The Voice He Hears (Part 15)

Michael, maybe ten, was in the street playing with a childhood friend. Anna was the blond with the sky blue eyes. He remembered well. They were the eyes that saw what his father would do to him, when she found them one summer day inside the dugout. It never left Mike’s memory. The recurring dream of the event would come to him throughout his years.

The dream was always the same– Anna would always laugh before Mike would wake in disgust.

The laughter woke Michael just before three a.m. He could smell the sweat-soiled clothing under his nose. It reminded him of just how much he’d lost himself since those days of his father’s appalling obsession. How far he had journeyed off the premeditated. The plan was to be the man his father never was–noble, and genuine.

Mike was letting the tears soak into the oily sweats under his face. He couldn’t stand the emotions that had decided to join him. The burn of pure hate rushed through his body. The sadness from the moments at the scene of his father’s accident, along with the simotaneous relief of knowing that he would never be able to touch him again. Mike laid in his pity. He could see Anna’s face, so beautiful. He knew she never laughed when she found them that summer day, and that she would have stuck around if she never would’ve seen what she saw. The laughter was the cutter. He heard it in his head that morning, and it played, continuously, just as the screech of the horses.

He returned to the restful underworld. Silence was keeping him within the depths of slumber. He began to see himself walking within falling Autumn leaves. He could hear the gentle wind blowing through the trees as the leaves fell around him. A path cut through the thinned woods to a clearing. A man, in what appeared to be wool clothing, sat on one of three tree stumps in the center of the void. He was holding his hands next to a small fire burning in front of him. “Sit,” he said to Mike as he approached. Mike positioned himself on a stump.

“Why do you doubt me?” Mike knew that the man was not just anyone. He knew who he was. The man had the eyes of Anna, and he spoke without speaking. He took the fire from the pit, and held a flame in his hand. “Tell me, Michael, why do you run?” The fire from his hand began to turn into the light from his experiences with Mr. McBride. It intensified, and its brightness became the only thing he could see. Blinded by white, his sight returned. Before him stood an angel–different in appearance from the one in his earlier encounter. It stood so tall, and its face was smooth. Featureless. It had no hair, no hands, and it stood on a white blanket of what appeared to be smoke. He held within his arms, a baby. Mike knew that the baby was his father.

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