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This is a work I'll be editing HEAVILY in the coming months... but it's something I started over 4 years ago. It was part of an exercise I wanted to attempt. I needed to become more spontaneous, so I stopped at some point, and waited for 4 years to continue, by reading the last lines I wrote. I didn't read the first part till I was done.
To be perfectly honest, I know this is FAR from my best work. That's what editing is for.
It's been three years since that day. Three years since I last looked on her face and told myself it wasn't my fault. Three years to the day since I told myself there was no saving her. I look back to September 13th 2007 all the time as I try to make sense of what happened. How things went wrong. I always ponder whether what happened was for better or worse. Then I think clearly for the first time in hours and tell myself Iâ€™m crazy, and that it was my fault. I did it, so I only have me to blame. I killed my mother in cold blood.
Maybe I should have thought things through. Maybe I should have just ignored it all, but I didnâ€™t, so now I have to live with it. I have to live with the pain I wrought upon myself.
The best way to explain a story is to start at the end, then go back to the beginning, and gradually work back torwards the end, maybe giving different characters a more clear view point. So the best way to start this story is to tell how it ended.
I killed my mother.
Now that Iâ€™ve gotten that point across, letâ€™s begin. It was a rainy day, I know, totally clichÃ©. It was a day that screamed, â€œthis is gonna be hell.â€ I had just gotten a phone call from Sparky Little. Sparks here is my best friend, we go way back. He and I used to rule the worldâ€¦ our playground. We first met in the 3rd grade after my mom moved us out here. She never told me then, but her and dad got divorced. Itâ€™s been around 10 years now since we left our home in sunny Tallahassee, Florida for the rainy confines of Portland, Oregon. Mom told me I should get used to the rain, and boy, she wasnâ€™t kidding.
Sparky and I, now aged 19 a piece, had grown to be quite plain men. Nothing special about him or I. He sees ghosts, and I talk to trees. Fascinating, right? Sparky and I were both close to the height of your average door way, I remember having to duck as I entered his plain white-bread house. I also remember him having to duck as we climbed the stairs to his second story room. When we walked in, he shut the door fervently, as if he was trying to keep a secret from the non existent people in the hallway. Then he closed his blinds and locked everything in sight. Once he was certain we were safe from the denizens of the void, he told me to come over to his desk.
So I did as asked and wandered on over, he told me he had something to show me. I was curious, and he told me about something called the Chinitimani Stone or however the f*** you spell it. It was a cursed stone, bright like sapphire and larger around than a mans arms. I remember something we had done the past weekend. I told him calmly, â€œThis isnâ€™t Uncharted, dude.â€
â€œNo, otherwise I know EXACTLY where we would have to look. What I found out however, is that there is MORE to the secret.â€
â€œSecret? What secret?â€ I replied, in a genuinely curious tone.
â€œThere were three stones. One of Sapphire, one of Ruby, and one of Emerald! Marco Polo found the first. But the other two have yet to be found.â€
â€œRighttttâ€¦ and just how do you know these stones exist?â€
He pulled out a piece of paper written in some ancient writing, which I have no idea how to read. â€œThis stone of sapphire, it is just the start. Find the other two and endless riches shall be yours. One as red as the lava bleeds, and one as green as the grass you seeâ€ He spoke slowly, as if having difficulty himself.
â€œOkâ€¦ so just how the hell are we supposed to even find one of these things? If none of the greatest explorers have found it, why do you think you can? And just how the hell did you find this piece of paper?â€
â€œYou know that book I checked out after we played that game? It had another resource. After some resource jumping I came across one of Poloâ€™s other journals, he always talked of marvelous things, do you remember that quote? â€˜I did not tell of half of what I saw, for I knew I would not be believedâ€™? He knew that no one would believe it becauâ€¦.â€
I decided to interrupt â€œBecause itâ€™s bulls***. Seriously, who in Godâ€™s creation would believe this?â€
After several hours of debating why this was a terrible idea, I decided to play along. I mean, what could happen right? We were just 19, and he couldnâ€™t find his other shoe this morning, heâ€™d give up on these stones in a few days, and Iâ€™d have something to write about on failblog.
Boy, did I ever wish I had pestered him more, or just said no. Stupid me and my stupid curiousity.
We had set out a day later, after telling our parents we were going on a road trip. Neither of our moms cared, they saw us as good boys who always did the right thing. We thought we were just your normal teenage boys.
About 4 days into our journey, I had the guile to ask him just where we should start.
I knew it, he had no idea where to go. He hadnâ€™t thought this through. Only a few more days till we go home and forgot this ever happened.
â€œWe need to talk to Stanislaus Kobalisky, the guy who wrote that book. He did a lot of ancient research, so heâ€™d know for sure.â€ He said in a surrenderous tone. I was beginning to think that he didnâ€™t want to admit he didnâ€™t know anything at all.
â€œWhere does this Stanislaus live? Antarctica?â€
â€œYep.â€ All I could do at the time was facepalm.
After a few weeks of travel, and arranging a way to meet Stanislaus, we finally arrived in Antarctica. Hereâ€™s a word of advice for anyone planning a picnic in the cold desert. â€œDonâ€™tâ€ I was wearing 8 jackets and was still frozen. Thankfully Stan knew we were coming and arranged a convoy for us.
When we arrived at the camp, which was warmer than my own house, I glamored for a peek at this Stan. My first impression of him? Not much, he was a thin man, a bit pale, looked like he hadnâ€™t bathed in weeks. He had an odd odor, and always looked skeptical of everything we said. I think he thought I was a terrorist sent to bomb his warm winter paradise. He never said much to us, and itâ€™s just as well, I didnâ€™t feel like smelling his awful fish breath honestly.
After a week of learning about the Antarctic and its contours, he showed us the Polo journals Sparky wanted to see. Now I was starting to understand a connection, although it was still a lot of speculation. Sparky believed it at once, and it led me to believe he was just as crazy as Stan here. Apparently, the Cinntimani stone isnâ€™t even the real name of the sapphire that Polo discovered. It was really named the â€œQuestopastal Gemâ€, and that despite itâ€™s rather large size, it is one of the smaller gems from the period they were manufactured. Thatâ€™s right, manufactured. The myths stated that the â€œCintimanni Stoneâ€ was a natural sphere the size of a manâ€™s arms, but in actuality, it is a fake. So I didnâ€™t understand why it was valuable.
I asked, and boy do I regret it. Stan told us, â€œI cracked open this â€œsapphireâ€ when I was brought a sample last week. I got an edge of this paper.â€ He handed me a scrap of paper, which I couldnâ€™t read. â€œAll I see is the very edge of the parchment, so all I can tell is that the word â€˜theâ€™ and â€˜gloryâ€™ are somehow involvedâ€¦ and that a man named Bjork Binks has the other part of the parchment. Binks is a rival collector, and also has a part of the emerald, the â€œQueenâ€™s Diamondâ€, so he is your first stopâ€¦ or your last if he discovers you want the stones too.â€
This was crazy, I went from being a normal teenage boy, to being one working for a maniac risking my life over fake stones. Foolishly, I decided to continue playing along with it.
So we picked up the trail, and went to work. On last notice, Binks had been in Argentina, visiting some government official. So naturally where do we go? Argentina.
After fruitless stops in Argentina, where we were told he left without saying anything and left for Spain, Madrid, where we were told he had plans to visit his Aussie family, and Australia, where we were once again told he left for Argentina, we finally caught up with him.
He had a meeting with a man who went by the alias Spade. This Spade is the one that Stan told us about. He is an inside man, also working for Stan. After a long discussion, entirely in some random language or another, Binks started to leave. But then something happened.
He pulled out a gun and shot Spade. Clear through the head. Spade was dead, we didnâ€™t even have to get within a few feet of him to notice. What seemed odd to me was that no one reacted to his shooting. Then I noticed something else oddâ€¦
The pedestrians all had guns of their own, and they were aiming them on me and Sparky.
â€œAhâ€¦ so you are Stanislausâ€™ new employees? I see, well then, it is sad that you must die, you look so very youngâ€¦ unless you are willing to work for me? I think we can agree to a deal of sorts, you help me find something, and I let you live and go home to tell a story hmm?â€
What position were we in? We had no choice but to accept! So he told us what we already knew and that he wanted us to find the stones. He told us about the two he already had, so naturally all that was left was the Ruby, â€œThe Sphere of Chaosâ€. This one was the smallest of the three. No bigger than a thimble, big enough to put on a necklace. Binks showed us a picture of this stone, and all I could do was look in shock. That looked exactly like the necklace my mom wore ever since she married dad. I hid my surprise, but it was obvious I could never help this man.
Later that night, I woke Sparky and told him about the necklace. I told him we had to leave.
So we did.
We started to leave, and an alarm arose. We saw a guard come around the corner and order us back to the dorm we were staying in. We refused naturally, and then he pulled out his gun and prodded again. Sparky, being the tricky no gooder he was, slit the guards throat and motioned for me to take the gun. There was no going back now, Binks surely knew by now that we were attempting escape.
This was a complex alright, and now it was bigger than ever. I didnâ€™t know which was more dire, the fact we had to escape this place alive, or the fact it was bigger than the Mall of America. We ran through hallway after hallway, not seeing a single guard, nor sentry, nor anything resembling a threat to our escape. Things were too easy. Then I had a bad feeling.
â€œThey knowâ€ I told Sparky
â€œI know they doâ€ he responded.
As we left the complex, we killed one guard. One. And he never threatened to actually hurt us. We boarded the first flight to the States and traveled home. I looked for mom at home, but she wasnâ€™t home. So I kept trying to call her cell phone. No answerâ€¦ or was there? I heard a ring. I followed the ring and found her phone in her room, on her bed. There were clothes all over the floorâ€¦ mom never left a mess. Come to think of it, the house entrance was also a bit messy. I called Sparky, and asked him if his mom was home.
â€œNope, looks like sheâ€™s been gone a week.â€
â€œShe have her cell?â€
â€œNope, I found it under the dryer.â€
â€œI think they might be on vacation?â€
â€œNo chance, look how thereâ€™s no notes anywhere.â€
I looked. He was right. â€œThey took our moms?â€
â€œSure seems that way.â€
â€œWhat the f*** dude? I thought this was gonna be a treasure hunt! I didnâ€™t think weâ€™d be
putting our parentsâ€™ lives in danger!â€
â€œCalm down, do you know where her necklace is?â€
â€œYeah, right here next to her makeupâ€
â€œIâ€™m surprised they didnâ€™t f***ing see it, I mean it is soooooo in the openâ€
â€œI donâ€™t think they expected her to have it.â€
â€œWell, crack it open, letâ€™s see what the paper reads. Iâ€™ll be over in a second.â€ When he finally arrived, he had an odd look on his face. I suddenly saw what made this appearance lie on his face. Stanislaus was standing right next to him with his goofy grin.
â€œHeyyyyyyy Palos! Miss me?â€
â€œNot particularly â€¦â€ I responded.
â€œOh just show me what was in the gem you doltâ€ said Sparky impatiently, as I handed him the small fortune cookie sized paper, â€œThe answer is in the truth, three plus three is six. Put these together at the River Styx.â€
â€œWhat. The. Hellâ€ Sparky and I said in unison. And I picked up, â€œDo they expect us to make sense of this?â€
â€œWell I guess the first step is finding the River Styx. Isnâ€™t it mythological?â€ I quipped.
â€œYou canâ€™t be serious. There is no way in hell we are going to find a place that doesnâ€™t exist.â€ He sounded off.
Stan, who had been awful quiet to this point, finally chimed in â€œNot exactlyâ€¦ the River Styx could be a metaphor. Think about what it is and who made the Styx out to be real.â€
â€œThe Greeks!â€ I said
â€œThe Romans!â€ Sparky said.
We were too stupid to do a simple google search. So instead we traveled to both locationsâ€¦ and asked the locals and did countless hours of research. All while our parents were in danger. I was beginning to really miss mom. If only dad were alive. He was a great explorerâ€¦ wait.
â€œI need to go home.â€ I said, and left at light speed. I was followed by Sparky and Stan, but I didnâ€™t really notice or care. I had to find something, and I needed to find it fast.
And so I went home, and toiled through the mess the kidnappers left. I found a lot of junk mostly, but this didnâ€™t phase me. I had to find a certain something. And I needed it now.
After hours of diggingâ€¦ I found it. I found my dadâ€™s lockbox. I didnâ€™t know the combination thoughâ€¦ it wasnâ€™t a big lock, but it had 3 numbers from 0-9. It could take a while to find out this code. Then it hit me. Dad loved going on trips to Italy and Greece. He was obsessed with their cultureâ€¦ could it be? No. That message was ancient, and Dad was mortal just like you or me. Then I grabbed the necklace and had a startling thought.
â€œMaybe Dad knew all along.â€ And put in the combination 3-3-6 into his lockbox. It worked.
Inside there was nothing except a piece of paper. Unlike everything else to this point, this was in English. I breathed a sigh of relief.
â€œWell done champ. I knew youâ€™d find this paper one day. I didnâ€™t know the time or place, but I knew it would be you. Is Sparky with you? I hope so, I kind of envisioned him being the one to drag you along at first. But you have come to enjoy this adventure havenâ€™t you? Youâ€™ve probably grown up a little in the short time you have been searching for the stones. Well hereâ€™s a startling bit of news for you. Iâ€™m actually alive. And Iâ€™ve done something you wonâ€™t believe. Iâ€™ve found the motherlode. What do you think the three stones led to? Youâ€™ll never guess. I want you to see for yourself though. So call this number. (He left a phone number there) and Iâ€™ll swing by.â€
I called the number right away.
â€œHello.â€ Said a familiar voice.
â€œNo. It canâ€™tâ€¦ are you serious?â€
â€œFraid so champ. I am your father. But Iâ€™m also Mr. Binks. Has it really been so long that you donâ€™t recognize me?â€
I was heartbroken. Was everything weâ€™ve done to this point a lie? When we escaped his complex, he was really just letting us go?
â€œWhereâ€™s mom?â€ I asked right away.
â€œI donâ€™t know what you are talking about.â€ He said in a genuinely unknowing voice.
â€œIf you didnâ€™tâ€¦ thenâ€¦â€
â€œDrop the phone son.â€ Came a voice from behind me.
On instinct I dropped the phone and turned around.
â€œMom?â€ I was so confused at this point. I honestly had no clue what was going on.
â€œGive me the phone so I can talk to your father.â€ She was pointing a f***ing gun at me. I had no choice.
â€œHello dearâ€¦ where are you? You havenâ€™t called in so longâ€¦ been planning on cutting me out of the profit again eh?â€ Mom seemed rather different than I remember.
I couldnâ€™t hear the rest of the conversation, but I got enough to know one thing. Dad was trying to protect the treasure. Mom knew nothing about it. Despite being married to him.
â€œWhat do you mean I canâ€™t know? I MARRIED YOU to know!â€ At this point, I lost it. Their love was a lie?
â€œDonâ€™t give me that crap. You knew full well what I was when you married me.â€ I was getting angrier by the second.
â€œKill her. She canâ€™t know obviously.â€ Stan said in my ear.
I canâ€™t believe I considered it. For even a second. In the end, cooler heads prevailed and I became determined to get the gun to keep her from killing me. Love or not, she is my mother.
So I grabbed for the gun and there was a struggle between us for it. A single shot fired.
There was naught but silence.
Then suddenly mom fell to the floor. She had a gun wound in her side. It was bleeding out fast. She was going to die. And it was my fault. I picked up the phone and said hurridly â€œI shot mom on accident. I was trying to get the gun from her, but a shot fired, and now shes dying. I canâ€™t well call 911.. Theyâ€™d ask what this is all about!â€
â€œYou have to let her die. Itâ€™s heartless, but we need to protect the stones.â€ And then he said â€œIâ€™m coming home.â€ He hung up.
Itâ€™s been 3 years since that day. A lot has happened since then. Dad came home, and we went to see the motherlode. We had endless riches for endless life times. We had everything we could have wanted. A big house, big cars, fast womenâ€¦ we were living the Hollywood lifestyle as father and son.
Sparky kind of left. He wanted no part of it. I canâ€™t say I blame him. I didnâ€™t either. But this was my dad. I had no one else to turn to since mom died. I still talk to him from time to time, but we arenâ€™t as close friends anymore. Dad let his mom go back home, and those two live together again like they used to. For Sparky, life was back to normal.
For me thoughâ€¦ it was anything but. Everything had changed. I lost a mom. I gained a dad. I found endless treasures, and was leading a completely different life. Dad filled in the blanks for me. Answered all my questions. Mom was a thief. A good thief. The best. And Dad married her, because he was truly in love with her. Her love wasnâ€™t so pure, as she just wanted the stones. And had been coveting them for years. All the while, she had one and didnâ€™t realize.
I dunno if I can ever get used to this lifestyle. So I returned home the other week. I knocked on Sparkyâ€™s door, and asked him to come with me. He owed me after bringing me on that wild ride. I asked him to come with me to my home. I wasnâ€™t brave enough to go it alone.
As we walked in the door, I could feel the place falling apart. This place may not be breaking, but you could tell it hadnâ€™t been lived in for years. It was dusty, cold, dankâ€¦ it was so creepy and chilling. We went to the room where I did the deed and killed mom. All this while I tried to live by telling myself it wasnâ€™t my fault.
But it was.
When I think back to that day, I remember pulling the trigger. I remember the look in her eyes.
I killed my mother.
My mother was a thief. My father was an explorer. What was I? Nothing but a murderer.
We left. I said goodbye to Sparky. For the final time.
Yes, thatâ€™s right. Final. After I finish writing this account, Iâ€™m going to go jump off the top of the Empire State Buildingâ€¦ my dad and I own now, donâ€™t you know. Funny story that is. Shame itâ€™ll never be told.
Truth be told, I donâ€™t want to die. This life of endless riches is actually kind of fun. But itâ€™s empty. Once youâ€™ve been through what I have you kind of realize that the most important thing is family.
So thatâ€™s it.
Thereâ€™s nothing more to say. Nothing less. You know almost all the facts.
Oh. Silly me. What of Stanislaus? Turns out he is Sparkyâ€™s dad. Who knew. He returned home last month after finishing his research. I feel bad Iâ€™m going out without telling Sparky whyâ€¦ but I think heâ€™ll understand. He has to.
So goodbye Sparky. Goodbye dad. Goodbye mom. Goodbye Earth.
"The skeptics never make it through the static,
Step to the edge and take the jump."
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