Carlos' Black Box: Volume Two

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Volume Two
Character(s) Carlos
After The Forbidden, unknown placement.
Before The Damned, unknown placement.
Location Arizona
Between the Books Navigation
Carlos' Black Box: Volume One

I am not believing this shit! Shabazz got me out here this afternoon, right after breakfast, digging shallow trenches for another salt perimeter, when we already got one. Damn! This ain’t nothing but pure busy-work.

I’m screwed for real, obviously. Messed up big time. Aw’ight, I admit it. Whatever. But what I can’t figure out is how in the hell I got myself into a position like this in the first place—me? How did the master of smooth get caught in a damned laundry room with his woman, like I was some kid? I’m beyond slipping. That shit was sloppy. Period. And we didn’t even get to finish what we’d started, for all this aftermath bull.

But that was weeks ago, and Shabazz is still kicking my ass like I’m a newbie! I’m at the point now where I’m like, fuck it. If I’ma do the time, might as well do the crime—make it grand theft auto and joy ride hard, a felony, for real. Then, I gotta get to a calm place in my head, too, ‘cause I know me and ‘Bazz are cool beneath it all… and yeah, yeah, yeah, I gotta chill for the sake of the newbies so they can come into their owns and not get their hearts snatched one night. But shit…

This house in Arizona is a pure curse. They can’t build the new compound fast enough. Yeah, I’m training the newbies righteous with the senior squad. Finally gave into that reality. No problem. I got that on-lock. Doing what I’m supposed to be doing as a Neteru. Cool. But I’m bouncing off the fucking walls.

Can’t leave the Reservation. Can’t go clubbin’. Can’t pollute my system and get tore down in a bar. Seen every possible movie I ever wanted to see three times, if it was on cable or available for rent. There ain’t no beaches. I’m bored out of my skull. Been reading esoteric bullshit just to keep my mind occupied. But after sitting on a Vamp Council throne, how much is in the books that a brother ain’t already seen?

Been doing chores till my eyes are about to glaze over. How many ways can you scrub a bathroom sink or swab a kitchen floor with a mop? And since everybody’s got something smart to say about my chili, then hey. Cook your damned selves, then! Ain’t my problem they can’t hang with the jalapenos and spices. Gotta do something to make up for the no meat version Marlene said I had to make on my KP shift, while everybody’s in training. I don’t wanna see another deck of cards, or dominoes, or checkers, or chess—I can’t take it. Where’s the fun when you can whip everybody’s ass in the house? Talking ain’t an option for mental diversion. I’m not sitting around the camp fire telling another kid about Hell, or the seductive side of vampire night life. It’s beginning to become depressing. I understand why Rider won’t submit to it, either. Sounds like the old war stories of an old man, and I’m anything but that. Playa, yes. Old playa, never.

Plus, how much general conversation can be had until that wears you out, too? Even though there’s probably several very interesting private conversations I still need to have, timing is everything. Can’t say nothing to Juanita, right through here, since it’ll break her training focus and could start some real bullshit in the house… and me and Jose just finally got cool—so there’s no need to say shit to him. As men, we didn’t have to go into no long discussion drama. One day the vibe just passed on its own and it was squashed. All peace.

He got a woman, I got a woman, no man crossed the invisible territorial marker, and neither one of us can get with our woman again till this mad-crazy training sex curfew is lifted. So there’s no more cause for beef between men. Besides, like I told Jose, if I was ever taken out, and before Juanita was a factor for my brother—I told him, straight up, stand in for me, man. But since I’m alive, that agreement is null and void. That shoulda been patently understood from the door, hombre.

The only reason me and him initially had some minor beef was because, for a minute, till ‘Nita tightened him up, he was having issues getting that understanding straight. Me and Jose just had to get clear about that. Now that we are, it’s cool. An appreciative sideline glance toward a fine woman every now and then ain’t worth messing up a brotherhood. Can’t fault a man for a natural reflex reaction, as long as it’s done with respect and nobody tries to cross the line. I ain’t mad at the brother. Damali will mess up anybody that’s got five senses, even brothers beyond the grave. Me and Jose are all right. Both share the same taste in woman. As long as he don’t try to touch mine, and I don’t go after his—not that I’d ever go there, it’s all good.

Why can’t women be smooth like that? Just let the shit go. But if I step to Juanita for a one-on-one just to make Damali feel better, now I’ve crossed over into Jose’s yard. Big time disrespect. Damali doesn’t understand that it isn’t as simple as she put it; “Just man-up and tell her what time it is.” Shit. I am manning up, but being respectful of my brother. There are just certain codes of male conduct that a woman don’t understand, and as a man, I ain’t trying to explain like I’m some punk that’s gotta get permission from his Momma about how to handle his bizness. She called me a punk one time, and that was one time too many. I meant what I said when I told her, neva again.

She doesn’t understand how the male mind works. The more Damali yangs me about it, the less inclined I am to talk to anybody about shit—that’s what she needs to get with. I told her to let me handle it my way. Meant what I said, and ain’t telling D twice.

Juanita may be giving her ‘tude from time to time, but what can the girl really do to D? I ain’t going nowhere and I ain’t crazy. This is just an adjustment phase of communal living. I’m a Scorp, and don’t deal with force-fed demands well at all. Either we’re gonna co-lead this team as equals, or we’re not. Damali needs to get clear; she’s messing with a brother who’s seriously on the edge these days.

Plus, I got other valid reasons beyond any power-struggle nonsense with D for taking my time. I’ll speak on it when and if the time is right. On my schedule and in a way that keeps things cool with my brother. To do otherwise would be like rubbing Jose’s nose in my past with his lady—same as saying that, after Jose got with ‘Nita, she’s still on me, and since he can’t seem to handle his business to keep ‘Nita in check, which is making my lady uncomfortable, then I had to go back over my old territory and set ‘Nita straight for him. Not done.

Jose would be within his rights to draw a crossbow over some bullshit like that, just like I would. Talk about chaos… If it was me, I’d be like, what motherfucker? You had to talk to her ‘cuz why? Aw, hell to the no. So, not speaking on it is best. Lettin’ it ride. That’s smooth. Ultimate respect—which I extend to my posse. Soon as the house ban is lifted, and Jose has some working room… hey. ‘Nita’ll be all right. Everybody’s salty these days, tempers flaring. That’s just lack-a-wanna talking. That, too, will pass… just like ‘Nita’s getting more respectful of D daily, as she sees how serious my lady’s program is as a Neteru. Why Damali can’t see that is making me wonder… maybe everybody’s game is fraying at the edges.

Truly, this ain’t like Damali to be trippin’ about something this petty. My lady is worrying this whole issue like a dog worries a bone. The hopeful thought is that Damali is just so horny and jacked up, too, that she ain’t thinking clearly about nothing. That I can thoroughly identify with. Lift the ban, baby… it’ll do us both some good.

But she ain’t taking my mental SOS calls. Got a brother locked out. Blocked out. Fuckin’ turned out, feining. Can’t talk to my woman about it one-on-one, though, because every time I get close to her in a private situation, she gets all nervous and jets… but then puts me in a raggedy position when she wants to hug up and chill and watch TV.

I ain’t trying to do that. Hug up. Chill? How? Just sit together quiet-like, lying on the sofa or stretched out together on porch furniture relaxing. No. Relax? Even I know me better than that. ‘Cause that leads my mind down paths it don’t need to go—not up in here. Women just don’t get it. What starving brother in his right mind wants to taste just a little bit of dinner, after smelling it slow cook all day… hearing it sizzle in the pan, then just be able touch the edge of the plate but only look at it on the table and not be able to really bust a grub? Crazy. I don’t have that much discipline, when it comes to D.

Damn straight I’m in a foul mood. Digging ditches. Hell no I don’t want newbies in my face asking me nothing beyond the necessary. What is there to say or talk about?

Only person I got anything to say anything to is maybe Rider. That brother is suffering at a level that even I don’t know nothin’ about first hand. Dan is cool with me, too—because you talk about a man on the edge. Brother walks around with an iPod twenty-four-seven blasting sad-ass love songs, trying to fend off the vibe. I can dig it. Whatever works. But if I hear Seal’s, Kiss from a Rose, one more time… I’ma tell the man to his face to just give it a rest—it’s only making his situation worse. As it is, he gets all fucked up with the ‘my power, my pleasure, my pain’ line in the cut, so why he’s beating his own ass is beyond me.

It’s a double-edged blade that Dan’s got pressed against his windpipe. The music, for tacticals, staunches the pain to a degree—but put on the wrong cut and you’re screwed… ask me how I know. Only made that mistake once in here. All tacticals can pick up those sound wave vibrations in the cut they’re listening to, tune into the song, in order to drown out whatever else is messing with ‘em. Feel the bass line, the guitars, drums, whatever’s prominent and concentrate on that, if they focus hard enough. That’s why a man has to choose wisely, pick something that makes no reference whatsoever to his situation.

Same with Big Mike. As long as Inez don’t come out there bopping and bouncing to the cut to put a visual on the music, he’s good ta go. He can blast other sounds, put on some ride-or-die music, and rock some Luda, Kanye, Ying Yang Twins featuring Pit Bull, anything to take his head somewhere totally different than where it is. But, me, I can’t listen to a damned thing Damali ever made. Not right through here. I don’t even go near Usher, or nothing crazy that’ll blow my cool.

Wish a Neteru could do that, just block out the burn with pure non-suggestive sound. The noses can’t, that’s for sure. If it’s in the air or on the wind, we’re messed up. That’s another reason I ain’t mad at my boy, Jose. The seers got a special way of sending themselves peaceful images, I guess. I’m working on that. Could use a crash course today, no lie.

I tried what Marlene discreetly told me to do. The old girl is smooth… subtle. She was talking out loud to Krissy when Marj and Berkfield weren’t around, but really speaking to me indirectly. Did it low key with style. Marlene made sure I heard the advice to visualize something serene, non-sensual, and focus on white light, clear the mind, and step into a peaceful environment devoid of tension.

Yeah, right. Didn’t work, much as I wanted it to. The mental images I got of Damali are too strong and overlap all of that. I see a peaceful place, like a beach or a garden, and me and D have already had the most spectacular sex there—and then it all slams back. St. Lucia, pick an island in paradise. Shit. That’s where I used to take my wife… somewhere peaceful, beautiful, serene, lush—like her… then I’d go to wurk… and it would be anything but peaceful and quiet. And, yeah, there’d be white light, but more like a supernova at V-point. Relax… yeah, right…

Music only makes me remember Damali’s fantastic performances… takes my mind in concert with her, visualizing it till I’m seeing her sweat, hearing her singing her heart out, watching her dancing like a she-demon possessed, my baby working the stage down to the bone, siphoning out its marrow, wearing something too sexy to name, then the image overlays what I’m hearing. LA, Brazil, Sydney, at the clubs, private audiences in my old lairs. I don’t care what I’m listening to. I remember the range of her voice in every octave, notes on fire. Registers and harmonics ripping me to shreds. Sharps making me tilt my head, flats making me breathe hard. Uh uh. That don’t do neither one of us any good. Scratch music as an option. I’m too plugged in to her sound.

What I can’t tell nobody is, stress from this bullshit is probably making me sick. Got fucking headaches all the time—like something in the back of my skull trying to pry it open with a pick axe. But I ain’t trying to go to Shabazz with nothin’ like that. I’ll deal with it my way. Just suck it up.

But I ain’t gonna lie; it’s starting to worry me that I got light-sensitivity now during the day. I might have to actually start wearing shades, ‘cause it’s getting worse. Can’t figure that part out. I keep telling myself it has to be the new eyes… the silver thing. Something organic is just probably messing with my daylight sight because of the silver night vision and my eyes are just maybe slow adjusting. Daylight is staring to send what feels like a stab wound into my temples when I first wake up. It was never like that before.

Maybe the Arizona sun is just too bright. I don’t know, and I hate not knowing. Knowledge is power. But like what am I gonna tell ‘Bazz—that I really might be going blind from not getting some on the regular? Be serious. After he shook his head, he’d probably say something smart, like, “Go take a walk and jerk off somewhere, man, and pull your shit together.” Then, see, he and I would have to come to blows; it would be a matter of principle… because I’d be so fucking pissed off that he told me something like that, I’d flip. I know me.

For real, though, my system is messed up. Same deal with food. My appetite ain’t what it should be. I smell it, want it, then take two bites, and I’m done. I gotta force myself to scarf it down and fight to keep it down, ‘cause I can’t be losing no weight. One thing I know is that whatever we face one night is gonna be battle-bulked like a motherfucker—so it ain’t about losing muscle mass because my stomach is acting funny. It’s gotta be nerves… which is totally unacceptable, in any case. This shit has me turned around so bad that a brother can’t eat? What the fuck?

No. I ain’t going out like that.

Plus, if I get real honest, my dreams have been whack. I should, from all this time being away from my lady, be dreaming about getting busy with her the minute I close my eyes. But I’m not—not like I was when this abstinence bullshit began. Yeah, then, sheeeit. That’s all I could think about. Getting with D so hard I’d wake up in a cold sweat. Weird thing was, I’d always wake up just at the moment of truth, and be really messed up for the rest of the day. Even my own dreams would leave me hanging.

Now… the shit I’m dreaming is real strange. Old dynasties? Roman wars? Shape-shifting into a huge black serpent and mixing it up on the Amanthra Level—me? Tangled up in a mating ball with however many female vipers? Uh uh. No self-respecting ex-vampire would go there. If I’d turn into anything while dreaming, it would be all panther. That’s me, that’s my style… well, it used to be. Still, what’s running through my head in REM-state don’t make no sense. What’s even worse is, I never dreamed of getting with anybody but Damali, or any other entity, for that matter.

So, no, right through here, I ain’t trying to do a hard mind-lock with D. Not until I get this whack shit under control. My lady don’t need to see all that. What’s busting my head wide open needs to stay in my personal black box.

A coupla times, early on, when it was ridiculous and got real bad, I thought about astral traveling to get it on with my baby there… but she backed off. That was cold. Don’t know why she did, but it’s like she’s afraid of letting me into her mind for some reason. Hey, who knows, she’s been at this Neteru thing longer than me… maybe she senses what’s under layers of my thoughts ain’t exactly cool—so I can’t blame her. On the outside, she’s peace. But on the inside, I can’t put my finger on it, but she tenses up. Aw’ight, I have to deal with that, too. Later.

Truthfully, I don’t even know why I’m thinking about this shit right now while digging these stupid salt trenches. Usually, during the day, if I get real honest with myself, I don’t even know if I’d feel like being with her if she’d let me. Most days, all I wanna do is sleep. Talk about making a brother worried… damn. Then the minute the sun goes down and hits the horizon, I’m like a new man. Hungry, ready to go hunting, need to kick some ass in the worst way… and just seeing Damali starts a serious jones.

I did sorta tell her a little bit, couldn’t help it, needed to know… I ain’t give up all the tapes, though. Just said, offhandedly that, my biorhythms were set on night. Peaked at midnight. Her reaction and explanation was logical, made sense. We’re supposed to be night hunters. Okay. That made me feel better. I just hope she’s right. That was the one decent, private convo me and her had while passing each other on the porch a week or so back.

She was cool enough to keep that between us, and not start a whole house alert about me feeling a little off-center. Damali said everything about me was going through power shifts and changes down to the cellular level. True. She didn’t have to tell me that, I can feel it. But the confirmation was appreciated. D said the temporary apex flux when we went up against Lilith and The Chairman was evidence of that. Aw’ight. Maybe that’s all it is, my body clock trying to reset itself to sync with the reverse of what a normal human’s would be. But a little hit of her would straighten a brother out, for real, though.

If Damali was going through a Neteru ripening, I damned sure wouldn’t treat girlfriend this way. Just turn off the master switch and go cold on the sister. If I did her like that, she’d be mad as hell, too. And she wonders why I’m in a perpetual bad mood.

Like how would that seem… knowing she was trippin’, needing some so bad she couldn’t hardly breathe? Then she’s making my condition worse, walking around here all fine and gorgeous, and wonders why I got an attitude. I have to keep an attitude . That’s how I stay sane. I have to stay mad at her so one night I just don’t flat-out lose it and yank her across the dinner table and cause a sho’ nuff scene. Don’t she know?

Right about through here, that’s possible—a full body snatch, regardless of who’s looking. I don’t wanna talk. Her voice messes me up. Her smile twists my stomach in knots. The old-heads gotta sense that and been giving a brother plenty of space as a result. My jaw has been locked so tight about this madness that I’m about to chip a tooth.

Got my ass out here in the late afternoon sun digging trenches to work this shit off. Even Shabazz has been cool, given the circumstances. He knows the deal, and me and him got real peace about the laundry room. We ain’t even have to talk about it; it was simply understood between men. It wasn’t about disrespect for his word, or nothing like that. It didn’t have nothing to do with him at all. It was all situational, my woman is fine, and I ain’t been with her in as long as I can remember.The next day all he said was, “You cool?” I said, “As much as can be expected.”

He nodded and said, “I was your age once, and ain’t mad. This, too, shall pass.”

Then it was squashed. But he’s still got me working like a dog. Just like today when he handed me a shovel to lay another salt ring barrier around the house that don’t need one.

’Bazz said, “Got somethin’ for you to do.” Then he was real cool and said. “It ain’t punishment. It’s an energy burner.”

We both finally laughed, and I was down—‘cause I needed that. Sho’ you right. That old-head is wise, no doubt. I guess ten years in the joint for a crime you ain’t commit would bring a level of wisdom that I can’t fathom. Ten years without Damali over a bullshit rap, some crime I ain’t do… they’d have to shoot me. Put a bullet in my head. And ‘Bazz went in when he was like seventeen or eighteen and they tried him for murder as an adult? Fucked up.

That would have to make a man either very philosophical or completely insane, but cool as shit even about a situation as ready to blow, like that thing with Kamal. I confess, I can’t wrap my brain around it. Bottom line is, when it comes to discipline and abstinence, as well as putting the team’s welfare first, I give Shabazz his props.

Aw’ight, I’m learning some new type of shit I ain’t seen before. All I wanna know one day, when I’m stable, is where did the man go in his head for ten freakin’ years without a woman, and not lose his grip on reality? And from his aura, I can see he ain’t compromise, neither. Didn’t let nobody make him no jailhouse bitch, and didn’t make nobody one. Was just cool. Stayed inside his own head. Much respect. One night, over a mano-y-mano drink, I’ma have to break down and ask ‘Bazz that serious question. That’s beyond deep.

From the shit I heard on the streets, holding it together without a squad in the joint is damned near impossible. Whoever schooled him had to be a bad motherfucker, too. Scary calm… and all I know is, Kamal might be able to beat ‘Bazz in a physical match-up, but I don’t know if he can beat him mentally, which is the real test of strength. Core.

So I can’t really complain that the team philosopher got me doing all kinds of mind-centering, crazy Kung Fu madness like chopping wood—not that we need it for anything beyond stakes. Got me out back sharpening blades, not that we’ve seen any demon action that could use ‘em lately. Got me doing anything he can around here that can burn up excess energy—and that’s a very good thing. All right.

Like I said, I ain’t really mad at the brother. I just don’t feel like digging trenches today. He’s putting everybody on task, though, if I really think about it. Just like he put Mike’s ornery ass in the yard lifting fifty gallon steel drums filled with rock salt to fortify the house, and lifting tractor tires for the obstacles course, and all sorts of crazy shit to make that brother drop and go right to sleep after his shift is over. Inez is banned from the kitchen until further notice. Can’t fault nobody at this point. Every man’s will power is jacked. Suspect.

Guess I ain’t the only one coping, come to think about it. Dan gets sent to town everyday to hit the post office and pick up big packages sent by The Covenant. They got that man driving back and forth and away from the house like he’s setting up a military commissary. They done put so much technology in front of J.L. to try to rig the house that, in order to focus, he’s gotta devote a hundred percent of his brain to the task. Good way to chill a man out.

I just hope Jose don’t blow himself up. He ain’t our explosives expert—and ‘Bazz got hombre working on bombs and C4 and shit… so while he’s on task, Jose is more focused on survival than booty—which has a certain classic wisdom to it. The only one that’s exempt is Rider, on account of the fact that he can self-manage his own shit, right through here. Jack Daniels will take the edge off a lotta things when a man is out cold. All they gotta do is make Bobby run laps and he’s done. So, all in all, I gotta hand it to Marlene and Shabazz. My mind is jumping all over the place, which also ain’t me. Focus is history.

But it’s hot as hell out here, and the sun feels like its breathing fire. Today is not a good day, I can tell. Tonight is gonna be a real mother. ‘Cause I should be exhausted by now… but even if Shabazz had told me to put a rope around the house and drag it a hundred yards, I wouldn’t be tired. I’m sure the older brother picked that up, too, or else I wouldn’t be standing here with a shovel in my hand, digging like I’m trying to find a Hell cavern on Level One, instead of making shallow trenches for this damned salt. Guess I wasn’t paying attention to what I was supposed to be doing. Again, sloppy. Salt trenches are only supposed to be six inches deep around the foundation of the house, but what I just dug looks like a four-foot deep grave. Shit!

I ain’t trying to feel like this, ain’t trying to be all jacked around in my head today or tonight. Ain’t trying to play no fucking cards. I need to call my boy, Yonnie, and get outta here for a little while. But, see, if I do that tonight—anything is liable to kick off. He’d come around, trailing Tara’s sex scent and her lavender on him, Rider would flip, and then the shit would be on. So, I can’t even get out of Dodge without putting a team member at risk. This is entrapment. Oughta be against the law.

Why am I standing out here talking to myself like a lunatic!

I was cool, earlier, thought I had the jones beat, the Damali habit under control. I swear that woman is pure narcotic. Got me out here in the sun hallucinating, thinking about all kinds of acid-trips… or like I took a hit of Ecstasy. I’m zooming.

When I got up this morning, I had my focus. Then it all started unraveling when I saw Damali drag a heavy duffle bag into the laundry room. I couldn’t even concentrate on eating breakfast. I was done. Soon as I heard the water running and the washing machine go on, a brother was messed up. I have to laugh. The shit is pitiful. It’s been so long that I’m starting to fantasize about getting with my woman on top of mundane appliances… literally got a nervous tick from the smell of laundry detergent, like it was her signature scent of Shea Butter.

Por Dios, help me. I gotta laugh to keep from crying. My damn hands was shaking when Damali set the dryer—it was the sound of the top slamming and the thud of wet clothes that brought it all back. That’s when Shabazz got up from the table and said to follow him outside. I had so much wood I almost couldn’t move.

Then girlfriend has the nerve to be looking extra good today… maybe it’s just me. She knows red is my color. Why she gotta wear one of them little tank tops that show her belly with no bra and painted-on jeans—today? I’m just glad she took her beautiful ass around the front of the house and went outside.

If she’d stayed in that laundry room much longer, with Shabazz monitoring the back door like a walking electronic security system, I’d be trying to do an old school break-and-entry through the kitchen window to get to her. I do know myself that well.

But her being outside, even in the front while I’m in the back, has its drawbacks. Her scent is on the wind… probably only a hundred parts per billion, or a little less, and yet I can still smell her. Just like I can imagine what the sun is doing to her skin. Like I can almost hear her slow, steady breaths of meditation… I wanna climb into her mind right now so bad, I can’t even think about it. Same way I can feel her vibe making the hair stand up on my arms. Just like I wanna get inside her so hard that this steel shovel ain’t got nothing on me.

The way her mouth moved while she was eating breakfast is what really started it. I didn’t even realize I was watching her mouth that serious until she licked her lips and almost made me spill my coffee. It was like being in a fucking trance. Me, an ex-vampire, trance-zapped in broad daylight at the breakfast table. Don’t make no sense.

Then, tonight, she’ll wanna talk. Sit close. Ask me about my day. And I’ll have to listen to her fantastic voice, hear her laugh—feel it run all through me like a slow shudder… low, rumbling thunder in my balls and beating my ass. If she really laughs hard, it’ll feel like lightening striking my rod. I… will be… no… good. She’ll be all sweaty from whatever she had to do today under the desert heat, and her scent will slaughter my ass, too. Her shirt will be sticking to her. Her naked torso showing her navel, damned near giving me an I-can’t-stand-it heart attack. I’ll have to ball up my fists just not to touch her and I won’t be able to concentrate on a thing she has to say. Compasion. Damn!

Then when I get up and walk away from her mid-sentence, she’ll get pissy and wonder why I have an attitude. Why I’m not listening. Why I’m aloof, as she calls it, and don’t wanna vibe with the family. Why I don’t wanna cuddle and just chill.

It’ll be impossible not to watch her body move under that little tank top. See her nipples get hard under it when the temperature drops. See her lift those soft locks up off her lovely neck… see her jugular sweet spot. See her strut into the kitchen to get some ices tea, her ass swaying… whew… then have to suffer as I watch her drink it in slow-motion. Yeah, I might be a Neteru, but I’m only human—so they tell me. Last I checked, I was also very male… and it’s been months, plural, por favor.

What ‘Bazz don’t realize is, I’d have to dig the Grand Canyon to get this monkey off my back. If my Neteru powers are coming in strong, and locking in hard, there ain’t really shit I can do about it but suffer. And here the newbies are all starry-eyed thinking being a Neteru is a grand and glorious thing. They have no idea. No concept. Under these conditions, even a regular male would be messed up. Add some super cosmic topspin, and you’re ass is a goner. But I’m supposed to set an example of discipline—yeah right. Remain platonic, unaffected, oblivious, and cool. I’m doing the best I can. None of them have any frame of reference to what it’s like being with D.

All right, ya estoy harto! Enough. I ain’t thinking about this shit no more. This too shall pass. Self-torture is stupid. With this tricked-up Neteru physiology, if I get myself off, it’ll only make the burn for her worse. Gotta accept that I can’t make love to her any time soon, and I’m not gonna lose my mind about it. I’m going to find that quiet mental place. Visualize Zen. Gonna focus on the task. Dig the trench. I am one with the shovel. Shake it off.

Be smooth, embody smooth, dig the trenches, put down the salt, be smooth… you are the embodiment of cool… dig the trenches. You are smoother than all this, man. It’s only temporary. The erection will fade as your mind once again becomes laser control. You will not be a slave to sensory stimuli. You are on a desert island and must survive by digging trenches. The female species does not exist. It’s just you and the elements—man against nature.

You are Adam… the female species has not been created yet. You don’t even know what one would be like. You have no foreknowledge, so not being with one ain’t no thing. The love of your life ain’t even been born yet. You have no memory to draw from—there is only a void of knowledge. Sweat is running down your body from hard work, from digging trenches. You breathe slowly to pace yourself and remain focused. You put your back into it, and your shoulder into it, as you get the task done. Bend at the knees… just use your legs for the heavy lifting and leverage.

Oh… shit… just like being with her! Who am I fooling? I can’t get this shit outta my mind. I gotta switch with Jose and do yard patrol tonight. Fresh air. Sleep is gonna be out of the question, especially with Damali anywhere in the house. Maybe I can ride into town later with Dan. I gotta put some distance between me and D for a little while. Shit! Forget the trenches. I’ll dig ‘em when I get back. Maybe make one deep enough to hurl myself into a shallow grave and beg somebody with a heart to just cover me up. Anything beats this.

Truth be told, on days like today, being a Neteru with all this extrasensory awareness sucks. At least, when I was a vamp I could sleep.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The official website mistakenly listed Carlos' name as Carlos River.[1]
  • The official website page URL was (The Black Box Volume 2).

See Also[edit | edit source]

Novels 1 - 9 Minion • The Awakening • The Hunted • The Bitten • The Forbidden • The Damned • The Forsaken • The Wicked • The Cursed
Armageddon Finale
(10 -12)
The Darkness • The Shadows • The Thirteenth
Anthologies Make it Last Forever in Stroke of Midnight • Ride the Night Wind in Love at First Bite
Dawn and Darkness (Comics) Individual Comics Book One: Ashes to Ashes • Book Two: Dust to Dust  • Book Three: Bygones to Blood • Book Four: Ride or Die
Graphic Novel Graphic Novel (Parts 1 - 4)
Neteru Academy Novels Shadow Walker • Shadow Seekers (Unreleased) • Shadow Slayers (Unreleased)
Between the Books (Official Website Stories) Vol. 1 • Vol. 2 • Vol. 3 • Vol. 4 • Vol. 5 • Vol. 6 • Vol. 7 • Vol. 8 • Vol. 9 • Vol. 10 • Vol. 11 • Vol. 12 • Vol. 13 • Vol. 14 • Vol. 15 - The Ripple Effect • Vol. 16 - Damali's Dilemma • Vol. 17 - Carlos' Dilemma • Vol. 18 - Damali's Dilemma Part II • Vol. 19 - Training Day • Vol. 20 - Training Day Part II • Vol. 21 - A Neteru Apex • Vol. 22 - New Mansion Compound: • Vol. 23 - New Mansion Compound: • Vol. 24 - New Mansion Compound: • Vol. 25 - "Truth Between Brothers" • Vol. 26 - Shabazz: THE FALL OUT • Vol. 27 • Vol. 28 • Vol. 29 • Vol. 30 - "Submerge"
Other Nothing Like the First Time (Prequel) • That First Kiss • Between Man and Wife • Atlantis Rising
Damali's Journal Volume One • Volume Two • Volume Three • Volume Four • Damali's Journal: Special Volume
Carlos' Black Box Volume One • Volume Two
Inside the Mind of a Vampire Volume One • Volume Two • Volume Three • Volume Four • Volume Five • Volume Six
Additional Content & Short Stories Promotional Media Secret Desires • Exotic Contraband: LA Banks' Vampire Huntress Legend Concept Art Book • Vampire Huntress Legend Sampler • Atlantis Rising • VHL Teacher's Curriculum Guide
Vampire Huntress Legend Sampler Nothing Like the First Time • Damali's Journal: Special Volume • The Power Players: A tour by Master Vampire Carlos Rivera • Character Dossiers
Unreleased Vampire Huntress Legend Series Movie (Unreleased) • Vampire Huntress Legend Series Manga (Unreleased)

References[edit | edit source]