Taste the Whip

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Last time, on The Adventures of Cat Madigan.

I woke up in a brothel that I had to save Daniel from. I also got a dominatrix to take her clothes off.

And now things are going to get weirder.

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Act natural, act natural, act natural. Christ Cat, you’re a frigging model, that’s one step away from a hooker. You can do this.

It’s easy to not show anything as I walk through this place, but it’s another thing entirely to not feel anything. In truth, I am scared half to death. This place is far more frightening than any of the dungeons or torture chambers I’ve had the misfortune to be in.

The Fury instructed me to go to the cells to find the woman. But this place is huge, and everywhere I looked, there were writhing figures and strange…contraptions with people strapped or chained onto them.

Suddenly, I’m span around, and I’m facing a tall, dark man with piercing eyes. “And what do I call you?” he enquired.

Fuck… “You can call me whatever you want,” I said randomly. The man frowned, so I added, “I think the question you want to ask is, Who are you?Fan-fucking-tastic Cat Madigan.

To my relief he chuckles. “You’re a different dish,” he mused. “But you’re too shy for a Fury.” He grabs me by the waist. “I think my dear, you are wearing the wrong uniform,” he breathed in my face.

It’s like my heart is getting squeezed from the inside. This man is a giant, and he could do whatever he wanted with me at the snap of his fingers.

…no.

Not today.

I slap him across the face, and I know, as he staggers back, that everyone starts watching this new performance, even stopping their own…acts, in order to focus on us. “I know what I am,” I inform him frostily.

“Fucking bitch,” he growls. “You’ll do as I-”

CRACK!

In a split second, I had pulled out my whip and cracked it at him. It slashed his chest and he cried out. “You do not have control over me,” I snarl at him. “I am not yours to command, no matter what you may think.” Conscious of everyone around me, I continue. “The next time you touch me I’ll strike that hand. The next time you curse at me I’ll strike that tongue.” I crack my whip again and he falls to the ground. I walk over to him and pull him up by the hair. I whisper to him, “I am not your whore. I am your mistress, and you’ll obey me till I see fit.”

“Now,” I hold him behind his back. “Take yourself to the cells, I’ll be with you in a minute.” When he hesitates, I bark out, “Now!”

He immediately starts walking, and I follow. It can’t be that easy, I was thinking. This guy was about to rape me a moment ago, why is he doing as I say?

The cells were remarkably like the dungeons in the castle. The only difference was all the…toys. I shove the man into one cell and I close the door behind us.

When the door slams shut, he rushes at me. He grabs my throat and shoves me against the door. He pulls my scarf down and grips my face as if he would crush it in his grasp.

I growl, and hold my five lettered hand down on his chest. They burn into him and he cries out. Now that I have the advantage, I kick off his stomach and he goes crashing into the other wall.

Dusting myself off, I pick up one of his arms and cuff it. He starts refocusing just as I am finishing the other, and he snarls at me. “Fucking cunt,” he spits.

“Oh shut up,” I groan, rearranging my scarf. “I am sick and tired of this place already. I am trying to find my friend and I am not in the mood for anymore of this bullshit. I just want some facts.” I look at his savage face. “Which I’m guessing you’re unwilling to give me?”

He spits at my feet. “Don’t worry, I’m not an actual Fury, so I won’t hit you,” I inform him. “But you’ve probably already guessed that. Anyway, I need to go and you are a very loud person, so…”

Looking at the display on the wall, I ask him, as if I were asking for the time, “Which of these will knock you out quickly?” Ignoring his responding curse, I pick up a cane and analyse it. “Good enough.”

His eyes widen as I swing it up. “Sorry,” I tell him, before swinging it into his temple.

Praying that he didn’t have an even more damaged brain, I quickly got out of there and started listening in the other cells for anything of note. But there was nothing, no talk of humans, or anything sounding remotely like Daniel.

The woman probably lied to me. Of course she did; I had held her at knifepoint, or whatever the flammable equivalent is, and forced her to strip. She wouldn’t get anything from telling me the truth. Why the hell did I believe her?

Exasperated by my ignorance, I started walking out of the cells. But then someone grabs me by the shoulder and pulls me back in. “Let me go,” I snarl at him.

“I need you for something,” the man growls.

“Did it not occur to you I’m busy?” I retort.

“I don’t hear any customers of yours,” he replies. “I just need a helping hand.”

I automatically hear the euphemism first. “Can’t you use a Meek for that?”

“Not that.” He spits out the word as if it tastes foul. “We have a little problem back here, and I want to know more about it. I want someone to read him.”

Read him? “What does that have to do with me?”

“Since you’re not busy, you can do the job,” he replied. He takes me into a cell at the far end, and I look away from the occupants, trying to seem more polite than disgusted. There’s another door in this cell, though there wasn’t one the one I had been using. He leads me through the door into a well furnished room, which reminded me of Daniel’s own chambers. There’s one more door, and when we go through it, I feel a wave of dread crash through me.

Two chains extend from the ceiling, suspending Daniel’s arms in the air. His feet are attached to the floor by a similar set, and when he looks up, his eyes are detached and bleary.

“What can you tell me about him?” The man looks at me expectantly.

I hesitate, before walking over to Daniel. “I…haven’t read many people,” I say.

“And you call yourself a Fury?” the man spits.

“I can do it,” I tell him hurriedly, even though I have no idea what to do. Kneeling before Daniel, I cup his face in my hand, and I pray that he’s not gone, that he knows I’m here.

Almost if by magic, he begins to focus and he blinks himself awake. Then he takes in the sensation of the chains pulling at his arms and he hisses in pain. I put my thumb over his lips. “Shhhh,” I warn him.

He looks up at me and his eyes flash with shock as he realises who I am. His eyes look me up and down, and I know that he’s registering me, with my scarlet corset and black skintight pants. I turn back to the man. “What do you wish to know?”

“Start physical. Look at him, tell me what you can see.”

I hesitate. “He’s dehydrated. And probably starving. He keeps dissociating, or something of the like.” I just say things at random, in the unlikely hope he won’t suspect something. “Build…” I release Daniel’s face and walk around, checking for anything I can tell the man. Daniel’s shirt is gone, and I can see the bruises on his back. “He’s a fighter,” I say. “He’s taken some recent wounds, but these,” I indicate the lighter marks, “have been there for years. He can take a beating, probably anything you can throw at him.” I pause. “Sensitivity.” I rest my hand on his waist and I feel him flinch. I run it up his side and he groans. “Very,” I said. I turn to the man. “There’s no reason to torture this man. He’s not going to tell you anything while he’s still breathing.”

“You know him,” the man said flatly.

Trying very hard not to show anything, I look up. “Oh?”

“You forgot to mention that this man is human,” the man informs me. “It was almost as if you didn’t notice. Interesting.”

I clench my jaw. “I don’t see the difference, if I may be honest. And besides, who wouldn’t know him? He’s almost as well known as Kaya.”

He flinches. “You should know better than to mention her,” he growls. “The name’s taboo. We’re in enough trouble anyway.”

“Why is he here?” I ask. “I thought they had already interrogated this place. What reason does he have for coming here?” I grimace. “Apart from the usual reason.”

“The Meek,” the man groans. “Or rather, the one pretending to be.”

“What are you saying?” I can feel my heart rate rising at the word pretending.

“There was an infiltrator. What’s more, she was a human one. Understand now, Fury?”

I only took in the word human. “You mean…”

He sighs. “We found the girl after. They don’t know about her yet, but it’s only a matter of time. We should’ve killed her, if I may be honest.”

“You didn’t?” I frown. “Why…if I may ask.”

He looks at me as if I were an idiot. “I’m not a monster,” he says. “I know what everyone says of me, but I can’t kill someone just to avoid bad publicity. You might, but I can’t. It’s…cowardly, but I can’t live with her death on my conscience.”

“I think I can understand that.” I pause. “So you won’t kill her. Or this man.”

“I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I did. But I can’t let them out either.” He thinks for a moment. “They can both work here. They’re both able bodied, well, he will be after he’s fed up again. We need to break them though.”

“Break them?” I already have a bad feeling in my stomach.

“This one especially.” He indicates Daniel. “Let out now, he’d attack the customers. He’s too wild.”

I close my eyes. “Isn’t that the same as killing them?”

“No one’s dying. Not really. Think of it as retraining.”

“Brainwashing.”

“Yes,” he says, completely unfazed. “Everything is fine as long as no blood is spilled. Much like how it is out there,” he indicates where the prostitutes are all coupling.

“There’s still the matter of ‘breaking’ him,” I tell him. “How do you break a man who has endured enough pain for a thousand?”

“Simple. You take the one thing he cares about the most, and destroy it in front of him. And there she is.” He looks at me pointedly.

I’m silent. “Oh don’t feel sad about it,” he says in what sounds like a comforting voice. “For what it’s worth, you put on a very good act. If you hadn’t probed further, you would’ve gotten away with it. You certainly behave like a Fury. And your reading is quite good, for someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Maybe that’s just your relationship with him, but still, you seemed to grasp physical and mental analysis quite well.” He smiles at me, but it only reaches his lips. “It’s your eyes which are the problem. Not something people care about usually. But they show too much emotion for someone around here…. If it makes you feel better, he was found fairly quickly, far faster than you.”

“What are you going to do?” I ask. They won’t kill you, but it won’t be pretty either.

“Waste not, want not,” he replies. “You can be broken in too. And then I’ll have two new employees. It all works out in the end.”

At that I burst out laughing. It’s a mad, maniacal sound, but that’s the last thing I care about. “I’m already broken!” I crow at him. “Broken beyond repair. Go ahead! Smash every bone in my body! Take anything you want, take everything I am!”

He shows nothing. “It’s fine,” he says easily. “We have things for freaks like you.”

Only then do I notice the two Fury’s behind me. Before I can react, I fall to the ground, weighed down by the massive shackles on my hands. “This is my field, Lady Madigan,” he tells me. “I make the rules here. And I accept your challenge.” He turns to the Fury’s. “Make sure he watches as you break her. That’s the point of this. Break her soul, and you’ll break his.”

I’m sorry Daniel, I thought, as the Fury’s approached me.

_

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Who Am I?

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“Cat Maaaaaaaadigaaaaaan,” I hear you nonexistent readers cry. “We wanna know what happened to your friend in Deliiiiriuuuuuuuuum.”

FINE YOU NONEXISTENT LITTLE SHITS.

Nah, it’s alright. I do need to talk about it, at least if I want to make my bad mood seem more plausible.

As some of you nonexistent readers know, I had managed to get permission from Christan to see my friend from Reality who had ended up in Delirium. I’m guessing they thought it would help get him to talk more. I didn’t really care, I just wanted to see him.

It was Christan himself who escorted me, along with Daniel, who wouldn’t be left behind. When I objected, he rolled his eyes. “If things get out of control, someone needs to step in,” he said.

“I’d be fine,” I told him. “Even if he didn’t recognise me, he’d be chained up, wouldn’t he?”

“Your friend isn’t who I’m worried about,” he said.

I frowned. “I don’t follow.”

Daniel grinned. “You wouldn’t,” he admitted. “For a killer, you are far too innocent.” He doesn’t flinch when I slap him across the face. “I’m talking of that gift he gave you.”

“That ribbon? What of it?”

He sighed. “I am here to protect your virtue,” he informed me.

“What virtue? Mines already ripped to shreds. Here, at least.”

“Then your reputation.”

“…again. What reputation?”

“Alright then. I am here to stop Christan from taking you in the dungeon.”

“Well that was blunt.” I groaned. “Does this mean you’re going to make me wear a belt too?”

“Hey, I have nothing against you having relationships with people,” Daniel corrected. “The only thing I object to is you doing stuff to make others happy.”

I frowned. “Don’t I do that anyway?”

“Not in that sense.” Daniel groaned and shook his head. “Look. His Grace is a nice kid, but he has….the potential to turn into a tyrant.”

“Like Joffrey?”

He smiled at that. “Yes, like that turd of a Game of Thrones character. It’s just a matter of letting him learn his power. Do you understand at all?”

I nodded. “Only let a king know what he should do, not what he can do.”

“Good girl. Basically what I’m trying to do is to make him remember his morals. Just because he wants something, doesn’t mean he should have it.” Before he could continue, the door opened and Christan walked in, with Thommand following behind him. Both greeted us warmly, and vice versa. An outsider would’ve considered us happy to see eachother.

This wasn’t necessarily the case. My view of Thommand was along the lines of a serpent whispering in Christan’s ear. Daniel wouldn’t take his eyes off Christan, who greeted me as a dear friend, even though this was but the second time we had met. Thommand watched everything too, and even I noticed how Christan continued to hold my hand after he raised it to kiss.

We travelled down the long staircases, everyone giving us lingering looks as we passed them. I was wearing something more appropriate than when I was first in public; a long grey gown, not unlike ones which Jhaq occasionally wore. Did they look at Kaya the same way? I’d have to ask her that.

The ostentatious castle grew less ostentatious the more stairs we travelled down. When we were growing close to the dungeons, I was starting to feel glad that I didn’t live here all the time. It would be a chore to walk around this place all the time, like Daniel did.

I had stayed mostly quiet this whole journey to the dungeons. When we entered the long passage which would lead us to them, however, I started hearing sounds of a commotion, growing louder and louder as we walked. “What’s going on?”

Suddenly someone charged past us, and sprinted towards the entranceway. More followed, a dozen guards stumbling after him. “Don’t let him get away!” Christan yelled out.

I don’t know why I did what I did, or how. But in a split second, my hands were shaking and I was hurling a ball of light where the prisoner was running.

He stopped before the entranceway burst into flames. His hesitation was what cost him his freedom, as at that moment, a guard caught him up and slammed him against the wall. “Quick work Cat,” Daniel whispered.

Christan’s eyes were wide, as if he’d never seen something like that before. Thommand merely looked curious. “You’ve been training,” he noted.

“I’ve had practise,” I replied. I didn’t tell him how I’d been throwing fireballs at Daniel’s ceiling whenever I had been annoyed at him. Which was a lot.

“Just as well.”

I turned away from the three of them and walked to the prisoner. “Don’t hurt him!” I told the guard holding him up against the wall. “I want to speak to him.”

“Why? So he can bite off someone else’s hand?” he growled. The prisoner gave a dark chuckle at that, only to get slapped around by the guard.

“Take him back to his cell, for gods sake,” I demanded. “Or another cell if you can’t use that.”

“Who are you to order me around?” The guard turned to leer in my face.

I refused to cower. “My name is Cat Madigan and I just burnt down a stone entranceway,” I replied. “I am Daniel’s ward and Kaya’s student and I know this man, and I demand to speak to him alive, or so help me, I will turn you into charcoal!”

“Get. The fuck. Out of my sight!” he screamed.

I’m close to raising my hand to strike when Christan interrupts. “Return the man to his cell,” he ordered. “And if I dare see you speaking that way to Lady Madigan once again, you’ll join him.”

The guard bristled, but did as Christan said. He turned to me. “You have no idea what he’s done, Freak,” he informs me. “You’re a fool to want anything to do with him.”

The prisoner’s hair hung over his eyes, but I could see the rest of his face. There was blood staining his teeth, and his mouth curled up in a snarl.

I decided to try. “Papa Willis?”

His mouth shut close. He said nothing. “He’ll escape the minute his door is opened again,” the guard called to the others. “Give him one of the darker cells.”

“I want to talk to him!” I objected.

Daniel put his hand on my shoulder. I shook it off and began following the guards, who were leading Willis away. “Please, it’s vital that I speak with him!”

“Look, lady-” A quick flash of anger across Christan’s face made the guard pause before continuing. “This is a madman. He broke through the chains and bit off Sid’s hand when he tried to stop him. This door now…”

We come to a halt in front of a giant silver door with several restraints. “He won’t be able to break through this,” he told me. “And he can get his meals through here. No one’s gonna get hurt because of him.”

“I need to talk to him,” I insisted.

He groaned. “Will someone else reason with this foolish woman?”

Thommand stepped up behind me. “No one wants to risk one of their own from interacting with him. This cell will give him everything he needs until it is decided what will be done with him. Meaning this cell is not going to be opened till then.” His words were probably meant to sound sympathetic, if not for that look in his eye. “No one will be able to speak to him once he’s locked up.”

I paused. “For how long will he be imprisoned?”

“How should I know?”

The door opens and Papa Willis is dragged inside. I looked back at my three companions, and I followed the guards in. “Cat!” Daniel hisses.

“Lady Madigan, it’s not right!” Christan called.

I ignored both of them and stood next to my friend. The guards hesitated when I didn’t leave. “She’s with him,” Thommand said. “Hurry out.”

One of the guards went to chain me up. “Touch her, and you’ll all lose your hands,” Daniel growled.

As they left the cell, I looked out at Papa Willis. He hadn’t said anything this whole time. Outside, Daniel raised a hand to me, almost as if he were waving. He looked as if he were going to say something, but then the angry guard from before closed the door behind me.

“Well aren’t you stupid?” Papa Willis jeered.

I turned to him. “I prefer Cat, to be honest,” I told him. “But I can live with Stupid. Do you want me to fix your hair?”

He just spat at me. “Well, too bad, because it’s annoying me, and you’re chained up.” I went over to him and pulled his hair away from his eyes. They just glared at me. “How long have you been here?”

He doesn’t answer. “Okay…” I sighed. “They said that there were three of you. Who else was there? Slenderman? Smith? Flash?”

Papa Willis looks up. “Don’t talk about them,” he fumed. “You don’t know them, you have no right to talk about them as if you do!”

It then hit me. “You don’t remember me, do you,” I said faintly.

“Not really. Were you part of that crowd that brought me in?” He snorted. “You’re the most normal looking so far, I’ll give you that.”

I was silent. His frown wasn’t with irritation this time. More confusion. “Am I meant to know you?” he asked.

“I…” I looked down. “We were friends.”

Were friends,” he repeated. “What did you do? Leave me for some cooler people? Left when things got tough?”

“No…I never left,” I said. I felt like I was about to cry. “And I won’t leave either.”

Papa Willis scoffed. “I dunno. You look like you’d be comfortable out there. Your boyfriend would miss you too much to let you stay in here with me.”

“You don’t understand, I-”

“I get it, don’t worry.” He rolled his eyes. “I’m not stupid, I know what they’re doing. And I’m not talking either. No matter what kinky shit you try to pull on me.”

I flicked him in the nose at that. “Hey!” he complained. “Who flicks someone in the nose? Surely you can do better than that.”

I shook my head. “Come on now. I saw you outside. Go on. Hit me.”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t want to. You’ve been beaten up enough.”

“So you’re a coward then.”

“That’s the last thing I am.”

“Then who are you?”

I inhaled. “My name is Cat Madigan. I know you don’t recognise me, but I used to call myself something else.” And I tell him my real name.

Before he could talk, I continued. “I…didn’t think I had changed that much. I didn’t realise I was so different from Reality. But…” Tears were now falling out of my eyes, but I couldn’t help it. “Do you remember her at all? You were like a brother to her. She was sixteen, with long brown hair and weird eyes? She could laugh at anything, but at the same time, it only took one sentence to make her upset. She liked to draw. She…didn’t have it that good at home. But that was okay. Because she had you and her friends. Even when she got lonely and sad, she knew you were there.” Even though I was close to sobbing, I tried smiling at him. “And now she’s incredibly pissed at you because you’ve made her cry!”

Suddenly the door opened and the guards came in again. They made a beeline for me, and started pulling me out by the arms. “Let me go!” I demanded. “Please let me go!”

They paid no attention as I kicked and screamed, and they wouldn’t let me go until they cell door was slammed shut behind me.

Then they started running as I started hurling fireballs everywhere.

My hand was mid-strike when Daniel caught me. I punched at him and swore at him, but he wouldn’t let me go. Eventually I just broke down sobbing, and he let me sit there for as long as I needed.

Finally, I looked up. “He didn’t know me,” I whispered.

He nodded.

“He didn’t know me,” I repeated. “Daniel…have I…am I really so different here?”

When he didn’t answer, I just leaned back on him, and felt his arms wrap around me. “Who am I?” I was murmuring. “Who am I Daniel?”

Mad Cat Begins

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Yup. I’m doing the challenge again. Because I think it’s also important for me to talk about how I started writing this thing. Yes, superpowers and the story behind them are cool, but I feel like I need to remind myself why I started a blog and why I write the things that I do. So stuff people who want to hear about my friend in Delirium, and how I became a dominatrix for a day. That’s for later. Papa Willis will be first though, because that’s actually important.

So a year ago, I was in a bad place. Every night I would dream of going out to The Lake of Ghosts, and I would die. I think that would’ve been when I started going into Delirium on my own instead of seeing it from someone else’s eyes. I’m really not sure now. I should’ve been writing down what happened in my episodes, but I didn’t. I really regret not writing down my memories now.

So one night, after things got particularly bad, I filled the sink with water, and held my head underneath it. It wasn’t the most creative suicide plan, or the most elegant. But I was willing to go through with it, and I would make myself hold my head underwater until the end.

I changed my mind though. Obviously. Otherwise this wouldn’t be a blog about my adventures in Reality and Delirium. This would have a different name, maybe my real name. And instead of those stories, those mad ridiculous stories, there would be a eulogy of my short wisp of a life, containing all the little things in my Reality. It probably wouldn’t even exist. My parents would’ve announced my death, got the funeral over with, and tried to move on. Would’ve they said it was suicide? Maybe. If it were blindingly obvious.

Either way, the logical side of my brain kicked in, and I thought Why was I doing this?

I had become tired of the nightmares. I didn’t want to die the way I was in my dreams. And I just wanted to be out of pain. It seemed like the only option.

But…if I was going to die because of the visions, right there, with my head in the bathroom sink, that meant the vision wasn’t true.

And I was going to throw my life away over nothing.

So I quickly yanked my head out, coughed out a lung or two, and had a long talk with my friend after. I felt like the most stupid person on the face of the earth, and it would be at least a month before I could stand water again.

I got better though. Well, my depression did. Temporarily anyway. I decided that I was tired of keeping everything cooped up inside me, where it would just linger and mess with my head. But if I spoke out loud about what was happening to me, people would point and say “Hey look! There’s the schizophrenic girl who raves on about an imaginary world!”

So I write about it instead.

I have two styles of writing. And one of them is Ranting. My best example of this would be Bandaids. That one was a bitch to write, I kept crying the whole time. Ranting is essentially me writing about things which have happened and relaying how I feel about it.

The other one is usually used when I’m writing about Delirium, and when I use it, I feel like afterwards it sounds like I’m writing fiction. That bothers me a bit, but for some reason, I prefer writing it that way. This way, I feel like I can remember things from Delirium more clearly. Of course, there’s some things I’d rather forget. But I have to make myself write about the bad things too. Because they’re important too. I need to get them out of my system as well.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember what happens in Delirium. I have days where I can remember everything crystal clear, and others where everything is a blur. That’s probably why I’m behind on explaining what happened with my friend in Delirium. I’m getting there though. Tomorrow, that will be posted. I reckon that the longer I’ve been in Delirium, the longer I can remember things for afterwards. Of course, I remember the key events. I just get a little slow on the details.

Occasionally, it does feel like I’m writing fiction. When I’m remembering it all, I sometimes wonder how I managed to do whatever I had done. Cat Madigan in Delirium can seem like a different person than Cat Madigan in Reality, and I would never have the courage to do in Reality what I do in Delirium.

The killing is one of those things. I get scared about what I do in Delirium, and I contemplate whether or not I could do so in Reality. But it’s more than just being able to take a life. I feel stronger in Delirium. Maybe it’s the superpowers I mentioned yesterday, but I am willing to talk back more. I can speak clearer, act faster. Basically, I feel like I can be more than a useless freak of nature.

I do feel hopeless at times though. No one can control what happens to them, and that goes for me too in Delirium. I wish to god I could change what happened there. Not just to me. I wish that Jhaq didn’t get hurt, I wish that Kaya didn’t have to die, I wish that the world there wasn’t going to ruins. You would think I’d be able to change what happened. But the fact is, I really don’t.

I might be an author when I write on here. But when it comes to Delirium, and the mad, twisted things that happen there, it’s someone else who’s in control of that story.

How I Got My Superpowers

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I have a bit of explaining to do. Not just to my nonexistent readers, but probably to Daniel and Kaya and some of my friends as well.

As some of you have probably noted from some of my posts, I have become sort of immortal and sort of prone to setting things on fire. In my Delirium of course. It would be awesome to do that stuff in Reality, but unfortunately, that can’t happen. Dang.

Now I know the Daily Prompt Challenge is meant to be about how I became a writer. And I’ll do that. Tomorrow. I promise. But I got inspired by the superhero origin story stuff, and I really wanted to write a post about my own weird…hand…thingymaginky. Plus the immortality. But I prefer the flamethrowing stuff.

I think it probably started when I was discovering Kaya’s nasty habit of taking over whenever I went into Delirium. We were at the beach, and I fell into Delirium.

I remember vaguely what happened. Mainly, I remember Kaya screaming. I couldn’t see her, I don’t think anyone would be able to see her again. But she was screaming. The monsters had her surrounded. She was in pain.

Yeah…I’m not entirely sure why I did what I did. I have debates whether or not I regret it. But I had charged at them. I gave Kaya enough time to get back to Reality.

Then they cornered me.

I wonder if they had killed me, would I still be in Delirium? I’m uncertain. Before, I had always been afraid of dying. Originally, when my Delirium had been starting out, I didn’t have visions from my own point of view. I saw it from Kaya, Nereida, lots of people. Most of them died, with me feeling and seeing everything.

Then, somehow, I ended up there. With my own body. And now part of me is stuck there.

The prison they locked me in is one of the most terrifying places on Earth. I wasn’t sure who to fear more; the guards with swollen heads who liked to watch as their prisoners scream, or the captives, who would stare at me with a detached creepy expression on their face as they laughed at nothing and would scream out randomly.

I found out a couple of things. They wouldn’t kill me. I think at the time I was relieved to hear that. But they weren’t going to let me go. Let me explain to you what kind of ones these monsters are. In order to know what they know, they have suffered massive deformities in their bodies. Their eyes seem to bulge out of their giant heads, and a few of them are missing their senses in order to enhance others.

These people, with their impossible intelligence, they want to develop, they want to create new things. It had started with themselves, but then they found a better solution. Prisoners. Anyone guilty of a major crime would be ‘donated’ and they would come here. After that, what happened to them would be a secret to all except their torturers.

That was how things were before Kaya. Kaya and her refusal to stay dead. Kaya and her stubborn determination. Kaya and her bright purple eyes and shock of white hair…

When Kaya did what she did, she showed people what really happened. And now they’re thinking. Thinking is dangerous, you see. Before, people thought this was a good idea. But they didn’t really know. And now they do.

Either way, the monsters never cared about what others thought. They went about as they always did, doing as they wished. And I would be their next victim.

Apparently Kaya was trying to get me out. Negotiate a deal. I didn’t know who at the time, but I’m guessing now it was the fat man, aka. Thommand. Either way, she didn’t go through with it. Why, she won’t tell me.

Later on, I think I described what I had done as a deal with the devil. It probably was, when you consider it. But it was the only thing I could do. I wanted to get out before I was reduced to the screaming wrecks which inhabited the prison.

So I made an agreement. With the monsters. I would be allowed out of that place, and in could live with Daniel and be free in my own Delirium.

In exchange, I would have to return occasionally. Every while and then for a check up.

And they would stick a needle in my arm that would make my blood burn.

I couldn’t speak to Daniel after. They let me out, and he found me wandering the outside world. I went back to Reality not long after in a similar predicament. I spent an hour searching, until I found Papa Willis and pretty much sprinted into him. I was so happy I was alive, but at the same time, I felt as guilty as hell.

I would still consider it a prison. Delirium itself is a prison. I can’t escape it, and I can’t avoid it. But I’m glad that I’m not staying in that hellhole of a cell forever.

Sometimes the monsters have other ideas. They go back on their agreement and chain me up when I try to leave. I never let Daniel come with me to these…checkups, because they would chain him too. Instead, he comes to break me out whenever I need help.

Not that I always need that help.

I think the first time I had found out about my hands would’ve been that time I had named The Rage of a Cat. When I consider it, I think that that was probably the aim of their injections. The immortality was just sort of a side effect. And when they found out about said immortality, they took it more as a challenge. They tried to kill me in as many ways possible.

The very first time I had died, I was stabbed.

I think the second time was when my guts were torn out. But there might have been another before that. Most of it’s a blur.

Later, they tried to kill me by hitting me over the head. That time was different. I managed to get revenge, or at least some animalistic satisfaction from murdering the man they same way he murdered me.

That’s another thing I’ve noticed. I’ve become…stronger. I can fight back for once. I feel like I am intimidating enough to have control of myself now.

But…I also feel worse about myself. That time I got revenge wasn’t the only death I have caused. The bad thing is that I’ve forgotten how many I’ve killed. And who. I never knew who I had killed. And reading back my words, I sound like an utter monster.

I suppose I’m frightened of what I’m becoming. Being in Delirium is slowly taking away my humanity, bit by bit. And because of that, I’m scared of myself in Reality as well. Because I know I’m capable of doing the same thing there.

But when you think about it, I’m not entirely a monster. If I were, Daniel would’ve abandoned me by now. But he hasn’t. He still cares about me even if I’m a murderer and psycho. So there has to be some bit of good in me somewhere.

I’m not a superhero. I’m too fucked up for that. But I’m not the bad guy either. I’m just a freak. And that’s fine with me.

Fear the Freak

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I have a new name to add to the many I listed in The Many Names Of Cat Madigan.

Mistress.

I was in class when it started. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a large black mass that could only mean that something was going to happen. I left class immediately, murmuring an excuse. I walked past, he started following me. I ignored him until we entered the bathrooms, empty because of class. “You have a lotta nerve,” I told him, in the most threatening voice I could muster.

“That’s no way to talk to me, Lady Madigan,” he replied. “Perhaps I should leave Daniel to die?”

“Now you’ve got my interest,” I said. “You see? If you had given me hint of that, we wouldn’t be here.”

“It matters not, right now.” He and I start walking away as a bunch of students start walking over to where we are.

“So where will I be going this time?”

“Somewhere new,” he said. “Daniel brought you in with him, but no one knows who you are, or where you are.”

“How did he do that?”

“You’ll find out. When you get there, I’m going to need you to find out information about our little intruders,” he told me. “Someone had sheltered them here, and I want to know who.”

I said nothing at that. “Any questions, Lady Madigan?” I shook my head. He nodded. “Start asking the women, they’ll tell you anything,” he informed me. “And go from there. If you get caught, they won’t kill you, but it won’t be pretty either.”

“Why is Daniel going to die?” I demanded.

“Oh, of course. Daniel is there as well, but unfortunately, he was asking too many questions and they’ve locked him up somewhere. That’s another thing you have to do, though honestly that’s more of an optional extra.” His voice was barely containing that smug undertone. “Will you go now?”

“After you,” I said to him. I didn’t trust him to be left alone with Kaya, especially when she’s in a bad mood. She had found out about the corset.

He vanished. I went to the disabled stall, the largest one in the bathroom and sat down.

When I woke up, things were remarkably familiar. It was dark and stuffy, and only a slight bit of air coming through. I was in a bag again. Great.

This one was easier to escape. All I had to do was untie a single strap and I could step out.

I felt around, looking for some indication of where I was. I touched soft fur and ran my fingers across lace, until I found one part of the wall which I could push away.

I stepped out, and looked at one of many closets I had just stepped out of. The euphemism didn’t escape me, but before I could chuckle, I realised I could hear other people.

I turned around. A large curtain separated me from them. If I had been more innocent than I was, I would’ve pulled back the curtain. But I soon recognised the sounds, and I recoiled.

I was in a brothel.

People were having sex within earshot of me.

Oh…..cock.

I looked down. My school uniform was probably the least appropriate attire for this place, but I didn’t have anything else.

Then I remembered the closet. I went back, looking at the contents. There was only one outfit in there, and it reminded me of a straitjacket. Great. Well, that had to do.

“You shouldn’t be here,” a female voice said behind me. Directly behind me.

I froze, and she chuckled. “I know what you are,” she murmured, her lips tracing the back of my neck. “And I know they’re hunting you and your little friends. Oh no, they’re not here,” she told me. “One of our Meeks let them go. Stupid girl. On the plus side, now that you’re here…” She gripped my shoulder. “Maybe I can get back into m’lord’s good books if I hand you over.”

“I’m not like them,” I told her. “I think I know who ‘m’lord’ is, and I think you’ll find that he knows me, and will not be pleased that you gave me away.”

Her seductive laugh was right next to my ear, her hot breath tickling my neck. “Oh, you are cute,” she whispered. “Those three were pathetic, but I could definitely have some fun with you…”

I turned around. “I think you don’t know who I am,” I said to her, raising my hand. The one that says F R E A K, the letters glowing with heat.

She flinched at the sight, and turned to run. She wasn’t fast enough though, and the second she turned around, I caught her around the neck, my burning letters searing her neck. She gasped. “Not a sound,” I warned. “You can handle the pain. I don’t want any trouble, and I’ve killed too many people already, and I really don’t want to get into the double digits. I just want to find my friend. Compri?”

She hissed. “Fine.”

I release her neck, but I have a death grip on her arm. “Where can I find the woman who helped the intruders?” I demanded.

She glared at me. “Try the cells. That’s where the Meeks usually go.”

“What exactly is a Meek?”

“Meek, submissive,” she told me.

“Oh…” I understood then. “And you would be…”

“I’m a Fury,” she said. “Dominant.”

“Thanks. One more thing.” I hadn’t entirely forgotten my school uniform. I needed something else.

And there wasn’t anything in that closet…

“Take off your clothes,” I told her.

“That costs extra,” she replied, not missing a beat.

I raised my hand again. “Fine,” she sighs. She takes off her own uniform, a red sheer lace corset and her tight black pants. Once she was stripped, I pulled on the pants and slipped off my school dress. When I struggled with the corset, she sighed, and hooked it for me. “Amateur,” she said, tightening the laces.

“Thank you. You’re quite cooperative,” I noted.

“I changed my mind,” she told me. “I’m happy to help now.”

“I thought you were a Fury, not a Meek.”

“You learn quickly.” She laughed again. “I like you Miss Madigan. Yes, I do know who you are now,” she informed me. “People tell you a lot of things here, and your name has slipped out a couple of times.”

I grimaced. “You would do well here,” she continued. “You’d be a wonderful Fury, if you weren’t so shy.”

“Who said I’m shy?”

Immediately her hand slid down between my legs. “Whoa!” I half-shrieked. I span around. “No! Not cool!”

She just smirked. “You were saying?”

I sighed, and I picked up a piece of red fabric in the closet. I started tying it around my face, leaving only my eyes uncovered. It fell down past my shoulders, so I wrapped the extra fabric around my neck. “Do I look the part?” I asked.

She nodded. She was still standing there, naked. I frowned. “Are those real?” She grinned in response. “…never mind.” I turned to the curtain. “Thankyou…whatever your name is.”

“You forgot something.” When I turned around, she handed me a long thin object. “Anyone asks, just whip them into shape.”

“Thanks.” Whip in one hand, and whatever courage I could muster in the other, I stepped through the curtain.

Switch

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Daniel burst out laughing.

“Surely it’s not that funny,” I point out.

“Yeah…it is.”

Argh…

“Calm down Kaya, it’s not that bad.”

Try me.

“Look, what am I supposed to say? No, I don’t want to do the photoshoot because my evil twin doesn’t want to?”

But did you have to accept it?

“Hey, it looks like fun! And I get to wear a wig and contacts.”

Doesn’t make it-

“I’m sorry to interrupt,” Daniel speaks up. “But I believe you’re confusing your imaginary audience.”

“Right. Now shut up you two.”

So I was contacted by a photographer last night, and he was interested in doing a photoshoot with me as one of my drawings.

Why do you post your drawings on your modelling page anyway? That’s what your modelling photos are for.

Yeah, well, it shows that I’m more than a pretty face.

“Pfffffffft.”

“Shut up Daniel.”

Continue.

Okay, so this is the picture that he wanted to recreate:

It’s pretty cool, if I do say so myself. But guess who it’s of.

I believe they can already guess.

…yeah. Hehee.

Now do you understand why I’m uncomfortable?

Calm down Kaya.

Why? You’re going to be pretending to be me!

I know. It’s like I’m cosplaying as my split personality!

Oh let’s not start this argument again.

Look, I don’t see what the big deal is. Can you explain it to me?

I find it insulting.

Oh boohoo. How is this insulting?

Can you really walk around in a dead person’s skin?

“I’m sorry, what do you think she was doing for the first few months we knew her?”

I wasn’t dead Daniel.

“It’s not making fun of you Kaya, I promise.”

Cat, I’m sorry, I don’t like it.

“Then don’t come near me! Just stay away, do the stuff you do when you’re not inside me.”

Daniel snorts.

“Shut up Daniel.”

Why should I allow this?

“Because this is my body and I call the shots.”

Not always…

Daniel growls suddenly. “Don’t even think about it.”

So you’re on her side?

“Of course.”

…are you ever going to forgive me?

“I’m not like Cat,” he replies.

“Hey!”

“I didn’t mean it as an insult,” he tells me. “I lost faith in this world a long time ago Kaya. I’m too tired to be forgiving. And it’s too late for me to forgive you, isn’t it?”

The headache goes away all of a sudden. “Kaya’s gone.”

“Thought she would.”

“Haven’t seen her so irritated since she found out I was planning to buy a corset,” I note.

Daniel smiles grimly. “She just takes everything personally,” he says. “When you’ve been hated for years, you tend to take everything that anyone says about you as an insult.”

I sigh. “I didn’t mean to piss her off.”

“I know you didn’t. She probably knows that too. I guess she just doesn’t want you to pretend to be her, make a fool out of her.”

“…that doesn’t make sense.”

“It only has to make sense to her,” he points out.

“Daniel?”

“Hmm?”

“What has she done that’s so horrible?”

Daniel groans. “Do we have to go into this?”

“Yup. Look, I know how she died. But I’ve almost done the same thing. Exactly the same, actually.”

He shakes his head.

“What do you mean Daniel?”

“Cat, she’s not dead, not really. She was in your head a few minutes ago.”

“That doesn’t mean anything.”

He places his hand on my shoulder. “That’s not what’s meant to happen. She’s still alive, she just doesn’t have a physical body.”

“There’s a difference?”

“Believe it or not, yes. If she were dead, she wouldn’t be here at all.”

“But she is here.” I frown. “That doesn’t explain why you hate her.”

“I wouldn’t call it hate,” he admits. “But the person she’s turned into…”

“What has she turned into?”

He groans. “It’s complicated…fine,” he says after seeing my face. “The way I see it, Kaya gave up on her world. She left all of us in a sinking ship.”

“And? So what? I am guilty of doing the same crime! What’s the difference between Kaya’s crime and mine?”

“I hadn’t finished. The difference between the two of you is that you had no desire to live. That was why you did what you did. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a selfish thing to do. Kaya’s is worse though. She…” His jaw clenches. “Don’t believe what she says Cat. Human bodies may have their faults, but they’re a lot better than being a ghost.”

“She wants my body?”

Daniel’s eyes widen and we start howling in laughter. “Oh god,” I gasp out. “Shit, I should’ve seen that. How did I miss that?”

Daniel just shakes his head. “Well that lightened the mood.”

“Seriously though.” We straighten up. “Kaya wants to take over?”

He nods. “But why? I thought she didn’t want to live?”

“She didn’t want to live the way she was living,” he corrects. “Suicide is one option, but there was another way.”

“And what would I do?”

“You’d go to Delirium,” Daniel explains. “From her eyes, it does sound fair.”

“I agree.”

“But it’s not,” he finished. “Kaya has already lived one life, and that she threw away. To take over someone else’s, yes even with their consent,” he informs me, “isn’t right. She’d be hurting your friends, family…and that young man your friends were talking about on the ferry.”

“…not you too.”

“Hey, I can do whatever I please,” he says. “My point is, she has done…this, deliberately. It’s not that hard to die, well, there are exceptions,” he says pointedly. “But she’s done this so she has the potential to take on another body. And for that, I can’t forgive her.”

“Because she wants to live a life without pain?”

“Because she’s willing to hurt the people you love to do it,” he corrects.

I’m silent for a moment. “…if that’s the case, then who have I taken over?”

“Hmm?”

“I have a physical body Daniel,” I remind him. “Both in Reality and Delirium. How does that work?”

“Well….how about another time?”

“No! Now!”

“I’m tired Cat. Just…think over what I’ve said, alright?” He raises my hand to his lips. “You be good now,” he tells me. “I need to take care of something.”

“So I shouldn’t trust Kaya,” I say out loud.

Daniel sighs. “Kaya would never hurt you,” he says. “But she doesn’t harbour the same feelings about the people you care about.”

I nod. “But why should I trust you and not Kaya?”

He turns around and grins. “Maybe you shouldn’t trust either of us,” he tells me. “But then where would you be?”

The Many Names Of Cat Madigan

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Today, we shall talk about names. Because I don’t feel like talking about my friend who inexplicably turned up in Delirium. So there.

Obviously my name is not actually Cat Madigan. Not in Reality anyway. That would be way too cool.

The reason I do use Cat Madigan is because that’s the name I was given in Delirium. I had been given the nickname ‘Cat’ when I was in primary school, so I kept that part of me. My last name though, is nothing like Madigan. It just came out of the blue, and I was stuck with it.

I don’t mind it though. I like Madigan. Whenever I get the opportunity, I don’t call myself by my real name, I say “My name is Cat Madigan.” I took on that identity when I ran away. Sometimes by reflex, I almost call myself Cat Madigan, even with my friends.

It’s partially habit as well. When you spend almost as much time in Delirium as Reality, it takes a toll on what you identify with. As a result, I respond to two names; my real one and my Delirium one.

I used my Delirium name because obviously, if I used my real name, my parents would most likely find this blog. I know, it’s not best for our already strained relationship if I keep secrets from them. But to explain a whole other universe that only exists in my head to one of the most judgemental people in the world would be too much to handle; they’d be angry at me for not telling them, and then they’d begin trying to stop it at every turn, until they eventually lock me up like an animal. And I really don’t want to run away again. What else is there to do if you’re locked in a cage?

Apparently, in Ireland, Madigan means ‘little dog’. That’s sort of ironic, isn’t it?

You have another name.

Eh?

Your hand, Cat.

…oh. Thankyou Kaya.

Yeah, there’s that one too. Five letters following, F R E A K. That’s my third name. It doesn’t hurt me though. Not like it once would’ve. Yes, I’m a freak. A complete anomaly. I’ve always known that though. And when you think about it, the freaks are the ones that are stronger, aren’t they?

Another thing about names; I wonder how I came up with all the ones from Delirium. Daniel and Kaya for example. Like, why would Daniel call himself Daniel as opposed to Mark or Lawrence or something. And I’ve never met anyone named Kaya before. Just like I’ve never met Thommand before, or Nereida, or pretty much anyone in Delirium with those names.

This is turning into me rambling about random things, so I am just going to look up those names and what they mean.

Daniel means: God is my judge. Apparently there was a prophet in the bible who rose to favour by interpreting visions that the king had. He also had four visions of the end of the world. Whoa….

Kaya means: Willow, wise child, yew tree, forgiveness (…really? Kaya?), home, stone. Well that tells us a lot. Not.

I couldn’t find Thommand, but I did find Thomas. It means ‘twin’, and probably ‘doubtful’, according to the bible story.

Nereida is a nymph or sea sprite. Well that part hasn’t changed.

Christan, I’m guessing, is a deviation on Christian.

I think I’ve rambled on enough about names for one post, so while I’m here, I’m going to give you a quick update on things. I have numerous assignments which require finishing, and I had my school social on Friday. Since then, my friends can’t stop singing a particular song involving me, another person and trees. Ugh…

Till next time.

Cat Madigan