The Future

December 13, 2009
By
Bam! Bam! People fell behind me as I raced frantically around trees, barely dodging a fire hydrant as I hurtled past. I ducked behind a building and finally caught a breather. My lips were completely dry but it was worth it for escaping the brutes that were after me.

The day had started off normally. Waking up, Dad was already at his job as a policeman, so I ate a lonely breakfast and started the tedious walk to school. When I was about 20 minutes away, a shadow fell over the path beside me. A husky voice murmured by my shoulder, “Where are you going, son?” I turned to look and saw a man that seemed normal at first glance, but something about him bothered me. There was a certain malevolence emanating from his very presence. It was then that I saw a glint in his eye. A hard one. Something that told me this man was not average in any way. “Pardon me, sir, but I need to get to school or I will be late.” “Do you, now?” replied the man, almost questioningly. I turned and began walking back in the general direction of my school when I heard a car door slam. There were two of them slowly, almost amiably, walking down the path where I had just been.

My watch beeped, telling me that school was probably not a good option anymore because they locked the doors if you were late. So I broke into a slow jog towards the main city. It was closer, and it was more densely populated than a school. Losing them there would be easy, I thought. A shot was fired, which I assumed was from the men following me. It sent me into a full run, at a breakneck pace I once thought was reserved for cheetahs and Roadrunner. They were firing in the city! Now I knew exactly who these people were. My dad had recently sent one of the most influential gang bosses in the city to prison. Unfortunately, his reach was long. It would not be beneath him to get at my father through me, even in prison.

These things all played repeatedly through my head as I ambled down the back alley while I tried to look as nonchalant as possible, almost as if a 14 year old boy walking home is an everyday happening. Everyone drives here, but no one got in my way even once I was free from cover. All things considered, I really wasn’t in my right mind and had no cell phone, so home seemed the best option regardless of the fact that they knew where I lived. They were still lost in that mob behind me. Hah! But I was still running scared by the fact that they were willing to kill anyone to get me. By the time I reached home, Dad had done the shopping and left a note “Be back at 8. Supper’s in the fridge.” Aah! the joys of a neglectful father! Grabbing my iPod, hoping that some quiet music would calm my nerves, I headed to my room with a clear view of the street in front of our house.

Three hours later I had eaten supper and tried calling Dad’s office and each time was rewarded with a gruff message “This is Paul. If it’s urgent, and only if it’s urgent, leave a message after the tone. If it isn’t then don’t bother. You will only be wasting my time.” That sounded like Dad in a good mood, so I left a brief message. This was one of the times I missed Mom. She died in a car crash when I was seven. Since then, I have been disregarded by my dad who considered me an unnecessary burden to his life. Then the screeching of tires and the shouts of angry voices pulled me out of my reverie. Peeking out the window, I spotted the two men outside and they didn’t look like they were bringing me presents!
Rushing downstairs, I grabbed a large kitchen knife and, almost as an afterthought, opened the back door just in case. Footsteps resounded in my ears as they walked up the pathway without seeming to have a reason to hide. For a gut-wrenching second I believed that they would go around to the back door, the one made of glass. Instead the voices grew increasingly louder as “Flint” which I named the man who looked insanely violent and could snap at a moment’s notice, and his partner who I simply called “Partner” neared the door. The knife felt heavy in my hands, and I knew that I would find no pleasure in using it, even after promising myself a dozen times I wouldn’t kill anyone no matter what they wanted to do to me.

Flint and Partner threw their weight against the door which, inconsequently, I was too stupid to lock. Luckily they never considered that option and the door did not budge. If I locked it, then it would send a clear message like a beacon screaming “I AM HERE!” so I left it alone. But, inevitably, one of them tried the door. I caught my breath from my hiding place behind it and hoped that they didn’t know anything about where I was. My hopes were dashed as Partner whispered “We know he’s here so keep it down and we will find him.” I saw his knee pass the door, then brought my hand holding the knife at a straight angle and felt it connect with skin, then pass it with a squelch. Not bothering to watch the extent of the damage, I raced toward the back door and clear into the open air.

I was still not safe from Flint but I needed to sit down as what I had just done washed over me. My hands were trembling slightly and I glared at them as if they were the offenders, not me. Turning to the side, I vomited then got up realizing that there was no time to waste so I stumbled away. Nowhere seemed very friendly to me right now but my first thought, surprisingly, was that I wanted to see my Dad. Of course! Why hadn’t I thought of it sooner! Dad was a cop and he would help me. He was my own flesh and blood after all.

The sounds of the city soon reached my ears as I headed in that direction. Walking the back alleys for the second time in one day was a disorienting experience but I needed to evade detection from Flint in case he was still following me, although I thought that I had left a clear message with his buddy. I couldn’t even bear to think about that. Pushing that from my mind, I stepped out onto the sidewalk and hailed a taxi. The part time job I had allowed me to pay for the ride to the police station from my own pocket. A blue car flashed by and I stole a look at it. It pulled a U-turn and headed back towards us. The taxi driver jerked the wheel away and yelled “Watch where you’re going!” The man which I now recognized as Flint turned one more time and drove directly into the back half of the taxi where I was sitting then I thought no more.

A presence at the back of my mind seemed to pull me to it, but I struggled desperately yanking my soul away from this thing. Just as I was losing hope I heard a noise. Someone was crying? I blearily opened my eyes and tried to move them which ended up looking like a desperate twitch. My dad was on a chair beside me and bawling his eyes out like the day Mom died. He noticed that I was awake and stopped. “We got ‘em son.” He said. “The one that got the knife caught in his leg and the crazy car driver.” I wanted to tell him about my day so I opened my mouth but no sound came out. “You were in a really bad wreck but we got you to the hospital fast enough and you should live.” This time I knew he was lying. He said one thing but his eyes, puffy and filled with pain told me another. Since I couldn’t speak, I smiled at him, not only with my lips, as I so frequently had, but this time with my heart. I truly felt sad that it was at this time I had to leave him. Mouthing “I love you” as well as I possibly could, I finally gave in to the blackness and as it enveloped me I saw a glimmer of light that punched a hole in it. Heading there, I knew what my future would be. Do you?





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