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I saw a raven today. Croaking in the high branches. Not saw. Heard. I never see ravens. They haven't let me since —

I also saw a cloud of purple martins today. Not heard, only saw. They were silent. They never sing for me, not since —

I picked up all the seashells I could find and tossed them into Lake Michigan, desperately trying to pay it back —

I should tell you how I met Mistress Omega.

I should tell you how I came to call her "Mistress." It's not for the reason you think. I have no kink, nor does she. I believe.

Hell, there's a lot of things I should tell you.

Someday I'll get around to all of them, and then I'll be done and I will take my leave and finally descend. But for now, get comfortable in your chair and hear the tale of my lady, the Mistress of Omega.

...

I was making my haphazard way north, after fleeing home. Now, think of a teenager. Think of how they're kind of inexperienced, especially the kids who grew up sheltered. Think of how prone they are to overestimating themselves, and how confusing the world of adults can be. Young gay kids who get thrown out of their houses learn their limitations the hard way. I was doing the same without even the benefit of righteous fury, for I had thrown myself out of home.

For one thing, I quickly discovered that my perceptions of American life, based as it was on old books and TV shows where everyone was cool and adventure was glorious, were hideously outdated. There I was, without a jacket, in the cold rain, by the side of the highway. I had thought I would get passed by at least a few cars before one stopped and picked me up, but nope, the first car was a state police officer who told me hitchhiking was now illegal, and would I like to come down to the station, sure I would, don't make a fuss, we'll call your parents and get you home.

And then he put a gag over my mouth and told me to stop resisting. Well. I couldn't have that. Nor could I sing for Heaven. I hadn't quite worked out the details of my Devil's bargian yet, so I thought I had to do somehing before my soul was claimed. Only, my hands were tied. How to summon help, but to hope that picuring a summoning circle in my mind would work?

I'd...rather not describe what the demon did to the police officer. Definitely not in detail. I mean, it's not like he left anything behind besides his uniform, but...

Anyway, my first stint as an Adult turned out to be impersonation, as I donned the now-empty uniform and stole the police cruiser. Naughty, naughty! But it was easy transportation, the gas tank was full, no driver on the highway was going to question me, and there was a full box of doughnuts on the seat next to me. (You know what a cop tastes like when they're turned into a doughnut? Wait, forget I said that.) 

My first stint as an "adult" also taught me that part of growing up is learning that actions have real consequences. For example, there was already one prisoner (some vaguely brown young fellow, a bit darker than me, maybe a few years older) in the backseat, which meant that, if I wanted to commandeer the police car, I either had to kick the poor guy out into the cold rain, with his hands still bound, OR I had to effectively kidnap the guy by keeping him in the car while driving God knows where, OR I had to abandon the car. Which was not an option. I asked the guy what he wanted. He just stared at me, eyes wide, not saying a word. If I wanted this car, there was nothing I could do that would not harm the fellow. It was my happiness versus his, and no time to dither in choosing, because the CB radio was asking me what my position was.

So here's this young fellow who probably has work or school to do, stuck in the backseat, still handcuffed, while I'm doing 100 MPH down the highway trying to make it to the Ohio/Michigan border before the state police realize there's something fishy going on, which they already did because I hadn't yet figured out how to impersonate voices, so my attempts to pose as an officer were hilarious until they weren't. Anyway, poor slob in the backseat, I'm going 100 MPH, I pass a car that looks like it's doing 90 and the driver has a bottle in hand, and I can't even stop the guy because imagine me trying to detain anyone when "my" uniform is two sizes too big, so I have to risk crashing by taking my eyes off the road and concentrating on that mental summoning-circle trick, and while I succeed in shoving the offending car off the road, I'm pretty sure I saw the guy crash. Talk about destructive heroics. But hey, if I'm raising a ruckus, I don't have to worry about singing to keep my soul. Doin' the devil's work! And not getting paid for it. Foo.

Doing 100 in a car is super-scary, you know? Please tell me you don't actually know. 100 MPH is close to speeds where you have trouble reacting to the road before it's too late. You feel barely in control. And I had only learned to drive last year. This was absolutely insane. And worse — there was a roadblock of state police up ahead. Just, vehicles across the road. Coming up fast. That infuriated me. They were blocking off an entire highway just to catch the one police-impersonator in a wildly speeding vehicle. 

Now that I think about it, they were probably trying to make sure no innocent cars got near me. Still, I had no desire to be stopped, nor any idea what to do. I had to slam on the brakes. Not an easy prospect in an era before anti-lock brakes. I skidded to a halt, locked the doors, and saw police coming towards me with their sturdy police poleaxes

I turned around and looked at the guy in the back seat. He was lying on the hard bench, eyes closed, breathing heavily. Perhaps he'd be treated well by the police if they thought he was a kidnapping victim? If the *ahem* now-retired officer hadn't yet reported his apprehension? But then I thought, Oh, I know what white police officers do to brown people. I thought, I should let him have some fun. So as the cops were approaching the car, I called up my mental summoning circle with my last reserves of sanity, told azaoth to give the guy a Pitchfork, and instructed the young man to raise a ruckus. His eyes snapped open.

The radio was playing "Bat out of Hell" as I roared through the barricade in a flaming police cruiser. 

Stars I shall Find: Part 2 —>

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