Virtual Pets | Games
All characters are the copyright of Marvel comics. This story is for non-profit purposes of private entertainment only.
My French hasn't been vetted--forgive my mistakes. Translations at the bottom of the page.
The Starlight Saga, Chapter Two
"Enlevez vos vêtements.”
The boy does as he is told, carefully folding his shirt and jeans and placing them on the seat of a chair. He is reluctant to remove his underwear, but overcomes his unwillingness before the man can say anything. He has been in this place before, and knows better than to hesitate.
He reaches for the cross he wears on a rawhide thong around his neck.
“Non. Laissez cela dessus,” the man says, waving a dismissive hand. The boy drops his hand and stands, resolute, waiting for instructions.
They come, as usual, with an angry growl and a rough shove. He is pushed toward a chaise lounge in the middle of the room.
“Se couchent, l'idiot.”
The boy lays back stiffly on the uncomfortable vinyl-bound chair. There are tears in the fabric and the puckered edges bite into his unprotected skin. The man begins the rough task of arranging his body until he is satisfied with the look. One leg slightly bent at the knee, chin resting on loosely-curled fingers, free hand resting on raised knee, eyes slightly raised.
“Le séjour a mis, enfant de démon,” he says, and the boy knows what will happen if he does not remain perfectly still. It is hard for him, for he is a hyperactive child, but he masters the urge to wriggle with self-discipline far beyond his years.
The man begins to play with the lighting in the room, shining hot lamps on the boy from all different angles until he gets the light he wants, and something strange happens. The boy feels himself disconnecting from his beaten and malnourished body and floating away toward the ceiling, where he hovers, watching the goings-on with detached interest.
His body has not moved, but the stiff pose has grown infinitely more natural as the tension lines in his muscles have relaxed. For hours he sits, consciousness hovering above, and he does not once move, does not even blink.
The man paints with feverish abandon, capturing what he knows will be the greatest work of his career. Never has he been able to create so perfect a depiction, because children will always shift position and ruin the pose. As it is, he is not unnerved by the boy’s unnatural stillness, but rather elated by it. Although he knows this red-eyed monster to be the spawn of Satan, today the boy has become an angel, and to stand so near to divine Grace has given him a raging hard-on. It is hardly poetic, but he is a painter, a mediocre one at best, and not a poet.
He finishes at last and throws down his brush. Stripping off his smock he moves in to take the child, pushing him back hard into the chaise lounge and weighing him down with his pot-bellied old man’s body. His breath is hard and wet and ragged as he slobbers kisses on the boy’s neck.
He pulls away a little, preparing to fuck, but the boy’s calm, red-over-black gaze stops him. The child has never dared to keep his eyes on him before, and the man is unnerved by the total lack of emotion on his face.
“Tournez votre regard fixe, créature détestable!” he cries out, slapping the boy hard across the mouth. The child does not even flinch. And he does not look away.
He loses it completely, beating the child about the head and shoulders and screaming curses in French. The boy remains serene through it all, as though catatonic, or dead. Really realizing for the first time what it is to be alone in a room with a devil child, the man decides to rid the world of this creature once and for all. But he is not a strong man, and his studio contains no acceptable weapons, not even a decent palette knife. But it is four stories up.
He picks the child up in his arms. This is not difficult because, in spite of his unusual height for his age, the boy is nearly starved to death and weighs very little. He carries him to the window, open to let the summer breezes in, and dumps him out of it.
With a catlike twist of his spine, the boy lands on his feet. He remains where he stands for a few moments, letting his soaring consciousness perceive the shock and superstitious dread on the old man’s face, seeing the way he clutches for his chest and gasps for air as the heart attack he has been courting for years finally overtakes him. And then, as the man falls, the boy walks away, paying no mind to the people who stare at his naked and beaten body as he passes.
Remy hadn’t thought of that day in years. Hadn’t wanted to, for obvious reasons. There were worse monsters hiding in the dark oubliette of his memory, but this was the worst of the oldest. The worst because he knew in his heart that he’d killed the artist, and whether he’d intended to or not, whether the man had deserved it or not, that doomed Remy’s soul to hell for all eternity. He’d killed other men since, and even women and children if you counted…what he had been a party to down in the Morlock tunnels, but that filthy, pathetic old man was the first.
In the many years since that day, he had tried over and again to regain that dissociated state. It was horrible but it was wonderful, because it put him above pain and feeling. He had achieved it only once more in his life, and that time had been an accident, too. That had been after he betrayed Sinister in the tunnels, when Sabretooth—
But that, he refused to think about.
There hadn’t been many times since then, though, that he had felt the desire to separate mind from body. It hadn’t been long after his escape that he met Ororo Munroe, and from there his life had seemed to turn around. He was a misfit here with the X-Men, a black sheep, and he knew it—always had. But still, it was funny—this was the one place in the world he ever felt he might actually belong.
But he had wanted to feel that splitting of self in Antarctica. Even in the eye of his memory he could feel the bone-shattering cold of that dead place, and although he knew now better than ever that he had real friends here at the X-mansion, he felt again the blown-open loneliness and bitter hurt of his betrayal.
But he could not, for all of his splendid self-control, voluntarily set himself in that long-craved state of being. But, in his quest to find it, he had discovered a great joy of life.
It was perhaps a pale imitation of that ultimate freedom, but it was freedom nonetheless, and that was something he craved more than good sex or good food or good music. Being high above the filthy, noisy streets of the cities he stormed through like a Cajun hurricane put him in a near-blissful state of peace that he didn’t feel anywhere else. And the higher the better—there was no ledge too narrow or too high off the pavement for him.
The roofs of the Xavier mansion were disappointing in that regard, but since they overlooked only well-manicured lawns, a toy woods, and a quiet lake, they didn’t need to be very high to be peaceful.
He lay back. Although the sun had set, the shingles still retained much of the heat of the day and were warm against his back through the fabric of his T-shirt. He looked up at the stars shining cold and distant in the night sky and pictured himself among them, equally cold and distant. Untouchable. He loved the stars. There were few who would have believed that even if he had told anyone. Even Ororo, dear sweet padnat that she was, would likely have been hard-pressed not to laugh at the suggestion that Remy was capable of so thoroughly enjoying something so utterly beyond the realm of human pleasures. But it was true--the stars called to him in soft voices, brother-to-brother. He sometimes wished that he could be one himself, far above mortal worries. But, as always before, his imagining himself a place in the heavens was of no use. He was still very firmly rooted to the earth.
But no matter. He didn’t really feel the need to run away from this place. So one more dark secret of his past had been revealed. He found that it simply didn’t bother him. Let them think it did, if it made them feel better.
His full lips curved into a slight grin. “You can feel bad if it makes you feel better,” he quoted. “Picture me cryin’, readin’ all y’love letters.” His music tastes were eclectic, and he often found himself with some song or other stuck in his head from some chance reference that brought them to mind. This one was “You can Feel Bad (If it Makes you Feel Better)” by Patty Loveless. Appropriate name, he thought, considering the subject of the song. A real pick-‘em-up-an’-kick-‘em-out country song about a girl telling off her boyfriend when he breaks up with her.
According to Beast, Remy’s peripheral vision was extremely acute and his field of vision abnormally wide. He caught a quick flash of movement now at the lower corner of his sight and he sat up, breathing in the night and picturing himself a part of it, invisible.
It was Logan, climbing out of his own bedroom window and tearing off through the woods. He didn’t do that very often anymore, and Remy thought he might be the cause of this night’s foray. He wondered again at what could have caused the Canadian to be so upset by the news. Still, if he was an enigma then Logan was a puzzle with many pieces missing, and he decided not to ponder what were likely unanswerable questions anymore. He lay back down and returned his eyes to the stars.
On to Chapter Three!
* Enlevez vos vêtements. –Take off your clothes.
* Non. Laissez cela dessus. –No. Leave that on.
* Se couchent, l'idiot. –Lay down, idiot.
* Le séjour a mis, enfant de démon. –Stay put, demon child.
* Tournez votre regard fixe, créature détestable! –Turn your gaze, hateful creature!