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Courtesy Call

Rubber soles sound a lot like a heartbeat when slapped on concrete when you're walking in converse, so that's what he focused on. His heart beating in the rhythm of my feet, something slow and steady, not hurried or urgent to get somewhere else, just walking with his head down, focusing on ever crack end crevice in the sidewalk as if trying to find the meaning of life in the ever changing shades of gray, not wanting to focus on how gray it was. Gray seemed to rule the world. Gray was trying to rule his world.
He didn't have to look up to know iron skies were slowly darkening, brewing up a cauldron of despair. The shadows cast by the clouds drained the bricks were of their color, creating a world of nothing but gray stone, each building looking abandoned and void of life. It could have been noon time or 6:30pm , but how could anyone have known? Everything was so desolate. Black trees with long arms clawed at the sky, begging for light and hope, and there was none. At leas that's what he thought. It's what he saw ever day. nothing but black and gray. No hope, no light. Light was not meant for the dark.
'Where were you?'
'Out.'
'Out where?'
'Don't nag me, woman.'
A bench seemed like as good a place as any to drop, so he did. In the pending weather, the park seemed like the perfect place to be to be alone. It barely occurred to him how far he'd walked to have reached the park He hadn't realized he'd walked this far. He barely remembered anything from the last few hours. Screams and shouts and angry words. Doors slamming, sobs from his sister's room again. They were almost like a routine. Scream. Fight. Cry. Repeat. Over and over and over again.
'Did you even try and find a job?'
'Of course I did!'
'Where? How much does it pay'
'Give me a minute to think, will you?'
'You're such a lazy bum...'
Over and over and over again, Jason found himself walking, not knowing or wanting to know where he was going, just going. His parents said he ran from his problems. He didn't, he just walked away from them. His friend though it was kind of funny to listen to them, calling them "The Fights". Jason didn't really fin it funny, but he never really said anything unless they went too far. They were his friends. They were all he had. At least they accepted him. They didn't criticize his music or how he dressed. They were just as screwed up as he was.
Cool breezes were starting to spin up. Dead leaves seemed to dance and jump and fall, as if they were trying to reclaim their glory. Under his hood, Jason smiled a little, bitterness behind it and slowly bringing it back into darkness. It reminded him of his own life. The only way anything happened was if trouble was being stirred up by some unnatural force. His own soul was in a constant whirlwind of emotions, complete chaos surrounded by dark. It only slightly reflected on his outside, like a dirty mirror. He didn't care though. He'd gotten used to the dark.
The chill of he winds started to leak up his sleeves. He didn't usually get cold, but he found himself rubbing his harms through his jacket. His fingers brushed over the ridges on his skin and he almost cringed at his own touch and the painful memory It brought. He'd rather be cold. At least it kept him calm, as did those lines.
Slowly he numbed two where all he could hear was the whistling of the wind in the trees and the leaves scratching along the sidewalks. The cold seemed to numb his insides too.. If he closed his eyes, Jason knew he would hear things he didn't. He'd hear his sister giggle and him mom and dad laugh. He'd see Dad springing out of a pile of leaves and dumping what he could on Jason's head. It almost brought the smile back, but not quite. Jason laid down against the cold wood of the bench closed his eyes anyway. Maybe he'd see those memories, and maybe he'd be able to smile for a little while...
'Jason....'
Jason's eyes flew open and looked around. No one was in sight. Had someone just said his name? Or was he losing it earlier than he expected? He just ignore it and closed his eyes again. Sleep sounded good.
'Jason... Jason, wake up...'
Jason flew up from where he was and jerked his head around wildly. Where on earth was that voice coming from?
'Run!'
He didn't have to be told twice. Jason didn't stop to find out who was speaking. He just took off running like his life depended on it. Something in the urgency of that whisper told him it did. His heart was trying to jump out of his chest as a large thunder clap rolled and Heaven's gates seemed to open. The rain came in buckets and sheets. Jason was soaked within seconds. He didn't know where he was running. He couldn't see where he was going, but he'd never run so fast in his life. He felt as if he was only a passenger and his body was being taken for a joy ride. Jason caught himself praying for shelter. He didn't pray.
The world was dark with clouds, and only flashes of lightning giving Jason a meager glimpse of where he was. The neighborhood wasn't familiar, the houses too nice and neat. None had read bricking. It didn't matter. He just wanted to get out of the storm. A large lightning flash illuminated a tall building with a huge doorway. IT was familiar, and he didn’t want it. As much as he didn't like the looks of it, it seemed like his best bet for survival. His legs were taking him there whether he liked it or not.
Hopping the little rot-iron fence was easier than it'd ever been. Jason all but hurled himself against the door. It was dry, as was the concrete under his feet. He was safe for a little while. His body seemed heavier though. His chest burned from the running. His cloths were dripping wet and his converse were going to need to dry for a few days at least. He should have worn his DCs. Jason almost laughed. Here he was slumped with his back to a door he didn’t want to enter, in soaking wet cloths while the weather did what it please, and he was thinking he should have worn his better shoes. A few soft giggles escaped his lips as he slid down the door. He really was losing it. He was losing consciousness. He was so tired...just so tired...
Jason sharply slapped himself and pulled himself back up. He couldn't fall asleep. As much as he wanted to sometimes, now was not the time to die.
Not here... Not this place, He silently thought to himself. His breathing was heavy, He could see his breath thick in the quickly dropping temperature. He had to get inside. He didn't like it, but it was the safest place he knew. With what was left of his pride and energy, Jason knocked on the door. He could hear something behind the heavy wooden door, something familiar. It sounded like base. It sounded like...music...
"Music...?" Jason whispered, his own voice almost unfamiliar to his ears. His energy was failing. Jason hit his knees, just staring at the door. Why on earth was he so tired? All his focus was on the door. He wasn't going to pass out. He was NOT going to pass out. Not here. He wasn't going to look weak here of all places. Just before Jason blacked out, the door swung open and he was blasted with a rock sound that would have woken the dead. The ground seemed to tremble under his knees with the based and the singer's voice. Jason got a glimpse of strobe lights and bright colors before his world faded to gray, to black, and then...nothing...
'Is he alright?...'
'I don't know...'
'Oh Lord protect him...'
'Someone get the Rev!'
'Here he comes...'
'Jesus please...'
Whispers echoes in Jason's mind all through the time his eyes were closed. Bright lights continues to flash in front of his eyelids, but the music he'd heard was gone. Strange voices, strange touches came around him, then not around him. The weight disappeared from around his body. Something was mauling his head, then gently soothing him. Warmth enveloped him, putting him somewhere safe where the lights weren't flashing. The music started back up at some time, but Jason couldn't make out the lyrics. He didn’t really care. He just wanted to rest. He felt really safe. It scared him a little, feeling so comfortable, so vulnerable. He didn't like being vulnerable, but that little voice in the back of his mind told him to suck it up and get better for a little. So Jason let himself slip into darkness
*****
There was something else in the darkness, something that kept him from returning to the land of the living. Something big and dangerous. Jason could sense it, even though he was helpless to see it. He felt it wrap it's hands around arms. It was pulling at him, trying to drag him deeper, into blackness. Its claws were painfully sharp, tearing at Jason's scars, with eyes of glowing embers. He could feel it's hot breath on his skin, dangerously hot, burning him alive. Chains locked around his wrist and ankles, pulling at him, trying to drag him back into the pit. Jason screamed but there was no sound in this void of darkness. He struggled still, refusing to give in to whatever was trying to take him. He didn't want this, whatever it was, to kill him. He didn't want to die.
You are mine, boy...you will always be mine....' it hissed on Jason's ear. It only caused him to scream in silence more, struggle more. The chains tightened and pulled more and more with ever tug and twist of his flailing limbs. The monster laughed evil, as if it had won. Suddenly, the laughing stopped. There was a light behind Jason's head that he couldn't see the source of.
Something....Someone...was there, someone beside the monster. They pulled at it, yanking it off of Jason as if it were as light as a feather, breaking the chains like paper. Jason fell to the ground, but was caught by unseen hands and set down gently, almost lovingly.
'No...He's mine... Go back', A voice Jason knew, but didn't know, spoke to the beast. Somehow, it brought peace to his heart His heart no longer thundered as if he'd just run race. The beast growled, a threatening sound, but Jason felt it slowly slip back to wherever it came from. After a bit, the second presence disappeared, and he could finally breath again.
Someone just saved his life.
****
Sunlight was in his eyes when he woke up. Jason squinted against it and rubbed at his eyes. How long had he slept? He remembered running to the door and getting blasted with music. He remembered walking out of the house when his parents started in on each other again. His sister crying...the storm....his body not being his own.... the music...
He stretched and moaned. The echo told him he was in the room he thought he was in. When his vision cleared he saw a dark vaulted ceiling at a peek that was slightly familiar. The sunlight that had woken him was streaming from a slightly opened stain glass windows. The air was cool with moisture from outside, but it wasn't the same as last night. This cool didn't chill his bones and make him want to sleep, but was....refreshing...cleansing. Jason rolled himself to one side and closed his eyes again. The material under his cheek was soft, like velvet, but felt warn, as if someone had really loved their seat.
Jason shook himself a little. He ached all over. His head felt like It was filled with cotton-covered marbles. He tugged the blanket off from over his torso and was fairly surprised to see his cloths still in place, everything from his faded black skinny jeans to the plane white t-shirt he'd just thrown on because it was clean. Hadn't someone taken them last night? They were too dry to have stayed all night. With a groan, Jason pulled himself up into a sitting position and then to his feet. Dizziness tried to overcome him but he stubbornly kept on his feet. It took him a minutes to get his barring. Jason realized his feet weren't touching the carpet His shoes were still on his feet, and the were dry.
'There's no way...' Jason, thought as he lifted his foot to inspect is converse a little closer. The stained red material was as dry as the rest of him. Someone had taken time to dry them. He'd have to thank them if he met them on his way out. He walked a few steps in a circle o test his legs. They were in good enough shape to get him started home. Maybe he'd be able to find his way back without his parents yelling too much at each other.
"Where's my jacket..." Jason mumbled o himself, looking around where he'd been laying, rubbing at the silver ring in his eyebrow in reassurance that it wasn't gone too. It was the one thing he was missing. The light blue blankets he'd been under were in a crumpled pile on the floor. The jacket wasn't under the bench or on it. Whoever had gotten him out of the rain had stolen his favorite jacket. They definitely wouldn't be getting a "thank you" now. There was no point in staying, so he might as well leave.
'Jason...'
Jason jerked around. There was that whisper again. It kept calling his name, Where was it coming from? Was someone fallowing him? There was no one else in the vast room. No shadows reflected on the polished wood backs of the pews. The silence was deafening. It was definitely time to go.
'Jason...'
His own name actually startled him.The whisper seemed a little more insistent, like it was really trying to get his attention. For the first time, Jason could actually tell where it was coming from. Slowly he turned and faced the front of the room. It was almost paralyzed with what he saw. At the back of a platform was a tall wooden cross, his jacket hanging from the right side. There was no varnish to take away the aged look of the wood, it didn’t even look sanded, but there was a cloak of what looked like purple silk draped around it's thick arms. Slowly, Jason started walking up the isle towards the cross, not taking his eyes away from it. On top was precariously balanced a crown made entirely or thorns. Small holes pierced the wood on each side and at the bottom. Blood seemed stained into the wood where a man's head, hands and feet could be. Maybe they had been there.
The cross seemed a lot bigger up close, more imposing. As dark as it was on the platform, the cross had a sort of light to it that radiated all over.
'Jason....'
"You...you saved my life..." Jason whispered to the cross, "Why?"
A sudden flashback of the night before filled his ears and his vision. The blast of the music and suddenly being knocked at his back. The lyrics of the song echoed in his mind.
'I think it might wash away tonight'
'Awaken from this never ending fight'
'It takes more than meets the eye'
'This war we're fighting is not just rotting'
'make it real, make me feel it....'
'This is your last warning, it's a courtesy call...'
The words themselves almost knocked in on his back again. Jason dropped to his knees, looking up at the cross as the last line repeated in his head over and over. His courtesy call... He was calling him. He saved him...
"Oh, God....", he whispered and fell against the cross, hugging it's base with all his strength, digging hiss fingers into to the point he knew he'd have splinters, but it didn't matter. it's rough surface brought new images to his mind, images of a man who'd hung there with His blood dripping down while people jeered on those who hurt Him. Jason could smell the blood, hear the crowd. He felt the war going on, trying to wrip him away from this safe place. Warm arms seemed to wrap around him from nowhere
'Jason...I love you, son... I love you...'



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BlueAndRedInk said...
Jun. 9, 2013 at 6:42 pm:
i sometimes look back on my work and i see all the places that i could make it better, wher ei could paint my picture better. sometimes i hate why teachers give us these asignments to write something that should mean something, and not give us enough time to really turn it into something special. i almost feel i could write a novela off of this one story. i just might. God only knows.
 
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