Monday, May 30, 2011

The Gemini - II - Where The Heart Leads

Steaming hot water streamed out the shower faucet, hitting Julian’s tired body with a somewhat calming effect. He didn’t remember what time he got back to his flat, all he knew was that he had to get to work. As he wrapped the towel around his wet, naked body, he began trying to piece over what had happened the night before. Fragments of the events flashed through his mind: the torn body, the blood, the feeling of utter hopelessness and despair. He couldn’t remember too much about what happened, only that it happened. The news blared in a tiny drone from Julian’s hand-me-down FM radio. “Police still have no leads as to last night’s brutal murder of Gary Fredericks, respected businessman and father of two children….” the reporter’s voice continued. Julian chose to ignore the rest of what was said as he finished off getting ready for work.

Jeanette Cornley walked through the streets to her offices with her head down, just as she always did, magically knowing then shying away when someone came too close. This wasn’t her domain, actually nowhere was, all she knew was her father’s iron-clad ruling – straight to work, straight home… NO dawdling… or else. Heaving an audible sigh of relief, she sat in her office and got ready to start her day when her phone rang. “Jeanie!!! Where the hell is my breakfast???” her father screamed over the phone before she could say anything. “In the microwave Dad” she answered automatically… timidly, as Julian’s hulking frame walked past her desk. To say that Julian was peculiar in her eyes was an understatement. He never spoke, and his piercing blue eyes seemed to see everything in their gaze, a gaze which she felt burning into her soul even when she wasn’t looking directly at him. “A stalker… that’s what he is. I swear he is!” she convinced herself.

Julian’s face was impossible to read as she watched him stand up and walk to her desk. “Jean, may I offer to take you to dinner this evening?” he asked quietly. If Jeanette wasn’t looking at him speaking she would not have believed that such a soft, gentle voice came from such a powerfully built body. “Erm… dinner? Well, my dad will…” she started, “Just forget it…” Julian cut her off almost immediately as he dejectedly turned and started walking away. “… Julian, wait!”, her heart raced – she knew she was going to get into trouble for this but, ”I… was just going to say that I will just need to go past my place and make sure my dad is okay, then yes, I would very much like dinner.” Julian turned back to her, “Are you sure? I mean you don’t have to if you don’t want to” “What the HELL are you doing?!?! You’re going to ruin everything!!!! EVERYTHING!!!!” Vernon’s voice echoed through his mind, but Julian pushed the voice out of his mind. “I’d love to” Jeanette quietly replied, her large green eyes twinkled through the glow of her flaming red hair

Julian walked with Jeanette back to her house, careful not to get to close to her private space, he’d seen how she reacts to that. As she walked into her front door, Julian stood by a large tree about 200 meters from her place. She’d asked him to wait there, why he did not now, but he agreed. It did not, however, prevent him from hearing the shouting coming from there. His eyes squinted as he ground his teeth in anger. “Do you remember? Who is the judge now? Who?!?!” the voice rang as Jeanette walked quickly away from her house back to Julian, quickly wiping away tears which he pretended not to notice.

The quiet restaurant where they had their dinner was perfect – soft music, waiters unobtrusively available. “You know, there’s something I’d like to show you if you don’t mind” Julian said as they walked out of the restaurant, “I know that you like flowers, especially rare ones” he continued. “Okay” she smiled.

Julian ushered her into his flat, directing her to his sparsely furnished lounge. “Close your eyes please” he whispered, and to her surprise she did. He could have asked her to do anything and she would have agreed to it, she thought as she heard rustling and boxers being shifted. Upon his voice, she opened her eyes and could not hold in a shocked gasp of amazement as he produced a perfectly preserved blue rose. Jeanette let her head rest on Julian’s broad chest as he held her close, listening to his thundering heartbeat. She looked up, and kissed him softly on his lips, slipping her hands gently around his waist. Julian let her lead him to the bedroom.

Vernon looked over Clifton Cornley’s sleeping form then slowly leaned over him and slipped his hand over his mouth, razor sharp blade drawn. Clifton’s eyes drew open in shock as the first slices of the blade slid through his throat with little resistance. Vernon left his mouth, knowing now that no sounds will come from him – yes, he could take his time with him now. He sliced his Achilles’ tendon with the skill of a surgeon. Blood spewed freely from the gaping wounds. “It’s different once the shoe is on the other foot isn’t it eh?” he whispered into Clifton’s ear as unheard screams tried in vain to escape his bloodied lips. Vernon continued his unrelenting dismemberment of Clifton, knowing that this had to one of, if not his best work yet. The glimmer of the blade, with streaks of blood glinting in strobes of moonlight, flashing in the perverse task bid by its master, as blood splattered in all directions, strips of flesh and muscle falling on the odd occasion as was their want.

Julian awoke the next morning wondering why he felt so strange, so invigorated and then he remembered. He smiled as he looked to his side to see Jeanette sleeping peacefully next to him with her arm draped around his waist. He gently slipped Jeanette’s hand off, and strode to the bathroom to wash up. “I did it for you Julian. For YOU!!!” Vernon laughed. Julian silently went to Jeanette and gently woke her, “I think you should be getting home now, your dad must be a bit worried about where you are” he smiled softly at her, she nodded sleepily and they both got ready and left the apartment.

Despite her protests, Julian stepped into her house – his muscles taunt with nervousness. He sat on a soft couch in the lounge as Jeanette sought her father. As Julian pondered about how he was going to handle meeting Jeanette’s father, her piercing screams ran through the house as he ran to her and all but knocked her off her feet as he turned a corner to find her frozen in her father’s room. One look at the room and Julian already knew what had happened.

The cops stood around Julian, “Julian, we found your prints on the door of the victim’s bedroom. I’ve been waiting a LONG time for this, Grawling! It is my duty to inform you that you are under arrest for the murder of Clifton Cornley.” Inspector Reading spoke in a cold voice to a shocked Julian. The rest of his rights were read as he was handcuffed and escorted roughly to the waiting police vehicle, surrounded by a crowd of onlookers. He looked with sad, imploring eyes at Jeanette as she watched in horror at what had just transpired.

What lengths would you go through to protect the person that you loved? “I will kill for you!” has been preached through the ages. But if/when you are face with that situation would you? The need for preservation of one’s self generally supersedes almost all actions which will not guarantee that basic need. When you are faced with a situation where someone who you cared about is in a life or death predicament, where do you stand? What will you do? Will you hesitate and/or falter? Are you willing to sacrifice everything? Or will you choose rather to ensure that it is you who are safe? When this situation presents itself, where will your heart lead you?

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