This is the first half of a Zimbits soulmate AU, where you can feel the pull of your soulmate like a compass. This is a first draft, so no corrections have been made so far. I just wanted to throw it out there. There will be a second and final part to this- and I’ll do my best to write it soon.
Dear Mama and Coach,
I’m sorry to leave with only a note, but this is something I have to do. I left for my pilgrimage. I know I’m way too young, but I couldn’t wait. … I think my soulmate is dying. I felt the pull stop for a full minute. It never happened before. I can’t wait another four years before seeking them! I hope you understand.
Also, I didn’t tell y’all because… I think my soulmate may be a man.
I hope you’re not too mad at me. I’ll call.
I love you both,
North. The pull had always pointed North. Sometimes, when Eric changed cities, he tried to triangulate the feel, but there was never enough difference in what he felt to pinpoint a precise location on a map. His soulmate could be in any of the states above Georgia, or- well, they could live further North. He wondered what would be worse for his parents, that his soulmate was a man, or that he was a Yankee.
He’d stressed about it for years but, now that he was stuck on a bus for who knew how long, he couldn’t stop worrying. He fidgeted with the cheap pilgrimage kit he’d bought at Atlanta. A map of the United States, a plastic ruler, a tiny pencil and a miserable looking compass that didn’t seem to point in the same direction if he shook it a bit. It was all he could afford, since the bus ticket from Madison to Atlanta, then Atlanta to… wherever, took most of his “borrowed” money.
That was another thing. His parents would be so mad when they noticed he took from his savings account. That money was supposed to go to his skating class- or more recently, his hockey equipment.
Maybe he could have asked. Maybe they’d understood, and offered more, and Coach would have lent him his own brass compass, the one inherited from his own father, the one he used to follow the pull until he found his own soulmate. Maybe his mother would have kissed him on the forehead and maybe she’d have offered to ride with him wherever the pull led him- North, North, always North…
But maybe not.
It wasn’t something Eric wanted to risk. The steadiness of the pull had stopped, for just a minute, maybe more, but that was enough to change Eric’s own life. He had someone, somewhere, whose soul was compatible with his- who was maybe a lover, a friend- and that someone’s life had blinked.
He held back his nervous tears, fidgeted with the compass once more.
Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
When you woke up this morning, it was 70 degrees. It’s now 50 and there’s a massive thunderstorm. Now it’s sunny again.
You drive by the TVA lakes in the Cherokee Forest. They are beautiful. Then you realize that whole communities are under the water.
You go by a local cemetery at night. There are solar powered light up crosses over many of the graves. They resemble the souls of the dead.
You enter a local town. It’s pleasant. The people are friendly. Then you see a sign stating that one of the branches of the Trail of Tears started here.
You are driving through the mountains. You miss your turn. Suddenly, you are on a winding back road lined with old trailers and ramshackle houses. Old men with chewing tobacco in their mouths, women with flyaway hair, and shirtless children stare at your passing with vacant eyes.
You are in Knoxville: a vibrant, fascinating city. It’s also home to the the Body Farm, where corpses are left out to rot for science.
You are hiking in the Smoky Mountains. It is warm, sunny, and pleasant. Then, the clouds roll in, the temperature drops 10 degrees and, in the distance, you hear the sound of a banjo.
Friday, May 5th from 7-11pm, the historic Mary Boyce Temple House in downtown Knoxville will be hosting my Fearsome Critters art show! There will be prizes, food, wine, and dozens of new sculptures and paintings I’ve been working hard on for weeks! I want to see y'all there!
It is always such a privilege to get to see this brave human transform the deep pain of living with mental illness into beautiful works of art. Monday night’s show was amazing, and I already can’t wait until next time. 🌻
Blair Adams was a 31 year old Canadian resident who was found dead in the parking lot of a Knoxville, Tennessee hotel in July 1996. The police later found out that just before his death he acted very strangely, claiming that people were trying to kill him.
On the 5th of July he took out all of his money in his savings account, along with thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and gold. He went to the Canadian-American border to try and leave but was denied because of all the cash he had with him (a single man with a load of cash fits the profile of a drug trafficker).
The next day, he went to work and quit his job. He then bought a round trip to Germany and then went to a friend’s place to ask for help because he thought someone was trying to kill him. Unfortunately, his friend was unable to help. Then the next day he turned in his tickets, got a rental car, and was able to cross the border and go to Seattle.
He then bought a one-way ticket to Washington, DC and shortly after arriving there he went to Knoxville. He arrived at a gas station at 5:30 pm and told the attendant that his car would not start. The attendant then told Blair that he had the wrong keys. Blair then hitchhiked to a hotel where he began to act even more strangely. According to the manager, Blair walked in and out of the hotel lobby a total of 5 times before he rented a room, but afterwards went out and was never seen alive ever again.
Twelve hours later, his body, which was naked from the waist down, was found in the hotel parking lot. His body was surrounded with nearly $4,000 worth of Canadian, American, and German currency. The cause of death was later discovered as a blow to the stomach. He was murdered just as he had feared.
To this day this mysterious case remains unsolved.
so me and my roommate Charlie are unpacking some stuff in my room and there’s this apartment right under my window right, well we hear this horrific screaming, like we legit thought someone was being assaulted, so we went rigid and got up to call the cops BUT When we get closer to window, we hear this biblical chanting, and then “ARRGGGHHHHHH” and then “AND GOD CAST OUT THE DISEASE OF THE WORLD” and then “IT BURNSSSS” and suddenly it hits me, the realization of what we’re hearing.
And I turn to Charlie and say, “I think…I think it’s an exorcism. I think there’s an exorcism happening downstairs.”
So?!?! We go out on the front balcony, where our neighbor is holding her baby, super mad because all the howling and shrieking woke her baby up. We’re like “?!?!?!??!?!”
And our neighbor is like “I’m callin the fuckin cops.”
So neighbor goes back in to console baby. We run back to my room to listen because my window is literally right above this shit. The door to the exorcism apartment is directly below my window. It’s open and I shit you not, there is a man guarding the doorway with a fucking bible. A woman is inside chanting biblical shit and some other unseen woman is GROWLING AND SHRIEKING OVER AND OVER.
Me and Charlie are stunned, we have never in our lives seen anything like this. My face is pressed so hard into the bug screen attached to my window, the whole fucking bug screen pops loose and it would have landed right on their doorstep, but Charlie literally catches it in mid-air like she’s some kind of super hero.
The screams are visceral, nonstop, and the jesus chanting, and we’re like what do we do now? So like complete IDIOTS, we decide to get closer.
We run out of my apartment, down the stairs, and creep around to the back so we’re like 30 feet away from this fucking apartment. A handful of other neighbors are out here with us and it’s a mixture of WHAT DO WE DO and DID ANYONE CALL THE POLICE and WHAT IF THERE IS ACTUALLY A DEMON THO.
Finally, lady with baby reveals that she hasn’t called the cops yet.
(“ARRGHGHHHH IT BURRRNS” … “God loves you!” … “NOBODY LOVES ME BLEEEAAAAGGHHHH” *more screaming*)
So I call 911. It rings. No one picks up. NO ONE PICKS UP 911?! I call again. It rings. It hangs up on me. What is happening. The call-back emergency option is on, so the cops call me back. I answer and there is no one on the other line. WHAT THE FUCK. Now I have no bars and my phone stops working. I report this to Charlie.
Another neighbor sticks her head out the window and tells us, “Hey my phone isn’t working?”
WHAT THE FUCK, NO ONE’S PHONES ARE WORKING?
Now, I am a reasonable person. Logical. Scientific. Not religious at all. There’s always an explanation, be it scientific, placebo effect, or coincidence.
BUT CLEARLY THE DEMON IS REAL, SO WE ALL START PANICKING BECAUSE OUR PHONES ARE ALL NOT WORKING AND THERE’S A DARK FOREST RIGHT BEHIND THE APARTMENTS AND THIS BITCH IS SCREAMInG AND people fucking chanting about JESUS JESUS GOD LOVES YOU JESUS.
It. Was. Horrible.
Charlie manages to get the cops on the phone and they’re there within like 5 minutes. Suddenly, all is quiet. Very still. The cop spots us and walks over. I open my mouth to say something.
AT THAT VERY MOMENT, A GUTTERAL, HORRIFYING, BELCHING ROAR comes from the exorcism apartment, and you better believe that got the cops attention and he all like “Well fuck yall I'ma go see this shit” (he didn’t say that) and then he’s gone and
We went back upstairs to eavesdrop. We stick our heads out the now-screenless window to watch the cops talking to the bible-death-demon-party. There are heads hanging out windows everywhere, all of us being nosy fuckers (but honestly you can’t imagine how loud and disturbing these sounds were.) There are three bible-people below, two cops (one talking around a wad of chewing tobacco in his cheek), and one very…agitated-looking lady having this very awkward conversation. They’re suddenly super-calm, and the cop with the dip is talking about why it would be a good idea to probably see a therapist instead of an exorcist. And the bible people are just nodding supportively, as if they weren’t all shrieking about hellfire 3 minutes ago. And the cops just leave and the bible chanters leave and the possibly-possessed woman is just chilling outside with a cigarette.
idk? what the fuck? just happened? But I just witnessed my first exorcism and I even believed in demons for a microsecond, so I’d say this has washed out to be a fucking awesome night.