The Alien, The Cowboy and The Witch / by grace mcgrade


Chapter 1

Adam possessed all the qualities Elle detested, and everytime they reconvened, she felt like he would ruin her life. Perhaps that's why she loved him. It had been a while since anything had the power to throw her off course, and after coming back from a year long stay in a Spiritual retreat center, she felt like it might be worth the danger. She had always had a secret affinity for chaos.

He was both arrogant and insecure, with an insatiable appetite for cocaine and fame. He ferociously climbed the hollywood social ladder despite frequently being shut out for his bursts of aggression and reckless disregard for others. He dressed in brown and yellow vintage, bleached blonde hair and smelled like patchouli and chemicals. His lifestyle never seemed to compromise his aesthetic, he was tastefully chaotic. He lived nocturnally, and resided in the basement of a house in beachwood. The basement resembled a cave and had only two windows at either side of a long hallway, dusted with take out boxes, photographs he had taken, piles of clothes, empty cigarette boxes, cowboy hats, vegas paraphernalia, and lost items from the multitude of women he slept with.
It was like a deranged museum of hedonism.

He was austere and cold at his worst, and at his best, highly intuitive and insightful with an inability to sit still. He was ferociously talented, in every avenue he put his energy into. It gave him an inner indecisiveness. He had a softness about him that was seldom visible, due to his consistent running toward or away from things. Elle never knew if this was because of the cocaine or a deep rooted inner restlessness. He resembled a character from one of her stories, and because she saw everything as a story, she would frequently reconvene their connection at the expense of both parties.

Whenever they got together, Elle swore she felt her body shake and vibrate with electricity, intensity, and a desire to almost fade into the shadowy folds he wore with him. She was never entirely sure if he felt the same, as he was aloof and secretive, and  their conversations were either something close to nonsense poems or arguments.

Elle was a model turned professional witch, who didn’t live in reality. She operated at a slightly inhuman frequency, refused to work a regular job, drive a car or read the news or weather, as she felt it threatened her belief that life was inherently paranormal and ebbed and flowed out of her emotions.  She believed in fairies and magic and aliens, and wouldn't hesitate to let you know within the first ten minutes of meeting her. She carried an intense personal charm and magnetism that provoked strong reactions from everyone she met, either resulting in hatred or love. She was only satisfied by experiences that seemed to swallow and alchemize her, and was singularly bold and honest with an active mind. She liked to collect admirers and also secrets, and did so with such a baffling agility, that it must have been magic. Every day flowers would arrive on her doorstep, and she was always yearning to fall into other worlds. She lived in a bubble of splendor and miracles, maintained by rituals and petitions to the gods and nature spirits. She had a free, mad and wild heart. However, she possessed the capacity for apocalyptic vengeance and in her dualistic nature, she was a furious forest fire, and a spectacle few could manage. Adam was the only person whom had ever bore witness to the spectrum of rage and destruction that lived inside of her.

She felt the most erotic and provocative in solitude, when she was able to roll around and behave animalistically. She preferred to be accompanied by her pretendings than people. Dressing up in gowns and down in bustiers, in clouds of her favorite scents, singing her favorite songs, with the gods as her sole audience. She liked to sip Moscow mules at the chateau marmont and pretend they were good for her, because they had ginger in them and came in copper cups. She was in constant inner turmoil around her desire to be delightfully inebriated, stylish, and deeply spiritual. On New Moons she held sacraments and ceremonies and on full moons she would go out dancing.

Their affair had begun in the desert, when Adam had just been an unreliable, irritating floating friend at the time. Elle was there during Coachella weekend to give psychic readings, and staying with some friends in a nearby house. Adam broke both of his arms trying to impress a photographer while riding a moped. He called her from the hospital and asked if he could stay.

Elle was recovering from a heartbreak, after projecting paramount depth and meaning onto a meaningless fling, which is what she did very often and very poetically. She experiencing her first MDMA high at the time, and would later decide that this was why she always associated him with the feeling of euphoria and tenderness that came from the drug. She invited him in, in his boots and comically large arm casts, and laid him gently on the bed before stroking his hair and deciding that it was up to her to nurse him back to health. In the daze of the midnight heat and drug delirium, they shared kisses under the stars and feel asleep enveloped in each other, bandages and all.

For the next two weeks Elle nurtured and nursed him in her best friends artist apartment while he was away.There, they lived with a dove and giant galactic paintings, making the whole scenario comedically surreal. Elle ignored all responsibilities and began accompanying him to doctors appointments, washing his hair, laughing and lying by his side as they watched ungodly amounts of Netflix. She was growing frighteningly comfortable only existing for someone else. They both refused to allow the injury to prevent them from doing cocaine and frequenting nightclubs, theme parks and even caves. She blamed her excess on his influence, but refused to slow down in case she couldn’t match his haphazardous speed. They slept through half of each day in betrayal of the Sun, each party quietly aware of the unsustainability of their present lifestyle.

Together, they would go out til dawn, frequenting old hotels and clubs in Silverlake.  Where Elle was impervious to the opinions of others, Adam had been raised on transactional relationships, only able to gauge his worth based on how entertaining and valuable he felt in the eyes of people he saw as more important.
They followed a malicious routine at parties, both disappearing and reappearing after making out with other people, perhaps to collect bits of each other that they felt were missing. Elle privately thought she might not be made for monogomy, requiring more admiration and attention than any one person held within them- but if anyone suggested to behave the same way with her, she would unleash a wrath more calculated and furious than a wildfire.
Adam attracted women with paranormal ease, and had a gross kind of chameleon charm, that he used to capture the attention of anyone in the vicinity. When they were apart they would criticize each other, hoping that through their respective, grueling character defamation, no one else would want the other.
They were as possessive as they were skilled at nonchalantly dancing away from the truth, the truth that spoke so clearly to them in each others bodies. They had been tied together by quantum string, in away Elle, in hindsight would define as deeply karmic.

The first notable red flag, (although there were many, that Elle delicately collected and fashioned into etheric scarves) arrived one morning when Adam received a phone call from his Dad. His Dad was informing him that his step mother, a long term cancer patient, had a week to live. Elle sat and cried with him, tracing the tattoos on his chest, until he sprung up and headed into the shower, where she heard him smashing the walls and screaming, each blow sounding out into the chambers of her heart.  The same day Elle received news that an old ex boyfriend had passed away from a drug overdose.

They were both impulsive creatures, with a tendency towards darkness. They were equally under equipped to deal with the trials and tribulations of death in away that served them, so they huddled and hurdled into a havoc more beautiful and terrible than anything they had ever seen.