Pickles and Jam

3 May

Sometimes, we just have to sit for a bit, y'know?

Okay, guys. I know I joke around a lot on here, and I know you like that (yeah, I actually read the messages and emails and all that jazz), but I’m listening to Stairway to Heaven right now and, to be honest, it’s making me look back at everything I’ve accomplished. I’m smiling, the reason being that I’ve actually created quite the impact on a few people throughout the past few years that I’ve been doing this. It makes me proud to know I’ve helped a few people, even inspired some. You know, I might go so far as to say that you guys are—naw, I’ll save that one. That one’s important.

But, I do enjoy you all, and I know y’all enjoy me and my work and shtuff. So, the first thing I’m going to do is paste the fully edited version of the first chapter of Ledge on here for you. Now, you may think I’m being lazy, but the point isn’t the chapter, it’s the second thing I’m doing, which comes after the chapter.

So, here it goes. This is for you guys, really:

———————————————————————————————————————————–

CHAPTER ONE: CLINGING

There’s darkness, and then the curtains are drawn back. Time starts. His thumb moves. Click. That’s the sound of the gun’s hammer getting pulled back.

“Still won’t talk, Mr. Adams?”

That’s Greg. He isn’t holding the gun. Mac’s holding the gun. Mac’s seven feet tall, or something.

“Hit him again, Mac.”

Whack! That’s me getting punched in the face by a left hook. The gun’s in his right hand, not aimed at anything in particular yet.

“Come on, Adams. We don’t got all day. Just tell us where your friend is and we’ll let you go.”

My friend is Michael. I won’t tell Greg anything. I think my jaw’s broken anyway. It hurts like hell.

“Adams…”

We’re in a hotel room. It’s got a nice view overlooking Lake Oslana. That wasn’t the lake’s first name, but the owner of the hotel line decided it’d be a nice one to buy. I wonder what it was called originally.

“You know how easy this is. And it’s not like we’re gonna backstab you or anything. Just let us at him!”

I wish Greg would get it over with and have my ass capped already. My favorite suit’s already ruined, and there’s no way I’m exposing Michael—no way. I really hope he doesn’t come in and try to save me or anything.

AGH! GOOD GOD!

“That’s strike one. Next we put a bullet in your other thigh. Might be hard to walk around. Start talking.”

Jesus Christ, it hurts so much! Keep it together, Eddie! Be cool! You’ll make it out of this. Just need a plan.

Greg’s looking over at the other two men in the room, Mac not being one of them. He says something to them, but I can’t hear it very well. It HURTS!

“…and if we’re not quick enough, the Doctor might wonder what’s taking so long!”

The Doctor: a psychotic crime lord, currently working with the government (strange irony there). Whack! Another punch. The Doctor REALLY wants Michael dead, huh?

“We may have to waterboard it out of this guy,” says one of the other men. I don’t know his name, just some random goon with a gun. I hope Greg doesn’t agree.

“Get the rags,” he says. Now I’m done for. I won’t be able to hold out through that stuff. I hope Michael left the country. It’s not safe here in State 9 anymore, not with all that’s been happening lately.

A lot of time passes once the third man exits to get the rags. I give Greg an indifferent look. He shoots a glare. I give Mac the same look and he just snorts and walks off, dropping the gun on a sofa chair. He talks quietly with the last man in the room (just another goon).

“Why do you care so much?” Greg asks me. I become introspective and really analyze this before I answer, and then I shrug seeing as nothing I say will prove satisfactory. If I told him how Michael saved me, how he was different from the other you-know-whats, he wouldn’t understand. He’d just say I was a nutcase who needed his head examined.

After the course of two or three minutes (it felt like a lot more to me), the rags arrive with the third man. He tosses them to Mac, who catches them with ease.

“Did you bring the bottles too?” Greg asks.

“They’re just outside sir,” the man responds. “I’ll go get ‘em.”

The chair I’m strapped to is made of wood. It is laid across the floor, me now facing the ceiling. This is going to suck.

“You could always talk now,” Greg offers. I remain silent, like a good friend should, and the rags are placed over my face. I toss my head to the left, throwing the rags off. When a hard punch hits me in the—Lord, that hurts!—face I stopped turning. The rags go over me again. I think my nose is bleeding.

One of the water bottles is opening, I can hear it. Here it comes. Mac’s tilting it right now. Get out now, Michael. Get out before they find y—CRASH!

“What the—?!”

The sound of men being tossed about the room echoes through my ears. Bullets fly from Mac’s gun, but it explodes in his hand, causing him to shout in pain. The other two goons fire but are launched into the ceiling, their necks snapping. I can hear Greg being pinned against the wall. Mac is groaning and weeping on the floor as the rags are lifted off my face.

Michael.

“Get out of here!” I tell him. He unties the ropes that bind me and helps me into a sofa chair. There’s Greg, being held against the wall by Michael’s power.

“I couldn’t just leave you,” he tells me, before looking to Greg with an expressionless face. One of the guns of the dead goons soars toward his hand. He aims it at the leader of the group, now begging for mercy.

“To harm an ally of mine is to hang oneself,” the angel says. Then a red mark appears between the eyes of Greg and blood trickles down from it until it reaches his lips. The body falls to the floor, lifeless. Michael looks back at me.

“Are you all right, Edward?”

“Yeah,” I lie, “I’m dandy. You showed up just in time. Although I still think you need to get the hell out of Dodge.”

He puts his hand on my shoulder and says, “We are getting out, not I.”

“I have to see Sally first.”

Sally’s my girlfriend. She’s—she’s beautiful. It’s a long story. I haven’t quite decided whether I’ll marry her yet. We’ve been with each other quite a while now.

“No time,” Michael tells me, causing me further worry. “Those were easy hunters. If they send Lucifer—.”

“I can’t just leave her. They’ll kill her!”

I’m standing now, but my leg hurts too much. I’m trembling as I fall back into the chair. Michael holds a hand to where the bullet is and slowly—YAGH—levitates it out of me. I’m not bleeding too badly. Okay, maybe I AM bleeding too badly. But he’s already ripping a bed sheet apart and wrapping a piece of it around the wound.

“That should stop the bleeding. Raphael will be able to heal you later.”

“Michael, I can’t leave her.”

His face, though without expression, holds weight behind it like you couldn’t imagine. His eyes waver and glow. And then, he understands.

“I will get you to safety first. The others are downstairs with a car. I’ll let them get you out of here, then I’ll get the girl.”

I’m thinking of disagreeing, thinking of telling him I have to be there when it happens. But that’d be foolish right now. I need healing, and Raphael’s always been the quickest at that.

“All right, fine. Let’s go.”

He nods. We depart. Mac looked dead last I checked.

This world has changed since the war. I can only hope that doing what I’m doing will help save it from its own self-destruction. Although, to be honest, when I look outside at the covert dystopia that has come, I can’t help but lose hope entirely.

We’re hanging on a ledge right now. I really hope Man’s fingers don’t get any more tired than they already are.

———————————————————————————————————————————–

Before I go, I want to tell you a true story about the power of art. There was once this girl sitting in a car on a city bridge. It was night, and not very many cars were passing by at the time. She was crying, weeping actually, because right then, right there, in that moment, she intended, completely and utterly, to drive over the edge of the bridge into the water below. Sweat trickled down her neck and shivers traveled up her spine. Now, this sort of thing happens all the time, and so, naturally, she could’ve just pressed down on the gas and gotten it over with. In most cases, this would’ve been so.

So then there was this nightclub. A DJ (I won’t say who, but suffice to say he’s a pretty big deal in the clubbing world—and a family friend) was playing some killer tracks, and everyone was going wild. The room was electric, truly. You could feel the life pulsating through it, like a heartbeat. Then, after the DJ’s work was done and he was turning in for the night, someone tried to reach him backstage. At first, security tried to shove the person away, but the DJ approved their passage, for they did not seem to be some crazy, drunk fan out seeking autographs or something “intimate.” His guess was right, for it was then that the person told him of the miracle that had been bestowed upon them.

They had just recently gone through some of the toughest trials life had ever thrown their way. In fact, these trials were so punishing and cruel, that the person had been driven to the point where death seemed like the only option. And then, literally seconds before the gas pedal was pressed down and a body was made soulless, a song came on the radio, a song called It’s Gonna Be Okay. It was one of the DJ’s best songs.

Art saved her life that night.

To all my fans who are artists: any time you think maybe your life would be more useful somewhere else, doing what society has told you is “productive,” remember that you’re doing something that actually saves lives. If that ain’t productive—ah, screw that, it’s productive, know it like you know your name. We need more of you out there, because even if you’re never thanked for it, know that you’re doing something badass just by being an artist.

So yeah, that’s why I put random pictures at the top of all my articles. Now, finish the night with this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwAYpLVyeFU

Love,

D.

Laugh.

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