Product of Society

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Falling Faster

“You know that if you kill me they’ll hunt you down for murder. I would know. They won’t care who you killed.” Adrianne she walked out onto the glass, seemingly ignoring me.

“Wrong. It was self-defense. Would they suspect that it wasn’t? Perhaps they’ll have questions at first, but then you’ll be identified as the ever so hated murderer ‘Tristan Anderson’, ‘Ivan the Terrible’. Then of course they’ll believe me. Infamy comes at a price, Ivan. Not only will they drop any charges against me, they’ll thank me for doing the country a service.”

She was right. She would be made into a national hero if she brought down Ivan the Terrible. They’ll glorify the hell out of you if you kill anyone who doesn’t have a face covered in shit from all the asses they’ve been kissing.

Anyway, I was now faced with a challenge. On the other side of the bridge, only a few hundred feet away, was a very angry woman with a gun that was almost certainly loaded. It was time to come up with an on-the-spot miracle plan…my favorite pastime. This was great. I was actually excited! All of the boredom that I was battling quickly flew off into another part of the city. It was time to do something. She pointed the gun right at my face.

“Have you any last words, Tristan?”

“Just that I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’ve seen this place many times, but I’ve certainly never seen anyone fall from here. Maybe you expected Ivan the Terrible himself to come and meet you here. You’re quite pretentious! My name is Malevolent Mal. I’m one of Ivan’s Products of Society.” Would she buy this? Hopefully it was dark enough out here that she wouldn’t be able to identify me with extreme clarity.

“What? This is unacceptable!” She stormed toward me. I wasn’t dead yet, so something must have been working. “Where is he?!” She held her gun level with my forehead only a few feet away. This was too easy.

“In the C-Crown Victoria, m-ma’am. Please don’t hurt me. I’ll show you if you want. I’ll lead you to him. Please don’t kill me, I’m not ready to die!” I was shaking and having a full-on panic attack now, with a few extra tears added in. Surely she wouldn’t expect this kind of behavior from Ivan the Terrible. Was I very smart or was she very stupid? I couldn’t tell which, or what amounts of each, it was.

“Pull yourself together, you little bastard! Tell me where the car is.”

“It’s d-down on the street, ma’am. It’s right down there on the street.”

“I’m sure there are others with him. Did you think I wouldn’t think of that? You’re a fucking idiot. We’re going to get off the glass and back onto the top of the bank. Then I’m going to see what it looks like down there, and figure out what to do with you. Now move!”

“This is true comedy, friend! True comedy at last! Grab the popcorn, ladies and gentlemen. My work will soon be seen! I love to do confusing things and then tie them together later on. Do you like doubles? Repeats? I like doubles. What do I mean? Just watch.” It was Shadowshade. He was certainly excited, but what was he talking about? It didn’t take me long to figure it out.

“I said move! Now!” She yelled at me again. That was perfectly fine with me. If she wanted me to move, then Shadowshade and I would be happy to oblige. “How many are with him?” We walked toward the infamous Glassway ledge.

“There are about twelve-teen of them, I believe.”

“Stupid fuck! Jump across the fucking ledge and I’ll see for myself. Go!” As she had commanded, I jumped across the gap and onto the other side. I had made it off of the glass.

“Ready?” Shadowshade butted in. “Here comes a show! I’ve got one for you.” Time began to slow tremendously. Everything was moving only a little bit at a time now. The air was made of molasses.

“I hope you have fun joining your unavenged lover!” I yelled unexpectedly while she began her flight over the ravine. She wasn’t nearly as intelligent as she thought she would be. I jumped toward her and the Glassway and she soared through the air to meet me. We collided right above the abyss. It was amazing. I really enjoyed moments like this. They added a little bit of spice to my life.

My momentum was greater than hers, so we flew back toward the edge of the glass. Her back was the first thing to hit the almost transparent bridge’s side. Crack. It was a good hard body cracking hit. Hooray! She fell straight down and I started to fall away with her, but I decided not to follow her down to death tonight. Instead, I postponed my end by grabbing onto the ledge with both hands. I was strong enough to pull myself up. She never had the opportunity. I crawled back up onto the glass surface and Shadowshade began his commentary…

“It’s almost like it’s happening all over again, isn’t it? Falling from the Glassway to their deaths…you’re the only person who saw both of them die. How unusual that is, hmm? I think so. Maybe you’re the significant factor here. Where will you hide now? Your little almost-troupe of vagabonds won’t be enough to keep the country at bay. But it will be known when you die. Few depart with such a luxury. Well…carry on.” Splat! Her body splattered all over the pavement just like her dearly departed Buzzkill’s had before.

I peered over the edge and could see the body lying on the ground. Her blood was pooling all around her body. It sparkled in the moonlight like a sea of liquid ruby. I was really quite beautiful. For a split second I thought the body was his rather than hers, for it had been his before. How very odd, that the universe always seems to make that sort of thing happen. New connections and new meanings had just been formed so brilliantly. I’m sure that night might’ve been traumatic for some, but I was utterly captivated.

The time to leave the Glassway had come, so I hopped back over to the bank’s cement balcony. Boing! How was I not dead yet? I wasn’t quite sure, and I never would be. One can never be sure. I made it back across the street with ease and the Crown Vic roared to life.

“Humm,” the engine said as it hummed. Were Scéléra and Vera here with me? Was Veia here too? Sometimes I got Veia and Vera’s names confused, which led to some accidental sexual fantasies on more than one occasion. All three of them were with me though, at least in a way. They lived on in the seats of Ivan the Terrible’s car.

The city was quiet tonight, almost too quiet. It was like driving through the eye of a hurricane. The storm was far from being over. This was simply a short-lived intermission. I parked the car at the edge of the little forest and began to make my way into the maze of trees. I noticed a small child standing at the tree line and he waved at me as I approached.

“What are you doing out here?” I could hardly see him in the dark, apart from his brunette bangs that glimmered in the light of the moon. Who was he?

“What are you doing out here?” He asked back. “Was that lady right? Did you kill the man that she talked about?” I wasn’t sure, but I didn’t have to answer to this child. How did he even know about all of that?

“Of course not. Who the hell are you?” How did he know about me?

“My name’s Tristan. I’m lost. I’m trying to find my sister. Have you seen a girl named Anna? I need to find her to make sure she’s okay.” What the hell?

“I don’t know, kid.” The boy was a younger version of me. Was I awake?

“What if you did kill the man the lady was talking about? Wouldn’t she deserve to be mad at you for that? How do you know that you didn’t? How do you know, Ivan?” This needed to stop. This was insane.

“Go home, kid. Go home right now.”

“But my Daddy, he’ll make me play daddy.” God damn it. Yes…yes he would.

“You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here. Okay?”

“Is it bad that he makes me play the game with him? I don’t know. It feels so weird to me.” I was definitely not prepared to deal with this.

“Go away.”

“But Anna…” This couldn’t be happening. This really couldn’t be happening, could it? I must have been losing my shit. I ran into the forest and left the boy behind. I couldn’t deal with that. I couldn’t deal with him ever. I couldn’t help him because I couldn’t help myself. I was running away from myself just like I had been for as long as I could remember. I ran from myself as fast as I could and I didn’t look back.

Soon I returned to the hideaway of Dee Gaggles. Veia would be back by now. That would definitely brighten up my night. I stood out in front of the house, but no one was out there with me. A light was on inside. Certainly everyone couldn’t fit in the little shack all at once. Were they all lying on top of each other? What was going on?

I approached the door and opened it wide. The people inside weren’t frightened once they saw that it was me, but I was extremely unnerved by the scene before me. There were only four people here. Dee Gaggles was standing over the kitchen table and two men stood on the other side of it behind her. One of them looked sort of familiar. I didn’t know who the other one was, but I hardly even noticed that they existed. The fourth person here was laid out on the table, covered in her own blood.

My vision dimmed. My hearing faded away. The only sound left in my ears…the beating of my heart. Bubump. Bubump. What happened? What was happening? My heart…it was beating so fast. I quickly and painfully came rushing back to reality. It was Veia. It was Veia.

“What the fuck happened?!” I furiously ran to the table. It couldn’t be her. It wasn’t her. It couldn’t be.

“The law was passed. They can kill us now, just like they could before. Only now they don’t have to cover it up. We’re the only ones left,” Dee spoke in whitewashed monotone. I looked into Veia’s eyes but she couldn’t look back into mine. She was gone before I opened the door. She wasn’t coming back…just like everyone else. I was dead too. I died that night. I just had to wait for my body to figure it out.

“She said to tell you: ‘Make it so that our story is never forgotten, and we will live on together forever. Our ideas and our effects on the future world can be eternal. We are the voices of tomorrow that spoke today.’ Now that I’ve told you, we have to go. They’ll find this place soon, I’m surely sure. I’m sorry about Veia. Come.”

She was gone. She was fucking gone. It didn’t matter that I loved what she told Dee to say. My hope was all but destroyed. Things looked much darker than they had before. Soon they would kill me too. I needed to decide what I could do to leave an impact on the world before that happened.

“Come on!” Dee and I exited the building and were soon followed by the two men from inside.

“I’ll see you later. I’m done.” One of them walked away. His pale skin glowed in the moonlight just like mine. I didn’t blame him for going. I would have given up too if I was sane, but I suppose sanity is all in the eye of the beholder. I looked at the other fellow. He was a very thin black man with long red and purple dreadlocks and a piercing gaze.

“Boodis, are you coming with us?” Dee asked. Boodis? What an interesting name.

“Blithoo spiragulate spinespoon penta-copsy! Scrnowliways Ostiviatia!” He screamed this jibberty-jabber frantically while wildly flailing his arms around and running off into the forest.

“Well he has clearly lost his shit.”

“So have you and I, guy,” Dee replied. She had a point.

“So will we venture on together or go our separate ways?”

“I know of somewhere we could go. We aren’t done just yet, missure. The show goes on as long as we’re alive.” Dee was right. We shouldn’t give up just yet. Soon the Crown Vic was swimming through the city once again, the city that I was beginning to hate. They took everything. They took Veia. What was there left for me to do? I would leave a mark on the world. We wouldn’t die in vain. “What’s on your mind, mister real-life supervillain?” We flew past all of the brightly glowing streets…my mind was always thinking of a million different outlandish things at once.

“I’m thinking so many different thoughts, would you really like to know?”

“Of course.”

“I’m thinking of the parts of the mind that don’t make it to TV, parts of the mind that are always there driving knives into our souls. They’re parts of the mind that we battle and reflect on, but don’t talk about out loud. They’re not so hard to find. Think of yourself at every age you’ve ever been. What is it that you see? I look for causes and effects, the ones that form the people we become. I believe in causes and effects.” She seemed interested. It’s always nice to know that you’ve interested someone.

“I wonder what they all mean,” she halfway inquired. “If one finds all of the causes and effects that created who they’ve become, is it possible to transcend the causes? Or are they forever embedded into the most sensitive and significant parts of our conscious thought? Does the past always determine the present?”

“Not entirely, but everything seems to reappear in some way or another. Sometimes I can see an old friend of mine sitting in the very same seat you’re sitting in now. This car has been around for a while and has somehow lived to tell the tale. It is a constant reminder of a life that now only exists as a memory. Sometimes I see darker things. I see my childhood. I see things that I don’t want to see.

“But even the worst thoughts should be spoken. I want to see not only how life has affected the mind, but also how it has affected the soul. Where is the point at which a thought becomes too unsettling to think? How deep into the mind can one go before their thoughts become too threatening to their sanity and are repressed? I don’t think it’s very hard to find these things out.”

“Is it really so easy?” She gave me a puzzled stare. Did she think I was crazy?

“Yes. What if all of our efforts have been for nothing? What if they kill us and we’re completely forgotten? What if they don’t want us to stay wherever we’re going? We could die just like Veia and the other protesters died, screaming in agony as we fall to the ground. They killed them all mercilessly and still they hunt me down for killing…what a hypocritical world. Veia and the others begged for air with all the strength left in their bodies, but no air would come. Trying to breathe was useless. Do you…”

“Okay, I see your point. Let’s move on.”

“I told you so.”

“Turn left, right now!” She yelled just before it was too late to turn, so I turned. We cruised through the poor side of town, past block after block of dilapidated apartments.

“We’re here.” We pulled up at the most rundown complex of them all.

But where exactly was here? Who was I about to meet? I was about to find out.

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