I was in the prime of my youth; in the maturing days of glory; in the ripening season of man's eternal harvest. Seven years ago I was nearly a different entity, and fortune never strayed far from my side.
High social status, wealth, beautiful surroundings; I had it all. Every whim was granted by the wave of a hand, or nod of the head. My main dwelling place was my mansion, Chateau d`Ciel, which was a rather expensive lot, located near the west end of southern California. To think of all of those material distractions now; I feel mostly ashamed, but emotions are useless in the calamitous prison I now call my tomb, begrudgingly so.
My life was like a golden dream, but I was blinded by my foolishness. This minute fact would eventually lead to my downfall. I remember that my affairs turned sour during an exceptionally hot summer, although now I would give anything, hell! everything, for a temperature less than I have now.
I surrounded myself with sleaze and scum back then, but compared to my fellow sufferers, dismal and decrepit, or compared to my infernal oppressors, they seem to be angels in my recollection.
We were all masters of our crafts: Drew and Pete were brothers, and kings of the fishing business; Thom was destined to be a real estate prodigy, and could sell a cardboard box at twice its value; Matthias, or 'Matty,' inherited a fortune 500 company from his father, and ran the business like Alexander the Great; Bart was a professional gambler and avid sports better; Tad Dues, Jude, and Simon Z. were decorated thesbians and accomplished actors; Matthew, one of my closest friends, owned one of the largest banks in the world; James and James were well practiced lawyers, partners in a firm with the same name; Phil, 'the Pill,' dabbled mostly in the prescription medication market, which was still very unregulated at the time.
Me? I had the challenging task of keeping them from killing each other. You see, we all gathered together once a week for a friendly game of cards, but with such outstanding personalities, and a disparity of opinions, heads would clash and feathers would ruffle, so to speak.
It was during one of these sessions of speculation and betting, when I was approached by none other than Jude. Jude - who would have guessed? The talentless hack from the Midwest, who was well known for his romantic roles, as well as his infamous kiss.
If you haven't guessed by now, then I must reiterate more clearly; Jude had been the one who introduced me to Mr. Fleuric.
He was the accomplice who betrayed me, eventually condemning my soul to the very plane of torment it currently occupies; from the time you read this to a time beyond that which no living consciousness can comprehend.