Date: 4 Monday February 2041ce 1002z
Location: Marshal Estate, Louisville, Kentucky (-0500)
Over the years, Mac’s perception of reality had become never ending torture.
Whether awake of asleep, the reality of his existence was something he could never deny. Dream was a time of insanity with joy and horror dancing about in chaotic frenzy; Being awake was a time of complete and total impotence.
Both were their own misery.
Dream would end with the ebb and flow of freeform ideas being suddenly and harshly swept away, the real world coming into focus as it replaced components of the dreamscape.
From the madhouse…
Through eyes that were beyond his control, Mac began to see Body reflected in the bathroom mirror.
…to the prison.
The eyes were focused downward, applying paste to brush; Mac could see the gone-to-fat stomach.
A moment later, Body began brushing his teeth and the ruin of Mac’s face became visible.
The face was asymmetrical, a pattern of burn scars that began at the right chin and then proceeded to the left check and continued past the ear almost all the way back.
The right cheek was a mangle of grey and brown fur, and his crown and left side were covered by short but wild wisps that were far greyer.
Time for the Sisters to pay you a visit.
What remained of his face, being all but his chin on the right side and the region around his nose up to forehead on the left, was round and pudgy, showing the spots and sagging of age. Both eyes were dull and vacant.
Body went through the motions trained into him by the Sisters, formally The Sisters of Last World Charity, cleaning his face and groin and arm pits to remove the nighttime stink, then putting on the next set of clothes lined up for him in the closet.
Mac respected the Sisters, more so than any other religious person he’d ever known. They would trim his beard and hair, take his dirty clothes, return clean clothes and hang them in the closet, give him a medical checkup without complaint, treating Body kindly and with dignity. But most of all, there was true charity in their work, a matter of their faith that they were not guaranteed a place in Heaven for it. They did it because it needed to be done.
Like all others of the True Faith, they knew they were only promised a meaningless limbo after death, to await the day when a pure soul defeats Satan himself and all of mankind (including all those who had been damned to Hell prior to the Last World) would ascent to Heaven, or to become uncreated when God snuffs out the last of evil for all time should that pure soul fail.
Too bad they’re crazy like the rest.
Mac didn’t believe the Last World Prophecy. He knew too much about it. He knew about the Honored Reverends. He knew about Reverend Marshal.
And how Doctor Cavanaugh created Mac’s personal purgatory through ignorant incompetence.
And most of all, he knew about Adam.
Mac knew everything.