Breaking my update schedule for this. So here it is, the definite climax, the light over the mountain, the Grand finale of TouchTasteKiss.
Drab gray painted the walls, as Ben floated, Farther and farther down into the endless oblivion below.
He couldn't tell you where he was, nor his purpose for being here in the first place, but he was present, floating, awaiting a stopping point. The tunnel seemed to go on forever, and as one trickled down with the pace of a sloth on a cloudy day, the walls seemed to become darker and darker. Pale silver's descended into earthy Gray's, the Colors of the rain-stricken clouds, it was powdery and consistent, and as the darker the vertical corridor became, the colder it got. Occasionally, Ben would bypass a picture frame, which would be empty, or have cracked mirror glass which would distort his features terribly.
Every now and then he assumed he could hear a faint melody in the air, something of a piano, accompanied by the dark tones of a cello, or a viola, however, each time he made an attempt to actually listen for it, it was gone with the wind.
He examined his garments and himself for that manner. He was clad in what were the tattered remains of a white shirt, and pants. The cuffs of the shirt where held tightly by rusted shackles, and chains, that when moved; made no sound. The small cufflinks where shaped like hearts, and where rusted as well. The tails of the shirt where ripped and torn beyond recognition, save for a long diagonal stitch across the breast area. The slacks where worn and loose, the very ends fraying and knotted, in a dance of despair.
His skin was cold to the touch, and looked a tad clammy; and his eyes were still white like freshly driven snow, save for the shades of gray along the top that were like testament to his emptiness. Even his hair, which was still brown, was lackluster in every way, and hung lifelessly at his cheeks.
He made an attempt to pass the time by thinking of Kevin, and that small patch of time that they shared. Woe was him indefinitely as he tried to recall those moments, for the more he made an attempt to do so, the hazier all those memories became. Ben even found himself trying to recall Kevin's features and expressions, yet they had all gone blurry in his head.
Was that what was happening?
Was he erasing Kevin from his memory.
Ben was slightly taken aback as his feet made contact with the ground, and he laid his dull eyes on a humanoid like figure. It was composed a dark static-like gray, sort of like when a television is not hooked up correctly, and that deafening noise shrieks throughout a room. It had no visible features, save for a rather sinister grin, and equally evil pointed teeth. It had the makings of hair on its head, but it all melded into that static-gray.
[DO YOU KNOW WHY YOU ARE HERE?]
Ben was stunned when it first spoke. Its voice was like an oxymoron, like a soft scream, or a deafening whisper, that echoed off the walls of infinity.
He laid eyes on it, retaining no visible reaction on the outside, but a horrendous storm of fear, and curiosity on the inside.
"I don't know anything"
[WELL, SINCE YOU'RE SO STUPID, I GUESS I'LL HAVE TO TELL YOU.] He extended both of his arm-like appendages, and grinned.
[I AM THE ULTIMATRIX.]
For a moment Ben was taken aback, wide-eyed and amazed. The stunning revelation shook him to his very core, rocking the foundation of his existence.
"How can that be?" "You're simply a machine!" "Albedo created you and Azmuth perfected you!"
[I AM THE ESSENCE OF YOU IN AN ENTIRETY.] [I EMULATE AS YOUR SECOND SELF CONCIOUS AND, AND IN A WAY, YOUR BRAIN.]
The brunette was dumbstruck. The idea of a machine being a part of life that resided in his brain every day was simply astounding.
[PAY ATTENTION.] The Ultamatrix called. [THIS PLACE,] he pointed to the seemingly infinite space. [IS YOUR SUBCONCIOUS.] [IT IS AN INFINITE PLANE, THAT WAS RECEBTLY STRIPPED OF EVERYTHING NOT TOO LONG AGO.] The being frowned, and materialized a static-gray bottle of pills in his left hand and shook them disapprovingly.
[NOW LOOK AT YOUR CLOTHES.] [THEY REPRESENT WHAT YOU'VE DONE TO YOUR BEING ENTIRELY.] [RIPS ABD TEARS ON ONES MIND, NO DOUBT.] The smile returned. [SOME CAN BE MENDED, BUT OTHERS...]
Ben gazed at his bare feet in shame.
[I TOLD YOU TO PAY ATTENTION.]
The boy shot a disapproving look to the enigma. He was sure if it could constitute eyes onto its face it would be arching an eyebrow in amusement.
He sighs and juts out his left hip. [NOW THE STITCH RUNNING FROM YOUR SHOULDER TO YOUR NAVEL.] [ITS THE VISUAL REPRESENTATION OF HOW YOU TRIED TO FIX YOURSELF WITH ARGIT'S PRETTY LITTLE PILLS.] [NOTICE HOW THE STITCH IS SLOPPY AND BARELY HOLDS IT TOGETHER.] The being chuckled as the fluids of regret stirred in the deep of Ben's stomach.
"Why are you telling me this?" He mumbled, in a defeated tone.
[YOU'LL SEE SOON ENOUGH.] The Ultamatrix made a gesture to the shackles and chains entwining his being. [ONWARD TO THE CHAINS.] [THE CHAINS ARE YOUR MEMORIES, HENCE WHY THEY RUN SO FAR UPWARDS,] He points upward, to the stream of metal links that seemingly go on forever. [ BUT THEY'VE BEGUN TO RUST, AND YOUR FINDING IT HARDER AND HARDER TO REMEMBER THINGS.] The grin returned. [LIKE KEVIN, YOU PROBABLY CAN'T EVEN REMEMBER HOW HE LOOKS.]
Ben didn't even make an attempt to recall Kevin's features. He knew all too well he couldn't.
[I'M DISSATISFIED WITH YOU BEN.] [YOU DID SOME PRETTY BAD DAMAGE TO YOUR INSIDES; YOU'LL PROBABLY NEVER BE THE SAME.] The ultamatrix made that sickly-sweet grin once again, and began to saunter closer and closer to Ben. [YOU ASKED WHY IM TELLING YOU THIS…] Ben nodded as the epiphany placed a hand on his shoulder.
[YOU NEEDED TO KNOW WHAT YOU DID TO YOURSELF, AND THE TOLL IT COULD HAVE ON YOUR EXISTANCE.] [SO MANY PEOPLE MAKE IT HERE AND END UP DYING, ALL BECAUSE THEY DIDNT HAVE THE SLIGHTEST CLUE OF THEIR ACTIONS.] [BUT YOURE LUCKY, OTHERS DON'T HAVE A GUIDE LIKE ME.]
"I want to go back." Ben spoke, interrupting the middle of the Ultamatrix's sentence.
The ultamatrix cocked what Ben presumed to be an eyebrow. [ARE YOU POSITIVE?] [THE AFTERLIFE IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE...]
"I want to go back and be with Kevin."
[YOU CAN MAKE A KEVIN IN YOUR AFTERLIFE, SPEAK WITH ONE OF THE ANGELS, IM SURE THEY'LL OBLIGE.]
Ben sighed languidly, and glanced at the ultamatrix. "I want the real Kevin, not some made-up doll with Kevin's face."
For awhile, there was a deafening silence. The ultamatrix sighed and placed his hands on Ben's shoulders. [BE VILIGANT WHEN YOU AWAKE, BECAUSE I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SAVE YOU IF SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS AGAIN.] [MY SUBCONCIOUS WILL BE TERMINATED ALONG WITH YOURS, AND WHE'LL BOTH BE DEAD.] Ben nodded in understanding.
[…] The epiphany pulled the brunette into a hug. He pulled away, and instructed Ben to keep his eyes shut. Silently, he gripped the vertex of his chin, and the middle of his head. He twisted violently, which was accompanied by a gristly snapping sound. His body fell to the ground, his head facing an awkward direction, and his spine pointing through his skin. The corpse laid in stasis for a moment, before beginning to disintegrate. Piece by piece, his hands, feet, and other appendages faded with a white light, before fading into oblivion all together.
Wordlessly, the Ultamatrix stared at the spot where the fallen warrior once rested. The room began to crumble inward on itself, the white being replaced with the presence of the creeping black.
As the black crept closer and closer to his being, the Ultamatrix uttered one last declaration.
"May you never see this place again, Benjamin Tennyson."
Soft green eyes fluttered open, and deeper breaths were taken. The ceremonial beep of a pacemaker resounded beside him. He could not speak, nor express no form of vocal communication. The anti-depressants still proved dominant in this realm. The least he could do is wiggle his index and middle fingers. He was at a lost for the rest. His eyes, reduced to small slits of skin and eyelash glanced groggily, across the hospital room. Inwardly grimacing as he viewed Kevin's sobbing exterior grasping his unfeeling left hand. Ben was wracked with guilt, no doubt. He regretted to tell himself that he was wrong, but berated himself for it regardless. Each sob was another bruise added, or in his case, another pill popped.
Discombobulated sobs reached his ears, and his heart suffered another blow.
"I'm sorry I made...do this."
"I love you."
He'd reached his breaking point upon the utterance of those three words. He pushed himself, tightened his muscles, and forced himself to move, but alas, nothing happened.
He didn't even have the energy to weep.
Footsteps resounded as Athens disheveled form of Gwen entered the room. Her hair was an orange briar of orange curls and knots, her makeup, a raccoons' mask around her eyes that dribbled down her cheeks in messy tear-mixed streaks. The garments she donned were wrinkled, and carried a stale odor. Throughout it all, she strutted, prim, and proper.
She had gone insane.
Ben watched as Kevin turned to glance at her, with tear-filled eyes, and turned back to him.
She closed and locked the door.
Gwen approached and patted him meaninglessly on the forehead. She mumbled inaudible something in his ear.
She repeated it.
"Gwen-" he had no chance to finish his speech though, for she had clutched a fistful of his ebony locks, and jammed his open mouth against one of the metal supporting banisters that kept the brunette from rolling from his bed. And to make it worse, the bar was thin, adjustable, sturdy steel.
"You broke me." She spoke, smiling manically. "You toyed with my feelings." She noticed Kevin reaching for something metal to absorb, so , with the heel of her shoe, she violently stomped his fingers into a mess of bruised skin, and bloodied bone.
Kevin could only gurgle in pain, with the bar pressed against his tongue.
"You're going to pay."
"I'm going to make you fell like me."
She pressed the button to lower the adjustable bar, and smiled in glee as she watched a few of Kevin's. Blood-coated-molars hit the carpet.
Ben witnessed the bar begin to cut through Kevin's skull, as Gwen sat on the bar, giving it some extra leverage to decapitate the man. His eyes had already rolled back in his head, when the bar reached them and sliced them in two like warm cheese. After a while, the dull bar made its way through the entirety of his skull, which resounded with the sound of painful cracking as it lopped the last piece off, spraying Ben in an ocean of blood. Red stained everything, as blood sputtered from the fresh wound in short bursts, hitting Ben in the face with vigor.
It would be an hour and a half before the police forced a hysterical nurse into their car for questioning.
It would be two weeks later when they spread Kevin's ashes into the bay of the Hudson river.
Ben could still move only his fingers, his neck, and his eyelids as the family traversed to the city of Kevin's desired spot of final rest. Still no voice. No matter how hard he tried. The doctors even agreed it would be healthy to see his friend off into the afterlife. Scheming that it may give him the willpower to speak again.
But the doctors didn't know what actually occurred.
Gwen grasped the handles of Ben's wheelchair, as the saddened group began to flood out. Sandra comforted Kevin's mother as she sobbed at the lost of her son.
He relayed the image in his head unintentionally. Each time it had a different outcome. Everything form Ben being able to save his lover, and to other things like Gwen drawing a gun from her pocket and proceeding to paint the walls with a fresh coat of bens blood.
He felt his blood run cold as she smiled down at him. Her face was full of white hot rage, cleverly concealed with the mask of the stoic.
He shook in the chair, desperately trying to yell, or scream some kind if warning to his fellow funeral goers. He managed a mumble as age wheeled him down the sidewalk of the busy Manhattan Street.
He desperately tried to elongate the mumble, and succeeded in formulating a barely audible raspy whisper.
Again, a small voice resounded in his being, while he rode the elevator down to the subway.
A low scream was formulated as she pushed him closer and closer to the warning line of the subways entrance platform.
And then, like a bomb had detonated in his entire being, like the rage of a sleeping volcano had erupted in his soul, he raised his hoarse voice and screamed;
"GWEN WAS THE ONE WHO KILLED KEVIN!" Right as she pushed him onto the dingy train tracks and his face met with the rusted wheels of the D-train that was running late to its final stop on Fordham.
I'd like to thank everyone that stood by this, even through the sex and torture. I'd encourages you to read my other stores, but they all suck.
And if you were confused earlier, Ben was in a of puzzle room within the Ultamatrix, sort of like a safe room. In said safe room, he had to solve the puzzle of himself; I.E. have a revelation of why he was here, and what he had done to himself. The safe room was a get out of jail free card, and only worked when the subject had at least a 15% chance of living. The depiction of the Ultamatrix was largely based off of God (truth) from FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
Thanks for reading, and I hope to hear from you all soon.