Chapter Four

Chapter Four

A Chapter by Jooolie

Early One Morning

       A sudden splash echoed among the surrounding run-down buildings as his shoes met a small puddle in the alley’s walkway. The sound was closely followed by a shrill whistle of “Early One Morning,” which pierced the air and soared through every open window and door. He paused at the end of the street. He only had a few blocks left, but would have to walk on main roads for the remaining time. The man pulled the collar of his pea coat farther up on his neck, a gesture he considered to be a common courtesy to the passing crowds. He had grown accustomed to stares over recent years; the dark scar that spread from his right cheek to his neck could hardly be discreet, he figured. The current fall night was no exception. As a small group of men and women staggered out of a nearby bar, the same common-and anticipated- look of shock crossed their faces. The man shrugged away every glance and nodded with a quiet grin that spread across the left side of his face, then returned his gaze to the sidewalk.
He had never been the average person before. Most found his dry, cynical sense of humor and distant personality to be unwelcoming; “like he was constantly watching everyone around him, studying them as if they were an experiment,” an acquaintance had once explained. He never cared, and the new addition to his appearance almost comforted him. It made him feel that now, at least the rest of the city had a reason to judge him.
The dark windows of passing apartments occasionally lit up as he approached the gate. At the large opening, a frail and dark-haired girl stood waiting for him. With an abrupt nod, he passed by her. The small girl stayed behind, glaring intently out at the streets for any followers. He glanced down at his watch; it was nearing four o’clock. He peered to both of his sides before slipping through the gate and onto the grass of Central Park. He paused a moment in the fading moonlight to gaze up at the early morning sky, a rare instance to see clearly in the center of the city. After letting his piercing blue eyes drift shut briefly, he regained his bearings and took a step further into the park. As he walked, he shivered slightly at a bite of wind. He had felt chilled for most of the night, though it was relatively warm; an odd sense, he thought as he shoved his hands deep into his pockets. 
Brooding was never a specialty of his, but he could not help feeling troubled when he started his usual walk through the park. As he tried to enjoy the quiet peace the area usually gave him, he felt a dark shadow looming over him. He knew it was particularly caused by an article he had read a few short hours before, when the morning papers were just being set out. The name, James Slayter, had grown familiar to him. He had seen many a campaign advertisement for the senatorial chair-hopeful two years earlier. Though he had, at first, failed to look too far into the politician, the name had now become foreboding.
His strange feeling was forgotten as he came upon the spot, only a short distance from the outer perimeter of the park. He knelt down and ran his fingers through the overgrown grass. He grinned when he spotted the small rose bush he had started two years earlier. It was growing to near maturity, wilted as it currently was in the upcoming winter. 
He knew the fire had not been an accident. The memory remained vivid in his mind, and he was constantly reminded of it when he was forced to pass his abandoned building on the walk every night. The charred remains of the foundation had not been entirely cleared; the ground was not scheduled to be broken until the next year, he recalled reading. He touched his face. Some days, he wished he had never gotten out of the building in time. It seemed more right than how he lived now. As the years went by, he could still remember finding his brother, already scarred from the fire’s burns, being finished off by a group of half a dozen strangers with no explanation. During the initial shock, he had failed to notice the right side of his own face burning.
For two years, he had been forced to visit a grave beneath a small tree in Central Park each evening. He reached out to touch one of the sulking roses. As it made contact with his fingers, a single petal fell to the ground and landed among a pile of the shading tree’s leaves.

© 2010 Jooolie

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I agree with Katie. The new add of the tortured soul character brings much more mystery to the book and I look forward to more chapters with him in it.

Posted 13 Years Ago

How very dark. I thouroughly enjoy this new mystery character. I'm not sure what else to say about this chapter actually. Its fantastically written, but that seems to be true about all of them. This adds a whole new level of intrigue to the story. Excellent chapter

Posted 13 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on September 19, 2010
Last Updated on November 9, 2010



The city with the water tower, IA

I'm a sophomore in Journalism/Mass Communication and in the process of some sweet novel-writing. I thoroughly enjoy show tunes and I don't care who knows. I really like reading short stories an.. more..

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