Oct 31

A Brief Interlude

I don’t have anything much to say, so here is a little bit of madness to occupy your time. This is a story from long ago that I have both loved and loathed. I hope somebody enjoys it. If it stirs any emotions at all, I will deem it acceptable.


In the Hands of an Angry God

By Carter Nipper

She stares, wide-eyed, wild-eyed, but never speaks. Her stare follows me, haunts me. Even when I leave the room, she sees, she watches. If she would just speak, if she would even blink, but no. She sits. She stares.

Don’t look! Don’t look! But I can’t help it. Her face is dark and swollen, her mouth hangs open, her tongue sticks out like a purple pickle, and her voice shrieks, telling, accusing, demanding.

She knows me better than anyone else. She should, we’ve been married for seventeen years. She knows what I must do; I know what she needs.

Forgiveness. There is no forgiveness. Jesus doesn’t love me, this I know. Not now. She won’t forgive me. I can’t forgive myself.

My hands feel her skin again, friendly, encouraging me to give her what she needs. I feel the rush of rage, the squeezing, the shaking, the need to make her be quiet, shut up, stop, don’t, the triumph as she squirmed and kicked. The rage, where did it come from? Sudden, overwhelming, a deluge of fire and brimstone. Where did it come from? Where did it go?

I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it–I admit it. When she finally stopped, I looked deep into her eyes and felt a joy unlike any I ever knew before. Even when I realized what I had done, I was glad. But she stares; she shrieks. Jesus doesn’t love me. It hurts; it burns.

Atonement. I must atone. For all have sinned, for I have sinned and fallen short. An eye for an eye. A life for a life. Blood and fire. The only way. A sacrifice, a burnt offering, that’s the only way. She knows. Her eyes tell me. She speaks harshly in the ancient tongue and demands blood and fire.

God is angry and must be appeased. Blood for blood, fire to carry my guilt up to God and lay my plea before the Mercy Seat, a sacrifice that will be pleasing unto God. I must atone.

Her voice is a psychic itch, a mental tickle. My fingers twitch and writhe in an agony of unrelievable sympathy. I must get away, run, hide, but her voice distracts me, its constant wail a confusion, leading me astray. I ran into the wall. I sat on the floor, comforting my bleeding nose, and I cried. She stared without sympathy. I must help her; please help me.

There’s blood on my hands. There’s blood in my hands, and it won’t come out. Out, damned spot! It won’t come out to play today. I got a knife and searched for it, but it ran up my arm and hid. I chased it through my wrist, my forearm, my elbow, but it hid. Olly, olly, oxen free! Come out, come out, wherever you are! Please come play with me.

How can there be a sacrifice without blood? Blood and fire make Godly prayers. But the blood won’t come out. It won’t come off. God help me. God won’t help me–I have no blood to give. She demands my blood. She demands fire. She demands, and I have nothing to give.

I can’t hear myself think. Her voice hums and chants and sings and shouts, and I shout against her, with her, through her, but she only gets louder. I feel the blood pounding in my head. So that’s where it is! I’ll sneak up on it. I’ll start right here below my ear. I’ll cut deeply and quickly; it won’t be able to get away. Burn the bridges–my bridges–my bridges over the depths of Hell.

Fire! I need fire. There’s no other way. I must have fire so the smoke will carry my prayers to Heaven and I can be forgiven. Pleasing to God! Please, God, make her be quiet!

Oh God, forgive me! I have sinned! I have fallen short of Your Glory! I will atone! Here is my sacrifice, O God, let it be pleasing in Thy sight!

The matches, good. Newspapers. There, a good blaze. Fire. Now blood. Quick and deep. It can’t escape. Forgive…


Oct 27

In the Dreary Old Land of Oz

Lynn brought up an interesting point in a comment on my last post. Does the longing I feel for my lost childhood home and the urge I feel to move back there play into my current depression? They are certainly not causative factors, but they do aggravate and intensify the condition.

Bipolar disorder is primarily a physical condition, in which the brain’s neurotransmitters get out of whack, unregulated, so they flip-flop between too much and not enough (an incredibly over-simplified analysis). At either end of the spectrum, psychological factors act as magnifiers to intensify the condition.

Therapy helps, and I do get that, but medication ultimately helps more. The talk therapy I get helps me understand the way that bipolar disorder and my many psychological issues reinforce each other and helps helps me deal with that, at least on an intellectual level. Unfortunately, that does not help with the physical manifestations of BPD. The only help for that is patience and medication adjustments.

Thanks for the comments, Lynn and everyone else! The good thoughts remind me that there are people out there who care, and that is a great life-preserver to hang onto. This will turn around. It always has, and it always will. In, the meantime, I just have to keep that hope alive.

Writing? What’s that? 🙂

I am not writing right now in terms of creating new stories. I am, though, reviewing some of my existing work (which I do find is pretty good, mostly), polishing here and there, and submitting select pieces. I hope that my mental processes will have turned the corner by the time the rejections start coming back. Though I am certainly used to rejections by now, they can still have a negative impact when I am like this.

Oct 12

Feels Just Like Starting Over

Thank you all for the well-wishes. It helps to know there are so many caring people out there.

My depression is proving somewhat resistant to treatment this time. The bad news is it’s not getting better. The good news is it’s not getting worse. I am just stuck on struggling through each day. With the dark of the year coming on, I can look forward to more of the same for a while, I suspect.

Maybe Spring will bring a new hope. I have to hope. It’s about all I have right now.

I have today off from work (Columbus Day), which also helps. I took advantage of the three-day weekend to tend to some unfinished writing business. I withdrew three stories which had been in submission for a very long time with no response, which cleared my decks. It was weird not having anything submitted for a couple of days.

Today, I submitted two stories: “What Dreams May Come” to Chzine, and “Worse Than Death” to Shock Totem. I don’t expect to have much luck with these, as these are professional markets, and I probably don’t yet have enough of a reputation to break into them, but then hope is all I have.

I spent a long time in despair over my writing. I had come to the conclusion that everything was shit, and that I was wasting my time and energy to no good purpose. It’s a good thing I know by now that these times are not the best for making unalterable decisions, so I did not delete everything.

My belief in my writing is still not strong, yet, but it is coming back. Some re-reading and a little polishing have gone a long way toward re-affirming my faith in that area. Now, if I could just have another story idea… That may be asking too much. Maybe later.

Here’s hoping everyone else is well. I will be back upon occasion, though probably infrequently for now.