The Grace of God
Author: Sam Cross
Editor: Stephanie Parent
Other: Matt Truiano
Age Group: 16 and up
In a shattered world of crime and chaos, in a city of loneliness and fear, Good and Evil no longer exist as
separate entities. They share the same ground. They walk the same streets. They play the same games.
Lewis Cade never asked to be a hero, but in a single moment of courage his life would forever change.
Jack Raye never asked to be a victim, but years earlier fate seemed to single him out, and in the same
moment that Lewis becomes a hero, Jack becomes something altogether more powerful. In that one
moment, the monstrous, God-like power to give or take life would tear away the thread-bare fabric of
Jack's humanity, leaving nothing but a lifetime of hate and vengeance that is about to change both men's
lives. Two men. One destiny. And only one of them is a killer. But which one?
There is a self – a good self – that every person imagines for themselves. There is a better person they
wish they could be. Someone that they could have been, if only they had done things differently.
Someone they still might have a chance of being, if they could turn all the bad things back. This is what
Lewis believed. Now, as he stepped back into the corridor, away from the room, he watched his good self
slip away. As the sight of the body on the bed faded, as the corridor gave way to the stairwell, as his legs
carried him downward, his giddy mind caught sight of a random memory, the memory of Peggy – the
ugliest girl in the street, the girl they all called piggy Peggy – the first girl he ever kissed, because his
friends dared him to. As his head spiralled down the staircase, he tried to remember all the times he had
been unkind or unthinking or unfair. As the stairwell opened out into the fire exit – the same one he had
burst through the night before having taken a life with his bare hands – he wondered where piggy Peggy
might be right now. How beautiful she must be now. How beautiful she was then, only he couldn’t see.
He wondered where his good self might be right now.
Wherever it was, he wanted to be there. He wanted to meet him. He wanted to take the hand of his good
self and pull him close and never let him go.
The dull light of day broke through the doors of the alley exit as he pushed them open. And for the
briefest moment, as a hint of sun hit his face, he seemed to recall they had met. He and his good self.
Once on a lawn at his high school, long after piggy Peggy, on a day when the new girl in class ate her
lunch alone – and Lewis took a chance and decided she needed company, and she introduced herself as
Catherine. And perhaps even again they had met, he and his good self, in a corridor of a hospital, where
he stood in the warm afternoon light, thinking about what to call his son. His newborn son. And thinking
what a good name David was.
Things were perfect.
There but for the grace of God go I.