Monday, October 3, 2011

John 1:3

The world was insanely loud all around him. Things, images, faces, spun like hamster wheels inside his intoxicated head, reaching for anything solid and stable enough to hold his weight as the tour bus rolled along the dirt road highway. He stumbled towards the back of the bus, where his bunk waited for him, along with a naked girl, legs spread and calling to him. She could not have been no more than seventeen years of age. If he was lucky, she would yet have been mauled by the rest of the band, sickened at the thought of sloppy seconds and thirds, his stomach churned violently as he fell into the bunk and into her embrace. Even if he had wanted her, sex was the furthest thing on his mind, swimming in a sea of darkness and dread, the events from the Motel still fresh and vivid. He rolled off to the side, his back against the side of the wall, pushing her from his bunk. In the instant his eyes caught the face, he had sworn that the girl was the very same from the Motel. Her face was pinkish red, like a rare steak served to him on a platter of mortal sin, her lips pink with strawberry lip gloss that soothed his stomach for a moment. She took him by his scruffy bearded chin, pulling him closer to her. It was then that he saw her face morph into the scowl of a angry and mauled corpse, licking at his cheek with the tongue of an Asp. He ran his hand under her chin and shoved her out from his bunk, which caught fire to the curtains hanging over the entry to his bunk. He fall back against the wall again, kicking at the curtain with his feet, ripping it from the rod. He then noticed the girl was no longer there, pulling himself from the bunk to find that both the front and back ends of the bus had caught fire as well. Wade had been trapped inside a burning moving coffin. From the fires emerged the other band members, their flesh burning away from the bone as they walked towards him, agony echoing inside the bus geared towards seeking out redemption by sharing their pain with him. He dropped to his knees and threw up his arms in defense, begging mercy for what was about to unfold. He then caught a glimpse of another presence that was neither there and all around him at once. "This is not for you." A voice said. And then, Wade Keller woke.

His bunk was saturated heavily with his own sweat, piss and bile, his head burned along the top of his scalp, his skin crawling still from the vividness of his dream. He was also crying. His tears flowed freely as though they were not his own. He rolled out from the bunk, stumbling along the walkway to the front of the bus. The driver, Steely, was staring straight ahead, an Ipod plugged into his ears, as he drove and took pulls from his tallboy.
     "Stop the bus."
Wade tapped Steely onto the shoulder, stuttering through a second plea: "sstop thhe busss."
When Steely refused to acknowledge him a second time, Wade then ripped the headphones from his ears.
The doors unfolded to the bus. Wade jumped from the bus onto the gravel median. There was a chill in the air. At some point, during the night hours, it had rained and left behind a dense fog that hugged the one lane highway, veiling over the side of the road and the tree line running alongside it. The others watched, shouting to Wade, as he made a mad dash into the woods. The fog swallowed around him, his voice trailed off somewhere beyond the eerie curtain of mother nature never to be seen or heard from again.

In the foggy bathroom mirror, a man stood, his face partially shaved, looking at the transformation occurring before his very own eyes. It was amazing to the man how a shower and a shave altered one's appearance, along with a haircut to complete the makeover. He leaned closer, placing the razor against his cheek, next to his ear, and removed the scruffy side-burn, washing the hair from his razor in the sink.
     "What is your name?" A voice asked.
     "Where are you from?"
The man thought about this.
     "A man of God answers only to The Father. I am from the dust of ages, created by the love of the Lord, to serve His will and lead my fellow man to His Kingdom, recruited by the light to hold back the dark and seek out the truths of our Fallen Son."
His razor slid smoothly along his cheek, then up in single careful strokes back to where he began. He looked in the mirror and greeted a total stranger. The face looking back was a youthful one. The wrinkles of drug abuse and long nights had magically erased from his eyes. The man he knew was a man teetering on the line of death. A man who had long lost the will to live and walked among his peers as a dead man walking. Now, he had buried that corpse, born anew and given life back to the person he had so selfishly abused.
     "Whom do you serve?"
     "I serve no one. I act on the impulse of truth. I seek out the light and wrap myself inside its warmth. I fear no man. I fear no demon. And I stand against The Black."
     "Good. You have come along wonderfully, Wade."
Father Jessley stepped up behind the man in the mirror, helping him with his black flowing cassock, and snapping together his neckband to complete his outfit that stretched over his broad powerful shoulders.
     "I feel like a new man."
     "As you should. Now, finish up and join me in the kitchen. I have something I want to show you."

John, he thought as he wiped his face clean. Of all the names in the world, he got to be the next John. he conducted his Dear John letter to himself, while he cleaned up his mess. His life as a rock star was now in the past, buried with the man who fled into the woods several months before. That life was no longer. Now his life consisted of enlightenment and knowledge, the hidden truth buried beneath a mountain of lies that poisoned the parishes of the world. He had been introduced to a life that was both unsettling and inspiring at once, terrifying while satisfying a rush that no drug could come close to fulfilling. Deacon Jessley had opened a door to him that, once stepped through, did not offer any return. the benefit was absolute truth, but the pressure of having such responsibility had too often overwhelmed others who had attempted this same path. He had almost ran from this role, but he had something that those before him had not. Deacon Jessley had called it, Guardianship. The blessings of an Archangel that no man had known since the First Possession. What little he knew of this sent frozen chills down his spine. No one knew the whole truth of the First Possession, only that it reached well beyond the understanding of men, even those who were there to witness it. The rumor mill had successfully banished the truth deep within a thousand years worth of deception. Not even the Pontiff knew for sure what it was or how it had happened. Because of this lack of knowing, a uniquely developed faction of men were fashioned from the Ideals of Peter. The only human to ever grace the doorstep of heaven and return as a Godsend: "See you on the flip." John said to Wade as he turned the other cheek, shutting of the light as he closed the door behind him.

When John walked into the kitchen, Deacon Jessley sat waiting at the table, a thick brown leather bound book rest in front of him,  with a silver polished metal briefcase to the side of the it. On top of the briefcase was an emblem, a gold Crown of crowns, separating two keys that crossed over the other; one made of gold and the other of platinum. A white sash hung from the crown and wrapped around the teethe of both keys, while a red cincture, looped into the shape of a cross, bound the ends of each key loop.
     "Have a seat, John."
     "What is this?"
     "The only things you will need from this day forward." Deacon Jessley said unlatching the lock on the briefcase.
He lifted the top of the case and turned it to John. Inside was a 13 inch LCD display built into the casing, its screen blank for the time being. The lower half of the briefcase contained a keypad and keytop, with a slot for scanning documents to one side and a second bay to scan objects which created a 3D panoramic scale of the object."
     "This is your sanctuary. Everything you will ever need is here. Treat it as though it were a living thing, and never lose site of it, for this briefcase holds a knowledge base of two thousand years of human history. All that you come face to face with form here on will be found within its data banks. If you do not find it here, it's because no one before you has ever seen what you will undoubtedly discover. It is a direct link to the Patriarch and his many factions. Once you receive this, you will no longer be under my supervision. You may not contact me. You may not speak of me. You may not ask of me. Upon your first linkup, you will be assigned a Bishop. It is he who you will report to and carry out the orders of. Do not question your orders, regardless of there direction. Do you understand?"
John sat back in the chair, his eyes never leaving the emblem.
     "John, do you understand?"
     "Yes. And the book?"
Deacon Jessley touched the book, his eyes closed for a moment like it had connected with his very soul the moment he touched it. It brought him great comfort. The words contained inside its pages were older than anything he knew. A kind of power man only dreams of, an instructional blueprint in how to understand all things. It was the Alpha Codex, the most holy of books. Every known story in all capacity of religions took root from its pages. Whispers that turned to rumor the moment they left the mouths of those who knew of its words, spawned an endless root from the tree of knowledge that had evolved throughout time.
     "Those of us inside the Holy Bridge know it as the Alpha Codex, but you, as well as all people outside us, know its watered down version as the Holy Bible, the Qur'an, the Bhagavad Gita, the Torah, the Avesta and all others like them."
     "You speak like Moses spoke after his journey down Mount Horeb." John said with a smile that was quickly removed at the glare from the Deacon.
     "You will notice this thumbprint on the side of the binder. You shall carry this with you at all times inside the sanctuary. If you take it outside, you will never lose site of it. In the event that you are mortally wounded and this Codex is not safely inside your sanctuary, you will engage this thumbprint at which point it will release a corrosive agent from its bind that will destroy it. Do you understand?"
     "Yes. But why would you give me such an important historical artifact, if it must never go beyond the scope of my own eyes?"
     "Because you will not be able to continue your path without it. The Alpha Codex will challenge you in ways no other man can. Its words will question things you never took the time before to consider. It will take you beyond the horizon of modern thinking and propel you into a world that cannot be explained, only visited. This book is the link between you and God, my son. I bequeath it to you as both a gift and a curse."
     "But why a curse?"
     "Knowing the truth is never a pleasant thing. Even with the knowledge I possess, I remain uncertain."
     "About what?"
     "The future."
They shared a few long moments of silence with one another. Then, leaning in and taking the Alpha Codex, John nodded to the Deacon, placing it inside his sanctuary.
     "I don't believe in fairy tales, Deacon. But I do believe in those things which I can see and feel, and I have taken an oath to you and the Holy Bridge. What is it that my Brothers have me do?"
Deacon Jessley got up from his chair. He walked over to the door and opened it, ushering John onto the porch.
     "Go. Live. Though you serve the Priesthood, you do so as an observer and given pass by the highest of authority. Find a place to call home, nest within a parish of your choosing and live. Study the Codex as often as you can and make it part of you, as if it were your own hand that inscribed it. When the time is right, seek sanctuary and linkup with whomever your Bishop is. Then your true potential will finally be revealed, whatever that may be."
He hugged John as he would his own Son or Brother.
     "Never forget how you came to be here on this porch, my son. You were called by God for reasons yet unknown to us, but you also have the guidance of an Angel. That must count for something."
He grabbed John's hand, shoving a set of keys into his hand.
John turned and started down the steps of the porch.
The sunlight has cast a line of brilliance over the young man.
     "What is your name?"
     "John...Writhe. Father John Writhe."
     "Tell me Father, do you believe?"
     "I believe in those things which I can see and feel. I believe God has a purpose that eludes those not looking. I believe I can find this purpose and deliver it from evil." He said. John carried on towards the Jeep in the driveway, setting his briefcase in the passenger seat, climbing into the driver's chair. He adjusted the rear-view mirror, greeting the man looking back at him. His smile now matched his own.
Deacon Jessley clutched at the emblem of the Holy Bridge on the front of his dalmatic tunic: "Let your disbelief be your guide, my son." He then stepped back inside the house, closing the door to the outside world. He could only pray that Father Writhe continue to question what he would see before him, for the moment he began to suspend his disbelief would be the moment in which he too failed, like so many before him had done.

The world continued to spin. 

John had spent the better part of a month traveling across the country, stopping only to sleep and seek solace inside his sanctuary, learning more about the Holy Bridge and the reason of its existence. During his travels, John decided to follow his instincts, as well as his curiosity, stopping to see some of the relics and miracles the codex mentioned as footnotes, left by those who wrote them, within its pages. This was not a requirement given to him, but a need to see the things which often left the masses to push aside as clever human manipulation that preyed on the devout followers of God. First he visited Boston, where a statue of the Madonna rest, said to have blinked its eyes as it was carried through a religious procession. Since the procession, thousands of people flocked to the chapel and clubhouse of the Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca Society where the statue was kept. He did not spend much time here, for the priest, who ushered him inside and allowed him a more close and personal encounter with the statue, were asking questions that he was not yet prepared to answer. As he was leaving, an elderly man, kneeling with his head touching his chest, reached out from a pew and grabbed him by the hand.
     "You're new here." The man said without looking up from his apparent prayer.
     "Just passing through."
     "A sight-seeing priest, is it?"
     "More like one miracle worker greeting another." He said as he politely pried his hand free from the man's grip. "May the Lord be with you."
     "Oh, he is. I do not doubt that at all, father."
It was how the man had said this that disturbed John for the remainder of the day. He wasn't sure why as it was an innocent enough reply, but there was something more to his words, as though each of them had been dipped in malice prior to saying them. As much as he wanted to leave the man in Boston, his words remained with him to Kentucky, for yet another weeping miracle, which then took him up to Ohio for more tears from paintings, statues, paintings of statues and one account of a woman who wept blood at the feet of the Sacred Heart. All accounts without conclusion, and those within the church were locked down as though millions of dollars worth of diamonds sat on a satin pillow. And yet, not a single mention of the Virgin Mother graced the pages of the Alpha codex. This left John at an impasse, where one direction was down a slippery slope of blind faith and the other a gauntlet of suspicion marred with heretic implications if he mouthed the slightest disagreement. By the time John had reached his destination, deciding on a permanent place of residence to call home, outside Mesa Arizona, to a town called Peeblelark, his head was swimming with more questions than a life of answers could satisfy. Just as Deacon Jessley foretold.

In another place, at the exact moment of John's deluded epiphany, a warm and gentle hand reached out and touched the shoulder of a woman, desperately in need of consoling. She reached up and felt the hand of the Angel and pressed it against the side of her face with her shoulder. It had nearly been a decade since she last seen the Angel.
     "You came."
     "You called."
     "I am lost. I have seen the face of my enemy and it is wretched and more evil than anything I have ever seen...or felt."
     "A demon?"
The Angel lightly squeezed her fingers.
     "Fear not, my child. There is someone waiting for you. He will be a great ally in our cause. Perhaps more so than I."
The woman looked up to the face of her Angel and shielded her eyes from his radiance.
     "Who could be greater an ally than my own guardian Angel?" She asked with a playful laugh.
     "The Judas Priest." He answered her with uncertainty trailing his words.



  1. And now we come back to the beginning again. The prequel inside the continuing story. Nicely done. You have an amazing way with words.

  2. There needed to be a distinction between Wade and John and how he came to be. I have not had "fun" writing something in a long time. I can honestly say that I am having a blast writing this.

  3. I can imagine you are. If it's half as much fun to write as it is to read you must be having a ball. When I get out of my comfy box and write my alternative stuff I have a great time too.