Afflictions: Part Eleven

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Paul sat alone in his room again. He’d just eaten an entire pack of saltine crackers, and he felt revitalized. Sure it had been two days since he’d slept now, but he had more important things to do. He had to keep his eyes open though, or else he’d fall asleep and waste time. For now he had even more mysteries to unfurl. Jessica had gone missing, and Vanessa was talking to Mr. Smith. It was best to avoid looking into Mr. Smith’s side of things too much, since he already knew plenty, and Felix could see him back.

A missing child was insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but perhaps if he could use his vision to end this early, something would change. The girl was significant to Zoey, after all. He’d have to manage it without help if he could, but he was sure he could manage. He cackled a little bit, and then cackled a lot at the fact that he had descended completely into madness.

“Very good.” He cut himself off, and slapped his cheeks to wake himself up.

He stared blankly forward into nothingness, and felt the world lurch around him. He concentrated on the missing girl. He needed to find her quickly. Perhaps he could guide her out himself if he found her.

He found himself standing outside in a corn field. It was night, but it wasn’t dark. In front of him was a large white tent surrounded by flood lights. The tent was patrolled by a few armed guards. He made his way inside of the tent.

Inside, a bunch of people in lab coats were running around, along with a few more armed guards. There were folding tables covered with various instruments, bottles, and papers. At the center of the tent was a man strapped down to an operating table. Scientists crowded around him, as he screamed out in agony. Paul noticed that he had several black tendrils emerging from his back, all of which were stretched out and pinned to the ground.

“Dammit! I don’t care about this! I’ve already seen this!” Paul shouted in frustration, and several people looked towards where he was standing. The world faded around him, and he was back to being blind.

Paul sighed and concentrated again. He didn’t need to see things he already knew about. He focused specifically on the concept of a female high schooler. It would be so much easier if he had something more than ‘Jessica, friend of Zoey’ to go off of. She wasn’t with Zoey right now, so that was useless.

The world lurched, and he found himself standing in the middle of a hallway. Lockers were around him, so presumably he was in a school. He questioned why he thought concentrating on the idea of a female high schooler would put him anywhere other than a school. Sure it was all he had to go on, but it was pretty much useless. Maybe ‘friend of Zoey’ would’ve been more helpful.

Paul began to pace around the hallway. He didn’t usually end up somewhere where nothing was happening, so he just had to find out what was going on. He supposed it might end up being useful in the end.

He heard some talking from a room with an open door. He peaked in and saw Zoey being talked to by some ginger guy with a cop buzzcut. She was looking dejectedly at the floor, and he kept going on.

“Zoey, you’re sleeping in everyone else’s class too. It’s not even just mine. How do you expect to learn anything if you aren’t willing to put in the time for your health? What’s going on?”

“Nothing.” She replied, not looking up.

The teacher looked at her for a moment and then sighed. “Well, I can’t help if you won’t tell me what’s going on. Let me know if you want to talk about it.”

Zoey nodded and started to exit the classroom.

“Really that’s it? God, I don’t care. Just show me Jessica, dammit!” Paul shouted in frustration and punched the wall. Naturally his fist just went through it.

“Hey, who was that?” Cop-cut shouted and started to move towards the hallway.

Paul groaned, and found himself back in his room. He began to contemplate just making a deal with the devil. He quickly dismissed the thought. He only had so much bargaining power, and he needed to save it for when he needed it. He leaned back, hit his head on the wall, and swore.

He was rubbing his head when he heard someone knocking on the door. He double checked to make sure he was wearing pants then replied. “Come in, what do you want?”

The door squeaked as it opened. “Are you okay? That was a loud bang.” It was Vanessa

“Yeah I’m fine.” Paul looked towards the door. “Is that it?” It was strange for her to just check in with him. Then again, if she heard it, she was probably in Anastasia’s room and just doing it for her.”

“Well, I also heard some cackling earlier, and…” She paused for a moment and stepped closer. “Wait, when’s the last time you slept?”

Paul considered the question for a moment. It was two days ago… He was pretty sure. He stopped himself from thinking about it. “Doesn’t matter.” He shrugged.

“When’s the last time you left your room?” She pressed on.

“I went out with Deven, like, yesterday.” He rolled his eyes. “Besides, you definitely don’t actually care, and it’s none of Anastasia’s business anyways.” It was best if he ended this quickly so he could get back to work.

Vanessa scoffed. “You are somehow even more of an asshole than when I first met you.” She began to storm out of the room, but turned back around. “And for your information, you went out with Deven three days ago.” She slammed the door behind her.

That was an interesting statement. Maybe he did fall asleep at some point. It wasn’t exactly like he enjoyed being an asshole either. He was just doing what was necessary. Either way, time was imaginary, so it was time to get back to business. He chugged a water bottle, stuffed a saltine cracker in his mouth, and started to concentrate. “I wonder what he’s up to…”

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Happy Pride traveler! I just released an album! As in the very minute this post is uploaded. It’ll take me a second or two to link everything to the page, but here’s all my links! You can also find it under the music tab in my navigation bar. I’m not sure exactly how much I’m going to do with this, but I had fun making it.

This also provides a way for you to financially support me, if you so choose. You can either stream my album (don’t loop it in the background to make me money, as that’ll get me in trouble, but listen to it as much as you’d like) or buy it (I think, I’m not 100% sure that’s still a thing, showing my age here). I’m hoping to get a couple of other things like a Kofi or a patreon set up, but we’ll see how that goes.

If you mainly visit my blog for my writing, please don’t worry. I will still continue uploading at the regularity I always have, and Earth 2 will reach completion. I manage time for both music and writing fairly well so as to meet all my deadlines. In general, my writing deadlines supersede my music deadlines.

Thank you for reading, and especially thank you if you check out my album. Have a wonderful day.

Photo Credit: Original

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