The votes were counted, the scores tallied, and the judges consulted, and the winner for this week's contest was, Pie 'oh' Pah.
Congrats on your win. Let me know in the comments below what you would like the new theme to be, and I shall get the new post up later today.
(Headphones highly suggested)
An arch nemesis-centric version of the story complete with origin? Alright. Here goes...
Once upon a time a boy came into the world under rather horrible circumstances. He was a strange, haunted kid with some odd talents and who seemed to see the world a bit different than everyone around him. Most people found this unnerving, and kept their distance... except one in particular.
They were best friends, and as they grew they became so very much more. He loved her more than anything else in life. She loved him back, and helped him channel his darker side. She convinced him to go to school to help focus his understanding of people. He dreamed of hunting monsters. But then she became ill.
She suffered for a long time, and in great pain. They lived in the hospital together for months at a time. She fought every day to stay in the world with him. He changed his post graduate plans. He would become a doctor. He wanted to help the people he saw in their time there. And then one day she couldn't fight anymore.
For a while he continued on. But the grief overwhelmed him, and without her to help keep himself in check he began to unravel. One day, for the first of many times, he simply walked out on his life and disappeared. He went searching for answers to questions he didn't yet know how to ask.
For many years he wandered the world. He had great adventures, found himself in places it is highly unlikely anyone else had ever seen, met many interesting people, and even had the very rare experience of two people mutually falling in love at first sight. But none of this calmed the thing inside him. He sought out increasingly dangerous and violent situations, companions and places.
One morning on a Mexican beach, he decided he'd had enough. He didn't have the constitution for direct suicide, and he survived every one of his less direct, thinly veiled ventures. He remembered learning from one of his favorite professors about the mad prophets of Harvard, Leary, Alpert, and Huston and their psychedelic adventures in search of great truths. It reminded him of a story of a plant in the jungle in Peru he'd heard of. Maybe it would help him find truth, or more importantly let him be with who he had lost. He got up and travelled south.
It starts off like many other hallucinogens. Maybe some vomiting, and a sense of reality starting to fray a little at the edges. But this isn't recreational, and it soon grabs hold of you and forces you to confront yourself. You can lie to your friends, family, your therapist, and even yourself. But you can't lie to the plant. It takes all of your fears and makes you live them all at the same time. Then it dumps whatever horrors you've endured on top, and you relive them all again and again. Next, and possibly more insidious you get to relive all of the horrible shit you've done... but not just as you.. also as the recipient of your transgressions. Beyond the personal experiences you visualize there is something else playing out in the background. For the religious it tends to be some kind of tortuous biblical What Dreams May Come hellscape where they're tormented by demons. He had a more vivid imagination than that. Finally, you die. He felt all of the pieces of himself being stripped away. All of the threads being pulled. It was a relief in a way. Until it came to her. He fought to hold on to that one last, most important part of who he was for as long as he could... until he finally had to let go. And then there was nothing.
And then slowly it brings you back. It weaves the threads together, but slightly differently. And when you think you're complete, it keeps going. He felt himself being woven in to the fabric of everything. For a little while he was everywhere all at once.... felt himself as a fragile silly thing at the same time he felt united with all things. The understanding is complete, but fleeting. And then he was back.
He didn't come out with all the answers. It doesn't work that way. Defeating your demons usually just means that you understand them, not that they're vanquished. He thought for a long time about what was next. He didn't think he'd ever be able to ever go back to anything resembling a "normal" life or "normal" people, but his company of the previous few years wasn't the answer either. Eventually, he decided to put his talents and schooling to use. He worked with the people who hadn't voluntarily chosen to live in the places he'd been. People who who knew horror, but didn't know how to deal with the repercussions. He does it for a while, and then wanders away to recharge. Sometimes alone, and sometimes back in civilization for a bit.