"Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned."

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The Room

      The dusty space underneath the staircase housed clay statues of religious figures such Mother Mary and Jesus. Red dripped from his hands and feet, and it rained blood from the spiked halo adorned upon his head. All the messy paint work that detailed his eyes made him look unloving and unwelcoming. Zach kneeled in front of him, resting the open wounds on his knees into the line of salt on the floor.

      "Pray." Commands the voice behind him. He flinches first, then lowers his head and begins, "Be merciful to me, O God..." It was his eighth birthday two weeks ago. There were balloons and cakes, even friends from school. But not Jennifer. Zach's parents were very particular about the friends he made, and Jennifer had not made the cut. "...because of your constant love, because of your great mercy..." His parents told him he is not to speak to Jennifer at school. But, he still remained friendly towards her in the schoolyard, and word soon got to his parents.

      They said she was poison because her parents are not holy. Zach didn't know what that meant, only that it was bad. She didn't seem bad. He got two lashes to his feet and another three on each knee for crying about it. Locked for two hours in the prayer room, another hour added each time he pulled his hands apart. In total, five hours.

Coping Mechanisms

Silently consoling himself in his bedroom was not enough to mentally protect himself from the daily abuse. Each day he lived in fear; second guessing every move he made. It was taking a massive toll on him and reflected throughout his life. Zach had terrible grades, unhealthy relationships with other children at school, and grew skittish of adults. He had been emotionally and physically beaten down to the point of lacking trust in himself, and Zach had nowhere to turn.

Then, he made a friend. It all started innocent enough. Being lonely, he turned to inventing an imaginary friend who he named Evan. Zach and Evan would often play quietly in his bedroom, or on the playground at school. They were inseparable. Where Zach went, Evan would follow. He often reserved a seat for him at the church on Sundays, and sometimes was daring enough to insist that his parents leave an empty chair for him at the dinner table. 

His parents were willing to put up with Zach's imaginary friend, but as weeks rolled into months, their patience wore thin. They insisted that Evan needed to go and that Zach was growing too old to have an imaginary friend. It wasn't going to be that easy, however. Fearful of what his parents might do if he went against them, Zach tried his hardest to forget about Evan.  No matter what he did, his friend lingered in the corner of his mind. He would appear on the opposite side of the playground, and he would throw things at Zach during class time. The more he ignored Evan, the angrier he became. Evan's desperation to continue living within Zach escalated to the point of violence. Zach's first blackout was the scariest; Earth froze, and he along with it. One minute it was Tuesday afternoon, just before school finished and suddenly it was Sunday night at the dinner table. He will never forget the horrified look on his parents face as he came to, completely confused. That night, he was punished severely. Multiple beatings from his father's belt tore up his flesh. His throat burning painfully as his screams ripped at his vocal cords. He never did find out what it was that he did to deserve such a beating.

Zach continued to miss irregular periods of time. Most days he was fine, and every now and again he would skip through a few weeks. There was a time he came to with a pencil in his hand and a threatening promise to kill a kid who had pushed him down the stairs once written on a piece of paper.

His parents were delirious, calling Zach's blackouts and unusual behavior to be the work of the devil. Priests came to visit Zach, intrigued by rumors propelling in churches of the boy with the Devil inside. Convinced that the only way to save their son would be an exorcism, his parents encouraged the visitations, exposing him to many exorcisms. The whole experience was a blur of confused timelines and varying memories for Zach. From his parents perspective, their only real option was to lock Zach away and pray to God for a miracle that their son may be saved. Continuous loneliness and abuse further damaged Zach, forcing his mind to create new friends in order to protect himself from mental scarring.

"Three friends live in my head. Not all of us get along."

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I exist within dreaming state, I am never alone

From my childhood came the only friends that I've known

I house them all in the back of my mind

Even if not all of them are very kind

As imperfect as I, maybe with even more flaws

Of the three, number one laughs with blood on his claws

Of the three, number two is more gentle than me

Of the there, number three is who I wished I could be

                              

 

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  • Anzu is struck by a fierce bolt of regret, seeing all the excitement drain from Zach's face like that. The way he makes himself smaller, and then going somewhere else entirely as he wages war in his mind. It's a war most people can't see, but the furious spasming the kid's energy is doing tells him more than words ever could.

    His raises his left shoulder slightly, then let it fall in a half-ass shrug, the superfluous apology tumbling off him and blowing away with a groan on the mournful wind. "Don't apologize for being ignorant. It's the way of things for a reason, y'know. So all the little lads and lassies sleep comfortably in their beds, because; no." He pauses, then, reaching up to pluck a stray leaf from the tangled mess of his golden hair. "monsters don't exist." The words come out like a morbid joke.

    With just a small amount of will, the Fall turned leaf between his long fingers comes to life. Suddenly the wings of a small butterfly, which is clinging to the back of his index finger with legs that looked like thin, hollow twigs. Its wings flutter softly; then it dives into the open air, and veers away. A vivid splash of red and yellow against the grass, and then, gone, little more than a nice memory. "I'm not hungry too often these days. S'good for me figure, I s'pose." He runs a hand down the flat of his stomach, tracing the thin line of golden hair from his naval to the waistband of his low hanging shorts. "Don't let my being lame stop ya, though."

    While they walked across the grounds, Anzu thought about the best way to tell Zach about the Danann. A mental debate so strong he doesn't hear the girls calling out to the Quarterback beside him, but he does feel their gaze when it's on his back. He rolls his shoulders, fighting off the strong desire to go invisible again. He doesn't give them the satisfaction of turning around.

    The sweet smell of pastries and bitter coffee inside the diner made him crave another taste. But he didn't think it would be wise to risk it. With his power at an all time high, he wasn't ready to waste it. Especially not for something so foolish. Even if everything on the menu sounded and looked delicious.

    "Your place. Less ears and eyes." He shoves his hands into the pockets of his shorts, "n' less people scowlin' at me dirty feet like the earth is all red carpets and velvet." A nearby employee quickly averts their scowl, and rushes off into the back.

    Anzu laughs.

  • Josh brushes himself off as best as he could, wiping away some of the excess vaseline with a towel and then, after having put on his clothes back on again, carefully placed the two halfs of the mold to dry and then come back at the project at a later time to put the two together, creating a perfect mold of his body, then fill all that with liquid latex foam.

     Although this he could definitely do by his own two hands, as he could with most other aspects of his upcoming prank. It was just this one thing he needed another two pair of hands. Speaking of hands, Josh had to hand it to him, clumsy as he might have began, Zach truly did have a natural talent for creating and it was almost so that he wanted to include him a little more, just to watch him go at it, see what he’s made of in terms of creativity and craftsmanship. But, alas, he couldn’t, as Zach was no exception to Josh’s little joke, and would be as much included as Sam, Chris and Ashley, perhaps not as much, but at least a little more than the others, as he liked Zach that much more than Matt, and definitely more than Emily….
    “It’s mostly for training. I want to get into the business, you know. And it’s for a little practical joke I’m planning. But as I said before, no going around telling folks, you big dip.”
    ___

    A half an hour later the two has arrived at Zach’s, and Josh low-key grins at the sorry state that the house was in. Definitely not like the ‘castle’ he grew up in. He guessed that even his phone was worth more than this pile of rubble, although he never told that to Zach, he just went on in, passing the religious decorations, symbols and statues with a mumbling, “Hallelujah”. He then goes on in, watching as Zach goes on up before finally closing the door to the bathroom, giving it a looksie. He jumps as his pocket suddenly blings, he checks and sees a message. He swipes right to unlock and then checks. It’s from Dr. Hill.
    He opens the message.



    Josh cracks his neck, flipping his phone back into his pocket.
    He didn’t have his meds on him right now, they were back home.
    They could wait.

    Joshua stepped into the shower, letting the cold water wash away the strangeness of the day.

  • It's not like it's a comfortable situation for Josh either, having Matt's best bro in such close proximity to his private areas and putting plaster strips over said areas, resulting in many embarrassing butt touchings and awkward stares enhanced between the two guys. And it wasn't a quick and painless process, no. The entire casting ordeal took about two and a half hours to complete, with a break for some snax and Zach baby-feeding Josh some chips during which time Josh couldn't stop breaking out into fits of laughter because the mix of plaster and water slowly began to run down the parts of his leg not entirely covered, ticking his skin and pooling at his feet. 

    "You are good at this." Josh mumbles to Zach after said man, having covered the young Washington from head to toe in plaster, now begins to cut him out. It's a delicate  and painful process, and often time you'd hear the two kids yelp in annoyance as the scissor sometimes just wouldn't cooperate and ultimately lead to Josh ordering his dog to go fetch a new pair in the second drawer.

    And after much sweat, tears, and good old hard work, Josh emerged from his chrysalid cocoon, brushing himself off.

    "Can I take a shower at your place? It's just mum would go crazy seeing me this way." He asks, not wanting his parents to see him covered in plaster and vaseline. It might look a tad bit suspicious.

  • A muscle twitches in his jaw as a fleeting thought from Zach skims the surface of his mind, half smirking, and turning away to keep from laughing.  If only it was that easy. He thought, but didn't say, because he realized for him it actually was that easy.  If he slipped into a waking dream.. all he'd have to do is memorize the details of the page exactly, the teachers signature, remember the way the paper feels between the tips of his fingers, the sharpness of it's edges..  with one minor detail.  The final grade.  

    Hell, he could probably do it right this moment if he stretched out on the lawn.  But he's had enough of the dream world to last him a few life-times, the thought of even approaching sleep was nauseating..

    Like it's custom, he doesn't even answer Zach's first question.  Because.. what was he doing here? He doesn't have an answer.

    One of Anzu's blonde eyebrows quirks towards his hair-line when he's asked about a Court.  He reaches up, brushing the tip of his thumbnail along his lower-lip thoughtfully. 

    "That's not a bad guess, Quarterback.  But no, I do not belong with the aes sídhe or in any of their Courts." He scans the trees while he talks, watchful for any signs of life, or movement, and listening for anything on the wind that would tell him of another's presence. "It's a little complicated, like all good things.  So if ya' really wanna' know, I suggest we get what you came all the way out here for, then head back inside."

    He regrets reminding Zach just how invasive of a creature he really is, behind the nice smile and gold hair.  But it's already out there, and it's not like it was ever a secret that he can kind of, sort of, read minds.

    "Yeah, well you'd be surprised what you won't find on Google."

  • Great, well I was thinking Ashton moved to a new town. It's not a town of many people so everyone knows everyone, we could either make it she still going to school? Or that she has already graduated. Whatever works for me? She grew up a very hard life, and maybe she meets him in someway?

    That's where I will let you decide, should I have her go to school or should I have her work somewhere and already be graduated?
  • "Thanks man. I appreciate it." Josh says as he stands up again, walking over and reaching into one of the boxes. Continuing he says, "And it's gonna be good, trust me....--now where did I put the plaster?" After rummaging around the innards of a few of the boxes he finds the right one, and pulls out large see-through bag filled with a tremendous amount of plaster strips, already cut and ready to use. To go with that he pours a bucket of water from the office bathroom, (water, apparently works), places then some vaseline on one of the nearby boxes for close access, and finally a pair of scissors which he keeps in his hands.

    "Well, I'm gonna need for you to...well, rub my body in vaseline and cover me entirely in plaster strips. And then cut me out of it. It's gonna be a long process. So we'll be here a while...and we're gonna have to get close. Real close. That too, stays between you and me, dude. No go telling anyone in the group, okay? Not a word about any of this."

    Josh, dude, we get it. But wait....vaseline...all over his body, then cover all of his body?

    Now he will be wearing some tights, but that still means that Zach would have to....well, you know. All over.

  • It was peaceful, in a detached way.  To float, formless, through the upper realm.  Where fantasies, dreams, thoughts and emotions are alive in ways he wouldn't be able to describe in words if someone ever asked him; where do you go when you disappear? But on some days  days like today  it's all he can do to hold on to the things that make him who he is.

    It would be easy enough to stop being.  To slip into the woods one day and sleep with the trees until they were gone, too. 

    But then he remembers the school, and he's there.  And right away, he can feel everyone  and he can feel Zach, even with all the intermingling energies that make it look like it's a portrait, in which the artist splashed every color he had on and then somehow made a few up.  They were an abstract rainbow, impossibly bright.  Yet they still paled in comparison to the lone sun, away from everyone else.  (There were a few others out there, too.  Lonely stars floating in a grassy nebula.) 

    A whirl of red and yellow leaves rise out of nowhere, wrapping all around Zach as he steps outside and dragging with them the smell of fall  and and from there, he willed himself to a physical body.  And a second later, he stepped out of the leaves, and they all fell around the two of them, the wind receding with an eerie whisper.

    Anzu was wearing shorts, low enough to see the strips of shadow along his hips that dove beneath his waistline.  And that was it.  His bare-feet were dirty, with old dead leaves stuck all over his toes.  Mud splattered on his chest, and some on his face.  His left hand tucked into his pocket, looking tired with a half-grin on his face. 

    He didn't bother to hide his geas; the Queen's collar.  Thin, gold, just tight enough on his bicep to be uncomfortable.  There's no shine to it, today.

    "Never in me life then have I seen another bunch of bleddy horny dogs." The Irish comes flowing out so fast he can't stop it, and he doesn't try, anyway. "Seriously? Every single fookin' one a ya' was thinking about jerking it."

  • Josh lead Zach a long way downtown, and soon enough the duo found themselves trapped beneath the iron roof of some abandoned warehouse which, although now empty of most supplies, still seemed relatively busy due to the large amounts of insects which continuously scaled the walls. 

    "Not here. Follow me." Josh said, giving a little whistle as a sign for his lapdog to follow. Together they then went into a separate room, most likely an office space, although now it had been filled with all sorts of weird crap, like buckets of vaseline, liquid latex, and a whole lot more.

    "I want you to keep this a secret, dude. No telling anyone, alright? It's going to be fun, I promise." Josh said as he kicked back into one of the chairs which, due to old age and not Josh's big butt, creaked beneath his weight.

  • No worries. I'd love to, any ideas love?
  • Lovely page, I'd love to write sometime !

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Zachary Silva and Isabo Hendrix are now friends
Sep 29
Zachary Silva left a comment for Josh Washington
"The process is a slow one - hindered further by hiccups like a pair of scissors that fail him. Fetching a new pair took longer than it should have, as Zach couldn't figure out Josh's simple instructions. When he does locate them, getting Josh out of…"
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"When Anzu uses words that Zach does not understand, hopefulness drains out of his face like a splash of colour invaded by water. He dilutes, in every sense of the word, shoulders slumping forward and eyes softening in a manner that causes him lose t…"
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Zachary Silva left a comment for Josh Washington
"This is so weird. 
Zach looks Josh up and down. He's seen him shirtless countless of times before, even less than that in the confines of his cabin lodge after a long night of drinking - but this is still weird. Part of him is baffled that he can so…"
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"Autumn colours blind him. A wall of sun implodes and Anzu appears before him like he's been summoned at the mere thought of him. He never knew he had the power to do that. Shutting his eyes tight, he visualizes a finished and A+ worthy research pape…"
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"Google is a magical place; a lifesaver for the current generation of students. However, Zach is running out of ways he can re-word the same information into the search bar. Everything that turns up on the first page of his searches does not relate t…"
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"(You gave me a heart!!!!! <3)
Questions should race through his mind a million miles per second, but the train is off the tracks. The headlights are flicking, keeping the bare minimum of light left in the darkness. Zach is lead through the seemingly…"
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Zachary Silva left a comment for Josh Washington
"Such a diabolical, yet clever plan. Unloading some of the work to Zach may shift some of the blame onto his shoulders later on, but it will make Josh's job easier and Zach's reputation for connecting the dots much slower than anybody else all works…"
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"The guy stares Anzu down, leering at him and sizing him up. Any competition for the hottest girl on campus that isn't one of his teammates is an immediate threat. He gets closer to Anzu, assuming in his drunk state of mind he must be within close pr…"
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