Alpha Centauri 2

Community => Planet Tales => Topic started by: Unorthodox on April 17, 2018, 01:56:34 AM

Title: Uno and the witch's mark.
Post by: Unorthodox on April 17, 2018, 01:56:34 AM
This is going to be a series of longish posts.  Not fiction, mind you.  But more story ish than standard OT stuff, so I'll start here and leave for BU to decide where to stick it.  Unlike many threads in here, though, discussion in the middle is fine and encouraged.  I'll mostly be sticking to the story.  I don't know with my new schedule how often I'll be able to get in here to do this. 
Title: Re: Uno and the witch's mark.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 17, 2018, 02:03:45 AM
Title: Re: Uno and the witch's mark.
Post by: Syn on April 17, 2018, 02:09:58 AM
I don't know what this is but I'll be around.
Title: Re: Uno and the witch's mark.
Post by: Unorthodox on April 17, 2018, 02:30:59 AM
This isn't something I speak of.  Practically ever. 

To understand, you need to know the environment in which I was born. 

Mom was at one time a bra burning hippy, but by the time I'd come along had dove head first into becoming the perfect Mormon (LDS) housewife.  Dad, on the other hand, was decidedly NOT interested in the religion. 

At the time of my birth, he was attempting to work as a brakeman on the Southern Pacific Railroad.  However, this work was managed on a seniority list, and he was often laid off during the slow times, during which he'd work construction.  He smoked and drank, both to excess. 

They had moved into a starter home on a VA lone and were struggling to make payments when I was born. 

My brothers and I...none of us are 'right'.

My older brother is a more traditional freak.  He come out with 11 fingers.  They surgically fused the spare thumb as a baby, and he's got this horrid hook for a thumb on his right hand as a result. 

My younger brother, well, I can't decidedly say he inherited mom's full madness naturally or if it's the result of being dropped on his head as a child. (yes really)   

I was just wrong. 

BU has a cast of my face and has undoubtedly noticed the large mole over my right eye.  That would be enough to have strung me up as a witch back in the day.  These are fairly normal along my mom's lineage.  Mom had some, her dad, and so on.  I have several more various locations.  I could have them removed, but choose not to.  It is also, however, only the beginning on me. 

The witch's mark covered the upper left quarter of my back.  Oval in shape.  Black as night.  Over the scapula (shoulder blade) was a raised section that was unnaturally soft.  The outer area had this thick black hair, similar in courseness to a beard.  The raised section, however, had what can only be described as a very soft fur that was a light brown.  In all, it looked something akin to a bulls-eye. 

I was also born sickly. 

Of note to the time period shortly after birth is my asthma. 

Mom, in her way, decided to use this as a weapon against dad.  His first counter-attack was to follow his railroad job to California.  His home visits would be marked with intense fighting about the cigarettes and my health.

Money, my health, and if he'd just become more LDS things would get better.   

These fights would be the first time I'd hear about the devil's mark I bore.  I didn't understand much back then, but later would realize. 

See, while it's not something commonly taught or even referenced in the LDS faith these days, back then, such things were considered a curse from God along with any minority groups. 

Thus I was at fault for these fights.  I was a curse for them not living the gospel to it's fullest. 

Tomorrow, age 5-8ish
Title: Re: Uno and the witch's mark.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 17, 2018, 03:18:47 AM
I removed the mole for The Captain.

My buncle powers are tingling that I'm going to be crying within a few posts...
Title: Re: Uno and the witch's mark.
Post by: Unorthodox on April 18, 2018, 12:56:50 AM
By 4 years old, dad was once again laid off from the railroad and back home working construction. 

That winter, I come down with a particularly virulent strain of the flu, and was knocked out and down for some time.  Mom's unyielding assault on dad overcame his stubbornness and he agreed to give up the smoking.  Cold turkey, and never looked back. 

I have mad respect for him being able to do that.  With all his brothers, dad, uncle, etc smokers it couldn't have been easy. 

At 5, the LDS indoctrination really kicks into gear for kids (or did back then, it's actually a bit earlier now).  There were 13 boys and 2 girls in my age group at church.  With them diving right into the curse of skin color and blemishes early, it's no surprise that my only real friend in the class was the hispanic kid.  We were always teased by the other kids whenever the 'Lamanites' were talked about (cursed tribe of the book of mormon). 

And so it was in school that we stuck together as well. 

Dad had spent the better part of a year laid off, and money was getting real tight when mom got pregnant again.  I remember the arguments still.  If he'd just give up the drinking and join her at church, things would get better.  If she can waste money on tithing, he should be able to drink.  Etc. 

I actually interrupted one of these arguments the day I couldn't move.

This would also be the first of my now infamous fevers.  I was over 104 american when my mom freaked out.  My hands and feet had swollen like water balloons. 

The blisters started on my mark.  A rash would follow everywhere else a few days later, but that mark was oozing blood and open sores. 

I remember waking in the hospital to mom and dad arguing in the middle of the night.  This was clearly a sign from God that dad should quit drinking and go back to church.  Coincidence, another damn bill for this devil child dad can't afford.

Dad didn't talk to me.  I asked mom about being cursed one night as knight rider was on in the hospital.  It's just God's way of testing us, see.  If we all live the gospel, the curse will be washed clean.     

The third day in the hospital, they didn't know what I had.  The fevers were still terrible.  My hands were starting to gain function again, but I still couldn't walk.  I remember having to call for a nurse to help me to the bathroom and being incredibly embarrassed. 

Mom called in her brother and my bishop to give me a blessing that third day.  My fever was at 105.  I was talking to one of them about playing soccer when I got back out of the hospital.  They gave me a blessing (standard mormon ceremony). 

The next morning my swelling had gone, my fever was down, and I could walk again.  However, I had developed a heart murmur and the rash was getting worse.  I had been referred to an expert of some kind, and he put me on home quarantine. 

Thus, the day after my blessing, I was going home, and a miracle had been confirmed.  Bonus points for me mumbling about soccer to someone who hadn't been in the room, it was clearly an angel. 

Quarantine was interesting.  4 months.  Homebound other than the trips to the hospital to talk with the expert.  The rash eventually abated and much later the heart murmur. 

I had been diagnosed with Henoch-Schönlein purpura, but as with most things in my life, it attacked my heart instead of the normal route of attacking the kidneys.  In fact, I was one of only a handful of cases known at the time for that to have happened.  House once did an episode based on a similar case, in fact. 

One of the things this peculiar to this disease is a particular set of antibodies that build up in an area of the body.  I'll give you three guesses but you won't need them where...

The mark was now officially a ticking time bomb to cause a recurrence of the disease, and since it went straight for the heart last time, it was doubtful I'd survive another.  So, the study of my mark began, and how to go about removal. 

But that would cost money, and that gave mom more ammunition.  Dad was impressed by the blessing miracle, gave up his drinking, and began going to church as well. 

By the time my younger brother was born, dad was also back to work on the railroad.  Another miracle. 

huh, didn't make it quite as far as I planned...

Title: Re: Uno and the witch's mark.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 18, 2018, 01:24:49 AM
Hmm.  The blessing was a tell your dad wasn't accepted by the church, before you related he started going after, or he would have been in on it.
Title: Re: Uno and the witch's mark.
Post by: Unorthodox on April 18, 2018, 02:09:10 AM
Yes, dad SHOULD have been the one doing the blessing had he been a goodly mormon dad.  He took it as a sign the church was teh one true church at the time. 

I'm unaware of a couple things at the time but can surmise there was some discussions between mom and dad at the time about giving me a blessing, and dad was against, but finally relented in something of an if it will ease mom's mind way.  It's inconsistent with good lds folk to wait that long before giving the blessing in the first place. 

Dad's mom was rather devout LDS and his dad rather ambivalent.  I'm sure there was some motherly pressure being exerted as well. 

Title: Re: Uno and the witch's mark.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 18, 2018, 03:21:45 AM
Them cats take the Priesthood of the Believer on the level of Melchesidek pretty seriously.
Title: Re: Uno and the witch's mark.
Post by: Unorthodox on April 30, 2018, 05:03:13 AM
Lessee, where are we? 

Back at school, my quarantine had yielded a few odd side effects.  I was ahead of my class in math and science, but deemed well behind in a critical area: Speech. 

Thus, during the english portion of each day, I was sent to speech therapy where I was treated to a truly unique specimen of a therapist.  She thought she could cure my left handedness.

Then she saw the mark and was truly insistent (being on the left and all) it was all part of the devil upon me.  She also was the first to discover the fun fact that the mark didn't bleed right.  This weird liquidy black ooze. 

Meanwhile back at the doctor's with the expert, they discovered the mark was no mere surface anomaly, but rather had tendrils going down, with some seemingly attached to the bone.  They recommended monitoring rather than outright removal.  They can monitor for the anti-bodies, and address it in other ways to prevent a recurrence of the disease. 

At home, Dad had gotten steady work on the railroad as a brake man, on a regular crew, predictable times home.  We began going to church regular and faithfully. 

My best friend's mom became our teacher in the church, and kept the ridicule from the other kids in check.  That summer things were going quite well. 

My grandma decided us kids needed some sports and was going to pay for us to play 2 sports each summer from then on.  Swimming was mandatory.  My older brother chose wrestling as the 2nd, and thus I began wrestling as well. 

Swimming was predictable gasps and whispers at the mark, and a couple moms withholding their kids when I jumped in first day.  Carol was freaking awesome, though.  For the first time in my life someone looked at me, and told them they could go ahead and leave if it was a problem.

Wrestling, it oddly never come up.  That first year, I took 2nd place in my age group. 

Heading back to school that fall, it was the first week back.  I slept over at my best friends house on Saturday evening.  Monday, we got off the bus and were planning to play at his house. 

His dad had taken a shotgun to his mom, and then himself. 

The smell is with me today.  I've moved beyond the sight, but that smell I've never moved past.

I walked through it to get to the phone and called the police. 

I'd have nightmares of this for ages.  Any time dad would get angry, I'd think of it. 

Mom had the idea to desensitize me to the sights, and thus fed me a steady diet of R rated horror from then on.  It was probably a year before I started to find that FUN.   
Title: Re: Uno and the witch's mark.
Post by: Unorthodox on May 01, 2018, 04:44:06 AM
With my friend gone, both school and church were miserable.  I don't really remember much from that year. 

I was famously kicked out of church around this same time, as a 6-7 year old. 

They were playing this game where they'd blindfold a kid, and have him ask two other kids (one nominated as Jeebus and the other as Satan), who would either lead them through the maze toward a bullseye on the black board or make them trip on chairs and laugh.  My impersonation of Satan was not appropriate apparently as I led the kid right through the maze of chairs and as far from the bullseye as I could. 

I was also rather famous for asking questions in class.  Disturbing questions.  My mom would be called regularly.  She was getting increasingly angry with me over these disruptions at church as well. 

Dad took a test to become an engineer on the railroad and began working the engineers board when he could and falling back to the brakeman's board when his seniority wasn't enough.  This was better than going to the construction, so things were going fairly well, money wise. 

I do remember that summer, they changed the rules in wrestling.  No longer age groups, strictly paired by weight.  That meant I was wrestling kids 3-4 years my elder.  I wouldn't win a match for several years, but NO ONE would ever pin me.  I don't know why wrestling worked for me when other sports were more or less death to my asthma.  Probably the short 9 minute max matches. 

Speaking of asthma, come third grade, my teacher believed he could cure my asthma via exercise.  Since I was the biggest kid in class, this was just added motivation, and mom agreed he should have me running laps during recess.  Coupled with the continued speech therapy, and the already existing mark stigma and I was REAL popular with the kids.  I made friends with a set of triplets, however.  They were frequent marks for bullies, and I found fighting to be a great outlet, so I'd stand up for them at every opportunity. 

Knowing how my body works now, it really shouldn't have been a surprise that I had some severe asthma reactions that winter, running in the inversion air.  But I did. 

This would be the first time mom snapped. Blaming me for conspiring with the devil to have this sickness, she began the beating.  To quiet the screaming and coughing, she covered my mouth and nose with her hand until I passed out. 

Later this year mom and dad went to get married in the temple.  For those unfamiliar with LDS ceremonies, this meant they were to be sealed to the kids as well.  So, while mom and dad were doing their temple duties for a few hours, us kids were waiting in what amounts to a nursery for the sealing ceremony. 

This ceremony has ritual clothing, which for us kids amounted to white jumpsuits.  They zipped up the back, and when the time come to change, the nice old lady that had been watching us reached to zip mine up and hurried out of the room. 

A couple elderly gentlemen come in, peeled the suit off my shoulder, poked the mark a few times and asked me questions about it, then left. 

We were asked to change back into our street clothes and met mom and dad out front with no explanation.  Mom in tears. 

I had been deemed not fit for the temple ceremony, and thus my parents couldn't finish theirs.  They'd need to wait another year for me to be baptized.  Until then, this curse would be upon me/them.   The beatings and choking out become a regular thing any time I would do anything out of line from there. 

Title: Re: Uno and the witch's mark.
Post by: Buster's Uncle on May 01, 2018, 04:55:44 AM
Murder/suicide, I'm fine hearing about.  The child abuse is getting to me...
Title: Re: Uno and the witch's mark.
Post by: Unorthodox on June 14, 2018, 12:24:17 AM
The year I turned 7, there was a huge flood in Utah.  Among the things it did was damage the main rail line into Utah which stretched out over the great salt lake.  Dad was out of a job as an engineer as a result, but had work repairing the line.  It just didn't pay well. 

The flood also led to my first big building project: an aqueduct for the yard to funnel water from the hill behind away from the basement.  All dry stack castle wall.  It has a new facade over it now, but largely still stands. 

Dad was home regular at this job, and that tempered mom somewhat. 

I also was able to lie about my age and get a job working on a vegetable farm.  Just picking beans to start with, but it got me out of the house for hours a day, and gave me money.  I managed to squirrel some away, but mom had me buy my own clothes with most of it.  That didn't bother me much, really, as I was already planning escape plans back then, and had a bug out bag. 

At 8, the magical age for LDS youth, I was ready to be baptized.  I had been told my whole life this was going to remove my whole curse problem. 

Well, my ward got a new bishop.  One that would form a lot of my perceptions on the religion.  To be fair, this isn't fair to the LDS faith, I admit, because he was a fundamentalist [jerk, sphincter].  He had many questions about my little mark, and introduced the concept that I may be cursed so much that my only salvation may be to voluntarily submit my own life.  This itself is a perversion of blood atonement doctrine the church had officially disavowed in 1978, but assholes will be assholes, and bishops are king. 

Anyway, Baptism come, and dad got back to work like it was some kind of miracle. 

I'd spend more and more time at the farm, and was making enough to have a little extra, so would go catch a movie after work.  This would keep me out even longer from home, avoiding mom. 

By 10, between the farm work and years of practice wrestling bigger kids, I had become strong enough to hold my own and even win some, even though they were older. 

Summers were OK by then as well, I'd just never be home, but come school, home sucked. 

Mr [jerk, sphincter] pissed off my dad when he told him he was going to hell if he didn't quit his job to be home Sundays.  This was of course my fault. 

Mom and dad started arguing about religion again. 

I put my wrestling to use and mom was no longer able to choke me out...But should could beat me.  I still think the hair brush was the worst thing to be hit with.  The bristles lodged in my head.  The handle stayed in her hand.  Not fun to remove. 

I initiated the escape plan the first time at age 11.  I made it a week before the cops drug me back home.  They didn't want to hear about anything mom did.  She used to date most of them. 

By age 12, I was wrestling the varsity high school team.   And winning.  Brutally winning.  They had colleges talking to me at that age. 

Unfortunately the curse cropped up again in a huge way.  A kid decided to BITE it.  Remember the weird blood?  Well, coupled with puberty, that wound triggered something. 

It started to grow.  Freakishly.  Not just wider, but OUT.  The fur started to become hair.  It was about 4" tall, and the anti-bodies were spiking.  It had to come off. 
Title: Re: Uno and the witch's mark.
Post by: Unorthodox on July 18, 2018, 12:23:51 PM
Ah, surgery. 

We discovered I'm again not normal when the doctor failed to put me to sleep.  They switched drugs and finally got around to me on the third try. 

When I woke up in the middle of surgery in a panic, they ended up paralyzing me and leaving me awake for the thing. This has been a recurring nightmare.  I could FEEL everything, they put me on the funny gas to keep me quiet (and probably slow my breathing, I'm sure crying and stuff wasn't helping with the surgery) so I couldn't really articulate that, but I felt every moment of that surgery.  Or rather I felt the latter 2 hours of a 5 hour operation. 

About the surgery.  So, they had to remove the...growth...from my shoulder, dig down until they found the bottom, which amounted to cutting small layers, checking the microscope, cutting again, repeat.  Then, take a skin graft off my ass and paste it over the gaping hole in my shoulder.  That was the plan.  Some combination of it being deeper than expected and my panicked awakening meant they had to rebuild half the muscles along the way as well. 

Exiting the surgery, I got the news of recovery.  Bedridden for a week.  No lifting for 3 months.  Physical therapy after that. 

This meant no job.  It also meant I wasn't strong enough to keep mom from choking me out.  Though, I did pull muscles trying around the 4 month mark. 

I first picked up playing cards during this time, and became rather fascinated with various games.  Especially poker. 

Anyway, Dad was getting super busy, and working as much as possible.  Mom was having a faith crisis because he was doing well, which didn't fit the bishop's statements on him needing to stay home.  That moment I talked about before trying to fight her off was around her breaking point with the church. 

I was of the age that male members of the church start the more aggressive indoctrination.  During my 'worthiness interview', I was of course asked all about the mark, and about the OTHER marks that were not removed.  Thanks to a pedophile of an Uncle, and being brought up that certain things are none of anyones business, I had the wherewithal to know that I did NOT need to be showing him any marks around the groin. 

This would be mom's breaking point with the church after a few stops of blaming Uno along the way.  The I must be lying session that popped my shoulder being the first. 

We couldn't afford therapy.  I don't know how much the pulled muscles contributed, but I would never regain full motion of my left arm.  As a lefty, this was fairly crushing. I was also told I shouldn't wrestle again (mom blamed the injury on wrestling). 

When I was finally fully healed, we learned some of the more fun side effects of surgery as well. 

I can't feel anything over the scar. 
Anywhere ELSE on my back on the left side FEELS like it's in the scar. 
The scar CONSTANTLY ITCHES.  And I do mean non stop, this constant mosquito bite sensation.  For nearly 30 years now. 
Any pain on my left side refers to the scar.