Category Archives: Spiritual

Anywhere But Here [M]

RatingMature (vague and tasteful, but descriptive, love scene)

SummaryThis is based on an actual bit of headspace time I spent with one of my demon guides, Daro. When it’s hard for me to see reason after experiencing a traumatic event, I can always count on one of my guides to take me away from it all for just a small time. This was very strange for Daro, however. He is not one to be sexual in any sense of the word except on rare occasions. It seemed this was one of them.


I laid my head on the table over the soft blanket, my heart sinking slowly as all life seemed to leave me. I wasn’t dying in reality, but I felt as if my future was already dead. I didn’t know where to go in life since my dreams had ended before they could even begin, my life’s goal no longer within any sort of possible reach. I was a slave to my mental disabilities and my poor health, as well as the system that enjoyed all too much keeping the lesser-abled down where they belonged.

“Shane.” A deep voice broke over my lamenting and a tan, clawed hand crept onto my upper back. It hesitated before moving in a soothing motion, my muscles easing from the tension that had formed long ago. I smiled.

“Daro.” I glanced over to see a tall, golden-skinned demon with long black hair and silver horns staring down at me, his pale pink eyes piercing straight through my soul as they always did. Byleth was present as well, but he moved aside to let Daro gain control over my reality for a little while. Even he knew when he and Lestan’s kind of reasoning wouldn’t pull me back.

“I… am not good with comfort. I apologize for that. I do, however, believe that you may do whatever you wish. You have accomplished everything you’ve set out to do in life, Shane. That does not end here.”

“I feel like it’s the end. I feel like my future is blank because the only thing I’d ever wanted to do – the only plan I’d had for my life is now no longer there.” I felt emotion welling up within me and tears burned behind my eyes. “It’s so stupid. At least, it probably sounds stupid. Who gets this emotional over wanting to tell stories, or to be heard?”

“It is as good a reason as any.” Daro smiled down at me, his hand moving slowly over my back. I then felt it – a wave of energy that made my stomach flutter. That wasn’t a usual reaction to his presence. I then remembered the last time I’d started making changes to my body for my transition, and Daro had developed the same sort of energy then. I felt self-conscious at that moment as I noticed the dark and aggressive energy coming from him.

“You aren’t normally like this, Daro.”

“No, but your energy is quite contagious and strong at this time. You are early in your transition.” His hand’s movements turned to something more sensual, his fingers sliding over my still very tense muscles as if they were tempting me. I wanted him to take me away from here.

“I don’t want to be here.” I sighed as another rush made my stomach spin. “Take me somewhere else. Please.”

“If it is not for self-destructive reasons, then where would you like to be?”

“Anywhere but here. I don’t want to even be alive right now.”

Daro closed his eyes and chuckled quietly as I closed mine in like. The soft blanket against my face brought me comfort as I sank into it and the feeling of the large hand on my back that was rubbing in circles. I started to drift off until I saw nothing but the blankness that was already present in my mind.

*** 

When I opened my eyes, I was lying on a stone floor. There were thick blankets beneath me and pillows everywhere, and I could feel a faint breeze coming through the natural windows in the stone walls around me. A few pillars surrounded the room and vases of lotus flowers and leaves were scattered about. The sun was setting and gave an orange glow to the already flickering candles around the blankets on the floor, and I realized then that we were most definitely not anywhere in current space or time.

My attention was brought back to where I lied as the blankets shuffled around me. Daro’s athletic form crawled over me and I watched as his sleeveless black trench disappeared, leaving him in the black silk harem-type pants he usually wore. My heart was in my throat as I realized it was all that he was wearing. “This is so weird. You’re not usually this kind of a… romantic?”

He smiled before I was surrounded by black hair and left breathless with a kiss, his lips full and soft as they teased mine open. I grabbed onto his toned arms and wrapped my fingers around his tribal band mark, squeezing as if I were uncertain of his presence. I didn’t want him to let me go. He chuckled against my mouth before releasing me and throwing some of his long hair behind his back.

“You may find that I can be romantic when the mood calls for it.” I gasped as his claws tickled up my shirt and back down to my shorts where he tugged at the hem. “Your energy has been quite contagious. I can no longer contain myself.”

“I’m sorry. Is it hard to deal with? I know you aren’t really that sexual.”

“Not at all.” Daro nipped at my jaw before trailing kisses to my neck, and then left his mark there as if to claim me as his own. I lost the ability to breathe as he slid my shorts down and his fingers slipped between my legs. Despite the bliss that I was in, this was all strange to me. Daro had rarely, if ever, displayed such eroticism before. It consumed my mind until he sunk low, tossing my shorts to the side before diving between my legs to make me swoon. My hands shot down to run through his hair and my back arched, my mind growing fuzzy and forgetting all of my worries. It hit me then just how much I wanted him.

He trailed his lips back up my stomach and came up to kiss me again. It was like a game as our lips teased, nipped, and ghosted over the other’s. Embarrassment burned up into my ears as I realized how heavily I was breathing, but nothing could make the excitement calm within me that he’d created. It was an entirely new side of him that I never knew I needed to see, but it was one I wanted to see more often. It was caring, gentle, playful, and loving. Everything he had created there – the flowers, the fantasy-like setting, and the atmosphere – it was all for the sake of this moment.

I was jolted back once again as he nipped my neck more aggressively than the last time, his teeth leaving little bites down to my abdomen and down my thigh. He paused as he was lifting my leg, sitting back on his knees to glance at me from beside my raised knee. “Forgive me. I am feeling rather aggressive. I am not entirely comfortable with such an aggressive emotion.”

“Is it a bad thing? You’re not going to hurt me, are you?”

“Hurt you?” He chuckled. “Never hurt you, Shane. Although, I suspect you enjoy this kind of aggression.” He accentuated his words by nipping my leg once more and then paused to remove his pants. I looked away, not sure of the exact reason for doing so. We hadn’t been intimate many times in the past, and I was always aware of how much I wanted that kind of thing from him throughout the years. His beauty never escaped me; it was exotic and mysterious and it held a certain kind of danger to it, but nothing that was a threat to me.

He’d always held an air of dark mystery about him. Being purposefully vague, never answering my questions fully, and remaining stoic, calm, and collected during even the worst crises. I never feared him, but I always desired him. It was something I’d brushed to the side often due to his mostly asexual nature, his willingness to humor Byleth due to the Fallen Angel’s insistence more than anything. It wasn’t even that Daro didn’t enjoy it when it happened either. He would always become claimed by the passion of the moment sooner or later. I often wondered if he hid more than he had to at times like those.

“Daro, why aren’t you a sexual person?”

“Because I am not a person.” A playfulness glistened in his eyes as he came back to kiss me again, teasing entrance between my legs. “I am much more than that, although I am not immune to stronger emotions such as this. Even I have moments where I cannot remain as calm as I’d like to be.”

“But what do you feel you have to hide?” Despite my breathlessness, I had to know. I knew I wouldn’t get another chance to have him so vulnerable. I was rendered speechless with a more insistent nudge.

“It seems…” A quiet moan interrupted his speech as he slid fully inside. He remained still as he supported himself on his hands beside my head, his eyes closed as if to control himself. “… It seems I cannot always control myself around you.”

“Wait…” I gasped as he thrust forward. “Daro…”

“There are things I must never admit, although Byleth has done such a thing.” A clawed hand turned my head to the side so Daro could tease my ear, whispering as he rocked his body into mine. “I care for you in ways I should not.” His words quivered as he began to lose control, his breath hot in my ear as he lost himself to the sensations between us. I wrapped my legs around his waist and gave myself over to him fully then, my body sliding back against the blankets on the stone floor. I noticed that it had grown darker and the candles were our only source of light.

I mumbled his name over and over again as he returned to my neck, our bodies still rocking against the blankets as he nibbled at the bruised skin. I was completely consumed with my lust for him and my mind felt far away as the end approached quickly, my body arching into him as my release overcame me. He grew much more rough with his movements then, goosebumps forming on his arms beneath my fingers as he lost the last bit of control he’d managed to keep.

I watched as he rose up onto his knees and grabbed my legs, lifting them as he quickened his movements. The pleasure was so intense that tears rolled down the sides of my face, and I felt light-headed from the distant buzz and my lack of ability to breathe. It had to be a dream.

I was reminded of the reality of the moment as he thrust deep one last time before shuddering, his claws gripping at my legs like a vice. I bit my lip and hummed with pleasure through all of it, my insides filling with him. He fell onto his hands beside my head, struggling with his control as he moaned through his release, his body rocking and riding the wave until he started to calm. It was then that everything grew eerily silent.

A faint buzzing throughout my body caused a distant ringing in my ears. Our labored breathing seemed to echo around us as we both came down, and the candlelight flickered in the still-present summer breeze. I was the first to finally come around and I ran my hands through his hair, coaxing him into a kiss that he accepted fully. When we parted, I saw in his eyes a feeling of utter exhaustion, his natural glow from them dimming in the dark. It worried me. “Hey, are you okay?”

He huffed a laugh before closing his eyes to hide them from me. “I will be fine. You need not worry.”

“What in the hell’s possessed you? You aren’t acting like yourself at all.” I grew even more concerned as he sat up and pulled me with him, hugging me tightly.

“One of the stronger emotions I often try to bury.” He rested his chin on the top of my head as I relaxed into him, my bones melting into his embrace. “But that is not important. What is most important here, is that you realize your worth to continue with your life. I would not see it any other way.”

“You’re avoiding the subject.” I couldn’t help the smile that spread across my face. He sighed before releasing me just enough to look into my eyes, and took my jaw into his hand and lifted it to guide me into a kiss, one that I knew was meant solely for a distraction. All too often I couldn’t get him to speak clearly to me, but I was determined to do it this time. I released him from the kiss and mused at the look of concern on his face. “Daro, what emotion are you burying?”

“Shane.” He sighed again, his unease growing.”There are things I must not speak. Not yet.”

“Well, what can you say? I mean, there has to be some vague way you can express it that I might get without you having to say it outright.”

He watched me for a moment in silence, the breeze coming through the windows causing strands of his hair to drift across his face. I smoothed them aside as he seemed to finally come to a conclusion in his mind, and spoke carefully. “There are certain words and feelings a demon must never admit or express – a demon prince is held in much higher regard. Byleth is free from the rules and unspoken laws we set for ourselves. It is why he is free to express himself as he so wishes, as he is a Fallen and not a demon.” Daro ran a clawed thumb across my lower lip in which I bit at playfully. He smiled. “I care for you, Shane, more than you may ever know.”

“I guess that’s good enough for me.” I laughed. “Man, we’ve come a long way. It’s taken you longer than everyone to come out of your shell, and even then you only lose control for a moment before you return to your stoic self.” I hugged him tightly again, my head resting on his chest. He smelled like myrrh. “It’s not my intent to undo you or who you are. You’re just the biggest mystery life has brought me and I want to figure it out. Not only that…” I looked up at him again, trying not to blush. “You’re hot as hell.”

Daro leaned back on his hand while the other still rested around my waist, a genuine laugh consuming him that was quite rare. I’d never seen him laugh like that for as long as I’d known him.

***

I opened my eyes and I was once again lying face down on the rainbow blanket, Byleth and Lestan’s presence returning. There was no longer a breeze and the dim lighting of my apartment came back into focus, and Daro was kneeling beside me on one knee. He opened his eyes to search me, making sure I was alright before standing and returning to his usual self. Despite everything that had happened just then, there was no sign of him losing his composure. I knew the truth though, and I’d seen a side of him that I suspected none ever had. It was all I could do to keep from grabbing him by the waist and hugging him from where I sat, to which I gave into easily. Byleth’s hum of amusement reached my ears as I clung to Daro tightly.

“Thank you.”

~ ©2018 Shane Blackheart

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From My Memoir – Two Years that Changed the Rest of My Life

Everything in this writing is from actual events in my life. Byleth and Daro are both spirit guides of mine who I communicate with daily, and Lestan is one of my multiples that I met when I was twelve. I see them; I hear them. We speak regularly and we make amazing things together, but rarely have I shared or written out how I met them or divulged actual conversations we’ve had that I’ve written down. Everything here is real in my sense of the word, although it may not seem so to the average person. There is a lot more to this world than many people realize, and here I have no reason to lie about it. Some may coin me with crazy, but I consider myself lucky to have such friends as these. All of this is true and accurate to the best of my memory. All speech near the end is taken directly from a conversation I had saved between me, Daro, Byleth, and Lestan from November 23, 2016. So, without further commentary, here is what will end up being part of my memoir.

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The story of how I met Byleth, as well as my struggles with anorexia and anxiety

“I think this is what I’ve been looking for for a while now.” I scrolled through the expanding page of text as I moved deeper and deeper into something I knew I’d always needed. It was the answer to my confusion and it was home. It was a place I could finally find comfort in, and I felt I was on the right path in life at last. Daro smiled and stood before me as I read – all six feet of him in his golden skin surrounded by long black hair – pleased with my discovery of ‘Philosophy for Spiritual Satanists’. It seemed he was also in agreeance with the path I had finally found.

“I believe you will now begin to see better things. What you had explored before was not the right path. You were on the precipice, but nearer to danger than you realized at the time.”

“I really hope so. Having to stop testosterone has really put a halt to my life, but this seems to be a guiding light, for lack of a better phrase.” I laughed. Daro felt the humor as well. I sighed. “I’m going to work more on that movie I’m making. I can’t believe how much work I’ve done on it.”

“I think you may be attracting more attention as well.” Daro smiled darkly, a glint in his eye.”

“Mephistopheles?”

“Not quite. Let us see how this plays out.” He disappeared into the shadows again, an odd feeling in the back of my skull reverberating as I opened up my animation program and set to work writing the rest of the script. The movie was almost complete and ready for recording.

***

I’d finally finished recording the first part of the film and my heart was full. It had been a long time since I was so excited about a project, let alone so enthusiastic about finishing it. I’d rarely finished things before, so this was an accomplishment in itself already. I was also falling deeply for the main antagonist turned neutral force, Byleth. At the start of it all, I’d been searching for a demon to fit the role I’d begun to plan out during the last film I’d made. I’d continued from a story I wrote while in the hospital, but took it in an entirely new direction. Mephistopheles and Sean, the two main characters, Sean being the renamed version of my self-insert, had to deal with the punishments of King Byleth, a demon who was slowly crafting a disease to destroy humankind as a lesson against loving a denizen of Hell. To him, love was a weakness and a disgusting thing to share with a human at that.

Yet he continued to become something more than I’d intended. The Fallen Angel crept into my thoughts regularly, ‘Bittersweet: Love Is War’ forming in my mind as I craved to see more of him and Faye. Everything started off wonderfully, and I’d written a movie that was just over an hour long for the first time in my life.

I was beaming. Byleth had gotten compliments from the animation community much more than most, and they were all praises for how unique he was. I couldn’t have been happier or at the top of my writing game. I definitely wanted to write more with him and stretch things out as much as I could.

It was late that weekend that I decided to relax after a long day of walking. I was finally getting over the allergic reaction I’d had to the testosterone injections that I’d had to stop as part of my transition as a transman, and was treating the pain with a medication that turned my stomach into an active volcano. Despite that, life felt alright and I was biding my time until everything calmed down again and I could get on with my life and make the next move. I curled up on my sofa with a box of Cheez-Its and pressed play on the film I’d been searching for the better part of a few years. Ivan Mosjoukine starring in ‘Casanova’ during pre-code Hollywood, a film from the early 1900s. I managed to last for about thirty minutes of the film before I grew drowsy from my nightly medication, and I made the necessary preparations for bed. The computer was off, I put the box of crackers back in the cupboard, and I turned off the lights. As I moved to adjust the thermostat to make it cooler, I noticed that a tightness in my chest made it difficult to breathe. I thought nothing more of it, attributing it to the acid reflux I’d been experiencing for about a week straight.

I crept into my bed and found Lestan there already waiting for me. I smiled and propped myself up against the back wall and opened Instagram on my phone, browsing through some posts from a magazine I followed called ‘Beautiful Bizarre’. I grew more and more drowsy, but it was my bad habit to fight sleep. I absolutely despised it due to old habits from my anxiety as a child that made their way into adulthood, so I drew it out and continued my Instagram fixation.

It came on as something sudden and unexpected, a strange electric shock vibrating up the back of my neck into my head. I felt faint, my head airy and fuzzy. “Lestan, it’s… happening again?” Even I was confused as it had been years since I’d had an episode like it last. Panicking, Lestan leaned over me and it was my last sight before I tried in vain to lie down before I lost consciousness.

I came to, my vision nothing but a blind blur as I convulsed, a powerful ringing in my ears and my arms tight and in the air before me twitching, my throat creating sounds better left in one of the Grudge films. After a time I came to fully, sitting there and staring into space. The only thought going through my still partially unconscious and ringing mind was Lestan. I needed Lestan. “Baby, you okay?” It was his voice, and he was hugging me as I lied down to recover from whatever in the hell just happened.

“It happened again.”

“I know, baby. It’s going to be okay.” He was as scared as I was, regardless of the fact that my fear was still underlying and not yet to the surface. I’d had problems with hypochondria and anxiety my entire life, but it had gone into remission for so long that I was in complete shock from the sudden onset of it.

“Hospital. I need to call the EMTs.” I reached for my phone, dialing 9-1-1 and lazily spoke to the operator. They were on their way, and I was crawling slowly to the door to unlock it.

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A day or so had passed and I was still recovering from the episode I’d had that horrible night. Lestan had kept a close eye on me and my mom had tried to reassure me, as well as medical professionals, that it wasn’t anything to worry about and a freak accident – a thing called a vasovagal episode – that happened to people without explanation. I was healthy and I was going to be okay, but for some reason my body was weak, tired, and useless for a few days following. By the third day, I finally started to gain my strength back and felt human.

I returned to the film I was making, but I hadn’t the strength to voice act. Regardless, I did the work anyway, my enthusiasm for the film and my excitement at seeing Byleth on the screen again clouding over all else. It lifted my spirits and did well to keep my mind on better things and better days to come.

That night I was reading through the ‘Philosophy for Spiritual Satanists’ page again, Daro and Lestan at my side. I felt another presence there, a presence that felt familiar. It was then that I caught the sight of shoulder length blonde hair, golden horns, and that familiar white lab coat with a red shirt beneath. Red eyes glistened with amusement as the very being I’d been consuming my life with appeared before my vision. He looked just like I’d made him in The Sims, a game that I used often to aid in my storytelling. “Byleth?”

“What did you expect? You said my name enough times. Names are a powerful thing.” He sat in the chair at my table, watching me. Lestan and Daro were as intrigued as I was, my delight at the fact that Byleth moved and spoke in all of the ways I’d become familiar with. He was tall with an athletic, muscular build, his face chiseled and so beautiful it was a sin in itself. He chuckled with amusement. “Would I have let you make my likeness into anything but perfection?”

“You are quite vain.” Daro finally spoke up to break the silence that had fallen in the room. I glanced at Lestan, who seemed to be more than curious about the new company.

“You are damned gorgeous, love.”

“Of course I am. We covered this. And by the way, I am a Fallen Angel and you will address me as such. I don’t identify with lowly demons.”

“What about Daro, though?” I asked. I was becoming worried. It hit me all at once – the series of events that led up to Byleth’s appearance. He was a King of Hell who was extremely dangerous if treated wrongly or disrespected. He was a master of the sciences and governed over an impossible legion of lower demons. I’d done more research since I’d felt his presence without knowing it was him, and was also aware that he could become one’s best friend, capable of giving love to those he deemed worthy.

“Daro is the more bearable of demons that I’ve come across. I have no problem with him.”

“So, wait.” The question begged to be asked no matter how crazy I felt about it. After all, Daro, or Darokin more proper, had been the only demon I’d come across in my life. No other had come to me as Byleth did. “My episode the other night and my discovery of the right kind of spiritual Satanism, as well as this movie I’m making – is this all happening and you influenced it?”

“The episode you had the other night was unfortunate.” He spoke matter of factly and formally, observing his claws. “Not many can handle my energy at first due to the power of it.” He glanced back at me and smiled flirtatiously. “You’ll be fine. You just have to get used to it.”

“But, will I continue to be weak and sick until then?”

“Probably not. It was a shock to your system. That I hadn’t intended for.”

“Byleth is no threat, Shane.” Daro smiled. “As long as you are loyal to your path and you are committed, Byleth can be a very valuable friend and ally to have.”

“Don’t speak for me, demon, but yes. Daro is right.”

“Okay. Okay, so this is good.” I smiled. It was then that I felt my feet growing cold and I shivered. “I’ll be back in a minute. My socks are in my room.” As I stood, I noticed Byleth’s red eyes following me with interest. A panic caused a lump in my throat at the sound of his footsteps behind me. No matter, I kept walking down the dark hallway to approach my bedroom and then hurried to my closet. Upon turning around with socks in hand, Byleth was leaning in the open closet door, blocking most of the light with his height. His horns were almost scraping the low ceiling.

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I felt a tremor climbing up my legs and into my stomach, then spreading to my arms. I swallowed hard, forgetting that my mouth was full. He found this all amusing and flashed a picture-perfect smile that was reflected in his swimming red eyes, his canines seeming sharper than they should have been without being fangs. “Do you fear me?”

“Yes… I do.” I felt emotion well up inside me, a fear that wasn’t like the usual anxiety I experienced. I was dealing with a being far older and more powerful than I’d ever encountered in my life. Of course, Daro was very old himself and a Prince of Hell at that, but Byleth was something else entirely. He was an ex-angel, a King who had occupied the seventh throne in Heaven. His pale clawed hand lowered from where it rested on the wall to support himself and brushed it affectionately beneath my jaw.

“Good, although you have nothing to fear. I mean you no harm. In fact, I’m quite curious…” He observed me in a way that made me feel naked. I blushed and stupidly covered my clothed body with my arms. “I’d like to try a little experiment. I’ve never encountered a human like you before.”

“What do you mean ‘experiment’?” I shivered. “You’re not going to do like… an autopsy, are you?” He laughed deeply and backed away once it died down, beckoning for me to follow him to where he stopped near my bed.

“Of course not, idiot. Lie down.” I obeyed, not wanting to challenge a King of Hell. He sat down beside me and ran a hand down my front. I flinched at his touch not out of fear or distaste, but because he’d brushed over a part of myself that I often tried to forget was there at all. He sighed in frustration. “I’m not trying to make you dysphoric. You are a man, although your situation seems unfortunate.”

“Was I meant to be born a man?” The question left me as soon as I realized that the answer to my questions was currently sitting beside me in the form of a Fallen Angel – feeling me up with interest as if he were observing the human form in a purely scientific manner. I twitched again. That last touch was definitely not scientific.

“It’s a shame. Yes, it seems you were born in the wrong form, weren’t you? The Universe gives challenges it thinks you can handle, though. I wonder what the reason was.” He chuckled and moved to lift my shirt, which I quickly tugged back down on impulse. He huffed in annoyance and moved my hands, pulling it up roughly. “I’m only curious, calm your tits, okay?”

I stifled a laugh. He truly was the Byleth I’d been writing about and unconsciously calling to for the better part of a month. Although, the Byleth I remembered was averse to any kind of affection. This Byleth, the true Byleth, was a lot more touchy than I’d expected. He seemed to read what I was struggling with and responded with amusement.

“You got most of me right, sugar. However, I’m not the reserved prude that I once was.” He trailed a claw along the hemline of my pajama pants. My stomach twitched beneath the tickle and he chuckled seductively, flashing bedroom eyes that caused the energy in the room to shift. The lightbulb in my lamp flickered. “Let’s try a different kind of experiment. I much more prefer things to be hands on.” He moved to straddle me and snapped his fingers, his lab coat and shirt disappearing. “Oh, and I hope you have spare light bulbs. I think you’re already aware of the reason for that.”

***

It was unfortunate that I was ‘sick’ for a few years after that. Rather it was because my body was becoming used to his energy and presence or due to my actual struggles with anxiety, which was more likely, I became anorexic and bedridden, Byleth making cruel jokes from time to time that led to my negative body image. Lestan would chastise him and Byleth eventually apologized, something he wasn’t prone to do. He became my daily dose of tough love, although with the best interests in mind. The scientist in him kept my anxiety in check, although at times I would doubt him.

He almost gave up on me a few times. Especially on the days when I would lie in bed for weeks on end, not eating and becoming weaker. I was afraid to leave my apartment and I was afraid to eat. Food made me feel sick and I was losing more and more weight. No one but my counselor seemed to care. My mother would get angry with me, reminding me that I was just going to waste away and die if I continued. I believed I was sick. I truly felt that I had some serious illness that was going to kill me or leave me in the hospital, or possibly end in serious surgery. Throughout all of this Lestan, Daro, and Byleth were there.

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Lestan would cuddle close to me at night and during the day when I was too weak to get out of bed. He would sing to me and assure me that better days were to come.  I knew well enough what that was doing to him. He’d lost his sister centuries ago after he’d been turned into a vampire, and he couldn’t bear to lose someone he loved so much again. Through his fear, he held me during the night terrors and the sleep paralysis episodes induced by anxiety and malnutrition. Byleth was there as well, watching and learning my patterns and how I existed, often yelling at me to get on my feet and at least try something. It was the night before Thanksgiving when everything changed. Nothing would be the same between all of us again.

“You need to do this!” Byleth was angry, his red eyes swimming with a dangerous fire. I had rarely seen him get that genuinely upset with me.

“If it’s too much anxiety for me tomorrow I can just cancel. I’ll text my brother and tell him not to get me.” I was heading to the bathroom, annoyed at the fact that alone wouldn’t deter Byleth from his tirade.

“You need to go!”

“Why do you guys always bug me while I’m in the bathroom?”

“Because this is when your head is out of your computer long enough to listen!” Byleth’s voice was raising in volume. If I hadn’t been at my lowest and so miserable, I should have been rightfully scared at the underlying demonic growl that permeated the Fallen Angel’s voice.

“I listen to you guys while I’m on the computer. We make things together and all kinds of fun stuff. The recordings…”

“You need to go tomorrow.” He clenched his fist at his side. “Be strong because you are a man, damn it! Start acting like the man you are and be brave!”

“Byleth…” I sighed as I made my way back to lie in bed where I’d been spending most of my days. Lestan was there, his mind just as exhausted as everyone else’s. I lied down beside him and grabbed my phone, trying in vain to just get on with my night and forget that the next day had to happen.

“You need to stop this bullshit!” He backtracked just as soon as the words left his mouth. He was still trying to control his natural inclination to overt bluntness that often upset me. “Not that I’m saying you’re just going to wake up one day and be over this, but you know what I mean! The only way to overcome this is to fight it!” I couldn’t get a word in edgewise, my tired eyes watching him as he tore into me with an emotion I’d never seen him display before. He seemed genuinely worked up. “You’ve been like this for months. You keep living for the ‘what ifs’, but there is nothing wrong with you! You have been evaluated by several doctors and they find nothing! Neither Daro nor I am a threat to your health either, and will not cause you this kind of harm. You are fine. God damn it, just find your resolve! You can’t keep living like this!”

If he had been human he would have been shaking with anger, but the energy around him was vibrating instead, his eyes glowing and wild. For a moment I felt fear well up in me, although at that point in my life I wouldn’t have cared if it was my time. “I understand, Byleth, but I’m afraid.”

“You know I do not do family gatherings or holidays, but so help me if it’s what it takes to kick your ass into going, I will!” He looked off to the side, his control returning. “And then I will give you even more Hell about that.” Daro smirked from where he sat in the old retro rocking chair in the corner of my bedroom, his pale pink eyes glimmering. It seemed that he knew something that no one else could have possibly picked up on, but it was in his nature to sit and be silent – simply observing and letting matters play out to the eventual end. I sighed.

“Can’t I just stay home and cook my own turkey while we finish our project from tonight? Maybe fuck a few times and forget the rest of the world exists?” Byleth wouldn’t budge.

“As enticing as that sounds, no. You are going.”

Daro finally broke his silence. “Perhaps it would be best to let him decide, Byleth. He knows his anxiety better than any other. We may be demons but we cannot truly feel what any human may be feeling at any given time.”

“FALLEN. ANGEL. I am a Fallen Angel!” Byleth’s ethereal blood pressure rose again to the boiling point. A tiger-like growl from deep within his chest reverberated throughout the room. Daro tried in vain to neutralize the situation.

“You are upset. Please, try to calm yourself.”

“Of course I’m upset!” Byleth roared. “I wouldn’t just choose any human to be worthy of my presence, let alone my friendship. I chose him because he is strong. He has proven himself to be resilient at the worst of times. I refuse to accept any less!”

“Why do you care so much?” Tears threatened at the corner of my eyes. I was exhausted and no amount of further fighting was going to solve anything. “Why do you care about me?”

“I…!” He paused, his finger raised in a threatening gesture before he withdrew, words escaping him. This seemed to irritate him worse than anything as a loss of words wasn’t something he often experienced. He huffed angrily instead of continuing. Daro chuckled, amused at his Fallen King.

“Do you like our dear Shane more than you let on?”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” Byleth became defensive, the words falling from his lips like pure venom.

“It’s okay, Daro,” I lamented. “I understand the limitations that the Fallen and demons have when it comes to human emotions. While you may care for me in a way that wasn’t natural to you at first, which I am grateful for every day, Byleth is a King of Hell. He could never care that much for me.”

“Are you deaf, you fucking imbecile?” Byleth punched the wall behind him. “What do you call this, then? My bitching you out for the last few minutes wasn’t enough for you to see it?!” That tiger-like growl permeated every word as it rose from deep in his chest, that demonic growl of warning that promised danger to anyone who dared entice it.

The moment his fist hit the wall my heart was in my throat. The growl brought my fear to the surface, my pulse rising as I’d realized just how angry I’d made this Fallen King. I had been careless and selfish, and I’d lost sight due to the familiarity of who I was truly dealing with. Byleth didn’t have to remain – he didn’t even have to entertain me for as long as he had. I was being thankless and pitiful while he got himself so worked up with anger, no doubt trying his best to contain what he truly wanted to do. The fact that he’d held so much back for me should have been a sign of what he truly felt despite what he tried so hard to avoid. The tears spilled over. I was, for the first time since I’d met him, truly afraid. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you mad or speak for you.” I stumbled over my words trying to fix whatever damage I had done, and in turn, ended up sputtering out the very thing I had been afraid to admit to him. “I love you, Byleth. Don’t go – don’t hate me.”

He sobered instantly and raised a questioning eyebrow, his fist falling to his side once more where it had been like a vice grip against the wall. Every muscle seemed to relax at once as he spoke. “You what?”

“I don’t want you to leave me, please.” I felt Lestan rubbing my back then, his silence due in part to not wanting to escalate what had already been tumultuous.

“No, no the other thing.” Byleth made an impatient gesture with his hand in the air. My tears stopped and I watched him, realizing that he hadn’t reacted as horribly as I’d feared.

“Um, I’m sorry? Don’t hate me?” He huffed in response.

One more thing you’re missing.”

“I…” I searched for the words again, my nerves all on display as I tried to force myself to say them once more. When they finally left me, they were shaky and uncertain. No one should ever admit such a thing to a being of Hell and I knew that, but I also knew that Byleth was different. “I said I love you.”

“You… love me?” He was caught off guard, his body language uncertain as to what emotion to display. Surely, he also knew how stupid it was for a human to give such words power to a being like him.

“Yes, like I do the others.” The words came braver now, my confidence coming back to me as I watched Byleth’s unease. “Like I do Lestan, Daro, and everyone else you haven’t met yet. I love you, Byleth.” He shifted where he stood and leaned back against the wall, his eyes shifting to find something to look at other than me.

“That’s a new one.” He huffed a laugh. “You’re not supposed to love an entity from Hell.”

“But I do,” I continued. “I love you and I love Daro.” He looked at me fully then, focusing on my tired brown eyes with his dark crimson.

“You really mean that?” The warning that accompanied those words did not escape me. Somewhere inside I knew I had just made a decision I couldn’t take back, but I knew then at such a low point in my life, I didn’t care. I knew where I belonged and who I belonged with.

“Yes.” As soon as the simple word left my lips, he crossed the room and climbed over me, pinning me down with a kiss that had more meaning behind it than any other he’d given me before. This wasn’t a moment of pure lust or objectification of the act itself for pleasure – it was with the intent that there would be many more like it and that everything had shifted. Nothing would be the same again, and both Lestan and Daro knew that very well as all tension finally left the room.

As soon as I was able to breathe again, Byleth smiled down at me, ghosting his words over my lips. “Love is the highest form of flattery, sugar.”

***

Ever since that night, Byleth hasn’t left my side. With Lestan and Daro along with him, they have all been a constant presence in my life, any of the others popping in at random times to let me know they’re there as well. Tetsu, the elf, seems to come around more often as he always had, but in the end, I’ve definitely learned one important thing that I always seem to forget.

I’m never truly alone. I have an amazing support system right here that is just as important regardless of anyone else’s ability to see or sense them. I see them, I hear them, and I know they are there. It’s the purest form of love that not many people experience with each other, but it’s a connection that I’ve had in one way or another since I’d first met Lestan when I was twelve years old. It’s something special, and I truly think they are all a gift that was given to me to help me walk this path of life that seems to be more than bumpy at the best of times.

©2018 Shane Blackheart

 

Liminal Spaces

tumblr_nu2e38Qlow1trx0p6o1_500I spend a lot of time with one foot in reality – the here and now – and the other in my unreality at the same time. It’s kind of like living in Wonderland while also having a window into the outside (which is probably why I am as obsessed with all reincarnations of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ as I am). That’s probably not the best explanation I could give, but it’s something I haven’t really ever been able to put into words. It’s interesting in its own way though, pertaining to me personally and how I’ve always been in life with my gender, with family, and all else. I’ve always been in that ‘in-between’ somehow, so maybe it’s just a state of being that’s more natural to me than it should be.

I’ve written things before to try to explain this much better than rambling words on a page like this. Ironically, after saying that, most who have read these writings liken them to confusing ramblings on a page as well. I figured I’d post one of them here for the sake of it since I always seem to have this unshakeable desire for people to understand things, or to just understand me. It’s kind of a fruitless effort anyway because humans are all so diverse and complex, and we can’t ever possibly begin to understand each other let alone ourselves. But, without rambling further, here is something I wrote about three years ago when I was at my lowest (It is quite dark near the end, so a warning):

Drifting through wood-barren cases and grayed out walls – the frightening images in the distance welcome me yet horrify me. Faces indescribable; distortions clacking teeth of impossible length. Flat, horse teeth in canine mouths with minuscule eyes surrounded in white and red. Doll faces of antiquity twisting and thwarting my senses with their raised eyebrows and wide-eyed madness; mouths curved sideways to follow my mirrored mask of horrors.

I cannot confront you, but merely watch with dread and helplessness as you inquire me – speculate what frightens me the most. Or is this just a grotesque waking dream that I will never know the ending to? Not a dream, but a waking nightmare that is experienced lucidly in reality or on the fringes of reality. Your plastic visage can only mock me here on this fringe, yet what is the most tormenting fact of all: That I live in this very fringe and fabric that reality barely is able to sheer through.

You! terrible Voice in my head. Upon waking, you’ve already begun your one-way conversation of deprecation. You allow me not even a moment’s glance at the rising sun before you relentlessly beat me down with your disgusting vocabulary. It is your job to remind me of my failures – of the lies and deceptions humanity has fed to me. ‘Force-fed’ down my small, dry throat. My own flesh and blood are a common recurrence in your cruelest musings, Voice. You gambol about their empty promises, lies, and negligence. You remind me of companions lost, never to return, most likely, you remind me. My heart is their playground, as has been proven one too many a time, as you are so kind to recall for me, Voice.

I drown you beneath the bass of somber tones and instruments, blind you with the smoke that emanates from the nicotine-fueled poison seeping into my brain. Even then you manage to spit on my musings as I write, sour my journal pages with your word vomit. You drive me to my one last resort – my final coping method when nothing else can blot you out of existence.

At one time this very thing brought me beauty and smooth skin; now this weapon of choice brings only destruction as it splits the very skin it sought to keep clean. I cannot remain clean while I am in love with you, Voice. You remind me of this simple vice that can silence you, therefore I beckon to you when the intensity gains in volume. You put gentle pressure on the fast-forward button as my mind slowly fills with racing memories I fail to catch. I cannot keep up with you now, Voice. I must continue in my attempts to blot you out.

It burns. It causes so much pain to have you remain silent if only for a short time. My skin turns from pale to red – my skin tears and pops open in response to my final pleas to you, Voice. To make you become silent. And yet, I’ve finally done enough. Before the apathy has set in, before my visage becomes stone, you are long gone. You’ve gotten what you’ve wanted, and as I sit with this horrid instrument of destruction in hand, I realize that everything is once again silent.

But for how long? Perhaps I will meet you here once more tomorrow, Voice. Then we will continue this sadistic friendship once more. How I would love to enlighten you, yet be rid of you all the same. Until tomorrow, you glutton.

Shane Lestan – 11/2/2014

When I read it back now, it just seems like a more intricate way of wording a personification of an abusive voice that always looms over my shoulder. I often wonder if I’ll ever get to meet the source of this voice, and I am certain it isn’t any of my current alters or spirit guides. Maybe they are doing their best to keep the true identity of this voice far from me, as they’ve always promised to protect me. If nothing else, whoever or whatever this voice is, it’s set on my own personal destruction in this sick masochistic type of relationship.

I suppose the biggest plot twist of it all, which everyone would see coming at the end of a bad horror movie, would be that the voice is actually nothing buy my own self – my own brain. Almost as if it were split into two and my other self is my worst enemy. That’s just over-the-top corny at that point, but it’s the best I can think of.

The reason I named this entry ‘Liminal Spaces’ is because it’s probably the best way to describe my ‘in-betweens’. I suppose I should give you a definition of Liminal Spaces for reference:

“Liminal” means “relating to a transitional stage” or “occupying a position at both sides of a boundary.” – Places Where Reality Feels Altered

It’s pretty much just a feeling of being displaced in space and time – a place where space and time don’t even seem to really exist. The link above to the article at the end of the quote provides some examples of everyday places and times people often associate with liminal spaces.

But what about liminal spaces created in your own mind? Liminal spaces that you live in day to day even when not seemingly in any location or time that is usually attributed to them? Maybe it’s an over-active imagination, maybe it’s my creative soul going on overdrive, or maybe it’s even something spiritual that I should feel gifted for. I don’t think there’s ever going to be a clear answer for these questions, but as for the original writing of my own that I posted above, I had tried to explain that odd liminal space I find myself in sometimes. The result is poetic fumbling through words in an attempt to describe the indescribable. After all, how do you describe things, spaces, or entities that don’t resemble figures, patterns, or shapes that humans know to exist? I guess, in that sense, a liminal space could be best defined as something that doesn’t even have a definition. Or maybe, the definition is just different for everyone due to its highly personal experience. As for myself, although it seems the consensus seems to say that liminal spaces should make you feel anxious or uncomfortable, I love them and I find comfort in them, but my entry until this point probably explains why that is.

More about Liminal Spaces: Places Where Reality Feels Altered – Oddysey
More: Places Where Reality Is A Bit Altered – Tumblr