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lethalBLISS

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Gender: Female

Age: 32
Country: United States

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December 06, 2018


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08/12/2019 07:19 PM 

Visitation I-III

VisitationStarling Manor

This place smells like sh*t. It’s not that glaringly obvious sh*t-stink that you get from a public restroom. It’s like the aftertaste of a terrible blend of cleaning products and baby lotion, with notes of ass and decay all mixed together. Decay. Because people come here to eventually die. They don’t leave this place.

Starling Manor. It’s not my favorite place. Not even in my top ten. The hedges out front are unkempt and the circle drive is cracked, well used by transport dropping off medical patients and families leaving behind loved ones. They’ll mostly be forgotten, unfortunately. Only the nurses keep them company afterward, anticipating their needs long after their ability to voice them has fled.

I’m here for the West End of Starling. The place where you can hear wailing and unintelligible babbling before you get to the locked double doors. A special pass is required to get to the nurse’s station where you’ll be escorted by a guard during visitation. Dementia and Alzheimer's patients make up most of the West End, but there are others who are mentally ill and unable to care for themselves. People like my mom.

Fingering the plastic bracelet around my wrist as I flex my fist is my typical form of fidgeting for these visits. It’s common for me to squeeze my fingers so tightly that my nails leave half-moon marks in my palms. The nurse at the desk looks up at me and smiles with such charm. She’s new. How someone can deal with being physically assaulted while administering medications while also smiling eludes me.

“She seems to be in a good mood this morning. Enjoy your visit,” she says, and I look at her name tag. After a brief moment, I try a smile.

“Thanks, Margorie.”

I let the guard walk me down the hall to the door that reads 2214. He’s quiet, but he seems to go on alert when the door opens and I walk inside. I’m pulsing my hands into fists over and over, nervous. I see her sitting at the window. They like to put her in a chair when they know I’m coming. The light through the yellowed lace curtains makes my mom look sallow, her dark blonde hair has been combed and she’s wearing a floral pajama set I bought. Her brown eyes don’t even flicker a look my way, just stare out the window.

I feel the presence of someone else before I see them. The guard hasn’t moved from the open doorway. That’s not right. Just in my peripheral, I see a man. Well, I don’t see him, but his aura. It’s so familiar, violet and gold, twisting energies like snakes in a pit writhing around him. I freeze when I see it, and he takes two steps from the corner, hidden by the open door from anyone in the hall. But I can see him. His inky hair wreathes his head in shaggy waves, contrasting to the striking green eyes I’ve seen in the mirror countless times. He’s no more weathered than a man my age, but I know he’s older.

“That the way you greet your long lost Papa?” He asks, and his fingers drum along his own thigh, brushing the dark wool coat back to reveal he’s wearing a gun in a belt holster.

“I don’t give a damn who you are. You ain’t welcome here.” I mean it, too.

“Eve,” his voice takes on a placating tone. “Let’s not fight in front of Mama. It’s been so long since I visited.”

I’m already reaching for my weapon on instinct, but it’s not there. Hospital rules. How he got in with one beats me, but I stand steady between him and my mother.

“What made you decide to now?”

“You did, darling.” He says, and without looking away from me, “You can close the door now, Pete.”

And the guard closes the door...


Visitation IIStarling Manor

While the guard is closing the door, I’m getting increasingly angry. I’ve never been one to temper my attitude, and even when I’m not saying anything, my face speaks for me. If I hadn’t seen the sinister aura around him that seemed to be burgeoning with aggression, I’d be speaking my mind. It didn’t seem to matter, because that aura seemed to pulse in time with my rapid fire thoughts.

The f*** does this guy think he is? Go near her and I’ll kill you. How’d you get in here? Pete’s a d*ck.

“Gimme one reason why I shouldn’t just give a shout for the nurses’ station,” I say, spreading my feet. I don’t care that I look wiry. I’m stronger than I look. He just smiles, giving me a scoffing laugh that gives the same impression as an amused adult explaining a simple fact to a child.

“If I have Pete covered, don’t you think I’d have the nurses, as well?” His dark brows, his thick lashes framing eyes nearly identical to mine. I’m not often afraid, but the ideas swimming through my head are scaring me.

“Covered, as in?”

“Evie, let’s not fight,” he redirects in that plactating, sing-song way. “I just want us to have a talk. Catch up. Besides, do you think Alice would want us to fight?” He actually has the gall to sweep a hand toward my mom.

“I dunno. Maybe if she spoke sometime, I’d have an idea,” I reply venomously. I don’t care if it hurts the woman at the window. I’m pissed off. Some people explode irrationally even when they know they are standing against an enemy they can’t hope to win, but I tend to hold my ground.

He lifts up a hand, weathered and scarred along the knuckles, his fingers giving the slightest flick toward Alice Hawthorne. A glow rises in his eyes, followed by a stream of smoky blue that curls through the air from the tips of his fingers. It bypasses me and strikes my mother in the chest. The blue light absorbs into her body. Right away, she inhales deeply and blinks repeatedly, turning her head toward me for the first time. There’s pain in her brown eyes when she meets my gaze, and then abject fear at the sight of the other visitor.

“Kal,” she whispers, putting her hands on the arms of her chair to help push herself to stand.

In the time it’s taken me to turn my head and look at Alice, the visitor is already behind me. His breath whispers over my ear before his lowered voice does. I tense.

“You were saying?” He murmurs, his hands encircling my biceps. “Alice, why don’t you tell Evie who I am.”

 

My mother spreads her hands in front of her in a gesture belying her desire to stop whatever she thinks may happen. “Evelyn, this is your father, Kaliel.”

I know it’s true, because I can feel his aura now. I can feel the snakelike tendrils of not one person’s energies, but multiple. Thousands of auras are licking at me, almost grabbing at me desperately to be set free. I know what it all means. He’s imbibed enough of each aura to have control over the person. Logic tells me he keeps so much of Alice with him that she’s in a catatonic state without him around. For the first time in a long time, I want to cry. My eye sockets throb, eyes swell, and I feel a sliver of heat pierce my vision. Instead, I suck up the tears. He’s a monster.

 

Am I a monster, too?


Visitation IIIStarling Manor
[TRIGGER WARNING FOR MENTIONS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT]

“Good to hear ya talkin’, mom,” I say, trying to disguise the crackle in my voice with sarcasm.

I haven’t heard her speak in the eight years I’ve known her. When I could get her to look at me, her eyes would always look haunted. Now, I know why. I look just like this a**hole. Same a**hole that raped her. Same a**hole that stole her from me. Alice looks at me, and she sees him.

The hands that hold my arms by my sides tighten a bit. Not that I forgot he’s behind me. How can I? At least twenty different tendrils of aura are lashing at me, all from different people, all terrified.

“Now, don’t be cruel, Evie,” my father says. Kal. Kaliel. A**hole. Prick. Douche. “Your mother wanted to talk to you all this time. If there’s anyone you should be angry with. It’s me.”

Suddenly, I’m whirled around and pushed back several feet to sit in the other chair situated at the window, beside the one my mother was seated in when I arrived. The whole motion is like a backward carnival ride. No steps involved, only nauseating gliding. Then, I’m sitting, looking up at the man who sired me. Again, I’m unconsciously reaching for a weapon that still isn’t on my belt. He’s got one, though. Not that he needs it.

“Who says I ain’t angry at you? I’m plenty pissed,” I retort, no venom lost in my verdant gaze. The same one reflected back at me before he glances to Alice, who’s still standing, just at my right.

“Have a seat, Alice. You don’t want to overstimulate yourself.” Kaliel’s placating voice grates on my nerves more than I’d like to admit, but I’m just glad he’s not touching me anymore. My mother sits back down, her fingers gripping onto the armrests.

“Right, Evie. You and I need to have a talk, and I understand that you’ve grown attached to Alice, here.” Kal looks at me, running his tongue along his teeth and raising his brows.

“Guess a kid might ‘grow attached’ to their mom. Doncha think?”

“I suppose they would, but you’re not a regular ‘kid’, are you, Evie?” Kal comes closer, perusing, inspecting me, lifting his chin up appraisingly. Oh, yea. He’s expecting an answer…

“Nope. Not regular.” Flat. Monotone. I don’t like him calling me ‘Evie’. If I thought I could get away with it, I’d have kicked him in the teeth already.

“Right, and you hate that,” he offers. To which I say nothing. What’s he getting at? “Evie, do you realize what a gift you’ve been given? The power you could hold?” He’s coming closer again, gesticulating with his hands, opening them and looking at me as if I’m crazy.

“Kal, I get it. You got control over people. Okay—a lot of people, but what about them? You just plan to use them up like batteries until—what, they’re all used up? Then, what?”

He frowns, and I finally see lines on his face when he comes closer. His approach is quicker than I anticipate, already in my face before I can blink. I still do, but my heart is pounding. He’s gripping the armrests of the chair I’m sitting in. I feel the terror of the auras he sipped from. I’ve gone too far. I f***ed up. I’m sorry, mom.

“You still don’t understand what it is you have. Limitless possibilities. Yet, you only see the negative.” Kal shakes his head, his hands tighten on the chair until I hear the wood creaking. “You could have so much more, Evie. If you’d stop being afraid of the possibilities.”

Killing people? That possibility?” I ask softly, but my eyes hold firm.

He scoffs. “You think that’s the worst thing you could do to them? Death?” Now, he stands up again, looking down on me with a cruel smile. “You could make them wish they were dead. You could make them do the most horrific things. Or, you could make them see Heaven. Make them believe the best. You could light a fire or the sky. You’re thinking too small…” His hands rake through his hair as he turns away from Alice and I. Only for a minute, and he’s focused again. “That’s my fault, though. I should have been here all along, stepping in to show you the way.”

I’m trying hard to understand what he’s alluding to, especially what he means by lighting a fire. Is it a metaphor? Don’t get me started on what he means by ‘light the sky’. Look, I’m lost. I don’t understand. Not until he says he should have been ‘stepping in’ do I get what he’s saying.

“Nah. I think it’s past time for you to be ‘stepping in’ anywhere in my life,” I say. “You’re a rapist. Not a dad. You don’t get any privileges.”

“That’s where you’re wrong, Evie.”

“STOP CALLING ME THAT.”

“You’re connected to me, whether you like it or not. Even more than your mother, I’m always going to be a part of you. Our auras are linked. You’ll see that, one day.” Kaliel is so calm it makes my heart stutter, like a mouse under the stare of a viper.  “One day, you’re going to have to choose. A war is coming. Which side do you think you’re going to be on, good or evil?”

I blink, furrowing my brows. If I had to answer, I don’t think the good side would take me.

“Think about that, Evie. I’ll be in touch.”

My father turns away from my mother and I and strolls toward the door, where Pete opens it for him. Kal pauses in the doorway, glancing at me and then Alice. He flicks his wrist, a bright white flash consuming his eyes. My mom convulses in her seat, her chest thrusting out as blue light bulges from it. A stream of blue pours from her breast and soars to my father’s hand, lighting his eyes the same azure for a moment before Alice slumps in her chair.

“Mom!” I shout, jumping up from my seat to crouch at her side, my hands cupping her cheeks to lift her head.

The door clicks shut again behind Pete and my dad, and I stare at my mother’s face.

It’s the same face she’s maintained for the past eight years. Blank. Her brown eyes stare past me. My pulse pounds, and I feel that pressure in my eyes again. My eye sockets ache, vision burns.

  

This time, I let the tears come.

 

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