Dreaming Falling Down
After contemplating crossing the threshold over from this life, a broken life, into eternal darkness, Abraham is visited by the dark stranger. The offer of salvation, the offer of having a purpose is a strong enough lure to make him hand himself over to the stranger. But instead of a bright new hope, he finds instead a long, suffering torture where he fulfills his duties under the cover of night. It is a duty which isn’t clear of purpose to him. Just deliver the black boxes and never look inside of them. Simple rules, but the Three Sisters, the fabled harbingers that the Deliverers fear, are coming for him.
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Abraham silently slipped in between the bushes, his black uniform camouflaging him against the sleepy dark. He kept his usual firm grip on the black container within his hand. Ahead of him he could see no lights on in the house.
There never was, why would there be at this hour?
Only the stars in the night sky could see him and they would tell no tales. Taking a deep breath and keeping as low as possible, Abraham scuttled from the cover of the bushes and ran across the lawn. Upon reaching the house, he squat with his back against the wall and caught his breath. The air was feeling damp around him and he sensed an approaching storm. Looking up, the sky was still clear enough to see the stars immediately above him, but all around dark clouds were gathering, swarming to smother the world. He guessed that he would never have enough time for the remainder of the houses on his route before any rain came.
If alone this one.
Abraham stood upright and edged sideways, feeling his way with his back pressed against the cold brick. The windows were always the first point of entry to check, just a crack, that’s all he would need. The window next to him was sealed tight, locked, as was so often the case, but ground floor windows still offered the easiest access so it was always worth a try.
No-one’s house was ever sealed air-tight. It was just not possible. As Abraham had became quickly aware, you just had to know where to look for openings. A window, an air-vent, a letter box; there was always a way in.
Abraham slid his thin frame around the corner to the next window at the rear of the property. There it was, the opening. Abraham guessed at a small kitchen window, left ajar above a larger closed pane for ventilation. Carefully he placed the black container, no larger than a pack of cards, onto the window ledge and slowly unclipped the small spring-loaded lock that kept the lid secure. Methodically he eased the lid ajar onto its rear hinges, listening for the familiar click from inside which signified that the internal arm had locked the lid into the open position. Abraham gave the metal tin his ritualistic light double tap with two fingers before hurrying away back into the shadows of the garden.
Abraham sat back in his van and watched through the first drops of falling rain, the headlights of oncoming traffic, each momentarily a pair of glaring eyes burning into his soul. Despite all the discreetness surrounding his life now, he felt an enormous weight of exposure. Paranoia had followed him more relentlessly than his own shadow had done in the past two years. Now his own life seemed nothing but a distant blur, not convinced in his mind that the small fragments of recollections that visited him were his own. The immense sense of not-belonging had been the reason why he had stared so often at the pills and the bottles of Scotch on his shelf. The keys to escaping a broken world, but never brave enough to use to cross that threshold. Then the one night when he did put his shoulder to the door of death and shoved hard wanting to step outside his life, the stranger had appeared like a door to door salesman in a black suit and long overcoat. The black-eyed, hollow-faced man had been armed with his seductive pitch, offering a sweet salvation to Abraham and the chance to run away and escape the torments of a lonely death. But now after all this time, Abraham often wondered to himself, driving down the dark lanes at night, because of the current state in which he found himself, whether he had made the right decision.