General Fiction posted February 1, 2013 Chapters:  ...5 6 -7- 8... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
A strange life; an inevitable death

A chapter in the book The Supernaturalist's Collection

Nathan Hubbard

by Axiom Gray

The Rainwalker Contest Winner 
Far be it for this tale to argue either side on the existence or absence of the supernatural; nevertheless, the story of Nathan Hubbard is a peculiar one. What pragmatic formula or abstract deity could explain the malady which afflicted this poor young man? To what intellectual discipline might he have turned to for answers?

To whomever reads this account, do not misunderstand. For all intents and purposes, Nathan Hubbard was a simple, unexceptional, young man. He worked a small job to pay for his small apartment. No girlfriend to speak of, Nathan would occupy his weekends watching game shows. Yes, he was quite inconsequential.

Many would find this routine dull, even suffocating. There comes a time when the flesh yearns for the warmth of sunlight and fresh air. There comes a time when the comfort of home no longer becomes a comfort. In truth, Nathan wished he could leave and join the world. He wished he could bask in the sunlight and breathe the fresh air.

However, poor Nathan Hubbard was afflicted. By what, he knew not. The only thing he did know was he has never in his entire life seen the sun with his own eyes. Since the the moment he came screaming into the world, the sky has been blotted out by furious, stormy clouds.

To those sterile pragmatists who are reading, could this be an example of extreme misfortune? To live a life where every day the natural ceiling rained, snowed or just threatened either was an astronomical probability, but not impossible. It had nothing to do with Nathan, per se. He was simply a victim of unprecedented circumstances beyond his control.

This was also what Nathan believed.

Living in a world without a sun was too depraved for any intelligent designer of the cosmos. Who would wish such a thing upon him? Why? One would spiral into the theological inquiries and could easily live the rest of his life pondering the answers with no success. Not Nathan, though. It was easier to understand and dismiss the phenomenon as an irregularity of science than to justify it as the fruit of some unknown grudge from an unseen entity.

Unfortunately, the rationale did not shield him from the psychological torment. To those faithful idealists who may be reading, this seemed more than just some freak accident. Nathan chose to believe it to be nothing more, but in the back of his mind there were other theories he dared not entertain.

An attempt to seek aid was futile. The doctors proposed impossible solutions ranging from expensive drug trials to rigorous counseling. Their lofty promises of how he could one day be normal rang hollow. However, it was an empty effort. For whom would he attempt to appear normal? Nathan knew he could never grow close with another person; to damn them into a rainy purgatory. He had no reason to believe the misfortune would curtail. He had come to accept the curse. He knew each day he would wake up to another day of gloom.

Loneliness, depression, and no one to understand his plight Nathan fell farther and farther into darkness. It was an inevitable conclusion, which he had foreseen long ago. However, it was only recently that he decided to act upon it. Today would mark twenty-six years of lightlessness. Today would also mark the end of it all; the end of his suffering. Today would be the day Nathan Hubbard killed himself.

It did not take long for Nathan to settle his affairs. His parents passed away before he enrolled in college. The rest of his superstitious family rebuked him, lest his curse was contagious. He had no one to write a suicide note to, so he skipped the monotonous task of trying to compose his final statement to the world.

Putting on shoes and a jacket, Nathan was going to free himself in the local park; on a bench where his father and mother had sat and watched him play in the rain as a child. It was the only place he remembered the sensation of happiness. He hoped that memory would replay itself as he forfeited his life.

Looking in the mirror by the front door, he took a deep breath and bid adieu to the miserable countenance. Grabbing his trusty umbrella, he wrung it free from its twisted folds and popped it open outside. The edges of it had been frayed from years of constant use.

One would imagine the precession to the park might have been long and pensive. However, that was not the case at all. In fact, Nathan Hubbard ran to the park, nearly losing his umbrella a few times. There was an excitement within him; an eagerness to be rid of it all. That, and a fast-acting poison.

He reached the park and found the lone bench overlooking the jungle gym where he once played. Children were yelling and climbing across the metal bars. They seemed unfazed by the weather. To know that kind of bliss, Nathan thought, would be worth any price. Sitting upon the bench, Nathan closed his eyes and summoned the happy memories. They were slow, but they did come. He smiled as he recalled the childish antics he performed in an attempt to earn his parents' attention and affirmation.

The effects of the toxin he had consumed were taking hold over his breathing. He found it harder to expand his chest. His arms and legs began to tremor, and his head pounded like a drum. He held on to the pleasant memory as the symptoms worsened.

He coughed blood into his hand, and it ran out between his fingers with the rain. Death was upon him. As he felt the coldness reaching up his waist, he opened his eyes to take a final glimpse across the playground. He gasped.

Darkness crowded his vision, but he could see well enough still to know the clouds had lightened. Their rumbling had ceased, and inch by inch they began to disperse. Nathan Hubbard fell over dead on the bench of the local park, his eyes wide and mouth agape in awe at his final sight: a beaming sun blessing the world in its golden rays, and an ethereal light bridge of several colors arching across the heavens.

Writing Challenge
Your challenge is to write a short story (500-1000 words) about the image provided. You will have 24 hours.

The Rainwalker
Contest Winner

The weather in this story is an extended metaphor for depression.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Save to Bookcase Promote This Share or Bookmark
Print It Print It View Reviews

You need to login or register to write reviews. It's quick! We only ask four questions to new members.

© Copyright 2018. Axiom Gray All rights reserved.
Axiom Gray has granted, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.