Heart On A Bayonet – Act Three

Synopsis: Wrongly convicted, a once prominent woman finds herself looking for life’s true purpose.

Author’s notes: All chapters are now a work in progress and thus still being edited. Expect more dialogue, description, and an analysis post script based upon feedback.

Caution: This story contains graphic content – at least in word form that is.

Written in third person. Italics indicate the main protagonist’s inner monologue. However, in this chapter/act in particular, italics indicate the second main protagonist’s – John – inner monologue.


The second you ask “why” is the second they drop you like a fragile vase, hoping you break, wanting you to die off and let them continue their crusade of backstabbing back-room deals, awarding the cocksuckers, and stealing before the eyes of those who blindly submit obedience and undying loyalty bow to them.

You sought comfort and I wanted to lead you to closure.

I abandoned you.

I should have fought harder. 
I should have stayed by you as you did me.
You held out as long as you could and I stood like a coward and let it happen.

And I did it all to make you make things happen in your life. In others lives. In mine.

I didn’t want you to make the same mistakes I did. I didn’t want you to become attached and be stuck in one place.
I wanted you to either hate me and humanity or see why I did it or all of the above.
I wanted you to stop trusting, stop feeling. Start thinking.
And you were thinking. But I made you into a machine that led to this. Overdosing on the drugs trying to do everything.
I let her tear you apart.

I married an insolent woman

False beauty captivated me as I sulked in a corner of lies. 

When I first met you on set, I saw the potential as you looked through the lense of the camera… the masses you’d work with the creativity flowing through your veins.

Then the rants you made all throughout school and to the chastising executives at work.

“Life is like a film. There are four walls, the fourth of which you do not often break. On one side you want to quit, on the other you want to shove the facts in their snobby faces, on the third you have the strong urge to explore things on your own… and on the fourth you want to implode in the hope these arguments find someone logical enough to continue on with or without you. Sound incomprehensible enough? Good. To simplify, these four walls represent choosing to fail, perseverance through spite, curiousity – which can represent several more things such as seeking enlightenment-, and insanity. My question is, have you broken through to the fourth yet?”

Yet they strived to break you.

Busted lips, bloody slashes, and black and blue bruises. Blind rage filled the air. The stench disgusted him.

Broken jaws and nasty gnashes 

I wondered how you recovered

The flashbacks didn’t help you either…zoning in and out at your workplace and nearly everywhere you went.

“Oh what did they do? Haha. Pinch you?”

Once the erupted laughter stopped, 

“No. They violated a four year old and tore every piece of her dignity.” 

“And even so, you always hypocritically write about how sex and nudity are perfectly normal.”

“Because there isn’t anything wrong with sex or nudity. It’s completely natural. It’s the intent that comes into question with what’s morally right and wrong.”

Red faced from the paddle they beat her with, John was unendingly angered by their disgraceful actions.

“I’m just a kid…” She whispered, voice nearly lost, muscles weak

I followed you even before we were officially introduced. A prolific writer from the start. Immersed into the realm between technology and what of the past was considered ancient relics.

The next yell only followed by another whack left her in a void of darkness.

I wanted to stop them.

But I stood by your fixed word: “Do not interfere. Not even if I’m on the brink of death. Don’t call. Don’t write. Don’t let me know you’re in distance. Leave me. I’ll come to you.”

Catherine went over the edge. What she found only she knew. She wasn’t insane, she wasn’t an all knowing A.I. But she was changed.

“I wonder what would happen if I quit jumping through every hoop and stumbling my way through being fed lies then stabbed in the back afterwards.”

“You could recover.”

“Yeah, like that’s ever going to happen.”

“What the hell’s a matter with you?” He bursted out in frustration.

“I’m the daughter of a whore, what do you expect from me, John.”

The needle sunk in, the adrenaline was shot, and her eyes grew darker.

Drug addict is how everyone would look at her as. Except for the fact that she was never addicted. It was for work. And work alone. She could quit at any time she liked without experiencing any symptoms of withdrawal. 

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN’T?” Each ‘family’ member resonated into her already bleeding ears.

Her life force was completely drained. The shots no longer had any effect. And falling asleep wasn’t an option.

“I mean, I can no longer put my health in jeopardy for this.”

John had conflicted dreams several times of Catherine’s state of mind. Sometimes held together, sometimes begging for him to release her from this prison.

“You made me unbreakable and I thank you for this. You showed me true compassion and helped me stand alone even when I profusely refused believed.”

“You made me search for answers even when I chose to keep my self destructive nature.”


Other times I observed her fragile form left crying, in a mineshaft of trapped souls. 

I felt her pain more so than I have ever come to witness. Now it was I who wanted to caress her face. To devour her lips and cease her torment.

I shadowed you each time we parted. 


I watched the anger fume. Expressed in public through passion infused rants.

They loathed the close bond between us.

Dream:

“You lied to me.”

“Because I knew what you were doing.”

“I made you into a machine.”

“You showed me a way out.”

“Yet you kept up the drugs”

“Gotta please your family, don’t you….”

“Not if they hate your guts and would be happy if you died”

“I needed you more than you needed me”

“My wife divorces me, takes my job, aborts my child, my young sister murdered the day of her birth,” he listed off the top of his head.

“I helped you through it then I put my pain on your plate.”

I never understood why it was the responsibility of a 5 year old, or the responsibility of any child regardless of their age to suddenly take on supporting the family as if they had been there beforehand able to discuss said consequences to said agreement and chose to be born. Sure, you could contribute your part to the household, but not bear the entire burden.

Your part was contributed and exploited.

Papers scattered across the floor, empty bottles of alcohol sprawled out, a trashbin overflowing with crumpled up ideas. With Catherine there was always something. Cuts, bruises, and scars. She was standing in front of the bay window. A pen in her hand, spinning it between her fingers trying to soothe the agitation brewing. To no avail, she throws it at the window right as john walks in.

He picks up one of the crumpled papers and examines the erratic writing. He hums a tune, seeming to take a delight in it.

“Do I write better when I’m angry?”

He raises his brow, questioningly.

“See, a teacher once told me that I wrote better when I was angry. Although, I never understood why. No one can think straight through blind rage.”

“My guess is,” he says as he waltzes around the room before finding a comfortable spot to sit, uncluttered, “you’re able to articulate your anger into logic and be reasonable through that rage. Thus, not being so blind as everyone else.”

“Nice analysis, Socrates. Mind telling me why the world is this way if we’re so uniquely built to be able to make the moral choice to conduct things but are however fallible at almost all times?”

“Because we choose to make it this way, irregardless of all we know.”

“Its too bad, you know…”

“What is?”

“That you didn’t become a philosopher instead.”

I saw the look in your eyes, the glances we’d exchange.

But between us a barrier lied, the unconscious conscience of how wrong it’d be to break that barrier always reminded, and neither of us ever gave in.

Even in the night, gloomy and dark, a drunken mess we were, not even a kiss was shared. Just eyes wandering the room, roaming. Imagining when the barrier would break.

But there wasn’t anything to hide

Beneath the clothes was simply flesh. Beneath that, veins, blood, muscle, the organs needed to function, bone. Nothing instigating but the trick of the eye, natural stimuli, and what the person’s mind chooses to make out of it. How the person chooses to act is the main factor. 

I dreamt of you telling me about your old crew

“Ten more than capable people, going to college studying to be doctors, writers, nurses, lawyers, those crazily curious and inventive scientists, engineers, you name it.

Why did we delve into drugs…

 

Now listen, no, not just listen, pay attention; before you make any bullshit assumptions. 

We did not do these things for pleasure. Trust me. It wasn’t at all pleasurable. We did it to stay awake and finish every class assignment, project, thesis, essay, etc. We did it to stay on track. We weren’t at all lazy, either. It was as if the teachers had a bloody vendetta against us all.

 

They piled on as much extra unnecessary work that literally drove us to our graves. 

 

Why am I still here. Why. What makes me of all those people, of all people, worth it? Sure we were all as passionate as each other….

 

I need another drink…

I miss them.”

I know you do. And I’m no replacement.

Then to add to it were those who drove both of us mad.


“This assignment is more important than sleep, your health, and your chemotherapy appointment. Wouldn’t you rather die in the name of academics than lie around wasting time with treatments for cancer. What use are you as a patient.”

And I’d tell you to shove the deadlines up their ass and break it off before your own body decided to deadline.

Soon the “reason” they’ll be throwing at you for why the world has gone to shit in your perspective is that you didn’t plan from the womb and make a million from ejection.

If we had telepathy, you’d tear me apart for these thoughts. Or maybe you’d join me after your unconscious secret is revealed to me. Alas, an optimist could not be deciphered. As you believed in the same plight.

So why did we part…

“Have you ever loved someone so much, that you wouldn’t hesitate to go back in time just to be with them again? All because you can’t bear the thought of probably never being able to see them again. All because you can’t stand loosing them and living on in whatever the hell this world really is?” Catherine pleaded with John. Back in his apartment, she had conducted infinite amounts of research over her recovery.

She found a piece of evidence that was unaccounted for. At the scene of the crime, a description of a gentleman who appeared to exactly resemble John’s appearance was mislaid in an lorn novel.

John immediately saw the rigidness of her figure as she shook more than normal – it was due to the nerve damage caused by her vicious mother shoving immensely filled to brim cups of cough medicine down her throat as an infant. Call it an exaggeration, but though it wasn’t enough to kill, it was certainly meant to maim.

It must be mentioned that Catherine had gone through nearly all treatments, daring to trek to far away lands and even get into the practice if Buddhism.

Her journey abruptly detoured down a path of grief, guilt, and regret. The sobs she heard echoed louder as she dug her heals into the cavernous, gravel, that was immersed under the thick moss. The temperature became raw, frostbite just beginning to form on her calloused fingertips. 


“I can’t.” A young lad cried


“What do you mean, you ‘cant’.” A stern voice followed, cruelly beckoning the bruised child to continue.



“I can no longer go on.”


“You will address me as your Father, and you willgo on this route whether I have to drag your feet through broken glass or not!” The man drooling greed only an inch away from the boy’s face. 


“Never.” 


A bloodcurdling scream was heard, and Catherine started running. Every which way she tried to escape. There was no boy in the forest. It was only the lad in her memories. There was only a mile left to walk until she reached her destination. She tried to get her mind off of it all but she couldn’t. There was a difference between trying and actually doing


John stood up and attempted to move closer to her.

Her eyes saw through him.

“Don’t scream.” He beseeched as the shadows of policemen roamed the streets.

But she was screaming on the inside. He had set into place the deadbolt on the door. Yet she wasn’t about to run. Not now. Not ever. John feared for the first time in his life since meeting Catherine that she’d leap out into the danger; sacrificing the comfort of his warm embrace that he had never had the pleasure of enamouring her with.

“I looked around that mountain top and I saw you” Catherine said, recalling her travels. “My mind cleared. And I felt that there wasn’t anything in the world I wanted more than to be with you. Your presence alone calms my thoughts. Through my travels I met many people who all knew about you, and showed me how in this life there’s only so much you can do. And only so much you can bear to care about. And you could not give me this one detail about my sentencing? That you. You – the man whom I have placed my full trust into is the same man who killed that little boy’s parents?”

“I didn’t kill the boy, I promise you.”

“But you let me rot in that cell for 5 years before the inept bastards finally garnered the guts to come up with a final verdict.”

Not allowed was she to breath the passion that ached, that begged to thrive within her tired soul.  There’s a constant war within…one side begging to give up while the other is constantly striving for something continually gaining out of reach…even if she knew the truth.

“What was stopping you John?”


Post script: 

Credit for image used: Tough Love by Derek Hess 

Direct link: http://derekhess.com/portfolio-items/tough-love/ 

Analysis:

John has fictiously turned Catherine into a machine; inadvertently having aided to her want. To become nothing but a useful, all knowing, cold hearted machine. But at the same instance he has stopped this progression by saving her life despite her demand, her rule in place to not interfere no matter the circumstances even if she was free from rule. That meant even if she had gone insane on her own and taken her own life. 


I understand I have stated in the author’s notes of Act Two that I refuse to write sex scenes or display sexual innuendos. However, there is a difference between blantant sex and genuine intimacy. This intimacy all the while does not need to be sexual. To be mentally naked and have emotional security is a couple of the themes of their relationship or more respectfully this unspoken bond of which they share.

The reason why I refuse to write something so blantant is due to it being in my perspective a “blanket of dullness” acting as a filler in a story when nothing too interesting or exhilarating is going on, in an effort to advance the act leading to the arc of the story. Now this does not include those writings that actually portray a reasonable meaning behind the sexual act however blantant it may be. These are the types of messages that I want to portray in my own writing but on the same token, avoid the blantant act. To be shrouded in mystery with subtle abounds I feel pull the reader into the story a hell of a lot better. 

Believing in Studio Ghibli’s view of there not having to be a relationship ensue between a man and woman just because they’re in the same room may paint me as a hypocrite. But what you’ve read here is not the same, bland romance in almost every story across time. In fact, this is not a romance. There are several different types of relationships in life. Here is a tough love relationship between pedagogue and pedagogue. No not teacher and student. Master against Master. Both equal to one another.

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