too perfect looking girls following her. Celia did not say hi to Brandon when she got to the bus stop, she was too busy taking insults from the other two girls.
In Brandon’s opinion Celia was the prettiest and coolest girl in the school, though it wasn’t a popular view on her, many simply saw her as a weird or depressed girl. Her blunt words and focus on what she cared about rather than what others did was attractive to him.
“Can I talk to you for a second Celia?” Brandon asked.
All three girls turned towards him, noticing him for the first time. Celia got up eagerly and walked away with Brandon.
“Thanks for getting me away from them, are you finally going to admit that you like me?” Celia said.
“Uh, no problem and I was just trying to save you from them,” He replied.
Celia’s tone of voice hinted towards disappointment as she said, “Oh, ok-
Brandon quickly interrupted, “I do like you though.”
“I like you too,” Celia stated, smiled, and turned to make eye contact.
They held eye contact for seconds, and then their phones vibrated. Their parents had alerted them to the fact that school was closed today due to an incident involving a fire.
“Do you want to go get breakfast with me, since school is closed today?” Brandon asked. “I haven’t eaten anything other than a few bites of cereal.”
Celia agreed to go and grabbed Brandon’s hand with her own. They walked hand in hand to the nearest breakfast diner. On the way to the eatery they realized they liked a lot of the same bands and that they could hold a conversation quite well with each other.
“Table for two please,” Brandon said to the hostess of the restaurant.
They got good seating by the window and sat down as close to each other as possible in their booth. Neither knew quite what to get because they didn’t want to get anything that would be too messy to eat, so when their waiter came they had lots of questions. But Brandon had more, for their waiter was Alex, the same man he had spoken to the prior night. The peculiar situation he was in, hit him at once.
“What would you like to drink?” Alex asked.
“Orange juice please,” Celia said.
Brandon was at a loss for words, so he simply restated what his newfound girlfriend had said. After a couple minutes of silence Celia finally decided to do something. She poked Brandon; made sure he was looking into her eyes, and asked if everything was okay. Celia feared that Brandon might be regretting his decision to go out to eat with her.
“Yeah, sorry, our waiter just looks like someone I used to know,” Brandon said.
Celia gave Brandon his first kiss, they both smiled, and then Celia got up to go to the restroom.
“I see you took my advice. Now that you have seen that I really can control time, I think it’s time for us to talk,” Alex told Brandon.
Brandon turned to see him and the fact that everything had seemingly stopped, as though time had stopped. He screamed, “What the hell is going on? What do you want from me?”
“I have already told you what I want. I want you to save people’s lives. I can see into the future, I can see into the past, but I can’t go forward or back. All I can do is stop time and create portals which I cannot enter. You can though, this is clear to me,” Alex explained.
“Even if you can bring me back in time, how am I supposed to stop something horrible from happening? I’m not some superhuman, I’m just a teenager,” Brandon asked.
“All you have to do is kill a single man, a man that is inevitably going to start a horrible accident that results in an explosion which kills sixty people,” Alex said.
“All I have to do? Are you mad? I’m not a killer!” Brandon said.
“Sixty deaths or one, the choice is yours. Just know that I am not lying and this man is no saint,” Alex retorts.
A strange bubble with a clear image then appeared in front of Brandon. Through it, Alex showed the travesty that happened ten years ago as well as the man responsible for it. The sight isn’t a pretty one, the fire, blood, and screams convinced Brandon.
“I’ll do it,” He said.
A new, darker, larger bubble appeared in front of Brandon. On the other side he could see a blonde haired, blue eyed man, similar to himself; it’s the man he needed to kill. He was in what appeared to be an office, alone and doing nothing productive. Brandon walked through after receiving a gun from Alex.
“Where’d you come from? Why are you pointing a gun at me?!” The blonde haired man asked. His hands shaking.
“You are going to kill a lot of people today,” Brandon told him.
Confused, the man said nothing. With reluctance, Brandon raised the gun to the man’s head and pulled the trigger. The loud noise and kickback from the gun resulted in Brandon dropping the gun. He came back to the present, just after recovering from the shock of losing the gun, and seeing the man he’d shot on the floor, drowning in a pool of blood.
Back in the time-frozen present, Brandon discovered he was covered in blood, and that he seemed to be fading out of reality.
“What’s happening?” He asked Alex.
“You did it. You saved everyone and killed the man that was going to be your father. I must thank you for this,” Alex said.
“But if I am never born, how can I go back in time to kill my father, which results in me never being born?” Brandon asked.
“Time travel is too complicated to explain in your last seconds of existence. All that matters is now my family will never die, and I will never become the man that I am now. Thank you for this,” Alex explains.
"Among all the demons of mankind's existence, there has never been one as great as mankind. Yes, you heard me correctly; we are the most evil creature that inhabits this planet,” a tall, fat man with grey hair preaches into a microphone. “We are a plague without a cure.”
Poor old bastard, you are getting yourself caught in the crossfire and you don’t even know it. Mark lets his carefully aimed bullet fly from his gun towards his mark. Screams start to come from the crowd gathered around the now-dead man. Mark doesn’t notice - he is already halfway to the ground floor of the skyscraper he was in.
“He’s dead. I am headed back to base,” he says into his headpiece.
“We’ll be waiting for you,” Jim replies.
Authorities have begun to show up at the site of the murder. This causes Mark to pause when he exits the building. He quickly recovers from this state of shock and remembers that he has a plan. Hailing a cab takes less than a minute. He is soon heading toward upstate New York as they drive through the traffic. The sound of sirens seems to get closer; a cop is attempting to get the cab to pull over.
“What have you gotten me into?” the cab driver asks.
“Nothing, you were speeding,” Mark says calmly.
“Because you are paying me extra to. What’s in that suitcase of yours?” the cab driver asks.
So much for my bonus.
“Here’s another 700, act as though you are going to pull over just before this light, then speed up and make a sharp right,” Mark tells the driver.
After quickly looking at the money, the driver does exactly as told, regardless of the fact that the light turned red when he began to speed up. A large black truck grazes the car and honks its horn; the cop drives straight into the truck. Before the results are clear, Mark is long gone.
“Stop here,” Mark commands.
“Do you think-
“You will be fine, there were no cameras and witnesses don’t tend to remember license plates,” Mark interrupts and proceeds to exit the car. “Enjoy the money.”
He is now at a worn down building covered in graffiti that seems all but occupied. In his fancy suit he does everything but fit in, not that there is anyone around to notice him.
“I’m here,” Mark says into his headpiece.
“Over here!” Taylor calls out. She is standing under the shadow of the building.
She’s looking good today, her skirt seems shorter than usual and she finally took out the hair dye, allowing for her naturally blonde hair to show.
“Where’s our boss?” Mark asks.
“He’s waiting downstairs, just in case you were to bring any friends along,” Taylor replies.
“As you can see, I didn’t,” Mark says. “Let’s go.”
Taylor leads the way into the graffiti covered, two story building. They stop at a door that doesn’t seem to belong. The door is unscratched, modern, and surrounded by molding walls. Three knocks on it gets a response from the inside.
One rapid knock and Jim opens the door, past Jim stairs are visible.
“Welcome back, I hope all went well,” he says.
“Thank you, we can talk about it downstairs with some beers,” Mark explains.
All three of them walk down the stairs. Taylor and Mark sit down at a large table in the center of the room, while Jim goes to get them refreshments.
“So how have you been? We haven’t seen each other in a while,” Mark asks Taylor. “You look nice.”
“I’m good, thanks. How are you?” Taylor replies.
“Okay, considering I just killed a man,” Mark says. He fidgets in his chair.
“Did the training help at all?” Taylor asks.
“Of course it did,” Jim says.
Taylor and Mark turn to see the tall brown haired, well-built man that is Jim. He’s standing behind them. He has three beers carefully held in one hand, a strange briefcase in the other. Mark gets up to help, but Jim passes out the drinks before he has a chance to do more than stand up. An hour later after talking about how Mark’s mission had gone and many beers, they moved to a new topic.
“So, what’s in the briefcase?” Mark asks.
Jim opens the briefcase, and takes out a folder full of papers, along with a small vial of something ominous. Mark grabs the folder and starts to read the papers inside:
Congratulations on your first confirmed kill. Now, on to the hard stuff, the important work. Inside this case you will find enough poison to kill a large group of people, it may seem like a small amount, but I assure you it is quite deadly. We do not take pleasure in ordering this; nonetheless it is necessary for our cause. Our enemy is winning; they have begun to get inside the heads of our race. They are convincing humans that they are worthless, preparing everyone’s minds for the idea of a new species taking control of the planet. Drastic measures must be taken.
So we must order you to poison the keg of wine at an unusual party, which will be full of many innocent civilians, in addition to three aliens. Not aliens in the traditional sense of big eyes and grey skin, but the type that our cause aims to rid the Earth of. These are the ferocious man-eating kind that we have seen face to face, if only on a few rare occasions. It is dire that you understand that you are saving lives by killing. Please do not hesitate; you will end up dead or in jail.
Note: As will always be the case, you will get a handsome bonus to your monthly pay for every kill that helps the cause.
Last, there were character profiles on all the people that were thought to be attending the party, including the three aliens that were in human form.
“When’s the party? How can they expect me to kill so many so soon after my first kill?” Mark asks.
“We’ve lost everyone experienced enough to do the job,” Jim explains.
“They wouldn’t ask if they didn’t have to,” Taylor says and grasps Mark’s arm gently.
“The party’s tomorrow evening, so I would suggest already beginning preparations,” Jim remarks.
“This time you won’t be alone, I will be with for backup and for cover, we will go as a couple,” Taylor explains.
“Okay, fine I’ll do it,” Mark says.
But not happily.
Everyone says their goodbyes, heads to their respective home, prepares for the next day, and goes to bed. Mark falls asleep last, unable to stop thinking of the blood that flowed out of the man he had shot, or the family that would miss him.
How can we justify killing someone just for gaining a following after preaching what they believe? Mark begins his restless sleep.
Rays of sunshine bleed through Mark’s blinds and into his face. The memories of the earlier day start to creep their way to the surface and Mark becomes less motivated to get out of bed. Eventually, his will to start the day early overcomes his tired body. He eats breakfast, showers, puts his clothing on for the rest of the day, uses the restroom, and checks the time. It’s only 12:00 pm. This gives me plenty of time to prepare a plan for tonight. The phone in Mark’s apartment begins to ring. Knowing that it can be only one of two people, he quickly goes to his living room to pick it up.
“Hello?” he asks.
“It’s Jim. I was just wondering if you got my email with all the details,” Jim says.
“Not sure, I haven’t turned my laptop on yet,” Mark answers.
“Well check,” Jim says.
It takes a few minutes for him to run back to his room, turn his laptop on, find the email, and get back to the phone.
“Yup, the schematic, needed supplies, and suggested plans are all there.” Mark confirms.
“Have you forgotten the basics? We never know if they are listening, it’s vital we aren’t so obvious about our intentions. Those of us that get caught by them disappear,” Jim explains.
“Sorry, I didn’t sleep well last night. I’ll make sure to get the job done right tonight and I won’t forget our simple code phrases again,” Mark says.
“You better. This time it’s not just your life that’s at stake. One last thing, Taylor wanted you to get to her place as soon as possible,” Jim remarks and hangs up the phone.
Mark gets confirmation that he really is meant to go over to her place, gathers his stuff together, and calls a cab.
Because Taylor’s place is in a much nicer part of New York and closer to where their mission is, it only makes sense for them to meet up there. This doesn’t change the amount of traffic separating Mark and her, which results in Mark arriving at her door much later.
“Are you planning on staying the night, or why did you bring so much?” Taylor asks referring to the large backpack Mark has brought with him.
Mark shrugs and says. “Sleeping here would be convenient, assuming all goes as planned. For now though, let’s focus on ironing out a plan. I brought everything we could possibly need to do so.”
Without another word he brushes past Taylor into her home. The front door leads into a spotless living room. My home is a pigsty compared to this. Mark takes a seat down on her leather couch and finds himself surrounded by bookshelves, furniture, and Taylor. She is moving towards him with her blue eyes fixed on his.
“I was going to invite you in,” Taylor says, then takes a seat next to him.
“Well we have a lot to do and we don’t have all the time in the world,” Mark says and breaks the stare.
“There is a lot to do,” Taylor agrees and closes the gap between them.
Her hand gently guides Mark’s lips towards her own.
“What are you doing?” he asks.
She responds with a passionate kiss.
It’s harmless. But it’s unprofessional. But-
“We can’t do this,” Mark says.
“Just think of it as getting into our roles, we have to pretend to be a couple at the party anyways. Don’t pretend like you don’t want this,” Taylor replies.
“I do, but we can always try this after tonight. Please, let’s just focus on not dying or messing this job up,” Mark pleads.
She gives in and they get back to the more pressing matters of mass murder. Neither feels good about having to do what they have been tasked with, however, both have good reasons for being part of the strange organization. They’d both lost family to the aliens and then been recruited not too long afterwards. Two years had passed for the both of them, a lot had happened, they experienced a lot of it together.
“What if we just don’t do it, couldn’t we just shoot the aliens?” Taylor asks.
Uncertain of what to say Mark just doesn’t reply.
“I know that Jim said they can’t be harmed from the outside, but he can’t possibly know for sure,” Taylor says.
“It’s too big of a risk and I think I know exactly how we are going to do this, so just trust me. We are going to poison the wine and it’s going to work out fine,” Mark insists.
They intentionally arrive at the party an hour after the invite stated it started, so that they’d be just two more people out of the many that had come. Blending in was key. Walking in they stayed close, beginning their cover as a couple immediately, which would allow for them to remain with each other throughout the evening. The basement, where the party was being held, looked like something out of an acid trip. Walls were painted an assortment of colors, decorations and furniture left no bright color out.
“You ready?” Taylor whispers into Mark’s ear.
Mark nods in reply and leads her into the masses of dancing people in the center of the large basement. Their stances change so that they are facing towards each other, eyes staring, hands grasping, and bodies moving. Dancing, talking, and the occasional drink take up the time before they feel it isn’t too risky to try Mark’s plan.
“Let’s do this,” Mark whispers into Taylor’s ear.
She laughs as though he had said something funny and then excuses herself to go to the bathroom. As she walks across the room Mark heads over to the keg of wine. A scream breaks out from the crowd and a man drops to the floor. Taylor has knocked him to the floor with the full force of her body and is forcing her lips on his own, seducing him at record speed, slowly removing his clothing. Nearly every head is turned towards the scene she is making; almost everyone had noticed that she was with Mark, which was their intent.
With no one paying any attention to him Mark gets the vial out and begins to remove the cap.
Well this is it, the moment of truth; do you have the guts to do it?
No time for hesitation, we are just adding some taste to the wine.
Mark pours the poison into the wine and pours himself a glass, ensuring that he looks perfectly normal, just in case anyone were to look his way. He then notices that everyone has resumed dancing and that Taylor has disappeared. This wasn’t the plan. Keeping his cool he decides to call her. No response. Come on things were going so well, even if you might have gone a bit too far with that guy.
Mark’s phone begins to ring; he sees that it is an unlisted number, which means it is probably Jim or Taylor calling. Phew.
“Hello. If you care at all for the girl I suggest you come up to the roof immediately. And don’t even try and contact anyone from the attic, it will only end badly,” an ominous voice commands through the phone when Mark answers it.
“Who is this?!” Mark shouts into the phone.
No reply came; the man had already hung up. Damn it. I don’t have much choice now do I…. Wasting no time whatsoever Mark runs from the back of the basement by the keg, through the dancing crowd of people, out the door, and up a ladder to the roof; a ladder that had not been there before. Mark finds himself alone on the bland, barren roof that seems nothing but strange to his eyes, after being in a room that was the exact opposite.
“I came here as soon as possible, what do you want from me?” Mark asks the emptiness.
“To convince you that you are on the wrong side, as we are currently doing with Taylor,” a voice replies from a man that is not visible.
“Show yourself,” Mark demands.
“Your phone is on, I am talking through it, I am not on the roof,” the man explains.
“I now have a clear shot, with the pull of a trigger you will be nothing but a corpse. Don’t move, just tell me why you deserve to live, I need to know that you are worth my time. You clearly feel that you are capable of deciding whether or not someone else should die.”
“I was doing it for the greater good, I was told that more would die then I had to kill if I didn’t do it. I’ve lost family to your kind, I have no reason to believe what I did was wrong.”
“Your conscience would probably disagree with you, I am no alien, and aliens do not exist on this planet. My side consists of people that believe the human race needs to improve; whatever your boss told you was a lie. If you need proof than I understand, you will wake up to plenty of proof.”
Mark falls to the floor; Taylor is standing behind him with a frown. She had meant to catch him after drugging him.
A bright light shines into Mark’s face. What happened… where am I? The memories of his experience on the roof rush back to the front of his mind, but he still can’t remember who knocked him out.
“I’m sorry, but it’s for your own good,” Taylor pleads.
Mark is in a modern looking room. The walls are lined with metal drawers, a chair is next to him with Taylor in it, and a metal table rests in the center of the room, with him tied to it. He attempts to speak, then realizes his mouth is duct-taped shut.
Taylor notices his mumbling and explains the situation to him. “Please understand that we were on the wrong side, Jim is not who he said he was, and most of what we were told was lies. If you don’t believe me go to him, he’ll try and kill you, it’s almost guaranteed. We can be together finally if you kill him because then we will both be allowed to join this side.”
Mark mumbles some and Taylor just knocks him out again. He wakes up to find himself on the street with a gun in his pocket and his earpiece in his ear.
“Hey are you at base? I did the job and am heading there now,” Mark says to Jim.
“Yeah I am here, what took you so long? Actually, just explain when you get here,” Jim answers.
Getting to him takes very little time for Mark, as a result of him being dropped off so close to home base. The graffiti covered building now only holds questions for Mark, but this doesn’t stop him from walking in and knocking on the stainless steel door. There is no reply as is normally procedure. Here we go. Mark shoots the lock and kicks in the door.
“I just want to talk!” he yells down the stairs.
“It’s too late for talking,” Jim replies, peeks up the stairs, and fires off a shot aimed at Mark’s head.
In response he moves back in an attempt to get behind cover, the bullet hits his shoulder. Blood flows down and lets Jim know that it’s time to move up and confirm the kill. Mark hears the feet travelling up the stone stairs. Reluctantly, he fires off three shots towards Jim. As Jim stumbles down the stairs, dying, he fires off one final shot at Mark as he makes his way towards him. The bullet hits his leg. Why did this have to happen?
In Jim’s face Mark sees nothing but acceptance, it is clear he understood what had happened. There is a smile on the now limp, red body.
Today was a great day, I currently feel limitless. The sky is far away and yet I don’t see why I couldn’t simply go up to it and say hi to the stars. They key to achieving this feeling is doing what you want. Duh. Heard that one a million times. You can’t do whatever you want, it’s not possible. I’m not implying we should do absolutely anything we want, I’m saying we should do everything we can do that we want. We should do all we can in the short term with the long term in mind.
Today I went to Disneyland, I first decided to go at lunch time and it is two hours away from me. I went with a friend of mine, at Disneyland we went on the rides we wanted, we cut in line (douche, but my friend is impatient and no one said a single thing, they actually laughed.) We sang bad songs and sang randomly, we ran, we danced at this random Beatles cover band we stumbled upon, we talked to the people and hit on the girls we wanted to. We played cards with two random girls while waiting in line, so we played cards standing up and constantly moving with two strangers.
We got rejected by all girls and when we tried to dance with a couple girls at the concert they just left, once when we tried to cut in line we actually just jumped into the exit and ended up having to run back. (Ignoring the yelling voices of “Don’t run! Wrong way!”) There weren’t enough real rides and the food was too expensive. The imperfections are my point, the day wasn’t perfect, but it feels like it was, we did our best to do everything we wanted to, we had a blast all throughout and I feel limitless now.
Do what you want, social normality’s are unimportant, being normal is boring, and if you are always concerned with being nice, you will forget yourself.
Text: No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without the permission of the author.
Images: This is a picture taken by me, and in no way may it be used, reproduced, or transmitted in any form or by any means without my explicit permission.
Publication Date: 01-20-2014
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