JonahA Story by ZekkieSpencer
Jonah floats down the river, heart filled will sorrow and paralyzed by an unseen force. Having the time to recollect on his life, Jonah discovers that maybe life isn't as bad as he thought.
He had come to the surface facing down in the stream; in a moment the visible world seemed to wheel slowly around his floating body. No, Jonah was not dead; merely stuck in a suspended state, observing the sensation of floating like a corpse upon the black water.
How Jonah came to be in such a state was rather curious. In fact, Jonah himself didn’t quite understand the arithmetic behind it. He just knew it had happened to be a random act of God.
Of course, it was rather odd to see a still body floating down a sluggish river in the dark of the night. It was rather odd to see the body twitch every now and again. Odd as it was, it didn’t stop the bystanders standing wondrously as Jonah passed under the old stone bridge that they huddled on top of.
Jonah found, in his suspended state, that he no longer felt the urge to breathe. Relieved of this mindless task, and of his new found freedom, he began to observe the darkness and weeds greeting the man cautiously, a stranger in their realm.
Jonah felt himself bump into the rocks jutting up out of the water, getting neatly lodged, pausing his journey down the river. Instead of getting furious at his delay, he found it rather amusing.
As he was still under a suspended state, Jonah was still unable to move to get himself unstuck, and, as the current swelled around him, felt his limbs get tugged and pulled every which way. Taking advantage of his momentary pause, he began to reminisce about his past life.
Jonah of late was not a happy man. His heart was heavy with the lead of sorrow, and frequently amused himself of talk that to others appeared nonsensical. He was placed in a home, not a nursing home; as he wasn’t quite old enough for that, but rather a home that was for those that society had claimed gone mad. They found Jonah dangerous to himself and those around him, and his young wife, once full of spirit, had bid him adieu as the carriage wheeled him out.
Jonah did not believe that he babbled. Oh on the contrary, he believed every word he spoke. He himself began to appreciate life and the things that crawled around on the Earth, save for himself. Jonah could not find that he fit in any of the equations that formed the peaceful world. He was just too heavy for it.
Of course, floating on the river, it did not appear that Jonah was too heavy. The thought cheered the man up slightly, knowing that he wasn’t too large, and that water, the flimsiest substance, was able to hold his weight and carry his heavy heart down this darkened river.
He felt himself lighten a bit, upon this revelation, and his body moved again, beginning to float once more down the inky river.
As Jonah floated, heart slightly lighter, he found himself able to move the smallest digit of his left hand. Yes, Jonah was happy that he was slowly regaining control of his body, but it left him confused as to why. Was it his revelation? Was it just the passage of time? Jonah did not know the answer, but he was willing to bet that it wasn’t just some random and unnecessary event.
Just as Jonah rounded a bend in the river, bumping mildly at the sides, the land around him got very dark. One would think that at midnight, the sky and the air would already be dark, but before Jonah was able to see by the light of the moon and the stars. Now, it seemed like Jonah was surrounded by nothing but a thick velvet cloak.
Jonah floated silently, gazing into the darkness that surrounded him. It was eerily familiar, this darkness. Oh! how Jonah was sure that before this darkness had followed him before, clouding the thoughts and feelings for a few decades. How even still, in his tranquil journey, the darkness continued to follow him. Jonah, having realized that the journey down the river was unique, figured this was another of his problems that the universe and, by extension, God wanted to solve.
But how does a man like Jonah figure out how to escape out of the smothering darkness and into a light that he can see by? So many people he knew traveled by way of the light, traveled through life with only the brightest attitude. One such person, if Jonah remembered correctly, was his lovely young wife that cried her poor little heart out after he was taken to the home in the horse-drawn carriage.
Instantly he felt better, and as he whistled, realized that his melody, echoed in the darkness around him. But the echoes were all wrong. It wasn’t his own, choppy, tuneless whistle. Rather, it was, instead, the song of the birds he remembered from back home. He was struck by a sweet kind of melancholy, homesick for the first time in months. It gave him something to look forward to. To appreciate what he was and the life that was around him, especially of other people.
He smiled. He was content with himself. No longer was he feeling heavy with his sorrows, as he had no sorrows. The river had washed them away, and the water held him up when he thought it would just let him drown. He no longer felt that the darkness consumed him, as when he did find himself in the dark, he knew that everything was still there. He appreciated the little things that the darkness had hid, especially his little woman and the birdsong she loved so much.
Jonah raised his arms up and tucked them underneath his head subconsciously, then, realizing what he was doing, nearly yelped out in surprise. He was able to move. Carefully he tried to set his feet down onto the floor, meeting the muck on the bottom with his bare toes.
He quietly climbed back to land and walked up a cobblestone path following the river. Not far from his place on the path he spotted a slight figure walking slowly away from him. Recognizing the hat she wore, he ran up to the lady, tapping her shoulder to turn her around.
The woman, small and slight as she was, turned around and gasped at Jonah, who stood, a few heads taller then she was. Tears brimmed in her eyed and she flung her arms around his waist.
Wordlessly, Jonah wrapped his arms around his wife, stroking her hair soothingly. She sobbed heavily in his chest, having seen her husband, not even a gray hair on his dark head, floating still in the river not so long ago. She had thought him dead, the craziness that drove him into the darkness finally convinced him to take his life.
But now, as she felt his arm wrap around her, and his hand gently stoking her, she felt that there was something different about her husband. He wasn’t troubled. He wasn’t crazy with his thoughts. He was content and at peace with himself, and she sensed that the change that happened on the river had made her husband a new human being. It cheered her, and she was proud that he had finally found his way.
Jonah knew his wife could feel the change in his heart. He himself felt the change, and it made him elated. He pulled back and grabbed his wife’s hand tenderly in his own. His wife stood next to him, and together the pair walked down the cobblestone path, Jonah whistling her favorite birdsong, and his wife happily holding on.
© 2012 ZekkieSpencer
Honey Brook, PA
AboutI'm just an average teen, strike that, no I'm not. I'm told my mind in like a book, a library, but unfortunately, it seems like my library could use the Dewy Decimal System. I spend alot of my time re.. more..