In the Shadow of Death

May 1, 2009
By Jonathan Nichols BRONZE, Indian Land, South Carolina
Jonathan Nichols BRONZE, Indian Land, South Carolina
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Nobody under stands it and they probably never will. They can’t begin to imagine the pain and distance I feel. I can think of but one way how they could come across to an understanding and that is to experience it like I have, though I wish that unto nobody. I wish that not even to the worst of the criminals, the cruelest of tyrants, and the most ruthless of dictators, even they would be spared from such a monster of a life.

Normalcy, that’s all I seek, and I have come to find it to be a lost cause. It is as if I am a blind man searching a haystack, and in that haystack there is a needle and that small needle among thousands of straws of hay, that one needle represents the chance of me being normal once again.

I see it, I see the way they look at me. I see their expressions on their faces, I see it and what I see is fear. Do I have a frightening appearance or aura about me? Or am I just crazy to them? Distant and avoid of any emotion whatsoever? And what if I am what than is the point of my life? The point is before that cursed and hated night I was normal once. I had friends and a family and in that one night all of it was striped and it left me vulnerable, like an open wound prone to infection and becoming a tool for your own destruction. The point is before all my loved ones died my mother breathed her last, and her last breath she carried two simple words. Two words that tore me apart and made me into the beast I am today, and those two words were simply “Don’t die” and surely enough through all manners of torture here I still stand living

“Who is that?” A student asked he must have been trying to go unheard for he spoke quietly.

“Who? Oh, him? He’s that new kid the weird one.” In that very instant I knew they spoke of me, and that’s why they hushed their voices to avoid my hearing of it.

“Weird? What dose he do to be weird?” the voiced asked again.

“Oh! He dose nothing, nothing at all” Said the second voice in response to the first.

“Jack! John! Shut your mouths I will have no noise making inside of my classroom” said the teacher whose name I forgot. What need do I have to remember his name interrupting my train of thought like that.

“You!” the man bellowed. “Get your head up!” he snapped. It was directed at me. I didn’t want any trouble so I slowly rose to the upright position

“Oh? What’s this?” he calmly said obviously off his temper he was on before. “We have a new student, child what is your name?” I gave him a glare like I do to everyone else.

“Uhh...” A student stuttered “That kids weird, it’s like he has no feelings, Mr. Wooder he looks at everyone like that” he spat out quickly, and I saw that out of the corner of my eye, he shyed his face to the left to avoid my glare.

“Now, now Andrew no name calling” He said dryly as if he did that everyday, and he may have to. “Tell me, child what is your name?” he asked again.

I said nothing and continued glaring at him; he had a firmness in his eyes as if he wasn’t going to give up

“Child don’t be silly now, just give your name and I will leave you alone.” He continued.

What use is it to you to learn my name? You will soon forget it, and I have already forgotten yours.

“Come on child just tell me your name” He said with a hint of sternness in his voice though it was still very calm. Perhaps he can mask his voice well to hide his emotion, though I see no expression on his face either.

I finally realized he wasn’t going to give up until the bell rang, but neither was I. I can outlast him with ease and no hint of trouble.

As soon as the bell rung I gathered my things and just as I headed to the doorway, a voice stopped me.

“Look here child” that voice had become all too familiar recently, “I won’t have a child in my classroom that I can’t address specifically. I need to address you and only you.” He said rambling on.f
This man, he really is relentless isn’t he? What drives him to do this? “Address me specifically?” I repeated his words. “Well you should be capable of that.” I continued.
“Save for your apparent incompetence you can surely think of mere name. I care not what it is” I finished.

He opened his mouth before he could get his words together I said, "What is a name anyway, It's but a mere label to help us keep track of objects and people, and it attaches a sense of purpose to both yourself and others. Do you see the birds assign their children names in their language of hoots and tweets?" I went on
"No, my name is my own and I share my own with only those I deem have right to know." I was finally done talking to this ignorant and arrogant man.
Saying nothing he turned around with a frustrated trot to his desk. Reveling, I mean that not in the sense you may but in a sense of winning pride, I exited the door with no more communication between the two of us.
I walked to my next class as if I were programmed to do so. I hope that the next teacher will not be like the previous. I would certainly go insane, or at least more so.
I was rounding the corner near the bathrooms when I heard a scream, and I usually not interested in these affairs deiced I would find out the cause of the scream for pure curiosity.
There lay a girl on the floor, light skinned with long black hair whose beauty wasn't diminished even by the matted blood in it, laying on the ground on all fours, and another light skinned person, a male with a close hair cut and of average height, staring down at the girl.
"Look here you slut!" He said with an overwhelming sense of freicous anger in the words.
If there were two things that would make my emotion come out of hiding they two would be profanity and abuse, for my family was strongly against them.
"I'll not have profanity and abuse even if I do not own the property in the quarrel" I said firmly even though I was small I lived "On the streets" as they say it, for many years after the night.

"Look her you son of a bit-" he stopped and raised his head to look at me.
“What happened?” I inquired.
“What’s this all about?”

“This bit-“
“Ah! Watch your words”
“This…” he trailed off.
“she betrayed me”

“Really now” I said sternly. “What in the world would you know about that word? What petty thing has she done to upset you? And I know it’s petty for all things that you ‘average’ students live with fall into that category.” I paused
“Many people have lived through hell, and many have lived through far worse. So what is this sense of betrayal you speak of?”
“My family they are poor, and while I get good grades she gets better. She refused to let me copy here even after I told her.”

“Poor?” I asked.
“You say poor yet here you stand with clean clothes, and you have a roof at home right, or am I mistaken?”
“Yes, I have those but I can’t afford collage to get our family out of debt.”
“Ah, a noble act of you, though however noble it maybe it gives no person the right to stop another from being noble. For then what would your nobility be but foolishness?” I asked.
“Look… this” He gestured to the girl. “This is not how I wanted it to happen” he said as if it made a difference.
“But that is how it happened, it matters not what your base intentions were.”
“Enough” he screamed. “I’ve begun this and I’ll and it and I don’t need a witness.”
He charged at me and I hit a pressure point of his and it was over in an instant, though I made sure to leave him alive.
“Don’t worry” I turned to the girl. “He isn’t dead”
“G-good” She stuttered.
“We need to alert the police have you a phone?”
“Y-yes, I do in my purse over there.” She gestured to a far corner; I assumed it must have landed there from the incident.
“I’m sorry for being emotional” she sobbed
“Oh no problem” I replied, was I becoming normal?
Just than the principal, or I thought it was her for she had this demanding aura about her, came in and started rambling on how violence is never the answer not even as last resort.
“Oh than I’d just let this person die” I asked.
“Well… I’ll see you two as soon as I get this young man some attention” She said and the demanding aura was present in her words
“Really, I’m sorry you just don’t know what it is like to lose all your loved ones, I’m prone to being emotional. Like a weak dam when overflowed, my emotions can flood out at any time.” I can’t believe a word she just said was I mistaken for what I heard?

"Actually" I trailed off. "Actually I do, I do know what it is like, and you’re the one who doesn't know. Speaking like your emotion remains."
I never liked anyone who lied about this, and I never understood what reason they had to do so.
"Than you have the nerve to say they strengthened, if you only knew" I said with a snap.
"But I do know!" She cried. "Besides everybody goes through the grieving process differently."
"I suppose that’s true, now tell me if you speak the truth tell me who committed the murders of your family?" I asked.
"Who?" She repeated. "Yes, well I never saw his face, he was cloaked in black though"
Cloaked in black just like the man who murdered mine, could be possible that it's the same person who murdered my family? Perhaps, just maybe she dose speak the truth.
"It was so strange; I didn't see how it happened I passed out. I still haven't figured out why and when I woke up"
"You found them to be dead? Tell me what was this man in the black cloak doing?"
"That’s the weird part he just sat in the corner doing nothing. I felt like he was staring at me."
This is absurd, all of these details every last one of them line up perfectly with mine and that night. I'd think myself absurd if it were to be anyone else, but I'd like to befriend this girl. I think she may be that needle in the haystack my chance for normalcy.
I am profoundly sure, I came to this conclusion sometime later, that who we saw those nights was death, not like in the physical sense but as the Grim Reaper, the persona of death.

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This article has 1 comment.

nate said...
on Jun. 18 2009 at 3:14 am
i liked it, but thought your dialouge was a bit unralistic, no one talks like that. but other than that it was great


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