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The Traveling Man

It's the roaring twenties and I am just a child. Well I'm told by grownups that I am, but really I'm fourteen. Summer time is so amazing in Ohio. The sunflowers bloomin’ on the side of the house compliments the mocha brown house paint. My mother wouldn't let me work at the local coal mine because it was a “man’s job”. My father and I both knew that that was no excuse. In fact, the only good that came out my jobless situation was the solitude. Sure, all my school mates made fun of me because of it, but they are the ones always getting sick. It was only midsummer and already the days are starting to blend together. All I enjoy doing in my free time is building miniature cars. Sure other kids think it’s dumb but who are they to judge?


It started off as a day the same as any other. I was working on this truck that had already consumed the first half of my summer when someone started knocking on my front door. It was too early for my parents to be home, so I was sure to check who it was before opening the door. A business man stood in front of my door. The brown business coat and brown dress pants made this man look official. I open the door and the man rudely barges into my house.


“Hello little mister, you may call me R.W. What is your name?” I heard what he said but all I could think about was his glasses. The thick brown frame held my attention like nothing else ever had. “Well sir my um, name is um, John-” “It's the glasses isn't it?” He interrupts. “Well um yes sir it is. I don't know why but there all I can think about.” I answer. “Well UM John I'll have you know that these aren't any normally pair of glasses.” He makes sure to mock my stuttering. “In fact these here are magic glasses.” “Mister I'm fourteen, I know that magic doesn't exist.” “Oh John you have much to learn. Even for a big bad fourteen year old you must believe there's some sort of magic in this world?” I don't like the way he said “this” world. What does he mean by that? “My parents told me there's no such thing as real magic. The only person that knows real magic is Jesus Christ our lord and savior.”


I felt good about my answer. “Oh dear John. Is it safe to say that you’re catholic? Oh what am I saying of course you are, look at ya. Well mannered, hair combed, shirt and pants pressed. You might as well be their poster child.” I've never heard that term either but I can tell the way he used it was not in a positive way. “ Would you like me to tell you more about these glasses or would you like to preach to me some more?” “I'm sorry sir, I do want to know more about them.” “These here glasses can take you to different places.” “What type of places?” I ask “Different worlds actually, you see there's these things called dimensions and their all different and unique.” This is hands down the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. But I want to believe him so bad, so I just nod my head in interest.


“You see all I have to do is close my eyes, take a deep breath and think really hard of a place I want to go to. Then when I open my eyes, I'm there.” Jesus, does this R.W. guy really believe that these glasses do all the stuff he said? “So what places have you been to?” I inquiry. “Oh son I've been to any place imaginable, and then some.” “Well mister R.W. I was wondering if maybe, well you know...” “Absolutely not. Someone with an absent religious tainted mind like yourself wouldn't know what to do with all this power.”


I don't care what he thinks. I will have those glasses. But how will I obtain them? I'm not very strong nor have I ever been in a fight. It doesn't help that he's an adult also. “Now John will you please point me in the direction of the bathroom, I must be leaving soon.” Now, now is my chance to get those glasses. I point down the hallway. The second he starts heading down the hallway I grab my Louisville Slugger. I figure I'll wait for him to start heading back into the room and strike him down when he turns the corner. The time it takes him to use the bathroom seems like a lifetime. I hear his footsteps start making there way back to me. I ready my bat to hit him somewhere in the chest. “O.K. kid its been nice talkin to ya but...”


I hit him in the dead center of his chest. While he's out cold I grab his glasses. He doesn't move at all except for his chest rising and lowering from his breathing. As I put the glasses on I start thinking of places I want to go to. Hawaii maybe, heck why not the moon. I close my eyes, take a deep breath and focus on the mental image of a beach in Hawaii.


A sharp pain takes form in my back. I open my eyes not to the beautiful beach I imagined, but instead the familiar house I've always lived in. Looking down I see what caused my pain, I had been stabbed. I look behind me to see R.W. laughing hysterically as he makes his way out of my house. Falling in whats developing into a pool of my own blood, I can only think of my family. Will they care that their son died or think “good riddance”. I start going in and out of consciousness. All the pain from my childhood and recent child like actions catch up to me in one sudden burst of emotion.


Five months in a coma feels like a quick nap. I awake to doctors and nurses panicking over my arrival back into the world of the living. They tell me I was lucky to survive, and that the blade I was stabbed with just barely missed any important body part. The R.W. guy was actually a murderer that lured teenagers such as myself in with false hopes of “place traveling” glasses.





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