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Eyes Wide Open


Jamie... I’ve been transformed. That twinge of blue, just behind my eyes, has become so much more. Maggie stoked the flame and it arose within me, filling every corner and crevice of my body. I was cleansed of any dirt, both physical and emotional, and everything came alive all at once. My clothes became the uniform of an Asylum Vessel, chosen for me and constructed by the blue flame of the Source herself. The tunic I wear protects me, whether it’s from fire or the slash of a knife. When I pull up its hood, when the power is at its height, I can see through walls, I can hear the tortured cries of inmates from the cells around me. Now a constant whisper in my ear – like sweet honey – my movements are guided by the power that compels me. I can anticipate the throw of a fist, a flashing kick, the proper leverage to throw a body, or time a perfectly placed hold and efficiently immobilize or break bone if need be. I am stronger than men twice my size. I’ve put my fist through a fair share of walls and can throw a 180-pound man across the room. How do I know all of this? Maggie’s got me in training. She says it is the fastest she’s ever had to get a Vessel (that’s what they call what I’ve become) up to speed. She’s throwing everything at me in this old Asylum cell that she made to look like an arena. She sends in souls looking to get out some aggression. Men, women, sometimes both. None of them last very long. My tunic, the Source’s living flame, tells me what to do. How to move. Where to strike. Sometimes I don’t listen, that’s usually when I take my licks. I’m not used to getting hit. Sure I beat up some ratchet chicks back in the day; you know I had a temper, Jamie. But I was never on the receiving end. Even my father, train wreck that he was, never laid a hand to me. All that was reserved for my mom. But, you know that already. Why you took me away. Why I was so happy you did. I have to say, I’m not hating the ability to take on 15 men and completely hold my own. I depended on you for so much, Jamie. I was scared of my own shadow half of the time. In my own little bubble. I liked that bubble, it was comforting, but it never helped me face my fear. Face this pain that is slowly burning away. That I wasn’t enough. That without you, where could I go in life, except... We know what happened. And now I’m here and this gift, given to me by an angel, it’s addictive. Like top shelf coke, the best Molly, without the come-down. What lies before me is a war, that’s what Maggie says. But, I’m not afraid. I won’t be. I won’t be alone. Maggie has chosen Floaters, rehabilitating souls imprisoned here in the Asylum, to help me in this mission. They are all strange and unique and freakish in their own way. Each of their stories is sadder than the next. Like mine. I guess we make the perfect sad team. Funny enough, I can call them to me through these amazing tattoos that appear in my skin. It’s usually when I’m about to really get my ass kicked... or worse. Tyler, big as a barn and just as ugly, is the strongest man I’ve ever seen. Melina, she’s the sweet one, and I like her bite. She’s a healer -- a necessity. Then Perry... It’s hard to describe Perry. I guess he’s like a toddler, a very powerful toddler. You never know which side of him will come out. And at least two of those sides you want bottled up. Very soon, anytime now, I’ll be returning to earth. I’ll be physical again and will have to get really physical because, from what Maggie has told me, the souls I’ll be hunting are not in any rush to return to the Asylum. Tough shit, because I’m coming for them all. I’ll take my licks, but I won’t be afraid to. Then I’m coming for you, Jamie. Will you recognize me? Will I start to forget you through all of this? Or will one of these souls get the better of me, snuff me out, erase me from existence? Maybe, the first one they are sending me after. Some really bad dude named Umberto Salazar. He apparently killed like 30 people when he was alive. He landed in Los Angeles, of all places. Our home... I’m willing to go through pain, Jamie. And I’m expecting a lot. But it’ll will be worth it to find you. And, yes, I will be changed. I won’t need you to protect me anymore. I’ll protect you. Keep you safe, my love. Wish me luck…

- DONOVAN