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Bloody....Mary?
#1
Beto sat at the bar nursing his drink, a Moscow Mule. Appropriate, he supposed. Irritation roiled in him. That, in itself, bothered him immensely. This was his first night out in days, the last few having been spent trying to regain his balance or composure. For his entire life, he had been a tight rope walker, balance pole shifting right, then left. One never got used to the tight rope, with its endless drop into oblivion always threatening. There were no nets here. But he had gotten used to it.

He had to, after all.

But now, it felt as if the rope had gotten thinner, the balance pole shorter. And there was a breeze. No. A gale. All of which was to say it had turned into a real struggle. A surprise, after 39 years of equilibrium.

Leviathans of the deep slowly but inexorably undulated upward from the depths, large miasmic bubbles of air already starting to break the surface. He could feel it. That walk was getting harder.

His eyes scanned the mirror at the bar, searching for someone. He wasn't sure what. He couldn't get Ana's face out of his mind. That day in the tattoo shop was unlike anything he had ever experienced. Not simply because he had been a virgin up until that point. Something had happened to him, something glorious and dangerous. He had been unlocked. He had seen the face of God.

Even now, despite the smells of smoke and alcohol, he could smell her, a heady cloud fogging his brain, could taste her on his tongue, sweeter still despite the vodka. Images of that day replayed in his mind, its violence and lust, dripping sweat stinging eyes, salty sweet nectar, bites to draw cries of pain, ecstasy and warmth and softness, hands and fingers gripping, squeezing tightly, muscles corded, gasps and wet humid breath commingled, tongues and teeth and lips, until he was simply unable to contain the entirety any longer. He had exploded. And for a moment time itself stopped.

He was in the void, outside himself and the universe. And God stood there, a presence he could only sense, there and not there, revealed in all its glory. And Beto wept in awe, smelling colors he could not imagine, tasting sounds beyond comprehension, an orgy of synesthesia that enveloped and embraced him filling him with meaning and understanding and purpose...

...that left him empty and lost, a dried out husk devoid of life when it stopped.

He hungered for it again. The craving gnawed at his mind, pushing and pulling him to this and that side of his rope.

Ana had disappeared. He had never even gotten her number. Sergei had not been forthcoming despite his best efforts. So far. He was getting desperate.

There were other girls, though. It had taken only a few tries before he found himself once again with a woman. But the experience was insipid, washed out. Dull. By the end he found himself fighting just to keep his interest going. Not that she had noticed. He had been in a frenzy by the end, chasing the sensation, the memory of Ana and God keeping him awake. Barely.

That happened two more times. He found himself lost, now, unsure of what had changed. Emotions and desires he had never before felt hounded him mercilessly.

It was a gaping mouth, an infinite pit of need. For 39 years, God had hidden from him. Beto couldn't let him hide again.
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#2
  “Yes, that’s far enough, Gaston,” Meera murmured as the large oalf wheeled her up to the bar. He was a handsome, strapping man, but had cow dung for brains. Her wheelchair almost collided with the bar itself before she said something. The large French man only grunted, scooping her up from the chair and setting her down gently atop a stool. The Atharim were not extravagant, but they had seen fit to ration out a man-servant for her needs… At least when she was not on the job. Gaston was quiet and easy to look at. That was all Meera cared for.

                “Yes, thank you. Do wait over in the corner, out of the way, Gaston. I shall call you when I am ready to depart,” she said testily. He nodded, folding down her wheelchair and wandering into some dark, smoky alcove off to the right. Meera hated using the man, but one did not discard a tool that was useful. She could have gotten by on her own just fine, but there was a certain ease that came with the Frankenstein-like servant. She signaled the barkeep, “Moscow Mule, please.”

                Sure, it was cliché to be drinking such a thing in Russia, but the taste of Ginger and vodka was too palpable to ignore. The barkeep whipped the drink up in record time, sliding it over to her. Meera took a long drag, throwing her head back, sighing in blessed relief as she set the glass back down on the bar. Reaching into her clutch, Meera drew out a gold plated cigarette case and had the barkeep light her Virginia slim. This was living. Far away from the worries and stresses of everyday life, no thoughts of her duties as the Mirror of God, no comprehension of the Atharim. Meera often wondered how much of her life was her own, but such thoughts were foolish. She had been placed here for a purpose, and she would fulfill that purpose… But she was also entitled to a little release. Sure, there was no blood or viscera insight, but who said such things were the only way to achieve a high?

                Her head swam with the chemicals infusing themselves into her bloodstream. Yes. This was good. A lithe, well-dressed man sat to her right, hands running through his hair. He wasn’t unattractive. Quite the opposite. In fact, he looked like just the type of man she preferred to break in. Oh, her legs might not have worked, but the other parts were intact. He was well dressed and clean cut. Most men that looked like that usually wanted a dominatrix or something domineering. Yes. Just the type Meera got along with. A shame such men had to hide their urges, obscuring their true reflections from the world, but such was life… And as the Mirror of God… Well, Meera’s duty was to expose such deprivations.

                The dapper man held a copper cup in his hands, much like the one Meera held before her. She held up a finger for the barkeep, “One more.”

                Another Moscow Mule was presented to her and she slid the copper cup to her right, eyeing the man, “Penny for your thoughts?”

                Tonight was meant to be a way to unwind. Oh, she loved the blood and the gore, but she needed a different kind of high tonight. She would unwind. She’d find a way to do so, even if, in the end, it involved slicing up an unsuspecting mortal.



"She had tortured hundreds, maybe thousands, in the name of understanding and reason. Torture made sense. You truly saw what a person was made of, in more ways than one, when you began to slice into them. That was a phrase she'd used on numerous occasions. It usually made her smile." 
- The Wheel of Time, The Gathering Storm, Chapter 22, Robert Jordan
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#3
Beto's head felt foggy. Had he been looking in the mirror at the women? The men? His heart ached an aguished squeak. God!!! Where are you? He ground his teeth, feeling a hotness behind his eyes. The taste had been real. And now...

Loss. He couldn't imagine it. The last time....frustration had built, clouding his mind, anger. Rejection. It overwhelmed him. His jaw hurt. His hands hurt around the copper cup.

He realized they were tight and tensed, a fist. For a moment he felt the tension of a throat in them. He breathed sharply, a memory stabbing him. The last girl. He had started strong, dripping and hard and dominating, piercing. The stallion that mounts the world. A god. And then triumph and power and hunger turned to shame as sweat poured off his face, dripped and he wilted, bored, unsatisfied. So bored. He tried everything, fighting to keep going.

Corded throat muscle and cartiledge resistant against his grip, fighting, face red, nostrils flared, and he raged to life. When he came it was fire...

But he felt laughter. Mocking laughter. A joke.

The veil remained unparted. He wanted to tear at the fabric of the world, to rip away the facade until God couldn't hide from him.

The night had been silent, the only proof of his presence and existence the bruises on her neck, the spilled seed inside her and on her. And he didn't care. Her breathing was ragged and sharp and she was strong. It had been the closest he'd come, though.

But....the veil laughed and taunted him. Never to be broken.

A voice cut into his thoughts. Soft and lilting. Black eyes piercing.

He turned, realizing a woman sat next to him. He wasn't thinking. "I wish God would stop hiding from me." He breathed, realizing how stupid it sounded. He smiled weakly, picking up the drink, toasting. "Sorry. Fighting demons tonight."
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