March 20, 2016

Pure Human - Embrace Eternity

[Posted by Ted H]

"Seconds From Disaster" and "Kitchen Nightmare" are addictive shows to watch. Be warned........


[Pure Human - Embrace Eternity]

            The lights were on all over the house when they arrived. "I don't see Joey's car," John said as they got out and approached the front door. Blake thought about a cigarette, but he didn't have many left. It also looked like it was about to rain and he didn't feel like getting wet. "By the way," John said as he knocked on the front door "Dibs on the guest bedroom." Blake snapped out of his thoughts on the rain. "Wait, there was a bed?" he asked as John smiled. "Cheater," Blake said as Anin opened the door.
            "Hey guys!" she said with a little more spring in her step than what was normal for her. "Hey, Anin," John said "Figured you'd be tired at this point."
            "Nah," she said "Watching some movies and drinking lots of coffee."
            "Coffee?" Blake asked "You got my attention."
            Anin led the way as Blake and John followed her to the kitchen where she had a fresh pot ready. "This place reeks," John commented from the heavy scent of coffee in the air. Under the full light of being indoors, they noticed the dark bags under Anin's eyes. "I thought you were going to get some sleep," John said as he looked into the trash to see several coffee filters "I didn't even know you drank coffee."
            "Got any cream?" Blake asked as he poured himself a cup. "I dunno," Anin said, ignoring John "I've been drinking it straight."
            "Alright," John said "You've had enough, both of you."
            "Dude, chill out," Blake said "Anin's clearly a first timer and went a little hard."
            "She looks like she's about to collapse."
            "So she'll sleep like the dead and have the mother of all shakes in the morning," Blake reasoned "Besides, we need to knock our heads together, the three of us, and try to figure this out." He turned to Anin. "Feel like pulling an all nighter?" Anin's eyes lit up at the suggestion. "Hell yes!" she shouted as Blake and John grabbed seats at the kitchen table.
            They spent several hours trying to figure the different pieces of the case that they knew about. Anin had several books on mythological creatures and being of unknown origin, but there was nothing that stuck out for Blake. They took a map of the area, marked the two houses of known attacks and the lake, and tried to figure out the next possible locations of attack, but couldn't settle on where the creatures might strike next, or what even to do about it even if they could settle on an area of possible houses. Finally, Anin tried consulting several types of stones and tarot cards to attempt to uncover some fact of the creatures, but no clear answer came to her.
            By the time they ran out of remotely useful ideas, it was after 11 and Joey had finally returned home. He walked into the kitchen to see the three still by the table, a mess of coffee, cards, stones and papers all over the place. "Fun night?" he asked as he looked to each of the exhausted people sitting in front of him. "Fruitless one, if anything," Blake said as he pulled out a cigarette and played with it in his hand. Joey looked like he had been rained on a fair amount, but the siren song of a cigarette was eating away at him mind, and he suddenly didn't seem to care as much with getting a little wet.

            "I think we're done tonight," he announced as he stood up and put the unlit cigarette into his mouth. John nodded as he covered his mouth for a yawn. "Enjoy the couch," he said as he nodded to Anin and Joey and made his way to the stairs to go up. "Are you okay?" Joey asked Anin after getting a good look at her "I thought you said you were gonna sleep a little?"
            "I did," Anin said as she rubbed her eyes. "Have you eaten anything today?" Joes asked. "No," Anin said "I haven't been hungry."
            "Huh," Blake mused while watching.
            "Don't you analyze me, Blake," Anin said as she eyed him back. "John's a freakin tank, plus he went to bed at a reasonable time last night," Blake said "And I slept pretty much the whole drive over. You're like neither of us, plus you don't seem to eat now."
            "What did I just say?" Anin said as she stood up to leave with Joey. Blake put his hands up innocently "Sorry," he lied "Have a good night. Sleep tight." Anin shot him a look as she disappeared with Joey to follow John up the stairs. "If you're gonna smoke, take it outside," Joey called back "And lock the door when you're done."
            Blake wandered into the living room and eyed the couch he was about to spend the night with, with its numerous throw pillows. "Do I get a blanket?" he called up the stairs, but no one answered him. "Great," he said to the silence as he walked to the front door and lit up his cigarette before opening the door and stepping outside.
            The rain was steady, but light, and clearly not threatening to soak Blake in the time it'll take him to smoke one cigarette. The outside world was silent, with the rhythmic splatter of rain only being broken up by the occasional night breeze that chilled Blake enough to close his trench coat and think about smoking a little faster. All in all, it felt like a nice cleansing rain for Blake after the copious amounts of bloodshed he'd had to look at during the preceding day. So much so, that despite the rain, he allowed himself to savor his cigarette a little longer.
            A rustle of movement that didn't coincide with any wind caught Blake's ear. Something had brushed through a bush near the house. Blake tried to stare through the darkness but couldn't make anything out. "Interesting," Blake mumbled to himself as he ended his cigarette and flicked it away. As he was turning around to reenter the house, he froze as the sound of faint whispers. He strained to listen, but he could barely make out the sound and he couldn't even begin to understand what was being said. Then the sound immediately stopped and Blake was left only listening to the rain.
            "I hope I'm either crazy, or really tired," he said as he opened the door and closed it quickly behind him. He locked the door and made sure the deadbolt was secure. He kicked off his shoes and gathered up a bunch of throw pillows to one side of the couch. He took off his trench coat and used it as a blanket as he laid out on his makeshift bed.
            He barely had a chance to close his eyes when he heard a shy voice whisper out his name. He scrambled to sit up as his head snapped in the direction of the voice. Sitting on the staircase, barely visible in the near darkness, sat Anin. "Sorry," she said. "What are you doing?" Blake asked "Go to bed." Blake shifted himself around while Anin got up and approached the couch to sit down next to him. "I don't want to sleep," she said.
            "I would believe you," Blake said "If everything about your body language I've seen tonight didn't contradict that." Anin pressed her lips together and looked down. "What's wrong?" Blake asked "Earlier I ignored it,  but you haven't been the same since last night."
            Anin rocked herself back and forth for a moment while she thought. "The dreams are getting worse," she said as she pulled her shirt to reveal her shoulder injury "Earlier today and just now, every time I sleep, I'm back in that park. Every time I'm being stalked by the fading man. The first time I just wanted to avoid going near him, but he came for me. This time I ran the other direction, through and endless park, but he came after me. I heard him, felt him breathing down my neck as I ran. He then pushed into my back and I awoke. I can't handle this much longer, Blake. I only sleep for minutes and I wake up feeling worse each time. That man is in my dreams and he's coming for me."
            "So you have Freddy Kruger coming after you?" Blake asked, trying to grasp Anin's story.
            "This isn't funny," Anin said, wanting to get angry, but instead collapsing back onto the couch "I can't sleep anymore."
            "Alright," Blake said "What if I watch you sleep? As soon as you start freaking out I'll wake you."
            "So you'll watch me for ten seconds before I need rescuing?"
            "I didn't think dreams start up that quickly."
            "I'm beginning to think they aren't dreams."
            "So what can we do?"
            "Well," Anin started but stopped to think "If you really want to help me when my dream gets hectic, there's no faster way to help me out than being right in there with me."
            "That..." Blake said "That sounds a bit difficult. Are you sure you know what you're talking about. Sleep deprivation is a thing you know."
            "No, I got this," Anin said "I mean, I've only read about it before, but now is a great time to find out if it's feasible."
            "Welp, sounds crazy. Let's do it!"
            Anin went to consult one of her books before returning to the couch and explaining a few things to Blake. "Okay," she said "A lot of this has to do with comfort. I need to trust you enough to let you into my brain. Eye contact is key, it bridges the connection."
            "This is making...some sense," Blake said as he tried to wrap his head around what Anin was explaining. "I saw the same thing done more or less in Mass Effect."
            "This is quite different than some game," Anin said plainly.
            "Won't I need to find you or something once I'm inside?"
            "No," Anin said as she laid down onto the couch "You barely know what you're doing, so you'll naturally be pulled right to me, which is exactly what I need from you." With that, Anin closed her eyes and allowed sleep to overtake her. Blake waited a moment before putting a hand on her shoulder and shaking her a little. "Anin," he said "Anin, you're boyfriend is having sex with a trap and they both want you to join them. No? I guess you're really asleep then."
            Blake stopped shaking her and leaned over her. He put a hand on each side of Anin's head and cradled it as he pushed her eyelids open with his thumbs. He then leaned his head close to hers as their eyes matched up. "Embrace eternity," he mumbled with a smile as he concentrated into her eyes. Soon their breathing matched up and Blake felt like he was starting to look and move deeper into Anin until there was nothing but her eyes in his vision. Everything in his peripheral faded to black as he blinked and suddenly found himself in a park.
            "Awe snap, it worked," he said as he took a moment to look around the park. "Blake!" he heard Anin call to him as he turned to see her running over, wearing a flower print dress. "Uh, nice dress?" he said as Anin looked down. "Wow," Anin said as she looked down "You know, I never took the time to notice what I was wearing in this place? I always assumed it was whatever I was wearing to bed." Blake shrugged as he looked down to see himself wearing the same jeans, t-shirt and trench coat he was still wearing back in the real world.
            "So," Anin asked "You have any trouble getting in?"
            "Nah," Blake said "Real easy when you think about it." He had a smile on his face.
            "...You did the Mass Effect joke, didn't you?"
            "Details, details," Blake said "So what now? This park is kind of boring."
            "Now, I don't know. The sequence plays out differently each time. Usually, the fading man finds me though."
            "So we just wait?"
            "Yes. When he attacks, wake me. Pinch me, slap me, do whatever it takes to get me out of this dream."
            "What happens to me?"
            "Once I'm conscious, you'll most likely be ejected back into the real world as well."
            "Most likely?"
            "I've never done this before, Blake. Who knows what'll happen?"
            They both sat down on a bench and observed the world around them. "Everything kind of operates on a loop," Blake said as he watched. "Yeah," Anin said "Dream logic or something. This isn't meant to be observed constantly. Eventually they stop and just look at you. That's when you know he's approaching."
            "I thought he's in one place, waiting for you to come see him," Blake asked.
            "You think I'd go to him knowing he wants to hurt me?"
            "He'll find you either way."
            "You're not very comforting."
            "This is stupid," Blade said as he stood up. "What are you doing?" Anin asked. "I'm impatient," Blake said "Let's just cut to the chase. Which way is the fading man?" Anin's jaw dropped. "N-no," she said "Are you crazy? He might kill you!"
            "It's a dream, or something akin, and not even mine to boot," Blake reasoned.
            "It's not quite a dream," Anin argued, the people around acting oblivious to them in their routine "The fading man can still mess you up mentally. Even physically if he's powerful enough."
            "You don't know any of that for a fact. Either way, if he's going to make an appearance to us, it might as well be on my terms."
            "Blake, please, I don't know about this."
            "You say he gets violent at the end, right? And until then he's just a pathetic man sadly fading away? That sounds like the version I'd rather converse with. Now, which way?"
            Anin gave a worried look as she ultimately pointed Blake in the right direction. "He's that way," she said "Just follow the sidewalk. Eventually you'll reach a clearing and you can't miss him." Blake nodded and started walking before he stopped. "You're not coming with?" he asked. "Why would I come?" Anin asked "You gonna bring a silver platter to serve me on to him?"
            "Suit yourself," Blake said as he walked "Good luck waking up without me, you know, in the event that he gets passed me and comes after you." Blake made it about ten steps before he could hear Anin hurrying to catch up to him. "I hate you," she said as she caught up and punched him in the arm. "Am I gonna feel that in real life?" Blake asked as they walked on together.
            They walked silently after that, Anin holding her bare arms as if she were cold as she kept close to Blake. It wasn't long before they hit the clearing and the fading man came into view. "He don't look so tough," Blake said as they walked through the grass and approached the man that everyone else in the park was ignoring for now. Anin stayed silent and stayed behind Blake. He stopped right in front of the man as he was beginning to fade, a sad face looking up to Blake and Anin, looking for help.
            "Hi," Blake said "I'm Blake and you already know Anin. What's your name?"
            The fading man looked to Blake but said nothing.
            "C'mon," Blake said "I already know your shtick. Can we just skip to the part where you fail to convince me you need help in a vain effort to trick me? From what I've been told, this is a pretty brief dream and I don't wanna waste any time."
            The man continued to say nothing and look hopeless as he faded away slowly. Blake sighed loudly. "Fine," he said "Let's do it your way." Blake then waved his hands in the air like he were panicking. "Oh no!" he said sarcastically "This man I have never heard of before is fading away into nothingness! Whatever will I do? If only he were able to stick around long enough to explain to me why he's being such a freakin loser!"
            The fading man huffed before fading away completely. Anin stayed right behind Blake and held onto his arm tight while peeking around. "This the part where he comes back and does crap?" Blake asked. "Yeah," Anin said as they waited "We should go." Blade didn't budge. "Think of all of the sleep you're getting though," he said. "Not the most peaceful sleep I could have," Anin said.
            Just then, the fading man returned into view, sporting black eyes and a sinister smile. "Let's try this again now," Blake said, happy to get things moving again "I'm Blake. What's your name?" The fading man looked to Blake with his black eyes and sneered. "You have no place to order me," he said with a deep voice that tingled Blake's ears as he heard it.
            "Right, then pretty please can you tell me your name?" Blake said sarcastically.
            "I am the end of your pitiful existence."
            "You have been a scar on my world for too long."
            "Are you reading from a villains book of monologues?"
            Anin pulled on Blake's arm. "Stop antagonizing it," she said. "Do you even hear this boastful crap he's spewing?" Blake asked. "What are you talking about?" Anin said "Every time you say something, he just growls at you. Your mock conversation is just irritating it." Blake gave Anin a confused look before looking back to the fading man. "Say something smart," he said. "Go fuck yourself," the fading man said.
            "You heard him say that one, right?" he asked Anin.
            "Blake, please," Anin said "It's not normal. There won't be any language to its grunts."
            Blake ignored Anin as he looked at the black eyed smiling man. "How come I can understand you, but we're in her dream-not-dream world?"
            The fading man narrowed his gaze but said nothing. "Fine," Blake said "Why are you here? And tell me what you have to do with whatever is killing out there?"
            "I am taking back what's mine," the man said "And what's mine will do as they please. Your world shall become nothing more than a playground until the reckoning comes."
            "And what's your idea of a reckoning?" Blake asked "Giving people bad dreams so they can't sleep?"
            The fading man smiled as he lunged at Blake and punched him in the stomach. "You were protected before," he said as he uppercut Blake, sending him flying back into Anin "But I don't sense that anymore. You wish to join your friend in her demise, so be it." Blake climbed off of Anin and stood up in front of the faded man.
            Anin scrambled away while Blake stared into the black void that was his opposite's eyes. "Never did get a name," he said with a smirk. "Vitaearnus," the man said with a growl "Your god!" Blake rolled his eyes. "Finally," he said "All that for a freaking name. He then turned and walked over to Anin, who was finally picking herself up off of the ground. "Wake up!" he shouted as he smacked her. "I'll be coming for you, Blake," the faded man said as Blake reached back to smack Anin again. "Whatever," Blake said as he rolled his eyes, then reached down and pinched Anin in the arm-
            -and pulled his head back from hers as they both woke up.
            "Blake!" Anin shouted "Why would you antagonize him like that!"
            "Good question," John said as they both looked over to see him and Joey on the stairs watching them "A better question would be what the hell was going on?"
            "John!" Blake exclaimed with a grin "You wouldn't believe-" he stopped when he realizes that it was daylight outside. "What time is it?" he asked as he stood up. "About 9:30," John said "Joe thought you two were making out, and he was about to put his foot up your ass,  but he also noticed how neither one of you were moving. You two have been like that all night."
            "Whatever," Blake said as he said as he approached John "Gimme your phone. I need to call Matthew about a name."
            "Something dawn on you during that 10 hour staring contest?"
            "Long story, but first I need to eat, and a cigarette, and a coffee."
            "Shocking," John said as he and Blake disappeared into the kitchen. Joey hung back until they were gone, then walked over to sit next to Anin on the couch.
            "You want to tell me what all that was about?" he asked as he put an arm around her. "I slept," Anin said "Mentally, I'm exhausted still, and I'm furious at Blake. But, I feel better now physically than I did all day yesterday." Joey shook his head. "I don't know what the hell you two were doing last night, but promise me never to do anything alone with that guy anymore."

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