Another Day In Paradise

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
An encounter on a bridge between 2 disparate souls

Submitted: July 07, 2013

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Submitted: July 07, 2013

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As Fergus was walking by, he happened to chance on a man poised on the other side of the bridge in a position suggestive of someone about to commit his body into the raging torrents of the river below. Fergus approached cautiously and began to address the man, ‘Hey, are you ok?’. There was no answer, so he reiterated the question, when he still got no answer he decided the course of action would be to be as blunt as possible. So with as much frustration and indignation as he could muster he inquired ‘So mac, what’s the score huh? Are you gonna kill yourself or what? You must have been stood there what, a half hour before I got here’. ‘An hour actually’ came the response. ‘Oh, he speaks! God be praised its’ a miracle. What’s your name brother?’ A tentative reply came back ‘LJ, now please leave me alone’. ‘LJ huh? What’s that short for?’ ‘Lucas John, now please would you leave me alone sir? I just want to be left alone’. ‘Lucas John huh? Well Luke, you don’t mind me calling you Luke do you? What the hell are you doing contemplating a crazy thing like this? You could have chosen a better night for it, its’ ten below out here. Aren’t you cold? Man I’m freezing my nuts off. Come on man, let me help you get out of this cold, there’s a bar not 100 yards from here. What say I buy you a beer? Or even a whisky? Yeah a shot of whisky sure does help to insulate the body against the cold and warms the soul. How about it buddy? Just you and me, how does that sound?’

No answer. ‘Well fine then yer crazy son of a bitch do it then, see if I care. You wanna jump? We’ll do it together, or if you like, I gots me a couple of SS standard suicide pills. My granddaddy got them as a souvenir during the Second World War. You know Hermann Goering and Henrich Himmler took them right? Nazi sons of bitches didn’t wanna face the consequences of their actions, no siree bob, they took the cowards way out. Goddamn pussies, guess that wasn’t very Aryan of them huh?’ Fergus chuckled out loud. ‘I’m not a Nazi’, said Luke. ‘Hold your horses’ man, I never said you were’. I was just telling you a story about my granddaddy is all. My you sure is a touchy son of a bitch. You like this all the time or what? So come on Lukey, what’s eating ya? spill’. Fergus waited a few minutes and just as he was about to come in with another rebuke, Luke spoke. ‘Ok, I will, but after I’ve told you, you must get out of here and quit bugging me, agreed?’ Fergus nodded his consent. ‘Right, here goes, you asked for it. My wife left me 2 weeks ago and took the kids. She left for Canada and emptied the bank account. I got divorce papers through too today’. She’s suing me for unreasonable behaviour and irreconcilable differences. So I got her and my boss on my ass now. So that is ‘what’s eating me’, so if you don’t mind, please leave me the fuck alone. Thanks’.

Fergus took a few minutes before responding. He hadn’t moved since he’d first spotted Luke and now his limbs had started to chill causing him a slight discomfort. He did a little jog on the spot to try and get the circulations flowing. ‘God damn it sure is cold out. I don’t know how you can stand it mister. So, you gonna do this thing or what? I ain’t got time for time wasters or dilly dalliers. You either do this thing or not. But whatever you choose to do, I hope you get the fuck on with it, I wanna get home out of this cold’. ‘Go home then, no-one’s forcing you to stay here. You’ve got free will having you? What’s keeping you here? Haven’t you got a home to go to?’ ‘The world is my home mister. I come and go as I please’. ‘But don’t you want a family, kids. Don’t you want a nice house where you feel safe?’ ‘Yeah because I can see its’ done you the world of good pal, I ain’t the one standing where you are getting ready to turn your bones to dust’. ‘Touche’ replied Luke. ‘So you been planning this long?’ inquired Fergus. ‘A few days I guess, give or take’. ‘So why the river? Why not cut your wrists or hang yourself. I got me a good technique if you wanted to cut yourself. You cut down instead of across. It’s more effective I heard. Kills yer quicker. So what’s it to be buddy boy? Don’t pussy out on me now’.

With that, Luke let out a blood curling scream and barked back at Fergus ‘FUCK YOU ASSHOLE. WHO MADE YOU THE AUTHORITY ON SUICIDE? WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? YOU’VE GOT NO AMBITIONS, NO HOME, NOTHING. WHERE THE HELL DO YOU GET OFF TELLING ME TO COMMIT SUICIDE? I MADE THIS DESCISION LONG BEFORE YOU SHOWED UP. NOW FUCK OFF MAN AND LET ME DO THIS THING’. ‘Fine, dumb shit, go kill yourself. See if I care. Goddamn pussy. You don’t even have the guts to kill yourself do you? Because if you did then you’d have done it an hour ago long before I arrived, without the little temper tantrum. Word of advice pal, in this world whether you choose to live or die, do it with conviction and passion. There can be no middle ground and certainly no compromise. If you want to kill yourself do it quick and don’t wait for an audience to come and hold your hand. There must be no tears, apologies or sentimentality’. With this Luke broke down, ‘you don’t understand, I’ve got nothing. No Wife, kids and I’m about to lose my job and become homeless. Do you understand what this means? I’m fucked, so totally and completely fucked’.

‘So you’ve had some setbacks. So what? It happens to everyone at some stage’. ‘Some setbacks?’ came the indignant reply. ‘Some setbacks? Did you just hear what I said? My life is over, I’ve got no-one. No wife, no kids and soon no job’. ‘Well boo fucking hoo pal. I lost both my parents when I was 12, you don’t see me out here blubbing do ya?’ ‘You lost your parents when you were 12? What happened?’ ‘Automobile accident. I remember the police officer coming round to the house to tell me and my younger brother. The point is this, bad shit happens to good people man. Its’ just how life flows, but you have the power in you to change it. You miss your wife and kids? Fight for them. At least then if you fail y’all know you tried, not just stood here like some whiny bitch. Let me ask yer something. You a church going man?’ ‘Sure. ‘So you believe in all that stuff, Adam and Eve, Job, the last supper…’. ‘I guess so yeah’. ‘Bullshit, its’ all bullshit I tell ya. True faith comes from an unprejudiced heart, not some book of fairy tales’. ‘You god damn blasphemous asshole!’ ‘Ah, shut up will ya, what are you, one of those Westboro crazies? The point is this, keep the faith and forget what some book tells ya to do, or what society tells ya to do, or what the blood sucking lawyers tell ya. Be a man and make your own decisions. What are you so afraid of? We’ve now wasted nearly 3 hours freezing our nuts off because you’re too pussy to make a decision’. ‘No-one forced you to stay, you could have walked on by’. ‘And missed this enlightening conversation? Not on your life pal. This is better than going to the movies, this is real life. Blood and guts, or at least it will be if decide to jump in that yon river there and  dash yourself on the rocks below’. ‘What are you, my guardian angel or something?’ ‘Are you freakin’ kidding me? Do I look like an angel to you? I’m fat, bald, drink and smoke, you think god is gonna let the likes of me represent him? That would be like Simon Wiesenthal having a few rounds of golf with Adolf Eichmann’. ‘Who?’ ‘Doesn’t matter. What you wanna do now? I’m fucking freezing out here and I tell ya somethin’, if you don’t make a decision soon, I may kill me you myself’. ‘Get the fuck outta here, how you gonna do that big boy? Sit on me?’’ Nope, you seen Dirty Harry right?’ ‘Er, yeah sure’. ‘Well I’m packing his piece, the original ’44 Magnum used in all five films, I got it off a guy I used to know who worked with Clint Eastwood to help him get to grips with this big ol’ sucker. Heavy son of a bitch ain’t she?’ ‘Bullshit, that ain’t the real deal, it looks like a replica. Like you could get hold of that gun. Besides, why the hell would this ‘friend’ of yours just give you the gun?’ ‘He owed me a favour so he gave me the gun for what you could say was compensation’. ‘Bullshit, if that’s the real gun, prove it’. ‘And how do you propose I do that genius?’ ‘Shoot something, that rabbit over there’. ‘I ain’t shooting no rabbit’. ‘What’s the matter smart mouth? Lost your nerve? Don’t ‘pussy out’ on me now’ Luke sneered. Enraged, Fergus loaded the magnum, fired at the rabbit and lowered down the smoking gun. The rabbit lay dormant and brilliant red blood trickled down the white fur and onto the bridge floor. ‘You crazy son of a bitch, you actually killed it. You killed a defenceless living creature in cold blood. You crazy son of a bitch’. ‘Hell, you don’t think I’m a pussy like you do ya? I’m not a gutless, spineless grease ball like you. Now I suggest that you get your ass over here unless ya’ll want to end up like that rabbit’. Visibly shaken Luke climbed over the bridge’s bannister and into Fergus’ arms. ‘There you go friend, wasn’t too hard was it?  With that Fergus pocketed the piece, put his arm round Luke’s shoulder and led him towards the bar, the white light reflecting brilliantly from the wings on his back.


© Copyright 2019 Cookie McBride . All rights reserved.

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