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[–] Arotaes_Forgehammer 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Use "Jacob" less and use more pronouns.

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[–] gatordontplaythatsht [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Thanks

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[–] gatordontplaythatsht [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

“YOU ABANDONED ME, MY HEART WAS BROKEN AND YOU TOOK WHAT WAS LEFT ABBIE!” Jacob yelled into the abyss, rain coating his clothes and streaming down his head and body like the tears he could no longer summon. He knelt on the edge, peering into the distance at the raging white caps shooting out of the Atlantic waters like hands beckoning him to join his son.

“I am still here Abbie, it’s all died around me, the church, our son, it’s all gone now there is nothing more to take! Jacob snatched flowers from the bouquet and threw them from the cliff watching them pelted with icy raindrops as they drifted towards the beach below.

“There is NOTHING MORE TO TAKE!” Jacob bellowed. His gaze fell to the waves receding and taking Abbie’s beloved Lilacs with them into the depths never to be seen again, those haunted flowers disappearing forevermore as she did. At this moment he stood and walked to his house defeated again and victim to his routine.

Jacob felt empty, he felt his love being ripped away from him and he could find nothing to stop it. Jacob felt hatred, sometimes for himself, sometimes for these visions of his son, but mostly for his wife who had abandoned him. He sighed as he passed by the now covered and illegible gravestones. The real life reminders of grief and loss were so much easier to cope with than the visions and dreams.

2

A worn path illuminated by starlight led Jacob to his son standing at the edge of the bluff, the fury of the wind drowned his footfalls as they grew more rapid with his gait as he ran to his son.

Not this time Richie, not this time, as he reached his son he dissipated into the night, and Jacob ran through him running off the edge of the cliff, and beginning his descent to the beach below. His gut filled with fear as the sensation of falling overcame him, preceding his imminent death.

Jacob awoke in soaked sheets, gasping for breath, he reached for Abbie and found nothing like hundreds of nights before this. He hung his head as he awaited the sunrise re-orienting himself with a sobering reality that left him alone and angry. The sun creeping up over the horizon began to illuminate the back yard, and the well know plot with carved stone peeking out over the weeds. Jacob found comfort in his sons resting place bearing witness to such beautiful sights day after day, sights which no longer brought him any joy.

He got dressed in his usual black slacks, dress shoes and button up long sleeve collared shirt. He had long ago forgone the ministers attire for a more casual and reachable look at Abbie’s request. At times where the church had reached capacity, he knew it had helped him befriend and connect with his congregation; yet now it was simply habit. A walk to the kitchen and a variety of vitamins and medications for the aging and ailing gently pulled his thoughts from the dream he had awoken from. He wondered if Richie would visit him today, when in reality he was truly afraid of each vision, each dream, as he viewed them all as signs of his mind going, and the death of his own faith.

Jacob removed two eggs from the fridge and cracked each into a pan he kept on the stove, he poked his finger into each yolk once, allowing them to spread to the whites as they cooked. He turned away from the stove and opened the fridge, removing the orange juice carton and placing it on the table. He stood for a moment, transfixed on the cooking eggs as he heard the front door unlatch, and swing open and shut.

Jacob’s head sank in a familiar way, “Please Richie, not today.”

He heard Richie’s chair at the dining room table slide out, and then budge in. Jacob had considered removing the extra chairs after Abbie had left, but he had left them determined to not encourage his visions, or his belief he was going insane. Today, like other days, he regretted this choice. With a deep breath he straightened up and slid the eggs to a plate and sat at the table, pouring himself a glass of orange juice and averting his gaze from the vision of his now middle aged Richie.

“You know I dream of your fall every night. Sometimes I talk to you before, sometimes I watch you fall, sometimes I fall, and sometimes I push you over the edge myself.” Jacob sighed

“I cannot make the dreams stop, and I cannot stop seeing you; I have found myself closer each day to wishing for it all to end.”

“Dad...” Richie interrupted.

Jacob continued over Richie, “Your passing, it changed my fate Rich, as I prepared the elders and wrote my goodbyes people distanced themselves.” He slowly and deliberately cut into his eggs, slicing across the plate, and then gather and large mouthful onto his fork using his knife, yet resting it at the edge of his plate.

“The sadness and lonesomeness seemed to infect our congregation like a plague bud, spreading from family to family, making them associate the building, our home even, with grief and death.” Jacob stuffed the bite into his mouth, and through his chewing continued, “I’d seen deaths hurt a congregation before, death and grief always have a way of pulling the faith from people like a flower uprooted from the soil; but this was different, I became the same face of a magnet of sorts, pushing my closest friends and brothers away from me in the strongest ways possible.”

Jacob paused, “I don’t clearly remember the reality of the funeral anymore, I think Abbie left when I bought the coffin for you, but it’s all a blur now. Constant dreams, and visions, and you at the table now have so distorted my once strong grasp on my reality.” He looked over at a picture he remembered being taken just months before Richards death. He gazed at Abbie’s face, her true happiness in the photograph deeply upset him. “Oh God how I miss her...”

Jacob stared into his plate, unable to shake the photograph from his vision, yet in many ways unwilling.

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[–] gatordontplaythatsht [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

“Please go now Richard, though I guess I’m only telling my own mind that; but this despair, this growing anger, this hate, I don’t want this anymore. Some days it makes me want to join you out there in the patch of gravestones, finally at peace and not picking up the pieces of this existence I find myself in.”

Richie stood up from the table speaking firmly, “The only thing buried out there is the past, something you should let go Dad; maybe that means me leaving you.”

Jacob heard the door shut, relieved he had reached the end of this hallucination, but focused on what his brain had created as Richie’s last remark. His own mind telling him to let go the past that constantly remained in his life seemed a cruel and absurd concept. Jacob put down his fork and set his hands on the table, clenching the cloth in a vice like grip. Both hands shot to his left as he tore the cloth, plate, juice, and glass from the table each crashing to the floor. He sat and watched the juice puddle spread across the linoleum.

3

Jacob was walking through tall yellowed grass, leaving a trail behind him in the bright sunlight. He noticed he was barefoot, he was approaching his home. In the distance he saw Abbie exit the house slamming the front door and hurry towards her car. Before entering she turned and looked at Jacob in the distance, tears were streaming down her face, Jacob began running toward her in attempt to stop her from leaving only to be left in a cloud of dust as the car sped off down the road towards town leaving him forever. He fell to his knees in the dust breathless from his sprint and confused. The dust swirled around him and he lifted his arms, his hands toward the heavens beckoning for help. As the dust cleared he found himself kneeling at the bluff, Richie only feet away but 14 years old again. “Watch me Dad,” as he spread his arms and ran toward the bluff, Jacob stood quickly and intercepted Richie right before the edge; in an embrace from behind he held tightly sobbing into his sons shoulder. He felt Richie grow in his arms, and turn to him now as the Richie in his visions, older and weathered. Jacob became aware he was dreaming, and in fit of rage thrust his son away from him and watched as Richie slipped and fell from the cliff. Jacob peered over the edge and watched as his sons body exploded into hundreds of bouquets of lilacs in mid air, and saw the wind carry them out over the sea. He sat back into the dirt and heard someone approaching behind him. He turned to see Abbie, who approached, and knelt beside him beckoning for his feet. As he complied she began to put his dress shoes on him, one at a time. With each motion she grew paler, thinner and older in appearance, almost sickly. She stood weakly after finishing and whispered, “Take care of my Richie Jacob.” He shot upright and grabbed at thin air as she disappeared, and he awoke.

4

Jacob spent the next three days tending to the dilapidated Church building. He started with a layer of white paint over the exterior of the church. The paint was possibly expired, but Jacob assumed anything would be better than the raw wood and green mildew that had developed over the years. Painting was hard work, his shoulders and arms became constantly tired and he found himself in need of a great deal of breaks that day. It was an unusually warm and bright fall day, before long Jacob had peeled off his dress shirt, down to his undershirt and felt a layer of sweat forming. He had spoken on the value of hard work many times in his sermons, that the work itself had a way of scrubbing through the sinful ways each person carried. It only helped him today by distracting him. In the last three days Jacob had fully cleaned the house, removing unnecessary items and furniture, and fixing things here and there. It gave his home a more minimalist appearance, but at this point he felt it suited him. Now as he painted the church he began to wonder if he was feeling a new chapter beginning for himself. He let himself fantasize about re-opening the church, not that it was closed to the public, but that it had been many years since anyone other than him, or the ghost of his son had entered. It gave him a sliver of hope, and that was enough to continue the hard work of painting the church.

At sundown he found himself planted on the road facing the Church and his home’s property surveying any further work he felt might be needed. As his eyes traced the property line in the glowing red and purple of the setting sun he settled his gaze on the small graveyard dotted by about a dozen headstones. “My Richie.” He spotted Richie’s stone, toward the edge and next to an unyielding bush, half covering face of the headstone and obscuring the letters.

It had been 3 days since he last dreamt, or envisioned Richie; truly a blessing for such a tortured and tired man. He considered pruning the bush then and there, but decided he’d done enough that day, and that perhaps rest was in order. As he trudged toward his front door he felt the wind pick up around him and he breathed deeply of the smell of Autumn around him. It was a smell of decay, or many plants last foray into a cold and dark winter, yet the nostalgic and warm feeling it gave him with each breath rewarded him with comfort he had not known in a long time. He sat on his stoop and decided to take in as much of the air as he could, determined to not allow such a moment of calmness and bliss escape him.

Jacob was in a beautiful park, a baseball diamond surrounded by open fields dotted by families picnicking, children flying kites, and dogs chasing frisbees and barking in delight. Jacob noticed that he was somehow not present, he was floating through the fields, through the picnics and running dogs toward a family in the corner of the park. He could just barely make out the faces of his dreams target as a familiar dread began to come over him. It was Richie, with a beautiful wife, and a son and daughter who seemed no older than 8 or 9. They were a beautiful family, laid out under a massive tree and sharing sandwiches and jokes, laughing and smiling as they ate. Jacob stopped right at the edge of their blanket and was thrown backwards, hurtling down towards the beach now falling from the bluff and leaving the serenity of the family Richie would never have, he closed his eyes in solemnity as his body impacted the beach and he awoke.

Jacob was concerned while he sat in the front pew of his church. He had seen that family from his dream before, how common was it to dream of a similar family more than once? Was his mind holding onto these peoples images for each dream? As wonderful as it seemed and appeared, it seemed cruel of his mind to tease a daughter in law and grandchildren that Jacob would never have.