Salvation - Chris Parker - ebook

Salvation ebook

Chris Parker

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Opis

Jeremiah has just one wish: To no longer be different from the others, to finally be respected and appreciated. Driven by his hope for a "cure, he checks himself into a summer camp run by evangelical extremists who offer him a transformation from homo- to heterosexual. The promised redemption from his sorrow takes an entirely different direction when he falls in love with another man at the camp. But can this love be Jeremiah's Salvation?

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Liczba stron: 329

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Table of Contents

Titel

Quotation

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Epilogue

Acknowledgements

Imprint

About the author

Chris Parker

Salvation

Bruno Gmünder

“Crash here we go

You can face it or erase it

I do believe we can take this

And make it a wonderful love.”

Creeper Lagoon, Wonderful Love

Prologue

“Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.”

“Speak, and your sins shall be forgiven,” answered the priest in a strong yet gentle voice. It was dark and quiet in the confessional, although he could hear the woman nervously smoothing down the fabric of her dress. The answer took a while to come, but the words that followed were resolute: “I’m going to send my son to the camp.”

When the woman spoke, her high-pitched voice trembled slightly as she continued: “I know they’ll help him there, but … but I still have my doubts, Father. Maybe it doesn’t have to be this way.”

“You mustn’t doubt God’s word, my child,” answered the priest calmly. “Your son must change.”

“Who says he must?” she protested. Her voice was now loud and unconstrained, and she seemed to be suppressing a sob.

The priest rose with a sigh. He left the confessional, and then returned after a little time had passed. Paper rustled as he opened the Bible: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

The priest noisily snapped the Bible shut. The dull thud sounded unreal in the deathly hush of the confessional. “He must change, my child. You know that.”

The woman said nothing, but the priest heard her starting to weep quietly.

Three weeks later.

Please … salvation …

The only thing that Jeremiah wanted now was salvation.

He frantically looked around, searching for a way out, even though he no longer had the strength to carry on. Not after everything that had happened.

You can do it—you must do it!

But he couldn’t think of anything that would save him, no weapon, however pitiful, with which he could defend himself against the cruel tricks that life had played on him, and that had once again driven him into this church. It seemed as if the gray walls were laughing at him, as if the dust that was swirling in the air was mocking him, as if the wooden pews were creaking in triumph because they had imprisoned him again. He was back, trapped in a cage like an animal, and he heard the lock click shut for the last time.

He gazed at a droplet of sweat as it fell and then burst onto the flagstones. The floor felt so cold, cold to his knees and his forehead, because he was still crawling, crouched down, fearful, dead.

I have to run.

But where to? Where could Jeremiah run to without the man on the cross seeing him? It wouldn’t be surprising if his dull eyes concealed cameras, tiny malicious lenses through which the guards were intent on mocking the animal in its cage: We can see you; we can always see you.

Jeremiah sprang to his feet. He wouldn’t give up without a fight, not if Chester was still waiting for him somewhere outside!

A door lay behind him; he couldn’t take it because the guards were waiting on the other side. That meant there was only one option remaining: the stairs leading up the church tower.

As he hurried up one step after another, higher and higher, he thought he resembled Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, who chased his master Frollo to the top of the cathedral so as to finally cast him down as revenge for the death of his beloved Esmeralda.

The sun was shining on the roof of the church. The sky was a radiant blue, and the birds were twittering without a care in the world while the big brass bells remained silent. A light breath of wind ruffled his hair, which he had to wipe from his eyes in order to gaze at the doves that rose from the church tower, flapping their wings.

Freedom.

Jeremiah was still panting with exhaustion as he took in the view: In front of him lay the camp with its high walls, the camp that had made his life hell, and behind it was the little patch of woods with the mysterious white building; and even further away he could make out the smog that on hot summer days such as this constantly hovered over the city of Memphis like some harbinger of doom.

It was so far away.

So infinitely far away.

He closed his eyes as the last vestiges of his newly acquired hope slipped through his fingers and evaporated into thin air. It left painful traces on his hands, scars that would never heal, as it became clear to him that there was no way out.

I’m not Quasimodo. I’m Frollo.

In order to be free, he had to throw himself to the ground.

Jeremiah gazed into the abyss that opened up before him. Heard his mother murmur: “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Heard Chester say: “Trust me.” Heard for the last time the rustling of leaves in the wind; felt for a single second the warm sun on his skin; forgot the taste of vomit on his lips.

Then he smiled and took a step forward.

Salvation.

And in his mind’s eye everything was replayed at a furious speed, faster even than his fall, just like people always claim it is.

Chapter 1

“Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray …”

2 Peter 2: 15

The jet-black Mercedes drove through the stiflingly hot streets of Memphis, surrounded by thousands of other vehicles. Jeremiah Jessop stole a glance at his mother, who was sitting next to him in the driver’s seat of the car. She briefly returned his gaze, then swept aside the few strands of straw-blond hair that weren’t firmly attached to her bun and once again fixed her eyes on the road—the eyes that were royal blue, like those of her son. You could die quicker in the Memphis morning rush hour than you could in the rapids of the Mississippi—which was chiefly due to the fact that nobody was dumb enough to venture into the rapids of the Mississippi, whereas car drivers appeared only too eager to try out their airbags.

Jeremiah returned his gaze to the road in front of him. He wondered where his father was right now. Samuel hadn’t shown his face today, hadn’t joined his mother to take him to the camp that was to be his home for the next eight weeks. “Your son can be helped there, Cornelia,” the pastor had told his mother. “If their faith is strong enough, the people there can find their way back to God and free their soul from sin.”

Jeremiah was firmly convinced that he would manage to save his soul. That was simply the way it had to be. For his mother, so he could see her laughing; for his father, who couldn’t always be there for him, but who would be proud of him.

Soon everything would change.

Jeremiah’s attention was suddenly drawn to a billboard by the side of the road: The bottle of whisky depicted on it suddenly made him realize how dry his throat was. Even after five months of strict abstinence, a mere picture sufficed to lead him into temptation; but he didn’t care to think about his previous alcoholism.

That would soon change too. Everything would change soon.

He glanced again at his mother as they drove along the freeway, which at this time of year stank like a mangy stray dog. His mother adjusted her thistle-gray raincoat, which she had only loosely thrown on, thus covering her snow-white blouse and beige, knee-length skirt. There was not a run to be seen in her sandy-colored pantyhose, and the golden crucifix about her neck fitted perfectly into the color scheme. Everything was so well matched that it seemed boring.

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!