Wednesday Briefs is a weekly flash fiction feature on my blog. I’ll write 500-1000 words based on a prompt, share it with you and then link you to other bloggers doing the same thing.
Dark Rights Chapter 1 part 2
The heavy wooden door slammed shut behind me when I stepped over the threshold. The interior of the building was as I remembered it. A welcoming hall, two glass doors that lead into a sanctuary—still lined with moth chewed pews. There was a woman hunched over in one of the pews, her hands clasped together, resting on the back of the pew in front of her. Gray didn’t run it as a church, but he respected the need for a place to talk to whoever may be listening.
“Your room is in the back.” He handed me the backpack. “You know the way. Drop your stuff and I’ll get you something to eat.” His eyes landed on me, studied me in a way he hadn’t in the glaring light of the late afternoon sun. “Change your clothes.” With that he wheeled past me, through the glass doors to sit next to the woman in the pew.
I couldn’t hear what was being said, but I could see the gentleness in which he took her hand, the way she seemed to curl further in on herself. Gray has that effect on people. Some would call it being a people person; he’d just call it being human. I turned away from the sanctuary and the cold gaze of the statue of one of the saints in the welcoming hall. The floors still creaked under my feet, though he had replaced the doors that separated the front of the church from what he considered living spaces. Sunday school class rooms had been converted into bedrooms, which were Spartan, if one were being generous.
I dropped my bag on the ground next to the twin bed and sat down heavily. The box springs groaned loudly as I stretched out, feeling my legs protest any further movement. When I woke up, the lamp on the desk was on, Gray perched on the chair, watching me sleep. Wordlessly he handed me a water bottle and I drank half of it in one go, the cold water chasing the dust and demons from my throat.
“Time?” I croaked, licked my lips, and tried again. “What time is it?”
“Half-past two. I’ll make you pancakes after you answer a few questions.”
“I really don’t want to get into this Gray, not right now.”
“When is the last time you ate a proper meal boy?” His voice wasn’t unkind. “I can see your ribs through the scrap you’re calling a shirt.”
“Rough patch.” I said, repeating myself from earlier in the evening. I sat up, swinging my feet over the edge of the bed. “I ran out of money and out of luck.”
“So you came back here?”
“You inspire me to be a better man.” I said. “I figured that I could back on my feet and then repay you for everything you’ve done for me.”
“I don’t want repayment.” He said. “I want you to be better than this.”
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Julie Lynn Hayes