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NAMELESS BY JASON PEPPER

Nameless

It was an average day , for an average guy like me Johnny Templeton. Woke up took a shower, shaved my face and brushed my teeth. As I was rinsing out my mouth my finance sneaked up behind me kissing my neck saying “good morning sweet pea”, I grumbled back “morning babe”. I really wasn’t a morning person but seeing my sweet girl Samantha’s smile made it all worth while. I sat down at the kitchen table to eat my cereal thinking “shit my job sucks”. I was a simple waiter at a crappy restaurant called "The Duke of Westingtown ". In my mind it was an over priced school cafeteria, but nonetheless the tips are great and it pays my bills. After eating I really had to get dressed and ready for work did not want to be late again, I scurried upstairs leaped into the bedroom opened the closet whipped off the black slacks I wear to work right off the coat hanger they were on. A bunch of shirts and stuff fell off their hangers onto the floor in a thud. “Goddamn” I yelled, not right now , can’t have delays. Samantha called upstairs “Johnny, you OK?”. “Yeah” I responded buttoned my shirts and voila I was done. “Babe, I got to go, going to be late again give me a kiss goodbye”. Samantha kissed me and whispered in my ear " I love you , can’t wait to you come back home, bye-bye baby". As I left I thought to myself man am I ever lucky to have her.

Shit was just going wrong right from the get go, I was running late, I just missed my bus and it was starting to rain. And no surprise, I frigging forgot my umbrella of course. Great day, great day it’s going to be a great day. The next bus wasn’t due for another 10 minutes so I decided to cross the street and go to the coffee shop on the other side of the street. Needed some damned caffeine driven energy. With out looking I stepped out into the roadway and blammo, I was severely hit by a car. The impact was so incredible I was thrown 50 feet. At that moment I felt the hit of the car’s metal and plastic and then fade to black darkness.

Opened my eyes and the sunlight was coming into the cold metal room I was in, seemed like it was stainless steel, very reflective and very cold. I tried to cover my eyes from the sunlight but it was extremely penetrating and actually hurt. I could feel my eyelids being pulled upwards as the light was shining in my eyes. I sat up and looked around for a door but could not locate one, “what the hell?” “where am I?” “What is this place?”.

Back on the street people were standing all around me in a spectator’s circle while one person was performing CPR in an Emergency Service Personnel uniform. The Ambulance attendant began shining light into my eyes and at the same time pulling my eyelids to check my pupil reaction. He preformed this action in both of my eyes. He than loaded me onto a stretcher with his partner ripped open my shirt and begun chest compressions and stuck me with a needle full of adrenaline. My clothes were ripped off and a bunch of triage tests were conducted. This was happening while I was placed in the ambulance en route to the hospital.

On arrival to the hospital I was immediately seen by the MD’S in the emergency department. “male, 20’s, motor vehicle accident, vitals stable, head trauma, impact sent him approx 30-50 feet. His pupils are responsive, BPI 150 over 90. Administered CPR and gave 10 cc’s of Adrenaline.” Could be heard being said like a recorded voice message, methodical and horrifying but necessary nonetheless. Nurses and doctors were scrambling to resuscitate me and stabilize my vitals.

Suddenly the steel room opened like a door on Star Trek whooosp then freedom? Or was it? I peeked out the door and saw long corridors in both directions, to the south was a very bright exit with the illumination of a search light, I could also hear faint voices, mutterings of senseless conversations. To the north was a very dark exit with no light , no conversation just hollow screams of agony and pain. “Screw this, I m out of here” I thought out loud. As I left the room and went down the corridor out of no where came fully armed soldiers, yelling “hey you there stop!”. When I saw that they all were carrying fully automatic rifles I turned and started running away from them towards the light exit. As I approached it I swear I heard a familiar voice telling me to come back to them, not to leave them, and that they loved me and needed me. The weird thing is though the voice was calmingly familiar but honestly I had no clue who this female was or were exactly this voice was resonating from.

On the way from being transported to the operating room I passed a woman who touched me and said crying “come back to me, don’t leave me, I love you and need you”. I could hear this even though I was sedated and unconscious. The orderly took my gurney and brought me to the O.R. The operating rooms were located on the 2nd floor and my designated room happened to be room #202. Once on the second floor the orderly wheeled me into room #202. In this room I was sterilized and prepped for exploratory surgery. X-rays and CT scans were also ordered. I had a breathing tube down my throat and inter-venous drips in both hands. A heart and blood pressure monitor were also hooked up to me. I had more machines in or around me then NASA has during shuttle launches for Christ’s sake.

When I got to the light exit I suddenly felt extreme pain in my head it was so bad that I knelt down to one knee in absolute agony. It must be this light source, got to go the other way. I staggered to my feet and began running the other way encountering the soldiers. “I’m screwed” is all I could think of. Without warning I suddenly found the urge to battle these soldiers in mortal combat and to my surprise I had not only possessed super human strength, I also had super human speed and quickness. I subdued 7 soldiers myself, without even breaking a sweat. This was awesome, how the hell am I able to do this? Time to kick some ass!

X-rays revealed a fractured scapula, and 4 broken ribs and a shattered left tibia. The CAT scan showed swelling of the brain and some internal hemorrhaging in my abdomen. These conditions were extremely dangerous and needed immediate attention and care. The lead neurosurgeon surmised that the brain swelling was project one and to prepare me for skull drilling surgery to drain the excess fluid from my brain. “All the fractures and bone injuries can wait till we get the swelling under control”. Was the neurosurgeons orders, every obeyed and followed protocol and proceeded as needed. You could hear the drill buzzing as it cut flesh and bone overlaying classical Mozart in the background in synchronized harmony with the heart monitors beeping like subliminal mind machines beep…beep…beep…

Back in the corridor I was feeling quite impressed with myself , but knew I needed to get the hell out of this place fast and like right now. I could hear a strange alarm system beep…beep…beep…I had the notion that backup would arrive soon to aide these fallen soldiers. Where am is this place I kept thinking so I searched around for any signs of were I was but found nothing. Not a God damned thing, “man I wish I was not here right now” I said to myself. Next thing I knew I was on some outskirt borderline of a city. I felt numb and almost as if I was warped through some kind of porthole. That had to be it I was teleported here “that’s why I feel weird” I concluded. Dazed and distorted I stumbled onwards to the city still not understanding what the hell is taking place or why me, and who am I?

My surgery procedures took roughly nine hours in total, painstaking precision and expertise workmanship a definite example of perfection of medicine. Too bad I had no idea what was taking place in O.R. #202. The main neurosurgeon allowed a smile to peek out of mask, his stern face glowed with contentment at his staff “very good work everybody, thank you for your assistance it was a pleasure working with you all”. Blood and discarded gauze pads were everywhere, dirty scalpels and other medical tools laced the operating table as the smell of sterilized air mixed with burned flesh and bone. It filled your nose with every breath. And the lonesome sense of stillness quieted the Mozart to nothingness as the surgical team left the room.

Once I entered the city I felt displaced, this city was not familiar at all to me. None of the buildings looked at all what I needed to see in order to feel a sense of recognition. But then again with everything that has happened to me what the hell did I expect? I knew one thing was for certain I had to find food I felt a hunger like you could never ever imagine, “wait a second, how am I suppose to get food, I have no frigging idea” is all I could think of I had no clue of what was needed in obtaining food except that a survival instinct kicked in telling me to feed my gut. As I walked I passed a lane way with dumpsters and filth everywhere, as I glanced in the lane way I could see everything from the entrance to the opposite end with a clarity that could not be explained. Keep in mind that it was pitch dark and there were no real sources of light down this lane. At that moment I could hear a voice of a woman screaming for help. “Someone, come and help me , help….help…I…need help!” The hairs on the back of neck stood with anticipation, something’s going down I thought.

In the Intensive Care Unit recovery room I was resting peacefully with Samantha by my side . She was weeping at the sight of me in the hospital with tubes and machines in me and around me. Samantha grasped my hand and was caressing my face saying “I love you” over and over again. If I could only say it back I’d tell her I love her a million times. There also happen to be a woman in the recovery room beside me recovering from what ever surgery she had. Unfortunately she took a turn for the worse, and as she did her mother started screaming “help….help….I…need help!” Her mother’s voice echoed down the hall and the call bell buzzer rang off like a laser gun. Within seconds nurses filled the Intensive Care Unit recovery room jumping to the task at hand of saving this woman.

I ran down the lane way like a lightening bolt cause an eerie buzzing sound as I ran. While running I ended up finding a woman being mugged by three street thugs. I grabbed the biggest thug and flung him like a sack of potatoes over this nine foot high wooden fence. Not easy since that dude was like 250 pounds. The second thug swung at me with a switchblade knife trying to stab me. Kind of made me laugh I found it pretty funny actually, as he was swinging I grabbed his wrist and snapped it off like a twig. The thug was rolling in agony on the ground holding his severed hand as it bled. Tired of hearing him crying I football kicked him clear across the street. At least it was more quiet now. After the third thug saw this and took off running like a coward screaming swear words as he faded off down the lane way out of sight. I helped the woman up to her feet and asked her “you alright lady?” Dazed and scared she replied " yeah, I think so thank you, you some kind of comic book super hero or something?" Well considering the abilities I possess I just might as well be a superhero. Then she asked wiping her jeans off “hey , you got a name dude?” I thought about it , actually I thought about it a lot “um well…..I can’t remember” I responded distraught and confused.

Nearly four months went by since my accident, still in the hospital still with Samantha by my side hoping and praying that I open my eyes and that I look at her finally. She is amazing , so committed, so loving. God I wish I could kiss her and hug her and tell her how much she means to me. But I can’t, in fact I can’t do anything I have no abilities none.

The woman glared at me and coughed as she laughed “well, I need to know what your name is so I can thank you”. I had nothing I could respond to her with except this “I have no name I’m nameless”. The woman burst out laughing “that’s it YOUR SUPERHERO NAME is NAMELESS”. She continued “your ass is named NAMELESS yes let’s call you nameless so it’s NAMELESS”. “Gee thanks I guess” I came back with thinking that Nameless as a superhero’s name is ridiculous. But it’s all I got. The woman and I eventually went our separate ways never to meet again or so I thought. The crime fighting begins and I become an urban hero, loved and adored by the city’s inhabitants but I feel empty and lonely.

“Samantha, may I please have a word with you ?” requested the main neurosurgeon. He took Samantha aside and gave her an exact break down of my medical situation , expected prognosis long term and possible side effects and both physical and mental rehabilitation programs I would need to under go. It looked positive that my recovery was imminent but when and how would I be as a person in this life reality was the sixty-four thousand dollar question?

In the city that I have lived in now for 7 years I have become some what of a vigilante solving crimes and helping people. I have fought countless criminals from street thugs to white collar criminals, I have rescued old lady’s and cats from trees. I live for helping people. I have become a legend a voice for the underdog. People look up to me and see me as an icon of justice. I am Nameless and yes I’m a superhero. I fight the good fight for everyone who needs me in this city, but still feel displaced and foreign. I am lost even though I seem to have a direction. I am lonely and tired. I have fame and all the attention one could ever want, but as many thugs and slime balls I fight it does not satisfy me. I need a change, I need a home I know. I need people in my life I enjoy being with. I want a woman that I can love. I need love. “Johnny, oh my God , Johnny.. You opened your eyes!” Samantha exclaimed with the excitement of a child during Christmas. I looked at her smiling , and crying I was no longer nameless I was home , I was Johnny and she was my woman I loved. A few weeks past before I could speak or really move at all. During the prior weeks I would go in and out of consciousness while I was still on the mend. One Tuesday morning though I woke up and was ready to talk, well sort of. I reached for a pen and paper to write down my questions. I learned of how I had suffered a direct impact to the head and therefore was put into an induced coma to reduce swelling and risk of brain damage. This shocked the shit out of me , “you mean I have been out of commission for only four months?”. When I asked that question a woman responded in a voice I knew “yep, you aren’t Nameless anymore now are you?”’ I smiled and thought about myself , as Nameless I fought crime in the city for seven years. Damn all those years gone. I had memories of them though and quickly reflected on my life as Nameless on last time. I was Nameless in one reality with superhero abilities, and fame and fortune but everlasting loneliness. In this reality I am Johnny, a broken man with tubes and machines everywhere and no money , no fame , no powers . Yes true, but I have the most valuable of possessions I have a woman , Samantha that I love with all my heart. I am happy to be Johnny and not Nameless anymore.

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