mistersmith_tm: (smith cu)
Sixteen years ago, all of us kids, everyone under the age of 11, inherited exactly the same thing. The world. The whole world, with no one to run it. No curfews or homework. No chores or anyone to order us around; to tell us when to go to bed or what eat. No one left to say what we could or couldn't do. Because they were gone. All gone. Every adult. We watched them all die. And then we were alone. Just us kids with the world to ourselves, a broken hand-me-down wrapped up in fire and blood and destruction.

Know that old saying? The one that says the meek shall inherit the earth? Well, it came true. And it sucks.
mistersmith_tm: (i walk a lonely road)
If the world hadn't died, what would my life have been like? If the Big Death had never been released – no, if it had never been thought of or developed at all! – where would all of us be today? Or maybe the question should be, who would we be? Would Markus have become a scientist or a military leader? Maybe he would he have left Thunder Mountain with his parents and gone altogether. Would Kurdy be married with kids of his own and a nine to five job? Would Jeremiah still have his brother?

Would I ever have had Rose? No. Probably not.

If, if, if. Doesn't really matter what might have been, does it? You can look back all you want, but it doesn't change the now. It doesn't change today. In fact, it doesn't do much of anything at all except piss you off and hurt like hell.
mistersmith_tm: (i walk a lonely road)
Markus listened patiently to the story while working very hard to keep his skepticism from showing in his expression. Mister Smith sat across from him, a mug of rapidly cooling coffee sitting forgotton in the table between his hands. As he spoke of the first time he had heard (or rather, as Markus suspected, thought he heard) the Voice of God, his hazel eyes seemed to look through Markus and beyond. Or perhaps he was looking inward.

"My Voice will be heard," Smith was saying, his own voice soft yet clearly heard above the buzz of the cafateria. "You will be my Voice." His words fell to silence.

Several minutes passed. Enough time that Markus began to wonder if perhaps Smith hadn't fallen asleep with his eyes open. "Then?" he gently prodded, his tone even and measured, giving nothing away of his own thoughts or opinions.

"Then." Mister Smith looked down at the mug between his hands as if seeing it for the first time. "What happened then. I don't remember. Not really. I was in the water. Drowning. And then I wasn't."

"Just like that?"

"Just like that."

"Did you swim to shore?"

"Not exactly."

"Not exactly?" Markus frowned. What did that mean? "How did you reach land?"

"A wave picked me up and dropped me on shore." He picked up his spoon and began to stir the dark liquid in his mug, making small laping waves as he did so.

"So you didn’t swim?"

"I can't swim for shit," he confessed. "That's why I jumped into the lake."

"Then why . . . " Markus suddenly frowned. "You jumped into a lake?"

"Roger that."

"A lake. With a wave big enough to pick you up and wash you to shore." This time Markus was unable to keep the skepticism from his tone.

"Dropped." Mister Smith corrected, his expression placid. "It just dropped me there. From about 7 feet. Hurt like hell." Stirring, stirring, making a tiny vortex in his cup. "When I woke up the next morning . . ." He released the spoon and watched as the plastic utensil was caught up in the whirlpool and continued circling without him.

"The Voice was there," surmised Markus.

Mister Smith nodded, watching as the spoon began to slow with the failing momentum. "I'm not crazy," he said softly. So softly that Markus nearly missed the words.

"I never said you were," he said placatingly.

"No. You didn't." The spoon finally slowed then settled to a stop. "But you thought it."

Markus arched an eyebrow. "Do you read minds, too, Mister Smith? Or was that just a guess?"

"No. I don't read minds." He gave a little laugh, sad and self deprecating. "Not even my own."
mistersmith_tm: (smith sock puppet)
Now there's an easy question to answer. Most people think I'm crazy. Doesn't matter if they're strangers or friends. Pretty much everyone sees me as the sorry ass who imagines he hears God. I guess if I were in their shoes, it might seem that way to me, too.

You can't hear the thoughts of the guy standing next to you, right? And no one can hear the conversations you have with yourself inside your mind. So what makes you think hearing God's voice is any different? Because it's not. When I hear the Voice in my head, it doesn't sound like me. It sounds Different. It even feels different.

But it's not something anyone else can see or hear. When I hear the Voice, all anyone else sees is me. Crazy Mister Smith. I don't know what I look like when it happens. I've never been near a mirror when it does. But it must look pretty goofy, because sometimes they laugh. Mostly, they just shake their heads, like Kurdy. Or walk away in disgust, like Jeremiah.

It doesn't really matter if they believe me or not. It doesn't matter that they think I'm crazy. Because it's there. God says, "My Voice will be heard."

I will be that Voice.
mistersmith_tm: (smith rose worth living for)
It had been a wonderful day. The sort of day he didn't get very often. A day of quality Daddy time with his daughter, Rose.

"That was so much fun!" She skipped along beside him, her small hand firmly in his, her face beaming with joy.

"Did you have a good time?"

"The best!"


Rose nodded emphatically, making her blonde braids bob. "The carousel and the toy store and McDonalds and ice cream and the book store! And being with you all day long. It was the Best Day EVER!"

Mister Smith squeezed his daughter's hand and favored her with a loving smile. "What if I told you it isn't over yet?" he asked as they walked through the main temple toward the garden.

Rose's eyes grew wide. "You mean there's more?"

"Maybe just a little bit more."

"But we did everything today!" After all, how much more could there be? Rose was about to ask that very thing when they stepped through the doorway into the garden.

Rose didn't realize that she'd stopped walking. Her eyes became round and wide at the blaze of color that greeted her. Balloons and streamers filled the trees and hung from the temple roof and fluttered through the air like glittering confetti with a mind all its own. Butterflies in dazzling color drifted and dipped and danced in the air. There were lots of people standing among the flowers and the bushes and on the paths, children and grown ups, and suddenly it seemed as if they were all looking right . . . at . . . her!

Dazzled, she looked up at her Daddy who smiled and pointed to a sparkling banner that hung suspended in midair that said, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROSE!"

"It's a party? For me?"

"Just for you, honey."

"SURPRISE!!!!" exclaimed all of the party guests. Her guests. At her very own (and very first) birthday party ever!
mistersmith_tm: (smith woods sitting)
I'm not the sort of guy who likes confrontation. I avoid it if I can. When I can. But sometimes – most times – I don't have much of a choice. There are a lot of predators in the world. The ones who survived through violence and anger, preying on the weak.

Some bullies are bigger than others. Like Daniel and those who flock to his cause. They've taken survival of the fittest to a grander scale, carving out their vision of a perfect world in the blood and lives of others. Hundreds have fallen beneath Daniel's scythe. Thousands . . . hundreds of thousands more will die unless something stands up to them. Like the Western Alliance and men like Markus and Kurdy and Jeremiah.

Me? The guy who doesn't like confrontation? I tried to make a difference on my own. Once. Through violence. I took justice into my own hands and tried to kill someone. Not face to face, but by stealth. I hid in the woods with a rifle and I waited . . . waited for hours. Waited for the convoy I knew was coming. Waited to see him. Sims. The Dark Man. The leader of the forces laying siege to Thunder Mountain.

I can do this, I thought. I can make a difference. Take out Sims and you cut off the head of the serpent. Another might grow in its place, but it would take time. Days. Months, maybe. Time enough for the Alliance to regroup. Time enough to rekindle hope.

You might not know it, but I'm a pretty good shot. Better than you'd think. I wouldn't have missed, either. Not if I'd been given the chance.

It doesn't really matter how they found me. I realize now I was doomed to fail the minute I decided to assassinate Sims. It wasn't my place to try and kill him. That was meant for someone else. Someone who needed it more. Just like it wasn't meant for me to take things into my own hands, unbidden.

I barely survived the encounter. Shouldn't have survived, but the Voice isn't finished with me yet. There's still work to be done.


Apr. 1st, 2006 08:19 pm
mistersmith_tm: (smith w/toddler)
It was one of those very rare days when the main Temple was quiet. A few supplicants had arrived in the early morning to petition Bliss for their hearts' desire or to thank him for favors believed rendered, but by noon the only Mister Smith remained. He suspected the beautiful Spring weather was more to blame for the small turnout. It was a glorious day, with clear blue skies and a golden sun shining down on the April flowers that dotted the grounds in blazing color. Far too nice a day to be stuck inside, no matter how comfortable the building. Standing in the temple doorway, he could hear the laughter of the children as they played and tumbled and ran through the grounds. No pilgrims for as far as the eye could see.

Surely no one would miss him if he absented himself from the temple for a little while. After all, it was a perfect sort of afternoon for a bit of hooky.

Mister Smith smiled to himself as he walked back through the cool marble interior toward the inner garden doorway, already thinking ahead to a tall glass of cold lemonaide and the company of his family. They'd be surprised to see him away from the temple in the middle of the afternoon. Hopefully pleasantly surprised!

Leaving the path, he angled through the soft grass toward the pond. As he passed a young willow tree, he saw a glimmer of shimmering blue through its haze of green boughs. How he loved the way the sunlight played on Aille's gossamer wings!

Aille sat on a pale yellow blanket beneath her favorite tree, her back to the path and her husband. Arms stretched before her, she gently held their 11 month old daughter upright. Brigid's small feet balanced on her Mommy's knees and giggled as she tried to walk own those smooth legs only to find herself walking on air. Oblivious to all but his dreams, little Angus napped in a bit of shade on a corner of the blanket. All that was missing from this idyllic scene was their eldest daughter, Rose, who was out in the stables for her afternoon riding lesson.

Mister Smith walked softly across the grass, carefully closing the distance between them. He doubted he would surprise Aille, but it was certainly worth a try!

Brigid saw the movement over her mother's shoulder and made one of her joyful, unintelligible sounds. Stifling a laugh, he shook his head and laid a finger to his lips. Not understanding, Brigid reached out her small hands to him and her tiny wings gave an excited flutter. So much for the element of surprise! There was no mistaking when his little girl was happy!

"What is it, sweetheart?" asked Aille with sweet innocence (although she knew perfectly well who was creeping up behind her).

The toddler squealed her answer, fingers grasping upward. Mister Smith waved to her and crept a little bit closer.

"What do you see, Brigid?"

Eyes bright with anticipation, she excitedly began to try jumping up and down on her Mother's knees. She began to make little bubbling happy noises. "Da!"

Mister Smith stopped as suddenly as if he'd been rooted to the spot, his hazel eyes wide with surprise.

Aille turned to look up at him, joy shining in her eyes. "Did you hear that?"

"I . . . I think I did."

"Da!Da!" said Brigid emphatically, as if to make absolutely certain they understood exactly what she wanted, then laughed at the sound of her own voice. "DaDaDadaDaaada!" she burbled, small hands still reaching.

Mister Smith sank to his knees beside Aille, tears streaming down his face. "Her first word," he whispered, his voice thick with emotion. Dada


Apr. 1st, 2006 06:49 am
mistersmith_tm: (smith interest)
April Fool
5min_freestyleeggs your dog.
aillesmiles. All the time.
angus_smithlegally changes your name to MoonBeam Cappa.
brigid_celticpaints your elderly relatives orange.
brigid_smithshaves your cat.
daddys_rosesells your kidneys on Ebay.
i_hear_a_voiceenlists you in the French Foreign Legion.
littlebitoblisshas a hundred large anchovy pizzas and a diet coke delivered to your door.
markusalexanderbuys you a Russian Bride.
theo_clairfieldTPs your head.
Prank Me

- which my dog would probably love; she's very excitable
- you do, don't you my heart? I'd like to think it's because of me . . .
- he's quiet but mischevious for a toddler, isn't he?
- but . . . she probably is my oldest relative. Orange might suit her.
- I don't think Tiger's about to let herself be caught just yet, but maybe one day
- eBay? What's an eBay?
- Do they have French bread and pastries?
- Yes he would, then every child in the temple would know where to find me (and help eat them, I hope)
- Thank you, but I'm more than happy with the bride I have. Maybe she'd be interested in Devon?
- Well, she'd probably try. But I can run pretty fast. *stays well out of Theo's way*
mistersmith_tm: (i walk a lonely road)
Sometimes he dreamed about his father. Or rather, he dreamed about what he wished his father might be or had been. He envisioned a tall man with dark hair and deep brown eyes that shone with a thirst for learning. This version of his father was animated and energetic and had a warm, infectious laugh. Other times he imagined a man closer to his own stature and temperment, with a short, average build and softspoken. But sometimes, in the dark of night, usually after an especially frightening or traumatic day – he dreamed of a man with heavy fists and sharp words, dark and angry and violent.

Fantasies all. Or was there something of truth in each?

He had no way of knowing. His mind had erased all memory of what had gone before. Home, family, friends . . . all MIA. Hidden behind a mental door to which he'd lost the key. For now. Or perhaps forever. He had no way of knowing.

But he could dream. Sometimes.
mistersmith_tm: (smith rose)
Rose didn't have a fancy gift to give her Daddy for his birthday, but she did have crayons and markers and colored paper.

So she drew a picture of herself for him and filled it with lots of love.

mistersmith_tm: (Default)
Smith had to practically jog to keep up with the Kurdy's long legged strides. "You have to listen . . ."

"I don't gotta do anything," he snapped back.

"It's important!"

"It's always important," growled Kurdy but did not slow his pace. He was already thinking ahead to the mission, dismissing the smaller man without a second thought.

"Kurdy!" Smith began to fall behind as Kurdy picked up his pace, putting distance between them. How do I convince him?

The Voice gave him a word. A single word. A word that would stop Kurdy dead in his tracks.

A word that might also get Smith killed.

"Elizabeth," he said, quietly. But the name carried.

Kurdy stiffened instantly and his step faltered. He whipped around, a cloud of anger on his already dark features. Clenching his hands into fists, he marched back to the smaller man standing wretchedly in the middle of the corridor. His eyes burned with anger and pain and loss still too raw. "What?," he ground out.

"God says –"

Kurdy's hands shot out and caught Smith by the ragged lapels of his jacket, fairly lifting him off of his feet until he could barely touch the floor with his toes. "None of your BULL SHIT, Smith," he shouted into the man's face. "What about Elizabeth?"

"Where you're going. Tenlytown," he managed to rasp out. "It's where she's from. It's her home."

"Why's that important," demanded Kurdy in a cold, angry voice. "Or are you just looking to get your ass kicked for bringing up something you've got no business in?"

"They're not there. The raiders. That's what you were told, but it's wrong," Smith said quickly, knowing that this might be the only chance he'd get to appeal to Kurdy. "It's what they want you to believe. Because of how you feel. Because it's still . . . it's too soon. And being there . . . it might put you off guard. It's a trap."

Kurdy searched the man's hazel eyes, trying to find deceit or guile or cunning. There was none. Just a deep sadness and sympathy. Or was it pity? He released his hold on Smith and pushed him away. "No one's going to catch me off guard," he said darkly. "Least of all some sorry ass who thinks God's his copilot."

He turned on his heel and stalked away.

Leaning against a wall for support, Smith watched Kurdy's back until he turned a corner and disappeared from sight. They'd played out a few variations of this scene since Smith had arrived at the Mountain four weeks ago. It was almost becoming a routine.

It didn't really matter if Kurdy believed him or not, as long as he listened to the message.

Would ever come a time when Kurdy would trust him? Maybe even believe in him?

But on that point, the Voice was silent.
mistersmith_tm: (i walk a lonely road)
Mister Smith sat alone in the dark. Knees hugged to his chest and eyes tightly closed, he looked inward and hated what he saw. What he knew. What he didn't know.

Sixteen years had passed since the Big Death. Sixteen years of pain and hardship and suffering. Of starving and beatings. Of loneliness.

He couldn't remember his parents. Not just their names, but their faces. Their voices. He didn't know if he had any siblings. Couldn't even say where home had been. Why? Why wouldn't his mind go there? Had he watched them die? Had he tried to help them when the virus came? Or had he run away?

Had he done anything in those 16 years to be proud of? Looking back, sifting through those memories his mind would allow, there was nothing. No successes. Nothing to brag about. Just sadness and grief and emptiness.

But failure? Oh yes, that he had in abundance.

He hadn't known about Rose until she was six years old. It had been nearly too late, for both of them.

He'd failed to save Libby. Failed to find a better way. If he had, she might still be alive. By killing her, he'd failed both Jeremiah and Kurdy.

He'd failed to stop Sims. Failed miserably. And nearly lost everything.

He even managed to botch killing himself. And now there was this Voice in his head. His thoughts were no longer private. His actions no longer his own.

Mister Smith knew exactly what his greatest failure was.

mistersmith_tm: (daddy baby)
It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Well, if you considered that the neighborhood consisted of a temple and it's vast grounds. The sky was cloudless and a vivid storybook blue, bright sunlight dazzling the water of the garden's pond.

Mister Smith sat on a blanket beneath his wife's favorite tree, his back againt the sun-warmed trunk. On the blanket beside him, his 8 month old son lay quietly on his side, his chubby fists worrying a colorful set of plastic rings while trying to cram them into his mouth. (Fortunately, they were entirely too big for him to manage that feat, so there was no fear of his accidentally swallowing them.) Angus' youngest sister (younger by a minute or two, in fact) was entertaining herself in an entirely different way. She was trying to crawl under the hem of her father's tunic, as if expecting he might be hiding something incredibly entertaining under there. Mister Smith was afraid she might be under the misconception that he was hiding lunch.

"You'll have to see your mother about that," he said with a smile, picking her up from the blanket and kissing her nose. She giggled and wriggled, her little wings flapping.

It was an idyllic setting, one he wished he could share with his wife and eldest daughter, but Aille would be away for most of the day and Rose had classes until dinner time.

"Looks like it's just us," he said. Brigid tried to grab his nose while Angus simply continued to gum his teething rings.

Or maybe . . .

"How would you like to meet someone special?" he asked. "Because I know she'd like to meet you." He blew a raspberry on Brigid's tummy that made her squeel with baby glee. "Is that a yes? It's a yes, isn't it?" he laughed.

And, closing his eyes for just a moment, he thought very hard of Psyche.
mistersmith_tm: (smith sock puppet)
Dying is a very personal thing. It's also pretty lonely. Just you and your thoughts and the Void. Then nothing. Peace. Quiet. Void.

Unless you're me. Then dying is no different than living. The day to day struggle to survive in a world gone mad. Where you can't trust anyone you meet and no one trusts you. Where only the strong survive. The weak -- and little guys, like me -- are lucky to make it to the next day in one piece. After 15 years of beatings and starving and lost hope, I was done. I was already more dead than alive, anyway. Jumping off the bridge only finished what the Big Death started. I'd probably still be there, too.

Except. Two things happened.

I heard the Voice. That was kind of surprising, since I was drowning and pretty far under. Probably even already dead. I'd never heard that Voice before, but I knew what it was. You can't mistake it for anything else, you know? It was clear about what it wanted, too. "There's work to be done."

"Fuck you!" I said. Or maybe my mind did. But It heard me. "You abandoned us! You let death and terror into the world and now look at us! Look at what we've become!"

"I know, said the Voice. "But I'm back now."

I didn't want to listen. I didn't want to care. But when you're dead . . . well, you're a captive audience.

"My Voice will be heard," It said. "You will be my Voice."

I didn't want to be anyone's Voice. Especially when I'd never been able to find my own after a lifetime of despair and loneliness.

"Let me die in peace," I cried. "Let me do at least one thing right!"

The Voice was silent. But It did something that changed my future forever. Changed me forever.

It showed me Rose.
mistersmith_tm: (smith rose worth living for)
Love Letters )
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