Sunday, December 9, 2012

Excerpt from 'Ensemble': Georgia Nickels' First Flash

The first flash I ever had, the very first one that I can recall, by now I've just had so many, but the first real vision I ever had was Pastor Randall's head, popped right open. I'm sure you can think of a better way to say it, you could find a fitting analogy. If I had told anybody about it, I might have described it looking like what a firecracker might do to a pumpkin. I must have been thirteen, must have been. They'll tell you I was a beautiful girl, with the fiery red atop my head. I never saw in myself what they saw in me, but they would tell you I was one of the lucky ones, born looking the way I did back in those days. I must have been thirteen, because it was also the same exact day that my first period came to me.
By all means, you could make something of that, like you could see connections, pictures, and maps in the stars. But to this day, I'll call it a coincidence.

So there I was, Sunday morning, between Mom and Dad, eyes closed. It was never enough for me to just listen to all those bible stories, to just accept the lesson, learn the moral, process the meaning. There's some things that the ear just doesn't do justice. I had to see it there, on the theatre screen of my eyelids, see every detail. So I never studied Pastor Randall's face on that Sunday morning. From what I recall, I never saw if his eyes were lowered or wandering, joyful or sad. I never read his lips to know for sure if he even meant what he was saying, if he himself believed it all. I guess everyone else just took him for granted. Sure, that voice of his, God given to sell something, whether it be used cars or new houses or religion. It was deep and bouncy, smooth and sharp, he had that confidence. The voice of any practiced speaker.

I never saw any good reason for him to blow his own skull to bits. Where did he even get a gun like that, back in those days? I've seen too damn much with these eyes to be fool enough to speculate. Some events, actions, ideas, there's just no why to be found. The skull that held the brain that powered the mouth that inspired hundreds every week, was now pieces scattered on the windshield and the wheel, all over his white shirt, the seat, the floor. The whole essence of a man turned to gore, violence, a bloody mess. When I saw it, when it flashed before my eyes, I damn near wet myself. It meant nothing in that moment, how could it? To me, it was just a waking nightmare, a four second horror flick. Never told Mom, sure never told Dad, kept it contained. Pastor Randall didn't say goodbye at the end of the service, he just slammed the book shut and walked away.

Of course, there was always a gathering at the end, after party of sorts. My Mom and my Dad pulled me around, their little trophy girl, except now no longer innocent, having seen the bits of Pastor Randall's jaw sprayed across his lap. Brain, tongue, cheek, all looks the same to the coroner, all looks the same to the dry cleaner. Who can say for sure who exactly heard Mrs. Randall's scream first, but it tore through the lobby of the church, ripping voices out of throats, snacks away from fingertips, smiles away from faces. My Mom and my Dad kept me inside, they told me I didn't want to see what was out there in the parking lot. They thought I was the naive one, but they had no idea that I'd already seen it first. That's all I can remember about that particular day. Of course, the next Sunday, we had Pastor Fluke, and nobody said a damned word about the mess that Pastor Randall left.

With all I've seen, I don't get sensitive about too much these days. But, if you call this power I have a gift, if you try to tell me I'm special or tell me I have a talent, if you dare try to congratulate me for my ability, well, I just might tell you how your body looks when your life ends. I'd just have to glance at you once to know.

(End of Excerpt)

This is original writing from a novel-in-progress titled Ensemble. Please credit this work to the creator, Chessterr Hollowberry. Thanks!

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