Jesus Wept


maya2_icon.gif nightmare_icon.gif

Scene Title Jesus Wept
Synopsis …but not tears of black.
Date September 14, 2009

The mind is a place of both wonder and terror; the firing of synapses can bring pleasure, call up a memory from the deep recesses of the subconscious, or bring about unbridled horror in the form of a night terror. Even stepping into a world where the advanced properties of psychic power are being explored, the human race knows so precious little about the deepest secrets of the mind.

Sometimes, secrets are best left buried.

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

**November 11, 2006

he sound of cheering and music fills the streets, a sticky and filmy heat crushes down like a heavy hand under a suffocating blanket of muted starlight. Light filtered thorugh colored paper of decorative lanterns reflects dully in the shallow puddles of an afternoon rain, precipitation that cleared up just in time for the celebration of a wedding — a sacred union.

There is nothing sacred about this particular, union, however.

Feverish breathing and panting occupies the storage closet, where that colored light from the lanterns comes in through high and dingy windows that view out to the street. Seated up on a wooden crate a woman with a mocha tan arches her back and wraps her arms around the shoulders of a tall, dark-haired man. Whispered breaths huff obscenities in confidence, that the walls and windows will not share their dark secrets with the partying wedding guests and family members outside.

Gilberto…»" Her voice is hushed, fingers raking down the tanned skin of the man defiling what should have been a sacred unin; her wedding dress hasn't even come off yet, and already the rough texture of calloused palms on sweaty thighs has turned this small room into a panting, huffing and moaning confessional for a self-help group of deadly sins.

No amount of profanity is ever quite enough, though, to fully vocalize the levels of frustration and shock that comes with the unexpected opening of that storage room door. Panting breaths turn into gasping inhalations of fright, sweaty bodies scramble away from the light and from each other, eyes grow wide and voices stutter against the furious look of betrayal on the face of the young woman who saw too much.

Maya Hererra is many things, faith being one of them; most especially faithful to her brother Alejandro. Not so much can be said for his bride, Gloria and the man commiting what may be the quickest adultry in Mexican history. "Maya," Gloria breathes out the name without truly having a context as to why — she's shocked, and it seemed like the right explitave.

Maya's been here before, she's been around this block, seen where this road takes her. These faces are ones that haunt her to this very day, the faces of the two people first to die in the vitriolic and tar black wrath of a lover scorned. But today, this moment feels more real than it has in a very long time. The heat is thick in the air, humidity clinging clothing with filmy quality to skin, anger roiling in the pit of Maya's stomach more real than anything.

It's as if it was the first time.

Of course, she remembers this place. All too well. And it isn't the first time she's seen it in her dreams. She feels it with her. The anger. The bitterness. All of it roiling inside her. Her words like an echo of the past, as she feels the heat inside matching the heat outside.

"You bitch." She looks at Gloria, fierce anger and protectiveness in her heart, and she lunges at Gloria. It's as it was before, as if there were a chance of changing it. Sometimes, in her dreams, she does. She can change it, and there are dreams of happiness…before it's whisked away from her.

Shock is written across Gloria's face, even as Gilberto looks like he wants to crawl inside of a dark hole and never ever crawl out again, he hides this immediate reaction of shame and guilt behind a smarmy mask of confidence that is only skin deep. Gloria, however, is still the unrepentant hag that Maya remembers, perhaps a bit more pointedly so. "Shut up," she hisses out in a cattish way, smoothing down the front of her dress as she slides off of the box.

"You— shut you mouth. If you tell Alejandro about this— about what you saw here, I swear to God… " her worse are abruptly clipped and feverish in pace, shoulders squared and spine arched like a cat trying to puff itself up, sidling close to Maya with dark eyes narrowed. Dark eyes, brown, chocolate almost — not as dark as Maya's gets.

It's different already. Gilberto interfered, the first time. He grabbed Maya and stopped her. Threatened her, and it provoked the power. It was the catastrophe that set the chain of events in motion.

This time, there's no one to stop her.

She flings herself at Gloria. "This is all your fault! All of it!" She's fierce as she launches at the other woman. No cat fight here, no slaps and scratches. No, Maya may /still/ kill her. Just not with her power, as she tries to grab the betrayer by the throat.

Emotions surge, hatred rankles her nostrils into a flare and Maya's fingers find their way around Gloria's neck, with all the grace of a pair of hissing and yowling alley cats, she slams the younger woman up against the crate, a yelp of pain coming before sputtering litany of such flowery words strung together to say something so terrible. Gloria's fingers rake up, clawing at the side of Maya's neck to leave red scratches, her eyes bulge, she struggles for air.

It's only then that Gilberto's hands grasp at Maya's shoulders, one arm trying to peel her away while the other hand grasps at fingers to pry them off of Gloria's throat. But something causes Gilberto to falter, to choke and gag and relinquish his grasp, he staggers back, wheezing and gurgling wet breaths. Between the bloodshot rage and fits of screaming, Maya can see Gloria's eyes darkening, chocolate turning to coal, coal turning to oil.

The black wells up around her darkened eyes, flooding down the sides of her face in thin rivulets, staining her flesh a pitch color as she lets out a rasping breath, back arching in a way that is not indicative of pleasure this time. Bare feet scuff against the concrete floor, her fingers paw futily against Maya's face.

This is more like it.

This is it…this is what she remembered. But this time, in the dream, she's not shocked. She's not going to scream. She's seen it too many times, lived it too often. And in dreams, the woman can give voice to the sentiments that she'd never voice in the waking world.

"Die." Her voice is flat. Almost a hiss. "This is all. Your. Fault. If you'd just been able to keep your pants on, none of this would have happened. All these people would still be alive!" Black streaks run down her face, but they're tears of rage, not grief.

"S— stop— " A blink is all it takes for the paradigm shift of reality to become comfortably painful and horrifyingly brutal. "Maya Stop," the voice isn't Gloria's, it isn't even a woman. Pinned down to the hardwood floor foa church, Maya can feel the flex of a windpipe between her fingers, a nun curled up and convulsing on the floor, tarlike venom running out of her dark eyes and onto the floor beneath the gaping statue of Jesus Christ looming on the cross above.

Alejandro stares up at Maya, choking out a wet sob of a breath, it's all he can muster instead of the pleading cries of earlier. His eyes darken, the black poison courses thorugh his veins, and his arms and legs flail about trying to find purchase on anything nearby. But there's nothing, nothing but his sister — and he wouldn't ever lay a hand on her. But Maya— Maya's strangling the life out of him, as the poison makes its way through his veins, blackening them and causing them to bulge beneath the surface.

The choking gurgle of death never happened before.

She gasps! Maya lets go, frantically, backpedaling and sitting down hard. <No, no, this can't be happening! God, why are you doing this? Please, haven't I suffered enough!?> Punishment for the sin in her thoughts, perhaps. She shivers, body trembling with emotion as she looks heavenwards, as if there would be some answer coming from the sky for her.

Save for staring solemnly to his side with a brow furrowed thorugh lines of blood from his crown of thorns, the statue of Jesus has nothing else to say, save for the words of pity or perhaps piousness that his likeness in such a condition inspires — a martyr. Nothing quite so noble about the deaths inflicted by this one woman.

Alejandro has nothing to say on the matter, save for one last wet exhalation of breath as black bubbles froth up from his mouth. It's not quite the asthetic she recalls, but drwam logic can sometimes be a harsh mistress. The church, in its silence, is nothing but a tomb now, save for the one shaft of light coming thorugh the double doors that slowly creap open, invitingly.

There's a saying, "Jesus Wept"; right now his eyes are dry, unlike the black morass in every other eye around.

Maya closes her eyes tightly. "No, no. This is just a nightmare. It's not real. This isn't really happening." She closes her eyes tightly, pulling her knees up to her chest and hugging them, her head leaning forward and her hair veiling her face. "It's not real. Just a dream." She repeats.

The sound of an elevator's chime disagrees.

She's been here before too, this elevator, this hallway. The Village Renaissance Building is something a little closer to the now than it is the then. Slouched over against the back of the elevator, she can see the flicker of lights down the hall, ceiling lights and the glow of a television left on. Her neck hurts, her cheeks are damp, and now it's beginning to become hard to differentiate fiction from reality.

This is her safehouse.

Did she fall asleep, have a hallucination? Trying to track back her path to sleep ends up ina convoluted maze of clouded thoughts. Discerning dream from reality in this state, is like trying to tell eggshell white from snow white — they're only a pale shade apart.

Home? Or what passes for home, at least. It's…this is the apartment building. What is…She moves to stand, and looks about the room. Did she sleepwalk? She looks herself up and down, seeing if she's dressed in her day clothing or sleeping clothing, before starting down the hall, towards the television. "Is anyone there? Cat? Claire?"

Moving out from the elevator and into the hall, Maya stumbles into the jarring disorientating geometries of dream logic. Where once doors should have led into more hallways, she finds herself thrown into the kitchen of the Penthouse of the Village Renaissance Building.

The floor scapes cold against the bottoms of dirty, bare feet. Flickering fluorescent light sputters overhead where no such lights exist in the real world, serving only to desaturate the colors of the walls and make the black stains on the tile floor stand out sharper than they should.

Catherine is the first one Maya finds, laying on her back with her mouth open, spine twisted and arms curled at her sides as if trying to hold herself tightly in her final moments. A bubbling black tar rolls out from her mouth and her pitch colored eyes. The inky fluid dribbles down her cheek and the side of her head to pool underfoot, and Maya's padding footfalls now leave dark prints behind where tiny feet tread.

Down the hall further from the kitchen, Claire Bennet is hunched up against a wall, her eyes as dark as night and black tears streaming down her face, the bile of poison that Maya emits drooling in a thin stream out of a slacked jaw with black-stained teeth. Another body, one she can't see the face of, lays on the floor of the entertainment room beyond — it doesn't matter who they are, they're just as dead.

Dead because of her.

Dead because she can't control herself.

Dead for nothing.

Her eyes widen. "No…NO!" She runs over to them both when she sees them, and then she feels the contents of her stomach coming up. She puts a hand against the wall, and up it comes, heaving as the acidy pile splatters on the floor. She sobs, adding tears to the mix, and screams at the top of her lungs. "NO!!!" Her palms slam into the wall, trying to find an expression for the grief there's no words for.

Black handprints smear the wall, fingers leave tarry streaks on the sheetrock and coffee colored paint. Protests of body and voice fall of the deaf and dead ears of those around her, black bile, tears and actual bile all meet with the heaving, choked sobs of a woman torn apart by something she has no control over. For the briefest of moments, in the shadow of the window behind Maya, a broken and crumbling stone face stares impassively at her, out of her line of sight, a shattered statue standing in the shape of a man, with no eyes with which to see but a mouth with which to scream.

Before the transition of sleep and waking turns the spasms of the mind into the spasms of the body, Maya catches the briefest glimpse of that figure's reflection in the slicked pools of black poison congealing on the floor. And in that shrieking moment of fear, anguish and horror her arms and legs strash wildly, sweat-slicked blankets tangle around her legs and gravity pulls her downwards as she tumbles down to the floor, the shock of the hardwood meeting with her temple is a jolt of pain that jostles her from the somewhat fleeting numbness of dream and sleep into the blossoming head-trauma of reality.

Suddenly the shades of white aren't so hard ot differentiate against all the black.

Spotted tarlike resin is caked to Maya's sheets, streaked down her face and in dark droplets on the floor. Roused from her nightmare by something as simple as rolling off of her bed, the dawning horror is that she is awake, and from the dark stains everywhere…

…everyone else in the building might not be.

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