monarch of heaven
- 210.9K words
After losing everything, Colin lived like a parasite, only existing in his most miserable form. Completely sunk in dark thoughts, he found himself coerced into making a decision that would completely change his life. The decision… well, he chose to kill himself. His reckless decision has led him to another world, a magical world filled with chaos, wars and despair. A world where monsters and demons exist, where betrayal and disgrace are born. On the other side of the glass window, the world seemed to be destroyed by a storm, it just seemed. Colin had never really liked storms since he was a kid, now, being an adult of twenty-three, he still felt that childhood fear embedded in his bones. In a quick move after hearing thunder, Colin grabbed the edges of the blanket and covered his head. He had been in bed for quite some time. He lost count of how many times he tried to go back to sleep and failed. He reached out and groped along the icy wooden shelf for his cell phone. His cell phone felt frozen, and he could barely feel his fingertips touching it. He dragged the cell phone under the covers and turned it on.
Chapter 1 - A beautiful day
On the other side of the glass window, the world seemed to be destroyed by a storm, it just seemed. Colin had never really liked storms since he was a kid, now, being an adult of twenty-three, he still felt that childhood fear embedded in his bones.
In a quick move after hearing thunder, Colin grabbed the edges of the blanket and covered his head.
He had been in bed for quite some time. He lost count of how many times he tried to go back to sleep and failed. He reached out and groped along the icy wooden shelf for his cell phone.
His cell phone felt frozen, and he could barely feel his fingertips touching it.
He dragged the cell phone under the covers and turned it on.
The light from the set suddenly blinded him and he squinted at the time.
After a long yawn, Colin threw the covers aside and sat up in bed while rubbing his eye with the back of his right hand.
His body was heavy, as if his bed had taken root and pulled him down. Fighting his solid urge to go back to sleep, Colin rose unhurriedly, breaking the invisible roots around his lean body.
He walked into his room stumbling over mountains of clothes strewn across the floor along with plastic bags full of rubbish.
Her room was so messy that a house after a hurricane would look more orderly. He felt the wall even colder than his cell phone and found the switch.
His room was complete chaos. There were Mangas and comics strewn across the floor, as well as empty packets of crackers and snacks. In the back, there was his computer next to some empty energy drink cans scattered around the table.
Some cans were half full, and some were half empty. To make matters worse, the smell was horrible. His neighbors had already complained about the smell invading their kitchens, but Colin didn't care.
Nothing else mattered to him at that point.
Colin hesitated a little before touching the doorknob, but then he opened the door slowly with a high-pitched creak and moved into the hallway that led to the kitchen.
Her slow steps were muffled by her thick socks that didn't let her feet freeze.
Colin reached the fridge and opened it slowly.
He stayed there for a few seconds, enamoring his insides. His eyes swept over more energy drinks, alcohol and sweets, until he reached for a bottle of milk at the bottom.
He held the milk carton right next to his ear and shook it.
Shrugging, he lifted the box to his mouth.
There wasn't much milk in there, so Colin tossed the empty carton into the wastebasket next to the fridge, where it was nearly overflowing with so much.
Colin's sloppiness attracted mosquitoes, cockroaches and rats, but he didn't care.
His kitchen was across from the living room, so he turned his head, looked at the floor of the door, and there were some letters scattered on the rug.
“Did someone write to me?” he thought, going towards the letters with slow steps.
He didn't want to go, because deep down he knew the answer.
Colin crouched down on the rug, picking up the first piece of mail.
It was the letter from the bank that he owed a significant amount of money. Colin had taken out a loan to start a business that failed within weeks.
Shrugging, he just tossed the letter aside.
He opened another one and it was yet another charge, this time one of the numerous credit card debts he owed.
He also threw them aside and followed this same rhythm for a few minutes, until one card in particular caught his attention.
At the exact moment he landed his eyes on the sender, lightning crossed the heavens, bringing a huge flash accompanied by a deafening roar.
Colin swallowed hard and dozens of things went through his head. Even though he didn't care about absolutely anything, with that letter it was different.
His anxiety seemed to strangle him.
For a moment, his breathing even ceased, and through the cold he managed to sound.
His thumb and forefinger refused to break the seal that felt like it weighed tons, but he broke open the letter slowly, almost stopping.
He unfolded the paper, thus beginning his silent reading.
All of his expectations collapsed in front of him, like a tower of cards after a blow.
"Rejected again, what a surprise..." he murmured wrapping the letter.
Before rising, Colin gathered the letters into a pile and picked them up, tossing them into the kitchen bin, forcing them in with his foot.
The cards that fell to the ground remained there.
Without much else to do, he made his way back to his room. He turned off the lights and pressed the CPU button with his toe. He sat down in his padded chair and pushed the energy drink cans aside with one hand, letting them fall across most of the room's floor.
The brightness of the screen nearly blinded him, but his eyes adjusted quickly. He put on the Headset and, as usual, entered an online game where he wasted most of his time.
He hovered the mouse cursor over various game icons and opened a voice chat application to chat with his virtual friends he met in the game.
— Colin?! — Said one of his friends — I was waiting for you to tell you the news!
Curious, Colin squinted, thinking the moderators had added a new event to the game.
- What's new? A weekend event?
— It's not like that, you know your ex-fiancée?
"The one who played with us?" asked another friend.
— That same one, so I decided to stalk her and found out that she's going to marry a rich man!
Colin pursed his lips and swallowed hard.
It wasn't even two months since both of them had broken up.
- And? Colin asked. - Life goes on. I'm not going to cry over a failed relationship.
— But it's strange, her getting married so quickly — commented the friend — She was probably already cheating on you, you know, women never leave a guy without having another one in reserve.
"But then, are we going to play or not?" asked Colin irritably.
- Sure we go.
They played a few games, but Colin wasn't well, nothing in his life was going the way he wanted.
He never stopped trying to change, he just slowed down the way he dealt with his problems, often leaving them there in the dust.
“I'm sleepy guys,” Colin said, faking a yawn. “I think I'm going to sleep…
- To sleep? But you just arrived.
— Leave him alone, I bet he's going to cry because of his ex-fiancée hehehe.
- To cry? — asked Colin — It even seems that one of the strongest magicians in the game cries, even more!
He left the voice chat and aggressively removed the Headset, throwing it on the table and taking a long breath.
He slowly got up from the chair and went straight to the bathroom across the room. He turned on the switch and rested both hands on the sink as he looked at himself in the mirror.
All he saw was failure, the face of a man who needed a long night's sleep and a decent lunch.
"Fucking life..." muttered Colin.
Colin was swarthy, his hair always messed up and a glossy black. His eyes were slightly yellowish, which sometimes due to the light, gained a reddish tint.
Colin turned on the faucet and watched the water go down the drain.
Several things went through his confused head.
Colin cupped his hands and wet his face, watching himself in the mirror as the water running down his face dripped aggressively into the sink.
Turning off the faucet, Colin grabbed the washcloth hanging from a hanger behind him and dried it off, returning the washcloth to its place.
He returned to the bedroom and rested his hands on his hips, taking in the huge mess.
“I need to clean this up, but not right now.”
The rain had eased dramatically, taking the storm with it. The country in which he resided was experiencing a powerful pandemic wave. Colin was never one to leave the house much, but his short walks helped him to clear his head when his head got messed up.
“I think I need to go for a walk.”
Afraid to be strangled by his thoughts, Colin went into the living room and put on his black all star that was on the rug in front of the door.
He put on his coat and picked up the umbrella by the door.
He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a surgical mask, putting it on.
He sighed before turning the knob and taking his first step out of the house. He opened his long black umbrella and walked leisurely again.
The streets were almost empty, only a few people coming and going.
There were also cars that sped by the asphalt from time to time.
Colin went to the square he always used to go to, located next to his house. Sometimes he would sit there and plan how he was going to get out of the bottom he was in. Deep down, he knew he wouldn't carry out his fanciful plans, he just liked to imagine, to go anywhere that would take him away from that disappointing reality.
Ever since he was fired from his job as an administrative assistant, he has found himself lost in a chaotic world. Soon after that, his mother passed away and his ex-fiancée left him, all within a short period of time.
He found himself alone, completely abandoned by everyone and everything. Life had dealt him a brutal punch in the gut and he was tossing and turning on the icy ground with no one to turn to.
His eyes were focused on his feet, then he looked up and saw someone approaching.
“Colin? he called a female voice.
He looked up and squinted trying to remember who it was.
“Hi…” he finally remembered. - Agatha?
Agatha was a high school friend Colin hadn't seen in a few years. She had short, shoulder-length hair and was wearing a plaid coat. On her right shoulder she carried a leather bag and wore a red all star.
"How long has it been?" she asked, sitting down next to her.
Colin thought but couldn't come up with an exact answer.
“It's been a few years, I think.
"I heard about your mother, I'm sorry…"
- And me too.
Silence aggressively invaded the two-way conversation.
Agatha wasn't the kind of friend he used to tell secrets and dreams, even though during school days they only had each other's company.
- I still use it... -she said holding a pendant that was around her neck.
He had casually given it to her the day before Agatha moved out of town.
That was the last time they had seen each other.
Colin looked at her staring at the pendant.
"It still looks good on you...
"I heard you were getting married." - She commented so low that it was barely audible.
"Yeah, I was going to, but it didn't work out...
Staring into Colin's vacant eyes, Agatha swallowed hard. Her friend's eyes were different, colder than usual.
It's been a while since they've seen each other, they haven't even spoken on social media, and she felt there was something wrong with her friend.
"Do you need someone to talk to?" she asked.
Colin glanced at her sideways and smiled.
“Always worrying about me, you don't change at all.
“It’s just that you look… different…
He gestured yes with his head.
"What have you been up to since high school?" - he asked.
Agatha stared into space, shook her head, and shrugged.
— No big deal, I entered the university, but it is currently closed because of the pandemic wave, but I will graduate soon.
- That's great! - Colin looked at the ring on her right hand - An engagement ring?
“Oh, that? Agatha smiled as she stroked the ring. "He's an amazing man, I think you two would get along…
- I'm sure yes.
Agatha's cell phone rang inside her purse and she quickly answered it.
— Honey, I'm coming soon — she said to the cell phone — I ended up meeting a friend from high school and we stopped to talk, I'll be home soon… I love you too.
She returned her cell phone to her purse and stood up.
“Colin, I have to go.
He waved his hands.
“Okay, give your fiancé a hug for me.
She looked up at him again and pursed her lips.
"Are you sure it's okay?"
"It's okay, I'm serious.
"Don't you want my number?" You could go to dinner with me and my fiancé one of these days…
Colin shook his head.
“Go live your life, you don't need me.
The rain started again.
Colin rose and offered his umbrella.
"Catch it, or you'll catch a cold, maybe worse."
"And you're going to stand out in the rain?"
"Consider it an early wedding gift." It's not much, but I assure you it's of enviable quality. It's best not to underestimate bizarre convenience store promotions.
Deep down, Agatha felt that Colin was still the same as ever. She just smiled and took the umbrella.
"Are you sure it's going to be okay?"
- Damn it! Agatha, this concern of yours is annoying, you know that?
"Hmm!..." He grunted, looking away.
With his index finger, Colin touched her forehead.
“See you, Agatha.
Colin turned and pulled his hoodie down over his eyes.
- See you later... - She murmured watching him walk away.
In a snap, Colin found himself coerced into a course of action he'd pondered for a long time. His thoughts were no longer jumbled, and for the first time he was sure exactly what to do.
Rounding the corner, he walked across the deserted intersection to the edge of the bridge. He climbed onto the banister and took a good look down there.
The drop was too high, and there was no margin close. Colin once had plenty of stamina when he was in high school, participating in dozens of physical activities, but that was just a shadow of his former self.
In his current state, he would surely die of fatigue just trying to reach the shore.
Opening his arms, Colin felt a light lash of breeze. He looked at the horizon and saw a beautiful sunset. He decided that this would be his last sight, so he closed his eyes, removed his mask and let the wind blow it away.
Living was torture, even after everything he'd been through. Colin had become a parasite, and the system hated parasites.
He closed his eyes and let his body fall into the lake.
As he sank into that deep lake, several things crossed his mind. He remembered his mother, ex-fiancée, Agatha and her virtual friends.
Suddenly, like a sudden blow, he remembered the last conversation he'd had with his mother.
She was lying in the hospital bed and she was quite thin. Her hair was shaved off and her eyes were teary. The doctors had told her she had only a few weeks to live.
Colin was sitting in the next chair dozing.
He bothered with the light in the room and slowly opened his eyes staring at his mother in that deplorable state. Colin could barely hold back the tears, but he also carried the main lesson his father had taught him.
“If you show weakness, no matter how small, the world will swallow you up. Make no mistake, Colin, they will say no, but the world hates weak men.”
His mother coughed and Colin jumped to his feet. He approached the mother while screaming for a doctor.
- Alright my love. - She said hoarsely - The doctors said I don't have much time, so we better have this conversation soon.
— Wait mom, it's better to be silent, to conserve energy...
'No Colin, listen to me, I know I may not have been a good mother and I've always been a little absent because of my illness. Your father was a little hard on you, but...
“You and Dad were the best.
Colin's mother smiled and reached up with an arm full of tubes and touched her son's face, who was doing everything he could not to burst into tears.
— My son… I so wish we had more time, I had so much to tell, but that's okay… Just know that you are more special than you can imagine, so just give it time. Don't live too fast worrying about everything… there's always tomorrow, another chance to make things better, another chance to start over… it was like that with me and your dad, we had to start over from scratch twice, but we didn't give up and I had you, my greatest treasure...
Colin kissed his mother's hand and nodded.
His mother continued.
“All your father and I wanted was for you to be satisfied with yourself. I hope that in a few years, you will become someone you will be proud of, after all, you have my blood and your father's blood... You are destined for greatness.
As if awakened by a slap across the face, Colin opened his eyes to find himself drowning in a dark lake as bubbles of air escaped his lips.
Desperate, he tried to surface, but it felt like something was pulling him down.
He didn't understand this mix of feelings, maybe he didn't want to go against his parents' last wish, or maybe his will to live was something that even he couldn't control.
But none of that helped at the moment. Thoughts of him were slipping away, and her desperate, almost instinctive will to cling to life was being useless to her.
He was dying.
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