Monday, May 30, 2011

The Gemini - II - Where The Heart Leads

Steaming hot water streamed out the shower faucet, hitting Julian’s tired body with a somewhat calming effect. He didn’t remember what time he got back to his flat, all he knew was that he had to get to work. As he wrapped the towel around his wet, naked body, he began trying to piece over what had happened the night before. Fragments of the events flashed through his mind: the torn body, the blood, the feeling of utter hopelessness and despair. He couldn’t remember too much about what happened, only that it happened. The news blared in a tiny drone from Julian’s hand-me-down FM radio. “Police still have no leads as to last night’s brutal murder of Gary Fredericks, respected businessman and father of two children….” the reporter’s voice continued. Julian chose to ignore the rest of what was said as he finished off getting ready for work.

Jeanette Cornley walked through the streets to her offices with her head down, just as she always did, magically knowing then shying away when someone came too close. This wasn’t her domain, actually nowhere was, all she knew was her father’s iron-clad ruling – straight to work, straight home… NO dawdling… or else. Heaving an audible sigh of relief, she sat in her office and got ready to start her day when her phone rang. “Jeanie!!! Where the hell is my breakfast???” her father screamed over the phone before she could say anything. “In the microwave Dad” she answered automatically… timidly, as Julian’s hulking frame walked past her desk. To say that Julian was peculiar in her eyes was an understatement. He never spoke, and his piercing blue eyes seemed to see everything in their gaze, a gaze which she felt burning into her soul even when she wasn’t looking directly at him. “A stalker… that’s what he is. I swear he is!” she convinced herself.

Julian’s face was impossible to read as she watched him stand up and walk to her desk. “Jean, may I offer to take you to dinner this evening?” he asked quietly. If Jeanette wasn’t looking at him speaking she would not have believed that such a soft, gentle voice came from such a powerfully built body. “Erm… dinner? Well, my dad will…” she started, “Just forget it…” Julian cut her off almost immediately as he dejectedly turned and started walking away. “… Julian, wait!”, her heart raced – she knew she was going to get into trouble for this but, ”I… was just going to say that I will just need to go past my place and make sure my dad is okay, then yes, I would very much like dinner.” Julian turned back to her, “Are you sure? I mean you don’t have to if you don’t want to” “What the HELL are you doing?!?! You’re going to ruin everything!!!! EVERYTHING!!!!” Vernon’s voice echoed through his mind, but Julian pushed the voice out of his mind. “I’d love to” Jeanette quietly replied, her large green eyes twinkled through the glow of her flaming red hair

Julian walked with Jeanette back to her house, careful not to get to close to her private space, he’d seen how she reacts to that. As she walked into her front door, Julian stood by a large tree about 200 meters from her place. She’d asked him to wait there, why he did not now, but he agreed. It did not, however, prevent him from hearing the shouting coming from there. His eyes squinted as he ground his teeth in anger. “Do you remember? Who is the judge now? Who?!?!” the voice rang as Jeanette walked quickly away from her house back to Julian, quickly wiping away tears which he pretended not to notice.

The quiet restaurant where they had their dinner was perfect – soft music, waiters unobtrusively available. “You know, there’s something I’d like to show you if you don’t mind” Julian said as they walked out of the restaurant, “I know that you like flowers, especially rare ones” he continued. “Okay” she smiled.

Julian ushered her into his flat, directing her to his sparsely furnished lounge. “Close your eyes please” he whispered, and to her surprise she did. He could have asked her to do anything and she would have agreed to it, she thought as she heard rustling and boxers being shifted. Upon his voice, she opened her eyes and could not hold in a shocked gasp of amazement as he produced a perfectly preserved blue rose. Jeanette let her head rest on Julian’s broad chest as he held her close, listening to his thundering heartbeat. She looked up, and kissed him softly on his lips, slipping her hands gently around his waist. Julian let her lead him to the bedroom.

Vernon looked over Clifton Cornley’s sleeping form then slowly leaned over him and slipped his hand over his mouth, razor sharp blade drawn. Clifton’s eyes drew open in shock as the first slices of the blade slid through his throat with little resistance. Vernon left his mouth, knowing now that no sounds will come from him – yes, he could take his time with him now. He sliced his Achilles’ tendon with the skill of a surgeon. Blood spewed freely from the gaping wounds. “It’s different once the shoe is on the other foot isn’t it eh?” he whispered into Clifton’s ear as unheard screams tried in vain to escape his bloodied lips. Vernon continued his unrelenting dismemberment of Clifton, knowing that this had to one of, if not his best work yet. The glimmer of the blade, with streaks of blood glinting in strobes of moonlight, flashing in the perverse task bid by its master, as blood splattered in all directions, strips of flesh and muscle falling on the odd occasion as was their want.

Julian awoke the next morning wondering why he felt so strange, so invigorated and then he remembered. He smiled as he looked to his side to see Jeanette sleeping peacefully next to him with her arm draped around his waist. He gently slipped Jeanette’s hand off, and strode to the bathroom to wash up. “I did it for you Julian. For YOU!!!” Vernon laughed. Julian silently went to Jeanette and gently woke her, “I think you should be getting home now, your dad must be a bit worried about where you are” he smiled softly at her, she nodded sleepily and they both got ready and left the apartment.

Despite her protests, Julian stepped into her house – his muscles taunt with nervousness. He sat on a soft couch in the lounge as Jeanette sought her father. As Julian pondered about how he was going to handle meeting Jeanette’s father, her piercing screams ran through the house as he ran to her and all but knocked her off her feet as he turned a corner to find her frozen in her father’s room. One look at the room and Julian already knew what had happened.

The cops stood around Julian, “Julian, we found your prints on the door of the victim’s bedroom. I’ve been waiting a LONG time for this, Grawling! It is my duty to inform you that you are under arrest for the murder of Clifton Cornley.” Inspector Reading spoke in a cold voice to a shocked Julian. The rest of his rights were read as he was handcuffed and escorted roughly to the waiting police vehicle, surrounded by a crowd of onlookers. He looked with sad, imploring eyes at Jeanette as she watched in horror at what had just transpired.

What lengths would you go through to protect the person that you loved? “I will kill for you!” has been preached through the ages. But if/when you are face with that situation would you? The need for preservation of one’s self generally supersedes almost all actions which will not guarantee that basic need. When you are faced with a situation where someone who you cared about is in a life or death predicament, where do you stand? What will you do? Will you hesitate and/or falter? Are you willing to sacrifice everything? Or will you choose rather to ensure that it is you who are safe? When this situation presents itself, where will your heart lead you?

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Gemini - I - The Gemini Within

“Darkness, always darkness…”. Julian Grawling mulled over this thought as he lay in his bed, eyes staring blindly at the ceiling. Too many times he lost his opportunities to “make something of his life”, and always something stopped him. Or at least that was what he has come to believe. See, Julian is like most of us, afraid to take that chance – to go against the norm. Still he was somewhat content. He had a roof over his head, food on his table, a job – which is more than most. Yet, there was always something that he felt was missing. As he shuffles out of his bed to get ready for work, he stops to take a look in the long broken piece of a mirror which he has been reminding himself to replace for as long as he can remember. “Well, there you are boet. Let’s make this day the one!”, he reminds himself. Peering deep into his piercing blue eyes and unconsciously running his fingers through his long, unkept dirty blonde hair, he yawns silently and steps into the bathroom.

“Oh… my… Lord… Not again…”, voice barely audible. Splatters of blood where everywhere, like a crazed painter took a sponge soaked in red paint and flung it the walls, the floor, the ceiling. Julian stood there, knowing that it was that time again. When ‘he’ came, and left ‘presents’. Sometimes it was a finger, still warm to the touch, at other times, like now, it was more – a lot more. Julian’s stomach turned, as he raced to the toilet, fumbling with the lid through silent retching from his throat he stopped. Looking in horror, he sees the sawn off face of a female in her late twenties, or what was left of it, floating in the toilet. Julian collapsed.

“He’s weak”, Vernon muttered to himself,” I should just put him out of his misery. That’ll be doing the world a bloody favor!”. He couldn’t do it through. Vernon Meldor cared too much for Julian to do that. He needed to do something though, these gifts that he had been living for Julian were just not appreciated by him anymore. “Vern! VERN!!! Come here! NOW!!!! Son… do NOT make me come there and beat you”. Vernon shuts his eyes screaming, “SHUT UP!!!! SHUT UP!!! SHUT UP!!!!”. It didn’t stop the beating that followed…

The cops finished questioning Julian. He was no stranger to them, somehow along in this sick case he was linked but they could never prove it. He sat, face held in his hands, answering their questions, as best he could, though he had no idea what they wanted. Why would he kill someone?! A mother of a little four years old boy?! “Is the boy okay?”, he wanted to know to which they made snide comments about whether he wanted to ‘do him’ too. Julian just sat there, bewildered, confused, too tired to retaliate because although he had slept a full 8 hours, it felt as if he had not slept at all.

Vernon watched him, walking in his drunken stupor back to his dilapidated house. It wasn’t 5 minutes later before the screaming, shouting and inevitable sound of things breaking filled his ears. 20 minutes later, the man whom Vernon had been following stumbled out of the house. Vernon watched, followed, plotting this despicable person’s ultimate, painful demise. That was the best part: the pain. See, years of receiving pain taught Vernon a few things about how to dish it out as well.

The man did not know what hit him. A clipping blow to arm from an iron pole broke it before the attack even registered; either that or he was so drunk he didn’t even know his arm was broken. Another blow across the kneecap did the deed of incapacitating him. Vernon pulled out his prized toy: a razor sharp carpenter’s knife as he crouched over the hapless man with a look of glee on his face.

Julian looked through eyes that weren’t his own. “NO! NO!!!!!”, he screamed silently.

Vernon ignored Julian as he slid the knife easily through skin and organs, priding himself in his job of purification. No person deserved the life that he had to live… no… no live… survive. Flashes of a face that should have been his father’s appeared fleeting in his mind. “See dad! I AM good at what I do! I am NOT a failure like you! I am NOT going to let others go through what YOU did to ME!!!”. Those words were his only solace to what was.

Julian watched in horror. Unable to move. Trapped.

An hour later the deed was done. Julian looked at himself in the reflection of a car in the parking lot next to the 800m bridge. “Now you see… Now you know, Julian”. “Yeah, yeah I know,” he replied silently as he walked towards the bridge. Julian had forgotten what happened through most of his life. All he remembered was his foster parents. He didn’t remember the abuse, the months he had to spend in hospital from the beatings that he fell privy to. The night that cops took his father away, and who now sat in jail somewhere. “What was his name again?”, he tried to remember. “Does that make a difference? It still amounts to the same thing doesn’t it? It’s up to us to wipe them off this earth!” “NO! Who are YOU to play judge and jury!!!”. “Were they there for you? When you were lying in a pool of your own blood and broken bones?!?!?!”. Julian dropped his head and looked out across the bridge to the valley which strew out. What a sight, the rising sun spraying rays of red, orange and yellow across the valley.

A new day yes, but what about the day before?


Most people never believe the impact they have on other. The same can be said for those who have had to go through their lives with not just maybe an abusive family member, but an abusive relationship or friendship. Too many times we forget that it may not take much for that person to ‘crack’. For every action there is a consequence. It is you who must live with the consequences of these actions, whether good or bad. Beware the path which you take, lest you find the Gemini within.