Edge of Darkness – a story

I listened half heartedly to my next client

I was too preoccupied with Jani

I’d seen him only once before.

That first meeting was tense for both of us

Jani presented with a history of drug abuse

From experience it would not be easy

I was not going to take all he said with a grain of salt

He wasn’t typical

The ink he displayed was more artistic than aggressive

His piercings clean, well cared for

I had asked a standard question to which he’d replied

 “No I’m not using now. I gave it all away when I gave my life to Jesus.”
As a woman of God I always hoped this was true

He glanced up to see my reaction

Often they didn’t mean it

They just said it thinking Jesus was the key

If only they knew!

Once reassured he told me his story

His had been a thrilling but dangerous journey

Into the arms of God

He was convinced, one day; it would cost him his life

Today had been his second appointment

He was nervous, tense, preoccupied

A slight tremble to his hands raised my concern

Perhaps he was using again?

“They’re after me I know it. They don’t like losing.

But I’ve made up my mind I’m going through with it.

I need you to pray for me, it’s all I ask.”

My commonsense arguments were met with a watery smile

Finally I assured him I would be praying

He held my gaze thanked me and took his leave
I wrote in his notes… Query Paranoia

He’d told me a meeting had been set up for tonight

In a sleazy club on the edge of the city

He would be there even though he knew it was dangerous!

It all sounded so melodramatic, like a fiction

But I could not get it out of my mind

I couldn’t forget the sense of resignation he had

The same kind of distorted peace that came over the suicidal

When they were about to activate their plan

As soon as I could, I finished up at the office

In the op shop, I smiled weakly

Paid for the short skirt and skimpy top

Murmuring something about “…fancy dress, tarts and vicars’’

They smiled back nodding knowingly

Driving into the night

Praying all the way

I had trouble finding the place

Worried I’d be too late

I followed the smell of dope down a dank alleyway

Beefy Bouncers hesitated as I stood at the door

I dropped a threat in colourful tones

Then a name Jani had mentioned

They stepped aside and let me in

The darkness was deep
Music pulsed

Loud with a primal beat

Hot air thick with smoke and expletives

Dancers entranced by the beat

Stirred by urgent angry voices

Suddenly something changed

All hell let loose as the huddle was jostled

A thick, dark, muscular body moved in as one

Then scattered

Fists, elbows, blows exchanged

Shouts, commands, threats, screams

Police began colliding with everyone

I was pushed, sent spinning to the floor

Music was silenced

Darkness banished

There through a forest of legs

I gazed into the pale face of Jani as he was dropped

They stepped on him

Kicked him

Stumbled over him

I crawled to his space and cradled him

Crooning as I stroked his damp hair

Sightless eyes stared back as blood, warm and sticky seeped into my hand

The wound was tiny; the thrust of a long delicate blade had been dealt

With surgical precision

Straight through the heart
He was dead
As the room cleared

I sat leaden in a haze of disbelief

A strong hand gripped my shoulder

A voice nearby said
“She’s not part of this, leave her.”
How was I not part of this?

I hadn’t stopped it

It was wrong so wrong

I should have tried harder

Urged louder

Been stronger

The detective crouched beside me

Searching for Jani’s absent pulse

My anger welled up within me and over flowed
“Don’t judge me, how do you know I had no part in this?”

I met his gaze with Defiance; tears stinging my eyes

I felt so much a part of the injustice

The detective moved his head

A slight chin lift

That caused me to glance behind

There in an arc surrounding us

Stood a Radiant Angel army

Strong men-like beings their weapons at rest

Victorious, Unbeaten and Powerful

Endowed with the Glory of God

 “They are with you I believe,”
I am in awe

Silenced

Corrected

I look down at Jani

Brave young warrior who had given his all to expose the evil he had escaped
I spoke truth into the moment

“They are with us”

Edge of Darkness  first published on Faithwriters 2008

rewritten 2010 © Denise Stanford

~ by Denise Within the Vine on 10/11/2010.

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