Saturday, February 4, 2017

Infinite Lives Are Not Enough

I hope you don't mind me sharing like this, between making a living, paying more than I make a living and finding the time to write seems a struggle, as with all of us. 
This story has taken a life of its own since I first thought of the character, or he called out to me. I sat for a long time pondering on the perfect story to give him, since he demanded so much of my mind at the time, that I think now he can finally have some peace when the story is finished. I have never had a character is my stories demand so much attention from me. 
So now when I have time I will work on it until it completes and he can finally get what he is seeking. If you were here before you will notice the story changing in many parts. The character Jorge seems restless with my tale and he wants something more. 
As with life I have fallen in a decrease of imagination with depression with winter blowing rain constantly. My current state of mind must be set right. Thanks again for reading.

Back in Manhattan...

Here I am, back again at the family home. Forty and a fair bit wiser, well since the last time I was here anyways. And that would have been when Dad died, a very long time ago . Not to be rude but I was cheering for him to outlive my mother, anyone who can stay that long with that woman is one in my books. Speaking of books they are everywhere. I have a goodwill truck coming at eleven to take the contents of the house away. I guess the quicker I get done the faster I can get out of here. Just too many memories, moments I just don't need to remember. I start marking the stuff with stickers for the movers to take and loading a few boxes of things I was taking with me to remember them by.  The house is finally quiet, I can actually hear the train that runs down from our home. Usually it was them yelling or that fucking television as background noise, to hide the sound of the train. Black and white radiation box as loud as you can turn it, usually Lucy or some other golden oldie. She use to say they lost comedy to violence on television, I was too busy laughing at Die Hard to notice. Speaking of books, what am I going to do with all the old mans books. I can still smell the cigarettes tho, the walls stained with two packs a day habit. Funny both never died from smoking. My father was shot on his way home, the police said he must have gotten in the way of a drive by shooting. My mother drowned in the tub, to weak to lift herself up. Last time I saw her she was doing just fine. House was clean and if you look, it still is. I guess she was just getting old. So much bloody nicotine on the walls, I guess I have a hard day of cleaning. She did last, my mother that is. Fought death until the very end. I figured as much, true evil never dies. Is that bad? Ah well that was the past and now I must make due with the things I have now.

First I am selling the house and donating 65% to charity. Gentrification turned my old neighborhood into a million dollar whole foods upper class yuppy fest. Today's prices on homes is a sellers market and my friend Kwan can sell anything. Number one in New York if you believed his bus ad, bench ad, magazine ad, actually I don't think you can take a shit without seeing this man. His cousin owns the ad agency, so he tells me he gets the family discount and he does get the calls. Also he is always good at getting in at the clubs. One of the reasons why I hang with him, the other is he doesn't take shit. We first met when I was 11, and the first white person ever to walk in their New York home. Kwan is now 39 and still looking for the perfect white woman, something that still strikes heavy with his parents. They are second generation Japanese in America, and they think he should meet a nice American Japanese girl. If only his parents knew the amount of money he wastes on shooter girls and bar stars. I carry a black marker where ever I go just to ruin that perfect smile. Fuck you buddy. 

Things are a little too quiet, might as well put some tunes on. I had amazon ship her a Bluetooth speaker for mothers day. I tried to explain to her that she can take her favorite music wherever she went. It was hard trading her record player for the iPod loaded with music that I got her last year for Christmas. She used it all the time however any chance she could get she told me how records sounded so much better. My mother the hipster. I go into her room and turn on the light seeing it right away. Unopened still in the wrapping. Opening it up and setting it with my phone, I set it to YouTube and place the Bose on the counter as I start to clean. This one is for you Mom and Dad.

I start cleaning up the apartment, my mother oddly has done a great job keeping everything perfect. The pillows are still in the exact same spot where she first put them. The couch that was never to be sat on, still with not one stain on it, looking the exact same since she bought it in 1986. I go over to the old mans liquor cabinet and find a bottle of Ardberg I bought him for his 72 Birthday. Looks like one glass was poured. Well old man, tonight we will finish it. I go and jump on the couch with my muddy boots on, the emerald green stained with salt water and dirt. I call up Kwan to confirm the deal and exactly as I figured he wanted to hit the bars tonight. I had way too much to do tomorrow to piss it away on a late night.

 My office is in Brooklyn, my apartment is in Newark and my life is usually on a phone behind a wheel or a computer behind a desk, and that all depends on traffic. I thought being a private investigator would be fun, chasing runaway bail jumpers and finding the big case. The one that would put me on easy street. Instead I find myself dealing mostly with stalkers and insurance fraud. Chasing a man around all day in a wheel chair waiting for him to stand or just slip up is not proud work. What did I become?  He returns to sorting through the stuff that will go to goodwill and the rest he can sell. He is donating mostly everything to a boy's shelter that let him stay the odd night when he needed a place to stay as a adolescent kid.As I open the large drawer in my fathers room, once he turned in his 60's she decided that his snoring was keeping her awake. He didn't mind, he was able to sit and read and write on the little desk that still sat in the corner. Inside was a gift, wrapped in some pages from some novel, it looked like physics. Son, I spent so often in books that I forgot to watch you grow, and now I ask...
The phone rings as he fumbles for the phone putting the book shaped wrapped object in his pocket.


Good evening sir, we heard you we thinking of selling your property, the voice over the phone says. Do you mind if we take a look tonight? Sorry, I am still cleaning the place. I don't know if you got this number from Kwan, the property is not for sale as of yet.
You sure we couldn't just stop in for a second? We are just around the corner, it wouldn't be a bother to us at all. No, thanks but no thanks. I heard you guys get pretty persistent, and I am willing to sell. I just need to move everything out first. Hello? Hello...

As I look at the note and stick it in my pocket, I go back to packing when I hear a knock on the door. I head towards the stairs when I hear the door getting kicked in. I go and hide behind the door. I  look through the half way open door as two gunshots fire from the downstairs tearing the wood in the door. Shards flying past my face, as I take cover I hear them rushing me up the stairs. I can jump out the window, the terrace use to hold me when I was in high school, it should be able to hold me now... I also remember my dad having a gun under his bed, he never trusted this neighborhood. As I rush towards the window he hears the guy rushing up the stairs trip on the boot scrubber that his mother made his father install, giving him just enough time to reach under and grab the gun. I turn and quickly check the chamber of the shotgun, still loaded and very illegal in New York in this day and age. I unload two bucks through the door, shredding it to nothing but hinges and flakes of wood, giving me enough time to run out the window and walk partly on the terrace before it gives way. The gunman get to the window up firing wildly just grazing my arm as I try to get up from that fall. I duck and dodge quickly as the men from the window starts shooting again. What the hell is going on! I throw the gun behind my fathers garbage cans and make it to the back alley, knowing this area like the back of my hand from all those mischievous nights with friends, I easily makes my escape.

Knowing that Jack's place is right by, my parents old watering hole and someone there who I love and trust very much I jumped a few fences and ducked behind my old high school before running there. I know I can call the police there, remembering my phone is sitting on the counter. I run to the local bar and take a back booth. Being at this place since I was just a baby the waitress brings over my usual drink and tells me its complements on the bar and Jack tells me that your money is no good tonight. As it ever was. I take a drink as a man walks in quickly inside the bar. The man looks around only seeing a handful of talking people laughing and drinking and a few lots having drinks alone, and runs back out the door. The owner Jack, a family friend who has owned the bar for 55 years walks up to the booth. You hungry? Yea Jack I am and thanks. I need a bandage, as I take off my coat showing my wound. Just need to clean this up a bit. I also need a phone. Not asking for much are you Jorge, Jack laughs and gives him a hug. Sorry about your mom. She was a good woman, you just never got a chance to know the real her. Don't start Jack. Yea I know, shut up Jack, let me get you what you need. I think you might need more than a band aid for that wound. Jack, shut up. He laughs and walks away. Thanks Jack, I knew I was always safe here.

After giving my statement and having the police look around and give it the all clear, I returned to shut everything off and grab my phone. That was my first real taste of excitement in many years, I will have to phone Kwan and tell him to watch who he gives my number to.

As I walk out of the apartment, meaning to go there later after everything starts making sense, I  notice a black limo pulling up beside me. I stop and turn around as the drivers door opens and a young man gets out.

Mr Santoin would like to have a moment of your time Mr Hellick. Sorry I have no time for anyone, I need to get home and... No said the little weasel with the white smile, we insist you see him. To turn down such a offer would be a grave mistake on your part.  I remember the love he said when he used the word grave, as if this man held no life other than his own for worth. I really am... Get in the car Jorge before I have to ask you a little less kind. Okay, okay. I will jump in the black limo at night, nothing weird about this at all. I tried to step in when the guy pushed me between two sausages. Well they looked liked sausages, gym monkeys set on lifting everyday.. The look of these two you would only have to feed them protein shakes and have a big mirror to keep them around. They were finally dressed, almost as if these boys didn't come from New York. I was stuck right by the door as a man sat smoking one cheap ass cigar, something you would find at the dollar store that doesn't even sell tobacco. Probably thinks it's a Cuban. This smell will never come out of my jacket. Up front by the driver lay a blob of a man, one drunk on riches and too many cheese burgers. You can see packets of ketchup splashed on the floor, the empty packages littler every inch of floor space. Well I hope that's ketchup. Beside the dark shadow lay a man with black slicked hair and three hundred dollar shoes. Someone  you expect working for the government dealing with things governments try to forget.
We give our condolences to the loss of family Mr Hellick, we have heard of the tales of your father for many years now. Shame how he went. Tales of my father? Look I don't know who the fuck you are or what the hell you are talking about. If this is about the house, the house is not for sale yet.
No we are not here for the house. Your parents, Amel, and Caroline, were watching something for me. Something that needs to be taken care of, and we think it might have been given to you. Have they given you anything Mr Hellick, something they were watching for me?
Look I don't know what you are talking about, I just had a fucked up night and I need a drink. Here, the man in the fine suit says as he hands over a card. If you find anything, unusual, give us a call.
So I'm free to go? You were never a prisoner Mr Hellick.

The limo pulls away as the odor lingers off my coat. I need to get home and get some sleep. First I. better phone Tracey. Shit Tracey, he checks his phone to see 42 messages. Bloody hell woman, I am going to have a hard time explaining this one, she is never going to believe me. He picks up the phone and gives her a call. After trying to explain what happened I ended up hanging up. I like her so much except she just doesn't trust me. Maybe it was all those old black and white movies I watched, where the P.I. would save the day and get the girl. I tried to explain that it was only a movie, that I was totally happy at home, which I was. My line of work is filled with strange hours, I am not at the club, I promise. Yes we have been dating for five months, thank you for reminding me that. Under my breath I mumble that she reminds me every month. Look I have to go.

I get in my over priced 2011 Chevy Cruze, a lemon since day one. As usual they promise the world and bill you for everything. I was never one as a mechanic, most of my friends just rode the train, I  however wanted the freedom of the open road. To be able to leave and go to California and Learn to surf. Only to get shafted by a shady salesmen on a miserable rainy day. The day I got the inheritance from my father. Yes I pissed it up a tree, Vegas, women and drugs. The things you do with guilt money. So much money up ones nose. The stupidity of money in my hands. who knows I think I might have learned my lesson, having to drag myself out of the gutter with nothing to show for it except strength and a passion to actually live for once. I am doing better now, by my own hard work. My fathers life's work gone in one hell of a party. After a hour drive I finally arrive at  home. I open the bottle that I was able to salvage from all the excitement and place my coat that stinks of cheap cigars in a bag and toss it down the hallway and makes myself some dinner.  Things will get better, I  whispers to myself.

That night as I slept I had the most vivid dream. I awoke in a old encampment, surrounded by soldiers. I was in front of a map giving orders. In my hand I felt a small ball, my strength, my will was in that ball. I assigned the positions of the ranks and went to lead the charge. I was wearing a metal and leather suit of armor. Broad sword and heavy steed. The horn blared as I screamed my battle cry and charged against the opposing army. I opened my hand, a silver ball carved with small symbols shines from my palm. As I hold it tight I  get my sword ready. With the fog in the air and the hooves shaking the ground the armies met in the field. Bodies and animals collided, the stones and rocks shake from the clash of such opposing forces. Alistar my name I remember, with my glowing sphere, slashes my way through to victory. The armies are pushed back again. The people of Hills Pass Gate are safe for now. After ordering to bury their dead and tend to the wounded, I make my way back to the castle where the beautiful princess awaits for me. As I walk in the room she faces me and started lifting off her gown when the phone starts ringing. Both of us look startled, as if we never heard such a sound before, as I fight to hold the dream, to be able to just lay with this goddess... And I wake from my bed, fist sweating from it being clenched, holding that precious cargo. Cursing who ever is on the other line.

Who is this?
Oh Ms Simmons, I will deliver the information you asked for, and yes sorry for missing our appointment. I can meet you still at the office? I look at his cell phone and it is blank, I remembered turning on the alarm when I went to bed and it was fully charged. As I try to turn it on when it shows no battery. Okay I will meet you at your hairdressers downtown, I will see you in thirty minutes,
What, fuck do I need to get a new battery? I grab my windbreaker coat from the front closet and head off to meet my already upset client. Tracey is going to kill me again. As I walk out Tracey is by my  car leaning on the hood of hers enjoying the sun. Hey babe, I am running late, I was going to call you. Yea sure... Just you? Yea... shut up he thinks to himself, I will only make it worse. My phone is acting weird, maybe it was damaged yesterday. When you were almost shot? Yes when I was almost shot, would you like to go to the police and let them explain last night to you? No I believe you, I saw it in the news this morning, I wanted to see if you are all right. Are you all right? Yea just got a small cut on my arm, I was very lucky. Lucky my ass it was divine providence. Look not everything can be answered by Jesus. Babe I am late for a meeting and I have to to meet them at her hairdressers, I will call you after work. I kiss her and gets in my car and head off to my client

As I arrive at a dog boutique of all places I walk in the door to meet my client. She automatically starts talking about her dog.  This is Sir Alistar, my little poochie woochie. He is in desperate need of a haircut. I stop stunned and ask her again what the name of the dog was? Alistar, a name my grandfather use to tell stories about when I was a child. I am told he is a decedent of  Barbet, and such a good boy. And such a brave boy she says as she bends over and gives the dog a big kiss on the mouth. I just watched it lick another dogs ass as I gag. Here is all the information on your husband, for what I can find he is not having a affair. He rented the apartment downtown to relax in, he goes there every night after work and watches science fiction movies and eats junk food. Science fiction and garbage? He liked that trash when we first started dating, I thought with all my families influence he would have turned into a more proper gentlemen by now. Thank you for this, he will be living in the apartment all by himself from now on. Me and Alistar can have the bed right my strong boy. Here is the check. I open it to find five thousand dollars. I hope this will never be talked about again Mr Hellick? No I will never mention this again, thank you very much. If you ever need me again, and anything at all please do not hesitate to call. I will she says and good day to you sir, we must now have stairs built so Alistar can climb up into the bed. We don't want him hurting himself on such a big bed.  I walk out shaking my head, I wonder why the husband got his own place to relax. Watching those two all day would make anyone go a little crazy.

Okay Next stop to watch Mr Charlie. I've been watching him for a week now, he said he threw out his back while on the job. And of course the company would rather pay me a small bit to catch his ass than to pay him out fully. Once in awhile I give a few breaks to the working families, like my last catch Ross. Hard working man and his wife got sick. He thought he could hurt himself so he could be getting paid to be at home taking care of the children and his wife. The guy was good man. A few beer a week, loved his family very much. He dressed up as a superhero every night for his boy to read a story, and brushed his daughters hair as she reads him a story. I lied and told them that he was sick and tried to help the guy out with a sob story, so they can leave the trail as it lies. One thing I learned is that not everyone is evil. It took me awhile to figure that one out. When you have a family as fucked as mine, you tend to not trust anyone, even myself. We all have our faults and I would have done the same as that man Ross, I would do anything for the ones I truly love. It is going on 11:20 and I am sure this guy is not even out of bed yet. He just got hired at a new company and hurt himself first week on the job in a major accident. The investigators are looking to see who was at fault. The man claimed he hurt his back and was not able to walk without a cane.
I pull up to his house at 12:15 and like a gift from the gods, if I believed in them, here he is kissing this very beautiful woman... while helping her unpack  I pulled out to the side and grabbed the camera and took a few pictures. My curiosity getting the best of me I grabbed a pamphlet that this Christian must have placed on my wiper blades and got out of the car and started slowly walking to the house.

Honey this is so beautiful, I don't believe you found a house and a company that pays so well. You sure you will not get in any trouble for missing work, you just got there? No, they are paying me to move everything in, I told you we, oh hey. Hi my name is Frank and I want to give you this and welcome you to the neighborhood.Oh thank you the woman says, yes we just moved in, well Charlie has been here working for the last three months while I got the kids ready for the big move. They should be showing up any hour with my sister and her husband. And you live here? No, I was just in the area and I thought I would give you the good news. Oh thanks she says as she takes the pamphlet, but I don't believe in religion. Well he believes in you folks enjoy your new home. He believes in you, tears are still rolling down my eyes. I should have went into acting, it is second nature to me. I guess ole Charlie is fucked. Thank you for making this day easy. Now to drop off the information to the insurance company and get my check and take the girl out. As I walk to my car I find a hundred blowing in the wind. Hey this is my lucky day after all. That night I took Tracey out for her favorite dinner and went for drinks, after we went back to her place. Tracey needed to work early and I am allergic to her cat so I went home and put on the new Star Wars again. This is my third time and I don't know if I like it. South Park is right, it's just filled with member berries.

With what little money I did earn from a good job a few years back and my savings, I bought myself a small house with a very new warehouse built in the back that I converted into a studio. Kwan found it for me at a very good price. I usually rent out the house however the last tenant moved back to her parents claiming that the price of school and bills was a little too much for her. Smart kid, I wished her the best. I will mail her a small gift for her once the house goes through. I have been doing the work on it for three years now, it looks like a man cave puked a library. I love history, it was the greatest thing my father ever taught me. We spent hours in the library , my father looked through books and studies always trying to find something that I was too young to understand, once I got older the more I didn't care. I once looked at his book, the one he wrote all day on. It was of leather binding, large with small delicate print. As if he was writing a novel that only he can read. I was very young and the words were too big to understand. I remember smelling it, the odor smelling of old books in a older book stores. The smell of my father. Thinking of my father, I remember the small package that he gave me. I go to the bag and dig out the small little gift.

Inside the box was a folded library card from the New York Public library Mid-Manhattan branch, with the location of a book using the Dewey decimal, a game we use to play to keep me amused. What is this old man... I really do not have time for games. Well I am doing nothing anyways. Getting dressed I head out to the car and start to drive, as I not even get a block away I notice two cars on my tail. Life isn't like the movies, I seldom get to follow anyone or have high speed chases, let alone having people follow me. Usually it's corporate gigs, I seldom sway from the big bucks. However I do know how to follow a car, and the four, two in each car, are a couple of amateurs. Well let's see how good they can drive. Doing this drive now for the past few years, I learned a thing or two about the turns and exits. If you are not familiar with the roads, you will get lost pretty quick. Not driving like an idiot and fast enough to give these two a surprise, I head towards a series of corners, intersections and tunnels. Within 6 minutes I lost the first one, he did put up a fight, the second car knows his roads, and how to drive. I figure I will take him quickly on the highways and leave him behind by speed. The cars looked like rentals and those things are usually set with a device that stops the car from going full speed. Mine might look like shit on the outside, the engine is top within. Flying down the highway I lose him instantly, taking the smarter way, I keep the peddle just past a full blown police chase and made the long way to the library, making sure I still wasn't followed. I parked just in front, the cars looked very light and the parking was very easy this evening. I remember this place being so busy when I was a kid, right until it closed than the older kids would be playing guitar on the steps and smoking grass. My dad had a key to lock up, so may years I roamed the place while everyone was gone. Living adventures in my mind , writing my own adventures as a conquered strange unknown lands.

As I walk in I notice right away all the new work done to the old place. I knew it was built in the 70's and I am sure it needed a lot of work. Shit. I went in and headed for the spot where the book would be, only to find a new bathroom. Walking over to where the woman was working the help desk, I asked he about the spot in the catalog. She told me that the book was long overdue, and the name was Endless Cycles by Amel Hellick... Strange I don't remember my father ever writing a book. She also says that the person who borrowed the book also contained the same name as the author. Even stranger. I decide to make my way up the floor my old man use to work on. Maybe I will be able to see a familiar face, even though it has been what, twenty years? And right when I get off the elevator I see a face I haven't seen since I was a kid, Ms Davis. As I start walking towards her, her body stops and the books she is carrying drops from her hands. Oh my god, Jorge? Is that really you? Yes Misses Davis it's me, how did you know? You are a splitting image of your father, when I first met him so many years ago. You knew my dad before he worked here? Yes, she says. We were colleges in school, your father was a real history buff, always searching for something he deemed his family lost or one of your family had hidden years ago. I tried to help him with his quest and got him the job here before he lost everything chasing for whatever he was looking for. What brings you here? My dad left me this and a note, oh shit he remembers, the note. It is still sitting in his pocket. Thanks the gods he was so bad at doing his laundry. He reaches in his pocket and shows her the library card. Yes she says as she takes the card. I might just have what you are looking for, here come with me. I see you have a wedding ring on, you finally got married. I remember you as a kid fighting for your rights, How is Susan? She passed away a few years ago, breast cancer got the best of her. She was a fighter right to the end. We got married on July 26, 2011, two days after it was legal. She died a year after that. I am sorry for your loss, I said. What loss Jorge? We lived a great life with so many memories. Even through the bad we still had each other. As we walk into her room, I notice most of her possessions are in boxes. Are you leaving? Yes she laughs, I am finally retiring. Which is amazing because this is my last night, I am really just packing up. You might not have ever gotten this, as I forgot I had it. Sorry, with her sickness and everything, I did not have time to find you and than I grew old and forgetful. No please Misses Davis, I understand, and I thank you for holding it as long as you did. Well your father meant a lot to me when we were in school. He stood by me for every rally against racism and homophobia, he was a true friend. I never knew, I said. My father all of a sudden gave up doing anything after awhile and his past was something we never had a chance to talk about. He never had his head out of a book for more than a minute to ask him anything, I think to myself. She walks over and digs in a box filled with books. Here it is she says as she hands me my fathers old book. The one he spent his entire life writing into. The book I was a little jealous of. That book knew more of my father than both me and my mother could ever imagine. I grab it and say thank you. We talk for a bit as she walks me out her office, we start walking towards the window I notice the same two cars that were following me earlier, pull up beside my car and look at the library, park and get out. They must be looking for me. Thank you Misses Davis for everything, I must run now. I hope retirement does you good, you look like you haven't aged a day since I first saw you. You were always such a sweet boy. May I ask a small favor, for memory sake? Yes dear anything. May I use the back way to get out, I use to love going trough there. Sure, sweetie, you go have fun. She gives him a hug as he makes his way through the back entrance. How did they find me, he wonders.

Getting to the main floor and looking to see that no one was at the doors, I quickly jump in my car and take off home. I quickly hurried up, feeling a little aggravated after tonight's experience I park the car in the houses driveway, and walked around to the warehouse. I have a fence separating the two buildings, so not to disrupt the tenants that might be living there. Once inside I look through my pants for the note that was with the gift


 I spent my life so often in books that I forgot to watch you grow, and now I must ask you to help me solve the puzzle my father gave to me. You will find everything you need in the book. I know I am close to finding what was lost so long ago. You must first have to find the book as I could not keep it with me. The more I get closer, the closer "THEY" are to finding me. I cannot say everything so please son, I do love you. I am sorry that I grew so far away from you. I just didn't know if you would have believed me, let alone help me. Now if you are reading this than it is too late for me, and I am sorry to leave you with my burden. I know you have always been cleaver and I know you can find it. Just remember that once you do, things always change. I wish I can tell you more, that is all I really know.

Putting the note down I look at the first page. What is the sphere? The book seems to be a collection of stories from history that involve this sphere. As I go through the pages I come to a very old delicate drawing that was passed down 10 generations ago. The paper was so frail I worried about tearing it as I opened the pages. Looking at the pictures I quickly noticed it was the same sphere from my dream not that long ago. It shows great detail of the object. On the second drawing is the same sphere again with what it looks to be a open USB port. Looking closely at the details it looks exactly like one. These pages can't be as old as it says, however he has held on old paper before. And unless they spent a long time chemically aging it, the note seemed to be very old and on paper I have never seen such beautiful quality before. I stop to notice the silent alarm has been triggered at the house. Going to the cameras I see 6 men armed with handguns rushing the front door. What the fuck?

I can't see what is going on inside, I can imagine their disappointment when they find the house empty. I watch them come back out, one walks over to my car and makes a call on his phone. I switch over to see the others walk the area. Two in the backyard, three looking in the buildings with flashlights. There is nothing downstairs, I was hoping one day to rent it out, if the neighborhood gets any proper zoning. They all walk back to the two cars, four jump in one and drive away, the other two drive right in front of my place and turn off the car. Well looks like I have to be replacing the door. And all this over what, dad what did you get me into?  

I knew they weren't getting far, sitting like a couple oddities in a usually quiet place. I look back to the book my father gave me, all this seems just a distraction. I notice in the book is a business card, and some writing with pen, which I never saw once in the book. It said I will never hold it for them... What do you mean dad? There is a card stuck in that page, a name and a corporation I know all too well. They gouge me on insurance.  That morning I awoke with the two dummies sleeping in the car. I phoned the impound and as usual  they came right away to claim the loot. Blood sucking thieves. At least they are more reliable than the police, which doesn't say much in my neck of the woods. Once the two were asked ever so rudely to move, I went and inspected my car only to find a tracking signal, and a pretty small one to add. Whoever was following me had money, and that equals trouble that will not give up to easily. I get in the car still holding the tracking system, if I am going to throw them off it better be smart and fast. I rode to the gas station and dropped it off  on the first close to ideal car. I just stood at the waiting line at a local high priced coffee shop. Once done I left to the last clue in my dads book, a old church that was built in 1884 called The Catholic Mission of the Italian Colony of the City of Brooklyn. My father was never the religious type. He alienated us away from his family, his friends and us his family to look for something that seems right now to be utter pointless. How special can this antique be?

As I pull up to the address I see that the church is nowhere to be found. In its place is a medium sized skyscraper towering the neighborhood. I get out of the car and walk over to the building to see who or what it is. It was a basic lobby with key card entry. I did not see the name of my insurance company on the business list, I did however notice the design on the largest plaque on the wall. The exact same one in my dads book. I look up and notice that I have a camera right on me, I try to return out the building when I notice it is locked. I give it a slam and the door rattles a bit. I step back proceeding to give the door the full weight of my body with some force when the door opens on the other side and a beautiful woman walks out. You do not have to do that Mr Hellick, we only would like to have a minute of your time. Just her voice made me stop. Long hair, casual but relaxed outfit, beautiful face. Excuse me do I know you? No Mr Hellick but I know you. Look I don't know what is going on, can you just open the door. Just give us a few minutes Mr Hellick, it will be not long at all I promise you. My name is Jorge, Mr Hellick was my father. (Such a bad joke) Well Mr Hellick if you have a few minutes to spare, we would love to show you around. We? Oh yes she says, we have been waiting a long time for you. We tried to get your father to come visit, except he just wasn't the most kindest man I have ever came across. And you are? My name is Jessica Wilco, head of research for the Wilco foundation. And why have you been waiting for me? Oh you will see Mr Hellick. Inside the hall is two security guards watching the elevators and cameras of the front lobby. She presses he key card against the pad and returned it to her top right pocket. When the door opens she hits floor 17 and we arrive in a bigger room with only one guard. The guard gets up and they take me to the door at the end of the room and she uses the card again to enter the next area which consists of a large clean room, medical equipment and a chair surrounded by different cameras. All this for me, I say in a sarcastic tone. The guard is off to the side in a aggressive stance. He is not holding the gun at me directly, you do get the hint that I am not able to leave. Have a seat My Hellick, we will be with you in a moment. What if I do not want to sit? That is your choice Mr Hellick, I only ask so we can get everything done as quick as possible and you can go home. And what is it you need me to do? Behind me the elevator doors open and a man in a nice suit walks out into the room followed by four armed and familiar faces, the same guys who were following me the night before. I really did myself good here. Jorge my boy, what a pleasure it is to finally meet you. He looks over at the security guard and tells the man he can go back to his post. When the security walks out the room all four men pull out handguns. This time all eyes were on me, and all barrels.

Years ago my father was breaking ground for this place, his little insurance agency was branching out and he got a great deal on a old  lot that once held a church. Within the ground they found a burial tomb filled with a small fortune and a mysterious ball. When we were looking through the room my fathers business partner saw the sphere buried within the wall and asked one of the workers to get it out. The guy using gloves broke the ball out easy enough, now when he handed it to Jack, he instantly dropped dead. Worried, we grabbed the gloves and hid the sphere and called the medics. We didn't know what we had, all we did know is that whatever it was it, it was important. With the treasure that was found my father headed a special investigation into what this was. One of the goons walks over to a cabinet and grabs a wooden box out and walks over and hands it to the man talking. He grabs it and opens the box in front of me. Inside lay the fabled sphere my father spent his lifetime trying to find. And what do you want from me? Simple Jorge all we want you to do is hold it. You just told me that the last person who touched it died, and now you want me to? What are you nuts? Look Mr Hellick we have been following the history of the sphere for a very long time. Not as extensive as your father mind you. We know that earlier generations of your family have been able to hold it, we have a portrait of one of relatives holding it close to his heart in a painting from 1642. As I said we have done our homework. The only thing is we would like to be able to control this, and terminate anything that we might find dangerous. What do you mean terminate? Not you Mr Hellick, we know from records that all you get is a small boost of knowledge. Nothing we cannot handle. Knowing that I do not have much of a choice and very much intrigued in what might happen, I sit and let the woman hook me up to all her devices. If this only gives me a small boost of smarts, what is in it for you, what do you get from this? Truthfully we think there is something more to it. We just can't seem to get it to do anything but kill people. Wait, how many people has this thing killed? Nothing Jorge, do not worry about it. Just relax and if things get out of hand we have my associate here who will remove the sphere from your hands. The big muscle walks over wearing a set of long gloves that run past his elbow. Okay the video is rolling, and now we need you to pick up the sphere. I look at it nervous, the three men lift their guns again at me. Just pick it up Jorge, you have nothing to worry about. Fuck you I think to myself as I reach out to the ball..

As I pick it up the first thing I notice is that I am not dead, or this thing doesn't work. I can see the smile on their faces that I am doing something more exciting than what was truly happening. I am sitting in a room surrounded by strangers pointing guns smiling while I fondle some old ball. I laugh out loud when their smiles faded. Are you okay Jorge? Yea sorry ,I feel nothing. As I grasp the ball a panel emerges and scans my fingerprint. Everything happened so fast I held on for a second trying to understand what was going on. The ball starts to shift and numerical numbers appear, counting down from 10 minutes. As I looked around confused I noticed the stillness of everything. Their smiles sat as pictures on a screen.With the ball in my hand I get up noticing that the people around me are still looking at my last position. Confused and feeling like I was in a room lost in some old black and white Twilight Zone, I run for the door noticing that it was locked. Knowing the only card in the area was in the pocket of that women's breast, I searched the guards until I found theirs. Leaving in this strange moment, I used the key card to open the door. It is a struggle moving the door, it is not locked, it is just heavy. As if something resisted the movement. Knowing that the elevator would be a bad idea, I make my way to the emergency stairs and start running down all seventeen floors. As I reach the main floor grasping for breath, I stumble out the emergency exit and slam the door. The countdown started at ten minutes and I've already wasted five. I run to my car and jump in and I start it it, only to find it will not start. I know it's not the car, it must be whatever this thing did. I get out of the car and I stop to look around. Over head I see a plane was passing, now stuck in that exact spot in the sky. The cab drivers face angry at the guy who must have hit his breaks too quick, the taxi nearly hitting him. A man on a cell phone stuck with his leg lifted . I walk closer to him. He has no strain in his face so he is not even noticing that his leg is lifted. To the right of me a pigeon is stuck in flight, chased off by a pug dog , who looked like he was frozen barking. That is another thing there is no sound. Even my steps don't make noise. I start stamping my feet and look up when I notice a memory locked within. A woman was walking past, one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. I stop, I had to look at her beauty, I am mesmerized by her looks. Her face looks like the one of kindness, never having a bad thought about anyone. Her eyes the color blue so bright. Within my mind I keep asking myself where have I seen her before. As I am facing her time starts back up and she walks right into me. I quickly try to catch her as she bounces off me, I at least understood why we collided. Hey watch it, she says. Wait. Where did you come from?

I am sorry about that, I just came out this building here, as I point at a wall of a building, I mean the street. I ran across the street and didn't notice. Well please watch where you are going next time. I will, my name is Jorge. My name is Iris. Like Goddess of the rainbow. What?, she said startled. Nothing. No you are right, goddess of the rainbow. My parents are history nuts. Sorry I am running late I have a job interview she says. I noticed I was still holding her hand as we talked, and she didn't stop me.  I have to go she says, Nice meeting you Jorge. Be more careful next time crossing the street. And I'll have my hand back. Startled and feeling like a idiot, I say sorry. That's okay as she turned and walked away.   Than it hit me that I was running from someone I run back to my car and drive off. Knowing that my place isn't truly safe I phone Kwan and ask him if he has any place that I can lay low for awhile. After telling him five times that it is not about another woman he sets me up with a house he is sitting for a client. One of the many jobs he has.It's safer to tell him nothing, I don't want him getting involved.

It took me a hour to drive there, giving me enough time to not understand one fucking thing that was going on. All I knew is that I was holding my fathers dream in my pocket. A dream I though he had loved more than my mother and me. And it stops time... I haven't stopped shaking since everything started. Yea I wanted the excitement yet when a gun is pointed at your face and a fucking steal ball stops fucking time, one tries everything not to start freaking the fuck out. Ah the place is nice. A few plants, and a soft couch with a large swimming pool and hot tub. I head right to the liquor cabinet. Gin, Vodka and Bourbon, I guess Bourbon it is. Sitting back after getting the hot tub warmed up, I quickly shower pour myself another drink wait a second. What do I see but a case of fine cigars, I don't think the owner will mind me having just one. I am already in his housecoat. It's just so silky.

Walking over I grab the ball that I left at the bar and the bottle and head towards the tub. Feeling the water to be perfect I take the robe off and jump in. Nothing makes me feel calm like a Hot Tub. This one was nice, radio, towel warmer and 8 chairs.Sitting with the ball in the tub I try to study it the best I can. I shake it. Throwing it up in the air and catch it. I even lick it. I don't know, I just wanted to see what it would taste like, don't judge me.My stomach is not doing so well, I haven't eaten all day except for a couple burgers at the gas station on the way up here. Yea it might not have been the greatest idea I've ever had however the hot dogs look like they have been spinning on the rack since Reagan was president. And as wrinkled. I give a light fart when a little a little poop came out. Disgusted I was now relaxing in my own shit, I quickly drop the ball in the water. Grabbing on to the tub and a do not use sign, radio is broken I quickly see the error of my ways as a large electric shock hits me, spilling my bladder everywhere. As I am slowly dying, smelling burnt hair and shit and knowing that this will be how I go. Fried in a tub in my own shit, I feel a light go through me. I say feel as it spreads like fire from my hand all over my body, I thought for a second that there might be a heaven, and I am totally fucked the light went out.

Everything is dark yet I can see the dark. I can sense a my reality yet I have no body. Over in the corner is a light blue file folder. It is glowing off in a room that seemed like it could go on for ever. I try to head towards it, yet I have no body. I can feel my mind is screaming and at peace with itself at the same time. Is this purgatory? I am not catholic. I don't know how long it was, it felt like an eternity to me. I was trapped floating with no body, I yelled,  I grovelled to a god I don't believe in. Eventually I made peace within myself and pondered on what I can do. As much of a nightmare this was, it was interesting for having no need to eat or go to the bathroom. I still got tired and dreamed. It was memories of my past, my father sitting behind a library desk with a pile of books while I ran my Hot wheels down the book cases, jumping each shelf as Evel Knievel himself as the crowds roars. My mother on the phone, yelling at me to turn the TV down, turn the radio down, shut up Jorge I'm on the phone. And I also dreamed about the things I missed, Hamburgers, Pizza, sex. How I miss having a penis. And I fine 19 year old bottle of Scotch, not to peaty, just smokey with a golden taste of honey. I dreamed a lot about drinking, I might have had a problem when I was alive. Sitting in purgatory for all of eternity and all I can think about is a drink. After a particular long dream of drinking when I woke up there was something very different. The was a bottle of 18 year Clynelish right in front of me. How did it get there I have no bloody clue. And if this is some sick cruel joke than I must be in hell. For another round of eternity I yell at the bottle and this god character. One sick bastard if you ask me. All I wanted was a hand so I can have a drink. I close my eyes and think about it. I can see it, so I must have eyes. I can tell that the room is white and the file button is blue. I stop and imagine my hand. What am I suppose to do? I imagine the broken knuckle when I punched the tree when I was a kid, and how it is slightly crooked in a creepy, I should have gotten it set kinda way. I imagined my scars when I was once a lost child, and the pain in my heart from emotion and needing blood to calm me, to make it feel more real. My finger nails, how they seem to get dirty washing the dishes. I open my eyes to see a shadow of a hand, the veins without a arm, than the skin appears and the scars dull and faded like those painful memories of childhood that does get better. Hold on, I had to hold on, right now I need to hold on to that bottle. I imagine myself reaching for it when I feel it on my hand. I sensation as I was able to feel something for the first time, locked in this prison for the mind for so many years. I open them to just a hand floating holding the bottle. What I am going to do now genius? I need my body. I start thinking about my body. How I looked like I gained 12 pounds since high school and get ID at every store I go to. The skinny me, with the broken nose from that fight with the military officer. My blue eyes that were the color of the sky. My hair a light brown with hints of grey forming at the side. And the thinning of my hair that worries me so much self consciously.

I opened my eyes and there I was, floating in the prison. I grab the bottle and drink it as fast as I could, it tastes exactly as I remember it. Thinking about how lonely I am sitting here, I close my eyes and imagine a bed. Now I need more. I start picturing a vision of a castle I use to study when I was a kid. The beauty and elegance, and the sheer sign of wealth showing from every corner of the room. I open my eyes and walk around. I picture a large feast in front of me with all my favorite foods. One the side I imagined a table full of all the best drugs I have ever taken. If I am going to spend my life here, I am going to enjoy every minute of it. Shit, if I am dead well than who is it really hurting? This body isn't real. Turning back to the bed I start to imagine A bikini model from the sports illustrated that was in the bathroom where I found the robe. I imagined myself in bed with her kissing her. Since they were not real, why start with only one? imagined my last girlfriend Trish, her breasts were beautiful. Her long legs and her drive to be a corporate giant. I open my eyes to her that I am kissing. I remember every part of her, especially that ass when she left me as I didn't have enough drive to date her. She was going places and she figured I wasn't. Only if you could see me now Trish. I finally moved up to hell. You did tell me to go there last time I phoned. I will not go on, being trapped for eternity makes a man have strange thoughts, and being in a place I can visualize my desires, this round of eternity I fucked till I got bored. Waking from another dream in a harem I designed, I started thinking about the file button. Walking past Scooby  and Shaggy getting high and eating from the buffet table, and the keebler elves poring hot chocolate over a male model while a dog licking the spilled liquid from his feet. In the corner is a mixture of anime characters and my favorite actors playing naked volleyball.  I glide down to the button. I can hear all the people I created begging me to come back. I stop and almost turn back. Their calls so soothing and hypnotic. Breaking from their spell i float down and I hit the glowing blue button. From there a larger font came up asking me if I am sure I want to open files? I hit yes when everything changed at once. There was a large hum that was beating fast, as I look down at my hand and I move it. Like a tracer when I took acid,When I moved my fingers they appeared to be multiple fingers. I would move my arm and see tracers of another arm in another shirt. A echo of a billion lives bounced within the walls of my mind, Within me was infinite memories of myself. I remember myself getting shot, I am in a car crash, I grow old and marry the vice president. I am more than me I am many, we are legion. I see worlds shifting, views shifting, as I remember each life. Future dates and past memories similar to my own converge as someone turning on a blender and making a smoothie out of my brain. I am losing myself, who is the real me. I hear a billion voices in unison say I am the real me. They fight and clamer as I try to hold on to me. It is hard to fight this. It is like a sea of strong memories and I am drowning.. Everything is too much to handle as it feels that my mind is going to burst. I try to relax their pull as I start to imagine a boat. A large boat. Knowing what I was thinking the sea of me's started also fighting to get on the boat. As I start climbing up I have to kick the hands that are grabbing me. I make it to the top when I notice the boat is already full of me. The run and tackle me sending me back into that abyss of confusion. I can feel myself dying once more. This time with the memories of a billion deaths to accompany me. I will never win this fight, I need to get out of here, I need to get out of here. I imagine New York, the beauty and adventure. The people, the smells and the food vendors. I need to get home, there is no place like home. There is no place like home... The fabric of the place shakes and shifts. I start to scream as a billion of me all scream in unison.

I awake in a plastic bag in a cold small room. My mind is still a struggle, I can feel the other lives fighting to take control. Like a billion TV's going off at the same time. I know I am me but I don't know how long I can last.  In my hand is the orb, something different about it, there is a slight blue light radiating from it. My body feels as if I had worked out every muscle to the extreme, I feel weak and limp and I smell like burnt hair.. I also had a itchy ass from shitting myself and not whipping properly. Right away I knew where I was, I was in a fridge, with a tag tied to my toe. I start slamming my firsts and screaming for hours until my throat hurt. I was able to bend my knees and propel myself at the fridge door hoping to break it, only knocking myself out in the process. Chance has it, at that exact moment a janitor was washing the floors. Hearing a large thump from the fridge where they kept the bodies. Slowly he walks over to the wall, while removing his headphones. Zombie movies was his favorite so he opened the door and pulled out the table. The body looked like it was thrown in, all twisted and bent out of shape. He poked the foot quickly and didn't see any movement. She heard a noise from the hallway and quickly slammed the body back and closing the door. Putting his headphones back on he finishes the floor.

I wake up after hearing a click and I start to yell again. Tears rolling down my eyes,the best thing I can do is try to relax. Try to find a center with all these memories. Falling back into sleep I dreamed of a memory I didn't have before. I was murdered while walking down the hallway of my castle, the person stabbing me in the back with a short sword, I watch him dig in my pockets with a cloth and remove the orb from my coat. It was Merlin, the only one I confided with about the orb. He called himself a man of magic, ha it was nothing more than parlor tricks without the help of the orb. We found a way to attach the orb to a staff and wield a bolt of light that set the skin of my enemies on fire. Since I was the only man who could touch it, it was my power to hold. Power always corrupts. I was found a while later, I had to release myself just before they opened the door...

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