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Yeah, so, I suppose my childhood was pretty average. I mean, compared to the other kids in my school I had it pretty good. My mom worked as a dentist's secretary. However, that's not where our money came from. Father was an archaeologist. Well, that's what mom would tell me. I didn't see him as often as I would have liked. He was pretty well known and he'd always be away for months at a time on excursions in South America. He made good money, but he wasn't around much.
Everyone in town knew and loved my dad, so it came with its benefits. Teachers would always know who I was and usually would cut me some slack. Other times I got into fights with other kids, usually the ones who were in poverty. I figured they were jealous of my good financial situation. Luckily, this was almost like a ritual. Ever since elementary school I've had to defend myself, so I learned to fight. I Even enrolled in some mixed martial arts classes for awhile. Needless to say the fights always ended in victory for me.
Dad himself was interesting to say the least. While he was a friendly guy, I noticed he tended to be awkward in conversation. No doubt a small side effect from being away from civilization for so long. But that's not the weird part. The weird part was that he would keep some of the oddest artifacts for his own collection. I don't think I could even properly describe some of the grotesque idols and paintings we had hung in our house. I recall a painting of a strange, almost bat-like creature descending on tribesfolk and tearing one of their arms off. And then there were these little figurines he'd have of some sort of horrors you'd expect to see in a child's nightmare. Tentacles, and claws, and sharp teeth, and wings, and their faces. The faces. I'll spare you the details on the faces, but I will tell you this: those faces plagued my dreams for weeks after seeing them. Even if it was just a split-second glance. My friends would tell me that they saw the faces in their dreams too.
Other than my father's strange obsession with these relics, he'd often distance himself from me and my mother. Maybe it was work related stress, or distraught in their marriage. I don't know. They fought a lot and it always ended with my father locking himself in his study. With those paintings and idols and the faces. It was as if he cared more about his precious little artifacts than his own family.
But it got worse.
It was my thirteenth birthday party and my mom wanted to celebrate it at my house. I had plenty of friends at that point and they all wanted to be at the rich kid's birthday party. Who wouldn't? We had a Piñata, a magician, a clown, good catering, and games. Typical party. We were all having a blast. My friends, though, they didn't really know what to get me. Some gifts were money. Some gave me video games or card games that I already had. Still, others didn't even get me anything. Not that I can blame them. I didn't ask for anything, and honestly, I couldn't care less.
So there I was. Thirteenth birthday, surrounded by friends, my mom, and some extended family I hardly knew. Dad was off on an expedition again. He always managed to miss the rather important events in my life. I don't know whether I'd consider it a blessing or a curse that he wasn't here for this one.
They began singing the happy birthday song to me when suddenly it was halted by a loud shriek coming from the house. Not a second later my friend Tomie comes bolting out into the backyard. He ran to his mother and embraced her. We all stared, wondering what was going on. She softly caressed him while asking in that sweet motherly tone, "Tomie... it's okay. Tell mommy what happened."
He whispered something in her ear. Immediately her face turned into one of disgust and anger. She stormed out, Tomie in hand, and didn't say a word. I didn't know what to do. Mom rolled her eyes and told everyone to head home. It was abrupt, and unexpected. No one protested. Within minutes it was just me and mom again. She told me to go to my room and keep myself busy. So I went and played upstairs.
Fast forward two years. Fifteen now. Dad was out of the country once again. Tomie, however, moved. Not too long after the incident, actually. Didn't even say a word. Next thing we knew, their house was for sale and all traces of them were gone.
I truly regret that fateful Friday night. God, I wish I went out that night. Mom was over at her friend's house. She hardly left, so this was rare occasion. While she was gone, I was just watching some 'toons, and then I had this curious urge. Maybe it was the curiosity building up over the years, but I wanted to see what was in that study. Why would my father always lock himself in there? Why did Tomie run out screaming? What the **** was in there?
I finished my Dorito and licked the crisp cheese it left on my finger. I was nervous and excited at the same time. I reached the study in only ten or fifteen seconds. It wasn't too far from my room. Sometimes at night I would hear noises from within.
Ah, the familiar Gothic door. It architecture made it even creepier than it already was. It was incredibly weird on its own, but, Dad was always in South America. So why Gothic? Well, it didn't matter. I opened the door slowly - as it was always unlocked - and peered inside. A black abyss. I don't even remember the light behind me penetrating the veil. Regardless, I reached for a light switch, or perhaps a flashlight, any source of light. I finally found a light switch, but the light it turned on didn't help much. It created a very dim light, kind of like the ones you see in a fancy restaurant.
Then, three things happened. The door quickly slammed shut behind me. The gust of wind knocked the breath out of me. Finally, I realized what was in this room. Aligned on shelves and the walls were those faces. Hideous multi-eyed beasts. Elongated heads with unspeakable markings on them. Bodies of twisted flesh and darkness. But worst of all - the eyes. All the eyes stared at and followed me. Some force compelled me to move forward. I was breathing heavily from having the wind knocked out of me, and I couldn't avert my gaze from the faces.
I swear to god I heard a low chant begin, but there was not another soul in the room. They seemed to originate from the paintings and idols and fetishes decorating the room. I don't know if I'd even call those cobblestone-ridden walls and floors a room. All I saw were the grotesque faces and a pedestal ahead. Bookshelves encircled it and one lay open on its stand. The faces forced me to it. Reaching it, my eyes unwillingly shifted down. I couldn't even understand most of the words, yet I knew they were utter horrors. Necrophagous . Cyclopean. Mi-Go. My hands forced a page turn and I found a gut-wrenching picture staring right back. It was multi-mouthed with slime-drenched tentacles outstretched in front of it. Almost inviting me to them. I heard a low roar that quickly became louder. It was not of this world. It came with sounds of flutes and drums and grunts which mixed into the ever escalating roar. Somehow I was able to regain control of myself and quickly thrust the book from my hands and onto the floor.
The roar dwindled, but an ominous chanting began. And then I realized it was those faces on the wall that were chanting. It was all too much to handle and I ran. I ran as fast as my legs would permit. The chanting seemed to slow time, as I didn't reach the door in ten seconds, rather, ten minutes. Ten minutes of that hellish chant. I brutishly barged into the door and sprawled out onto the floor on the other side. The door slammed shut behind me.
"Honey? What are you doing?"
I looked up to see my mother. "Oh... just wanted to take a quick look in Dad's study. Just curious."
"Aw, baby, you know he doesn't want you in there," she scolded, but then sighed. "Just go back to watching Television. I'll order us some dinner, okay?" I nodded and lumbered to my room.
Those nightmares? Yeah. Many, many, many nightmares. Of The faces. I could never forget those faces. So horrifying, and mysterious, and forbidden. I had a lot of time to reflect on that evening. Dad was still around for a couple more years 'till he died. We got a phonecall saying his corpse was found in a Peruvian cave system. My mom received his money and possessions via a will, but we never heard anything else about his death. Mom was hit a lot harder than me, and never found love again. If she even found it in the first place. As for me, I finished High School as usual. Then it was on to college, and I had to decide on a major.
I've had plenty of time to reflect on that evening. On my whole life, really. I wondered about Dad, and why he chose his career. Then there was his fascination with the idols and paintings and statues. And the faces. God, what was it about those faces? I wanted to get my own so I could study them. Yes. Study them. Dad knew something was odd about them. Hell, I could even collect them myself. But you can't really go to college for collecting, so... what to do? Hm. I could always search and find them myself, right? Yeah! What better way than to collect those forsaken relics for my own collection? By god, I've got it!
I think I'll major in Archaeology.
The mysterious black sky and the unknown ocean. Indistinguishable at day, but at night, they converge. Two vastly empty bodies incomprehensible to man. So alike, yet so different. So explorable, yet so forbidden. It's so-- Robby? ROBBY!
Robby broke out of his trance and looked to his left. "Robby, man, why're you sittin' here on the beach all alone? C'mon man, the party's inside!"
"Yeah, yeah. I'll be inside in a minute, Cody."
Cody threw his hair to the side. "Whatever, man." He turned and walked back into the house. Robby looked back to the deep ocean, which slowly swayed under the moonlight. He looked up to the sky one last time before getting up and moving back inside.
Almost to the door, he could feel the music pulsating inside. He opened the door and was assaulted with a crashing wave of music. The sound of guitars and drums and bass and talking piercing through his ears. He mentally sighed and mingled his way in. Many girls stopped him to rub up against him and admire his beauty. He was a very handsome man. A strong jawline, wavy, blond hair, a well-toned body, and an overall charm and presence that attracted innumerable females and brought great jealousy to the males.
But it wasn't girls he was interested in tonight. He was merely taking a solemn stroll down the beach, lost within his mind, when Cody found him and told him to join the party. Robby didn't want to appear weak or a square, so he went along. He tried to get away twice, but each time Cody had found him and dragged him back inside.
Robby needed to use the restroom. Every step of the way, he was handed joints, bottles, pills, among other things, and had intoxicated women stumble into his arms and proclaim their undying love to him. He simply smiled his stunning smile and let the girls stumble off to another guy in their drunken state. Or, he though, perhaps they were rolling? He wasn't sure as his knowledge of drugs was small. He'd taken a hit off a joint here and there, had a drink once in awhile, but did not enjoy drugs very much or the culture that surrounded it.
He was almost to the bathroom when a girl bumped into him and kissed him. In the confusion she blew smoke into his mouth and forced him to inhale. He did and immediately began coughing. He tried to say something but couldn't stop his coughing. He tried to grab her, but she ran off into the crowd. Annoyed with this, he walked into the bathroom and locked the door behind him. Robby flicked the light switch on and began his urination with a sigh. He finished up his business in the restroom and opened the door.
As he stepped out, Cody brushed by him. "Oh, hey man!" he said, seeing who he'd passed. "Hey, lets go out on the balcony. There's a hookah set up, and you just gotta try it!" Robby gave quick nod and followed him, rolling his eyes as he did. Once outside, they sat down and Cody was passed a hose. Robby sat next to him and closed his eyes, tired of the party already. Then he heard Cody say something to him.
When he opened his eyes, he saw Cody holding a snake. Robby wasn't sure where he got this snake from, but Cody wanted him to kiss it. The snake was passed to him and he grabbed it. He slowly took it to his lips. They kissed, and the snake blew smoke into his mouth. He inhaled the arid vapor and closed his eyes. Shapes and figures appeared and spoke to him. The elephant reminded him of his recent ex and how much they loved each other. The lamp, however, wasn't in agreement and said they were better off separated. The elephant and lamp continued to argue but Robby was not interested. He found it a petty, pointless conversation. He opened his eyes and found the snake still in his grasp. Red jewels stared into his mind. Then he felt something to his left and an Aztec Warrior wanted the snake for himself. Robby was reluctant, but handed it to him. Robby looked about and was sitting at a bonfire with the rest of his tribe. They'd just killed a wild boar and were roasting it over a blazing fire.
The Warrior explained that is was cooking now, and that it would be ready in half an hour. He then kissed the snake and pressed his tongue into it's. Like with Robby, it was forceful, but pleasant. However, Robby was upset that the snake had chosen to leave him. "I had my chance and I blew it," his conscious decided. Instead of letting jealousy and rage control him, he lay back in the hammock beside his fellow warriors. They all, in turn, had their kiss with the cunning serpent.
He no longer wanted the snake. Nor did he wish to be a part of this barbaric tribe. Instead, he turned his head and gazed out to the ocean. The waters were illuminated by boats of Greek Warriors invading their homeland. "Our homeland," Robby thought. How upsetting that it would soon be razed and pillaged and warped into a ruin. How upsetting. He lovingly looked up into the sky and flew to join The Hunter in his fight against The Bull.
The Planet of Blood
Finally, the moon had been reborn and the night grew as dark as the deepest trench of the ocean. My friends and I had planned this out for the past two weeks: on the new moon we would break into the college observatory and have a look around. None of us bothered to take the class which required tedious amounts of math, but we also wished to explore the place. Not to mention it'd be pretty cool to say we had a beer inside a restricted area of the campus.
I had all advance courses on my schedule, save for math, which I did poorly in. Hence why this break in was the only viable option. I didn't let my lack of mathematical skills deter me whatsoever. In any other field I was, to put it bluntly, a genius. Among the subjects I was attracted to, Philosophy and Psychology were the two that fully grasped my attention. Psychology was more for the applicable skills gained from it, whereas Philosophy was for my thinking side. As a Christian I of course found the philosophy surrounding the existence and power of God to be of most interest. Pascal's Wager showing that any rational person would choose to believe in a God must be one of the greatest breakthroughs in human history.
Regardless of my intellectual pursuits, I still enjoyed causing trouble here and there. For example, being twenty and below the drinking age, yet getting drunk off my ass every weekend. Of course, this did not suffice, so to achieve my thrills this time about I would risk expulsion. Sure, it's idiotic, but isn't having fun pretty damn important in life?
We met in a garden near the Observatory at 11 pm on a day with no Astronomy classes scheduled. Michael and Kayla were already sitting about and waiting for me before proceeding.
“About time you showed up. You brought the lockpicking ♥♥♥♥, right?” asked Michael.
“Yeah,” I replied. “You guys got the beer?”
Kayla held up the case of beer.
“And where's Tyler?” I asked.
“Right here, dip♥♥♥♥.” Tyler moved forward.
“Sorry. Didn't see you there.”
“Yeah, yeah, always putting the black guy down. Whatever, man.”
“Shut up and lets get going. If we goof around too long someone is bound to call security,” I said.
Kayla spoke next. “Trent has a point. Lets get going.” We silently made our way through the shadows and past a few buildings until we reached a hill on the edge of campus where the observatory was. Past it in the distance were a range of mountains that brought the cold from the peaks. It was warmer than usual, so we needn't wear coats. Only long sleeves.
I made my way to the front of the group and took out the lockpicking tools. A few minutes of work ended with a rewarding click. I put the tools away and we entered, closing the door behind us. I assumed since this was just a school observatory that there would be no resting quarters or other homely rooms, and I guessed correctly. We had a flashlight and waved it about the room. It was plainly decorated with some chairs and tables scattered about. A few bookshelves stood against the walls. In the back was a spiral staircase leading upstairs. We walked in the darkness and up the stairs. Upstairs was the telescope, conveniently let out and fixated on a spot in the sky. Kayla had set the case down and was opening a beer.
I was slightly excited. “Alright, who wants to look first?” I asked.
Kayla sipped at the beer and looked questioningly. “Look at what?”
I pointed at the telescope. “You know, look in the sky, see the stars?”
“I don't really care,” she replied. “I just agreed with breaking in here since it seemed secluded.”
“Same here, man.” Tyler replied. “Wherever the beer goes, I go.”
“Michael?” I asked. He responded by grabbing a beer and downing it. I shrugged and took a beer out of the twenty four pack. Hearing that no one else had any interest in even taking a peek left me disappointed, and so I just sipped mine refreshingly. The rest were more interested in getting drunk and drank a lot faster than me. We couldn't be too loud, but we told stories and jokes and had fun. After finishing two of mine, and everyone else well on their way to full intoxication, I decided to take a look through the telescope. After all, it seemed strange that someone would leave it out overnight. Maybe their class was tracking a certain star or planet?
Curiously, I peered through the mirror. Through it I clearly saw what appeared to be a burning ball of fire, almost how I imagined our own sun would look. However, many flares were shooting off and there seemed to be a greenish haze surrounding the object. Confused I backed up and looked up to the sky with my naked eye. I regained myself and looked once more. This time there was nothing but blackness. I gazed for a few moments but it was of no use. I didn't touch the telescope and it didn't appear anything blocked my view.
“Hey guys?” I called out. “Will one of you take a look in here and tell me what you see?”
“No way. That sounds incredibly boring,” Tyler said.
“Just sit down and have another beer, dude. We don't care,” added Michael.
“No, seriously. Just tell me what you see.”
Kayla stumbled up and over to me. “I'll look, I'll look. Just shut up.” Kayla bent over and looked in. “I see a whoooole lotta nothing!” she laughed and moved the telescope around.
“Dammit, stop it! I thought I saw something weird and then it disappeared.”
“Lighten up, Trent. It was probably just a, nebula thingy.”
I sighed. “Just give me another beer,” I demanded as I walked back to the others. We continued to drink and have a merry time, but I couldn't stop thinking about the object I saw. I made a note to remember it. The next morning I remembered it clearly, as I had dreams about it. Dreams that I could see the object, but with my naked eyes. I could see past all the fire and haze and make out structures protruding from the planet. Unfathomable cliffs and oceans adorned the celestial body. A mark of beauty in the night sky and one whose mystique was of dying interest.
This completely went against my beliefs. Namely, that we are all God's children and that Earth is a gift to us. How could it be that another planet exists where there was, or currently is, life? It pained me enough that I left my dorm and found my philosophy professor in her office. It was just as I remembered. Namely she hung various portraits of philosophers and books stacked in one corner. I knocked and entered.
“Professor, might I ask you a question?”
“Sure, Trent. What's on your mind?”
“Well, it's just.... you're Christian, aren't you?”
“Religious beliefs are one of the topics that professors aren't supposed to discuss. You know this.”
“That's fine. It was a rhetorical question, as I've seen your car and you have a cross hanging on your mirror.”
She frowned and motioned me to sit in the seat in front of her desk. “So, hypothetically, I'm a Christian. What of Christian theology would you like to discuss?
“Well, if God created us and the Earth, is it possible he might have created other creatures and planets?”
“Why would he do such a thing?”
“That's what has me confused. I, uh... last night I had these strange and extremely lucid dreams in which I floated over this burning planet, but I could see structures on the planet. It seemed so lifelike, almost as if I'd seen it before.”
“Trent, you experienced a lucid dream. You have no reason to think that a dream is reality.”
“But how do we know that for sure? What if the dream was some form of astral projection?”
“I would find that a little far-fetched, but not out of the realms of possibility. Still, if I were a Christian, I would have serious doubts as to life existing on other planets. I don't think I would believe that anything could be created without the will of God.”
“What if God did create them, though?”
She looked at me as if I were mad. “How would that even make sense?”
“Suppose if...” I tried to gather my thoughts. “If this knowledge wasn't put into the Bible because we were meant to discover it ourselves?”
“Do you really think God would deceive us like that?”
“Is it not within the realms of possibility?”
“No, it isn't.” She opened up a book and glared at me. “I'll see you in class tomorrow.”
I stood and left. She was of no help. I grasped the cross around my neck said a short prayer. Praying that I would not be right. However, I knew what I saw last night was not a delusion caused by lack of rest or the effects of alcohol. I went back into my dorm and surfed the internet in hopes of finding others who experienced the same as me. However, I could not find anything that had any air of severity, only badly written stories and the occasional video game. Disappointed, I went to the school's library to search there.
I checked everything I could think of. From the many sets of encyclopedias to obscure books written by unknown authors. Absolutely nothing that could help. Facing defeat, I pushed the shelf in anger and managed to knock a few books to the ground. I bent over to grab them and put them back. I picked up one of the books to discover one underneath it. The tome had a plain black leather cover, with symbols I did not recognize on the front. Some dust had gathered on it that I swept away. I put the rest of the books back and took this one to one of the private study rooms.
I closed the door to the personal study and laid the book on the table. I pulled a chair up and carefully opened it. A strange and eerie language that didn't match any of the languages I had studied littered the pages. As I turned the ancient pages there were pictures coupled with the dreadful words. One was a dark beast with many mouths, with blood that dripped from penetrating eyes. Another was a bat-like creature that appeared to have a scarab or another insectoid for a head. The pictures became more and more odd as I turned the page and a trickle of fear slid down my spine. After skipping many pages and getting further into the book, I found what I was looking for.
Pictured was the burning planet, and written below was the first word of this book I was able to read. Harlvoria. I continued to read but I was still unable to make out more than a few words here and there. Tunneling worms. Glass. Maddening buzz. None of it was coherent. Near the bottom of the page there appeared to be a citation of some sort. When I looked back up to see where it was noted, it was after a word that clearly said “Blud'sgåova”. The word was reminiscent of the North Germanic word for “blood gift.” With renewed interest I read the citation, which appeared to be an incantation of some sort. There were small drawings at the bottom of the page which showed a person quickly traveling through a door of some sort. I took out pen and paper and copied the words flawlessly.
“Twy'ltef eod le lifs orofwh.” I repeated it multiple times to myself until I was sure I had the correct pronunciation. Once I was sure, I closed the book and returned it to where I found it. I refused to hold such an unholy book in my possession for any longer than was necessary. I quickly shoved it back into the shelf and made my way back to my dorm. I took my bible from my bedside and stored the paper in there. However, I still had other classes to attend, and I did so. Afterwards I sat around and made idle chit-chat with some friends in the cafeteria, but I was not able to keep my attention on the conversation. To quell my growing curiosity, I would return to the observatory tonight without company. I would recite the phrase I had taken from the book and see if that would cause the object to return. I had doubts that anything would come of it, but there would be no rest for me until my suspicions were silenced.
The rest of the day was spent in solitude and with scattered prayer. I could not bring myself to study for any other classes and instead kept busy with television and video games and other activities to help quiet my racing mind. Sometime after a late dinner, it had grown late enough that I felt assured that I would not be discovered. As with last night, I sneaked out to the observatory in the dead of night. Once again I picked the lock and entered the building.
With flashlight in hand I ascended the stairs to the second floor. Once again the telescope was pointed out into the vast emptiness of space. I placed my Bible down and took the piece of paper out. I cleared my throat as I approached the device and peered through it. To my surprise, I saw the Harlvoria once again. I wretched back in surprise and realized my mistake. When I looked through again I was relieved to see it still there, burning and glowing ever diligently. I glanced at the paper for a moment before looking back through the scope. I softly whispered the words, “Twy'ltef eod le lifs orofwh.”
Immediately following the ritual came a forceful pull from the inside of my head, and I found myself being dragged through a horrible blackness. A constant push of air like a light breeze was the only sound combating the ones of whispering voices. They whispered of things I would refuse to believe. “God is dead.” “You have been abandoned.” “Oblivion awaits the rotted away.” I thrashed in defiance as they grew louder and louder. I closed my eyes and screamed as loud as my lungs would allow, but the voices yelled back with such ferocity that I whimpered. I closed my eyes while they screamed at me.
Suddenly, the voices stopped and I reluctantly opened my eyes. I found myself in the same position as my dreams. Some force was slowly bringing me closer to the surface of the planet. As I came closer and closer, the details of the surface became even more clear than the dream. The structures I saw were large, black towers, made out of some versatile material. They twisted and turned into shapes that I knew of no name for. The water of the oceans were a sickly gray, with bubbles of various sizes scattered about. The edge of the cliffs were wickedly gnarled and shaped like hungry teeth.
My fear grew and grew, keeping in time with the ground becoming nearer and nearer. The only relief I found was in the fact that I heard no more voices. All I heard was a quaint silence. My feet finally reached the ground and I stood on the edge of one of the thousands of cliffs. The terrain was noticeably more chaotic than before. The hills rolled up in the distance and layered in no way possible for it to be natural. I could see now that the cliffs seemed to make gigantic fault lines, and the way the edges twisted made the shape of an elongated maw. Above me the night sky was empty and the source of the dusk's light was impossible to find.
I turned to walk away from the cliff's edge when I finally heard the first sounds of the planet: a faint buzzing. I looked around to try and find the source, but to no avail. The buzzing grew louder and louder until I stopped in my tracks. The sound came from behind me, and reluctantly and full of hysteria I turned around. As I did, a massive black swarm came from the trench. From all of them. In the distance the massive swarm conjoined in the sky and formed a a dome around me. I fell to my knees and ripped the cross off my necklace, and embraced it until my knuckles turned purple. The swarm lurched all at once, with me as their target.
The alien flies bit and tore and gnawed and chewed and clawed at my exposed flesh. They tore into my clothes and I could feel some burrowing under my skin. Some forced themselves down my throat. Through the pain I could make out their mocking laughter and continued chants of faith-breaking words. I screamed and tried to fight them off, but all it accomplished was more piercing laughter resonating in my ears. I took to running, but I didn't make it even two feet before my legs gave out and I collapsed. The creatures continued to sting and dig into my flesh until I fell into unconsciousness.
When I next opened my eyes, I laid on a stretcher that was being carried off somewhere. I was too weak to look around or ask questions, but I heard my professor speaking to one of the medics.
“What do you mean “eggs?”
“I don't know how they got there, but they're some sort of insect eggs. The doctors at the hospital will probably be able to identify them. He's lucky to even be alive after all that bleeding.”
I could make out the lights of the ambulance in the darkness, and someone shouting orders. My professor leaned over and looked me over before speaking.
“Trent, I'm... I don't even...” tears dripped down her face. “I pray to God you'll be safe.”
I coughed up some blood and smiled. “God? Hahahaha, GOD?” I let out a maddening, mocking cackle as I was lifted into the vehicle.
The homely elevator slowly climbed the floors. Five, six, seven. I yawned and checked my watch. 8:55. Just in time for the news. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that I would have a little segment dedicated to me and my show. After all, I'm told I'm one of the funniest comedians in town.
When the elevator reached floor fifteen, the doors creaked open. I stepped out and walked down the hallway to my left, until I reached my apartment. When I did, I stomped on the mat to get the last bits of snow off my boots. I put the groceries down to unlock the door. I entered and closed the door behind me. Then I locked it, and headed to the kitchen. The apartment was getting a bit dirty, with used clothes in a corner, and a few dirty dishes. I'd get around to it later. Or, ask my roommate.
I put away the groceries, grabbed an apple, and sat down in the living room chair. It felt good to have the leather on my back and resting my feet. With a sigh I picked up the remote and flipped through the channels until I found the news.
“--10th street, an accident has left two drivers injured, with substantial damage to their cars. Now, according to the police report, the driver at fault was .9 over the legal blood alcohol limit...”
Not this dribble again. The news just loved to report all these little everyday occurrences, and everyone tuned in and gave them an ear. Really, aren't there more pressing matters that we can have stories on than some drunk idiot who hit another car? But it would seem my wishes would come true, as I heard my name. The old man shuffled his papers before looking into the camera.
“Now, let's take a look at Lacy Banston. This fiery young woman has captured her audience's hearts with her comedy. Yes, not only is she sharply dressed, but her words come out like knives! She's well known for picking out audience members and tearing them apart, but still having enough tact to never leave a bad impression on anyone.”
I smiled. How wonderful it was, to be featured on the news like this. It was exciting!
“But that isn't the be all to end all of her shows, no sir! It is in fact her partner, Oscar, who fans rave about. The young'ns can relate to him, the teens enjoy his attitude, and adults love the truth to what he has to say. We interviewed a few fans after her show last weekend, and this is what they had to say:”
There was little girl, about seven years old. “He's funny, and he dresses like a dork all the time!”
Then a teenage boy, who began with a laugh. “Yeah, that Oscar is one witty dude! He's really the only reasons my friends and I even go.”
Finally, a middle aged couple. “Oh boy, my wife and I fight over who likes Oscar more on the car rides home! But, our kids probably love him more than we do. Why, they'd rather reenact his bits than watch television.”
“So there you have it, folks! Lacy Banston and her extremely popular buddy, Oscar, are the town's favorite entertainment. Tomorrow night she's having another show in the club, so if you have we time we highly recommend giving them a shot. Now, on to tonight's top story--” I turned the TV off.
Was that... serious? It's my show, so why in the hell was Oscar getting so much attention? Sure, he's got some pretty good skits he's involved with, but hogging all the attention? Lets face it, I'm a lot better than he is and I'll always be. He probably didn't even know about all of this, seeing as how he likes to be locked up in his room all the damn time. I got up and went to go knock on his door.
“You in there, Oscar?” I heard him coughing, so I opened the door. “Oscar? Where are you?” His room was tidy and perfect, as usual. A trait we did not share. I looked and finally spotted him sitting in a chair in the corner, resting.
“There you are! Have you seen the news?”
He shook his head.
“No? Are you sure? Well, anyway, everyone seems to be talking about you... and you're getting a lot more attention than I am. I don't know, I guess... I'm just asking... could you let up a little bit? It's just that the show stars ME and not you, so, I don't want to be left in the shadows.”
“No problem,” he replied.
“Good! Well, I guess I'll see you tomorrow, or whenever. Hope you're ready for the show!” I closed the door behind him and went to make a small dinner. I was glad Oscar understood.
The next show went fantastically, and there was a ton of applause at the end. It seemed like everyone had a good time. Oscar and I went back to our room to get our things together. We collected ourselves, and after leaving the club we hopped on a bus back home. We sat near the back and I picked up a newspaper to look at for the ride.
A few stops later, two teenage boys got on the bus and sat a few rows away from us. I didn't pay much attention, until I heard them talking about us.
“I can't believe Terry went to see Lacy all by himself. Man, I've been wanting to see her again for so long.”
“Yeah, me too. Her show is hilarious.”
“Yeah, dude, but Oscar is where it's at.” I stopped reading and listened in fully. People were talking about him instead, again...?
“I know! The little dude is ♥♥♥♥ing great. I love all those jokes he does about teachers. Sometimes I wonder why he isn't more popular. He's the reason Lacy is so successful.”
“You got that right. Hey, I bet he could go solo and still be great.”
They both laughed. “He sure could!”
I didn't want to look up the boys, nor did I want to look at Oscar. The anger was coming on. I was okay with it before, but this? God, it ♥♥♥♥ing enraged me. It made me think, though, if every one of these people is a ♥♥♥♥ing moron. Why wasn't my talent and genius being recognized, but Oscar says a few dumb things and he's suddenly the talk of the town? I swear, any more of this and I might have to take measures into my own hands.
We were silent until we got off the bus and were alone again. I turned and looked him in the eye. “I know you heard all of that. I'm pretty sure you know how much it upset me.”
He simply nodded. “I bet it hurt a lot, Lacy.”
“Yes it did! You're getting all the credit for the material that I write. It isn't fair!”
“Life isn't fair.”
I shook my head in disgust. “Whatever.” We went upstairs to the apartment and sat down in the living room. I turned on the TV and the news came on.
“Folks, if you were watching yesterday, you'll remember us praising the young and stunning Lacy Banston. Well, she and her partner Oscar have struck again. Fans are going absolutely nuts over Oscar, just like before! Apparently the new material she wrote for him hit the spot even better than the old--”
I turned off the television. “Oscar,” I turned and faced him. “Did you hear that, Oscar?”
“I, am more popular, than you,” he replied.
Oscar was pissing me off. “I know that. You are... very popular, Oscar.”
“Because I'm better than you, Lacy.”
“I, am better, than you,” he said.
“Shut the ♥♥♥♥ up, Oscar!” I stood on my feet. “You know that isn't true!”
“They like me more than they like you.”
“But I write your words!” I yelled at him.
“You're nothing without me, Lacy.”
“Oh, is that so? You don't need me?”
“I only used you as a stepping stone for my own success.”
That set me over the edge. “Lets see how you like this!” I walked over to his seat and forced him out of it. “You ungrateful bastard! I'll kill you.” I struggled with him, but ultimately I had a better hold on him. I dragged him towards the window.
“You're worthless, Lacy.”
“♥♥♥♥ you!” With my free hand I pulled the window up and looked down to the streets below. “You think you're a big shot, do you? You think you can just use me to further your own career? Well, I've got news for you, 'partner'.” I used the last bit of strength and willpower I had left to force him out the window. He tumbled over and landed in the snow on the sidewalk. I closed the window and wiped my hands. “Good riddance.”
The next day, two girls were walking down the street when they noticed something laying on the ground. “What's that?” One of them asked and pointed.
“Hm, I dunno,” the other replied. The two girls walked over to it and looked down. One of them looked up and down the street, while the other picked it up.
“Doesn't this look familiar to you?”
Stephanie looked at it for a moment. “Oh, yeah, I do! Isn't that the puppet that, uh... that one comedian uses?”
“Yeah, it is! Lacy Banston, right? I wonder why her puppet's just laying here."