Jagged

Jagged

_______
You’ll never believe:

Some people break and stay broke,
Some people break then make,
the best of the rest.
Others,
Try to put the pieces back,
but the jagged edges stick out,
and cut those who try to help.

Please,
Shatter my rotting soul,
Grotesque and festering mold.
So,
I can put them back right.

Please,
Bring me that light,
and,
let it pierce my shell; so cold.
Do we need to grow so old?
Just want to do what I’m told.
Tell me.

Saving Hadley: Chapter 20

Okay, I have a hard time calling this a chapter as well, it’s not just you. Especially in contrast to the previous two chapters pulling around three condensed pages each. I’ve come back to this snapshot, time after time, only to find it adequately expresses what it needs to. It’s placement is necessary, but brief, and I value concision in my writing.

Start at the beginning, if you’re so inclined: https://bluebeard-art.com/prologue-2/

_______________________________

XX

Present Day-Nessa

 

Nessa felt hot. It was dark, but she could feel the sweat and grime saturating her pores. An unrelenting pressure bore down on her, making it difficult to breath, to move. Not that she could anyway, her senses were numbed, her extremities frayed. What happened? Where the fuck am I? Suddenly, as realization hit, Nessa panicked. I’m in a body bag, shit, the knife, where’s the knife!? She struggled against her bodies unresponsiveness, pronating in a vain effort to make room so she could reach her back pocket. How come, every fucking time I need my knife, it’s just out of reach? What is this weight on top of me? Okay, Nessa, stay calm. Don’t scream, you can get out of this, but not if you alert those fucks that you’re still breathing. 

As some of the feeling started to return to Nessa’s extremities, she tried hard to remember what the man had said. He said he’d find me, unless he couldn’t make it out. What if he didn’t make it out? Finally, she managed to roll onto her right shoulder. The bag must be engulfed in something, its being compressed in different areas when I move. With difficulty, she forced her left hand behind her, feeling for the small knife the man had given her. There it is, okay, carefully now, I don’t want it to stab me. The liquid panic, adrenaline, was creeping in, despite her best efforts to keep calm. Pulling the knife from her pocket, she pronated her left-hand outwards, attempting to pierce the bag. Her breathing started to quicken as the bags plastic held strong against the small surgical blade.

Breathing heavily, her lips started to quiver as she frantically dug the blade back and forth against the body bag, as the crushing weight smothered her remaining vitality. A moment later, the small knife pierced the thick plastic body bag. Nessa’s quick sigh of relief was soon replaced with renewed horror and fear as she felt dirt fall onto her small hand, through the bags new hole. They’ve fucking buried me! Unable to contain herself, she screamed in terror. Bladder releasing, she began to struggle violently against the, stoic, prevailing earth, before inadvertently cutting her arm on the scalpel. “Not like this!” She screamed.  

Saving Hadley: Chapter 19

The continuation of chapter 16, and Simon’s decent into revenge and anger, a shadow of his former self. A disheartening chapter, as it really illustrates how far he’s fallen from the kind and altruistic nature he displayed in Act 1, before the accident, before the suicide.

Start at the beginning: https://bluebeard-art.com/prologue-2/

 

XIX

May 25th, 2017-Simon

                As Simon finished compressing his largest syringe, he looked to Clifton. The man’s face was sullen, empty, resigned to his fate. His sweat and feces had fused into one, with a hint of red introduced by the tears of blood streaming from his left eye. He smells about right. Simon approached Clifton, smiling, and asked, “You look strong, Clifton. Do you work in construction?”

Confused, Clifton replied, “I’m a personal trainer. I work in a gym thirty hours a week.”

Simon made a show of nodding, feigning interest, before saying, “Well, you did work in a gym thirty hours a week. You might find moving difficult after this next one.” A shadow of fear fell over the man’s face. “You see, the problem with large muscles, is that they become stronger than the supportive organs and tissues surrounding them.” Clifton’s working eye opened wide and his lips began to quiver. Simon got onto his knees, leaned forward, and brought the syringe to his victim’s right quadricep. Clifton frantically struggled away from the needle, only managing to gain an inch. Pausing, Simon whispered “Relax while you can, Clifton, you’re about to get a workout.” He cut a small hole into Clifton’s pants using a large hunting knife.

Whimpering, Clifton rasped in response, “Please, don’t, man! Just please, I get it man, I get it!” Simon forced the large and unwieldy syringe deep into the muscular tissue of the man’s middle thigh. After forcefully injecting about half of the neuro-muscular toxin, he withdrew the needle. Clifton’s leg began to slowly spasm as Simon rapidly injected the rest of the solution into Clifton’s right glut.

Simon stood, stepped back, and watched as the muscles in Clifton’s legs started to spasm. Like tectonic plates shifting, the defined muscular tissue bagan contracting, pronating, and extending randomly. Clifton was screaming again, but little sound left his frayed vocal chords. A large crack filled the quiet air, as Clifton’s own quadricep broke his knee against the restraints. Impressive, Tibia’s aren’t soft bones. No longer held back by skeletal restraints, his legs movements grew more erratic, and tore skin from bone. A moment later, a small pop radiated through the quiet barn, as Clifton’s upper quadricep tore, shooting violently towards his patella. Unfortunately for Clifton, his hamstrings, antagonistic to the quadricep, remained intact, and kept firing. Disgusted, Simon spat, and said, “You really should have stretched more, looks like your hamstrings are a little more flexible than the other parts of your leg. Stretching really is important for body building, you know.”

Clifton’s head fell backwards, eye closing, mouth gaping, as his Hamstring dislocated the proximal end of his Femur, where it met the hip. Well shit, he’s going into shock. I suppose he’s losing a little bit of blood with the bone sticking out like that. Simon stood there a moment, letting a wave of sick euphoria crash down his spine blackening his sweltering heart, and allowing the twisted ice to spread, erasing the pain. Regretfully, Simon left the perverted reverie, and said, “Okay buddy, I know it hurts. Don’t die on me now, Dr. Sheffield has exactly what you need to keep that heart ticking.” He doesn’t appear responsive. Simon rushed to his briefcase and pulled out a small solution comprised of adrenaline and type-two vasoconstrictors. The solution would keep Clifton alive while reducing bleeding and increasing pain. Carefully, he drew a generous dose into a small syringe before compressing it. He moved towards the listless man, and said, “This might sting, just a little.” He brought the small syringe to Clifton’s neck with his right hand, using his left to palpate the common carotid artery. Finding the weak pulse, he released the solution into the major artery.

Simon stepped back and waited for the disheveled man’s consciousness to return. After about ten seconds, Clifton gasped for air, breathing harshly, and his hands began to quiver; good eye darting back and forth in confusion. Delirious and crying, Clifton asked, “Dad, is that you? Where am I, why does my leg hurt so much.” That’s right, Clifton, experience the confusion, the pain, she felt. “You…You’re not my dad, help, my…my leg. It hurts so bad.”

Cruelly, Simon sneered, and responded, “No, I’m not your father. I’m your god, and your soul is mine. You did a bad thing Clifton, this is divine penance.”

A haggard shadow of his former self, he murmured, “I’m innocent, you’ve got the wrong person. I haven’t done anything!”

“Shh… it’s almost over, Clifton.” said Simon, walking to his briefcase, and taking a surgical scalpel in hand. “You’re close to peace now, just a little bit more, and you can rest, forever. Would you like that?”

Crying, again, Clifton responded “I…I don’t want to die.”

“But you don’t want to live, not like this? Do you?” he countered, moving towards Clifton with the scalpel.

“Not like this…no.” Clifton whispered, choking.

“Then let the good doctor set you free, just a few swipes, and it’ll be over.” responded Simon, tears welling. Simon pinned Clifton’s right arm, making a quick and clean horizontal cut at the base of his wrist, beneath his palm. Clifton cried out, voice cracking, and Simon moved to the left arm, repeating the cut. Silent now, the bleeding man hung his head, giving up.

As Simon moved back to Clifton’s right arm, Clifton whispered, “I’m so sorry about your son, and about your wife.” Simon paused, jaw tightening, suddenly numb as he cut about seven inches vertically along the radial artery. Across the woods, then down the river. To hell and back we roam.

Coolly, Simon responded, “Not…good enough.” Simon moved to the left arm, repeating the cut. Feeling empty, he dropped the scalpel, backed away, and watched his wife’s murderer die.

As Clifton grew still, the bearded man, still standing near the barn’s entrance, called out, “Well that was something, wasn’t it?”

Saving Hadley Chapter 16

Start at the beginning: https://bluebeard-art.com/prologue-2/

XVI

May 25th, 2017-Simon

 

Simon waited, nervously tapping, for the car to arrive. In his left hand, he held a stuffed paper bag, in the other, a reinforced metal briefcase. After much thought, he’d decided on a black T-shirt, dark cargo pants, and black leather shoes. He also wore dark rimmed sunglasses under a black and orange cap. They’d picked a small and isolated road in the boonies to make the exchange. Simon checked his digital watch, 7:12 PM. He’s two minutes late. Did I get the location wrong?

A moment later, a black Sedan with blacker windows turned onto the country road where Simon had parked. Simon’s pulse quickened, his tapping sped, as the car slowed to a stop in front of him. This is it. An older man in a navy-blue suit stepped out of the drivers-side door. Gracefully, he slipped around the front of the Sedan and opened the back-passenger door, and motioned for Simon to get in. Eagerly, Simon walked forward, ducking to get into the Sedan. As Simon sat, securing his belongings on his lap, the driver closed the door.

A man sat to Simon’s right. He looked rough with his long beard and black pin-striped suit. I may have underdressed. Without looking to Simon, the man asked, “Do you have the cash?”

Simon handed the man his paper bag and said, “Yes. Seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars, all unmarked.” Simon felt a wave of anxiety as the man took the bag without response, opened it, and took out the money.  I suppose it’s natural for him to want to count it.

Two minutes later, the man greedily stuffed the money back in the bag before saying, “Good.” He gently rapped the divider twice and the Sedan started to move. The man opened his small briefcase, stored the money inside before looking to Simon, “Your mark has been prepared, as per your request. Currently, he is sedated at a small farm-house within two miles of this area. I will, as we discussed, remain at the location with you to dispose of the corpse once you are finished saying what you need to say, Mr. Sheffield.” Smiling, he continued, “Please don’t hesitate to let me know if something is out of order.”

Meeting his gaze, Simon responded, “I’m sure I’ll find everything to be in order.” Simon turned away from the man. This is so casual to him. It’s like I’m buying a car, not a person. Unnerving. The pair rode in relative silence for another three minutes before the Sedan came to a smooth halt. Simon and the bearded man both got out of the car. Simon examined his surroundings. For miles, all he could see was meadow-like grass and weeds, uncouth life flourishing in the warm summer sun; infecting his resolve. How can such beauty and horror collide? And no one will notice. In front of the Sedan was a red barn. Behind the barn was a fence that stretched for at least three acres. A few large horses were running from one side to the other, as Simon walked towards the entrance of the barn.

The bearded man, walking ahead of Simon, reached the barns two, large, sliding doors. Looking back, he smiled enigmatically, before theatrically sliding the doors apart. This is the circus my life has become, apparently. Stepping back, he motioned Simon forward, not unlike a sales man emphatically revealing his product. Simons jaw tightened as he saw the limp form of Bud Clifton. The fires ignited Simons senses, all trepidation slowly trickled from blazes embrace, freezing or dying as it was caught in the blackened and glutinous soul-fire. Simon walked into the barn, liquid rage distorting his vison, frost exciting his nerves to the point of numbness, as he pictured Hadley’s cold and limp frame on their bathroom floor. This is the man who ruined my life.

Clifton was bound by leather to a wooden chair with an ambiguous IV trailing from his right elbow to a saline-bag. Low dose anesthetic. Time to wake him up. The entire floor of the barn was covered in two layers of material. The bottom was an opaque white, while the top was a clear, thin, and unapologetic plastic. Simon moved to the small, wooden, table to left of Clifton’s IV stand. Clifton was a short man with a muscular build. He looked to be in his late twenties and had a handsome face. He can’t be older than me. He looked older on the news.

Rumbling, a deep voice whispered, “He’s the one, his age is irrelevant. He must be made to pay.” You’re right. I can’t falter, I’ll do this for Hadley, for Adam. Simon set his reinforced metal briefcase on the wooden sill, unclicking each latch before opening it. A shiver of dark anticipation chilled Simons back, fraying his sense of self. He moved to where Clifton’s IV stand and cut the flow of the sedative. Just a few minutes now. A chorus of voices whispered sub-audibly, encouraging Simon’s dissociative haze of vindictive-lust. The briefcase contained several chemicals, neurotoxins, nerve agents, and laxatives.

Smiling, Simon grabbed both laxatives and placed them beside the briefcase. The vials were labeled  and .  Next, he grabbed a mid-volume syringe with an oversized needle. Simon opened each tube of laxative, then drew half of  into the syringe. I do love this one, if the math is right, and it is, his large intestines will reabsorb around 700% more water. That’s roughly equal to taking six medically effective doses of MiraLAX. Carefully angling the syringes needle into the air, Simon compressed the laxative a tad, too much of  could kill a person, so it was important to get the dosage right. Simon drew approximately four milliliters of  before compressing the rest of the needles volume and checking for air.  was a bulk-forming laxative that ensure Clifton’s discomfort would be maximal. By combining the two laxatives, Clifton would almost immediately empty his entire bowel, solidly, and be forced to sit in his own filth. He may also vomit shit, a nasty side-effect. Intestinal spasms are a bitch. He’ll be fine though, as long as I keep him hydrated enough to keep the shock away.

As Clifton began to stir, Simon went to loosen his restraints, syringe in hand. Not so loose that he could escape or wreck his IV, but enough to struggle. The bearded man called out “What are you doin?”

Annoyed, Simon shouted over his shoulder, “Remember when you told me to tell if you if anything was out of order? Please stop commenting.” The bearded man didn’t respond as Simon pulled Clifton’s shirt over his head. He palpated Clifton’s abdomen, feeling for the duodenum of the small intestine. Cruelly, Simon forced the large needle into Clifton’s skin until he felt the intestine rupture. Carefully, he released the solution as Clifton groaned, starting to stir. As he removed the syringe, careful not to damage Clifton’s intestine further, Clifton began to shout in pain and confusion.

Smiling unkindly, Simon pulled the smaller man’s shirt down before taking three slow steps backwards and observing his prey. Clifton looked at Simon, eyes wide, and half choked, “Where the fuck am I? Who are you, what’s wrong with my stomach? It hurts!” Simon felt an unapologetic rush of euphoria, reveling in his own perversion. “Ugh, my stomach, what is that feeling?”

“Well, that’s a lot of questions, Clifton, how about you answer some of my questions first, then we can consider yours, I think that’s fair.” Simon responded, flatly, eyes dead, and lips snarling.

Desperately, Clifton said, “I’ll answer anything you want me to answer, man, I don’t know anything though.” Clifton suddenly screamed in pain. “My stomach, help me!”

Shaking his head condescendingly, Simon said, “You do, actually.” Clifton blushed as he released a large amount of gas, violently soiling himself. “Does the name Adam Sheffield ring a bell?” Clifton’s face froze, suddenly stoic.

Jaw tight, he responded, “Yeah, he’s the kid that lady buckled into the car seat wrong.” How dare you.

Simon spit on Clifton and shouted, “You ran the red! Your blood alcohol content was point two-six percent!” Clifton shouted in agony as another stool passed. “You killed my son, Clifton…You can’t even take responsibility for that? My wife slit her wrists because of what you did!”

Shaking in fear, Clifton stuttered, “So…wh..what are you going to d..do to me?”

Scowling, Simon answered, “I’m going to teach you how resilient the human body is to death.” As Clifton started screaming at the bearded man for help­–Help that will never come–Simon moved to his briefcase, removing a small vial of an augmented muscular neurotoxin he’d labeled . Simon set the  on the table before removing his smallest syringe, the one with a child’s needle attached. He drew exactly point three milliliters of the  into the syringe before compressing the syringes remaining volume. Clifton had quieted considerably after the first thirty seconds of screaming for help. He hung his head in a mixture of defeat and exhaustion as Simon approached.

Pleading, Clifton said, “I’m sorry man, I fucked up, I shouldn’t have been driving. I never meant to hurt anyone, I had a problem.” He suddenly looked up to Simon, eyes wide. “It was my friends twenty-first and we were showing him a good time, you…you gotta believe me, I never meant to hurt you or your family.” His eyes were streaming tears.

Simon’s mouth curled into a disgusted grimace, as he spat, “Now if only you’d told the court that, you wouldn’t be here, would you?” Simon walked around the right side of Clifton’s chair, syringe in hand.

“What are you doing, please man don’t hurt me!” Clifton shouted, struggling against his restraints.

Chuckling, Simon said, “If you keep struggling like that, Clifton, you’re going to hurt yourself more.” Simon grabbed Clifton’s under-chin, forcing his head backwards, and brought the syringe to Clifton’s left eye. Clifton, understanding, stopped his wild movements, and screamed as the needle entered his iris. Unapologetically, Simon injected the neurotoxin, before removing the needle. Simon walked back around the chair to get a better look as Clifton’s eye started to dart in random directions. Clifton was still screaming, his voice cracking as his chords chaffed. Now he understands what he’s done. A thin stream of blood started to trickle from Clifton’s spasmodic eye.

Four minutes later, Clifton’s eye had slowed its seizure-like spasms. His screams had dwindled to scratchy gurgles, his voice near death. Shivering, he looked to Simon and pleaded, “Please, just kill me now.” His right eye was looking, pleading into Simon’s eyes, while his left eye had rolled down, ceasing any coordinated movement.

Grinning malevolently, Simon responded, “But, we’ve only just started. And to be honest, I paid good money for our appointment here today. You still have to experience at least two deaths to make up for what you’ve done.”

“You’re fucked!” Clifton screeched, mournfully. I know.

Distinctions #1

Happiness,

Most equate you to the seething, euphoric, and acute joy one feels during an accomplishment. That feeling of well-being and contentedness, whispers promising safety as you engulf us. But, that’s not your true face. You’re a conceptual construct, a platform, an unrealistic ideal.

Happily ever after?

How could you exist, when acute joy is so fleeting. Do you refer to a plateau in which we achieve permanence in euphoria, a chronic dose of endorphin-dreams? Those wisps we’d do anything the infuse, to caress, if only for a moment. Pretend, for a moment, that you are real. What then? After a year of the pleasant mist, doesn’t the equilibrium shift? The extraordinary is the new ordinary. Do we want that? Are the ever-shifting dunes of the human mind really that terrible? To fore-go all moments to crystallize our being into a single emotion. That elusive and momentary bliss.

No. I don’t think that’s what we really want. So I’ll keep chasing the fragments of hope, follow them through the glaciers, through forest-fires, and give myself the time to figure it out on my own.

Reworked Poems (9/11/17)

I’m going to start sitting on my poetry a little longer. I do that with my short stories and chapters, but haven’t had as much experience editing the poems. I don’t want them to appear half-baked, which can happen when you feel inspired and write eight or so in a day (last Saturday).

__

Painted Rails

Almost entirely re-written. I think the flow and meter have been improved, in addition to the clarity.

___________

Inside Your Line

I think this one was already fairly strong, but I cleaned up a few structures and mechanics as well as introducing more concise language.

__

Gonna apologize now for the bi-polar tags section, these two poems are basically the opposite.

Daily Blog 9/8/17

*Contains detailed depictions of Self-harm. 

This is a very sad, very dark, chapter. I post thoughts on it later, editing it put me in my sad place.

Start at the beginning: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/08/27/daily-blog-82717/

 

XI-I

February 8th, 2017-Hadley

Hadley read the old Digitex clock on her nightstand. 7:12 PM. She had forty-eight minutes until Simon would be getting home. I’ve put this off for too long as it is. Forcing herself out of bed, she headed to the bathroom. The room was dark, blinds and curtains drawn to hide the fading summer sun. Halfway to the bathroom, Hadley lost her footing and fell, hitting her face, hard, on the carpet. Dazed, she sat up, feeling foolish, realizing she had tripped on a pile of clothes that had grown into a mountain over the past weeks. Hadley groaned, pushing herself to her feet. She walked the last few feet to the bathroom, and reached around the corner to fix the lights. She set them to a dim, comforting glow. Walking past the sauna, she turned left, reaching for the drawer to the right of the sink.

She opened the top drawer and briefly searched through the various pillboxes. Pausing, she considered her choices and decided on the oxycodone and ibuprofen. Clumsily, she opened the oxycodone, taking four pills out of the pillbox. One extra. Might help. She turned the sink on, putting two of the pills in her mouth, she bent down and took a gulp of water, easily swallowing the pills. She repeated the process for the second two, choking on the water this time. Hadley picked up the Ibuprofen, staring at it in a daze. She could already feel the oxy getting to work. This will save me.

Hadley dumped the ibuprofen on the counter. She counted out eight two-hundred milligram tablets and took them, one at a time. She turned to face the Jacuzzi. Stumbling, she walked up the two steps, and tripped as she climbed down into the tub, slamming her head on the nickel-plated faucet. Blood dripped from her nose and forehead as she reached down to stop the Jacuzzi’s drain. Hadley cranked up the hot water all the way until the tub was nearly full, topping it off with cold water. Needs to be hot. The water burned her skin at the meniscus as she stepped into the water. The burn felt good. Perfect. She sat down and laid back, letting her meds kick in. A little better.

After a time, she sat forward, reaching back to stabilize herself on the Jacuzzi’s side and stood up. She struggled to step over the Jacuzzi’s edge, almost losing her balance, light-headed as her blood pressure plummeted. She stood up and gazed in the mirror, blood slowly dripping from her forehead to her left eye.  She’d lost more weight. Last she’d checked, she was down to ninety-three pounds, and that was three weeks ago. Her baggy tank top, now soaked, hid much of her skeleton figure, but her legs and arms were a reminder, a morbid template of what she used to be. What she could have been. Her green eyes, which she’d always been proud of, had faded to a dirty olive. Maybe it’s the drugs. But if my hair can turn to grey, why can’t my eyes lose color? How did I let this go on for so long?

Smiling, Hadley took a few steps forward, and grabbed the pink razor behind the sink. She removed its head, and took out two of the blades. She turned around, steadier now, and walked to the Jacuzzi. Effortlessly, she swung over the edge, wading again into the scalding water. The pain felt good, it felt peaceful. No more conflict. This is it.

The drugs made Hadley feel safe, made her feel at home. The running water became muted, all she could hear now was she and Simon laughing, back when they were whole. Setting the back-up razor behind her head, on the side of the tub. She held her left arm in front of her face, bracing herself. She cut her left wrist from left to right, slow and deep. It stung, a manageable pain. Carefully, Hadley switched the razer to her left hand, cautious to keep the wound out of the hot water. Not yet. I need to deepen the cut. She repeated the cut from right to left, on her right arm, but it wasn’t deep enough. She went over the cut again, twisting the blade back and forth, grimacing in pain. Tears welled up in her eyes. It’s too late to quit now, this is the one thing I can’t let myself fail at.

As a new wave of pain hit, Hadley dropped the razer. She cursed herself for not taking more of the oxycodone. Struggling to stay awake, she grasped the other razer with her right hand. Holding her left arm out again, she dug the razer into the base of her palm, screaming weakly as she slowly moved it an inch towards her inner elbow. Panicking, Hadley’s bladder released, her breath quickened.

She pictured herself with Simon, kissing, the day he’d brought her Silgan. For a moment, Hadley thought she heard Simon call out to her. It’s the delirium. Renewed, she sliced through another two inches of flesh, whimpering. Her wrist now formed a cross of sorts. Her tears shifted to laughter and back again as tore another inch. Struggling to keep her eyes open, she moved the razer to her left hand, and dug the blade into the same spot below her right palm, twisting back and forth to compensate for the lack of strength. Again, she thought she heard Simon call out to her.

This time, as she struggled to make the cut she screamed “Simon!” in agony.

 

Another inch she gouged “Mommy!”

 

Another inch she lacerated “Simon!”

 

A final inch she gained “Adam!”

 

Crying, Hadley looked at her arms, she’d done it. Now all she had to do was let them fall into the water. She would finally be free. Smiling, she saw her mom tucking her in when she was young. She saw Adam, being born. She heard Simon, call out to her, stopping her from getting on the plane, so he could get on one knee, to prove he loved her. Her arms fell into the water, which quickly turned pink. She heard Simon call to her again, she saw his face when she’d told him she was pregnant. She saw his eyes, as the water turned red. Hadley heard her husband call out “Hadley where are you?! Hadley!” A moment later, the bathroom door slammed open, it was Simon. No! He wasn’t meant to see me…like this.

As the water turned a muddy, blackened red, Hadley whispered “Simon, you’re…early.”

____________

Thanks for reading!

Next chapter: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/09/10/daily-blog-91017/