Revelations of the Soul

Wisdom

Despair

This is the final chapter for this man’s story. Enjoy. It’s made me feel significantly better. Going to take some vacation days coming up to relax and delve into writing, the Word, and a few games.

Conroy cleared his desk. It was nearing midnight and the frustration built in his sternum for hours, throughout the work day, and finally he couldn’t handle it. Tears stained his desk, flavored his scotch, and dotted his shirt. He had long ago tossed aside his suit coat and tie. He was on his fourth drink that hour and the bottle was getting low. Nearly half the bottle in a single night. Everything spun and it felt like he was about to fall out of his chair, his balance shifting left to right.

“How did I get here.” The words were choked out. On the floor, Elna looked up at him, a portrait of them and the children. She left him. When he arrived at home everything she owned, and numerous things he owned, were gone. Despite everything, there was only one place he could think to go, one place that protected him and acted as his fortress, and it was his office, high above the world.

His body shook with fresh tremors and he took to his knees. It wasn’t a surprise as he continued going to church and Elna became increasingly annoyed. The children were turned against him. For the first time in years, he was able to speak to Mal, the only child of his who didn’t hang up immediately. There was skepticism, like his father was working an angle, but in time the two began talking three or four times a week. The boy taught his father much on faith and the workings of God. Mal had children and invited Conroy to see them. A three year old and one year old. It would be something. But Elna just grew further and further away.

“Dad, maybe it’s not a bad thing. You’re making real progress towards being completed. Don’t let this drag you down.” It was the truth, but it hurt. It felt so cold. Why couldn’t Elna support him and come with? Was it really worth it if he lost her?

Conroy laughed. Of course it was. He lost a trophy wife, a beautiful woman to mount when he desired. He shook his head, “I’m pathetic.” He found himself on his knees, too drunk to remain seated. A cold was running through his body, making him shiver, though he didn’t feel cold.

Then he heard the door open. He looked over his desk to see Voren. “Are you here to gloat?” Conroy said.

Voren shook his head and dragged a chair around the side of the mahogany desk, sitting down. “No, friend. Nothing like that. I love you dearly. I wouldn’t mock you. You’re close.”

“Close to what? I’ll lose my job like this. I’ve lost my wife. All my kids are turning on me, except Mal.”

“When we’re at our lowest, when we are broken and made humble in front of Him, that is when He can remake us in His image, in the way we were meant to be from the beginning. This is good.”

“It doesn’t feel good. What do I have to do? How do I move forward with this pain?”

“Move. You sit here in this office, this empty sanctuary you created, but it holds no meaning for you now. It is nothing more than a room. Go somewhere meaningful.”

“Where?”

“Into the world. They need a man like you, a wealthy leader to show kindness and generosity. I believe God has a plan for you, and all you need to do is wander and it will find you.”

“I can’t. It hurts.”

“It does. Wipe this place from your shoes and walk. Walk anywhere. But look for the chance to help those in need. No doubt, God will give you want He meant for you to have.”

A clamp still claimed his heart, squeezing out what was left of it, but it made sense. Conroy stood up, the world spun, and he collapsed, laughing. “I think I might wait until tomorrow to walk.”

“I think that wise, friend.” Voren helped up Conroy and led him to a couch where he laid the man down and covered him with the discarded suit coat. “Do great things in His name, and the world will know to glorify Him. Blessings, my friend.” Conroy blacked out as he watched Voren leave.

A Man in Despair

Wisdom

 This song is both for me and another. These stories are for me. I’ve just felt empty at work. Pointless. I do have a lot of amazing things. It still feels like this. Writing this and wisdom have helped a lot. I think I’m finding a character for a later novel, and this is his back story.

Conroy parted ways with Voren in the lower level parking lot. Voren drove an older car, perhaps ten years old, with some rust stains starting to appear in places. The paint wasn’t perfect and a layer of dirt covered the car. It was a sign he was going through the lower districts filled with smog and filth. Filled with the poor and destitute. On the other hand, Conroy had the newest sports car, the paint job still maintaining its metallic glistening as if he had bought it a week ago. He had it for six months and put near fifteen thousand miles on it. In a few more months it would be retired to his museum and he would drive it two or three times a year. Women would wear a different dress to social events. Conroy made sure he drove a different luxury car to the social events.

He unlocked the doors, the lights flashing as he clicked the button, then unlocked the car and got in. He pushed the automatic start button and put his keys in the console. His hands went over the custom leather wrap over the steering wheel as the car purred. He touched the black seats. The interior alone was more expensive than the average car purchased. His wife, Elna, was so overjoyed when he bought the car. Now she commented how old it looked. How he needed a new one with more style. In a couple months the new models would come out, and she couldn’t be seen in last year’s colors. He was a little ashamed at his wife’s behavior, but he had done just that for the past decade. He pulled out of the parking structure and was on the highway shortly after, driving through the heart of the over sized city.

Below would be the poor and destitute. They would scrounge for handouts, both from strangers and the government. Conroy turned on the radio, and there was a man’s voice. “We are at a crisis point. People are empty. We have put everything we are into materials instead of our faith or fellow man. We no longer care to take care of the guy under the bridge, killing rats for food. The government will take care of him. We no longer care about what we can do for our local schools or churches. The schools, again the government will take care of it. But the church? We don’t need the church. We don’t need the One. We don’t need God nor His salvation. All we need is stuff.

“There was a time when the church did most of the taking care of people. They fed the poor. They took in the homeless. These acts were done with love. They were done with hope and the desire to improve, not the desire to garner votes, the hope to create a society craving government. Ylinsk was once that way, and we scorned them not thirty years ago, but here we are. We believe that God will not give us what we’re looking for. His old name, Volden, is forgotten. The blessed nature of His mercy is forgotten. His son, our savior, is forgotten.

“Instead of freeing ourselves in His glorious love, we drown ourselves in porn, money, drugs, sex, violence, and whatever else feels right to us. It’s about feelings, and as long as we don’t hurt anyone important, or we have enough money, then it’s okay.” Then something powerful started to happen within Conroy. “We are at a point of crisis, where our faith has been destroyed, and without that faith we are left a broken people.” He started to weep. “This point has been reached many times throughout history, many times His people have thrown themselves low.” His heart ached and his lips frowned so he could acutely feel the muscles. “We are a hopeless people right now, but in every moment of despair, God, Volden, the One, has given us the possibility to climb out of the pit. To climb out of our grieving. To climb out of our selfish, materialistic, self destructive ways.” The road blurred and Conroy sniffled. “All we need to do is ask His mercy, and we will find it.”

Conroy turned the radio off, “Why was that station on, anyway?” He smirked a little through the tears, but couldn’t fight the ache in his heart. It was too much.

Soon he was home, in his bed, beside his wife. He stared up at the ceiling, empty, while Elna prattled on about her day. There were scandals and sex, wives cheating on their husbands or spending more than the man earned. “It’s their own fault. If the man could make enough money he wouldn’t have that issue. You don’t have that issue. And if the man was pleasing the woman in bed, he wouldn’t have that issue either.” She grabbed for his crotch, licking her lips and smiling, “You don’t have that issue either.” Then she had a rare moment of clarity. It was bizarre, an action which had never happened before. “You look upset, honey.” She brushed his cheek. “What’s wrong? Let me know.” Conroy looked over to her, examining her. Then she mounted him and started to feel around in his pants.

He wasn’t mean about it, but he still firmly pushed her aside, “No, that won’t cure it. We should go to church, Elna.” He looked into her eyes. “Our kids are dying. They’re empty inside.”

“Our kids are fine. They have money. They have looks.” She touched his lips, moving in, “Your looks.”

And he kept her at arm’s length, “That’s not enough. I feel empty. This family is lacking. I think,” he thought about his words. He thought about the feelings in his chest, the pit in his stomach, the truth he felt coming through. “I think God can fix us.”

She laughed, “Alright, sweety. If you want to start going to church we can try it for a couple weeks, or something. I don’t know how that works. I’m sure it’s just a midlife crisis.” She turned out the light and laid down on the other side of the bed. “I love you, Conroy. I will support your little phase.”

In the darkness, while Conroy looked up at the moonlit ceiling, he knew this couldn’t just be a phase. This was now him. This was now their future. This had to be, or he was going to die. The life he took had no purpose, so now he had to dash it for a life given by a higher being. He would talk to Voren tomorrow, he thought. Voren would have the answers he craved. Then, for the rest of the night, Conroy tossed and turned, reciting stories and prayers he recalled from his youth, unable to find peace except in those words.

A Modern Wise Man

Artificial light brought life to the outside world, nearly three hundred feet below the office with a view. It was after ten, but Conroy had no desire to go home. Instead he drank his scotch from his crystal glasses with the gold trip, setting it directly on his mahogany desk. He reclined in his ergonomic chair, put his loafers up on the desk and loosened his tie, unbuttoning the first button of his shirt. “I’m unhappy. I have wealth. I have a beautiful car. I have an incredible mansion. I have a hot wife, half my age. I have children, both older and younger than her. There are very few views which are higher up than my own. It feels pointless.”

Across from him, sitting in a rather uncomfortable chair which was significantly lower than Conroy’s, was a simple looking man wearing a relatively inexpensive suit, his loafers adorned with nicks and scratches. His hair had no product in it, and his face was weathered from years outside. The man, Voren, nodded politely, reclining back as best he could in the chair.

“My wife is waiting for me. Or not. More than likely Elna has already cooked our dinners and she’s eating with the children. Or at least the children who will eat with her. Felden refuses to eat with her. He goes off how she’s not his real mom, and he’s almost as old as she is so who is she,” he cut himself off, sighed, and rubbed his face with his hand, closing his eyes. “Abyss, Voren, what am I doing wrong? Why are you so silent? I thought I paid you to bring me happiness and it’s been ten years, now.”

“Will you listen?” Voren had old eyes to match his weathered face, a once brilliant blue now becoming a gray as the colors faded. “Or will you continue to flaunt your money as you have, ignoring my council? So far it seems you’ve found yourself wiser than the man you pay for wisdom, yet here we are and you’re still miserable.”

Conroy scowled at Voren, but reproach wouldn’t be sensical: Voren was right. “Curse you.” Conroy stood, hands shoved deep into his pockets, and looked out the window, the city below him. He picked that office for a reason. Up above was his ivory castle, while down below were his subjects, big and small. He could control it all as he pleased. He could buy off or influence every person down there. Except Voren. He was unflinching. No doubt a few others were out there, similar, but it was a rare man, and Conroy was appreciative of the rare defiant. “Give me your wisdom. I’ll try to heed it better this time.”

“If you try to heed it at all you’ve made a great step. Your pride blinds you, Conroy. It makes you think you’re better than those out there. You search in the wrong places for your happiness. Would you like to know a secret?”

Conroy nodded, fetching his drink from his desk, then going back to his view. Voren stood up, grunting when he pushed off the chair. “The secret is we aren’t to be happy with our empires down on earth. Paradise waits us, and we cling to this as if we can create our own. But it pales to the One.”

“The One.” Usually Conroy snarled the words, but not today. He didn’t have the energy today. He was nearly forty, and all he had to show for it, though impressive, was empty. He had no love, no matter how much respect he was given. It was the respect given a conqueror. As soon as a contender came along capable of ousting him from his throne, Conroy was gone. No one would bat an eye, and all he did for that company would be erased and forgotten as so many before him. It was pointless. It wore him down to the bone. “Why the One, Voren? The idea that all I’ve done is nothing. That this world I’ve built, this empire I conquered, is sand in the wind.”

“You don’t know already? You’re getting older. Perhaps you have ten or even fifteen years left in you. Maybe you will make it another twenty, even thirty. But when you retire, or when you’re placed in the ground, the new generation will run this little empire of yours, as you’ve run the empire others built, and they will not remember you. They will say ‘This is mine, and I have made it good.’ But they, as you, have made nothing. They were only given that which the One blessed them with.” The old man poured himself a drink, though not as tall as Conroy’s. “But you know this. You’re searching for happiness and empty places, with a wife that does not belief and children who likely know little of the old stories.”

“True enough. I don’t know if Elna has ever stepped foot in a church. She may know some of the children songs if they play out, but otherwise I doubt she recalls much. My children,” he thought a moment, swirling his drink and taking a swig to give him time. “My first wife made sure they went to church. I never did and the kids complained. She urged me, but I didn’t care. Tony is into the One knows what. Mal left home. I think he found a good wife, but I’ve only met her three or four times. He moved so far away. Won’t tell me why, but I suppose I know why.”

“You’re an influence of worldly gain when it will only bring his children, your grandchildren, frustrations. In case you needed closure.”

Conroy laughed, nodding his head, “I did think it was something along those lines. Strange hearing it out loud.” He laughed more and sipped his drink.

“Give it up and find a purpose. Go to church. Devote time to Him. You’ll find your peace there. Here you’ll find bitterness and anger. You will find fulfilled dreams which lack compared to what you thought they’d be. Move on, friend. Follow my advice. It’s good advice.”

“True words, Voren. I need to go home to my wife, then. I’ll look into this. See if I can find this purpose you’re keen on.”

“I am not the only one keen on it, but it’s a good start. I’m here if you need me, as always.” Voren put his glass down on a coaster and made his way to the door. “Remember, the One is watching. The One will give guidance. Just trust.”

“Easier said. When I can buy and manipulate so much, it’s hard to understand that there is another with more influence. But it’s true enough. I’ll take your advice on this.” The men parted.

The Raw Kelst: That which he’s given up

I preface with this is what was going through my head when driving. It’s been a while. A long while. I’m not offering up. I’m waiting for someone and she’s taking her sweet time. The fact I chewed ice (an act I generally loathe) should have been a sign as to what I would think up on my drive home from the gym. And suddenly this story of Kelst popped up, one which would take place before my book. At first, I thought this isn’t Kelst. Then I realized yes, this is. If a man is willing to hold off all other women for you, it’s not that he’s not looking at other women, it’s that he’s not acting because he loves you. I know I wasn’t perfect on this. I know I looked likely too often and eagerly. I admit my fault to the world. But at the end of the day, I just wanted you. At the end of today, I just want you. Miss you, honey. Love you. Now onto something far less sentimental.

Kelst was chewing on a root in the academy, reading over the book in front of him. He gnawed viciously in the hopes the medicinal properties would calm him, but it did no such thing. The words on the page were hard to focus on, shifting at will. Then the voice of his friend Cliatus snapped him out of his frustrations. “Studying hard?”

“No. Not in the least. The page dances in front of my eyes, my skull feels like bursting, and my mouth isn’t pleased with this abyss touched root.” He slammed the book shut with as much force as he was willing considering the poor binding and slammed the table. “To the abyss with all of this! To the abyss with my feelings, heart, eyes, and all other parts of me!”

“You sound a little,” Cliatus thought a moment, his fingers running over a rough wooden table, circling a knot which left a whole, “a little pent up.”

Every swirl around the hole, every dip of his friend’s finger into the opening, caused a nervous bundle to build up in Kelst’s gut. It caused his stomach to tighten, to clench but for no purpose. It caused his loins to stir in the most frustrating of fashions, without any physical indication as if impotence had struck him at his young age. It wasn’t that his friend was alluring, it was that Kelst, as he watched the finger penetrate the hole, could think of one and only one thing.

Finally he slammed the table and put his head down, his chest tightening, “I need breasts. Nice, firm, naked breasts. One in each one. One in my mouth. Or just to watch.” He slammed the table again, his head jerking up, “No, I will not just watch. To play with, to taste, to take as my own. Just for this night. A magnificent rack, such as could be compared to the deer in the Pope’s woods.”

“Ella?”

“Oh, Ella, falling out of your inadequate bodice! That is a treasure chest filled to the brim with golden honey begging to be suckled! What a feast there is in Ella.”

Cliatus couldn’t help but laugh. His friend was rarely this vocal on his desires. “You can join me for a trip to the brothels. I know you won’t sheathe your sword, but you can at least uncover some bounties.”

Kelst growled, “I cannot. I cannot go and play with boobs. I can not delve in to tits. I can not suckle reddened nipples and make them redden more. I must remain chaste with all my heart, soul, mouth, and prick.” His head slammed against his book, the energy draining. “For I, my friend, am in love, and while I may lust after these ripe producers of sweet nectar, I cannot partake. I will stay my hand from grappling such beautiful mountains. I will wait for her, and lovingly. Or as lovingly as a man frustrated physically may.”

“Are you together?” Kelst only shook his head. “Then enjoy your single life.”

“No. I told her I love her. I may be crass, but I cannot act upon it. As dry as my mouth is. As tasteless as my tongue feels. I only yearn for her breasts, perky and perfect, hidden behind modest robes. Go on without me, my friend, but fondle an extra pair for me, as if I cannot wield the milky white bosoms of beautiful women, a true friend ought to in my stead.”

“I take this duty very seriously. I shall of course play with at least two pairs. Maybe more. Have a good evening, or as good as one might with such sexual anguish.”

“Anguish indeed! Now be off with you.” Kelst finally lifted his head from his book, his face red. He waved his friend away, and as Cliatus left, he continued reading and chewing. Chewing so hard on the root that did nothing to the stirring in his loins.