Writing Prompt #199 “Special Collage and A World Apart 6″

(This is a little all over the place and very long. There is no real conclusion to this because it just a window into a character.)

On entering Fallow Farce, he had encountered the guardians of Ocanthus. They’d been reluctant to admit him. He who’d created all the particulars necessary for their existence. He was one of them, a Void, but his altered appearance had rendered him incongruous with their assumptions. He was not a God, not exactly, even if history acknowledged him as such. He was a scientist. He was adept at magic, a little too adept for uncomplicated access to the entropic realm that was as much his identity as his home. He had not come to enforce order, merely to shatter his own pretenses. If he wanted to enter Fallow Farce than he had to castrate himself. A restraining device. What a joke. For one such as himself it was trivial to dismantle and yet he wore it now voluntarily. The device did not interfere with his immediate plans. He still had magic, it was just subdued.

He experimented heavily on himself, going so far as to irrevocably alter his constituent pieces. He was an aggregate of many races but he belonged now to a race all his own. His thick, silver hair was pulled back into a sloppy, convenient bun. His skin was a luminous, golden beige. His eyes were a disarming sapphire, framed in heavy silver lashes. He had wings, the debased, black, feathered-wings of a fallen angel. His horns were purple and gold. His beauty was astounding, no not astounding, it should have been astounding but he had not made it so. He’d left the scars on his back and the burns on his forearms. He could have erased them but he didn’t want to forget all that he had endured. Endurance was one of his more redeeming qualities.

His first specimen just happened to be the guardian who’d collared him. He paid the other male in jink. Such arrangements were unheard of in Fallow Farce but the watcher was planning a vacation to Sigil and money was necessary elsewhere. So far no other volunteers had presented themselves. There were limits to having a single test subject. He’d have to convince others, one of the Dread-Bringers perhaps.

He’d lived so long that the designation of an age no longer had any comprehensible meaning. He’d grown cold and detached. His mind was sharper than ever but he couldn’t remember the last time he’d loved someone. Most of his time was spent in isolation. His research had become the outlet for all his impulses. Sometimes he and the guard engaged in a purely esoteric form of intimacy. Their souls bled into each other. Their consciousness mingled. Only his consciousness was closed, inscrutable to his younger, less experienced companion. He on the other hand, knew every thought that flicked through the guard’s head. Brief as fireflies. The other man’s thoughts were nothing like his own thoughts. They were simple, untethered, phaseal. The sentry was, at the very core of his being, virtuous (albeit a bit uncouth in practice). As for his own moral interior how could he judge it? He was a scientist driven by curiosity, by madness, by obsessions. He did not think himself capable of frivolous emotions. Experience was the core of belief.

The watcher did not love him, not exactly. He feared him. He desired him to the point of self-destruction. He called their relationship a sickness. That was a suitable enough explanation. As for his own feelings they were not nearly so flattering. The guard was available and robust. If only he could take some of the man’s virtue and vitality and become someone entirely new. Yes he craved the man’s influence. He wanted to be awed again, to be stricken, to be punished by his emotions. He who appeared ageless, desired youth. More aptly he desired naiveté. He too wanted a mind that burned and faltered.

He gazed into his empty glass. His throat burned. His thoughts expanded, ever-so-slightly. He did not look around the room. He raised his hand absently, one more drink and he’d head back to the lab. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been home. The last time he’d slept deeply. Dreams offered little reprieve, his thoughts always interjected, superseded, watered his fantasies down to variables. The notion that he could borrow someone else’s dreams occurred to him then. If not for the collar he could’ve scanned the room telepathically. He briefly looked up from his glass. He saw the watcher seated at the bar. Sometimes when he saw the sentry he felt that he was looking at a younger version of himself. They had nothing in common with each other it was just a side-effect of their “activities”. What they were doing was much worse than sex, infinitely more complicated, infinitely more dangerous. Only the guard didn’t fully comprehend the risks or perhaps he simply didn’t want to comprehend them. Either way if they continued their course, the weaker male would be consumed.

The watcher turned around and held his glass up as if in silent toast. They had a shared sense of proprioception. He felt everything the guardian felt, at least in a physical sense. A few more sessions and they would share emotions as well. The guard smiled at him crookedly but didn’t get up. They didn’t talk much in public because then it would have become obvious the off-ness of their relationship. They often mirrored each other, though it was only a compulsion not exactly mandatory, not yet. Whenever the sentry smiled he felt his own lips twitch and his muscles ached with unfamiliarity. The guard was all Void. Two meters to his 2.6 meters. Sapphire skin. Dark purple hair, arranged into long dreads. Purple richly decorated horns. Haunting lavender eyes. Strong facial structure. Broad shoulders, Defined musculature. Uncomfortably handsome.

It was a shame to ruin him. To dominate him as he knew he would if they ever fully merged. It could not be helped. His will was just too strong. The guardian would remain alive inside of him, a spark, a thrill, a fresh perspective.

He had a high tolerance for alcohol and compelling reasons to drink. He was typically entertained by a female Void named Curiosity. She was sarcastic and sullen and altogether too jaded and intelligent to work in such a place. She wasn’t interested in sex or romance. She was popular for her wit and her story-telling. She’d traveled all over the multi-verse, even into the formless realms of creation itself. They did not need to talk for theirs was an understanding beyond friendship. Sometimes they just sat together drinking and watching other people filter in and out of the club. She kept the more enthusiastic hosts from bothering him. She knew the truth of his intentions but said nothing. She would never submit herself to experimentation. She was too smart for that.

“Everyone is transparent when you get to be as old as we are…” She sighed and there was a sadness to her voice that only he could conceivably understand.

“Have you considered taking nepenthe?” He had considered it himself but it wasn’t really amnesia he sought, it was naivety.

“I have…but if you’re successful absorbing that guardian…you’ll need someone to mind you…someone who knows who you are encase you forget…” She said turning back to him, half-serious, half-mocking. She was also lying. She was afraid of taking nepenthe, afraid of trading one ego for another.

“I have read them you know…the journals you gave me…” She offered unapologetically. He’d given them to her for safe-keeping encase the experiment with the guard went sideways. The journals were all personal, his scientific journals were in a safe in the lab.

“And?” He asked nonplussed. They had no real secrets between. She knew his name. His name which carried the weight of the world with it.

“You’re brilliant and you’re terrible…I’m glad you prefer men…” She said laughing, her husky unused laugh gave him a sense of hope. She still had so much feeling left in her after all these years. He felt very little save for the persistent rumble of his libido.

“What did you prefer before…you lost your sex drive?” He asked, they never took offense to each other. They spoke with shocking openness. They gave each other unsolicited advice, advice they never imposed.

“I don’t think I ever had a preference to be honest. I have only been in love once though…if you can believe it…with a mortal…during my travels…but if you want to know more read my memoirs…” She hadn’t written them, it was on her to do list.

“How about I just read your journals…” He knew it would irritate her but he also knew that she would allow it. She could hardly refuse him.

“Pfft…it’s only fair…” She shrugged but she was clearly miffed. “You’ll read them just to get me back…so childish..” She wagged a disapproving finger at him. He would read them but not entirely for the sake of a little juvenile teasing.



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