Dreams in Shadow

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KetMaliss
Credit Cop
Posts: 2476
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 7:59 am
Location: Dragonmount outside of Tar Valon

Dreams in Shadow

Post by KetMaliss » Wed May 16, 2007 7:50 am

Wyatt Sherpal is not your typical New Yorker. Well, maybe he is.

He's homeless, you see, and rather proud when he's lucid enough to know it. His story is not that different than many others in his situation; he was not always down and out of his luck, nor did he always carry rabbit's feet on his hemp-string belt, or have holes in his clothes and flap-jack shoes.

No, Wyatt used to be very well-off before his fall. Why, he was even married once, to a beautiful lady no less. He was a stockbroker, and it might even be said he was damn good at it. He did his duties, kept up with emerging businesses and technologies and paid attention to his wife at the same time...how many people with less demanding jobs could claim the same, he loved to boast.

But when the aliens invaded a lot of things got turned around for poor Wyatt. His wife was devastated when the heroes died, and then crime rates soared to Afghanistanic levels. He did his job though, same as every day. He took care of his home, and maintained his day-to-day life.

Until the day...the day it all fell apart for poor Wyatt.

Wyatt had just come home, you see...he came home to find...hold on...its hard to get through this, but bear with me. Narrating a story this rough is not easy...

...

Alright, we're good. Let's continue, shall we?

Wyatt had come home to find his home, his fortress of wealth and luxury and been ransacked, devastated even...and his poor wife had not made it through unscathed. Rather scathed, the woman was. Fatally scathed, and all his belongings gone.

Something broke in Wyatt when he saw his wife lying across the sofa. And the kitchen tile. And the living room table. It was a site no man should ever see, and poor Wyatt saw it all. He vowed to find the perpetrators, but the police beat him to it.

There was a shootout. Wyatt missed it, but heard of it.

It did not comfort him to know that those who had ruined his life were dead, riddled by hot lead in a dozen places in a shootout outside of the old Baxter Building.

So Wyatt spent his fortune on alcohol, trying to supress the visions he had seen in his head, of his mutilated wife. He drank his fortunes away, and stumbled home until the bank informed him he no longer had one.

And thus he lives, our Wyatt Sherpal...haunted and tormented and driven insane by visions he can never forget, and a justice he can never find. He lives on these mean streets, sometimes begging, sometimes helping an old lady cross the street...sometimes mugging a well-to-do with a banana he found, and sometimes shouting for help when he sees someone in a dark alley being attacked.

It really all depends on his state of mind, you see...and poor Wyatt has a poor state of mind indeed.
"The line between good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being." - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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KetMaliss
Credit Cop
Posts: 2476
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 7:59 am
Location: Dragonmount outside of Tar Valon

Post by KetMaliss » Wed May 16, 2007 12:16 pm

His whole body itched. It burned, and his mind screamed in frustration at all of it. His fingers traced ditches up and down his arms, and he shivered in the cool breeze, eyelids twitching though his pupils saw nothing but darkness. In his mind's eye he relived it every moment he was sleeping, and it chased him into the waking hours and followed him through the day.

There was blood everywhere, and furniture turned over. Her fingers were bent and broken, and the arm they belonged to was not where it should have been. Her sightless eyes seemed to follow him as he ran his hands through his hair, collapsed on his knees though he was and tears streaming down his face. It was all he could see, her blood and whatever limbs happened to be dangling from wherever his gaze landed. He couldn't shut it out by closing his eyes, he could still see it there.

Even now, years later it was the same, nothing changed but the lines on his face and the spasms that occasionally wracked his body. Eyes opened or close it seemed that he stumbled through his life staring at the same destructive scene, as if he were living one of those bizarre 3-D images...only it was her death and his past buried amongst reality.

A horrible burning sensation began to tickle his chest and moved up through his lungs, and the visions faded long enough for a rasping coughing fit to escape his chapped lips. His eyes shot open and the darkness of the alley he had collapsed in last night closed in around him. He threw his hands up to protect his face as the images coalesced into something he knew, something he recognized, and the coughs subsided with his dreams.

"Daggon housing projects..." he muttered as he threw his hands clumsily to the ground in front of him in an effort to steady himself as he pushed up to his feet. The world wavered as he slowly righted himself, and he looked back down at his makeshift sleeping pad and the brown bag so carelessly left beside it.

"Frammit, glass-nabbit..." came out, though he heard it more as dammit, bad habbit before rather clumsily reaching down to retrieve his precious fuel and taking a swig of the hard candy inside. "Ahhhh..." he breathed. "Sammuch lecter." (so much better)

Correcting his posture meant swaying unsteadily, which of course made him nausious, which of course meant he had to drink some more to correct what was wrong with the earth. Sauntering towards the front of the alley, he noticed that business seemed to be booming in the real world.

The happy men in their shirts and ties, clutching their precious briefcases...the pretty women in their oh-so-short business skirts and tight modern-woman blouses...

He licked his lips unsteadily before latching onto a female passing by, clutching at her arm and staring with pleading eyes at her face.

"Lease!" he shouted, not at all concerned about his appearance. "numey for your roubles!" A hiccup bubbled forth, and the woman's demeanor changed from pleasant to disgust the instant he touched her and started speaking. He wasn't sure what she heard, but he was begging for money, hoping he was no trouble and she stared at him like he was a common thug.

She shoved him roughly and whipped out some sort of small cylindrical container from her purse and pointed at him. "Get back!" she shouted, and her voice was exactly as he had imagined it...melodic and sweet. "I will spray you!"

"Pray for me?" he gurgled and let go of her before falling to his knees and clasping his hands together, he stared at her. Occasionally moments of lucidity would clutch him where even he could understand properly the words that came out of his mouth. These moments usually meant it was way past time to get more drinks. "I have prayed for myself, for all the good it did. What can your prayers do?"

"Just stay where you are!" she said, backing away from him, the "spray" still pointed his direction. "I mean in!"

Climbing to his feet, he took a swig of nectar that simply was not there, and disgusted, tossed the empty bag to the ground at his feet. "I HAVE NOTHING TO PRAY FOR!" he shouted back at her, slowly lurching forward. "Won't you please, please just spare a poor man five dollars?"

"I warned you!" she shouted, and let loose with a stream of some liquid that burned, burned so bad when it made contact. He screamed, and was amazed at how high pitched he sounded. If he'd had a mind to, he thought he could match Mariah Carey in terms of shrillness. If there'd been a mirror, he would have bet his left eye it would have shattered.

The pain was so intense, and when it finally faded with the screams he realized his entire face was wet from tears he hadn't even realized he'd cried. Or maybe it was the vomit he hadn't remembered surging forth from the scant meal he had eaten the night before. For that matter...how did he wind up on the ground?

Groaning rather pitifully, he realized he was now completely sober and jonesing hard for a drink to quell the headache that was more prominent now more than ever. The woman was nowhere to be seen, but that didn't mean she wouldn't return and he did not want to be around when she did.

One thing was certain about this city.

If you weren't loved or simply tolerated, you were treated like lower than dirt. He was usually fortunate enough to find a small meal before the day was over, and a drink as well. This was his area, and he knew where the friendly folk hung out and worked.

Wiping his mouth with the back of a dirty hand, he left his cozy alley behind and decided he really needed that drink. A few blocks down from his current location was Pat's Pizzeria, and Pat usually had somethin' for Wyatt. They had gone way back, since before that day.

Just thinking of it made the tears start again, and they left streaks in his marred face, passing through the dirt to leave him looking like a bizarre homeless kabuki painter. He'd known what was, once upon a time, though he was having a hard time recalling the specifics now.

As he turned the corner onto the block Pat's was located a few streets down, he noticed Vic on the near corner and his blood began to boil. Seized with another raspy bout of coughing, it attracted Vic's attention and the other man hunched his shoulders down and started to turn away.

"Yoo geetcher rabberass backatchera, hobo!" he shouted in a slur, and the other man turned back and returned in just as slurred a voice: "Commere ifin yer whart summa this, bleetch!"

Wyatt puffed up with indignation. If he'd owned a hat, he would have thrown it down and stomped on it. This was his territory, and that other bum knew it. If he wanted to get dirty, well...he was dirty already, and thus he moved forward to meet the challenge.

Rolling his grungy sleeves up, he noticed Vic had thrown off his tattered overcoat, though his fingerless gloves remained on his hands. He wished he had some fingerless gloves. It made digging through trash so much more sanitary to know that he could at least keep his palms free of the filth his fingers found.

"Aw'll fudge yer hed innit two plesses wooyth myah fists." he hiccuped as Vic approached from three different directions in front of him. He shook his head, and saw his wife in at least three different places too. He screamed loud and angry, and she disappeared and suddenly there was only one Vic, and he was almost there.

"Yer dead, Werrat!" Vic shouted, and someone else shouted behind him "BUM FIGHT!"

Wyatt noticed a group of teenage boys had gathered at the corner and were pumping their fists in the air, waving money at each other and pointing between him and Vic. He directed his attention from the other homeless man to the boys.

"Aye'll whoop hith ass for $20.00" he challenged as clearly as he could, while Vic parroted him, but raised the stakes to $25.00. The boys shouted, and someone said they'd give $30.00 to the victor.

"Victor! Ha!" Vic shouted. "That's me, Wyatt. I'm gonna tear you a new hole!"

He suddenly felt much better, he decided. Perhaps it was worth getting pepper sprayed in the morning for the clarity it seemed to bring, and he supposed clarity was beneficial for a thing like this. Just for a thing like this, though...if he wanted to live in clarity, he wouldn't drink.

"Get some, then!" he garbled, and threw himself at Vic. The two exchanged blows, and each one landed like a brick on the other. Seconds passed before they were out of enough energy to continue the fight, and they just lay there on top of each other, struggling feably to land another blow, knock out another tooth...anything to win that $30.00 from those boys.

"Lookit that..." one of the boys snickered. "They love each other now. That's sick."

"Pay 'em...it was totally worth it. Lookit, that one has a new hole in his shirt now." chimed another.

"Ha! I wanna see 'em start kissin' now!" said a third, followed by a sharp thwacking sound. "I didn't mean it would be hot!" came the reply, much less enthusiastic than the previous comment.

Wyatt looked up, and noticed the boys were walking away now, and they had left some green bills on the ground in their wake. He hurriedly shoved Vic off him and scrambled over to retrieve the precious bills. Sounds of movement from behind told him that Vic was hot on his heels, though he reached the money first.

Clutching it greedily in his hands, he turned around to show Vic a half toothless smile as he spread the money out between his two hands.

"Thirty bucks!" he crowed, as he gave half of it to Vic. "But you really didn't have to hit so hard, you bastard."

"Yeah, well you didn't have to bite either, prick." Vic retorted. "If only we did this everyday, I could afford to get myself to a doctor to cure whatever it is you likely gave me."

Wyatt laughed as he stood up and brushed the fresh dirt from his plenty dirty pants. "I likely got it from you first, bum...but whatever. I need a drink now...I got sprayed again."

Vic winced, and suppressed a laugh.
"The line between good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being." - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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