Forever Forgotten

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
This a small exert of a larger work, and has no ending. Enjoy, post comments below if you like it and if you have helpful incite that could make it an over all better work of fiction. If you have nothing helpful or positive to say, please keep it to yourself. Thanks :)

Submitted: November 24, 2015

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Submitted: November 24, 2015

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My father was my ultimate hero. As a child himself he had collected comic books. It was his one connection to his childhood; a wooden crate full of faded books with miraculous pictures of superheroes and villains. Besides these comic books I had no knowledge of my father’s life prior to meeting my mother and his years in the war. Every night we would sit beside the fire, which was always just a wisp of a flame that, within the hour would turn to glowing coals and finally die, and dive into the mystical realm of these comic books to warm our bones. We would sit with our feet stretched out absorbing the hearth's faint heat. I would lean against his large muscular chest, and hair would sprout from the neck of his white undershirt, scratching the tip of my ears. His heart beat to a rhythm of consistency. He was my only consistency. He taught me to read in the faint glow of the burning coals.
 
He loved comic books and every time he whispered the magical words sprawled over the page his eyes alighted with a childlike amazement. It was the only moments that his hard shell would break away and the childlike attitude would come out for just a minute. But then the world would hollow him out and his eyes would turn back into the normal gray clouds they usually were. His demeanor always stated that he was the best. His broad shoulders and wide chest. He was powerful and almighty. My father was a man of mystery and in the world around me I was always afraid, but when my father stood next to me I knew I would be safe; forever protected in his large grasp. His arms, like steel beams, would shield me from the bullets. He would swat missiles right out of the air, and he would destroy all those who stood in our way. He was my protector, my guide, my light, my father.
 
He is religious, but I guess we all are when the only possible salvation would be one of mythical proportions. Every Sunday you could find my father sitting in the middle aisle of the grand church just down the block. Its mosaic tiles, large wooden and iron doors would glimmer in the early morning sun and stand strong in the gusty winds of winter. Chandeliers dangled over wooden pews and a large brass podium stood upon a stage against the far wall. Behind the stage, a large figure hangs from a cross. His body, limp with death. He is made of metal, but the sculptor's skill of creating life in his art allows for an almost human aspect to the face. He looks in an everlasting state of completion, his muscles slack from the ascension to heaven. His skin is golden, a god-like feature.
 
The books of our religion stood old in shelves around the room. Some are worn from use. A law was instated banning the purchasing of such religious texts.
 
My father wore the same thing every Sunday as he walked the decrepit street between which Death swooped, picking up souls with long outstretched arms. My father would walk into the grand entrance of the church, rust clinging to the brass panel walls and he would sit in the same spot in the same aisle, resting his aging bones upon the dilapidated wood. In his hands was a small leather bound book. The surface of which was smoothed from years of rough use. This was my father's personal bible. This particular bible had lived since the ages of my great grandfather's, formed by the delicate fingers of my great grandmother, who strung the pages together with thread from her sewing kit. She had given it to my great grandfather as a token during the first years of the Great War. It descended the ranks of generations falling into my father's large, callused and scarred hands. He would flip through the brittle pages with ease and mouth his lips to the flow of the same psalms, the same rhythmic prayer praising his lord, savior of saviors, day after day, week after week. He would ask for forgiveness for whatever sins he might have committed. He would praise God and ask for my safety, my mother's safety, and the safety of his own life. He would pray for better times, an abundance of food, and that death would not enter the threshold of our small home. He would pray simply because there was nothing else he could do. To keep us safe, to keep death’s hands from our throats he could do nothing but pray, hope the almighty God will spare us and look down upon us with the hopes of salvation.
 
And upon Sundays arrival he would drag me to that same church. The morning of Sunday I would awake to the sound of the large wooden piano that sat near the entrance to the small apartment, booming. He would let his fingers glide over the porous ivory keys, down the crescendo and up into the highest of exoneration, his music would float around the apartments misty air, accumulating in pockets and bursting into rooms. He would welcome in the sabbath with a magic that was undeniable. The sweet melody would lift me from sleep and deposit me for a moment, in a realm without poverty, without suffrage and I, for a moment would live in the melody, the oh so sweet melody, would be everything, and then it was nothing. The piano had old untuned wires and the mallet would strike an odd chord and the magic would instantly fade. The realm I had been awoken too would subside leaving me standing in the hallway, decelit, and dark.
 
I had Sunday bests, and they mirrored that of my fathers. A stained white button up shirt, with black cotton slacks and shoes dulled by use. A small chain necklace hung within.
 
We would walk the block wishing all passer-bys a good sabbath. We would look into the windows of the homes, seeing sickness, anger and debauchery. And we would sit in the same seat on the pew, and pray for those who we had seen. We would pray for happiness, health and the war to finally come to a conclusion and the carnage to subside.
 
It was a common thing, to have a family member serving the “great” nation. This war was taking the lives of so many. The death toll would number enough to cause fear in our hearts but not enough to deplete the population. One of every five men who shipped off to war returned in a wooden casket with the emblem of this nation burned into the surface. One in every five men who shipped off to war did not return at all, their bodies drifting in the unknown, neither dead nor alive, they are missing without relocation, they are simply gone, and no one knows to where they have disappeared. One in every five men who shipped off to war will die on the battlefield and be given a shallow grave in the land that they fell prey to. One in every five men who shipped off to war will return with a mind so messed up that he cannot discern reality from horror. One in every five men who shipped off to war comes home with nothing but bad memories. Zero in every five men who shipped off to war returned the same as when they left.
 
I had lost uncles, older cousins and family friends to the war. The one that hit the hardest was my cousin Jason. He lived in the apartment just next door. When he was eleven, I was three, his mother, my aunt, was found mingled and bloody in the river. She was supposedly raped and murdered when she disappeared one night on her way home from the sweatshop she worked in. When Jason turned eighteen, the military came for him. After the fourth summons a group of Military Police, known as the Goon Squad, or GS, stormed the apartment complex, and forcibly brought Jason into the custody of the nation and to be administered into the armed forces. He had pleaded, screaming and kicking, begging not to die. He knew he was going to his death, he knew his life would end in the unknown forest of wherever they would send him. He spent six weeks in basic training and then shipped out for the six hundred and seventy ninth regiment. He died a month later, a bullet hole with a six inch diameter in his chest sent him home in one of those caskets. His name a plastic sticker stamped to the lid.
 
I had known Jason my entire life, he was the older brother I never had and wished to be for Jonathan, my younger brother. His death destroyed my world, it left me barren and incomplete. What solidified it was the next few days, as my uncle fell into a depression of alcohol and drugs. He eventually built up the courage to eat the end of his revolver and spend the rest of eternity with his beloved wife and son.
 
This was making Death a very busy man. The war zone was his candy store and even though he was an everlasting presence here in this city, preying on the ill and weak, he was also roaming foreign lands, perched in trees above our soldiers. As one would fall he would release his grasp and swoop through the air, clinging onto the soul with both extending talons, whisking the orbs either upwards or downwards, which ever necessary for the soul. He wasn’t just sitting idly by on the west coast of Satan’s Cross in the barricaded buildings with shattered glass and barred windows that we live in, he was taking my loved ones away, here and there.


© Copyright 2020 RhetButler. All rights reserved.

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