"You know...the thing about...well, recognizing your own freedom...is that it starts off as a pretty terrifying concept. It's hard for the mind to let go of its 'training'." He said. "The first question that comes to mind when you tell someone that they're free is...free to do what? I think the truly limitless potential of that question is far more fascinating than frightening, myself. But...you're not that kind of person. I can tell. Your heart won't be quick to harden. That pesky tingle of 'sympathy' is probably going to remain a problem for a long time to come. But...I guarantee you, after a while...it'll go away. And it'll be like a breath of fresh air when it does. Whew...like dropping a sack full of bricks off of your shoulders."
I didn't speak, I just tucked my legs up under me, wrapping my arms around my knees as I shivered helplessly against that door. Cyrus' voice was so clear on the other side. So crystal clear. I couldn't tune it out. Not even if I wanted to.
"You can't just hide out in there forever, you know? Hehehe, the changes going through your body are already reaching levels of potency that you can't imagine." He grinned. "Let me tell you what's going to happen, Wes. Soon...you're going to get hungry. VERY hungry. Your body went through a lot tonight, and the organic 'fuel' that your body has burned up just trying to heal itself is going to seriously wreck havoc on your appetite. You've gotta keep yourself 'fed', hon, otherwise, you can starve to death pretty damn quick. You don't want your body shutting down on ya because of lack of food. NEXT...your emotions are going to get out of control. Your anger, your despair, your fear...they're going to be all over the place. Not to mention your sexual libido is going to become so strong that you'll be humping a GOAT by the end of the week. You won't be able to sleep, nor will you be able to stand the taste of cooked food. Your eyes will burn, your nose will pick up scents so strongly that it'll turn your stomach to be around certain things until you're able to control your intake a bit more. Your skin will become sensitive to touch, your hearing will become more acute, almost to the point of insanity. And once you start interacting with 'normal' people again, with your new senses in tact, it won't be the same. You'll be able to tell when they're lying, when they're hiding, when they're uninterested...the hypocrisy of the whole damn world will be spilled out at your feet, and I'm willing to bet that you won't know how to handle it."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I couldn't BELIEVE that any of this was real!
The lights suddenly flickered a bit from the storm outside, and I let out short gasp, but was glad to see that the lights stayed on. "I'm getting a bit hungry? Are you hungry?" He asked. I didn't answer, and I heard some shuffling as he got up on his feet and walked away from the door. Involuntary thoughts of using the opportunity to make a mad dash for the door, or maybe out of the window came racing to the functional parts of my mind...but my body refused to move. Numb from the cold, and the shock...and the fear. I raised my head a bit, pressing my ear against the door as I heard the sound of him dragging something heavy across the floor. And then, he sat back down again. "You know, you should really try some of this. Get yourself used to the taste. Mentally, you're not gonna want it at first, but once you get over the 'taboo' of it, you come to realize that it tastes pretty damn good." I was confused for a moment, and pressed my ear against the door again as I heard him chewing on something...meaty...and wet. And it was at that moment that I felt something warm on the palm of the hand that I was using to balance myself as I leaned over. I looked down, and saw a growing pool of crimson red BLOOD running under the door and staining my hand! I immediately shrieked, and jumped up from my sitting position to stand back and watch in horror as the blood grew in size and volume. "Oh, did I do that? Hehehe, sorry. I should probably turn this bleeding neck stump the other way, huh?" I heard him move the body to lean the other way, and I frantically began wiping my hand off on anything and everything that I could find in that office. My heart was beating so hard that it hurt, and Cyrus went right back to chewing. "The thing about raw meat like this...only the skin and muscle is any good. Just like with any animal, really. All of those organs, and intestines, and kidneys and stuff...blecchhh! I could really do without it. Except for the heart. Hearts are actually pretty tasty, albeit it a bit chewy. Dexter's really fond of heart meat. And he loves eyes too. Hehehe, he's always saying, 'Save me the eyes, Cyrus! Save me the eyes!'" I heard Cyrus licking his fingers, and was almost sick to my stomach. "They're really good, you know? The eyes. They're almost like a little 'candy treat', or something, if you can believe that. Sweet juices on the inside of the eyeball. You bite down on the soft tissue of it until it bursts and it's great..."
"WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS???" I screamed out loud! I had to cover my own mouth with my clean hand, feeling stray tears roll over my knuckles.
"Sighhh...you know, you're really cutting into my drinking time here, Wes I could be home fucking a set of horny twins right now, and you could be helping me."
"I'm not going anywhere with you! Somebody's coming and I'm gonna tell them EVERYTHING!!!"
"Ahhh, still waiting on the cavalry? That's alright. You're stubborn, I can respect that. I have to admit to being a little stubborn myself from time to time. Well...I'm sure you've noticed." Then, with a sinister grin that you could just 'feel' in the air, he said, "Hey, Wes...you wanna feel something cool? Check it out..." And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I felt this extremely brutal 'yank' on my senses! It was almost like having a choke chain around my neck, and having it caught by a moving truck. My breath got caught in my throat, my thoughts scattered into a confusing blur of nothingness, and without thinking, I began to walk towards the door. I reached out my hand, and actually 'touched' the doorknob, before Cyrus let my mind go...and I pulled my hand back in terror! What the HELL was I DOING???? "Hahaha! Sweet, isn't it? You see how easy it is? Exciting! I love it!"
"I TOLD you, Wesley...I own you now. You and I are 'one'. The entire pack...we are 'one'. You are a part of me. And I am a part of you. If I really wanted you to open this door, it really wouldn't be that big of a problem. Believe me." He licked his fingers again, and then used his foot to push the dead body next to him aside. "But I don't WANT a 'puppet', Wesley. I want a 'companion'. The building of a pack is detailed and delicate work. It takes a group of truly liberated minds working together as one. People who can willingly provide their own perspective and their own point of view, without being forced. And that's what I need from you, Wes. I need you to be yourself. I need you to be more of yourself than you've ever been before...so that you can bring a fresh and new energy to our union."
"I don't wanna be a part of any 'union'...ever. I'm not going to do it." I whimpered.
"No?" He asked, and I felt another harsh pull on me, even worse than before. And despite my attempts to try to fight it, my thoughts clouded over once again, and I found myself walking towards the door again. This time, I unlocked it, opened it up, and saw Cyrus sitting there on the floor, blood around his mouth and on his fingertips. "Hey, cutie."
He 'released' me again, and I instantly SLAMMED the door shut, locking it back, and bracing myself up against it again. "LEAVE ME ALONE!!!"
Cyrus laughed wickedly to himself, "Hahaha! Ohhh...I could seriously do this all night. Hehehe, I swear, you are SO entertaining." He stood up, but kept his back to the door as he spoke. "Just let the calling win, dude. It's stronger than you are. And do you wanna know why? Because it goes deeper than all of the petty defenses you have against it. That's why. It's the real you. The unrestricted representation of your true self. It's that unfiltered part of you that expresses all of those selfish, ego driven, dirty little thoughts of yours...before your brainwashing steps in and says 'thou shalt not be uncivilized in your actions', hehehe. You would think that the calling, with all of its primitive wants and needs and lack of concern for consequences, would be the 'evil' part of you. But in reality...it's the suppression of self that's the real enemy. It's a much more psychotic practice to deprive yourself of what you need for no other reason than you want to fit in with bullies and strangers."
"Stop talking! I'm NOT going to let you get to me!" I said, covering my ears.
"All I'm doing is providing you with the truth. Nothing more." He said. "You know you want to give in, Wes. You know how good it feels when you do I could see it in your eyes. Being able to laugh with us, being able to indulge in all of your sexual fantasies without judgment, being able to swing an empty liquor bottle and smash it in the face of someone who's attempting to embarrass and humiliate you in front of your friends. Don't regret those actions. EMBRACE them. It was a much needed release."
"That wasn't me. You....you DID something to me to make me like that!"
"I don't DO that, Wesley!" He grinned. "You made those things happen. You GAVE yourself over to the sensation, and you LOVED it! It felt GOOD...didn't it? Be honest with me. Be honest with YOURSELF." As he spoke, I tried even harder to block him out. But it was getting...so much harder to think. My mind was...was...feeling so unnaturally confused. My thoughts...so completely alien to me. "Everything you've done with us, from coming back that first time to see us at Rainbow's End, to climbing on to the back of that truck, to running away from home, was done by 'choice'! YOUR choice!" He said.
"No...you forced me..."
"Aww, you know that's not true, don't you?" He said, giving me a second to let the truth of it sink in. "Did you really think that this...mysterious 'other person' wasn't already there, growing inside you, waiting for its big 'debut'...before I came along? Huh? Do you think that I just 'magically' turned you into an alcohol guzzling, head busting, sexually insatiable, rebel who runs out on his family and beats up punks in parking lots? Is that what you're accusing me of, Wes?" He let another strategic silence pass, and I wiped away a few more tears as I thought about all the wrong I've done. "Don't kid yourself. That 'bad boy' was hidden deep down inside you the whole time, getting more and more frustrated every day while you tried desperately to simply deny its existence. All I did, was brush the dirt off, and take a nice clean look at 'the man behind the curtain'. Nothing more."
"That...wasn't...me..." I sniffled.
"Of COURSE it was you! Hehehe, what the heck do you think drew me to you in the first place? What do you think it was that was shining so brightly, that allll of those other pretty boy teenagers out there on the beach couldn't match? It was YOU! The REAL you! Right there in your very core, just waiting to get out of that silly man made 'cage' of yours." He said. "Don't worry. Everybody's got a whole other person living inside of them that they don't know about. Something sexual, something savage...something that doesn't present itself until some random fucked up incident pops up and the situation calls for that person to lose their grace. They can blame it on a bad day, blame it on their screwed up childhood, blame it on their environment, or their economic status...hell, blame drugs, blame liquor, blame rock and rap music, blame video game violence! Hehehe, but at the end of the day...all anyone can really do is accept the fact that, at any given moment, you might just chose to follow that sudden 'knee-jerk' reaction of the beast that they've been hiding from themselves all along. The one they're afraid they're gonna see if they look too closely at their own reflection. They're afraid everybody's gonna see. They're afraid that it's gonna feel really GOOD to let go. That demon...it's there, Wesley, in each and every one of us...and it's waiting to get out." He turned towards the door, speaking with his lips just inches from its surface. "I take away the 'wait', Wesley. I take away the fear. I ask you to gaze proudly into the abyss, and truly accept what you see there. To give into it, guide it, learn to use it for the power and beauty that it was created for." I stepped away from the door, my mind easing into an entirely different level of thinking. The calling was winning. It was soooo hard to hold on. Sooooo hard to push it back for the sake of defending a life that...honestly...I was beginning to 'hate'.
"You're...you're gonna hurt me." I said softly, wondering why I was even CONSIDERING opening that door!
But again, Cyrus' soothing voice warmed my shivering body from the inside out, and his calm mood was such an addiction. "I'm not gonna hurt you, Wesley. If anything, I'm going to stop you from hurting yourself." He waited a moment...his voice so soft, his approach so...logical. Why was I letting him think for me? Why was I not running away from him in terror? "You can't go back, dude. You can't. The world you left behind is not going to understand. It's not going to tolerate what you are, and you won't be able to hide it any longer. They'll crucify you, Wes..and for no other reason than you make them see the potential for wickedness in themselves. The evil they've been trying so hard to overcome." He told me, and my mind fell further into darkness as he spoke to my emotions. As he spoke to my soul. "They need their illusion. I say, let them have it. But for those of us that 'see'...it was never a world that we were going to fit into. Not you, not me, not any of us. The lie doesn't bring us any comfort once we've seen it. Exposed it. Because we know the truth..." He told me. "...That all of society, its rules and regulations, its praises and damnations, it's all a game of smoke and mirrors. Just a widely spread level of mass hysteria. A shared psychosis, put in place to keep us under control...enslaved...in a futile attempt to tame that which was meant to be wild." I was fighting soooo hard. But Cyrus' light was sooo appealing. "WE....were meant to be wild, Wesley. You and me. So what is there to really fight about?" He asked me. "Come on. Why don't we stop talking through this door. Come forward...and become a part of something bigger. Something that has been eagerly 'waiting' for you to step up and be the amazing being you were born to be." And soon....he added. "The others need you, Wesley. *I*...need you. Just as you are, no changes."
It was hard to tell how much of myself was really 'me'...and how much was just the 'calling'. But, after only a few moments of hesitation, I found myself stepping forward on shaky legs....and reaching again for the doorknob.
NOT because I was forced to. But because...it was the only choice that made sense anymore.
My fingertips shook violently as they touched the lock at the top of the door. I had to close my eyes and concentrate just to breathe. I pressed my forehead against the hard wood, and did all I could to keep myself from opening that door.
But...the darkness was creeping in fast. This...'calling' of his was beginning to make so much more sense than my attempts to fight it. There was something so hypnotic, so liberating, about Cyrus' every spoken word. It could be so soothing, knowing that he had some answers. Answers that never once asked me to compromise who and what I am. Answers that never once told me to do without 'anything'. Answers that were willing to adjust and adapt to MY feelings, as opposed to the other way around. I know that most people would think I was completely crazy to know what I know..to have seen what I had seen...and still find a way to justify putting ANY level of trust in this monster's speech. But...the truth is...at the time, it was the closest that I have ever been to talking with a supreme being. It's the closes...I had ever been to being given the kind of forgiveness, and respect, and unconditional love that I had spent my life praying for.
I don't expect you to understand. I guess I don't expect anyone to understand. But right there, at that particular moment, Cyrus had given me something 'concrete' to believe in. Something that answered back...and wanted me with him.
I hesitated at the door...waiting for my senses to return to me. Feeling the calling and my own weakened emotional state forming an alliance against me. And Cyrus urged me on even further.
"I want you to come home, Wes. A home of your own making. A place that you can create and build however you see fit. We would be so much less without you in our circle." He said. Stop it. Please...stop. "They never would have loved you the way we do. They never would have embraced you. They NEVER would have pushed aside their own selfish agendas long enough to let you be free. You're really not giving up as much as you think you are." Please...no more...please. "Don't you understand? You're worthless to them when you don't submit. You have no place in their world unless you give them total control over everything you are. They just want to drain you so you will remain asleep forever. I don't want that. I want YOU. At FULL potential. With all the happiness and satisfaction you can handle and more." Why am I letting him win? Why? "They've kept you in a box for soooo long, Wesley. And you let them. You let them because you didn't know any better. Most people don't. It's not your fault." I could feel my fingertips' grip tightening slightly around the metal of the lock, ready to give it a twist. A few stray tears sliding down to my lips. "They've been teaching you how to strengthen the walls of your prison since birth. Limiting your experience, your information, your 'connection'. And they made it so you could NEVER escape. Not ever." I opened my eyes, as I saw my fingers turning the lock, almost involuntarily. "And how do you keep someone in a prison they can never escape from, Wesley?" I cried...as the lock turned the side, with a click...and I slowly opened the door. Cyrus stood before me with a smirk, and said, "...You get each person to build it for themselves."
He had wiped the blood from his mouth, his pretty boy looks and tussled blond hair welcoming me with such a gracious smile. I stood there for a moment, helplessly trembling inside as he took a single step closer. And then, almost as if I was going to collapse if I didn't reconnect with him somehow...I took a few hurried steps forward, and hugged Cyrus tightly around his neck.
I sniffled, sobbing gently into the side of his neck. I tried to hold back the emotion, but the warmth of his arms wrapping themselves around me in such a loving and accepting way...it nearly caused the floodgates to burst wide open. "I'm so sorry, Father...'sniffle'...I'm sorry..."
"Shhhh....it's ok. It's alright." He whispered, petting my hair softly. I couldn't believe what I was saying, but my impulse control was so weak. So very weak. And nothing felt better than my new 'father's' embrace at that moment. "I'm right here with you. And I always will be." I felt my emotions let go, and began crying from my very 'soul'. It came from somewhere so 'deep' in my very being. From the source and life essence of my very existence. And I had never imagined how much pain and pleasure was involved in finally having someone there to understand. "You've been looking at yourself through their eyes instead of your own. But they don't validate you, Wesley. They don't make you beautiful. They don't determine your value." His words caused such an emotional turmoil inside of me, but getting it out was like lancing the poison out of a snakebite..bringing me peace with every extracted drip. "The want you to feel as though you're disposable. You are NOT disposable. You are NOT just a pawn in somebody else's game...a forgetful 'object' in their background scenery You are beautiful...and important...and unique. And there isn't a single part of you that doesn't matter." I couldn't help but to hug him tighter, as though I were afraid to let go. Afraid that releasing my grip would somehow send me back into a world where I was CONSTANTLY afraid, hopelessly alone. And he simply held me back. He just let me cry. He allowed me 'express'. And I could feel my inner energies rejoining with him all over again. Him and the others. Our center. Our union. It brought so much strength to the weakest parts of me. There are no words to describe it.
Cyrus rubbed his hands up and down my back, occasionally kissing me on the cheek. Then, he broke our hug for a moment, to turn me around, and squeeze me from behind, resting his chin on my shoulder. It was then that I looked down on the floor, and saw the body of the dead officer laying on the ground not far from us. I shut my eyes tight and turned away, but Cyrus hugged me tighter, and with a kiss, he guided my eyes back to the bleeding corpse before me. Such a horrifying sight. Such a terrible tragedy, the loss of an innocent life. But he made me look. He made me 'see'. And as the darkness got colder, and more connected...the vision of it didn't seem all that disgusting. Despite the horror in front of my eyes, Cyrus' love and brotherly touch seemed to make the 'sickness' of it go away. I felt his kisses on my neck while I stared at the body. My mind adjusting to the reality of it...and almost dismissing it as anything other than a 'necessary evil' for the time being.
He whispered, "You've been living with soooo much pain, my child. But we're going to make it better. We're going to release so much pent up frustration in you. And I just know...that you're going to love being above them all. You're going to find out, just amazing madness can be."
I closed my eyes as his kisses continued to linger, and I allowed myself to fall. No more struggling. No more screaming. It was a relief to let go. It was a relief to become absorbed by father's truth. And I swear...I could almost feel myself...
Cyrus released me, and turned me back around to look him in the eye. "Come...let me take you home."
Again, there was a hesitation in my movements. But...where I wondered whether or not the 'calling' was leading in me in the right direction before....I now began to wonder if it was my 'brainwashing' that was causing me distress. Cyrus was patient, and I tried to work everything out in my mind for a moment or two. But when all was said and done...Cyru' welcome grin gave me the gentle nudge that I needed to follow him to the front door, and then outside.
The storm was still raging, the lightning and thunder were worse than ever and the rain seemed twice as cold. I looked back through the open door, and saw the officer's boots still showing from behind a nearby desk. "What...what about him?" I asked.
"Everything is being taken care of." He grinned.
"How do we get home?"
"You worry too much." He said, and threw a loving arm over my shoulder. Just then, I saw a pair of headlights in the distance and I instantly got scared!
"SHIT!!! Somebody's coming!!!" I said, starting to pull away, but Cyrus held me still.
"I TOLD you...everything is being taken care of." And I waited with him just inside that door, as I saw the old white truck drive up to the station. With the twins and Dexter inside. Kriegar and Kristin were actually on the back of the truck, soaked from head to toe, and apparently enjoying it. Cyrus walked me out of the station, and the cold rain came pouring down on us as we approached the truck. The door opened, and Dexter immediately hopped out, running up to jump on me and wrap his legs around my waist.
He hugged me soooo tight that it was almost hard to breathe, and when he eased up a little bit, he giggled happily, and shook his blond curls off in my face. As though I could get any MORE wet than I already was out here! "I felt you join us. I felt it." He smiled, and kissed me playfully on the lips. And with a couple of gentle pas on his butt, he got the hint to get down.
"We'll have time for that later." Cyrus commanded, and I noticed the twins slide out as he walked over to the driver's seat. "Kriegar, Kristin...we had a slight 'situation' with an officer inside. I believe you know what to do."
"Yes, Father." They answered, and started to walk into the police station, I assume to 'clean up' the mess. Or at least make it look like an accident of some sort. What kind of accident severs someone's head from their neck?
My attention was taken away, however, when they passed me. Kristin gave me a hug, and a kiss on the cheek. And Kriegar gave me a hard slap on the back, almost making me cringe in pain. Then he chuckled heartily, finishing off a small pocket sized bottle of liquor before tossing it into the woods and getting himself ready to put in 'work' on our murder scene.
It was a bit crowded in the front seat of the truck, but Shank and Razor huddled pretty close together, and Dex couldn't help but to jump into my lap the second I sat down. He kissed my bare chest, and quickly bit down on one of my nipples before I was able to stop him. I jumped and winced in a second of pain, and he just giggled at my reaction, kissing me on the face again. Funny, I didn't think Dexter would be THAT overjoyed.
I looked back at the police station, and there was still a small...distant...part of me that could easily se the 'evil' in all of this. A piece of me that was desperately calling out to me, trying to get me to reason, to run, to retaliate, to recognize. Anything that would return me to my civilized mind. But the truth of the matter is...I wasn't sure that I wanted to go back again.
Once again, everything Cyrus told me was true. It felt as though the weight of the entire planet had been suddenly lifted off of my shoulders. As though the ever tightening grip of my public identity had somehow uncoiled its thick tentacles from around my throat...its vice like hold on my chest...and was finally allowing me to breathe fresh air like never before. So that 'voice'...that lone reminder of my socially molded sanity...had somehow gotten lost in the darkness. The fog too thick to see it, the thunder too loud for me to hear it. It was now pressed down deep...where the 'wolf' once used to be.
"Are you gonna burn it down?" I asked quietly, and the twins shared a smile as Cyrus put the truck in gear.
"We don't just go burning everything down, Wesley. Relax." Cyrus grinned.
"What are Kristen and Kriegar going to do with the body?"
"You worry too much. Stop it. They're just gonna do a little clean up, that's all."
I thought about a second, as we pulled away from the parking lot. "What if somebody shows up while they're...um...'cleaning'?"
Shank and Razor smiled wickedly and they both replied, "Then they'll do a little more clean up."
It was a chilling answer, sure. But Dexter delivered a few more kisses to my cheeks, 'pecking' at me like a chicken with every playful moment of contact, and I couldn't help but smile. A smile that soon turned into a slight giggle. And a much as it disgusts me to say it...the fear, the murder...the whole terrifying experience...it was like my instincts shrugged it off. Like brushing a fly off of my shoulder. More annoying to have it come back to me than to simply swat it away...and wish it gone. My conflicts seemed to fade into the darkness, much like the lights of that police station as the truck traveled further down the road.
It kept buzzing inside of my skull...that impulse to 'fall'. And as Dex straddled my lap, facing me, his sweet innocent eyes staring into mine, I was tempted to fall even faster. He leaned forward more slowly this time, and our lips connected in the most intimate way. He was so soft. His body so slim, and warm. I could feel his tongue slowly and erotically slide into my mouth, and I tasted his sensuality. I sighed out loud, and wrapped my arms around him, cupping his firm ass cheeks in my hands. It was almost like he was a different person entirely at that moment, his boyish level of friskiness had suddenly mellowed out into this lustfully mature level of 'calm', and oh how it tempted me.
Our tongues mingled, my hands explored his young body as it rolled rhythmically on my hardening lap. And, like a warm black tar...the calling sank even deeper into my mind state. The release was unimaginable. The peace. The comfort of it all. It was like slipping into a warm bath for the senses, and it allowed me to enjoy Dexter's lip lock even more Without guilt, without shame, or restriction, or question. I kissed him hungrily...holding his lithe boy tightly against me. And when the urge to smile came to me...
..I didn't hold it back. There was no longer a reason to.
I was already too far gone to fight my way back now.