Index was once a small and close-knit community, but the town located on the western side of Washington state has grown in recent years beyond anyone's expectations. It is the ideal place for those who work in Seattle but can't afford the city's high real estate prices, and for others the natural beauty attracts them to the town. And Index truly is a beautiful place - surrounded by thick evergreen trees, tall mountains and glistening rivers and lakes. While weather is typically rainy with overcast skies even this does nothing to take away from the beauty of the town, and it is only highlighted further when the heavy snow graces the town and caps the mountains in winter. To many, Index would seem like a paradise. And yet lurking beneath this visual beauty there is more to this town than anyone might ever imagine...

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 [Closed] Hallelujah

[Closed] Hallelujah

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[Closed] Hallelujah

Helios Tallon | Army of God; Chief

Posted on Wed May 10, 2017 5:37 pm

It was another sweltering day. Not that there had been a pattern of them, but there seemed to be when I was heading in for treatment, just like I was today. It was that sticky heat, the kind where you cannot tell if you are sweating, or if you are swimming because it is not just your skin that feels wet, it is in the air. It was a thick air, almost soggy. Not even the breeze could cut through it, it was so thick. And I felt like the clothing I had chosen for the day had absorbed that moisture, by the time I had reached the front door, I felt ten pounds heavier.

The little bell chimed as I pushed open the door. Which was unusual for a residence... But this was no ordinary residence, now was it? A business was hidden inside the three story house. Which came as a surprise if you had never been inside. The home did not even look structurally sound, yet inside it was alive with repugnant clientele. It probably did not look like much, barely enough business to pay the rent. But the three men sitting in mismatched wooden chairs along the staircase knew, just as I did, that the four of us combined was more than enough to cover the cost of rent for several months.

I hid my face in my hood, head tilted downward as I stepped towards the counter. I listened to voices and thumping sounds of feet on the other side of the beaded divide. Waiting patiently at first, then less patiently. To most, my restless fidgeting and high strung mannerisms were out of character. None saw me this way, not a single soul had witnessed my series of declines in all the years I had been a member of The Army of God. I did have a tendency to become elusive when I felt that urge ascending. Not out of any feeling of fear, but... Something else. Something that had been burned into my brain as clearly as the lessons my ruthless teacher had taught me all those years ago. Even thinking back to those lessons now... I could smell the musty dirt of the basement floor... I could hear the chains rattling... I could see through those blurry, tear filled eyes... A half corpse writhing on a hook...

She's ready. The same woman that I had met with many times stood on the opposite side of the counter. Her long grey hair danced in the wind of one of the several fans that were buzzing around the entrance. She seemed to never age... Which was not entirely a feat. Every time I saw her, I was greeted with fine lines, and less fine ones too. The skin of her face hung off of her skull like a Shar Pei, sagging and drooping. She always had a smudge of lipstick on her teeth, which never matched shade she was wearing. But as your eyes traveled down, it was easy to recognize that she was not shy. A halter top with a V cut so low in the center you could see her belly button hung off of her sagging breasts, like slabs of pork roast draped in a thin napkin.

I hated when I got this way. My personality seemed to change in an unfavorable way. Even as I passed the three men waiting in mismatched chairs, I could not shake the boorish thoughts that followed. The first man had been chewing on a toothpick, no longer the color of wood, but splotched in something I could only assume was Hi C. He had a ragged notebook sticking out of his pocket, sleeves torn straight from his plaid shirt, and his jeans were coated in dirty brown splotches. Sitting beside him was a hard hat, and he, out of the three, was the only one that had no problem staring daggers in my direction. As if I had cut in line. Unknowing that I had made my appointment ahead of time.

The other man seemed more like myself. Attempting to hide his face, likely afraid his girlfriend would somehow find out he'd been frequenting the bordello. He looked rather young, uncomfortably so. He too had hidden his face in his hooded sweatshirt, his baseball cap hung low and hands fidgeted in his front pocket. There was nothing off about him, if not for his infectious nervousness I might not have noticed him at all. The other was the oldest of the three, completely shirtless, cut off denim shorts that sat right above his knees... And Crocs on his veiny feet. He'd been slopping gum in his toothless mouth since I had entered, and seemed to stare blankly at me with a toothless grin the entire time I passed by. His eyes even followed as I was lead to the door that lead downstairs. She'll be right with ya' darlin'.

I nodded, but didn't lock eyes. Instead, I just lazily plopped down the stairs, as if entering my dungeon of pain and virtue had sapped what little energy I had left in an instant. I did manage to pull the hood from my head, however, and my senses were instantly refilled with that scent of musty dirt. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might... I whispered, but it still carried an echo. I jumped at the sound of it, like a cat afraid of it's own shadow, and nearly fell down the last few steps of stairs. But I caught myself on my hands, dirt from the floor pluming up and out in front of me. I could feel it sticking to the sweat on my face. The buzzing light above was no longer as bright, the dirt casting a shadow over me... For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit... My voice caught in my throat when I heard the door above slam shut.

The sound of feet slowly descending down the steps had me crawling backwards on all fours until I hit the wall, panting in fear, my eyes darting about as the devices hung behind me rattled from the weight of my impact. More steps, and they seemed to move even slower, and my body sat frozen, the only movement was that of my chest heaving up and down rapidly. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. I said quietly. WRONG! Her foot stomped hard against the next step, though I could not see her yet. PROJECT! My vows... What were my vows again? My brain rattled with useless words, patched together from past conversations. None of which seemed to attach themselves to my tongue, let alone my lips.

I could feel my voice shaking even before I opened my mouth again. What are they? She asked calmly as she reached the bottom of the steps, her eyes sunken and furious. What. Are they? She asked again more sternly as her feet carried her to the wall behind me where she reached for the whip. E-Evil... I whimpered, tears already flooding my eyes as I awaited the inevitable. Take off your clothes. I began stripping, hesitantly, knowing the pain at my back that would soon consume and heal me. She kicked hard at my side with her heels, and I fell to the ground in a fetal position, still desperately attempting to undress as I tried to scan my mind for a string of words that aligned with my vows. But nothing came to me... The only sound I could produce was a holler as I felt the whip crack down inches from my face.

The radio started to sound moments after... A song of irony, scratchily and loudly drowning out my screams that we both knew would come. Why are you here... The question was new, and still I struggled forming a reply. I failed... And what did you fail, Helios? I dare not make eye contact, instead I stared down at the ground. Who... What? She cracked her whip again.

Not what did I fail... Who... Did I fail...

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