It has been a very bad day.
If you are reading this, chances are, I’m probably dead. Sucking chest wound. Trying to make bleeding stop. I remember you. Cold, hard, unflinching, decisive, loyal, fair. Did everything that anyone asked. Not surprised on how things turned out. Now I lay here dying on the cold concrete floor in this dark, empty, windowless room. Quiet as a grave, smelling of damp towels. Grasping at its brick walls with bleeding fingernails, gasping for air with my face near a rat hole. Because of you.
There is no way out, the steel door has been cemented shut on the other side. Don’t know how long flashlight will remain working. I cannot help but to think of the events that brought me here. Back then I was so eager, so confident, so excited. Felt happy after the longest time. Felt like I could make a difference. So naïve. Little did I know of the world I was about to set foot in.
It was a blistering Thewsday in the City of Twilight. The kind of heat that melts patience, sparks road-rage, and turns the wheels of any parked car into a thick smouldering pile of black goo. I was working diligently in my office trying to type out my report for last weeks business transactions. The breeze through the open window twisting the blinds. My white-collar outfit stained by sweat. My business jacket hung on my brown leather chair as I rotated from side to side. Then suddenly she came through the door.
Her blond beehive hair, the overwhelming smell of cheap perfume enough to overpower my stink in the room, the red stiletto shoes and the red dress 2-sizes too small. I look up from my messy mahogany desk as she hobbled forward, reeking of arrogance. She was my boss. I get a reprimand. Last chance she says. Next time I’ll get fired she says. Don’t be late again she says. That’s what happens when someone steals your car, but she doesn’t care. I was lucky to get a sick day when Grandpa died.
After work the sun went down and the criminals came out to play. Funny thing about Twilight City, the days are hot and the nights are colder. With briefcase in hand, I walk to the subway, my breath silhouetted against the street lamps, my face huddled within my trench coat. The cracked sidewalk was littered with all kinds of filth. Ugly muggers. Cat burglars. Tourists.
Cult followers offer me love. Downtown love. Bayside love. But not real love. Real love in this city is like University student who’s never heard of Mac and cheese. No such thing.
The train doors hiss’ shut and I take my seat. Leaning my head against the glass window, a sigh escaped me.
“Hey buddy, you got a light?”
A large hooded stranger stands in front of me, something was odd about this person.
“Sorry I don’t smoke.” I replied. That’s when he pulled a gun on me.
How many times is this now? It’s almost routine for this kind of thing to happen. Nonchalantly putting my hands up, he fishes my wallet from my trench coat. Satisfied, he runs off a few compartments away, violence in his wake, remorse left in his other pants, and gets off at the next stop. I just got held up for 4 chips and a 50%-off coupon off any large pizza at Jax’Za’s pizza house. Justice is dead.
The train doors hiss open. It was my stop. Infuriated, I enter again in the cold night air. Finally this day is almost over. The sound of my chip loafers hitting the pavement steadily grew faster. In a few minutes, I’ll be home. No more boss, no more worrying about my car, no more getting mugged, just peace and quiet. It was never always like this, people being used to the criminals taking advantage of the average Joe. But somehow, subtly, I began to accept my circumstances. This was all about to change.
After getting to my apartment, I find that the door has been pried open, the place completely ransacked.
“No!” I said to myself. ‘You‘ve got to be joking!”
In a fit of rage, my briefcase flew across the room. The contents spilling once it hit the wall. Breathing heavily, the jacket I wore, the hat on my head, the Tie I had around my neck, everything that I was ended up on the floor beneath my foot. I’ve been taking this crap for too long, it’s time someone drew the line.
Passing through the maze of toppled drawers and furniture, I enter my room. There underneath my bed was the Louisville slugger. Thirty-three ounces of polished lumber. Vintage 1894 slice of the people’s dream. The standard for craftsmanship to the highest quality. I swing it around a few times. The air caved as the bat swung cleanly. Righteous strength engulfed my being as a chill ran down my spine. I was ready.
With nothing to wear besides tomorrow‘s work attire, I settle for my dyed pajamas and head for the streets itching for some action. Within minutes I hear the crunching of broken glass. I follow the sound to a dark abandoned alleyway. There in the shadows, three figures immerged out of a vandalized car. My car. “Hey, buddy, that better be your car!” I shouted. The figures slowly turn to my direction and that’s when I saw him. One of them, a short man with a curly moustache looked at me square in the eyes, madness behind them barely held in check. I was staring at the abyss, and it stared back. My baseball bat went sailing through the air and I hit him square at the side of the head. I got rid of the midget, the other two knew I meant business. Both men charge at me. The one under the hood with a crowbar and the other with only his mitts. I duck down, the crowbar harmlessly passing over my head while I jammed the butt of my baseball bat into the stomach of the other assailant. Ineffective. I guess Grandpa’s gun shop made me a better marksman than a batter. The thought was immediately replaced by a brisk pain on my upper shoulder from a sturdy metallic object. My knees hit the ground before I knew it, and then I ate the other guy’s boot. Right in the face. The pavement was unforgiving, crushed glass and gravel dug right into my cheeks. The crowbar came down on me like a hammer again and again and again. This isn’t fair, after everything I went through I can’t let it end like this. My blood drained on the sidewalk. Bad people doing bad things. The world started to spin. Unchecked and unrivalled by any other power. Am I so powerless to stop it? The unrelenting blows of the crowbar now joined by the blunt pain of bat hitting flesh. Why must people cause other people to suffer? Fatigue started to set in for the two as their wheezing echoed in the empty alleyway. There is no higher being to blame, no pariah to point the finger at. The two begin to laugh, pleased with what they have accomplished. There is only us. The sound of crunching glass drifts away. Everything went dark.
Dawn was within the horizon, it was a new day. Mustering all my strength, I pull myself up beside a dumpster. Too bruised and battered to stand I fall back down flat on my back. “What now?’ I asked myself. I felt like giving up. I can’t do this I thought, it’s just too much.
With a groan, I roll over to my belly.
“Sorry Grandpa, there’s nothing I can do.“
And then I saw it.
There underneath the dumpster was a strange trinket. A lug nut from some car’s tire, welded to a small metal hoop, attached to a keychain. It called out to me. With trembling hands I reach out and answer its plea.
A new sense of purpose suddenly swept away all the pain. I was back on my own two feet again. Looking towards the horizon once more, the orange tint beneath the clouds and the flock of birds sailing away, it seemed like the world wanted to give me a second chance. But can I try again? My thoughts drift back to a simpler happier time, back when I was a carefree child with no worries in the world. I once watched this goofy dog and his adventures on T.V. back in the day. I remember one episode he said “Success come’s in ‘cans’ not ‘can’ts’”. What was that dog’s name again? Ah yes, Blink. That’s a good name.
Work start’s in a few hours, I should get cleaned up and get ready. Tomorrow night it’s time to start in earnest.
I remember one episode he said "Success comes in cans, not cants". What was the dog`s name again? Ah yes, Blink. That`s a good name.
Last edited by Blink on Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:15 am, edited 7 times in total.