Re: [Earth-1 After the Crisis] House of Mystery: A Little Compassion
- I could easily picture this being drawn by Giordano, for some reason. Anyway, I thought it was a great story. We could use a few more of these. Lee
- Thanks, Frank!
--- In Earth1AftertheCrisis@yahoogroups.com, Frank Murdock <bytor84@...> wrote:
> A good story in its simplicity. Surprised you did not end the story w/
> Cain giving his traditional killing of Abel. :)
> On 7/1/13, starsky_hutch76 <email@example.com> wrote:
> > Thanks, Dave!,
> > --- In Earth1AftertheCrisis@yahoogroups.com, dave barnowski <onlydavb@>
> > wrote:
> >> Very good tale
> >> ________________________________
> >> From: starsky_hutch76 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> >> To: Earth1AftertheCrisis@yahoogroups.com
> >> Sent: Sunday, June 30, 2013 8:55 PM
> >> Subject: [Earth-1 After the Crisis] House of Mystery: A Little Compassion
> >> Â
> >> The long-nosed, bespectacled man sat in the leather chair before the
> >> fireplace, engrossed in a book that rested on his knees. One hand flipped
> >> a page as the other toyed with his wild hair that was swept up into
> >> points. This and the mutton chops that adorned his face gave him an owlish
> >> appearance.
> >> "Oh, excuse me," he said, looking up from his book. "I didn't realize I
> >> had company. My name is Cainâ¦ I am caretaker of this house. Please, have
> >> a seat," he said, gesturing to the chair opposite him.
> >> "I was just reading the story of a young couple â¦ dwellers in the House
> >> of Mystery as are you. When they move into a new home, they quickly
> >> discover that while you can choose your friends, you can't always choose
> >> your neighbors. And sometimes, those very neighbors can be full of
> >> surprises. It's a tale I like to call, `A Little Compassion'."
> >> ****************************************************************************
> >> John and Martha Kendall moved into an apartment complex in one of the
> >> poorer areas of the city. The couple was childless, but they planned to
> >> change that someday, once they had saved enough to buy a house. They
> >> realized this wasn't the best of neighborhoodsâ¦ not the place to think
> >> of starting a family. So this move would just be temporary.
> >> Over time, they became acquainted with the couple who lived in the
> >> apartment above them, Sara and Tom. They were a nice looking couple and
> >> they put on a pleasant facade to the outside world. But from the sounds
> >> coming through John and Martha's ceiling, it was obvious that their
> >> marriage was a volatile one.
> >> The couple fought constantly. Usually, it was Sara tearing into her
> >> husband: He didn't bring home enough moneyâ¦ He wasn't a man, just a
> >> boyâ¦ He was a mama's boy and not man enough to tell his mother to quit
> >> butting inâ¦ She could have had any man she wanted and it was a crying
> >> shame she hadn't gone with one of them.
> >> "Why doesn't he just walk out?" Martha said testily, listening to the row
> >> above them.
> >> "I guess she's got him so beaten down he can't even think of leaving,"
> >> John shrugged.
> >> From time to time, when the arguments became particularly heated, shots
> >> would ring out from the 38 special the man owned. Martha was shocked to
> >> find most of the neighbors had gotten used to it. "He ought to lock that
> >> thing up," the old woman who lived next door said when Martha mentioned it
> >> . "She's a drinker."
> >> "There they go again!" Martha said after it happened for the third time.
> >> "I'm calling the police."
> >> "What good will it do?" John said. "We've been through this before.
> >> They'll both just claim the gun just went off accidentally."
> >> "This isn't going to end well," Martha said. "Mark my words."
> >> One night, the thing Martha had feared would happen for months finally
> >> did. The couple got into one of their usual heated arguments. But this
> >> time, it ended when the woman shot Tom with his own gun. After staggering
> >> to their apartment, Tom collapsed on John and Martha's porch, before their
> >> front door. He had obviously been coming to them for help.
> >> Martha was the one to find the dying man. "John! John! Call 911!"
> >> After a lengthy interrogation, Sara was allowed to go. No charges were
> >> brought against her after she pleaded self-defense.
> >> Less than a week after Tom's death, Martha noticed that her neighbor began
> >> to behave irrationally. â¦Or, at least, more irrationally than usual. She
> >> became jittery and claimed to have seen Tom in her bedroom on several
> >> occasions.
> >> Sara described to Martha an incident she had experienced one rainy night.
> >> She had heard a scratching coming from outside. When she threw the window
> >> sill open to peer outside, she saw a form climbing up the wall below her
> >> bedroom window. With a boom of thunder and lightning, he was illuminated
> >> and she saw her husband's glaring, rain spattered face clear as day.
> >> Shortly after that, the woman packed up and moved out of the apartment. No
> >> one ever saw her again.
> >> Then, one night about six weeks after Tom's death, Martha and John were
> >> entertaining friends and family. Their reverie was interrupted as a fierce
> >> thunderstorm moved in with flashes of lightning, high winds and pouring
> >> rain. The storm lasted for more than twenty minutes. The festive mood
> >> seemed to leave with the storm and everyone began preparing to leave for
> >> home.
> >> John and Martha walked to the door with their guests. Martha was the first
> >> to reach the doorway, only to find that something was blocking the screen
> >> door. But she couldn't see anything that could be obstructing it. After
> >> shoving hard a few times, the door finally opened and she stepped out onto
> >> the rain drenched porch and saw something unusual.
> >> Even though the entire porch was soaking wet, the area in front of their
> >> doorway was bone dry. Even stranger was the fact that the dry spot was in
> >> the shape of a human being. And it was lying in the fetal position, the
> >> way Tom had fallen after his wife shot him.
> >> When Martha pointed it out, most of them tried to dismiss it. â¦Even her
> >> own husband. No one wanted to believe it could be anything more than an
> >> amazing coincidence.
> >> That night, Martha and John had their first big row. Martha was furious at
> >> John for denying the evidence that was right before his eyes. John thought
> >> Martha was letting her imagination run away with her.
> >> Things seemed to go into a downward spiral from there. Martha began to see
> >> the shape of a man from the corner of her eye, repeatedly, when she knew
> >> John was nowhere in the apartment. Sometimes, when she looked in the
> >> mirror, for a split second, she thought she saw someone standing behind
> >> her. When she'd turn around, no one was there.
> >> "I wish we could move away from here like Sara," Martha sighed.
> >> "You know we can't do that," John said. "We're trying to save for the down
> >> payment on a house. We can't throw all that away because you've let
> >> yourself get spooked." And that was when the fighting would start again.
> >> Martha began to worry about the strife this was causing their marriage.
> >> Would they go the way of Sara and Tom? At least John didn't own a gun.
> >> One night, Sara was awoken by a scratching noise. She looked over at her
> >> sleeping husband. He could sleep through an earthquake, she thought to
> >> herself.
> >> She slipped on her housecoat and walked out of her bedroom and down the
> >> hallway towards the scratching noise. It seemed to be coming from the
> >> other side of the front door.
> >> Against her better judgment, she opened the front door. What she saw made
> >> her let out a gasp.
> >> At the foot of the doorway lay Tom, on his side in the fetal position,
> >> just as she had found him the night he died. He held up his hand up
> >> towards her and his eyes held a pleading expression.
> >> Her legs almost seemed to move on their own as she knelt down towards him.
> >> She cradled his head in her hands and tears filled her eyes. She began to
> >> stroke his head and spoke in soothing tones. "It's going to be okay. I'm
> >> here now. You'll be alright."
> >> Tom turned to look up at her, his eyes now calm and at rest. "Thank you."
> >> And then he disappeared. That was all he had been looking for: compassion
> >> and understanding. It had been denied to him in his marriage and in his
> >> death. He had it now and he was at peace.
> >> Martha turned to see a stunned John standing behind her. He held out his
> >> hand to help her up. "L- L-lets go back to bed now."
> >> After that, the fighting between Martha and John stopped. They were back
> >> to their old selves. Eventually, they had enough money for the down
> >> payment on a house in a nice suburban neighborhood. Just in time, too,
> >> since Martha was pregnant.
> >> Several months later, a baby boy was born. As the nurse handed the baby to
> >> Martha, she looked up at John and said, "I'd like to name him Tom."
> >> "That sounds like a good idea to me," John agreed, smiling down at his
> >> wife and their new son.
> >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> Frank G. Murdock
> Acadiana Area Council of the Blind President and founder
- Thanks,Lee! I'll see if I can't do a few more of these in the future.
--- In Earth1AftertheCrisis@yahoogroups.com, Drivtaan <drivtaan@...> wrote:
> I could easily picture this being drawn by Giordano, for some reason. Anyway, I thought it was a great story. We could use a few more of these. Lee