The Oblivious Child, an origin stroy




It's early in the morning, late for me now. The sun is just now peaking above the tall buildings of Kings Row, coloring the shields that most amazing violet color of the morning. Its orange gold light has started competing with the bluish flicker of the old TV set that has served as some light for me these past few hours. It's peaceful, warm, comforting. It tries to convince me that I can step out of this attic, go grab a doughnut and some chocolate milk, and just pretend nothing has happened. No! That's no good! I realized how bad that thought was just as soon as I put it down. It's late for me and my mind is demanding sleep, going on strike until I meet its demands. I have to figure out a way to stay awake though; I can't succumb to sleep. I am barely holding myself together as it is and if I lose consciousness, I'm afraid I'll never come back.

The sunlight has found Father lying in his cot. I almost wish it would disturb him, rouse him. Lying there in the golden light, he looks so peaceful, serene, almost saintly... except for the flies. I just can't keep them away and I really have tried. I just hope that when I bring the police here, they don't find out that I'm the one who killed him. I don't know what I would do if I did kill the old man. I hope they find that he died peacefully, painlessly. After all, there are no marks on him. It's the least he deserves for saving me.

I wish I knew more about the old man, what his name (names are so important!) was, what he did for a living, does he even have a real family? I've tried to find out more, but I haven't been able to find anything that would help to identify him in this small attic room, nothing that even seems personal to him. The only photograph that I have found is an over exposed and badly faded one of a white kid with a bad overbite and scratched up glasses. That's a far cry from the unusually tall emaciated ancient Indian man that Father happens to be. Besides, a strange painful twisting in my gut tells me that the photograph is probably of me. I feel a sick kind of apprehension just thinking about that picture and what may be beneath these leathers that I'm wearing. And now I can't stop thinking about it, like my tiered brain is trying to get some kind of revenge for not letting it rest. But I can't risk sleeping. The last time I woke-up, it was from the brink of oblivion and not from a dream!

I woke up feeling like I had fallen asleep while driving. Quick and sudden, a thrash and jerk to ward off some kind of imminent doom. Thoughts and knowledge that I had before waking ripped away from me in a panicked frenzy as I saw my legs start to vanish from sight! I thrashed and kicked, screaming with a voice that seemed only a whisper and tried to feel my legs, get them to come back. I rolled off of the cot that I had been lying on, struck the floor, and felt the sheet that I was now wrapped in pull through my leg. With that, my mind locked up in panic. I kicked again and again as if I was simply trying to wake up a limb that had gone to sleep. And that's when my palms began to slip through the floor. I felt the wood grain slide through the skin and meat of my palms and into the bones. Dust and dirt seemed to mingle with my blood as I tore my hands free of the floor and threw myself across the room. I saw my legs were again attached to me and solid and my hands were whole if not a little wounded from the splinters still embedded deep within them. With each breath I took, I calmed my self down a bit and focused on my entire body staying solid and connected.

I sat against that wall for several hours, too afraid to move or even think of anything but how solid my body was. I felt it waver several times when my thoughts drifted too far but each time it became a little easier to regain control. As I became more accustomed to my condition, I began taking stock of my situation. "What is going on?" was, of course, the first big question, but one I had hardly any way of answering without risking a fall through the floor again. The second question was much less risky to answer. To answer the "where am I?" all I had to do was look at something besides my legs.

After several quick glances away from my legs and then back again to make sure they were still there, I looked around this small attic room. Out of its single round broken window I could see the massive shields glowing in the dimming light of evening. Paragon City, at least I was still home. However, at that very thought, a slight panic griped me. All I could think of when I thought of home, beyond the cold facts of the city, was a bleak feeling and an image of a old couple sitting on a well worn orange couch illuminated by the flickering glow of a television set. I tried to bury the distress and stay calm as my eyes flitted across the overturned army cot that I had been sleeping in. A television tuned to static sitting atop a milk crate pulled my eye over to a naked old Indian man lying near a closed door. I almost lost my grip that I had maintained when I saw Father. I felt my body slip slightly before I was able to solidify it once more. I knew he was dead right when my eyes fell upon him though I still don't know how or why. I also felt an immediate draw to him, a need for him like a drawing mans need for a life raft. Before I realized what I was doing, I was crawling across the floor to him, feeling sorrow and gratitude wash through me. He had saved me, pulled me back from the brink of complete and total annihilation, saved me from the ocean of oblivion.

Concerns for my condition became much less urgent for me as I held the old man and cried as if I known him for my entire life. All I knew is he had saved me, delivered me from Oblivion and brought me back into the world. He was like a second father to me. I put him in the cot and covered him with the sheets and tried to keep the flies off of him as I held a vigil by his side. I don't know what I expected, maybe a chance to save him, or perhaps a miraculous reawakening, or just some answers. Nothing came, but I felt comfort being close to him. A part of me is terrified now of loosing sight of him, like his proximity is what is keeping me whole.

As I sat with Father through the night I tried to piece together what had happened to lead up to this, but found I couldn't form a clear and cohesive picture. Trying to remember my life before this night is like trying to remember a half-forgotten nightmare. It ends up being just a chaotic collection of feelings without reasons, images without names, and a sense of dread the deeper I look. I remember watching the world go by. I remained on the periphery, never got involved, never did anything, just watched, always watched. I remember a classroom full of students and a teacher who ignored me completely. I never did anything to draw attention to my self, never did anything worth remembering even for me. I remember a job shelving books in a deserted library, dark except from dim table lamps. It was always deserted except when two men in suits would chase me trying to take my picture. I remember being trapped in a green lit grocery store because the doors refused to open. Being arrested for having a fake ID by a massive cop and then being left in the patrol car for hours until I found a way to slip out. Grey cars with gray people in a colorless world. Streets filled with phantoms that blow by me and through me. Screaming at the top of my lungs for someone to hear me, but never being heard. Running home to find the house deserted and all the furniture cleared out. Isolated in a ghost world that turns less and less distinct by the moment. Panicking when I realize I don't have a name dissolving into nothingness my ego ceases to be and I am gone erased and noth...

and I almost lost my self again. I can't think about those things that led up to now. It breaks my concentration, calls oblivion to me. It's the same reason why I can't look beneath the leather and the mask. I'm not afraid of what I'll see but rather what I won't see. I'm existing on the edge, a hairs breath from nothingness. The only person who knew I existed is dead and now I think that my knowledge of my own existence is all that is keeping me from the void. I am real, I am here, I am living and this journal is proof! As long as my writing exists, then I must exist. I might be grasping at straws now, but maybe it's enough.

It's getting harder to keep up my concentration but the sun is fully up now. I will find a phone and call the police, let them know where Father is so he can receive a proper burial and if he has family, so they will know of his fate and sacrifice. I don't know what will become of me when I leave this room, but hopefully I will be able to hold myself together long enough to get the authorities here. And to who ever is reading this, Father saved me from nothingness and I think it cost him his life. Spread this around so others will know I exist and his sacrifice would not be in vein. My first name and life, for what ever it was worth, is gone. I guess I am now the kid of an unknown man and oblivion... I am Kid Oblivion.