I knew my minions were aware of the feeling, and even if they knew what it was, they wouldn’t let me in on the secret. They wanted me to feel their emotions, fuel them, and continue on the road trip they longed for. But I didn’t want to leave without figuring things out with the detective.

Four uniformed police officers led me from the interrogation room to the elevators. We emerged on the basement level, where they escorted me to the many holding cells that lined a narrow hallway. One of the officers unlocked and opened the first cell adjacent to the desk at the hallway entrance. The other three cops forced me into the cell and shut the door behind me. As they left, the one that unlocked the door advised the officer at the desk to keep their eye on me. 

The man who continued the interrogation after the detective almost shot me became frustrated after our exchange. He didn’t respond after I advised him to do what he needed to do, other than to tell the officers to escort me to a cell. He didn’t like my threat, and I guess he didn’t like that I’d gotten the last word. 

I walked over to the bed and sat down. The cell was damp and dimly lit. I was surprised at how dingy it was because of how clean and immaculate the main level appeared. I understood these cells were designed to make the mortals feel uncomfortable in the hopes it would motivate them to divulge their secrets. The difference with my situation was that I’d given them all the answers, but they didn’t want to accept them. The truth was too hard for them to believe, and that was fine by me. 

“How long do we plan on staying in here?” Jealousy asked, interrupting my thoughts. 

“You are free to leave any time you’d like,” I answered. 

“We aren’t going anywhere without you,” Hatred said. 

“What are you waiting for, Din?” he asked. “Are you hoping to get another helpful serving of hate from these mortals, or are you hoping to see her again?” 

“A little bit of both, I guess,” I answered. 

The fact was, anger and hate were like a drug to me. The power I felt when those feelings were drudged up was immense, and it was even more intense when the emotions were directed at me. All of these officers hated me, and it kept my tank overflowing. Jealousy and Hatred couldn’t understand why I hadn’t just broken out. 

The truth was that even though those emotions powered me up, this time they were mixed with an unfamiliar feeling. It rose within me from the moment I met the detective. There was something about her that drew me in close and even more about her that made me want more. I couldn’t explain it, and I had never felt anything like it in all of my years of existence. 

I knew my minions were aware of the feeling, and even if they knew what it was, they wouldn’t let me in on the secret. They wanted me to feel their emotions, fuel them, and continue on the road trip they longed for. But I didn’t want to leave without figuring things out with the detective. I set out to find myself and figure out what I wanted. I had discovered many things about myself during that time and introduced this new unknown feeling into my subconscious. It was what I craved now. I wouldn’t veer from this path until I knew exactly what it was and how to live with it. 

“Why are you so drawn to her?” Hatred asked. 

“I wish I knew,” I answered. “I’m open to suggestions.” 

“I wouldn’t even know what to call it,” she groaned. “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever felt, and it makes me nauseous.” 

“I don’t know what to make of it either, Din,” Jealousy said. “All I know is that I feel weaker having felt it. When she’s around, it grips you and siphons more of my energy.”

“It’s like we’re being replaced,” Hatred added. “Like it’s overrunning your emotions and absorbing us.” 

“Or absolving us,” Jealousy remarked. 

I chuckled at the thought of them disappearing or leaving as a result of something new. They were my lifeblood and my reason for existing. They gave me power, strength, and purpose. There was no way I could exist without them, and I don’t think it was possible for them not to be attached. We were all connected, and even though I left them to find myself, I couldn’t imagine living without them.

“I can’t imagine anything being powerful enough to absorb or replace either one of you,” I said. “And I don’t think either one of you would want to leave or have to survive on your own without me. So, I don’t think there’s an emotion capable of pardoning you from my existence.” 

“Who are you talking to?” the officer at the desk asked. 

I forgot about him sitting there. I chuckled while my minions laughed and pulled faces at him. 

“Nobody,” I answered. 

“A bit of advice,” he said. “When you are in custody, it’s probably not a good idea to talk to yourself or give the powers that be any more ammunition to keep you here. Plus, I’m the one who has to sit here and listen to it, and it makes me uncomfortable.” 

“I think that’s sound advice,” I replied. “But maybe you should refrain from talking to the people in cells talking to themselves. Then the powers that be may think you’re just as crazy.” 

“That’s valid,” he said with a snicker. 

He leaned over and turned the dial on the small radio on his desk. Strange music blared throughout the holding cell area. Jealousy and Hatred put their hands over their ears and groaned. I shared their distaste for the music.  

“Din, I don’t know how much of this I can take,” Jealousy said. 

“I hate this garbage,” Hatred growled. 

I stood up and walked over to the cell door. I leaned against the metal and positioned my face between the bars. 

“Would you mind turning that off or switching it to something else?” I asked. 

“Sorry, but I don’t take requests,” the officer answered. “I’m not a radio DJ.” 

“This isn’t a request as much as it is a warning,” I said. “This type of music sets me on edge, and when I get on edge, it’s tough for me to maintain my composure.” 

“Do I look like I care about you or your composure? You’re just going to have to learn to deal with it.” 

There were a few things that forced me to feel this way, and I did my best to avoid them. It had been a while since I had something trigger me. Usually, I fell victim to the temptation of giving in to my anger and hate, but I avoided the things that provoked the angry hatred. This was new to me because my mind was clear. I no longer had emotions, thoughts, regrets, or yearning swimming in my head. They kept my mind occupied during trying times like this, and without them, I feared for the officer behind the desk 

“Please, I’m asking nicely,” I said, managing to make my voice sound as sincere as I could. 

Hatred began to growl. Her body pulsed as she rocked back and forth. She was losing control which made it difficult for me to maintain my composure. 

“I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it!” she screamed.

My skin grew hot, and I began to tremble as I attempted to keep myself calm. My minions influenced me more than I did them. When they lost control, it was impossible for me not to react.

“Calm down,” I muttered.

I noticed that Jealousy didn’t try to calm or talk her down. That surprised me. I looked over at him, and he winked back at me. He held his breath and pushed his energy, channeling it with every fiber of his being directly at me. They were doing it on purpose. It was clear they wanted out, and they were using the situation to their advantage.

Dinlas (Justin Brimhall)
Latest posts by Dinlas (Justin Brimhall) (see all)

Subscribe To In The Pantheon