The Girl named Patra
I woke up with a strange feeling. It wasn't from Boreas. He was away today. The thing about spirits is that they had a freedom. They had a freedom that I myself couldn't understand. He was around me often but often he was away as well. He never explained where he went and I never asked. I always thought it was above my understanding. When I needed Boreas the most, he was there. That is what counted.
I walked into the kitchen to see Patra and Ryan. They were sitting at the table. Ryan still didn't have a shirt on. He had so many tattoos. Every part of his body was covered in the stuff. It was almost like he was purposely trying to be the son that no father could be proud of. He wanted to be the bad ass. He was kind of just sitting at the table. It was like he just wanted people to notice his muscles. Patra wasn't paying much attention to him though. She was eating a beautiful breakfast that was arranged in front of us. There were all sorts of tropical fruit...things of that nature.
"Breakfast...who do I have to thank for this?" I asked as I walked out with a smile on my face.
It was obvious these guys weren't too friendly though. Patra didn't even look up to acknowledge that I had come into the room. Ryan however turned his head a little as though feeling bothered by my presence.
He sighed a little as though it hurt to part his lips, "The Mexican boy and his mom brought it up here."
"You know Twan or whatever the kid's name is," Ryan replied.
"We are in South America. They aren't Mexican."
Ryan shook his head, "Who even cares. God damn..."
He rolled his eyes a little bit. I realized now what he was doing at the table as I took a seat. Right in front of him was a cigarillo and beside that was a bag of weed. He was rolling up weed. Patra just sat there. She could care less. This guy really had this whole "Bad ass" aura perfected.
"Anyway," I replied trying not to turn this into an argument, "How about we get to know each other a little bit. We will be living here for a little while together from what I know."
"Not if I can help it," Ryan replied, "I'm obviously the unlucky son of the idiot running this whole mission. He pulls me out of college and away from all my friends to bring me to the jungles of Tarzan. You find something funny."
I hadn't noticed a smile arriving on my face. People would have paid for a chance to witness the miracles here and he was complaining.
I shook my head, "No just fascinated."
"You seem like such a strong person. If you aren't happy here then what stops you from leaving? Jim Rohn said happiness is not something you postpone for the future. It is something you design for the present."
His eyes barely looked up at me. His bottom lip kind of twitched. It was clear I had hit a nerve of his. I wondered exactly what it was. There was such ferocity in him that I didn't quite understand. It wasn't really normal but he managed to bring it about. I don't know what I found him so damn fascinating. I had to catch myself staring at him and look away.
"Enough about me," he changed the subject.
"Fine," I replied, "I am a young scholar working under Professor Davidson out of New York. I'm filling in for him to help your father on his endeavors here in Temon. I'm hoping my expertise in ritual practices can be of use to him."
"If the professor wasn't available why not just get another professor. Why get a student. You look kind of young to be an expert in anything bro," he replied.
I shrugged my shoulders, "So what? I am."
"Whoa, feisty huh?"
I took a deep breath. Yeah Twan was right this guy was definitely a handful. If he wasn't so attractive it would almost be unbearable. He knew he was getting to me because all of a sudden his face lit up with a small almost mocking grin. He made sure I noticed the extra twinkle in his eye as he did it.
"What about you?" I asked Patra.
She had been completely ignoring us.
"No need trying to make conversation with that one," Ryan stated, shaking his head, "She's like Ariel. Some octupous lady stole her voice. At least she can walk right?"
"Ryan, stop it," I replied and looked over at Patra, "Who are you..."
She paused for a minute. I kind of grunted as I noticed she was getting up from the table. She actually started away and had turned her back completely away from us. It was almost as though she didn't want to get too involved with us. Who the hell was she?
"My name is Patra," she surprisingly stated, "I am a member of the White Covenant Association. WCA that is. We funded this research for Dr. Lemmer. I am here to let's say...monitor our investment."
She had said it in an eeriness and then exited the apartment. I wondered where she was going, but it didn't seem like she was the type to actually let me know.
At that point I continued to have breakfast while Ryan started to somke.
"You shouldn't have said all those negative things about your experience here with her around," I stated, "It may detrimentally effect your father's work."
"Do I look like I care about my father's work?" Ryan replied.
He blew a puff of smoke at me. It was clear that he didn't. There was something so rude about him. I continued to eat trying to ignore him. He was old enough not to be here. He wasn't a teen or anything. He was a grown man. If he didn't want to be here, then why was he?
He kept looking at me as he smoked. I didn't have to look up to notice. Boreas had returned and he whispered it in my ear. Boreas didn't speak in words. He spoke in images. I could see his thoughts. He felt some sort of anxiousness around Ryan. He didn't trust him. Boreas however was a weary protector. He didn't trust me being here at all. There was something here though. I wasn't sure what yet...but I knew there was something here that I had to find.
"What?" I finally asked not being able to take it anymore.
"You are looking at me."
"How can you tell?" He replied shaking his head, "You weren't even facing me."
"I just...know...why do you keep doing it?"
He shook his head, "Don't flatter yourself. I'm just curious about you. You come in here spilling quotes and knowledge of this and that. It sounds rehearsed. I know rehearsed trust me I spent my life lying to my dad."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
The harshness in his tone was a lot. I could see the wind picking up in the house. It blew out the blunt that he was smoking. It was Boreas getting excited. Boreas was getting...tense...and honestly so was I.
"Damn it," he said relighting it and then turning back to me, "You ask me who I am but you really don't tell me who you are. Why are you really here?"
I looked at him. He looked at me.
Our eyes connected.
Our eyes connected in silence. He did seem to be trying to read me. Why was he even so interested? Of all the people here that were smart and intelligent I didn't think that I'd have a problem with the pothead son of Dr. Lemmer. This was definitely unexpected.
All of a sudden the window broke!
"WHAT THE HELL!"
He jumped up to his feet. It was alarming. I hadn't moved though. I knew that it was Boreas. I had wanted something to break the tension. I had wished it to happen. I had wanted Boreas to do it even without knowing exactly what I needed to be done. He had done it as I wished. There Ryan was kind of on edge.
"I wonder how that happened," I stated.
"It just...broke...it just shattered. Like out of thin air...did you freaking see that!"
"Maybe some local kids playing outside threw some rocks."
"Do you see a rock?"
"Just because you see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist."
Ryan was getting antsy. He moved over to me and stood really close to me, "Really I'm not joking. Righteous, what just happened?"
At that moment there was a knock on the door. It was a loud aggressive knock. It came right in time. I watched as Ryan went over to clean up the glass and I managed to get to the door.
It was Twan standing there. He looked kind of cheery to actually be up. His eyes were going towards the glass that Ryan was cleaning up but I quickly stepped in front of him to block the view of it. I didn't need any other questions at this point.
Twan had come right in time. I couldn't dodge around Ryan much longer. He was definitely suspicious of what just happened and I needed to get away from him. He needed to believe it was a freak accident that just happened. Sooner or later his mind would probably make up that excuse anyway. He would just forget about it.
I couldn't let it happen again. I had to control what I had Boreas do. This particular spirit was very respondent to my emotions. I had to learn to control it.
I entered the main chamber downstairs. The men all seemed quite busy at work. Patra was also wandering around. She wasn't doing anything particularly except watching. I wondered how they felt about her just wading over them watching every little thing they did. Was that really all that necessary?
I turned towards the Dr. Lemmer who was at a table in the further corner of the room. Around the table were maps of Temon. They had markers on them.
Dr. Lemmer was with his assistant Adrianna. She also greeted me as I walked. I exchanged it with both of them but the map had caught my attention. I could see Temon was a circular city based around the Crying temple. There were roads everywhere leading from the Crying temple to other parts of Temon. The roads were actually all constructed with a rather genius plan.
"You like the map huh?" Adrianna asked me as she realized I couldn't take my eyes off of it.
"What are all these markers?"
"Places where miracles have happened within the city. You see, relics from the temple have been scattered all over the city. We have researchers out even now looking into it."
There were over 50 or so markers on this map alone. There were other maps branching out even further than Temon and they had markers too. What was causing these miracles? It had to be something of the spiritual world. I knew it.
Dr. Lemmer interrupted us, "Speaking of relics. I was wondering if these relics were familiar at all to you."
He pointed me over to a book. I looked at the book. It was book with symbols scribbled all over it. Dr. Davidson had collected many in his time.
"This book is older than the temple itself. You can see by the aged pages. These symbols were from Antiquity. It has to be at least thousands of years old. The strange thing is there was another found in Australia and one in Northern Asia exactly like it. They are all written in a common text."
Adrianna shook her head at me but turned to the Dr. Lemmer to ask, "How is that possible?"
Dr. Lemmer looked just as stumped as she did.
I noticed at that point that Patra had overheard what we were saying. She had made her way over to us. It made me uncomfortable to see her standing there. She had gazed down at the book and then up at me. She was curious.
She wasn't the only one though. Several other people had joined in to hear what I had to say.
"These symbols aren't of a human civilization," I replied shaking my head, "Are there any other things you've found since you've been down here."
They presented me with artifacts. They were all white. They had been carved into certain symbols. Some had been carved into animals. They were numerous. One was larger. It almost looked like a staff with a pointed tip and many of the symbols outlined on the book were also on there.
"These were found in the 10th floor of the temple."
"We've come to the idea that they were used in some sort of ritualism," Dr. Lemmer replied, "They are carved out of bone. We have tried to interview the locals but they seem a little tight lipped."
"They are afraid," I replied.
"These are the bones of humans. What you have stumbled on Dr. Lemmer is necromancy."
"I'm sure you are familiar. The practice of communicating with spirits. It explains the miracles. This place must be a hub for powerful spirits to linger. It explains the miracles. There may however be one particular spirit above the rest...darker than the rest."
"Black magic?" Adrianna stated, "That is your explanation for all this."
A couple of the researchers were laughing as well. Some had serious looks on their faces though as though this could possibly be true. I knew Adrianna was definitely someone who was doubting me. I noticed however that Dr. Lemmer's face was on that didn't find it funny.
He took a step back, "We need to find a scientific explanation for this, Righteous. Magic just won't cut it, you understand don't you."
He was saying he was doubting me but I don't' know if he completely did. His tone didn't match his words. His facial expressions didn't match the thoughts that he was trying to portray to us.
"It's fine if you don't believe," I replied, "There are arts out there that don't require belief. These artifacts are from necromancers and they believed. And they bend things. They can do things...trust me. They can do anything and they probably will..."
"Are you trying to say they are still around?"
"When was the last miracle?"
"Just a few days ago a local boy came back to life after drowning in a beach."
My mouth dropped open. This was the darkest form of necromancy. There had to be something here more powerful than I assumed. There had to be a spirit unlike any other. It was the only point. A spirit that can bring the dead to life was unmatched. That is why I was drawn to this place. This had to be where that great spirit was.
"Yes these necromancers are still here," I replied, "If I were you I'd start with that boy. I'd find out who was interested in saving his life. I'd find out the connections of all the boy's family. Who in town could they talk to if they needed help. Those are your answers."
"This is silly," Adrianna stated, "Surely we can find something more logical then dark magic."
"Adrianna go find that boy. Bring his family here. Offer them whatever they need," Dr. Lemmer replied and then turned to me, "Thank you."
"One more thing..." I replied.
"May I take these books, just to look over them."
"Yes...but once I have looked over them they will be free for your practice."
"Maybe its best if I do it first. There are many symbols I recognize."
"Yes but as you said the book is rather fragile. I need to ensure it can be maintained. The pages can turn to dust of not properly preserved with the correct chemicals," Dr. Lemmer replied.
Damn it. He was really going to fight me on this. There was nothing I could do at this point. Pushing it any further would have looked suspicious. I remained silent. I smiled. The book was clearly something deeper than I thought. I didn't know what it was truly but I knew it held great presence. Even to look at it, my eyes seemed to become clearly unfocused.
I sat out on the decks for the rest of the afternoon. Dr. Lemmer didn't have any other tasks for me. He had taken a select group of researchers and disappeared away from Temun. I wasn't needed for the research. I spent time looking at the city. Of course I was too scared to go anywhere. The few people in Temun that I saw they stared at me. Perhaps it was my darker skin or brown eyes. I had no idea initially why they looked at me the way they did. It was almost the way you would look at a grotesque eyesaw in a beautiful landscape. I was out of place here. There was a darkness everywhere and I felt lost in it. What was this feeling that was all around me?
was going on in Temun?
"Deep in thought?"
I turned to see Twan standing behind me. He was smiling down and took a seat right next to me. There was a light in his eye that seemed really intent on something. I wasn't sure what it was exactly but I knew it was something.
"Feel like sharing?"
He didn't wait until I invited him to sit down. He sat down right beside me. He was my height. He had a clean way about him that made me smile whenever the light hit him. He was so...attractive. I couldn't help but to look at him and really be amazed by him.
"I'm just so uncertain about things...I'm uncertain why I'm here exactly. "
"Here give me your hand."
He looked at the lines in my hand. At that point he actually put his fingers in my palms and began to feel my palms out as though trying to feel for something. It was actually kind of awkward to see him doing it like that and the way he was doing it seemed even more awkward. His eyes were closed. His fingers were gently moving through every part of my hand.
"What are you doing?'
"You are in search of something but you aren't sure what it is. You've had a hard life. You are hoping the thing you are searching for is an answer. You are looking for an answer to your past. You are searching for the reason behind a lot of pain. You think it's here in Temun."
I took my hand away.
He was coming too close. I didn't want him to know too much. I almost wanted to apologize for how quickly I had snatched my hand away. Truth was I didn't have time for him to know too much about me. As I took my hands away he reacted by snapping out of his little trance. He opened his eyes.
I kind of shook my head, "I thought you didn't believe in unnatural things."
"Oh that? That's just a palm reading technique my grandma taught me," he replied, "Was I anywhere close?"
He laughed. We both laughed a little. Truth was he was on the money. The laughter that followed was just due to me being completely nervous about someone getting so close about who I really was.
Twan and I talked muched into the day. I found myself getting so comfortable around him and I didn't understand why. I didn't allow myself to get too close to people because I often wasn't there to stay. Usually a friendly word or two was all that was needed with people. For some reason however Twan kept coming back. I didn't quite understand it. He ended up walking me to the apartment even without my help.
He actually even walked me to my door.
"You know you didn't have to do this," I stated opening it up.
"I didn't want you to get lost. I'm supposed be guiding you people," he replied.
"We were right downstairs."
"Ok I have to admit I don't know what it is..."
I nodded. I didn't either. The supernatural presence was something that I didn't feel too often if Boreas wasn't in my presence but since I came to Temun it was all I was feeling. The feeling was everywhere and I had felt it all day while just talking.
He stopped me from closing the door with his foot, "Hey how about tomorrow I give you a tour of the city. You can't really find what you are looking for from here."
He was right. I couldn't find what I was looking for from there.
I closed the door and stood there for a moment. There was the feeling again all around me. The spirits were so strong in this town. Everything was focused here. This was definitely where I needed to be.
"You two are so gay," I heard a voice say.
The insult kind of stung me as I turned around to see Ryan there. He had someone else with him. I guess it was the friend that his father let come to Temun with him. They were playing cards. Ryan was shirtless like usual, showing off his tattoos in the living room. The friend didn't seem too interested in me as I walked in. He hadn't even looked up at me even when Ryan made his comment. Ryan was lazily looking at me though. His eyes were lifted from the table as he looked at me.
I didn't reply to him.
I walked away to the bathroom and I could see his eyes following me. It had a feeling that he was the type who loved getting under people's skin and I definitely wasn't going to give that to him as an option.
I closed the door of the bathroom.
I took my clothes on to turn on the water and take a bath. The tub filled with the water and it was actually pretty nice. The tub was a huge freestanding clawfoot tub. I got naked and laid in the water. I folded a towel over my eyes and let my whole body become submerged in the water. It was what I had done every night. I sat there and I thought of everything. I thought about what Twan had told me. I was looking for a purpose. I was looking for meaning where there was none. All my life I had been the bad omen. I had been the one who wasn't supposed to be born. My father had instilled it into me that I was a mistake. I spent so long looking for the idea that I wasn't a mistake. I wasn't just a botched abortion. There was meaning behind me.
I sat there in that tub hoping that I would find it here. I was named Righteous because it was the first word my father had flipped to in the dictionary. He could have cared less. He never gave a damn. I could remember the times when I would want to take bath in the tub and he would come into the bathroom without knocking. He would tell me how I embarrassed him. As a kid it was hard to take. He would walk up to me. He would grab onto my manhood.
"You are an embarrassment!" he would scream out.
He would grab me tighter. He would hold me so tight that I believed I was about to bleed. I could feel him even now in how he would grab me.
I felt my body heating up. The emotions rushing back to me made tears come out of my eye. There was no one to stop him.
There was no one to make him go away. All I wanted to do was scream. I wanted to open my mouth and I wanted to have a voice but I wasn't powerful enough.
My little hands didn't mean anything to his big...huge body.
All of a sudden I noticed pain. It wasn't memories either. I was in intense pain. I opened my eyes and noticed I was bleeding from my penis the same way that my dad had done when he had grabbed me. The water was red with blood. But that wasn't the only thing that was wrong here. The heat was all around me. The water was boiling and no matter how much I tried to move I was being KEPT in this tub.
No one was answering. I could feel my body going completely limp. Something was holding me down in this water. It was as if the water had turned against me and was clutching me inside of the tub. It wouldn't let me go! What was going on!
The water got hotter. It began to boil as though someone had added fire to it.
My screams went unanswered. My body didn't respond. I was crying but I felt useless just like I did all those years ago with my father. I felt uncertain what was going on.
I had given up and accepted it.
I was being cooked alive in this boiling water.