I have another part of Penance for you! With the craziness of NaNoWriMo being over, I was able to finally pull together a short chapter. Penance is most likely going to be just a five parter story, so we’re a little over half way!
You can catch up on the other two parts here:
Oh! I made a collage:
Smoke in the Graveyard
I pull out the somewhat junky typewriter I bought off an old woman for 50 bucks. I dust it off a bit and set it on the card table in the middle of the kitchen. Myrtle’s blanket lies on the chair, looking as dirty as always.
She’s off at school for the day, and the apartment is quiet.
I find that the lack of noise makes me wary.
I fear I’ve gone soft.
Soon enough, the tapping of the typewriter fills the little grey apartment, bouncing off the ugly orange couch and reaching into Myrtle’s small room. The words spill from my fingers choppily as I type with two fingers. I wish I could have learned how to type before being chucked to earth.
I’ve got two or three pages done when I decide to break for lunch. I need to get another job. I can’t raise a kid and eat like a normal person on this kind of money. I eat my salami and cheese sandwich, walking into my room and sitting on the tough mattress.
I chew my stale bread, trying to choke it down with milk.
How am I going to get a steady flow of cash? I sigh a little, crumpling up my napkin and shooting a basket into the tiny trashcan. I miss. Again.
Just like my life. Thanks Council.
I’m taking a walk. That’s what they said you’re supposed to do when life gets crappy. Take a walk and you’ll either meet an old millionaire or some blond will come and sing about love and everything will look better.
Ah, there I go again, being a “cynic.” Myrtle says I need to work on my optimism. I say the rest of the world needs to work on being realistic.
So I’m taking a walk. Maybe the council gives brownie points for not ripping curtains in frustration?
It’s not as if anything exciting is happening in the outside world. The teenagers are cruising up and down main in their cars or hanging out in the parking lots. The adults are drinking coffee and laughing.
Oh, and none of them can see me. So I have to make sure I don’t run into anyone. Which is very irritating. Also, cars can’t see me either, so my chances of getting run over go up to not very good odds.
I look over to see a kid smoking a cigarette, a tear leaking out of his eye barely as he walks down the gravel road, smoke curling around his face. I find myself somewhat curious as to who he is and what he is doing.
So I do what any self-respecting person would do. I follow him, obviously. That and it gives me a break from my money problem.
I follow him over a stubbly dirt path, nearly tripping on a couple rocks but saving myself from pitching forward just in time. The consequences of that could be disastrous. Weeds grow along the sides of the path, their little yellow flowers reaching to grab and suck the sunlight away from the rest of the world.
He kneels down at the grave, a bunch of weeds plucked in his hand and a cigarette smoking in the other as he crosses himself. Laying the weeds down at the foot of the tombstone engraved with a single name.
He smiles wryly as he sits down in front of it, smoke curling from his mouth to add to horrible gray fog that seems to cover the world.
“It was three years ago today, Dad.” He says, laughing a bit. “Three years ago that you died and left me to care for the girls. Well, guess what, Angela got out of this no good town real quick with the kids, but she left me. Told me I was a man.”
He stops, chuckles ruefully, glaring at the tombstone. “I was fifteen.”
The tears leak out as he brushes them angrily away. He perches on the end of the grave, pulling at the grass. “I’ve done the best I can, Dad. I miss you.”
Silence walks around, handcuffing me to the ground and wrapping him in a straight jacket.
He throws the grass at the grave along with his words. “I hate you for leaving me. I hate her for leaving me.”
I walk over, silent and quiet, and I don’t know what exactly possesses me to do it, but I place an arm around his shoulder. He jumps a bit, and turns his head until our noses are almost touching. It’s a bit uncomfortable.
“Is… someone there?”
“Yes.” I breathe out, quietly.
“Who… who are you?”
“I…” I shrug a little. “I am a man out of place.”
“I’m talking to thin air.” He laughs, looking at his cigarette. “I’ve lost it.”
I always hated those dratted cigarettes. I nab it out of his hand and snuff it out. “Lost it or not, I’m here, and I would prefer not to get lung cancer.”
“Future, kid. Time travel.” I do jazz hands but then remember he can’t see them. Oh well. I always do like a good jazz hands.
“Don’t call me kid.” He rolls his eyes.
“Well, what’s your name?”
I nod. “Name’s Porter.”
“Porter the invisible man?”
“Yep. You got a problem?”
He blinks a bit, settling back into the invisible comfort I offer. After all, I am only air.
“I’ve got an apartment up the street. Ask the brilliant African American girl with really tangled hair for directions if you need to.”
Turns out, there are a lot of answers to that question. And he will learn all of them in a few short days. My first week as a bodyguard had been going smoothly. Sadly, that was not to last.
But then again, we can’t have my life get boring, now can we?
The answer to all those questions lurks by a grave, just barely slipping out of his Chameleon blanket.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The world goes darker for a moment, and I panic, reaching into my pocket for a gun and swearing when I can’t find a thing.
So, this is part three of five (hopefully). How will Porter get a job being an invisible man? Who is the villain? Will Rubix ever stop asking questions?