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Believing

by The Inimitable Pooh Bah

Appologies to The Chaos Factor for warping his plot bunny so terribly.

Date: August 22, 2000

Rating: R

Spoilers: 'Inga Fossa', 'Manus Domini'.

Summary: Pinocchio's musings on faith. Backstory, pre-series.

Disclaimer: 'Harsh Realm' and its characters belong to Chris Carter, 1013, and/or FOX.

Feedback: poohbah@gray-eyed.com

Website: http://www.gray-eyed.com/

Archive: List archives and by submission. Do not archive or repost without permission.


I used to believe in God. I can't remember when I decided that if He existed he wouldn't have turned his back on the world. I just know that if the atrocities I've seen in the Real World didn't convince me, what I've seen and done in Harsh Realm did. I don't think there was ever a God here.

I used to believe in a simple goodness buried somewhere in the human heart, under the crime rates and wars and abuse of the planet. But man created this place, and that's enough to convince me of humanity's inherent evil. Too bad I don't believe in God any more, or I might believe there was some hope for mankind's depraved condition.

I used to believe in love. Inga took care of that. The moment I'm in jail and out of her way, she and good ol' Omar are fucking. "Let me explain, Michael." Sure, baby. I love a good piece of fiction. Don't ever talk to me again. Don't even think about me again, Inga Odette Fossa. Bitch. I wish I could forget her. I used to believe in selective memory, too.

I used to believe in America--the government, the Army, Mom and apple pie. It got hard to believe after Desert Storm and Yugoslavia and realizing just what Harsh Realm really is. It was too much effort, and I quit.

I used to believe in Santiago. I stopped that about when I stopped believing in love.

I used to believe in trusting people, and I'm truly sorry for the decent folks out there who I'll always be watching for knives aimed at my back. It's too late for them--too bad Inga wasn't one.

I used to believe in laughter and the joy of being alive. There's no joy here outside the fence. Only pain and starvation and filth and death and fear. Laughter is a sign of insanity.

I used to believe that, if things went wrong in my life, they'd get better if I did what I could and waited patiently and kept my hopes up. I think I believed it, anyway. It's been so long I'm not sure any more.

I used to believe in being kind to children and women and old people and puppies. I quit being nice to old people when I killed them for Santiago. I quit being nice to children and puppies when I stole a little boy's dog, took it home to my camp, and turned it into dinner. I quite being nice to women during a raid on a rebel camp, when I spared one a bullet, and let her go after I raped her. . . . I feel worst about the woman. Maybe it's because she kept crying, so quiet I wasn't sure if I really heard her or if the sound was just what my head made to match her shaking and tears. Maybe it's because I met her again later, at another rebel camp, when I came as one of them and not one of Santiago's men. Maybe because she recognized me, but didn't try to slit my throat or castrate me with a rusty knife or do anything else that would even begin to even our score. Maybe because she followed me when I went back to my little camp. Maybe because she's still here and she won't go away. She can't speak to say that she knows I've started over and that I'm a different man now and that she forgives me, so I don't let myself believe it when her eyes say so. . . . I guess it's fair that she haunts me like this. I wish she'd just shoot me wherever she thinks it'll hurt the most and leave the angriest scar, and leave. I don't want to remember what I did to her. I don't want to think about how I could ever do such a thing.

I used to believe I had a heart, a conscience, some decency. I don't think I even have a fucking soul any more. I deserve to burn in Hell, but I don't believe in Hell or Heaven. They disappeared along with God. I can't imagine anything worse than this place, anyway.

I used to believe that you had to be seriously messed up in the head to hate yourself, but I've shown myself that it's not like that.

Fuck it all. Fuck Inga. Fuck Santiago. Fuck America. Fuck love and human goodness and hope and laughter. Fuck children and puppy dogs and old people and women. And Florence. Fuck her. I can tell she's gonna keep making me miserable with her presence, and I hate her for it.

Fuck everything I have ever believed in.

Fuck believing.

--

[ END ]


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