'The Soul'

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

'The Soul'

AN ORIGINAL STORY CREATED AND WRITTEN BY
Payton Gilbert

Summer, 2022

 

As the dark clouds of gloom and despair emerge from over the horizon, a gold-tinted ray strikes the numerous buildings of shattered glass and cracked brick. Overshadowed by the tallest structure, an inclining flight of stairs hides away as the darkest vault of secrets and enough money, booze, and unclothed women to please a god. Outside this room lies the remains of numerous human skeletons, overgrown nature, poisonous thoughts, and venomous creatures of six arms, disjointed jaws, bleeding eyes, and steaming hot saliva dripping from their top-rowed teeth. The air is dirty, and the smell is that of an oil rig mixed with the fumes of a cigarette, along with the fake feeling of comfort of a nightclub or foster home. Far below the tallest structure, millions of men and women sift through the tar-filled streets and cracked, dead trees shading them from the sunlight. The sound of a bell rings, sending a sound wave shrieking across the land and rippling the waves of the cold, black sea. Victor, a long black-haired man with a protruding rib cage and inconsistent muscle tones, steps out of the shadows of the protected room to see the hazy sunlight burning the cacti and melting the blurry view of the horizon. Overlooking the rotting city through the thick glass windows circling his bedroom, Victor spits a clump of blood out onto the ground, then grabs a wheat beer bottle from off the nightstand. Lifting it up to his lips, he gulps down what was an almost full bottle with great focus, but shaky grip. One drink later, the glistening liquid disappears from the glass bottle and flows into the stomach of the frail man. Stumbling backwards, Victor releases the bottle, sending it crashing into a pile of at least twenty empty bottles of the same brand. Clutching the nightstand, the man tries to steady his balance, but his swirling mind and intoxicated brain shuts his eyes down and sends him falling down onto the soft-carpeted floor. 

The next sight that Victor’s ocean blue eyes see is the beautiful face of his brown-haired, green-eyed woman, whom he looks at from atop his queen-sized bed. In just a white tank top and black-laced lingerie, Orla lifts the thick blanket up to slip herself in next to Victor. Smiling, she lifts her left arm up to Victor’s stubble-coated face.

Orla

“You’re sweaty, dear… another bad dream?”

Victor

“Yeah, it’s alright though,

(Reaching for her hand, which rests on his cheek)

just a bad dream.”

Orla

“Oh, Vic, it’ll pass. Besides, I’m glad you’re up.”

Sitting up in bed, Victor blinks his eyes rapidly to wake up. Sliding off the bed, Orla smiles to Victor before walking past the doorway and into the kitchen. Hearing dishes clacking and the fridge door open, a sly smile crosses his face as well. Something about hearing the noise of the clacking plates, dishes colliding with water in the running sink, and a humming tune to Johnny Cash’s I Walk the Line soothes Victor.

Orla

(From the kitchen)

“Hey, Victor.”

Victor

“Yes?”

Orla

(From the kitchen)

“Would you like to fuck my brains?”

Victor cocks his head to the side, unsure of what to think.

Victor

“What?”

Orla comes back through the doorway with a tray, holding a glass of orange juice, a plate with buttered bread and eggs, along with a small bowl of blueberries.

Orla

“I said, would you like a good start to your day?”

Victor

“Yes, beautiful. You’re here, so I’d say the day’s already starting wonderfully.”

Orla

(Smiling)

“What about the circus?”

Sipping the orange juice, Victor looks up at Orla with a cloud of confusion swirling his brain. Orla sits down on the edge of the bed, resting her hand on Victor’s blanket-covered leg.

Victor

“The circus?”

Orla

“Of course, baby. I mean, what’s a circus without a fucking clown?”

Brushing his hand through his hair, a feeling deep behind those lungs and underneath his muscular pecks lies a sinking feeling, one of a growing cold and shivering tingle. Closing his eyes, Victor brushes his hand through his long black locks and inhales. Holding it in for what feels like minutes, the next exhale and sight of open eyes is to that of the dark, nightmare world. Sitting up, Victor lifts himself up off the carpeted floor and rises to his feet. Feeling an aching in his chest, he looks around the bedroom for some medicine, pain reliever, a cigarette, something. However, all he can find is booze. Reaching down to a bottle resting on the floor, the thin man picks it up and raises it to the sunlight to see how much liquid joy remains… nothing. Walking towards the window, the frail man takes in the sight he’s seen a million times and day he’s lived through with a billion hours. Knocking suddenly emerges from outside the dark oak door, which receives his attention. Proceeding towards his door, he opens it to reveal a muscular woman with crystal blue eyes and short blonde hair.

Woman

“My lord, I’ve got what you asked for.”

Reaching her arm out, Victor extends his sickly arm to hold her hand. Turning away, the woman leads Victor down a flight of marble stairs lined with Jackson Pollock-style artwork made up from steamed glass, molten lava, and the ground-up bones of the weak and old. Once down to the bottom of the stairs, the woman uses her free arm to push open one of two metal doors leading to a balcony outside. Letting go of her hand, Victor steps into the golden, dark daylight, where at his arrival, the sound of cheering emerges from an ocean of men and women on the broken streets and crooked sidewalks beneath him. The crowd’s energy is electric, cheering louder than a gladiatorial coliseum. Crawling overtop the entrance, a pack of foam-mouthed children cheer through their smoker laughs and stone-sharpened teeth.

Victor

(Looking to the woman)

“If only it were real.”

Woman

“If what were real, sir?”

Victor

“Her… the feeling, the comfort, the beauty, the love… all of which would’ve been warmth for my soul.”

Woman

“With all respect, isn’t this the closest thing you could get to that heartfelt heat? All of these people who speak your name with grace and give their thanks to lord Victor, all of those who give all they have and all they’re worth day in and day out. Is this power not enough?”

Victor

“What a person is and what fuels them are two different things. If you are to take up the mantle and be my apprentice, you must know what it takes to fuel a man, what it takes to break him down, and what it is he holds onto through nightmare and through rule.”

Woman

“At least you’re loved by all these people, all of those down there who look up to you now as I do you, my lord.”

Victor leans up on the balcony guardrail. Looking down at the smiling people beneath his heightened stand, he tries to look around at the numerous pairs of gleaming eyes. They all smile, they all cheer, they all laugh, they all look up at him through the shadows as Victor shines in the spotlight of the heavens. Raising his arms up, a stomach snake coils tight around his rotten, but still beating heart. They all look at him with awe, with a sense of hope and as the savior through the jagged dreams and broken hearts.

Victor

“It’s not the same, my beautiful plague. Love needs only one to be present, it’s a soul that holds the gleaming, unspeakable beauty. But let me ask you, nightmare, what is joy to the soul if not love?”

 

 

 

 

 

Epilogue

 

 

What is fuel to the soul?

If not love, if not a kiss, if not a dream?

 

I want to hold your hand and kiss your cheek

But I’m afraid to say that I’ve grown too weak

 

Through the time, and storms, and crying days

At least I can say it might be great

 

As long as I’ve waited and as short as it lasts

I’d rather call you first than finish last

 

I’ve seen the brightest of days and felt the darkest nightmares

But if you’ll be mine, I’ll give you my heart and hope you might care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The End

Of

 

‘The Soul’

 

Created and Written by

Payton Gilbert


Submitted: April 17, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Payton Gilbert. All rights reserved.

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