Chapter 1

Chapter 1

A Chapter by misfit_joker

 

           

            Gasping for air as if he’d been shoved in a pool by surprise and finally broke the surface, John finds himself right where he last remembered: having a close encounter "borderline making out and groping- with the bare, soggy concrete behind some desolate alleyway. But something is wrong. There is a blanket of fog over his mind, making it difficult recollecting the events that happened after the infuriated pitching of alcohol bottles and the drunken tango to the alley itself; clear symptoms of what medical professionals would call a “blackout”.

            How long have I been out for?

 He looks intently at the wall just mere feet in front of him as if it would have the answer he’s looking for. However long it has been, it cannot have been that long considering the sky is just as jet black, starless, and dismal as he’d remembered it being when his mid-night, one-man drinking games began.

            Placing both hands flat against scattered pieces of rock and tiny clumps of mud, John exhales a loud, unpleasant grunt as he barely manages to push himself up off the ground with his arms trembling like two frightened puppies enduring their first thunderstorm. Gently, he transfers the excess grim on his hands to his already stain-spotted pair of blue jeans. “You’d think by now I’d know my own limit,” speaking to himself softly while simultaneously cracking every bone in his body that would allow itself to be cracked. The stiffness he suffers from comes mostly due to 1.His age (39); 2. What he’d spent six years of his youth doing (Marine Corps Rifleman with two combat tours to Iraq); and 3. The place his motionless body remained (concrete) for who knows how long (unknown).

            His legs, still a little weak and shaky, start to move the rest of his body forward. The pounding in his head is relentlessly sharp. As he exits the abyss that was the alley, John quickly guards his eyes from the beams of streetlights now attacking his over-sensitive eyes. “Damn it,” he says in a calm, but annoyed manner. “I need some coffee to get rid of this damned hangover.” Not even half a second after speaking, a resounding clanging of metal bins getting knocked over came echoing from the alleyway.

 Probably raccoons scavenging for some food.

 He keeps steady, paying no mind to the ominous, mischievous dumpster divers, moving onward to find a store or a coffee shop or a store with a coffee shop.

            Now it doesn’t catch his attention until just recently, considering he’s been nearly blinded from the streetlights and all, but John starts to look around him in a circular motion.

 “Where are all the buildings?”

 The entire scene that encompasses him is a canvas of drooling, misty black and specks of yellow. It is as if everything that exists lies from sidewalk to sidewalk; anything beyond fades into nothingness.

What’s going on? Where’s the town? Where’s the bar I was just drinking at earlier? Where am I?

He falls straight to the ground, this time in shear disbelief, a*s-first with both legs crossing one another.

            Moments pass as John sits there in his bewilderment trying to fathom his current situation.

Am I still passed out? Maybe this is just some messed up dream of a drunkard. No, you can’t dream while blacked out…can you?

Suddenly while still pondering possible answers, a moist sensation begins to grasp his attention. “Great,” sarcastically, “Rain. At least I have an answer now.” He says this assuredly, almost matter-of-factly, because the drops feel real; more so of the reason that he can feel them at all.

 You can’t feel such things in dreams.

He convinces himself now that he definitely is not passed out; he is not hallucinating; he is not dreaming. But still, one thing eludes him.

 “What in the hell is going on?”

            A streetlight hangs directly over John acting as a guardian angel, rejecting any darkness within a five meter diameter. He looks at his hands both trembling; both stained with trails of dark red.

 “F*****g Christ!”

 In a state of panic, his hands bolt to his plain, white cotton t-shirt to cleanse them of this obscenity. But just as skin meets cloth, John’s eyes see that it isn’t just his hands caked with this stain. No, etched in the very fabric that latches to his torso is the same image of red wine-looking trails. Short, fast breaths being emitted from his mouth; his hands steadily shaking uncontrollably like a hypothermia patient; John is on the verge of hyperventilation.

“G-g-got. T-ta. C-c-c-calm-m-m. D-down.”

Trying his best to take his own advice, John breathes in slowly.  

            The rain seems to be gradually picking up speed but it still lacks any ferocity; a slight mist accompanied by the occasional droplet. Off in the distance, some ten feet maybe, a shimmering of light reflecting from the street summons John’s eyes toward its direction.

“A puddle,” hinting excitement, “I can use it to wash this…this…these stains.”

John refrains from saying “blood” because he isn’t positive that it is and he truly wants to believe that it isn’t.

            Picking himself up, heavier from being soaked, John makes his way to the puddle. In between him and salvation from his stains is about twenty feet of pure black. He walks into the darkness placidly and unafraid, willing to do anything to be saved from the blood on his hands.

An eternity of labored steps pass as John finally collapses before his saving grace. Almost immediately after his knees hit the deck, he begins baptizing his hands in the puddle; giant ripples and microscopic waves form with each plunge.

“What have you done got yourself into now, John,” he mutters as if mimicking someone playfully bickering at him.

He lets out a long sigh as he just kneels beside the puddle, motionlessly staring at his swelling reflection.

“You sure have changed. Grey hairs, wrinkles, soulless eyes. Where has the time gone? Where has the old, younger you went?  You’re just a miserable old man with a bottle for a friend.”

His reflection copies every movement, just as one expects a reflection to do; but then after he stops his depressing monologue, it suddenly becomes independent from John; mouthing words that are inaudible.

“What in the world,” flinching slightly, rubbing his eyes thinking them just hazy. He stares now at the reflection but once again, it seems to be mouthing something; though this time it’s pointing with the motion that comes with yelling.

“B-Be,” John says trying to make out what his doppelganger is forewarning, “Hind?” He gasps. BEHIND YOU!

Out from behind John’s reflection emerges a vulgar, atrocious looking fiend that once could have been human. It has the same basic anatomy, but lacks the comfort of actually being of the human race. John doesn’t take the time to have the exact details of the monster imprinted in his mind. He swiftly turns to face it, losing his balance in the process and ending up perched in the puddle. “There’s nothing there,” he whispers with trouble trying to catch his breath before he catches his death. The hideous fiend that had appeared in the puddle was nowhere to be seen. “Have I gone completely mad,” John stammers.

“Nooooooo,” replies the fiend in a prolonged wispy voice now physically behind John.

John bellows out the loudest scream he can muster, jumping to his feet and darting as fast as possible in the opposite direction of this thing, now quite acquainted and very familiarized with a description of what the monster looks like.  

            The body is that of a man but it has been long corroded by the sands of time, leaving behind an exterior shell of rotting flesh. The other more notable features were its mouth and eyes both sewn shut like some horrible macabre, mad scientist experiment gone devastatingly wrong. But what is quite peculiar - well more peculiar than being attacked by a rotting corpse that sprang to life from a puddle just recently- was that where his eyes should be sewn shut was two darkened sockets; hollow like a jack-o-lantern without the candle breathing life to the holes. If given the time, one would say you could see its soul creeping within those sockets. Its mouth was only half sewn due to the right bottom half of the jaw being completely decayed, exposing the canine and molars along with the rest of the jaw extending nearly to the non-existent ear. On top of the head, the skull is mostly bare and gone, leaving just brain matter and few remnants of dried-out brunette hair. Down toward its diaphragm are its arms, also sewn together and attached to the body, resembling that of a patient in a straight-jacket.  But out of all the gruesome, grotesque distinctions, the most horrid had to be the hundreds of syringes and needles piercing the beast in all regions of its decaying body. The needles range in all sizes and seem to have a pattern: smaller needles near the chest, then gradually increasing in size to the arms and shoulders and lastly, massive baseball bat-sized needles penetrating the back.

“F**k. F**k. F**k. F**k,” John chants, swearing as he tries to catch his breath, hoping he still has enough of his youth in him to outsprint the menacing demon.

What the hell is this thing? Why is it after me?

He dares not to look back in fear that it’ll be right on his tail ready to strike at the opportune moment like in cliché horror films with ghouls and ghosts. But this isn’t a horror movie, this isn’t a ghost, and he really can’t tell if this was a typical cliché situation or not. All John cares about at this point in time is escaping the horrible death that seems imminent if he doesn’t keep running.

I don’t know where I’m going but I sure hell am not letting THAT thing catch me.

And just like any light at the end of a gruesomely long tunnel, there is a structure illuminating with shrouding around it that seems the size of an apple in a tree.

That building! I must make it in that building and pray that nothing else can get through.

A task easily thought rather than actually being done it appears. John has been sprinting for his life for, well, a lifetime and the building is no closer to him now than when it first shown in the horizon.

S**t! I’m not gonna make it! I can’t make it!

John’s beginning to breakdown- his legs taking shorter strides, his chest on fire, and worst of all his state of mind deteriorates with ever agonizing push forward. To make matters worse, the rain went from a calm mist to violent downpour. On the other hand, the monster seems unfazed from human characteristics such as fatigue or broken morale caused from the endless chase or the unforgiving rain.  It is relentlessly set on John and closing in with each passing second.

            With his spirit fading like the memory of a man with Alzheimer’s, John shuts his eyes, takes in a deep breath and prepares himself to exert the last remains of his energy and hopes for the best. And as soon as he opened his eyes back up, the glorious sight of the building standing all of a hundred feet greeted him. Never feeling more exuberant than right now, John’s motivation and spirit shoots up ten-fold.

I can do this. I can do this! Almost there!

The door mere feet before him, John looks up for some unknown reason to see a sign on top on the building that read “The Path of Able”.

Reaching out his hand now for the door in what looks like a twisted version of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel masterpiece where John depicted Adam and the door is God. Fully grasping the door, John opens it and enters the building nearly falling over from the exhaustion. He slams the door using his bodyweight as an anchor; putting an end to his torturous nightmare. He turns his body to glance beyond the glass to the world he left behind: the monster had vanished. 




© 2015 misfit_joker



My Review

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Featured Review

I really enjoyed the story, and the premise pulled me in. I went into this cold, not knowing anything about the story, or what genre it was, but enjoyed where it took me.
In particular, I feel that, though he is angst-ridden, John was interesting, and I want to know why he is on a binger, what is haunting him, and how it ties in to where he is at now.

There are a few notes that I had made to help out. I'm not an expert, and have no claim to mastering the art of writing, but am an avid reader, and wanted to pass a few things on.

The tense in the story gets a little confusing at time. I'm not sure if the story is a recollection, real time, or a combination of the two. Tense is tricky, and can cause for serious confusion if you roll back and forth with past and present tense when you try to do a flashback.

Type change: "S**t! I’m not gonna make it! I’m can’t make it!" to "I can’t make it!"

I was a little confused with the wording of a simile that you used: "With his spirit fading like a man with Alzheimer’s memory" - Maybe change this to “a man with Alzheimer’s” or “the memory of a man with Alzheimer’s”

Great job on the story so far. I really look forward to more!

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

misfit_joker

2 Years Ago

Thank you very much for taking the time to leave your feedback. I completely agree with you on the t.. read more
Novakiswriting

2 Years Ago

It was my pleasure. I'll check back now and then for more updates. And I hope you don't take any of .. read more



Reviews

I really enjoyed the story, and the premise pulled me in. I went into this cold, not knowing anything about the story, or what genre it was, but enjoyed where it took me.
In particular, I feel that, though he is angst-ridden, John was interesting, and I want to know why he is on a binger, what is haunting him, and how it ties in to where he is at now.

There are a few notes that I had made to help out. I'm not an expert, and have no claim to mastering the art of writing, but am an avid reader, and wanted to pass a few things on.

The tense in the story gets a little confusing at time. I'm not sure if the story is a recollection, real time, or a combination of the two. Tense is tricky, and can cause for serious confusion if you roll back and forth with past and present tense when you try to do a flashback.

Type change: "S**t! I’m not gonna make it! I’m can’t make it!" to "I can’t make it!"

I was a little confused with the wording of a simile that you used: "With his spirit fading like a man with Alzheimer’s memory" - Maybe change this to “a man with Alzheimer’s” or “the memory of a man with Alzheimer’s”

Great job on the story so far. I really look forward to more!

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

misfit_joker

2 Years Ago

Thank you very much for taking the time to leave your feedback. I completely agree with you on the t.. read more
Novakiswriting

2 Years Ago

It was my pleasure. I'll check back now and then for more updates. And I hope you don't take any of .. read more

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Added on July 25, 2015
Last Updated on December 23, 2015
Tags: the, path, of, god, thriller, horror, fiction, suspense, psychological, rehab, rehabilitation, depression, religion, religious


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..

Writing
Prologue Prologue

A Chapter by misfit_joker


Chapter 2 Chapter 2

A Chapter by misfit_joker


Chapter 3 Chapter 3

A Chapter by misfit_joker