My name is Kayle (Kale. :) I'm 20 from the US (AL). I'm into pretty much anything nerdy, even thought I may not always be up to speed on the latest in all things 'nerd'. :) Please, message me, I don't bite and I love to talk to people! ^_^ <3
Down the Rabbit Hole
Sooner or later, death visits all of us. He comes unexpectedly for most, and for some he comes right when he’s supposed to. Sometimes, he visits like a thief in the night, escorting your loved ones into their proper resting place. However, not all people are so fortunate as to have his cold hand touch you and say, “It’s time to come home.” Instead, he watches you as you are torn to ribbons; it’s when you can’t stand the pain anymore when he finally takes you.
Some people have the privilege of meeting death twice in one lifetime. Granted, it’s not the most pleasant of encounters, but for a very brief moment, one can understand what it truly feels like to be free; to be without any worries. It’s then in which the powers that be call upon death, stop him and say, “Not this one… Not yet at least” and you’re flung back into your body to suffer a little more, to finish everything you started— or perhaps, to start something all together new.
I know the torment of meeting death once, then coming back. The trauma of the other side was too strong for my mind, being only eighteen when I first encountered the fourth horseman. He watched me suffer before he decided to take me. But alas, he spat me right back out, broken and battered, but alive.
Here I was again, hurtling toward the angel of death. My heart races as I clutched the controls of the burning ship. I pulled up hard on the controls, trying to keep the craft from crashing headlong into whatever was in front of me. Sirens blared all around me, red and yellow lights flashed violently, but I heard and saw none of it. I was terrified, an emotion I rarely experience. I was going into the unknown—I was hurtling down the rabbit hole as fast as the speed of light. The entire ship shuttered violently as my craft came closer and closer to the enormous black hole in front of my. The whole was massive, larger than a planet. It devoured stars all around it like they were candies, one after another after another. There was no stopping this behemoth of a black hole.
Frantically, I flipped switches, trying to make something turn on, trying so desperately to change my fate, but nothing happened. All of the thrusters were dead, all 20 of this massive ships engines had failed. The only thing that the SS Trojan had to keep it alive was a little less than 25 of the 275 batteries that it used to power the electrical circuits and gear.
All hope was lost. I was going into the black hole whether I liked it or not. I was going alone into my death. All of the other crew had already evacuated, along with all of the cargo. The whole thing was a set up. Those bastards set me up!
Suddenly, it seemed like gravity turned off. Everything fell silent, the alarms, the lights stopped blinking, but they stayed on. I noticed small droplets of water floating around me, but it wasn’t water. They were tears. I had been crying and I hadn’t even noticed. I looked out of the window of the ship.
Nothing but pitch-black darkness— Not like the purple blue and black in the night sky, the kind of black that made you think that there was still a glimmer of hope somewhere in the distance. No—this black was evil. There was nothing good in this black. There was no hope in the distance; there was barely any light. I let go o the controls, just as my knuckles were beginning to turn white. I grimaced, “This is it…” I said to myself. I will never see my family again…” I saw a pair of dog tags float up, they were high above my head. No! I can’t loose those! Those are all I have left of her. I saw our names together, ‘Alaythea & Valerie’ inscribed on the black of one of the tags in a filigree font. I snatched the tags from the air and grasped them tight.
In that instant, everything snapped back, gravity clutched a hold of me and the ship again and we began to plummet again. The dials, buzzers and alarms began sounding off like mad, seemingly louder than before. The lights on the control panel blinked furiously, trying their damndest to warm me of what was coming. I panicked, clutching the controls, I pulled up, and tried again to steer the ship.
Just a few hundred miles in front of me there was a planet, a planet larger than earth, larger than Jupiter in my solar system! There were veins of light spreading and stretching across the black surface of the planet. It was beautiful, even more beautiful than my own blue planet. This one was silver mainly, lots of mountains on the side I could see. There was much greenery, along with some blue, but mostly green and silver.
I gulped, extremely nervous. I honestly didn’t expect to survive the black hole. This changed everything. This gave me hope—this gave me something to look forward to. I knew I would more than likely not survive the crash, but being a Spire, I had a strong feeling that I could overcome what waited for me on this new planed.
I flipped a few switches, trying to calm the panicked ship down and set a bumpy course for the planet. I then jammed the steering into the control panel, the chain with my dog tags and identification jangling on the wheel. “Bring it on!”
I awoke to the sound of heavy rain. Thunder rolled and lightning cracked across the black night. The smell of burning flesh, oil, cloth and wood filled my nostrils, making my eyes burn and water. Something terrible had happened, but what I was unsure. I opened my eyes, I felt heavy with exhaustion. Everything was blurry, melting together, an endless spinning confusion of colors, sounds, shapes and smells—full sensory overload. I tred to focus, and appropriate myself, but when I tried to sit up, my whole body ached and cracked as if I had just been pushed through a dull bladed meat grinder. I shrieked at the pain, the sound of my broken voice rand through the night, harmonious with the clap and rolling of thunder.
I tried again to get a view of my surroundings; trees, definitely trees. Metal? But what from? It was hard to remember, everything was so scrambled—I couldn’t tell up from down. I felt weaker, my body grew cold, icy even. Lightning flashed again, so so bright it was. I sighed and closed my eyes, ready to meet my maker.
“What are you doing?” I gasped, a bit startled. When I opened my eyes, struggling to do so, I saw a tall, thin young figure standing over me. His hair was as white as snow and his eyes blood red—albino. His black suit was protected from the rain by an enormous black umbrella. He crouched beside me, shaking his head. “Three times? Really?”
What a smart ass he was. A handsome one, none the less. “This isn’t how you di, how many times do I have to tell you that?”
When I didn’t reply, or couldn’t rather, he looked a little worried. “What’s wrong with you? What happened?” He held his long lanky hand out over me, keeping it just close enough to where, I suppose, he could sense what was happening. “Oh god… you sustained maximum damage… Your bones, they’re all broken. Even your spine!? Mmm… And you have a fractured skull.” He sighed, I could tell he was frustrated as he took out a pocket watch and checked the time. Who checks the time when you’re staring at someone who is dying?! I thought faintly. He stood and looked around a bit, observing the surroundings. “Th-this isn’t it though. This isn’t when you come…” Suddenly, he noticed something, what, but what I had no clue. He knelt back down and began speaking very quickly and quietly. “Okay, you’re probably not going to remember any of this, but what the hell, eh Look I can just about guarantee that you won’t and probably don’t have a clue as to who you are, but don’t worry. These people—you can trust them. You are in very good hands.” He glanced over h to the side and grabbed something, opened my hand and placed it in my palm, then closed my hand back. “This should help you remember. Do not loose this! This is everything to you, got it?”
I did my best to give him a weak nod.
“Good,” he gave a reassuring smile, “Be safe and good luck…” He took my hand and held it tightly. He then disappeared, dissolving into a fine white mist.
I coughed, a metallic taste filling my mouth. I felt something tensing in my throat, building up until finally a blood curdling scream escaped my lips. I tried to lift myself from the pipe through my chest, but I fell right back down; my vision grew blurry and just as everything started to go white, I heard another voice. “Hey, I think I heard something over there!” “The voice was of a young man, a teenager possibly. “Where, Antony?” responded another voice—it was older and a bit gruff. I heard footsteps and saw three figures approaching all of them holding small lights.
“Over here, it sounded like someone screamed,” returned the same young voice.
“You really think someone would have survived something like this though?” scoffed the older man’s voice.
“Oh gosh!” Peeped a third voice, a young woman. “There she is! Poor dear, she looks awful… Come on Saber, Antony, let’s get her out of there!”
All three figures converged on my at the same time, pulling the rubble away. The one I assumed was the leader, Saber knelt in front of me. “Hey, don’t worry. We’re going to patch you up and keep you safe okay”
I couldn’t see his face clearly, but I could have sworn that there was something on his face that wasn’t his face. He held the lantern up between us so I could see his face and indeed there was a mask on his face; a wolf mask. I sighed, seeing his kind grey blue eyes behind the mask.
“Okay, that should be all of the wreckage.” Antony puffed, throwing an enormous metal plate to the side. “Come on, I’ll help you carry her.”
“No, I’ve got her,” Saber insisted. He gave Antony his lantern, then leaned over and wrapped his long chiseled arms around me. He lifted my body straight up, trying to slide the pole out of my chest as easily as he could. I gasped, my vocal cords too tired to make noise, the only sound that escaped my lips was the sound of weak whimpering. I felt every bone, joint, fracture and tare grind against one another. “Oh-Oh Saber! Saber, stop! Let me give her something for the pain!” squeaked the girl, frantic to help.
Saber didn’t stop, he had to get me off of that pole. He lifted me all the way up and over the jagged pole then held me in his arms, one arm under my shoulders, the other with my legs crooked over it at the knees. “Okay, Jayne! Hurry, let’s keep moving and get her out of this rain.” Saber hurried, Jayne rushed alongside us trying to feed me some type of herb. I took it, almost as if my body was begging for it, but how did I know I could trust them? I didn’t even know them.
I didn’t even know myself… How can I trust myself ?
I felt hot rays of sun on my face when I finally came to. The morning sun shone through the open window and onto my face. I opened my eyes slowly and peered about the room. It was small and simple, the room, with four walls, one window and one door. My bed was wedged into the back left corner; opposite my bed on the right wall was a dresser with an old faded mirror and a few drawers. To the immediate right of my bed was a small nightstand with a few drawers. On top of the nightstand was an old miner’s lantern with a steady burning wick inside. I lifted my head to look at the locked door and the single round table that stood between my bed and the door. On the table was a tray with a few pieces of fruit.
I pushed myself up, every muscle in my body ached as if I had been torn to shreds then pieced back together. The worst part was my stomach and my head. I felt the stitches on my stomach pull and strain to keep me together. I swung my feet over and off the bed. I flexed my toes, feeling the crude old wood floor under my bare feet, probably the only part of me that didn’t feel broken. I stood slowly, letting my legs readjust to my weight. My knees quivered, but held strong as I balanced. I stood as straight as I could without ripping the stitches. I hobbled over to the mirror, my joints popping with each step. I fell into the dresser, propping myself up on my arms. My left arm collapsed—an out of place shoulder, maybe? I leaned on my right arm and looked at myself
Long bright blood red hair… ‘Wow that’s red! Oh god, I look like hell!’ I thought to myself. ‘Wait, is that really me?’ It was a bit hard for me to see—there was a bandage over my right eye, which was also intended for my head injury. My depth perception was a bit off because of this too. I reached my hand to my face and touched my pale, bruised skin. An old white night gown covered my torso and thighs. I really did look like hell. No, if there was a place worse than hell, that’s what I looked like.
There was an odd looking mark under the bandage. It was barely visible, but there was clearly a mark of some sort under my right eye. I took another look over my body and began noticing lots of black squiggles and odd-looking writings along my shoulders and collarbone. They were just a bit lighter, but none the less visible. The parts of my body that weren’t covered by the cheap and ratty nightgown were also covered in the markings, but as the markings got closer to my waste and feet, they turned more into indentions in the skin than they were tattoos or birthmarks.
What am I? This question ran through my head a few times as I stared at the face in the mirror. ‘Is that really me?’ I looked over myself once more when I noticed two small metal plates on a small ball chain. I gave a quizzical glance and lifted the plates to my face so I could read:
On the back of the second plate, there was something else:
Alaythea & Vallerie
I looked up at my reflection and back to the metal plate. ‘Alaythea…’ I thought to myself, ‘This plate says something about… Crimson… And judging by my hair… And my one red eye, so far… I think—‘
There was suddenly a knock on the door and then the squeaking of the rusted hinges as the old wood door swung open. Behind the door was the face of a wolf—the same one from before? He was tall, wearing an old ratty shirt that was covered in soot, what from though? He was covered in soot from head to toe, all but his hands, which he must have cleaned.
“Good morning,” he chortled rather cheerily. I could tell he was impressed that I was standing from the look on his face as he sized me up.
I didn’t speak—I didn’t try. “You may have some difficulty speaking,” he continued, almost as if he knew what I was going to think before I thought it. “Your vocal cords were damaged from the smoke and fire in the crash.”
I cleared my throat as he pushed the creaky door closed behind him. He had a bag in his left hand, full of lord only knows what. “How do you feel?” he asked as he cautiously made his way to my bed. He then placed the sack on top of the sheets—I followed every move he made. Thought he was cautious, but I still couldn’t help but to feel like a caged animal.
“Sore…”I replied, my voice cracking a bit. I cleared my throat again trying to jump start my vocal cords. He took a few steps back to the chair at the small table and sat down slowly. “Come now, have a seat,” he gestured to the bed. “We have a few things we need to discuss.”
I could help but to return his demand with a glare. He was acting rather suspicious. “Who are you?” my voice trailed off again, fading in and out then back in again. He gasped lightly, “I am so sorry,” his voice grew a bit more gentle as he realized that he had been rude. “My name is Saber. I am he leader of this Marrone village.” I gave a quizzical nod as he explained himself, hearing him but not really understanding him. “You can trust me,” he reassured me, but still I didn’t know how to accept that. “Do you have a name?”
I scoffed, that was a question I was still asking myself. I laced a finger into the ball chain and lifted it up and off of my neck. “This, I assume, has the answers.”
“Ah yes, the identification tags—military I assume. You were clutching that when we found you. We could only assume that they were indeed yours, but we wanted to make sure with you before we jumped completely to conclusions.”
“But aren’t things like this typically a bit more cheaply made?”
He scratched his chin, pondering a moment. “That’s true… Maybe they’re a keep sake?”
“These are thicker…. So, it’s possible.” I nodded.
“I’m curious though, it’s in a language none of us know, do you think you can decipher it?”
I looked at him as if to say ‘you’re sure?’ then looked back down at the tags. It was then that I realized that the words and lettering were not the same language that we were speaking. However, somehow I was able to read them, and I knew what they meant. They were odd letters and numbers—a word came to mind: Russian. A complicated word, a word whose meaning I was unsure of.
I looked at the words and could read them perfectly. I went ahead and read them out to him in the language we used to communicate; English maybe?
As I read the words to him, I saw his head tilt to the side, the wolf mask almost animated a bit and I could have sworn that I saw the ear of the mask move. I took it as a gesture of intrigue.
“Alaythea,” he stopped me as I was about to read the back of the plate. “You look like an ‘Alaythea’.”
“Ah huh…” I scoffed. “But there’s another name on the back along with that name, it says Alaythea & Valerie.”
“Oh?” he gave an impressed look. “A girl eh?”
“What do you mean?” He was beginning to make me angry with his snarky comments.
“Oh nothing, nothing,” he chuckled a bit as he leaned back and crossed his legs.
I took a deep breath and clutched the chain, my patience wearing very thin. “Fine…” I sighed as I sat down on the bed. “Then why do I look like an ‘Alaythea’?”
Saber smiled as he reached over to the dish of fruit and removed a larger red one and took a bite from it. “Here on Alesondraughton, the name Alaythea is actually forbidden. It was used many centuries ago, but use of the name was forbidden when the Cicatrice war raged.”
“What happened?” I winced as I readjusted myself on the bed, getting comfortable.
“Well, to explain what happened in the war, you must know about the different social classes here. All of Alesondraughton is inhabited by three major social castes: the Arians, the Rame and the Marrone. Arians are the prissy blonde haired, blue-eyed ‘image of perfection’ upper class; they’re leaders, presidents, kings, queens, dukes, members of parliament and the senate and so forth. Rame are the ‘red headed step children’, as the Marrone like to call them. Rame are typically the royal guard and working middle class, teachers, designers, blue-collar workers and such. Marrone sit at the bottom of the social ladder; dirty, filthy slaves to the Rame and Arians. Then… There are the Cicatrice; they aren’t even considered to be alive according to the upper class. They’re scars, blemishes on the perfect face of our planet.”
“Okay wait…” I stopped him, realizing how much this was and how really screwed I was. I didn’t know my own history! I didn’t have the time or patience to learn about someone else’s history. “What does this have to do with me and where I come from? I crash landed here on a space ship, correct?”
He leaned over in his chair looking into my eyes. “Well, princess, as far as we have figured out, you don’t have your memory and we don’t have interplanetary modes of transportation yet. So it appears that you’re just going to have to sit tight and learn a little history of where you’re going to be surviving.” He smiled. “So, for now, what does this have to do with you? Everything…” his smile faded quickly.
I clenched my jaw, swallowing hard. I put my head down. “Alright then… Tell me more…”
He smiled again and sat back in his chair. “Almost three hundred years ago these social castes were at war. At first it was the Arians and the Rame against the Marrone and the Cicatrice, but when the Rame realized that their people were being killed like lambs to slaughter, they began changing their minds and joining the fight against the Arians. The leader of the army was Alaythea Kifalme, a Cicatrice with powerful psychic and fighting abilities. She led an army of Cicatrice, all of them with special abilities.”
“Where do or did the Cicatrice come from?”
“All of them were from here, from Alesondraughton. They were just born different; they were born with a special set of DNA. They were bread differently from the rest of the people.”
“What were they fighting for? Justice?”
“Equality,” he said gravely. “They weren’t fighting for themselves as much as they were fighting for the Marrone—they were sick of seeing the people who helped them when they needed it most being treated like they were dirt, or worse. So, they revolted, for themselves and for the Marrone.”
I looked around the room, observing and drawing conclusions, “They lost, didn’t they?”
He sighed deeply, his breath full of regret. “Sadly, yes… They lost the war and everything they stood for along with it.”
“How?” To me it seemed outrageous that people with powers like that could loose to someone as prissy and plane as the Arians or the Rame. “Were they outnumbered? And even if they were, they had special powers! What went wrong?”
“Yes, they had special powers, but the Arians were extremely resourceful, especially when it came to biochemical warfare. They developed a way to clock the Cicatrice’ abilities, a nerve blocker of sorts. All of their abilities were taken. Hundreds of Cicatrice were murdered before Alaythea until finally, the queen herself took Alaythea’s head. The Cicatrice and Marrone had no choice but to retreat. The Marrone, as punishment for fighting alongside the Cicatrice were condemned to be slaves to the Rame and only a few of the Arians. The Cicatrice all but disappeared.”
“So, there are no more Cicatrice? All of them are gone?” I muttered, a bitter tone in my voice.
“Not all of them. Some of them hide in Marrone villages, most live in the wilderness, keeping to themselves.”
I looked down, stricken by the story I had just heard. “All the Cicatrice wanted was to have the people who treated them so kindly to be treated with respect, along with themselves and they were slaughtered for it.”
“Basically…” Saber sighed.
“Forgive me…” I looked up at him. “But I still don’t understand how this has anything to do with me…”
He placed the core of his now digesting fruit onto the table as he chewed on the last bite or so. “It is extremely easy to tell a Cicatrice from an Arian, Rame or Marrone. Arians have porcelain skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. Rame have the copper that fits their nickname, green eyes and freckled skin. Marrone have dirty brown hair and eyes and dirty tanned skin. The Cicatrice have blue hair, green hair, pink skin, red eyes, black eyes, anything that contradicts the norm of white, brown or copper.”
I looked up at him then to the mirror. “So, I am considered a Cicatrice? Even though I don’t have any powers that we know of?”
“Bloody red hair, red eyes, weird markings on top of fair freckled skin…” he shrugged “You’re closest to Cicatrice, but you could pass for a Rame with a bit of help.”
I immediately felt a surge of panic through my body as he described me to myself. I felt my heart race and my lungs felt like they were caving in on themselves. I was done for; he was a Marrone and was still angry about what the Cicatrice ancestors did to them.
“And… What are you, if I may ask?”
He chuckled and tilted his head down, looking up at me a bit, “Me?” he smirked and put his head down, reaching his hands behind his head and tugging on the ribbons holding his mask on. “See for yourself.”
When he looked back up at me, the mask still in his hand, the grey blue eyes I saw behind the mask were bright golden orange and his hair changed from the orangish brown to black pepper.
“Cicatrice…” I breathed, relieved.
Of course it is.
ALL BITCHES THIS IS MY HOME TOWN TAKE A FUCKING SEAT WHILE I TELL YOU THIS STORY. GET A BOWL OF POPCORN BECAUSE THIS SHIT IS DOPE
IN THE 1940’S PORTLAND WAS PUTTING IN LAMPPOSTS AND FOR WHATEVER GOD DAMN REASON THIS ONE NEVER GOT FILLED.
IN 1946, DICK FAGAN, AN AMERICAN IRISHMAN WHO WROTE FOR THE OREGON JOURNAL, GOT BLOODY FUCKING BORED AT HIS JOB AND WOULD LOOK OUT HIS WINDOW ONTO THIS SAD EXCUSE FOR ROAD CONSTRUCTION HOLE. ONE DAY HE SAID “FUCK THIS” AND PLANTED SOME FLOWERS.
HE WROTE ABOUT THIS NEW FUCKING PARK AND SPOKE ABOUT HOW LEPRECHAUNS LIVED THERE AND SHIT. MOTHERFUCKING LEPRECHAUNS IN THE MIDDLE OF DOWNTOWN, WHAT THE SHIT.
HOLD ONTO TO THE EDGE OF YOUR SEATS BECAUSE THIS RIDE GETS EVEN BETTER. THIS PARK HOLDS A GUINNESS WORLD RECORD FOR BEING THE SMALLEST PARK WITH WITH INFORMATION SAYING “It was designated as a city park on 17 March 1948 at the behest of the city journalist Dick Fagan (USA) for snail races and as a colony for leprechauns”. MOTHER. FUCKING. SNAIL RACES. BITCHES.
IT’S EVEN BEEN PIMPED OUT OVER THE YEARS
HO HO HO MOTHERFUCKS WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS HERE
WE CARE ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT.
THE BEST PART IS THAT IT EVEN HAD OCCUPY PORTLAND PROTESTERS
SO I HOPE YOU FUCKING LEARNED SOMETHING TODAY ABOUT TINY ASS PARKS.