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*Hey, it’s Oghma! Long time no see everyone! I’ve been caught up in a lot of stuff going on in my home life, and as a result this chapter just kept getting trashed and rewritten. But I hope you enjoy the fruits of my efforts, and I thank you all for your patience. *
**Disclaimer: Unrealistic sizes, dark subject matter, and metaphysical weirdness ahead. All characters depicted in sexual situations within are of 18 years or older. *
The sounds of impact rang through the gym. Again and again flesh and bone met padding and pleather with ferocity. The recoil shot through Marcus’ knuckles, leaving behind a powerful sting. Yet it did not sway him in the slightest, rather he just continued to push through it and ramped up his ferocity. Every now and then, he threw out a kick to break through the combo. Fatigue and pain were meaningless concepts to him. What wasn’t obvious to an outside observer was that he wasn’t just practicing combos and fighting an imaginary opponent; The only finesse to his movements was the ingrained punching technique. It was as if he wanted to destroy the bag, and already he was making progress. The padding was wearing out where he struck it, and the seams were becoming more and more exposed.
“Marcus?” Matthew’s voice didn’t break his concentration in the slightest, he still continued to lay into the bag as if he wasn’t there. “Marcus!?” he asked again.
“I heard ya.” Marcus replied gruffly before launching a powerful superman punch, one that rocked the back around a great deal. “What is it?” his attention wasn’t swayed in the slightest.
“Well, we were gonna go out for pizza tonight.” Matthew continued, slowly approaching his friend. “And we gotta leave in like a half hour.”
“Go without me. I ain’t hungry.” Was all he said.
“But the kids were really looking forward to it!” responded Matthew.
“I SAID I’m not hungry!” he snapped. Matthew paused and just observed for a few moments, unable to say anything.
“Marcus, you skipped breakfast this morning, you jogged without me, cancelled on Daigo and have been at this empty gym all day. What’s going on?” Somehow that was enough to cause Marcus to cease his assault. He fell forward a little, catching himself on the bag and panting hard for a few moments as if the fatigue had suddenly hit him.
“You heard what happened.” He said through panted breaths.
“About Darla?” Matthew asked.
“Marcus I…I’m sorry.” Matthew continued. “I know that’s gotta be hard to hear. I mean…I’ve been in your shoes- “
“No. You haven’t.” he responded in a low growl. “You never been through anything like this.”
“Come on!” Matthew responded defensively. “You were there! You saw how broken up I was when Himawari- “
“When your Breeder girlfriend carryin’ your kid said you confused her!” he snapped, his voice rapidly escalating into a shout. “And she came to rescue you just a few days after! I was in that hellhole almost two fucking years, she got rid of the kid and got married!” This was a whole new side to Marcus Matthew had never seen before. He’d always accepted his sadness in jaded resignation, but he had never imagined that Marcus would ever break down like this.
“Marcus…” Matthew was at a loss for words.
“I shoulda known it wouldn’t work…” He continued.
“What do you mean?” Matthew asked.
“A Breeder and a normal? We weren’t meant to be. “
“You don’t know that!” Matthew exclaimed. It was honestly more of a platitude than anything meaningful. But his intent to cheer his friend up was apparent.
“Yeah, I do. You know how much I had to hold back to not rip her in half?” he said with a sigh.
“No.” Matthew responded. “You’re right Marcus.” He admitted. “I don’t know what you’re going through right now. I guess I just wanted to try and reach you. Sorry…” That statement was unexpected enough to get Marcus to turn around slowly to face his friend. Matthew’s cheeks were puffed out a bit, while his mouth was a thin line of somewhere between sheepish and remorseful. It had only now occurred to him that feigning mutual sympathy was a remnant from his witnessing days. A subtle deception in the name of Jesus it seemed. He was going to need to break this habit. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t still want to help you.”
“… Thanks.” Marcus wasn’t really able to think of a counter to that, despite the grief that still remained within him.
“Look… if you’re really feeling worse than I did back then, beating yourself up like this isn’t going to help you at all.” Marcus paused and thought for a good long while. If nothing else, Matthew was showing genuine concern.
“Keeps me out of my head though.” He muttered in a soft, cracking voice.
“I just…” Marcus looked almost on the verge of tears. It was a vulnerable side to him Matthew had never seen before. It was strange enough to see him in despairing anger, but that seemed to make more sense to him than this. Matthew had always viewed him as strong, tough and resilient… escort bayan şişli not shaky and morose. “I can’t stop seeing her in my mind y’know? The last time I saw her she…” he swallowed hard and began to reminisce. “She was sitting across the table, crying her eyes out. Her folks said it was due to the trauma I gave her or some bullshit like that. But I knew that wasn’t it.” He sighed, it seemed he was still able to bottle up some of his emotions just enough to keep himself from breaking down. If only just. “She knew I was going away… she knew what their threat was. And it broke her heart.”
“If you’re still seeing that then maybe you’re not getting out of your head at all.” Said Matthew. He had no idea where this intuitive psychology talk was coming from. Maybe he’d been hanging around Himawari for so long that it was now rubbing off on him. “And if that bag’s any indication, you’re drawing your anger out on purpose.” That hit Marcus harder than any haymaker ever could. Somehow Matthew had stumbled onto a truth he either never noticed or didn’t want to admit.
“… maybe you’re right.” He said with a defeated sigh. “But what should I do?”
“…Can’t help you there.” Matthew said with a shrug. “All I know is? You’re not going to be a better fighter if you destroy yourself in grief.” Marcus paused to take that in, before letting out a soft chuckle. The first sign of any positive emotion he’d had in a while.
“That wasn’t bad.” He said as he began to remove his handwraps, indicating he was done with the bag. “You learn that from church?”
“A pastor has to tend to his flock.” Matthew replied with a warm smile. “It isn’t all about giving sermons and asking for donations!” It was a pretty lame attempt at a joke, but he never was one for improv. “Are you feeling any better now Marcus?”
“Not much.” He shrugged as he rolled up the handwraps. “But I think I will be.”
“I getcha.” Said Matthew. This time he really did. “Look… we can’t cancel the pizza night, like I said the kids were looking forward to it. Daigo would love it if you came, but I think he’ll understand if you don’t. If you’re going to train then maybe I should sit it out… you really look like you need company.” Marcus paused to contemplate the offer. Matthew was right, he did need companionship right now, and now that the adrenaline had worn off, he was starting to feel the pangs of hunger.
“I guess I could eat.” He finally responded.
June tiptoed quietly through the living room. Though she was being as careful as she could, every little sound felt as if it were magnified a hundredfold. The floorboards creaked like a ship at sea, as if they were barely able to support her weight. It was frightening, every little noise could spell the ruination of her goal. Yet, that was what made it worth it. Sure enough, after what felt like an eternity she had reached the liquor cabinet.
Her father had stocked just about every kind of spirit she could imagine. Gin, vodka, rum, tequila, whiskey and everything in-between. Store brand of course, he only cared about the end result of his drinking rather than the experience, so quality took a backseat to quantity. It was supposed to be locked, but he always kept the key inside for easy access. Slowly, June turned the key and pulled the door open. Most of them were close to full, he had stocked the whole thing fairly recently. Slowly and carefully, June picked them up one by one. She had brought her backpack down to make this easier, and filled it with as many she could fit inside it. After hoisting it onto her back she gathered up the rest in her arms. It was a bit of a difficult balancing act, but her goal could not be denied.
Again, she began to make her way out of the living room. Now the creaking of the floorboards was amplified by the rattling of the glass bottles. Still, she managed to make it back into the kitchen towards where the sink was. With a soft sigh of relief, June carefully put the bottles in her hands onto the counter. When the last of them had been placed, she gathered the rest out from her backpack. Okay… time to get to work.
She first reached for the whiskey, the one he would likely go for first. Through some miracle, he had not opened it, so it took a little more effort on her part to unscrew the cap. The plastic “click” of the seal tearing rang through the room, seeming far louder than it probably was. Once the cap was loose, June tossed it aside. The strong smell of fermented rye flooded her nostrils, prompting a quick grunt of disgust from her. June then tilted the bottle over the sink and began to pour. The liquid sloshed audibly within the sink, flowing downward into the drain with a gurgle. It took a few moments before it was completely drained. With a sigh of relief, she then reached towards the vodka. This one had already been opened earlier today, so there was still about half the bottle left. With a quick twist of the cap she began to pour.
“What the fuck are you escort beşiktaş doing?!” the sudden shout made June practically jump out of her skin. The vodka bottle slipped from her grip and clattered into the sink, the clear liquor still pouring from the neck. June knew all too well who the voice was, yet she still turned around out of some desperate hope it wasn’t him. Sure enough, the angry snarling face of Mike Locke stared down at her. To say that he looked like a mess right now would be a massive understatement. In this moment in time he was a slightly overweight man of 43, and certainly looked the part of a world-weary middle-aged salaryman; Brunette combover, glasses and a fairly portly set of cheeks. His eyes were sullen and bloodshot, his cheeks a pinkish red, his clothes were haphazardly worn (likely an indication that he had gone to sleep in them) and the distinct odor of vomit permeated the air. “YOU’RE WASTING IT!!” his shout had escalated to a full-on bellow of rage as he lunged forward to sink.
“YOU’RE DRINKING TOO MUCH!” June shouted back, her eyes welling up with tears of rage. “YOU PROMISED YOU’D BUY FOOD AND YOU SPENT IT ALL ON THIS!!”
“BITCH!” He snarled wheeling around with his hand raised high. It was obvious what was about to happen.
“AHHH!” Gasped June as she watched the horrific scene unfold. Somehow, she had found herself back in this moment in time, fully grown yet unable to interact. Had she died somehow and was witnessing her life flash before her eyes? It was a common dogma that had been drilled into her; Upon one’s death their entire life, or rather every sin that had been committed would be broadcast to everyone in heaven so that they could see what a fallen soul she was. No, that couldn’t be it. If it were so, June would be fully aware of it. The lord himself would be standing over her from his heavenly throne so that she could feel the true despair of it all. Just what could be going on?
“Such a temper he had.” Came a mysterious female voice, prompting a jolt from the grown-up June. She turned to her left and had her gaze met by a figure in profile. She was clearly a woman, more specifically a Breeder. An extremely large bust, far bigger than June had ever seen in her life jutted forward from her chest, straining a tightly laced bodice. Further downward was a set of wide broodmare level hips, the perfect framework for a tremendous soft bubble butt. Yet what drew her attention most was the green cloak this woman was wearing. It was a deep emerald color, somehow visible in the low light, with a golden trim of an elaborate knot pattern. The hood was pulled over her face, making June unable to see her features well. The only thing that stood out was a pointed nose and a few curly locks of red hair.
“Yes…” said June automatically. “And it was always worse when he was drunk.” Her tone was laced with disgust and scorn. Somehow this had overridden her confusion over the strange situation. Something about the woman’s mere presence was calming her down.
“An instinct of self-destruction.” Replied the woman. “The struggles he went through both physically and mentally were too much for his psyche to handle. So, he tried to numb the pain.” A soft yet clearly melancholy sigh emerged from her lips. “Such a tragic cycle.”
“Tragic?!” June scoffed. “He was an abusive drunk! And he brought it all on himself! How is that the least bit sympathetic?!”
“Did his alcoholism only affect himself?” she asked.
“No?” June phrased it as a question at first as the implications only became clear to her afterwards. “Fair enough.” She said with a sigh. “I guess if he’d continued, he would have been the end of us all. “
“But he did not.” Said the woman. All of the sudden, the scene around them blurred away. June yelped in surprise and confusion. They were now back in the living room, only this time it was no longer past midnight. June looked to be a little older now, just about 13 or so. At the moment she was frantically doing her homework. From this distance she couldn’t tell what it was, but it seemed that detail was unimportant. In the background however, she heard footsteps and the frantic clattering of pots and pans. It could only be her mother, Tammy.
All of the sudden, Tammy burst out into the living room frantically. It had been many years since her passing, and she had looked quite different even then. Her blonde hair was currently frazzled and unkempt, while her sapphire blue eyes were highlighted with bags of fatigue. She was a slender woman of about 5’5″. Surprisingly despite being a stay at home homemaker, she was still able to keep her figure quite splendidly. But since she had been born well before the green light event, she had never awakened as a Breeder. Thus, she was far less curvaceous than her daughter eventually would be; a modest bust and only somewhat flared hips. Right now though, nobody would be paying attention to her appearance, save for the look of absolute panic on her face. “June!” she exclaimed; esenyurt escort her voice tinged with fear. “Where’s the buffalo sauce?!”
“Huh?” Young June asked, looking up from her homework. “I dunno, isn’t it in the cupboard?”
“No!” Tammy snapped. “Are you sure you didn’t see it somewhere else? You know I can’t make Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese without it!”
“Look I’m sorry!” responded June, her own voice escalating. “If it’s not there I dunno where it is!” The confrontation caused her mother to recoil a bit.
“Fuck!” she swore without a care that her daughter was overhearing. It was kind of surreal to see cursing out loud, at least outside the proverbial bedroom. Years of conditioning and countless dollars in swear jars had drilled it out of her. “What am I going to do? He’ll be here soon and you know how he gets if dinner isn’t ready when he arrives!” As if waiting for her to say that, they heard the sound of tire tracks going up the gravel driveway. He was here. “Shit! What do I do?” young June was beginning to panic herself. When her father’s temper was raging, there was no such thing as collateral damage. Somehow, she’d be drawn into it too. Before they had time to figure out what to do, the seemingly deafening sound of the front doorknob turning rang through their ears, followed immediately by the creak of the hinges swinging.
“I’m home.” A surprisingly neutral tone given how often he would return in a foul mood. Yet June and Tammy were not about to allow themselves to suffer that terrible illusion of hope though. At best they might be able to get a calmer fury from him.
“H-honey?” Tammy stammered as Mike strolled into the living room. She was doing her best to put up a brave face, while showing just how remorseful she was about the whole thing. “I-I have some bad news.”
“What is it?” while direct and straightforward, it lacked his usual aggression. If they weren’t frightened for their very safety, they would have probably taken notice.
“W-we’re out of Buffalo sauce.” Tammy whimpered. “I’m sorry! I didn’t know it was gone! I was just about to run to the store! Honestly!”
“Oh…I see, so it’ll be a little late.” Quiet acceptance? Now they really were confused.
“You-you’re not mad?”
“No darling… I’m not.” Mike responded.” “I know you probably think I’m going to hurt you again, but I promise you; It’s going to be alright!” he continued, cracking a wide beaming smile. It was doing nothing to dissuade the fear and confusion his wife and daughter were clearly feeling. Yet that seemed lost on him completely. “You see…” he then reached into his pocket, prompting a flinch of fear from them, laying bare the high levels of anxiety that would not go down until he revealed what it actually was; a small rectangular paper packet with a cartoon demon lounging in a martini glass. A religious tract. “This little tract showed me the light!”
“W-What?” Tammy stammered.
“It under my windshield wiper!” He exclaimed. “Someone must have been handing them out outside the liquor store! I got to reading it and I learned what a horrible sinner I’ve been.” Continued Mike, collapsing to his knees and clutching his hands together. For the first time in as long as they could remember, Mike was humbling himself. Every part of his body language seemed to scream “penitence”. “So, I prayed about it… and I realize now that Lord Jesus doesn’t want me to destroy my family… he wants me to live my life in his name. It is not too late for me to turn from my wicked ways!” He then looked up at them, with a pleading look on his face. “Jesus may have forgiven me, and I know I do not deserve it… but I ask you both to forgive me too. I swear I will never touch another bottle as long as I live, and I will become the husband and father you both deserve.” A long silence passed as Tammy and June just stared gobsmacked, trying to gauge his sincerity. It was only when he began to openly weep in sorrow that they began to approach.
“So it was that he changed.” Said the green woman softly. June did not turn her attention away from the spectacle, and simply looked on in silence. “On that day, he gave up the bottle and took up a Bible.”
“Yes.” June replied flatly. “It was a night of great change for the whole family.”
“A change for the better or for the worse though?” The woman in green queried. A simple question, yet one that gave June a great amount of pause.
“I…” she said, still pondering deeply. “I thought it was for the better at first.” She confessed. For some reason she felt an urge to bear her soul to this faceless woman. “But everything in his-no, our life suddenly revolved around God. It felt safer but our minds and lives were closed off to everything around us. “It was funny, not two weeks ago June would not have remembered it that way. Back then, she would have proudly recounted about how her father turned away from alcoholism to find Christ. Again, the scene shifted, blurring away to reveal the stadium-like interior of the church. Though she had seen it recently, the gap in years was obvious. The carpeting was that old dark grey color, clearly placed down to cover the hardwood floors until a better one could be found. The seats were still pews, rather than the individual reclining chairs they had installed about 10 years ago.
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