Startling realizations following a sidewalk encounter with Wrath...
From the Desk of Minus Three:
Today there’s this; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdyscH9TsnA
And this; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gngYV12a0jc
And this; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jn707UvO46k
And most certainly this; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REF5snOUkJE&feature=related
In the creative process, Michael was heavily inspired by whiskey music.
Also, if you’re so inclined you can Like me here; http://www.facebook.com/pages/Minus-Three/267964253233282#!/pages/Minus-Three/267964253233282
God damn that’s quite a long link, innit? I can actually customize the URL once 25 people click that Like button though.
Also, if I had tried to insert any kind of sex scene in this chapter I’d have looked like one of those contrived authors with no attention to the proper pace of storytelling. Enjoy all the same.
Forgive Me Pretty Baby, I Always Take the Long Way Home…
As much as I loved The Cove it never really seemed like the kind of place you’d take a date. I wasn’t so sure I was actually on a date anyway; I’d never really been on one before. When I asked Magda if she wanted to go get lunch somewhere though, she had insisted I be the one to choose where. She wanted in. She wanted to know what made me tick. She wanted to see the world as I saw it because she could tell that our two points of view on the world weren’t so different anyway.
So we sat at one of the booths in the back corner and sipped pints and ate. The food was good there, plentiful and cheap. It wasn’t some pretentious suit bar, it wasn’t some grimy dive, it was somewhere in the middle. At various times during the day or night you could see a vast cross section of everything the city had to offer. The Cove turned none away and all felt welcome there.
While we ate we talked. Magda was really curious about my life. Not in the way that most were; she didn’t ask about the glitz and the money and the fame. She didn’t ask about the cameras and the interviews with my mother. She asked about me. What was my favorite subject in school; I hadn’t had one. What was the name of the first girl I’d kissed; I couldn’t remember. Did I remember that TV show where that guy did that thing; I had never really been that into TV. I was worried she would think I was shutting her out by stonewalling her attempts at conversation, but I could tell she knew those were just my honest answers. I’d long ago developed a habit of communicating more by what I didn’t say than by what I did. Magda seemed the same; I could by the things she was thinking that she was happy to just sit and hang out without needing to explain herself to me. I didn’t know much about her, but I could fill in a few blanks just by guessing. She didn’t owe me any explanations. Besides; who was I to judge?
The old guy at the table across the pub had been watching us the whole time we’d been there. He reminded me of Iggy Pop; hollow and sunken cheeks, long straight white hair, eyes that had seen things most people wouldn’t even believe set in a face etched with deep lines around his mouth and eyes. I picked up ‘starers’ from time to time; people who recognized me, or at least thought they did, and wouldn’t stop looking until I left, or until I was an asshole to them to destroy their expectations of who Michael Fox was supposed to be. I didn’t want to act like a dick in front of Magda though, so I waited for her to get up and go to the washroom before catching the old dude’s eyes and jutting my chin towards him and making a ‘what the fuck do you want’ face. His expression didn’t change, he didn’t even blink. I held my hands palm up out from my sides and shrugged, mouthing the words “what do you want?” His expression didn’t change in the slightest; it was like trying to stare down a painting. I slid out of the booth and walked over to where he sat.
“You want somethin’, man?” I asked him aggressively.
His head remained stationary but he swiveled his eyes up to meet mine. When he spoke his voice was deeper than I’d expected. “We all want something, child.”
“Yeah, whatever,” I said. “But what do you want from me? Why are you staring at me so hard?”
“You’re taller than I expected,” he said in his creepy voice.
“Whatever, man. Answer the question; what are you looking in my eyes for? Does it look like I have something for you?”
“You do, actually. You’re Michael Fox,” the creep said.
“Yeah, sometimes. But right now I’m the guy telling you to fuck off. Stop staring at me, man.”
“Very well, Michael. As you wish,” he stood in front of me. He was tall and thin, angular and strange, and looked down at me with his disturbing and penetrating gaze. It was hard to pinpoint exactly what color his eyes were supposed to be. They were a light enough grey that they were almost white like cataracts, but his stare was like knives and I felt a chill run up my spine.
“What?” I asked, sticking my chin out at him again. “Do something, weirdo…”
A small smile split his lips and I felt the chill again. He slipped past me and left without looking back over his shoulder. I looked back to our table to see that Magda had returned and was looking out the window wistfully at the people walking by under the cloudy sky. I looked to the bar to see Charlie looking at me with a curious look on his face. I walked over to lean on the bar and speak to him.
“Yo Chuck, you know that dude?” I asked him while paying our bill.
“Dude? What dude?” he asked me with a quizzical look on his face.
“That old white haired dude that was sitting back there,” I said, pointing at the table where’d he’d been sitting since we got there.
“I didn’t see any old guys, Michael,” Charlie explained, punching some buttons on the computer screen in front of him. “If anyone was sitting there, he didn’t order anything. Hey, Stacey! Did you serve an old white haired guy sitting at 11?”
The waitress replied that she hadn’t. I shrugged and shook my head and went back to me and Magda’s table. Her shy smile and haunted eyes had become less shy and less haunted since I’d first met her but she still tensed when I put my hand on her shoulder before she looked up and met my eyes and relaxed. The flinch instinct; the practiced coiling to strike. I knew it well. It was like looking in a mirror and I suddenly let out a laugh.
“What?” she asked, smiling.
“Nothing,” I said, smiling back and shaking my head. “This is just great, Magda. I don’t really feel comfortable around most people, you know?”
“Yeah,” she answered as she got up and took my hand. We walked for the door and out into the cloudy day together. She squeezed my hand harder. “Yeah, I know.”
We walked with no particular destination, ignoring the people around us who walked past in their stifled and closeted lives. I’d always felt separate from it all, but in that solitude was a loneliness that I didn’t miss now that it was gone. We’d walked for hours; poking our heads into shops, stopping and petting someone’s dog, laughing at the folly of the masses as we saw it. Even in the midst of a crowd we were alone together; like we were the only people in the city, moving through it like ghosts that had the whole place to ourselves. We’d just left a coffee shop, hot drinks in hand, when a man’s voice called out to her.
“Hey yo, Magda! What’s the fucking deal?” he said.
With a look of fear on her face, squeezing my hand tighter, she turned over her shoulder to see some degenerate in a dirty jacket walking fast to catch up to us. Her hand was shaking in mine and her head shook back and forth quickly. “Let’s keep walking,” she whispered to me.
“I’m talking to you, bitch!” the guy with the lank hair snapped as he approached. “You fucking ditched me last month and those guys still want their money!”
“I…I…I…I’m sorry, Greg,” she said fearfully, her eyes wide and the corner of her mouth twitching.
“What are you looking at, fuck-o?” he asked me, scratching at his left arm with his right hand, his eyes shifting back and forth from Magda to me.
“I’m trying to figure that out,” I said, letting go of Magda’s hand. “You wanna maybe go be a dick somewhere else?”
He put his right hand in his jacket pocket, fumbling at something within and trying to look menacing as he stared at me. I took my glasses off and clenched my jaw, returning his gaze without blinking, my face going blank.
“This is none of your business, guy. Just walk away,” he snapped.
“Greg, I’m sorry,” Magda said in a rush. “I can’t get any money. When I didn’t come back I thought you’d just tell them you didn’t need it. I got clean, man. I don’t want any trouble.”
“Fuck that!” he snapped, looking back at her. “You owe me a hundred bucks and I’m gonna get it one way or another.”
This thin guy with the dirty hair and the bad skin reached out and grabbed Magda by the wrist and tried to turn and pull her away from me. My hand shot out and took a handful of his hair in my fist while my other made a fist and jabbed twice into his kidney as he turned. With a choked gasp he fell to one knee and Magda shrieked and pulled away from him.
“Stop!” she yelled. “He carries a…”
I already knew what she was going to say because I saw him pulling it from his pocket as he spun on me. Cold, hard steel; small but deadly. As he swiveled at the waist and the gun in his right fist came around to point at me I lashed out with my left hand and took him by the back of his wrist, twisting it up and around at an awkward angle. There was a snapping sound like a green stick as his forearm buckled and split while he opened his mouth to scream in pain. No sound came out though, before he could finish inhaling to yell my fist had already slammed into his throat three times, flecks of his blood coming out his mouth onto the back of my hand. As his momentum took him to his back on the sidewalk I went with it, my right knee connecting with the bottom of his chin and landing heavily in the middle of his chest. I finished the rotation of my left hand on his wrist and the gun clattered to the sidewalk and slid. The back of my right fist snapped across his right cheek and came back in a hook to slam my knuckles into the left side of his neck.
This little fuck, this skinny prick who’d grabbed Magda, was still struggling underneath me. I snapped out “Lie still!” and pushed myself up into the air so my knee dropped back down into his sternum and as it cracked more blood came from his mouth. There were two more guys who’d been sitting watching from the steps of a dilapidated building, and it had all happened so fast that they didn’t have a chance to get up and hump in yet. They were just then running towards me, one pulling out a knife and the other taking a gun from the back of his pants.
“You crazy!?” the one with the gun yelled. “You wanna die!?”
“Sometimes,” I said, standing up from the hacking and wheezing and broken guy underneath me. “You?”
The one with the knife circled around to my left and I flicked my eyes at him to check where exactly he stood. The other leveled his revolver at me and put the barrel to my forehead. It was an empty side street and no one else was around but us. I put my hands up, open with my palms facing out, close together on either side of my face.
“You don’t want to do this man!” he said, sounding panicky and shaken, glancing quickly down now and then at Greg writhing on the ground in agony. “I’ll put a fucking hole in your head, man!”
The next time he glanced down I turned my head quickly to the left and snapped his wrist between my forearms, the gun dropped to the street and went off as he let out a yell. My left hand shot out and grabbed his face, my fingers gouging into his eyes, my right fist swung across his throat like a hammer and as he stumbled backwards I took one long stride forward to stay near him and swung my right foot up into his groin and shoved forward with my hand, driving him to his back on the ground. The guy with the knife had already crossed half the space between us, lunging with the point of the blade for my stomach. I let him get in almost all the way, turning at the last second so his arm went past in front of me. I grabbed his wrist in my right hand, his elbow in my left, and broke his arm over my knee.
He let out a cry of pain as my left elbow shot into his neck twice while I retained his wrist in my right fist. He tried to pull away, screaming in pain again as I wrenched on his broken arm to keep him near me. A knee to the groin, another elbow to the throat, and he fell to his knees in front of me. I pressed harder, leaning over him to force him to the ground while yanking on his wrist violently and driving my knee into his face. He hit the sidewalk hard and I stepped far back, pulling him out straight and flat on his stomach by his broken arm and then raised my foot high over him and stomping it down on the back of his head.
Magda was still shrieking. It had lasted only about ten seconds. Samael and Christopher would have been proud. The first of the two I’d pushed to the street was trying to pull himself to his feet, crawling across the sidewalk away from me. I’d been in fights before, but I’d never felt anything like what was surging inside of me at that point. I wanted to destroy, to spread them across the street as thin as possible. With on long stride I covered the distance between us and he huddled up into a ball as my knee dropped into his abdomen just above his pelvic bone. I clenched my hands into tight fists in front of my chest and started rocking back and forth at the waist as I leaned over him; right elbow, back of right fist, left knuckles, left elbow, left elbow, back of left fist, right knuckles, right elbow…back and forth and back and forth until he stopped moving. There were hands on my shoulders pulling on me and I lunged backwards and up, the back of my head colliding with someone. I felt teeth slam into my skull as did it and I landed with my feet wide, looking over my shoulder to line up a brutal thrust back with my right foot. Magda had her hands over her mouth and was still screaming; I recognized Samael at the last second as he fell onto his back on the street, blood trailing through the air from his mouth.
I spun back on the first guy; Greg. The one who’d grabbed Magda. He was still writhing on the ground trying to draw in a decent breath. I stalked over to him and he looked up at me with his blood on his face, trying to say something and failing. I stooped and picked up his gun, standing over him with it pointed down at his face.
“Don’t do it, Michael!” Sam said as he struggled to stand, wiping his own blood from the side of his mouth. “Don’t!”
Whatever I felt inside of me, it was more than anger or rage, spoke in a far louder voice than any person I’d ever heard. I cocked the hammer on the revolver back and my face twisted into a sneer.
“Motherfucker,” I spat through my teeth and pulled the trigger.
“Shit!” Samael yelled as Magda shrieked again.
I looked up from the smoking hole in Greg’s broken face to see the one who’d had the knife pushing himself along the sidewalk feebly. I put a bullet in the back of his head. The other one still wasn’t moving and his blood was splattered onto the concrete to either side of his face from my fists and elbows.
Samael had his hands out with his palms towards me. He’d already picked up the other gun and pocketed it. “Michael, we have to go, yeah? Get in the car!”
I nodded and got in the car he was pointing at. I was dizzy. As the feeling inside of me slowly subsided I felt suddenly sick. In the backseat with Magda I leaned forward and put my head between my knees and struggled to breathe. She had her back up against the door like she was trying to stay as far away from me as possible, a look of horror on her young face.
“You alright back there?” Samael asked as he drove, fast and even, through the streets and alleys.
“What?” I mumbled. “Yeah. No. I don’t know…”
“I wasn’t talking to you, you fucking tosser,” he snarled as he squealed around a corner. “You okay, honey?”
Magda just shook her head and kept staring at me.
“What the fuck did I just do, Sam!?” I said, my hands shaking as sweat poured down my face, mixing with their blood and dripping to the floor of the car. “What happened to me, man!?”
“It’s called Wrath, Michael,” Sam explained. “It’s part of your birthright you could say.”
“I couldn’t stop,” I said, looking at Magda then turning to Samael in the front seat. “I couldn’t fucking stop!”
“No one can the first time,” he said. “No one can.”
“Where…where are we going?” I asked. Magda was still staring at me with a look in her eyes that could have been fear, maybe revulsion.
“I still have a few friendly places in this city,” Sam said. “Old friends. We’ll go get you cleaned up and do something with these weapons, yeah?”
“I think I’m going to be sick,” I said.
“Bollocks. In my car?” Sam asked. I was already choking and my stomach was heaving. “Fuck it all then, just do it…”
So I did. Then I passed out.
Using Parking Meters as Crutches…
I woke up on a battered and threadbare couch in a room that smelled of burnt wiring and cigarettes. It was lit with a pale white glow and as I sat up and looked around I saw that it was coming from a wall of monitors. The large room was a maze of racks of equipment and computer gear and wires and cable were strung about like a jungle. Magda was sitting on a grey metal stacking chair with a foam cup of instant noodles in her hands, and Samael stood leaning against a table talking to a small dwarf of a man with a beard like Santa Claus, yellowed around his mouth from decades of chain smoking. His thick glasses blurred his eyes and he was absorbed by whatever was happening on the wall of displays and screens.
“It’s nothing like what you had in LA Davis, but I like what you’ve done with the place. I like the familiar décor. Very…homey.”
“Well,” the little bearded man said in a scratchy voice, “you lot didn’t give me much choice but to move after what happened there.”
“It’s been a long time, old friend. I’m glad you’re still doing well, yeah?”
“You were going to tell me about Michael’s family,” Magda said in her soft voice.
“That I was,” Same said to her. “That I was. You know a bit, yeah? What most people know?”
“Yeah,” she said quietly, looking into the styrofoam cup in her hands. “But what happened to him back there?”
“It’s not really his fault. It’s ours. Someone should have told him more I guess.”
“They’re like that, you know,” the little dwarf, Davis, said to her. “Always leaving out little bits here and there so that you get surprised at the wrong time by things they took for granted.”
“Hey,” Samael said with a big smile. “You live long enough you start thinking everyone just understands, friend.”
“I don’t though,” Magda said, her haunted voice sounding even shyer than usual. “Will you please tell me?”
“It was Wrath, honey. The real deal capital W Wrath. Our boy Michael; he’s not like other guys, yeah?”
“I’ve noticed,” she said, looking up. Samael smiled at her and she seemed to relax, her scared face softening.
“I’ve felt a bit of it myself,” Samael went on. “I don’t know where to start…”
“Start at the start,” Davis said, not looking away from the images and information writhing across his screens like a living thing. “Tell her about Cairo.”
In Darkness Dance to the Dirge of Death…
With the three Seraphim from the temple in Saida on our side, things had taken off with their own violent momentum. Aliona’s forbiddance of destroying any more of our own kind was the kind of rule that becomes flexible on the battlefield. She didn’t like it, but the simple fact was that we didn’t have a choice from time to time. It fell then to me to be the dispenser of that particular and unique justice. I was still so lost in my rage at Serielle’s passing that I might not have been the best choice, but I’d become the angel of death; to our enemies, destruction now had a name and that name was Samael the Sinner.
Every time one of them fell Aliona had me absorb their Spark into myself to prevent it from empowering those we stood against. It was a lot to ask, but the only other of us she trusted to do it was herself; and no one knew what that would do to the child she carried inside of her. By the time we reached Cairo all that remained of the Council was Ephra and his closest lieutenants. The last of the Nephilim had fallen on the steps of the temple at Sidon; but zealots, mortal followers of the council, had flocked to their failing banner. None of us wanted to stand and lay waste to the wall of fodder Ephra was throwing at us, but we didn’t have much choice in that either. We had our own cadre of mortal soldiers at our side, led by Christopher and Avrielle, and while we fought off Ephra’s seven lieutenants they dealt with their own kind. Bullets rather than blades and brute force ended up deciding the final battle. I suppose that’s as it should have been; we fought for our own freedom, but it was more the freedom of mortals that had spurred us onto our path to begin with since we suspected that when it was all over that is what we would all become. Fitting then that they would be the ones to finish it.
We’d been at it for months to get to that point, and by then Aliona was heavy with child. Despite our protests she wouldn’t keep herself from the front of the fight. She felt certain that she would be able to protect her unborn child. She felt certain that not even Ephra could smite a woman pregnant with a mortal child. In the end that hope was almost our undoing; but as she always said…that’s how faith works.
I could no longer even attempt to hide my true nature by then; by eyes dripped and poured liquid flames, my wings burned bright with the Spark of the hundreds I had been forced to fell in defense of our ideals. I had come to enjoy my role at that point, each new Spark absorbed into me fueled my Wrath and blew the flames of perdition higher. This is all on tape somewhere. This is all on the internet. This is all looped and repeated and referenced.
What’s not recorded anywhere is how everything was finally decided. As the bullets flew around us and we fought off Ephra’s seven lieutenants a great a terrible thing happened. There was a detonation in the center of the battlefield and Ephra himself came into the fray. Glass shattered for blocks and blocks and the mortals were all felled into unconsciousness. I was surrounded by his minions and couldn’t get to him in time; the only one who could stand before him was Aliona herself.
With one arm cradled around her swollen belly and the other gripped tightly to the Spear of Penance she tried to reason with him as she had with those that came against us at Sidon. Of courses it didn’t work. Of course he laughed at her. Of course he threatened the destruction of all she held dear. Of course the Wrath took her when she thought of all that she held dear and what he was truly saying.
Even those engaged in brutal combat with me and the other angels under our banner faltered as Aliona and Ephra engaged. I’d never witnessed such a terrible thing. The ferocity and savagery were beyond comprehension. There are things that anyone would erase from their memory if they could, and that confrontation is mine. If I could expunge it forever I could sleep better at night. Never before and never again have two such powerful individuals faced off against each other. Buildings fell and the ground spilt as though the earth itself was trying to reject what was happening on its surface. I couldn’t describe it in any detail even if I wanted to recall it that clearly; no language ever spoken has the words.
I fought as fiercely as I could to free myself from my own foes so that I could join in her struggle. As the last of Ephra’s lieutenants fell under my blade I whirled in the air to see where best to strike at him, but it was too late. In the most despicable act I could imagine he swung his hammer of glass not at Aliona, but at her child-swollen middle. The blow blasted her through a building and into a parking lot of destroyed cars. He laughed and advanced and I was on him in an instant, roaring white hot fury as I rained blow after blow upon him, trying but failing to tear at his flesh. Almost effortlessly he defended himself, laughing the whole time. The rest of the host fell on him with me. As the mortals began to awaken they looked around at the destruction wrought by Aliona and Ephra’s titanic struggle and began firing on each other again. There was no more thought, only Wrath. There was no more feeling, only Wrath. There was no more hope for we all felt the Lamb had fallen. No more faith…only Wrath.
Amidst it all Ephra slew many of us. I saw an opening and as I was about to lunge to take his Spark and end it once and for all I heard the loud cry over the din of unholy battle; the sharp cry of pain from Aliona. I could see Avrielle and Christopher break from cover and run for where she had fallen. I was torn, poised teetering on the edge of a vast pit of Wrath and rage and hate, about to strike. It wasn’t that she cried out that made me pause. It was what she cried out;
“SAMAEL! NO MORE! PLEEAASSEE NO MOORE!!!”
It was in that moment that Ephra was undone. The last bastion of the Truth the Seraphim Council had fought to protect and enforce for millennia lost the belief of the few followers he had left. Before he could lose his Spark he fled. I rushed to Aliona’s side; Avrielle and Christopher had pulled her into the back seat of one of the few vehicles in the hotel parking lot that had not been utterly destroyed while she fought Ephra. There was blood between her legs…so much blood. Her face was barely recognizable it was so twisted in pain and agony. Her voice echoed off the buildings over the gunfire as the mortals about us continued trying to shoot each other to pieces even though the fight was over as far as we were concerned. Avrielle was on her knees in front of her sister, Christopher in the backseat behind her holding one of her hands with her head in his lap.
“SAMAEL!” she screamed, her face torn with terror and pain. “PROMISE!!! PROMISE YOU WON’T LET MY SON DIE!!!
“What can I do!?” I yelled. “WHAT!?”
The Host had gathered around the car, a hundred angels torn with Wrath suddenly broken by what they saw happening in front of them.
“YOU DO WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO, SAMAEL!!! I’M NOTHING! WE ARE ALL NOTHING!!! PROMISE ME YOU WILL NOT LET MY SON DIE HERE TODAY!!!”
Her screams of pain were terrible. The ground shook as she cried out and the clouds that had blackened the sky fled from her screams. The Host were joining hands or wrapping their wings around themselves or each other, falling to their knees and weeping.
“Anything,” I said. “Anything for you…”
I pushed Avrielle out of the way and dropped to my knees before the Lamb. The crown of his head was pushing out of her as she wailed and screamed in agony. It looked broken, misshapen. There was so much blood. I looked up at her, her face covered in blood, tears streaking clean paths down her cheeks.
“Cherubs keep their fucking promise cousin,” she seethed at me. “Do it.”
I reached out into the Choir with all the power the Spark of those we’d felled provided me and wrapped the Love of those around us, the Hate of those we’d been against, everything I could, and poured it into her.
“YOU FUCKING KILL ME IF YOU HAVE TO, SAMAEL!!! DO IIIIIT NOOOOWWWW!!!”
I wrapped everything about me, tied it to my own Spark and to hers, and poured it into the still child she was trying to force from her womb. Everything. All the Spark that was or ever had been in the entire Choir across the entire world, poured into this one dead child. As he emerged and I caught him in my arms and wings, Aliona’s scream cut off suddenly and she fell limp in the back of a car in a bullet riddled parking lot of a hotel in Cairo. All the Host around us fell to the ground. As I fell too, Avrielle caught the child and took him from me.
In that one brief second in the ebb and flow of time, the immortals were no more and Michael came crying into the world.
Martyr to the Kingdom of the Dead…
My mouth was dry and my hands were numb and cold. Magda had dropped the foam cup of instant soup. Samael’s hands were shaking and tears were perched on his eyelids, ready to fall. Even Davis had looked away from the wall of screens and took his glasses from his face to wipe wetness from his rheumy old eyes.
“Why didn’t anyone ever tell me this?” I asked hoarsely from the couch.
All three jumped at the sound of my voice. Samael spoke quietly. “Michael. I didn’t know you were awake, friend.”
“Why didn’t anyone ever tell me this?” I asked again.
“It wasn’t my place,” Sam said softly. “Your mother didn’t want to make things harder for you.”
“Why didn’t anyone EVER tell me this!?” I repeated, standing on shaky legs and stepping towards him.
“Take it easy, Michael,” Samael said to me. “I’m sorry, okay? You have no idea…”
“Yeah, whatever!” I yelled. Magda stood with tears on her face and stepped towards me, putting her hands on my chest and looking up at me. I kept staring over her shoulder at Samael, clenching and unclenching my jaw. “Fuck man! You don’t think this is the sort of thing I should have known?”
“You know you’re not the same as others, Michael. Yeah? You’ve always known that,” Sam went on.
“I thought it was just because of who my mother was!” I yelled. “I thought something must have been passed on. Genes and all that shit!”
Samael looked heartbroken. He just stared at me and shook his head. “I’m sorry, Michael.”
“So…all of it!?” I yelled. “Like…ALL of it…is in me?”
“On some level you had to know, yeah?”
I did. He was right. I always knew I was special, different, and that none of them were anymore. How could the scope of the situation ever occur to me without being told, though? How was I supposed to know? I guess it was for the best I’d never known, but now I did and what the fuck was I supposed to do about it? Magda put her arms around me and I calmed suddenly as I felt her chest rise and fall against me. She held me tight and I felt many things wash over me; emotional shock, mental confusion…followed by physical exhaustion as I blacked out again.