Story From A Song Challenge: Day 2
Each weekday throughout May, I am selecting a song and attempting to write and post a short story inspired by either its atmosphere, emotion or lyrics. Go here for day one.
Where Are You, My Faith?
Inspired by: Cayetana – South Philly
Top down, cool air cascading against her face and a long, straight and most importantly, empty road extending all the way to the horizon. Just how Jessie liked it. She’d spent more Sunday afternoon’s blazing this trail than she could remember, pumping out tunes on the stereo or contemplating the nuances of life. Today was different, however. Today she had company, and while she would generally do whatever was necessary to stop others from intruding on her Sunday ‘me-time’, she’d had no moral choice in the matter on this occasion.
That morning she had returned home early from Sunday Service. She’d assured her parents when moving states that she would continue to go to church – felt that she owed them that much given her choice of career- but not reneging on that promise was becoming harder each week. The day’s service had been even more contrived than usual and she simply hadn’t the fortitude to see it through. Still, she’d only promised that she would attend, not that she’d stay until the bitter end. As it had turned out, her increasing disillusionment with God had come at just the right time. Her ahead of schedule return to the two-bedroom flat she shared had come as a surprise to both her flatmate, Beth,and to the girl’s boyfriend, Brian who was in the process of beating her to a bloody pulp. She’d suspected violence for months, but until now she’d never had any concrete proof. Beth always denied it, of course; too scared and too confused to seek help, no doubt. This particular hammering looked worse than anything she might have blamed on disagreements with gravity or covered with cheap make-up. The guy had made a run for it when he’d spotted Jessie, near tripping over his own feet to escape – clearly has some sense, she’d thought.
Having spent the next hour doing her best to tidy Beth up and trying in vain to get her to go to the police, she’d decided that she couldn’t leave the vulnerable girl alone with the threat of her ‘Love’ returning to finish the job he’d already made a decent fist of starting. Even if the Beth wouldn’t help herself, Jessie sure as hell wasn’t going to let her die at the hands of some wannabe body-builder jacked-up on steroids.
So, here she was, driving on a Sunday afternoon as she always did, but with an unwelcome intrusion on her thinking time. The morning’s events had left Jessie with burning questions regarding the faith she was becoming so confused by, and she felt that she needed her long, lonesome drive more than ever. “Are we answerable to God?” she asked aloud, “Or only to each other?” She waited patiently but there was no hint of a response from her passenger. For that she was thankful; perhaps the extra body in the car was not going to prevent from thinking through her problems after all. Was it fate that she’d grown restless with her faith; that she’d returned home early the one time it was imperative that she did so? And if that was the case, did it mean that their was a higher power, directing her towards her destiny? She pondered this undisturbed for the remainder of the journey, and by the time she pulled over, miles from anywhere of note, dusk settling in, she was feeling no less undecided.
After guzzling from a bottle of tepid water, she vaulted over the driver-side door before slowly walking around to the back of the car, knowing what awaited her would lead to the biggest decision of her life. “Time to go for a walk,” she said as she opened the trunk. Brian screamed as she grabbed hold of his ear and pulled him out onto the road. She hadn’t bothered to gag him, but his hands were tied together, as were his feet. If he’d been refreshingly quiet throughout the drive, he was making up for it now, shouting at the top of his lungs as she half carried, half dragged him across the deserted, dusty grasslands that extended away from the road as far as the eye could see. The chances of anyone hearing his anguish was remote, but Jessie still wished he’d shut-up; she had more thinking to do. Should she spare the man’s life? Or was this an opportunity to save sweet Beth from the monster’s vile clutches for good? Perhaps that was her God-given destiny.
When she felt they’d walked far enough, Jessie dropped her prisoner to the ground.
“What are you gonna do to me?” he snarled. “You ain’t got no weapon on you.”
It was true, she wasn’t carrying a gun. Or a knife. But four-years of mixed-martial-arts training was enough for one to know how to finish someone off. Kicks, strikes, holds – there were a multitude of ways she could kill the now defenceless man in front of her without the need for man-made implements. I just need to use the tools that God gave me, she thought. An innocuous enough phrase for most, but for Jessie it proved to be a trigger; the sign she’d so hoped to receive.
“I think you will soon believe me when I tell you that I do not need a weapon to end your life,” she replied calmly, before planting the laces of her boot onto the side of his head with as much force as she could muster. He hit the ground, but she picked him up and repeated the same deadly move. After five of them, he was just about unconscious, after maybe ten, fifteen, twenty, he was as good as dead. She dropped to her knees, pulled him up for the final time and locked her arm around his neck to remove any final scraps of life that may have been clinging to his limp, pathetic body. As she stood up, brushed herself down and began walking back to her car, she realised that her faith had never been stronger.
My short review of the demo this song appears on can be found at the following link – http://alonelyghostburning.co.uk/2013/01/08/cayetana-demo/