Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Without Destination

(Here are the first couple of pages of a story I just handed in for one of my classes...enjoy)

     The moon flitted between wispy clouds, bouncing beams of light between branches to reflect off smooth concrete and smoother sheets of water pooled near the edges of the recently watered yard. A lone cricket chirped softly somewhere through the semi-darkness, the last of his kind still awake at this late hour. A soft breeze rustled the leaves in a tree and scooted a handful of recently fallen leaves, scraping them across the sidewalk and then plopping them into a puddle with a splashless circling of ripples. Blue black shadows of rose bushes bowed in the breeze as if shrugging off the sudden chill. The night was calm and peaceful and beautiful.

      David didn’t notice any of it. All he heard was the blood pumping in his ears and the wind rushing by as he raced down the street. All he saw was the blurry outline of the street ahead and his hands as they occasionally came to his face to wipe the tears away. He regretted now more than ever that his family had moved here. Here to this isolated lot in a new subdivision. The first home in the area. The only people for miles. Their house was beautiful and the neighborhood would soon fill with great neighbors and new kids for him to play with. But all he could see now was the endless emptiness stretching out before him.

      His feet pounded robotically against the concrete of the sidewalk then onto the asphalt as the sidewalk ended and the world turned into a snake of smooth black roads running between flattened hills of cool brown earth.

      His chest burned with each breath. He was the fastest fifth grader at the 100 yard dash in Stoneman Elementary. His teacher told him he was probably the fastest in the district but they wouldn’t know until next week. He loved running around the schoolyard playing tag with his friends. He pictured the bouncing pigtails of Susie Tomlinson sprinting away ahead of him. He always liked letting her think she was going to get away by slowing down as he neared and then pushing on with a sudden sprint of energy. It drove her crazy and she always screamed about the injustice of it while he just laughed and raced away.

      But he had long since passed 100 yards and even on the schoolyard he stopped for a breather. But now he didn’t dare stop. He didn’t even dare slow down to glance over his shoulder to where he had come. Pushing through the pain and the strain, he focused on the small shapes in the distance ahead of him, putting all other thoughts out of his mind.

      All he could do was run.

      And run.

      And run.

      And this time, he couldn’t call no touchbacks.

      This time, he had to make it without being tagged.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"All he could do was run.

And run.

And run.

And this time, he couldn’t call no touchbacks.

This time, he had to make it without being tagged."--I love the momentum of this part. An excellent piece! Bravo.

Ever Yours,
Clayrn Darrow