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Excerpt for Life Note, Gifted, and All the Other Things We Do by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Life Note, Gifted, and All the Other Things We Do

Published by J. P. Faceto at Smashwords

Copyright 2018 J. P. Faceto

Smashwords Edition


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Table of Contents


Title Page and Copyright


Table of Contents


All the Other Things We Do


Gifted


Life Note


About the Author





All the Other Things We Do


She's never late, not like Adrien. We meet at the same spot, every time, just over the wall from the record store. Her favorite place in this part of the town.

Same dress, same purse. Perhaps the lipstick is different sometimes. I can never tell. We always begin with a small talk. How’s your day? It's a lovely evening, isn't it? The city is beautiful at this time of the year. We talk until it gets uncomfortable, then we kiss. Just a small reminder of why we’re doing this.

In my head, I always think of this as a patriotic act, it is no different from what I did in the battlefields of the Great War: crossing over the border, burning bridges, conquering my territory, and the most important of all, pledging our allegiance to the pleasure, not to the consequence.

It takes us thirty minutes to get to her place. A few seconds to get undressed. One hour for me to leave, but will take decades to forget. She always puts Adrien’s picture down, maybe she's still uncomfortable. I'm getting used to it by now. There is no one left to speak of what we do. And no one brave, lonely or free enough to question us.

“Same time next week?” she asks.

But I don't say anything, just a simple glance is enough. All I have to do is walk away, and she’ll understand what I mean.

On my way back, I remember the things I did in war. The things I did to Adrien. And the things he did to me.  

When I think of what I know about my country, I think about kissing my best friend's wife, and all the other things we do.

Gifted


We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.” - Romans 15:1-2.

The Uber driver sets up the destination in his GPS, “How’s your day going?” Asked him in a disinterest tone. None is heard from the boy, that is still adjusting himself in the backseat. He carries a pink backpack that appears to be empty.

They were in a nice neighborhood and the boy was sitting in a swing at the playground when his ride arrived. It is a sunny beautiful summer day, and the streets were empty. Probably because of the holiday; nobody wanted to work on the 4th of July. But people still need to go places, thought the driver.

As he drove, he kept looking at the boy from the rear mirror from time to time. The boy was staring at the street with his head lying on the window, still speechless.  “Almost there,” tried the driver one more time, but still no response. One block away from the final destination and the driver’s phone suggested another race, but he wanted to make sure this boy arrived safely at the Town Bank. He couldn't stop wondering, what is he doing here?

“Wait here and keep the engine running,” said the boy, grabbing his backpack and slamming the car’s door. He headed for the main entrance but went around the building instead.

Astounded, the driver observed the boy going to back part of the bank. His phone ringed several more times, but he kept silencing it quickly, concentrating on what is happening behind the bank.

He is to young too own someone money. Drugs? It’s early for drugs, and not in this place. Maybe he’s just meeting his parents.

It was at that moment, almost five minutes after the boy left, that he reappeared on the backseat again, out of nowhere. Only this time, his backpack was filled with money till the very top.

“Drive.” said the boy. “Now!” he shouted again.

The bank alarm triggered. His phone ringed one more time and the boy kept screaming on the back seat. There’s not enough time to think, so he changed the gear, and drove as fast as he could.

They knew it was a matter of time until the police would go after them. They would have to go far away, possibly leave town. This is not how I thought this day was gonna go, thought himself repeatedly.

The boy’s age only makes it worst. The driver avoided looking at him, and especially at the money, that is now falling off the backpack.

One hour later, they parked in an IHOP, still no word from the boy. They both get out of the car. “Take that inside,” said the driver with a deep strong voice.

Seated at the table they stared at each other. The boy was drinking a chocolate milkshake, the driver was only giving him the stare. From time to time the boy would look at the TV just to check if they were on the news.

“Listen,” said the driver, “I know what you-”

“Shut up,” replied the boy.

Silence.

“You’re gonna listen to what I am going to say.” Said the driver. “I know what you’re going through right now, but you can’t do that. You can’t use your ‘gift’ to steal other people.”

“What do you know about teleporting?”

“Enough so I can teach you a lesson. We live in an era and a place where people like you and me are not heroes anymore. You can’t just walk in the streets exhibiting your ‘gift’ like it is some kind of toy. You shouldn’t use it at all. Unless you wanna end up in bad places.”

“You know nothing about me. You don’t know what I had to do to-”

“I know that you spent your whole life in the orphanage. The one a few blocks away from the playground I picked you up. I know your parents thought that leaving you behind would be easier than raising a ‘gifted” children, and nobody ever wanted to adopt you because of the same reason. I understand that you need this money to move on with your life, I’m not gonna take it from you. But I’m gonna ask you to never use your ‘gifts’ for stuff like this again.”

“You can read minds,” said the boy, astonished.

“Yes, I do, but I didn’t have to read yours to figure all that out. I just had to connect the dots.”

Silence again, then the news started popping up on the TV.

The boy took one thousand dollars from his backpack and left it on the table. Drinking two more long gulps of the milkshake before leaving the restaurant.

On the next morning, the driver woke up in a hotel room.

Outside, when ready to leave, he stepped on the boy's backpack, but without any money in it. Only a newspaper with the headline 'MONEY STOLEN MIRACULOUSLY RETURNED'. He looked around and spotted the boy sitting in the same place inside his car, looking directly at him.

He knew that their lives would be no different if they were apart. That he was the only thing that little boy had. And more importantly, he knew that he would have to drive far away in order to get away with what they did. They didn't know each other, but they had a couple of miles ahead to figure that out, and for the first time in a while, he knew exactly what to do.

Life Note


“What kind of person just throws a package at your face and runs away?” Asked Will, talking to himself at the front porch of his house, “What a Jerk!”

Will then grabbed the package and went inside. Without further ado, he opened the flat, rectangular shaped mystery object; and for his surprise it was a book, a notebook. I hope it’s not someone’s diary. The notebook was white and had ‘Life Note’ written at the cover, “what the heck?”.

“What were you expecting? A box full cassette tapes of a teenager who committed suicide?” said a strange, yet oddly charming voice.

“Who? Who said that?” asked Will, confused.

“I did. Hello, William,” said a man seated in a chair.

Will couldn’t see his face, but his body was visible. The man was wearing a blue suit, with fancy shoes. “Who are you and what the hell are you doing in my house?”

“First of all, it’s your mom’s house.” The man stands up, Will recognizes him immediately, “and second, I come with the book.”

“Morgan Freeman?”

“I am the god of life. But I can be Michael Caine too, if you prefer.”

“I don’t understand-”

“Let me go straight to the point, kid. You received the Life Note, which means you can revive whoever you want. You just need to write the person’s name on the book,” said Morgan Freeman.

“Really? Like, whoever I want?”

“Whoever the hell you want!”

“Even Michael Jackson?”

“You can’t revive the living, son. Oh, and I must tell you this because people ask me all the time... You cannot revive Hitler.”

“Can I revive my dad?”

“Is your father Adolf Hitler?”

“No!”

“Then yes!” Morgan Freeman starts to whistle and walk around the living room.

Will looked at his father’s picture on the table. “I miss him so much, I would give anything to see him one more time,” What should I do? “You know what, I’m doing this!” So, Will grabbed a pencil and wrote the name of his father. They waited for a few seconds, but nothing happened. “What now?”

“Strange. He should’ve popped up right away. Oh...I don’t want to be the one to tell you this but… Looks like your father is alive,” said Morgan Freeman while smoking a pipe, “may I ask you how he died?”

“He went to buy some cigarettes and never came back. Mom said he was hit by a truck.”

“I see... Sorry, William, it’s not the first time this happens to someone.”

Will seated on the couch, with the book and pencil still on his hand, “Goddammit, dad!” Almost desperate, Will looked at the family’s portrait and quickly wrote a name. It was then that an old man holding a Margarita appears on the other side of the living room, “Grandpa!”

“What the fuck is this? What’s happening?” Asked Will’s Grandfather, looking around the place.

“Grandpa, I brought you back to life!” said Will with excitement on his voice.

“Oh shit! Why did you have to do it? I was having a nice conversation with Don Rickles and Frank Sinatra!”

“I thought that you would be glad to see me,” said Will disappointed.

“I’m sorry, Bill, but I really need to go now,” said Grandpa.

“Okay, I get it! Can I send him back to heaven?” asked Will to Morgan Freeman.

“Yes, you can. You just need to wash the page from the notebook,” said Morgan Freeman, proposing a Margarita toast to Will’s grandfather.

“Heaven?” Grandpa laughed, “yeah, sure, Heaven. Wait, before I go, can you say ‘hi’ to your grandma for me, huh?” said Grandpa, spilling the Margarita.

“She died ten years ago,” said Will, sadder than ever. He rips the page off the notebook, throws it on the toilet and flushes. When he goes back to the living room neither Grandpa or Morgan Freeman were there.

“Funny guy, your grandfather,” said another man standing in the corner of the house.

“Who are you? What happened to Morgan Freeman?” asked Will.

“It gets boring sometimes. You can call me Stevie, by the way,” said the god of life, this time impersonating Steve Buscemi.

“I don’t care who you are, listen, I don’t want this anymore,” Will gives the book to Steve Buscemi, “here, take it away from me.”

“I’m sorry but I can’t William. You have to do it yourself.”

Dammit! Thought Will, “how do I get rid of this thing?”

“Just leave it somewhere. Oh, but please, make sure it doesn’t fall into the hand of the terrorists.”

“Wait! I think I have an idea…” Will grabbed the book and went straight outside. He knew exactly where to leave it, “see you, Stevie!”

It was almost night by the time Will arrived at the park. He knew for sure that a lot of companies would tear the whole place apart, due to the high concentration of fossil and natural gas under the ground. They were just waiting for the government permission, which will only happen in one hundred years.

Will digged a hole and buried the chest in the ground. With a note written ‘whoever finds this book, just write the name William Thompson, thanks!’ On his way home Will couldn't stop thinking, it will be nice to be back in the future…



About the Author



J. P. Faceto is a writer, screenwriter, and student at Full Sail University. His flash fiction story, "Life Note", was published in Scarlet Leaf Review magazine, and he writes about film in Folha da Mooca, a local newspaper in Brazil. Action/Adventure and Comedy-drama are among his favorite genres and niches. Born and raised in São Paulo, J. P. Faceto moved to Winter Park, Florida, to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. He also got over 100.000 credit points on his Regal Crown Club Card in less than 10 months.

https://www.facebook.com/joao.faceto

https://twitter.com/jpfaceto

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jo%C3%A3o-faceto-14a469149/



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