He laid in their king sized bed by himself; the house was quiet. He had called in sick to work so that he could rest and get his head together. Mercy had said by text she hadn’t left him, but having her and the kids out of the house felt really strange and wrong. He was getting texts from Dolores telling him about Mercy and the kids secondhand, about how she was betrayed by his writing, and how things would be different once he finished his training.
Eddie turned on his iPad and music and started to write. He felt like if he could just explain, just talk through everything with Mercy, that they could figure things out, so he could keep his wife and family and keep writing. He knew that Mercy would be immediately satisfied if he killed Carson Colt, shut down his website, put his sun pendant back on, and went to church. But he’d tried submitting to her before when they’d fought, and it just left him bitter and her vaguely angry; he sensed she lost respect for him when he gave in to her.
What could he do? His choices were to stay angry, not talk to her, leave his family and his children by themselves while he wrapped himself in a cocoon of hurt. Or, to compromise himself and kill his voice, to try and be the good little boy everyone else wanted to see.
Eddie remembered Billie Robbins, one of his favorite actors from childhood. Everyone’s favorite actor, everyone had been touched by Robbins’ magic. He would play a wounded healer, a boy in a man’s body, even the intrepid voyager through the afterlife to rescue his lost wife. He was so funny and intense and strong and deep and loving. He was inspirational to people, and open about his own struggles with mental health and alcoholism.
Then he killed himself. Eddie viewed it as a cautionary tale; pretend to be an angel, and get devoured by your demons. Better to be an honest bastard than a false god.
Eddie considered what would happen if he tried to be only good, only loving, only clean and responsible and clean minded. He thought it was a road to ruin.
He couldn’t solve the problem, not as he’d conceptualized it. He turned to his own divination method. He got out his sketchbook and markers, and started to draw shapes with his left hand. Eddie wasn’t fully ambidextrous, but he’d played piano for years, and had decent dexterity with his left. He considered his left hand the voice of his silent right brain, the brain that made his dreams and informed him subconsciously that something was wrong before he could articulate it.
This was his drawing:
He thought of the all seeing eye. He remembered the Urthonian legend of Barbelith, the living redemptive intelligence, a manifestation of the sentient universal entelechy, to reveal the truth to the people of Cronus. Thoughts came to him, like a voice he’d tuned out until now.
“Those who search for us become us.”
“The memories are there, deep in your body. The voice in you wants to speak and be heard.”
Was that what Eddie wanted, why he’d created Carson Colt? To tell Mercy who he really was, to make her really see him, and know him, instead of who she remembered him as or wanted him to be?
“Your soul isn’t in your body; your body is in your soul. You needn’t fear your wrathful aspect. It is your warrior, your protector. Disobedience has the power to overturn heaven.”
Eddie had always felt guilty when he got angry, and ashamed. When he was a kid, he’d start crying when he got mad, and it made any situation infinitely worse. So he’d take his rage and turned it into humor or exercise or motivation, as if the inciting event had no meaning of its own.
“You don’t know the power you wield. Mercy caught a glimpse of it, and was terrified. Carson Colt isn’t all you’ve created. You have whole universes within you.”
He’d been so isolated since he’d started medical school. All of his relationships had slipped away. Now, even his marriage was on hold, his kids out in limbo with Mercy’s family. Writing was how he hung on to people, how he maintained a grasp on what they shared with him, now denied to him.
“You are suffering now because you are changing. I am making you strong and pure and indestructible.”
“You have seen the worst of everything, and you are free.”
“You are mystery. You are redemption. You will teach the truth to the fallen. You will take the filth of the world and turn it to the purest gold. The black star approaches, but your people needn’t die. You can lead them into the fruition of their consciousness, the consummation of their potential.”
“The glory of our Lord has risen on you.”
“You know the brain. You are not only a psychedelic seeker, but a trained neuroscientist. Holographic models of consciousness, computational representations of informational hierarchies distributed across organic electrical networks, these are nothing new to you.”
“We will teach you the secret alphabet, the keys to unlock the minds and undo their hypnosis. You will know how to make them remember who they are and why they live.”
He opened up a blog post and began to type furiously. “Good morning, you bastards! I’ve gotten a lot of comments here about how crazy I am, and how your good old Carson Colt must be schizophrenic. Well, let me ask you, what’s really crazy? A country built thanks to the successful genocide of its aboriginal population? An economy underpinned by slavery? A foreign policy that requires bomb strikes on its enemies and every woman and child in a five mile radius? Maybe I’m the only sane one, because I remember this shit. And maybe all you readers out there in the Noosphere are getting a little saner every day too.”