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  1. #1
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    The Gospel of a Madman: Prologue

    The Gospel of a Madman

    Jon Edwards

    Prologue

    The first time I encountered Jack Roberts was during his 19th year. An amazingly talented mind, full of ideas, imagination and he had a certain way with words. Jack was an interesting individual, who could bend words to his will, like a blacksmith does with a metal straight from the furnace. A talent I feel has possibly gone to waste, sadly.
    Jack was a rather large man; about six feet and two inches tall, with an average, muscular build. He had light brown, thick hair, with the occasional blonde strand running through the tangled mess. His eyes were a deep, piercing green, which constantly darted around the room, and rarely focused on one thing for longer than ten seconds. It was as if he tried to soak in everything possible, afraid to miss even the smallest detail of the most menial areas.
    His nose was long, with a slight bump protruding out of the bridge and his mouth was thin. Behind his lips hid his smile, Jack had an extremely contagious smile. Whenever he beamed, everyone else did too. He truly was a guy who lit up the room he walked into, and very rarely did anyone dislike Jack.
    Anyway I’ve began to waffle on. I met Jack back in 2008, and have always had a soft spot in for him in my heart. He rarely leaves my mind, now that I think about it. In the many years of my life, I had never met anyone quite like him. But instead of me telling you how great he is, I’d prefer to show you, for I know Jack’s life story almost better than Jack himself.


    The first time I met Jack, he beamed at me with that big, goofy smile of his. I walked out into the waiting room.

    “Jack Roberts?” I called.

    He was sitting in a chair between an elderly couple, talking their ears off, when he glanced up at me with those large green eyes and a large grin spread across his face. He nonchalantly pushed himself out of his seat; it rubbed and squeaked as he left. The elderly people waved goodbye to him as he walked over towards where I was standing.
    He strolled over towards me, neck craning to and fro, eyes darting back and forth, surveying everything in the room. He gave me a quick look up and down before sticking his hand out to shake my own. Rarely does a person beat me in inciting the hand shake, but Jack Roberts did. Instantly I knew this young man was someone different, something else compared to the rest of the sheep in society.

    “Hiya!” he said enthusiastically, still smiling largely.

    I took his hand into my own, and shook. His grip was strong, but not overpowering. The more time I spent with Jack, the more I came to respect him.

    “Hello Mr. Roberts,” I said gesturing down the hallway. He seemed to get uneasy being called Mr. Roberts. “Please head into the room, second on the left.

    The hallway was about twenty meters long, with four rooms on each side. The walls were painted a bright white; no traces of dirt could be seen along these walls. It was always quite cool, down the hallway, it had this way about it that always made me shiver, and goosebumps dot my skin.
    We reached the door and I opened it, allowing Jack to walk inside before myself.

    “Thanks!” he said politely as he entered.

    The rooms were similar to the hallway. Stark white, slightly cold and not a spot of dirt to be seen. The room was furnished with only the necessities. A desk of a deep and rich mahogany brown, atop which sat a computer which matched the walls and floors with its bright white. In front of the desk was a large black desk chair, made of comfortable leather.
    Pens and pencils were in a cup, next to a stack of empty papers, and a printer for the computer. Next to the desk were two armchairs, with the same sort of plastic as the waiting room chairs. In the opposite corner was a small bed, which stood quite high off the ground.
    I sat down in the leather desk chair, and Jack took a seat in the armchair closest to the desk.
    I began to ask Jack the normal questions.

    “How old are you?”

    “19.”

    “What are you currently doing?”

    “What do you mean?”

    “Are you working? Are you studying?”

    “I’m a writer. I’ve had a few small works published, and am in the middle of writing something of length for a publisher.”

    “I’d love to read some of your work.”

    “I’ll bring some in for you next time.”

    We continued on like this for about half an hour. I knew all the general information of Jack, but I still knew nothing. To truly understand Jack, you need to hear the story from the start. And this is where I shall begin the story from.





    Chapter 1

    It was the 15th of June, 1989. It was a grey evening in Melbourne, rain cascaded down from the heavens, and the odd ray of sunshine cut through the thickness of the dark clouds, which hung ominously overhead. Every five minutes or so the sky would light up with a blue fork of lightning, followed by the booming voice of thunder calling after its visual brother.
    In a small room, the sounds of a sobbing baby echoed around the emptiness of the room. It was not the usual cries of a baby you’d be accustomed to hearing, instead, quiet sobs, almost inaudible. The new born was cradled in its mother’s arms. Its face was pink with splashes of red on the cheeks. The eyes of the infant were gently closed, and his mouth open only slightly, allowing the smallest sob to escape the gap. Occasionally it kicked its legs or clenched its fist.
    The doctor entered the room. He wore the usual egg shell white trench coat, with black pants and shiny black shoes. In his hands he held a clipboard. Every so often he scribbled rushed notes down onto the paper attached, glancing up towards the new mother and father over at the rigid hospital bed.

    “So Mr and Mrs Roberts, have you thought of a name for the young man?” the doctor asked, still glancing up and down from his clipboard.

    The man and woman looked at each other. “Go ahead...” she said with a slight sigh in her voice.

    “Jack,” the man said gruffly. “His name will be Jack Roberts.”

    With that the doctor scribbled down more notes, the scratching of the pen slightly echoing around the under furnished room.


    The first year of Jack’s life went fine. He had been sick only a few times, and had managed to remain healthy through his immunisations. His father had just landed a strong job as the lead architect in the major development of some rather large buildings in the middle of the city.
    The Roberts’ were living comfortably, happily, with financial stability and a good home to live in. That is, until about two months after Jack’s first birthday.

    The day started off like every other. Jack’s father, Peter Roberts, left for work, kissing his son on the forehead as he left.

    “You forgot someone else!” Jack’s mother Louise said as Peter made for the door.

    “How could I forget...” he said, slightly sarcastically. Louise did not pick up on the tone. He walked up to Louise and gave her a quick and unloving kiss.

    “I’ll see you tonight,” he said as he walked out the door. The sound of a car engine roaring to life emanated from just outside the kitchen window where Louise was peering out from. He glanced over and she gave a quick wave. Peter pretended he didn’t see her and sped off down the road. She sighed as she glanced around at the empty house. It was a small, comfortable house. The kitchen was floored with a greyish blue tile, and overlooked the driveway of the house. The dining room was just to the left of it, only small, and led into the lounge room. Between the kitchen, dining and lounge room, there were no doors. The master bedroom was down the hall from the lounge room, where Peter and Louise slept, and Jack’s bedroom was to be situated at the other end of the house. But for now, he slept in the same room as his parents.

    The house was already clean, so she decided to head out with Jack to the park. Peter’s job allowed for them to have two cars, Louise was thankful for this. Taking a baby on public transport isn’t ideal. It took about fifteen minutes to clip Jack into his car seat, he was restless and constantly squirming. Frustration covered Louise’s face, as she finally managed to buckle the restless baby into the child seat.
    The park was only a five minute drive away from the house. Once again frustration plagued Louise’s mind, as she now had to unbuckle restless Jack from his safety chair. Jack had taken his first steps about two weeks prior to this day, so Louise sat down on a bench and watched her young son take a few steps and fall back on his bottom. He smiled largely; the odd tooth was visible here and there. The teething process had been fairly easy compared to some horror stories Louise and Peter had heard.
    She watched on for about half an hour as Jack giggled and bounced and walked around before deciding it was time to go. After another struggle with placing the baby in his seat, she finally got into the car and began to head home. Whilst she was driving an idea popped into her head.

    “Want to go see daddy?” She asked Jack, glancing in the rear view mirror.

    Jack’s face lit up, and that smile covered his face once more.


    They arrived at the office building where Peter worked. After visiting the building site Louise thought he was at, she was directed here by one of the lead builders. The building was one of the larger skyscrapers in the city, with a lot of windows, which reflected the light blue of the midday sky. Louise cradle little Jack in her arms as they entered the building, through revolving doors. The large, unnatural building always had an uncomfortable cool breeze blowing through it, shivers went down Louise’s spine, and she clutched Jack closer to her chest.
    She made her way to the reception desk.

    “Hello Ma’am,” the reception greeted, “how may I help you today?” She said with a large but forced smile.

    “I’m looking for Peter Roberts’ office.”

    “And what business do you have with Mr. Roberts today?” The reception queried.

    “I’m his wife,” Louise said bluntly, with a heavy set of aggravation on her breath.

    The reception screwed her face up, and went to answer back, but politely held her tongue.

    “Mr. Roberts office is on floor ten,” she began. “I’ll let the receptionist on that level know you’re coming up. She’ll help you from there.” Another forced smile crept onto her face.

    Louise made her way to the elevator, as she was walking away from the desk she could hear the receptionist gossiping on the phone. She couldn’t shake the feeling that the receptionist was talking about her, but she decided it best to not make a scene. Jack wriggled around in her arms.

    “Don’t worry, we’ll see Daddy soon,” she said as she comforted the restless baby.

    The sharp bell rang as the elevator come down to the ground floor. Its chrome doors separated slowly, squeaking slightly. A red faced man in a suit, with a newspaper rolled in his hand, rushed out of the door in a hurry, nearly knocking Louise down. Once again Louise went to say something, and once more she held her tongue.


    The elevator ride was long. People flocked in and out between the chrome doors, all rushing and hurrying. Louise impatiently waited as the elevator stopped on each floor, allowing the impatient people to explode out of the door, and the obnoxious ones to flood in.
    Finally reaching the tenth floor, Louise hurried out of the elevator, realising it had changed her into one of the odious, intolerant people she had despised during her trip up to the tenth floor.
    Inside was furnished nicer than the stark entrance to the building. Wooden chairs sat around the room, vanished wooden boards lined the floor, and the walls were painted an oaky brown. The receptionist sat behind a sepia coloured counter, with a marble counter top. A glass door with white metal edges separated the waiting room from the offices.
    Louie wandered over to the reception desk, where a short, squat woman sat. She had auburn hair which reached to her shoulders and her face was chubby and round.

    “Can I help you?” She asked with a sweet smile.

    This is how a receptionist should act Louise thought.

    “I’m looking for my husband’s office-” Louise began

    “Name?” The receptionist rudely interjected.

    Louise paused for a moment, regretting her previous opinion of the receptionist.

    “Ma’am, what’s his name?” She asked once more, the impatient words fell to the ground heavily.

    “Peter Roberts...” Louise muttered softly.

    She began typing fervently, the buttons of the keyboard jamming echoed around the small waiting room.

    “Roberts, Roberts, ah here he is. If you go through the glass door, turn right, and it’s the first room on the left. Have a good day.” She said again smiling. Louise eyed her carefully as the receptionist opened the glass door, and motioned for her to walk through. Her body jiggled as she bounced back towards her chair and desk when Louise left the waiting room.
    The offices and the hallway were more like the entrance to the building, and nothing like the waiting room that preceded them. The walls were plain white, lined with the occasional paining of a tropical island or the ocean at sunset. All the doors were thick oak wood, and each had the name of the occupant on a metal plate in the centre of the door.
    Louise placed her hand on the cool door knob, and stopped and pressed her ear against the door. A moan escaped from within the office, whether of pain or pleasure, Louise could not decipher. Shocked, her mind ran wild.

    Could Peter really be cheating on me? She thought, clutching Jack tighter to her chest, bumping him up into a more comfortable position for the both of them. On us?

    She took a long, deep breath in, her teeth whistling lightly, and twisted the knob, entering the room quickly.


    Louise slid through the door silently and carefully. The groan emanated from behind the mahogany desk, on the opposite side of the room to the door. Louise placed a gentle kiss on Jack’s head, wishing and praying to all the Gods that Peter was not doing what she dreaded. The sound of her shoes clicked and clacked on the hard concrete ground as she made her way toward the desk. Peter’s head popped up quickly from behind the desk, his eyes of dark sapphire glistened deeply in the sunlight protruding through the office window, his thin blonde hair shook softly as shock and surprise filled his face.

    “Louise, what are you doing here?” He said, his face growing red and flustered.

    “We came to see you,” Louise started, smiling. Her smile soon faded. “What are you doing behind the desk?”

    She started walking around the thick wooden desk. Peter was crouched slightly underneath the desk, in the gap where legs were meant to go. He shifted uncomfortably, fidgeting with his fingers. An awkward silence entered the room. Louise did not take her eyes off Peter. He kept his eyes down to the ground.

    “Peter?” She queried after some time.

    “Yes?” He retorted, sharply, acting as though everything was normal. His cheeks began to redden further.

    Louise glared at him, eyes wide with confusion and a rising anger. Peter looked up from his shoes, watching the sunlight dance in the onyx of her eyes, as he sighed with a bitter and heavy breath, a small wisp of steamy vapour escaped his mouth in the cool of the concrete room.

    “I fell from my chair...” He started, mild embarrassment filled his words. “My leg seized and now I can’t stand.” His hand lay gingerly on his upper right leg.

    Louise put her free hand out to help him out, when a loud and dull thud escaped from the storage closet situated on the right hand side of the room. Peter gulped deeply as Louise shot him a glare. Jack stirred in her arms, and she walked silently over towards the closet, her feet whispering with the floor as she crept. The free hand she had offered to help her husband up with shook violently, as it reached out for the door knob to reveal what lurked within the closet.

    “Don’t...” Peter started, his words catching in his throat. “You don’t want to open that Louise.”

    She paused, hand hovering over the door. Silent tears dripped down her cheeks, and her head dropped. Jack had fallen silent and still. She turned and faced him. The eyes Peter had once loved stared deeply at him, sparkling through pain soaked tears. Her soft lips quivered and her face had grown sullen. Peter stood up, breathless and teary, he tried to talk but words could not escape his mouth.

    “Louise I’m –”

    “Stop. Don’t speak,” she coughed through her tears. “Your words mean nothing. Don’t speak.”

    “But -” He began before she interrupted once more.

    “Quiet!” She snapped, as she turned and grasped the door knob.

    “Louise don’t!” Peter started. “You don’t want to-”

    It was too late. Louise flung the door open and stood back in shock. She placed a hand over Jack’s eyes instinctively. Peter’s hands dropped to his sides, as Louise turned slowly, staring at him with a wild confusion.
    Inside stood a man, naked as the day he had entered this world. With jet black hair and piercing blue eyes, he stared back at the once happy couple, smiling awkwardly. A fairly muscular man, with strong abs and a fit body, his hands covered his manhood. Louise didn’t say a word. She turned and walked out the door, with tears of confusion soaked pain streaming down her red cheeks, she sobbed silently. On her way through the building to her car, she received odd looks and curious glances from those impatient people she had passed earlier. The image of the man in the closet burned deeply in her mind.
    Jack stirred in her arms, unaware as to what had happened, and how much of an impact it would have on his life from here on out.
    Last edited by Stark; 08 Jun 2013 at 06:42 AM.

  2. #2
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