Friday, February 20, 2015

Hearts of Darkness, Part X

David didn’t know what to say. He looked down at his body. He knew how to take whatever nick or cut or bruise, and extrapolate what actually happened. He was blue and purple in places, injuries he couldn’t place. He had been cut, and he had been bruised, to the point of bleeding.

A wallet flopped in between his legs. “There were nothing else among what remained of your clothes,” the giant said.

David’s ears twitched at hearing the voice. It was a deep and hollow sound, like wind blowing through a rotten tree. There was no life to it. He picked up the wallet, and opened it to see his ID card. He still hadn’t gotten around to taking the driving exam. David closed his eyes. “Thank you,” he said. It felt strange, and it felt wrong, but he could not have fathomed what would’ve happened had the police found his wallet so near the murder scene. Murder. His eyes opened again. “Who are you?” he asked. When the man did not answer, he turned and looked.

Those same pitiless eyes were boring down into David’s head. “Jarvis.”

David waited for a last name. Which reminded him of Dr. Alex, and his job, and his life. He slowly, slowly stood up, wobbling on unsure legs.

“Why are you here?” Jarvis asked.

David wondered that himself. He observed the hole in the side of the building, but found no real evidence aside from that. But no, Jarvis would know why David was there, naked and cold, specifically. It was difficult to understand, a lot of things were, but he had brought him. Jarvis wanted to know why David was in Bay City.  “I’m,” it was an appropriate and awkward circumstance for honesty. “I’m hiding.”

“Good,” Jarvis said, picking up the radio again, a bit carefully, and walk deeper into the building, toward a set of stairs. “Go back to your life, and forget this like a dream.”

David watched him go, resolved to do just that. “I don’t know where I am. And I don’ have any clothes.” He felt the words coming, but didn’t think about whether or not he should say them. They just came out. He was back on the landing again, thinking about up or down.

Jarvis stopped, but did not turn around. Then he kept walking, down the stairs.
David felt dejected and abandoned. He also felt better, that Jarvis was out of the vicinity. All the shudders and chills not brought on by the weather afflicted him and David crouched and clutched at his wallet. He remembered the stories from his father, the occasional tale of his siblings when they came to visit. There were none such as Jarvis on the island. But David wasn’t on the island anymore.

When the music outside stopped, David remembered it had been on the entire time, far enough away that it was just in the background. He snuck to the same window Jarvis was using and looked out. He appeared to be on the second floor of an incomplete housing community. He could see other buildings that had been faced, or were just frames, others without roofs that sagged from having water rained on their insides. There were lines drawn out to pour concrete and an empty fountain surrounded by a dirt and gravel turnabout.

In the circular driveway was a colorful sedan, bright green with humorously enormous wheels. It had stylized writing on the back window and exhaust fumes flowed from aggressive tailpipes. The trunk was open, and two men were watching something intently together. Jarvis entered the scene and the men with the car cautiously greeted him. David frowned in thought. Jarvis wasn’t dressed very similarly, but his attire and theirs could be classified as urban. He looked like their big brother, or father, if they were children. Maybe he stayed nearby.

Their conversation was brief, and looked a lot like a robbery. One of the men surrendered his jacket, and the other his pants and boots. Jarvis gave them a whole wad of money. No one died. After that, the two men rolled away in their bizarre vehicle. Moments later, Jarvis was presenting David with the clothes.
“Thank you,” David found himself saying again. And again, he found himself speaking to Jarvis’ back as the big man walked away. “Why did you kill those men?”

This time when Jarvis stopped, he also spoke. “You fight like someone who has never lost something. Naïve. There is a difference between being curious, and really wanting to know. This is not the manner of thing that you can un-know once you do.” Then he walked off.

After he navigated his way out of the modern ruins, and to a bus stop, and then onto a recognizable bus, David wondered about the things Jarvis said. He wondered if he was just curious, or if he really wanted to know.

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