New Short Story Excerpt

(1038 words, have fun! let me know what you think!)

 

She opens her eyes to sudden darkness. She’s on all fours panting as the world spins around her, slowly taking form, molding into shapes and colors she’s now able to register as part of a city- her city, in fact. A stern hand touches her shoulder, causing her to look at the owner who merely places a finger on his lips.

“Yea, it takes some getting’ used to, recognize this place?” Her breathing slows down.

“Yea, I’m home,” the man smiles and helps her stand.

“Of course we are, I mean specifically, do you recognize this night?”

Somehow, as if waiting for her to regain composure, the sounds of loud music and people cheering pierce her formerly deaf ears. She looks around and realizes she’s in an alley; crowds of people pass to-and-fro, carrying flashing sticks of light and wearing clothes commemorating the occasion.

“New Years?”

She looks at her guide who nods.

“Do you know why we picked this night?”

“Yes, I guess we’re supposed to watch the…”

“Right, you know where to go, then? We haven’t much time to sit on our asses.”

He helps her stand and she looks left, then right, and heads down that side into the street.

“Oh, this is the way,” she mumbles as she follows the side walk towards the center of the city, where the people have gathered.

“So how many were there?”

Her guide asks as they start to jog towards the focal point of the crowd’s attention, a tower with a giant ball at the pinnacle of it.

“What time is it?”

“11:50.”

“Then, there’s only two left.”

They reach the tower, forcing their way through the crowd until they finally breach the building. As they enter the large atrium area of this building, the guide stops her.

“You do remember she can’t see you, right?”

“Yep,” she lets her eyes roam the area.

“and you can’t change anything,” she grits her teeth.

“I know…”

“Right, lead on, then.”

She proceeds towards a stairwell and warns her guide to about the presence of officers in the building.

“Who are-oh, captain,” the man guarding the stairs salutes the woman, “thought you had already gone…”

“I had to fetch another pair of hands,” she points to her guide. “We’ll be on our way.”

“Good luck.”

They ascend the stairs, “11:55” her guide says and they quicken their pace.

Finally, around the tenth floor of the tower and a little out of breath, she approaches a door and presses her fingers to her lips. They see, opposite of them at the far end of the immediate corridor, a trio of officers whom are sneaking quietly down and around the corner.

“Remember, Julie.”

“You don’t need to remind me again, Ashley, come on.”

After the trio disappear, Julie rushes down the now-empty hall, Ashley checks his watch; 11:57. They turn the corner and hears shouts coming from a room a few paces away. Julie sneaks slowly, followed by Ashley, hiding behind separate pillars as the scene unfolds before them:

Three police officers, guns pointing forward, cautiously spread out, eyes locked on a single individual with his hands in the air. Ashley watches the scene, but would shift his gaze onto his partner every few seconds, a look of concern on his face manifests as Julie makes a point of looking at the officer furthest from her position.

A woman’s voice utters orders: “Victor, ‘cuff this bastard, Ben, can you disarm that?”

“Your one-man B-squad, I got this.”

The two males move around to their positions, Victor yanking on the suspect’s arms and, surprisingly, faced no resistance as the man accepts his fate, closing his eyes slowly.

Down below, the excited crowd has begun their synchronized countdown: “ten!”

“Ben? The bomb?” the woman asked as “nine!” echoes through the halls.

“Yea, one sec! Shush.”

“Eight!”

“It’s tricky, this one.”

“Seven!”

“It is not up to you to stop us!”

“Six!” The silent would-be terrorist speaks, opening his eyes.

“It’s his choice,”

“What’s he on about?” Victor asks no one in particular.

“Five!”

“Almost there…” Ben mumbles, the woman addresses the failed bomber.

“What are you talking about?”

At this moment, only seen by Julie and Ashley, a man approaches the officers from behind, screaming unintelligible words with a semi-automatic rifle aimed forward. Ashley watches Julie as tears swell in her eyes and she tries her best to maintain her stature against the pillar.

“Four!”

“Aha! Got-” the scream from the runner interrupts as the stranger starts shooting sporadically- bullets flying at, around, and into Ben as his last smile fell quickly into confusion, pain, then acceptance as he falls over.

“Three!”

Victor releases his prisoner and rushes to his fallen partner and the would-be bomber turns around and jumps through the window. The woman aims her gun and shoots the murderer in the shins, then kicks his face as he knelled over. He falls backwards and she kicks his rifle away; she then presses a knee on his throat and cuffs him.

“Two!”

Once the shooter is secured, the woman picks him up and throws him towards Victor who grabs him, accidentally throwing a fist into the shooter’s stomach first.

“One!”

The woman holds Ben’s hands as he struggles to smile.

“Happy New Ye….” he whispers.

The sky lights up with streams of colorful rockets; launching, bursting into numerous shapes and patterns, then descending, all in sporadic fashion.

Ashley places his hand on Julie, consoling her. She realizes she slid down the pillar, curled into a ball with small streams rolling down her cheeks. He watches her as she wipes her cheeks.

“Julie…”

Ashley turns his head towards Victor’s voice as he sits down next to Ben’s body and his female partner, a hand holding his prisoner.

“Julie, I’ll…” she sobs on Ben’s body, his blood on her hands and arms.

Victor forces the killer out of the room as more policemen begin to enter the room.

“Time to go, we have to move before they find us,” Ashley whispers in Julie-at-the-pillar’s ear.

She nods and pulls herself up, grabs his hand as he checks his watch and the two are tugged away into a colorful realm full of indiscernible images flying by their heads.

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