"To hell with this I'm going home" Erik said turning toward the carnival's exit.
"Wait you can't" Called Pauline grabbing his arm.
"Because-" She hesitated. "-because-" She repeated herself. "-I still need twenty more tickets to get that teddy bear."
Erik stared at his friend. She wasn't being herself. There wasn't a human on earth more sure of herself than her. She never repeated herself and she never hesitated. She was a debate team's dream. She was the lawyer you paid extra for. She was the leader you voted for every time. She was the god you prayed to. She was admirable and so full of a confidence that would make sure that she remained beautiful even after her her beauty faded.
A friend forever and beyond Erik's reach. That was her but today she was weak, sullen, forgetful and too accommodating. One didn't need a degree in psychology to know that something was up.
She grabbed his arm and held it to her body. For a second he forgot what he was talking about, the year and the century. She dragged him to another carnival game he didn't want to play. His crew was waiting for him back at home. Erik's ten man gang were called the Black Thugs and everything he did he did for them. Erik watched Pauline pay for ten round of the hoop throwing game.
"Your kidding me." Erik exclaimed
"Play with me Erik" She said her usual commanding tone flashing out for a second. Her body rose up by a millimetre from her timid pose returning the tiger from before. It only lasted a second though. Erik sighed and to his surprise she kissed him. It was everything he'd ever expected and more. He kissed her back touching her hair and grabbing her waist, pulling her close. They embraced for the longest time before she broke away. She licked her lips and smirked. The tigress that Erik loved showed itself yet again. Erik lunged for another, but Pauline stopped him and pointed at the game.
"Play?" Erik grinned and started playing, eager to get a reward.
Twenty minutes passed and she disappeared from sight. Erik wasn't the waiting type. He had friends to go to. Rogue and tough friends, his best friends. He decided to look for her.
He found her talking a Graham. A short man with a gang of his own but his crew was nothing to Erik's. Erik reached into his back pocket and pulled out a 9mm. He stepped behind the closest row of carnival games. He could just make out her words.
"This will work?" She asked in her newly acquired timid voice. Erik hated it.
"Of course it will. You've been great for so long." He kissed her. Erik raised his gun but his arm welt limp. The woman he loved with every fibre of his being was kissing his worst and only true rival. Erik turned away.
He stopped a short distance from his car. Three of Graham's goons were there. Erik was numb, he couldn't bring himself to move as his mind reeled.
A setup. She'd thrown him to the sharks. She'd sent him to die. He loved her and that had been a lie. She'd been so honest. She'd been so true, She'd been...
Erik took a quivering breath. That didn't work at all to calm him down. He tried again. Another failure. He could still see her face. He could still see the thugs ready and willing to beat the life out of him or even puncture dozens of holes in him. The idea was maddening. He wasn't willing to die that easily. Not him he'd go home and make a plan. He needed his friends. He then counted to ten. He calmed down.
Then the image of her kissing Graham appeared again...
Erik ran as fast as he could. The cops would be at the scene soon. This was the suburbs, police actually came when you called them here. The gun felt hot in hands and he needed to get rid of it. He couldn't though, it was the only thing keeping him from falling to the ground.
This was the suburbs! He'd never actually used his gun before, neither gang had. They fought with their hands and used bats nothing else. Erik turned into is street and stopped in front of a white picket fence. He doubled over leaning the barrel of the 9mm on his thigh. It burnt.
The gun was still hot.
The heat woke him up and he ran the rest of the way home.
"MOM!" Erik screamed. There was no reply.
"Dad! Cat!" There was nothing from his father and sister too.
Desperate he ran into their rooms. His parents were gone but his sisters room was locked. Furious Erik beat at the door. There was nothing. Erik couldn't breath properly anymore. He was wheezing now.
He heard a car pull up. Erik ran for the nearest window but backtracked when he heard the all to familiar sound of a siren. Erik wiped a tear from his face and tried to regain his composure. The knock on the door broke it like glass.
The only sound raising above the drumming of his heart was that of his shoes which squeaked with every desperate step as he sprinted to the door locking it.
To his surprise his sister appeared and opened looking completely indifferent. Erik realised the gun was still in his hand. How hadn't Cat seen it? why had she opened? How did she get there so quickly?
"Cat!" Erik cried.
The door burst open and he didn't wait to see the cops. He'd already turned and started running.
Past his sister, up the stairway, past his parent's bedroom and up to the, already open, attic . He closed it just as burly hands grabbed at him. Thinking fast he pulled a large case over the vertical door. He looked for and exit.
It was old large and never used. He struggled, fighting to open it before could look out. The reason no one ever use the window was because of how difficult it was use. It always made the most awful squeaking noise that cut through to his spine and made his teeth feel awkward. Looking down he realised the drop went on forever with no foot holds and nothing to break his fall. There was no way he was going to make it. He turned to the case. It was a thick solid Victorian wooden case. It belonged to his great grandmother and had to be 120 years old. He jumped inside and carefully lifted the latch before closing it. To his relieve the latch closed locking it.
Gun shots fired and Catherine screamed. One bullet grazed his elbow and another two passed threw the box missing him by millimeters. He bit his lip to stop from screaming. He sniffed and wiped his tears away but they wouldn't stop welling up. He heard voices.
"Get that, good. Good. Get rid of her. Good Okay One Two"
The attic door shook violently shaking the case too. The whole case became horizontal as the doors lifted and the case fell landing upside down.
"When we find that gang banger we're going to kill the hell out of him"
"Good good. We're on the same page."
Erik held his breath and tried not to whimper.
"Jesus it's dirty in here!" Erik heard something rattle and through the holes the police guns had made he saw one of the cops engulfed in a cloud of dust. They both started coughing as they tried to wave the dust away. The dust entered the case and Erik coughed.
Both cops stopped.
Erik's mind reeled. He shut his eyes and prayed for a full five minutes.
Wiping the his tears away Erik opened his eyes to see if they were gone. He took a peek through on of the openings. A green eye looked back.
"Gotcha!" Whispered the green eyes cop.
The box lifted and Erik felt weightlessness. They were taking him somewhere. Down the attic was his first thought. Until he heard a familiar squeaking. Erik felt a sudden rush of lightness.
Erik woke up sweating. He looked around and found himself in his room. He lifted himself into his wheel chair and rolled himself to his computer. He looked out the window. Children laughed and cried. A couple held hands and the carnival had just arrived. He sighed, what are the chances he thought. It was a beautiful day.
He turned on his PC and entered his favorite chat room. His best friend Pauline200OC was there. He smiled at the sight of her user name.
You see the whether out
yet Pauline200C's message
Just saw it now. Erik replied.
Want me to come over and roll you to the carnival?
No I'm happiest in front of my PC thanks
If you say so. Anything new?
Erik grinned at her
You have no idea.