by Chris Gannon
J.S hurried around the corner, the sound of sirens echoed down the dark, deserted streets behind him. He didn’t mean for it to happen but it just did. Now was not the time to think about that. He had been running since it happened. If he wanted to see Helen again, he had to keep going.
He rounded the next corner. Water splashed as his leg sank into a puddle. It had been raining when it happened. Now, dark ominous clouds stalkedoverhead. The sirens were louder now and J.S could feel their devilish eyes upon him. Quickly he turned and sprinted down an alley.
His feet slipped on wet newspaper as he rushed down the dark corridor. They must have seen him slip down the alley, because the sirens grew louder and bolder. He had made a grave mistake. It was a dead end. Frantically he looked around trying to find some where to go, some way to escape. The sirens screamed at the end of the alley.
J.S panicked. They would find him and he would never see the beautiful Helen again. Then he spotted it. Sitting in the far corner of the alley was a dumpster.It’s lid ajar. He dove inside the dumpster.
He could hear their footsteps running down the alley as he closed the lid and his feet sunk into the rotting filth. The stench of rotting fish and feces punched his nose and stomach. His eyes watered and nose burned. It took all his will power to hold back the revolt in his stomach. At that moment the smell was the least of his worries.
From outside the dumpster he could hear the sounds of the wailing sirens at the mouth of the alley, foot falls quickly getting closer to him and his turning stomach. He slowly opened the lid, just enough that the light could pierce the darkness of the dumpster’s interior. He gently placed his eye to the tiny opening and watched an officer comb the alley.
The officer turned his flashlight toward the dumpster. The light blinded J.S. and he lost his grip on the lid. The lid fell with a clang. Though he heard no sounds outside the dumpster, J.S knew he had been heard. The officer would find him. He would never lay eyes upon Helen again.
He panicked as the sounds of footsteps outside grew louder. He did the only thing he could do. He began dug down into the grime. His hands carved through the filth like a terrified, burrowing rabbit. Garbage entered his mouth. Rancid smells filled his nose as he raced towards the the bottom of the container.
His hands finally found the rusted bottom. Trying to get his legs under the garbage, he swam horizontally.
The footsteps outside stopped directly in front of the dumpster. J.S could still feel the humid air touching his bare ankle. It was the only part of his body not hidden by the garbage. He forced himself forward, pushing his face against wet, slimy rancid food.
Above, the officer slowly opened the lid to the dumpster. His gun was drawn. His eyes scanned the surface of the dumpster.
The sound of his pounding heart was louder in his ears now than when he was running. This was the first time he had stopped running since it happened. He wondered if the officer could hear his heart pound.
The memories rushed back to him – whether or not he was ready for them.
He had been home all day drinking beer and watching TV. It’s what he did everyday. Ever since the plant closed and he had been laid off. Then Helen had come home. Oh beautiful Helen.
He had met Helen in Paris two years ago. It was love at first sight.
How could he not love Helen? Her hair flowed like a golden river. Her porcelain doll face was beautiful and fragile. She had the body and soul of a goddess.
She had come home that day, nervous, frustrated and angry. She was disappointed in him. He was being a bum and doing nothing with his life. With their life. She shouted at him as he sat there in his grubby apathy and disinterest. J.S. tried to keep his cool through her shouts and insults. He tried to diffuse the situation as the best he could – by sitting there calmly and unflinchingly. Then she smacked him across the face.
That sent him over the edge. He snapped. He remembered screaming at her and grasping her neck with both hands. Her eyes grew wide with shock.
He applied more pressure. Her white fragile face slowly became the color of ripe apples. She gasped hard for breath as he applied more pressure. Her face was now purple, her eyes red with blood.
Other worldly sounds escaped from her lips. J.S applied all his pressure. There was a slight snap as J.S felt the bones of her neck crack like chicken bones. Her body went limp.
J.S loosened his grip. Her body fell to the ground. Staring down at his hands, tears streamed down his face. His eyes focused on her lifeless body. It was slumped over unnaturally, her neck was in the shape of the letter N. He ran to the bedroom. Then back into living room. Then he ran out the door. The maid must have found her body shortly after. Someone must have seen him running down the street. The sirens followed not long after – searching for him with their unrelenting noise.
J.S was back in his skin. At the bottom of the dumpster. The officer had slammed down the dumpster lid.
Minutes passed like hours. Finally he crawled upward and his face hit the hot humid air as he breached the surface.
He opened the lid. The officers were gone, the sirens trailed off with their increasing distance. He climbed out and puked. Above, the dark vulture-like clouds seemed to circle.
This was it, J.S’s last chance to see Helen. He ran hard. Out of the alley and down the road. Around a corner, down a few blocks and around another corner. He was almost there.
He knew Helen would be there waiting for him. His paced quickened as he darted down the sidewalk. He could see the river ahead. Only a few more feet.The sky became black.
He stopped and caught his breath for a moment. He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a gun. Tears began running down his face. The sound of sirens returned and grew louder. Someone must had seen him running. But there was nothing they could do to stop him from joining Helen. They would be too late.
Tears still streaming down his face, he opened his mouth and inserted the barrel of the pistol. His finger found the cold metal trigger. It wouldn’t be long before he would see Helen’s smiling face.The clouds grew darker. The sirens grew louder still. J.S calmly closed his eyes.
There was a crack of lightning and the rumble of thunder. J.S felt his body hit the ground. He could hear the sirens still coming. Then there was nothing.
J.S slowly opened his eyes. The bright blue sky and bold, shining sun were almost blinding. He stumbled forward to the edge of the river. Helen was standing there waiting for him.
More awesome by mad geniuses here on the GANG!
Podcasts and blog posts featuring Chris Gannon:
Timey-Wimey Tea Time Episode 1 #DoctorWho Podcast
Five Playable Characters I’d Like To See in Hyrule Warriors
Why Can’t We All Be Friends (Gaming Death Podcast)
No Kitty That’s My Potpie (Gaming Death Podcast)
About Chris Gannon
When not writing about games, Chris is playing them, talking about them or reading about them. Aside from video games and Doctor Who, his time is spent with his beautiful fiance, family and friends. His other hobbies include Magic the Gathering, cooking, DC comics, movies, podcasts, and reading fiction novels.
Chris Gannon is executive games editor and co-founder of Gaming Death.
Website: Gaming Death