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   [ 1 post ] Average score:  

DID YOU ENJOY READING IT?
Poll ended at Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:58 pm
It was amazing 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
i loved it 50%  50%  [ 1 ]
i liked it 50%  50%  [ 1 ]
it was ok 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
could use some work 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
i didn't like it 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
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Total votes : 2
Author Message
 1ST PLACE SHORT STORY @ WRITING CONTEST> PLEASE READ&COMMENT
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:15 am
Posts: 48
Fri May 27, 2016 10:58 pm

All Because of the Jacket

 

            A group of thirteen men are huddled in a tiny, dim, abandoned shop in the deep roots of Manhattan. A few candles are lit and scattered across the shop. There is a stench that reeks of cigarettes and beer, something that isn’t unusual for a Guardian hideout. This isn’t just any hideout though; it is where the Guardians meet up when things get serious. The Guardians know their dreadful rivals, the Royals, are in a position of advantage. Problems with the Royals are the last thing any member wants to even begin to think about. All thirteen men huddled around, whispers arising from the group.

           

Among those in the group are Bimley, John, and Richard. The focus, though, is on Olly, one of the co-leaders of the Guardians. He is an old, bearded man, with a husky voice. His clothes are dirty, and one size too big. Olly explains the conflict with the Royals. He makes the conflict sound like a math problem, the solution seeming vague. Regardless, all other twelve men know by the seriousness in his tone, this meeting isn’t going to end on a happy note. As Olly’s voice continues on that night, so does the silence, as the men huddle, listening intently.

 

 It’s been a battle between the Guardians and Royals for quite some time. The hostility between them always falls upon turf. The Guardians’ turf, being to the north of Manhattan, and the Royals’ just further up north, in Bronx. The rivalry between the two gangs has only been intensifying. In the past week alone, the Guardians have lost four members due to street rumbles. In addition, the Guardians always seem to run into one Royal after another dealing on their turf. Not only is it frustrating, but also takes away from the Guardians’ profit. The group of Guardians is reminded of this ongoing conflict, one that in no way will solve itself. Which gives each and every member a new standard of motives: to do whatever it takes to eliminate the Royals. 

 

The Guardian meeting finishes at five to eleven. There are a few who stay behind to clean up and put out the candles. Bimley and Olly are discussing something in the back of the room. Richard and John are still sitting at a table finishing their beer bottles. Within the next five minutes everyone is packed up, beer done, cleaned up, and candles out. Olly is the last one out. He locks the door with a small copper key. And with that the Guardian meeting is officially over.

 

Outside of the shop the rain is pouring heavily. The sky is black and filled with dark clouds. The sounds of thunder can be heard all around. The few street lamps glow dim, but most aren’t even working. Eleven of the men have scattered in their desired directions. It is now only John and Richard who are outside of the old abandoned shop. Richard is seventeen, only a few years older than John. He is a tall thin boy with chestnut colored hair. John however, is a complete opposite. He has dark brown hair that falls to his ears. A sprinkle of freckles covers his pale skin. He is short for someone who is fourteen. “So, you still up to heading to the jump?” Richard asks John.

John is hesitant but doesn’t want to show any weaknesses. He shrugs, “Sure, why not.”

 

The jump is only a twelve-minute walk away. Richard and John walk in silence except for the sound of rain on pavement echoing all around. The street starts to narrow; that’s when they know they’re nearing the jump. The jump is an old, tall building with three floors. The walls are crumbling and in one glance, you get the impression it could just collapse. There are large cracks, faded paint, and windows with broken glass. Richard and John go around to the back of the building, and enter from there.

 

They go through a series of twists and turns throughout the hallways before approaching a set of stairs. They know there is a dance tonight, whether it is the loud music heard from miles away, or the loud shouts, hollers and thuds of drunken people dancing. They climb the set of stairs that lead to the second floor. They turn into a large hallway littered with bottles of whiskey and beer. At the end, the hallway engulfs into a large room. Here, Richard and John find about thirty others. Some are sitting at the tables, others taking the dance floor. Richard leaves John to go find himself a girl for the night. John is left standing there. He looks around. Most people there look no older than John himself. Although it’s only 11:17pm, the night has just begun.

1

John walks over to order himself a whiskey, but before he can even ask, Richard comes racing towards him. Richard cups his hand to Johns ear. “There’s a Royal here,” he whispers. John looks confused. He doesn’t understand. “There’s a Royal here”, Richard repeats himself, “and this is our chance to rumble. I overheard him talking to his girlfriend about going out to get some cigarettes.” John now understands. As soon as this Royal leaves, they must follow him, and then attack him. John looks around the room, then recognizes the bright purple silk jacket with the lettering on the back reading, THE ROYALS, and knows who their target is. Richard motions with his hands to John, pointing inside his jacket to where a knife is hidden away. John knows he is about to stab someone, but it never occurs to him the man might die.

 

As soon as the Royal leaves the jump, Richard and John are on the move, quietly creeping and following behind him. They have only been following the man for less than a minute, when he abruptly comes to a stop.  They are in a large alleyway with a couple of garbage bins further down. There is a small stream of rainwater flowing into a nearby gutter. The Royal reaches into one of the pockets within his jacket trying to grasp something, most likely a cigarette. ‘Now’, mouths Richard to John. John quietly creeps up behind the Royal, and then all at once pierces the knife across the man’s body, violently tearing his jacket and creating a wide gap in his flesh. (...). The man, probably not much older than John himself, falls to the sidewalk, clutching his stomach. John yells, “That’s for you, Royal!” before hurrying off into the rain where Richard is waiting.

 

“You got him good. That was better than I thought it would be,” says Richard as he gives John a pat on the back. They head back to the jump, but John tells Richard he’s not feeling well, and plans to head home. John nods Richard a goodbye and off he walks home, in the pouring rain of New York.

 

John returns home quarter to one. As soon as he enters, his mom, who is unusually still awake, comes rushing with tears in her eyes. “Thank goodness you’re safe!” she exclaims as she embraces him into a hug. John gives her a puzzled look. This isn’t the first time he’s been late. His mother explains herself, “The police came to all the houses in this area and told us there was a street rumble nearby. I thought maybe it was you because it’s late out and, honey, you weren’t home.” Her voice is despairing and anguished.  A feeling of remorse washes over John. “Did the man live?” he asks.

“No”, his mother responds, clearly in distress. “They found him dead (...).” There’s a feeling inside of John. Maybe it’s anger, or sadness, perhaps in some way pride, but more so guilt. His mother hadn’t bothered to ask where he’d been. She only wanted to know if he was all right. What about the mother of the boy he’d just killed? He shuddered at that thought. John feels overwhelmed, which urges him to take a breath of fresh air. He opens the front door and sits on the porch steps. He picks away at the layers of paint, which easily fall off. As he sits there that night, the guilty feeling of regret overcomes him. He chose this path of gang life, and now knew it was impossible to get out, and would likely end up with the same fate as the boy he’d just killed.  The sound of rain lightly pouring around John is all but familiar. As he sits outside that night, the one thought on his mind is that he’d killed a boy just because he wore the bright purple silk jacket with the words THE ROYALS on the back. 




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