Temperance: A Short Story
I haven’t wrote one of these in a while, so I decided that I needed to get my mind flowing in a different direction and write this. Enjoy!
The young man sat at his desk wondering who he was, and what it all meant. Though serious as he was, he could not help but feel foolish pondering his thoughts. He had consulted his master the day prior, looking for guidance, and a way to reach enlightenment.
The Master sat in meditation as the young man entered the musty room. Candles burned in front of the altar, as The Master continued to sit, his eyes closed, and his legs crossed.
“Master?” The young man said.
The Master did not react, remaining omnipresent. The young man continued.
“Lately, I have been questioning everything. My life, my circumstance, my lack of emotion, my successes and my failures, but I have not found the answers I seek.”
The Master still did not react.
“My head has been filled with problems of all types, from personal, to professional, to internal. I cannot sleep well at night, and my days blur together in a cloudy haze. Am I not fit to know the answers?”
The Master once again did not react. The young man sighed, and began to leave.
The young man looked at The Master, who remained as solemn as a statue.
“In all things, both complex and in-complex, we must temper our emotions, and our logic to suit our needs.”
The Master began to rise.
“We find the answers we seek, not from trying to understand why, but understanding that it is the way of life itself. Questioning only leads to more questions, and less answers. Accepting what we cannot change is the key to finding answers.”
He placed his hand on the young man’s shoulder.
“You may not feel my words have weight, for you are still young and burn with passion and fire, but heed my lesson to you. Nothing is black or white, but merely a shade of gray. We all handle situations differently, but by keeping ourselves in check, and focusing on what the clear issue is, we find answers.”
The Master walked back to his pillow, and once again began to assume his position.
“Go now, and remember this; in all things you face, you will not always make the best decision, but you will make the right decision for you, and you will grow from it. There is no positive or negative, there is only understanding.”
He shut his eyes as the young man rubbed his lip. The room became quiet once again.
The young man sat at his desk, pondering. Finally, he shrugged his arms, and began to type on his computer, a Facebook posting. It read, ‘In all things, Temperance.’
Bobby & The Five-Dollar Bill
Before I get to the good stuff, a little back story:
I originally wrote this in the Spring of 06’, and it was my last short story I ever wrote for my teacher. It took me 2 hours to write this, and I was surprised about the result.
My teacher gave me an A+, and said it was the best short story by a student he’d ever read, and I was ultimately praised as his protege in his class. I was only 3 kids to get an A in his class that year, so needless to say, I love writing.
For a time, I lost the want to write, slipped into jaded chaos, and lost the original copy of the story.
After coming out of this lost period, I returned to writing, started writing on twitter, blogged, and blogged some more.
It’s about 2 years now since I’ve been a regular and active member of the online community in some respect. I have a reasonable following, have written some amazing material, experimented, and yet, I long to try and truly and better this once-thought-lost ability.
I realize that I have to respect the past in order to become a better writer in the future, and in doing so, I must share some of my past with you, my community, my friends, and loved ones.
Recently, my Mom asked me to try and find this piece. Ironically enough, it was on my thumb drive, though without a cover page. The original piece of paper is long since missing or gone, tucked away in some forgotten corner with my 1st Place Blue Ribbon Indio Fair paintings I did in 1st & 2nd grade, maybe even along with some of even earlier material.
Of this, I am not sure.
So I proudly present to you, Bobby And The Five-Dollar Bill;
It was the summer of 1947, and Bobby Thomas had just finished painting the fence around his house. Twice a year for the last 3 years, he had had to paint the fence with a new coat to make it look brand new again. He lived in a small house in the middle of Maine, in a small town far away from the city. There were only a few places to shop in town; Willy Johnson’s General Store, a gas station, Edna’s clothing store, and Frank’s Mechanic Shop. Bobby had lived here all of his life, and he loved every minute of it.
Bobby was a young boy of about seven. He had red hair and freckles, and he was pretty skinny. He usually wore a striped shirt with khaki pants and worn out sneakers. He lived in the suburbs with his mother and father, and had a Labrador named Lucky. He was kind of your normal, average young man, but today was different. His whole life as he knew it was about to change forever.
Once Bobby had stopped painting the fence, he went inside, where his mom was waiting with a pitcher of lemonade. She was a tall woman with blue eyes and blonde hair. She was wearing a flowered dress and a matching apron cleaning the dishes in the sink.
“Did you finish painting the fence, Bobby?”
“Yes, mama, I’ll put the paint in the garage in a minute.”
Bobby served himself a glass of lemonade, and his mom gave him a turkey sandwich with no crust. Bobby was a fast eater, so he finished the sandwich in about one minute flat. He thanked his mother, and started to run outside.
“Bobby, would you come here a moment?”
Bobby’s father had called from the other room, and Bobby immediately went there. His father was a large, muscular man, with a small scar on his hand from serving in the Afrika Corps near Egypt. He had a very nice manner about him, and he was a very kind and loving man. Bobby walked toward him.
“Did you finish all of your chores?”
“Did you feed Lucky too?”
His father dug into his pants pocket and took out a wallet. He pulled out a single quarter.
“Young man, this is your allowance for this week.”
“Thank you so much, Papa!”
He gave his father a big hug and ran out. His father’s last words as he ran out the door were ‘save some of it!’
As Bobby ran out the door, he passed by a gutter. He stopped running and looked down at the ground. There was something under the leaves near the concrete. He moved the leaves and couldn’t believe his eyes. There under all of this was a singular five-dollar bill. Bobby nearly had a heart attack when he saw this. It was the biggest amount of money he had seen in his entire life.
He proceeded to pick up to check if it was truly the real thing. He wiped it off with his hand and looked again. It was definitely a five-dollar bill. Bobby stared at it for a few moments as he held it in his hand, and then he started walking away.
Bobby started to think ‘did someone drop this?’ and ‘what should I do with it?’ Bobby kept walking towards town with the money in his hand. As he got closer to town, he heard a voice call to him.
It was Jimmy Hertzman. He was a mischievous, mean, and spoiled child. He lived in one of the biggest houses in the town. He was short, had dirty blonde hair, and wore a collared shirt and a pair of shorts.
Bobby tried not to look at him; Jimmy would only get him into trouble. Jimmy ran toward him and grabbed the money out of his hand.
“What’s this Bobby? Huh? What’s this?” said Jimmy erratically.
He snatched it back from Jimmy’s hands.
“It’s nothing, Jimmy.”
“I’m not sure it’s nothing.” Jimmy said with some poutiness in his voice.
Bobby started to walk again with the money in his hand, trying to get as far away from him as possible. Suddenly, Jimmy darted beside him, grabbed the money out of his hand, and started running down the street screaming, “I got it! I got it!”
Bobby went into a rage. He was so angry; his eyes were completely blood red. He started to run, but he would have to go faster or else he wouldn’t catch up with Jimmy. Bobby ran so fast after him, time seemed to slow down as he got closer. Bobby finally got close enough to him to grab it. But he couldn’t take it anymore, and he lost it. Bobby tackled Jimmy with a great force and they rolled for a few seconds and stopped.
After a minute or so of no one moving, Bobby started to get up. His nose was bloody, his shirt was covered in mud, and his arm was cut. He brushed himself off and stood up. He started to shake Jimmy to rouse him up.
“Jimmy,” he said, pushing him some more. “Jimmy.”
There was no answer.
“JIMMY!” Bobby shouted at him, “CAN YOU HEAR ME?”
There still was no answer.
Jimmy was lying face down with one of his arms out in front of him, and one of his legs to the side of him. Bobby tried to roll him over. It took one or two tries, but eventually, Bobby got him to roll over. Just by looking at his face, Bobby knew the horrible truth. Jimmy was dead.
Bobby stared at Jimmy’s lifeless body for a minute or so, looking over the damage. He had a very large cut on his head, a broken nose, two of his teeth were broken, and his lips were cut open badly. Bobby kept looking at the corpse with a fright. He thought, ‘what drove me to do such a thing?’ Then suddenly, an eerie voice started to talk to him.
“I did, Bobby.”
He turned around. There was nothing there.
He turned back to Jimmy and the five-dollar bill was on his chest. He grabbed it and stared closely.
“BOO!” The five-dollar bill flew out of his hand and started to hover in front of his face.
“W-What are you?” Bobby said, trembling.
“Don’t you know? I am the five-dollar bill, I am the reason that you attacked this poor, poor young man.” He said, putting a bit sarcasm on the poor part.
Bobby realized that the five-dollar bill was right. He had tried to walk away from Jimmy to not get in trouble, but Jimmy tried to see what he had in his hand. Jimmy wouldn’t stop bugging him, and he took his money, ran away from him, and Bobby caught up and tackled him, killing Jimmy in the process.
“Do you not see the fault of your ways, Bobby?”
“This is your doing, and you must take responsibility for what you have done, what will you do?”
Bobby had not thought of this yet. He killed Jimmy, and no one else was responsible. There were no witnesses, and not one police officer. The only one was the five-dollar bill, which he thought was only a figment of his imagination. Bobby started to scream. He was scared, scared of everything. Every house, every tree, every sidewalk, every single thing on the entire street had seen him. The walls had eyes, the trees had ears, and the wind whispered.
The five-dollar bill shaped itself into a smile and started to laugh. It started to fly away in the wind. Bobby tried to catch it, but he was too late. It was gone. He ran away before anyone could see him near the area, and see him near the body itself.
Five miles away, in a forest where no one lived or went, two strange figures stepped out of a silver metal saucer.
“Do you understand now?” said a voice, seemingly familiar to the voice of the five-dollar bill. “Humans cannot comprehend their actions.”
“I can see that conclusion,” said the other voice, showing no emotion. “They do not understand their faults, they commit crimes, even murder, over insignificant matter such as money. These humans are full of greed. Even wars are started over greed. This little boy killed another little boy over greed, and he proceeded to run away from the problem instead of admitting he did it. Let us hope this does not continue to happen as time goes on in this seemingly simian race.” The two figures got into the ship and flew off into the sky, not be seen again in some uncertain time.
Copyright Henry Abrams 2006
Outcast (The Jaime Berger Blogs: Part One)
Folks, as a writer and a creative person, sometimes, I have problems getting motivated. Other times, I just have lack of ideas, or things just aren’t clicking. Today, I had a thought.
Charles Bukowski was a famous author who used a persona for the main character of his novels, though this persona was really just him using a false name and changing the names of those involved. Some of the best writers in the world say to write what you know. I had an idea today to do something similar. I figured I would write about true events that have taken place in my life the last decade and the last year, and combine them together into one larger story arc, using false names, and using an alter ego. I decided to split it into 4 parts, the first being this post right here, Outcast, which is Part 1 of the Greater arc I call "The Jaime Berger Blogs".
Most of the things in the story are true, in fact, almost all of them are true, but I have changed the names as not to hurt those I care about, and actually want to keep friends with. They will remain unnamed, and you will have to figure them out on your own if you really want the full story. Some may be shocked by some of the things you’re about to read, but I assure you, I do this as a form of therapy, but not only that, I do it as a form of creativity. I am so proud to have written this, and this is just the beginning of something huge. I know it.
So without further ado; this is Outcast.
As he sat at his computer, looking endlessly at websites, James Berger was thinking. Thinking about mistakes he had made in the past, mistakes he would probably make in the future, and why he couldn’t seem to figure himself out. When he was 13, James, or “Jaime” as his friends affectionately called him, was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a mental disability that meant he had trouble reading social cues in normal conversation. Throughout his early years, he struggled to try and maintain a normal life, but he could not. Friends that understood him best would often say that he worked on a ‘higher level’, and had extraordinary gifts, the biggest of which was his writing ability.
In high school, Jaime struggled to connect with others, and he didn’t have many friends. He was so caught up in his thoughts most of the time, that when he said anything, he was already in the middle of another conversation with himself. This led to him blurting out random things, answers, and that led to him getting in trouble. The thing was, James didn’t go to a normal high school where he would immediately get sent to the principal’s office. Instead, they had counselors assigned to each of the kids, and Jaime’s counselor, Garry, would try and figure out the issue with him, whatever it may be. Garry however was befuddled by Jaime. He tried to get to him, console him, to make him see, but James was uninterested, still communicating with himself.
He would daydream about becoming a movie star, being a hero of some kind, even a Christ-like figure at times. He was always stuck in his head, always thinking, never changing. His lack of communication lead to his outcast status on the yard during breaks and lunch. He would jump from group to group, never really having a place among people. It didn’t help that his family life was the same way. From a young age, his father had been in Real Estate and when things got better to worse, they would move. Their family had moved over twenty times by the time he was in his early twenties.
It had also strained the relationship he had had with his family in general. His father, ever an optimist, was also a gambler, and a liar. James tried to connect with him, but because of their different varying opinions on things, he never felt respected by him because he didn’t want what his father wanted for him. At the current moment, searching on the computer, his father had been in jail for a little while for bad business dealings, and manipulating others. Jaime’s mother was a lovely woman, and despite trying to connect with him, and feeling similar to him, she was ever pessimistic. She drank sometimes, and tried to mask her problems, but he could see she was in constant pain. He felt that because she had never achieved her goals that she felt like her life was stolen away. Jaime’s sister was a big point of contention. As much as he loved her, there was an air of envy between the two of them. She had the connection with their father that he had once desired, and this caused a rift between them. She was bright, business-minded, and at the same time, almost calculatingly cold, but never callous or mean-spirited.
When he got out of High School, James went to Southern Florida to a program which he was told would help him, teach him to deal with his social anxieties, and make him learn what life was really about. Though this ended up happening, it did not happen when he went to this program. From the moment he got there, he was miserable. Though he made fast friends, some better than others, and he was well liked, the program itself was understaffed, and treated him the same way he was treated in High School; like an outcast. To them, he was another paycheck. He had to wake up at 7 in the morning for tutoring, and went to classes at a Junior College, not a real one like he was originally promised. James never really wanted to be in the program in the first place, but he was forced by his parents. His father had said that if he didn’t go, he would be kicked out of the house, and Jaime also saw this as an opportunity to get away from them, so he jumped at the chance.
Now, Jaime sat at his desk, a 22-year old man, an almost drifter, unknowing of what the future held for him, and feeling alone. This did not deter him however, as life had been like this for him for a long time. He lived on unemployment he received from when he worked as a Game Tester the year before, and he wrote in his spare time. He was not writing for money, or for any publication, but he wrote. His blog, his twitter account, and his Facebook had become his only real link left to the outside world. When Jaime wrote, he felt like he could do anything, that he was creating the world around him, that he could share his opinions, his dreams, and his reality with anyone and everyone. He wasn’t afraid of what he wrote, he had long since realized that the more truth he wrote, the more people would understand and connect with him.
James wrote so well that he attracted a lot of attention, and a small following of people. One of these people would eventually become an object of his obsession. Her name was Priscilla. She had once been an actress, and was only a few years older than Jaime, but was starting to attract major attention from people for her ability, as well as document her life through pictures, writing, and video on the internet. She was absolutely stunningly beautiful, even more beautiful in person than her pictures would only show. Not only that, she was funny, she was smart, and Jaime felt a connection with her.
The first time he had met Priscilla, James had come back from getting some burgers at a local fast food joint. He was wallowing in misery at the impending criminal sentence of his father, so he decided to put that effort into a cheeseburger and his stomach. He was talking to another blogger on twitter, when he was told that this cool blogger chick was close to his apartment attending a party in Downtown. Jaime didn’t have a car, for the bank had taken it away, but it was close enough that he could walk. He immediately started talking to her, and she invited him to a party that was going on over twitter. He jumped at the chance, put on his coat, and ran out of his apartment.
After a few minutes of convincing the security person at the front desk that he was there for the party, he ended up at the lounge area. When he entered, a beautiful, black haired goddess approached him, and with the force of a grizzly bear, gave him a tremendous hug and said, “Hi, I’m Priscilla.” Jaime was as caught off-guard as he was delighted by this. It had been the first time he had ever met her, and he had not had a lot of social contact with other people in the real world for quite some time, but he held it together and said, “Hi, I’m James, but you can call me Jaime.”
Her beautiful, bright, bubbly smile was relieving, but at the same time, petrifying. He quickly bolted to go grab some coffee from one of the machines nearby, trying to calm himself down. He was slightly shaking with exhilaration that he felt actually having met someone online that wasn’t a totally creeper. Jaime didn’t look so hot himself though.
He had long, curly hair, and major Five O’clock shadow. He had lost sixty pounds the previous year, but was still getting used to the fact that he was now rather handsome in other people’s eyes. He was also unconfident of the scars he had on his nose, which no one seemed to notice most of the time, however every time Jaime looked in the mirror, he saw them. They were like 2 giant marks of shame on his face. He had once famously proclaimed to his therapist that that were signs of his past, one was deep, and one was visible, similar to his relationship with his father.
After taking a seat and drinking some coffee, he calmed down enough to start talking to Priscilla and her two friends. He quickly learned what she was all about, and how truthful she was with her words, and the confidence of the way she carried herself. It was intriguing to him, so intriguing, he found himself clinging to every word she said like it was gospel from the bible. She knew what she wanted, and she knew how to get it. She wasn’t afraid of what others though, and Jaime instantly thought of how he acted the same way, just on his own terms.
His twitter account, though popular, was a stream of consciousness for James. He came up with witty sarcasm, social commentary, and had expressed his views on how mutual respect for one another was the most important thing in the world, and to the future of the world. Some people were turned off by all of this, especially since he sometimes rambled so much, but most realized how important the things he said were, and how down to Earth and truthful he was being. Unfortunately, the Jaime in the online world was different from the Jaime in the real world, and he could not just assimilate the personality immediately. It was like an on and off switch. His writing, and how he acted in reality were different, albeit similar.
James started talking to Priscilla about his time as a Game Tester, explaining that it was not like depicted in films and television shows, on the contrary, it was hard work, and mentally exhausting. After some time explaining all of this, Priscilla asked if he wanted to write for the site. He was shocked by the offer. He had met this beautiful woman for the first time not thirty minutes earlier, and she was already giving him a chance to show off his writing ability to a large audience. Jaime accepted, and said that he would have something prepared for her soon.
Later that evening, they were upstairs in a penthouse, talking, and having a good time. Jaime had a couple of beers, and Priscilla had a few drinks as well. They kept talking and talking, and Jaime actually found himself having a good time, especially in the company of this amazing person. Her knowledge of technology, the internet, social media such as twitter and Facebook, her pop-culture references; Jamie slowly started falling to her allure. He had never met someone who understood how he felt so well without even saying it. Naturally, James was having a bit of trouble talking to her, not only because of the booze, but because she was so quick and cool, it made it hard for even him to keep up. He was stepping on his own toes, and he started to say a few weird things here and there. He needed to keep himself under control, and lock himself down lest he ruin this new friendship, and possibly potential future relationship with this woman.
When he was originally diagnosed, Jaime was severely emotionally compromised. He had trouble sharing his complete thoughts and emotions with others, and getting them to understand where he was coming from. He had a memory like an Elephant, the cunning of a Hawk, and was smarter than the average bear, but he didn’t know what to do with all of it. This is something that would not fix itself, though medication tended to help. Unfortunately for him, the medication also made him grow a pair of man boobs, and caused hypoglycemia. Though this bothered him severely, he realized that there was nothing he could do about it, and he would have to live with it until he could figure out a way to fix it.
After Florida, Jaime came back to Los Angeles, his hometown, and once again lived with his family. He explored drugs, alcohol, and partied. When he had come back, he was a different person. Five months is a long time, and being in a different environment for that long can have lasting effects on people, especially Jaime. He never forgot what happened to make him leave.
As the night wore on, so did Priscilla and Jaime’s conversation. They agreed on so much, to the point that she actually laughed at one of his jokes. A woman, let alone a beautiful one, had never once laughed at any joke he’d ever told. He was always usually shunned for being overweight (which was no longer the case), or his glasses, or the way he looked, etc. But Priscilla was cool, and she had even said how impressed she was at the casual nature of his clothing too. James looked completely out of place at this party. Most people were dressed up snappy casual, while Jaime was wearing a pair of baggy jeans, a hoodie that looked like a character from Star Wars, and a T-shirt. He felt out of place, and he kept getting looks from a lot of people. He didn’t care. By this time, he only cared about what Priscilla thought, and by her gauging, it seemed peachy.
The last real contact he had with a woman so stunning that he actually saw was in Florida, and was one of the major reasons why he left. One night, walking over to a friend’s house, he saw her undressing with the blinds open. She lived on the bottom level of the apartment complex he was living in at the time, and this girl was oblivious to the fact someone might, and was watching. Jaime had to cross in front of her window in order to reach his friend’s apartment across the complex. Though he hated himself, he spent a little time watching this go on, his heart thumping away the whole time. He was sick to his stomach, and he felt that this voyeuristic behavior was uncalled for, but he was only 18, and his hormones were raging. He could take anything he could get, even if it meant sacrificing a little bit of himself in order to get a view of some breasts.
She was a pretty young thing. Blonde hair, D-cup breasts, perky ass. Unfortunately, she was also a bitch. Though he hung out a lot with her, she obviously didn’t like him that much, and had something against him. It could have been his weight, or it could have been his strange attitude, he did not know. He did know however that she was mean and stupid. She claimed to be engaged to some Hawaiian dude she had met 4 months earlier, and she was in love, or she “thought” she was in love. Obviously, he figured that sometime later, they would probably be broken up, and she would end up with some douchebag or sugar daddy. He didn’t care at that moment. He was more interested in her beautiful figure. It only lasted less than three minutes, and when it was over, he continued on his way like nothing had occurred, and it was just business as usual.
He arrived at his friend’s apartment, which smelled to high heaven like cigarette smoke. His friend, Mike, was a chain-smoker, and a drinker. He had chronic bronchitis, but wouldn’t admit it, nor would he see a doctor for it. Jaime didn’t care. He liked the man for who he was, and felt they had a lot in common. They were both kind of stuck there together, and on the first day at the program, Jaime approached him, and they had made fast friends. They were both huge movie buffs, loved to drink and smoke weed, and loved to just sit around like lumps letting their asses grow. Their conversations were really nerdy, some of which involved superheroes, Star Wars, and the like. Jaime thought that Mike would be one of his best friends forever.
After a few drinks and a few puffs of the joint, Jaime decided to confide in Mike what had happened not hours before. It was a mistake he would soon regret. Mike reacted as he always would, nodding his head, laughing, and also having some back and forth banter about it. Jaime may have exaggerated a few of the details, but overall, he told the story as it had happened. A little later on, Mike asked him if he wanted to stay the night, to which James said yes, though he needed to go back to his apartment to get a few things. Mike said he would wait, so Jaime headed back to his apartment, grabbed some clothes and his laptop, and proceeded to head back. It was dark out, around nine, but not so late that Mike would go to bed.
When he got to the front door, Jaime noticed something odd. The blinds were shut in Mike’s apartment, the lights were off, and the door was locked. He knocked on the door, thinking that Mike had just gotten ready for their little “slumber party” excursion. He waited a moment, and knocked again. No answer. Jaime was starting to get worried. He banged on the door again. Still no answer. He called out, “MIKE!” Nothing. Jaime cussed out in anger, “Mike, what the fuck, man?” He tried calling him, and texting him, but finally, after fifteen minutes, he gave up and went back home, and fell asleep.
Priscilla was doing some work at the party, showing off her little gadgets and such to Jaime, schmoozing with other guests, but finally, she found what she had come for; An interview with a famous rock star. He was dressed in all black, but was not so scruffy like he had appeared on his albums and in music videos. Priscilla introduced herself, and her crew, as well as Jaime. He had a double-take for a moment when he met Jaime because of his appearance, but still shook his hand and was very pleasant. After all was said and done, Jaime continued to chat around with Priscilla. Her presence was calming to him, like he could really be himself around her without fear of scrutiny or shame. He was confident with her. It was rare for him, though he knew that she was worthy of it, if not more so than almost anyone he had ever met. He felt lucky to have even met her just because of how amazing she was. She was a real person, not some fame driven bimbo robot like most of the people in Los Angeles. She was doing this for herself, and that turned Jaime on.
It was beginning to get late, and Priscilla and some of her friends had to leave. Jaime, in a rush, tried to finish his beer quickly. He had a few little snacks that they were bringing around including a little Coconut Shrimp skewer. Jaime soon realized that this little item might cause him some trouble the second he finished his beer. Though nauseated, he managed to say his good-byes to Priscilla, telling her that he would contact her soon, and gave her a hug good-bye, as she had given him a hug hello.
After not hearing from Mike most of the next day, James decided to give him a call. He did not pick up, which was unusual, as he and Mike talked incessantly all the time on the phone. He decided to go visit one of the other people in the group, who informed Jaime that Mike had ratted on him to the girl about what he saw. Jaime was devastated. He had been stabbed in the back by someone he trusted, someone he considered to be his good friend. He was so shocked, that he had to confirm this with another person in the group as well. On the way, he ran into the girl he had seen, and who was at the center of this. She was angry, humiliated, and wanted to punch him in the face. To be fair, Jaime was angry at himself for having even shared it at all. He caused more harm and damage over something that he considered just a little teenage silliness. He felt hurt, betrayed, upset, sad, and most of all, he felt manipulated.
Things were not the same after that. For the next few months, he tried making friends with a new group of people, and though they were nice, Jaime didn’t feel the type of connection he felt with Mike or his former group of friends. He contemplated suicide. The program was getting more intense, people coming to help him clean his room, tutoring at six in the morning instead of seven. Finally, he called his parents and said, “I have to come home. I’m going to kill myself if I stay here.” In February, after Five months, he finally came back to home. He had changed, and his dealings with friends would not be the same ever again.
After Priscilla had left, the party started to ramp up. The music was blaring, and Jaime felt more and more nauseated. He held it in as long as he could, and finally excused himself to use the facilities. He got in, locked the door, lifted up the toilet seat, and vomited. He felt ashamed to have done it at all in this beautiful penthouse. It smelled terrible as well. All of the emotional excitement, booze, and food had finally gotten to him. As upset as he was, he cleaned the bathroom and toilet to the best of his abilities, washed his hands, and zipped up his jacket as not to show the small stain that had appeared. He walked out of the restroom, said his goodbyes to the last of Priscilla’s friends and went home.
When he got back, he immediately started writing about his time as a Game Tester, and things began to come clear. He felt something good was on the horizon for once, something he wanted; A chance.
So there you have it. Part One. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it, and I promise that there will be more to come in the coming month.
The Battle: A Short Story
The Battle: A short story by Henry Abrams
The air cooled around the two warriors as they stared each other down, neither of them yielding to the other. One, draped in shadowy black flames, eyes sanguine as a pool of spilled blood, the other, covered so brightly in white cloth, eyes blackened, filled with determination. The dark one sneered at his opponent, seeming to cackle under his breath. The light one frowned with a look of intensity, ready to strike the dark one down without a moment’s hesitation.
There was a quiet in the air. The wind blew, and mist poured in around their ankles. Their plane was not an earthly one, for this battle was not taking place in our physical reality. The area was muted, a sterile white, no colors to be found save for the two warriors standing a few yards away from each other.
The dark one drew his sword, a large katana made of black steel with an obsidian handle. A ruby sat in the middle of the blade, dripping tears of blood on the ground as he swayed the blade back and forth, preparing himself. The light one drew his blade, a Claymore with little accessories save for an inscription on the blade. It read, “In all things, we must persevere.” He closed his eyes and held the sword to his chest, seeming to pray to some force. The dark one showed his teeth, sharped and putrid like a wolf waiting to strike down his prey. The light one opened his eyes and held his sword high above his head. The dark one held his katana to his side and took a wide stance, ready to strike. The battle had begun.
The two ran at each other, leaped high into the air, and clashed. There was a flash of light, and then, nothing.