WRITER’S NOTE: Hi there! Emmanuel here! The nature of the plot of this story requires that you have read the previous episodes. So, if you have not, please read the previous episodes first. Just my advice. Here are the links:
And now … let’s get into the story, shall we.
Grace ‘Gigi’ Verita was raised in the Irene Williams Home for Orphans, and was loved by all. Her caring attitude endeared her to the staff and to the children too. With clever wit and an amazing sense of humour, she was always able to brighten anyone, it seemed. It was a wonder that no one adopted her through all those years. After years as the ‘big sister’ of all the younger ones, she joined the staff as an intern, since she loved taking care of children. Sometime after that, she finally got into college where she got her degrees in psychology. Now, a grown woman, she was spreading her wonderful charm into the dark world of the prison system, engaging in ‘restorative techniques’ in her therapeutic sessions with the inmates. This had been her life, to this day.
That was the Gigi that Jerry Jenson knew. Or thought he knew.
But all of that was crashing down before him on this night. For this was probably the longest night in his life, and one he would not forget easily if he survived.
For all he had ever known was changing before his very eyes.
“Gigi?” Jerry blinked, staring at the lady before him. “Is th…that you?”
They stood in a triangle of sorts, with the table in the middle. Jerry stood against the far wall on one side, Kraven Moore stood on the other, and the Taser stood by the door, the only way out of this room.
She took a step forward but he recoiled. “Jerry, everything’s going to be OK. But you have got to listen to me.”
Is this a joke? He could still see the scattered hall behind her. She had single-handedly dealt with Kraven’s army of menacing thugs with— and Jerry was still having a hard time processing this— lightning from her hands? And here she was, telling him that everything would be fine, as though they were just walking in a park on a bright sunny day. Gigi?
“You know her?” Kraven asked, his voice betraying his anger and fear. The usually unperturbed influential drug baron and behind-the-scenes conspirator was clearly off his centre.
But Gigi was ignoring him. “Jerry?”
All the news reports he had heard came to him in that moment. The Taser has electrocuted many victims. The Taser has eluded all investigation. The Taser…the very same Taser, is my sister? It all made no sense.
“Jerry, you don’t have to panic.”
“P-panic? No, I’m n— I’m not panicking. I mean why should I panic? It’s not like there— there’s anything wrong with anything. It’s perfectly n— normal that my sister is a vigilante who’s just beaten huge thugs an— and shoots lasers from her hands. I can’t… I won’t panic…” He shrugged, but he could not control the jitters.
“I’ll explain everything, Jerry—“
“No she WON’T!” Kraven bellowed, the shotgun in his hands still pointed at Gigi.
She shut her eyes. “Kraven, you will shut it RIGHT NOW, or I will end your life here.”
“You can’t,” he said, panting. “We had a deal.”
“I have no deal with you, Kraven. The power you wield over their lives is only permitted because they chose you.”
“Yes!” he said. “They chose me, not you— AAAHHH!” The room was illuminated in blinding light again as a bolt of lightning struck the shotgun out of his hands and sent it barreling into the wall where it broke into pieces. Kraven stepped back blinking.
Jerry stared at her hands. There were no gloves, nothing to hide any electrodes or electrical connections. Just her bare hands. And they had just shot lightning. He clutched the wall with all the strength he could muster. “Who are you?” he asked.
Gigi took a step closer, concern on her face. “Are you listening, Jerry? Are you really listening now?”
She had asked that question earlier, at the diner. Jerry stared up at her, squinting in shock. “You’ve got lightning in your hands…”
“You’re… you’re the Taser,” Jerry said. “Everything I knew about you was a lie!” But then, he realized he had not really known her in the last few years. What had she really been up to?
“See why you shouldn’t trust her?” Kraven put in, before the Taser shut him up with a look. “I’m just saying. She’s a wanted criminal.”
“I never lied to you, Jerry.”
“You’re a wanted criminal,” Jerry repeated.
“Well, I have had bad publicity, thanks to that guy.” She motioned towards Kraven. “He’s made everyone fear me. But the battles I fight cannot be handled by the law.”
It was absurd, hearing the gentle Gigi talk about fighting battles. Jerry wanted to believe his sister, that somehow all of this made sense in some crazy way. She was the only iota of hope in this dark existence, but she had just beaten up a bunch of thugs. None of this made sense. “You … expect me to believe this?”
“Are you listening to me?”
“Of course I am!”
“The rules have changed, Jerry. Things have never been the way you thought they were. This …” She winced, considering if he could accept this. “This world is not … real.”
Not real? It did not sound as absurd as it would have under other circumstances. He had just seen lightning shoot out of Gigi’s hands. “What do you mean?”
“Don’t listen to her!” Kraven snapped. “She’s playing with your mind!”
Ignoring Kraven, she leaned closer. “Jerry, remember when we were kids, and we used to write those stories? Remember when we imagined if we were characters in a story someone else was writing?” Jerry remembered, but it all just added to the weirdness of the moment. Was this the same girl her had grown up with? “That’s like what this is. In the real world, you’re hooked up to a system, Jerry. Everyone is. But that system is evil; it’s the Darkness. The Darkness has you. And it’s killing you from within.” She pointed at Kraven. “It’s got people like him controlling your life. Only the Light can set you free. It must flood you.”
All of this was going against all he had ever held to be true. Jerry grabbed his head. “This doesn’t make any sense.” But then, it’s not every day you see lightning shoot out of someone’s hands.
“Jerry,” Kraven whispered. “She’s a freak. Don’t you see? Shooting lightning from her hands? With mutant powers like that, she should be locked away and studied. We gotta take her down!”
“Hey, I’m right here,” she intoned, waving. “I can hear you loud and clear, Kraven.”
Jerry thought about the reports he’d heard about the Taser. Rumors said he … or she electrocuted her victims. But there had been no evidence in Towne to this day. Where had those rumours come from?
“Are you gonna kill me?” Jerry asked. “Electrocute me?”
“The ignition will only give you a new life. Both here and there.”
“’There’ … where?”
“In the real world.”
Kraven shrugged. “You see what I was talking about? She’s totally bonkers.”
Jerry gazed at Gigi. She really was serious. “But what about my family? Or Marty,” he asked. “What about my pain and regret? What about the irritation and hate, and OPPRESSION that I feel? You’re telling me … that THIS … is NOT … REAL?!” In the release of emotion, he had raised his voice. He was now heaving.
She simply stared at him, sympathy etched on her features. “I’m sorry, Jerry. But it’s the Darkness that does this to you. You’re hooked up to the sys—“
“You keep talking about Light and Darkness as if they are … are …”
“Living, breathing beings?” Kraven added. “She’s crazy! The only darkness in this room is in her head, where the bulb is out! But, of course, ‘that’s not real’ either!” he mocked.
“Jerry,” Gigi held his gaze. “I’m not telling you anything you haven’t already known. You know that darkness always comes with gloom and fear. But whenever you flip on the switch, the darkness flees and tries to hide as light invades the room. I came to flip the switch for you. In the end, it’s your decision. But please, run to the Light.”
That rang a bell somewhere in his heart.
“Don’t listen to her, Jerry,” Kraven said. “I’ve met these kinds of people before. She thinks she’s in a dream, and that the only way to wake up is to kill herself.”
Jerry turned to Kraven. “But if she’s so misguided, why haven’t you killed her already?”
Kraven’s eyes lit up. “You can make her leave. If you tell her to leave, she will. She would listen to you. Just tell her no, and she would let you be.”
“No!” that was Gigi.
Kraven placed his hands on Jerry’s shoulders. “I will forgive you for all your insults, and give you the power you desire. I am lord of this town, after all. Ask me anything you want, and I will give you, because of your courage in the face of this … lunatic. Just tell her to go, and she will. That is, if she really plays by the rules.” He smirked.
Jerry rose to his feet. Gigi was pleading with him with her eyes. He wondered why he had not seen this all before. Had he been so blinded for so long? And Kraven had just said the truth, right there.
“You just said I have the power,” Jerry said to Kraven. “You said that I alone can make her go away. But you can’t.” Kraven was silent for a moment. He was right. For the first time in a long time, Jerry felt freer. There really was a place, a very small spot, where he had sole control – the decision! Ha! It felt weird, being in the crosshairs of two people that could kill him for different reasons, but he had control over something, and he felt free. He turned to Gigi. “If she’s right, then I’ve been here, at this very spot, before.”
“You’re losing it,” Kraven intoned.
“Me here, you Kraven on one side, and …” he turned to her and gulped. “And her on the other. Anytime I’ve had to decide to do what’s right or what’s wrong, I’ve been here. To take a shot or not to, to say this or that, or not. I’ve been here. And I’ve always seemed to choose what’s wrong. There were times I made the right choices … but they never lasted. I always gravitated to the wrong side. I never had the power to do the right thing. And it cost me everything.”
“But, if there is another life, another chance for me to do the right thing … I want to take that chance.”
Gigi’s eyes lit up. “Jerry,” she whispered.
“She’s messing with your mind!” Kraven said. “This is the real world! She wants to kill you!”
“Can it, Kraven,” Gigi said.
“If she’s such a loon,” Jerry said. “Why aren’t you threatening her too? You’ve got nothing on her because she’s not under the law. The law you love to use to oppress the rest of us. I want to be free, like she is.”
Kraven was fuming. “So this is it? You will throw away your life for a chance that may not be true?”
“I want to know the tr—“
Kraven lowered his gaze to stare Jerry in the eye. “You’ll be running from the law,” he said. “And you know they’ll do whatever I tell them. You can never run away from me. I’ll hunt you down…”
“No you won’t,” Gigi put in. “Once he’s dead to you, you have nothing on him anymore. His slate will be clean, and,” she turned to Jerry. “You will find the peace you’ve been looking for.”
“NO!” Kraven was visibly frightened now.
“Whoa, whoa, back it up,” he said to Gigi. “Did you just say ‘dead’? As in I will die? For real?”
Her hands lit up, literally. Orbs of light surrounded her palms, crackling with static. She smiled. “Do you trust me, Jerry?”
He was gazing at the illuminated hands. This never got old. “I want to.”
“Don’t do it, Jerry!” Kraven shrieked. He reached for his gun, but it lay in pieces on the floor.
“Yeah, he’s always really wanted the best for you,” Gigi said sarcastically.
Jerry raised his gaze from her hands to the face of the woman he had known as his sister for most of his life. All that had happened that night seemed to have been headed for this very moment. And it was just him and his sister, or whoever she was. This ambassador of something … or Someone called the Light. “I’m scared.”
She shook her head. “I’m Grace. I’ve been sent by the Light to bring you to him. All these years I’ve waited, trying to get you to really listen. But Kraven’s always drowned my voice out. I had to use metaphors, to show you that I cared. I would never let you fall into his hands. If the Light has this chance to set you free today, Jerry, it would all be worth it.”
Jerry blinked. He was still unsure about all this, but he was certain it was the right thing. He inhaled. “I’m ready.”
She nodded, her eyes watering. “I told you that the time will come when you will have to run to the Light. The time is now. He’s waiting for you, Jerry.”
He nodded, watching her hand approaching his face. There were no electrodes or hidden electronic gadgets on her fingers. The crackling grew louder with each second, drowning out Kraven’s shrieks and protests. He realized that this could well be his very last moments.
“You know I love you, right bro?”
And her hand touched his face.
The electricity coursed through his body, reaching to his feet. All he could see was light, his ears filled with its crackling. Somehow, in some way, he was certain that he was the right thing.
The last thing he saw was black.
Kraven stared at the body of the big man on the floor. The one he called the Taser stood on the other side. He exhaled. Another one had escaped his talons. But there was still a chance he had not really escaped. Many saw the truth, but not all accepted it. Such is the heart of man.
He gazed on the face of the one he had fought for so long. “Why do you persist?” he asked. “They are not aware that they are captives; they don’t even want to be freed. Men love the Darkness! Why must you always try to rain on my parade?”
The enemy named Grace, who the man had called Gigi, smiled. “No matter what you do to stop me, I would shift worlds for the sake of one soul, so that he or she can come to the Light.”
TO BE CONTINUED… in THE REAL WORLD
If you’re new to this site, you might as well check on some of the other amazing stories here, filled with humor and unforgettable lessons. They include Bill’s Car, Unchurch, The Elevator, and many more articles. You might also want to check up on the first feature presentation on this site, The Love Revolution Trilogy. You’re gonna love ‘em.
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