The Monk and the City that Loves Him: A Novella Project – Part 1

As promised, here’s Part 1 of my new novella project. In this brief part, we get introduced to The Monk and Louie, as Louie panics and begs for money to help him with his withdrawal. Thus, the journey begins to get Louie sober, and The Monk hopes his friend can hang onto life as each fix could be his last.

It was bitterly cold inside the abandoned church. The winter was a harsh one in the city, and, on most nights, Louie wondered if he’d freeze to death. He lay there against the wall with The Monk, shivering and crying.

Louie hadn’t had his fix in several hours, and he was beginning to withdraw. He felt the aches and pains throughout his body, and his mind was screaming for heroin. He also hadn’t eaten anything in more than a day.

The Monk stood over him and whispered prayers. Inside the abandoned church, there was still a large crucifix and rows of pews. About twenty years ago, the church was a beautiful gothic building with a large congregation.

“What am I going to do!” Louie cried. “I need ten dollars, Monk, please! Just give me ten dollars … have mercy on me.”

“What if I took you to the ER? We can get you a bed in rehab.” The Monk still stood over him; he didn’t quite know what to do.

“No! No rehab! Ten dollars – please!”

Louie was shaking. They were the only ones in the church, a place where the junkies in the neighborhood congregated. Broken needles and debris were strewn on the dirty floors amid candy wrappers, broken glass.

The Monk fished in his pocket and handed Louie a twenty-dollar bill. Louie snatched it up quickly, wiping the tears from his eyes. Then Louie shot up from the floor and ran out of the church, leaving the Monk there in the semi-darkness.

In a way, the Monk was enabling him. But he knew Louie would get very sick if he didn’t get his fix soon. He regretted giving him money for drugs, but he wasn’t sure what else he could do until he could get him sober.

The Monk sat down where Louie had been and said a few prayers to himself. An orange streetlight shone through the shattered stained-glass window, making jagged shadows on the church floor.

He prayed that Louie would kick his habit, but he was a realist, and he knew God’s will would be done – whatever that may be.

The Monk would not see Louie for another three days.

To be continued

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