Thursday, February 10, 2011

Muse 2: "Reluctant Titans"

I wake suddenly and completely.  There's no gentle transition by sunlight.  No comfortingly annoying clang of an alarm clock. I am unbelievably aware of weighted darkness. All five senses on overdrive, trying to gain anchor in any recognizable dimension. There is no light to grab onto, my eyes feel better closed as a pounding headache and nausea threaten to overwhelm me. My dry mouth tastes bitter bile. What the hell did he shoot me up with?  My nose thinks it smells clean sheets. My extremities have gone numb.  I feel that I am encased in ice, rendered immobile.  Fighting the panic of the incurable claustrophobic, my ears take over. There's a grinding, a dull roar. Impressions of glaciers implacably progressing over rock. The hum of the...airplane engines? A ship's?  The mechanical beast's inner workings are barely muffled by the thick, satin lining of the coffin.  I must have been given the almost, high tech, noise canceling headphones.  Forcing my fists to unclench, I stretch them to explore the short distances boxing me in.  It seems to be a high-end casket.  It reminds me of the one my cousins purchased for Grandmother.  Why a corpse would need to be comfortable was beyond me.  Personally, I believe in cremation, we need the land.  Well, at least I am finally traveling first class.  Hysterical laughter escapes my lips.  It's deadened abruptly by the padding.  So disturbing. I begin to shake uncontrollably.  The vibrations and noise are unbearable.  There's a tank of some sort pinning my legs. I repeatedly scream my horror, pounding the lid. Gasping for air, adjusting the oxygen mask on my face.  I can only sob helplessly.

A warm breathe, a golden glow.  My grandmother's voice slips across my mind.  "Darling Amelia, you are not earthbound, come back to me, visit the heavens later..."  Something she always said when she caught me daydreaming. Calm enters me.  I realize where I am heading, at least, and even have a vague idea on the why.  They are taking me to New York.  My mouth turns up, at least they don't have the amulet.  When I fled Grandmother's house I had just enough time to hide the real one and substitute it for another ancient, but inert amulet.

Thinking back, uneasiness sets in. I remember nothing during my unconsciousness. Normally, I have impressions from fading in and out of worlds.  I am always cognizant of every detail around me.  A family curse and blessing for one never feels truly rested.  But my last memories are like a rewind of one man only, since I fell and surrendered on the gravel.  His tanned, inscrutable face, incredibly handsome in that classical way. The cliche of the sun highlighting and haloing his beautiful, wheat hair and shadowing his bottomless gray eyes.  Eyes that apologized. A soft, sonorous voice wishing me a good journey into the dreamless space of deep sleep.  Did he say that for a...fourth time? There's something about him.  He is familiar to me and he's not right, not vibrationally of Earth.  My intuition shudders. Grandmother's lilac scent wafts around me as I recall her words, "Amelia, you will be saved by one of your enemies.  A reluctant, one of the offspring of the Titans."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

We're All In Deep Shit

He watches her restlessness through the one way mirror in quiet annoyance.  The pristine white sheet they had used to cover her like a recently deceased corpse wrinkles up, betraying the life underneath it.  Sliding off to the side it reveals a pale face framed by curly black hair.  Wine-red lipstick.  His favorite color for all women.  Scanning her, he sees a drab, dried out piece of leaf in her hair. Her hands are pale from gravel dust and dirt. She fell over her own feet running from him.  To her credit she did not cry out, and simply lay still as he plunged the needle into her flesh. She did not respond in anyway when he wished her a good journey into the dreamless space of deep sleep.

His displeasure increases as he realizes his focus diminishing.  He should not be noticing details of the quarry, nor replaying the hunt.  He should not be feeling unecessary guilt about the inability to provide a journey of oblivion.  But willing his mind back to order isn't easy when the serum they gave him to subdue her for transport wasn't working as promised.  He had to dose her twice to get her through the ten hour drive from Oceanside to Tahoe.  He reflects once more that they were simply rich amatuers. They did not know what they were doing, much less what they were talking about.  He heard them arguing through the carelessly left open door about how it might not be right for her blood chemistry.  The shorter one protesting that they improved it, plus Amelia was younger, shouldn't kill her like the last one.

He frowns, then quickly corrects this outward emotion.  None of this is for him, he has one last task to complete and a huge bonus waiting off shore.  Get her to the airport.  Face smooth and expressionless, he studies her one last time before opening the door to administer the third dose, in the hopes of maintaining the schedule set by them.  Intense hazel eyes flicker open as he appropaches.  "Help me, please, or we are all in deep shit..."  Stabbing her again with the ineffectual concoction, he really wished he didn't know her name.  The Mark should be closest thing to a name.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

In the Corner of the Room

The room was dark, musty. The smell wafts slowly toward me, like an old person rising to greet a long lost friend. Even the hinges creak hello softly as I push the door to my grandmother's bedroom wide open.  Dust swirls around me as my presence finally creates a wind of life raising the dead.  What stories could the sparkling particles tell that vie for my attention as I rush to open the thick wood blinds?  What is recorded in their layers of my grandmother's last days? Their silvery twinkles fall to settle at my feet as I survey the room in the dimming light.

Her bed is still neatly made, covered in the many-colored, multi-textured quilt we made after my parents died in a car crash.  She knew I hated to talk about my emotions and she kept me busy, sane with the plotting and planning of a quilt that would represent our family. I still find it amazing that a piece of cloth, nearly square, neatly stitched had such power.  I still marvel that random scraps had the ability to be a trigger of information that could break one down, make one laugh, or sigh for the wanting of the past.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, facing the plain, oak headboard, I settle easily in the indentation that I created while watching grandmother's shallow, labored breathing, night after night.  I tried to be there, to keep her from dying alone.  I failed, called away by an emergency at work. Her gentle, but firm, "Go Amelia, go..."

A false call, for when I arrived, no one was there. By the time I returned...tears creep up. Suddenly I can feel her hand in mine.  So very real.  I close my eyes, it's comforting to hold again, her thin, bony and dry crepe-paper skin. I trace the patch with blood-red rose that we had picked to represent her.  She said the petals and thorns accurately depicted life.  I did not understand her then. My twelve year old mind thought it was beautiful like her.

The temperature abruptly drops.  A wisp of air blows across my cheek, causing me to turn.  I hear a whisper in my ear.  The chills cause me to stand up and my attention is drawn to warm sunlight that unnaturally illuminates the corner.  The unique, triangular dresser beckons.  The hand-painted golden roses gleam. I finger the tiny skeletal key at my neck. It feels like ice and I lift it off my skin. 

"Hurry, hurry!"  Was that Grandmother's voice or mine? The urgency swells, am I imagining tires coming down the gravel road?  I tug at the key, breaking the silver chain.  No time to worry, I unlock the third drawer, flip it upside down, press the left corner of the base of the triangle.  It pops open.  Were there two sighs of relief? I turn my head and catch a glimpse of a shadow.  No time to worry.  I clutch the dark, velvet wrap tightly.  The hard shape reassuring me it's definitely there.  The only thing I would take away with me. I back away, quickly scanning, the room would look undisturbed, except for the dust.  It records my presence, the others will know I was here first. There is nothing I can do.  The neighbor's dogs bark  Yes, they are coming.  But I have it.  The proof of beginning and the end of the entire bloodline of  La Croix.