DISCLAIMER: This work DOES contain some strong language and violence in its words. I grant this story a PG rating.
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SIDE NOTE TO EDITORS: Sorry for the big story but its the type of story that needs to be read all at once. Sorry for inconvience.
John J. Nuyen
The hover car zooms by on a night that only brightest of lights could pierce through. The Vercar as they are called among the people zooms in and out of the air space. The Vercar is twisting as if it were fighter jet of the old engine days while avoiding some quick and unseen enemy. Soon the car is gone and I am left with my thoughts of how to spend this, as some would say dreary and dreadful day. To me the luminous darkened gray skyline is that of that of all light and dark, Colorless and dead.
I have lived in this city for countless years, decades, centuries, maybe a millennium as well. I walk the street thinking of those I have meet in the past. From Freddy the lonely old drunk who would always enlighten me to stories of wars that were past and of ones that didn't even exist.
Yes Freddy had been fun but like all others he had passed on. He had buried Freddy in a park just outside of the metropolis making sure the local constables had not been present. Freddy had only left this world with his tales with which would be told a million more times ever changing like that of a kaleidoscope in a small Childs hands. Freddy had died young in years only 87. These days, that was considerably short as most lived to the ripe old age of 243.Genetically splicing had replaced cosmetic surgery as the drug of the rich or those that wanted such.
He had never thought about having such drastic things done to him, as these things would be a waste of both precious resources and the never-ending time. He sat down and sighed, he had so much time on his hands these days he just had run out of any great ideas. He walked around the alley studying the box he had lived in for so long. Another person came to his memory as he sat there. It had been a family well sort of at least. There had been a mother named Jana and her daughter named Detra. Jana's husband had been killed in whatever war that been going on at the time and had found herself homeless when the lacking government at the time couldn't help her.... Wars; now there's a funny thing why did we war with each other only in another decade or two to be allies closer then brother and sister. This was a thought he would wonder for another day or at least a time in the near future. Any rate Jana had been left homeless (which is odd considering the millions of houses on the planet that lay abandoned every day) and was barely keeping her young daughter feed as barely herself. I remember it now more clearly then before my good close friend Freddy had passed on recently though to these people I guess recently means the day before or such but in correct chronological sequence I believe it was three decades.
Well it had been a dreary overcast day much as this had been when the two had entered, Jana ready to cry starving while her daughter a small red headed girl with an over worried look on her face. I wasn't sure what was going on but the rain started then and the others in the alley next to mine went to their huts of refuge if that's what they truly were.
The older woman wrapped a blanket around the younger girl and whispered to her, “Things will be better baby, I promise."
Something in me clicked and I motioned for them to come into Fred and my box. The thought hit me then: was this really Fred's box anymore? The thought was put to rest when I decided that Fred's passing was good enough to exempt him from any ownership whatsoever of the box and remaining property. The two now-wet refugees slowly moved to my box that over the years both Fred and I had reinforced with straw, waterproof plastic covering and even a makeshift fire pit while adding three huge boxes which freed had mentioned must of have contained piano's. He had laughed for hours at a joke that had left me more then a little confused.
I went inside and returned to see a shocked face when they noticed just how big the dwelling really was. I motioned them into the main area that contained the firepot and started a fire with a lighter I had obtained from someone else long before Freddy.
The fire was warm and the two women slowly lowered their guard's daughter first then mother. I crawled into the backroom and brought back a huge quilt that Freddy had proudly pointed out that he had earned in the Army. Again what was with fighting wars? The two women had taken it and I went and retrieved food from the corner vendor store. The vendor at the corner had switched at least forty times in two hundred years. But each time the owner always seemed to remember me. I guess I should be grateful and happy but to do such a thing was beyond my comprehension. I returned with the food and handed it to them.
”I have no money”, said the older woman. “I can't...”
I waved her explanation away as if her words were as light as a feather in an autumn wind. She then began to unbutton her top, at which I was perplexed at such an unknown move on her part. She whimpered, please just let my daughter not see this. I put my hand on hers and she stopped with tears streaming down her cheeks.
“I have no idea what you are thinking my dear but if its what I think please be thoughtful in that I do this only out of kindness not out longing for sexual longing.”
She stopped and began to cry. I remembered several females once long ago that I had to wrap an arm around and comfort. I did so now with Jana. The daughter Detra moved closer as well. For the rest of that dark, dreary, rainy night I held the mother and daughter in an embrace even, long after they had fallen asleep with me still holding them.
When I awoke the next morning the two girls were sleeping and I gently shook awake the older of the two. She murmured from the distance as if the dream she were in was a current event and she was eternally trapped within its grips as a damned soul forced to wonder in hell.
“Please Kev, I have a bad feeling. If you reenlist, please don't go back to the desert.”
Then she had let out a blood-curling scream as my hand shook her awake the second time. She screamed staring into the rain-slicked alley.
"NO HE CAN'T BE!"
She quickly looked around noticing me and all of a sudden she was the shy and scared woman from last night. I smiled and begged her to have some water. She took a cup and I filled her water up, which at this time her small daughter had also woke up.
The young woman looked to her mother and said as if it were a commonplace question, “Mom was it about daddy again?”
The small girl looked frightened and courageous all at once. I watched her and saw that these two women had derived strength from each other. I watched as the daughter and mother seemed to grow stronger in that very minute. Then they separated and the mother introduced herself as Jana and her daughter Detra. She explained to me how thankful she was for my help last night and one day she would repay me for the kindness I had showed. I waved these things off again as if it were not a problem as it was not really a problem at all. If he had been alive Freddy would have done this same deed of semi-heroism. To me I was doing as I had always learned and so forth. Jana smiled and looked at the empty dishes and cups and began straightening our dwelling. Within minutes the fire pit room was cleaned not that there was much to clean in it.
For the next few months I learned and taught in the same day. I learned more about that which surrounded me but yet gave yielding answers the world. While I taught, small Detra who was growing at an alarming rate about scholar's skills The nights were spent with me telling stories of people and creatures I had meet and lived with. I left Freddy for last as Freddy had always been a good friend, When I came to talking about Freddy I felt a twang in my side. I was told later on this was sadness but then I knew nothing of such and passed it as growing pains. The two women lived with me until one day Jana came bustling in to our humble abode smiling and gave me an embrace that threatened to cut off my air supply.
“Oh I just found me a job and because of your help my daughter and I are moving into the high rises downtown.”
I was lost I admit about high rises then I remembered the buildings against the skyline. I asked her about it and she smiled, and said that the government had made a large error on the death insurance policy and Jana and Detra were supposed to be given a cool four million if in case of death. The government which I forget its name as this was the second one in two hundred years paid it to her and the next week she and Detra were gone from my life.
I was deeply saddened until one day a huge Onyx Vercar blacker then the alley for which I lived in arrived at the end of the alley entrance. Two women exited the Vercar and approached my humble and now fully replaced and fixed dwelling. I didn't recognize either till the eldest spoke and the voice dawned recognition.
“Jana what a pleasure it is to see you and this young woman must be Detra?”
I tried to remember how many days it had been since I had seen either women excuse me mother and young daughter. I finally figured it out before I spoke again, It had been roughly 4015 days but before I could figure out how many years that was Jana wrapped her arms around me and I smelled the overwhelming smell of perfume. Detra also ran forward and hugged me. Jana smiled and looked at me and I all at once knew she no longer suffered the nightmares of her late husband. Then I also saw a ring on the finger that Freddy or was it someone else had said meant that person was married.
Jana looked at me and asked, “How come you never came with us when we got our lives together?”
I sat for a second or two then answered as best as I could think to. “I like my home,” was all I could say in reply.
She smiled and hugged me and handed me a container that I recognized as a briefcase. A finely Scale skinned briefcase she noticed my somewhat perplexed look and interjected, “Open it silly”.
I did. I was over-come by a smell of fresh printed bills. And when I saw better into the case I noticed that it was a foot thick deep with bills. Jana smiled sadly as did (young?) Detra.
Jana finally spoke, “You are such a kind man to have shown us hospitality like this. I just wish you had been around before I had meet Derrick! Oh you would like Derrick but I am moving with my husband to the Aries system to start over.”
The rest of the conversation had been meaningless so I had forgotten it. I remember one day in the not too distant future from then a man wearing rags like I showed me a paper that showed a very much Older Detra standing next to a tombstone/golden statue of her mother. I had read the Caption underneath and once again had felt that pang of guilt in my side. The caption had read, and I claim this New Providence in the name of freedom, my Mother Jana and the kind man on Terra whom in his heart showed a kindness that was greater then all mankind. The caption ended there and I put the article in the briefcase that had been given to me from the now deceased Jana? I took out a single bill and handed it to the messenger in rags.
The man whom must have been at least 145 looked at me strange and said, “Mister this here is a 10000 dollar bill and if I was dishonest I wouldn't tell ya about it but well I am so here you keep it.”
After some haggling in which I was the great winner of the contest the messenger thanked me profusely and walked out of the alley and I never saw the strange man again.
The days went by, and then month's years that knows what time it was when my next visitor showed up in my alley of gray. This man had the aura of a man who knew power and wanted it for himself. I felt a very certain dislike for this man. The man walked over to my dwelling peered in as I sat by my fire pit.
“Hey you I heard you got money wanna share?”
The man smelled of booze with its smell of decay and disease. He started to stagger in when I jumped up so fast the man fell backwards onto the street. The man slowly pulled himself up and pulled what looked like a wicked piece of metal that screamed of rusty blades. I quickly grabbed the man, as he lunged with a drunken thrust. I grabbed the blade as Freddy had taught me and twisted it inward enough to hear the man squeal in pain. After what seemed an eternity of noise I heard a crack and the bladed weapon dropped and the man turned around as he no longer seemed to feel the broken limb or cared to. The crazed man turned and his neck was revealed in which I dropped my hold on the now useless arm of his grabbed his neck and twisted it in a northward twist. I heard a crick and the slumping of the man's body in my hands. I stared at him for what I knew was a hour before picking myself up and under strength that I had never noticed I had possessed carried the would be assassin to where I had buried my late and long time dead friend Freddy.
As I got to the park I was shocked only to discover that the park was not there anymore instead a high rise building that had seen better days stood there. I just stood there as VerCars flew on by paying my lone silhouette no more attention then a rat would a trap set by some poor and hungry cat. I walked over to the site where I remembered burring my old friend and dumped the assassin's corpse on the ground.
At that moment I began to feel hot wet water down my cheeks and for the life of me I couldn't control them instead I started crying as if there was no tomorrow. I cried for friends that were gone, I cried for poor Jana and most likely little if she were that now Detra. And most importantly, I cried for the lone Assassin whom had tried to take my very life this night. I asked the heavens if there were any had decided they to felt the great pity for me. The rain came down upon my shoulders and with that rain came the nerve-racking sobs. I raised my hands to the skies and screamed in a tongue I knew not what was, “Why have you damned me to walk this place when those that I loved wither away and dissipate from everyone's memory but mine. I know you exist for I feel you but yet I do not feel you. Ask what you want of me but please kill me I have done nothing wrong where others have yet they are given the gift of eternal sleep and their memories are washed away as my tears wash away that of feelings I have no control over. Explain to me if you exist up there so I know how I am damned and why….” I never finished the sentence as the sobs finally captured my mind and spirit, if such a thing exists.
A gentle hand touched my now soaked shoulder and I turned to see an elder man standing behind me wearing a trench coat. The old man smiled and grinned and pointed to the building.
“Come on my son, this rain is a bastard rain and will chill us all tonight. Your friend is I'm sorry to say dead and nothing we can do will save him.”
With that I stood, still sobbing and the man lead me into a double door into a dry room. The place was dark and lit with only candles on the walls.
“I'm sorry my son but these days I have money only for the basics, which are basically what you see.”
I looked around and noticed for the first time that the building was definitely old. I noticed a plaque that indicated that this building was at least two hundred years old. I sat down on the cold wooden pew and noticed others laying on them. The old man looked at a statue leaning against the wall and made an invisible cross as if expecting a spirit to jump out and swallow them. The old man turned around and grinned.
“Welcome to my church stranger. As I said its not much but it is the basics and it is dry.”
With that he took off his overcoat and that's when I noticed the man's right leg and left hand were metallic. The man noticed it and smiled.
“Oh this it is that of a foolish young man's dream of fighting for freedom that was already lost.”
He sighed and sat down and we talked for hours only to stop so he could let someone in his church as he called the archaic looking building. I sat and listened to him speak to the newcomers and when he finished with the other newcomers and returned to me.
He looked a second longer at me and finally spoke, “Well stranger I have never seen you here in this city yet you claim that which only the gods themselves in history would know happenings here that have spanned decades. I must admit your story is a bit strange but alas who am I to second-guess the workings of the greater powers that be.”
With that the priest leaned back and frowned.
“I'm afraid the city will be tearing down this old church soon. We are always accepting donations but there are too few and not enough kind souls to lend a helping hand. This is truly a dark time in our lives when people are stingy with even a measly penny.”
I stopped for a second and remembered Jena's final farewell gift to me. I looked at the man priest and made an excuse about my house being unguarded while knowing the local neighborhood would watch my hut and make sure it was never bothered.
As I exited the building I looked to where the corpse of the lone assassin had been dropped by my hands only to find the corpse missing. Figuring that thieves must have stolen the body I traveled back to my hut only to discover that mine was the only one still standing. Upon closer examination I noticed that mine had been the only house for some time. This dawned on me as weird and I went into my house and after moving carpet and rock discovered the battered old briefcase untouched and covered with dust. I surveyed the room some more only to discover it like the rest of the alley were as untouched as the dust that covered the briefcase.
Without glancing back I left back for the priests building and was just about there when I noticed a wall board which I had remembered showed news casts and such showing to my surprise, Detra a much older Detra but her none the less was giving a speech to millions in a audience on the planet she had left her for when a sound that I had heard but never witnessed before rang out with a vaazoot and Detra's ever kind face was gone forever as if by some cruel joke by an unseen power. Then an announcers voice spoke my god someone has killed the President of Ares. I stood there watching wondering how, who would have done such a cowardly and untruthful thing to little Detra? The emotions from earlier that had left me bewildered were returning and I had a feeling that no matter what I did tomorrow I must get back to the old priests church. I tore through the streets making notice of myself by others and some stared and stopped but I heeded them no attention when I arrived at the building. The old priest was there and gave a weak smile.
“My son, you look worried what's happened and what have you in the suitcase?”
I rushed him inside afraid that the same cruel power that had taken Detra would strike us. I handed him the suitcase implored him to open it and that it was his churches for now on. The old priest opened the case slowly as if a bomb would explode causing traumatic damage to all who were around it. Then his face grew big as he noticed the money Jana's money inside.
“My...My..,my son how..I can't take blood money I'm…” he stammered, but I explained to him then everything that had happened in the last several centauries and for the first time the old priest not only looked shocked.
I had a feeling he truly believed me and no longer thought me a crazy old fool. I smiled and stood up but the old priest grabbed my hand and implored me to sit down again.
Not really knowing of anywhere I needed to be I sat back on the old wooden pew. The old priest looked at his briefcase again and smiled. My son, you out of your kind heart give me a gift that will not only save my church and my belief but that will also help save people as well. I have no words to thanks you except bless you and please as an open invitation stay with us here for now on, Please I must implore this on you. I thought about this and then gently declined the offer explaining that my home was unwatched and that I must return to it. The old priest looked at me and dug into his waist pocket and pulled out a ring and handed it over placing it into my palm.
The ring had a ruby placed in the center and seemed to catch even the smallest candle light and make it brighter. The old priest stood up finally and beckoned me to the door.
“I want you to keep this ring dear friend and know that this ring is several hundred years old. But I don't deserve to hold it anymore. No you have shown great kindness when there was no reason for it from you.”
With that the old priest grinned and I felt a genuine kindness radiating from him.
“One day, maybe I can repay the favor to you and we can both be well off.”
The last part confused me but I smiled and bid my farewells to him and walked into the early cold and brisk air. The night smelled of new changes but yet it still smelt of the past and its ever-encroaching hand that always changed things backwards when you thought the past was forgotten. I walked back to my house and along the way I noticed for the first time that the old Vercars years ago had been replaced by more nimble and speedier Vercars. I also noticed several buildings that I had failed to notice earlier as well. These monstrosities seemed to into the morning sky and stop only at the clouds. That's when I heard a scream from my alley and I bolted in time to find three men attacking small boy. The boy's line of sight caught me and in his eyes I saw hopelessness and him begging for my intermission into the confrontation. I walked forward and the lead man who's right arm was metallic turned to me and grunted and spoke in a voice that sounded almost mechanical in voice.
“What do you want, bum? This here kid is trespassing on our property and we are exacting justice upon him for it.”
The two other ruffians also laughed but the boy screamed out loud and pleaded, “Mister ya gotta save me ya..”
He didn't finish the sentence as the metal arm bandit knocked the boy out with a club like hit to the base of the skull. Something in me stirred, a dark something that was spreading to every fiber in my body. I walked forward and metal arm started forward and that's when I noticed metal arm was walking on two metal legs and his other arm was also made of a different metal but alas he was almost all metal. I looked at metal arm and finally calmed the darkness in me down enough to sound.
“Please sir's leave the small boy alone and leave my alley. I don't want to see anything bad happen to any of us.”
This just made the three ruffians laugh harder and Metal arm swung his arm at my head in which I grabbed twisted it behind his back and twisted it at the elbow till I heard a grinding noise, which was followed by screaming. The other two ruffians sensing immanent danger for the leader attacked from the left and right with hidden blades. As they lunged I dropped back and the twin blades from the ruffians dug deep into their leaders chest. In movement that can only be explained as lightning quick I dropped the leaders dying body and grabbed the ruffian on the right who was shocked to find one moment he was face to face with me the next I was behind him and knocking him forward. As the man fell I grabbed his right leg and twisted it to hear a quick crack and a sharp intake of breath then a scream as the young ruffian went down to the concrete. I balled my hand up and hit him quick enough that he was out before his friend turned around.
The lone friend turned around and raised a weapon which at first I had no idea what it was until I noticed a something being pulled back. A gun, what a funny way to go I thought, but the shot never came instead a loud Chang sounded out as the man with the gun crumpled and the lone boy stood behind the downed attacker carrying a metal bat. The boy looked at me and smiled and dropped the bat and ran into my house. I gathered the leader and friends and dragged each to the entrance of the alleyway and went over to a payphone and called for medical services for the three ruffians. I walked back when I heard and saw the VerMedic approach. As I entered the house that I had helped build the boy came from back behind the fire-pit.
“I'm sorry mister,” the boy said most definitely frightened. “They were chasing me and I was told that you lived here and maybe you could hide me but they caught me and were going to do me in when you showed up.”
I sat there taking in what the young boy told me and sat on the judgment for a few minutes, staring at the old fire pit the stood. The boy also began to stand up when I ordered him to stay seated and he did so. I walked outside and to where a fellow alley occupant had once called home now only an old box and scattered remains were was what had once been a happy home for someone. I took the box back to my house and ripped the box into pieces which I placed into the soon to be inferno like fire pit. After a few minutes of searching I found my old Zippo lighter given to me on my first night oh so many centuries ago by dear Freddie.
Yes at that second I felt the ghost of long past on Freddie visit me and knew in my heart the young boy would stay with me as a guest and tell me of the outside world. I started the fire with the golden Zippo and something in me stirred when I saw the boy look at it. It was not the look of a thief but that of an archeologist having just discovered the ruins of an ancient civilization supposedly wiped out with only a mention in the annuals of history with no physical evidence only to find a full complete physical history of that culture. I smiled at the boy and handed him the Zippo in which he almost dropped it finally fumbling it into his left hand.
"I ca… ca… can't take this sir, I have not money or services to offer for such an item of this value."
I grinned and the feeling of my old self, sharing stories of our past between Freddie and I came flooding back tome almost overpowering my thoughts of the present. Yes my thoughts of the past are always that of a sweeter and bet6ter time, it was always a gentler time with Freddie or Jana and Detra. The boy looked and asked something which I snapped back to the present to hear him finish the sentence.
"Is there any manual labor in the alley that I can do to earn this gratitude sir?"
I shook my head and decided now was the time, I explained to the boy who I was and that all I asked of him was news of the outside worlds and that he be my roommate or guest for as long as he could and that he let me teach him what had once been mandatory to learn from now abandoned government funded schools. His eyes lit up and again he professed he had no money for either an education, food, or rent. I waved this off as if it were nothing and explained how money was never a problem with me, or those that stayed with me. So it was agreed on that night during a red sky that the Boy whose name was Joshua would stay.
Months passed when a lone man with a cane walked into my alley and Joshua ran into the house with news of impending company. I walked out and was surprised to see the old priest walking towards me with both a smile and book.
“My old friend I haven't seen you ages. I was thinking you like the people in your stories had disappeared.”
This at first angered me then made me laugh at the idea that this lone man, this mortal had remembered our talks after all this time. I shook his hand and invited him into my house in which he accepted whole-heartedly.
As we sat down around the fire-pit I introduced Joshua in which the priest nodded in acknowledgement.
"Ah, well that's good you are making friends my ageless friend."
I turned to Joshua and smiled, "Yes Joshua is my new roommate and has been for some time.”
Joshua looked at the old priest and finally spoke, "Sir If I may ask what is it you are or do? I do not recognize your outfit."
The old priest looked amused and began telling Joshua of the high god and how he smiled upon those that created peace with others while blessing those that showed kindness. I admit even I was taken in by the old priest but centuries of hardships and knowledge steeled my nerves and sealed my thoughts away from such things. The old priest went on for several more minutes then stopped to take a breath in which time Joshua began spurting question after question at a rate so fast the priest was perplexed then finally able to answer.
After Joshua finished asking question after question and my old friend the priest had satisfactorily answered all the questions he stood up slowly stretching his legs then his back.
“Well my friends, my new church awaits me and please come by and visit us, all people are welcome especially you my old ageless friend. I believe you remember how to get there. It's the old skyscraper, though I will admit you won't recognize it with its rebuilt work done by you ageless one. Oh I almost forgot ageless friend here is a payment back for what you have given me with interest.”
The old priest handed oddly enough the same old suitcase that had been hidden the whole time from underneath his fresh pressed golden robes.
“I have added what you would say a generous amount of interest to the original amount given.”
True to the old priests words the suitcase was slammed full with money though I did not recognize this type of currency though the face on one of the bills said In George W. Bush we trust which reminded me of the museum that had exploded a while back. The old priest bowed and made his final good byes and walked out the door of our humble establishment.
Joshua looked at the suitcase and whistled, “Well old timer that's more money then I thought I'd ever see in three hundred lifetimes. Any chance I can have some of that?”
I started handing some over to Joshua and he stopped me, "Woah old timer I was only joking, I know you never want to move out of this alley so we can save it for a rainy day yes?"
I nodded in agreement and wondered why we would need this money on a rainy day and not a sunny or cloudy day. Joshua looked at me and understood at once what had transpired in my mind as he was learning to do these days with the art of an old Transylvania fortuneteller.
“It means when you need the money for a trip or if you have bills or such you will have the money to get you out of a jam.”
Finally recognizing the idiom I nodded in which Joshua stood up as if he'd just had a match lit under him.
“I'm going to get ready for that church deal, it really sounds like fun and maybe I can meet some people and maybe even have you introduced to a few.”
I thought this idea over for a bit as Joshua began to get ready and I came up with the only answer being was that Joshua was right and that maybe it was time to meet others. I stood up dusting myself off and walked into my room. After changing clothes I walked into the other room to find Joshua already absent. I shrugged and decided to take the scenic route to the building. Oh for how many months has it been since I walked this way. Yes the last time had been when the lone assassin had tried to steal what was not his from me as well as steal my life with his blade. I shuddered as I thought about this for I definitely remembered that I did not want to relive that experience. As I rounded a corner I tried placing everything, as it had been that night. Instead I found new buildings where old ones had once been and I also noticed people wearing new cloths as well as new hairstyles.
I had once worried about such things but found after several decades fashions, music, and fads always were reincarnated almost to the same as they once were. I had even found these days that people sometimes came back of course never as they were before but the spirits if you believed in such always returned in a new body. I had remembered the priest so long ago telling me of such things and laughing silently not wanting to disrespect his beliefs.
I finally walked another twenty minutes watching the different people, which to me seemed all the same while they still acted as if they were different entities instead of the same. I finally came around an old building that had once been brilliantly bright with golden windows and now it stood before me in shambles as the old church had once. I noticed a sign that read: The Great Church
With an arrow pointing down another street. I followed the arrows direction when l came upon a great tower of platinum windows with a cross upon its front. I looked around and noticed a small park to where I recognized but barely where I had dropped the assassin's corpse. I noticed a small golden statue and upon closer examination I noticed the statue was that of me. So touched and struck by awe was I that I never noticed the old priest walk behind me till I heard him speak.
“Ah yes Nameless Park, named after you old friend and dedicated to those that are also nameless as these days there are countless billions of them.”
I turned around and found the old priest in ceremonial robes; I finally found the energy to speak.
“But how is this, I mean why create a park for me? I am no one special am I?”
The old priest scratched his small clean beard and laughed. “Why is it named for you old friend, I'd already thought you knew the answer to this but I will tell you anyways.
The money you gave me was what saved my small church and gave hope to this whole community.” As the old priest spoke he spread his arms wide as to prove that I indeed saved the area and it would envelope me in a mental hug for saving it in such a manner.
I walked around the park a little and was very pleased to see families having picnics all over the grounds. People here and there said hello and not to be rude I quickly and happily returned their greetings. After a while though I bid the old priest a good night and started back to my humble dwelling.
As I passed an old storefront I noticed for the first time that the many old TV's inside the shop window were showing my old preacher friend giving a sermon about how his god had saved his life and many others. I chuckled at how my old friend stammered with excitement then to my utter amazement I saw Joshua appear on the screen. The audience went quiet as well and Joshua stood up straighter then spoke.
“Before today I had a nameless friend who was kind but no idea what was to come after I went into this world." Joshua breathed a second or three then continued. "But this kind old wise priest has shown me direction. He has shown me right from wrong. He has shown me my calling"
The crowd erupted into amen's and applause and continued for several minutes. I smiled knowing my little friend Joshua would not return ever again to our humble dwellings. I sighed and continued on hearing his voce die off in the distance saying, "I now announce that I will study for the priesthood." I felt a cold chill and should have known that feeling was bad news but instead I wrapped my trench coat tighter around my body and continued home.
For many days and nights I sit here or outside of my humble dwelling watching the seasons pass here and there. I sit and recount of the people I have met and Detra's kind face as well as the old priest come to mind. Then I remembered having seen a paper that had declared the Arch Priest of Holiness had passed away from a severe heart attack. Its sad thinking of such a kind old man having passed away but I have seen this enough times that I know minus myself nature has a normal course. Many more days, months then years pass and one day the store across the street changes names and business and I get a new Virtual Screen that seemingly must have replaced the TV a while back. On it I see a much older Joshua on display. I walk closer and discover that he had replaced my old Priest friend. I smile knowing that what I taught him has finally come full circle. Then I watch the news report farther and it shows the Church of Holiness and then I see a huge angry mob of people around it.
Then finally after loud shouts and yelling the newscaster a young woman of around 32 appears on screen. I hear a man somewhere in the background, "Well Siria They say the Arch Priest Joshua is holed up on the top floor of his temple? Is this true and if so, what are the chances of the angry mob outside going to do once they get in through the front doors?"
There was a pause and the camera angle jerked down as a whoosh like sound erupted from behind her coming from the building followed by a explosion that incinerated a lot of people in the angry mob. Then the echo of hundreds of rounds of gunfire from automatic weapons and pulse rifles were heard as the reporter reappeared.
"Well Xian It seems the Arch Priest isn't going down quietly as he has his goons firing upon us."
The camera angle went to the crowd and then someone yelled "Take cover" and thousands upon thousands of protesters hit the ground or ran away as a sonic trans fighter bomber was heard coming in and the screen showed the sleek black jet firing upon the tower when a missile flew from the tower roof tops and the jet crashed into the crowd closest to the doors. The mayhem was too much for me and I turned away to find a small crowd had appeared around me at the window.
An old man standing beside me was shaking his head sadly, "It's a shame that church went bad, It did a lot of good for people here until that Joshua guy messed it up by trying to control the media and the government." The old man spit on the ground. "If the first priest of Holiness was still alive this wouldn't have happened.”
I turned back to the television now being brought up to current events on the reason for the attacks. I thought about a time long ago when Freddy and I were sitting outside watching the stars drinking a beer or something when I asked him what had he done before moving to the Alley?
"Well old friend, before this believe it or not I was a senator and a cop before that!" Freddy had turned his wizened old eyes towards me and laughed. "Hell old one I had more money then Christ alone more power then anything, but well…" Freddy sighed then continued after a few seconds "But none of that meant shit when my little girl Trina had caught Cancer and with all that money, power and fame I couldn't save her." Freddy sniffled a few tears, "She died in my arms Nameless right there in the hospital. I…I…I fuck I couldn't save the very thing that had driven me to be successful. I stayed on for several more months and was going to be reelected for my third term when a Anti Cancer drug was found and it needed to be ratified as it's side effect was temporary blindness which lasted for 1 month. I of course voted to make it able for other kids and adults but when the day came for the final vote do you know what happen?" I shook my head and had an Idea what had happened. Freddy continued "They voted no, the final count was 140 no and 15 yes. I was crushed. Here was cure with the mildest temporary side effect ever and they had voted it down. I stayed on for a few months trying to bring the bill back up but more and more people shot it down, so I did a private investigation and found that the medicine companies couldn't get it passed due to not being paid off enough. That day I truly died and went to see a few old military friends of mine and stole a small bomb, but with enough power to destroy a city block. I'm not ashamed to admit that I told my secretary to take the week off and take her family to Florida or somewhere. She got a big bonus that day and left without a word. That day I went and rigged the explosive right under the president's chair. The dogs had been through and I went back to my place and got all my cloths together released my driver and explained I would be taking a cab to the senate for the union address. Again no one bothered which was fine. I left that night which was several decades ago nameless one and that very night I learned Power corrupts."
I sat there in silence looking at my friend Freddy and instead of shock I found a new respect for him. Freddy turned to me and smiled and the thought always remained in my head. And now watching the screen I now knew that Joshua had been corrupted and was about to pay for his crimes against humanity.
The reporter spoke up, "My god Xian it's a slaughter down here the protestors have brought their own weapons out.”
Before she could speak several hundred beams of light shot forth to the building incinerating it and everything including the reporter as a great ball of fire erupted. The screen went black and then back to a farther distance and I turned around and saw the fireball in the night sky from my distance. I turned away feeling the tears begin to well up and as I walked back to my house I heard Freddie's voice whisper, “And don't cry for a friend when his power and wealth corrupt him. All things comeback full circle."
As I walked into my dwelling I started to cry and then fell unconscious unto my bed.
Many years passed where the new TV store had been fell in disrepair then was gone in ruins. I stopped seeing people enter my side of the street when many years later a man walked up wearing a weird suit with an air mask.
"Hey you there old timer!" he said in a metallic sound. "Don't ya know we are evacuating from the planet?" This was news to me and I shook my head and figured the dreaded war of all wars was about to happen.
I asked him the usual question, "Are we at war?"
The man looked at me strangely and laughed finally, "Yeah old timer with this damn planet." After he finished chuckling even more at my shocked look he continued, "The damn corporations have polluted it so damn bad now we have to abandon Terra for New Terra 5 in the Argos system."
I looked up at the sky and that's when I noticed there was no sky just a blackness mixed with greenness. The suited man noticed this and pointed down the road.
"I have a shuttle for you and anyone else be there in ten minutes or your grounded pops.”
With that he turned around and ran down the road more.
I never went to that shuttle instead I walked to the old Church of Holiness and found the old remains with graffiti scrawled across it. Most proclaimed the ruins cleaned by fire and such. Other said they missed the church and that down with the president. But oddly enough standing in the middle of the ruined temple building and was the statue of me, yes it was blackened a little but it was definitely me, and there in the near distance was the nameless park. I walked to the park with my statue and noticed that no birds were chirping and that no lovers embraced in the gardens here. I returned to my home and went to bed.
Several years passed when one day I heard a scrapping noise and walked out of my dwelling to find an odd person or sort of person. This person had mandibles at its mouth and two antennas on its head.
The being looked at me and said in a throaty voice, “Hello, do you live here?"
I smiled and said that I did live here and had for several hundred years or so. The Creature smiled and asked if he could stay the night. I agreed and we entered my dwelling and I lit the fire hold, which hadn't been lit in a very long time.
The strange creature looked at me and said, "What is your name friend?"
I told him I had forgotten and he smiled. "Well then may I call you the Nameless one?" I laughed and this intrigued my guest. "Why is this funny?” he asked.
“Well my friend that has been what people have called me since I can remember." It hit me then. "How rude of me. May I acquire your name please?"
The creature grinned as best as it could and replied "My name is Freddy".
Great,average,Sucks the mombo makes no difference to me as long as the job is done and done right.