The Prologue of Jimmy Burns.
“I just woke up. I don’t think it’s the first time but I just did. Everything seems a little hazy”
The case was dropped. There were only suspicions. Money brought the burning house to court and money took it out of it. The case was still open, no one could prove that someone burned the house and no one could prove it was an accident. No one wanted to follow it through. Weaver had disappeared.Months later everything was forgotten. Nothing happened. All of Jimmy’s friends had moved on. Jimmy was only a memory left to those willing to remember. But memories sometimes were left to roam free by those who held them and could no longer take the pain they brought. Jimmy now became a free spirit, a drifter, one who roamed. Jimmy was dead and free.
There was a pause.
“Go on Mr. Evans.” The lawyer urged.
Potter took a deep breath. The cold air-conditioned air of the courtroom cooled his insides but he was still burning. He felt rage fuel his inner fire for having to go through this experience again. He had watched his friend’s house burn to ashes without knowing if he made it out. It made him furious to watch as a burned man was found behind the house –still alive- and taken to a hospital. The anger surfaced when the man was mistaken for his friend Jimmy. The hope made him furious. They all hoped for Jimmy and all they got was an odd man named Weaver. Insignificant.
Jimmy Burns, however, was found inside the burned house. Barely alive, barely breathing, under the over-turned bathtub he went to for safety.
Potter looked the lawyer in the eye. That was the third time he uttered the words he said earlier.
“That was what he told me when he woke up. The last time I saw him; the last time I was told he spoke.”
One more spasm brought nothing again. Only the burning sting of acid and the feeling of bile rising. Jimmy had woken up early in the morning and found his instincts forcing him to run to the bathroom where he had spent the past hour emptying the contents of his stomach. There was nothing in it anyway, only liquid which quickly gave way to acidic burns and a nasty aftertaste. He walked he walked over to the sink and spat out the taste, washing his mouth in hopes of change. Throwing up always made him feel better for some reason but the action itself was like getting his guts yanked out. He found himself sitting on the toilet seat, gazing into the ground, trying to find the answers he wanted.
It was still night, nothing but a dim light to guide him back to his room. He got to the bed and got in slowly, pulling the sheets up against the freezing night. Jimmy looked at the ceiling. He must have been staring for too long when suddenly, the ceiling started turning black. Black to blood red, to white, dark yellow then blue. It was intoxicating. He felt like he was drifting away from his physical self, flying away towards the changing colours. They soon dimmed back to black before they came back in streaks and started rushing by him at speeds he couldn’t comprehend. He couldn’t understand why light was moving fast. It was beautiful. It complemented his drift and he let go again, allowing the feeling to guide him through.I was once just a thought. I will become a memory. I chose ways that shaped me.Greece fell.Rome fell.Carthage fell.All the greats, the empires, the ones, the many.They lived, they died. They all worshipped and died in the names of Gods – dead or still alive.I know nothing.I know everything.Why do stars fall and birds don’t?Where does the sun go?Why does the moon change shapes?Where does the wind come from?In a cave far north, a young god sleeps. He dreams of a girl and sighs. The night wind plays with his breath.When a free man dies, he loses his pleasures in life. A slave dies and he leaves his pain.There is always a… choice.
He had to take one last look at his childhood house. Years and distances later left Jimmy an unrecognizable figure. His own memory wouldn’t be able to recognize it. He saw red ribbon-like figures descend on the house but he called them back. Not this one. This one would remain standing. He strode on a blue streak which took him to the river. He learned to follow. He could control the colours and feel them, but they were also his guide. They were his tool as much as he was theirs.He knew this river. His family kept a cabin in the woods where they went for a couple of weeks every summer.He was there.Not the current him. He saw Jimmy the child playing with his dog near the water, tossing pebbles into the flowing water.The water floated away from the river, going to the sky. Jimmy felt hot as his hands caught fire. He closed his eyes against the pain, unable to open his mouth and scream. He felt as if someone was standing right in front of him, so close as if invading his personal space. He chocked, breath leaving him. He opened his eyes to see that no one was there.There was someone.He couldn’t see anyone but he felt an existence, a being.The feeling faded leaving Jimmy panting.He was now standing in an open field burnt down to the ground. Jimmy felt the heat leave his body making him feel abandoned. He looked down to his hands and saw the last of the flames go out, burning bright blue as they did so.I’m only a thought, a remnant of what was and perhaps what will be. I left a mark. I left change and felt it. It’s no longer about sensation. It’s no longer about what could be seen.It’s about drifting, living the drift. Feeling it.Sensation.
He had lost everything. His house to the fire, his friends and life, his family, his values and way of life. He was struggling with an existence he couldn’t comprehend, one that left him dazed and feeling a defeat he’d never known.
“Are you alright in there?” An old man’s voice called from outside the bathroom.
Jimmy cupped his face with both hands, trying to force the sounds away.
“Go away Weaver!”
“When do we start?” Asked Weaver.
“Soon. Don’t rush it, this takes precision.” Replied the masked man.
Jimmy stood silent in the corner still wondering how Weaver and his henchman hadn’t spotted him. He’d come to Potter Evans’ room. His best friend. Weaver and the henchman called it speaking beyond the grave. Dangerous. Jimmy called it enlightenment.
He wanted to talk to Potter, show him what the sisters of time had for him in the future, but those other two in the room had come early. Jimmy didn’t know what they were. The dream would soon be over. Weaver is innocent, one of the good ones.
No one knew how to read the threads of time; no one could decipher the colours.
No one knew that Jimmy Burns.