B3 — 22. Closure Pt. 2

Nathan leaned back, looking up at the purple sky as the sun continued its descent.  “You’re saying that we’re inherently violent?”

 “Mmh,” Inari smiled softly as her orange irises moved up to examine Nathan.  “Do you remember the examination we made of children and house or when you played marbles?”

Nathan nodded.

“Okay, create a circumstance.  Let’s put a bunch of children in a room with many different types of toys.  What will happen?”

“Umm—the kids will play with the toys for a bit and probably join up to play with one another?”

“Think about it as a society, because this can be replicated on all levels.  From a group of kids to a country. How will they start a game?”

“They’ll talk about it.  They’ll discuss what the rules are and then start working for it.”

“Yes, but those rules are important.  Everyone must feel comfortable with the game for it to continue and not collapse.  A hierarchy will begin to form with the most competent and intelligent individuals leading the game.  They’ll propose many ideas and their status will rise. All the kids continue to play because it’s fun, but the moment someone starts to cheat, whether it’s the leader that created the rules or another person, then problems start to arise.

“The leader is being judged all the time, and if they aren’t following the rules they created, then discord will ensue.  No person is the same, and there will always be some level of opposition, but how one deals with that opposition can differ.

“The society these kids created could accommodate for the disorder, and there could be a trial or election or many other factors, but the moment these kids start feeling trapped in their role, then it starts to spike resentment in their hearts that will grow.  If you don’t have the chance to climb up the game, to win, then you’ll start breaking the rules since the rules won’t let you get to where you want to be. This is when crimes occur.”

Nathan hummed, staring down at his feet.  “Okay, I’ve seen the data on that; I haven’t heard it explained like that, but I’ve seen the data.  It was at a police training meeting at one point. Crime corresponds with the level of opportunity provided, but if everyone’s equal, then no one feels like they have anything to contribute.”

“Precisely,” Inari nodded.  “There must be some form of achievement for something to be worth anything.  If everyone has a trophy, then the trophy isn’t worth anything. No one wants a game where everyone wins; people want stakes, adventure, excitement, something new.

“Now, think about a society with a god.  They have a being among them that has a lot of wisdom, power, and the knowledge to advance your tribe or game.  Think about him as your game master. You’re going through the game, and you have a bunch of people start questioning the game master, cheating, holding the game hostage, spreading disharmony.  What game master would wish to be a part of such a game?

“He has taken out of his own schedule and time to advance this game or this society, and they refuse to even recognize his authority.  Could he establish a reign of fear? Don’t break the rules or the GM will do this or do that. Of course, but the wise realize that fear never lasts and doesn’t promote a good healthy game.  It may be comprehensible, but it is not self-maintaining or enjoyable.”

“So … gods left to do their own game?”

“In a way; for example.  Do I have realms where there are humans that I guide and protect?  Yes, but all of those humans must choose to play by the game. If they choose to sabotage the game, then they can leave.  What does this examination point to?”

Dear Readers. Scrapers have recently been devasting our views. At this rate, the site (creativenovels .com) might...let's just hope it doesn't come to that. If you are reading on a scraper site. Please don't.

Sora was surprised she caught on.  “Free will.”

“Yes,” Inari winked at her.  “A game is only as good as its players; society is only as good as its people.  Every choice that is made is their own doing. Every choice to trust someone is their own and could result in that trust being misplaced and broken.  Are they a victim of circumstance or choice? The answer, it’s complicated.” She giggled.

“Just like you said,” Nathan muttered.  “We’re all victims of existence, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t find enjoyment in existence.  I’ve seen … a lot of bad choices in my life. People that blame their circumstances on anyone but themselves and some people that blame themselves more than needed.  Sometimes I just … there’s so much to think about.”

“Why do you suppose I stay out of human affairs?”  Inari asked, folding her fingers.

Nathan sighed.  “I don’t think I could ever understand your mind.”

“That’s a wise response.  If you were to take a guess though, what would it be?”

“Well—I guess gods just don’t want to deal with our crap.  I mean, I can understand that,” he let go of a sad chuckle.  “Babysitting a bunch of idiots like humanity … no thanks.”

Sora frowned.  “But … aren’t you a cop?  Don’t you kind of do that?”

He groaned, rubbing his temples.  “I—wanted to help people, but Inari’s made me look at all the hell humanity makes and question everything.  How can people think socialism would work when we can’t even agree on scientific facts? How can we get along when everyone plays a victim and want things for free without working?  No one can agree on anything but to disagree. I’ve dealt with anarchists, fascists, tribalism, gangs, so … so much disorder.”

He blinked, brow furrowing.  “But … Inari, you were talking about order and disorder.  We need both the yin and yang.”

Inari’s smile lifted into a smirk.  “Opposition in all things is a reality.  There will always be those seeking order and those seeking disorder.  Humanity is prone to such whims on a stronger basis than most creatures.  I have seen a single man destroy empires out of spite, entire realms of oppressed humans strike down revolutionaries seeking to bring about their freedom, small groups of misguided fools play the victim to bring about tyranny upon the masses.  Humanity is rife with opposition because of free will.

“If you were able to take away free thinking, destroy free information, would it be good?  What comes about when totalitarian regimes succeed in putting information in a stranglehold and brainwashing the masses into thinking everything is as it should be?  What was the price and who could carry it out and still remain sane? Then, what happens if a small bit of poisonous free thinking enters that populous? Is free thinking good if it brings discord and division?”

“Deep questions,” Nathan muttered.  “Anyone that says they have an answer must be a fool.”

Inari smiled.  “Cause and effect, Nathan.  Every decision has a ripple effect that will cause pain and joy.  Everything requires a sacrifice; will you let someone decide that sacrifice for you or make it yourself?”

Sora shook her head.  “I want to be in control!  Period.” She whispered, pulling her hair back.

Nathan’s lips tucked in as he shifted his jaw.  “Honestly—I want to make my own decisions too. I grew up in a pretty restrictive home … a bit unorthodox you could say.  My dad was a professor and hated anything to do with religion. I wanted to date a Catholic girl once, and he flipped out.  It’s not like I was going to become Catholic, but he just hated anything religious … he embarrassed me in front of her. He just kept going on and on about how terrible she was because Catholics were terrible … I grew to hate him because of it.

“My little brother got it worse though … my dad was always an Atheist, but my mom was religious.  Looking back, I think that’s one reason why he grew so cynical. She died in a car accident when I was four, on her way to church.  I don’t even remember her.”

“That’s horrible…”  Sora muttered. “What happened to your brother?”

Taking a deep breath, he scratched at the scruff on his neck.  “Drugs … my brother really liked this Christian girl, Amy … she was nice.  He tried to keep the fact she was Christian from our dad, but eventually, he heard the C word in a phone call.  He then made it his mission to open her eyes, and ultimately, the harassment turned her away from my brother.  Honestly … my dad always talked about how terrible Christian harassment is, but never looked in a mirror … so much discrimination.  I hated his hypocrisy.

“My brother got so depressed after Amy stopped associating with him that he started using … nothing terrible at first, just some weed.  It just got worse though, and he moved to Molly. He’s—been in and out of rehab since he was sixteen, and you know what the messed up thing is?”

Sora shook her head, feeling the pain and disgust in Nathan’s heart.  I’m sixteen…

“Last time I saw my dad, he was still blaming Amy for Jack’s condition.  I just—I don’t talk to him. He lost his tenure from harassment charges and started drinking.  So now I just see him when he needs a little money since he’s gotten worse on the alcohol; no university will touch him.  Somehow … I still hate him worse than Eric.”

He huffed.  “I don’t know how it’s possible.  I don’t blame Jack, I mean, it’s Molly and one weak moment that hooked him, but my dad doesn’t have an excuse.  He chose to let hate and discrimination rule his life.”

Swallowing, Sora shifted a little.  “I mean, could your dad have something that made him like that?”

“I don’t care,” Nathan’s nose twisted.  “He chose that, whatever reason it is, over his kids.  It ruled our lives. I told him I was going to become a Jew to spite him when I was seventeen, and he kicked me out.  At that point, I just didn’t care. A Christian family took me in, the irony.”

“Were they nice?”

Nathan shrugged.  “They were an elderly couple that fought a little, but yeah, they were nice, and always made up … I guess no marriage is perfect.”

“But it was still rough,” Sora muttered.

“Yeah—my dad abandoned me, but I still finished high school.  My dad came to graduation, and do you know the first thing he asked me?  Was I really a Jew … yeah, I told him I was, and he left.”

Nathan worked around his jaw, nostrils flaring.  “I just … the things Eric made me do. I hate him, but my dad … he was supposed to be there for me.  The elderly couple was good to me, they forced me to get out and look for a job, but never once forced me to go to church or pray with them; when they left, they just told me to watch the house while they were gone and cut the lawn.

“I worked a few jobs for two years before entering the Police Academy, and that little couple did everything in their power to help me.  The Police Academy—that was the best thing that happened to me, but, you know … thinking about it, I don’t even care if I go back now.”

“Oh?”  Inari hummed.

Groaning, Nathan cracked his neck.  “Well—no, I’d like to see my brother, I guess, and one case that pissed me off.”  He went silent, eyes low.

Sora cleared her throat.  “Umm—when did you see your brother last?”

“I haven’t,” he paused, scratching his neck.  “I haven’t seen him in six months … he sometimes crashes on my couch between jobs or rehab.  I’ve tried to help him, but there’s only,” he chuckled, “yeah, Inari, there’s only so much you can do with free will.

“There’s nothing really holding me here.  I don’t have a girlfriend—I mean, I stopped dating because of my dad and just never got back into it.  I have some work buddies, but other than that—I don’t really have a life. Just work.”

Is this what we need to do?  Go see his brother and solve that case?

“You can feel the hate and disgust inside of him, Sora.  He became a Police Officer, someone that protects others, but has no connections.  He’s scared to get close to people, and that stems from his teenage years with his father.  He doesn’t want to feel betrayed like the night his father kicked him out. He honestly thought his father would just accept him; that he loved him more than his hatred for religion.

“When that was crushed, so was he, but he still wants something to protect.  He wants to protect people from suffering as he felt someone should have protected him.  He hasn’t cut off his brother, but opens his house to him, even if he’s a drug addict that could potentially steal his property.”

“So … what’s the plan?”  Nathan muttered.

Inari folded her fingers together.  “You mentioned a few things. Eric, your father, your brother, the elderly couple that took you in, and a case.  We discussed Eric, which do you wish to address next?”

“Ack—I need to deal with all of those?”  He sighed at Inari’s gentle nod. “Alright, might as well start with the worst; let’s go with my dad.”

“Very well, Imagine him in your mind, and Sora, you search for the ripple his image leaves in this realm; just close your eyes and search for it using your magic.”

“No pressure,” Sora scratched her left fox ear, heavenly sensations ripple back to her brain.  “This realm is so weird…”

Using the image conjured in Nathan’s mind, Sora began to search, and after a minute, she found him.  Desiring the shift of locations, she opened her eyes to a small basement. A man in his fifties was sleeping on a red couch that had several rips in it.  The space was a little crowded with storage boxes and old water skiing equipment taking up the back corner.

Nathan took a quick glance around the space before glaring down at the man.  He looked slightly disheveled like he hadn’t taken a shower in a few days. Walking to the desk, he saw a book open on the table, pencil, and paper beside it.

“The Koran, of course, he’s on another religious crusade.  My dad’s more radical than any religious person I know; near broke, living out of someone’s basement, burns every bridge he crosses, and still, his obsession rules him.”

“Would you like to talk to him?”  Inari asked, glancing down at an anti-religious rally pamphlet.

He shook his head.  “No, this is enough … it’s been all my life.  My dad’s never going to change. He’s too set in his ways; just like you said … we all make sacrifices, and he sacrificed his kids for Atheism.  I don’t understand the appeal of either religion or Atheism … I just wanted my dad to accept my friends, but he drove them all away.”

“Then … you can’t forgive him?”  Sora ran a hand through her hair.  Is that complete?  Was that the goal?

“I don’t think so.  I’m not alright with it, but I think I can choose to let that hope die.  He’s never going to just be my dad, and I don’t want to see into his zealot-like mind.  Let’s go.”

Sora frowned.  We just got here … he’s obviously upset by it.

“Sora, he deals with his emotions a bit differently than you.  This will no longer be an issue for him.”

Really?  How?

“Family is hard for him, but with this, he’s let go of his father’s image.  He’s thought hard on the lecture I gave and has come to accept a few things about his life.  Seeing his father brought back the memories of being kicked out and the elderly couple that took him in.  Find them from the image he sees in his mind.”

Brow furrowing, she only found a single image.  I can’t find the old man he’s thinking about?  Does that mean…

“Yes, he is no longer in this realm.  Just take us to the woman.”

Teleporting to the location, she opened her eyes.  They were in a bedroom, an elderly woman in her late seventies sleeping in a Full-sized bed, ventilator making soft noises beside the bed as she snored lightly.

The walls had handcrafted embroidery works covering them; each one had a different theme, and several seemed to come together into a design.  Pictures of Jesus as a baby and Mary were the theme of the left corner and to the left were several photos of an elderly man and her with a teen that Sora assumed was Nathan when he was younger.

Nathan looked around the room with a heavy sigh before his eyes fell on the sleeping woman.  “Where’s Davis?”

Inari responded before Sora could stammer a reply.  “Davis passed on a year ago.”

“Ah,” was all Nathan could say as he knelt down beside the elderly woman.

Sora stood beside her aunt stiffly as Nathan’s grief washed over her.  “Umm—how close were you?”

Licking his teeth, Nathan tucked his lip under for a moment before clearing his throat.  He was doing his best to suppress his emotions. “Davis and Bobbie … they lived in the same neighborhood where I grew up.  They were one of three families that got my dad’s weekly anti-religious propaganda placed in their mailbox, but they were always courteous to him when out.

“They knew what had happened after a day or two of me being kicked out … everyone in the neighborhood knew.  My dad wasn’t the quiet type and blamed the Sullivans for corrupting me with their Jewish lies.” His throat cracked for a moment, and he went silent.

Sora waited, trying not to interrupt the emotions bubbling up inside Nathan while her aunt studied the embroidery without comment.

“I was sleeping behind the high school … showering in the mornings when the gym opened.  I hated my dad … hated everything about him. I was walking around the neighborhood, trying to figure out what to do when they pulled up.  Davis told me he’d heard about the fight I had and that I had a place in his guest house if I chose to take it; no strings attached, then he drove off.”

Tails twisting, Sora shifted her posture.  “That was nice. So, you went to live with them?”

Nathan shook his head.  “Not at first. I tried living out of the school, but eventually, the police chased me off, and after a week of eating out of trash cans—I broke down.  I cried all night and—I showed up at their door.”

A sad smile moved his lips.  “I’ll never forget that moment.  My face was puffy and stained with tears, I bet I had some snot running down my face, “he chuckled.  “Davis opened the door—it was three A.M. by the way, and the first thing he said was:

“You smell like the living dead.  Bathroom’s second door on the right … don’t forget the body wash.”  He paused, throat catching.  “Bed’s made out back; make it in the morning, and breakfast is on the table at seven.  Don’t make Bobbie wait for you.

He swallowed, and his tone was thick.  “I spent four years in that guest bedroom, and they never asked for a dime.  I feel bad the way I left…”

“Bobbie was barren,” Inari stated, turning to glance at the woman.

“She—I didn’t know.”

“Of course not.  Both Bobbie and Davis had tried to have kids their entire lives, but she never got pregnant.  They were talking about adoption, but Davis was afraid they wouldn’t be around long enough to raise a child, and then you appeared in their lives.  Do you remember when you were studying for the Police Academy?”

Nathan nodded.  “Yeah, Davis spent a lot of time helping me get ready.”

“He didn’t know any of that before you told him what your goal was; he spent a lot of time learning the process to help you.  They thought you were a miracle sent from God, and every night, without fail, they thanked him for sending you their way.”

Nathan tucked his lip under.  “I—I stopped keeping in contact with them a year ago … it must have been just after I left the state for Miami.  I just got so wrapped up in work. I rarely even went back to my apartment.”

Inari moved around the other side of the bed with a neutral expression.  “She’ll die in five days of a heart attack; she’s lonely, and wishes to join her husband.  Her last wish is to see you, the child not her own, but that she had the pleasure of molding into an adult.”

A tear fell down Nathan’s cheek, and he brushed it away, sniffing.  “She … they were more of a family to me than my own dad. Yeah—can we make that happen?”

Inari smiled in Sora’s direction, feeding her the instructions.  Taking a deep breath, Sora sent her magic into Bobbie’s Spiritual Network and laid the trail for her to follow.

Only allowed on Creativenovels.com
You may also like: