On The Edge of Darkness: Act 3 - Nothing Gold Can Stay

On The Edge of Darkness: Act 3 - Nothing Gold Can Stay

A Story by Dr. Robert
"

The time has come, the truth will be revealed.

"
ACT III
NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY


“It is a fact that cannot be denied: the wickedness of others becomes our own wickedness because it kindles something evil in our own hearts.” A wiser man than I once said that but that was long ago, long before I was born, long before the world passed us by. How does one justify the wicked things we are forced to do to survive? First they called it desperation, now we call it life. We’ve all done wicked things, some ask for forgiveness, some write about it, some bury it deep in their hearts and some revel in it. We have fought for so long not to become what we all fear - heartless. We’re standing on the edge of darkness and for once I think we all realize that we gave each other the strength to pull through.

    If we become but a memory. Let it be a good one.


    I couldn’t help but notice that my hands were shaking as I shut the tattered notebook. The small fire we had constructed inside a rusted furnace we found did practically nothing to stave off the chill of the basement; nor did the tattered wool blankets we had found and I found Stephanie sitting closer to me than I knew. Gwen sat across from us, huddled in a blanket of her own while Gavin sat at the foot of the steps, back against the icy cement wall, eyes on the door. My eyes met Gwen’s as she looked to me then, then the notebook. “What are you doing?”
    “Keeping a record of everything I’ve been through.”
    “You write? How come I’ve never seen you write in it before.” Stephanie perked up as her eyes fell onto my notebook as well.
    “Can I read it?” Gwen asked, hugging her blanket tighter around her. I found myself grabbing my backpack which laid next to me and shoving the book inside.
    “I don’t let anyone read it. It’s personal.” I quietly replied.
    “How long have you been writing?” Stephanie inquired, almost suspiciously. Frankly, I couldn’t recall the moment I began writing in that damn notebook - months, years, who knew. Frankly I only wrote in it when I had s**t on my mind. Right now was one of those times. I simply shrugged in response. I could tell they weren’t going to press the issue and I watched Gwen climb up and make her way into the darkness towards Gavin.
    “Does it have something to do with the misfire?” Stephanie whispered to me as she laid her head onto my shoulder, her warm arms wrapping around me. She was the only person I had told about that horrible night. A night when a man had lost all hope and put a gun to his head but it had misfired. She didn’t have to read to far into it to realize I was that man. “Yeah.” I muttered.
    My eyes drifted to Gavin who remained still as Gwen wrapped her arms around him and pulled the blanket over him. I couldn’t help but be a little amazed as she kissed his cheek and Gavin smiled softly and ran his fingers through her hair. For such a cold man, it seems someone had the power to get through to him.
    “It really is amazing,” Stephanie muttered to me and suddenly I realized she was watching the two as well. “Even the most distant people can still feel compassion. Makes you think maybe everyone is capable of redemption.”
    “I don’t want to think about it.”
    “I don’t either.” She spoke as we drifted off to sleep against one another.

    A loud cry awoke us from our sleep and I snapped around, grabbing the handgun I kept at my side. In the spur of the moment, both Stephanie and I were standing, my fingers gripping the weapon; but it wasn’t a cry of terror, it was a cry of panic. Gwen raced around the basement, screaming for Gavin but nobody answered. Had the fool left by himself?!
    I found myself running up the stairs and pushing at the door - no good. The handle failed to turn and I found myself slamming my body into the door but it budged not an inch. I heard Stephanie downstairs as she comforted Gwen. She had awoken before us and discovered Gavin was missing. I slammed my body against the door and felt pain course through my side - F**K!
    “He was here last night Steph! He’s gone! He couldn’t have gone out on his own! We have to go after him!” Gwen sobbed at the base of the steps.
    “It’s no good, the door won’t open.” I muttered before stumbling back down the steps. Gwen was irate and it took both of us to calm her down and assure her that Gavin didn’t leave us. We all found a spot next to the furnace and I watched as Gwen and Stephanie fell asleep. This wasn’t good. Gavin was gone and we were locked down here. If there was ever a time we needed a little divine intervention, it was now. With a heavy sigh, I laid back and closed my eyes.

Click.
BANG!

    It was a gunshot that awoke us this time and suddenly I was the one in a panic. My eyes darted around the room as I instinctively reached for my handgun and felt my heart sink when I grabbed nothing but air. The fire had died out and Stephanie was on her feet and running towards the collapsed figure in the corner of the room, crimson sprayed on the wall behind. Stephanie let out a blood curdling scream and suddenly I realized it was Gwen. My gun laid at her side, my notebook in her hand.
    “GWEN NO!! GOD NO!” Stephanie cried out, hugging her limp body, oblivious to the blood that soaked onto her. I had to turn away and take a deep breath. Why did I have a sudden urge of déjà vu? It shook me to the core harder than seeing Gwen’s motionless body.
    Stephanie stopped crying as he eyes caught something - my journal. I looked back to her and called out but something had taken a hold of her. Was it my writing? What could have driven Gwen to suicide in my journal??! A wave of confusion, then terror set in when I watched Stephanie pick up my journal and the gun. Her eyes locked on the pages.
    “What is this? What is THIS?!” She snapped to me as I moved closer to her. With a snap, she had the gun pointed at me and my hands raised up.
    “What are you talking about? It’s just my journal. Steph, put the gun down for Christ’s sake.” I muttered, oblivious to what she was actually reading.
    “This is all your fault. All of it! You’re the reason we’re here!” She shouted.
    “God d****t Stephanie! I don’t know what you’re talking about! It’s just my journal!” I cried out.
    “I f*****g loved you Cameron! I would have done anything for you! How could you!” She had begun to cry again, dropping the journal and holding the gun in shaking hands.
    “I didn’t do anything! Listen to me!”
    “I’m so sorry. God forgive me…” And with that she pulled the trigger and time froze. I should have died right there but instead I heard something completely different. A simple click. The gun had misfired and by the time I realized it, she was pulling the action back and releasing the round onto the floor. I had to move quick. I moved with a speed and strength I never knew, closing the distance between us, I lunged at the gun.
    Stephanie cried out as we struggled for control of the gun and I found myself slamming her against the wall. This time, the gun did fire. I watched as her head snapped back as the round hit her in the jaw and exited out of the top of her forehead. In a glorious spray of blood, she fell back against the wall and I cried out. I had just killed the woman I loved.
    I found myself collapsing against the ground with her as tears rolled down my face. I sat there for the longest minute sobbing to myself. How could I have done this? Why did it come down to this? Why me?! WHY?!
    “Cameron.” A familiar voice muttered from the bottom of the steps and I looked over to see Gavin. He simply nodded to me and marched up the steps. I grabbed the gun and journal and quickly followed suit, noticing the door upstairs was open. I needed to get out. I needed to get away from it all. All my friends were dead and gone except Gavin. At the top of the steps, Gavin was gone and a brilliant light shined through the doorway, obscuring all vision of the world beyond. I didn’t care anymore. I charged up the step and into the light.

Welcome back, Cameron.

    My eyes had adjusted to the light and I realized I was no longer in the old house I knew so well. I stood in a beautiful forest meadow. Immaculate hues of brown painted the autumn forest and leaves fell around me as the cool breeze licked at my skin. In the distance, I could see Gavin approach me.
    “Gavin, what is this place? What is going on??” I spoke to him as I took the reality of the situation in. How did I get here? Where exactly was here?
    “Welcome home, Cameron. It’s been a long time.” He smiled to me. He wore a immaculately tailored black suit and tie - unbecoming of a man so cold.
    “What do you mean it’s been a long time? Where is everyone else? Where is Stephanie?”
    “They’re gone. But you can see them if you like. The decision is yours.” Gavin reached out to me and in his hand he held my old black notebook. “It’s time to decide.”
    I grabbed the notebook and looked down at the cover. When my eyes darted back to Gavin, he was gone. I was alone once more. Still, I couldn’t help but feel the gravity of the situation weighing down on me. I slowly opened the notebook and read through it. Gone were the words I wrote, my experiences with my friends. Only the journal entries of my exploits from Dallas to Ohio.
    I collapsed to the ground, dropping the notebook as the sinking feeling in my heart grew too much for me to hold back. It was in that moment that I realized what happened and what was going to happen. Funny though, I didn’t feel pain or sorrow or regret - only a heightened sense of things. My eyes darted up and I was no long in that beautiful field. I was sitting alone in a house that was once so familiar. This was the place I was suppose to die.
    Gavin sat across from me in the dark, decaying house. With sharp movements, he pulled a shiny cigarette holder from his pocket and pulled a single smoke out. A second later, he produced a lighter. The flame flickered brightly throughout the dim room as plumes of smoke escaped his lips. I looked down and in my hand a handgun was clenched.
    “This was the world you made for yourself, Cam. It was nice but it wasn’t yours.” Gavin spoke as he puffed on his cigarette, the thick smell of smoke filling the air around us. “Do you remember your journey? Do you remember the leader of the gang you aspired to be - charismatic, confident, larger than life.”
    “Yes…”
    “Do you remember the day your innocence died with that young girl in Tulsa? How your and your friends raped and beat her until she took her own life.” Gavin had pushed himself up from the chair and now walked slowly around the room, seemingly lost in himself as he continued. “Do you remember the body you found in Springfield? The girl clutching the bible and rosary. The girl that reminded you of someone you lost long ago. A girl you once loved. Do you remember the day your humor died in Chicago? When you shot that man because of a bad joke.”
    “What about you, where do you fit into all of this Gavin?” I coldly asked as I clicked the hammer of the gun back.
    “Me?” He laughed before turning back to me. “I’m all that was lefts of you after the rest of you died on the road. Right now, you’re about to choose and whatever you choose, just know that we did what we had to do, to survive.”

    It was true. This world had turned hard men cold. We did things we never thought we could do and we called it survival. Somewhere between Heaven and Hell, that’s we’re we found ourselves - forever swaying back and forth until we made that ultimate decision. I put the gun to my head and closed my eyes and thought of the world I longed for. A world where I was still a good person. I was to become just an memory.

© 2010 Dr. Robert


Author's Note

Dr. Robert
1st Draft. I had the ending already planned out but opted to go for the more artsy, mindfuck, psychological thriller ending in the spirit of making the ending a little different. Depending on how much time I got, I will post the original ending I had intended to use before I thought up this one.

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Featured Review

It's hard to get a hold of this first draft. Each paragraph moves at the speed of light and switches abruptly. It's a broad stroke sketch for sure, but I'd like to know more about the surroundings, cerebral or otherwise. You tie it up neatly at the end, yet the path getting there was vague, due to the abrupt sequential sketches. Strong characters, strong dialogue, but where is it all happening? If all in the mind of the narrator, then there needs to be more reference to that reality interspersed throughout. sometimes a little vagueness can go a long way, don't let it go too far and then tie it up with a pretty bow at the end. I guess I'm just picky that way.
write more, get the ideas out and down, use all your senses, not just psychology. Death and violence is just death and violence, it's gotten too much sensational attention. What happens before, during and after is life, much more interesting, much more tangible. Keep writing, you've got lots to say.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

It's hard to get a hold of this first draft. Each paragraph moves at the speed of light and switches abruptly. It's a broad stroke sketch for sure, but I'd like to know more about the surroundings, cerebral or otherwise. You tie it up neatly at the end, yet the path getting there was vague, due to the abrupt sequential sketches. Strong characters, strong dialogue, but where is it all happening? If all in the mind of the narrator, then there needs to be more reference to that reality interspersed throughout. sometimes a little vagueness can go a long way, don't let it go too far and then tie it up with a pretty bow at the end. I guess I'm just picky that way.
write more, get the ideas out and down, use all your senses, not just psychology. Death and violence is just death and violence, it's gotten too much sensational attention. What happens before, during and after is life, much more interesting, much more tangible. Keep writing, you've got lots to say.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I'm going to review this, just not yet. I saw it in my requests and went, "Damnit!" Decided to give it a half-assed skimming then pretend I never read it, but once I started I couldn't stop. My skimming became a full blown reading. I got sucked in to the damn story! So it was good and I shall reread and review it when I'm more awake and can give it my full attention.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on December 17, 2010
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Dr. Robert
Dr. Robert

Kalamazoo, MI



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