The Lament of the Tortured Soul
Authors Note: This story is completely fiction. It is not based in anyway on actual events. Any resemblence the characters have to any living person is completely accidential. Saying that though many of the characters share traits with one person (it was completely unintentional) who unfortunately left us at the end of January 2002. Shadow as he was known to the people he called friend, the people who loved him and the people he left behind miss him greatly.
This story is dedicated to him. Rest easy my love we’ll be together again soon.
They wouldn’t let Nick see Josh that night or all of the next day but Nick remained at the hospital. Many people came and went during those long hours. Eric was there almost constantly and would only disappear for a short time when someone he trusted utterly was there with Nick. This meant only three people Robbie, John or Blake.
It was late Sunday afternoon when Eric managed to convince Nick to come home with him so he could get some sleep. Nick who hadn’t spoken to anyone since the chapel merely nodded when Eric said there was nothing more they could do and it was time to go home.
Nick went straight to bed once they got home though he didn’t sleep. He just lay on his bed staring up at the ceiling as the dim light of dusk slowly faded into darkness. As the night reached its darkest Nick thought he heard laughing. The slow evil crackling laugh of someone enjoying immensely the complete emptiness that Nick now felt.
Nick rose not long after the light of the new day made its way though his bedroom window. He dressed methodically every action requiring the utmost concentration. He looked in on his uncle as he passed his uncle’s bedroom. There was almost a warm feeling as he stood in the doorway watch his uncle spoon Robbie lovingly but it quickly disappeared into the void, leaving nothing but the emptiness again.
Moving silently he collected his homework from where it had been discarded and left the house only pausing long enough to leave a scrawled note ‘Gone to school’. It was a warm sunny spring day not that Nick noticed. He walked along the road with the early morning sun on his back but he didn’t feel it. He felt absolutely nothing except one emotion that was working its way out of the void. Anger. The laughing was still [??] there like a buzzing at the back of his head.
The schoolyard was deserted when he arrived and took his place under the tree where he often waited to meet Josh. He stayed there as people started to arrive each of them staring at him like a freak in a sideshow as they passed. Eventually two people stopped one reaching into his bag to retrieve a cell phone the other bending down to talk to Nick.
“How you going kid-o?” John asked, “Thought so.” He answered himself as he was met with Nick’s blank stare. Still bending down he pulled Nick into an embrace and they stayed that way for some time until just before the bell rung when someone called out “Fags!”
John growled and turned on the kid who took off running for his life and it was just as well he did because at that moment John was angry enough to kill. Nick reached up touching his brother and protector on the arm as John was about to take off after the kid. Looking down at Nick John’s anger melted away but he glared at the small crowd daring anyone else to say something.
Nick stood as the bell rang and flanked by John and Blake he made his way to this home room but only stayed long enough to get his name taken. The third time his name was called someone else answered for him but that wasn’t good enough for the teacher demanding that he answer himself. “Answer me you little faggot.”
Nick stood and left the room to the call of “You and that other little cocksucker deserve what you get.” Nick didn’t know it at the time but his leaving was just the start, the rest of the class left too, many of them ending up in an angry mob outside the principal’s office.
Nick wandered through the school in that lull between the start of school and first period seeking a sanctuary. He found it at in the art room amongst the pencil’s, brushes and paints. Taking a large canvas he set himself up in a corner of the art room and started to paint. The first and second classes came and went with each student registering his presence but not saying anything. The mood in the room was black and later when Penny reviewed the work that was done that day she realized that it was reflected in everything anyone did. She didn’t mind though she preferred Nick to be there where she could keep an eye on him.
It was half way though the afternoon classes when the principal came to find Nick. He came into the classroom full of purpose ready to tell Nick to pull it together and get to where he was supposed to be but what he found was an empty classroom with a painting in the middle of it.
The painting was of a boy, Josh, on a crucifix. Across the top was the words ‘The Lament of the Tortured Soul’ and in the four boxes made by the crucified boy were these words
The Lament of the Tortured Soul
Alone in the darkness the tortured soul waits,
Hoping to have a moment’s longer peace.
Enjoying the silence of being alone,
Listening quietly for the coming storm.
Slowly it starts but leaving no doubt it will last,
The Tortured Soul stays hidden,
Dreaming of some long distant past.
The storm rages strong with no end in sight,
It carries on well past midnight.
With the coming of dawn the storm quiets down,
The tortured soul wakes with silence being the only sound.
The tortured soul creeps afraid of every noise
Out into dawn’s new day
Through the jacket so thin the cold bites to the bone.
But walks slowly on its way to school
To face private hell number two
Through the corridors it walks eyes cast down
To the sound of taunts and jeers all around
In the classroom it quietly waits
Scorned by its classmates
The class fills and still it waits for the latest update
Gathered they are told their teacher will not return
Taken away fighting till the end.
Deep inside it cries for the loss of its one true friend.
The storm rages on at home that night
Quickly he runs far away out of sight
Below the bridge the current runs strong and true
To take it away if only it had the courage to
Silent fingers slow it descent.
Bursting through the surface wanting life
But only for an instant.
Out of the water taking refuge under a bush
The tortured soul waits for death’s welcomed kiss
As the tortured soul greets peace at last
Anther tortured soul is born to take its place.
Across the bottom of the painting was the single word ‘Why?’
The Principal looked around the classroom for Nick but did not find him. Instead of looking for him further he picked up the painting relocating it to the main thoroughfare of the school. For the rest of that day and for many days to come whenever the students and staff had to go anywhere they had to pass the painting. Many of them stopped to say a silent prayer or simply to stand and think about their own interpretation of the poem.
When Nick left the art room a few minutes before the principal arrived he walked straight into John and Blake. “We were coming to get you. They’ll let you see him now.” John said looking sadly at the boy he considered to be his little brother. Even though he knew it was silly he though of himself as a failure for not being there to prevent Nick’s pain. Nick nodded to them and he headed toward the car once again flanked by John and Blake.
Nick entered the hospital room tentatively. There were so many tubes and wires coming out of him, at first he didn’t recognize the heavily bandaged person in the bed. For a long time Nick sat beside the bed holding Josh’s hand listening to the steady beeping sound of the machines. That sound was the only indication that Josh was still alive but what it didn’t tell him was if there was anything left of the Josh he knew lying in that bed.
Nick walked into his house a few hours later sill flanked by John and Blake to find Eric, Robbie and Chrissie in the living room in deep discussion. Chrissie acting in the professional way only a psychiatrist can asked Nick how he was feeling.
Was all he said. Nick left them in the living room went to his bedroom and went
to bed. He needed sleep, his body craved it. He wanted it so much and he didn’t
want to wake up.
Big thanks to Oldie for proof reading this story.
Any comments welcome though if you have a flame please keep it to youself as this story is of a personel nature firstname.lastname@example.org