*If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.* C.S. Lewis
There is a very real part of me that doesn't want to write this story. Maybe it's for fear that my roommate's demented alter ego will come out again due to the unGodly invocation of the written word. Perhaps Embers will finally break that ethereal cage and escape into this cruel town again. Maybe he'll finish Derek off once and for all. This story will never be told unless I tell it myself, even if it doesn't sound true. And even when I don't know where this story begins for real, if it ends with silence I'll never get it written. So here it is: a story of Altered States.
Who am I? I'm a woman in her mid twenties who likes to paint and practice violin. I'm from a small college town and I'm living in an apartment the locals call "the drop out house". I have lived a semi quiet life here for the past twelve years. My life before moving to the country would be an entirely different tale. You see, I was a very young girl with a very big mind. Partly why now I'm living an arm's length from my father, and partly why I have sleep deprivation induced Schizophrenia. Acid trips, toking in the college dorms...I was a good girl before they made me believe in *schizophrenia*. But, I digress.
Very recently, I met a set of friends, including my roommate Derek, through a website for freaks like me. After we had lived together for about a week, things began to take on a life of their own. This friendship was how I met the ex vampire blood mage who I'll call Fenris, and an older man involved in the fetish community nicknamed Teddy, and a variety of intriguing and funny people.
There are a lot of interesting people when you actually open your mind up to accepting them. Although Fenris would tell you he is likely the most evil person you will ever meet, he has interesting stories to tell. He'd tell you that every day he's trying to be a better person. Still, with his sinister smile hidden behind a shroud of mystery, I await the possibility of tragedy to beckon me further into the realm of unknowns.
The story should have began last weekend, after Derek's girlfriend woke up his Alter personality. After she left to go back to her house, I saw a different side of my new roommate. I saw Embers, who was created to feed off the pain of life. Well, Embers had learned to enjoy the pain so much that he began tormenting humans simply to exist. When Embers sleeps, Derek is awake. When Derek is asleep, Embers is free to roam his mind. Well, Derek never sleeps. Derek swears that Embers is never coming out again, though, because IT woke him up...everything fell apart..
Now you reader may be looking down disapprovingly at my story, for It's not every day that you let complete stranger live with you in your home... Well, for me there was Andrew who possibly robbed the bank and drove with me down the country roads rambling about his Shitzu, yelling *"Watch the power lines!"* before he stopped at a random house and we broke in at about 1 in the morning using his Elvis Presley ID card.
Yes the 30 year old pathiological lying Andrew, who I thought I had truly loved, albeit strange but not as seemingly dangerous as the man with the dangerous split personality. Since the last I heard of Andrew he was laying in a coma from a car accident, I assume that leaves Derek as the "strange man" I let into my apartment....*you know*, the strange man that the ghosts warned me about, Derek, who I've been sleeping beside for the past month.
And then there is Embers, who was conceived in darkness to deal with the pain endured growing up being shuffled through various foster homes because he was taken away. I invited my roommate to move in with me because he had nowhere else to go and because I just thought I'd give the whole thing a chance with the agreement that he would pay rent once he got a job. We have lived together for about three weeks.
All that has changed because of a very weird incident Sunday night. After his girlfriend, Jessica, was staying for the weekend and things got a bit dramatic.
On a whim when they were alone, Jessica wanted to see Embers for whatever reason and he told her how. When Embers came out he lashed out and used Derek's knife to cut her arm, which in turn made Jessica frightened beyond all belief. She broke up with him the next day. Derek thought it was unfair, considering it was an “alter” that caused her the pain, not him.
Of course I had no idea *any* of this was happening, because I was inside falling asleep. I was in my bed with the lights on when a different person walked inside. He was talking then stopped, stumbled a bit and, and then shuffled to his room. Then I heard a strange sound, like a sigh and a "uh oh, um oh no" and then his alter walked out from the room. I felt like I had been invited to watch an entire continent re-arrange itself. I remember getting the shivers before hand, and not knowing why until I saw the change. I had kept asking myself what on Earth was wrong to be giving me those rare instinctive goosebumps.
With curiosity getting the better of me, I talked to Embers for awhile sitting outside on the porch at 2 am. He may not be as evil as he seems, and yet doesn't seem to have a conscience...still he seemed to care about anything and he says that he simply hates people, and loves to inflict pain on others. Apparently the only reason he didn't hurt me was because he sees me as an asset. He told me about Angel, Jessica's alter, and how he and Derek had both laughed at the thought that Angel was a daughter of Gaia. But Embers seemed intrigued about something, though he didn't go further into it because he was too wrapped up in his sadistic thinking,
Derek had been talking prior about starting his medication again because he hadn't seen his alter in 8 years and was worried but also tempted to bring him out. Well, not according to his alter. Because when Derek blacks out, he's asleep and his crazy split persona takes over. That's why Derek is afraid to sleep. Apparently Derek used to lose blocks of time, as in months at a time, of memory, because according to Embers, Derek is just “too stupid” and thinks its insomnia side effects of his old meds.
Embers is a fourteen year old with no morals and who loves to inflict pain on his other half. He enjoys seeing the suffering of others, well anything to hurt Derek. Embers said that eventually he would kill Derek, "The weak Bastard", and explained more than I wanted to know, like that he he was actually feeding off of the third altar personality, Crimson, a 4 or 5 year old “innocent” manifestation of Derek, who was meant to soak up all the suffering and negative energy in a positive way.
Crimson is actually fully separated from the other Alter, but has a spiritual bond, and is always “close by” to absorb any negative emotions and energies that become too powerful for Derek to handle. Unfortunately, Embers has been trying to use Crimson as a “food source”. luckily he cant.
"You see Derek's mind is split in half." Embers told me before he almost threw up even he was disgusted in himself. “I never truly went away, I just wasn't 'needed' and I flourish, relish, and LIVE in his pain. He hasn't had enough of it until lately, and since my appetite has been building, I figured I'd remind him I'm still here” he said with a smile.
Embers began coughing when he took a drag of his "first" cigarette. He told me things Derek never would dare say, then after he let the cat escape and then grabbed it and petted it. At this point, things had been fairly civil, and kind of nice, and it didn't really worry me until I watched Embers as he held a candle flame up to his hand as he told me he made Derek cut himself because of it hurting him, and how he "oh so loved the pain".
Since Derek's alter personality was so bad, he could do anything and not give a rat's ass about it. At around 3:00 in the morning, *Embers* told me that Derek would want a shower when he "woke up" and so the alter walked into the bathroom and I heard the water rush over him as the cellphone blared Breaking Benjamin.
As he took a shower, I walked to the gas station and got some cigarettes. He went to take a shower, and in ten minutes the real person walked out with no memory of the entire night's conversation and events. When I came back Derek was sitting on the couch playing video games indifferently, almost acting as if nothing had happened and staring blankly ahead.
But he told me he didn't remember anything since he got gotten out of bed to walk Jessica out the door. He just wanted to give me some space. I gave him a doughnut and yet he hardly had explained anything. I didn't quite understand the time loss that he was experiencing, and felt very uneasy about it.
"What's up?" Derek asked me.
"Do you remember what happened?" I asked him.
"I don't remember anything since I got up to walk Jessica to her car," He said. This shocked me, considering everything that had just happened, and I got really scared. At this point I was really tired, and figured it was best to just go ahead and get some sleep, so I did. As I walked into town the next day, the voices in my head told me I should go straight to the cops, to quit everything I had been doing because if it involved me it involved them. I was a little freaked out.
Interesting enough is that I actually wish he would stay even if my father disowns me over having a male roommate. I have felt more free and happy and sane than in a long time living alone in this restricted world of candid normalcy. Maybe everyone is secretly shattered, and only those who can express it get to see it restored. I wish life could be easy sometimes, for everyone. I want everyone's heart to be open to life and wonder that beautiful people didn't have to be so broken. For together we seem united in our friendship like two broken jigsaw pieces somehow fitting into order in a universe that is breaking further apart.