Here is the first of many flash fiction stories to be posted on Fridays.

 

 

NOT Jake

 

By Linton Bowers

 

 

Jake placed his hand against the push bar and stopped. Opening that door and going in would erase all he’d worked for these long hard months . The tip of a glass and one small sip would send him back to day zero.

 

"What are you doing, Jay?" Jake asked himself.

 

Jake stepped away from the door.

 

"Am I really going to do this?"

 

Deep in the dark corners of his mind dwelled something that used to be a part of Jake. He was at one time whole. A normal man going about life doing normal things. Then those damned terrorist dicks decided to crash some planes.

 

Jake was among the first in his town to sign his life over to good ol' Uncle Sam. He became a hard-assed, ground-pounding, stone-cold Marine. Like so many others, he was changed by the things he witnessed. What came home wasn't what left.

 

The darkness he runs from answered his questions.

 

Would you like to get a good night's sleep?

 

"Passing out in my own piss and puke is not sleep," Jake replied.

 

It's better than crying like a bitch til the sun comes up.

 

How could he respond to that? The truth, as painful as it might be, is still the truth.

 

"I've come too far. Worked too hard."

 

And for what? To spend all your time reliving what you did? When is someone going to come up with a thirteenth step to make all the nightmares go away, Jake? When are you going to catch a break from me?

 

"It's a process, it takes time. One small baby step at a time."

 

That's a load of horseshit and you know it. How many times did your dick get hard when you put a 5.56 into some dude's brain housing group? How many times did you almost cum in your tight whites while you watched the pink mist drift away in the breeze? Huh? There is no fixing you, Jake. You're too far gone, man. The kid you used to be fractured and fell to pieces on the hot desert sands. We need a break, Jake. We need to forget for just a little while. Please, Jake.

 

Jake fell to his knees. The pain of the collision with the unwavering pavement a minor inconvenience compared to agony he felt inside.

 

"I don't know how much longer I can take this shit," Jake whimpered.

 

Then get the fuck up and go inside. The respite we need is just inside that door and it comes in any flavor we want. Come on, man, we need this and you know it!

 

Jake let out a sob. He was done fighting, tired of it. He climbed back up to his feet, the sins of the past pressed down on him. He went to the door, placed his hand against the push bar and paused.

 

Don't puss out on us now, Jake.

 

Jake pushed the door open and went inside.

 

The bar was dark.