Multiverse Showdown! Anti-Hero vs Janet (A Page From The Saga)
"It's been a long time Janet. You remember me, don't you?"
Janet gave no reaction as she slowly walked towards Anti-Hero with her sword at the ready.
"Janet come on, it's me, Kari! We used to fight for the peace of this world, together! We were inseparable, and you were my maid of honor at my wedding! Have you truly abandoned all of your memories of us we've shared in our lives?"
Janet continued to approach Anti-Hero stoically.
"Eddie Jacques. Your fiancé. Hugh threatened to kill him if you didn't partake in the experiments. He gave me the same threat, using my husband's life as leverage. We agreed to let Hugh's fellow aliens alter our bodies to have the same power as the helmets, all for the sake of our loves. Once it was all over, Hugh murdered your fiancé and my husband anyway. That was when I turned against him and became Anti-Hero, because I am opposed to his brand of heroes. But you, you became an emotionless shell and performed multiple kills for him. It's like you shut down your emotions permanently and became his pawn."
Janet was almost up to Anti-Hero, still not showing a sliver of feeling.
"Janet, I don't want to fight you!" Anti-Hero shouted as tears filled her eyes. "I don't blame you for what you've done! I get why you became what you are, it was how you processed your heartbreak! But you don't have to hide your feelings anymore! Let it all out with me, then we can make Hugh pay, together!"
Anti-Hero's words fell on deaf ears as Janet charged at her swinging. Anti-Hero made her sword appear just in time to fend off Janet's strikes. The pair clashed swords, with Janet attacking much more than Anti-Hero. Anti-Hero leapt back and made her laser gun appear, firing several shots at Janet. Janet deflected each blast, then pulled her own laser gun and shot at Anti-Hero. Anti-Hero deflected the blasts aimed at her, leaving them both at a standstill.
"Janet, we can stop this anytime! We don't have to be enemies!"
Janet remained expressionless, and marched towards Anti-Hero with her sword drawn.
The complete chapter this excerpt is taken from can be read here: https://theprose.com/post/540731/leftover-levels-up-part-iii-multiverse-showdown-anti-hero-vs-janet
The beginning of this plot arc can also be read here: https://theprose.com/post/475973/a-non-hypnotic-suggestion
Like A Drug
The drab, cramped storeroom in back doubled as a makeshift locker room. Renee had no purse to sit next to those piled already on the small table, awaiting more. An ID and the little cash she managed to have on hand fit into the back pocket. Her much-needed cell found a safe home next to the register once she went on the clock. Between two stacks of unopened boxes hung a mirror erected by the employees. The unadorned cartons held pint-sized glasses. All waiting to replace those stolen or broken by patrons, bartenders and wait staff. Drunk or sober. Before her pale reflection, she double-checked her simple makeup. That and her straight, shoulder-length hair. She should use the restroom. But even this early, the two sinks and mirrors therein would find a girl or two or three crowded in front, touching up their already enhanced looks.
A step back. The short-sleeved shirt exposed her midsection. Low-rise jeans encased her legs and hips. Glancing them over for perfection was useless. They worked and were comfortable. It didn’t matter. She’d get ogled and hit on no matter what. The phone numbers and pathetic notes passed to her found their way into the trash, not the faded pockets.
Enough cynicism. She headed to the door, eyeing Tammy’s oversized, frayed, faux leather purse holding God knows what. A great gal. She’d end up asking about Jason and her. Attempts to keep her hormones focused elsewhere failed. Oft times she got the impression Tammy lived a vicarious sex life through her.
Speaking of life, rent came to mind. Due in a couple of weeks, and the other roommate moved out last month. The cost of the three-bedroom loft required one job paying a lot or three or more, each paying a little. Students attending the nearby university would get together and lease such a place for their time in college. Chloe and she avoided such an environment, but economics might cause both to bend. So… the tips best be good tonight. And tomorrow. And the next day. Then again, Jason planned on stopping by. Maybe Bill might let her go early tonight. A night with Jason or rent. Tough call.
With a reluctant stride, she headed out and to the server station. So begins her shift.
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT
It was a dark and stormy night, and Sarah was walking home from her night shift at the hospital. As she made her way down the empty street, she couldn't shake the feeling that someone was following her. She quickened her pace, but the footsteps behind her only grew louder.
Just as Sarah was about to break into a run, a hand reached out and grabbed her shoulder. She spun around, ready to defend herself, but it was only her neighbor, Mr. Johnson.
"Sorry to startle you, Sarah," he said, "I was just on my way home from a late meeting and saw you walking alone. I thought I'd walk you home, just to be safe."
Relieved, Sarah thanked Mr. Johnson and they began walking together. But as they walked, Sarah noticed something odd about her neighbor's behavior. He kept glancing over his shoulder, as if someone was following them.
Suddenly, Mr. Johnson stopped and turned to face Sarah. "I have to tell you something," he said, his voice shaking. "I think someone is following me."
Sarah's heart raced as she looked around, but she couldn't see anyone. Just then, Mr. Johnson pulled out a knife and lunged towards her.
Sarah's instincts kicked in and she fought back with all her might, struggling to keep the blade away from her body. But as she pushed Mr. Johnson away, she noticed something strange about the knife. It wasn't real. It was just a prop, like the kind used in movies.
Confused and disoriented, Sarah took a step back and watched as Mr. Johnson collapsed to the ground, laughing.
"I'm sorry, Sarah," he said, still chuckling. "I couldn't resist. I've been working on a film project and I needed a little inspiration for my villain character. I promise I wasn't really going to hurt you."
Sarah felt a mix of emotions - relief, anger, and confusion. She couldn't believe she had been fooled like that. But as she walked away from her neighbor's house, she couldn't shake the feeling that there was still someone following her, lurking in the shadows.
A thousand candles in the sky
A million more flames burning high
Ten streams of wax represent how you sinned
One single wick extinguished by the wind
A thousand candles in the trees
A million more flames burning these
Ten streams of wax represent how you hurt
One single wick extinguished by the dirt
A thousand candles in the pond
A million more flames burning beyond
Ten streams of wax represent all your pain
One single wick extinguished by the rain
A thousand candles in the home
A million more flames burning the dome
Ten streams of wax represent what you stole
One single wick extinguished by the soul
A thousand candles in the night
A million more flames burning bright
Ten streams of wax represent how you felt
One single wick extinguished by itself
My exterior shows no signs of wreckage;
I am a master at concealing my defects and self afflicted bondage;
Do I dare ask is it now my time to enjoy the intricate vessels of my story;
Taste the sweet waters till I am intoxicated with no more worries;
Piece by piece like a puzzle the beginning of metamorphosis finally begins;
The posers expunged from my psyche end on end;
The revelation of my golden light;
The illumination of the shades that have settled in as squatters no longer shining as bright;
As my cocoon departs ways and my true form comes to be;
My one goal now is to find my perfect tree;
My wings now full grown riveting colors often found on the most perfect noon day;
Maybe more like a raindrop hit with the mesmeric light of the suns rays;
Soaring proud with only love to exonerate any presence resembling what could have, should have or may;
My sites now set on planting my seeds;
There is so much to choose from must I only choose one way to be freed?
Who is this I see standing alone?
Why does her heartbeat sound like a hollow hole?
Her tears dating back to ones before her
Carrying their burdens as if she is the rightful owner;
The river no longer running towards her
The separation becoming further and further;
With no thought or apprehension my wings begin to spread , and surround this dimmed light , nourishing it, feeding it and keeping it warm;
Ensuring the growth and ultimate ignition of a flame so bright no one can detour;
My perfect tree on this perfect day
Embracing the oneness many keep so far away.
The Lonely Rock
The winter was harsh this year. It was unfair to the once flourishing ground and the sweet elderly, neither cared for it. The birds also stopped chirping, meaning the sound of cars racing past at all times of the day became even more prominent. No one was happy with the frost, except for one girl: Flourantine.
Flourantine had a way about her that seemed to attract happiness. Whenever she entered a room, you could feel it become a little brighter and warmer. She was an extraverted bundle of joy, always chatting away. While you could imagine this to be a nuisance at times, this was not the case. Everyone knew Flourantine was the loveliest girl at the table and would not do harm to any living soul.
This is why it came as such a surprise when I came across Flourantine in the forest. Alone, she was sat on a lonely rock, surrounded by snow. It was hard to tell if she looked sad or peaceful, but either way, she seemed disconnected from the real world. The cars were still racing past, but she seemed too far away to be bothered by them.
By this point, I had long since gotten used to the deafening silence that fell flat against my ears.
The last real sound I heard was that unpleasant ringing. Not that of a phone or a doorbell, but a single long, piercing tone, like nothing I had ever heard before. Despite that, I could still understand the sounds around me. I could feel their chatter rumble the air. I could sense the excitement that lingered on the end of their words, and gather each dark shiver of the player's guitar. I knew their thoughts without them saying a word.
I could imagine every little sound. The rush of the train, the warble of the overhead speaker, even the soft squeak of the fabric cushion as I sat down. I clung to the memory of a past when words were heard and not watched. The sounds in my mind did nothing but help me cope. They could not be heard by another being, and I had no way of knowing how real they were.
I couldn't percieve sound, and I refused to produce sound. It was almost as if I didn't exist, until the moment I heard her voice pierce through the silence.
What a projection,
Of the retrospection,
Of all the collection,
There is no impression,
Without your discretion,
All the suggestions,
Stamped with expressions.
Everything in my arena,
Caught on your camera,
No hidden agenda,
Everything on the antenna.
You know how I dwell,
Even in my shell,
I cannot quell,
You even in my death knell.
Of Love and Water
Of Love & Water
A new chapter ; beyond dystopia
Slammed into a moment of sheer physical poetry as the rain washed over me I became a gilded thing. As time collapsed the will to retrieve eluded me. So I stood in the rain. I waited hopeless as the water washed over in rushing tones,
ears: a thousand muted sounds in harmony
nose: ozone sweetened fresh pumping life, as carbon dioxide to oxygen
tongue: sweet and rusty
skin:trails of water in rivulets to cleanse
eyes:rain, sheets of gray, colors darkened in tones of watered depths, illuminessence in flashes of intermittent light and
all sensory, to restore me.
My mind has become one with this thing, my beauty is terrible to behold as my skin oozes pain. Cassandra calls me from my distant revery, and I run towards the familiar voice. She opens the door and warm light floods out.
“The war had ended,”she told me, quitely.
The radio in the background was a hum of excited voices clamoring for attention. I walked slowly and with jaded steps into the immaculate kitchen. Mindlessly, (the counters gleaming) in memories that couldn’t speak my trauma slid and shifted and pooled around me; soaking from bones and skin and clothes into residual pools of water that shone with promise. I stared at the puddles on the floor. As if in a trance of sorts, my mind muted the concerns of itself and absorbed the depravity, held it captive, pondered momentarily, and discarded.
It remained but, nonetheless it wouldn’t be long.
The phone rang
A familiar voice came through the line and I stood shivering, aware of my bones beneath the skin.
Allow me to digress.
Late October mid-twenties:
I Love You, Lilly
15-year-old Jacob Bohl sat with his best friend and fellow classmate Lilly in the main room of their boarding high school. He could not look her in the eye, or even look at her, for he knew if he did he would break down completely. Instead he stared at the cheap Formica laminated table in front of him, and sank deeper into the couch he was sitting on. He had not realized how tired he was, he had not properly slept since Tuesday.
Lilly had tried twice to make some conversation about his mother’s sudden death last Tuesday, but both times he shut her down. He was not ready to face the truth, not yet, he just needed some more time. He knew that she had died, yet was in denial. It was so much easier and desirable to deny all that happened and concentrate on anything else. And repeating it aloud, having a true conversation would make it real. He knew for a long time, over a decade, and one of the reasons he loved her so much was that she was not pushy. She dropped a subject when he told her to, she would not force him to talk. He yearned to say something, how her presence meant something to him, even if not a word was said, but he could not bring himself to do it. Without conscious volition he got up and started pacing, wringing his hands wildly. Deciding he needed a change of scenery and fresh air, he muttered something about a walk and left. He knew Lilly would not follow him, but would wait patiently until he came back. He walked down the handsome wooden staircase, his hand running down the great balustrade.
He walked on, outside where the cold hit like a wall. It was biting into his face and suddenly he wished he had brought along a scarf. Nonetheless he traveled on, no particular destination in mind. He stopped at the very extremities of the grounds, when he could go no further. He sat down leaning against an old tree, its bark scratching uncomfortably against the back of his neck. He heard distant conversations and laughter from people whose lives had not just been torn apart. . .
The past week had seemed to last an eternity, yet felt instantaneous all at once. He could not seem to recall anything that happened before he learned about the news of his mother’s untimely demise. He stared out into the hillside watching a large bird fly farther and farther into the sky, until it was nothing more than a black dot, eventually out of sight completely. He tugged on the chain around his neck, clutching the pendant in his hand. He squeezed hard, the false diamonds dug painfully into his palm. He registered the pain, but did not release the pressure. He welcomed the pain, as if hurting himself could be some sort of punishment, justification for what happened to his mother. He looked down to his palm; the false diamonds had imprinted a backwards C into his hand.
He looked at the pendant, jewel encrusted with a large C. . .for Carlson . . . his mother’s mother’s maiden name. It was an ancient heirloom passed down for generations father to son, mother to daughter. Christine had given it to Jacob on his thirteenth birthday. He had never much cared for it, it was rather ugly and flashy. He kept it in the back of his drawer, until six days ago. Now it seemed so incredibly valuable, a talisman from his mother, material proof that she had once existed.
He put his arms against his knees, and his head in his arms, closing his eyes. He was neither asleep nor fully awake. He felt as if he was slipping, slipping through the void. He was losing contact with the Earth, just falling hoping and praying someone would catch him.
“Jacob,” said a voice suddenly, making him jump. Lilly had come again, she wouldn’t leave him alone forever. How long had he been sitting here he wondered, was it well into the night? He looked up and saw Lilly.
“You’ve been out here for two hours,” she said kindly
“You’re going to be okay, Jacob,” Lilly whispered. “I’ve known you your whole life, you’re one of the toughest people I’ve ever met. You’re going to be okay.”
He believed her. Time healed all wounds, and one day he was going to be okay.
“I love you, Jacob.”
“I love you, Lilly.”
And at that moment he wanted nothing more than to sit here forever, Lilly in his arms, and never have to face the world again. But he felt as if he was no longer needlessly slipping through the void, but now had something to hold onto, something to keep him from continuously falling: Lilly.