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The Next Bad Day

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Old 01-07-2018, 12:42 AM
Elenita (Offline)
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Default The Next Bad Day


The Next Bad Day

Christopher Joseph Brent hated going to church. It was like walking into a giant coffin, a coffin fitted with benches for the viewing of a corpse. Except Brent knew of some coffins that were much more comfortable than a church pew. And he had also seen quite a few cadavers that were far more interesting than a church service. So church was more like a hard, itchy, unsanded wooden coffin with a boring corpse inside.

He paused at the front of the aisle and looked up, his eyes running from the rafters down to the cobwebs between cracks in the floor boards and around to the crippled podium where Wyzle was standing. “I was wrong, it’s not like a coffin,” Christopher said as he took a seat in the first row. “It’s more like a mausoleum, you know, size-wise, that’s more accurate.”

Wyzle rested his elbows atop the podium and propped his chin up in his hands. “Do you wanna remind me why we’re here again? No, let me set the scene for you myself.” He waved his hand through the air in a dramatic arc. “Two months ago you got shot in the back and somehow survived and that made you really pissed off and you were a dick to every nurse and therapist during your hospital stay, and you finally got discharged and on your first weekend out Mr. ‘I hate church and religion and most everything else good or neutral in life’ wants to come and meditate under the cross?”

“I just wanted to remember my dead grandma.”

“Um…okay…” Wyzle asked, leaning over the edge of the altar. “I thought you don’t do sentimental.”

“I don’t. I don’t feel sad for her. Never have.” Christopher stretched his arms back and behind his head. “She was ninety-six. She told me the week before she died that she was ready to go, that she was satisfied with the life she’d lived. And then God answered her prayers and she got to die quietly in her sleep.” He stared up at the crucifix pinned at the center of the altar. “Why doesn’t He do the same for me?”

“Because you don’t believe in Him?” Wyzle shrugged. “I think that’s how it’s supposed to work. Besides, you’re not ninety-six. Maybe there’s an age limit on His return policy for life?”

“That would be bad marketing,” Christopher frowned. “Of course there has to be some kind of age restriction if God wants His investments to pay off, He wouldn’t want eight-year-olds demanding Him to take their lives back because they didn’t get a pony for Christmas. But putting the limit at say, fifty years or so wouldn’t be unreasonable.”

“Still wouldn’t help you, though.”

“I would apply to be a special case, obviously. An all-knowing God can see the wisdom in granting exceptions when the case requires it, wouldn’t He?”

Wyzle scratched at the peeling paint at the corner of the altar. “I don’t know. Maybe if He’s all-knowing He would know something you don’t, a reason not to give you what you want.”

“Yeah, He would know the misery that’s waiting for me ahead and He might throw in a few good things just so I have something to lose, to make the torture hurt deeper and last longer.” Christopher got up and walked to the window, wiping away a streak of the dust on the pane with his thumb. “The river here is a lot bigger than I remember. Must be all the rain these past few weeks. I wonder if that’s where they used to do their baptisms. Consenual simulated drownings.”

“I went to my cousin’s drowning--I mean baptism--christening thing whatever last week,” Wyzle said as he strolled over, the wood fussing restlessly beneath his footsteps. “It’s really more like a clothed shower. At least with the kids. Like a hair wash.”

“Without shampoo. Doesn’t really get it clean.”
“You know what I always wonder?” Wyzle leaned against the window frame, the mold nibbling into the threads of his sweater. “Why do they always--”

“WATCH OUT!” Christopher screamed, his words dissolving into the wall of water that slammed through the glass and threw them down, the current flipping them like pancakes over and over until they crashed through the windows on the other end, spinning out into hazy void.

Cold. So fucking cold. Christopher didn’t like the cold, he would take the Sahara over the Artic any day. He blinked and opened his eyes, trying to find some balance as he was somersaulted through the water. It was too murky to see where the flood was taking him, and that suited him just fine. It would all be over in less than a minute. And painless, too. Relatively. Not as painless as a well-placed bullet, but a lot cleaner, much quieter, and cheaper. He had done his research before, he had wanted to know what freedoms he would been giving up by making that promise, and he had always put drowning up in his top three preferred methods of deliverance from this world. Now here was the moment, a prayer he hadn’t prayed about to be answered.

Maybe there was a God after all.

A shadow bumped against him, a head and then he could see the outline of a body. His lungs were already straining for their last chorus, but curiosity made him turn over the body and look at the face.

“Fuck you.” Christopher spat the words out in a string of bubbles that haloed Wyzle’s face. Every time. Why did it always have to happen like this? Just before he was about to witness his first miracle of salvation some idiot like Wizzy here had to show up and pull him out from going under. He hooked his arm under Wyzle’s chest and began kicking up, towards the light above them.

The surface was much closer than he thought, much brighter than he wanted it to be. He sputtered as the waters parted around his throat, curses filling his lungs as he hoisted Wyzle’s limp body onto his back. He could barely tread water under the weight, and the tree branches nudging and stabbing against his ribs weren’t helping. Trees. If he could find a tree somewhere to dump Wyzle off. The cold was already shredding his skin and stinging his fingers, so hypothermia seemed like a safe second bet. He just needed to get rid of Wyzle first.

Grinding his teeth down hard into his tongue he paddled forward, his muscles burning and cramping, his lungs pushing against his ribs, making the air he didn’t even want to breath harder and harder to draw in. He slipped against the water, almost rolling over as Wyzle’s arm slid out from his grip. When he finally reached the low hanging branches of the nearest tree he hoisted Wyzle up, propping his back up against the tree trunk.

“Okay, you bastard,” Christopher gasped, clutching his lungs between coughs. “You do not get to fucking die on me now. That’s what I wanted. You don’t get what’s mine.” He tilted Wyzle’s head to the side and pounded on his back, water dripping out and down his chin like a demented man’s drool. Christopher wiped it away with the back of his sleeve and leaned against his chest, listening.

Nothing.

“You fucking good-for-nothing piece of shit friend,” Christopher snapped. “If you die that’s fine but then why the fuck did I have to pull you out then? I was about to meet my reward for living such a gloriously miserable life! You always ruin everything!” His ears flushed red as he pressed on Wyzle’s chest. “You made me promise and then you go and steal what I wanted. All I ever wanted.”

Up and down. Up and down.

“You always told me ‘don’t be selfish, stick around, for my sake’. So I do, I fucking swear just because you looked so pathetic, and now you go and be a selfish dickhead on my watch!”

In and out. In and out.

“I should have known better than to promise you. I should have just swam somewhere else so I could’ve drowned in peace instead of being stuck here with you. I would rather be in the pits of hell than here with you!” He paused. “If , you know, there was a hell. Because there isn’t. I would know, because I’ve been there.”

Wyzle sputtered, his eyelids flying back as he jerked forward, wheezing uncontrollably and wrenching from side to side. Christopher grabbed his arm and shoved him back against the trunk. “Don’t you dare fucking fall down there again.” he warned, “because I am not going back in for you.”

“C-c-chris?” Wyzle coughed.

“Unfortunately yes. You better be eternally grateful that I didn’t jus--” Christopher stopped as he felt the cold lick of water against his heels. He glanced down to see that the water had risen. Had been rising. Was still rising.

“Wyzle. Wyzle!” He leaned forward and slapped his friend across the face. “Wake the fuck up. Climb up to the next branch. I’ll give you a foot up. Now.”

“C-c-can’t. C-c-cold.”

Christopher landed his fist across his jawline. “Right fucking now! Or I’ll throw you back in the water! Hold onto my shoulders for support and grab the branch up there one hand at a time. Then swing your legs up.”

By the time Wyzle was securely up on the next branch the water was swirling around Christopher’s waist. He breathed a sigh of relief. He was finally free of the responsibility that had brought him out of the water, and now the water returned like the refrain of his favorite song. Maybe there was a God after all, a God who hadn’t overlooked his application and was ready to make good on that return policy exception.

Just as Christopher’s hopes flapped it’s wings and took it’s first flight out of the nest it got shot down by the long, sharp sound of a boat horn, the flashing headlights scalding the surface of the water, the megaphone crackling out judgement.

“H-h-help. Help.” Wyzle croaked, waving one arm in the air. “H-hereeee.”

Th light turned towards them, blindingly, the waters bowing to the messiah. “T-thank God,” Wyzle breathed.

“There is definitely no God.” Christopher shook his head. “No fucking way.”

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Old 01-07-2018, 05:47 AM
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Hooked me with the opening two lines.
Well done.

Now I gotta read the rest.
If there is one more iota of such craft in there I will have used my time at this laptop on a cold nine am Sunday Fort Lauderdale morning well.
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Elenita View Post
The Next Bad Day

Christopher Joseph Brent hated going to church. It was like walking into a giant coffin, a coffin fitted with benches for the viewing of a corpse. Except Brent knew of some coffins that were much more comfortable than a church pew. And he had also seen quite a few cadavers that were far more interesting than a church service. So church was more like a hard, itchy, unsanded wooden coffin with a boring corpse inside.

He paused at the front of the aisle and looked up, his eyes running from the rafters down to the cobwebs between cracks in the floor boards and around to the crippled podium where Wyzle was standing. “I was wrong, it’s not like a coffin,” Christopher said as he took a seat in the first row. “It’s more like a mausoleum, you know, size-wise, that’s more accurate.”

Wyzle rested his elbows atop the podium and propped his chin up in his hands. “Do you wanna remind me why we’re here again? No, let me set the scene for you myself.” He waved his hand through the air in a dramatic arc. “Two months ago you got shot in the back and somehow survived and that made you really pissed off and you were a dick to every nurse and therapist during your hospital stay, and you finally got discharged and on your first weekend out Mr. ‘I hate church and religion and most everything else good or neutral in life’ wants to come and meditate under the cross?”

“I just wanted to remember my dead grandma.”

“Um…okay…” Wyzle asked, leaning over the edge of the altar. “I thought you don’t do sentimental.”

“I don’t. I don’t feel sad for her. Never have.” Christopher stretched his arms back and behind his head. “She was ninety-six. She told me the week before she died that she was ready to go, that she was satisfied with the life she’d lived. And then God answered her prayers and she got to die quietly in her sleep.” He stared up at the crucifix pinned at the center of the altar. “Why doesn’t He do the same for me?”

“Because you don’t believe in Him?” Wyzle shrugged. “I think that’s how it’s supposed to work. Besides, you’re not ninety-six. Maybe there’s an age limit on His return policy for life?”

“That would be bad marketing,” Christopher frowned. “Of course there has to be some kind of age restriction if God wants His investments to pay off, He wouldn’t want eight-year-olds demanding Him to take their lives back because they didn’t get a pony for Christmas. But putting the limit at say, fifty years or so wouldn’t be unreasonable.”

“Still wouldn’t help you, though.”

“I would apply to be a special case, obviously. An all-knowing God can see the wisdom in granting exceptions when the case requires it, wouldn’t He?”

Wyzle scratched at the peeling paint at the corner of the altar. “I don’t know. Maybe if He’s all-knowing He would know something you don’t, a reason not to give you what you want.”

“Yeah, He would know the misery that’s waiting for me ahead and He might throw in a few good things just so I have something to lose, to make the torture hurt deeper and last longer.” Christopher got up and walked to the window, wiping away a streak of the dust on the pane with his thumb. “The river here is a lot bigger than I remember. Must be all the rain these past few weeks. I wonder if that’s where they used to do their baptisms. Consenual simulated drownings.”

“I went to my cousin’s drowning--I mean baptism--christening thing whatever last week,” Wyzle said as he strolled over, the wood fussing restlessly beneath his footsteps. “It’s really more like a clothed shower. At least with the kids. Like a hair wash.”

“Without shampoo. Doesn’t really get it clean.”
“You know what I always wonder?” Wyzle leaned against the window frame, the mold nibbling into the threads of his sweater. “Why do they always--”

“WATCH OUT!” Christopher screamed, his words dissolving into the wall of water that slammed through the glass and threw them down, the current flipping them like pancakes over and over until they crashed through the windows on the other end, spinning out into hazy void.

Cold. So fucking cold. Christopher didn’t like the cold, he would take the Sahara over the Artic any day. He blinked and opened his eyes, trying to find some balance as he was somersaulted through the water. It was too murky to see where the flood was taking him, and that suited him just fine. It would all be over in less than a minute. And painless, too. Relatively. Not as painless as a well-placed bullet, but a lot cleaner, much quieter, and cheaper. He had done his research before, he had wanted to know what freedoms he would been giving up by making that promise, and he had always put drowning up in his top three preferred methods of deliverance from this world. Now here was the moment, a prayer he hadn’t prayed about to be answered.

Maybe there was a God after all.

A shadow bumped against him, a head and then he could see the outline of a body. His lungs were already straining for their last chorus, but curiosity made him turn over the body and look at the face.

“Fuck you.” Christopher spat the words out in a string of bubbles that haloed Wyzle’s face. Every time. Why did it always have to happen like this? Just before he was about to witness his first miracle of salvation some idiot like Wizzy here had to show up and pull him out from going under. He hooked his arm under Wyzle’s chest and began kicking up, towards the light above them.

The surface was much closer than he thought, much brighter than he wanted it to be. He sputtered as the waters parted around his throat, curses filling his lungs as he hoisted Wyzle’s limp body onto his back. He could barely tread water under the weight, and the tree branches nudging and stabbing against his ribs weren’t helping. Trees. If he could find a tree somewhere to dump Wyzle off. The cold was already shredding his skin and stinging his fingers, so hypothermia seemed like a safe second bet. He just needed to get rid of Wyzle first.

Grinding his teeth down hard into his tongue he paddled forward, his muscles burning and cramping, his lungs pushing against his ribs, making the air he didn’t even want to breath harder and harder to draw in. He slipped against the water, almost rolling over as Wyzle’s arm slid out from his grip. When he finally reached the low hanging branches of the nearest tree he hoisted Wyzle up, propping his back up against the tree trunk.

“Okay, you bastard,” Christopher gasped, clutching his lungs between coughs. “You do not get to fucking die on me now. That’s what I wanted. You don’t get what’s mine.” He tilted Wyzle’s head to the side and pounded on his back, water dripping out and down his chin like a demented man’s drool. Christopher wiped it away with the back of his sleeve and leaned against his chest, listening.

Nothing.

“You fucking good-for-nothing piece of shit friend,” Christopher snapped. “If you die that’s fine but then why the fuck did I have to pull you out then? I was about to meet my reward for living such a gloriously miserable life! You always ruin everything!” His ears flushed red as he pressed on Wyzle’s chest. “You made me promise and then you go and steal what I wanted. All I ever wanted.”

Up and down. Up and down.

“You always told me ‘don’t be selfish, stick around, for my sake’. So I do, I fucking swear just because you looked so pathetic, and now you go and be a selfish dickhead on my watch!”

In and out. In and out.

“I should have known better than to promise you. I should have just swam somewhere else so I could’ve drowned in peace instead of being stuck here with you. I would rather be in the pits of hell than here with you!” He paused. “If , you know, there was a hell. Because there isn’t. I would know, because I’ve been there.”

Wyzle sputtered, his eyelids flying back as he jerked forward, wheezing uncontrollably and wrenching from side to side. Christopher grabbed his arm and shoved him back against the trunk. “Don’t you dare fucking fall down there again.” he warned, “because I am not going back in for you.”

“C-c-chris?” Wyzle coughed.

“Unfortunately yes. You better be eternally grateful that I didn’t jus--” Christopher stopped as he felt the cold lick of water against his heels. He glanced down to see that the water had risen. Had been rising. Was still rising.

“Wyzle. Wyzle!” He leaned forward and slapped his friend across the face. “Wake the fuck up. Climb up to the next branch. I’ll give you a foot up. Now.”

“C-c-can’t. C-c-cold.”

Christopher landed his fist across his jawline. “Right fucking now! Or I’ll throw you back in the water! Hold onto my shoulders for support and grab the branch up there one hand at a time. Then swing your legs up.”

By the time Wyzle was securely up on the next branch the water was swirling around Christopher’s waist. He breathed a sigh of relief. He was finally free of the responsibility that had brought him out of the water, and now the water returned like the refrain of his favorite song. Maybe there was a God after all, a God who hadn’t overlooked his application and was ready to make good on that return policy exception.

Just as Christopher’s hopes flapped it’s wings and took it’s first flight out of the nest it got shot down by the long, sharp sound of a boat horn, the flashing headlights scalding the surface of the water, the megaphone crackling out judgement.

“H-h-help. Help.” Wyzle croaked, waving one arm in the air. “H-hereeee.”

Th light turned towards them, blindingly, the waters bowing to the messiah. “T-thank God,” Wyzle breathed.

“There is definitely no God.” Christopher shook his head. “No fucking way.”


First rate piece.
Suggest consider searchlights in place of headlights.
And you are missing an e in the second to last line of text.
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