Early Risers - Pt II: Jessica


agzaiM werdnA.



Ezekiel 37:1-6 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out - and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones - and, lo, they were very dry. 3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me - 5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live -


I was walking past that point in the road, the one where the car still lies, absconded by a few trees, when the faces in my old yearbook started talking to me again. Never mind they were all in my backpack, with each face meticulously covered with magic marker. I could still hear them from behind their little black-


I could almost hear Sally Johansen grinning.

He left you there, you know, said my old volleyball coach.

"Shut up. We don't know that."

He wasn't in the car was he? Hell, we even remember him getting out of the car! It may be a little blurry at times, but chalk that one up to the Shroud.

"No! The door was ripped off the side of the car! How could he have possibly done that? It had to be done by some sort animal-"

Like what? A smilodon?! Come on, some how he got out of the car, and he left us there. That voice kind of hurt; an old flame who dumped me for my best friend.

"We don¡t know that. We were still in our caul. The door could have easily fallen off in the crash. His body could have been dragged away by scavengers."

Or what if he got up like you did? He'd have had to have been there, beside you, and done nothing about it. Even after getting back up, he didn't even come for the body.

"Shut up! Shut Up! SHUT THE FUCK UP! He could have amnesia! He may not be able to find the car again, I mean c'mon, look at where it is! And I thought we were operating under the assumption he was dead, and I have to find his body. Anyway, I'm really not in the mood for this right now. We're close, I can feel it."

The door was torn off! What happened? Did all that hot air and wishful thinking come rushing out of you, blowing both doors off? Ahh, the girl who gave me my first cigarette.

It took me years to quit, I must have tried seven or eight times. On the other side, they would magically appear in my pockets. I still wonder if I put them there or my other half did.

Anyway, at times like these, peering into the peeled paint of the rusted out hulk where I died, I could really go for a smoke. I can take air into my lungs, sure, but that doesn't do me any good.

Mmmm. Lucky Strikes, something else you'll never be able to enjoy, said a boy in my freshman biology class who always helped me with my homework. He had a huge crush on me, but I didn't find that out until after he died. He shot himself through the heart with a .22 rifle. I actually met him on the other side. His voice didn't crack anymore, but his face still had horrific acne scars.

Come to think of it, he's the guy who introduced me to the Puppeteers. I told him about what I thought I saw right after my death. It peaked his interests, and he introduced me to the locals. At one point he even confessed to skin riding me a couple of times.

And you know it was when you were masturbating! Damn, I almost forgot about that voice-

But that's what my little book of horrors wants, isn¡t it? For me to get distracted and reminisce. Then it will get dark, and I'll forget what I came here for: answers or a body.

I peered into the side of the wreck. There were still huge stains on the upholstery. It must have reeked as my body slowly bloated in the sun, flesh liquefying and sloughing off. I almost didn't make it back soon enough for me to reclaim my body.

It was very out of the way, this spot. I imagine only a few local farmers use this road, and only sparingly. What was it we were doing? A picnic, I think. That's what brought us out here.

That and hot steamy lovemaking. What will it be like if you did find him? Your cold skin touches his cold skin, and then what? My volleyball coach again. She always did try and discourage me.

"And then nothing," I said. This really was discouraging. I turned around, ready to walk back (I don't really slumber much, just walk around most of the time), when I saw something that made me freeze where I stood.

A bouquet.

That¡s weird, I wonder how a bunch of flowers from the picnic could stay fresher than you did? I didn't recognize that voice, but I wasn't listening.

He was here, on this spot. It couldn't have been more than a few days ago - Who else could know?! Who else could know about this spot?!

And you missed him. You never were very punctual. Freddy, the boy who never came out of his glass closet.

He was - Alive? Like me? Like -what? Like Agnes, the vampire?

Where was he?! Where IS he?! Damn it! Damn it-

Damn it? Hahahahahaha! I'm right here, sweetheart.

Again I was frozen in my tracks. It was Thomas' voice. I looked around, half expecting him to take me in his arms, help me forget everything, be as happy as I was that we had found each other. But I realized it was just another voice from my book. His voice, coming from the only picture I hadn't marked out.

Then it was quiet. Very quiet. I just sort of stood there, alone with my book. The weight of the situation pulled me down to the ground, and I sat, and looked at the car. I hadn't really thought everything out this far. What do I do now?

Maybe I'll ask Agnes tomorrow night. She knows a lot of bizarre things. Until then, the sudden urge to sit in the dirt and wait for the pain to go away had come over me.

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