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7 Moments (part III)

I find myself wondering if these visions are going to alternate, a bad one for a good one, or a horror for a blessing, that kind of thing. I killed my father when I was young, I remember that, and I remember never regretting it. My sister and I were transferred to a foster care home, and then adopted by the people I can see now, Thom and Marie Dervish. I was ten and my sister was eight when we were brought to the Dervish home, where we spent many great years.

One of the best, and in my mind one of the most defining moments of our lives, was when the adoption process was concluded, and my sister and I became a part of the Dervish clan for the rest of our lives. I’ve heard so many horror stories about the foster care system in this country while growing up, but my sister and I were lucky. The Dervish’s weren’t perverts, they weren’t freaks, and they were ready and willing to care for two kids, one of them a murderer, after they’d heard the particulars of our case. In fact, the entire family, and it was a big one, had been welcoming from the start. We’d gained more cousins than we knew what to do with, but no brothers or sisters.

I can remember this moment vividly, when our case worker had come over to the house to check on us, and to deliver a surprise that only I and my sister had been ignorant of. Our adoptive parents, oh screw that, our parents had invited most of the family over for a barbecue, and had dropped the news on us that day, that we would be staying for good, that we were now a part of the Dervish clan. I can recall several moments in my life when I’ve been this happy, but this is one of the first that stands out in this manner. But like all happy days, it’s fleeting, and I can see darkness flitting around the edges as I try to maintain the vision of my sister and I being crushed in a group hug that included aunts, uncles (no creeps thankfully), cousins, grandparents, and family friends. I felt safe that day, because my sister felt safe, and better than that, she was happy.

But like I just mentioned, good times are often over too quickly, and I can see this one fading as the last one did, no matter how hard I try to hold on. What replaces it is something I had hoped to forget, especially since it was another point in my life when I truly became my biological father’s son.

I don’t want to look, but I can’t close my eyes, and I can’t turn away.

Dammit.

(to be continued)

7 Moments (part II)

I was eight years old when the first truly horrible moment of my life came about, and I remember this because it’s one of my biggest regrets. Nothing happened to me, I wasn’t raped, molested, or even harmed. But my older sister was, and what makes it even worse than that was the fact that it was our father that committed the act. I know, in the grand scheme of things it’s not completely unheard of, unfortunately, but it’s something you don’t forget, even when you’re young. You also don’t tend to forget when you react in a way that’s bound to stamp itself on your psyche for the future to come.

I killed my father.

I don’t mean accidentally, and I don’t mean that I just couldn’t stop. I mean that I killed my father. The defilement of my sister had been ongoing for some time, and I can recall my mother telling me that she had two decisions, as she saw it. She could stand up to my father, and he might have killed her for doing so, or she could run. She chose the latter, and once she was gone I never spoke to her again, and neither did my sister. I can see it happening in front of my eyes once again as my younger self comes home from school one day to find my father once again forcing my sister to do something against her will. I won’t tell you go into detail, but I can’t look away.

I fully remember grabbing the baseball bat from my room, the heavy, wooden thing that I practiced with before and during every baseball season to get stronger. I remember the feel of it, of how light it was in my hands, of how the grain of the wood appeared to conform to my grip just right. I know now that it was because of my familiarity with the bat after so many hours spent swinging it to hit dingers across the field. But at that time it felt as though the bat understood my pain and was saying ‘go for it, hit a home run’ in its own way.

Here it comes, and BOOM. I watch my young self lay a heavy swing into my old man’s lower back, and I can still hear bone crunching to this day as he’s forced to disengage from my sister, who screams as she backs away, gaining as much distance as she can. I swing again, and the old man’s knees buckle. I’m still swinging as he goes down. I know what I’m doing, I’m not lost in a red haze, I’m not beyond rational thought. I know just what I’m thinking.

He’s the reason mom became a coward, he’s the reason my sister can’t sleep at night, and he’s the reason why I would have nightmares until I was in my early 20s. My sister, she would get over this, but me, I’m the guy turning my father’s body into a sack of bruised and broken meat, with broken bones rattling and shaking on the inside. It’s only when he stops moving that I stop, my chest heaving and my breath coming in ragged gasps.

Good lord, that was the first vision? Before I can think twice about what might come next, the first vision winks out, and the second makes it’s way forward. Oh, thank God, it’s a good one…

(to be continued)

7 Moments (part I)

You’d be surprised how much you want that last breath, and how hard your body will fight for it. Sometimes, your body knows better than you, or at least it thinks that it does. In those moments, your body will work crosscurrent to what you want. It will take the reins and make it known that you have little to no choice as to what’s about to happen. But this time, my body is making it harder to do what I want, which is normal. But my body doesn’t know best. This time, it’s better just to let go and finally rest.

But my body doesn’t think so. Neither does my mind apparently.

That’s why I start seeing things I suppose. My children, and grandchildren are here, my fading sight can still see this. But they’re getting fuzzy, indistinct, like a polaroid picture in reverse. But the vision that lights up in the middle of my vision is crisp, clear, and just as painful as the day they happened. Well, maybe not quite as painful

****

“Grandpa?”

I can’t focus on my eldest grandchild, Jordan, though I recognize the timbre of her voice. But suddenly my body finally decides to agree with me, and gives out. I can feel my final breath leaving my body, and yet…the pain isn’t there. I thought dying after a prolonged period would hurt just as bad, that it would be that final shock, that burst of pain that comes before the lights go out. But I’m awake.

And it doesn’t hurt.

As soon as the first vision starts rolling again though, the pain returns, just in a different way.

“Ah, hell.”

(to be continued)

Survive the LARP (part VI)

Waterfront Park-Portland, OR

Heat washed over Colin, obliterating his sight, melting everything as the shield in his grasp melted and conformed to to his arm, the searing heat feeling strangely cold as the weapon in his right hand sagged under the inferno that engulfed him. Colin fell, and strangely enough, he felt the cool, gentle caress of the grass beneath him. That was kind of odd.

****

Alvin shook his head, raising the paper cup in his left hand as he allowed his gaze to pan over the field. The moment the lip of the cup came to his lips a strange smell reached his nostrils, forcing him to pull back. Taking another whiff, Alvin grimaced as he turned around, looking to his right as he saw the person he was looking for. Behind him, the many LARPers that had partaken of the ‘mead’ that had been created from a concoction that was supposed to be Gatorade and other various mixers were still writhing on the ground.

Some of them were howling as though they’d been gutted, others lay still in what could only be a drug-induced stupor. The bitter smell and taste still tingled on his tongue and in his nostrils as he saw Curtis, the resident drug aficionado, making his way to another of the coolers that was further down the field.

“CURTIS!” Alvin yelled. As Curtis glanced over at him, Alvin saw the other man’s eyes widened as he took running suddenly. With a grimace, Alvin turned back to the field.

“God I hate this game.”

Survive the LARP (part V)

Waterfront Park-Portland, OR

Colin didn’t know if he was crying or shouting in rage, but it didn’t matter as another enemy fell to his sword, its snarling visage cut nearly in two as it dropped, dark blood spurting from the grievous wound. His shield had grown heavy after the first few steps, but he had yet to let it go. Despite the numbness in his arm, which had crept all the way up to his shoulder, he wasn’t about to let go of the protective device, but another solid hit might very well rip it from his grasp, or crush his entire side for all he knew. He’d been LARPing for nearly two years now, but never had he considered himself a tough individual.

To his left, Greyden roared in fury, the noise sounding like a dying cat as the fighter skewered a goblinoid creature half his size. The horrible squealing noise that came from the dying creature set Colin’s nerves on edge, but he continued to follow Amelia as the blood-spattered battle maiden led the way, wading through one group of enemies after another. He couldn’t help but think what had happened to the rest of the human beings that had shared this battlefield only a short while ago, but the red, steaming piles of innards that he’d seen during their brief trek made it pretty clear that quite a few people had been taken by surprise.

Colin wondered why no one that used the park and its pathways regularly had noticed this sudden shift, but he didn’t dare take his eyes from the battlefield to check and see if police officers were swarming the area, getting ready to unload a hail of bullets against the murderous creatures that had somehow just appeared. It would have been a welcome sight though.

“Let’s go!” Amelia shouted, waving them both forward.

“Hell yeah!” Greyden shouted, nodding at Colin. Up ahead, atop the keep, the dragon roared again, and as Colin looked in that direction he saw as the massive, black-scaled beast spread its wings.

“Oh shit,” he muttered

(to be concluded)

Survive the LARP (part IV)

Waterfront Park-Portland OR

Colin and Greyden spat out bits of mud and leaves as they stood to their feet. The armor they wore, their shields, and their weapons, felt far heavier than they’d been only a few minutes ago. Glancing ahead they could see their friend Amelia as she shouted back at them.

“Move your asses! We need to get to that keep!” She pointed at the structure they’d already seen, and their eyes widened anew. The powerful roar that emanated from the creature that soared over the keep, only to land on it a moment later, perched atop the highest spire, as it roared once again, its powerful voice rolling out upon the battlefield. as those nearest to the beast cowered and shied away, while others continued fighting.

“D-d-dragon…” Colin breathed.

“Are you gonna stare or hit something?!” Amelia yelled at them, hefting her blade as she cut down a goblin-like creature that had rushed her.

“What do you want us to do??” Greyden asked weakly

“We need to survive the LARP!”

Colin and Gryeden shared a look as Amelia went running off, charging into battle once again. Shrugging, they followed, hefting their weapons as they made their way into the fray.

(to be continued)

Survive the LARP (part III)

Waterfront Park-Portland, OR

“Dude, what just happened?”

Greyden’s voice was choked with emotion, mostly fear, as he and Colin gazed upon the battlefield. Red was liberally splashed, literally…everywhere.

“Dude,” Colin said, shaking his head, “I don’t know.”

Screams rang out across the field as fighters of all shapes and sizes tore into each other. Limbs flew, heads rolled, and guts spilled wet and heavy upon the ground with one sickening splat after another.

“Dude,” Colin said weakly, “Look!” His voice was little more than a rough squeak as he pointed to a spot nearly twenty yards off. The two of them gaped as they saw one of their group, their stone giant mage, Jonah, get pummeled to the ground as sparks flew from Jonah’s fingertips. It might have been impressive had there not been a huge, spike-like sword thrust through his chest, pinning him to the ground since its tip was buried in the crimson-soaked ground behind him.

“Get moving dammit!”

Colin and Greyden both grunted as they were knocked to their faces. They both had the impression of a form leaping over them. The yell that came from the new form was fierce and made them both shudder as the sound of steel striking flesh reached their ears.

“Dude,” Colin whined, “What in the HELL is happening?!”

(to be continued)

Survive the LARP (part II)

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Waterfront Park-Portland, OR

Colin and Greyden leapt aside from the heavy blow as it thudded hard enough into the grass that they felt the impact.

“What the hell man!” Greyden yelled, trying to swing his blade, “What the hell?”

Colin frowned as well as he tried to lift his shield and his weapon, only to find that they weighed far more than what they had when he’d first stepped on the battlefield. His shield, his sword, and his armor all felt heavier. He stood up, somehow, and saw as Greyden came back to his senses as well, raising up to swing his own weapon, a two-handed greatsword, at the slobbering ogre that had swung at them. Looking down at the heavy, gnarled club that had almost struck them, Colin frowned again as he saw the realism in it, and then he looked up, his eyes widening as he took in the knotted, hardened cords of muscle that adorned the figure in front of them.

“What the f-?”

That was as far as he got before Greyden’s weapon bit hard into the ogre’s neck, nearly severing it as the beast staggered, raising one of its monstrous, clawed hands to its throat. It didn’t help as blood that looked black as tar spurted from between its fingers. With a single burble of black blood that spilled from its lips, the creature fell to its right, its head flopping grotesquely as it hit the ground.

“Whoa! Whoa! What the hell?!! What the hell?!! Dude!! I just, dude! I just cut that guy’s head off! Colin, what the shit man?! I just, I just…”

That was when the screaming began, and Colin turned around to see what was happening across the rest of the battlefield.

“Oh…my…God.”

(to be continued)

Survive the LARP (part I)

Waterfront Park-Portland, OR

His knees almost buckled as his shield was driven into his face, and dazed him just enough to send him staggering two steps away.

“Easy!”

The grunt that came from the heavyset woman that had just clubbed his shield, and as Colin looked over the edge he saw the woman waddle away, shaking her head as her long, grayish-brown hair flopped around her head. He was surprised in the next second as one of his countrymen, the half-elf Greyden, came striding up to him. Greyden’s left ear was nearly falling off, ruining the fantasy just a bit, but he was too excited and started talking before Colin could tell him.

“Dude! You should see this ogre Allie and I, I mean Gaelenda, were fighting! The thing looked insane! Like, they had drool coming off their tusks and everything!”

“Cool!” Colin said with a smile, forgetting the pain in his shield arm for a moment. A trained fighter didn’t let their pain show after all. He and his buddies had been LARPing for a while now and each year it managed to get a little better. But this year was already pretty cool. Their country, Allabash, was a minor one at best, but they were determined to take down the ruling country of Deramin, just like every other group was.

But a few things had happened already that made Colin think that people were going all out this year. The structure that could be seen near the north end of the park, the Graldhome. It actually looked like real stone, complete with-

A battle cry sounded out from behind them as Colin and Greyden spun around.

Colin cowered in uncertainty as Greyden shouted, “Dude! Gnarly!”

(to be continued)

Which Spirit? (Part VII)

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I haven’t seen Greyeyes in a little over a decade now, but the few months we spent learning together made a huge impact on my life. In those three months we bonded in a manner that made it clear that we were kindred spirits no matter how different we were. He taught me a few things I hadn’t known about tracking, hunting, and how to dissuade a dangerous animal from looking at me as a snack. I taught him a few things, but if he uses them at this time then I’d be surprised. He was a unique individual to be certain, but he was also someone that I might not have come to know in the world that was here before. That sounds wrong to my ears, but I’m certain it’s true. The world is the same place that it was back then, but society is a very different thing, and I choose to stay away from it.

Without following society’s rules, except when I have to, and without clinging to their beliefs and their religions, I’m free. There’s always belief, and always a desire to find something greater than oneself. In the case of the Great Spirit, and whatever other deities might exist, it’s fair to say that Greyeyes is correct. The Great Spirit is there, and its doing what can be done to keep our reality moving along. Anything else is a bunch of noise dreamt up by humanity.

The End