Game Day

This story is an original work created by me, for entertainment purposes only.  It was produced using a ‘dump’ method and little revision as a precursor to writing a flash fiction story for a contest.   As an author, I find my most creative work comes after I ‘dump’ the surface idea.  I wish I could share the story that followed; hopefully one day it will be published so you can read it!  

 

When he shows up at my door, I know something isn’t right.  A chill goes down my spine as I look into his eyes.  I can’t breathe.  And, I can’t swallow.

“Hey,” I manage.  “Come in, the game is about to start.  You made it just in time.”

“Great,” he replies.  “I hate missing kick-off.”

“Would you like something to drink?  I’ve got Coke, Michelob and some Jim Beam my pops left behind over Thanksgiving.”

“Yeah, Beam would be great.  You would not believe what I just went through out there.”

“Is everything okay?”  I keep my sentences short, worried he will detect nervousness in my speech.

“Oh, yeah, fine.  Just got a little rattled, that’s all.”  He brushes the back of his neck with his right hand, and can no longer look me in the eye.  “Hey, it looks like they are ready for kick-off.”

While he makes himself comfortable on the couch near the TV, I head over to the kitchenette, grab a clean glass, pour an inch of Jim Beam and drop in a couple ice cubes to make it rattle.

“Here you go, man.  WHOA – nice run back!  I think this is going to be a battle.”

“Huh? Oh!  Yeah!  Thanks.  Quite a run.  I think he just got drafted to the pros.  He’s on his way up.”

“Must be nice,” I say, and then sit in the chair adjacent to the couch.

“Ha, I know what you mean.  It’s like I have to kill someone to get somewhere in the job market.  I can’t believe we graduate in the Spring and things are no better than when we entered college four year ago.”

“We’ll be okay,” I respond, knowing it’s a weak reply.  But, I didn’t know how to react.  The Beam is shaking in his hand and his body won’t stop moving.  I start scheming my escape route.

Lost in my thoughts, the phone vibrates in my pants pocket and I jump to answer it.  He turns, looks me straight in the eye and sends his message loud and clear.

“Hello.”

“Hello, this is Officer Langley.  I understand you are friends with James Logan.  Is that right?”

“Yes, sir, you are correct.  Can I help you with something?” I step out the front door and stand on the bottom step, so I can peer through the screen glass every few seconds.

“No, no problem.  At least not yet.  I just called to warn you.  He came by the department an hour ago, ranting and raving about the job market.  Told us we might be needed later tonight and that he was on his way to your place.  Did he make it?”

“Why, yes sir, he did.  We are watching the game.  Would you like to speak with him?”

“That’s not necessary.  Just keep us on quick dial if anything looks suspicious, will ya?

James, sensing the call was about him, stands to his feet, turns to face the front door and starts walking towards me.

“Uhm, sir, I think you should come now.  I’m not feeling so comfortable with James.  He’s got a crazy look about him.”

“That’s what I was afraid of son.  We’ll have someone there in five.”

I drop the phone and run to my neighbor’s house.  I ring the door bell, but no one answers.  The events of earlier creep into my head.  I can feel my throat closing and I start hyperventilating.  I gather my strength, check my surroundings and take one step.  I feel someone touch my arm and turn me around.  I’m face to face with him.

He drags me from the porch and shoves me to the ground.  I feel the sidewalk dig into the skin of my face.  A worker’s boot gets shoved into my back and I can’t move.

I scream, “What do you want?”

“What do I want?,” he asks, like it’s a rhetorical question.

“Yes, tell me.  What do you want?  I’ll do my best to help you.”

“Oh, that is funny.  You helping me,” he says it with an incredulous laugh.

I hear the sirens blaring in the distance and see the squad car come flying around the corner.

“Took them long enough,” I said.

“Oh, man, are you still playing the innocent one?”  He bends down, leans in close to my ear and says, “I know exactly what you did.  And the officer does, too.”

He steps away.  I lie on the ground with a heavier boot shoved in my back and cold metal encasing my wrists.

 

 

photo credit:  free image from Canva.com

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