I felt the world shake a day ago. At least, I think it was a day. Maybe it was a month. Time doesn’t make sense here. There are no hours, and this place is always night. That Dracula clock we have in the shop is frozen on 11:10 PM.
It was the time I found you. Your body...
The walls started to shake and then everything went haywire. Furniture disappeared, our Buddha mural came to life and began to chant, holes opened up in the ceiling and I could see stars, so close that shit melted around me, the universe swirling around us.
I was taken off my feet as a hole opened up in the ground. A wave of intense cold hit me. I stared down into a void of blackness. It almost swallowed me whole but there was that voice again in my ear, that blue light always just behind my eyelids, glowing brighter and somehow holding me steady, rocking me in its soft warmth, until the shop, or limbo prison I’m forced to rot in, went still and quickly repaired itself.
I didn’t have a lot of time to figure out what just happened because, as I climbed back to my feet, I heard the sweet whisper that always accompanies that angel, Maggie, and with a burst of that blue flame she pulls out of thin air, she was standing in front me.
I could see the shock and concern on her face. It took my breath because she was always so cool and restrained, kind of like that character in a movie that you know will figure everything out because they are just that badass.
She pulled a chair for me. I sat, and she crouched down to lay her eyes on me. That woman’s eyes have power, Jamie. They draw you in, make you feel warm all over. Only one other person’s ever done that for me...
I’m sure you can guess who that is, my love.
Maggie told me that what The Source (I guess God) told her in this dream she had about some gnarly shit about to go down here in the Asylum. That something had just happened. It was an explosion in a part of this prison where they hold some really nasty souls. All 29 of these nasties escaped and were able to make it through “the veil of death” (Maggie’s words) and reenter the “mortal plane” (again, her words, not mine).
Apparently these souls can do a lot of damage and they couldn’t just send down the troops because demons aren’t to be trusted and would probably hurt more people in the process, and angels aren’t inconspicuous enough not to cause a worldwide panic. They needed a human with special powers – A VESSEL, Maggie called it.
Here’s the funny thing, Jamie. She said she wanted me to do it. Hahaha. Me!
She didn’t find it funny. She said because of my love for you, Jamie, because of the strength of that love – stronger than Maggie has witnessed in quite some time – the Source has seen fit to allow the piece of Maggie’s power (that apparently I sapped when she touched me) to help turn me into this “vessel.”
If I agreed, I would be given a solid form on earth and the “tools” to hunt down those escaped souls. Translation: They’d teach me how to kick a little ass and give me the weapons to do it.
I flunked out of gym in high school, Jamie. You know that. But I’ve always had a good right hook, which I probably picked up from dear old dad, but something like this... No way. She’s got the wrong suicide.
Then Maggie made me an offer:
First, she reminded me that I was looking at 366 years in the nightmare version of the tattoo parlor you and I had built together. The tattoo parlor that was now my spiritual prison and had your blood all over its floors and walls, blood I can never clean – no matter how hard I try. My only options in this place are quiet reflection or do what I did to get myself put in this situation in the first place... Kill myself. Which, I have -- over and over again.
Maggie then told me something that really got my attention. She said that if I agreed to do this, and was successful, she would grant me a pardon and then locate wherever you were, Jamie. She would send me to you. I would be with you again. That would be my Paradise.
I didn’t hesitate. I said yes.
She was pleased but gave out a warning... What I’d just agreed to do is extremely dangerous. My soul could be corrupted and just as easily damaged as the physical form Maggie was going to return to me. Those 29 souls are some of the worst pieces of mortal shit that have ever walked the earth and will get pretty desperate if backed into a corner. Things could get pretty rough, pretty quick, especially if I ran into more than one.
Maggie made it known that a soul can be destroyed beyond repair. It could cease to exist. She also made it clear that they didn’t have a lot of time to give me proper training. Those escaped souls will immediately cause immeasurable harm to human innocents on earth.
Time was of the essence, and I’d have to learn on the fly.
Maggie wanted to give me a little bit of time to think on that, but she stressed that she was informed by the Source that I was destined for this. That everything that has happened in my life has brought me to this decision, this crossroads.
I can buy destiny, Jamie. I believe I was destined to find you. And if this insane proposition will help me find you again, my husband...
Then bring that shit on.