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Jonathan - Part 1

Chapter 1 of Jonathan

The evening sky was bleak, darkened with thick black clouds that dumped sheets of rain on the icy ground. The fall air was chilled by the monsoon that had taken the city in its grips.

Jonathan sat just inside the bay door near the front of the shop. His chair propped up on two legs as the roughshod leaned back against the wall. Flashes of lightning revealed the features of a man who had a hard life. His square jaw covered by stubble, his greying hair, scars on both hands and face indicated that Jonathan had seen his share. And, this was all a shade behind his stern angry eyes that cut like a knife with every glare. The roughshod clasped his hand behind his head, and his body was motionless almost as if he were dead.

The night's fury gave birth to a set of headlights that stopped inches from the bay door. A silhouette of a round short man hopped out of the driver seat and scrambled to get out of the rain. Jonathan didn’t move a muscle.

“Hell of a night isn’t it?” The round man shook his coat of any excess water. “It’s a hurricane or something.”

Jonathan opened one eye just enough to see the white, and then shut it again. His silence was almost a taunt, and that was just how the round man took it.

“Oh so what now! You not talking tonight?!” Anger covered the round man's face. “Go to hell Jonathan! You stupid drunk...” The round man stepped forward a bit. “Why don't you go back to the bar! That's all you’re good for!”

With a flash quicker than lightning the roughshod was up out of the chair and had the round man pinned against the wall by the neck. The roughshod’s hands were huge, and they had no problem gripping the round man's throat.

“GIVE ME WHAT’S MINE BEFORE I BEAT THE LIVING HELL OUT OF YOU!” Jonathan spoke from behind gritted teeth.

The round man shook with fear as he fumbled for his inside pocket. He then presented the brute with a large envelope. Jonathan released his grip and snatched the paper from the now quaking round man.

“Get the hell out of here if you know what's good for you.” Jonathan returned to his seat. The round man exited the building.

“You need help you damn psycho!” he yelled back as he disappeared behind the glare of the headlights.

Jonathan pulled a metal flask from his jacket and took a swig. With a wipe of the chin he pulled his coat over his shoulders and shut down the bay door. The rain pounded against his back, and the wind seemed to know every open stitch to push the freezing water through soaking Jonathan from the inside out. The roughshod finally made it to his car and jumped inside. With another swig of the flask he started the engine and headed for home. Most of the road was on the outskirts of town, and held little to no traffic at night. This made for long drives where Jonathan could sober up a bit if needed.

The tempo of the wipers and the pounding of the rain was enough to cause the most alert of folks to nod off a bit, but Jonathan just fiddled with the envelope which rested in his coat pocket. Jonathan turned on the radio and drummed his thumb on the top of the steering wheel. The station soon gave way to static which caused Jonathan to growl a bit and roughly flip the channel, but it was no use! Each station was nothing but static.

“C’mon you piece of crap,” the roughshod yelled. “What the hell!” Jonathan in a fit of rage tried to pull the face of the radio out! Taking his eyes off the road for a second was all it took for the surprise of looking back up to see a body fly over the hood and off to the side of the road! Jonathan put both feet on the brake and skidded to a stop on the shoulder. He flung the door open and looked back to see a lump lying in the middle of the road. The roughshod cautiously made his way up to the motionless body which once in view was a Black male in his fifties. His grey beard matched his curled hair, and his lifeless face was full of wrinkles.

“Hey buddy! You okay?!” Jonathan poked. “Hey! Hey! Man you alive?” The roughshod stood to his feet. He walked in circles holding his head.

“DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN!” Jonathan screamed. The body still didn’t move.

Jonathan took a moment to think, and then pulled the body off into the ditch. The last thing he needed was the law poking around with a flask of whisky in his jacket, and the same on his breath. The roughshod climbed back into his car and pulled away slowly. He couldn’t keep his eyes off the rearview mirror just waiting for a sign of life from the ditch. Jonathan's attention was shaken momentarily as he noticed the radio coming through as clear as ever, but then his eyes were back on the mirror. The roughshod soon found himself out of site of the scene but his heart still raced. He couldn’t come to terms with what had just transpired, and the alcohol didn’t provide any help. But, Jonathan knew one thing, he had to gain his composure because his house was just up the old dirt road, and, as was most nights Saundra would be waiting. These were the times the roughshod hated the most. Pulling into the driveway was the start to a night of misery, and this time Jonathan had to hide the blaring fact that he possibly had killed a guy.

Once in the driveway Jonathan could see Chris, his son, peering through the window. He was always faithful in waiting for the brute to come home. It didn’t matter the time of night, Chris would be waiting for his father to return home. Jonathan pulled himself out of the car leaving the flask behind. He made his way to the front door through the drenching rain, and reached for the knob. The door flew open as Chris pulled him inside.

“DAD!” the boy shouted with joy. Chris took the soaked coat from Jonathan and tossed it on the coat rack. “How was your day?”

“Rough,” is all Jonathan cared to say. “A rough night.”

“Booze does that!” A stout voice came from the kitchen. Saundra was a short and petite. Her long black hair graced her olive skin, and accented her big brown eyes.

To be continued...

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