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No Fear Cavalier's Blog Entry



 
 

Blog Entry
 
Friday, Jul 07, 2017
Johnny's Story - PART 1 (consolidated)

    Johnny sat in the belfry of the old Spanish cathedral, staring out over a city he no longer recognized.  It was one of those uncertain nights where the sky, mottled by dark clouds and starlight, was spitting rain even asthe full moon shone brightly overhead.  The streetsbelow him werea noisy and garish patchwork of neon.  In  the distance, the ocean brooded in darkness, the thick thunderclouds far out sea occasionally flashing brightly and rumblingas if in disapproval.

    "So,"  said the strange statue next to him, "Do you want to hearyour storyagain?"

    Johnny lit another cigarette and leaned back.  There was a warm breeze coming in from the stormy sea.  It caressed his face as another rumble drowned out the noise of traffic and music from far below.

    "I got nothing better to do."  Johnny responded with his usuallack ofloquaciousness.

    The gargoyle jutted out over the streets below.  It looked bored with its hands on its chin.  Johnny thought it was ugly as sin.  It had a beak where its mouth should be and wild eyes popped out on either side of its head.  It was old, crumbling in places, with thick coatings of moss that grew across its surface like leprosy. 

    "Your name is Johnny.  At least that's what you told people down there.  You ran with a motorcycle club out of Cleveland.  You called yourselves the Coyotes.  I don't know why.  It's a dumb name."

    Johnny gave the statue an irritated sidelong glance.  "We liked the cartoon."

    "It's still a dumb name."  The statue chided with a vaguely Jamaican lilt.

    "How about I put this cigarette out in your eye?"

    "I've told you this hundreds of times.  It's not a real eye.  I know you don't remember but it's starting to get a little tired.  Do you want me to keep going or would you rather be telling it yourself?"

    Johnny had no idea how a statue on top of a church in Jamaica could possibly know so much about him.  Then again, it was a statue.  And it was talking.  Which you think would be more confusing.  But Johnny had always been the sort to deal with things at face value without over-processingmuch.  He'd woken up in the cathedral hours ago.   Exploring he found it to be abandoned, long abandoned, though as far as he could remember the cathedralhad never been that way.  His last thoughts of it were of beautiful stained glass and lots of people.  Now it was dust and graffiti and darkness.  Empty as a skull where the flesh had long since rotted away.  And worse - he couldn't find a way out.  He'd made his way to  the top.  And that's where he'd met this thing.

    "You run from the States for reasons you no never explain.  "  Johnny absent-mindedly touched his chestas if brushed by a painful memory.  "You took up here in Port Au Prince, hustling pool, taking odd jobs.  The bishop of this place took you under his wing as a project.  Youalways say youlike him, though you never religious.  Mostly you just kept to yourself, your roachy apartment, and your motorcycle"

    "The next part is the part I watch from here.  Down there in front of the cathedral you come upon a local gang dragging one of the parishoners - a very young girl - towards the alley.  She scream for help but the people looked away.  No one expect you to do anything - you tell me many times you not fight for anyone no more except yourself.  Then suddenly everyone watch when you stop and get off your motorcycle and approach them with a crow bar. You fought pretty well for a skinny white boy, much better than I expected."

    "I been in my share of scrapes back home.  Rumbling never lead anywhere good.  I figured I'd given it up.  My luck it would follow me." Johnny sighed wistfully and flicked some ashes out into the abyss, watching the wind carry away a few burning embers like tiny drifting fairies, "Just made for it I guess."

    The statue continued.  "The last thing one of them say before his face met your crowbar was DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?  You either no know or no care. Even I knew he was a bokar of Santa Muerta and he leader of the gang that controlled the streets down there. "

    "I knew who he was."  Johnny responded flatly.

    "The girl she get away cuz of you.  It wasn't long after they ambush you down on this very street.  Shot you down as you rode by.  The bokar was there and as you bleedout on the hot asphalthe mark you.  But the priest was there too.  He burst from the cathedral with some people of his own.  Theygrab you andthey take you inside.  You told me he prayed for you, and placed that cross, a sacred relic, around your neck.  That is the last you thing you remember before you died."

    Johnny paused, clearly phased.  He slowly looked sideways at the statue, the cigarette dangling from his lips.  "I what?"

    "I've told you this a hundred times.  You died.  You died over seventy year ago.  Now whenever the full moon shine on this church, you come back.  You no remember and you can't leave.  You can't throw yourself from the belfry, you can't crash through the window, you can't..."

    "I ain't no freakin' ghost!" Johnny growled.

    "Living people can't hear me Johnny boy.  And you tried every door down there didn't you?"

    "I AIN'T NO GHOST!"

    "I don't know what you are.  That bokar hexed you something bad.  But the priest come, and he did something to protect you.  The prayers of the saints and that holy relic around your neck there.  What I think is youtrapped.  Trapped between the prayers of the saints and something awful.  "

    In disgust Johnny went to tear the cross from around his neck.  He couldn't.  He growled and pulled and thrashed violently, like he was trying to pull off a rain-soaked tee shirt.  Nothing.  After a long struggle it became apparent that it was never coming off.  He slowly looked over at the gargoyle.  "You say we been through this before.”

    “Dozens of times.”

    “So... what happens next?"

    "I no know."  For the first time the masonry's voice sounded almost sympathetic.  "You go down themstairs.  You talk to someone down there.  There's a spirit down there I think.  I can hear your conversations on nights when things is quiet.  I think it wants you to do something.  Something you no want to do.  You yell at it.  Sometimes you fight.  Then.... nothing.  Until the next moon comes up all bright and fat and fulland you come back again."

    There was a long period of silence between them.  The sound of life drifted up raucously from the streets below.  A world he no longer knew or belonged in.  Johnny stood to go.  "I hope this is the last time I will see you Johnny."  The statue said sympathetically but without a lot of hope in its voice.  Johnny paused at the dark opening of the hatch where the stairs led down into the waiting belly of the church.  He looked back, nodded slowly.

    "It's dark as death down there."  Johnny said as he descended. His cigarette burned like an ember for a moment in the blackness.  And then he was gone.

    There was a brilliant flash of lightning.  A peel of thunder roared across the city in time with a powerful blast of wind from the sea.  The people below paused the hustle and bustle of their lives for a moment to look up at the oncoming storm.

    "I'll see you next time again my boy. "  The statue said wearily, " And again.  And again.  And again."


Posted at 10:46 am
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