Archive for short story

sneak peek: Live a little

The following entries were recorded from the diary of the late Donovan Jameson.

Wednesday, May 20 2009

My name is Donovan jameson. I find myself having to remind me of who I am. I know that I wrote that I’ve been lost before, that I don’t know who I am, but this is different. This is way different. Is it possible that…you could lose yourself so much that it becomes a reality, that you start actually losing your identity? Some weird things have been going on lately and…I just need to make sure, I need to have it written down that…that I am me. My name is Donovan Jameson. The past two weeks…The past two weeks have been scary.

Beer Money

Some people would argue that your childhood shapes your future. I don’t know whether it is because of it or despite of it that I am the person I am today.
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My father was an alcoholic, there is no other way to put it. I never met my mother. My father never talked about her, In fact he always got mad when I asked about her.
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My father took me out of school when I was only eleven. The next year, we migrated around the entire country with his friends going from bars to strip clubs, and casinos while I spent my days watching TV in his friend’s RV. I started working in my uncles garage when I was thirteen. At fifteen, I was making enough money to take care of myself. I stayed home to take care of my dad, which meant buying groceries and paying most of the utility bills.
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My father had a small job cleaning the toilets of the bars where he spent his entire life, but he had no commitments, he didn’t have to. When responsibilities came knocking at his doors he used to tell me in between beer heavy breath ” I’m not cut out for this, I was never suppose to have kids, ya know”. But there was one thing that he committed to, and that was to give me “allowance” every two weeks since my sixteenth birthday.
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On my sixteenth birthday, his friends and him dubbed me a man and they give me a shot of Sam Adams. I threw up almost immediately. They all laughed and I remember one of them saying that I would soon get used to it because I was my father’s son. I never got used to it.
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The next day, he gave me my first “allowance” and told me that he would continue to do so every other week. He was serious, almost diplomatic, when he pulled me over and sat me down. He said ” In our family, we have a tradition”. He emphasized on the words family and tradition. ” As a man, he continued, you are now a part of this tradition”. He paused to mark the gravity of this moment. ” I don’t have much, he mumbled scratching his head, but this is your beer money…buy enough to last you two weeks though”. He got up to leave and then turned around to say ” Don’t worry, I’ll give you some tips along the way”. He scratched the back of his pants and walked trough the door.
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The next time, he cried grown man tears when I tried explaining to him that I didn’t want to take his money. And that’s how it all started!
Every other Friday evening, he would proudly hand me beer money along with some advice to increase my alcohol tolerance. Strange enough, it was then that I bonded the most with my father, not because I was interested in what he was saying, but because he truly enjoyed talking about it. Even when I left the house, he still continued the tradition despite my plea. I never spent the money he gave me because I always thought that one day when he is dire need, it would come in handy. On my twenty first birthday, I decided to open my own garage. After the inauguration, I saw less and less of him. At some point, I only saw him on the Fridays when he would willingly leave his friends behind to catch up and give me some money.
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My father passed away when I was twenty six, just when I was getting used to seeing him on those Friday evenings. It was just when I was looking forward to the old man’s regular visit because that was the only time where he was my dad, where he was just mine. The day after his funeral, I decided to take the beer money that was in my saving account and spent it all so it would not remind me of him. I took a chance and bet all on the only roulette wheel at our local casinos where he was a regular. I bet it all on the number ten, to represent the ten years that he had been giving me beer money. I bet it all and won.
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I wonder if he knew it all along. My father always knew that I didn’t want to live the life he did, maybe that’s why he never asked me what I really did with the money he gave me, maybe that’s why he never talked about my mother because he knew it could break my heart. My father was an alcoholic, there is no way around it, but I would trade my millions for his Fridays evenings.

the couch

She came out of her room crying . I wonder how she ever found her way in the dark, and how she knew I was awake. She climbed on the couch, where I was sitting in front of the quiet color breathing TV. She pretended not to hear me tell her to go back to bed. She laid her head on my lap and fell asleep. she was three.

the next morning, she hurried to the couch where she left her backpack from studying the night before. she had a delicious wrap in one hand, and my mother’s mouth running in the back of her head. She was going to be late for school. She fixed her book on the couch where I was sitting. my father left the house first, he always grumpy in the morning. My mother followed him screaming one last thing as she walked out. She ran after her two minutes later. She waived at me and slammed the front door behind her

Later that evening, she stormed in through that door. she had that smile in her face. you know, the one that stains your mind for a while, like a pin on a small thread of your lifetime. She ran past me, and the couch, leaving a trail of joy behind. She ran to my parents, her diploma tucked under her arm. She ran through the house, my parents parading behind her. She ran to me and give me a quick, but rough hug.

The phone rang and rang that evening. I reached over, on the coffee table, in front of the couch, and I picked up the receiver. It was her, the most happy I’ve ever heard her. her words flowed like the fabric of time. She only stopped to giggled, then time stopped. she was telling me about her trip to Greece. It seems the flight alone was an adventure on it’s own. It seems the rest of her honeymoon promised to be nothing but amazing.

It seems that amazing is all she ever was. And I’m not just saying that because tonight she is sleeping over there, not too far away from the couch where I sit. Or because there is so much people gathered here in the living room. Or even that I don’t recognize most of them. My sister really is an amazing person. Even if she is not here to hear me say it. She has three kids. Her two sons are crying on her casket. The youngest is thirty years old, she has her eyes. I hold her in my arms; she tells me stories of her mother as she cries.

…and I cry too because this story isn’t about her.

The painting

The doctor’s office is a dark place and it’s not because of lighting issues. A warm smile is creepy, more so when it’s sincere. This is where I am, my prison of choice. It’s time like this when freedom doesn’t sound so rewarding. I start coughing. Ironically, I always get sick when I go to the doctors. It doesn’t help when others start coughing with me. I hold my breath until I can’t no longer, then I do it again, and again.

The room clears, and the creepy assistant lady tells me that I’ll be next. I freak out internally. She notices. She smiles and leaves. My blood pressure rises. I tell myself that it’ll be okay, that I’ll be okay. The tick tock of the clock frustrates me, it irritates me really. It isn’t safe to be alone….anywhere actually. I think of worst case scenarios, and think of best way to respond to them if they were to occur. Better safe than sorry, right?

I hear a distinct bang behind the doors where the scary doctors work. It sends a shiver crawling through my back. I rationalize it. A metal tool accidently fell on the ground. It happens. I breathe a little harder. I look up at the white wall to try and focus on something else. It’s then that I notice a painting.

I wonder how I could have ever missed those gold frames. The painting itself was quite simple. It was that of little girl in a field, a golden crop field that seemingly blended with the frames. The girl stood there in her white pajamas, the wind singing through her hair. She had vibrant dark hair. It had life on its own. The crops bent back, resisting the wind. The sky, in contrast, was lazy blue, like those days that take forever to start. There weren’t too many clouds but if you squint hard enough, you can barely see a flock of birds heading home. The girl stood there, centered on the left of the painting, her arms raised mimicking a scarecrow. She seems to be having the time of her life, a large smile plastered on her face.

My mind goes there. For once, I forget how creepy I thought this place was. And when the assistant comes back, I return her smile. She tells me that the doctor is ready to see me. I follow her, glancing back at the painting. The doctor’s office is prettier than I expected it. He gets up and closes the door behind me. He locks it. From behind his back, he pulls out a giant jagged edge sword with blood and hair still on it. He smiles and says “you’re next!”

Pawn

It was the third hour of midnight when the eeriness of the wolves’ cry had become soothing. They tiptoed passed the sleepy eyes of the once menacing woods. The obnoxious moon simply watched. They snuck into the skeleton of a once proud structure. It was almost time to play the game.

Little Ricky was afraid. It had much to do with the fact that he was the youngest. It had more to do with the fact that he may only play the game once.  The boys laid their backpack on the nude soil that already showed signs of swallowing the old house. In their bags, they pulled out metal death. The game was about to begin.

They dipped their small hands in the can of fresh painting, without saying a word. They were so focused, and their thoughts were so loud. Each reciting the future as it’s supposed to happen. Each knowing well that it might not happen at all. They painted their faces with dark stripes, each line a stronger conviction. It was time!

Little Ricky was five. Him and the other boys circled around Michael, who in contrast was ten. A foggy cloud followed after every word he spoke. It was cold. The rules were simple. Everyone knew them; it wasn’t rocket science after all. They plagued their minds ever since they knew about the game. The first rule was this, “last man standing wins”. The second and last rule, at the moment, was the most frightening of them all.

They waited, uncomfortably, while the boy talked- irrelevant wordage. Michael was afraid. He scouted the ruins for a vintage point because he too was aware of the rules. The second rule was this, “as soon as the oldest was done with the introduction, they had 10 seconds to find cover and begin” His words became like tiny grains of sand of an hour glass, until the last grain dropped. Little Ricky ran, his heart first, the death bringer dragging behind. He found a huge pillar, and hugged it with every inch of his body.

Short, muffled silence, then bullets rained from hell, whispering profanity as they went by. He felt the heat coming out of his agitated body, and sweat pored out just as fast as his tears. He quickly peeked and saw the bullets ravage another boy not too far from him, his blood running away from his empty body. Now it was horror creeping into his chest. He lifted the gun, and blind fired, the recoil knocking him away. He quickly ran back, leaving the weapon behind. He heard screaming. Screaming! Loud, tear jerking screams. The he heard some more, and realized that he was not having fun. But the crepitating bullets crept closer slowly nibbling away the pillar he once thought safe. He plugged his ears with his small hands, trying to keep the demons away.

Then he remembered, his hands quickly fiddling about, looking for something. He was trembling all over, making it all the more difficult to reach in his pocket. Making it all the more difficult to realize his enemies desperately changing cover. Then he felt the roundness of the metal in his pocket, and pulled it out. A grenade, He had brought a bomb, A heavy round metal that he held with two hands. He felt the bullets wining over his sanity and he swore he heard footsteps among the chaos. So he got up and pulled the pin.

The grenade flew, and then dove; it rolled, and stopped. The guns bowed and paused their singing. Kaboom! said the dot on the floor with a trillion exclamation points. The old house shook, vomiting rubbles when it stopped.

A small struggle, and little Ricky pushed the small fragments of concrete off him. He was grey, dusty grey. He looked around him, and listened. He heard nothing, he saw plenty. Millions of small body parts scrambled all over, blood red contrasting with the grayish-green concrete. Little Ricky looked around once more. He realized that he was alone. He reached over and grabbed his gun; he got up, shook the dirt off him, lifted the weapon in the air and screamed “I win!”

How I create my paintings.

You want to know how I create them?…what inspires me?  Isn’t it obvious through my paintings? Rhetorical question, he thought as he lowered his head listening to the lady’s reply.  No, I’m inspired by concepts, by life and, of course, by Death itself, he enumerated interrupting the disappointed reporter. He hurried to the next one by calling his name aloud and searching for a “John”-like face in the crowd. “John” he repeated as the gentleman stood up and introduced himself.

He hated press conferences. It was becoming a routine; different façade of the same questions. The critics were the same. “Yet another masterpiece!” He read it so many times in their boring headlines. The word masterpiece should be banished as too much cliché, he thought as the magazines vanished timidly in his cozy fireplace.

“Let me first say that I’m a fan of your work, said a humbled John, and I’ve notice that you use a wide variety of texture materials in your painting; can you elaborate on that for us?”

“Do you also want me to explain every stroke, every emotion and meaning that goes into my work? Is that what you want john? He stormed

“No, I…”

“Well I’ll show you, I don’t mind, I’ll show you!”

It’s been a couple of weeks since the incident. The media called it “a meltdown”, “a stroke of age”, “ looney old phooey”, and the prints went one. He had never been more discussed in his career. The gallery was packed that day, the journalists and their likes having settled in the very front for an exclusive take on the mastermind behind the painter’s work.

The gallery was freshly renovated to celebrate his own creations and that of many famous artists. The whole room was lit up by long rectangular acrylic lights that emitted a bright yet smooth bluish white glow. The walls were beige with regular size chinese letters written all over. Amazing, considering the fact that it was the entire novel of the late Lao Bei Fong. This alone set a calm, soothing atmosphere.

The painter walked in carrying his tools. He was rather serious and unimpressed by the commotion that started once he got in the room. He stood in front of a gold painting frame with a faded dark canvas, just as he had asked for. The frame was already attached to the wall where it will remain.

He stood quietly starring at the empty frame. A nervous young man provided him with a small stool. He didn’t bother to thank him; he waited until he left and got on. He started from the top, on the dark background. The room choked on its own silence. Occasionally, an uncomfortable noise would escape, but for the most part all was quiet. The painter was focused; he could do this in his sleep. He wasn’t quiet because he was concentrating; he was quiet because he was mad. Angry that he should break his “masterpiece” into step by step instructions so that people could fully understand him. He was upset that he was the puppet of his own show, like an entertainer on stage. And mostly offended that people don’t take the time to dissect his art and appreciate its meaning before tumbling at his door for an interpretation.

He used different materials to create a popping out effects. He was drawing a night shot of a busy wide street viewed from above. Part of a tall glass building was visible on the left corner to create the allusion of height.

The faces in the room were either amazed at time, tired, or indifferent. The painter looked at his work, looked at his dirty hands and considered the energy he had just wasted. He turned back and looked at the crowd.

Everyone got up from their seats and the room roared witch excitement and cheers.

“Be quiet!” he urged. I’m not done! He said leaning forward with a dumb expression on his face.”This is only the background!” Faced with this blatant ignorance he thought of leaving. “This painting has no meaning, he said pointing to what he had just done; it means nothing! Not to me at least! What does this mean to you? The room remained quiet.

He hurried over to his audience, found a boy around five year old and grabbed him by the neck. Everyone held their breath in shock. He lifted him off the ground, his hands and legs dangling about. A few people thinking he had lost his mind, tried to come close enough to help the boy. “Stand back” he yelled. He approached his painting, the poor boy now red trying helplessly to free himself. The Painter now directly in front of the canvas leaned slightly back and using the momentum and his body strength slammed the boy into the painting. The boy was captured perfectly in the painting, his horrified face, his eyes embedded with fear, his hands and legs reaching. The painting had now become a terrified boy falling from the top of a building onto a busy wide street. It was madly realistic!

The room stood petrified. The painter took his tools and disappeared as the door closed behind him.

Unmovable

“Come see! Hurry! Come see!” shouted the skinny boy to his friend, panting and puffing, “you have got to see her!” “Who?” said the chubby boy as he hurried behind his friend. “It must have been thirty minutes ago,” he explained, as he kept on walking, “I was just on the swing and there she was. “She was crying, so I decided to ask her what was wrong…”

By the time the two boys got to her at least a dozen people had surrounded her, curious yet amazed at what they were witnessing. To them it was more than just a sunny ordinary day at the park; this strange girl had caught their attention.

She was a heathy yet thin girl, probably around thirteen years old. She was tall for her age. Her straight blond hair covered her face and fell down all the way to her back. She was wearing a baby blue with white flower print dress that barely covered her knees. Her bare toes cringed with pain. She was sitting on the ground, near a grey bench, her head on her knees, and cuddled up on herself. She was crying.

“… I tapped her on the back to get her attention,” resumed the scrawny boy, but she didn’t even lift her head.” “I tried to gently shake her, but she wouldn’t move! I tried again, but she wouldn’t budge! It was as if I was trying to push a brick wall!” “Wow!” exclaimed the heavy boy as he looked towards the strange girl. “So I ran to my dad,” continued the skinny boy, “and told him the story.”

“I knew he wouldn’t believe me, so I dragged him against his will. He wanted to leave her alone, but I insisted. He tried talking to her, but she said nothing. So to prove my point, I put my hands on her shoulder and leaned my body on her so that I can use all of my strength to push her. Nothing happened. My dad was shocked at what I was doing, I could tell. He firmly grabbed me and severely told me to stop, but curiosity had already gotten the better of him. He looked around to make sure that no one was looking and he hesitated. He extended his arms and gently tried to shake the blond girl. He quickly pulled his hands and gasped when he realized that he couldn’t move her.” “She’s unmovable!” concluded the skinny boy, “try for yourself!”

****

A multitude of unsatisfied eyes gawked at the mysterious girl. One after another, the witnesses approached her to challenge the myth of the unmovable girl only to be left in awe. A mutter rose among them and fluttered as opinions intermingled with shrieks and laughter.

“She’s prolly a robot,” said an old filthy-looking man

“No,” replied the lady next to him, “she feels like a human”

“It’s technology! Don’t you know anything! Well, I’ve seen it all!” said the old man and he walked away.

The crowd grew bigger and bigger as the local news staff was getting ready to broadcast this amazing story. News reporter Tara Biggs spotted a nice young man, overly excited and sweating heavily; she snatched him for a few questions.

“Hi, I’m with the local news, channel 6; I…”

“I have never seen anything like this! She is beyond this world!”

“Tell me, what makes her so remarkable?”

“Ya can’t move her.”

“What?”

“Ya can’t move her!…We’ve tried everything!”

“What do you mean?”

“My buddy Sean tried to launch himself at her, but he ended up hurting himself.  We even made the biggest human train to try and push her, but…”

A horrible scream ripped through the silent murmur of the crowd. Then a sudden rumbling noise as the crowd spread away from the little girl. As they ran, some tumbled, some clenched to others, some carried others, and others were stepped on. The reason: the girl stood up.

She looked around a bit confused and still sniffling, barely opening her eyes as if her eyelids were too heavy. She wiped her last tears on her sleeve, sniffled, and stared back at them. Everyone was on full alert.

Tara Biggs made her way through the crowd, caught in her own dilemma, her fears or this unique career opportunity. She chose her career. Keeping a safe distant, she screamed at the little girl, “Can you speak at all?”

She nodded her head shyly, still not understanding what was going on around her.

“Why were you crying?” continued the reporter

“Well, she hesitated, my…

“Why can’t you move?” screamed a random voice in the crowd

“I can move!” said the little girl,excitedly, as she took a step forward.

Tara bravely walked all the way up to the little girl as the crowd watched her closely.  As she bent down to her level to talk to her, she put her hand on her shoulder. It was then that she noticed a strange stiffness about the blond girl who looked at her waiting to hear what she was going to say. Instead she turned around to face her camera crew and signaled them with a waive of the hand to come to her. It was as if she was talking to the whole crowd because everyone started walking towards her.

The crowd animated itself around the girl. There were probing questions, there was excitement, but as soon as there was a sense of security, the pushing started anew. The little girl stood still as they tried.

“Good afternoon, everyone. I’m Tara Biggs. It is the 10th of July. I’m standing in Hampston Park, where we may have found the most peculiar girl.

Around 4:30 this afternoon, we received a call at the station about a girl that was described as ‘unmovable’! Yes, that’s right folks, unmovable! We are now…”

The sound of a roaring bulldozer caught the attention of everyone as they kept quiet for a moment. Soon after the mumbling rose again as they came to realize what the old farmer was about to attempt. Once again questions intermingled with opinions, worries, and excitement

“Is he crazy? I think he’s crazy!”

“Do you think it’ll push her…or even kill her?”

“Ha ha ! He brought his bulldozer. Farmer Joe, you son of a gun!”

The crowd parted to let the bulldozer pass. The little girl stood still as the metallic monster came closer and closer.

Some were opposed, but mostly everyone wanted to see the outcome of the girl versus the bulldozer. The setting was that of a faceoff. The strange girl watched as the bulldozer advanced slowly toward her. Only when it was a couple of inches away did she scream, “Stop!”

The heavy tractor came to a full stop with a loud noise and dust filled the air. The blond girl was visibly upset. Warm tears ran down from her green eyes. She waited until the dust had settled then she spoke with a kind of emotion that transcended her age, her being.

“Why can’t a pretty flower be pretty along side of a road? Why should you cut it into a bouquet? Why can’t a majestic lion be majestic in the savanna? Why should he furnish your zoo? Tell me! Why? If it’s SO beautiful should you exploit its essence?”

She cooled down a bit, sniffled, and calmly said, “And… even though I transgress your reality, your laws and your common sense, why can’t I just be… unmovable?

The dispenser!

In Ronia life is quite different then ours. In fact, the inhabitants are all made of glass and have a particular bubbly shape. There are filled with a red liquid which could clearly be seen through their transparent body. It had been raining lately, a faint yet lingering rain; the type that gives the worst cold. It was a somber day, and despite the rain no one was in a rush to get home. They walked slowly like zombies in an old flick. They walked passed each other on the sidewalk, all with the same worn and sad face.

But on that day Toodles didn’t feel like the others, he was in a hurry. He wanted to go home to his lover, to her warmth. He made his way through the crowd of monotony as fast as he could. He hated being away from home on those blue days; he would rather spend it cuddling with his other half, but duty called and he had to go to work. He was lost in thoughts, so much that he accidently bumped into a rather grumpy and hideous character.

 He immediately apologized frenetically as he reached to make sure that his “victim” was alright, but instead the Ronian violently grabbed him and pushed him on the floor. He mounted him and started punching him as hard as he could. A crowed formed around them as they watched him get brutalized. He was screaming for help, but no one dared interfere with the ferocious brute that kept on slamming his fist on his round shaped head. Suddenly there was a commotion in the crow, and two large law enforcers made their way through the thick gathering. They were appalled by the fact that no one tried to stop the fighting. So they pushed some on the ground when they felt it was necessary to quickly stop the brutality, but when they got to the scene, they froze. An expression of horror lit up their faces.

Toddles laid their motionless, his eyes and mouth wide open as if Death surprised him. His face was cracked and the red liquid had spilled on the floor. The liquid made its way slithering through the brownish soil. When it reached a second layer it had lost its color. The sand like soil separated the impurity from the liquid as it flowed silently through. After one last layer, the liquid was transformed into pure water and fell in a huge container of water. The container resembled a huge transparent fish tank.

 A huge red hand grabbed a glass and pushed it against a lever placed at the bottom on the exterior of the tank, then water pour out of an attached water spout and into the glass. The red giant creature drank the whole glass of water in one big gulp. He had long horns and a pointy tail. He laid back in his throne and let out a resonant and terrifying laugh

The backyard

It was a hot  summer day. The boys and the girls all wore swimsuits and swim shorts. Donovan was so happy to have all of his friends in his backyard. Some were playing in the playhouse, and others were making a mess in the small inflated pool. After chasing Margaret and Lowie all over the backyard, everyone wanted to play Marco-Polo. Unfortunately, Natalie had to go because her dad was going to take her shopping for an upcoming trip. After getting tired from Marco- Polo, Donovan’s mom opened the sprinklers, and the running and screaming started anew. They had so much fun that the parents didn’t bother telling them to keep it quiet. As they were playing, however, Russell fell and hurt himself. Donovan’s mom helped treat him with some bandages, but he wouldn’t stop crying and finally she decided that she was going to personally take him home. His cousin Ricky decided to go with him as well. Donovan went inside to get his favorite toys and laid them down on the ground to play with his two best friends Lowie and jumbo (a nickname that stuck with him because he was heavy in nature). They were lost in the world that they created while the other kids ran around the playhouse energetically. Later on, Chrystelle’s mom came to pick her up so that she could get ready for her ballet class. Not long after Margaret’s mom started yelling her name. Apparently, she had told her to play in her own backyard, but she didn’t listen. The boys continued to have fun with their toy soldiers and action figures until it was time to eat. One after another, the kids left; some left one their own, other’s parents yelled out their name and they ran home. Even Jumbo had to leave. Lowie stayed half an hour later, but he was hungry as well. He said goodbye to Donovan and his mom and promised to come back later. Donovan remained on the grass playing with is toys, until he finally grasp the idea that he was all alone. The playhouse was empty; the inflated pool was as good as empty; and the backyard was quiet. He sat there and realized that nothing was as fun anymore now that everyone was gone; even his favorite toys didn’t interest him. He had already missed his friends and wanted them all to be back here. As he sat there all alone thinking, a man wearing a sharp business suit walked towards him. He had no idea who the stranger was. “They left you, didn’t they” the stranger asked. Donovan simply nodded his head. The man asked him for his name, and he said that it was Donovan. The stranger looked surprised and said “you know, that’s my name as well”. The boy smiled at him. “Is that General Green?” said the stranger with excitement in his eyes, “he used to be my favorite action figure!” The boy quickly replied that it was his as well as he handed him his precious toy. The man looked at the toy with a child-like admiration. “Where are your friends” asked the boy to which the man sadly replied “they left me too”. Then time stopped, and the man sat down on the wet floor and played with the boy.

Hitched

 

He hauled the heavy luggage all the way to the grayish taxi. It was late in the evening and the sun was slowly setting so the warmth of the day was shyly fading away. The taxi driver was a heavy man with an animate belly. He seemed lazy but kind. He slowly walked over to the boy and helped him put his baggage in the trunk of the car, then he slowly open his door and sat down loudly behind the wheels. Donnie took a deep breath and looked at his family standing in front of the somber house. There were no emotions in his face; he waived at them, and climbed the taxi without waiting for a response. He politely sat in the car as he would in a classroom, his hands joint on his laps.

The engine hesitantly started and the car jerked as it started moving. The twelve year old sat still and silently for a while as if repeating to himself not to look back, but a single tear felt from his left eye. He made a sudden move, climbed on the seat and stood on his knees as he looked backwards. The driver glanced at him, but retired to the ongoing traffic.

The yellow lines followed one another as if to point to where he came from. He saw his house waiving at him, he saw his bed running after the old car trying to catch up. He saw his best friend through the right window skateboarding along side the cab and wondered how he was able to keep up. He saw a never ending pool on the left window and his sisters swimming in it. He grabbed his head and told himself to stop. Stop! He urged.

-what here? asked the confused driver

-no, no…not you!

The driver looked at the boy through the rearview mirror. Donnie still had his hands on his head; he was struggling, fighting himself. He gave in once more and looked at the back window. He saw Elisa blowing his first kiss at him; he saw the dogs chasing after it; He saw his grand parents calling them out. He saw summer intermingling with winter; he saw an empty tree on Christmas. He saw the spots where he used to play hide and go seek. He saw coconut trees; he saw the sparkling blue ocean, and the smell filled the worn out taxi. He saw the rain chasing after the taxi; he saw his dad running for cover, and his mom yelling to close the curtains. He saw…he jerked frantically when he a heard a voice behind him.

-…I said, you must really miss them, don’t you? Repeated the driver

The boy hesitates as if to fully understand the question, then he bowed his head and chose not to answer. The driver glanced at him and said nothing.

The taxi slowly but surely made its way through the busy evening traffic. The sun had set and the city lit up. The boy stared blankly at the floor. He thought to himself that he won’t look back anymore, that he’ll forget about the past and focus on the future. So he lifted his head, looked through the windshield and saw…nothing! A shiver ran through his whole body and he froze.

The last chapter

He looked through the window. It was raining. It was his favorite time to write. He had been working on this novel for a while. He had the writer’s block for weeks now and has been depressed since. But the lazy rain drops on his window surfaced a burning desire to write; he was inspired. He pushed the curtains aside to let the amazing view peek through and ran to his desk. He pulled out his paper novel. He likes to write his stories by hand which infuriated his publisher, but he was a damn good writer, so his way prevailed. He took a deep breath, and plunged into the world that he created.

She slammed the door behind her. It was pouring outside to the like that she had never seen before, but she didn’t care. She was fed up with her family, with everything. She felt trapped in the turmoil called life. Constant arguments, broken dreams, never-ending problems plagued her mind. If it wasn’t one issue, it was the next, like a recycling system that never fails. She ran in the rain blinded by its thickness. She ran just to run as if she could escape her reality. She ran, but in vain. Like a cloud above her, her problems followed her shouting and screaming in her head. And she collapsed. She felt to her knees and cried. She cried bitterness; she cried anger, and she yelled and cursed the sky and all that cowered in its kingdom. And her tears were as thick as the rain drops when they melt on the ground. She was soaked, weary, and alone like a lost soul in a desert. And she thought to herself that her whole life as been a tragedy, like a forced accident, that all of her efforts have been vain, that maybe it was better to quit now instead of hoping to change a future she already knows. So she dragged herself a bit further to a nearby active street and waited. It was impossible to see, she thought as she lay there, and she cried in anticipation of her own demise. But there were no blinding lights, no screeching tires, and no red wine on the pavement; it was just her. And even the rain shyly faded like a mean joke. But her feeling hadn’t fade, her anger still remained. It was now drizzling, the rain drop danced on the pavement as if to mock her. So she got up resigned to a life that she swore wasn’t hers, but as she was leaving, a particular sign caught her attention. She wasn’t where she thought she was, the name of the street she was in was ‘destiny”. She looked around to realize that she was lost. And she was instantly struck by a new conviction, she was hit by a strong realization that she was in control of her life, of her destiny. So she ran, in the rain, she ran. For everything she knew, she ran. And surely she arrived at this beautiful house; the path that she was now convinced she had to take, like an impulse that was greater than raison itself. So she pushed the first door open; she barged in the second door, stood still at the last door and…

The writer stopped and remained silent. He smirked at his own fear, at his own “geniusness”. He took a deep breath and plunged back in.

And she shivered at a last thought, but her anger rose once more and conquered her fears. She had been through the worst, met pain too many times, and her tears are the scars she always wears. Her memories raged inside of her, dwelled in her eyes, in her mind, so she gathered her strength and kicked the door open…

The writer fell off his chair and screamed as he crawled backwards. His door just opened and a lady walked in soaking wet. She stared at him with menacing eyes. He saw hell through them and screamed even louder. But the lady simply walked to his desk, took his paper novel, and walked away.

The end