Short Stories

Stories. Everybody has one, or two. I like to think I have a couple that are interesting. Only one way to find out.

Jakob Koli

Jakob Koli - 46. He is walking, not too quickly these days, on a dirt path. It is very worn and he follows it without question, through all its curves and imperfections. The sun is high and especially hot. Beads of sweat slide down the back of Jakob's neck. He pulls a handkerchief from his pocket and wipes his neck and face while he continues to trudge forward.

"Good afternoon to you, Mr. Jakob Koli."

Jakob suffers a start as a man in a long black robe, classic yet contemporary looking, appears from what seems nowhere to walk beside him as he speaks.

The man continues forward as Jakob stares in confusion. He stops and looks back behind him, his face looking down at an angle. "No no. Walk with me, Mr. Koli. Forgive my sudden conversation." Jakob looks all around him, desperately searching for an answer to where this man came from.

He has gotten some 30 feet ahead and Jakob starts to walk forward, mostly out of curiosity but cautious all the same. The man shields his eyes as he gazes up towards the sky.

"And how does this particularly warm sun find you today, Mr. Koli?"

"It finds me alright, sir. Not as much as it does you, though, I imagine."

"Too true. For all appearances, I should be sweltering. But these robes..." he pauses to brush some imaginary dust off them, "These robes breath with a quiet coolness few will ever feel."

The robed man begins to walk again, this time with Jakob padding beside him. The dirt crunching under Jakob's feet, yet the robed man's footsteps go unheard. The robes slide without sound. The man gives off no audible cues to his presence.

"Who are you? Do you work here?"

"A better question would be, 'Why are you talking to -me-?' You don't have those kinds of questions, though, Mr. Koli. You prefer to ask people about themselves. Involve yourself with their lives. Engorge yourself on the facts of others. Studying them much like an entomologist does an ant. I suppose that could be considered unselfish. But we know that is not a characteristic you utilize positively." His hands clasped behind his back, he talks to the path in front of him, never looking to Jakob. Jakob stumbles beside him, gazing at him, questions pouring through his mind. He looks around, nervously, as though wondering if others have knowledge of the robed man's presence.

"You see, Mr. Koli, you were placed here for a reason. And you have wasted it. There was so much potential with you, as there is with any person. You've squandered that potential. Twisted it and distorted it beyond reason."

He pauses in his steps and tilts his head towards Jakob. Though his face is silhouetted by the sun's intense gaze, his eyes still pierce through. There is a fire in them. Hot and vibrant. They don't shutter, blink or stir. A gaze that would paralyze any mortal being. Jakob is no exception.

"You've done a disservice Jakob. But to you, it is justified. A justification that only a select few believe and even fewer understand." He raises his hand and lightly touches Jakob's head. Stroking the area just above his eyes. Jakob begins to silently weep.

"So many people fear bullets, guns, weapons in general. They fear what they have created. That which is intended to uncreate. For all the righteousness I can inflict..." With his middle finger, he pads Jakob's forehead and with a voice as soft as down, "bang".

Jakob's eyes tilt to the sky as his knees give way to the weight of his lifeless form. The man gazes down at his crumpled body and then looks back up at the sky, shielding his eyes from the searing sun. "It finds you well, today, Mr. Jakob Koli. It finds you well."

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