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“My Amelia, I’ve missed you terribly. Tonight is worth, to me, any consequences that may come of it.” -- Espionage
For all of Miriam’s beauty and natural poise, her severity was unmatched. -- Glow
PEOPLE VS. OUR CREATOR "We create our gods, not the other way around." -- Clockwork Horrorshow's Unjust -Injustice for All-
"You're dead, Julia." -- Quarantine
“I almost forgot which one you were, girr.” -- The Mannequin Diaries

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 Nineteen

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Scottie Elisabeth
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PostSubject: Nineteen    Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:45 pm

When I married all those centuries ago, I was undoubtedly not ready for the commitment that was marriage. I enjoyed my wife and appreciated her company when I desired it, but I did not love her. I didn’t realize then the importance of a mutual relationship, because I was only in a relationship at all to accommodate the expectations of my family and community. I worked hard for years to support her and ensured she was always housed and healthy, but at the end of the day, my interests lay elsewhere. I bounced between pubs and women in my free time, and as the months and years drew on, I saw how much it wore her down.

It came to a head when she finally saw me with someone. She had gone for a walk as I had exited my usual dive, and she saw me in the arms of another woman. I tried to speak to her then but she wouldn’t have it, and when I broke off my date to go home and tend to her, she wouldn’t acknowledge that anything had occurred at all.

Everything changed after that. My wife was no longer the lovely woman with a song in her heart but rather she turned quiet, subdued, withdrawn from me and everyone. It destroyed her. Her change of behavior was so drastic that everyone was convinced she was pregnant, but I knew what she had seen, what she could no longer ignore. I thought I knew the truth.

I traded my life for her to forget. I wanted her to be able to live a normal life without the complications that come from having someone you trust so much let you down. I wanted her without burdens, her song returned to her. I committed to an existence of never being able to have sex freely again, in exchange for my sweet wife to forget what I had done, so that when she married again, she could live her life free of the pain I had caused her. It had all been for her.

Charlotte was the product of my indiscretions. She was everything I had tried to avoid her becoming. Everything I had done was for naught because of the parts of me I unintentionally left with her. Despite my efforts, I still ruined her, and to this day, she was burdened with the memory of me.

My heart wrenched as I admitted this to Miriam, cluing her in when she finally again asked ‘how do you know Charlotte?’ Even more so as I paused, Miriam’s lip trembling as she rose from her position across from me at the table.

“Don’t kid yourself,” Miriam spat, unable to make eye contact with me any longer. “You’re fucking selfish. What you did was so that you could live with yourself, not so that she could live with what you did with her. Fuck you for pretending you ‘sacrificed’ for her.”

The sweet, understanding Miriam I had expected was nowhere to be found and immediately this harsh, questioning woman made me defensive. “How can you call me selfish for trading my life for hers?! I gave up everything for her!”

Miriam’s eyes cut me from where she stood across the room, her arms crossed angrily across her chest. “Had you not been a selfish prick to begin with, it wouldn’t have been necessary at all! You couldn’t live with what you did, so you avoided your wrongdoing by running away from it! She didn’t get a say, Collin. You, who betrayed her, decided you knew what was best for her. You did it for you!” I’d never seen her so incensed with me. I longed for the comfort of her arms but it was clear I would be receiving none of that.

“And what’s worse!” Her voice refreshed with anger as she began pacing. “You gave me shit all the time about going out when it was you that couldn’t keep it in your pants. I can’t believe you! No wonder poor Charlotte’s fucking nuts.”

“Miriam—”

“I told you everything, Collin,” her voice broke as she stopped where she stood to pierce me with her stare. “I told you what my husband did to me. I showed you who I was. And what did you fucking do? You let me fuck you.”

“Please,” I begged, finally finding my footing as I stood and tried toward her.

“Get out.” Her tone was definitive, icy where I stood. Her eyes bore into me like they never had.

“Miriam, just give me a chance,” I begged as I strode toward her, willing her to let me touch her. “I would never, ever do anything to hurt you.”

“You already have,” she whispered as she crossed her arms between us.

“I could never do that to you,” I professed, dropping to my knees in front of her. I reached for her, pressing my cheek to her abdomen as I wrapped my arms around her hips. “Please.”

“You say that like I know anything about you,” she whispered, her voice pained. “Like I can trust a single word that comes out of your mouth.”

“Please.” I took her hands and held them tenderly against my lips, but her expression remained. “Miriam, I’ve never lied to you.”

“You sure as fuck left out some relevant details,” she spat, pulling her hands from my grasp as her sadness turned to anger. I rose as immediately as she freed herself, following her as she paced through the apartment.

“Miriam, I’m sorry!”

She turned as immediately as she had begun walking, stopping me just short of colliding with her. “You’re sorry?” Her tone was annoyed; she’d had enough. “So you’re sorry that every time I went out with someone, you criticized me? That every time I felt horribly guilty doing what I have to do, and you gave me shit, you didn’t mean it? That every fucked up, derogatory thing you thought about me when I harvested from you, was supposed to be taken with a grain of fucking salt? You’re sorry?” She pushed me then, the surprise alone enough to knock me off my feet. “You’re fucking right, you’re sorry, you son of a bitch.”

Her words froze me. I stared at her, my mouth agape in preparation of voicing my defense, but I had none. I had thought so poorly of Miriam before, but I didn’t now, and I wished she would just let me take it all back.

“Miriam—” I tried again, but to no avail. She stormed out of the room, leaving me in the floor in a heap.

“Miriam!” But the slamming of her bedroom door punctuated my shout. Charlotte had echoed the same sentiment; had my trade been selfish? Was it for me more than my wife—a woman whose true face and name I couldn’t even recall?

My mind traced the last few hours of the day. How had Miriam gone from affectionate and caring to distant and cold? Had my confession been so awful? I thought we had progressed, waking up in one another’s arms, having a relatively normal day, and yet whatever I had thought we might have between us, we clearly didn’t.

I swallowed as I managed to my feet. The sun was setting, mocking me as the red lit up the sky, as if the whole world felt Miriam’s rage at my expense. If she was going to be unreasonable, I couldn’t be here. If she wanted me out, I’d go.


I found myself at Sophie’s once more, alone in a house of my memories. I opened the door to the familiar sound of the sewing machine that had broken decades before.

“That you, Col?” her sweet voice called. I hesitated. What could I say?

“Yeah, just me,” I called to the ghost as if it were any other day, as if she weren’t a figment of my imagination.

Sweet Sophie appeared in the living room then as I kicked off my boots next to the card on the floor.
“Looking a bit down. Want a drink?” The chorus was familiar and I smiled at her, so willing her to return to me. I so wanted to return with my usual refrain, to resume our song as if it hadn’t ended, but I didn’t have the heart to get lost in the memory like I wanted.

“Got any Black Velvet?” I asked absent-mindedly as I searched her eyes for life.

Sophie scrunched her nose up then, as Miriam had. My brain had no response for asking Soph for whisky. I never had before. It gave me reason to smirk, though, knowing my sweet Sophie would never turn down the drink.

“Sure, Col,” she started for the kitchen then, but I didn’t want her to disappear.

“Wait, Soph,” I called and she stopped in the doorway to look at me. “I’m okay. Can we just talk?”

Sophie’s expression faltered but her loving smile remained as she leaned back against the kitchen doorframe. “You alright?”

“No,” I admitted, my chest constricting from the laugh I couldn’t suppress. How absurd a question. “No, I’m not. Everything’s going wrong.”

Sophie started toward me then, and as the old coffee table materialized in front of me, she took a seat on it, crossing her legs in her burnt orange sweater dress. She crossed her forearms then as she propped her elbow on her knee. “What’s the matter?”

I had to swallow to suppress my discomfort. She seemed so real. It was so easy to get sucked into her. I wanted to believe it was her and every subtle detail my mind conjured did a better job of tricking me.

“Col?” she reached forward to stroke my cheek then, and instead of dissipating, she remained, her hand gentle as she delicately traced my face. My stomach lurched as my eyes welled up. It was her.

“I hurt someone,” I sighed, exasperated, as my frustrations melted with Sophie’s touch. I was again a child caught in the act, except Sophie would never hold it against me. “And I can’t take it back. I don’t know what to do.”

“It can’t be so bad,” she coaxed, moving to sit next to me as the couch changed to its garish former color, but I couldn’t have cared less in that moment about anything but the woman next to me. “Anything can be fixed.”

“I don’t know, Soph…” I breathed carefully, staring at her, my eyes searching for any difference, anything out of place, but I found nothing. She was more real to me in this moment than she had been for a year.

“Trust me,” she laughed her unique Sophie laugh as she pulled me into her. “If I’ve put up with you for this long, Col, anything can be fixed.”

I wanted to believe her. As I listened to her heart beat in her chest, I almost did. Instead, I hugged her, grateful for her warmth and for her comfort. She always knew what I needed. She always knew what to do.

“I don’t know what to do,” I confessed then. “All of this stuff is happening and I don’t know what to do about it, or who to tell. I don’t know if it can even be stopped.”

“Quit beating around the bush,” she chastised in her familiar way. “What sort of mess have you gotten into?”

I told her everything. From Charlotte to Miriam to Leviathan to Henry. Everything. From who I was to what I had done to everything happening around me now. When I was finished, she ran her fingers through my hair, pressing her cheek to the top of my head. She smelled of the makeup, perfume, and laundry detergent she used in the sixties, when I knew her best, and all were soothing to me now.

“That is quite the pickle,” she mused, guiding me up so that she could stand. Though I didn’t want to be away from her, she strode from the living room, disappearing into the kitchen before I could argue.

Suddenly the house smelled of the result of an all-day cooking session, and when Sophie reemerged moments later, it was with a tray of a hodgepodge of a meal, all of my favorites from her, and as she sat it on the coffee table in front of me, I salivated.

“But nothing a full belly can’t fix,” she promised, smiling her usual smile as she took her seat in the floor, opposite the coffee table from me. She retrieved her whisky neat from the tray before nodding to what remained.

My eyes drifted between the plates of homemade pizza, brownies, and cheesecake made only the way she could; the bowls of chili and spaghetti and macaroni and cheese; and the glass in the corner that I knew would be a triple Jack and Coke, ‘so that you get there faster,’ she would always say, desperate for my alcohol levels to justify her own.

“There’s more in the kitchen,” she promised in the way she always did, pinching off the tip of the cheesecake as she took a drink.

I couldn’t suppress my smile as I watched her, oblivious as she licked her fingers, absentmindedly bobbing her head to a song that wasn’t playing.

Until it was. The room was filled with music then, with Sophie nodding along to California Dreamin’ as it played from a turntable we no longer owned. I missed her.

Suddenly her attention turned to me, her smile returning as she finished her drink and it refilled again on its own. “Eat, Col. It’ll get cold.”

I was afraid to touch the food, afraid it, and Sophie, would disappear, but it didn’t, and I got to taste all of Sophie’s food that I loved the most.

“If I die,” I asked her with a mouthful of macaroni, “will you be there?”

Sophie scrunched her face, propping her elbow on the coffee table as she leaned her face against her palm. “What kind of question is that?”

“Will you?” I needed to know. If I could have Sophie again, maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing I was in Charlotte’s cross hairs.

“You’re not going to die, silly,” she teased, as if we had had this talk yet, but we hadn’t, not really, not in her orange sweater dress days. Not yet. It wasn’t real.

“I just hope you’re not alone,” I confessed then, averting my eyes from her to instead the chili in front of me.

“Shh, Col,” Sophie closed her eyes then, in the way she always would when she’d had too many, and I hoped wherever she was now, her glass knew to remain filled for her, if no one else was there to do it. “Change the record, will you? I want to listen to that sad song by that cowboy you don’t like.”

I smirked, and without having to do a thing, the music changed for Sophie. They’re Hanging Me Tonight began and I rolled my eyes, though my smile didn’t fade. “I hate Marty Robbins.”

“I know,” she mused as she sipped her drink, eyes still closed. “Can we go out tonight?”

“Of course we can,” I lied as I started on the pizza, grateful for the seeming normalcy.

“Oh, change this,” she finally sighed as she sat up once more, finishing her drink. “It just makes me sad.”

I shook my head at her, so grateful for her company. “It always makes you sad.”

Again, the music changed for Sophie, and I desperately wished her afterlife were like this, with everything bending to Sophie’s whim, like I never had.

“If it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right,” Sophie stated then, out of nowhere. “You don’t think the lycanthropes did it? Call Lily. Be sweet and maybe she’ll introduce you to this Stewart. Maybe then you’ll have a better idea.”

I stared at her, surprised at the advice but grateful. “Okay.”

“You need Miriam, though. Be sweet to her too. You did a shitty thing, Col, but not to her. Once she’s cooled off, try to talk to her.”

I nodded, downing my drink in a swallow as I watched her, her eyes moving side to side as she worked through my story in her mind.

“And don’t trust Charlotte.” Sophie looked at me then, her eyes troubled. “If she’s held this grudge for this long, she’s nothing but bad news for you, no matter how much she wants to love you again.”

“Okay,” I promised her, worried she would disappear if she was only here to talk me through all of this. To my relief, she didn’t. She just shook her head, took another drink, and her smile regenerated, now free of my burdens as she sat across from me, eyeing the plates I had devoured and raising her eyebrows at those I hadn’t.

“Want another drink?”

“Always.”

Sophie rose to her knees then, retrieving my glass as she stood the rest of the way. “Relax, Col. It’ll all come together.”

“What if it doesn’t?”

Sophie disappeared into the kitchen and returned before she answered me, but her eyes were as light and as bright as they ever were. “When has it ever not?”


Last edited by Scottie Elisabeth on Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Nineteen    Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:55 am

Everything changed after that. My wife was no longer the lovely woman with a song in her heart but rather she turned quiet, subdued, withdrawn from me and everyone. It destroyed her. Her change of behavior was so drastic that everyone was convinced she was pregnant, but I knew what she had seen, what she could no longer ignore. I thought I knew the truth. ----And the heartbreak continues. This is the worst. I’m so sad right now. God, Gf, stop making me feel sorry for Charlotte. Stahp it right now.

I traded my life for her to forget. I wanted her to be able to live a normal life without the complications that come from having someone you trust so much let you down. I wanted her without burdens, her song returned to her. I committed to an existence of never being able to have sex freely again, in exchange for my sweet wife to forget what I had done, so that when she married again, she could live her life free of the pain I had caused her. It had all been for her.----Two things to say here. One: I love how you keep referring to the personalities and actions of Mir and Char as “song and symphony.” Those words are so powerful attributed to these two characters. I love the reiteration of them. Music is so relatable, and relating them to words associated to music somehow speaks so much more than you could ever actually say. Two: I thought that this might be why Collin traded his soul, but I didn’t say it out of fear of looking completely motarded BECAUSE Char said it didn’t erase the memory of him. You said all kinds of things in that chapter to tell me that WAS why he did it, but I thought there was something else. Just for clarification, this is def what you were alluding to early. And I totes get it now. Sorry I didn’t before. There was a little doubt. And I didn’t want to assume. I hate to assume and be wrong. But I should assume more probs.

----Note going to comment on Mir’s outburst just yet out of fear for assuming. Ironic.

Miriam’s eyes cut me from where she stood across the room, her arms crossed angrily across her chest. “Had you not been a selfish prick to begin with, it wouldn’t have been necessary at all! You couldn’t live with what you did, so you avoided your wrongdoing by running away from it! She didn’t get a say, Collin. You, who betrayed her, decided you knew what was best for her. You did it for you!” I’d never seen her so incensed with me. I longed for the comfort of her arms but it was clear I would be receiving none of that.----Why does she have to be right? Why? And he’s such a baby, of course she’s not going to coddle you, you little bitch. Defend yourself though you don’t have a leg to stand on!

“I could never do that to you,” I professed, dropping to my knees in front of her. I reached for her, pressing my cheek to her abdomen as I wrapped my arms around her hips. “Please.”---You want me to tell you this is Lifetimey, don’t you? Well, I’m not going to say that, because it’s not. It’s exactly what Collin would do. Exactly. And I actually love that he is doing it. Grovel, Collin. Grovel.

She turned as immediately as she had begun walking, stopping me just short of colliding with her. “You’re sorry?” Her tone was annoyed; she’d had enough. “So you’re sorry that every time I went out with someone, you criticized me? That every time I felt horribly guilty doing what I have to do, and you gave me shit, you didn’t mean it? That every fucked up, derogatory thing you thought about me when I harvested from you, was supposed to be taken with a grain of fucking salt? You’re sorry?” She pushed me then, the surprise alone enough to knock me off my feet. “You’re fucking right, you’re sorry, you son of a bitch.”---Okay Mir, you’re anger is certainly founded. Buttttt, you knew Collin was this way. Maybe you didn’t know about his wife, but you knew he was a selfish bastard (but at least he’s not alone. Or is he now?) You knew this. You’re just angry because you thought maybe he might not be as bad as he actually is. Well, sorry, but he was.

I swallowed as I managed to my feet. The sun was setting, mocking me as the red lit up the sky, as if the whole world felt Miriam’s rage at my expense. If she was going to be unreasonable, I couldn’t be here. If she wanted me out, I’d go.---Ironically beautiful words in this tragic, tragic time.

----Gonna admit, I totes thought we went back in time for a moment. I thought we went back to before he went to Charlotte’s alone. But I soon realized that was not the case. I was like, “Gf wouldn’t make the last few chapters all a lie/hallucination.” Like wtf would that even be. Okay, moving on now that I’m no longer motarded.

I found myself at Sophie’s once more, alone in a house of my memories. I opened the door to the familiar sound of the sewing machine that had broken decades before.----Oh dear god, hear it comes again. Pushing my laptop a little forward on my lap so my tears don’t soil it!

“Yeah, just me,” I called to the ghost as if it were any other day, as if she weren’t a figment of my imagination.----Goddamn, Col. Don’t do this. This memory thing is too perfect. It’s too perfect. This is too cinematic. It’s too amazing. Goddamn. Just fucking goddamn.

Sweet Sophie appeared in the living room then as I kicked off my boots next to the card on the floor.
“Looking a bit down. Want a drink?” The chorus was familiar and I smiled at her, so willing her to return to me. I so wanted to return with my usual refrain, to resume our song as if it hadn’t ended, but I didn’t have the heart to get lost in the memory like I wanted.-----OMFG WILL YOU JUST STOP DOING THIS SONG SHIT ALREADY! IT’S TOO PERFECT AND I’M TOO JELLY TO KEEP READING IT IN THE MOST PERFECT CONTEXTS EVER IN THE ENTIRE WORLD! STAHP. I’M SO ENVIOUS. IT’S TOO PERFECT. STOOOOOP!!!!!11!!!

“Got any Black Velvet?” I asked absent-mindedly as I searched her eyes for life.----Why didn’t you just ask her for shit? But oh the memories with that ‘shit.’

“Sure, Col,” she started for the kitchen then, but I didn’t want her to disappear.

“Wait, Soph,” I called and she stopped in the doorway to look at me. “I’m okay. Can we just talk?” -----This is just too much. You just nailed that feeling when you become aware that you’re dreaming. How the fuck? It’s too sweet. It’s too perfect. AND YES I WILL SAY PERFECT A BILLION MORE TIMES BEFORE THIS REVIEW IS OVER, SO JUST GEAR UP AND BUCKLE IN AND GET COMFY BECAUSE IT’S NOT GOING TO STOP!

Sophie’s expression faltered but her loving smile remained as she leaned back against the kitchen doorframe. “You alright?”----This is exactly the position my mind predicted. Love.

“No,” I admitted, my chest constricting from the laugh I couldn’t suppress. How absurd a question. “No, I’m not. Everything’s going wrong.”----How are you continuously putting these indescribable emotions and reactions to them into the most PERFECT words? That reaction. That is just amazing. And my heart literally ripped when he said that. I hate you so much.

“But nothing a full belly can’t fix,” she promised, smiling her usual smile as she took her seat in the floor, opposite the coffee table from me. She retrieved her whisky neat from the tray before nodding to what remained.-----<3 <3 <3 <3

------Eyes flying down the screen, but have to stop and comment on how this memory thing is going. Love how everything is becoming more vivid as she moves around the scene. PERFECT! And I love how she’s dressed. And I love her demeanor. And I love how Collin remembers her from the 60s. And I love her. I just fucking love her.

and the glass in the corner that I knew would be a triple Jack and Coke, ‘so that you get there faster,’ she would always say, desperate for my alcohol levels to justify her own.----- Laughing But a bittwersweet laugh! Bitter fucking sweet!

I couldn’t suppress my smile as I watched her, oblivious as she licked her fingers, absentmindedly bobbing her head to a song that wasn’t playing.

Until it was. The room was filled with music then, with Sophie nodding along to California Dreamin’ as it played from a turntable we no longer owned. I missed her. -----Ugh, Gawl. Just fucking stop. PERFECT. JUST STOP WRITING THIS SO FUCKING PERFECTLY. PERFECT TRANSITION FORM THAT PARAGRAPH TO THIS ONE. LOVE. OMG DO I EVER LOVE IT!!!!!11!!!!!

“If I die,” I asked her with a mouthful of macaroni, “will you be there?”---So cute. So real.

“Shh, Col,” Sophie closed her eyes then, in the way she always would when she’d had too many, and I hoped wherever she was now, her glass knew to remain filled for her, if no one else was there to do it. “Change the record, will you? I want to listen to that sad song by that cowboy you don’t like.”------*Us singing the intro to Bible Stories plays in the background while I’m reading this line. Because although we did terrible harmony, this part is another of my very flav bits. Omg. Wow. It’s so beautiful. I’m not even kidding right now, there are actually tears in my eyes. Not even a figure of speech or whatevs. There are actually tears. This story is killing me. It’s sucking me in unlike anything I’ve ever read before. No lies. This is going on my shelf of best stories ever written. It’s going up there right next to nothing because there is nothing else. NO HATE ON QUARANTINE. It’s just not ready yet. But this. This first fucking goddamn draft of this fucking story, it’s there. Idc how much better it gets later. This first draft has taken me on this fucking emotional rollercoaster that I can’t get off of, and wouldn’t if given the choice. It’s so perfect. perfect. perfect. fucking perfect, man. Earmark this paragraph as my very flav. This one is. Don’t you ever forget.

“You need Miriam, though. Be sweet to her too. You did a shitty thing, Col, but not to her. Once she’s cooled off, try to talk to her.”---You’re so right. You’re always right, I’m sure.

“And don’t trust Charlotte.” Sophie looked at me then, her eyes troubled. “If she’s held this grudge for this long, she’s nothing but bad news for you, no matter how much she wants to love you again.”----See, right. Always.

----It’s so strange how we want to attribute this voice of reason to Sophie, as it manifests as her, when it’s actually Collin. He’s totally using Sophie as a force within himself. But this is Collin talking to, well, himself. And that’s amazing and psychotic all the same. Wow. That’s really deep, yo. It’s dynamic, it’s heartbreaking and it’s beautifully perfect. I don’t hate you for this chapter. This needed to happen. Collin needed to center himself, and being with Mir (although a good place to be mentally) is not going to keep him centered in this crazy situation. The last chapter was so sad, but here Sophie is to comfort both me and Collin. Wow. Just wow. This chapter was much needed. I almost forgot that Mir blew up at him at the beginning. That’s how calm and collected I feel now. Sophie is my favorite character.

Love, Bf
!!!!!!11!!!!!

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