The following is the first of my new testimony. Visits from A Man Named Nobody is a Christian Science Fiction story I had an idea for and decided to run with. As with all my testimony, I’m posting it on Sundays. Each part will be somewhere around 1,000 words, but it might not be a chapter.

Another thing to note: This is what I call a discovery draft. While I will revise and edit this story, you’re getting it right as it comes out of my head. I welcome comments and thoughts, but I hope you’ll understand that this is just another way to share my process with you as I also seek to continue to produce Christian content.

I don’t imagine you’ll see the connection in this first entry, but I assure you, this is absolutely a Christian piece (or at least it’s intended to be).

I hope you enjoy it.

One

Oct. 24, 2020 

27 Years Ago

Paul Autumn laid in his bed fighting back the tears that threatened to fall. The searing pain along his back actually helped. Dad was very angry, and the stripes from Dad’s belt split skin. It was worth it. Paul kept Dad from going at Mom, and that’s all that mattered. 

The screaming had stopped about thirty minutes before, so Dad must have passed out. Mom didn’t come in to check on him. She hadn’t done that in a year. Maybe she felt guilty. That didn’t make sense to Paul. He took on Dad’s rage just so he wouldn’t hurt her. Why should that make her feel guilty? It was his choice. 

Breathing hurt. The air around his bare back hurt. Paul tried as hard as he could to avoid moving because even thinking about moving caused him to yelp. He kept his head tucked into his arms and focused on breathing as slowly as he could. Every inhalation brought back memories of his father’s red face and the throbbing veins in his father’s neck as he shouted and swung the belt. Every exhalation brought back a memory of his father’s violent swings. Each memory felt as if he were still being whipped. 

He wouldn’t cry. He refused. Crying would be the same as admitting it hurt. Crying would show Dad he was able to hurt others, and Paul would never give him the satisfaction. His fervent thoughts didn’t stop his lip from trembling. They didn’t stop the tears from falling. 

I’m weak. I’m not strong enough! 

The air shifted in the blink of an eye, dropping down to freezing and then up to boiling and back down to normal. A strange electrical surge caused his ears to ring, and a light flashed behind him. Paul rolled over and cried out in pain. The fright of the moment made him forget about his back. Blood seeped into his sheets and clung to his back even as he sat up yelping in pain. 

Before the sting of pain had a chance to fade, Paul realized he wasn’t alone anymore. A man had appeared just about where the light had flashed a few moments ago. He wore a pair of gray slacks and a black pea-coat. A small, red bow tie peaked out from under the coat’s collar. The man wore a plastic mask under his shaggy black hair that made it impossible to see the details of his face, and the mask made Paul wonder if the man was there to hurt him. 

“I’m not here to hurt you.” The man whispered. Maybe he was trying to disguise his voice. “I’m here to help.”

Paul smiled. Maybe he’s here to take Dad away! Maybe he’s here to kill him!

The man shook his head as if he could read Paul’s thoughts. “No, not that way. I can’t do anything about your dad or your mom. But there is something I can do for you.”

“Who are you?” Paul thought about trying to reach under the bed for the bat that was there, just in case Dad ever took things too far. 

“I”m nobody, Paul.” He may have only meant to say he wasn’t someone important or someone Paul would know, but Paul decided to make that his name.

“The only way to help me is to get me and my mom away from here,” Paul said.

Nobody slowly moved toward Paul and sat on the corner of the bed. His leg ended in a perfect position to block Paul from getting to the bat. Paul noticed a black back pack where Nobody had appeared.

“You know you could do something,” Nobody said. “You could talk to a policeman or a teacher.”

Paul shook his head. “Mom doesn’t want Dad to get into trouble.”

“But you hopped I was here to kill him,” Nobody said. 

How’d he know? Paul tried to see though the opaque mask, but he couldn’t even make out the color of Nobody’s eyes. 

“Let’s just say I’ve been where you are, and I get it,” Nobody said. “I already know there’s nothing I’m going to say that’ll convince you to report your dad.”

“Mom says she can’t live without Dad!” Paul cringed in pain. Shouting caused the pain in his back to flare up. Worse than that, the shout might wake up his mother or father, and waking up his father would absolutely mean another beating. 

“They’re still asleep,” Nobody said. “They won’t come in.”

“How do you know?” 

“I just know.” Between his whispered tone and that mask, hearing Nobody was next to impossible. “Your mom says she can’t live without your father, but you know he’s going to kill one of you one day.”

“Mom says it’s not his fault,” Paul said. “He just gets this way when he drinks.”

“And who makes him drink?” Nobody asked.

“He’s stressed out about a lot of stuff.” The rehearsed words spilled out of his mouth. They were a reflex. He expected to hear the excuse because that’s how his mother explained it back when she’d come to comfort him in his room. Something about Nobody’s posture, maybe the odd way he tilted his head, made it clear he didn’t buy the explanation. 

To Be Continued

52 thoughts on “Visits From A Man Named Nobody PT 1

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