More than a year ago, during what felt like an epiphany, my mind had concocted quite a deviant yet humble tale. As soon as the idea popped into my cerebral cortex and lit up my cranium, I had sudden urge to type out the story somewhere quickly lest I forget its greatness.
I booted up my personal computer, grinned at the wallpaper showcasing Adventure Time’s Jake’s wit, and proceeded to download and install Microsoft Word 2007 so I could begin. It didn’t even hit me exactly why I did not have Word in the first place especially since I used to do regular typing work. A mystery, I guess.
Anyways, when Word was finally up and ready to accept my wanton thoughts of attempted comedy and vague possibilities I set a-pen on my mental journey. Well, a-typing to be more accurate. Fine, we’ll compromise with a-typen. You get the drift!
Before I copy and serve the hopefully delicious pasta here, I would like to say beforehand that I am not going to post the full story here (yet) as it is still in progress and only God knows how long it will take to finish. Another thing to keep in mind is that, while I do have a general idea of the whole story a lot of the condiments are still in process of being made. That, unfortunately, means I won’t be disclosing the idea as well. So, uh, feast your eyes! Or something.
Oh yeah, part of this was written a year ago and the rest was written in the midst of June, or maybe July, this year. This should be a pretty interesting look at how a person’s entire train of thought and his style of writing changes over a course of a year. My writing is still as not as good as I want it to be but, hopefully, it will have evolved into a class of its own by the time I get around to either finishing this or some other story. HOPEFULLY.
He looked up.
He looked down.
He couldn’t believe what he was just about to do.
Well, he had to do it, though. He had finally mustered up all of what little courage he had and had brought himself here.
He was going to do it. Yes, an escape was just before him. All he had to do now was to go for it.
He brought up his right leg and he waited. He couldn’t do it himself. He was waiting for the wind to help him. Nature always knows best. Unfortunately for him, the wind was very light tonight. Even high up here on this 31-storey metallic cuboid giant, the wind just wasn’t strong enough to give him that single push he so desired.
He felt that nature was mocking him. Telling him to do his despicable little act by himself. Nature was not going to take part in this. But, it also wasn’t going to prevent this. That’s why the wind blew from side to side but never from front to back. That would make it a partner in this whole matter.
After a while, he set his foot back down and began cooking up a pot of thoughts in his mind.
“Damn it!” he shouted.
He was so calm up until now. Why was he getting so nervous all of a sudden? Was his lack of determination so pitiful? Was he always so pitiful? Questions such as these about his self-worth and indecisiveness went along the neurons of his brain.
“Pathetic. Why am I so pathetic…” he murmured.
Tears began to form as he said these words to himself and any other supernatural beings that might be listening to him. The tears were silent. There wasn’t any sobbing or anything else of the sort. There was only the salty water that kept falling from the tear ducts.
“God. I am such a mess,” he proclaimed.
It looked like all that was needed to steel his weakened resolve was a quick expulsion of tears. Normally, a person would shout ever-so-loudly to achieve this but all he did was have a good, short cry. He was sure that this was a sign from God that he truly was pathetic.
“Wow, I should just kill myself,” he decided. Again.
And that was precisely why he was all the way up here during this somewhat surprisingly warm late-February night with all the clouds looking down at him. He had come to kill himself.
That was last option left to him. There was no other choice no matter where he turned and how much he racked his head. He had had enough and couldn’t take one another moment. He had to go now. And, hopefully, never come back.
So, he put up his leg once more and removed his left arm from the cold steel railing. If he was going to go, might as well do it in style. He loved swimming and elaborate dives were something he enjoyed coming up with. He would perform a twisting somersault and adopt an open arm pose, as that of a scarecrow, halfway down the fall. And then he would top it all with a big bony crunch as his feet would come into contact with the hard asphalt down below.
A spectacular performance. His suicide plan didn’t seem as sad as he initially thought it was going to be. Wonderful.
“Here I go,” he announced.
Jacob Woden opened his eyes. His vision was blurry and the searing light around him not only was slightly bleaching his retinas but warming up his body as well. When his eyes adjusted after a short while, he glanced around. The scene before him was something he had not expected: a cramped brightly-lit room with no furniture nor any other object to be seen. Absolutely nothing.
The walls were lined with white tiles. As was the floor and the ceiling. The source of light could not be seen anywhere. There were no windows so the sun (and, obviously, the moon) was out of the question. Jacob could not see any bulbs or candles either.
Then, throngs of panic began creeping up on his spine.
Where was he?
This was not where he should be.
Or was this?
Jacob had no clue.
The only thing that Jacob was sure of was that this room, so to speak, was giving him the heebie-jeebies. This place was not normal. Even though he was well aware of that, he still felt a weird sense of calm and peacefulness in his heart. He felt light. But, he also noticed that he was missing something. Something he had once wanted to be free off. Now that it was actually gone, he was kind of regretting the loss.
He then realized why he felt this way. He had the vague sensation that all of his troubles had left him behind for a new host. While he was glad they were gone, he also seemed to miss them dearly.
Being frightened and serene both at the same time was a peculiar feeling for Jacob. He did not particularly like it nor minded it. The balance of these two feelings somewhat lowered his suspicions of dread about his current whereabouts.
Jacob picked himself up. He felt about his tad skinny body in numerous places. Nothing was out of place.
“But… I’m not supposed to be like this?” Jacob asked himself.
He looked down at his clothes. A black T-shirt with the phrase ‘Corrupt The System’ boldly written under a robotic figure holding what seemed to be a tiny human in its palm. His favorite shirt. There was nothing special about his pocket-less grey jeans, though. He still wore them pretty much every day as long as it did not need to be cleaned. They were comfortable and went well with all his other shirts. His feet were resting snuggly in flip-flops. He hated closed footwear. Flip-flops offered the kind of comfortable freedom he yearned for which other shoes, along with the American government, did not offer. No accessories at all.
As Jacob made a mental note that he should start wearing a wristwatch from now on in order to keep track of the time, he noticed what was a valve of sorts on his left wrist.
What was this?
Jacob could only stare at in shock. He was sure that he had not indulged in drugs before so what he was seeing was most definitely real.
“Oh wait,” Jacob emptily mumbled as a revelation came to him.
He was in a dream. Or the Afterlife. Whichever was more plausible. As long as he was out of trouble, Jacob did not care. He had no need to be worried anymore. The mission was a success. Finally, he had set foot in sanctuary.
He still had to figure out why there was a rusty valve protruding from his left wrist, though. He began staring at it again hoping that it would speak words of wisdom to him. After a few seconds had passed, Jacob decided that that was a rather stupid idea and he should just touch it and get it over it.
As he threw caution to the back of his mind, he reached out to touch the valve. It was warm and rather tight. He wondered if he should twist it and see what happens. He decided he should and he applied a small-
“I would not do that if I were you,” a loud voice came from behind him.
Jacob immediately let go of the valve and turned to face the owner of the deep voice. He was ready to pounce on him except… there wasn’t anyone there.
“I see you have woken up and are well,” the voice said with a subtle hint of pleasure.
Five seconds passed. Then ten. Twenty more.
When Jacob’s agitation reached its maximum, the voice announced, “We shall begin then.”
And then a door opened and a middle-aged, slightly muscular, bald man lacking eyebrows and sporting thin-framed circular spectacles entered the room. Turquoise turtleneck and dark brown khakis over polished tipped leather shoes.
“I have no name but for ease’s sake, you may call me Gabriel. It is a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Woden,” the bald man offered his right hand as he said this.
Never mind being derailed, Jacob’s entire train of thought had been utterly decommissioned on the spot. What the hell was he supposed to do? He couldn’t even think. His body moved against his will and he shook the bespectacled man’s hand.
“Splendid. I have much to tell you so you may have a seat,” the middle-aged man beamed.
“S-seat? There’s nothing in he-,” Jacob stammered as he rotated to scan the room once more. He then saw them. Two plain chairs and a roundtable right behind him.
Jacob knew he was in no position to ask questions so he quickly sat on of the chairs. The eyebrow-less man followed and took his place opposite Jacob.
“Before we properly begin, I must first ask you a simple question. No. No need to worry. I just need to make sure. Makes my approach on what is to come easier,” the slightly muscular man said.
Jacob slowly nodded.
“Thank you. Now, onto business, shall we? Do you know why you are here?” the man inquired looking straight into Jacob’s eyes.
“I, uh, I don’t know…” Jacob pitifully muttered back.
“Are you sure? Half of the ones who come here often suffer from memory loss. My colleagues claim that it is a result of their actions but I solemnly believe that it is a sort of defensive instinct or act, if you will,” the man replied while frowning.
Silence prevailed for about a minute. For Jacob, the minute felt like an hour.
“Ah. Maybe I should try and see if I could get the cogs of your brain working again. What is the last thing you remember?”
“I’m not sure…”
“…I was standing at the, uh, top of a skyscraper. Enjoying the fresh night air, I guess?”
“I see. Night air. You did certainly enjoy it, I must say.”
“What is that supposed to mean?!”
“Mr. Woden, you had attempted to kill yourself,” the man replied while leaning forward and placed both clasped hands on the table.
The moment James heard this from this mysterious man, he felt the entire world around him begin to shatter into a million pieces. Although he could not remember exactly why he had killed himself, he was still very much worried about the ordeal. There was also the thing that if he’s supposed to be dead right now then why was he here in what seemed like an interview with Gabriel.
“Um, Mr. Gabriel. I’m going to be, uh, frank with you, okay?” James shot out as the worry on his face kept becoming more apparent by the second.
Gabriel lifted up his left eyebrow in reply.
“Just what the fuck is going on here?” James quickly continued with a slight raise of volume.
Gabriel did not say anything. He just sat there with his eyebrow the same as right before James had asked his third question. James had no idea what he was thinking.
Finally, with a deep sigh, Gabriel curtly threatened James, “I would suggest you to mind your tongue while in my presence. It would be best for the both us that you do. I hope you understand?”
James knew he was in no position to argue back with someone who could very well be a gentlemanly version of Freddy Kreuger so he just nodded.
“Excellent. I have others like you attend to so I will try to make this as short as I possible can. Mr. Woden, you jumped to your death last night. I will leave the details of why and exactly how up to you as that is part of your punishment,” Gabriel said as he leant slightly forward.
“Indeed. For, you see, you are not dead right now but, you are dead to others,” stressed Gabriel as he grinned.
“What do you mean?” enquired James as he felt himself hit the maximum level of confusion he had ever experienced.
“Let us take a stroll outside, shall we?”
With that, Gabriel stood up from his seat and beckoned James to do the same. He then went towards one of the walls and knocked thrice on it. A door handle suddenly appeared right below where he had knocked. Gabriel took hold of it. Twist. Push.
And the white rooms melted to reveal a busy intersection.
The moment this happened, James fell back in shock and amazement. They were now smack in the middle of what one would suppose to be Times Square in New York.
“What the fuu…? How?” James shouted as Gabriel turned to face him.
“Let us not dilly-dally. On your feet, please,” replied Gabriel as he ignored James and offered his right hand.
James accepted and brought himself up. Gabriel signaled him to dust himself and James, annoyed and frightened as he was, complied without saying anything.
“Do you see all these people? Going about every day to and hither. I would say that around a quarter of them are like you.”
“Like me? But most of them look nothing like me.”
“I see you are still quick to judge by appearances. A pity. All of them are dead. Just like you,” Gabriel’s voice became sinister, “They committed suicide. The unforgivable sin.”
“And this is supposed to be Hell?” James asked as he felt himself calm down.
Gabriel laughed lightheartedly, “No. That is still a ways off for everyone. The One upstairs came up with a special punishment for sinners like you until the due time arrives. Mr. Woden, welcome back.”
James gazed at the grey scenery of concrete and dark clouds around him and wondered.
“This isn’t how reincarnation works?”
But, he didn’t get a reply. Gabriel had vanished.
For someone who wanted to get this short event over with quickly, James concluded, that Gabriel must be one impatient person.
It didn’t matter now, though. James still had a lot of questions that needed answers but the more he thought about grabbing someone, the more uncomfortable he got. He’d rather not deal with strangers at all. He knew he had no other choice. He also wasn’t sure if anyone else around him would have any answers at all. Not like they ever did anyways.
James went into an alley and mulled over the situation some more. He decided that he would scout out the most sensible looking person from the crowd he could and then he would bump into them. After that he would strike up casual conversation as best as he could and try and manage to extract information about where this place was. It was an awkward plan but it would hopefully yield some results.
After a few minutes of checking the crowd from the alley, James finally found someone who looked like they would be friendly. And not beat him up. James came out of the alley and casually strolled towards the salary-man. He braced himself for impact.
There was no impact. James turned around. He saw that the man had gone past him. He concluded he must be some bonafide Spider-Man or an MMA fighter and dodged James. Good for James.
Getting impatient, James decided the next person he laid eyes on would be his target now. Target sighted. Readying operation. One step. Two step. Shoulder slightly out. And, nothing.
Just what the hell was going on?
James tried again and ended up with the same result. Why wasn’t he bumping into anyone? Actually, why did it seem like they didn’t notice him at all. Like, he was invisible. Was he invisible, though? An extremely stupid idea flashed into his mind. He never imagined a day would come when he’d have the chance to pull off something like that in public. All or nothing, he decided.
James went right into the middle of the moving crowd. He didn’t feel anyone touch him. Strange. Yet, he ignored it. He got himself into a nice position and forced his nervousness into a corner. He had one try only.
James opened his eyes. Not a single response from the crowd.
A rush of embarrassment came to James and he quickly ran out of there with his eye closed. It didn’t matter whether he could see where he was going or not. He got an answer. The problem was that it wasn’t to a question he thought needed answering.
He was literally invisible now. Nobody could see, touch, nor feel him. He didn’t need a test confirm taste as well.
Another startling thing was that he had had this sensation of loneliness before. Maybe back when he was still alive?
“Wait wait wait. I’m not dead. It’s better to not believe that bald bastard. This is just a dream. I’ll just wait for it to be over,” he said as he felt himself make a forced smile to reassure himself.
He went back into the alley and waited. He decided to just wait. Let the dream end.
God or whoever had other plans for James, though. Right when James’ arse hit the ground, he disappeared from the alley.
He was thrust into a world of liquid darkness. He could not even see himself. He was afraid of opening his mouth to scream. Better not let the darkness flow into him. He had read in a novel that drowning to death is the most agonizing way to go.
Then, a light brighter than the sun shined a distance away from James. It kept getting brighter b the second. It came and consumed James.
After he got eaten, a soft voice rang out, “We’re taking you back home.”
If you stuck around till the end then I guess that means you were interested enough by this. Here’s the best place to say that I would like to thank two very close friends of mine, Atik and Nick, for helping me proofread this post along with criticizing me to such an extent that actually, honestly, made me improve. Or so that’s how it feels. I’ll treat you two dicks to a Hawaiian pizza the day we’re finally able to meet. Cheers~