The final chapter in my short story.
Jenna was approaching her final lap of the park. Once past the entrance where she came in then she knew it was home straight time. The next time she saw the bollards that lined the opening to the park would be as she ran through them on the way back to her flat. It had been an effortless run. She was in really good shape and she couldn’t wait to get home, shower again and head off to meet Simon for lunch and hopefully hot sex too. She was certain he was ‘it’ for her. Her soul mate. A true enlightened being with whom she could grow and change and with whom she could help to make the world a better place. In reality, Simon was a bit of a predator and Jenna was the latest in a long line of ‘student’ conquests. He just kept reeling them in and they kept falling for the same old act.
Jenna passed the gate and turned left to head towards Speaker’s Corner one more time. She lifted her head and looked toward the guy on the box. Something was different. She could not place her finger on what it was but there was definitely a change in the scene. The two drunks were there as always, and for this she was grateful because they had no time for cat calls and whistles when they were listening to him speak. They seemed more focused on the man on the box than normal. She slowed a little as she got closer and pulled out her earphones. His eyes were closed and he was emitting a low hum. His arms were outstretched and he appeared to be glowing a little. Glowing a lot actually. She had stopped running now and was as transfixed as the drunks. One of them looked across, smiled and offered her the bottle of cider. She lifted a hand to decline, thinking to herself, ‘Do I look like I drink Cider in the park, you idiot?’ She turned her attention back to the man on the box who was really starting to turn a sort of bright white. Like a light bulb. The humming intensified and the light brightened until there was a sudden flash. A silent flash and there was no longer a man. Just the box.
The traffic had opened up a little and Dave had his foot to the floor, just edging above the 50mph speed limit. He knew where all the speed cameras were so he could speed in between as long as there were no patrol cars about. He was approaching Hyde Park now and so once past here he could cross the river and be at the clients. He had already fabricated an excuse and made a call to the client to back it up. They were unhappy but understood that he was en route and likely to be with them shortly. Dave almost allowed himself a smile. Almost. The only time Dave was likely to really smile was when he was drunk or winning on the horses. There were other things that caused him to grimace pleasurably. As he passed Speaker’s Corner he was aware of a bright flash in his rear view. ‘Shit’ he thought, New Camera. Bastards’ Another £35 fine made this delivery hardly worth bothering with. As usual, Dave’s day had gone from bad to worse. He wound down the window and let out a scream of frustration.
Jenna had stood dumbstruck for a few moments and then began to look about. Where had he gone? He could not just disappear. It had to be some kind of trick. She was starting to freak a little. The two drunks were staring a the floor where the broken remains of the cider lay, trying to work out which incident was the more worrying, no alcohol or no man! They headed off towards the park entrance minds made up. Alcohol might have been responsible for what they just seen but it sure as hell would be responsible for helping them cope. Their movement seemed to spark Jenna into action. For whatever reason, call it her deeply held sense of intuition, she too felt that the gate was the way to go. The entrance led home and by default to Simon, via lunch of course (and hot sex) and she knew he would know what to do. Simon was already having hot sex, post breakfast, with a darker haired, darker skinned version of Jenna, unbeknown to her of course. She sprung forward and sprinted towards the gate.
Jerome was not Jerome anymore.He was aware that he was still thinking that he was Jerome but there was no Jerome to think of as such. It was as if he had merged with everything. Everything. This was a very pleasant feeling but slightly disorienting for him. For it. He wasn’t sure anymore.What was he doing here? Wherever here was? Nothing seemed to matter. Everything was as it should be. All in it’s place. All perfect. He couldn’t feel anything but at the same time experienced everything. He could not see with eyes because he had no form but he was aware of it all. ‘I am that I am’ he thought and a giggle rippled out across the universe. Jerome had achieved a kind of cosmic unity with all things. ‘That was nice’ he thought. It then occurred to him as if a cloud would occur to the sky that he could now move anywhere because he was already everywhere simultaneously. How though? Awareness perhaps.Let’s try he said to no one in particular. He focused his new expanded mind, allowing for spontaneity but requesting a vehicle for his new found emergent consciousness. It was like that scene in Ghostbusters. Remember? Be careful what you wish for. They got Stay Puft Marshmallow man. Jerome got a white van. Dave’s white van.Dave had inadvertently screamed at the perfect frequency to ‘home’ Jerome in.
Dave had just finished screaming in frutration at what he believed was the speed camera flash when Jerome appeared in his passenger seat. The next scream was one of pure fear. Dave did not believe in this kind of stuff. Aliens. Religion. God. The Devil. All nonsense. Until now.There was no awakening moment here. There was a paradigm shift however. Essentially this means that Dave freaked out. Big time. He wasn’t built to have the very fabric of existence challenged. So he passed out. Right there. In that moment. Which is not good when you are traveling at 55mph on a busy road. In a van. Jerome just sat and smiled. He was in a place beyond good and bad. Right or wrong. He had just become a Master of the Universe. He giggled again. The van had swerved off the road by now and was heading for a direct collision with the cast iron bollards that guarded the entrance to the park. Jerome was prodding himself and giggling.
Jenna was approaching the park entrance when she heard the blood curdling scream. ‘This is all too weird’ she thought as she approached the bollards. She saw it then. The van. Hurtling towards her. Only the bollards in between her and certain death. There did not appear to be a driver or at least if there was he was sleeping or dead maybe. She recognised the passenger. It was the man from the box. He was grinning and looking right at her. Why was he grinning? Was he mad?Had he killed the driver? Was he trying to kill her? What the fuck was going on? It’s amazing how many questions you actually get to ponder whilst a van is hurtling towards you.Thinking is quite quick.
In Jerome’s case thinking and being had merged into a singular reality. Our concept of time no longer mattered to him. Nor space. He could be what he wanted, where he wanted, when he wanted. In the moment that it would take most of us to think about blinking Jerome had brought the van to a standstill and was standing beside Jenna in the park.
Dave was unconscious still but unharmed. He would wake up in a hospital bed a few hours later and decide that the story in his head was way too far fetched to actually have happened, but from that day forward, Dave was a changed man.
‘Hi. My name is Jerome’ He said as he reached out a hand towards Jenna.
As her hand met his the two drunks walked by.
‘Hey’ he called. They turned and he handed them a newly manifested bottle of cider.’Enjoy. Sorry about the breakage’ and he smiled a smile that made them forget.
‘Cheers mate.’ They immediately headed back for their corner of the park and their happy drunken reality.
He turned back toward Jenna. ‘Who ARE you?’ she asked.
‘Jerome’ he said.’Let’s get out of here. The driver will be fine, the drunks don’t know we were here and I don’t feel like talking to the Police do you? Let me buy you a coffee and tell you all about life, the universe and everything…oh and Simon, my brother.’