The knocking came again; whoever was at the door was not going away.
Franklyn got up reluctantly from the sofa and walked across the living room to the front door where he stood listening for a moment in the silence between knocks.
Another barrage came and he sighed to himself as he opened the door, letting in the freezing cold air of the night.
"It won't help." He said to the startled young man standing on the snowy steps.
The stranger stared into the darkened doorway, straining to see who it was that had answered, but Franklyn kept just out of the light of the street lamp's glow.
"Sorry?" The young man queried in a shivering voice. "Are you..."
"Whatever it is you want me to do, it won't help." Franklyn cut him off. "It never does. Not in the end."
The confusion in the young man's eyes melted away into desperation.
"You have to help!" He pleaded. "They said that you could help! They said you could..."
"Whatever they told you," Franklyn continued steadily. "It won't fix things, not how you think it..."
"Please, mister!" his voice now quivering with the same desperation within the man's eyes. "My daughter. My baby girl. You have to help! She... I have money."
He thrust his bare, red-raw fist out, filled with a bunch of crumpled bills; mostly ones.
Franklyn sighed to himself again, and then opened the door to let the light fall upon his gaunt, stubbled face.
"It's not about money, kid." He looked back into the living room as his cat looked up at him from its spot on the chair and then curled up tighter against the cold air he was letting in. "Look, go home. Sometimes things can't be fixed."
"Please." Tears welled up in the younger man's eyes as he clenched the meagre wad tighter.
Franklyn bent his head down with another long sigh, and then motioned for the stranger to come in as he walked back into the dimly lit living room.
The young man bustled in quickly as if Franklyn might change his mind before he could get through the doorway. With a loud bang, the door shut as he leaned back against it, catching his breath from the freezing cold outside.
Franklyn turned to regard the distressed young man standing in his living room, shaking his head at himself.
"My name is Dav..."
"It doesn't matter. I don't need to know who you are." Franklyn interrupted. "I don't want to know how you found me, or who told you about me. I just want to be left alone. People think that I can help them, but sometimes, some things can't be fixed. Sometimes, they shouldn't be."
The stranger stood silent, and then shrugged while his face twisted in hopelessness.
"I have to try." His voice cracked. "I have..." his arms fell limp at his sides as he began to sob.
Franklyn closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
It would end badly, it always did.
Holding his hands up as though someone was pointing a pistol at him, Franklyn breathed deeper and deeper. With each breath his chest moved up and out at a steady rate and the young man's sobs quieted as he watched with curiosity.
An undertone hum began to build that reverberated around Franklyn's outstretched hands as the space around his fingers and palms seem to become distorted in pulsating waves.
The hum grew in volume and the already dimly lit room became darker as the lights flickered.
The slumbering cat jumped up and bolted out of the room as everything started to shake with the reverberating hum.
All the while, Franklyn stood, calming breathing as the waves of distortion around his hands shimmered with a silver-flashing light.
The young man started to grope panic-stricken for the door as the whole house now felt as it was shaking to its foundations, but as he grabbed hold and turned the knob, the hum stopped. The room became steady and the lights levelled out to their previously dimmed state.
The stranger stared as Franklyn lowered his arms and stood normally again; eyes still closed, he breathed less deeply until his chest was barely noticeably moving.
Calmly, he opened his eyes, though he seemed to look right through the frightened young man in front of him.
"It's fixed." Franklyn said stoically.
"What the..." the young man breathed."What was that? What did you do?"
"I fixed things." He answered. "Though, as I said, it won't help. Sometimes, things aren't supposed to be fixed."
"But, I mean," the young man stammers. "What the fuck just happened? Waves..."
A buzzing came from his front coat pocket and the stranger pulled out his phone to answer it.
His eyes began to fill with tears once more as he listened to the caller on the other end. Yet, his face brightened with a euphoric light as the joyful tears began to roll down his smiling cheeks.
Franklyn sat back down on the sofa after the young man had giddily thanked him and ran off into the snowy night to rush back to wherever home was.
They were all like that, at first. Everyone that had come to him asking for help; asking for him to fix things.
All kinds of things; help with becoming smarter, prettier, stronger, richer; help overcoming all of life's hardships and obstacles that people are supposed to face on their own; to grow and learn from them.
Not things to have fixed for them.
But they always find out in the end, Franklyn thought to himself as the cat jumped back up onto his lap and began to purr. Sometimes things aren't meant to be fixed.