Strange Character, Part II


Part II, begins directly after part I

(Artwork by César Arias)

Part II

He saw the spire of his dorm poking over the luscious darkened green tips of the trees. An edifice of conjoined brick stout against the hazy reality of Virginia heat, and it was always cool in there, he remembered. It sometimes calmed him in a vague way, as if it could cool down his body to a normal temperature and kill me or my fellows; we flames who set fire to his life. But it was not to be for hope is as hollow as fear. He will have reason to listen to me once we get to the inner core of his tiny room, a one man kingdom.  Because I know it is there he dares to dream recklessly. Because I know there I will have voice to speak to his inner hollowness. I can give him remedy for his pain; I can give him power. Therefore It is my duty to vouchsafe for him a vision: power to the powerless, voice to the voiceless and violence for the rest. This is a tale as old as time itself, and soon it will unfold itself in a new setting much unlike my previous assignments, scattered like pieces of bone all across the sea of ages.

Students of learning take note, for you too are also unsafe as I follow in the footsteps of this one.

Yes, I am an agent to the celestial plane and I have sailed far in case none of you already knew. But today I play the salesman anew. The product is freedom and triumph over fear and the price is life. A special bargain offered to very few -he is just now entered through his own door!

The time is now.

Black Glasses closes the heavy dorm room door behind him. He moves to lock it. Soon, soon! I can feel my own excitement rise within me, like something operatic and full of doom. Yes, it is like the male opera singer voicing something dramatic and terrible, to shake the stars and soon to send some part of the world crashing down. I feel like this whenever I attempt to angle myself to enter into contact with a new mind, a new student ready to learn my doctrines.

He sat on his bed. And I sat next to him, the springs of the mattress creaking. For the first time he noticed me, and it was he who spoke first.

He was calm. “Who are you?”

“You know very well who I am.” I returned. “And I am here only for you. Only for you. The others are temporary; their happy lives will glide off the surface of life like rainwater. The earth produces billions of them. Their names will mean nothing.  But you-”

He finished for me “I am different.”

“Yes, YES.” I responded. “You ARE different. I can help you. I know how it is to eat the bitterness of life, to see the things you want and can never have. That is why I am here.”

“I hate them.” Said he in low tones.

“Why do you hate them?”

“I hate the way the sun shines on their faces in the morning. I hate them laughing in the cafeteria. I hate them fucking in the bushes. I hate them at the sports games. I hate the ones in the library. I hate the ones with good grades thinking good of themselves. I hate the smug teachers. I hate the foreigners trying to be as good as the Americans.”

“How can they ever think they can be as good?”  I asked.

“I don’t know, but them trying sickens me, and they fuck me over too. All of them and they should be the ones helping me. I hate them, I hate them all.” He shifted, then laid down on the bed. He avoided the dark spot on the blue mattress where he wet himself nightly.

“I can help you.” I said. I motioned at the stains. “This, I can end this forever. You will never foul yourself in fear again, no – indeed your enemies will have cause to dread your name and dread your words and actions. I can pick up your pieces and make you into a melody of fear. I can make them notice you and fear you – respect you. I can do all this and more, trust me. I will promise you anything you desire. Together we can be strong.”

“I hate them. I want them to know that, I want them to understand. I want them to see what I feel. Can you do that?”

“Absolutely. Is there anything else?” I responded.

“Can you…” He began to ask, as he thought back to the lovers he saw in their almost-hidden spot “get for me a woman. I’ve always wanted to touch real breasts. They way the looked at each other. . . was . . . something. I’d like to have that once.”

“Why do you want that?” I refuted. “That is only a distraction. Do you want to be a pair of cows like them fornicating in a field or do you want to be STRONG?”

“Can you do that?” He was apparently going to insist.

And I was bound again to tell the truth. “No, I cannot. Sadly love is something beyond my power. Love can only be given willingly, I cannot force man, woman, child or beast to love you – but only to tremble in your shadow.”

“What happened to your promises? Anything I desire? I want a woman, and I want one now.”

This was always a sticky point for me. So many of these angry ones crave love even as they spurn it. I have to direct their energies elsewhere. “I can help you. If sexual companionship is what you desire, that experience I can create for you. Sleep and you shall have it.”

“And what about the other thing?”

“About power?” I asked.

“About them listening to me.” he was impatient.

“Together we can make them listen. Eyes bloodshot and wide open they will listen and watch and feel. They will feel as powerless as you do now. That is one thing I can do for you, something no lover can give. They will experience fear and relive the crucible, the humiliation that has been your life, and at last they will understand. Will you agree to co-operate with me? To make it happen?” I took his hand in mine. It was cold and clammy. “We can build something strong.”

“Yes…” he began to tremble “I want to be strong.”

“We will be strong,” I said “Now sleep, and dream of the wonders that you can work.”  I laid the sheets over him, and before long he was fast asleep.

It was then that I began to lace his dreams with images, like seeds in the clouds to spurt fourth rain. These were new dreams for him, and a new mental horizon was going to expand for him tonight.

A world of pain and bitterness was enfolded in his brain – the only reality he had ever known. He sailed through a sea of wild and vain dreams torn from the minds of prisoners to be executed tomorrow. First there was a sky of grey, rent by churning, boiling clouds brewing as before a deluge. Then: the earth split itself in chasms – and wells of blood shot up from the sullied terrain. Then: the hypocrites and the Christians, the rich and the poor drowned away into the abyss of their own terror deep and profound, a cycle which feeds into itself forever. Violence begot of paedophilia, a wound festering in his hollow soul for years. A victim longing for a victory. I whispered that we would commit them all to his judgement. Justice and vengeance would rain from the skies to drench their upturned faces with their own unworthy blood, then death, wonderful and merciful would sweep down the curtains of life on them, on him, on the whole mess. War which is the same as life would end for everyone, victim and victor alike. I whispered to him other comforts – some secret words in confidence which I shall not utter here.

After that, his mind at ease, I gave him a woman in his dreams. Her flesh was soft and at home, pliant to his every touch. They had sex and for the first time he didn’t piss in his bed, but rather woke up in a pool of his own semen. For one time he had made it work well enough, and for that he was grateful.

Over the next weeks and months he grew to be more than a student to me. He was my son and my lover. I nurtured his hate through phases of rejection and even phases of faith, and from this ruin he rose strong and towering; a colossus and a stone face with no feeling or remorse. Wonderment befuddles me to look on him for he is a doomsday machine as sure as nuclear bomb. To think that it was my very whisper that shaped him into this.

Just now I sent him away, probably for the last time, intent and confident. The course of events has been set into motion, and I must melt away to choose another. Yes, even if he fails I must choose another. This is my work, for I flit among the stars and the nations and the races of every place, and I hold the ears of the powerful, the powerless and the destitute in my hand. I am the last refuge of those who are afraid and the instant companion of those who are desperate. I am hate.


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