Think of this facility as a place to be when there’s nowhere else to go.
The Only Idea
Jonathan collapses into his computer chair with his chin digging into his chest and stares blindly at the inside of his eyelids for a moment. The lack of vision intensifies when he brings his hands to his face, then he sees all sorts of colors and sparks when he starts to dig with the heels of his palms. A great pressure builds beneath his brow and it feels as though his eyes are about to burst; he lowers his hands into his lap, defeated.
“I’m exhausted…” Jonathan Knox mumbles, feeling sorry for himself. “Why can’t I just go to bed?”
But Jonathan knows why he can’t go to bed; when he left his warm dark house tonight he had a job to do, he set out to burn the police chief’s house down so he could save an innocent child of an Earthen skin tone, but he failed. He didn’t have a plan, he was going too fast because he got himself all worked up and he didn’t do the job. He just ran away the first chance he got, Jonathan Knox did, and he found himself at a church that wasn’t even a church.
“There was something horrendously wrong with the preacherman. Something not right, something slimy.”
Maybe… or maybe Jonathan Knox is just completely out of his Goddamn mind to the point where he analyzes and overthinks every little detail of his life to an asinine degree, but that’s neither here nor there. When Jonathan Knox left tonight he had a job to do, a job he failed, but that doesn’t mean the work is done. No, DoorKnox is still running, still recording the activity of Daniel Maxwell’s basement, and if Jonathan ever wants to get to bed then he’ll have to do something about all that evidence he’s recorded.
Jonathan saves all the data recorded in DoorKnox’s cache and dumps it into a folder titled Officer Asshole, which is stored in a folder within a folder hidden secretly inside another folder stored deep within his computer’s system files. It’ll take a real sleuth to find all of this audio he’s recorded over the years, Jonathan is sure of that, not that anyone will ever go looking for it; Jonathan’s been listening in on the activities which go on behind the closed doors of Wuester, New Jersey for years now. All the steamy conversations between Professor Nice and the local students who come for extra help, the eulogies delivered by Lady of the Cats as shoebox after shoebox is fed into the furnace in her basement, the screeches of The Dragon Boy as he… well, Jonathan isn’t sure what The Dragon Boy does when nobody is looking, but he sure does get a lot of slender discreetly-packaged packages in the mail; Jonathan has dozens, possibly even hundreds of folders about the goings on of Wuester. Officer Asshole is different than everyone else, though. Officer Asshole is a villain, a real nasty buster, the kind of criminal that only Jonathan Knox can stop because only Jonathan Knox knows about the crime he and his racist Fellers are about to commit together. Jonathan Knox is a dirty little nosy little eavesdropper, Jonathan Knox likes to listen in unseen on what his neighbors are doing in their private life, but he doesn’t do it maliciously. No, Jonathan Knox is totally innocent in his eavesdropping; if anything, he’s just looking out for his fellow townsfolk. He’s just being a good neighbor, Jonathan Knox is, just making sure that nobody is getting into anything they can’t get themselves out of, making sure nobody spends so much time in their own warm darkness that the sunlight hurts their eyes.
But Maxwell is different. Daniel Maxwell spends his time in the cold darkness. Police Chief Daniel Maxwell is a damn dirty cop who wants to murder a child based on their skin color. Daniel Maxwell is Officer Asshole, Daniel Maxwell is a villain, and Daniel Maxwell inadvertently led Jonathan Knox to Campbell, the alleged reverend of the alleged Saint Wuester’s Church which isn’t affiliated with any religion but instead with some organization…
“I wonder what Reverend Campbell gets up to behind closed doors,” Jonathan wonders as he rubs his knuckles against his bare cheek. The computer light – blue light, the kind that keeps you up at night, why can’t Jonathan just go to sleep yet? ‘Soon, Jonathan. Soon. We just got’a finish the work for tonight. I’m almost done.’ “There was something wrong about him. Something off. Something slimy and vile and all sorts of terrible. The Preacherman of Madison Avenue… what are you up to, Reverend Neil Campbell? What goes on under the hood of your car?”
Except Reverend Campbell said he didn’t have a car… which only makes him more suspicious.
It’s far too late to go back out tonight, that’s for sure. Jonathan is back home now in the warm darkness of his home, not his house but his home, his warm dark home, and he’s not leaving. He doesn’t even have a plan, and he’s not about to get himself all worked up again. He’s not. Yes, bugging the church’s office seems like a lovely idea, a perfect idea, the only idea, but Jonathan needs a plan for that. Burning down Maxwell’s house seemed like the only idea at the time too, but he went too fast and didn’t have a plan and look how that turned out. Just look how all that turned out, Jonathan Knox, look how all that turned out you stinky failure, get back in the closet where you belo–… it’s happening. I’m getting all worked up.’
Jonathan Knox pulls his hands away from his eyes again but keeps them closed, as the pressure is too great for him to open them. When the pain subsides, Jonathan creates a new folder in his secret stash and names it The Preacherman, then backs up his computer’s files to an external hard drive. While the files are transferring over Jonathan checks in on a few of the other houses that he’s bugged – Ol’ Pearly Whites, Big Bowler and Basket, The November Arteest – and hears nothing, then closes out of DoorKnox for the night.
‘Bout forty minutes later, when the backup is finally complete, Jonathan shuts his computer down. The work is done. Now Jonathan Knox can get some sleep.
Hello Commons, this has been the fourth subchapter of the second chapter of Under the Hood: The Imprisonment of Jonathan Knox, a novel about a man who likes to eavesdrop on his neighbors.
Under the Hood: The Imprisonment of Jonathan Knox is the second book in the W-2222 series, a series of books which take place in Universe W-2222.
Under the Hood: The Imprisonment of Jonathan Knox 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 Under the Hood: The Imprisonment of Jonathan Knox 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 OR you can buy the ebook for even cheaper here.
If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. Be well Commons~