In the in-between are the Nameless; names are for masters and they have none. They live in the Nameless realm, between being saved and being destroyed—they are Fallen.
One Nameless spends his time watching humans in New York City and, in his endless eternity of boredom, becomes intrigued by a drunk named Aurick Pantera. One day Aurick, a reckless gambler, is about to be killed by a gang over his debts. Nameless feels sorry for him and possesses his body to save his life. He then decides that he rather likes being in a human body, given the chance to taste, smells, and touch. He uses Aurick’s body to fulfill all of his wildest dreams—become a rock star, have a successful psychiatric practice, and pursue star journalist Helena Way.
Until, three years after possessing Aurick, the other Fallen take notice of these random achievements and begin appearing to Aurick. They are tired of waiting in Nameless and are ready to start a war—their only chance to cease this painful eternity of waiting and either be saved or be released. Aurick, struggling to regain control of his body, stuck in the middle. Join the ranks and finally be released to Null for atrocities against mankind, or can his love for Helena, his budding friendships, and his growing concern for all humans grant him salvation?
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|Publisher:||Gallery Books/Karen Hunter Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||5.38(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.93(d)|
About the Author
Karen Hunter is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, a celebrated radio talk-show host, and coauthor of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including Confessions of a Video Vixen, On the Down Low, and Wendy’s Got the Heat. She is also an assistant professor in the Film & Media Department at Hunter College.
Read an Excerpt
I am nameless. Names are for those with masters. Therefore, we have no name. The day of the demon is coming to an end. We await our pending execution. Many of us look forward to this imminent judgment. Others pathetically cower in their deserving of death. I have wandered the earth for millennia trying to find a way out. I realize now that it is hopeless. It can be quite boring when you’re immortal and waiting at the same time. So I watch humans. From the Nameless realm I watch, analyzing their behaviors, motives, climaxes, recessions, and, most important, their power of choice.
From the beginning of man, I have witnessed the blackest crimes they have committed. Witnessed the crops of the earth watered with black blood spilled by men, women, and children all over the world. But one thing still torments me and my kind. It’s the one simple thing that grips us in the back of our throats and won’t let go. The one thing that has turned the most civilized ones among us into vengeful, raging lunatic monsters. That no matter how much we beg, no matter how much time we are given, no matter how much we pray, we will die, but humans … will remain. Irony’s judgment is … ticklish.
Angels were given a perfect start, a perfect body, mind, and world with no problems. We were given the capabilities to serve our Father perfectly without fault. This was our great ability. Humans once had this ability but it was lost. Their ancestor parents traded it for a fruit and a snake. As for us angels, we traded it for our own fruits and snakes. We were at the pinnacle of perfection when we turned our backs on Father. Adam and Eve’s offspring weren’t. They were slaves to their selves. Thoughts … were my downfall. Thoughts. Damn that woman.
You are probably pondering, “What do demons do with their spare time?”
Well, first, don’t ever use that term demon with us. It’s extremely derogatory. We prefer to be called Fallen.
And I can’t speak for my brethren, but I spend most of my time counting stars. It may be tedious, but it passes the time nicely. I enjoy taking long strolls through the park. I like going on carnival rides. I like going to operas. I like watching ballets. I also enjoy watching movies at theaters. That was one great addition to mankind—although I feel that the quality of movies is going down the toilet with these new special effects. I haven’t seen a film that was truly original in years. The better the special effects, the worse the quality of the movie. How ironic. Yummy steak sauce with no steak.
This evening was particularly boring. I wish I could pass the time by sleeping, but beings such as me don’t. Humans don’t understand how valuable sleep is. They can kill eight hours or so just by shutting their skinny little eyelids and being still. So instead I decided to watch The Wizard of Oz on Broadway. This would be my 203rd time seeing it. I’ve memorized every single line from beginning to end. This is the only play I never grow tired of. Like Dorothy, I’ve searched the corners of a fantasy world trying get back home. With perseverance she made it back. How beautiful. How lovely. Such a good example to live by. What a crock of crap.
I’ll never make it home. I am still here. In this fantasy world. Dreams really don’t come true. For my kind. Funny. With all our power, that’s one thing we can’t do.
After drifting through the city slums of Manhattan, a human male stumbled through an alleyway. He was drunk, so drunk he had to lean on walls to walk. He was looking so bad that even the harlots didn’t want to get near him.
I watched, and I could see he was headed for a bar. I had actually been studying this human for a few months. His name is Aurick Pantera. He is one of the lowlifes of society; Aurick is always in debt, gambling his checks away, lying, cheating, and stealing. The money that was left was spent on women and booze.
It used to be worse. Before he was on meds, Aurick had bad hallucinations, imagining himself to be other people, some who didn’t even exist. Poor pathetic creature.
Lately, Aurick had been hit with a certain … troubling issue. This problem is the most feared issue in the world. An excruciating evil. One of the biggest manslayers of this planet. Cancer. Not only that but it’s one of cancer’s most sinister villains, pancreatic cancer. The silent killer. Only about 5 percent diagnosed survive after three to five years. What a true villain indeed. You only have a chance of surviving this murderer if you treat it as early as it devours your flesh, bones, and soul. Foolishly, Aurick was too scared to follow through with more tests and treatment. He has the sense that if he ignores it, it’ll go away. And if it doesn’t go away, he will be too busy enjoying his life to care. Bury your skull in the dirt.
That’s right, Aurick, live on to the bitter end. He was doing the right thing. People should not struggle against their demise. They should not think of the pain. They should just lie down and be at peace as I have. It is what has been keeping me separate from the others. My sanity is my reward.
I followed him into Dead Man’s Pub. It’s a bar where all the dregs of the city go to escape their problems and morals. It even has the saying “What happens in Dead Man’s Pub stays in Dead Man’s Pub.” Original, eh?
Aurick climbed up the stairwell and knocked on the back exit of the bar.
The doorman answered and said in a gruff voice, “You can’t enter this way. Go through the front.”
“It’s okay,” Aurick said, flipping up the collar on his black jacket and combing back his soaked jet-black hair with his fingers. “It’s me, Ben.”
The guard opened the door and allowed him in. The bar was crowded with drunken thugs and goons. The lights were dim, which made the ugliest individual look attractive. One of my abilities as a spirit creature allows me to see germs clearly as bright green globs. Humans are covered in them, disgusting swine that they are—dancing and bumping into each other, touching and spreading impurities to each other. I watched them eat the green that covered their salted peanuts and Chex Mix.
The toxic odor of alcohol was immense. The packed bar had an almost overwhelmingly putrid stench of liquor and tobacco smoke. Tension hovered in the air.
Yet I was safe since I reside in the spirit realm. Spirit creatures such as me dwell in the Nameless realm, which is a separate dimension intertwined with humans’ material realm.
Nameless is intangible to beings of the material realm. Only certain creatures, such as some cats, snakes, weasels, skunks, owls, and dogs can sense those of Nameless. In other words, I can see beings from the material realm but they can’t see or affect me.
Aurick sat down at a barstool and ordered his drinks. He dove into his liquor and spoke to the female bartender about things the bartender didn’t care about. Anytime a new female sat down at the bar, Aurick would stumble over to her and try to pick her up. His sour breath, slurred speech, and bloodshot, disoriented eyes were enough to make any female flee.
It was funny how he started out trying to court the most attractive females at the beginning of the night, only to wind up going after the most unattractive by the end. It was like going down from ten to one. Well, I guess the more you drink, the more attractive people appear. He whispered something atrocious into one blonde female’s ear, which offended her so much that she slapped him across his face and treaded heavily away. He finally gave up and went back to his drinking.
The bartender asked him to stop drinking, but Aurick just got upset and started a drunken rant. Downing one drink after the next, he finally fell asleep (or passed out) at the bar. A group of four thugs approached him and tapped his shoulder with great force. Aurick didn’t wake up, so a tall, brutish-looking white man with a ginger-colored beard picked up a drink and splashed it over Aurick’s head and down his shirt.
He woke up in a daze, looking around, disoriented. “Hey, why would you waste a perfectly good drink? There are less fortunate people than us that would die for a drink, ya know.”
“Cut the crap, Dwayne!” said the one with the ginger beard, using the fake name Aurick had given him. “You’ve been holdin’ out on me. Where’s my money?”
“Oh, Samson, fancy meeting you here!” Fear sobered Aurick and his voice trembled. “How’d you find me?”
“You know why I’m here. Where’s my money?” Samson said with rising irritation.
“Look, Samson, I don’t have the money right now. I-I need another week to get the cash up.”
“You said that four months ago, Dwayne. I’ve been real patient. So are you saying you don’t have my money?”
Aurick sank down into the barstool and stayed quiet.
“That’s it. Get up, Dwayne. … I said get up!” Samson grabbed Aurick’s collar, lifting him with ease.
Two of Samson’s goons grabbed each of Aurick’s arms and escorted him to the back exit of the bar. I followed to watch the entertainment. They stepped down the steel steps of the bar outside into the alleyway. Aurick tumbled down. He drunkenly got up, revealing a bloody cut on his forehead.
“Look, Samson, I’m sorry,” Aurick whimpered. “I just need some time.”
Samson delivered a hard, quick blow to Aurick’s stomach. Aurick collapsed on his knees and coughed up spit and mucus. The other goons cheered.
“Yeah! Give it to him good, Sam, give it to him good,” one of the goons said. “Teach that lowlife to learn to keep his promises!”
As Aurick was on his knees gagging, Samson kneed him in his face, flipping him onto his back. Samson lifted Aurick to his feet with ease and delivered blow after blow to his face, spilling blood from the open wound on his head. Samson then lifted Aurick over his head and threw him into nearby trash cans and bags, causing a great crash and commotion. Aurick rolled over the dirty, wet garbage bags. He pleaded, crying for mercy. Samson didn’t want to hear it. The other thugs kicked Aurick repeatedly in his sides while he was curled on the ground.
I thought maybe these barbarians could give Aurick an escape by ending his miserable life, providing him with a shortcut.
“Okay, that’s enough,” Samson said to his goons. “We need to get out of here. Lift him up.” His goons obeyed and lifted Aurick to his feet and stepped away. Aurick seemed to be gasping for air as if he were drowning.
“You’re …” Aurick stopped to fill some more air into his shaky lungs. “You’re letting me go?” His eyes widened in great surprise.
“Yeah, I’m letting you go.”
“Oh, thank you, Samson!” Aurick placed his shaking, scraped palms on Samson’s shoulders. “I’ll get you the money tomorrow. I swear.” Aurick’s voice sounded as if he had been locked in a freezer for hours and was desperately trying to keep warm.
Samson reached into his jacket’s inner pocket and pulled out a black object. He lifted the black object and pointed it toward Aurick’s face. The object was an instrument of death. A gun.
“I’m setting you free, Dwayne. This is the most mercy that anyone could ever give you.”
“No, please, Samson, don’t do it! Please! Oh, God, please don’t kill me!” Aurick eyes squirted tears that flooded his face.
“Yeah, do it, Sammy. Take him out for good,” one of the goons said. Another advised Samson not to do it. Samson told him to shut up. Aurick squeezed his eyes tight and started praying to God for help. What a riot. Aurick’s life would end before the cancer ate him. How lucky indeed.
I contemplated whether I should help Aurick. At least it had been entertaining and helped me pass some of my time. This poor man’s life was pitiful. This would put him out of his misery and give him a shortcut to salvation. And I could just watch another human for fun.
Nonetheless, for some reason, I decided to save Aurick.
If we spirit creatures are strong enough, we can interact with the human realm. Using my abilities to accurately read Samson’s muscle exertion in his arm and read his blood pressure to tell when he was going to pull the trigger, I diverted the trajectory of the bullet by bending the surrounding air. The bullet grazed Aurick’s arm. Samson and his goons stood there confused.
Aurick peeked with one eye at the group.
“It was a blank! Shoot him again!” one of the thugs said. Samson pointed the gun again and Aurick shut his eyes again. The gun let off another bang but I deflected the bullet again, saving Aurick’s pathetic life once more.
“What the hell, another blank?” Samson said with confusion. Samson squeezed the trigger again but I caused the gun to backfire. Shards scattered and sliced through everything around.
Samson gazed down at his hand, his once manly hand he’d used to torment his foes. He clenched his water fountain of a hand and screamed, like a woman giving birth. Two of Samson’s fingers were blown off, and shards from the gun were sticking through his skin.
“Let’s get out of here!” one of the goons said as the others ran off.
“I swear, you’ll pay for this, Dwayne,” Samson cried, following his crew, holding his hand in pain.
Aurick wiped the tears from his face and ran off, muttering, “Thank you, God.”
There goes God taking underserved credit again. My credit. I laughed and then followed him down the alleyway until a voice called to me.
“You’re walking on thin ice, Jackie-sama.”
I looked around to see who it was. A dark figure was standing on the rooftop of a three-floored building nearby. He wore a long, black trench coat. The collar was up reaching ear level.
“Oh, it’s you,” I said. “Didn’t I tell you to stop calling me Jackie, you nosy barn owl?”
“Oh, I’m sorry. What would you like me to call you?”
“Don’t call me anything. I’m as nameless as the realm where I dwell.”
“All right, ‘Nameless.’ I saw what you did just now.”
“So? What of it?”
“It’s my job to remind you not to break the rules. If you had gone any further, I would have had to take you in.”
“I know what the rules are. I know that my destiny is sealed in Father’s forearm. I don’t need babysitting, so stop stalking me.”
“Stalking? You’re the one following people around for no apparent reason.”
“I have reasons. What are you doing here anyway? Don’t you have better things to do?”
“Nope, just patrolling through this shameless city. Levels of violence have been rising dramatically recently.”
“Well, what do you expect? It’s the last days. Not only that, but this is New York City. The modern-day Babylon.”
“You’re right. Though much of the violence is caused by Fallen. In fact, I haven’t seen so much Fallen influence since the last War of the Flies. Not only that, but some have been searching for you.”
“Me?” I laughed. “Well, I’m flattered.”
“It was your old faction. It seems some want you back.”
“I haven’t spoken to them in centuries. I never had any time for them.”
The figure smiled. “The way I remember it, you were kicked out,” he said smugly.
This was getting much too uncomfortable. I wanted to change the subject.
“How are the other fairies holding up?” I said, using a word as derogatory to him as demon was to us. Angels hated to be called fairies.
“They’re a little stressed-out but they’ll hold up.”
“Good to hear.”
“Well, I’ll be on my way, Mr. Nameless. Be careful and don’t get too attached to these sinners.”
“Understood, old friend,” I said.
The figure phased out of sight. He was an old friend from the days before human existence. He was still my friend, occasionally popping by to visit me, even though he’s one of the high-ranking maroon angels. Maroon angels were stationed on earth seven thousand years ago, ever since the Eden incident, to keep Fallen from going too far in harming humans with the command to stay on earth in the Nameless realm until Father orders them to return home when He commences the Great War. The Great War to end all wars.
Even for the maroons, living an immortal life in Nameless can be tiresome. Some through the ages have gone postal, and a few others AWOL. Some have even crossed over and become Fallen themselves.
Maroons that become Fallen have it the worst. They are caught in between—shunned by the angels and bullied by those who have been Fallen longer.
As I thought about my friend and the life I used to lead before the fall, I continued in my current life—watching Aurick. I followed him drag his way home to his cruddy, old apartment building. It was a six-story walk-up. Well, it wasn’t supposed to be, but the elevator never worked. The walls and the floors were always filthy and garbage- and glass-strewn.
The floors were stained with bloody footprints of children who played in the hallways. The walls were marked by handprints, profanity, fingerprints, and even a few footprints.
Aurick drunkenly walked up six flights of steps to his apartment. He stumbled to his room, collapsed on his bed, and went to sleep.
I believe I am going to go insane watching people live their lives while I wait for mine to end. I left and went to sit on top of the roof, looking over the insects of Manhattan going about their daily lives, unaware of the cataclysm that will one day befall them all. I lay flat on my back and returned to my routine of counting the stars of this galaxy. Counting the endless quantity soothes the mind. It helps organize my thoughts. Thoughts of how I was going to bear living a boring day like this over and over soaked my mind. Thoughts of how I used to have a purpose. The days of purpose were long gone. I wondered if anyone was watching me live my life as I had watched Aurick’s. How would they think of me? Would they think of me as a great person who temporarily fell short of the mark, who bravely took the consequences? Or would they feel that I’m just a fool who’s going to get what he deserves? After a few hours, a pitter-patter sound made me mess up my count.
I ignored it for a while but the sound wouldn’t stop, which annoyed me, so I sat up and looked around. The perpetrator was a young kitten chasing after pigeons. It was small and feeble, brown, with a reddish calico.
It would only have a few days of life left before it starved to death. But this kitten chased and chased, never giving up. It breathed hard and wouldn’t stop. It had a slim chance of survival, yet it wouldn’t lie down and die. Suddenly, he ran after one pigeon at the edge of the roof. At least the kitten will soon end his lonely pain, I thought to myself.
The pigeon flew off the roof with the kitten leaping after it. The kitten missed and fell to his doom with a loud screech bursting from its tiny lungs. I caught it at the last moment and placed him back on the roof.
“I’m giving you a second chance,” I said to the kitten as if I were going to get a reply. This was becoming a habit, it seemed. “Now fight on and live, you pathetic low-life organism that no one cares about. Live tonight, but know that you will die one day.”
The kitten briefly looked up at me and ran off. Then, as I resumed my counting, the creature came back. It stared, purred, and sat next to me. The few species that can sense spirit beings still have a limited sense of our presence, but this creature seemed to fully see me. Not only that, but he was calm.
“What’s the matter? Are you lonely like me? Do you have a heavy burden as well?” It felt wonderful having something know of my existence. And I suppose the kitten felt the same way. I felt in my heart I wanted more. I wanted someone to know that I was alive. I knew what I wanted to do.
“I give thanks to you, kitty! By the way, I know that you exist, right? Well, everything that has been noticed to exist should have a name, right? Obviously, you can’t give yourself a name so I’ll give you one. I’ll give you the most important name in the universe. I’ll name you Sephirot.”
I grabbed a pigeon and killed it instantly with crushing air pressure and let Sephirot feast on it.
“You can thank me later,” I said. “I’m going to find a name of my own. Sit tight, Sephirot.”
Watching Sephirot fight so hard to stay alive reminded me about how little fight Aurick had. That kitty had more heart than he did. Aurick was a loser and a scoundrel. No one will miss him when he’s gone.
I went to watch him. He was dead asleep on his bed. Sleep. Oh, how wonderful his sleep must feel. Oh, how I missed those wonderful nights of rest. Oh, how unfair this is that such an ungrateful man should enjoy delightful slumber while a mighty being such as I have to suffer the constant awareness of myself.
His guard was down. I wanted sleep and I wanted it now. What about the risks? I wasn’t really adept in body possession, so what if an accident occurred? And Aurick has that vile disease in him. Oh, it will only be for one night, I thought. And even if it were to suddenly try to kill him, I would be more than enough to restrain it. It would be just one night of blissful slumber. In the morning, I would leave Aurick’s body and lock the door. Nothing bad would happen from just a few hours of sleep, right?
I sighed. Is this how I was going to act for the rest of my life? Indecisiveness was how I landed in this position in the first place. Leaning on two opinions had gotten me nowhere. To hell with the risks. I wanted … I needed to take action and I needed to do it now.
Then, just as I was about to synchronize with Aurick’s body, he abruptly woke up and went to the bathroom. He fell asleep on the toilet, which was an annoyance because I didn’t want to fuse with his body in such an indignant position. Three hours passed and he was still asleep on the toilet. I didn’t feel like waiting until the next day, so I fused with him anyway.
When I came into consciousness, I could smell the vile alcoholic odor of this body’s sweat and fecal matter. All of my senses—especially my sense of smell—were forced into immediate action, and I began to gag.
Things were not totally in sync as my spirit body was still making the adjustments. I wasn’t fully able to manipulate his body yet and had to sit on that toilet in that stench for about two more hours.
When I developed the ability to move well enough, I stood up and slowly walked into the bedroom. I reached for the bed but the body’s legs gave out and I collapsed to the floor on my stomach with my pants and boxer shorts down.
The rest of my senses caught up and I began to feel the intoxication still having its effect, which forced me to fall asleep right there on the floor, facedown, with my pants around the ankles. How indignant.
The next morning, I awoke. Every muscle in this body was aching something terrible. The powerful Samson really did give this body a beating. I didn’t think I would be synchronized this well enough to feel the pain yet.
I took a shower to wash the impurities from this body. (Aurick never did wash frequently.) I still wasn’t in full control of the body, so I had to be careful not to fall and break my neck.
The shower stung every cut and bruise on this body. After a few painful minutes, however, it felt good. Through endurance comes virtue. I started to drink the steaming-hot water that was coming from the showerhead. It felt so … delightful. Just as my hunger pains were manifold so was my sense of touch. I could feel each and every one of the thousands of warm droplets fill every microscopic pore on the moist flesh. I spent another two hours in the shower. It killed me having to have to step out of such an oasis.
Afterward, as I was drying off, Aurick’s stomach organ gripped me. I guessed it was because I was feeling hunger.
There I was, standing in front of the bathroom mirror. Cuts and bruises were all over this body. The side of my left eye socket was swollen and red. A cut was right over the brow of the right eye socket. It wasn’t bleeding. The hands were badly scraped. It hurt when I clenched them closed. This was my identity. There I was and now I must leave. Suddenly there was a growl. Was that a dog? No. I looked down. It was Aurick’s stomach organ. I was so hungry. I remembered that eating food was … delicious, delightful. Oh, but it was time to go. I wouldn’t feel hunger anymore in my spirit form. Oh, but what was that dish I once loved? Was it … tomatoes? I adored tomatoes. Perhaps I could stay longer in this body than for just one night, to experience the pleasures of taste. Oh, but this would be dangerous.
I looked into the refrigerator and saw only a bottle of milk and a bologna-and-cheese sandwich. The bread had a greenish color and foul smell. I was hungry but this seemed unappetizing.
I got dressed in a black suit and decided to go out to get something to digest. As I was walking down the stairs, caught up in absorbing my surroundings in this body, I walked into a young woman in her early twenties carrying bags of groceries. Our collision caused her to drop her groceries down the stairs.
“Oh, I deeply apologize, miss,” I said, and started to retrieve her items and put them in one of her plastic bags.
As I picked up a can of coffee, I paused. I stared at the mess and back at the woman with amazement. My amazement turned into excitement, and my excitement soon turned into glee.
“I bumped into you?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she said, looking at me oddly.
“You can feel me?”
“Yeah.” She started to back away from me.
I finished putting away all of her groceries and handed them over.
“Thank you,” she said.
“No, thank you!” I said with a giddy smile. I had not made physical contact with a human in centuries. I felt … I didn’t know how I felt.
“Are you high or something, dude?”
“I am high on existence,” I said.
“What happened to your face, man? That looks terrible.” The woman reached out slightly without actually intending to touch me. I didn’t want to explain so I pressed on with something else to talk about.
“My name is Aurick. What is your name, ma’am?”
“I know your name is Aurick,” she said with a puzzled expression. “I’ve known you since you moved in here. Here, this will sober you up.” She handed me a can of coffee and then told me her name was Jamie.
While I was walking down the stairs, the landlord opened his door and started yelling at me. “Aurick, where’s my goddamn rent?”
“I’ll get you the rent.”
“You’ve been saying that for three months now. If I don’t get my rent, your ass is going to be on the street!”
I ignored him and continued walking.
I went to the vegetable store and bought tomatoes. I walked through Manhattan for hours, savoring the sounds, the smells, the people. I walked past human after human, watching them go to their miserable places of work.
I could sense flashes of thoughts bubbling to the surface: “Why do I put up with my boss?” “I wonder how many calories I’m burning right now walking.” “I hope Latisha doesn’t find out I cheated.” “God, I hate my job!” “I’m going to shoot everyone at work when I get there.”
So much despair. So much emptiness. So tiresome.
I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and walked back. I worked Aurick’s body more during this one day than he probably had in three years. I couldn’t exercise as a spirit, and this was wonderful.
I went to the beach to feel the cold, salty water seep into every pore of my human body. I used most of the money Aurick had to purchase different types of flowers so I could deeply inhale their odors.
I didn’t want to leave the body. Weeks of my merrymaking continued. I inhaled an assortment of wonderful wild odors when I walked through the park. Sure I walked through the park as a spirit, but now I could actually experience all the sounds and smells that my spirit body could not have sensed as a human could. The movies were far more enjoyable, and I understood why humans were enthralled by the newest special effects.
I even found a special showing of The Wizard of Oz on the big screen. I could actually converse with my neighboring meat-bags as we watched the screen. Some rudely told me to quiet down, but I was so merry that they could actually hear my sounds. I happily told them to shut up and they yelled back. This was fun. The Wizard of Oz was never so wonderful. The wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Sadly though, my steam was running out. I found that nothing much had changed. I was simply a Fallen with a human body. I was doing the same things I did in my spirit form. I wanted to do something that the Fallen don’t do. I wanted some direction. I decided to go to support groups. There were all kinds of them. Support groups for drug addiction, sex addiction, gambling addiction, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, cancer, HIV, suicide prevention, abuse survivors, divorce.
I decided to go to a support group for testicular cancer. Cancer can be unstoppable. And you can’t stop the unstoppable. I could identify. My own fate was sealed in Father’s forehead. He was the true unstoppable object, and there was no unmovable force to shield me.
I would have been depressed if I hadn’t already been sick of being depressed. The humiliation and agony of the support group members filled me with strength, though sometimes we would have to hug one another. One weepy man forced a hug onto me. I didn’t want to blow my cover, so I cringed and accepted it. I soon stopped going (not just because of the hugging). I grew tired of their misery.
Still, I did begin to actually listen to their advice. One suggested that I needed to keep myself busy. Finding my purpose in life would keep my mind off my testicular cancer. Little did they know that I’d had a purpose in life.
What could be a grander purpose than directly serving the Creator of the cosmos? Nothing, that’s what! Though I knew it was pointless, if I was going to be human for a while, as I realized I had no intention of leaving this body, then perhaps I should take up their advice. Hone my mind. Develop a career and new reputation of sorts. Give Aurick a new direction quickly and affordably. I needed a cheap education at a cheap price, at least for now.
Community college, here I come!