He heard Satan's intense, deep voice --- hammering commands inside his head.
|Tomás Antônio Guinle was considered the best student of his class in Antonio Bento School in São Paulo, Brazil. He was smart and keen and his teachers considered him their favorite student even if he seemed to be a troubled teenager sometimes. He was avoided by his classmates and considered a weirdo. On the other hand, at home he was admired and loved by his parents - he was just a complex, ordinary son… until the day he found a mysterious pair of compasses in the school’s library.
He was sitting on a large table by the window when his eyes caught the reflection of something on the next table. He got up, left his Math books open and got closer to the object of his attention. He thought it was something else - a knife or penknife - maybe forgotten by one of the students but it was a brand new pair of compasses which was sparkling little colored lights like water bubbles in the air… as if… it was… summoning him. Could it have been the sun rays playing with his imagination?
He looked around - no one was looking. He quickly grabbed it with his left hand and hid it in his pocket. He felt a sudden rush, a weird coldish warm feeling inside his body that he had never felt before…but… how could this feeling be cold and warm at the same time? It really didn’t matter now, did it?
Deep inside his heart he knew he often did little things like that. More often than usually. Well, almost usually --- maybe more than usually… and, this was his little secret. It was kept right there, inside of him, in a secret compartment. He “took” things home… especially small, shiny things… other people’s things. It was as if he took other people’s souls and kept them with him forever. He was attracted to people’s possessions like a magnet. He often wondered about these moments before falling asleep - where did all those wishes come from and why he did it - and he often asked himself what would his parents think of him if they discovered his secret drawer in his desk, locked with a little key. It was full of tiny, shiny objects that he “collected” from the most various places - the school, malls, stores, supermarkets, backpacks and lockers. Sometimes, when he noticed that the “owner” was really upset about losing the misplaced object, he would secretly return it - but carefully, not to be caught. Yet, he dreamed of having it back and eventually, he would. He stole little pieces of peoples’ lives - as if they owed their lives to him; as if he was their soul keeper.
Sometimes he had the strangest of dreams. He dreamed that yellow eyes followed him everywhere and, he would place those eyes on a dark face. And, then the plot of a dream would start, a crazy plot… but wasn’t reality less crazy and less sane than our dreams? Or, was it the opposite? He wasn’t sure. Then, he would think of something stupid - like a hammer, for example. There is no place in your mind that defines a hammer - only a painful mosaic of references: the pain on your finger after an unhappy hammering. Then, it became a solid idea; same as with our mental bricks that build up our dreams. Dreams and reality share an existence together but… when do dreams really end? Did they? And if you never stopped dreaming?
He remembered his nightmares. They were so real… He was in a medieval castle in a far away land. It was somber and haunted and the waves of the sea destroyed the walls, little by little. Would the ocean swallow the castle with him inside it? How many times can we die in a dream? Or were the dreams only nightmares?
He quickly looked at the pair of compasses again and hid it in his pocket. It was beautiful, thin and long. The compass had a spike in one end and a pencil in the other and it looked liked two small stilettos, metallic and gray. He was happy he had found it - he had never felt this happy before - and, it was his most precious piece so far. An unexplainable feeling of pleasure overtook him. Also, he would be able to draft his illustrations and draw his circles of different radius with it and then, draw his strange, unearthly circles of fire and smoke. He smiled with satisfaction. This one would never ever have to be returned.
Tomás Antônio put his books in his black backpack and got ready to go home. His driver would be waiting for him any moment now.
He saw his reflection on the window’s glass and felt a little guilty - he always felt this way after what he did and, then, he would look at himself to find guilt or regret - but, he couldn’t look at himself for too long. Besides, he never found guilt or regret in his eyes. He combed his long, black hair. He saw his deep green eyes and his tall figure for a 16 year-old. His pale skin showed a young man that lived mostly indoors - reading and studying. He hated the sun and going out with his parents to Ubatuba, a beach near São Paulo. It was a real torture; it was as if the sun burnt his skin. He hated the outdoors especially when his father, Nobre, decided to sail his yacht to Parati, near Rio de Janeiro’s beaches. He was always seasick and threw up all the time - it was stressing and overbearing for him and his stomach would hurt for hours. He felt as if he was dropping down into a deep, long hole to nowhere.
He only loved to be in his room and with his weird books - especially that book he was reading now… the one he had discovered in the library once, in the Occult and Gothic shelf - How to Summon Your Dark Side. It fascinated him. He dreamed about it. And, that other one - The Sons of the Brazilian Devil. It was as if he knew about those things. It was also when he finally decided to wear black clothes. His parents complained but thought it was just a phase and that soon enough, their eccentric, different son would change his mind and become normal again. After that, he had also started to paint his finger nails with his mother’s black enamel. He looked “dark” and he loved it. This was him; this was Tomás.
When he got home, his parents informed him that they were traveling for the weekend - Paris. Would he mind being alone for a couple of days? He wouldn’t! He loved his solitude and quietness so - off they went. They basically lived in their rich, private world where he didn’t belong at all. He considered himself an outcast, a loner, a solitary errand. He often wondered why his parents had had him. An inner voice always told him that he was from another world, another place, not this one. He didn’t belong there. It was as if he knew. He felt it in his flesh. But, where was he from? When would he know his truth? Where was his reality?
In the privacy of his room and with nobody looking, he held his pair of compasses up in the air and admired it. It warmed his hand. He was pleased. He put it on top of his table in the middle of his big, comfortable room. He changed from his gray uniform into his dark, somber clothes and combed his long hair. He was ready for his quiet weekend alone with his thoughts, his piercing, his tattoos and his chains hanging from his torn pair of black jeans.
He opened his Math book. He had much homework to do over the weekend and he would use his new possession. He got paper and pencils, his geometry book and the Book I of the Elements, by Euclid, that he was reading at the moment. He felt tired and sleepy but he wouldn’t waste his time. He had much to do.
He slowly adjusted the hinge and set the pair of compasses on top of the notebook. It… shook and trembled slightly in his hands! No way! He nervously fastened one leg into the page with the spike, forcing the pencil on the paper, and, while turning the pencil around… it started to move slowly, then… faster - the other leg stretched out, pointing at him… nearly cutting his face! Impossible! The pair of compasses moved faster and faster until it was “dancing” on the page - fast and furious! Fascinating! Then, he heard a hum - a long humming tune in the air - Celtic or Rune and it was becoming louder and louder and, overtaking the whole room. He was not alone. He heard voices… speaking, laughing, and whispering unknown words from the underworld.
“Is anybody there?”
The compass moved around in circles, desperately, trying to communicate. He understood.
“Wait a moment!” he said.
He got the Magia Negra Handbook he had stolen from his grandfather’s library some years ago. His great-grandfather had brought it to Brazil from Africa and Portugal years ago. A family secret. He looked for the page where he had seen the star pentagon shaped Ouija Board on page 666 --- which was used for summoning and conversing with the dark, evil demons! Carved on the drawing were the letters of the alphabet placed in a circle as well as the words Yes and No, Goodbye and the numbers from 0 to 9. He immediately copied the Ouija Board drawing to a bigger sheet of paper while he noticed, in awe, that the pair of compasses was “floating” in the air, over the drawing, observing, watching… and, waiting.
The moment he placed the well traced Ouija Board on the table, the stretched leg of the compass moved quickly and immediately flew from his hands and placed itself on the center of the drawing. It turned around in circles, violently, like a big fan turning on a ceiling. His heart was beating fast and he had no saliva in his mouth. He felt good though, it did not scare him but he was dizzy with so much adrenalin running all over his body; excited for finally, yes - finally entering the real world of the occult, the dark side, the black magic. It was all he ever wanted in his boring, bleak, lifeless life.
“Is anybody there?”
The compass moved furiously on the Ouija Board. “Y-e-s.”
“What do you want?”
It pointed at the letters and it spoke to him. “Y-o-u.”
“You want to communicate with me?”
Nervously, it said: “N-o.”
“What do you want?”
“I don’t understand! Why do you want me?”
“Y-o-u a-r-e m-y s-o-n.”
“I’m… I’m your son?”
“Who are you?
“I a-m L-u-c-i-f-e-r.”
“Satan Satan… Lucifer?”
“But what about my… father.”
“H-e g-a-v-e y-o-u t-o m-e H-e s-i-g-n-e-d a c-o-n-t-r-a-c-t.”
“B-e-f-o-r-e y-o-u-r b-i-r-t-h.”
“M-o-n-e-y o-f c-o-u-r-s-e.”
“Are you for real? Are you telling me the truth?”
“No. It’s a lie!”
“Prove it to me!”
“L-o-o-k a-t y-o-u-r-s-e-l-f i-n t-h-e m-i-r-r-o-r n-o-w.” The compass twisted in many circles impatiently and fell on the Ouija Board page. He ran to his closet and opened both doors.
When he looked at himself in the big mirror attached to one of the doors, he screamed in recognition. Or, was it satisfaction? It was true! He saw himself but… his body was half red and… not human. His dark, long hair was covering part of his face. He saw half of a hairy leg that ended in a horrible hoof and half of a big, red torso; he saw a horrible, long and twisted horn on one side of his forehead and a beastly half shaped face with a long dark beard. One of his eyes was yellow and evil and he was… drooling in one of the half uncontrollable sides of his mouth. When he licked his lip his tongue was red and forked. One of his arms was hairy like a werewolf’s and his finger nails were long and dark. He looked disgusting but… fantastic - he was amazed at his half beastly reflection. And, he… immediately liked it. Had he found his real self, his own dark truth? Was he finally going Home to where he belonged, where he wouldn’t feel awkward anymore? Was his reflection showing him a labyrinth of old memories, maybe of past lives or maybe repressed wishes bottled up inside his mind? Was Freud’s theory happening to him - dreams as oppressed wishes?
He heard his Father’s intense, deep voice --- hammering commands inside of his head, painfully.
“Y-o-u a-r-e m-y s-o-n C-o-m-e t-o m-e n-o-w T-h-e t-i-m-e h-a-s c-o-m-e.”
“T-h-e p-a-i-r o-f c-o-m-p-a-s-s-e-s k-n-o-w-s h-o-w I s-e-n-t i-t t-o y-o-u m-y s-o-n.”
“C-o-m-e t-o h-e-l-l.”
“Your wish is my command, my dark Master. I shall go to you now and forever!”
When his parents returned from Paris they found, in horror and disgust, Tomás’ naked body on the floor of his room, looking half human and half a monster --- a half burnt and a half rotten mass of worms which were eating his flesh full of weird looking scales - as if they had erupted from his skin. The putrid odor was disgusting and the smell of sulfur was emerging from the many deep lines that were traced on his bloodless face. He had a twisted smile on his face and he was holding a rusty, old looking pair of compasses in his left hand.
Do our dreams digest our reality or do they weave our existence into meandering nightmares?