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Re: [Earth-1 After the Crisis] House of Mystery: A Little Compassion

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  • starsky_hutch76
    Thanks, Frank!
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 3, 2013
      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 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
      > > Thanks, Dave!,
      > >
      > > --- In Earth1AftertheCrisis@yahoogroups.com, dave barnowski <onlydavb@>
      > > wrote:
      > >>
      > >> Very good tale
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >> ________________________________
      > >> From: starsky_hutch76 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
      > >> 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 Cain… 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 … 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 neighborhoods… 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 money… He wasn't a man, just a
      > >> boy… He was a mama's boy and not man enough to tell his mother to quit
      > >> butting in… 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. …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. …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]
      > >>
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      > --
      > sincerely,
      >
      > Frank G. Murdock
      > Acadiana Area Council of the Blind President and founder
      >
    • starsky_hutch76
      Thanks,Lee! I ll see if I can t do a few more of these in the future.
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 3, 2013
        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
        >
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