im not sure yet

August 26, 2009
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The embers had cooled down but were still too hot to get close to. The fire had burned itself out until all that was left was a flicker here and there. Drops of rain began to fall. Steam issued from the sputtering fires, they would soon be out. Then all that would be left was the rubble. The stones that had methodically and thoughtfully been placed upon one another in an orderly fashion were now dashed on the ground, broken and scarred by the fire. Sirens began blaring and soon cop cars surrounded the collapsed building.
“Damn it lieutenant! Buildings don’t just blow up because they want to!” Growled the chief, through a mouth full of tobacco. “Look Sam, I’m gonna give you five seconds to tell me why it happened, or I swear to God, my foot will be so far up your…” The chief choked on his tobacco and eventually had to swallow most of it. He cleared his throat a few times and then gave the lieutenant the “You better say something!” look. “Well?” He demanded. “Well sir… I just don’t know” stammered the nervous lieutenant. “Sweet Jesus!” cried the chief. “Look Sam! By the end of the day I want a full report on what the hell happened. Understood?” “Yessir.” The young Lieutenant stammered as he shuffled out of the room. As he was halfway out the door the chief growled “Lieutenant…” The man turned timidly around. “Sir?” The chief pointed to his foot and then kicked at the air. The lieutenant got the message.
In a shabby room in a rundown hotel, where gunshots were background noise, a man set up a small table and two chairs. He placed himself in one chair and slammed a halfway empty bottle of Jack Daniels and two cracked tumblers on the table. “Let’s settle this like men, shall we?” He filled both the tumblers all the way to the top and then slammed a torn and wrinkled twenty on the table. He then guzzled the contents of the tumbler into his mouth followed by throwing the glass back on the table. “What?” he demanded. “Your not even gonna match me?” the same man yelled. He shot up out of his chair and kicked the table over onto the other chair. “We had a deal!” screamed the man, infuriated. He then ran over to the small counter the landlord called a kitchen and grabbed his .45. He turned around violently and pointed the gun at the floor where the chair was. “We had a deal!” Hot tears began to slide down his face. His hand began to shake followed by sobs and crying. He then turned his head away and shot a clip into the floor where the empty chair had been. He tossed the gun away with disgust and crouched on the ground with his head in his arms. After a few seconds he went into the bathroom to wash his hands. He looked up into the mirror and sighed “Yes, I know your still here.”
“Lisa, get me Lieutenant Sam.” The nervous lieutenant walked in with a manila folder in his right hand. “Well?” growled the chief. “This is all me and the boys could get together.” He handed the manila folder to the chief and waited patiently. “Well Johnson, I mean Sam, pretty good work, explain this to me…” It was one of those nights where one shouldn’t venture out onto the streets of a city. Steam puffed out from underneath the manhole covers as if some kind of monstrous beast lived underneath the streets. A light drizzle came down so that everything seemed to droop and cry. In the alley’s, groups of homeless crowded around their fires, hoping for an ounce of warmth in the cold heart of the city. Later on that night the rain would grow more intense and the fires would sputter out of existence, plunging the refuse of society in to the cold, and dark.
Early one Sunday morning at the Roman Catholic Church on 7th street downtown, the faithful gathered to exercise their right to freedom of religion. A man who seemed to be talking to himself was seated in the second pew and was making everyone around him very uncomfortable. Mass began and the man suddenly grew remarkably quiet and still. Everything continued as a Mass should until Monsignor Maxwell stood up to say the Gospel. As soon as he stood, the man in the second row got up and yelled at the top of his lungs “Liar!” The congregation became more uncomfortable, but they were all used to this sort of thing. There had been people who called monsignor worse things than a liar in the middle of church. Monsignor let out a sigh. He had enough problems to deal with already. “Liar!” the man continued. He made his way down the pew and out to the center aisle, the whole time mumbling to himself. “Nothing but lies has ever come out of your mouth! Someone might ask you “What did you have for breakfast” and you will say “Oh I had oatmeal.” When you really had…” The man’s voice trailed off as his eyes focused on the ground. He began to tremble with what seemed like rage, but when he raised his head he was smiling. “Cereal! You had cereal!” The man burst into laughter.
A cop who had heard the yelling had walked inside and began to approach the man. “Sir, please come with me” he said calmly. Before the officer could put his hand on his shoulder, the crazed man spun around and jabbed the barrel of a .45 into the cop’s stomach and pulled the trigger. A splash of red fell on the floor behind the victim. Everyone inside the church stampeded for the doors. The man with the gun sprinted up to the Monsignor just as he had a foot outside the door. He dragged the poor man back in and threw him on the floor. He then crouched over him and stared into his eyes. “Liars go to Hell.” he whispered. The man then released a shot into the pastor’s arm and casually strolled out of the building.
“Was it the same guy?” demanded the chief. “We think it is.” said his assistant. “Damn…” “This is Mrs. Sansburg” Said a CSI named Cassidy Freeman. “She was here during Mass.” “Well Mrs. Sansburg, tell me what happened.” The woman explained in great detail to the officers the events of that morning. “Yep. That’s our man. Joe? Get the word out. Posters, emails, tell everyone who he is and that he’s dangerous.”
Monsignor Maxwell was brought to the hospital on Ninth Street that after noon. He had the bullet extracted and was going to be in recovery for a few days. Two days later, tired after reading all of the get well cards, he laid down in bed to rest. Just as his eyes began to droop, a knock on the door woke him up. “Come in.” It was probably the nurse with his hourly medicine. Instead, a man walked in, wearing a worn out brown jacket and brand new jeans. His black hair was slicked back, but not obnoxiously. He was rather lanky and had a slight twitch in his left hand, but it wasn’t vey noticeable. At first the Monsignor did not recognize him on account of the man’s back being turned in order to close the door, but as soon as the man turned, Monsignor realized who it was. “Hello Monsignor!” said the man cordially, holding a hand full of roses and a get well card. “What do you want?” stuttered Monsignor Maxwell. “Oh, I just wanted to apologize for that little incident at the church. I don’t know what came over me and, well; I just felt the need to apologize.” He stuck his hand out for a handshake, but did not receive one. “Oh come now. Wouldn’t it just be easier to bury the hatchet?” The Monsignor thought back to when Pope John Paul the Second forgave the man who shot him. He slowly extended his arm to the man, and gave him a good handshake. “So what is your name my son?” asked the man of God. “My name is Ian Avery. Well I should be going, have a nice day and good luck recovering.” With that Ian walked out of the room and into the hall. Monsignor laid his head back onto the pillow and decided to think about what just happened later, maybe that night.
As Ian walked past the nurses’ station he placed the roses in a soiled laundry hamper and handed the card to an older man watching the evening news. With a smile, Ian walked out the door and onto the street. The man smiled. How nice of a random stranger to give a lonely old man a get well card. It was a shame that his family didn’t care for him enough to come visit him, but at least there was one decent man in the world who cared about someone other than himself. He opened the card and a pile of white powder fell into his lap. In his confusion, he took a deep breath and wondered what the powder was.
At the his apartment on the seventh story, Ian picked up a copy of Cesar’s Commentaries, flipped to a random page and began to read the book, upside down. “Yes I know its upside down.” He said to seemingly to himself. “I just thought it would be interesting to read a classic in a different perspective. Why do you care?” After a couple minutes, Ian carefully dog eared the page he was on and dropped the book on the floor. When the book fell to the floor, he rose, walked over to the sink and grabbed a plastic cup to fill up with water. As the water fell from the faucet into the cup, his mind wandered to his past. In his pathetic room in the attic he would often wonder why his parents had such a grudge against the church. At the age of fourteen he snuck out to the church downtown. He quietly walked in the back of church and sat in the foyer, where no one could see him. It was the weirdest thing he had ever experienced. All the people sitting, and standing, and kneeling and saying alien things and chanting archaic sounding songs. Ian had left after thirty or so minutes, but he knew he had found something big. Every time he got a chance he would sneak out and go to mass. He was going through that “independent stage” in his life, and this is how he proved it to himself, he went to mass. One day Ian snuck out of the house to go to church. On his way down the street he passed up a grocery store next to the church and accidently ran into a woman carrying a bag of groceries. “Sorry.” he said, but he honestly wasn’t thinking about it. He continued towards the church and had taken a couple steps up towards the church when he heard behind him the shrill tone of his mother behind him ask “Where do you think you’re going?” Ian quickly turned to see the woman he had run into at the bottom of the steps, glaring at him. His hand was suddenly wet. The cup had over flown. Ian snapped out of his daze and turned off the faucet. He wasn’t thirsty anymore. to be continued...





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