The Strange Cold

The static of a radio sizzled, like cold bacon dropped on a hot skillet.

 The lone, ragged looking, bearded man sitting silently,

in one corner of the dimly lit,

notably small room;

closed his eyes, took a long,

deep breath,

and sighed heavily.  Now, with his eyes still shut, the man’s head sporadically bopped gently up&down twice, about an inch in either way, before finally slowly sliding downward, into the clammy palms awaiting his face, already in position below.

         A few, long minutes would pass by before the, quite noticeably weathered figure, finally mustered up the will to bring his head back above his tired, slouching shoulders.  A medley of thick, padded, and heavy winter gear, was draped over his exhausted body, seemingly tossed upon the wretch of a man at random, with no general attention given to any sort of apparent style, or color scheme.  In fact, if one were to encounter this quiet individual in any public setting, he’d likely be perceived as a homeless old street urchin. Perhaps he would simply just come off as a exceptionally unkempt and filthy middle-aged drunk, or, in the very least, one quite odd looking bloke.  It was almost as if a thrift-shop, or ‘Goodwill’ truck had exploded directly above his head, causing it’s contents to scatter upon him.

An over-sized, Siberian-styled fur cap, much like those, commonly used by the portrayals of Russian characters in any given film, graced the man’s now sunken head.

When sitting upright, the furry thing was so large, that it actually cast a shadow across the majority of his 8 is eyes darkened under its woolly shape

The room which he now found himself in, was, in many ways, exceptionally unpleasant looking; at least by this point of his residency.

It had been over nine, long months since his last sight of ‘home’.

A nine months which might as well have been, and felt like an eternity.

An eternity out here…

‘Out here’, was no joyous place.

No place almost anyone would likely even fathom of possibly visiting willingly, even in a case where they were unaware of those…’oddities’, which he himself had by now, unfortunately discovered.

 In fact, he had been condemned to bear witness, upon a truth which defied his own cemented reality itself.


That sound,

…for now at least,

…was a calming one for Jack Schwaben.

In fact, it was more than that; it was the closest thing to a ‘life-line’, that he had at this point.  The only shred of hope in a cold sea.

Yet for 3 and a half days now,

the mind-numbing emptiness of the vacant static,

had steadily began creeping under the skin of any, however naive, belief ofalvation; and devouring it whole, from the inside.

Minutes before he had made the decision to undertake a concession on the sizzling machine’s in his, self-accepted, ensuing madness.

It was only then, that Jack gave in to his own growing suspicion that the radio’s empty promise, along with it’s empty transmission channels, was driving him deeper, and deeper into insanity, as the cold of the storm howling into oblivion outside, crept slowly into his bones.

In a way, Jack was simply, impatiently waiting for the frigid embrace of death to come.  This was a thought, that the man had often pondered, for awhile now.

Despair had turned into longing for the ultimate escape for ‘out here’.

Yet, then again, there was the fear.

A fear, which Jack had, in 43 years of life, never had the extreme misfortune of experiencing; well, prior to a little over two weeks ago that is.

That’s where his world became hell.

It was a Monday.

The Monday that his partner Juan Alvarez died.

Out here, death, is usually, as was true in his partner’s passing; fraught with ‘oddities’…



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