Where in the world is Amazing Grace?

With the door open I saw out into the parking lot.  It didn’t look right.  I pushed past the man standing in the doorway.  Nothing I saw looked familiar to me.  I remember checking into a Red Roof Inn.  The sign I saw said Baymont Motel.   

He asked me again what was wrong with me.  I asked him again who the hell he was.  He claimed that I had invited him there.  I checked my phone and saw that he was right.  I have no memory that.  I saw a bunch of other texts and calls that I don’t remember either. 

I stammered an apology.  I don’t why.  What did I have to be sorry about?  I said that I was having some unspecified issues and that this wasn’t a good time to talk.  His response was to try to grab me.  What the fuck is wrong with people?  Why do they think they can manhandle me?  Don’t put your fucking hands on me.   

Whoever he is he can duck a punch with the best of them.  I’ll give him that.  Jumping back like a scared cat he said that he just wanted to look at me.  I told him he was looking at me.   Also not to fucking look at me.   That’s when I realized he wasn’t just looking, but assensing.  I need to get better at recognizing that.  I’m sure that’s what most wizards do as an opening move. 

He said his name is Huddie.  He’s the guy that Lance called.  Although he said thatLance’s real name is Kevin.   He’s a PI in the area that’s been hired to find some lost junkies.  He asked if he could look into my eyes, promising that he wouldn’t touch me.  I agreed and after a moment he shook his head like a drunk trying to sober up. 

“What did you do to yourself?  Try to cast a spell at the Amityville house?” 

I don’t know what that means.   

Help

I called Laura and left her a bunch of messages.  I remember that.  I remember doing that much.  I don’t think any of them made sense.

When she called me back the sound of the ringtone was unimaginable.  I literally jumped away from my phone and hid in the corner.  There’s a disease where people suddenly get deathly afraid of mundane things. 

It took me three hours to get the balls to listen to her message.  When I tried to text her back my hands were shaking so badly it took me dozen of tries on each word.  I told her I needed her friend with the Quaker Oat hat.  I told her there was something inside of me.

A few minutes later there was a knock at the door.  There was no way it could have been him,  it wasn’t even an hour later, but I wasn’t thinking straight.  When I opened the door it wasn’t and old guy with a doctor bag and a Quaker Oat hat.  It was a middle aged scrawny douche in skinny jeans and a shirt without sleeves.  He looked the kind of guy that spends half an hour shaving his face to make to get the look of artful stubble.

“Who the fuck are you?” I asked. 

He leaned forward to look in my eyes “Are you on meth?  What is wrong with you?”

Good fucking question.

Untitled

I think I really screwed up.  There’s something wrong with me. 

I can’t sleep.  I can’t concentrate.  Sometimes I feel like everything is moving at super speed and I can’t keep up.  The next moment feel like everyone else is underwater and barely moving while I zip around like a hummingbird.  I can’t drive because I’m too fucked up.  It’s not safe.

The only thing that feels kind of okay is sitting in the dark.  Dark, dark, with a towel over my head and my hands over my eyes even with all the lights off. 

I drank half a bottle of Rittenhouse Straight Rye and I still can’t sleep.  I don’t remember buying it.  I can’t move around and I can’t stay still.  I canceled my next show.  I’m just pacing and sitting in the corner of my motel room. 

I don’t feel like I’m myself.  I feel like my entire body has been replaced.  I don’t know.  Something isn’t right. 

I don’t know what to do.  Even if I could afford to go to the hospital what can I tell a doctor?  I cast the wrong spell in the wrong place?

Sucker

Casting a finding spell at the club was not a good idea.  Maybe because I wasn’t looking for anyone specifically.  Maybe I was too “open”.  I don’t know why.

I’ve never felt rattled like that before.  I was caught off guard.  I felt the sick desires of the people that congregated there.  Feelings that were so base and revolting that I feel filthy and violated sharing them. 

I felt the agony of the victims that were imprisoned here.  I felt their hopelessness.  I was drowning in ghost emotions like sticky tar. 

They have no shame.  They make no effort to fight their contemptible and wicked nature.  They should die.  Even if it won’t bring Stella back.  They shouldn’t just die.  They should be unmade.  Never to have existed.

After I tried the spell, I spent a couple hours at a bar Bainbridge drinking and staring at nothing.  I must have looked like I had just been assaulted.  No one said anything to me.

A few hours after that, I was sleepwalking through a match with Ambrosia.  I snapped out of it when I realized that she was stiffing the shit out of me.  A time honored tradition in the biz when your opponent is stoned, beat them up for real.  The idea is that it will sober them up. 

I felt something take a hold of me.  I can’t say that I wasn’t in control of myself.  I was.  Something was stuck to me.  Squeezing on me.   I could have resisted that influence.  If I had tried.  I didn’t. 

I knocked her jaw of its socket. She had to get 26 stitches.  I saw the referee pick a couple of her teeth out of a gob of blood on the mat and put them in his pocket. 

I went to the emergency room to try to apologize to her.  Some of the GTW guys were there.  They said if I left right then and never came back, they wouldn’t run me off the road and kill me in a ditch.  I think one of them was her husband.

I don’t blame them.

Did I already do the Camila Cabello joke?

The club in Havana – Florida, not Cuba – is abandoned.  I don’t know why I thought they would still be hanging out there.  I brought the cops down on that place.  They went somewhere else to do their dirt. 

How do you get in touch with a black magic torture gang?  I used my finding spell on the guy with the denim vest.  It took me to a graveyard in Quincy.  I got his name off the tombstone and found out he was down there because he was decapitated in a car accident.  That was a dead end but I got to stop at Bubba & Sons Smokehouse so it wasn’t a total loss.

I called Frankie to see if their friend was willing to talk about what happened now.  He’s dead too.  Suicide, Frankie said. 

When those two guys came to threaten/recruit me, they didn’t give me a way to contact them.  What if I changed my mind about joining them?  How was I supposed to get in touch?  Bad planning.  That’s no way to run a cult.

I called Lance and asked him if he could find out if anyone was looking for missing drug addicts in the area.  I thought there was a social network for private investigators where they kept each other informed on what was going on.  He laughed at that idea.  Since he owes me one, he said he’d see what he could find out anyway. 

I went to Kim’s spare apartment to see if my finding spell could pick up their trail there.  It didn’t.  It did do one thing, confuse the couple staying there.  I don’t know if “The Nuclear Nutcrusher” and Johnny Maximum are going to make it in the biz, or as a couple, but they did give me a good idea when I told them I was looking for someone that had stayed there before. 

Check out the club and see if they left anything there.  They didn’t know that I would be casting a spell, but it’s a good idea. 

Thanks guys!

Hard way

I’m dipped out of a loop across Georgia and Florida to swing over to Tallahassee to see Kim.  Not Killer Kelly Kim, the other one. 

I tried to sneak the philosophical concept of killing and its possible justifications in casual conversation.  He saw through me.  He asked me who I wanted killed.  He likes people to think that he has mob connections.  I don’t buy that for a second.  But it wouldn’t surprise me if he knew a person or two that would commit a murder for him.

I told him I was talking hypothetically.  I told him that nobody was giving me any trouble.  He said that I didn’t talk enough to have hypothetical questions.  I retorted that I have plenty to say, it’s just that around him I never get a chance to talk. 

We sat in his kitchen talking and drinking sloppy frozen margaritas.  He explained his position that if anyone was a threat to his family, he’d kill them and not have a second thought about it.  I don’t totally believe him but I don’t think he’s 100% full of shit either.

I may have to look outside the wrestling world for good role models. 

That night I lay on Kim’s couch in the darkness not sleeping and thinking about other people I could talk to about this.  I realized what I’m doing.  I want to do something bad and I’m looking for someone to tell me that it’s okay when I know that it’s not.  I can’t have someone else make this okay for me.  I have to decide for myself.

I’m trying to get clean by doing something dirty and that doesn’t work.  The question I have to ask myself is not who can make this okay, the question is can I live with doing it?

Reach

Stella’s mom took me up to the 4th floor to show me a book that has the spell that can bring Stella back.  She’s right, the spell is not complicated.  You just have to be willing to commit murder.  No, five murders.

I figured out that she didn’t have to take me up there.  She could have brought the book down to show me.  Or just told me.  She took me up there to scare me.  She’s both the good cop and the bad cop.  She says please bring my daughter back to me I’m so sad and then “look at this, think about what I could do to you.”

Over breakfast, she didn’t eat, I asked her about where this ritual would need to happen.  The book made it clear that even with the sacrifices, you need a place of power to bring someone back from the dead.  It’s simple but it’s not easy.

She told me that she had a friend that had a place we could use.  She refused to elaborate, instead she pressed me for a commitment.  I told her that I would need to think about it, and that if, and it’s a massive if, I was going to do it, how would we arrange it?  Would I kidnap people and bring them to her and she’d stash them away in her dungeon? 

She told me that she didn’t want to quibble over logistics, I was the one that got Stella killed, so I would have to figure it out on my own.  I told her that I understood that she was mad at me, that she hates me, that I knew there was a good chance if I did this she would have me killed afterwards, that she wanted to torture me, but if she really wants her daughter back she can’t put this all on me.  She’s the one with the resources, and as amusing as it might be for her to watch me struggle and twist in the wind, that’s not going to bring Stella back. 

If looks could fucking kill.

Wash your hands

I didn’t know that there were big forests in Alabama.  That sounds stupid but I thought that the Pacific Northwest was timber country.  I drove past several huge timber trucks.  I saw signs for the Alabama Loggers Council by the road. 

Stella’s family’s compound is in the woods.  I knew her family was rich but I didn’t know they were drug lord rich.  I don’t know what an acre is but this is a property measured in acres.  The entire thing is surrounded by a fence and there’s a security force patrolling the grounds. 

I asked Stella’s mom why she needed armed men looking around and she said that her activities aren’t appreciated by everyone.  I asked her what was so controversial about logging and she looked at me like I’m a dunce. 

“Necromancy Grace, not everyone likes that I have mastered necromancy.  It’s a maligned practice.”

I asked if that meant people knew what she up to, but she brushed me off.  She said that I wasn’t there to discuss her personal life, I was there to talk about her daughter.  I asked her again why I needed to cast this spell and she said that only someone with a close connection to Stella would be able to bring her back. 

I said that I barely knew her and that surely her own mother would have a better connection that I did. 

I’m not good at reading people.  I think she’s very good at maintaining poise.  But I could sense that this question stung her.  She said that she and Stella were not close.  She didn’t sigh but he did something like it, “mothers and daughters, you know how it is” she said.  I guess she doesn’t know my background. 

She took me up to the fourth floor of the main building.  The door at the top of the stairs was locked and had a camera above it.  Beyond that was a small room with two armed men guarding a steel security door.  On the other side of that was a single large room.  In that room was an ornate cabinet that I bet cost more than every car I’ve owned combined (except the one Gary bought for me).  It was filled with actual gold and silver cups and old looking daggers along with weird bowls and drippy candles and all kinds of things – magic shit. 

Next to that was a case with a couple of .45s, two shotguns, an SMG, and an actual sword.  Not to mention the grenades. 

On the opposite wall there were three sets of shackles.  I looked at those for a long time.  Next to them was a big sink like you’d see in a basement laundry room and a little shelf with handcuffs and a neatly folded pile of body bags. 

That was the scariest fucking thing I’ve ever seen.  I think of blood mages as unhinged lunatics.  Thought went into this.  Someone had the idea “we’re going to want to wash up after the human sacrifice, so let’s get a plumber in here to hook up a sink and put in some drains.”

How to make decisions

I hardly ever get asked for an autograph.  Maybe I would be more often if I sold merch.  I should get some merch.  Not because I want people to ask for my autograph.  After my show last night, a guy with bushy sideburns and a denim shirt asked for my autograph.  After I signed, he took the paper and made a big show of throwing it in the trash.  He did that for no other reason than to tweak my nips.  Yet if I were to pummel him bloody, I would be the one arrested.  Justice is blind indeed.

I’m headed to Dothan, Alabama to meet with Stella’s mom.  I don’t think I can reject her offer out of hand.  The least I can do is learn more about it.  Discussing premeditated murder on a blog is fine right? 

Sadly I’m going to miss the National Peanut Festival at the Peanut Festival Fairground. 

I’ve childishly been wishing that Stella’s spirit would appear before me like in that stupid Star Trek movie.  I’d be driving and she’d be at the side of the road waving me over like that ghost hitchhiker urban legend.  Only instead of asking me for my jacket, she’d say “It’s okay Grace, you don’t have to bring me back.  Death isn’t the end, it’s the beginning of a new adventure.”

I thought about calling the professor to see if he could contact her.  But I know what he would say.  Ghosts aren’t the people we knew.  They just look like them.  I know what Royale would say.  Don’t do it.  There are lines you don’t cross ever.  Not ever. 

There has to be arithmetic to morality.  If three fire fighters die to save a person in a burning building, no one says that’s not moral.  So why is that different from killing three rapists to save a kid with cancer? 

Because the firefighters chose to risk their lives.  That’s the difference.

Maybe war is a better example.  Drop a bomb and kill thousands to save millions? 

If the deal was that I could trade my own life to bring Stella back, would I do it? 

Would it be better to ask for volunteers?  What if I found five terminally ill people that were willing to sacrifice themselves to bring Stella back?  If I was them, I’d ask why magic couldn’t save them instead of bringing back some dead woman. 

It seems so simple.  Don’t do blood magic.  It’s evil. 

But here I am.

Operation Steel Tiger Shark

It’s hard to believe.  My plans never work.  Lance and I sat in his Lincoln Navigator outside the compound and watched the cars and trucks drive away with all the guys and guns.  Lance had drones flying around that let us see the whole place.  There were a couple old timers and some kids left as guards.

I did choke out a teenage boy on the way in.  I don’t feel great about it.  He would have fucking shot me though so I don’t feel bad either.

A sleep spell would be helpful.  I think that once a week.  Knowing how to strangle is almost as good.  We were barely on the grounds more than two minutes.  Forty-five minutes after that, we were handing the girl off to some dudes in suits that work for the senator or rich guy or whoever hired Lance to get her back.  I sure hope that’s what happened and I didn’t just abet sex trafficking.  I should check into that.   

A few hours after that and I’m at a real Texas cattleman’s steakhouse with Lance.  He’s telling me all about how the ATF guys rolled up the whole bunch of domestic terrorists.  He made it sound like a big deal.  I’m pretty sure he got a reward or bounty they give you for ratting people out because he was being generous.  He was also already wasted because he had been out drinking with the ATF guys before he met me.  Lance is a loud guy normally, when he’s drunk it’s like sitting across from a foghorn in a stupid hat.   

I asked him how he was coping with the fact that magic is real.  He got sad for a second and said that he tries not to think about it.  I asked him if he thought that it was moral to kill five people to bring one good person back to life.  He said that I was killing his buzz and grabbed the waitress’s ass as his way of saying he needed another boilermaker.   

Maybe he should be one of the five.   

I think Kim and Mr. Awesome and Bernal are still going to try and kill the guy who killed Luciana.  I told them not to but there’s not much else I can do.  I feel I did my due diligence on this one.  I took away the bad people’s magic and I got a bunch of them arrested and a lot of guns seized.

Now I need to decide if I want to resurrect Stella by doing some unspeakable shit I promised myself that I would never do.