“You may not always see us, but you must always know we’re there.”
The Sound of Windless Air
Staying good on his word, John Kerry gets himself some food and water at the church. Gets himself washed up, some clean clothes. Even gets himself some sleep, but not enough to make it through the night. Not enough to make it to the night. The weight of Howard’s joint is heavy in the inside pocket of his black leather jacket, there’s not much else to say on the matter. He has to go back for Howie today, waiting for tomorrow just wouldn’t be right.
That very same day John Kerry makes the walk back to the house on the bend of Vhykus Path. The sky is still a blinding white when he steps off the street, but the fire’s gone out. The embers aren’t smoking anymore. They’re still warm, but they’re not smoking anymore. The pile of broken wine racks appears untouched.
Howie’s backpack is still full of supplies, he didn’t even take a water with him. The mylar bag is here but it’s empty, and if John looks hard enough he’ll probably be able to find a trail of weed flakes that’ll lead him right to Howie “Hoots” McGee, and were it there, it would be the only trail for John to find; there’s no new set of footprints in the ash, neither coming nor going. There’s nothing. He’s just… gone.
“Like he was never here,” John says to himself as he hunkers down by the fire and throws a couple pieces of tinder on, just to see if they’ll start smokin’. They do. “But he was here, he had to be. I saw him, this is his backpack.” John picks up the backpack and slings it onto his back. “He didn’t even take a water… what the fuck, Howie?”
Then it hits him – Howie is still here. He has to be, it’s the only thing that makes any sense. The man’s foot was bordering on gangrenous, there’s no way in Heaven, Hell, or whatever Purgatorial bullshit this ashen wasteland of a world is that Howie “Hoots” McGee could just get up and walk away with his foot fucked up like it was. He could crawl, though, and the storm doors behind the house are easily within crawling distance. John gets up and heads over and… and he stops. Howie didn’t drag himself to the wine cellar, and he didn’t drag himself away, either. He couldn’t have. He wouldn’t have.
“He’s not here,” John says to himself, standing alone in the shadow of the house of Howie’s landlord. “I asked him if he’d be here when I got back and he said he would. But he’s not here.”
Horrible, mocking silence. The sound of windless air.
“He lied to me.”
Hello Commons, this has been the second subchapter of the last chapter of Flowers, a novel about a man who smokes the last of his pot.
Flowers is part of the Third Spiral, an anthology of sorts called The Here and Now which is comprised of stories told from the various planes of Existence.
Flowers is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
If you like Flowers and would like to help support my work, click here and buy an autographed copy of the book (or anything else!) from my store. Alternatively, you can snag a cheaper (and unsigned) copy from Amazon by clicking here.
Be well Commons~