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Do You Have the Time?
You’ve never seen a gentleman sharper dressed than me. My tie, is eloquently knotted in a windsor, my pocket square perfectly folded, my shoes shined and my golden pocket watch glimmering in the moonlight.
Oh, and my knife, shimmery and sharp.
Sharper than you’ve ever seen a knife before. Sharp enough to carve a pencil. To shave a fly’s wing. Even to slice atoms. But neither flies nor atoms will be my focus tonight. Not when I arrive at the tracks and catch a glimpse of the three young men, and the girl, surely wandering where they don’t belong.
I watch from afar, cultivating my plan, hidden in the shadows, and I could hear them laughing. Their disgusting laughs, impossibly difficult to bear. I can hardly take it anymore. I won’t. I begin to walk over, without any attempt to stay secretive. The cool October night is strangely quiet. So quiet that you can hear the clock atop the church sing as it strikes midnight in the distance. The crisp fall leaves crunch underneath me. I think of my beautiful, black Italian leather shoes surely being horribly scuffed, but I keep walking. I keep walking until I approach them, sitting right by the tracks.
Oh, how awful they are. They reeked of the Devil’s drink. As I approached, they stared. The eyes of innocence, washed away within my gaze. They had confused, ugly looks on their faces. One of the three young gentleman, whom I believe goes by the name of Mike, puts his arm around the girl. Sarah.
Just as the calm after a storm, I ask, “Do you have the time?”
All eight eyeballs gaze at my left pocket where the watch is, then at each other, and back at me.
“Do you,” I repeat, “have the time?” Their eyes nervously examine mine, but I continue to stare straight into their souls. Their black souls.
The truth is, I knew the time.
Everyday. It was everyday that I would watch the clock strike 12:30 as my father would raise his hand to strike me after having consumed absurd amounts of alcohol. It didn’t matter. It’s not the time to think about my father.
I click back into reality as one of them stammers, “Uh, we don’t know what time it is, sorry.”
They start to walk away. How dare they. How dare they disrespect me. It won’t happen again.
I take a few steps forward, “Do you have the time?” My voice remains perfectly steady.
Without even facing me, I hear, “Check your watch, man.”
Before they could leave my sight, “SARAH.” The girl’s name thundered in a rasp from my body. They all turned. In horror, they stared.
“How the hell do you know my name?” she replied, frightened.
“What the hell is going on?” says the one who’s name I have not acquired. “Who are you?”
Mike speaks, almost as calm as I, his eyes still set on mine.
“Let’s get out of here, guys. Let’s go. Now.”
They quickly turn and begin to sprint. How foolish. It won’t do them any good. Not this fine evening. I begin walking leisurely through the forest, clearly the fastest route back to their vehicle. They seem to think their speed will give them the advantage. But I, I am brilliant. And there is no match to unadulterated brilliance.
They race towards the car in an otherwise empty parking lot. They think they have outrun me. How terribly mistaken they are. I emerge from the forest and charge towards the car, my eyes focused on the group. Tonight, their lack of sobriety will not be the cause of their reckless maneuvering. They notice me and begin to shriek.
“KEYS, GET THE KEYS, MIKE!”
They’re beating me. Sarah slams the last open door right as I arrive at the car. They begin to speed off as I chase after the car.
“DO YOU HAVE THE TIME?”
I knew the time.
Their vehicle gains more speed, but so do I. My confidence never wavers.
My plans never fail.
They speed recklessly through the quiet night, with me steadily on their tail. Over the bridge. Past the church.
Nearing the final stages of my plan, I gain more speed. I’m getting excited. I can feel the panic that explodes inside the car.
“MIKE, DRIVE FASTER!” screams Sarah, her voice cracking in anticipation.
Mike. Mike fixes his eyes on the road in front of him, and then on the rear view mirror, to look at me. I love when they look at me. He takes a sharp left, unaware that that was exactly what I wanted him to do. He doesn’t notice the sign.
The car operates at its maximum speed, as do I. In this case, machine is no match for man. From inside the car, I’m sure they can hear me laughing. I cackle as this beautiful night draws to a close.
My father would finally be proud.
Mike slams on the breaks, but there is no use. My laugh almost drowns out the sound of the car falling, falling, until it hits the ground, hundreds of feet below me.
DANGER- CLIFF AHEAD
As the smoke and smell of gasoline rises up to surround me, I think to myself and smile,
I didn’t even have to stain my knife.