When I get back to the house, not even turning back and the cat stops to look at me, a bit confused, as I walk up the stairs, I just start feeling heavier that I head back to bed and I black out, as swirls fill my vision and I no longer feel like anything holds me and I can feel fingers stroking my cheek entirely as I feel myself go warmer and warmer, as I start hearing footsteps and I sit up to see Jack enter the apartment. He quickly glances at me, before he goes to the kitchen and stays there until I fall asleep and we spend the night with lights on in different rooms.
I grabbed the mirror in the morning, my vision going a bit blurry and I looked around feeling a heavier presence which didn't make much sense, a bit draining and if I would close my eyes I would feel a bit sinking and I just opened them to keep looking at the mirror. Looking closer I would still see nothing, closer and closer that I could only see my eyes and the birthmark on my nose-
"Jamie?" And he startles me as I drop the mirror, looking back at him, standing up and not even looking at the turned over mirror. The selkie jumps towards it and flips it over to reveal not even a single crack.
"That's for good luck then." He muttered, looking at me briefly
"Maybe it's your luck, not mine. If I flipped it over it would at least have one big crack right through it." And I presume he takes himself as the crack metaphor and leaves the room again, as I grab the mirror again, closing my eyes and my own curiosity taking over me as I try to concentrate on the soft ends of my mind.
The days passed, walls creaking due to the wind, cats would walk around the whole house, bewildered and after midnight they would rub themselves even harder against the wall, now either making sure to nest at my feet or solely watch me from afar, sometimes hissing, but they themselves started feeling peeved, as I would notice much more scratches trailing down by hand, as if tracing my bones and I sat, lighting a cigarette, looking at my left hand, wondering what was even wanting to get out or get in. I started raiding my backpack, getting a small cross which was now nearly pitch black as I started seeing a shadow head to the kitchen where Jack was sitting and reading, barely talking to me since I burnt the skin. In the morning he sat next to the river, not even dipping his hands at first, before entirely undressing and going into the water and holding his breath far too long, coughing as he headed out biting his lip, annoyed as he dressed up again and the cold would never be as harsh as the winter’s and I wonder how the fact that memories were slipping by me were solely lifting me and giving me the end to no hope.
“You’ve got a scratch under your eye. Shouldn’t you like exorcize yourself or something?”
“I beg your pardon?” I say to his claims in the evening, when even Jack seems to be noticing the shadows by telling me that in very small and odd phrases, like scribbled notes and I seem to be suffocating closer by the night and I don’t tell him how long I’ve ended up scrubbing the cross off with nothing, wondering how deep would the wounds go which don’t even ache when I try to sanitize them. I click my tongue. He just stares at me.
“It’s not that... you think everything is okay. Right?” He asks, voice a bit shaken and Jack speaks as if he were tied up to me and I don’t recall any selkie rules, since he’s just human now forever but I don’t think he is supposed to be devoted to someone he doesn’t even care about and I would think of that tracing mirrors and seeing everything crawling from the corners of my eyes and I wonder how long would it even be until I decompose. I can’t even get the memories right.
“What? Because I’m attracted to you, is that it?” Jack looks a bit taken back.
“C’mon, some shitty guides to possession state that homosexuality is a sign. Is that it?” I snarl adding.
“I used to squat in apartments and I would make a point of waiting until other neighbors would show up just to hear them discuss something and try and build their lives out of hearing them once on Wednesday and then twice on Saturday morning. I tried to make the same assumptions people make of me as I speak, it becomes a broken telephone, I end up telling people by being a medium some fragment of conversation, maybe that’s why I enjoy rather than help, I get curious about people, as if I was never one.” Jack just stares at me, wondering who is speaking for me as I just excuse myself to get milk out of the fridge and boil the kettle. Something intertwines.
He follows me throughout the rest of the day, as I even walk outside, go into the woods and pet a cat which trails confusedly after me and he watches both of us as I manage to pet it. The cat still shows some discomfort and I wonder how long will it even take until I find out its name since I’ll never meet the owners and neither I am one to start a conversation when it comes to asking what the cats’ names are and I wonder if it would be some secret for the names to die with the cat’s ability to speak. Jack just like the cat has nothing to tell me and neither do I. We watch Alex’s and Miles’ house. It seems far too calm and I wonder how they live and what would their age actually be or if by the end of the day the house is haunted and they would be some sort of two keepers of Hell. And maybe they are the gateway, just right over the river, watching over Hell.
I don’t voice it to Jack, as he still takes the cigarette from me.
I never tell him that he can leave and when I sleep at night, Jack pushes the bed even further and he sleeps near the angel, which I figured could be a guardian with it’s wings. I end up dreaming of lost airports which no longer depart and seem much more than a memory stamp, just like a dream in which I would never get back and McDonald’s which runs until late and where people tuck in as they wait for their flights.
And I wake up suddenly, sitting and seeing how the forest looks much brighter as if the night veil could be lighter and soon enough a car passes by, flashing twice and then I feel how loud the room is, not in a way you would be scared of the shadows as a child, but they’re far wilder and I can’t really capture all of their emotions and I feel a hand on my hip as I turn around. Jack stirs and his black eyes look back at me as if he would hold all the secrets of the night and he would manage to sit up with all the stars engraved in his skin and he would tell me how everything was created and what was the right combination of dice.
I can’t tell him even in the deepest of night how I managed to get so attached to him darkly and how I feel the shadows pull my hair, exposing my neck to him and how love always becomes a person’s vulnerability and one’s end.
I ask him to turn on the lights and once he stands up and I look back at the bright forest and I see birds, wondering how come we all know it’s a pitch black day-
and he’s gone
the room feels like a void, a sudden, ugly disgusting void
My last thoughts are a wonder if a burning of a selkie’s skin would be selling its soul or just locking it away for the burner to hold as an item. And I could see the skin, only now with his eyes in my hands as I feel its weight and the room becomes brighter, heavier as I hold onto the skin again, all of it burnt to crisp just to see water and feel my own eyes haven.
“What’s your favourite The Cure album, Jamie?” And Brian’s voice comes within.
“Why?” I reply, watching the water build to my feet and slowly go further, making a black shore. And that’s when I see Brian or rather the Devil. You’ll always know when you see him, your soul entirely squeezed out as if you would be looking into the depth of a black hole itself and it’s never looking back at you as it’s within you. I quickly look around, before I feel his hands upon my shoulders then taking my chin and pulling it up for me to see nothing and the crisp stars fly back, as Jack’s skin is still within my hands.
And indeed what love is there if it had always been one-sided and I can feel Brian seeping away from me, I can feel him dig out holes through me and how time is far more trapped than it had ever been as it seems like time’s mysteries stretch to every cell in my body as if I could always carry all of the dead and each imagination of the fated deceased. And I know he has nothing to offer.
Our discussion doesn’t even take place as he stretches his arm to the empty rowing boat and I drag Jack’s skin, as I reminder of some life I have had.
And I pin Jack down on the boat, some metaphor of all life and death, knowing that I can look back and forth, pinning him harshly down as he pulls me harder, maybe some Devilish blessing as I feel my whole body ache, disastrously as I know that I am screaming in my sleep, I can see Jack pulling me, telling me that it’s noon and sunlight but I can’t stop screaming and feeling the skin, now Jack, push me lower and lower, kiss me in all the ways I had ever wanted.
Desire limits and pushes you beyond it-
And life is never a twisted fairy tale, unless we had all cut off our fucking toes and sold them to the Devil.
He has nothing to offer and I look behind on the isle of dead I had taken Jack from,
from the river-
Jack was dead.
And I watch him, as he is pinned down now, watching me, his old hair cut and skin slashed to pieces around him, as I watch the blood
A medium connects two worlds
And I can feel his blood trickling down my lip as he traces it
And I wonder how many times before have I asked myself why had I been a medium with the loss of time, to lose one’s humanity which keeps us sane and how the tickling of time doesn’t matter for war, if life loops
ends. Jack grabs me just like I had yanked him before, defying time and I wake up, coughing up blood. And I look at him, shaking as he kisses me and my bones ache.
There is literally nothing pleasing about finishing a story. I usually tend to feel when the end is nearing, so it even makes it even worse. I knew the plot outline for 500 and I was awfully sad when I already had Jamie have the cuts that it was nearing to a close. I think the biggest thing which happens when you end something is the anxiety that you're leaving out things which you had in mind. Like I literally have a few things, so I was thinking to do a sort of epilogue-sort of thing maybe later, because there's a bit more backstory and it actually dawned on me, so I'll have maybe a breather and I'll write the sort of spin-off which ties up a few loose ends, because I really thought hard on a few things and I didn't want to write them down here, because there's a few. So yeah, I'll have the extra one-shot and yeah. Fuck, this makes me so sad. I finished this last night and I couldn't stop thinking about how depressed I was that this story is over. I honestly loved it and I would end up binging it a lot and I think I even spent weeks in the beginning just writing it and considering that it's based where I am now, kind of makes it more interesting and obviously many things get put here.
I am honestly really sad, because I've loved the dynamic between Jack and Jamie in the story. And yeah, at some point, I'll be happy to sit and properly re-read it.
Also, I guess the weirdest thing is that this story ended up with literally one sex scene which was between Alex and Miles, while Jamie was peeking on them. I was thinking to have a longer love/hate and with some sex relationship between Jack and Jamie, but in the end I like how painful it had been and I was discussing it with Callie, I'm rather I guess... airy when it comes to my stories, so I usually write and then I realized kind of looking at how deep the plot ended up being with the universe and I'll be honest, I got happy and impressed that it all was in my head.
I'll miss it and at the same time I was getting scared how to finish it off, how to write it properly and to keep it on the same motion. But I am very content and actually very pleased with the ending. I am very pleased with it.
Also, I'm thankful to The Cure which never ever let me down and I used in the last part of this chapter to wrap things up and I am actually listening to now. I've been going back to music which built me as a teenager and I guess I know which is magnificent to write dark stories under. Never fails.
We've got this mirror in the bedroom which frankly, like the whole house is interesting and it's not attached to anything, just a frame mirror standing and we both use it, obviously. And frankly I enjoy taking many things and using them, so that mirror ended up as being one. I'll miss using this location to be honest. Maybe I'll use it again.
Well, broken mirrors mean bad luck, so it's a play on that, for Jack that it doesn't get broken in his hands.
I lose time to be honest due to mental health and I find it hard to pierce memories back and I enjoy that sort of sense, but when I get very bad, it entirely starts floating around and I checked with Callie (since she read enough on possession and attachment when I had the incident and I wasn't keep on checking again), so yeah, time loss goes with that. And in general I guess with my no sense of time, I enjoy the trope or following the concept that time doesn't exist eventually at all and that is something I use and I think the other one which touches that only in a different way would be the Used Lighter/Bar Eyes universe.
Somewhere around the whole incident I had, I don't speak of it much because it's personal, but I do wear a cross around my neck and it's rather often that I started wearing it and it went nearly entirely black and I couldn't scrub it off with anything, it's just plain silver. And it's not really needed to be cleaned and it's really easily done now. So I wanted to add that for Jamie here.
For some reason Callie is the one which ends up with encounters these days, than me. I usually end up tiptoeing around and making sure that I'm always careful, but Callie ends up with quite often, so that kind of makes me wonder a bit, because I'm more sensitive, so I dunno if she also became more sensitive or just so happens to be. I'm guessing so happens to be and being around me when isn't too aiding here either xD So the figures is something Callie encounters. I end up with different usually.
I think one of the most annoying things when you read about possesion/attachment is that there's a lot of links which go, being gay means that something is within you and other crap, so I addressed that through Jamie and Jack's unacceptance.
The sudden talk or shift was most likely written back when I was just adding different ideas in my head and just plastering them onto the story and it ended up being a shift which was rather interesting and realistic in this case. What inspired me was we've got this thin wall and I wondered what can you gather from listening to really small conversations and what can you build from a person. And what can people build from me in that case and I thought of the balcony analogy, probably because when I was growing up I would watch other people's balconies frankly when you head out and you see people and etc.
I guess Jamie's "as if I was never one" is a bit of a spoiler to what comes ahead really and how what he is becomes literally really.
I wasn't sure about the cats, so I made them unsure too 8)
Alex and Miles as the guardians of Hell/Undead was planned rather early, considering that I based their house of what was abandoned previously, now it's refurnished and etc, so me and Callie were like... wtf happened there xD so yeah. I have no idea and neither am I going there 8) Hello to inhabited areas. So I always liked them and the point where I was happy and surprised on how deep the story was that Jack was taken out of the river and Alex and Miles guard on the other side, while Jamie inhabits a specific house. I'll have that in the extra chapter:) I originally thought that Jamie's side would be Hell, but not really, it's different due to that reason. Props to whomever reads back a certain encounter and figures it out :3
Speaking of items, the guardian Angel statue, also in the bedroom.
I ended up dreaming of airports and McDonald's so I gave that in for the story.
Also, what tempted me to I guess or gave the idea was that I couldn't fall asleep at all, the night before last night and I just kept feeling that there was too much around and then there was this car passing by and it was like flashes. I remember asking Callie to turn on the light and in general I am very good when it comes to presences awfully and I had lost her then as she headed and I freaked out before she turnt on the light. And then I realized that I had that for the ending then. And I wondered in an odd way, okay, so that gave me the idea. Okay, thanks, so yeah. And then I started thinking on and I always liked the Death of Eurydice myth and the whole lake to the Dead kind of was something I had also used in Axe for Cork Extraction, which I guess was my first and kind of push to write all the stories like Schizomilk, Used Lighter and 500 among many many others. But I used it again and I liked the idea, I don't even recall how I had linked those two but I wrote that down in a notebook to write it as the ending of 500.
Before that I've been using a lot of imagery when it comes to describing people as the night, I guess because I miss certain bits of Used Lighter which I had used as well. It's weird, saying I used this and this, when there's barely and it's very different. But I guess shout outs? xD
I guess due to adjusted ages I could see the pitch black trees in the night and it felt bright, so I used that imagery from that night.
The selkie skin thought was also written down by my to insert from the said notebook.
The random question from Brian is frankly random, solely because I was euphoric from listening to The Cure and wanted a shout out for them too and I mused on Jamie stating that he prefers the non-Goth Cure, while I can't say I'm that much in love with the first album as I love the Goth period. But all Cure is good, frankly.
And of course, the description which had to be done and described again.
The 'original' ending was Jamie carrying Jack's skin on the boat. Yup, that aching bit, but instead I dropped, started musing on how there was much more to tell (well, rather end of chapter) and I continued after spacing out for a while xD
And the whole break of two places with Jack trying to wake up Jamie is awfully refreshing and feels kind of in the face in a good way, making me question how deep was Jamie away fro reality, which is a big mental health metaphor for me, kind of to realize what's going on and the love really.
And if I go on such topics, I kind of end them rather tragic and kind of immersed in the Devil, if you must, so I wanted something different and here is 500 really, even if Jamie muses on my usual really xD
Also I couldn't wake a long while after that night and I recalled Callie telling me that it's noon and that I should wake, so that was used as well.
This is really detailed because I used a lot of thought, I'm sad to let it go and I wanted to make sure to tell everything as I recall and yeah, because I really love this story a lot, a fucking lot and perhaps this would be my favourite Jack/Jamie.
The last kiss which is frankly the happiest moment I guess from the whole novel, was sort of an ode to fairy tales and how love kind of yanks you out in a way and before that Jamie spoke of it and my musings on it when it comes to the story, sort of Jamie breaking the fourth wall. So I really wanted that kiss in in a way that they both saved each other in the end.
I think another point is well, you'll get offered what you most desire, but always decline and acknowledge that you don't gain it, really, so yeah. And I guess like Jamie said, that he has nothing to offer, because you'll get what you want the most always.
Jack being dead was something I hadn't thought of and I am proud I thought of and the skin as well. So that was a surprise to me if you must as I was writing and I was awfully pleased with the whole concept of them both helping each other, really.
And Jamie kind of being between two was frankly making the fact that he connects two worlds kind of in a more physical sense in the story. And I loved the setting, I will honestly miss it and I always think of it very often. Life looping is also a Neon Genesis Evangelion reference rather than an explanation and more of Jamie thinking.
Jamie coughing up blood, now looking back, is more of a way that he is no longer possesed actually, but I had written it showing that he had come back rather than thinking that in a more strict way, same for the bones.
And just like the story ending, it ends with their kiss, kind of showing everything all along.