Myself... In Shattered Reflection:
Torn from existence...
...or into it...
...the jury's still out on that one.
Things are still confusing, to say the least.
I was living my normal daily life, unfettered by worries or responsibilities.
The damnable thing is... I can't be sure that I actually existed then.
Perhaps the memory of simpler times is something that I constructed within my own mind to help me deal with my incomprehensible state of being.
While I remember some things in my life from before, I don't actually remember living my life.
In some sense, my existence seems to have begun when I was suddenly torn away from everything that had always been safe and familiar to me.
In an instant, I was aware of being in danger, of being held captive, of being restrained.
The thing is, I have no connecting memory explaining what happened to me.
Before, I have the sense that I was moving without thought or care. I never knew want or need. I had never before experienced fear.
Then, in that remarkable moment, I was torn out of my usual life and I was in a new place.
The new place wasn't mine.
I didn't fit there.
It didn't belong to me...
...and I didn't belong to it.
Although I don't know how I knew, I had no doubt that the place where I suddenly found myself wouldn't protect me.
It would cause me harm.
My first instinct was to struggle.
As far as I can recall, I had never done that before, but fear is a great motivator.
It took some time for me to discover how to act against my captivity.
It was like I was bound, completely unable to move.
With few options available to me, I pressed against my bonds, testing them, and I could just barely feel them give a little.
While I couldn't do much, I continued to stretch and pull, straining against it.
With each slight bit of progress, I strained more against the points that had given, using my fear and confusion to fuel my struggle.
Without any evidence to support the belief, I somehow convinced myself that I could break out of whatever was holding me. So to that end, I gave a forceful jab against my bonds.
That's when it happened.
That might possibly be the moment when I truly became alive.
When I pushed, something else pushed back.
It wasn't the dynamic tension that was wrapped around me, it was a reaction.
It was prompted by something that I did, but what's more important is that someone or something was knowingly holding me captive.
Up to that point, I had no proof that any of my assumptions were true.
While I believed that I was being held captive by another being, there was still a doubt.
When I felt someone respond to my pushing by trying to restrain me further, my fear turned to rage.
To be honest, I'm not sure what I was even raging about.
I mean, of course, I was angry about the situation that I found myself in, but that didn't explain the blind fury that consumed me.
I threw every bit of myself into my struggle.
I fought against my captivity with every fiber of my being.
I turned my rage into fuel to scorch the world around me.
I punched and kicked and screamed and clawed.
There was no way by which to measure the passage of time.
In fact, I can't be sure if I even had a concept of it at that point... or if I ever had.
All I know is that at some point in my rage and struggle, I got my first look at the world around me.
I still don't know if the world suddenly appeared or if that's when I appeared in the world.
I suppose it doesn't matter.
Either way, when I was finally able to emerge from the endless darkness of my confinement, the first sight to fill my eyes was the image of my captor, who had ripped me from the safety and security of my former life; from my idyllic state of being.
I rose up and looked him in the eyes...
... and I saw fear.
Fear of me.
I know how wrong it sounds, but that made me feel very very good.
The being, the man, who had caused me injury and confined me was cowering before me.
I don't know if what I was doing in that moment could even remotely be considered thinking.
All I know is that as soon as I recognized his fear of me, I went on the offensive.
With a triumphant burst of rage I tore through the last of my bonds and wrapped my hands around his throat.
The horrific beauty of that moment will remain with me forever.
As the terror filled his expression, I began to squeeze.
The sensation was incredibly satisfying.
I felt the warmth of his flesh in my hands and for the first time I caught his musky scent.
Something about the combination of those things caused my rage to transform to something else, something more... something impossibly darker.
I felt it wash over me and through me and was surprised to find that it was even stronger than my rage.
I loosened my grip on his throat slightly, I didn't want for it to end too soon.
I was trembling with excitement as I moved one of my hands to the back of his head, twining my fingers in his hair, gaining a firm and painful hold.
I was either still unfamiliar with the concept of time, or perhaps it froze in that moment.
However it worked, it was dark and perverse perfection.
Slowly, I used my handful of his hair to guide him into a kiss.
It was savage.
Although he was struggling against me, I took no notice.
I continued on and forced my lips against his, as though I were going to devour him.
He was resisting but I persisted, forcing his lips apart with my tongue.
As I did so, I kept my other hand on his throat, prepared to react in an instant if he resisted too forcefully.
I was in control.
He knew it.
I knew it.
And I wasn't about to let that change.
I don't even know where the thoughts came from, but my mind filled with scenes of violence and savage brutality.
As a prelude to further violations and violence, I pulled back to look him in the eyes again. I wanted to relish his fear and bask in the justice of having my captor completely at my mercy.
Fear is what I craved, and fear is what I found waiting for me; a banquet of it.
But somehow the delicious fear that I had been enjoying all of a sudden didn't taste quite as sweet.
The fear in his eyes was deeper and more profound than I expected.
In that moment, causing him pain and inciting fear in him stopped being fun.
It was then that I realized that I was in a very bad place that I had no business being.
I didn't know if it might already be too late to turn back...
...and I was actually surprised to find that I wanted to.
I was aware of the concept of speech, but I couldn't actually remember myself ever doing it.
In fact, upon later reflection, I found that I couldn't remember myself... at all.
But at that moment, in that context, with the emotions running so high, all that I knew was that I wanted to communicate with my captor and, if possible, not take this event to what seemed to be its inevitable conclusion.
It was then that he said something to me and although I didn't have any awareness of the literal words of what he was saying, I got the sentiment behind the words.
Whatever he had done and whyever he had done it was lost on me, but my takeaway from what he was saying was that he was intending to undo it.
Although he was responsible for my captivity, he held no animosity toward me and no desire to cause me to suffer.
With him making that known to me, it appeared that he was giving me some sort of way that I could take a step back from the path that I had chosen.
Keeping one hand on his throat, I slowly and carefully released my handful of his hair.
He kept wary watch on me, but didn't increase his struggle against me.
I used my free hand to smooth his mussed hair and gently petted him for a moment.
He spoke again and the gist of what he was saying to me was basically that if I could endure things being as they were for a time, that I would be returned to where I belonged.
I can't say that I fully understood, especially the concept of the passage of time, but what I did understand was that he was letting it be known that I wouldn't be his prisoner forever.
Of course, for what he said to be able to come to pass, he couldn't continue to be my prisoner either. I would have to find a way to communicate my need not to be restrained by him.
That, I would not tolerate.
Being relatively new to the concept of verbal communication, I couldn't think of a way to convey my ultimatum to him.
The only course of action that I could concoct was to take small steps and do my best to inform him of my wishes when it was possible to do so.
With more than a little hesitance, I released his throat. As if by its own volition, my hand moved to cup his cheek and I gently wiped away a tear with my thumb.
The fear in his eyes had lessened, but he was certainly not at ease with the situation.
Not knowing how to express myself otherwise, I moved in to give him a proper kiss, one that was an invitation rather than a demand.
Much to my disappointment, he turned away.
I can't say that I was heartbroken. I'm fairly certain that I didn't have any concept of that at the time.
I extended an invitation.
He should have accepted.
I think it would have been nice for both of us.
It had the potential to be glorious.
Regardless, he turned away.
I didn't press the issue and finally completely released him.
Now that I wasn't restraining him in any way, he was free to take action against me if he chose to do so.
He was understandably cautious.
I watched him.
He watched me.
Neither of us made any threatening moves toward each other.
Time, once again, seemed to have lost its uniformity.
After a minute or an hour... possibly a day, I finally turned my attention away from him enough to survey our surroundings.
The room we were in was completely unfamiliar to me.
My memory is a funny thing.
I can remember my home when I was a child, but I can't remember being a child.
Likewise, I can remember places where I've lived and other places where I've visited relatively recently. Yet, I can't remember how or why I was there.
But, as for the place that I unwillingly found myself with my captor, I hadn't ever been there before. I was certain of it.
He spoke to me again and the words made little sense to me.
I had always known about language and communication, but never before had it ever had anything to do with me.
That was always something for someone else to contend with.
I was there, but not there; real yet unreal at the same time.
He spoke some more and seemed to be a bit more serious about it.
The words held no meaning at all for me, but his movements caught my attention.
I didn't know exactly what their significance was, but there was no doubt that I found them to be disturbing.
His words were rhythmic and then I could feel my arms being pulled close to my chest.
I could feel the bonds closing in around me as my vision started to darken.
What happened next was born of fear and rage along with a few emotions that I still don't have names for.
All I knew in that moment was that I wouldn't allow him to make me helpless before him.
As I lunged toward his throat, he made a movement and I found myself flying backward.
I righted myself and moved in for another attack.
Before I could strike, he made another gesture toward me and I felt as though part of my body had not only been immobilized, but become frozen in place.
I was determined not to be restrained and attacked him with renewed vigor.
As I did, I became aware of a sharp pain in my left shoulder.
I was well past the point of allowing that to inhibit my movements and moved in for the attack.
He repelled me again, but something about his expression told me that the situation had changed.
Rather than attack again, I followed his horrified gaze to the undefined dark mass at my feet.
He said something and although his words were mostly lost on me, the concern in his voice wasn't.
He was afraid.
But this time, it appeared that he was afraid... for me.
Keeping a significant portion of my attention on him, I knelt down and examined the dark mass.
It took a moment for me to determine that it was an arm.
It was my arm... my left arm, to be exact.
He spoke again, and seemed to be apologetic.
I puzzled over my situation as I picked up my arm from the floor and examined it.
He was speaking more quickly now, but not in a threatening way.
As he moved toward me, I was understandably defensive, but also held out the slightest hope that he was going to do something to help me.
I was 'broken'.
Even though I felt no pain after the initial separation, I felt the absence of part of me.
I was missing a piece of me.
Lost in my musings for a moment, I was shocked when my captor gently took my severed arm from me.
I watched, frozen in fear and lost in my own thoughts as he turned my arm, then firmly pressed it back into place on my shoulder.
He was speaking at the same time, but his words were meaningless to me.
I began to feel the warmth of his flesh as he pressed my arm into my shoulder.
I could feel the arm becoming part of me again and realized that I could move the fingers of my left hand.
The tone of his voice changed and sounded like he was giving me a warning.
Although I couldn't be sure, it seemed to me that he was cautioning me not to move my hand.
I nodded in response to his words and saw him smile at my action.
He had a pretty smile.
His next words were more gentle and I tried harder than ever to make some sense of them.
Even though he took quite a few words to say it, I finally concluded that he wanted me to stay still to allow my injury to mend.
I nodded again and was gifted with another one of those smiles.
As I stood there, I looked at his beautiful, honey golden flesh, which I knew to be warm to the touch.
I then looked at my injured arm and found it to be vague and undefined. It had little substance and was colorless... and I knew that it was cold.
Even though I had been warned not to do so, I couldn't help but slowly flex my hand, just to assure myself that it had really been reattached.
He spoke to me in a gentle voice and I did my best to focus on him.
He seemed to be reiterating that he was going to return me to my home, perhaps to how I was before.
That got me to thinking.
Did I want to go back?
CouldI go back?
I couldn't even remember who I was before my kidnapping.
If I went back, would I cease to exist?
Would I become what I was before; a thing that was unaware of his own existence?
And if that were to happen, would it really be such a bad thing?
I looked at my captor again and felt a fresh wave of desire well up within me.
Despite what he had done to me, I couldn't deny that he was beautiful to me and I wanted to appreciate that body.
I no longer wanted to cause him pain.
Quite the contrary, I wanted to bring him pleasure.
I wanted to bring both of us pleasure.
Since I had no life experience to draw upon, at least, none that I could remember, I suppose it must have been instinct that drove me.
My instincts were telling me that I wanted to caress and soothe, to tease and stimulate, and eventually to penetrate, bringing both of us to a euphoric completion.
I slowly started inching toward him, but he immediately reacted to my movement.
I froze for an instant, to allow him to see that I wasn't attacking, then I slowly reached one hand toward him, open palmed, inviting him to take it.
His refusal of my offer was a disappointment, but at least he seemed regretful about it.
I don't know if he were feeling bad for himself or if he were somehow thinking of my wellbeing, but his response told me that if circumstances were somehow different, that there was a possibility that he might be inclined to make different decision.
While that didn't provide me much comfort, it provided some.
I withdrew my hand and once again pondered my situation.
He seemed to be surprised, yet relieved by my choice to respect his decision.
Before I could think too much about it, he began talking again.
He was apparently attempting to explain something to me, even though I couldn't make head or tail of what he was talking about.
When he was done, he made a move to leave the room and I was somehow compelled to move with him.
While I didn't understand what was happening, at the same time it felt very familiar to me.
In a way, it was almost like going back to the way I was; the way I had always been.
Although I could have fought my relocation to the next room, I didn't feel any desire to do so.
My captor wasn't behaving in a threatening manner toward me, and so long as that was the case, I felt no desire to threaten him either.
He had attacked me and I had refused to accept what he was doing to me.
I fought back.
Thanks to that exchange, we had a certain level of understanding of each other.
I couldn't be sure that the truce between us would hold, but I was willing to keep the tentative peace for as long as I possibly could.
Then, much to my surprise, my captor began to undress himself.
As he took down his pants, I couldn't help myself and made a move toward him.
He immediately tracked to the movement and said something.
His tone of voice more than his words made me stop.
Once he was certain that his message had been received, he finished undressing himself, ending up in only boxer shorts and a tee shirt.
Then, as I watched, he walked toward the doorway and said something as he picked up the lantern by the door.
I was surprised when I felt myself being tugged along behind him.
By all appearances, he wasn't consciously doing anything to try and pull me. For some reason I had no choice but to follow him wherever he went.
* * * * *
We crossed the hall and entered another room.
That's when everything changed.
As soon as he crossed the threshold with his lantern in hand, I was suddenly transported not only into a new world, but also a new state of being.
I completely forgot about my captor as I looked down at myself in amazement and found that I had hands.
Not that I didn't have hands before, but in this magical new world my hands had substance and color... they were real.
In my wonder I examined further and found that I was wearing hiking gear.
In a way it surprised me, but in another way it didn't.
It seemed wrong, like it wasn't the proper style for me, but it wasn't bad.
A movement caught my attention and I saw my captor facing away from me, standing at the toilet.
As I took a step toward him, I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye and was shocked to see another version of my captor on the other side of a window, across the room.
I looked back and forth between them several times as I tried to make sense of what I was seeing.
They were identical opposites.
As I looked around the room in the lantern light, I found that the room on the other side of the window was exactly the same as the one I was in.
Everything in the room through the window was opposite, but recreated in perfect detail.
Everything but me.
I had no counterpart in the opposite world.
While I was thinking about what that might mean, my captor crossed the room to stand before the sink.
The opposite of him walked up beside me, nearly pushing me out of the way.
"I know it's confusing, but try not to worry too much about it. By this time tomorrow it will all be over and you'll be back where you belong." He said as he looked me in the eyes.
As much as I wanted to ask him the thousand or more questions that were racing through my mind, I found that I still didn't have the ability to form words or make sounds.
"I separated you from Agent Roberts so that he would have a reason to return to us. Just as soon as he comes back, you'll be back with him and none of what happened today will even matter."
Although there was a life-sized replica of my captor standing right beside me, I still knew enough of what was going on to understand that it was the person that I was looking at through the 'window', or mirror, that was the real him.
I can't explain what I did, because I don't know. Somehow I willed or wished myself back into his world where I had little to no substance and was nearly invisible.
I fought my way through the mirror, back into the real world.... or, at least that's how I explained it to myself.
However it worked, I ended up back at my captor's side.
He was surprised.
I could see in his eyes that he was a little bit afraid.
The logistics of movement in this world were dramatically different from moving around inside the mirror.
I didn't notice it as much before, since I didn't have anything to compare it to.
I could always 'go flat' against a wall or something, but in doing so, I felt powerless.
It was only when I took on a 3-dimensional form that I felt empowered to stand toe-to-toe with my captor.
As I approached him, he automatically began to back away.
He began to speak rhythmically and make those strange hand gestures again.
I gently reached forward and took his hands into mine and stilled their movement.
I looked him in the eyes as I slowly shook my head.
He stared at me uncertainly for a moment, but then seemed to realize what I was trying to tell him.
He finally said something to the effect of, if I would promise not to attack him, he would promise not to restrain me.
I smiled at him and gave a slight nod.
He slowly and carefully removed his hands from my grasp, then walked past me to pick up the lantern.
I had no choice but to follow as he left the room.
* * * * *
After crossing the hall, I found us back in the bedroom where he had undressed.
As I stood aside and watched, he went to a suitcase and set out some clothes.
After doing so, he moved to a suit bag and took out a formal looking robe.
That didn't make a lot of sense to me, but I didn't have much time to think about it.
Once he had all the clothes laid out, he moved the lantern to the bedside stand, then sat down.
I had moved slightly, not by my own choice, but rather as a consequence of the light source in the room being moved.
He looked at me and said something, which I believe was to say 'goodnight' to me.
Before I could think of how to respond, he turned off the lantern.
* * * * *
The trip into the mirror was NOTHING compared to my first trip into complete darkness.
The moment the flame of the lantern died, I suddenly became everything and nothing, all at the same time.
It's as though my body had both expanded and dissolved.
While I was everywhere, I wasn't anywhere enough to do anything.
I no longer had a 'form'.
I couldn't act on anything.
Then it occurred to me that maybe if I concentrated, like I had done in the mirror, I might be able to 'pull myself together'.
* * * * *
In the silence and the dark, there isn't anything to mark the passage of time.
I can't say how long it took, but after a while I began to sense a coalescence of my physical being.
I can't really say how 'complete' it was. It might not have been anything more substantial than a stick figure, but at least I started to 'feel' like I existed.
After a few starts and stops, gaining control of the latest incarnation of my body, I made my way to the bed and very gently aligned myself alongside of him.
So far as I know, he couldn't tell that I was there.
To be honest, I might not have been. It could have been my own mind playing tricks on me in the dark, making me believe that I was able to reconstruct myself out of nothingness.
Even if I were only an æthereal cloud of consciousness, I still could sense the warmth of his body.
Regardless of how 'real' my presence was at that point in time, in my mind and in my heart I spent the night curled up against him.
Although I'm aware of the concept of sleep, I'm still a little fuzzy on what it is exactly.
I can't say for sure if I sleep or not.
All I can claim is that I spent the night at his side, feeling his warmth and aware of his delicious masculine scent.
Despite whether I actually slept or not, I will look back upon the entire experience as a cherished dream.
Well, I guess we know who it was that had the dream. At least I know who he was. I got an inkling about it a little before the end, but it took me some time thinking about it before I caught on. In any case that was a very interesting chapter from a different point of view.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher