|Welcome to my day.|
SHE always tries to kill me at 4 AM.
No warnings. As always, I'm either asleep or tossing and turning when it starts. When SHE arrives, it's like trying to spot black lettering on black paper. Even if you know it's there, you're not going to see it at a glance. In mid-dream, I see myself in my bedroom, and I see her moving forward. I intercept, placing myself between her and my physical body.
I deflect her, and suddenly I'm awake and disoriented. Just like always. I reform a series of barriers on a variety of dimensions surrounding the physical world I'm standing in. At times like these, I wish I had something flashy like those guys who can go "Electrokinesis you bastards!" Or maybe I wish I could infuse myself with the essence of Total Awesome so I could get super strength and go on a punching spree.
Nope. Sorry. I was given the really subtle things that you can't see in this reality. I muck about with dimensions, and you can only see it if I'm messing it up or things are really weird. It's to the point that I have to question if I'm just completely insane acting out a bizarre power fantasy.
As always, by the time we're done fighting it out, I feel like I'm half dead, and she's escaped. SHE isn't messing around. SHE really wants me dead. Honestly, I don't blame her. You see, I ended up getting her caught in a torture chamber, trapped in an aborted human sacrifice, and then placed in the hands of some kind of conspiracy. No, I wasn't any help fixing it. I just made it worse. File this under: "I hope that wasn't an extremely long-term series of paranoid delusions" of course.
That story is going to require an explanation I just feel way too messed up to give right now. I did what I could, and it wasn't enough. It's as simple as that.
I've got 26 days left. Codename: Forge Master is making a cold-iron Longsword for me. His exact words were, "You've got to be..." one string of colorful curses later, "...kidding me."
I'm meeting him tomorrow to discuss the details.
Information on Green Man:
3 PM. I'd gotten over the morning killing attempt, but nothing was going to let me get back to sleep. I was going to be feeling dead all day, and I knew it. When I'm not trying to save the world from things that may or may not exist, I'm a freelance writer. I have a degree in Creative Writing, and I sometimes wonder if my business took too much of a priority over my education. I'm not exactly paid for professional smiting, and writing's a tough gig at the best of times. I just graduated from college, and I'm moving in with my old friend and current training buddy Green Man.
The first floor is empty right now. Then again, that's how he wants it. Training space for the martial artists, yo. Yeah, I've just gotten into this whole Martial Arts thing in the last year or so. Needless to say, I'm enjoying it. I'm god awful, but I'm enjoying it.
He set down the Gomoku board between us, and we sat down and start playing. 2 minutes to spread among each move, with only 2 seconds between moves after that, first to 5 in a row wins. Black always goes first, and it's a huge advantage if the player knows the game. Lets just say, however, that when you've only got 2 seconds between each move you learn that perfect play is nonexistent outside of professional circles. The reason I'm saying all of this is because the martial artists that I know really love Gomoku. They say that you can learn a lot about someone's fighting style by watching them play Gomoku. They'll point out moves that were "Throws" or "punches", and I can't say I entirely understand it. I'm just trying to put 5 pieces in a row on the board, I worry about the consequences of that placement later. I want to understand it though. It would be awesome to understand it.
Green Man said, "So you're still looking into the Thin Thing?"
I nodded. If he knew the actual name, he could get himself in trouble.
He said, "I don't know why you still do this. You could walk away any time you know."
I didn't tell him that I may only have 26 days to live at best, an unknown quantity of time much lower than that at worst.
What I actually said was, "No I couldn't. I need to know the truth about what happened to HER. And I can't walk away until I know what's going on with whatever this thing is."
Green Man said, "Look, if you walk away, someone will show up to take your place. They always do."
At the end of the day, I can honestly say I don't know how I feel about Green Man, even now. He's one of my good friends, he's always there when you need him. At least, that's how it looks. The thing is, he has no sense of ethics. He woke up, he saw everything that's going on around us. He decided it looked like too much work. It wasn't as though anything could argue with him, his astral form is encased with armor that's effectively impossible to break. Unlike me, you could hit him day and night with every kind of cosmic silliness, magical mojo, or dimensional weirdness and he wouldn't even bat an eye. Nothing anyone or anything said would change his mind: this world was best left to others to worry about. He never went back to sleep. He just didn't care.
And then he saved my life, and in doing so found a way to strip himself of his powers and awareness of the other planes so he would never have to worry about the inconsequential silliness that might be killing all kinds of people, all over the place, every day. The power left, but the armor stayed. He always says that I'm wasting my time. That there isn't, and was never a point to any of it. He might be right.
At times like this, I despise him. Maybe someone will replace me someday, and do exactly what I do. But to have the power to protect someone and do absolutely nothing with it strikes me as being the ultimate form of sin. He could have made a difference. He could have made it so that a lot of the stuff I went through over the last eight years never happened. If he had stuck his neck out for me ONCE beyond just stepping in to keep HER from killing me now and then, and actually helped me fix the problem, it might not be a problem at this stage in the game. Unless it affected him directly, he would never stick his neck out for someone whose life was on the line. And yet, he found a way to simultaneously save my life and did it in a way that would let him stand on the sidelines forever. He says that training with the Sensei changed him, and that he understands that he needs to stop thinking about just himself. Fine. So if that's the case, why not pick up his druid stick, and make the world a little bit safer?
He beats me in 7 out of 12 Gomoku games. I try not to let the fact that everything about our current conversation makes me want to grab something and beat the crap out of him affect me. I'm positive that every time he brings up the "just walk away" argument, he knows I'm about ready to kill him.
We complimented each other on the games.
What I don't say to him is that I'm afraid that the supernatural craziness in my life is overwhelming the real life. What I don't say to him is that I may never be normal, and that I'm always thinking about what the next target will do, and what I will do to it. What I don't say to him is that I envy the fact that he could walk away so easily, even if it spoke to a distinct lack of morals to do so. What I don't say to him is that I think I'm Beowulf looking for his Dragon to end out my time and reach my wyrd. What I don't say to him is that I think it might be easier to go out like that than to die in a gutter unable to adjust to the real world. I also don't say that his haircut makes him look like a douche, because it's implied. I also don't say that I wish I had more time.
26 days. I grin. I didn't know what I was getting into when the incident in November occurred, but I know what I'm going to do now that I'm stuck here. I'm going to win. I'm going to find peace and have a normal life after this one. And I'm going to laugh my ass off as I'm doing it. Because that, ladies and gentlemen, is how it's done.