Sorry Tomorrow- Part 1

GeorgeCant94 By GeorgeCant94, 8th Aug 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

Part 1 of a short story, soon to be continued in future posts.

Part 1

Flashing bursts crippled the rains momentum. Eating dinner alone, I deduced I would undress the table, flee to the basement and hide for some time, rolling myself into a tablecloth cigarette and squeezing the candlesticks nervously like it was dynamite, while sweat droplets slipped awkwardly from my brow.
The city I called home had rapidly become a calculated metropolis. People in their early 20s should not remember a time when a field lay where there is now the weeping chrome remnants of a computer programming facility, which itself previously hosted the bull fights encouraged by the owners of what had been the nation’s largest steakhouse. That field had the best ice cream stand.
My name is Calvin, I am heavy of heart and struggling to adapt; my basement is now home to the only other dimension I believe exists.
It all started 1 month ago tomorrow. My friend Stan and I were closer than ever before to finally asking the two girls from the airport convenience store to go out with us. Stan was the kind of guy who could be anything he wanted to be; mysteriously talented; excitingly well-educated; laconically handsome. He strongly resisted the attention he so unsparingly magnetised- he was modest to the point of denial. He worked as an on/off bus driver to be close to home and take care of his parents, and I didn’t know what was more tragic, their arresting illness or him wasting the potential to leave this place behind. 3 months since I first heard these girls (whose names were Danni and Jenna) talking about their longing for ‘a good man’, I now found myself knee deep in a whirlpool of lies that I could not reconcile; I took my persistence as a sign that this could be the real thing for me.
“Yes, yes Vancouver”, sighed Stan.
“I mean, as great as that hotel was, I couldn’t help shake the feeling that, oh, I don’t know…” I was grasping for air.
“We missed you here”, Stan offered.
Danni was the girl who had caught my eye first, and how was I know what would become of us? I’d unwittingly formulated a lie, and that lie now served as the basis for a relationship with the woman who now carries my child. That day I first saw her, quietly nudging to get past me as I stood in the middle of the cereal aisle unaware of her presence, something struck me. She was polite, respectful. Obviously not from this town. Her hair seemed to juxtapose the rhythm of her movements and her eyes never quite seemed to concentrate, but always wanted to.
“So what do a couple of high rollers like you two do for fun?” Danni imposed.
“We like that movie place, the movie place with the neon, the curtains, you know?” Jenna cautiously remarked.
We danced around the idea with no urgency and it fit, they might have thought we had a flight to catch, but they never prompted our exit, and we always selflessly found time to fit them in to our busy transatlantic schedule.
Jenna wasn’t part of my plan. She bore no resemblance to a mature adult, her beauty was skin deep and she smelled like cinnamon. I am allergic to cinnamon. I was certain that she was in love with Stan and this was my way in. Having spied his faultless suit one afternoon, she mistook him for an international businessman- he’d actually been picking up his aunt for a family funeral. They hit it off, well, she hit it off, Stan existed in the vicinity, and he went from buying a pack of cigarettes to picking up a really toxic habit- lying. The story was we worked across the globe meeting important people, seeing important things, taking important breaths, always managing to see them in the store before and after flights. It was my idea, and despite being vague and transparent, I sensed it didn’t even matter.
“I think… Sunday, yes Sunday- 3 days in London” I said.
“Wow, I always see the people rushing around this town, imagine what it’s like in London…” Danni wondered.
“Probably want to leave as well, aren’t we all looking out our windows to some other place?” said Stan.
We all agreed, though Jenna clearly had no grasp of the conversation past Stan’s ethereal cheekbones.
That Tuesday we all met at said ‘movie place’. Stan and I descended innumerable steps to get to this part of town, under the watchful eyes of dozens of openly tiered parking lots, desperately awkward apartment buildings and heavy neon entertainment complexes. Typically blinding and oddly exhilarating was this walk- all the apartments were lit up to appear occupied for fear of intruders, and apparently people used the same logic with their cars. It wasn’t that this city never sleeps, it was that it couldn’t. It lay restless, staring to the sky and dreaming of a better future.
We approached and saw our dates outstretching arms and flashing enthused smiles like they were playing princess meets prince charming in the courtyard besides the movie theater. Unfortunately, we were stood 20 feet away, perpendicular to their line of vision. A cocky, creepy, probably crazy young con artist in an overbearing pin stripe fedora was wrapping coloured string around their arms to make a bracelet and constantly reminding them: ‘you’re beautiful’, ‘this is for friendship’, and ‘you pay what you want’. The man had long black hair and whispered sweet nothings to himself while intricately tying knots. Before we’d invaded the background of this brutally maniacal scene, an older man with no hair but a flowing white beard demanded payment, and several men emerged from a brightly lit van. I knew I couldn’t blame the girl’s naivety, but I felt maybe I should. I also knew we rich international businessmen were actually poor bus drivers borrowing their dad’s suits for the night. The vans lights dimmed.
“Oh, Calvin, would you mind?” Danni slurred, overcome with fear but maintaining a level of grace that pleasingly wandered into my flattering perception of her.
“They’re international businessmen, please, they’ll pay you” Jenna offered to the old man, as if proudly willing her children to perform their new ballet recital.
In all honesty, the bracelets were impressive. Red, white and green, they clung to the arm without rigidity and were so intricately knotted and looped they gave the impression of animation. I would have paid a small fee had they been genuine entrepeneurs.
“I dig your glasses” beamed the young boy.
“Will they suffice as payment?” I joked, but wasn’t really joking.
“You’re funny you know. We just want to leave here, we don’t want drugs or whatever. A second chance.” He whispered, deflecting his voice from the gaze of his elders.
“What happened to your first chance?” Stan wondered.
The young boy seized up, fraternized us with his cross-eyed stare, and pointed to the van.
The girls were restless and confused, Jenna squealed at Danni to let them leave, and I saw Danni pointing to the bracelet and looking on with guilt as we were led to the van. The sunset descending into infinity was just as startled as we were; I felt as much a stranger to this place as Danni (I found out on our pre-date phone call she came from San Diego). As far as I managed to flee this town, I always had the feeling I was driving the last mile back home.
The old man with the beard stole my wallet, gave the guys in front directions to my place and lay with us in the back of the van, maternally nursing a rifle. We saw the girls hail a taxi. They jumped in like startled deer and the taxi promptly meandered off with none of the urgency our beloved deer had shown.
I wasn’t the guy in the playground starting fights, I wouldn’t watch them, think about them- for long I didn’t really know what they looked like. Then one day, Stan and I, care-free 8 year olds watching cowboy movies in his room, were disrupted by two murders. What comes back to me most is sitting on his windowsill, looking at helicopters flying over the city faraway and talking to Stan about the freedom that particular form of transport would give. Stan’s sister had been shot dead flush in the middle of the front lawn, Stan’s father shot the assassin, who’d tripped on his shoelace twice trying to run away down some weary, colloquial alley across the street. A mental snapshot of that event would forever walk with us, waking us in the morning, eating lunch by our side each day, tucking us in at night. Stan never gave anything away from that moment, forever reminding us that it is rude to talk about yourself, and passing the buck to those less modest and more fulfilled by others curiosity.
We sat in the van staring at a weapon with such length and imposing structure it was almost laughable in this enclosed space. The old man lapped up empty conversation with us like water from the fountain of youth. His reactions were jerky and uncontrolled, rifle wobbling and beard gestating with unabashed chaos, as he discussed finally seeing a new side to life and leaving this place after 60 years of suffering. I sensed this wasn’t his first time shooting the breeze with hostages, and it probably wouldn’t be his last.
Stan was let out of the van first, followed by the old man, followed by me. I didn’t think of my house being excavated for anything of value, of which there was precious little. I didn’t think of the desperation I should have felt that someone might come help. I thought only of that taxi and its traumatised occupants, and how it seemed to have precisely no motivation to get out of there with any kind of speed. I usually feared for a lot that concerned myself, today however, I feared for Danni. It was liberating.
“Stan what do we do?” I pleaded.
“The girls will give us another chance” Stan said, feeding me hope with a shovel.
It concerned me his mind was also elsewhere- I’m the daydreamer.
My house lay in a remote area toward the precipice of the hill that swallowed our city whole. The only witnesses to our murder up here would be a ground hog beside the road that perpetually stared in through my window, and several fearless deer that wandered the streets and back alleys at night. I unlocked the front door, the handle was cold and rougher to touch than I had remembered; blood leaked from my palm. All I could hear was the old man’s disordered heavy breathing perched across my shoulders, a warped mixture of anticipation and old age. The lights were of course beaming proudly from my lonely shack, and the pitifully dim streetlights loitered jealously. My door was heavier, my footsteps lighter; familiarity was becoming a wholly unfamiliar concept. As we clambered through the doorway and into my vast open expanse of empty living area, I felt a level of embarrassment I’d never felt before. If this was to be the end, what photographic evidence, sentimental knick-knacks, or interesting artefacts would characterize my existence? A decadent TV and a dining table set for one which were about to be stolen.
“We have no time for pleading or begging, sir”, said the conman, gesturing to me.
“Let’s just stay cool, I’m ok for you to do whatever”, my lips trembled as I spoke.
“Show us the basement”, the old man spluttered.


Short, Short Stories, Short Story, Short Story Writing, Short-Story, Shorts, Story, Story Board, Story Book, Story Line, Story Telling, Story To Tell, Story Writing, Story-Letter, Story-Poem, Storyline, Storyteller, Storytelling, Storywriting, Writing

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author avatar GeorgeCant94
Hailing from the UK but studying in America, I am a soccer player with a passion for travel, adventure, and the diversity and delicate balance that makes people so unique and richly interesting.

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author avatar blogperfect
10th Aug 2014 (#)


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