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Chapter 16

In his loneliness, drenched with the sweat of a ceaseless melancholy, Kurutio was frozen with fear and numb with despair. There really was no going back. This wasn’t just a dream or a vision, this was  a glimpse of reality. Heaven, Hell, it didn’t matter either way. He was alone, not a friend in the world, and he was only beginning to appreciate this grim reality now.

He no longer wanted to die either– he lacked the passion for that. But neither did he want to live, for what was there to live for? Friends? What a sickening ruse! They don’t care about you, don’t care for you, they’re just using you! Family a sadomasochistic scheme of society, Religion itself a web of lies to deceive a blissfully ignorant humanity.

Life, the greatest lie of them all. We live to die, and no record of our existence remaining beyond the first two generations. Our ideas corrupted, our accomplishments redundant, our legacy diluted. What is the purpose of this hateful thing life, save perhaps to entertain the minds of those who are even manipulated themselves by still others in this cutthroat game we call “reality”.

“So, is that it? You’re just going to lie there suffocating in your own philosophical vomit? Ughhhh!”

“So what would you have me do? What is there for me to do? Of what value is my life beyond an actor in a cosmic story I myself do not understand? Why do need the Essence, of what worth is it to me now!?! Why did you show me this? Why am  here?”

“Now that’s more to my tune! A bit to emo for my taste, but definitely in the right direction! Now that you’ve seen the terrible effects of Separateness, let’s show you Oneness!”

“What is Oneness?” Kurutio too mentally exhausted and emotionally perturbed to even comprehend the words, much less the underlying implications. “Will it bring Airielu back?”

“Still stuck on that chick huh? Well she definitely is intriguing, I’ve give you that. But (and I don’t blame you!) you’re totally missing the point. Airielu….she never left. She never died. But neither was she alive to begin with….well, not alive in the sense you’re more familiar wit–“

“What, she’s not alive? What do you mean? Where is sh-”

“Whoa Whoa Whoa, stop jumping to conclusions here. You’re far too plugged in to this thing called “perception” to even appreciate what’s on the other side. Just slow down, take it easy, deep breaths for now.”

Kurutio a bit rigid, tried to calm himself and take deep breaths. He then took a look around him, and was stunned by what he saw. He was still surrounded by the dark mirror, and Jason’s presence was confirmed only by an inner-voice, but as Kurutio looked upon the dark mirror, it no longer was as fearful or menacing as it was before. In fact, it wasn’t even a dark mirror at all!

As he looked at the once-dark mirror now he was overwhelmed with a surprising clarity that sent shivers down his spine. It was no longer a mirror of darkness, or even a mirror. It was just a tainted reflection of himself, emanating from a dull and broken glass. In no way could this mirror reflect his physical reflection, much less his personal character! Kurutio felt cheated, that he had been caused by this ethereal object to feel so terribly about himself, despite it being quite clearly inadequate for accurately reflecting anything about him at all!

“So you have seen the truth now, the awful and yet delightful truth about Perception!”

“I can see that quite clearly now!”

Kurutio laughed at the irony of it all, and was filled with a rush of euphoric delight. He felt as if a great burden had been removed from his shoulders, this burden not from the turmoil he had been subjected to, or even from the life he had been living. An invisible burden that had been with him from the beginning, with him all along.

Chapter 15

Jason Thomas sat there facing Kurutio, his eyes piercing into his soul. Kurutio stared back with a blank exhaustion, and there passed an eternity without words or even thought, only a deafening silence. After a while Kurutio relaxed, and took in the residual image of his inner-self. By appearances Jason looked a man in his late 20s, but his demeanor was that of a ancient so old even time had lost track. Yet at the same time, he had the youthful vigor of a child, and the passionate idealism of a young adult. His eyes shone a brilliant hazel, his hair obsidian black, and a hearty glow permeating through his whole being. Kurutio was mesmerized by the utter splendor of his inner soul; to think that such magnificence had laid dormant within him all this time!

I wasn’t always like this, you know…

Kurutio felt goosebumps all over. The magnetic resonance between Jason and himself was breathtaking; he could feel the vibrations at the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels at all once, and he was overwhelmed by raw intensity and purity of his words like nothing he’d felt before.

What you’re experiencing is something closer to ‘true’ communication. By comparison, human speech would equate to mere feedback signals. Amazing, isn’t it?

Jason had come a long way since his adventures with the Mysterious Piano, and the mysteries of which Airielu promised him were even greater than he could imagine even now. But thousands of years later, he at least understood things well enough that perhaps he could salvage the “Essence”. Hopefully this time, this vessel (Kurutio) was strong enough to alter the course of fate that the Essence had subjected itself to…

“So you mean to say that my whole life what I thought was communication, was only a ‘handshake'”?

It was a bit more than that. You see, even with mere feedback, you will still experience remnants of genuine communication. These remnants manifest as “emotion”, “intuition”, “insight”, and “wisdom”. These qualities are sparks of true communication, and also were once the unique identifiers of one’s soul.

“Were once? I don’t understand…”

At this point in time there are few humans still possessed by a soul. But that is a story for another time…

“No tell me. I want to know. I need to know about these things. And what is Airielu’s role in all of this? Who is she really? How can you talk about her as if she’s still in the land of the living?

So many questions, the answers to which you would not understand now anyway. Patience Kurutio! the answers will become self-evident in their due time!  But at least be assured of this much: Airielu has already transcended the death-life barrier, so for you to even think of it in terms like life and death would only feed an ignorance to which there is no merit. For now don’t try to understand- just know…

Kurutio was flabbergasted by such a logic-defying reply. He felt somehow he should understand, especially after all he had gone through, but he couldn’t make sense of it at all. Perhaps this was one of the natural limitations of his humanity.

“So what now? what am I supposed to do about all this?”

What was he supposed to do? Kurutio once again felt utterly lost. He knew he was supposed to “realize” the Essence, but it seemed the more that he knew about this mission, the less anything made sense. Once again he felt helpless, worthless, meaningless As if sensing his frustration, Jason let out a loud sigh of displeasure. He then stood up with a start, walked over to Kurutio, and jumped behind him. Kurutio felt a sudden premonition, and became rigid and panicked. Jason wrapped his arm tight around Kurutio’s neck, and locked him tightly in a lethal chokehold.

“Wht ar- Yu Digghhh!!!” Kurutio gurgled the words frantically as Jason slowly strangled him to death. His skin turned pale, his eyes now rolled back. Consciousness drifted away. He saw a vision of endless red streaks across a boundless black sky, just like the one that day with Airielu. He felt the sky calling to him again, and this time, there was no resistance.

He would become one with the chaos, one with the all. Something was different this time– he could feel it! Kurutio didn’t know if it was him that changed, or that perhaps it was a subtly different vision altogether. Maybe it’s because now there wasn’t any Airielu to hold him back. Maybe…

This time…..are you ready?

He felt the Essence call to him, from within and without. Everywhere it was here, the soul, the world, the all. This time there was no Airielu, no oppressive reality, only himself. As he let this wondrous vision unfold, Kurutio let himself be taken in, immersed in the chaos.

I see you’re learning to give in…interesting! I wonder if this time you will be the one to continue our evolution!

Kurutio scarcely heard the words, instead feeling the intense emotions permeating his being. There was a deep melancholy in the “Essence”, and after all he had been through, his sympathy was whole-hearted. Feelings of loathing, envy, desperation and deep sadness continued to swirl around him, but this time there was no resistance. Having learned first-hand the karmic price of change, Kurutio was now content to let himself be tossed adrift in a sea of ceaseless emotion.

After a while the torrents subsided, and he found himself standing in a colossus of a room, stretching out in every direction farther than the eye could see. As he surveyed the room, Kurutio saw strange contorted blobs floating in the room, saturated with darkness, yet simultaneously brimming with light. In a truly Ying-Yang fashion, these strange objects shifted dynamically between shapes with a supernatural grace, imbued with the qualities of light and darkness alike. It was truly a breathtaking sight!

As he sat there taking in this miraculously paradoxical sight, the blobs began to come together in a seemingly impossible unity, merging as one with such ease that one would think light and dark were merely different ways of looking at the same thing, no more than an illusion of the mind. The blobs came together, and as if they sensed Kurutio’s presence, they radiated a glowing energy in his direction, beckoning him to come near to them.

Kurutio’s footsteps moved towards them instinctively, and at that point he felt as if all instinct had taken over and he was following the lead of his footsteps, rather than the other way around as he was so accustomed to. As his footsteps led him to the contorted mass, he saw that their shape changed and grew in clarity, while at the same time almost certainly remaining the same in form.

Kurutio began to realize that it was not the shapes that were changing, it was his understanding of him, that it was not the blobs that became clearer in form, it was his own perception that had become more refined. His ability to appreciate these strange objects were apparently entirely dependent on his own subjective perception of them.

Now just inches from the this mysteriously dynamic mass of spiritual energy, Kurutio noticed that the energy had formed into doorway of fragmented light, the facets of which resonated together with the diverse unity of a stained-glass window! Still glistening with a light that shone brightest from the darkest corners of the door, Kurutio was immensely curious as to what wonders lie beyond the door. Perhaps it was the heaven that he so longed to eternally rest in. Maybe Airielu was there. But whatever it was, he needed to know!

Kurutio touched his hand to the door, and was shocked to feel his hand tingle with both the flame of fire and the frost of snow. His hand now partially absorbed into the door, he hesitated in fear and pulled his hand away. Looking upon his hand, he marveled at the sight he saw: He hand sparkled like the purest of diamonds, and from it emanated a glorious brilliance never seen on earth.

“Truly this brilliance could only come from heaven” He said aloud.

Now filled with a renewed confidence and delight, Kurutio passed through the doorway of light, expecting to find himself in the kingdom of light. But instead of the heaven he was expecting, he saw something quite different, something horrible! Now surrounding him on all sides was an endless mirror of darkness, entrapping him on all sides, trapping him from escape. He closed his eyes to get rid of the speechless horror, but there it was still, even more freshly engraved in his mind’s eye.

The horror that lay before him was unlike any other fear known to man. It was worse than the fears of heights, of spiders, of dogs, of monsters, of bombs, of war, of torture– even of death. For all of these fears can be rationalized as evolutionary adaptations or meritless anxiety. This fear was a fear that not only was real, not only the most horrible knowledge ever to be known, but it was also truly inescapable, and cannot ever be forgotten once experienced.

Kurutio had experienced this fear before, and not to long ago, but never in such lucidity, never in such cruel candidity. The one fear that alone could truly justified, that no amount of rationalization could escape. That no matter how much he tried to escape the melancholy, that deep down he was alone. Alone to the bitter end.

Chapter 14

Three years ago…after all he had been through, it felt like three lifetimes for Kurutio. He was such an innocent back then, living life as he pleased, not a care in the world. Then he saw her, that mysterious girl, Airielu. Her long black hair almost touching the floor, her piercing green eyes gazing into his soul, an aura of love and goodwill shining out from her brilliant white skin. He was certain she was an angel sent to guide him into the truth.

For a long while he just silently looked at her, mesmerized by her beauty and grace. She was one who he was meant to look but not touch, appreciate but not possess, love but expect nothing back. But oh how he wanted to love her, to taste her, to possess her. His carnal cravings for her grew with his love, and Kurutio wistfully awaited the day when he might be permitted a more consummate love.

“Hey there Kurutio, I don’t believe we’ve formally met…”

The angel spoke to him ever so sweetly, and how could it be that she already knew his name? Kurutio still deep in his thoughts of her, struggled to find his voice to give her a proper reply:

“Yes Airielu, this is our first official meeting. It’s a pleasure to meet you”

His words flowed out like they were calculated, but Kurutio did not even know what he was going to say until after the words came out. His heart dominating his every thought, instinct made every decision and chose every word. His mind now lost in a sea of emotion, Kurutio could only improvise.

“Have you been going to Tooru Academy long?”

“This is my first year actually,” she answered so sweetly. Kurutio was flush with pleasure just talking to her, this angelic girl who he had become so infatuated with. Even her name was beautiful. Airielu.

“Are you feeling alright?” This genuine look of concern on her face, her eyes going out to comfort him. Kurutio was ill in a way, feverish with his intense love for her. She was so beautiful, so precious, so incredibly real! He felt that he had known her before, in a past life, yet at the same time she was so deeply mysterious. He wanted to know everything about her.

Airielu smiled gently, and then placed her hand across his cheek. Kurutio’s heart skipped a beat as a warm glow filled his entire body. he embraced her tightly, tears of joy pouring out his eyes. To think that such a wonderful angel would care for him! Her sumptuous breasts now pressed into him, Kurutio was overcome with pleasure. He was in love!

“I feel like I’ve been waiting an eternity for you, Kurutio!” Her every word shot through his soul like lightning, electrifying his spirit and setting his soul ablaze!

“I’m the luckiest man in the world to have found you, Airielu!” He really was fortunate to have found such an amazing woman as her. If there was anyone who could complete him, it was Airielu. She was his light, his conscience, his soul, his reason for living. She was heaven.

The next few years they did everything together, sharing their whole lives together. They talked often about each other, and explored each others’ bodies openly, vigorously, and without restraint. They shared pain and pleasure of every kind, and spared no experience from each other. Kurutio and Airielu were so physically and emotionally intimate, that one could say without a flicker of doubt that they were one soul separated only by two bodies.

And yet for Kurutio, a shred of doubt did remain in the back of his mind, that doubt in the mystery that had drawn him to her. No matter how much they talked to each other, about his being an orphan growing up, about her mother dying when she was only 16, about his struggles for independence growing up, about her father working overseas leaving independence her only option– they had so much in common in their past, yet there was always something missing.

He felt that there was something that she wasn’t telling him, that she refused to tell him for some terrible reason, and this worried him without end. So even in their happiest of times together, he was never entirely happy, because this “hidden knowledge” that she was keeping from him, it always put a sort of shadow on their love. A shadow so oppressive that Kurutio felt he was suffocating from it at times…

“I love you Airielu. But why must love hurt so deeply?” Kurutio sat in the a dark room quietly now, cold tears now stinging his eyes, his breath interrupted only by a his own quivering breath. After all that had transpired, he couldn’t help but wonder. Wonder if Airielu knew that all this would happen. Knew everything all along…

***************************

“Soooo what now? Airielu’s gone, everything’s gone…..what I’m a supposed to do? What was the point of all this” 

As his mind reeled with impossible questions, Kurutio just sat there lost, held captive to a now-incoherent past. After having gone to hell and back again with seemingly nothing to show for it, you couldn’t blame him for degrading into such a nihilistic state. Sure he had some good memories with Airielu, but he wasn’t able to save her, not even able to save himself. He had put his whole soul into trying to fix this situation, and yet all his efforts seemed to do is make things worse– he wondered if perhaps his stubborn persistence is what had killed Airielu.

“But was she really dead?”

More impossible questions. His reality now expanded beyond the boundaries of the physical world, and likely even of death itself, no questions were easy to ask, much less answer. He wondered why he even bothered asking anymore. Death didn’t seem so bad as it had for him just a few months ago. He would welcome death gladly should it come to his doorstep now. Maybe if he died he would see Airielu again. If there really was an afterlife, surely she would be there.

As Kurutio relived his last moments with her, he remembered her angelic presence. Just thinking about it brought a smile to his sullen and feeble face. She was so amazingly pure even in her carnal state, so beautiful. She was…..he felt tears falling down his face.

“This must be what it feels like to lose the one you love most”

Kurutio more philosophical now than ever before. He stretched his hand wistfully now, grasping towards her in a sort of passive desperation. She was going away to a place he knew he had seen once before, somewhere….was it heaven? It was so bright and vivid and real…if that was heaven, then surely he would be better off dead, better off there.

Remember the Essence!

That voice again, what was it. Somehow it sounded so familiar, and he was struck by a supernatural calm. Everything was there, the answers, the truth. The reason for all of his suffering could be found…in the Essence!

“Okay I’ll find the Essence already, just tell me what to do, where to look. Whoever you are, just let me know, I’ll do whatever it takes!”

Silly Kurutio, after all this time you haven’t figured it out? You can’t find the Essence by looking for it! The Essence is already here with you, you only need by realize it!

Somehow this mysterious voice, to whom he could not even speculate, made a great deal of sense; or rather, he knew deep inside that she spoke the truth. But that left him with no leads, no answers, nothing but a deafening silence and a tortuous frustration.

Do we really have to do this again? I’ve got a feeling I’m going to regret this, but looks like at this rate it’s our only choice…

What did he mean? Kurutio stood there puzzled, waiting for something to happen. Then suddenly, his breath stopped, and he crumpled on the floor. As he lay there on the floor he was overtaken with paralyzing pain. As he forced his head upwards, he could almost see Airielu, sitting there in a glorious blur, becoming for him to come to her. His eyes began to blur with tears, now feeling completely helpless once more.

“Is this what death is like?”

Kurutio’s heart had now stopped beating, but death would not come to him. But perhaps for a brief moment, he had transcended life and death alike.

Chapter 13

Airielu…why does that name sound so familiar???

Matthias now deep in thought, recounting his experiences with this goddess of a girl, this strange, intense, and utterly overwhelming woman who called herself “Airielu”. As he sat there in a dark corner in a state of shock, he was at first relieved, then concerned, and now reverting to his usual curious self.

As one who prided himself on knowing the answers to virtually everything, he wanted now more than ever to intimately understand this girl: her origins, her personality, her motivations…and most importantly, how she seemed to most intimately know him.

“Who the fuck was that girl!” He cursed aloud bitterly, now frustrated now more than ever before that not only did he not know anything about this girl outside of that psychotic experience, but he had no leads whatsoever to get any more information. All he had to work with was that same nightmare of an experience, and by now he was sick of reliving it. All the logic in the world could not point him in any direction– for the first time since he could remember, Hermes Matthias was truly lost.

“Give up yet?”

“What!!?” He could have sworn he heard a voice, there, a wisp of shadow taunting him.

“Yeah you heard me right. Though I have to say, I’m almost as surprised as you that we’re even having this chat. Sooooo are you going to leave me hanging, or what?”

“Who are you!?”

Matthias still yelling the words like a maniac, his fight-or-flight instincts ignited by the unmerciful aftershocks of Airielu. Until now Matthias had always kept his cool, contemplating, planning, calculating, and putting his well-measured thoughts into action. But this was a situation that nothing could have prepared him for, and he could not help but be taken completely off guard. Now that logic had failed him, instinct took over. He was an animal now–  a restless, defensive, impulsive animal.

“Whoa whoa! no need to get so defensive! They told me you’d be getting a wake-up call, but damn! That Airielu girl, she messed you up good. I was surprised to though believe, that’s a side of her I hadn’t seen until now! Heh, I guess even after all this time even I can be surprised!”

 “I said who are you!” and while we’re all it, who is Airielu? How does she know me? What the fuck is going on? Why is thi—”

“Slow down dude! Damn they had to give me one hellava control-freak this time….well before you get your panties in a bunch, here’s the situation with you, me, and Airielu:

First of all, at one point I was known as “Jason Thomas” I met Airielu back then, though to me she was just “the Mysterious Piano” girl, but that’s a tale for another day. Anyway, after I serendipitously released her from captivity in this piano she had, I went home, and before I went to sleep I fell into a deep trance, during which I communicated for the first time with my inner light, or as you might call it, my “soul”.

After we got to talking, he took the liberty of transporting me to a spiritual dimension by exploiting the dream state. You see, when the body sleeps, the soul synchronizes with the mind via the unconscious mind (the purest and most spiritual part of your mind) to exchange data and make sure that both the body and mind are properly maintained and controlled. It’s basically the daily “pit stop” of  the soul. The thing about this synchronization process, is that it’s the ideal environment to initiate communication between the soul and its human counterpart. Now this is where things get really interesting!

When the mind and a soul of a human communicate, it’s done so in a layer in-between the soul and body– that is, between the spiritual world and the physical world. This wise guy called “Plato” created this whole dualism based on the idea, and although he was wrong about a lot of things, this “world of the mind, world of the body” thing was right on.

So I was essentially caught between the physical world and the spiritual world, asking my inner-soul (who was also an “Archon”– we’ll get to that latter) to enlighten me on all that meaning of life crap– what my purpose was, what the world is really about, where everything’s going. That kind of thing–“

“So tell me about these “life mysteries”– can you tell me about them as he did you? I want to know everything I can about–”

“Well aren’t you a curious bastard! Well I guess that’s to be expected, seeing as how you’re supposed to at least  be compatible with me on the foundational level…”

“Wait, what do you mean by that, exactly?”

“I mean what I said– just as that one nameless Archon was my inner-light, so am I yours. Naturally you need to be compatible with me, otherwise we wouldn’t get anything done. If we were incompatible, we’d both be corrupting each other to all hell, you’d have a ridiculously short lifespan (ever wonder how things like miscarriages and “sudden infant death syndrome” happen?) and I’d have a lot of paperwork on my hands!”

“What do you mean by ‘paperwork’?”

“Well that’s the best way of explaining it in layman’s terms, but basically it’s an extremely tedious process of manually removing corrupt data from our souls– stuff that infects us when we synchronize with an incompatible soul. Trying to clean out corrupt data is just trying to take a pile of dirt out of a swimming pool, one grain at at time. It’s very exhausting, and in the worst cases can take thousands of years! Lately the corruption has gotten really bad, which is probably why people don’t notice reincarnation anymore…”

Wait, what do you mean by “reincarnation? I thought that just religious nonsense and outdated pseudoscience…”

Hold on buddy we’ll get to that…

Usually when that happens souls are smart enough to bail out before any major damage is done (which is really what causes miscarriages and SIDS, if you care to know), but a few of them become so attached to or greedy for their new body, that they try to force things to work. In cases like these, it causes a craploud of “paperwork” for everyone, and here’s why:

When a soul tries to merge with an incompatible body, and obstinately attaches to it despite the high corruption levels, both the soul and body develop a sort mutated makeshift existence. Due to the nature of these things, one of three things can happen:

(1) The body takes the bulk of the mutation. When this happens, a person develops all sorts of physical ailments and handicaps, and in the worst cases completely paralyzed from head to toe.

(2) The soul takes most of the corruption on itself. This is probably the messiest of the three cases, as those affected have a completely capable body and mind, but a warped and near-useless soul. Humans with this type of corruption become serial killers, rapists, megalomaniacs, and all matter of what most humans consider “evil”. Without the moral conscience balancing out the greed of the mind and the desires of the body, men become worst than animals– they become soulless monsters!

(3) The mind takes the corruption on itself: This is the best of the three scenarios, because the mind’s role is to intermediate between the body and soul, making the corruption of the mind balanced between the two. This type of corruption manifests as what humans call “mental illness”, and what a fitting term it is, for the mind indeed is ill– ill with the corruption of incompatibility!

Of the three types of corruption, mental illness is indeed the most lucky, for this is the only one of the three types of corruption that can actually transform into something beautiful! Which brings me to you and I, our relationship: We are indeed incompatible, hence the corruption that you and I have experienced. But because the corruption is contained in your mind, neither corrupting my light nor mutating your body, we have the potential to create something truly beautiful!”

“So let me get this straight: you’re my inner light, and the reason why I’ve been experiencing these hallucinations, Airielu, and all this other madness– is because of the manifestation of mental illness?”

“Not at all, Airielu is– wait, were you listening at all??? OMG This is why I didn’t want a scientist– so close-minded and–“

“You know I can still hear you,  right?”

Matthias chucked internally, as for the first time in this whole conversation, he had finally 1-upped his soul on something.

“So anyway, what you were asking about reincarnation: Originally reincarnation occurred every lifetime, which back then was every 1000 years since humans were living a lot longer. But with each new generation of humans, the corruption grew exponentially like a cosmic virus, mankind lived less as corruption (or as you call it, “sin”) shortened his life. In the present day, this corruption has become so rampant that humans are lucky to live to be 70, and corruption has so filled men that the “inner light”, which provided morality and self-efficacy, has now become scarce in the world.

With the increase of corruption in the world has also come a big increase in “paperwork”. While mankind now lives to be less than 100, the paperwork to be done after each lifetime is taking tens of thousands of years now, and due to an increase in human bodies and a shortage of “purified” (corruption-free) souls, the vast majority of humans are now “soulless”

“What do you mean ‘soulless’? Isn’t it impossible for a human body to even function without a soul?’

Matthias was now asking questions without even questioning the logic of them. A few minutes ago he didn’t even believe in the existence of souls, but as logic had already proved itself irrelevant, he was willing to take whatever answers he could get– he cold mull it all around in his head later– for now he just needed some kind of information, no matter how bizarre or irrational.

“That’s what the other souls thought too. When the brotherhood of archons first became aware of the existence of functioning soulless bodies, they were completely surprised, and didn’t know what to make of them. At first they thought it was a massive prank being pulled off by a legion of rogue souls (or as you would call them, “Poltergeists”)– that they will just lifeless puppets reanimated by means of “possession”. But it was something far more incredible…”

“What was it? How was it that humans were able to function without souls?”

Matthias’ interest was starting to pique. Before he had just suspended judgement on all this new data– just intaking freely, opting to analyze it for any possible value or meaning later. But somehow everything Jason was saying really came together in his mind. In a way that apparently defied, or perhaps even transcended all logic, everything he was saying somehow made sense. Everything that Matthias knew up to this point told him that this data was little more than rubbish, and it all felt so right, so true, so clear!

“They found out that pfhifhsitmfgar

“What was that, I couldn’t understand you!”

“They realizedghgamhrfoooogndrtoyyy–

“What is it?!!? Tell me!!!”  Matthias was suddenly feeling desperate now. He was so close to what he knew was some real answers. Some real meaning. And it was all slipping away!”

“You need to find the Essenc–“

Suddenly, the shadow was gone. Jason was gone. Matthias felt weak and vulnerable. Despair set in. He felt as though it were suffocating to death, and no longer had the will to fight it. It was over, he was over. Everything.

Chapter 12

I love you, Airielu!

As the words left his lips, an ominous silence followed…the echoes taunting him from a distance. It was a warning, a reminder of his plight. Kurutio pushed the thought out of his mind; the only thought in his mind now– the only thing left to do was to consummate his love.

Kissing her vigorously now, he unbuttoned her blouse, his heart beating wildly. He lay against her breasts, and felt her intense warmth. Kurutio sat up, and looked once again into her eyes: They were overcomewith panic!

“What’s wrong?” He inquired.

Even now she remained silent. It was as if she had no voice to begin with…and yet, her silence was a piercing thorn to his heart.

“What should I do, Airielu?”

She was disappearing from him. He could feel it! They were running out of time fast– he felt compelled to experience her Beauty while he still had the chance.

A cloud of chaotic voices suddenly overwhelmed his being– a torrent of passion, flooding him with anguish, desperation and rage.

Sensing that the end was near, Kurutio beckoned Airielu:

“What I’m about to do, I do because I love you!

He ripped her laced undergarments from her body with utmost shame, and she lay there frail and helpless. Taking in her raw nakedness and wretchedly vulnerable state, he smiled with criminal pleasure.

Her eyes were no longer filled with bliss, but neither were they innocent. These were the eyes of one experienced in vulgarity, and one corrupted by carnal desires. She hated him, and loved him– all at once. Her eyes shone with anger, but laced with that anger a secret glee. Both of them looked at each other intensely, the room now saturated with a mutually sadomasochistic lust.

As he tore his own clothes off his body, Kurutio smiled menacingly at Airielu, who at once returned the savage gesture. They were like animals– primal beasts, and yet ever so eerily, it was through the beast within these two that their humanity was revealed.

Kurutio lunged at Airielu forcefully, but stopped short when he noticed scars covering his hands.

Filled with a sudden terror, he looked upon his own body, and found that his entire body was covered in scars. There was visible blood everywhere– sears, incisions, gashes, and lacerations all over his body. His breath became shallow, and as he turned again to Airielu, his breath stopped.

She too had scars on her hands, and wounds all over her body. But the most terrifying thing about this ordeal, is that they were the same.

The very same scars, same wounds– completely identical.

After a lengthy pause, his breath returned, and he started coughing morbidly. With much hesitance, he turned to her again, and whispered:

“What have you been hiding from me all this time?”

Airielu turned to him slowly, her every movement caught in a ripple of time, and her composure changed to a more angelic appearance. A transcendent glow upon her face now, she walked toward him as if she were walking on water, the air providing a cushion for her tender feet to glide upon.

A warm breeze swept through the room, and her hair blew freely across her face, barely revealing a mysterious yet strangely innocent smile.

As Kurutio stood entranced by her beauty, the mansion in which they stood disappeared like dust into the wind. He stood in awe, taking in the new landscape that stood before him.

It was the same meadow that he had taken Airielu to that day.

His eyes became murky with tears, and his face was soon covered in a flood of salty tears. His whole being overcome with bittersweet melancholy.

She drew close to him gently, and pressed her hand to his cheek.

“Remember how much I loved you!”

The words reverberated with pure emotion, engraving their place in his soul.

Airielu’s eyes glistened like tears suspended in time…the eyes of an angel! Her composure was surely akin to an angel, with a serenity and beauty that far surpassed an earthly existence. Her very essence seemed to echo to the ends of the world…her face– her beautiful face a glimpse of the Heaven that awaits.

As he stood mesmerized by her beauty, a wonderful song began to unfold.

It was a song filled with memories, of times long forgotten. It filled his heart with emotions untold– feelings of an intense quality, yet of a substance for which there could be no name.

Kurutio became hypnotized by this mysterious music, and drawn to the profound essence of its message. He was overwhelmed by its magnitude, his heart lost in the waves of an age-old epiphany. He longed to better understand this feeling, and to become one with it, but was interrupted by a disturbing voice in the dark corners of his mind:

It’s only a dream!

Coming to his senses, he looked up at Airielu’s face, and was startled to find that her face was now shining with a brilliance so great that it struck fear into his heart. It was as though if he were to gaze upon her any longer, he would crumble to ashes in her magnificence!

Airielu spoke directly to him now– her thoughts to his heart– with a voice that was both loving and stern:

“Don’t be afraid, Kurutio! Tonight marks the end of the beginning! “

“Where will you be going?”, Kurutio inquired. His words were shaky and anxious.

“You will see me no more, but I will always be watching over you!”

As she said those bittersweet words, her voice began to falter, and tears once again filled her bluish-green eyes. As he stood there helpless, she shattered into a million pieces, and blew away. Just like the mansion they were once in, she disappeared into the sun, like dust into the wind.

As he stared into the open expanse, Kurutio’s eyes drifted to the past, to the first time that they had met: three years ago.

Chapter 11

As this mysterious woman stared intently at Kurutio, his eyes could not help but return that gaze. A strange silence filled the air, a sound akin to the vibrations of speakers turned up too high…a shallow and fuzzy static.

His heavy breathing echoed off of the walls, reverberating in every direction. In this mansion of a house, there was naught but the two of them.

Alone

Their eyes now locked, a trickle of bittersweet emotions flowed from her spirit to his heart. Kurutio accepted her feelings freely, and this small trickle soon became a river, then a flood of emotions.

At first he felt only the pain…desperation, anger, and vengeance. But as he searched past the pain, he was blessed with  a small glimpse of that which lies between the lines…

Beauty

Beneath the rugged and intense exterior of this woman’s feelings was a beautiful innocence, an unconditional love, a pure spirit.

As he took in the burden of her feelings, there formed a concept, then a journey.

A journey…

The words stung. He was suddenly reminded of a fate long forgotten.

Is this the truth he had been missing?

No…This is only the beginning!

The beginning of what?

Kurutio was broken out of this trance by what sounded like a chyme. Looking up at the woman now, he noticed that she was crying, her tears falling down her face like rain drops, and dripping off of her nose like sweat.

Her moist face glistened in the flickering flames, and he looked upon her in wonder. He was certain that he had never met her before, and yet, without a doubt, he knew her.

There was a connection, a nexus between them, and one unlike anything ordinary people could have.

Deeper…

Kurutio wanted to speak with her, to know who she was, but fear set in. It felt as though if he were to break the silence, she would disappear.

With this uneasy happiness  saturating him, he felt the distinct sensation that he was in loveThat he loved her.

But how could this be?

That voice again. Who was this shadow figure, and how long would it continue to observe him, continue to narrate his life?

Her eyes were still locked intently upon him, and Kurutio wondered if perhaps she was thinking the same things he was.

His lips shuddered. This “journey” still haunted him..

To find the Essence of the Soul…what did it mean?

With much hesitation, he finally spoke–

“Who are you?”

Such simple words, and yet so meaningful. If he could at least know this, he could be satisfied.

But rather than reply, she gazed even more intensely at him. It was as if she wanted to know the very same thing.

We know each other

It was a fateful reunion…an inevitable meeting. And yet, somehow– was not yet meant to be…

Prophesy

As he looked into her eyes, tears flowed freely…A deep sadness pent up for many years past, now finally released.

Finally, we meet again

Kurutio felt shivers down his spine as he realized that these feelings, these memories, had been felt by another, long ago. Those feelings– these memories had become a part of him.

From the surface these two were merely looking into each others’ eyes. But it went far beyond that…this was a reunion of souls, of kindred spirits.

Kurutio was suddenly filled with a renewed passion–

He wanted her!

He clasped his arms around her, embracing her tightly, as though she would disappear if he let go. She smiled gently as she returned his embrace, and their tears of deep sadness turned to tears of unfathomable joy.

It all made sense…felt so right!

He wanted to love her, wanted to know her…

He wanted to become one with her

His lips still quivering, Kurutio touched his hand to her lips, stroking his fingers across them gently. He breathed  in, then out…savoring every moment.

Time slowed down…almost to a standstill.

His fingers slid down, her lips shying away as he dipped into her chin, and finally making their way to her throat, tickling her sensually.

Her breathing slowed to match his…a union of heart, body, and  spirit. She touched his feverish, tear-stained face, stroking his unkept beard.

As they both looked into each other’s eyes, in that moment everything made sense! It was as if they had lived for this moment!

Their lips touched gracefully, yet firmly.

Filled with an intense passion and longing, His lips clung to hers like honey to a bee. It was an addictive sensation, and her moist lips made his mouth water with the juices of true pleasure.

As their lips parted, they came back together even more passionately; it was as if an age-long wish had become reality, and the built-up lust had finally been released beyond all control.

It was time

Their lips now coming together again…The silence disturbed only by the echoes of heavy breathing and gentle moaning.

Embracing her now, his lips pressed hard against hers, her neck hung back in submission. He pressed his hands against her flushed cheeks, and once again captured her lips within his

Passion manifested

Kurutio wanted her more and more, and this took from him all remaining pretenses of control. She wanted him too, so what was the problem with consummating their love?

He became intoxicated with this single-minded desire…nothing else mattered. Everything was perfect…nothing could go wrong!

Nothing…at all

Slamming his body aggressively against hers, he forced himself on top of her. Grabbing her by the wrists, he dominated her guiltlessly.

This is how it was meant to be…this is how it was supposed to be

He once again slid his fingers across her pale skin, then pressed hard against her inner-lip. As he took hold of her chin, he noticed that her lips were quivering.

Pressing her heart against his, he could feel both of their hearts beating rapidly in unison. Kurutio moved his lips close to her, now breathing heavily into her ear…

I love you, Airielu. I love you!

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