I am not lost…

July 20, 2017

Death of an Inspiration

This is going to be a weird topic for me to come briefly out of hiatus for, but the more I thought about it, the more I needed to get my thoughts out in a coherent way on the topic. I’ve just seen the news that Chester Bennington, the lead vocalist for Linkin Park, has committed suicide by hanging.

We lost Chris Cornell in much the same way, not too long ago. About 2 years back now, I wrote about one of the members of the YouTube group Cyndago, Daniel Kyre, dying in the same fashion. Robin Williams…I mean, the list goes on. And as much as all of these have affected me in some way, Chester’s death affects me as a writer.

Bear with me.

Depending on how long you’ve been following my work, under various pseudonyms and Internet handles, you may recognize the terms Protectorate. It’s the most recent surviving term from a story I started ages ago, originally talking about a civil war between the United Alliance and the Allied Rebellion. (Yeah, I told you it was a long time ago.) The story originally was a cheap knock-off of a Romeo and Juliet story, with names shamelessly stolen from Gundam Wing for one of the main characters. But the concept, and my lead female, have stayed with me.

I worked on an audio drama a while back now, and that’s where Protectorate got its start as a term. Those were the “good guys”; those were Torene Williams’ crew. Daughter of the man who founded the Protectorate, and willing to walk in her father’s footsteps until the end. Fighting against magic users and beings beyond her knowledge, my first memory of Torene from the very earliest days will be the thought of her running through a city street, dust and debris scattered everywhere, graffiti on the walls she passes. The knowledge that she’s on her own; she doesn’t have anyone to trust anymore. What she thought she knew, has been questioned and she doesn’t have the answers.

Graffiti decorations
Under a sky of dust
A constant wave of tension
On top of broken trust
The lessons that you taught me

I learned were never true
Now I find myself in question
They point the finger at me again
Guilty by association
You point the finger at me again
I wanna run away
Never say goodbye
I wanna know the truth
Instead of wondering why
I wanna know the answers
No more lies
I wanna shut the door
And open up my mind
Paper bags and angry voices
Under a sky of dust
Another wave of tension
Has more than filled me up
All my talk of taking action
These words were never true
Now I find myself in question
They point the finger at me again
Guilty by association
You point the finger at me again

These are most of the lyrics to “Runaway” by Linkin Park. Sound familiar?

I’ve never managed to truly tell Torene’s story in a way that I’m totally happy with, and have been able to keep up. But I haven’t forgotten about her either, or her broken, dusty city.

Maybe it’s time I revisit that story. In memory of the one who inspired me.

RIP Chester.

 

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