Do you hear that? The thunderous noise of millions upon millions of tiny rain droplets simultaneously slamming against the earth’s surface? They hit the ground so hard. It’s as if the sky is trying to punish the earth.
Mum always told me when I was younger: “Bad rainfall like this is just God’s tears.”
I’d be confused, wondering what she meant and ask: “But why would God be crying? It’s always happy, isn’t it? Up There with Him?”
Then came the look she only reserved for me, a serious yet gentle expression which meant that something was about to be explained. Her brow furrowed softly, eyebrows knitting together as her eyes turned tender and her left hand lightly squeezed my right hand.
“Because one of his children has sinned.”
I guess now is one of those times.
Tears were streaming from the heavens but this time I knew who it was for.
I knew why God was crying.
Because I have sinned.
Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.
For I have murdered one of your children.
It’s like He knew what I was going to do before I did it myself. He cried heavily when I first started hearing the voices too. They whisper to me and tell me to do things, bad things, horrible things.
I wanted to tell my mum, I really did, I wanted her reassurance and warm arms wrapping around me and her telling me that everything was going to be okay. It wasn’t that easy though, I knew…I knew that if I told her…I would be repelled and labelled as possessed.
It was cold that night. The heavens were opened again and the rain was pouring. My fingers were growing numb within the confines of my coat pockets; my nose had slowly turned a faint shade of red as had my cheeks.
The wind was terrible, but not even the harsh blows could lift my soggy hair from my head, the strands sticking to the sides of my face and forehead. The hood of my jacket was long blown back and I couldn’t handle the battle of trying to keep it up to protect myself.
I wanted to be home, with a rich hot chocolate in my hands whilst sitting in front of a blaring fire with dry clothes and a blanket tucked up around my knees. All of this after a long, hot shower, of course.
But instead I was lost in a side of town that I had never been to before. Worse yet, the voices were getting dangerously loud…
They’re all scum of the earth, down this part. They hissed as my eyes drifted to a homeless man. He was huddled under a tattered and torn piece of fabric to try and protect himself from the relentless onslaught of His furious and disappointed mood.
I took in a deep breath and looked away, continuing forward as I tried to block them out.
Don’t ignore us. You know we’re right. Why would He bother with keeping this lot alive? They are disgraces to him. They don’t respect themselves and therefore don’t respect Him. They should be removed. Eradicated.
My hands shook in my pockets as my mind was suddenly filled with images of a better world. Of hard working people. Clean and warm and where everyone was helpful.
“You need to stop.” I whispered, attempting to banish those bright pictures from my mind.
Why should we? We’re only trying to help you. We’re trying to get you to help Him. He needs help with cleaning the earth.
He needed help? That was a lie in itself. Look at Noah’s Ark. If He wanted to clean the earth and start new again…He would have done so by His own magnificent powers.
Yesss…but He is so busy with everything else. With the Wars and accepting people into his realm. Imagine what it would be like. He would love you; adore you for helping clean his creation.
This made me pause. Halting abruptly in the middle of the street as I thought it over. It could have worked; He would have praised me for aiding him. I would have been welcomed into His Land with open arms and mighty cheers.
“Love?” A croaking voice broke my thoughts and a smile slipped from my lips as I turned toward the broken sound.
Another homeless man. He probably takes drugs. Drinks. He uses all the money given to him by God’s righteous children for bad things.
My hands tightened into fists, fingernails biting into the fleshy part of my palm.
That’s right, the voices cooed together. Nothing but scum, he needs to go. It’s only His doing that you crossed his path tonight. He wants you to do this. For Him.
The rain had lessened. It didn’t hurt as much when it hit my face. There wasn’t as much sting or bite to it as before. I took this as His blessing, as His way of telling me to do this.
“What is it?” I questioned gently, moving forward and crouching in front of him. I didn’t get too close though, I could already smell the foul and nauseating scent of his sins. I didn’t want to get infected with it.
That’s it…don’t be too close…be friendly, he won’t suspect anything…
The weather-beaten man shifted positions and winced. I could hear his bones creaking and snapping, muscles were popping, all going back into their original shape after being sat like that for so long. “You don’t ‘ave any spare money, do you? Or food, just anythin’. Anythin’ spare.”
My eyes raked over him for a moment. How could I kill him? I didn’t have any weapons and he was a man. Men were always stronger than their female counterparts.
He is weak, you dumb fool! A voice snapped irritably, obviously becoming impatient. All you need to do is surprise him, make sure he takes that blanket of his and used that to strangle him.
I pursed my lips and nodded a second later. The forsaken man’s eyes, believing that I was replying to him, lit up with a spark of hope. “Ya do? Thank you…thank you…”
My brow furrowed softly, “Not money. Not here. Come with me, I’ll get you to the nearest shop and you can wait out there while I buy you somethin’, alrigh’?”
I have to touch him for this, I realize, responding finally to the voices. Do you know what he could be carrying? He won’t allow me into His Realm if I am stinking of sin.
They simply huffed in reply but remain quiet, giving me no help what so ever.
The man nodded, his actions were slow and robotic, as if his joints hadn’t been used in a while. He stood, gathering his torn and dirtied bed sheet into a messy bunch at his stomach like a child would hold a safety blanket and eventually shuffles after me.
My nose wrinkled at the foul smells that rolled from him, sour and sharp and acidic. Not what His Realm would smell like at all. Not that this guy would ever know, he’s going down to Hell when I was finally done carrying out His wishes.
The walk felt like it was going on forever. I wanted this to be over and done with quickly so I could get out of this rain. It was relentless by now, not seeming willing to give in.
He’s mad. Mama always said-
Your mama is talking rubbish, they sneered to me. He’s not angry at you. All that ‘the rain being His tears’ is just a bunch of silly nonsense. Trust us…He’ll be welcoming you with open arms once you’re done clearing this mess.
It was hard to believe them at this stage. I was cold. I was wet. I was ready to just go home and leave this man with a decent meal or something instead of carrying out our- I mean my plan.
I raised a hand to my head as I felt a sharp lurch, hissing softly at the thumping, headache-like pain.
You can’t turn back now. You’ve got him. You just need to finish it off.
I turned to look at the desolate man from over my shoulder to make sure he was still following me. I offered him another sweet smile and beckoned him to continue after me, “We’ll take a short cut. It won’t be too long, I promise.” I informed him gently.
Lies. Nothing but lies.
He nodded, giving me a smile which instantly made me have to hide a grimace. Teeth were missing and they were both yellow and rotten. His lips were chapped from no lip salve during too many cold winters.
The voices though, they told me to return it…which I did, at least my teeth were nice and white.
His dull eyes had a shine to them by then, gleaming warmly with hope and trust. It almost made me feel rather upset, it was a shame to get rid of this man, he seemed like he could redeem himself –
Don’t think that way, they snarled harshly. How dare you think that! He’ll hear you, He’ll hear you thinking that and He won’t be happy!
Sighing, I pulled my attention from them, leaving them to bicker between one another. They always fought, over anything and everything. When I was trying to sleep; trying to eat; trying to pray; trying to concentrate on schoolwork…all the time!
I cut down a lone alleyway, the walls rose up beside us and a damp scent of decay and rot stuck to the back of my nose. Now I understood why I made sure that I knew my way from new places. Otherwise I would get lost and end up in some backstreet alley that just reeked of week-old Chinese take-away and moulding fruit and spoilt milk.
Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. It’s all their fault. They allowed themselves to get into this mess and it’s just filthy. This is why He sent you here, to change places like this. To help start anew.
A shudder ran down my spine as I was forced to breath in the air with lingering particles of death. My skin crawled too, as if dirty parasites had made their way off those slimy walls and hopped onto me instead.
I couldn’t allow that. I would need a hot shower when I got home, a scalding one at that, until my skin was pink and red and nothing but steam with the smell of fresh soap was in the air.
I was not as filthy as they are.
No you’re not.
I was clean. I was better. I was chosen by Him to do this.
Yes you have. You’re good. You’re righteous.
“Love? Love!” The homeless man called, his shuffling getting quicker and I realized that I had been walking almost too fast for him to keep up.
I slowed and stopped, studying the space in front of me to see that there were enough shadows surrounding us that kept us from being seen. I turned to face him, scratching my upper arm in apprehension of what bacteria was roaming all over me.
His face was red under his scraggily grey beard and he had long, greasy hair. His breathing was coming out in wheezing puffs of air as he tried to collect himself after the short burst that he had to do to catch back up with me.
Each time his lips pursed to huff out in an exhale, I caught a glimpse of those revolting teeth. It was more gum than tooth, I could have counted perhaps around five teeth…but I supposed that was good for someone like him.
“I’m sorry love, you wer’ going too fast fer me to catch up to you.” He panted, running a shaking hand through his repulsive hair, “I’m alri’ now though. Wher’ did you say we wer’ going?”
Now! Do it now!
I winced, holding the side of my head again and it caused him to frown lightly with concern.
He was worried. For me.
He’ll be the one being concerned for his own skin in a bit when he’s facing Him. What’re you waiting for? Do it now!
I looked down, his one frail hand still clung dependently to the holey and repugnant blanket and I swallowed thickly which was a terrible mistake. I took on a taste of that sour milk scent and my nose twitched in disgust.
The man froze, studying me for a second longer as his other hand seemed to tighten around the stained and wrinkled collar of his shirt, “Love…?”
My gaze rose back to him from the well-worn bed sheet and I bit my lower lip.
“Is everythin’ alri’ love?”
Now! Hurry up! You’re taking too long, he’ll just leave! Do you want to help Him or not?
My arms were soon shoving the man back into one of the slimy walls that had grown higher over time, evolving into buildings with graffiti smothered bricks and smashed windows.
The rain had started pouring again, He was crying for me…or was it for the man that I was about to kill for Him?
The homeless man cried out, confused and lost, completely surprised that someone like me would do something like this. But he didn’t know me. Who I had influencing me.
What I had influencing me.
I yanked the sheet from his hands, which meant that he momentarily got a few seconds to run and escape from me.
That couldn’t happen. Not now, not when I was so close to doing this for Him.
He was slow though and I caught up to him easily, his shuffling footsteps were overpowered by my thudding ones that refused to slip and slide on the wet gravel.
I secured the blanket around his neck and tug on them hard, causing him to jolt backward and land against me. Immediately I could sense his sins and his diseases sweeping over me and my stomach rolled nauseatingly, the prospect of losing my dinner was looming threateningly.
We both tumbled back to the ground, him landing on top of me but his hands latched onto the part of the blanket I have at his throat.
The impact winded me, driving the air from my lungs and I released a harsh wheeze. My grip on the blanket loosening slightly.
No! Don’t be so weak! Finish him off!
The voices screaming in my head began a pounding, thudding repetitively like a thundering war drum. They weren’t helping.
They always shout, yell and scream. They know it’ll make me do things quicker. Just to get them to go silent…even just for a little while before they find something else to complain about.
Coughing, I managed to get a better grip on the dirtied sheet and once more applied the pressure. His nails raked at my wrists, tearing at the skin that lay just above and leaving angry red marks slashing down to the middle of the back of my hand.
What could he have had hiding under those ragged nails? Disease and sin. Now all leaking into me. Seeping in and twisting, threatening my existence.
Yessss…people like him threaten everything that people like you stand for. You can’t let him get in the way…get rid of him before he gets rid of you!
He was gurgling, coughing and choking as I pulled harder and harder to cut off the air supply to his lungs but he continued to fight; feebly and futilely, but still battling against me.
Hurry up before someone sees! How will you continue doing this for Him if you’re caught?
My muscles were straining with the force I was using to do this and my arms were soon shaking with the effort, but finally his scratching at the torn covers slowed until his one arm dropped to his side and the other hand flopped onto his stomach.
I stayed there though, on the voices request, for a little longer to make sure he was gone. I listened for his shallow breathing and then reluctantly forced myself to touch the soft spot under his ear, just at the beginning of his jaw, for a pulse. There was none.
My own heart was going too fast and my own blood was roaring in my ears with adrenaline and I couldn’t focus on anything else.
After what seemed like an age, I eventually stood and straightened myself, using the blanket at his neck as an anchor to lift his body from me and then towed it so it was leaning up against a nearby dumpster.
“Are you happy now?” I asked softly as I threw the sheet into another dumpster just a little further up the street from the body.
I brushed myself off and turned my gaze up to the Heavens, “Are you happy now?” I questioned into the rain again.
Yes…yes. We are happy now.