Rich’s Run part I


Somewhere, at some specific point in time, continued in a certain movement of rhythm and counterpoint, the story must be begun. Really, it could be begun anywhere, and ended anywhere. When viewed from the outside, life seems quite full of wonder and magic. But when we’re down in it, suffering, struggling to get by day-to-day, we are largely unaware of how we could appear to any observing distant eye that might chronicle our alien lives, moving in our strange, tragic and beautiful bubbled existences.
Rich had been artfully picking his nose, immersed in his book of fantastical tales of flying dragons and arrant knights. Absentmindedly, he flicked the collected and rolled booger out into the room somewhere, to fall unseen into the dense foliage of carpet, and ground eventually into a kind of composted veneer of dust and grime. Perhaps there were invisible creatures living in that forest of synthetically spun filaments, creatures that were hunting through the basin of grid-like matting, and that spotted the meteoritic falling from the sky, heralding its coming with cheers and a wild dashing to plunder this fateful bestowal of organic matter for their Queen. They might lift chunks of golden, green-red snot to the heavens in gestures of gratitude before carrying them, one by one single-file, back to their warrens at the outskirts where the carpet meets the wall, only to offer them in supplication to their Queen. The Queen would sample a choice, juicy morsel with her microscopic tendrils, and would gleefully grab immediately for some more. Then, mouth filled with chewy tenderness, she would magnanimously bade her underlings to feast and dine at will . . .
Rich heard a noise out in the front hall that made him sit alert, mouth in mid-chew of a chocolate chip cookie stolen from the (supposedly) hidden stash in the top cabinet. He sat waiting to hear if another noise would occur again. One strange noise was not enough to warrant freaking-out status, but two noises definitely were. He waited for minutes. He was beginning to relax and chew again. But then there was another one, unmistakable, a creak in the wooden flooring in the entryway that always creaked when you stepped on it. Rich’s parents were gone: his father was at work, his mother out “running errands.” So Rich was on the alert, as he always was when left home alone, for any intruders, such as murderers, thieves, and little boy snatchers.
Holding his breath, he slipped out of his chair in one movement, knowing that to attempt to move too slow would only make the floor creak. In sock encased feet, he traversed out of open view from the entrance into the dining room, creeping down through the side hallway and into his bedroom. He was an expert at closing and locking his door silently, having perfected the skill when he stayed up late one summer and decided that he would lock his door every night after his parents had gone to sleep, as a protective measure against nighttime forces. Then he would unlock it again as soon as he awoke in the morning, using the same swift, silent movement. As in moving over creaky floors, it entailed a single continuous stream of motion to make it silent. Any hesitation or uncertainty made noise, Rich had learned through constant training.
He moved to his sliding-glass door and opened it slowly. It made noise, but with his door closed and the intruder still feasibly creeping up to the dining room, it would not be heard. He stepped out and slid it shut. Now he was in his domain, the backyard. There were all kinds of pathways and hidden places here that only Rich knew about. He utilized one of his “secret” passageways now, crawling through the shrubbery to where he could see into the dining room, where he had been seated only moments before, obliviously chewing a soft and moist cookie and reading about dragons. Through the sun reflected windows, Rich could barely make out a dark form moving slowly, seemingly directly towards the path which Rich had just taken. It passed by his cookie plate and book, and momentarily turned it’s head; suddenly, Rich could see clearly it’s face for the space of a moment. All he retained was the impression of pale white skin and large oval black eyes, monkey-like, otherworldly. The form then moved back into the darkness of the hallway and out of sight towards Rich’s bedroom. It frightened him incredibly. It was one thing to know for certain that there was somebody in the house; it was quite another thing to know that that somebody looked like an alien monkey, and seemed to be searching expressly for him.
Rich knew that there was little time. He got onto his feet and made a dash, continuing to bend low to keep beneath the line of shrubbery, until he got to the fence, where he already knew of a method of swinging onto an overhanging branch into the neighboring density of trees, such that he went over the fence and plopped over onto the other side in the dirt without being seen or making much noise. He had perfected this maneuver when he played at being a ninja with his pal Jimmy during his early elementary school years. It certainly came in handy to have such a streamlined escape route, Rich now realized. There was no way that the alien monkey would know of to follow him this way . . . unless the alien monkey could smell or see his tracks with some otherworldly sense. Rich felt a chill and increasing sense of panic. Now it was time to run.

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Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

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