Thursday, February 5, 2015

Hearts of Darkness, Part IV

“I said give me your wallet,” and he held the knife up.

David began to reach for his wallet slowly, and froze. “I’m sorry, I can’t do that.”

The one with the knife blinked, and glanced at his accomplice. “Look. Shorty. Where do you see this going? We don’t want to hurt you, man.”

“It’s all the money I have,” David said. He couldn’t ask for more. Calling home and asking… he couldn’t call home at all. David thought about the last kiss and hug he would ever receive from his mother.

“I don’t give a, man get this fool,” the one with the knife said, and stepped forward.

David turned and ran. He was facing the wrong end of the alley, but he had to hope there was an outlet. Outrunning the thugs wouldn’t be difficult, but a dead end was still a dead end. Sprinting along, David felt better, like breaking down the fuel in his legs was breaking down the worry in his bones. He needed a job, that was plain, but it didn’t have to be in civil planning. Just so long as he didn’t have to go home. Go back to the island.

There wasn’t a dead end, but there was a high fence. David glanced over his shoulder. He’d left the robbers at a previous turn in the alley. Staring ahead, there didn’t seem to be anyone around. David accelerated, angling for one of the walls. He exploded from the pavement, aiming at the patch of bricks adjacent to the fence, and kicked over. He landed on his feet, like always.

When he stood up, he heard a croaking noise, and looked over to see what appeared to be a homeless man gawking at him. And that wasn’t all. The homeless man appeared to have a pet, a malnourished Jack Russel, that was barking with its ears back. David puts his hands out in front of him, and squatted.

“Whoa there, sorry, hey, sorry, I’m sorry,” he said soothingly. How had he not seen the man? He was in the garbage, almost literally, but still, looking at him, he was clearly not garbage.

The man pointed, slowly. The dog inched forward.

David had to get out of the alley. He had to get out of the alley and back… where? He lowered his head and looked the animal in the face. “No,” he said.

The Jack Russell and nameless man both reacted. The man didn’t have the agility to sprint away, but the dog did, directly into traffic.

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