Monday, April 25, 2011

Chapter Five - Hot Soup

My feet were aching; the thin and peeling soles of Jude’s shoes provided no support or protection from the harsh gravel and concrete. ‘One more step, one more, one more’ my mind kept repeating. I could walk no further, and as my feet settled in place I raised my head to see the Soup Kitchen in front of me. I debated whether or not my feet were even capable of carrying me another inch, and finally propelling myself forward I made my way inside.

The line was surprisingly short at that time of night, and so I dragged myself to its end. I stood behind an older man wearing nothing but swimming trunks. Liver spots blotched every inch of his exposed skin, with puss filled bumps appearing to emerge from beneath. From the depths of his pores leaked a musty odor that had the slightest hint of something that had crawled into a deep crevice and died. I turned my head behind me and deeply inhaled as much relatively "clean" air as I could, before peering around the side of him to see what was taking so long.
A plump woman stood behind the counter dealing out some unrecognizable concoctions at a disgustingly slow pace. Her skin had acquired a brown, tarnished hue from what looked like months of not washing. A mole large enough that at a glance would have appeared as a tumor of some sort or even a third eye, sat in the middle of her forehead and was sprouting several thick, black long hairs that jutted out a good centimeter from her skin. Straggly matted pieces of hair had escaped from her poorly secured hair net, bits of dust, dirt, and everything in between caught within its cross-stiches. Adding to the sluggish process was the fact that despite the hearing aids she possessed in both ears, she couldn't have heard an ambulance if it was an inch from mowing her down in the middle of the street.
I waited for what seemed like an eternity before finally reaching the front of the line. I didn't bother wasting my breathe and simply pointed at the 'Soup Of The Day' beneath the cracking plate glass window that covered the batches of gook.

She smiled at me and yelled in an unintelligible foreign accent "Jude, how nice to see you again! It's been a while," as she methodically poured the "soup" into an old cup that still had dried reminisce of another's previous meal coating its edges.

Without a moments pause I quickly retaliated, screaming with all the force i could muster "I'm not Jude god damnit!"

She flinched behind the counter. I could tell she was frightened as she stopped mid-pour, the ladle slightly tilted to one side still in hand, frozen with fear.

I scowled at her, and reaching over the glass I snatched the bowl of luke warm slush from her grip, slipped outside through the back door, and set myself down against the back wall of the building. I ate quickly, the bland brown mixture had no taste or aesthetics worth enjoying. The lake was still, only disturbed by the occasional box, beer bottle, diaper, and anything else imaginable deciding to surface from below. Leaning my head back, legs daintily crossed, and my hands resting against my small thighs, I allowed myself to drift off to sleep.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chapter Four - Strange Friends

Moses looked on in silence. Just looked at me, as the cacophony of sounds echoed around us. The shrill siren of the ambulance, people’s shrieks of horror, medics rushing rambling and shouting to one another, all fusing into one another to create one hum.

As I could plainly see the confusion in his as, no matter how hard he tried to hide it, I began to draw back my extended limb. It was obvious that that Jude hadn’t told him about me. That selfish bastard! Jude was always trying to isolate and alienate me from the world. It was as though he wanted to keep me alone in the darkness forever, even when I did escape from the confines of his subconscious. But I’d show him, I’d show him that I was not alone no matter how hard to keep me locked away in solitude. Moses would me mine!

I quickly regained my composure.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you. I can see that Jude hasn’t told you about me, but I can assure you it must have simply just slipped his mind. I would love to get the chance to know you that is if you wouldn’t mind the company of a poor damsel,” I said, again graciously holding out my hand to him.

Recovering abruptly from his bout of puzzlement, Moses carefully took my hand.

Umm, yes,” he paused still trying to find his mind. “Yes, yes, that would be fine. Jezebel, right?”

I nodded.

“Pleased to meet you.”

I smiled sweetly at him as he looked around at the chaos of the street.

He turned to me, obviously battling with himself on whether to speak. Finally, he parted his lips.

“We should get inside, it’d probably be a little safer considering all that’s going on out here. Would you like to join me upstairs, I was in the middle of fixing a little something to eat?”

I froze; in shock and disbelief I felt my body stiffen. No one had ever showed me any type of kindness, never extended any sort of pleasant gesture, never given me another thought. I was so used to be alone I had no idea what it would be like to simply be with another person.

Panicking, I drew back from him turning to walk away and hurriedly said over my shoulder “I have to go. It was nice meeting you”

I hastily pressed on, no destination in site, walking until my feet could carry me no further. I didn’t look back, didn’t pause or break my stride, I simply walked leaving Moses standing in the middle of disarray.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chapter Three - The Woman Within

I watched Moses intently, his insignificant small, silver name tag glistening in the light. I watched as his lanky frame towered over the ground below him, casting the omnipotent shadow that loomed over me, as he stood inspecting his surroundings. The long brown hair that framed his face looked disheveled and matted. His eyes had sunken in, leaving them hollow and dark. Shear life itself, appeared as though it would soon be the death of him.

Slowly his gaze drifted down to where I sat posted against the pole. Abruptly I averted my eyes.

“Excuse me?”

His voice was strong, with a baritone that made you feel firm and safe, wrapped in the arms of masculinity. Protecting you, like a father should.

“Father? Shh, shh, we don’t talk about him,” the words creeping from deep within my throat and leaking out.

Moses looked at me puzzled for a moment, before repeating himself.

“Excuse me, sir?”

I waited for him to go away. I closed my eyes hoping that the darkness would whisk me away, and engulf my reality and him along with it. Yet as I sat with my eyes shut, I could still feel his presence surrounding me.

“What do you want?”

I said, lazily opening my eyelids and lifting my head to look upon him. As hard as an anorexic attempts to starve themselves within an inch of starvation, I tried not to hide the annoyance in my face.

The look I received back from him was confirmation enough that I had succeeded. He looked appalled and taken aback by my hostility, pausing briefly before responding.

“I just wanted to see if you needed any help.”

That condescending bastard, how dare he assume that I needed his charity!

“Fuck off! I don’t need a damn pity party.”

“Look! I don’t pity you, have any empathy for you, or even feel sorry for you. I just was asking if you wanted help, a favor, shit a pat on the back! I’m not some sick twisted creep, that gets my jollies off on helping people, performing seemingly selfless acts just to make myself feel better about the world. It was a simple question. Do you need any help?”

With each word, I felt the ground slip from under me, knocking me flat on my face and letting every breathe I’d ever inhaled, escape from my lungs. For the first time in a long time, I had no idea what to say. No one had ever had the balls to stand up to me, and least of all because they wanted to help me. I was baffled by the generosity of this man. I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing came out. All I could bring myself to do, was nod in compliance.

A smirk started to tug on the edge of his lips, and I heard a small chuckle spill from his stomach.

“Well then. I live in Apartment 7 in Watershed heights. If and when you decide, you can come knock on my door.”
He extended his hand and said, “the name’s Moses.”

I starred at it for a moment, inspecting the rough skin, scarred and tattered in many places. I weakly grabbed hold of it, and shook it lightly.

As he starred into my eyes I grew uneasy, afraid he’d see through to the darkness that laid within. I broke his gaze and snatched back my hand abruptly. Turning my head in the opposite direction of his presence, I prayed silently that he would walk away. I couldn’t let him get close to me, bad things happened when people did that. I begged God to take him away. Spare him. Spare me. I closed my eyes, the warm sunlight enveloping my skin and threw myself into unconsciousness once more.


I woke what seemed like an eternity later, the light had stolen away into the sky leaving nothing but black. I slowly and meticulously looked around me, absorbing every detail of my surroundings. Bus stop here; old broken down, tattered theater there with the paint chipping severely off the foundation of the building; and so on.

I felt it drop from the sky, suddenly and unannounced. No no no no no no no, this wasn’t suppose to happen. As quickly as the rain came, I felt my body fade away, and it all went black


The moist, violent touch of a stranger in the dark, collided with my skin. The rain’s brutal caress embraced me like the arms of a lover. How I longed to be loved. I titled my head back and let the water rush down the curves of my face, washing away my past sin. I am born again.

Jude was a selfish little bastard, always wanting to walk in the light, never failing to try and stifle my emergence. He had no idea how much my body craved to be held, to be touched, to be loved. He was selfish. Keeping me caged away like an animal. I prayed in solitude for the rain to come, his pure presence releasing me.

I looked to my right to see the fading lights of Bus 52 curving around the corner onto Calloway Boulevard. As soon as the lights disappeared into the darkness, I heard a halting screech with the blood curdling sound of a man in pain echoing in the background. I ran down the street, the sound of the worn, filth ridden shoes hitting the pavement. The rain soaked through my clothes, creating a second skin, clinging to my body. It fondled my breasts and ran down the outside of my thighs.

As soon as I turned the corner I saw the giant bus frame, its back end jutting out into the street. The parking lights cast a red shadow over the building on the opposite side of the street. As I rounded the back end of the bus, I saw the front end propped up on the curb, two legs poking slightly out from behind the tires, laying lifeless on the cold paved road.

I looked up at the towering building adjacent to the accident. Squinting my eyes, I could barely make out a sign at the roof of the building where the old neon lights had blown out.

“Wah-ter-shed High-ts,” I let the phonetics roll off the tip of my tongue as I read the sign aloud. It been so long since I’d enjoyed the taste of speech, and so I savored the moment. As I let my eyes fall, scanning the building, I saw a man’s face pressed against the glass of one floor. He appeared to be peering out to inspect the tragic site that had occurred outside his window. As he disappeared behind his curtain, I heard someone call out.


The voice seemed to be that of a man’s and coming from the direction of the building. I searched through the crowd of spectators that poured from the mouth of the structure all heading in the direction of the crash. Breaking through the crowd came a tall, lanky man. He came towards me calling that accursed name.

“Jude, Jude!”

He stopped, breathing heavily at my feet. Keeling over to catch his breath, he said exhausted, “Jude, I was worried something had happened to you.”

I couldn’t help but cringe slightly at the thought of being called that name, and without thinking quickly replied, “Don’t call me that.”

He looked puzzled.

“Call you what?”

Saying slightly under my breath, as if to whisper, “Jude”, my voice trailed off.

“And why not?”

“That’s not my name.”


Before I could stop, I found myself shouting at the poor man, “That’s not my name, damn-it!”

He starred at me, confused.

Embarrassed, i quickly regurgitated an apology. Blushing I managed to force out a ‘sorry’.

“My name is Jezebel Daniels,” I said, extending my open palm to him.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chapter Two - Bus 40

The pole leaned slightly on its base as if one too many whale-sized persons had decided to plop their plump asses upon the weak, unsuspecting object after the "All You Can Eat" buffet at that old Asian kitchen down the road. I sat on the ground next to the pole, allowing myself to fall upon it, the cold metal stinging my warm skin through the cheap fabric that acted as a barrier between me and the rest of the world. The small patch of grass that surrounded the pole had been long since worn away, and as I settled down the dirt felt solid and stable beneath me. I leaned my head back against the metal, closing my eyes I exhaled. As my body relaxed the acute pains came rushing back. I groaned, low and steady, letting the white noise fill my head and block out the commotion of the everyday.

I exhaustingly searched through the folds of my mind, trying to elucidate the blank spaces of darkness that dotted my memory. Desperately and methodically, as the sunlight slowly crept down my face, I paced through the moments before I lost consciousness hoping like the acute retraction of a rubber-band, the lost time would snap back. After what seemed to be hours of nothingness but the empty sound of my painful grope, I gradually opened my eyes letting the dim light of the late afternoon drown in. Slightly lifting my tattered arm up, I examined the bruises that had began to appear more distinctly. It escaped me how or why I had gotten so dilapidated, but I knew whatever the case it had to have been one of their faults. The pressing question was, which one?

Creeping slowly into my eardrums came the sound of the approaching bus, its rusting brakes screeching loudly as it pulled along side the curb where I lied sitting on the ground. I winced at the awful sound, and as the large frame of the bus scattered the sunlight to and from my face, I brought my arm up to guard my eyes. The bus came to an abrupt stop directly in front of me, 'Bus 40' blinking dimly across the screen in the window. And that's when I saw him, inching his Jesus shoes from the small landing of the bus's platform down to the ground, Moses set his feet on the solid earth. He had arrived.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chapter One - The Rebirth

I dwell where most don’t dare to linger, in the dark corners of this earth where light is an unwelcomed guest. I live in the mystery, the unknown, the emptiness of space. My home is on the red-line, in the corner between the T-mobile poster and the tattered fliers where time had worn away the ink, erasing the intruding words, their purpose, and leaving them blank like this place.

I laid crucified on my hard concrete bed, staring blindly into the flickering fluorescent lights that lined the ceiling of the platform. On and off, on and off, on and off they went, as my ever fading light does within. With each occurrence as my light fades to black, the moments I wait for my conscience to illuminate, lengthens.

Drawing in my legs and placing my hands beneath me, I lifted myself from the ground. With a swipe of my hand, I dusted off the debris that had attached itself to the back of my old, tattered khakis as I slept through the dark. A crumb here, an old cigarette bud there, and so on, all reminders of the inescapable fact that I was the owner of nothing more than the remnants of what once was anothers, or better still that I was nothing more than the trash left behind by others. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” oh how those words taunted my very existence.

Stretching out my limbs I let a small yawn leak from my throat. And placing my hands in the small of my back I pushed with the slightest pressure, the sound of a small crack fading into the emptiness. I turned around and gathered the what once was a white shirt that had now acquired a tarnished hue, and walked towards the stairs. With my head hanging down, I crept slowly up the flight and with my eyes squinched tightly, I emerged upon the surface, into the blinding light.