Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Jailer ~ Entry #2

He had known this would be a bad day. From the moment Katherine had lit into him at the kitchen table about why he refused to let her see that new boy again, his day had taken a turn for the worse. How could he explain to his sixteen year old daughter that he could usually tell the bad guys from the good? A sixth sense or something, he didn't know what it was, but he'd always had it and he'd never been wrong. Except, he was certain if he explained it like that to his girl, she'd be quick to run straight into the boys waiting arms. Isn't that what teenage girls did?

Strange the things you think about when your life is about to end. Except, somehow the crashes had stopped and Joseph found himself sitting perfectly comfortable in the drivers seat of his Honda CR-V. He wondered briefly how he had managed to get himself out from the wreck that was his windshield, but his musing was cut short by a quiet cough from the passenger seat.

There sat a stranger, dressed in black, his face smooth and ageless, though his hair was as white as the deployed airbag that sagged on the dashboard in front of him.

Joseph stared at him. The strange man smiled kindly back.

“Hello,” said the man in the black.

“Am I dead?” Joseph croaked. Quickly he racked his brain trying to list all the bad things he had done for surely this must be hell, what with the screaming, the sirens and this ... man ... dressed in black. He certainly didn't look like an angel. But his smile seemed kind enough and none of Joseph's normal signals were going off alerting him to evil. He narrowed his focus on the man, trying to perceive more, to understand.

The stranger was shaking his head, slowly, sadly. “You are not quite dead, Joseph,” he said inexplicably.

“Your work is not yet done here. But you will need better tools with which to do your work.”

Joseph shook his head, understanding eluded him.

“I'm an accountant. What tools do I need?”

The stranger laughed then.

“Why, you are the Jailer now, Joseph. And you have much to do.” Suddenly the stranger thrust forth his finger and touched him gently, with one straight finger, directly in the middle of his forehead. Joseph had no time for thought before his body slumped mindless into his seat.

*© 2007 belongs to author, name currently withheld until the contest conclusion