Aftermath Guardian’s War 5: By the Throat

There was a pattern to these things.

Job went to work either in the morning or afternoon. He was gone most of the day no matter what. Chanel stayed home with me. Bekah came over around dinner time, stayed for a few hours, and was gone by the time Siren got there at night. Then she would stay until Job got home, and we would hang out with him until he went to sleep.

Every time anyone was around me, we were working on my alters. The entire day was about me. I was asked a thousand times a day how I was doing. Did I need anything. Was I upset? Do I want to talk about it? Is there anywhere I want to go? All of this was all the time.

Try to imagine the kind of love or obsession that it takes to allow one person to rule every waking moment of your day. I was not their child, yet they treated me with that level of care. I was their entire life and they lived like that for months. Chanel and Job would pull away soon for hate of Siren, but the new group was told the same thing.

Steven made it very clear pretty early that I needed to focus on myself. He told me that for a while everything needed to be about me. Everything. If I needed everyone to leave, they all needed to get up and do it. If I needed to be taken somewhere, that was where we went. If I needed to talk, watch a certain movie. Everything. Everything needed to be about me for a while. He told me to sit down with all my friends and let them all know this. If they would allow it, let them in. But if they couldn’t agree to it, then thank them for their honesty and send them away. I was dealing with things too important and too sensitive to allow other people’s needs to get in the way.

It was terrible and I hated it. I involved myself in other people’s lives and cared about their needs as much as I could, but at the same time there were times when I needed to take over, and I did.

When I was living with Job, my favorite part of the day was hanging out with Chanel and Bekah, when she could make it. It was the most fun, the most informative, and we got the most done. I sat in the Lazy Boy, they sat as far away from me as they could on the couch, and they fought the war of my mind. They pulled alters out. They talked to alters, and they were always safe and careful about it. Until the night Teth snatched Bekah into his claw.

Teth had been out the night before. He had walked up to Chanel, dropped on his knees, and smelled her stomach. She hugged his head and said yeah, that she had not told Job yet. She was at the time six weeks pregnant. He asked her if she wanted to know if he smelled a boy or a girl. She said no.

Teth came out the next night. He talked for a long time about young things and the need to protect them. He talked about a land they could not name where massive wolves roamed in enormous packs and he was their alpha. He described things no one had ever seen, and he almost ate a moth.

It fluttered through the room and Bekah cringed back. She is deathly and irrationally afraid of moths. No one knows why, but she is. So, when it fluttered by and she cringed back, Teth stood up, and with a twist and a snap of his wrist and fist, he had the moth in his hand. He went to pop it in his mouth when both women yelled out, “No!”

He looked at them as if they were crazy.

“Please don’t eat that,” Bekah begged. “Please Teth, don’t eat that moth.” She was nearing frantic, nearing the breaking point. Her fear-addled mind could not bear to see the man she loved pop a moth in his mouth and devour it.

Teth turned from Bekah, shaking his head, and looked at Chanel. Chanel shook her head. “Pretty gross, dude.”

He looked at his hand and opened it, seeing the moth still struggling. It was still alive. He licked his lips and reached his hand to his mouth.

“Please Teth, no!” Bekah yelled, and Chanel laughed. Teth laughed.

It was the first time they had ever heard him laugh. They had not even known him capable of any expression but intense fire. When he laughed, he held the hand to his mouth and Bekah cringed. He pulled it away and she sighed. He held it to his mouth again, and she cringed again and shook her head.

In the end, he dropped the moth in an ashtray. He did not eat that moth. However, he did lick his hand where it had died. So, there is that.

When Teth pulled back, out came Pain.

Pain had not had a good day. Child had been out earlier and had been mean to Pain’s bear.

Child had a teddy bear. It was big and fluffy and yellow, and it meant the world to him. He loved it and carried it around with him everywhere.

Pain, also being a child, wept one day that he didn’t have a stuffed animal. So, Bekah brought him The Maître d’. She gave it to him and introduced him as D Bear, told him it was hers and now it was his. She said he could keep it forever if he wanted to, but it was capable of a lot of love. “So be careful,” she said with a wink.

Well, Pain loved it. I want to remind everyone that the slightest caress felt to him like a punch, like a lash. When he wept and sobbed, there was no helping him. If you reached out and made contact with him, he would scream in horrible pain. There was no way to show physical love to Pain.

But this bear could.

Child called his bear Victor Bear. It was named after one of Job’s Dungeons and Dragons characters.

Pain called his Victor bear, too. But Pain had been created when he was three years old, so he was not good at pronouncing things. It came out Vikker Bear and it was his therapy toy.

Well, Child would come out, grab his bear, and swing it around for a while, then he would see Vikker and put his down. He had a tendency to take Vikker by the legs and bang him on the ground. To throw him around and to hit people with Vikker. He stepped on him and he kicked him.

Now, I am Child. My name is Adam now and I run everything. I have been writing this autobiography, and I have to take the blame for this. I will say that it was abusive. I will say it was a terrible thing to do. But I will try to explain that Vikker bear was, in my mind, a lesser thing. My bear was beautiful, and I hated sharing my room with that tattered old bear. Just seeing it pissed me off. I was in the middle of playing, so I didn’t listen to anyone, and all knew that if anyone laid a hand on me, they would be dealt with by Assassin or Guardian. So, everyone was helpless to stop me from abusing that bear.

I had a pretty good life. All these alters that I love shielded me from the horrors of my abuse. I do not walk around with much shame. But I can say that about this, I am filled with shame. About this small stuffed animal and the way I treated it, I am ashamed of myself. Pain deserved better than that. I just didn’t realize what I was doing.

So that day, I had been terrible to Vikker Bear. I had stuffed it under my bed when no one was looking, and when Pain came out, it was gone. He frantically searched for it and he cried. When they tried to comfort him, he screamed.

See, it was not their fault they did that. It is second nature to see a loved one crying and rush to physically comfort them. Every time Pain came out, someone would grab him. They all knew the rules. They knew it was supposed to be hands off. But they still couldn’t deal with the sight of a man they loved weeping in the voice of a child in pain about the terror of his life. Try to imagine the horror of that, having to stand by and do nothing while a child suffers.

Well the night Teth almost ate that moth, Pain came out and started crying. He sobbed and wept and begged them to protect poor Vikker bear. He grabbed a nearby roll of duct tape, pulled it as he cried, and wrapped the end around his thigh. He was wearing blue jeans, and he started wrapping his leg in tape as he wept and screamed for help for his bear, the only thing in the world that he knew loved him.

Bekah stood up. Chanel grabbed her to pull her back down. But Bekah brushed her off.

“Do not touch him,” Chanel said.

“I know. I won’t,” Bekah said. She neared us and crouched down by the chair beside us. “It’s okay. It’s going to be okay,” she said. “I’ll talk to Child about it. It’s going to be okay.”

“No, he’ll hurt Vikker.” Pain sobbed. “He’ll hurt him. He’ll hurt him.” Pain was losing control. He dropped the tape and punched himself in the head.

Bekah grabbed his arm.

Then from deep beneath, Teth roared to the surface.

He jumped up with a roar and grabbed Bekah by the throat. He slammed her against the nearby wall and snarled in her face, pressing, his mouth almost touching hers.

Instantly she dropped her gaze. She looked to the ground and turned her eyes. She held out her hand to Chanel.

“I got it. It’s my fault. Don’t move. It’s fine,” Bekah said. She went slack. She didn’t drop to the ground, but she relaxed her entire body and waited.

Teth snarled and roared a few more times. Then he smelled her. He smelled her again.

On her, he smelled himself.

I have talked to him about this moment quite a few times and his answers have been cryptic at best. He said a lot about how he smelled himself. But it was not him. That he sensed his warriors. He said she was not alone. Said she had them with her. He said a few times nothing more than, “To come.”

It is unclear as to what he smelled when he smelled her, but I can say that if you ask me, I think he smelled Rayph and Tobin.

Years later, Teth would come out around the boys when they were just infants. He held them high above his head and presented them to the four cardinal directions. He blessed them in his way and pulled them down and smelled them. When he did that, when Teth had his sons in his hands, he said, “You came.”

This chapter is from Reality of the Unreal Mind, Vol. 2: Normal Street.

Vol. 1: Teardrop Road is available now on Amazon.

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