February 9th, 2020 by Patrick Starks
Gods among the world: Part I
In a hidden city just on the edge of the pacific was a young man named Dae. He had beautiful wife and a stepdaughter who he loved as if she was his own. Dae had worked as most, hours on end, day by day, nearly sweating through whatever he wore in the hopes for a raise or a promotion. But out of all the years he worked, not a peep about it was mentioned from his boss. The only thing ever given was a Starbucks card. And from what Dae could tell by the many that piled around his desk with a zero balance, he’d gotten enough his full share of them.
Desperate for opportunities, Dae not long after quit where he worked without the thought of how much it would impact his family. Dae and his wife Mona had had a lot saved but most of the savings they’d already promised to their daughter college fund. But sadly, they’d taken all that they could of it leaving their daughter with no future, or at least one that would be difficult to obtain.
Eventually they’d depleted those funds and became what they feared the most, what a lot feared—homeless.
During those times the streets were dreadful. Dae was without a doubt a strong and courageous man but fighting 5 men by himself was slim to none. Every night he’d kept one eye open to ensure that his wife and his daughter wouldn’t be taken. You could say that there were a lot of sick bastards on the streets. And what a shame that was seeing how food should’ve been the ultimatum, but sadly only drugs and sex ever came to most minds.
Stricken by the fear of the many animals that lurked the streets, Dae had hidden his wife and daughter in a place where no one could find them. A place that he might’ve forgotten himself had he not written it down.
“Daddy… Don’t go…” said the little girl.
Dae swallowed. He didn’t want to. He really didn’t want to go but little did they know, he’d felt guilty for the situation that they were in for weeks now. Just maybe if he didn’t quit his job and chase after a pipe dream, then just maybe they would have been better off. Afterall, how many painters could say that they could fully fund their family’s needs. It was then Dae thought about returning back to his job. Of course, that would have meant that he’d been miserable. But as Dae stared in the eyes of his broken wife and daughter he’d prayed to the heavens that they would give him a chance of redemption. And little did Dae know that they would.
Walking down a dark and wet wall alley, Dae would encounter a man. He was of the same height of him, even looked close to the same age, late 40’s to mid-50’s. However, there was something in the man’s eyes that told Dae that he’d lived for centuries, but how, Dae could not put a finger on. The man’s hair was as silver as the back of a gorilla, and to match them his eyes would be as grey as the stormy skies that rolled in.
The man stared at Dae with certainty, as if he was ready to pass down the torch to him. Whatever that torch was.
“Tell me something,” said the man.
Dae found himself clearing his throat for the third time that day.
“Yeah,” said Dae, curiously.
“What are you so damn sad about?” asked the man.
“Oh come on now, it’s written all over your face. Even a 2-year-old can tell that somethings troubling you. So, what is it? Because I’m growing tired of looking at it you mope. Your killing my day over here.”
Dae said not a word. He looked down at the puddle he stood in, and all that would be reflected to him was sere disappointment.
“Is it money? Is it love? Did someone break your heart? Because you wouldn’t be alone there. I used to know this woman who was like no other. You see, she taught me things, showed me things that only a man could dream of but…”
Dae had found himself intrigued by the man’s story.
“But what?” asked Dae.
“Bah! Never mind. Just a thing in the past now,” smiled the man, with yellow teeth. “But hey, can I show you something?”
“I’d love to, but I should really get going…” said Dae, hesitantly.
“Oh, come on, it’ll only be a minute. Its just right down the block. I think it’s something that might help you in the long run.”
Dae then looked down the alleyway past the man’s shoulders. He’d heard many stories of men being abducted and being; a) Whore’d off, or b) used as test subjects for scientific experiments. Dae had even heard from an old friend that there were vampires lurking the streets to, but it was eventually revealed that they were cannibals, which in all honesty didn’t make the assumptions any better. To be bitten was one thing but to be chopped up for someone’s mother’s recipe was another story. But sill, Dae had gone along with the man anyways.
They’d reach the block that the man was talking about. It was nothing like where they came from. This block seemed to be a non-homeless area. But Dae had figured it was just an area for the wealthy, which was pretty much the same thing as saying non-homeless with an apostrophe at the end. But that was besides the point.
“Don’t you think that this is a bit revealing?” asked Dae, covering his face from the blinding street lights.
“Not at all,” said the man. “And besides I own these street.”
“Wait… You say you own this street? You’ve gotta be joking. You mean like drugs or something.”
“No, as in I protect it and all who pass it.”
Dae stood speechless because in all honesty the man looked like he didn’t even own a pair a fresh underwear, let alone an entire block. Yet, for a strange reason Dae felt he could trust the man.
Together the two would then enter a building that looked as if it had been ran through a washer 8 to 9 times. It was that squeaky clean. In fact, one would be lucky to even see a fingerprint on the door handle, for it seemed the man never opened it without out wearing gloves. And once they’d entered the man would leave them on. To Dae it was equivalent to leaving your hat on at the dinner table. But then the man handed done something Dae did not expect. Out from his worn-out coat pocket, the man would hand Dae a pair of his own gloves.
“Here, put these on,” said the man.
Dae had put them on, and as he did could already see that it was 11:30 at night in his cracked watch that his wife had bought him on their wedding. Tears bubbled around his eyelids.
“Calm down son, it’s just gloves,” said the man concerned.
“No… It’s not that, it’s just…”
The man stared at Dae again, only this time he’d stared hard enough to look deep into his soul. All that he could see was a broken man, with broken promises. It reminded the man of himself, but he’d done his best to sway away from any remembrance of it. And so, the man had done the only thing he knew best, telling Dae a story about why his block was so special. Why some called it the Gods among the world.
To be continued