The Path of God

The Path of God

A Story by misfit_joker
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This is the story in full.

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The Path of God: Part 1

 

It's pouring down rain outside and the only coffee shop in this rundown town is still open. I hurried in to find one of the many available seats nearest the counter. It feels as though I was destined to have this spot considering it was the only area where light seemed to touch. The rest of the establishment is an eerie darkness of solitude filled with the rubble of antique furniture and moldy brick walls holding up a scene of dangling roof tiles and light fixtures.  The old man running the shop limps over towards my direction to, for what I assume, take my order.

 "What brings you here, Monsieur? It’s pouring fairly hard for any sane man to risk his life just for a cup of coffee.”

 "Honestly, I don’t remember how I got here. I was heading back to my hotel but it started getting foggy all of a sudden and then the rain started. I must have missed a turn."

He chuckles and says, “Yes, you certainly have taken quite a wrong turn. The closest town is miles in the other direction.”

“Pardon me asking but is your shop always so depressingly ran down?”

“No. At one time, this was a place of thriving happiness where everyone came to live out there days freely. But something changed and day by day it just went to hell. It’s never been able to fully recover since.”

“What happened?”

“I lost all meaning in life. Nothing I did made sense anymore so I stopped caring and putting effort into this old shop.”

“Why are you still here then?”

     "That’s a question you should ask yourself.” He pauses for a brief moment. "How about some coffee, Monsieur?"

A little stunned by the reply and sudden shift of topic, I nod my head up and down, slowly as if I as the Tin Man in need of some oil. He limps his way to make the coffee. Curious about what the old man had said about me asking myself why I am still here, I ask, " Hey what did you mean by what you said earlier?" No respond. Irritated thinking he was ignoring me I shout, "WHY SHOULD I ASK MYSELF WHY I AM STILL HERE?” Still, the old man pursues making my coffee, leaving me unanswered. A little more agitated, I start to get up and ask again, then a strange sound comes from him. Faint, almost inaudible. It's humming. He's just humming, I think to myself. But as it gets louder, it sounds almost familiar like I've heard it before. Something in me forces me to walk behind the counter. He stays put but now instead of humming, he is singing. No, it...it can't be him though. It sounds like the voice of a little child: a little girl. I'm slowly creeping up on him, heart racing, and then I come to a halt maybe five feet away from the old man.

 

     "Sir, are you ok?” He continues making coffee and singing, back towards me. I inch closer and closer then suddenly the singing ceases and in the little girl’s voice,

 

"I'm cold. Please hold me."

 

Dead silence came. The air is thick. I reach out my arm to turn the old man.

 

"IT HURTS! PLEASE, I’M SO COLD. HOLD ME!

A corpse of a body now grasping my throat and shaking me, repeating the same thing over. Gasping for every breath, I look into this...thing's cold, silver dead eyes. Although it was trying to take my life, the look in those eyes; those poor lifeless eyes. They are telling a story of pain and of love at the same time; a feeling of sorrow struck my body. I start tearing up for a reason unknown to me. I manage to ball up a fist and strike it in the face. The blow knocks it to the floor, lifeless again and leaves me gasping for the air I can now breathe again.

Still recovering from the struggle, I can hear weeping coming from the body now. Every thought in my head tells me to get the hell out of there, but someone else has control of my body at this moment: Instinct. I crawl to the weeping body and cradle it.

"I'm cold. Please hold me.”

”Shhh shhh shhh, no no no. Everything’s going to be okay. You'll see. I'm here for you. I'm not going anywhere".

“Don’t feel sad. Follow the path of God”. Then, a sudden jolt of electricity stuns me. I fall flat on the ground. Another jolt pulses. Everything around me becomes a blur and the walls barely supporting the shop begin to give way. I glance over to the body I once held in my arms and see a little girl dressed in blue.  Debris of what was left of the building falls all around me and then, darkness.

The Path of God: Part 2

 

     I wake up gasping for air like a man being saved from drowning. A million thoughts rush into mind all at once. “Where was I last night? Who was that little girl? Where did I know that song from? Could it have all been just a horrible dream? I mean of course it was. It had to have been. There’s no way that could have been real.”

     I rub my neck where the decaying body had had its rotten hands so firmly wrapped around. My chest burns as if hot coals were just on it. “Don’t feel sad. Follow the path of God. Hmmm.” Even though I know it was just a figment of my imagination going wild, something inside me beckoned.

I start to make my way out of bed when I notice that this isn’t my room. Looking around, I can tell this a hotel room judging by the compactness of everything: bed by a large sliding door that is accompanied by a balcony overseeing the town I’m in, miniature refrigerator with a microwave on top, counter table by the bed with my car keys and an old rotary phone. Not knowing how I got here or why I am, I decided to ask questions at the front desk.

As I exit the room, I look to see the number plaque. It reads “0816”. Walking down the hallway, it appears that there is no one else staying at this hotel. It’s tranquil. No sound of a baby crying for its warm bottle of milk, no passing lodgers off to do their daily routine, not even a maid tending to her cleaning duties. The only sound to pierce this deafening wall of silence was the indistinct echo of music coming from the intercom. I pay it no attention and keep walking to the elevator.

The doors open before I have the chance to press the button. Hesitantly, I examine the chamber for people coming out. Just like the hallway before it, empty. Nothing except the music awaited me. I step inside and was surprised when I noticed this was the eighth floor. Not really the kind of place you’d expect to have more than three floors. I mean, it’s not the worst place one could pick to stay the night at but it definitely isn’t five star material. I push the switch to take me to the first floor. The pulleys jerk as the elevator starts to make its way down the shaft.

It wasn’t even a moment the elevator began descending that it came to an abrupt stop. “Floor 7” the screen read. Maybe it’s just a family going to enjoy their weekend at the beach or a young woman off to meet her business associates and close a long awaited, multimillion dollar deal. The doors unseal themselves to reveal yet another empty hallway, similar to the last. I press the switch to close the door. It’s unresponsive. Continuously tapping the switch, it becomes apparent that the elevator is broke. I step out to search for the stairs when the elevator dings and the doors slam shut. I turn my body around to find the elevator that was once there, a solid brick structure with the words “FOLLOW THE PATH OF GOD” etched in the dark redness of blood.

     In a frantic state, I caress the wall not wanting to believe it’s there. “No. NO! NOOOO!!!!”, now pounding my disbelief into this obstacle. With my back against the wall, I slide down to the ground with my hands covering my face. Am I going insane? “Awfully late for any sane man to be risking his life…” Words that an old man told me in a crazed dream. Maybe I’ve always been insane and am just realizing it.

     “Follow the path of God, Follow the path of God.”  A hysterical laugh forms as I chant this over and over. “How do you expect me to follow the path of someone I don’t believe in?” And in that moment, the last door on the right side of the hallway opens. “Is this ‘The Path' I’m to follow?” sarcastically saying as I get up from the floor. The closer to the room I get, the louder the mixed sound of beeping and crying gets. When I get to the door, I peek inside to see a pregnant woman in her late twenties in a hospital bed.

     “Hello? Miss, are you okay?”

She can’t hear me or doesn’t show any signs she can at least. No sooner I walk in does a gust of cold air rush through my body and the form of a man appears out of thin air.

     “How we feeling today Kate?”

She manages to stop crying and plays it off like it never happened.

     “We’re doing great Dr. Walsh. Sarah’s a little restless today.”

     “Well it is quite a big day for her and you both. Not every day you bring life into this world. Where’s John at, if you don’t mind me asking?”

With every bit of her body, she tries her hardest to keep from tearing up. She pulls her attention away from the doctor and gazes straight at me and says,

     “I don’t know.”

The whole time the conversation is going, I stand overshadowing in the background wondering why it is I need to see this. What’s the importance of this for me? I’ve never seen this woman before in my life.

Without warning, a sheer shriek of pain comes from the woman like that of which I’ve never heard. The doctor calls for nurses to aide her. But it isn’t long after the call is made that the whole room goes pitch black. It’s so dark, it’s almost painful.

The room that once was filled with the sound of screaming dissipates and all that can be heard is my breath and the heart monitor. *beep* *beep* *beep* *beeee--* Still shrouded by darkness, I’m not able to see what happened but anyone can tell you what the sound a never ending line means. Her time has come to an end.

Standing there wandering what this is for, a sense of anxiety enters me. I become sick to my stomach. The long continuous beep is joined in with a chorus of sinister laughter. It’s become so loud I can’t think. My skin begins to crawl as the air around me becomes thick as blood and cold as a winter’s breeze. This can’t be happening. Dead people don’t just spring up and start laughing. In the midst of trying to rationalize the irrational, everything stops. No beeping, no bone chilling laugh, not even the sound of my heart can be heard beating like a steam engine. But even in this purgatory, I still feel a presence. It’s close.

“Wake up.”

And at that moment, the entire room was drenched in a coat of blood as a whirlwind of a laughter, sadness and singing came from a now fleshless butchered woman chained to bed by IV tubes wrapped around her neck, arms and legs and impaling the cadaver. Machines being flung across like ragdolls and the bed standing straight up puts me in shock. I can’t move. The sight of the woman is too grotesque to bare. I shut my eyes trying to remove to horrid image from my mind until a sharp pain pierces my limbs. I’m dragged forward to face what I don’t want to see.

“LOOK AT ME!”

Her jaw hangs detached to the left side, only one eye remains in socket staring death into mine. There’s little patches of hair on top of a skull that is cracked. Her face is a mixture of pale white bone and clumps of rotting flesh. But that was a pleasure to look at compared to what lied below. Her once pregnant stomach gutted open, pouring a waterfall of bowels and blood.

“What do you want from me?”

“I want you to feel my pain! The pain of being betrayed! The pain of losing everything! The pain of remembering! The pain of dying alone!”

“I don’t know what you mean. I’ve never seen you before today. Whoever it is that hurt you, I am truly sorry but it has nothing to do with me.”

“Forgive and forget, live with regret. When the heart lies, it’s the soul that dies. Let’s see what your heart is lying about.”

And in that instant, she juts her hand in my chest and rips out my heart. I stare in horror as my life beats in her hand. But something’s wrong. I am still alive. A gaping hole remains in my chest yet I still live. Not sure if I should celebrate or not, I look up to see the woman who has my heart having some sort of seizure. It’s only for a brief second when she lets out a huge exhale of air.

“You have changed. You’re lost and scared. Searching for an unknown cause in an unsteady mind. Follow the path of God and you’ll find what you are looking for. Don’t blame yourself. I forgive you.”

And with great force, she throws me into a void of darkness. It seems like an eternity when a strange gleam of light can be seen. Is this the path of God? The light seen before you reach heaven? It draws closer and closer and closer. I feel a sensation of easiness. I’m ready. *Ding*

The sliding elevator doors open, revealing the first floor.

 

The Path of God: Part 3

 

"What the hell is going on?” I’m in a state of great disbelief, looking at the lobby through the chasm of the elevator. Checking my chest for the hollow crater where my heart had been snatched out, I unbutton my shirt in a frantic scurry. Nothing. Everything was the way it was supposed to be. Everything was normal. How long has it been since I’ve slept? Could the events happening just be a severe side-effect to the lack of a good night’s sleep? My breaths uneven, I’m sweating bullets to the point that the feeling of dehydration kicks in. The bench a few feet out the doors welcome me. I need to sit to sort things out and get my head right. 

     Moments pass as I sit in my bewildered state of mild. I talk to myself as if I’m coaching a high school football team in the locker room during halftime after a terrible first half. “Okay, you are just imagining things. It’s all in your head. There’s no ‘Path’ and there’s no ‘God’. You had a nightmare, woke up frightened, and continued the charades of terror.” I close my eyes, take in a deep breath, and let it out ready to face the world again.

     I walk a determined, inspired walk to the front desk and ring the service bell; the man who followed the sound of that bell left me speechless.

     “Bonjour monsieur. How are we doing today?” The old man! It’s…it’s the old man from my dream! And I don’t mean any generic old man who could be him. No, I mean the liver spots on his scalp, the whiteness of what remains of his hair, the mid-sized mole located on the right cheek, the wrinkles of time weighing down of his face: Everything was identical. There’s a long pause as I just stare at this man.

     “Monsieur?”

     “Yes?” I finally managed to get out. “I’m so sorry. Were you working here last night?”

     “Well of course. How else to you think you got to your room in the state you were in?”

     After hearing this, I laugh. A look of confusion is set on his face.

     “You were the last person I saw last night. I had been drinking obviously and I had this absurd dream with you as a coffee shop waiter on the verge of killing me!” The laughter continued but now the old man joins in.

     “That is quite a dream. The only thing these old bones can kill is time ha ha.”

     “Yeah it gave me quite the scare too. But anyways, did I leave any kind of identification? I seem to be suffering from a mild case of amnesia and can’t for the life of me remember who I am?”

     “No, I don’t believe so. But you did have this grasped in your hands as you passed out.”

He hands me a brochure for a musical play that’s being performed tonight at the local church. Le Chemin de Dieu. A musical? Why would I have a brochure for a musical? Intrigued by this paper, I flip it over to look for a time: 7:30 p.m. I look at my watch, it’s six o’clock now.

     “Where’s this church located?”

     “Straight down this road, take a right on Hope Street, and you can’t miss it. You should make haste. This play is to die for.” 

Turning towards the doors, I see the weather outside is going to get rough and soon. The church is close by so I should get there before it starts to rain. Anxiety sets in along with a sense of wonder as I begin to head to the church determined to figure out the mystery behind the play.

 

I arrive to see a crowd mobbing around this massive white, old generic looking Catholic Church. The inside is surprisingly larger than it looks from the outside. A man in a tuxedo on stage asks for everyone to take a seat. I find a seat somewhere close to the middle of the church; it’s not a great seat but its close enough to hear and see just fine.

The lights dim as the velvet red curtains rise and an adorable young girl wearing a jeweled princess crown with a beautiful blue dress walks center-stage. Tonight is all about her and the story she has to tell. She begins singing.

     It’s the most beautiful sound anyone could ever hear. The emotion in her voice is so real. The story is of a young girl who is trying to get her father to find faith. The mother had died some time long ago. He has damned God and is in a spiraling pit of dangerous habits. Every week, she asks him to go to church with her and every week he denies her of this wish. He blames himself for the death of his wife so he spends his time going to the bars downing the memories with bottles of whiskey while the little girl cries herself to sleep, worried about losing her father too. Toward the end, the little girl gets extremely sick and it turns out she has an incurable type of cancer. In the hospital, she makes one last wish to the father. The very last scene in an attempt to grant her dying wish; the father walks into a church, falls to his knees beneath a statue of Christ and begs for forgiveness and asks that his daughter to still love him after all he did as he mourns the death of his little girl. The statue comes to life after hearing the father’s plea and in the voice of the little girl says “I’ve always loved you daddy”. The curtains fall.

 

     Applause fills the room as the audience, me included, rise from their seats. Everyone starts to leave after an amazing performance. I decide to stay until the traffic was dead. But amongst the crowd is the star of the play. She looks scared as she makes her way toward my direction. I go up to her.

     “Is there something wrong?”

     “I can’t find my daddy. He brought me here but I don’t see him anywhere. He told me he would stay and watch me sing.”

     “I’m sure he’s around here somewhere. I’ll stay with you and help you look for him. He’s probably worried sick looking for you.”

     I wait with this scared little girl as the church now becomes vacant. Where is he? There’s no way he just left without her. What kind of father would do that?

     “He forgot me again.”

     “Hey, how about I take you home huh? I’m sure it’s all just a big mistake.”

Trying to make her feel better, I know damn well there’s no chance in hell it was a ‘mistake’. And I was going to give her father a piece of my mind.

 

     We run to my car because it has finally started raining like I knew it would. I scream, acting a complete fool of myself the whole way trying to get her to join in and see a smile. We get in the vehicle both laughing and soaking wet. I pull out of the parking lot and set out to get this wonderful child back home.

 

     “That was an amazing performance you did back there. You’ve got an amazing voice.”

     “Thank you. Did you know that the play is based on a true story?”

     “Oh really?”

     “Yes. It’s based on you.”

     “Hey now, that’s not funny. You shouldn’t say things like that. Lying is a bad habit to pick up.”

     “But it’s true. Don’t you remember? Or do I not matter to you anymore?”

     I turn my attention toward her only to find where the young girl once sat is an empty seat. I slam on the brakes but the car continues forward. The car, with a mind of its own, accelerates faster and faster. Panicking, I try to keep control of the car as the rain pours even harder making the road impossible to see. Then, a break in the sound of engine and rain there was a whisper.

     “Remember!”----

 

“Hello my name is John and I am an alcoholic.”

The rest of the circle greet me and I take my seat in this chair of change. I am asked to give a brief summary about my life and personality.

     “Well I’m a single father to a wonderful daughter named Sarah. Her mother, Kate, died while giving birth to her and I was left with such a beautiful gift. I didn’t take Kate’s death very well. I’ve spent more time with a bartender than my own daughter and that’s why I’m here. To change that, to change me.”

 

     “Daddy, how come you don’t come with me on Sundays?”

     “Daddy, I was asked to be in a play at church today. I was wondering if you’d come watch.”

“Daddy?” ----

 

     My chest tightens to the point I can hardly take in breathes normally. Back in the passenger seat is the little girl, no my daughter, my little Sarah. I immediately break down. She looks at me.

     “Daddy, why are you crying? Don’t you know this is just a dream?”

     A bright light hits the car from the side sending us tumbling in a pit of broken glass and sharp metal. I’m disoriented laying in the pouring rain bleeding. Where’s Sarah? I fight to stand up, stumbling along the way. Screaming her name, I finally hear her crying a few feet away. I run to her. A river of red flowing onto the dampened streets of the night. I pick her up in my arms, cradling her like I did when she was born.

     “Sarah speak to me baby.”

     “Daddy…I’m cold. Please hold me.”

     “Shhh shhh shhh. No no no. Everything’s going to be okay. You’ll see. I’m here for you. I’m not going anywhere. I’m never going to leave you again, I promise.

     “Don’t be sad Daddy. It’s my time. You’ve done everything you could for me. Just promise that you’ll follow the path of God.”

     “I promise love. I promise.”

A jolt of electricity sends me flat the ground. Everything is becoming a blur. “Clear!” Another shock goes rushing through my body. The last thing I see is that little girl in blue.

 

     I lived the life a depressed drunk who neglected his only daughter for many years until I realized what I was giving up. Finally, I went to seek help, to hopefully redeem myself a worthy father to a girl who deserved a far better one than I could ever hope to be. She cured me, gave me something to fight for. But one night I was picking her up from play practice, it was raining very heavily and there was a drunk driver. He didn’t see the red light at the intersection. That night I held my whole world in my arms as she died in them. After losing both people I loved, I went off the path and started drinking even more than before. Then one day, I lost all control. I went to a hotel, decided to put an end to it all. Fortunately, I worried the poor old man running the front desk enough that he checked up on me and saved my life.

     I made a promise to a little girl one time and today, I fulfill that promise. I stand outside the doors leading to the church Sarah had went to so long ago. I push them open and enter. I walk down the aisle, this path of God, and approach a statue of Christ nailed to the cross. I fall to my knees and ask him to forgive me and pray that Sarah still loves me for all that I had done. I feel a strange warmth. I look up and in the voice of Sarah, the Christ statue says

     “I’ve always loved you Daddy”

 

 


© 2015 misfit_joker



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misfit_joker
Uploaded this before but I have went back and changed a couple of things. Please read and comment your thoughts. Thank you!

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Very very nice, utterly gripping too.
Calgar

Posted 2 Years Ago



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Added on March 8, 2015
Last Updated on March 8, 2015
Tags: short stories, mysterious, death, tragedy, ghost, thriller, amnesia, internal conflict

Author

misfit_joker
misfit_joker

Pontotoc, MS



About
I simply want to share a little bit of my world and bring it to yours. I do not believe in sticking with one general genre of writing because it limits the possibilities. Please enjoy more..

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A Chapter by misfit_joker


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A Chapter by misfit_joker





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