"Candle Lit Dreams"
One day, I just walked out a door and just never stopped going. It’d be a gross understatement to call this a compelling urger, maybe even a blatant misconception. There wasn’t anything particular I left behind, and there wasn’t anywhere I particularly wanted to go. Nowhere I went held my interest for very long, as I was more concerned and annoyed with the fact that I had this urge to go from town to city to town, with no end destination in sight. Whether I was walking long distances or hitching rides, I was always aggravated with the an unfortunate feeling. No part of me was looking forward to seeing any place I’d end up at.
Weirdly enough, the only things I ever really looked forward to because they were the only things that brought any sense of accomplishment were the odd jobs I’d do for cash. Each job was a means to keep me going, both in traveling and living. There were times I would want to keep working at a certain job, but the urge to travel to another place was too strong.
Sooner than later, though, things come together in unexpected ways. Just as a flower bud is a green, usual thing before it suddenly blooms forth to worship the sun and the spring. No matter how often it happens, the transition into spring colors is a slow yet unexpected instance.
For me, the instance happened on a quiet winter morning, as I sat on a park bench and ate a sandwich, minding my own business. I had already done two jobs around this town, and I had already forgotten the name of the town. But, that was more a professional hazard from traveling so much. Unlike other towns and cities, this one was captivating me, each time I took a bite out of my sandwich.
Then a lady sat next to me, instantly putting a large purse on her lap and opening it. Expressively, she rummaged through her purse as her face was riddled with distress, discomfort, and an uncanny sense of urgency. Before long, I had caught myself looking, but for the life of me, I couldn’t stop. She just kept rummaging, pulling out a paper or an envelope and scanning it every now and then before going back to the hunt, as I ate my sandwich like a dumb fool.
At no point did she look my way, nor did she seem to mind my presence. Eventually, though, she tossed the purse to her side and started crying in her hands. Something about that made me nearly jump out of my skin, causing me to look around for any strangers nearby. Not sure I was worried about judgmental eyes seeing her like this…
She continued to cry in her hands well past five minutes, which had ignited a realization in me. Quickly, I opened my backpack and searched for the item that had popped into my head.
When I found it, I looked back her, finding no sign of her stopping the well of sadness she was drenching on her fingers and palms. Nervousness had shocked throughout my body before I swallowed a frog in my throat and finally spoke audible words: “E-Excuse me, miss.”
“Leave me alone,” her muffled voice sobbed, from her hands.
“I will,” I assured, “but I-… it’s just that I think this will help you more than it will help me.”
“Hard to describe… it’s something better left seen, I guess…” I scratched my head as I study the item I had grabbed from my backpack. “Probably… not too hard to describe, but I think it’s better to see it… Looks rather nice, but I’m not sure why I procured it in my travels…”
Her sobs stopped, though she continued to sniffle as she rose her pink, teary face out of her palms. Turning her head, she saw the snow globe in my hands: a little girl was kneeling in the center of a cross that was printed on the floor of the globe, praying with clasped hands and a low head, as she was surrounded by burning red candles, red gerbera daisies blooming in between each candle. After giving her a moment to look at it, I turned the key underneath then shook it: a soft, serene, twinkling song played as translucent, sparkly flakes fluttered all around the girl.
I blinked, and the lady was looking into my eyes.
My eyes were caught in hers.
Before I knew it, my life seemed to have bloomed like the flowers of spring. Of course, it wasn’t spring. It was winter, but each night bloomed under the candle lit dreams that, I imagine, weren’t unlike the candle lit prayer of that little girl.
"Don't Get Me Right"
"Don't Get Me Right"
What a night…
One moment, I was entering a bar and thinking I was going to mind my own business, as per usual. The next moment, a couple of wise guys were holding my arms, a big buffoon of a man rammed his fists into my gut and face. Maybe the pummeling was screwing with my memory, I couldn’t think of a damn good reason why they wanted to beat me to a bloody pulp.
Frankly, though, I was more surprised I heard the buffoon say something, after giving me a good kick into a wall. This is how I heard his spitting jargon: “If ya know what’s bes’ for ya, ya’d stay away from Scarlet.”
After that, they left me to the alley and my thoughts. More than thirty minutes passed, at least it felt like thirty minutes, before I realized I wasn’t spewing anything out of my noggin. Seconds passed until I finally remembered that I didn’t get a single drop of beer.
Then three minutes passed…
I got up and was relieved to find a cigar that was still intact. Walking out of the alley, I had it burning between my lips as a loud ticking sound plagued my mind. Suddenly, I found myself glad that I had started the cigar: I was a long walk away from any bar.
Didn’t think I’d know where I was after that beating… Guess I didn’t know a Scarlet, guess those blowhards confused me for someone else. Honest mistake, but the more I smoked, the more I walked, and the more I felt the blood in my mouth… the more I wanted them to learn from their mistakes.
Had no reason to rush, though: I needed to heal.
I needed a drink.
My cigar was done by the time I was close to the bar I was nabbed from, so I tossed it in the gutter before I walked in for the second time around. To say I didn’t give a damn about the stares would be an understatement and a half.
Only had one thing to care about for the rest of this night, but I had a priority to take care of before I handled that undertaking. As they say, first things first…
I ordered a pint of beer.
Wasn’t too much of a hassle to find the information I was after. By midnight, I had the names of the two bozos and that buffoon, and after that, it didn’t take too long to figure out whom Scarlet was, especially to that buffoon.
It was almost hard to believe I was being lead to a university, looking to teach something to the quarterback and his lackeys. Guess a few people would be astonished about the fact that many university professors were running a lucrative human trafficking “business.”
Nothing about this surprised me, though…
Scarlet was one of the popularly-liked girls, picked for this business through blackmail and extortion like all the rest. The beating I got told me she had a bit of a rebellious streak, too.
Before long, I managed to find her, and she was definitely a looker, which made things all the sadder. Certainly, it didn’t sit well with my gut when I paid her to put together an orgy, tomorrow night, for the three thugs and a few professors. I made sure to stress that this was supposed to be a secret surprise for the buffoon. My heart sunk a few pegs when she took the large wad of cash with no hesitation.
The next night arrived…
My wounds were all patched up, and I was waiting for the party to begin. Just as suspected, they all came with their pants jumping and their guards down. It’s amazing how little powerful people think about protecting themselves from their enemies.
Each set of eyes went wide with shock when I entered and put a bullet in each knee that was attached to all responsible parties. The victims of this “business,” of course, were spared and allowed to leave.
Before long, each person learned something, especially that buffoon. Death was going to be too good for every single one of them, so I made sure to tend to the bullet holes before I strung their naked asses to the trees of the on the university lawn. I made them watch one of the university buildings burn to the ground.
After that, the police arrived.
The next day, not a word was mentioned about me in the many news outlets. What was more, the whole trafficking “business” was being torn down inch by inch. I actually found that the buffoon was interviewed: they asked him who had inflicted this act of vigilante justice upon him.
He just kept repeating one sentence.
“I picked the wrong guy.”
Seemed like a good occasion to drink, after that…