Excerpt for Comorbid Part 7 by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Comorbid Part 7: For Your Sake.

Natasha Weber

Mercury and June never stopped driving like their vague plan had entailed, and they were running out of money fast. They went from place-to-place and motel-to-motel exploring towns and cities together. If the place they went to had any kind of landmark, they would go to see it. For the most part, however, they would just explore the neighborhoods they ended up in. They would find those odd things that June loved to find in highschool. Those catwalks, those vacant houses, those giant, dying trees, and those lovely secret parks tucked away in a special place that seemed so hard to find, even though they really weren’t.

On TV in their motel rooms, June was stunned to find more and more people suffering from the same disease her mother had. Doctors were calling it, ‘the gray’. It made June very scared. The only similarities between the patients suffering from the gray were crippling mental disorders. These weren’t the types of disorders that one could live with, they were the types that prevented one from working and functioning correctly in society. Those disorders were the types she and Mercury had, and she worried every day that one of them would be stricken with the gray.

June was about six months along in her pregnancy. She avoided all her addictions such as alcohol, heroin, and smoking like the plague. It didn’t stop her from worrying endlessly about giving birth. She worried she would die during the birthing progress, she worried her baby would die from the process, she worried that she could never take care of the child, and she had countless bad fantasies about messing up the upbringing of her child. She worried she would be struck down by the gray before she could raise the child. She worried that the only possible hope was giving the baby up for adoption, which she didn’t want to do.

June’s only addiction left was Mercury, and when they weren’t in the real world, they were inside June’s head. That was most of their time now. They would make love inside her head all the time, but they also did other things. They would imagine the wildest landscape they could within June’s head and explore it together.

Sometimes those landscapes were dangerous because June and Mercury loved to be in danger. Once, June had imagined herself as a beautiful princess and Mercury was her strong knight who fought off monsters on a purple-grassed landscape and a red sky.

These fantasies brought them immense pleasure, regardless of whether they made love or not. Sometimes, June liked to imagine a fantasy in which neither she nor Mercury could remember one another. This was dangerous, because if she didn’t remember who he was by the time she was brought back to the collective reality, she would forget him in the collective reality as well.

But the satisfaction of the fact that they always found each other by the end of the fantasy was euphoric for her and for Mercury, too.

Her fantasies were much more different than Mercury’s—they would take turns coming up with a fantasy—hers were childish and almost sugary sweet. They were often like cheesy romance movies.

Once she had imagined herself as an incredibly smart biologist who could never find a man she loved, and always felt like she was forgetting someone she had loved once. Mercury played the part of a man who lived on the streets and couldn’t remember how he got there because he remembered being a rich man at some point. By the end of the fantasy, the pair realized they were reincarnates of previous people and had been lovers before, and they could be again.

Mercury’s were very different from June’s. His were more physically dangerous. He would either put himself or June in danger, and the other would have to come rescue the one in danger. Sometimes, there was even the chance that they would die, but those were the kind of adventures they both craved. They used June’s mind so often that they knew it would begin to deteriorate the same as Mercury’s.

Mercury had taught her how to tap into her mind. It took a lot of practice, however. He told her to imagine a personal place—a place packed full of emotion—and imagine that she was there. She had to focus on her emotions in that place completely. He told her a negative emotion worked better than a positive one because they were more powerful.

The last thing was that he had to leave her alone for a whole hour in order for her to make the reality she saw in her mind real.

Mercury never asked what the powerful place was, he was concerned it was very personal. And, it was.

June focused on the pain of hearing everyone whisper about her in highschool.

Slut.

Whore.

Bitch.

Dumbass.

June had run away after hearing all these things in one day. She ditched school and went exploring around it. She found a little park tucked away nearby, and within that park, she climbed a tree and sat on a branch. She just let herself cry, and she remembered thinking very vividly.

I hate myself.

June preferred to block that memory out, but now she had to use it, for Mercury’s sake. When he couldn’t plug in his emotions, he had to use whichever mind he could far more. It took her a month to finally be able to get into her own mind.

June and Mercury were on a high for the past six months due to their fantasies inside June’s head. They were highly stimulated and happy and couldn’t work because they would rather fantasize. Mercury had gotten a job for about a month, and had lost it due to being absent many times. He wanted to spend all his time with June. When he was at work, he would fantasize about her body and he would like to come up with new fantasies he could explore with her.

He didn’t get along with anyone at work, just like June. When his emotions began to go, he thought often about how nice it would be to hurt them, and he would need to make his excuses to go home.

And so, they didn’t bother to work. They had no plans and no aspirations. They lived for hedonism and desire, and repulsed work.

The overstimulation had gotten to them, however, and they had to take a break. They were exhausted and they slept for a whole day in their motel room.

June realized that, as much as she loved him, she still knew almost nothing about his past. She just knew his personality and his likes and dislikes.

“Mercury…” She murmured tiredly as she rolled over toward him in bed.

He opened his eyes. “Yes?”

“How did you first tap into your mind?” June asked.

“I was looking for an escape. An escape of any kind.” He replied sleepily.

“An escape? From your adopted parents?” June asked.

“No. From my biological parents. I was with them up until age twelve. They were always… hurting me.” Mercury said awkwardly.

“Hurting you?” June asked.

Mercury nodded slowly. “They’d pin me down and rape me.”

June was disgusted. “Are you serious?”

Mercury nodded again. “My body stopped being holy long ago. I was hoping I could save yours…”

June had tears in her eyes. She wrapped her arms around him. “My body’s holy so long as you’re with me.”

After a moment of silence, June asked, “did you ever have a therapist, Mercury?”

“I was required to once they found out about my genes. She diagnosed me as antisocial personality disorder. It’s basically a polite way of saying I have no fucking conscious. I don’t understand why she didn’t just call it like it was. I told her about being raped, I told her I felt nothing, I told her I bit myself because it gave me pleasure, I told her I thought about shooting my biological father in the head. She should have diagnosed me as a fucking monster. If I hadn’t tapped into my mind from an early age, I would have killed someone by now.”

June blinked a little sadly. “You’re my angel when you have emotions… You’re the only one who knows what it feels like to suffer and never feel joy the way other people do.”

Mercury was silent. He was wondering how he was going to tell her that she had to let him go soon. He knew he had to send her back home with her baby and he would have to go his own way again. He had to let her go before he ended up hurting her. Before her mind deteriorated, and before he would be stuck as a psychopath.

*

But Mercury was obsessed with her. Another month passed and he couldn’t let her go. To make matters worse, Mercury found that his emotions could barely be turned on for more than three hours at a time. He would have to stay in June’s mind for three hours in order to achieve a normal state of mind. He could tell June’s mind was going as well. She was forgetful and began mixing words up in the collective reality.

One day, while they were at a diner he told her, “June, I think we should maybe take a break from using your mind…”

Her hands were trembling and she was having trouble thinking straight. “I think that’s a good idea. What about your emotions? Are they still strong?”

Mercury told her a lie, “they’re strong.”

Later that same day, while they were walking about the little rural neighborhood nearby to their motel, they looked at horses owned by local farmers.

Mercury was holding her hand and feeling a little lovesick and overstimulated, and then suddenly, he felt nothing at all. His nails pinched June’s palm a little. She squeaked a little in pain. She grinned and turned towards her lover. “What’s up with you…? Do you wanna get a room or something?”

Mercury, at the moment, was not the Mercury she was familiar with. The sweet boy who swept her off her feet, ran off with her, and loved her more than anyone else would ever be able to love her. This was the Mercury that was meant to be if he wasn’t able to tap into his emotions.

Mercury grinned at her, “let’s go back to the motel.”

June was confused. Mercury generally never liked to initiate sex. June knew how one-sided their relationship was when it came to sex. Mercury never seemed to like it very much. June long suspected he had trauma, but he never liked to talk about it and she had only just found out about it the other day. The only thing he found pleasurable was pleasuring June—the only way he liked to be pleasured by her was if she stuck her tongue in his brain, which she would gladly oblige.

June leaned her head against his shoulder and closed her eyes tiredly. Her brain was thudding from overstimulation. She felt like it was disappearing.

*

June was driving them back to the motel when she noticed a big pile of rocks jutting up just outside of town. As impulsive as ever, she drove over to them.

Night was falling and she climbed on top of a rock and sat down. She stretched with a big grin. Mercury climbed up beside her.

Mercury put an arm around her shoulder. He felt itchy all over—he felt restless and yet he felt nothing at all.

June hugged one of her knees. And said coyly. “Did you want something?”

Mercury pushed her over and kissed her forehead. “You look so hot today.”

June didn’t know where his sexual appetite was coming from, but she found it to be incredibly charming and sexy. Especially his newfound confidence. They hadn’t had sex in reality at all. Mercury would never allow it. Only in their minds. “You really wanna do it right here on this giant rock?” Being one for impulsive behaviors, June was incredibly aroused by the idea, especially because they didn’t have any condoms on hand. “Let’s at least climb down from here.”

*

June leaned on Mercury’s shoulder as he drove the two of them back to their motel. She felt very tired, and she kept thinking about what a thrill she had just had. She thought this was her Mercury, but with newfound confidence. But it wasn’t.

This Mercury had dark thoughts. He knew how to charm Mercury’s girl and how to get her exactly where he wanted her. He just didn’t know what he wanted to do with her, other than bite her, which as a desirable enough goal for him. He also thought he might love to straight up make her his first murder, but he wasn’t so sure.

He resisted for now, however. All he had to do was convince her he felt the same things for her that the other Mercury did.

*

June noticed a change in him, of course, but she thought it was due to his newfound confidence more than anything else. Her passion for him was through the roof, but her compassion was declining. June still loved sex, but she was realizing she wanted something from Mercury that she had been missing from him for the past two weeks since the dark Mercury had taken over. The dark Mercury was good at love making, but terrible at compassion and understanding.

“I’m so worried about this baby…” June expressed while she sat in their bed in the morning. “One of us has to get a job.”

Mercury was silent and bored. “Don’t worry.”

That was not the type of response the caring Mercury would have made. He would have convinced her not to worry through a long conversation in which he assured her he would never let anything bad happen to her.

June was left to chew her nails and sweat when the caring Mercury didn’t come to her rescue. For the past two weeks, although they had visited June’s mind many times, it did nothing to bring the caring Mercury out. He was stuck inside Mercury’s own mind, left unplugged. The dark Mercury, or the Mercury he was always meant to be, had won over his mind for the time being.

Sometimes, this dark Mercury could barely resist biting June for a second longer. He had to decide soon whether he wished to kill her or whether he wished to just keep using her.

He planned out what he would do very carefully. He wanted the right setting and the perfect mood.

*

He left a letter out for June one morning.

Take the car to the cemetery on Sixth Street.

June scratched her head and yawned. What an odd request. She knew he was acting a little odd lately, but he still definitely had emotions, it seemed to her. He still had the same personality.

She had felt very alone because he wasn’t doting on her the way he used to now. He no longer loved her attentively and treated her tenderly. She was paralyzed with fear to think he was getting bored with her.

She got dressed and headed out the door.

June had a huge spike of anxiety and a small spike of depression as she drove. Her hands trembled and she kept mulling over distant past events that made her regretful.

She drove with the window down; the cold air felt good on her skin. There was a rainy smell in the air and clouds cast dark shadows on the ground.

She pulled over in the cemetery and found Mercury standing in front of a row of graves with his back facing her.

June approached slowly, unable to curb the horror growing in her heart.

She tapped his shoulder.

He turned around. His eyes were hidden by the red shades. “There you are…”

June smiled uneasily at her lover. “Why bring me to such a spooky place?”

“I wanted to tell you something very important about me…” The dark Mercury affected a miserable frown perfectly as he recalled the horrors from his past.

June clung to him like she always did. This dark Mercury didn’t see her the same way the caring one did. He saw her dependence on him as cloying and pathetic, the caring Mercury saw it as a love so uncontainable that she always had to be touching him to express it.

The dark Mercury saw her as a cloying annoyance, but also a great vessel to amuse himself with. He appealed to her loving nature and told her a true story.

“Everyday since starting kindergarten, I would come home to my biological parents with bite marks all over and go to school with them all over. My teachers would ask me where they came from, and I would tell them what my parents told me; I bit myself. That is, until my parents were suspected of abuse due to my quiet and extremely withdrawn behavior combined with oncoming bruises. They took me out of school, then, and I spent most of my days locked in doors. Father was the one who loved to molest me the most, but Mother didn’t stop him and she joined him when he asked.

“Sometimes, they would take me out so it didn’t look like I was being abused. They would wait for my bite marks to fade and my bruises, too. They would take me to parties and people would notice I wasn’t a normal child. They would notice I knew less words than a child my age should, and they noticed how quiet and frightened I was of everyone around me. I would stay in such a torturous situation until twelve. By then, I began to feel very little and I got into a lot of trouble. Smoking, fighting, alcohol.” Dark Mercury forced a fake tear.

June was in tears herself. She wrapped her arms around him and pressed her forehead against his chest.

Dark Mercury suddenly grabbed one of her wrists and bit her palm.

June retreated immediately. “What’s going on with you?”

He grabbed her wrist again and pulled her closer. June felt like her life was in danger.

Dark Marcury lifted her palm to his mouth and bit June’s pinky finger. She screamed in fear and pain and she realized that there was no way this could be her Mercury.

He bit her pinky until it came clean off. He then kept her where she stood with both hands and took out a knife from his pocket.

With her free hand, June reached into the pocket of her own coat and pointed it defensively at Mercury. He let her go with a grin, amused by the fact that she had a better head on her shoulders than he thought.

When they had first gotten back together and Mercury suggested she always have a gun on hand, she had flatly refused. Now, it was clear that she had refused outwardly to keep the gun to keep the Dark Mercury off guard, just in case he resurfaced.

“You won’t fire that thing, baby…” Mercury approached her slowly and held his arms out like he wanted to hug her.

June wanted to hug him. She adored him even now, and had trouble refusing affection from him. Nonetheless, with tears in her eyes, she stepped away from him and kept the gun steady. “You need to plug your emotions back in, and then you can hug me.”

Mercury crossed his arms. He asked her genuinely. “Why should I want to feel things like you do? What’s the point?”

“Because… Because…” June breathed in sharply. “Because there is no greater feeling in the world than knowing that you’ll always love me. I know you feel the same. Because no one will love the two of us except each other. You know how good it feels to be made love to, you know how good it feels to be secure, to be happy. You’d sacrifice that to feel nothing at all? To think of nothing but hurting me and others? Such things don’t give you lasting pleasure. You’ll end up in jail for killing me. If you ever snap out of this and plug your emotions back in, you’ll hate yourself and suffer the rest of your life.”

Mercury was looking very thoughtful. “You think so, huh?”

June’s hands trembled. She was afraid he would find a way to kill her right there and then.

Dark Mercury, with June’s suggestion, pushed back his own pleasurable fantasies and used logic once again to bring himself back to a place where turning his emotions back on made sense in the long run. It was easy with a gun in his face.

“Very well.” He agreed.

He brought himself back to that memory long ago which forced him to retreat into his own mind for an escape. Inside his own head, his physical body fell to the grassy earth in the cemetery and June sat down cross-legged next to him and hauled his head onto her lap, waiting for him to wake up.

When his eyes opened, he looked at June very sincerely and with tears in his eyes. She had wrapped her missing pinky finger in a piece of her own shirt which she had torn off. He knew it was time to let her go before he hurt her fatally.

“You have to go back home June. I can’t take care of you. I can’t even take care of myself.”






























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