Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Paint it Black

Because this story is set to shortly come out in the Goth-zine, "Coach's Midnight Diner" I can't post the whole thing here yet. But here's the first 'movement.' Since the main character is a symphony musician the story is set up in movements like a symphonic work. Cute idea, scary story.

I. Molto Grave’
When a loved one not only dies, but races to death’s dark embrace as if it were a prize or reward it cuts us to the core. The heart is left with a single agonized cry of Why?

That question became my own last March when my brother took his life. The discovery was unbelievable. But he didn’t die alone. My brother was a cultist. He and twenty-seven others took knives to their own throats and they did it because they thought space aliens were coming to take them away.

I could almost handle believing he was unhappy and distraught over his divorce. But…space aliens?

I am, by profession, a violinist with the Dallas Symphony. My brother, Rick, and the others took their lives after spending time in a cult called ‘Heavens Temple,’ based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. For many hours, I researched this group, hunting to see if, among other things, it still had a following in Santa Fe. It did.

Here’s the core of the ‘Heaven’s Temple’ entire belief system: mankind is about to be recycled and the Ascended Masters are coming to help a few chosen souls shed their mortal bodies and raise them up to heaven. ’Hey Rick, the aliens want you! Kill yourself! ‘

I didn’t buy it.

That summer, I decided to leave Dallas and take a summer job playing for the Santa Fe Opera because then I could further look into things without alarming my family.
The Sunday before I left, I played the special service music at my parent’s church, and then went to their home for supper. It seemed to cheer mom up for a little bit. She’d been awfully quiet since the funeral.

When it was time to leave, my father walked me outside and shook my hand. “Well, son, thanks for playing the service. Your mom needed a few braggin’ rights.”

“Thanks, Dad. You think she’ll be okay?”

My father shook his head. “I don’t know.”

I leaned back against my little Tercel. From sheer habit my violin case was tucked under my arm.

Dad looked me over and gave a small laugh. “You remember all the crap Rick used to hand you about taking up the fiddle instead of playing football?”

“Yep.” I said feeling the wetness start down my cheeks. “I still can’t believe he did it, Dad. I miss him.”

“I know you do. And you know what bothers me? I don’t think he did anything crazy as suicide.”

“You think he was murdered?”

“I don’t know. I just know in my heart, there’s more to the story. You do, too. That’s the real reason you’re going to Santa Fe.”

My father kept a step ahead of me all my life. I wasn’t surprised he had me figured out now. I wiped my eyes and nodded.

“Thought so,” he said. “I’d do the same thing if I didn’t think it would upset your mom. Find out whatever you can, but be careful, call me if anything strange happens. Your mom couldn’t stand to lose another son.” His voice broke, “Neither could I.”
We stood on the driveway and embraced each other until he gave me a light whack on the back and said, “I’m proud of you, son. You’re a damn fine musician.”

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