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November 2012

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bohra

Trapped in the Middle

sPreviously: Cloy was on his way home from work one night when he witnessed an extraordinary girl get run over by a van. Instead of waiting for an ambulance, he picked her mangled body up and carried her home. Unable to understand his strange actions himself, what will he do with the fatally wounded girl? Previous chapters HERE.


CHAPTER 2 MIRACLE OR MIRAGE?

I regained control of my body as I put her in my bathtub.

I just dumped her there, a mess that used to be a human. My bathtub turned from porcelain white to horror movie red in seconds. The image would remain in my brain until the day I died. The terrifying smell of blood and gore quickly filled my tiny bathroom, it reached my brain and the nausea came strikingly fast. I gagged. Like a claw clenching my insides, the reek wrapped itself around me and strangled me. I felt dizzy. I had just taken the victim of a car crash and brought her home, only to die in my bathtub. I couldn't understand why, all I could see was the blood that had stained everything, all I could hear were my own whimpers and all I could smell was death. My head hurt. Feeling like my sides were about to split I sat on my toilet lid, hugging myself tight. The fear, the shock, the horror they all choked me. I almost hyperventilated. Yet I still couldn't stop looking at her.

I knew I had to do something. When I had asked for a spark of inspiration, this hadn't been what I had had in mind!

"I... I sh-should..." I said, my voice quivering. My whole body trembled.

She was looking at me with grateful eyes.

It made no sense. In that mess of porcelain and red and gore she was tranquil. Her pale blue eyes were so beautiful and calm, like a glacier that stretched on forever, vast like the sky on a cloudless day. Looking into her eyes I felt a little easier, the nausea loosened its grip a little allowing space for confusion. I wasn't sure was I feeling any better realizing that she was at peace, I was the one writhing in agony. It seemed as if I had been the one hurt in the accident and she was trying to comfort me. She huffed, clearly her broken body was affecting her aura of serenity but she was far from screaming in pain, or what I would imagine someone having been run over would do.

"I must... call 911", I said, unable to comprehend the paradox that she was. With a shaking hand I took my phone from my pocket.

"No..." She said in a hoarse voice, trying to pull herself up. Her beautiful white hair was stained red and had glued to her broken body like tiny snakes slithering around her.

I stared at her, one voice in my head screaming to call 911 and another one telling me to calm down. I was at a loss of which one to obey. The pounding was getting worse, I rubbed my forehead hoping it would help but it didn't. Maybe she was one of those fundamental Christians who denied medical help and believed in the healing power of prayer? She had bad luck, I was all out of prayers. Calming down wasn't going to help. Her death was only going to be prolonged and more painful if I didn't make the call. Even then I wasn't sure if anyone could help her anymore, she could've already been beyond medical help, her wounds were extremely serious.

Ignoring her strange calm aura I reached for my smartphone and with trembling hands pressed the numbers 911. Before I could press dial she had squirmed to the edge of the tub and reached her bloody hand to take a firm grip of my wrist. I grimaced, dropping my phone. Her grip was incredibly strong, unnatural. I couldn't believe a person injured so badly could muster such strength. She frightened me.

"I'll... heal by myself." She said slowly, her eyes aflame.

I nodded slowly, biting my lower lip from the pain in my wrist. It was going the leave a bruise. She stared at me with narrowed eyes. That face covered in blood, on her cheek a gaping hole that showed her teeth. I wanted to scream or throw up, I didn't know which. I couldn't do both at the same time. As suddenly as she had grabbed my wrist, she let go and slumped into the bathtub, her body making a squeaking sound against the porcelain.

"It'll be over... soon." She huffed.

"That's what I'm afraid of!" I stood up, clenching my fists. My head spun and I had to lean against the wall to stay on my feet. They felt wobbly. I wiped cold sweat from my forehead to my shirt, only smearing her blood on my face. Feeling the cold secretion on my face sent my fear gauge through the roof and I yanked my shirt off, wailing: "You're mad! I'm mad! This is mad!"

"It isn't mad..." She looked at me with those eyes full of tranquillity.

She lifted a finger to her lips, kissed it and trailed it up her leg. It began to glow. The bone sticking out of her shin suddeny cracked back into place. Silvery silky skin wrapped itself around her leg and a trail of shining diamonds embedded in her leg from the foot to the hip came visible.

My eyes widened. Impossible. Maybe this was all a delirium.

She inhaled deeply, crossing her hands on her chest and closed her eyes. The glow from her leg spread to her whole body. That white, almost transparent skin covered her cheek, hiding the gruesome grin. On her forehead a trail of diamonds began to shine, the red color exuded from her hair and it began to shimmer. Out of her head grew two blue lotus buds above her left ear. Bones snapped back into their places, muscles found their places and blood vessels meandered across them. Like a film going backwards she reversed her wounds. The red that had stained my bathroom trickled back into her body, leaving my bathtub as if nothing had happened. No mess, no blood, no injuries. Once all else was in place, glasslike skin slid over her, leaving her body clean and glowing. Those diamonds trailed across all her limbs, from thumbs to shoulders and feet to hips. What had been a pulp became her body.

In this world that I had lost all faith in, a miracle had happened before my eyes. I was rendered immobile and speechless by the wonder I had witnessed.

"Do you believe me now?" She asked as she got up, from nowhere a dress as light as air was woven around her from the finest of materials, directly from two silkworm cocoons. They circled her at an amazing pace, whirling and whizzing, creating a dress of extraordinary beauty. It flowed down from one shoulder and draped around her waist, then settled all the way down to her ankles, leaving a long slit for the right leg. It shimmered in all the colors of the spectrum like fish scales in the sun. Strings of light secured it around her waist. She was tall, much taller than me and her limbs, they were so thin and long, delicate like a sculpture's.

"W-what are... what are you!?" I fell on my butt on the bathroom floor. "Impossible!"

Inside my head a merry-go-round rode a roller coaster. It hurt. I was mad. I had to be. Sometime during my way home I had snapped for good, I had lost all my marbles and joined the cuckoo club. There was no other explanation for the mirage in my bathroom.

She grabbed my chin and lifted my head to look at her, her icy eyes were full of kindness. Her lashes were white like icicles, the pupils almost white with a pale blue edges. Her skin was like finest porcelain, emotionless but impeccably smooth and almost transparent. On her forehead a band of diamonds shone like a corona made of stars, her white hair flowed down her shoulders all the way to her waist like a waterfall. Two lotus flowers above her left ear opened to large bloom, azure blue. Her face was beautifully androgynous, high cheekbones that protruded a little and a strong but narrow jawline. Like an angel warrior from a mural. Incredible, I gasped for air. I had thought film stars were beautiful, but their beauty was shallow compared to the entity in front of me who was beyond exquisite, beyond graceful, beyond angelic. Divine. I was at a loss for words. She was the single most magnificent sight I had ever witnessed.

"I am Caelestys, a god/dess of light and healing." She looked at me intensely, not even looking into my eyes but beyond them, deeper inside. I could see a smile in her eyes even when there was none on her lips. Her long slender fingers let go of my chin.

"You're the most beautiful girl I've ever seen", I said, unable to comprehend her exquisite beauty. 

"I reject your genders." Caelestys said with her fierce eyes drilling into me. "I am neither a woman nor a man. I am a god/dess and our existence is not defined by genders. You shall refer to me as 'e." 

I stared at h' in agape for a moment before returning to reality and snapping out of my enchantment. The fear and confusion returned, taking away the instant pleasure h' beauty had given me.

"But... but your body! Your cheek! Your shin! A bone! And the blood! And your hand! Twisted!" I only spat out words, I couldn't speak properly. Too much had happened for me to comprehend. My mind was bursting out of its seams, expanding to a whole new level and as a result the pounding in my head was killing me.

"Yes, I healed myself." 'E said softly. Even h' voice was unreal, soft like the ringing of a thousand tiny bells.

"But....but....but...but...but..." I muttered, unable to control the flow of words.

'E watched me patiently as I babbled on like a broken record on a loop. My mind was in a twist and couldn't figure out how to return to normal. I grimaced because the headache was getting worse.

"I want to thank you for saving me." 'E said calmly, brushing h' hair off h' face. "I want to give you the gift of healing."

'E pressed h' lips on mine.

For a moment I felt like a stream of purest light passed through my body. At the same time an intense pain and a delirious happiness, a suppressive sadness and an overwhelming pleasure. The whole scale of being a human. Added to that a divine existence that wrapped itself around my every cell and renewed me, took my body and disintegrated it to reintegrate it into a better, purer being. For a fleeting second I was an existence of pure energy. What a rush! Free from the chains of mortality, able to be everywhere in the world at the exact same moment without really existing anywhere at all. I was all-powerful and all-knowing. I was filled with a sensation that ravished my whole existence.

Although at that time unaware of it, I had been the first in hundreds of years to be privileged to become a chosen one, the favorite of a god/dess.

As soon as h' lips left mine the sensation disappeared and I was back in my tiny bathroom, sitting on the floor. The headache was gone, but my mind and my body had had enough. Too much had happened to me in one day. Unable to bear so much excitement and fear and horror and divinity, I finally gave up. Everything went black as I let myself be embraced by the sweet oblivion of unconsciousness.

TO BE CONTINUED...



EXTRA: After a few negative comments about the cut explaining the new androgynous pronouns, I decided to take it out and replace it with a simple sentence by Caelestys explaining h' androgyny. But yes, here's how it's going to beSince all god/desses are genderless (or can take any gender at any time), I will use 'e (for he or she) 's (for his/hers) 'self (for himself/herself) h' (for him/her in object case). I would also love to hear comments about this.



AUTHOR'S NOTES

Hmm, seems like my story divides opinions.

Others feel that the god/dess idea is overused and drained dry, others think it might be interesting. I understand it is a difficult subject to keep fresh and interesting because it is so familiar to everyone, but I hope I'm not getting tangled up too much in mythology and the usual imagery of gods/desses. Haha, bear with me! I guess there's no harm in saying that these god/desses aren't at all that different from us humans. They have their selected powers and the ability to appear anywhere anytime (travel through time and space). For example, only Caelestys can heal (and since 'e gave Cloy the gift of healing, so can he). There is only one exception, but I'll talk about that when the time comes. Maybe I'll make a character post once I introduce a few more characters, haha!

Also I'd love to hear your thoughts about the androgynous pronouns. Is it difficult to read? 

Comments

Lovely! I loved this chapter particularly. I actually read it aloud and it has a very nice flow. The descriptions of the sickness Clay felt was beautiful. The blood on the tub, beautiful.

Totally loved these lines:

Her beautiful white hair was stained red and had glued to her broken body like tiny snakes slithering around her.

Like a claw clenching my insides, the reek wrapped itself around me and strangled me.

It shimmered in all the colors of the spectrum like fish scales in the sun.

----

I personally like the androgyny angle but I can't say that I've heard of it before. The reading was a little strange at first, but like everything else you get adjusted. I rather liked it. I like both concepts though, whether the god/dess are the epitome of their "sex" or the absence of sex creates a new sort of perfection. Both are lovely concepts to me. I appreciate seeing androgynous characters though.

I also don't think that there is anything wrong with using familiar imagery for classical and familiar characters. Using original and using classic concepts holds two different powers in my mind and using a mixture is also it's own power. When we use familiar imagery it links us to all the stories that we know and many run very culturally deep. For me it creates a sense of "circular wholeness" I'm not sure how to express it otherwise. Using completely original imagery of classical characters on the other hand creates a novel joy, to see how someone else interprets classic characters. It sort of ignites the imagination.

I do love, love, love mixtures though. Few things please me more. I'm a tiny bit sad that you veered away from using more mythology. I love plays on old stories Have you ever read Labyrinth by Kate Mosse or Helen of Troy by Margaret George or Spinners by Donna Jo Napoli? I loved the way the three rewrite classic tales, they intertwine stories, develop deeper characters, and create stories that are unique despite reliance on their beautiful old tales.

Anyway, eager to read more, Dear!

Thank you so much <3 That means so much to me! I tried to make this chapter as memorable as possible because it defines the story and it has to have enough to make the reader interested in what's going to happen to the characters.

I'm still a little iffy about the androgyny angle but I absolutely love the idea so I've tried to hold onto it. I want to see how the future characters are different when they are not defined by their gender. Writing like that though is a huge pain in the ass so far... haha, maybe I'll get used to it too!

I'm afraid that if I draw too much from mythologies it becomes boring or predictable. I like to hint more than directly link... at first I actually started writing this with the original gods' names but ditched the idea because I was getting too tangled in the complex characters that they were. I didn't have enough space to move around...

I'll have to check those out! New angles to old stories are always interesting, unfortunately at times the original story changes so much that it becomes unrecognizable and takes away the effect...
It kept me on the edge from the very beggining! I was very curious as to what would happen later and I found Clay quite genuine: his emotions and actions (even though my initial reaction was: LOL WHAT YOU CAN'T MOVE A DYING PERSON AROUND WHAT OH MY GOD). He's endearing. I'm usually very skeptic about 1st person POV - since people who write this way tend to stray to Mary Sues very easily - but you're pulling it off rather nicely. The story has a great flow, in addition.

You did a wonderful job, dear! I can't wait to read more.

As far as androgyny is concerned - at first it was painful to read, since naturally our minds are used to words we're familiar with. It still seemed strange when I finished reading but I'm pretty sure I'm going to get used to it.
I'm so happy to hear that! Thank you! <3 I've spent hours and hours on end writing Cloy again and again because I want him to be realistic <3 even though he is cynical and hateful and rather antisocial, I still want him to be lovable.

It was painful to write, but I love the idea so I'm trying to keep writing androgynously. It's very difficult to write as well, not being used to using these new kinds of pronouns, but I'll keep hitting my head against the wall... for now, haha!
I've been away for the past few weeks and I'm so happy to see that meanwhile you posted a new chapter of your story!

I really like this one. It started really well with your description of Clay's emotions (I love how you describe thoughts and feelings <3) (and, OMG +_+, the on her cheek a gaping hole that showed her teeth part, made me feel like throwing up too xD). But I loved mostly the second part of the chapter, when you started writing with the androgynous pronouns. It was so interesting to read and, maybe it's because I'm italian, but it didn't feel strange to me ^^
I'm so exited for the next chapter!
Thank you! I try my best to describe thoughts and feelings <3 It's hard and I usually feel like I could do more but trying too hard creates sentences that are hard to read, haha!

I'm glad it didn't ruin the experience for you, at first I struggled very hard with it but I guess I'm starting to get used to it...
At first I was like "OHMYGAWD THE GORE, I CAN'T TAKE IT." Especially the whole "hole in her cheek" thing.
Then I was stunned to silence by the whole healing herself thing, and how I could literally see this beautiful shimmery being coming together in front of my "eyes".
I love stories that really draw me in like this and just allows me to imagine everything as if it's really happening to me.
Plus I love stories with Gods/godesses cos they're just so awesome, so double gold star for this. HAHA.
The androgynous thing makes sense, but the pronouns can get confusing. I'm sure it'll get better as I read on tho, SO KEEP WRITING(:
Thanks for sharing this!
Thanks for sharing this!!
I found that line quite effective, I was actually inspired to write it after having watched the Walking Dead (those walkers are seriously creepy, right?)

I'm really happy you feel like you get sucked into the story, as a writer it's the greatest feedback from a reader <3 You really made my day! Thank you so much for your wonderful comments!