Velocity of the Soul

Velocity of the Soul

A Story by raven bloodgood

I will keep the secrets that are whispered in darkness
and in Shadow
I see the tears, hidden through shrouded pain
Know the taste of your Suffering
Stand in awe of a soul you claim not your own
Bear witness to the harlequins smile

In solitude you walk
Comforted by Fire
Wear the cloak of Ash
Fiendishly the night has bound you to her side
Made you an accomplice to her Tragedy
You refuse to be saved
Nor can I release you from these shackled dreams

You've been shattered
The pieces cannot be put back together
They are twisted
Lost their shape
You no longer resemble yourself

I find myself waiting here
Hoping one day you will see me

I've made a wish on a star
Hoping that would make you stay
My arms ache at the unknown loss
Of wanting to hold you
Give you a moment of peace
Solitude that you secretly crave
But will never name

An Angel who has misplaced his wings
Cast out
Bitter sick
Viewing the world through stone eyes
Vengeance consumes
Rage drowns
Time has damned you from

You cannot stay
I have lost the ability to ask
But it's alright
I won't leave you here

In each other we will find
The home that has been


Your nightmares have a way of getting me into trouble.

Razorblade kisses have torn me apart; I keep the secret scars buried beneath layers of graffiti and blood. I wouldn't know how to defend myself against their vulturous minds. They already think I'm some sort of freak. I don't fit into their preconceived notions of what normal is supposed to be. All I want � all I've ever wanted was to be left alone. I don't think it's too much to ask but they wont even give me that. They've even stopped pretending to care as I hear them whisper:

-What do you think she's supposed to be?

Maybe if you stare long enough I'll do some sort of trick. I don't know what you expect of me. For now I'll bide my time and wait until you lower your guard, then we'll see whose left standing and who gets a free trip to the hospital. Lately, I find that the only thing that has kept me going is the thought of seeing you. It's you. Pulling me through what I laughingly call my life. Maybe I try to hard to hold onto something that is mine. I know you don't belong to me, but I just wanted someone to make me feel as though I belonged.

They would like nothing better to see me fail. Fall on my face, as if they could pry me apart with their gluttonous hands until there would be nothing left. Little bits stuck to the bottom of your shoe in a glorious, gooey mess. Clean up on aisle 5. Sure if I wanted to be a vapid, hollow shell with dead eyes and plastic painted on smile then I would fit right in. But I ask you where's the fun in that? Individuality � is that supposed to be a new band or something? No bloody thank you. I'd rather have one friend who'd stab me in the front than to conform to normality.

These dumb b*****s prattle inanely as if their words could somehow hurt me. There isn't anything they can say or do to me that hasn't already been done. I feel like I'm in high school all over again, nothing ever changes. What they don't realize is their best days are already behind them, just because they haven't escaped working in minimum wage hell doesn't mean there isn't hope for the rest of us. How nice it must be nice to be so sanctimonious when last time I checked they were at the bottom of the food chain. White trash hypocrisy at its finest.

I don't know if it really matters anymore.

I'm paper thin and see through. I'm just waiting to float into the abyss. Pathetic I know. I've been reduced to feeling sorry for myself but I don't know how to get past this mediocrity. Maybe that's why I tend to avoid people whenever I can. Like there's some sort of mathematical equation that explains why people in large groups display staggering amounts of stupidity. Ever hear of the herd mentality? My friend Goodwin likens people who have no brain of their own to Lemmings. I told him the whole story was made up, but he just smiled and said, "Doesn't mean we can't still drive them off the f*****g cliff."

How bout more chlorine in the gene pool?

I think people get more pissed off that I don't fit into their stereotype. Well, d*********s the lot of you I say. Why is my job to make you understand I don't want to be normal? Normalcy is over rated, why does every one need to fit in for anyway? I'm not going to walk around with a warning sign around my head � Warning: Contents under pressure. Please keep away from an open flame! Would that make you feel better, would it even register? No. I didn't think so. My instructions were lost a long time ago, and no you can't exchange me for store credit. Oh! I know! I'm written in a language that hasn't been invented.

Bumbling words that I trip and choke on. They make no sense but I can't seem to stop them. Every time I'm around you I feel as if I'm drowning. This crushing weight crashes down as time threatens to take you away. I know that I'm being selfish. You can't leave this place of misfortune and I can't seem to stay away. I wonder which is worse. It's strange but I feel safe here. That's the benefit of making friends with the dead, they don't judge. I think back to our first meeting, I was so young. Younger than I am now and not fully destroyed by the cruelty that only comes with age. I intruded into the tomb as if guided by a dream.

They say dreams are the lies you tell yourself in the dark.

Wandering the grounds and looking into the queer sky I felt at peace. The silence comforted me, I felt like Alice going through the looking glass. Then I found you. One moment there was an empty space and then next you were there. As if you were waiting to be found amongst the wilted flowers and muted graves. So beautify that I felt I must be dreaming. Unreal. A prayer, no, a curse whispered in the dark. Ethereal and forgotten, ashamed and fearful. Banished to the shadows, no one would no your name. And so began my decent into madness. A day would not go by where I would not be found sitting here at your feet. Tempted to crawl into your cold embrace.

Spilling secrets and insecurities that at the time seem so important. Completely mental I know, but to whom else could I confide in? Never before had I craved to be connected to someone, anyone. Secrets are supposed to stay buried until they burn a hole all the way through. But with you � I am free. The whole time you'd sit there, so patient, so kind but where else would you go? I felt guilty as I knew you weren't always bound to this place. You had a history once. Do you remember who you were supposed to be? To pass the time I used to make up stories, fantasies that had no place in the real world. Such ideas were better suited to the hearts and minds of the young.

A place where the dragons had been slayed and no monsters lurked in the shadows. It's not true � monsters are very real. They'll grab and hurt you. Wear the masks of cracked flesh and horrible gaping mouths, sharp teeth and the devil's eyes. It's more likely to be fearful of men rather than monsters, at least with monsters you knew what to expect. Perhaps it was na�ve of me to think of you as some sort of savior, a knight even when I'm certainly no damsel in distress. I think it was the sight of you � bruised and battered, sick of blood and death. You're more of a knight in not so shining armor. Tarnished and jaded is something I prefer over that perfect prince.

I like my men damaged, Disney characters need not apply.

The question then remains, if not a knight or fallen hero, then what? To be an angel you must have wings and yet I see none. No halo or harp but you do have a wicked sword; and yes, you can take that out of context if you like. I don't necessarily mind. This insignificant heart that beats beneath this weak flesh wants to break free. I'll rip it out and offer it up freely if it will prove to you that I wont leave you.

Do you remember that sinking feeling when you fall down really fast? The ground rushes up to meet you and there's no time to brace for the impact. That's how I feel every time I'm around you, sick adrenaline rushes through my veins; I loose the ability to breathe. I wont fight this feeling and I know it's perverse. A sick obsession that I'll never give up. I only ask for the one thing I know you will never give.

Forsake my life. I just want your love.

A prologue with Pepper

What's up my b*****s?

The fact that they asked me to write something here shows that they obviously don't know me very well. I have to be some what honest and say I'm not so good with the words and speaking bit. That's more of Goodwin's bag than mine. I'm more of a go out and cause as much trouble as possible and f**k the consequences kind of girl. Irresponsible? Probably. Spontaneous and wicked awesome? Absofuckinglutely. I like to confuse, confound and generally harass the common people. This keeps people on their toes and on the lookout for random drive by paintball attacks. One thing I never want to be is predictable; it beats the alternative of being bored out of my effing mind.

Sometimes you have to color outside the lines. Treat the world like your own version of Carmageddon. Have fun and don't hurt anyone unless they totally deserve it. Of course, come to think of it this means pretty much anyone who pisses me off. According to my lawyer I'm not supposed to make any incriminating statements but what does he know? Goodwin is beckoning for my attention and I mustn't disappoint my loyal subjects. I will leave you with these words of wisdom: live every day as if it were your last and screw what anyone thinks of you.

Also, walk around with a perpetual worried look on your face while muttering under your breath. It's always fun to freak people out as they tend to leave you alone for the most part.

Pepper Castillo

Memory of the Heart

"I hear them at night. The voices of the Damned calling out from their slumber. What do they want of me? I've given them every thing and still they are not satisfied until they have dragged me into the embrace of hell. "

-��������Pasha Novikov, A Question of Ice

In Memoria Ultio (in memory vengeance)

��������Words that have long since lost their glamour. However, there was once a time if you had paid attention to history and had a talent for magic they would have brought down a kingdom. It was for this very reason they had been banished from memory, and while history may have been written by the victors we all know it's just the abridged version. Pieces left on the cutting room floor, never making it to the director's extended cut. History tends to forget it's those who are left behind to clean up the mess, the lost voices and faceless actors in the tableau of time who will change the course of the story.

��������The potency of the spell reduced to a meaningless scrawling carved into a ruined tombstone. Cleaved nearly in half by a constant barrage of elements and neglect. It lay defeated against an equally crumbling mausoleum. Judged unworthy, unclean its very presence permeated shame and regret. Everyone knew it was there looming in the background but were doing their best to ignore it. They were hoping that it would do the decent ting and just topple over already, make room for something more suitable that benefited the grounds.

��������Stubbornly it refused as it would not be bullied or coerced, it's only saving grace that had kept it from being torn down was the angel. A personal joke as it wasn't really an angel, at least not in any conventional definition. No one could remember where it had come from; being a figurehead for so long it was naturally assumed to have come with the mausoleum's natural construction. This wasn't really the case but that story will have to be saved for another time. Mysteries and histories � aren't they a b***h?

��������This hadn't stopped the natural assumption of what he was supposed to be. A sole survivor of a fallen race, or was there something more sinister underneath? Stoic and silent the keeper of the dead remained. Only he knew the secrets that lay beyond the veil of the dead. Unfortunate for him his only companions were those of the condemned, grace had not provided names for those who no longer mattered. The warrior stood stripped of pride and honor, his home was the unnatural silence of the tomb. His body contorted into a position of subservience and pain; and while he may have been broken in body he was not in spirit.

��������His head was bowed and shoulders hunched forward, elegantly tapered hands were shackled and constrained in metal. The heavy chains had not lost their luster throughout the unforeseeable amount of time. Difficult to gage his true height, by all guesstimates it was well over six feet of cold, impenetrable beauty. The sight was disturbingly perfect. A mere mortal would have found it hard to replicate such perfection; this was a product of the gods themselves. There however, was one glaring flaw. If one stood in the statue's presence for too long, the sensation of standing in the lions den would come upon you.

��������Any moment the shackles would break free to wrap around your throat. He'd have his vengeance and it would matter not who stood in his path. The sinewy complexity of muscle combined with unconcealed rage commanded respect. Anything less would be an affront to his honor. A primordial growl just under the surface. A hooded cloak covered him from foot to back, coming well past his eyes it stopped just short of a hard, aquiline nose. A feature that had it been on any other man would have been deemed too cruel. The whole thing was held fast by an intricate clasp set against an astonishingly male throat. The contrast of angelic elegance and stone brutality worked in unharmonious balance.

��������The fierceness of such a presence should have been enough of a deterrent to stop the most determined vanguard; however the spray painted hieroglyphs that covered the faux marbled mausoleum belied otherwise. Obscenities in a myriad collage covered the walls, the small metal placard, the stone doors that lead to the inner chamber and even the base on which the angel knelt on. In spite of the tenement kids best efforts to cover the statue in ink nothing would stick to the stones surface. It was as if the b*****d was covered in Teflon, this however wasn't the most unnerving thing about the statue, that honor would go to the sword strapped to his back.

��������The blades length was proportional to that of a short sword, but that didn't make it any less deadly than its real life counterpart. It was easily imaginable to see the steel bathed in crimson. There'd be no qualm or quarter � no mercy for those who stood in its way. The same could be said of its master. No angel of the lord was he, this man was made for one purpose and that would not include any heavenly aspirations. To make such comparisons would have bordered on sacrilege. So it's a good thing that I'm not exactly a member of god's fan club. We're not on one would call speaking terms. I've always been under the impression that he left the building a long time ago and never bothered to leave a forwarding address. This doctrine wasn't born out of hatred but a festering wound of disappointment and regret.

��������While it's true that no religion is perfect, I mean how many of them can actually be the right one? I found it hard to feel compassion while being spoon fed a diet of hypocrisies and fear. Bend down and kiss the ring or off to the pit you go. I don't mind the heat too much, not like I can get any darker. My solution to the religious persecution? Simple, stay away from polite society every chance I can get. Stick to the haunts of the disaffected and throw away youth. Let's see if you answer made it onto the board: Survey says? Cemetery. Where else can budding juvenile delinquents go without being harassed too much? Besides, its one of the safest places to be.

��������Well, it used to be.

��������Let's take attendance: Graveyard Groupies? Present and accounted for. They rang in age, size, shape and every color of the rainbow. Bodies scattered in the yellow grass staring up at the krylon sky. I haven't a clue what they could possibly be looking for. The meaning of life? Not bloody likely. Probably trying to see if they can hitch a ride with the aliens and get the hell out of this town. Colorful pieces of trash in their leather and shiny costumes. Going by their make believe names while hiding behind kohl rimmed eyes and catharsis smoke. Painfully thin faces that wear too much make up, black lips that have forgotten how to smile. Memories of who they used to be are fleeting memories. The thought of the past burns too bright for our crippled eyes.

I don't begrudge them their self imposed exile. Where else could they go? We freaks have to stick together.

In obsidian sea of silver and gold there is one girl who stands out above all others. She's an electric beacon of hope, a strobe light � a triple xxx sign. Icon/ringleader and criminal mastermind of the exposition de monstres. Today she's dressed in a gothic schoolgirl uniform. Nabokov's wet dream. Short plaid skirt, low cut blouse that defies several laws of gravity and knee high vinyl go-go boots. A walking felony that's probably breaking several laws as we speak. She spies me across the parking lot and after detangling herself from Goodwin's lap makes a dive for me. I look back to see if I can catch the bus -

��������The one that is now departing. S**t. Now I'm going to have to be social.
Pepper: Hey, Hood Rat

Ambriel: What up Pep?

Her name is Pepper.
Yes. Really.

For our audience watching at home, here is the ancient Chinese recipe on how to create your very own Pepper. (Don't try to sue us, we're totally not liable for any legal infractions that your Pepper may or may not get into. Though, you can try but just so you know we are totally a*s broke.)

��������Half a can of Valasic Jalapeno soda
��������A metric liter of Killing Time anime hair dye
��������Bloody Mary Theatrical Make-up (white)
��������Cry Wolfe nail polish � must be Spyder Green or Fairy Blood
��������Methos blue sparkly eye shadow
��������Leather corset and fishnet gloves (can substitute stripped arm warmers)
��������An unhealthy obsession with Betty Page

��������Stir the contents very slowly but do not leave them unattended for any amount of time. If you do then you will get an undercooked in the middle Pepper and you really don't want that. And Jesus H. Tap Dancing Christ do not feed your Pepper any amounts of sugary confections after midnight. You've seen gremlins? That s**t was mild compared to what could happen. Ok, if you do then you'll get to explain to the nice police officer why you're wearing a furry bear costume and Pepper is inside the Slushy machine.

��������Moving on with this fun filled rollercoaster ride that has no breaks.. In spite or is that supposed to be despite of her cola related moniker (side note: I asked her how the hell her parents came up with the name Pepper. She shrugged and said it was better than the alternative. Which is? Gem. Gem? Like the f*****g cartoon character? She said her mom was some post hippie chick who had too much time on her hands and a penchant for Saturday morning cartoons and sugar pops. This made sense since her brother's name is Rio.) is one of the coolest chicks this side of the underground. A wicked sense of humor combined with a gothic beauty queen gone wrong, she's a hero amongst the groupies.

��������Not to mention she gets bonus points for knowing how to survive on these streets, it's an essential skills that spells the difference between five dollar blow jobs behind the dumpster and junkie nirvana. For someone so young (17! � watch out boys, she's jailbait) she's surprisingly level headed even if her outward appearance dispels otherwise. She encompasses me in a bone crushing hung that lifts me a good foot off the ground before nearly dumping me on my a*s.

Pepper: What's shaking my sister?

Ambriel: Dude, you are not black. I feel that I need to point this out since you obviously keep forgetting.

Pepper: I forget nothing. I just think it's kind of funny since you're not really black either. I mean if we're going to get all technical and such. You're what do they call it � mocha? Cappuccino?

Ambriel: Stop it. You sound like you're ordering at Star Bucks.

Pepper: Mmmm. Star Bucks.

Ambriel: One of the only places you haven't been banned from yet.

Pepper: Give it time, the day is still young.

��������I count to five and try to find my happy place. I open my eyes and she bats her fake eyelashes at me. It looks like a spider is having a seizure.

Ambriel: Last time I checked I'm still darker than you. Speaking of that what new and exciting chemicals are you wearing today? It looks like you just gave death a blow job.

Pepper: Funny. It's called Morbid Decay. That does remind me though, that f****r still owes me five bucks!
Ambriel: Five bucks? What was it discount day?

Pepper: I'm young and need the money.

��������She covers her eyes with a fishnet glove as if trying to depict the woes of the young. I have to try to remind myself why I put up with her.

Ambriel: You mean they let you in at the mall? But that's on the no Pepper zone.

Pepper: I bribed the rent a cop at the front door.

Ambriel: You have got to be f*****g kidding.

Pepper: Oh alright, I had Majic create a distraction.

Ambriel: Cool. Can I catch it on Cops?

Pepper: No, but maybe Youtube. Seriously, you should have seen it; Majic got all the cars in the parking lot to play "Crazy Train". I thought the rent a cop was going to pull a Jim Henson. The skater punks had a field day, I managed to get to the front door at Teen Angst R Us before they caught me.
Ambriel: Too bad, I'm sure you would have made the girl at the counter cry again. Remember the court order.

��������Insert evil grin here.

She executes a perfect tondue. Left over residuals from years of mandatory ballet, tips her imaginary hat. Ta effing dah!

Ambriel: Remind me why I put up with you again?

Pepper: Cause you love me.

Ambriel: How is it that you translate you suck into I love you?

Pepper: It's a gift.

Ambriel: Yes, of self delusion.

Pepper: Still a gift.

She attempts to look contrite but it just comes out looking maniacal. Put her in a straight jacket (which is something she already has, btw) and she'd be right at home at the asylum. Though I don't know if sparkly purple devil horns are considered standard issue. Then again they may have updated the handbook since I was last there.

Pepper: So, we're going to harass (ahem) I mean hang out at The Spare.

Ambriel: You mean pester the new owner until he throws you out on your collective asses, or murders you all and hides the bodies under the floorboards?

Pepper: Now see you're getting my hopes up again. No, I mean we want to make him feel all welcome like. Fuzzy feelings and all that.

Ambriel: Uh huh. What's he like anyway?

��������Her eyes light up in a way that I know can only spell trouble.

Pepper: Oh my effing god. He's so anti-social that there really aren't enough words to describe it, easily one of the biggest b******s I've ever met. Last time we went over there he threatened bodily harm to Majic with an impressively large rubber "toy". I mean it put what I had at home to shame. Then Majic was all, "I'm going to have to charge extra", and the guy chased us half a block all Patrick Bateman style.

Ambriel: Complete with matching chainsaw?

Pepper: Yes! I like I'm in love. I'm confident that we will be able to wear him down with our cuteness. And this time you have to come with us, and don't worry I know you wont have any fun.

Ah yes, The Spare.

A condemned building that should have been torn down a long time ago, located in the worst � well, it's downtown so I don't know how much worse you can get parts of town. Sandwiched between a crumpling parking lot and what is supposed to pass as some sort of medical clinic. The windows are barred and blacked out and then there's the matter of the front doors. They're these insanely heavy, metal sort of deal that would be fit right in at the crypt keeper's condo. Awe inspiring as well as terrifying. The Groupies have aptly nicked named them the "Vampire's Doorway". Not even the local demons or bubble gum villains would go near the place. The Spare is known to be the stomping grounds of degenerates, drag queens and the occasional Elvis impersonator.

Come to think of it maybe it really was Elvis. Quick, someone call the National Inquirer.

��������It's my sort of place if I were in the right frame of mind. Yes, it's a pun � move on. As it were today had been a particularly nasty cluster f**k and all I wanted was to go home and hide under the covers. The thought of tagging along was appealing, but I doubt if fuzzy blender drinks and disco lights would make me feel any better. I look to Pepper and her usual gang of loveable loses and I have to suppress the urge to breakdown and scream. Is this what madness is supposed to feel like?

Ambriel: Not right now Pep, but I'll try to come down a little later.

Pepper: You know you always say that, but you never do. If I had any feelings left I would say that you're starting to hurt them. Okay, you have one hour before I come back and drag your happy a*s down there. Either that or I'll sic my boy on you.

��������She makes an obscene gesture and I try to look scared. From previous experiences I know she really will come back and drag me out by the hair. Nothing says friendship like brute force. I try to change the subject, keep her distracted with the shiny.

Ambriel: How is your boy doing anyways?

��������She tilts her head in a way that resembles a demonic dog. Pepper may be the ringleader and the Groupies had enough make up to be caricatures of clowns, but Goodwin? He's undoubtedly the mascot. A polar opposite that didn't need to stand out in a shiny pleather costume, no devil horns or sparkle. No fishnet gloves or corset in sight. Perfectly content to wear gray jeans and frayed hoodie. Exuding a sense of serenity in the middle of a torrent emo storm. Not that he needed anything to stand out, people automatically gravitated towards him. It could have been the unsettling way he could sit for hours reading, but it was more likely when he spoke people stopped to listen.

��������If one were to look up the word "emo" in the dictionary there'd be a picture of Goodwin, he was the quintessential picture of a tortured soul. Dark eyes paired with naturally pale skin, the poster boy for the Hot Topic nation. Many imitators but he was an original. The fact he came off a bit clueless as to how much influence he actually had was the very reason he was so loved. Not that it was hard to love someone who exhibited an old world charm. The tragic anti-hero theme was appealing, but I already had my own obsession. I give Pepper a nudge and she smiles in recognition.

Pepper: Why is that we love the boys we can't have?

��������I know it's a rhetorical question but I stop for a sec to think. We're drawn to the boys that are broken, I think it's because we think we can fix them rather than look inward to our own fucked up lives.

Ambriel: We're all damaged goods Pep.

Pepper: True. Though some more than others. Anyhoobie, you've got yourself an hour.

Ambriel: Right. You know where to find me.

��������She raises a perfectly pierced eyebrow. Duh!
��������Another bone crushing bear hug and she saunters back to her corseted court. Goodwin looks up from his tome and manages a rare bruised smile. In that one moment he truly transforms into something beautiful. One day Pep will have to tell him how she feels before it's too late. Unfortunately I can relate. We really are just damaged goods and love the boys who can't be fixed. I think she'll have more luck with hers than me with mine. A departing look and I see the kinder kids are packing it in for the day and heading towards Peppers magical mystery van.

��������To call it a van isn't really an accurate portray of what this thing is. An atrocity that shouldn't be allowed on public streets is more like it. Picture this: if the A Team's GMC Vandura had sexually assaulted the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo their b*****d love child would be Pepper's "Monster". Coming at you straight out of the sixties, if the sixties were imaged by MC Escher. There was a meticulously painted mural of a rainbow and unicorn on one side and Wolemut's Dance of Death on the other. The tacky d�cor was completed by wall to wall shag carpeting. Shag carpeting! It was truly fabulous in its freakishness.

��������It peels out of the parking lot but not before I hear the Ramones begin their history lesson on the Blitzkrieg. One can only listen to Bauhaus for so long.

��������Even the skater punks and rivet heads are leaving, but by no stretch of the imagination is this their last cameo appearance. Tonight they'll be found at The Spare. Under the strobe lights day glow colors, pacifiers and glow sticks will clash with somber funeral attire. Floor length wallet chains and chinos tangle with platform metal boots and spiked dog collars. While some may find it odd that these diverse factions mix it up the answer isn't that complicated. Truth is that they're all throw away kids; unwanted in their own homes they have made their own make shift families. A distorted juxtapose of the United Nations as it were.

Ahh, the children of the night! Listen to what beautiful music they make.

The thought brings a smile to my lips. As I carefully pick my way through mangled cement teeth, nearly tripping over neglected spider grass that's managed to wind itself up and strangle the baby angels. I avoid their opaque eyes, for I'm sure they'll recognize my hidden shame. Accustomed to the guilt they can spot it a mile away. I figure if I keep lying to myself then no one will be able to guess the truth until it's too late. Tonight will be my last night in the city. If I had to justify the abandonment to my friends I don't think I'd be able to go through with this insane plan. I have to pull myself out of these morose thoughts; judging from the streaking sun I know my time is limited.

I arrive at the vaulted gates that separate the statue from the rest of the grounds and take pause to silently curse its presence. While this area is supposed to be off limits when has that stopped a little breaking and entering? Hauling myself over the bars (years of practice) while trying to avoid the small metal briars that adorn the top of the spires. Those vindictive spikes have done more damage to my wrists and hands more times than I care to count. Blood begets blood in the name of love. Getting over the damn gates in six inch metal boots and skinny jeans is always an adventure. Oh why must I be a slave to tragically hip fashion?��������

That b***h Bateman never had it so rough.

I manage to wrangle myself so I'm sitting astride two of the bars, just as I'm about to throw my other leg to the other side I loose my grip and go crashing into the ground. With nothing to break my fall I go crashing into the hard compacted the ground. Air whooshes from my lungs and I feel as though I'm going to be sick. Laying my head back to the ground I wait for the stars to stop doing summersaults in my brain. I try to take inventory if anything is broken but my toes stubbornly refuse to move in their metal constraints. Lucky for me there was no participating studio audience to witness my humiliating display of acrobatics. Nope. Just me and the ghosties and thankfully they're not super chatty.

I glare at the gate but it does me no good, it's not impressed in its metal depravity. For Christ sake this is a graveyard people, not a bloody prison. I manage to half stumble/walk to the angel. Right, a reminder why I've come here today.

In a moment of lucidity I've realized I need to get out of town.

It will be the only way to gain a measure of sanity. Well, what's left. I know its completely mental to say good bye to an inanimate object, which is the very reason I need to leave. I'm obsessed with something that will never be real no matter how much I wish for it to be true. After tonight I'll put this place, this whole damn town out of my mind and never think of it again. I'll keep lying to myself until the pain stops, until my heart withers and shrivels up into nothing. Who really loves with their heart anyway? As I near the statue I pull a small book out of my back pocket. No bigger than a pack of a deck of cards, duct taped to hell and back it's the single most prized possession I have. I sit down near the base and crack the book open.

Breathing in � and out � the pressure of my lungs, the air plays over my heated skin. Leaves stir and with it bring in the hint of smoke. Autumn is on its way in, out with the old and in with the new. The thought leaves me with a sense of sadness that threatens to break me apart anew. I won't ever be able to come back here. I'm afraid now to face my accuser. Taking a peek under the hood as if I expect to see his face, I touch the coolness of his face but my hands are shaking. I want to speak but I have lost the ability to find my voice. It's an uncomfortable moment of silence and I know that I won't be able to tell him the truth. Angrily I wipe away treacherous tears and put on my best smile. I will not fall apart now.

Ambriel: Hello Love, I've brought our book. Would you like me to read to you?

A Question of Ice by Pasha Novikov

�������� The spirits are out in full force. I see them shiver in exquisite pain as they pass through the wing of angels. They push past me unnoticed. No one ever sees me. That is my gift � invisible and condemned. With painted harlot's lips they are unaware of the danger. Death stalks them. It will come quickly as my blade goes through their blackened hearts. There will be nothing left but the decay they have brought down upon themselves. I see behind their masks of cracked flesh. Their hollow eyes and fragile bones. It sickens me. They are ugly in their beauty and yet they call me a monster. Blood waits for no one.

How do they not hear me? How do they not feel my hot breath on the back of their necks? Does my heart not betray me, betray these murderous thoughts. Vile, horrible beasts. My heart will break through my breast. How lovely would it be. Yet they walk unfazed into the abyss, my trap so close now that with a single push they'd go tumbling down. I wonder if the bodies would ever be found? I'll wait here. in the space of shadows and madness.

Let me kiss you. Press my body against yours � so cold, so perfect. I promise only pain and sorrow. This is what you will have of me. You will be my light � my love and my personal tragedy. You will be the death of all I have ever been. Once you are here in my arms I will never let you go.

��������Turning the page I am interrupted by the sound of applause. Putting the book down in the grass I slowly turn towards the source of the sound. Pressed against the gates, meaty hands wrapped around the bars I see that I have been joined by two new friends. Is this supposed to be the place where I am afraid? I wish that I had enough be but I'm not. I can tell by the looks of them how this is going to end. The only path for an escape is the same way I came in; I weigh my options as I size my opponents up. The one on the left was large in girth, not just fat but more like a solid wall of gut. This b*****d could give Jabba a run for his money. There's no way in hell he'd be able to get over the gate, maybe through the gate but not over. His companion on the other hand who shall be known as beady eyed mofo. And here I thought no one could be skinner than Goodwin.

��������Not that I was fooled by the petiteness of his stature, a hard wiry frame and a face that only could be born out of violence. I knew the type. Someone like this only took pleasure from the pain, the more brutal the better. I felt bile rise up in my throat. I take one last look at Pasha [yes, I named the damned statue after the book] but he wasn't in the mood to impart any words of wisdom. I always knew deep down that I was always going to have to save myself.

��������It was the larger one who broke the silence.

Jabba: Those were some fancy words there birdie. How bout you come on over here and read for us?

��������His voice made my skin crawl.

Ambriel: No thanks boys. Why don't you run along now, I'm sure you don't want to be late for the Klan meeting, and if you hurry you wont miss the barbeque.

��������He didn't seem to appreciate my concern for his time constraints. Jeez, try to be considerate.

Jabba: That's not very nice birdie. I think we're gonna have to teach you some manners. Raphael, why don't you go on over and bring that little girl to me. I think she needs to learn how to talk to her betters.
��������Raphael? You have got to be kidding me. There was no way in hell I was going to be raped by two red neck hillbillies who happened to have the names of angels. Talk about f*****g irony. What happened to having proper stereotypical names like Billy Bob or something? Raphael smiled real wide � revealing a mouth of yellow, broken teeth. Ahh, there's more like it. Though he didn't appear very old, maybe fourteen or fifteen at best his pock marked face had a cruel look to it. He shifted his weight to and fro and reached into the front pocket of his dirty jeans (at least I hope it was dirt) and pulled out something. At first I didn't want to look but then I saw something that made my heart drop just a little.

��������A key.
��������Now I know what you're thinking, well it could be a key to anything. Hey I can be self delusion if I want to be. I don't stick around to see him put the key inside the lock and turn the handle. There will be no sign of weakness now. I retreat towards the back of the mausoleum, looking to the high cement walls I wonder how much traction I could possibly get from my boots. They're not exactly designed for climbing. So this will be my last stand, huh, I thought it would end differently. I thought at least I would be wearing my sailor moon outfit � that's what I get for watching too much henati.

�������� I hear footsteps approach and I ready myself for what I hope will be a fairly quick fight. Raphael turns the corner and I manage to land a high kick to his mid section, catching him off guard. He stumbles but doesn't fall, he makes a grabs for my boot but I jump back out of the way.

Raphael: Come on girl (thought I sounds more like gerl), don't be like that. We can work something out I'm sure.

Ambriel: Back off you deliverance m**********r.

��������His eyes darken and he lunges at me. I get tackled to the ground but wiggle out of his grasp. I get to my feet first and land a couple of kicks to his side flank. Thankfully he stays down.

Jabba: What's taking so long Raphael?

Ambriel: He cant come to the phone right now.

Jabba: That's it birdie. I'm gonna show you to keep your mouth shut.

Ambriel: Like you can get it up you fat dick.

��������The gate swings open. I stand on top of the dazed body of Raphael then move to the side of the mausoleum. The fat b***h's face has turned a lovely shade of violent. Sure, I know that I'm making the situation worse but I've never been accused of knowing when to shut up. Jabba takes a look at his friend on the ground and shakes his head in disappointment.

Jabba: That there is damn shame. Getting beat up by a girl. Well, I will say you have some fight in you, and I like that. But little birdie I cant just walk away, I have my pride to think of. Don't' take it too personal, you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

��������Raphael starts to move and I give him another kick for good measure.

Ambriel: Know when to stay down you stupid son of a b***h.

Jabba: Alright little girl, let's have some fun.

Ambriel: Come closer you b*****d and I'll show you how much fun you're going to have.

��������Jabba pats Pasha's head in the same manner you pat a dogs head. No one is going to hear me out here, but I refuse to give him the satisfaction of showing him the fear that is rapidly growing. Sure, he'll hurt me but I wont go out with a fight. The next few seconds come to me later in a series of sepia snapshots:

��������A large face looms above that has the consistency of melted wax. Pliable features, dough like. There's a series of white scars crisscrossed over cold, hard eyes. Bushy eyebrows and a nose that's nothing more than two small slits. It reminds me of a snake.

��������Oh look. There's me on the ground with a stabbing pain in my arm. I think it's broken but I cant move to know for sure.

�������� His hands are dirty. I notice that all of his fingernails are chipped as their sharp edges hit me over and over again. I try to wrench my good arm free and claw at his face, but I'm defenseless and he applies more pressure.

��������My chest is caving in; the sound of bones breaking is the only sound in the dark.

��������Hands are pulling in my hair; my head is slammed into the ground repeatedly. There are no words to describe the level of pain, which is fortunate since my body is growing increasingly number by the minute. Electricity runs through my ankle, fingers and brains. A burning sensation � a fire that wont stop. There's a welling at the base of my neck, something wet is running down my shoulders and slides down my back. I can no longer move. Muscles, tendons and nerves are rendered useless.

��������But I can hear.

��������I can feel.

��������As I pray for this to end I have one last remaining thought. Should I speak at this point, cry out and atone for my sins? Not that it would help, and I never believed in it in the first place. A hail mary? Enter sandman?

��������Then the words come to me, as if they had always been there.

Ambriel: meus vita est vestry � My life is yours.

��������In the dark the spell is cast. First came the searing of stone, the very course of nature herself disrupted by the impending maelstrom. A heart misused from neglect and torment woke to the sound of screaming. Voices numbering in the thousandths flooded his senses. Instinct took over as the beast clawed his way out of hell. The sky became pregnant with thunderous clouds, so heavy were they the sky was blotted out. Everything stopped. Time. Breathe. Life.

��������He now remembered who he was supposed to be.

��������What he was - his name and his history.

��������Above all else, he remembered the call of blood.
��������Chains broke free, he would have his vengeance.


Unnatural Heart

Magic is unreliable at best, chaotic at worst, but if actually works then that's a whole nother problem all together. People disregard the consequences when making deals with the Devil. It's all about the instant gratification and damn their souls. Just give them the power to destroy � as if the spells and incantations were just pretty little words in books. Sprinkle of fey dust and an eye of newt was it? While we're at it how about an open cauldron and a broomstick for condescension. How humans hadn't managed to wipe themselves off this planet was beyond the Mage's comprehension. If humanity had half their wits about them or any sense of self preservation they would have known better to come to him in the first place.

Villainy, cruelty and a healthy dose of general malcontent for humans was something that he could understand. In that hatred the Mage had no equal. Only too well did he understand the hearts and minds of men. He saw into their secrets and pried apart their desires. The need for supremacy and above else he knew what they valued. Knew what they would kill for, or as was his specialty knew what they would sacrifice. Power and Beauty. Power, well that was easy enough. For the right price one could almost have anything their little black hearts desired. Never was it more apparent than in the city itself.

She reeked with opulence and arrogance. Spiraling towers and cathedrals adorned with jeweled windows. The Water Temple near the Alyarian Forest with gilded doors � everyone benefited from the clandestine dealings. Beauty was hard but not impossible to achieve. Long ago he had learned how to stay off the natural process of age. To deny death himself while retaining everlasting youth was the key to his very success. The price for the services he offered differed from his standard business transactions. He had no interest in the carnal pleasures of flesh, no desire for perfumed bodies and empty eyes. Simple things that were just a means to an end. A rapping of the door shook the Mage free from such thoughts. His guest had finally arrived, and with it his most cherished prize yet.

Standing in the doorway was the girl. A mere slip of a thing wrapped in silk and ribbons. Bound in a long fur cloak she appeared to be holding a bundle of blankets, she was shaking but it wasn't from the cold. Nestled deep in the blankets was that of a sleeping babe. The Mage reached out to touch the child but the girl pulled the blankets back. She was about to say something but the look on the Mage's face stayed her tongue. He reached out once more and this time the girl yielded the child. At this point you would think the girl would be nothing but tears and regret, but this is where you would be wrong.

Cradling the child in his arms the Mage had a look of something akin to triumph on his face. This was no ordinary child the Mage thought. No, this child was destined for something greater than a simple woman could provide, he was going to defy greatness. This unknowing vessel was going to be an Animus Ire Messor. A soul reaper.

Girl: The deal� it's done then. Every thing has been paid in full?

Mage: Yes, yes. What you seek is on the table.

Brushing past the Mage she walked into the small cottage. Sitting on a plain wooden workbench was a small bottle. The liquid's contents glowed translucent in the candle light, for in the small room there were no windows. If the girl had been paying more attention to her surrounding than to her greed she may have noticed the impending doom. As it where without bothering to seek approval she removed the stopper and drank the bottle in fell swoop. She wasn't sure what to expect or how quickly the potion would work but she wouldn't have to wait very long.

At first nothing, then the bitterness � as if biting into a sour fruit. Soon the sensation was surpassed into sweetness, ambrosia. She felt as if she were floating, drifting into a dream.

Girl: How long will this last? Will I be beautiful forever?

The Mage turned to look at her. As much as he hated to admit it she was already beautiful. Though he could not fully appreciate the softness of flesh, he could not deny there was something alluring about the girl. Golden hair to flashing amber eyes she was the definition of youth, the very epitome of vitality and all the traits he despised about humans. With youth and beauty came the inevitable fall from grace, and so with it the onset of vanity and greed. Her fear of loosing her beauty was the reason she had sought out the Mage, seeing as she had discernable skills or charm beauty was the only thing she had of value.

Mage: I made this batch especially for you my dear. You will gain all that you seek, marriage, a long happy life and a beauty that will defy the ages. You will stay off the very hand of Death.

The girl smiled. Yes, that is what she wanted � power and love, the only way to obtain it was through her beauty. Such beauty it would be, outshining all competition. Perhaps this odious man wasn't nearly as bad as people in the ville had made him out to be. The price was high, that was true but there would always be other children. A whole houseful one day � when she had what she wanted first. As she made to take her leave she was overcome with a sudden bright burning pain in her chest. Quickly her lungs filled with fluid, closing off her throat until she could no longer breathe. She reached out to take hold of the Mage but he kicked her hand away.

Still holding the babe close he bent down to look at the girl who was now dying on his floor. Her amber eyes now filled with blood, her hair, golden in glory streaked with gray, her supple flesh and youthful glow withered. All that was left now was a withered husk, a shell. But the moment he was waiting for finally happened � floating above the body was a small white orb. The Mage touched it lightly with his finger but the orb shrank away as offended by the very gesture.

The babe was awake now and looking at the glowing sphere, with a chubby little hand it grabbed hold of the ball and held it tightly in his fist.

After all the searching and sacrifice he had finally found the right child. The Mage smiled a real smile this time. It was the sort that gave demons nightmares.

��������The first thing I noticed was how dark it was. The second was to the sound of ripping fabric. I tried to scream but nothing came out but nothing came out. Where was the whole light at the end of the tunnel? Surrounded by friends and family while being guided to the hereafter? I see the waxy face swimming in front of me, I close my eyes and feel myself starting to give up. But then I hear a new sound; something heavy scrapping across wet stone. The face changes from smugness to fear. The weight it pulled off by an unseen force, straight out of the movies. The sensation of feeling returns to my limbs but its all pins and needles, everything is on fire, parts that I didn't think could possibly hurt are burning.

��������My arm is at an awkward angle and I now know it's broken for sure. My brain is feels as if the dust bunnies are having epileptic seizures. The attempt to move my neck or body is comical but I hear a flurry of low voices just to the right of me, I try to will myself to move d****t.

Jabba: Who the f**k are you supposed to be?

��������His voice is abruptly cut off, followed by a gurgling sound which I hope means he is slowly being strangled.

Jabba: Oh God� Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

��������Then I hear a new voice, there's something familiar about it.

Stranger: I don't think he's home right now, but do feel free to leave a message.

��������The voice is dark and frightening, velvet wrapped in leather. Laughter, deep and rumbling like thunder overshadowed Jabba's terrified screaming. It was the sort of sound one expected to hear in the throws of hell. Do not pass go and don't even think of trying to collect the 200 dollars. A moment later the inevitable sound of bones breaking and a soft thud landing on the ground. A dark shape hovers just outside my line of vision; I manage to get my hand working and try to reach for it. I figure if I can just touch it then I'll know that I'm not dead yet.

��������Just before sleep reaches out to claim me the shape moves closer and I see:


��������I whisper his name, and then there is nothing.



��������Will someone please shut off that bloody alarm?

��������I hear my name being called out from the dark but it's too far off for me to answer. I feel something hard shoved down my throat which is keeping me from breathing right, this seems to becoming a habit. The car is moving too fast even by the city's suggested speed limits and I cant help but wonder when we're going to crash. Hang on, when did I get into a car? You know that s**t really pisses me off, it's like turning on a t.v. show that's half way over and you've missed the whole damn plot. I'd wrack my brain for answers but I'm afraid to knock something loose. I need all the marbles I can spare.

��������I see a face looking at me. I know this face. A good face but it's all wrong, puffy red eyes with giant globs of black stuff running down her face. I want to reach out and touch the face but with my arms being restrained its sort of hard. I blink a couple of times to let her know that I'm fine. She turns away and speaks to someone whom I cannot see.
��������This is the part where I'm supposed to have some inner monologue telling me that I'm fine and don't worry about being in a bloody ambulance or something. Just so we're clear I don't quite know if I'm dead or dying but one thing is for sure I feel as though I'm about to have a psychotic break. Let's play the game and see if I get to win some sort of prize at the end. Well, if I really am dying then I don't want these jumbled rantings to be my last thoughts. If I'm going to think of something I should be able to find my happy place � you know, unicorns and puppies, something a little less depressing.

�������� As I focus on my happy place I suddenly hear the music of heaven. No not angels and harps, something much much better. It's Eric MF Clapton. He's lamenting about how he's down there on his knees. Hold the phones. Stop the bloody presses. There is something horribly wrong here. Oh my dear lord, it's not Eric. It's f*****g muzak!! Alright turn this s**t off right now, I will not listen to some poser desecrating all over a music god while I sit here dying. I try to blink in morose code to tell them to turn this crap off but the face is still turned away. Great, that's just the perfect ending to the perfect day. I'm dying and I get to listen to something that would be played at a dentist's office.

��������The car lurches forward again in a jerking motion and I decide that its time to go back down the rabbit hole. I feel someone shaking me and telling me that I cant go back to sleep. But I really like sleep. As I close my eyes I see the White Rabbit waiting for me, he tells me that apparently I'm late.

Even Angels Fall

A decade has since past since the child had been abandoned by all fate and reason. Gone was the babe who had been bargained in exchange for vanity and bone, he'd been schooled by shadows and weaned on the blood of men. In his place was a solemn, angry boy. Where once his eyes had been filled with wonder and bright intentions soon they had been replaced with a dull, quiet rage. Anger festered beneath the surface, threatening to brim to the surface until it threatened to consume him. He choked on hate. Bitterness coursed through his veins as destiny had been perverted. He was nothing now but an abomination bound to the will of a dead man.

Though the boy was still young his advantage was his strength. Every day the Mage had insisted on it, corded muscles developed through strenuous, back breaking labor. Training constantly. Always training. Day in and day out he grew accustomed to working with the blades until they became an extension of his body. Looking down at the shackles he gave them another hard yank. He knew it was useless against the magic that was imbued inside the metal constraints, not even the slickness of blood on his wrists had allowed him to slip free. He pushed past the burning pain and strained once more for the key that was just out of reach.

Just a little further and he was sure he could make it this time. Suddenly the heavy wooden door burst forth and in strode the Mage. Glaring at the boy he saw the small pool of blood on the floor but said nothing. Rolling his eyes to the ceiling as if to implore the gods, this was nothing new; a constant struggle of will versus sheer determination not to submit. Going to the desk the Mage picked up the key and held it in front of the boy's face.

Mage: You know you cant escape. Yet, you continue to try my good will.

The boys face revealed no emotion. He'd give no impression of the inner turmoil that raged under the surface, knowing full well there was no hope was something he would not reveal to the Mage. Stubborn futile hope was the only thing that he had to focus on and the Mage would not take that away. His existence may have been dire but there was still enough defiance left to harness a plan. Stuffing the key into his voluminous cloak the Mage dragged the chair across the scarred wooden floor and wearily sat down. He took note of how much the boy had changed, and though he would never voice it he had to admire the boy's tenacity. Of course there would have to be repercussions as there always were, though none of it would be necessary if the insolent child bent to his will.

The magic was there for the taking and all he had to do was reach out and take it. Time and time again the boy refused. There was no other course of action then to use force when these acts of disobedience flared up. Every opportunity the boy got he had tried to escape, as if there was any place in this land he would be able to hide.

Mage: Son.

The boy flinched at the name. Good, that was the intention.

Boy: I'm not your son.

Mage: Oh. So you've decided to speak today have you? Good, this will go a lot easier with your participation. Listen up as we haven't much time. I have another job for you. The boy vehemently shook his head in refusal. No. He wouldn't do any more of these jobs. The blackguard had no idea what they were doing to him. Well he probably did know but he had no care for it. Every time one of these tasks was completed he feared he came that much closer to loosing his mind in addition to that of his own soul. At night when he attempted to find a moment of solace all that found were the faces of the dead. Sleep had become a distant memory. No longer was he able to function. There had to be a way out.

Mage: You are my son, your mother saw to that. And you will do my bidding, it is your purpose, the very reason I have kept you around for this long. You will obey or so help the gods you will suffer in ways that are beyond imagination.

Boy: My purpose? Is that what you call it? I am a monster, you've seen to that.

Mage: No, you are no monster. You're something worse. You are my Pessum Ire Animus. A walking phantasm that has been bound to me. Now listen for we haven't much time. I have found another animus. You will seek this out and bring it back to me.

Bile rose in the boy's throat. Another animus? That would bring the total to three, seeing how the vermin had already consumed two in the last month alone. This meant one of two things, either the souls were not strong enough to complete their cycles or the man's body was finally rejecting the magic. If this was the case then maybe freedom was closer at hand than he thought. It would mean that the man may finally be on the verge of staying dead once and for all. A moment akin to hope flared inside the boy's chest. He knew he'd never be human but if he could find a place to hide from the rest of the world.

Mage: and this is where you will come. You'll go to the Water Temple and bring the girl to me.

Wait. What girl. S**t, he'd completely zoned out.

Boy: Girl? What girl?

Mage: Pay attention! I was saying the animus is currently occupying the body of one of the newly appointed alder saints. Ha! And those judgmental b*****s have the nerve to call me a heretic. Anyways, the girl has taken a convenient vow of purity and is seeking the solace of the Temple. You will go there and bring the animus to me.

Boy: And if I refuse?

The Mage seemed vaguely amused at this idea.

Whatever defiance had been building inside had not been fully extinguished. The Mage may have won this round but the fight was just getting started.

Intermission with Goodwin

Sorry what were you saying?

I cant stand hospitals, they distract me too much. Congealed blood and bodily fluids. People screaming their bloody heads off. I feel like I'm going to throw up. It's why I came out here for a quick cancer stick. Some old hag gives me a dirty look. What the hell are you looking at? She doesn't answer and that's when I notice the pink plastic bag. Screw it, if I want to pollute my lungs and give you cancer at the same time then I consider that a bonus. Blowing out a particularly long chain of smoke I aim it directly for her face. She coughs and gives me a one finger salute. Respect our elders? Bullshit I say.

I notice that it's nearly ten o clock and think of that old saying time flies when you're having fun. Truly my fun meter is pegged out. I think it's too late to call home and I don't want to wake the kid. There's the pressure of the migraine clawing its way out of my brain, this is shaping up to be the kind that could wound a god. My day is officially complete. I take a last drag and toss the butt to the ground. I get a pricking sensation down my spine, the familiar tug in my gut as I know someone is close. Out there beyond the parking lot I feel a presence.

I can't quite get a take on it but I sense a torrent of emotions. It's something old and confused, I take a step closer but the essence pulls away. Wait till I tell Rome about this, he'll have a f*****g field day.

Why did it have to be a hospital? My own version of hell.

Let the good times roll.

�������� - Goodwin McGuire


��������As I open my eyes I am assaulted by the image of a gothic raccoon. No, not a woodland creature just Pepper and her streaked makeup. For a second there I thought I was having that dream about the Disney characters. Yes, I know I watch too much cartoon porn but this is getting ridiculous. Everyone has their secret freaky flaws. Just own up to it. Don't make this weird.

Pepper: Bout effing time you woke up, and here I was thinking I was going to get dibs on your boots.

��������I get smooched into a hug that threatens to break my ribs, I smack her with my non damaged arm (yep, broke) to let her know that I would like to breathe now please. She releases me but grabs onto my hand like she's afraid I'll go up in a puff of smoke or something. Sitting in a comfortable silence that only comes from years of friendship we take a moment to figure out how to start the conversation. I try to shake the cobwebs from the corners of my mind but the stench of antiseptics combined with hot, chemicals burn my lungs.

��������Taking note I see there's a new hole in my jeans, fortunately Pepper didn't have time to pilfer my Frankenstein boots. She gives me a smile.

Pepper: Yeah, they tried taking them off but that would have required the Jaws of Life.

��������Something clicks in my brain that sets off that ol' fight or flight mechanism. It's either that or the drugs being pumped through the IV.

Ambriel: Seriously a bloody hospital?

Pepper: You know Goodwin said the same damn thing. He looked like he was going to puke when we got here. I think he went out for a cancer stick.

��������Speaking of the devil a second later the door is pushed in and along comes Goodwin. He's the only person I know who can actually saunter. The overhead track lights illuminate his anime blue hair which instantly brightens up the room. Gone is his usual garb of frayed hoodie, Spock glasses and oversized book. I am happy to report that he is wearing a slightly rumpled t-shirt (the cracked letters of Vinyl Ghosts) hanging off his painfully thin frame. The shock of seeing him looking semi-normal is overshadowed by what he's holding in his scarred arms. A cape? Nope. A cloak. One that I know only too well.

��������Seeing my reaction he kicks the door closed with his boot. He looks at the cloak � then to me � like he doesn't quite know what to make of it. Walking to the bed he carefully places the cloak on my lap. He doesn't say much but does give me a half hug. It surprises me since everyone knows he doesn't like being touched. The only exception is Pepper, but that's only because she doesn't give him much of a choice. The warmth of this gesture gives me the shot of courage that I needed. I lean into him and detect the hint of Marlboro and cotton candy. It actually smells a lot better than you would think.

��������Pepper has reapplied her make up and once again emerges the gothic queen. Posing for Goodwin he gives her a thumbs up in approval.

Ambriel: Alright, enough of this mushy stuff. Spill it.

��������Goodwin and Pepper exchanges glances, he just shrugs.

Pepper: Fine. We waited at The Spare for like an hour before deciding to come and find you. We got to the graveyard and well, I'm not really sure what to say here. Those huge gates were blown to s**t. It looked like a damn bomb went off or something. The ground, some of the tombstones were completely destroyed. We found you lying on the ground with the cloak covering you. There was so much blood, we thought�.

Goodwin: You were out. We called 911 and got you here.

Pepper: The statue. Oh Amb. It's gone, I don't know if it was destroyed or what but he's not there.

��������I let my head fall back to the pillow. I don't even understand what they're really saying. Questions run rampant through my throbbing head but they're going too fast to latch onto any of them. The door opens again and this time a rumpled looking guy in a lab coat comes in. He's got a three day old beard which makes him look a lot older than he probably is. His attention is focused on the clipboard so at first he take no notice of us.

Doctor: Ms. Decote?

Ambriel: Last time I checked.

��������He doesn't appear to be amused. Finally he looks up and does a double take. Pepper has the affect on people. More likely its because her shirt is covered in blood and is missing a few buttons. Out of the corner of my eye I see Goodwin frowning. Huh, well I guess he isn't as clueless as I thought.

Ambriel: What's the story Doc, when can I get out of here?

Ambriel: What's the news Doc? Can I get out of here?

Doctor: You've fractured your arm, and have a pretty good concussion. The blood work isn't where I want it to be, I think it's best to keep you here at least overnight for some additional tests. Do you remember what happened?

��������What am I supposed to tell him? that I broke into a graveyard and was attacked by a deliverance rapist. Oh and not to mention that I may or may not have been rescued by a statue. One that gone missing apparently and the only thing I have is a cloak that shouldn't even exist in the real world. Sure, sign me up for a nice relaxing stay at the psych ward. Thank you very much but I'll have to pass.


Ambriel: Nope, sorry I think I must have passed out.

Doctor: And broke your arm?

Ambriel: Guess so. I'm pretty clumsy.

��������Pepper nods in agreement.

Doctor: Ms. Decote, I think I must insist�

��������That's when Goodwin comes to the rescue. He taps the doc on the shoulder and leans in to whisper something I cant hear. The doctor pulls back with a slightly shocked look on his young face. Goodwin nods, the doctor looks at me then back to Pepper and her awesome b***s � then back to me.

Doctor: Well, um.. yes. Considering the circumstances I think we can work something out. As long as your friends here keep an eye on you. I'll get some pain medication for you to take home that should do the trick nicely. Let me get started on the paperwork.
��������Goodwin ushers the doctor towards the door and goes to shake his hand. It doesn't go unnoticed that there are some greenbacks in the handshake. The doctor's jaw proverbially drops to the ground. He wants to refuse but knows that he wont. Goodwin opens the door and pretty much shoves him through.

Ambriel: Goodwin?

Goodwin: Yes pet?

Ambriel: Did you just bribe the guy?

Goodwin: I believe that I did. I mean what's the point of being richer than god if you cant bribe the help?

Ambriel: Thank you.

��������He does a little bow.

��������The very definition of charm he is.

��������After what seems like forever a nurse of dubious gender comes to take out my IV. She/He � It? looks over my little ragtag family and gives me a patronizing smile. I bite my tongue because if I say something then I may not get out of here at all. I wait unit it's gone before flipping it off. I could care less what they think as long it gets me out of here that much faster. I find that my tank top is ruined which means I have to wear that stupid generic hospital gown. Thankfully I now have the cloak which I have to wrap around several time as its at least five sizes too big.
��������Walking through the parking lot without causing too much trouble all the while Goodwin is humming the theme song to Batman. I glare at him but he give me a dazzling grin. He opens the door to the Monster and helps me inside.

Ambriel: Wow, a real gentlemen you are. Luckily you're too cute.

Goodwin: Cute? Please. I am totally adorable.

��������He buckles me in for good measure seeing that Pepper will be the one behind the wheel. The cemetery is ten minutes away but we will probably get there in five flat. We take the hills at breakneck speed (think Dukes of Hazard without the voiceover) and I'm amazed we catch no flashing lights in the rear view mirror. She had mad skills to be sure which makes those b*****s in GTA look like p*****s. I ask if its possible to get to the place in once piece seeing how I like my internal organs kept inside my body. She lovingly flips me off.
��������The Monster hits the curb and we go flying into the parking lot in no time. Goodwin hops out and opens my door, as he helps me down I see fresh new cuts underneath the cuff of his shirt. His eyes darken but nothing is said, now is not the time but I feel the makings of an after school special coming on. Half running � half walking across the grounds I cant help but snicker at what I'm sure what makes for an interesting sight. A catholic school girl, some demented chick in a cloak and cape and some skinny emo kid are walking across a graveyard, it's the making of a bad joke. Or sitcom.
��������Stopping short of where the gates used to be I know see the whole bit about being blown apart wasn't an exaggeration. Large metal sections varying in shape and size are strewn across the grass. A particularly vicious piece had embedded itself into one of the tombstones. I wonder how long it will take the vultures to descend and claim the pieces. I'll bet you five dollars it will end up in a gallery downtown somewhere, a post modern take on the emotional corruption of youth or some art bullshit. It really does pay to live in the city sometimes.

�������� As I walk through the grass it makes these squishy, wet slurping sound beneath my boots. The ground wants to pull me back down into the gloom. Where the grass used to be lush and full all that was left were hard, clumps of scorched soil. The mausoleum that had at best been precarious now stood on its last leg, one good gust of wind and it'd be down for the count. Scanning my memory for the missing memories I come away with nothing but jumbled pictures, fragmented emotions of fear and panic. Anxiety rises up in my chest and I feel as though I'm about to have a bloody heart attack. I look to the empty base.

��������All that has kept me here is gone. The connection brutally severed.

��������Sinking to the ground without care Pepper tries to steady me. I don't know if it's the fear or anger that makes me shake.
���������������� ��������

Ambriel: He's gone.

��������As if saying it out loud would make it any less real.

��������Goodwin searches the grounds for clues but nothing is to be found. Reaching down near the base he picks up a piece of duct tape. The book! In all that has happened I had completely forgotten about it. He shakes his head. No book. Hunkering down at the base he notices the deep gorges that have been cut into the stone.

Goodwin: These marks? They couldn't have been made by hand; it would have had to be something extraordinarily heavy to leave such a mark. It actually reminds me of something you would see from a --

��������He stops when he sees the look on my face. I need to get out of here; if I stay then I'll go mad for sure. Pepper helps me back to my feet and we head towards the car. An involuntary shiver runs through me as if I were being watched. More likely the paranoia. Pepper gets me into the backseat and Goodwin slides into the driver side. Thankfully there's silence as we drive back to my apartment. I look through the window but see nothing. Streets fly by in a haze: vagrants, little old ladies with plastic pink bags harassing vendors, crack heads and skater kids. I'm disconnected from everything.

��������I keep hoping to wake up from this nightmare. None of it is real and I really did die in the graveyard. Maybe I'm locked up and still in the psych ward. We pull up to the apartment and Goodwin impresses me with his parking skills. I try to convince my friends that I'll be okay but they're not having any of it. I'm too tired and sore to put up much of a fight. They help me hobble up the stairs as seeing the elevator is more for aesthetics. We get to the hall way and I observe the lights have gone out once again. Shuffling up to my front door I note that its slightly ajar. And here I thought this day couldn't get any better.

��������Goodwin steps in front of us and pulls out a wicked looking razor. He holds it up for inspection.

Ambriel: What are you Sweeny Todd all of a sudden?

Goodwin: You seem to forget I know my way around a blade.

��������It would be pretty ironic if I survived the incident tonight only to get dismembered at my house. Guess I'm past my expiration date. Well if I have to go then I'll be amongst friends. Pepper gives my had a quick squeeze.

��������Tentatively we step inside.


His vision was obscured with blood. It ran down his face and into his eyes. The rapid beating heart would surely give him away but it was too late to worry about that now. Checking to make sure no one was around he easily slipped into the open window without sound. If his luck held then he'd be able to do what he'd come for without too much difficulty. The gods were not with him tonight, the notion that benevolent being watching out for him were foolish thoughts. Notions of hope, compassion or religious favor had been beaten out of him a long time ago. To accept that life was beyond fair, people were horrid creatures was easier to accept than the alternative.

He had lost count how many times a sympathetic gesture was done with calculating measure. There was no such thing as love. Lust and greed blazed in their eyes as the deals made in the dark. Did they know they were sacrificing their lives? Their very souls, literally. Considering where they would end up they wouldn't need them anyway. He broke free of distracting thoughts. He had to hurry. He was here for a job and the sooner he completed it the sooner he could forget about this place. It gave him the creeps. Was it the silence or the oppressing religious contradiction? He always thought temples were supposed to emit piety or wholesomeness.

Blending in with the shadows he hurried down the hall until he came upon the room he had come for. Placing his hands on the cool wood he pressed close to listen for movement. Satisfied all was as it should be he slowly turned the handle and squeezed inside the small room. Minimalist at best would be a generous statement. A small writing desk, chair, basin stand and a bed were the only items visible in the absence of light. The only object of value the room held was the girl. In the middle of the room with only a thin blanket she slept unaware of the danger. Stepping close to get a better look he was surprised how young she was.

He never thought she'd be this young. Focus damn it. He took in a shaky breath and pulled the dagger from the sheath. The familiar song began to slowly hum � vibrating inside his chest. He tried to block the sound but it was too compelling to ignore. As a last ditch effort he offered up a prayer but knew better. The moment he thrust down to pierce her heart is when she opened her eyes.

Where are you going?

��������After a moment of fumbling Goodwin manages to find the light switch on the wall. Flipping the hard plastic switch the room is thrown into a curious yellow glow. The shades scatter back into their respective corners similar to spasmodic cockroaches. The apartment itself is not roomy by any stretch of the imagination but what it lacks in size it makes up in copious amounts of crap. Books, cd's and dvd's are precariously piled from floor to ceiling. The kitchen is to the right and on the left is the standard combination of living room/bedroom. Let us skip the bathroom for now as it doesn't warrant an explanation.

��������At first glance everything seems to be in its right place.

��������That is until I hear the sound of running water coming from the closed bathroom door. Odd, unless the dust bunnies have figured out how to run the tap I don't remember leaving it on this morning. Pepper closes the front door and Goodwin grips his blade tighter and moves towards the bathroom. I try to grab at him but he's a slippery b*****d. As his hand goes to turn the doorknob the lights decide at that exact moment to go out. Irony anyone? Are you sure? There's plenty to go around. The hinges on the door squeak in protest and a large figure (from what I can make out) emerges. I try to say something but no sound comes out.

��������I feel Pepper moving from behind me and cross the floor, the only sound is the clicking of her boots across the hardwood floor. A second later and the curtains near my bed are flung open and a soft white light from the street lights below filter in. I squint to adjust to the light and gather my bearing while trying to find the large shape in the dark. Oh f**k.
Pepper: Sweet Jebus (if you don't know the reference I'm not going to explain it to you)

��������That doesn't really sum it up. This tall drink of water must stand a good 6,5" but probably taller. I have to crane my neck (despite the height advantage of my boots). Long, indistinguishable in color hangs well past his shoulders which at present are bare. In fact the only thing he seems to be wearing is my Hello Kitty Kerokeropi bath towel. Who knew a bath towel could be so appealing. I try to put my eyeballs back in their respective sockets. I feel his gaze as he looks me over; his eyes are darker than I thought they would be. His nose � sharp, aquiline a feature that would have been deemed too cruel if it were on any other man flared as it took in new smells.

��������I know him. I've always known him but to see him here � alive and solid. I step closer and reach out to touch him, he's about to say something but that's when I feel the stinging concussion start to take over.

Ambriel: Mother Fu ---

��������Why hello darkness my old friend.

Who wants to be a Pepper?

We get Ambriel on the bed before she does any more damage to herself before turning our sties to the naked guy. I can't say I completely blame her for fainting, I may have done the same if it was Goodwin. This whole day has been one giant c.f. and I'm not seeing any damn sign of it ending soon. I'm trying to hold it together but I'm a bit freaked out. The naked guy goes back to the bathroom but finally emerges dressed like a Rein Faire reject. Alright, that's not particularly nice. More like a Rein Faire reject who's raided the closets of Hot Topic. Though his clothes look more like the real deal than cheap knock offs. They kind of remind me of the stuff you'd see in those picture books of knights and s**t. I'm not going to give into the idea that this could be the statue, the idea is completely mental. I look over to Goodwin for his opinion but he's got this weird look on his face. Whenever he zones out like this I know it can't be a good sign.

Show and Tell Time with Goodwin

By looking at me you wouldn't think I'm a spiritual person. Please do not confuse spirituality with being religious. They are not the same thing. I believe in those things that go bump in the night because I know they are real. Unfortunately my family is quite proficient in dealing with the supernatural. For instance take my mother (please) can see a person's entire life story by the touch of their hand. My brother's "gift" is more complicated. He has what can be called the second sight. Seeing bits and bobs of the future is something no one should be subjected to, especially when you're attempting to get through puberty in one piece. When he was little he used to tell people what'd he see, and as expected people freaked right the f**k out. All that changed when the doctors at the hospital started giving him the "happy pills", soon the light died from his eyes and he locked himself away with his paintings.

Me? No big deal really, sometimes I can sense when things aren't right. Psychic left overs mostly that no one wants. Apparitions, spirits or the unnatural whatever you want to call them, mostly I can tell if they're good or malicious. It doesn't apply to the guy who walked out of the bathroom, but he definitely had an otherworldly vibe about him. I doubt he was an angel as Amb liked to him, more like a walking science project. Whatever he was supposed to be was outside my scope of knowledge. But if we're going to play make believe then sure he's an angel. I learned a long time ago that impossibilities are usually possible. One only has to believe hard enough and not loose their faith.

I usually end up hoping that some omnipotent b*****d isn't out there deciding my fate with the equivalent of a magic 8 ball.

Stone Roses

An act of defiance had earned him a one way ticket to hell. To believe that the story would have ended differently was foolishness on his part. Solitude would have been a relief compared to spending an eternity bound to the madness of magic. Besides what was time to someone who had no concept, in the recesses of his mind the Mage still tormented him. The coolness of the steal pressed against his skin, a hairsbreadth from running him all the way through. The anticipation of the blow did come; blood was not spilled that night. At least not his. Time passed as the moon rose over and over again, mocking him as the weight of reality set in.

After all this time the spell still festered, ragged edges of a wound that refused to close. This world would crash and burn before it would be broken. He was left with the horrors of that night to keep him company. As he had bent to extract the girl's soul with the blade he felt something wrong. Her eyes opened but there was no fear, no pleading words fell from her lips. The irises had taken on a translucent sheen. She was already dying, the only thing that had kept her alive was the stubbornness of a soul that would not be released. As the Mage peeled away from the shadows the boy knew defeat at last.

Even then the ceremony must be completed. To leave her body in a state of limbo would have been beyond cruel. The animus was barely intact, once consumed by the Mage the girl would die. For the first time in his life the boy made a decision out of desperation. As the boy once more reached for his blade and began to extract the animus something unexpected happened. A sheer mist, slender as a wisp of smoke turned toward him and spoke in a voice nothing short of angelic.

��������In darkness and light
��������May the spirit be free
��������A heart of stone
��������Eyes of steel
��������Thy body be free from the Devil's deal
��������Seek the one
��������Who will know your name
��������Sacrifice love though it not be of vain
��������Spell be broken and you will live
��������For their heart they must freely give

The animus's part had been played. The wrath that soon superseded would leave not only the Temple in ruins but the entire city. As the boy attempted to shield himself from the carnage time stood still. Nature itself wept. The Mage sword vengeance that day, the boy's defiance would not go unchecked. The child who grew to be a man would not be released from constraints of stone and steel. There he would endure until the end of existence. The world once again found its place, but the rhythm of a broken heart was silenced.

His final resting place would be that in a strange city of lights and laughter. Language could easily be assimilated but he had no use for it. People would pass him but he shied from their touch. What would he say, he would not endure pity nor could he afford hope. Each day he suffered a little more, that was the Mage's greatest victory. But the strangest occurrence came in that of a girl. She spoke him as if she knew him. Spoke of such things that he had never dared to think. Ideas and dreams. With her the impossible was attained. Read to him out of a book that mirrored his own mind.

Giving him a measure of comfort he never thought existed.

A great gift he soon learned how to cherish. She woke him from the masonry slumber by the sacrifice of love and blood. A chaotic moment of disorder and he was free. Metal constraints burst free from bone, bitter pain flooded his senses. Blood be damned, he would have his vengeance.

She reminded him who he was supposed to be.

Well that was unexpected

Right. Who were you expecting? Sorry to disappoint but there's no deep, philosophical meaning to life. You meant to take a left at Nirvana (according to some it's in Bakersfield) and ended up here instead. Welcome my friend to the perpetual loop of reincarnation. Please don't ask me for directions because do I really look like Map Quest? Alright, I'll back up but do try to keep up. Do you know those scary, squishy monsters that hide under your bed or in your closet are real? What and you thought those were just made believe?

Those fears you had as a child never really went away, they just got upgraded to something worse.

Have you ever found yourself holding your breath and counting to three when checking the closet, pulling the covers up tight and hope nothing is under the bed? I know I still do but that's for another reason all together. Monsters, demons and the occasional vampire are real and they've discovered the meaning to our dreams. No one will save you, when it comes down to it you do what you have to do to survive.

Then again what do I know? I've lost my faith so long ago that I wonder if I ever really had it in the fist place. When I see this guy standing in Ambriel's apartment dressed like some sort of Knight I cant help but wonder. Magic and mayhem was at play, did that mean murder was soon to follow? I only hope that whatever means brought him to our doorsteps wasn't my worst fear. And what would that be you may wonder?

They say all you need is love. I say no thank you, you can keep love for all it's worth; it makes you weak and vulnerable and bleeding on the floor. But for your sake I'll play this game and say that this guy is the same from the cemetery. What is that even supposed to mean, there are no fairy tales or haven't you heard? He's not an angel for me to even consider the possibility is to admit that all I've ever been told has been a lie.

I'd like to end this on a high note, if you really love something let it go, if it doesn't return to you then hunt it down and kill it.


Ordinary World

��������Should this story end on a happy note? Everything worked where no one was hurt during the making of the process? I woke to start, a humming in my brain that felt as if it had been hollowed out and replaced by thumbtacks. I open one eye to find Goodwin bent over my arm, fevering drawing on my cast.

Goodwin: Hey Chiquita, good you're awake. I was thinking that you really have to stop with the whole fainting; it makes you look like a girl.

Ambriel: So funny. What are you drawing anyway?

��������He caps the magic marker and I lift my arm, tiny bats in alternative shades of black and red have wrapped themselves protectively around my wrists and upper arm. There are words beneath but I can't make them out in the dim light.

Ambriel: Where'd Pepper run off to?

Goodwin: I think she went to get changed, and take our new friend �

��������Just then the front door opens and Pepper comes in with our new friend. I see that she's changed her clothes but it's not the only thing that I notice. All the air has been sucked out seeing that I can't breathe right; everything seems to take place in slow motion as I focus on the man whose loitering near my couch. The only light is emanating from the overhead stove light; everything is blurred around the edges. He looks at Pepper as if unsure at first, she nudges him my way. A flash of recognition as the pieces slowly come together. I know who this is. I've always known him but have been too afraid to say it out loud. I'm dreaming, it's the only explanation.

��������Gone was the Hello Kitty bath towel as well as the clothes from the past. Pepper truly had outdone herself with the shopping spree, one in which I would have killed to see, because now he looked like one of the damn Groupies sans bondage theme. From his dark grey jeans to a pair of combat boots that rival my own, Edgar Allen t-shirt and black leather wrist cuffs � can you say Goth-tastic? His hair was pulled back from an angular face is the color of gold, my jaw must be on the floor because Goodwin breaks the silence.

Goodwin: As much fun as this is I think it's time we took our leave.

Pepper: Hell no, this is just getting good. Go make some popcorn or something.

��������She plops herself down on couch and kicks up her heels.

Goodwin: Get off your damn a*s.

Ambriel: No guys, it's fine. I want to hear what he has to say.

��������We turn our undivided attention to the new guy. He looks unsettled by the whole situation.

Memory of Skin

At first he was confused. Everything happened so fast he felt that at first he must be dreaming. He looked at the metal constraints that lay on the ground; the sword was still gripped in his hand, the tip stained with blood. The bodies were still on the ground, unmoving. Wiping the gore from the metal he quickly sheathed it and walked over to the girl. He wasn't sure if he wanted to know if she was still breathing, couldn't bear the thought that after all this time that he had found his freedom only for it to be taken away. She lay still, an arm slanted at an awkward angel. Carefully he picked her up as though she weighed nothing and headed towards the gate. He stopped short of the opening and cast a final glance at his last resting place.

Why would he be afraid now? He looked at the girl and for a moment felt something so close to hope he wanted to weep. The gates, this place, the very obscenity of it; rage boiled through his veins. A sudden and violent burst of energy overcame him, and for the second time the sun hid behind a barrage of thunder. Metal, stone and mortar broke free from the earth � he would leave a message behind for all those who dared tried to find him. No longer was he a servant, bound to will not his own. Walking past the metal carnage and scorched earth he found a place to lay her down. Before he could speak to her, to find out her name and her past he must take care of a few inconveniences.

So he laid her close to one of the tombs he knew well, covered her with his cloak and lightly touched her face. Sleep now, for I will be with you soon.

��������He had wanted to be alone with the girl, but he could see now she was still unsure of who or what he was. Still, he began to feel at ease around these strange children, the girl called Pepper seemed to warm up to him, but the boy with the odd colored hair and distrustful eyes was going to be harder. Pepper told him to be himself, yet there were no words to express the truth. They would be insufficient to describe the torment that was still ranging inside him. Back at the graveyard when he found that she was gone he had nearly gone mad. But he caught her scent and was able to track her to the hospital.

��������This girl who was beautiful but just as damaged as himself broke the spell. She sacrificed her love and body so that he may live. Hope was something now he could easily reach out and take hold of. Pepper had bombarded him with non stop questions:

��������What's your deal
��������Who the hell do you think you are
��������What are your intentions towards Ambriel
��������How do you feel about leather?

She was a force unto her own that was for sure. The boy seemed a little stand offish at first, not cold but unsure and guarded. He got a direct sense that something terrible had happened to Goodwin, scars weren't just on the outside � something deep and perverse. Eventually he had relented and accepted his story as the truth. Now the matter of trying to explain it to Ambriel.

��������Pepper told him that he really didn't need to go into all that. Just tell her who you are she said, she already knows the truth but she needs to hear how you feel about her. What could he say to that really? That she had freed him from hell itself, and that there was nothing left in the world but her? He had no words to fully express what she had done for him. Back at the graveyard when those monsters had tried to hurt her, and they had, he raged inside his stone tomb � wanting to break free but could not. Then she looked at him. She broke the spell and the pain that had encompassed his heart. Through her sacrifice he finally understood there was a balance between what was right and what he was.

��������He didn't have to be afraid, or ashamed of what the past held. Could he really try to live in this world, everything was new and he didn't know if he could make it work. Did he really believe that this connection between himself and Ambriel could work in real life. It was so easy when things were different, he didn't have to try to express what he was thinking or feeling. He didn't think he had the words. How could he really? Then a thought, an idea came to him that would explain everything, it would make her understand what she meant to him.

��������Pulling a book from his back pocket, it was something small, but meant completely irreplaceable. The binding had been rebound in duct tape but it would hold for a while, I mean duct tape can work miracles. Hell, it's been known to fix a heart or two in it's time.

Pasha: Hello Love, I've brought our book. Would you like me to read to you

© 2009 raven bloodgood

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Added on October 2, 2009
Last Updated on October 2, 2009


raven bloodgood
raven bloodgood

san jose, CA

I'm just a girl trying to make it in this crazy world more..