The shadows strengthened Alec from within...EAGER to be a part of his turbulent storm of unrestricted hatred. They found no pulled punches, no limit of expression, in his rambunctious tantrums. Not like they did in me. Alec gave them an open outlet for all the rage and turmoil that they contained within their pain enveloped souls. Feeding him. Becoming overtaken by their misery and using it to grow stronger. And as the shadows fled from my personal world of 'rules and limitations'...they built the perfect bridge for the Beast to gain access to all the suffering it would ever need to grow strong again.
I hesitated for a moment, and stepped back, hoping to keep the shadows from traveling towards the heart of the enemy. I had to physically YANK back some of the thick dark matter before Alec could fully absorb it all into his body...but the pull of his vacuum was too strong for me to keep it from him for long. He REVELED in the sudden burst of dark energy. And when I was finally able to disconnect us...we both slid backwards and fell to one knee at opposite ends of the room. Skidding to a stop and reconnecting our loathsome gaze.
His eyes were now a bright orange color, wisps of steam coming from the corners of the swirling heated orbs. And with the most demonic smile ever created, he hissed, "....DELICIOUS!" The second he stood back on his feet, I forced myself to stand as well...even though fatigue was taking a heavy toll on me. My limbs were getting weak, and I was beginning to feel lightheaded. How much longer could I go on? The more I fight, the stronger he gets. All of my destructive extras, offensive AND defensive, were worthless against him. All temporary fixes that didn't even last long enough for me to gain an advantage or escape from his attacks. My friends were safe, Richie was with them...I just needed to find a way out.
Alec approached me with a grin. Slowly. With a predatory glare in his eyes. Wondering what else he could 'steal' from me before he finished me off once and for all. I backed away, hoping that my 'other self' wouldn't force me to do something that I didn't want to do. I could feel him pushing. Whispering violence and fury in my ears. Can't think. Can't....can't focus.
I attempted to keep my distance, but the Beast helped my other personality, and they worked together to pull me forward. The Beast...trying to regain the energy it had lost from its last battle with Comicality. And my alter ego...hoping that Alec would push me far enough to lose myself completely so that he could be born and consume my reality with the madness he possessed. My own emotions had been hidden so deeply that my whole body was beginning to react without ever passing through a buffering zone of any kind. My negative impulses were so much faster than my mind could keep up with. And before I had any chance to resist...I felt my fists lunge forward, my feet moving swiftly beneath me....numb to my own mental instructions. Alec was wickedly battling me, taking an almost orgasmic pleasure out of forcing me into this position. But I just couldn't stop. I just kept swinging. My blows were stronger and faster than anything that I could have done of my own free will...but only effective when I let my instincts run amok without any control at all. I was literally giving my mental clarity over to the sensations provided by succumbing to the rage. Surrendering to the pain that I had been running away from my entire life. The transformation was happening right before my very eyes...and I could feel the Beast 'using' us both as vessels as its darkness jumped back and forth between us. Ready to to go home with the highest bidder.
As we dueled it out...I could see the shadows leaping from my arms and wrapping themselves tightly around Alec's slim body. Giving him strength. Feeding him with their suffering. Their wails singing a chorus of death and destruction that he welcomed with open arms. I had some of Comicality's ability to yank them back a little at a time, trying to keep Alec from getting even more powerful than he already was. By pulling my hand back, I called the shadows to me, and they had no choice but to follow. But the more Alec pressed me up against a wall, the more they flocked to his unruly display of unparalleled fury. They CRAVED his anger. They SHARED his pain. It was becoming harder and harder to get them to obey me.
....So I had to push harder....
Alec and I continued the dance, with him pulling the shadows into his deep black void and me snatching them back with what little control I possessed, both of us trading a myriad of full powered punches in between. Until, finally, I spun around and prepared to hit him with a blast that would paralyze him from the neck down for LIFE! I don't know where the violent urge to do it came from, but it refused to tolerate any further resistance from such an insolent piece of trash. It was as if he were a cockroach crawling on my bathroom floor. A despicable, insignificant being that needed to be squashed and taken out of existence. I had never been the kind of person that would think like this. But the answers were becoming so 'simple' now. When you have the power of a god...there really isn't much need to rationalize the petty struggles of another. And a god...I am!
More and more of me was slipping away. I could feel it. Please....hold on for just a bit longer. Just until I can get away from this and find a moment to calm myself down. Just until I can....restrain him, somehow.
However, Alec had learned well from me...and he began to power up an energy halo of his own at the same time that I did. And when the brain geyser blast shot out from me...his matched it immediately. We were BOTH pushed backwards from the collision of energies, and we were sent sliding even further back on the wet tile, ankle deep in water. And simultaneously, to stop our rapid glide on that slippery surface, both Alec and I suddenly spread out a set of dark leathery wings...the wings of the Beast...and came to a screeching halt. The wind that our wingspan created held us still, and tails and claws sprung wildly from both of our bodies. But the display had been weakened somehow. Divided. We stared each other down as the fading wings and tail began to breakdown...still not strong enough to truly present themselves at their fullest potential. But they were getting there....and the Beast was forcing its way back into existence as fast as it could. Alec's hand shot out from his side, and he attempted to literally strip the remaining shadows from me, as I did the same to him...the screams and cries of those in darkness being the prize in an epic tug of war between two demons.
But the more I pulled on the shadows of abyss, just to keep him from getting access to them...the darker my once humane and civil soul became. Over and over, I saw Dylan brutally STABBED through his heart, Jenna's arm nearly broken in half, Taryn's throat ripped to shreds to where he couldn't even speak...my friends were in pain. And the enemy was standing right before me....laughing. I ripped what was left of my torn shirt off of me, and with a deep inhalation and a heightened sense of focus, I suddenly pushed my self to pull *ALL* of the shadows back into myself by mentally PEELING them right off of Alec's body, and thickly wrapping them around MY arms and legs instead. A long dark cloak unraveled itself behind me. My soul growing ice cold as I saw Alec try, pointlessly, to hold onto this new source of power. So much so that he was actually being dragged forward by it, even with his heels digging into the floor. I took in more of the shadows. More of the pain. More of the suffering. Until the shadows were as dark and obscuring as Comicality's shroud itself. It wasn't just a frosty sensation on the outside of the skin this time, with the unbearable cries for help that had plagued me before. No, this penetrated deeper. Perhaps my rage had left me open to its invasion...allowing my heart to be entangled in the barbed wire of its unforgivable tragedy. In fact, I even absorbed the pain from some of ALEC'S victims as well, and he angrily struggled to hold onto them as he wanted to keep their abilities all to himself.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING???" He screeched, his teen voice cracking as he resisted the pull of my superior energies. But I just kept sapping the very life essence from him, MERCILESSLY in fact...hoping to keep going until their was nothing left. Somehow...just as my imprint had been absorbed by his wild antics...I had now begun to absorb his evil traits as well. Pulling him in. Feeling the disgust grow until the most common parts of myself became lost to its amazing force. And as Alec's shoes screeched and squeaked on the wet tile surface...still pulling him towards me, another extra turned itself on, and I watched as the very floor itself 'opened up' in front of me like Moses himself parting the Red Sea. Caving inward and creating a gaping hole that went from wall to wall. Not just on our floor, but all the other floors, all seven stories, began to open up as well beneath our feet. The hole was heading right for him, but he continued to fight for his hold on the darkness...so I continued to drag him forward...pulling more and more 'evil' into myself along the way. The madness grew strong. I gritted my teeth, clenched my fists, and the misery flooded me until my whole body started to tremble with convulsions of pure hatred. But the power! Ohhhh, the POWER!
Alec looked down as his feet got closer and closer to the rapidly opening hole...and then he looked back up at me with a vicious sneer as I smiled wickedly at his disadvantaged position...waiting for him to inevitably drop down to the bottom floor. Soon, his heels were on the edge, and the growing pit took the floor from under his feet. with one last evil look in my direction, he screamed out loud, and he found himself suddenly plummeting 7 floors into the hospital basement. Pulling as many intangible shadows with him as he could on the way down.
Would Alec die from the fall? No. Not by a long shot. If anything, he'd be trying to heal himself by the time I even got downstairs to exit the building. But I could've left him down there. Injured. Disabled. Broken. I could've gotten away scott free. Instead...my newly twisted ego wouldn't let me. The tribal drums kept beating in time with my tortured heart...and the shadows within me, still enraged at their own imprisonment in darkness...they demanded vengeance. They whispered such horrible deeds into my unprotected mind. After what he did to Dylan, they wanted blood for blood! And without much hesitation, I agreed to give it to them.
I looked down at the giant pit before me, and I took a step forward. It wasn't so much of a 'drop' as it was a very rapid 'float' down into the basement of the hospital. A place where I hoped to find Alec bruised and beaten, where I could use my superior status to put him out of his misery like the pathetic wounded animal he was. At that point...his life meant NOTHING to me. He was no more unique than a particularly colorful collection of mold growing under the pipes of an abandoned building. Worthless. How can he not be ashamed for being so worthless? For him to challenge me with such blasphemous anger is an unforgivable sacrilege. I will find him. I will find him and make him bow before me...
...Right before I tear him limb from limb....
When my feet touched the concrete below, I found myself in a giant laundry room for the whole hospital. Gargantuan machines that looked as though they could wash 2 tons of clothes each. There were big water pipes lining the walls, laundry baskets full of bed sheets and bathrobes. The humidity warmed my face the second I entered the heated room, and a steady rain of water dripped down onto my face from the sprinklers above. That is, until I stepped out of that space above where I had opened the floor.
I know that Alec should have dropped right here...but I kept my senses alert as I realized he was already in there somewhere. Hiding.
And that's when I heard it. A voice. A demonic 'hiss' of a boyish voice.
"Justin...." He said. Then, with a giggle, he added, "...So THAT'S the name of my brother's pretty little boyfriend? Justin."
"How do you know my name?" I said, walking forward to see if I could follow the sound.
"Ohhh, I've got my ways. You 'gave' it to me. Seems I've taken a part of you...and made it a part of me. It all seems so clear now." Alec said.
"Where are you?" I could feel the energies within me building up to a series of death blows that would bring an end to this once and for all. I just need to find him. I just need to see his sweet little face peek around a corner. And it's OVER!
"Hehehehe...wouldn't you like to know?" At that moment, I heard the same voice, in a loud whisper, coming from right behind me. "Justin!!!"
I quickly spun around, and an electric shock leapt forth from my palm like a bolt of lightning. But it shot all the way to the wall and didn't hit anything at all.
"Oooh! STRIKE ONE! Hehehe!" Alec laughed.
"Where the FUCK are you???" I growled.
"Over here!" Came a voice from the other side of me. "Or maybe over 'here'!" From above me. "I'm everywhere, blondie! Come and get me. I wouldn't wanna spoil our little game. Not just yet." He was somehow using an extra to throw his voice. Making it sound like it was coming from different parts of the room. I was going to have to rely on more than just his voice to find him in this humongous laundry facility. "I've seen some of what's under that light blond mop of yours, Justin. It looks like we're not so different, you and I."
"I am NOTHING like you!" I said, still carefully maneuvering through the maze-like series of humming machines.
"Oh please. The only thing keeping you from becoming like me is the fact that you're too pussy to let go of your emotions and explode the way you were meant to explode." Alec smirked. "I know you feel it, Justin. I felt it too. I've been feeling it my whole life. That inner rage. That anger. That frustration. That pain is always right there...like a dagger in your back. You try to ignore it. You try to hide it. Swallow it whole. But the second somebody strikes that nerve in you...all that rage is gonna spill over like lava in a volcanic eruption. And it's gonna burn everyone who even gets close enough to bear witness to it." I looked around a corner, and thought that I saw a shadow behind one of the giant driers. "Don't be afraid of it, Justin. There's strength in that fury. There's POWER in that burst of madness."
With a sudden mental blast, I saw the metal drier practically burst open, and it detached itself from the floor, sliding all the way towards the other wall.
"Strike TWO! Hehehe!" Alec kept moving his voice, but I continued my search. I wasn't going to let this insolent demon leave here alive. "You think you can hide behind my brother's love, don't you? You think he can take alllll the pain away. But he can't. That monster is still waiting...right there in the pit of you stomach. I know because I felt it in you. I saw it in your eyes....when I brought an END to your friend's miserable life."
"Arrrgh!!!" Another blast, and I saw one of the large metal washing machines break down and practically implode right in front of my eyes. Water splashed out from all sides, and it withered into a hunk of junk on the basement floor.
"You think my brother is a saint? That he's just so delicate, so sweet. He probably told you that he was trying to do what was best for me. That he tried to help me. But I'm willing to bet that he hasn't told you the whole story."
"Why don't you come out here and tell me yourself?" I said, knowing that I was going to hit him with everything I got the second he showed his face.
"Nice try, but I don't think that's such a good idea. You're seeming a bit 'hostile' at the moment."
"You have no idea."
"Oh, believe me...I do." He replied. "Did Taryn ever tell you what happened...the night he came back home? Did he ever let you hear the story of how he threatened Chuck, broke his arms...how sweet little Taryn turned 'avenging angel' and pushed Chuck to abuse me in the most unimaginable ways? He didn't want to help me. He only made things worse."
"He was looking out for you..."
"If he was looking out for me, then he would have come back to take me with him."
"I'm sure he wanted a better life for you."
"BETTER? Getting repeatedly raped by a grown man is better?" He said. "Don't you make excuses for him. You haven't got a CLUE of what happened in that house. Or on the streets when he found his OWN salvation and left me behind."
I continued to walk forward, measuring my steps cautiously. Still trying to find Alec's little hiding place within the walls of that basement.
"Jussssstin!" He taunted.
"Come out and fucking *FIGHT* me you goddamn COWARD!!!!!" I shouted, and I stretched both of my arms out to mentally 'push' the washing machines on either side of me out to the far sides of the room! The sounds of wrecked metal accompanied by the sparks and buzz of the torn electrical wires as they were violently ripped out of position. My burst of anger came from so deep within me that my stomach tightened up, almost to the point of cramping. "WHERE ARE YOU?!?!?!"
"Hehehe, oooh...your entire vibrational pattern just changed. You're like an entirely different person right now." Alec said. "It feels GOOD, doesn't it? There's nothing that you want more than to dig your nails into my flesh, sink your fangs into the soft muscle of my neck, and feel your fists pounding brutally against my face. You want to release, but you can't. It is an ORGASM of godlike power to let go and allow the wrath to flow freely from the darkest parts of you soul. The places where memories of dear old 'dad' are sure to dwell. Every time he broke you down to tears...there is a never-ending supply of hatred that you can use to fuel you to reach your full potential. You don't have to weaken yourself by caring for others...you can 'release'. And you can be better than them all.
He was stalling. Buying time. He must have been hurt pretty bad, or else he wouldn't have waited this long. Come out, come out, wherever you are. I have a painful little game to play with you too, little Alec.
He tossed the sound of his voice again to throw me off, and he said, "Your father was no different, Justin. Was he? How did it feel? Being beaten to the floor every day. Being forced to remain silent about it. Having your confidence stripped from you as he tore into your very soul over and over again. The irreparable damage to your psyche from such an ordeal must be unbearable. Is that why you wanted to kill yourself, Justin?" Don't listen to him. Just tune him out. He's got to be in here somewhere. "Is that why you wanted to walk to the end of that Pier and throw yourself in? Better off dead. That's what you are. Better off dead. Hehehe!" Block him out, Justin. Get him the fuck out of your head! "When your father was telling you how worthless and weak you were, when he was embedding it into your brain, creating a series of puppet strings for anyone to pluck and manipulate at will...how did you deal with it? How could you STAND it? How many lies did you tell to hide the pain? The bruises and busted lips? How many times did you withdraw from the rest of the world in an attempt to bear the amount of intense suffering that was put on your shoulders against your will?"
"What would you know of my suffering?" I said, a dark sneer curling up at the right side of my lips. And then I used another blast to send three or four laundry carts flying across the room to smash against the wall.
"I know he hurt you. Over and over again without mercy. I know that you still hear his voice when you're feeling alone. Unloved. Unappreciated. I know that he's always right there at your side at all times, haunting your every thought and action while you try to pretend that his influence hasn't completely DESTROYED you as a person." He said. "I know that he 'broke' something in you that can never be fixed again. And I know that it's easy for people to touch that nerve when they really want to. You have no further defense against it. And nobody can hate you more than you hate yourself. Not ever. Trust me, Justin...I know from experience." He seemed to 'move' again. But I just kept tracking him. He's only making it worse for himself. "It's not going to just go away, Justin. Not even with Taryn's kiss. No matter how much love you receive...no matter how bright your future begins to look...there is a very dark place in your soul that will ALWAYS be waiting to break you down, no matter what you do to try to escape it. It will always remain as an eternal ache in the most vulnerable parts of your spirit. An anger. A RAGE! You've been deprived of the good life that so many other people have taken for granted. And you wanna know something? They don't CARE. They don't care about you, and they don't care about me. You'll see, Justin. They'll eventually leave you behind. They ALWAYS leave you behind, don't they? Soon you'll be alone again. They'll be happy elsewhere, and you'll be left here in darkness to endure the excruciating torment of this flawed and inevitably tragic life all on your own....and that's when the shadows will come to swallow what's left of your miserable soul. The same shadows you've shared with me tonight. I've seen your pain, Justin...and you and I both know how this fairy tale ends."
The fury was steady, unyielding. I kept turning corners, hoping to find a glimpse of him somewhere. Hoping to find a way to reach out, and snatch the still beating heart right out of his chest. "How it ends?" I muttered, sensing that he was close.
"Yessss....." He grinned. "It seems I've learned a few more secrets from your mental vault of denial. Hehehe!" I approached the next corner, leading to the center of the laundry facility. "How long do you intend to hide the truth from my brother? Hmmm?"
Then...he said something that TRULY touched a nerve.
"I've seen the prophecy, Justin. I now know what you know." He said. "And I am HONORED to be a part of it! I will gladly take my role as my brother's executioner! When I'm finished....the unbelievable HORROR that I leave behind will lay waste to everything that you hold dear!" Coming around the corner, I finally caught a trace of Alec's presence. And I saw his shadow on the floor behind the next giant machine. "You're not as invincible as you appear to be. Taryn's love has WEAKENED you. It is your Achilles' heel. And once I've slowly and painfully murdered him for what he did to me....the ONLY message you'll have to bring to the world will be one of ETERNAL suffering and unyielding loneliness!" Catching a glimpse of him at long last, I began to power up my extras. But I felt him powering his up as well. He had been healed. He wanted me to find him. And he was ready and waiting for me. "You should say goodbye, Justin. Because Taryn won't survive my revenge! The end is coming....and there is NOTHING you can do to stop it!!!"
"AHHHHHH!!!!" I charged forward, and Alec came out of hiding to charge back at me, full speed. The walls shook as we clashed head on, slamming into one another with blows that almost caused our shins and forearms to fracture from the impact. I took a hold of Alec's wrist, trying to use an extra to freeze it straight through so that I could snap it off of his body like a twig. But as the ice cold sensation spread throughout his arm, he heated the surface of his skin back up until it was too hot for me to touch. He yanked himself out of my grip, and I watched as he spun around, his tongue growing to an extra length to wrap around my ankle and pull my feet from under me. I hit the floor with a thud, and saw Alec's eyes brighten for a quick second...rolling out of the way just in time as a high powered laser shot out from his corneas, blazing a trail on the concrete floor beside me. Getting an idea, I continued to keep rolling until his tongue was so twisted up that he was forced to let me go. I hopped back up to my feet again, engaging him with all the speed and strength that I could muster. I was fighting for more than a temporary victory over a powerful enemy. I was fighting for the one person on this Earth that had ever given me the love I needed to survive. I was fighting fate itself. And I had no intentions of losing! I grabbed Alec from behind, and he kicked violently in an unrestricted tantrum, screaming to be let go. Then...I felt his flesh loosening up in my arms, and he slipped right out of it, like a snake shedding its skin, and rolled away from me. I dropped the false skin and attempted to keep him from regaining his footing, but he knocked me backwards with my own brain geyser. Thank God he hadn't learned to use it as well as I had, or the damage might have been a lot worse.
I fell forward onto my stomach, and reached out a hand to touch the metal washing machine next to me. A magnetic pulse traveled through the entire row of washers, and Alec was suddenly pulled tightly up against them, holding him to their surface. I increased the energy flow until the pressure of it nearly caused his chest to collapse. I could feel the anger inside of me enjoying his pain. Wanting to watch him be CRUSHED by the force that was pinning him to the metal. However, in one last desperate attempt to free himself, Ale was able to turn his wrist to lay his hand flat against the metal surface, and sent out an electric current that painfully shocked me as it traveled back in my direction. I disconnected from the machines and he was released, but he was clearly damaged. I could hear him wheezing and coughing. And a part of me saw this as my chance to take his life for my own. The evil sensation had reached its peak, and I looked above Alec to see a huge ventilation fan hanging from the ceiling. It must have weighed a ton. Surely enough to crush Alec and splatter his remains all over this laundry room floor. All it would take...was a little 'tug'.
I tilted my head to the side slightly, staring at the giant metal object....just hanging there. It would be so easy. So very easy. I focused my energies on it...and with an almost effortless thought...I snapped one of the chains holding it in place. The fan and its encasing dropped down a few inches and began to swing gently. I felt a smile spread out across my lips. And with another little mental 'push'...another chain snapped. Alec was still helpless underneath it. A little boy...powerless. Impotent. A fucking senseless waste of air. Do it....the voices whispered. Do it. Murder him and all who oppose you. Take his life, and wear his blood as a war paint warning for anyone foolish enough to go against the will of the chosen one.
The fan continued to swing menacingly overhead, supported by two chains that were not going to be enough to suspend it for much longer. Why wouldn't my smile go away? Why is this such an obvious choice? What's happening to me?
It was then that memories of Taryn's tears entered my mind. His cries to leave him alone. His thoughts about leaving his brother behind. His guilt, his fear, his comfort, his love. As much as he hated him...Alec should be thanking the stars for his brother's concern. Because it was the only thing that allowed me to show him any mercy at all.
I heard the sirens outside, surrounding the building, and voices echoing in the distance outside of the laundry facility in the hallway. I gave Alec one last look, his cute little teeny bopper face covered in blood and claw marks. His body battered to the point of malfunction. And for now...I was satisfied.
I heard the ceiling creaking as the heavy ventilation fan started to pull the remaining chains from their position. Dust and plaster floated down on Alec's reddish brown mop of hair, and he looked up to see the danger above him. I giggled wickedly at his predicament, and looked to one of the windows high up near the ceiling. Without a word, I gave Alec a wink...and I made my way up to the window to open it, and roll out onto the grass outside. Maybe Alec lives....maybe he dies. I really don't give a fuck anymore.
I stood up on my feet, brushed myself off, and took a few steps forward....when I heard the crash. The falling of that heavy fan on what I had HOPED was Alec's brutally smashed body. I didn't bother to look back. He wasn't even worth the exhilaration of seeing him scattered to the four corners of the basement. All I knew was that...at least for now...the fight is over with. And he now knows who he's dealing with.
But as I walked past the sirens and onlookers out in front of the hospital, hiding my blood soaked clothes and black and blue bruises in the shadows...I couldn't help but feel....'different'. Like I had left a part of myself behind in that hospital. Even though the battle had been one...something dark had taken up a permanent residence in my already borderline psychotic mind. Something arrogant. Something powerful. After all I had been through...maybe Alec was right. This release DOES feel good. It feels STRONG. And I want it to stay. I need it.
As a matter of fact....I'm beginning to feel like...
...I need MORE!
"The Shack Collection"
~ Volume 1 ~ and ~ Volume 2 ~
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