Blackbank Mile - Chapter 2 - Zee

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
In the near future, after years of civil unrest, America is known as the Divided States of America. Every state is democratically run independently. Certain states have crushed the socially elected system and their leaders have become Dictatorships. The Blackbank Mile is fictional setting in Montana.

Submitted: August 29, 2016

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Submitted: August 29, 2016

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Chapter 2

 

Zee

 

March, 1985. In the outskirts of Las Vegas sits a decrepit motor home. This once mobile unit now lacks the basic function of movement. One rim completely rusted out. Holes and rust line the rest of the modular building. The rest of the setting is just as unpleasant. A rusted BMX bike sits among piles of garbage sporadically placed around the building. A garden hose lead from a man made well to the building is the only source of water. A two door Cutlass is parked near the back.

A young boy named Zackary Gleason, plays in the dirt and dust around the building. A child of whatever innocence he may have left. The setting around him doesn't affect his happy exterior. This child has the ability of imagination. A way he can live in his mind rather than seeing the picture in front of him. In his hand is a small G.I. Joe type figure, not real, but a replica, being his family could never afford an exact match. These small details are lost on Zee, for he appreciates anything he has in his possession.

A few feet away sits a black Rottweiler named Zeus. He isn't fully grown, and his tail hasn't been docked. He sits chained to a post twenty feet from the mobile home. He watches Zackary closely, with a hint of protection in his eye. Zackary comes close to and plays with Zeus. He grabs the hose and begins to fill a small bowl for Zeus. Zeus drinks rapidly.

Seventies rock music from within the home provides the only soundtrack to this desert landscape. Incoherent voices break the sound beats of the music. Intoxication. The screen door is kicked open, and an empty beer bottle is tossed outside. It smashes to pieces. The remnants of sud foam splashes on the pup Rottweiler. Zeus turns away, ears down, puppy dog eyes showing. A chain runs from the poor pups neck to an iron post hammered into the ground. Zeus begins to bark. Zackary jumps back in shock.

Frank Gleason steps out into the morning air. His blackened, stained tank top is ripping. His five o’clock shadow hasn’t been shaved for weeks. He laughs at the scene in front of him. A cowering dog lying around a pile of broken glass. Frank triumphantly steps down onto the ground. Zackary lowers himself out of sight. He is smacked back to reality. Zackary crawls low to the ground under the mobile home. Zeus barks louder and more aggressive. He becomes more aggressive the closer Frank comes. Frank stops just out of reach of Zeus. Frank motions to kick Zeus, but the dog is too quick, and the intoxicated Frank falls to the ground.  

Zackary begins to laugh hysterically at his downed father. Frank tilts his head toward Zackary. Zackary stops laughing. Frank gets to his feet and rushes over to the mobile home. Zackary tries to crawl away, but is grabbed by frank. Zackary tries to dig his fingers into the ground, but it’s not enough to fight the force of Frank. Zackary is pulled out from underneath the mobile home. Frank lifts him in the air.

“You think that’s funny, boy?” Frank yells.

“Yes.” Zackary responds while nodding his head.

“You know what I think is funny?” Frank grins.

Frank carries Zackary over to Zeus’ chain. Zeus growls angrily at Frank, but shows a sign of sympathy for Zackary. Frank grips Zeus and removes the chain from around his neck. He pushes Zeus away. Zeus takes off through the desert. Zackary watches his pup run off, with a tear in his eye. Frank takes the chain collar and places it around Zackary’s neck. He tightens it just enough to get two fingers underneath. He tosses Zackary to the ground. Zackary prys at the chain in hopes to break free. Frank watches.

A haggard blonde woman exits the mobile home. She calls to Frank. Annoyed, Frank turns to the woman. They walk over to the Cutlass together. Frank starts the car, backs up and burns out, sending a puff of dust over Zackary. Zackary shakes it off. He reaches over to the garden hose. His fingers almost grasp the end. Frank gets out, walks over to the hose, rolls it up and heads over to the well and throws it down. He steps in front of Zackary. An evil smile protruding from his ugly face.

“This is my humor.” Franks says, before walking back to his Cutlass. Frank gets back in the car and burns out. Again.

Hours pass. Zackary, dehydrated, lies on the ground staring up at the beating sun. His face is covered in sweat. His clothing is soaked. His neck, red rimmed, from the chain. He fights to turn himself over. He looks over to this G.I. Joe. Hoping the character can provide courage Zackary doesn’t have. Zackary finally is able to get to his feet. He stumbles, almost falling over again. He stands straight, wobbling back and forth. He straightens his body and begins to walk forward, putting all of the pressure on his neck. He slumps forward - exhausted.

Zackary finds the strength to rise again. He pushes harder as the chain collar around his neck becomes tighter. He takes a step and, miraculously, he is able to walk forward. He takes another step and it becomes easier. A few more steps and the young Zackary is free. He falls to his feet and frees himself from the collar. He turns back to the metal rod in the ground. Zeus stands, wagging his tail, with the metal rod in his mouth. He drops it and runs over to Zackary. Zeus licks Zackary a few times, while Zackary hugs the young pup. Zackary looks in the well for the hose, but it is too far down.

Zackary and Zeus walk through the desert. The sun beating down on the both of them. Zeus’ tongue sticks all the way out, almost touching the ground. Zackary weaves back and forth. He has ripped off his sleeve and wrapped it around his head. In the near distance, a road is seen. Zackary rushes to the road in hopes of finding a passing car. He looks back to Zeus. Zeus isn't walking as fast. Actually, quite the opposite. Zeus struggles to keep up right. His legs begin to shake and tremble. Finally, Zeus hits the ground. Zackary runs over to his dehydrated dog.

Zeus struggles for his final breaths. His tongue completely extended. Zackary holds Zeus in his arms while Zeus takes his final breath. Zackary cries, losing that earlier innocence. He reaches around Zeus’ neck and removes a blue collar and places it in his pocket. Zackary digs his hands in the sand and begins to remove enough of a hole to bury his dog. Zackary lies Zeus into the shallow grave and pushes the sand back over the lifeless body. Zackary takes out the G.I. Joe and lays it over the grave. Zackary cries for the last time.

Down the road, Zackary continues on. The sun beats off of the hot pavement. His lips white and cracked from dehydration. His skin red. Just as Zackary is about to give up, a car approaches from behind him. At first, Zackary is worried about it being Frank, but this car is different than the rusted Cutlass. A black limousine drives passed Zackary. Stops. Then begins to reverse back. Zackary, unable to move, just watches the limousine. The limousine stops beside Zackary. The rear window comes down, and a hand reaches out.

“What are you doing all the way out here?” The man from the back says.

Zackary is unable to respond. He tries to take a breath and speak, but loses consciousness.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

Zackary awakes eight hours later in the back of the limousine. He is sprawled out along a leather bench seat. He has a makeshift intervenes in his arm. The bag is clipped to the coat hanger near the door. He looks around the limousine, and is quickly frightened. He reaches to the I.V. sticking into his hand. He pulls it out and throws it aside.  He sits up, quickly dizzy, so he lies back down.

“Be careful, don’t move too quickly.” A voice says from the back of the Limousine. Zackary turns his head in the direction of the voice.

Miles Zimmerman, to soon-to-be mayor of Missoula, sits on the back bench seat, wearing a white suit. In his early forties, although he doesn’t look a day over thirty five. His fresh and honest face makes him appealing to crowds. His soft, but confident voice, could convince a fish to leave water. Although Miles has a dark plan for the future, he looks over the young Zackary with honest concern.

“You should put that I.V. back in. We made a special stop for it. You might be dead otherwise.” Miles says to him.

Zackary looks over to the I.V. swaying back and forth. He reaches for the pointed end and leans it over his hand. Zackary doesn’t quite understand the helpful nature, given what he has been used too. He stares at his hand, realizing the pain of sticking the needle back in. Miles realizes Zackary’s hesitation, so he moves close to the child. Miles notices an end of the blue collar sticking out of Zackary’s pocket. Miles pulls it out, but Zackary quickly grabs the collar back from him.

“Lost something close to you?” Miles asks.

Zackary nods his head. He holds the collar tightly for a moment, then places it back into his pocket.

“Life is full of pain. Unfortunately, it seems that you have learned that from an early age. What you learn from it, is what makes you who, or in your case, what you are. You can either wallow in pity, or you can use that fight for something better.”  Miles says.

Miles reaches out for the I.V. needle and takes it in his hand. He holds the needle up to his face and looks closer.

“You take the pain, or negative, and you turn it to something better. Something stronger. A positive.” Miles says, just as sticks the needle into Zackary’s hand.

Zackary takes his hand back and looks at the I.V. He looks over to Miles with an angry demeanor.

“Although, initially, the pain the needle causes you, turns into a positive life saving device. Pretty good trade off, eh?” Miles smiles at the boy.

“Yeah.” Zackary responds.

“He speaks!” Miles says.

Zackary shows his first smile since being chained up. He sits up, slowly. Miles reaches over and helps him sit upright. Zackary looks out onto the new landscape in front of him. A part of America he has never seen. He leans closer to the window at all the new colors. New plants. New life in front of him. Miles smiles at the young boy.

“Welcome to Montana. It will be your new home. If you want it to be.” Says Miles.

“I do.” Zackary responds.

Zackary turns to Miles and notices a red S sticking out of Miles’ breast pocket. Miles realizes the piece is sticking up and Zackary’s focus on it, so he shoves it back down into his pocket. Zackary’s smile fades.

“We all have pain we must deal with.” Miles looks down, thinking of his own past pain.  

“What happened?” Zackary responds.

“That’s a story for another day.”

“Do you have a name?” Asks Miles.

“Zacka...I mean, you can call me Zee.” Zee responds.

Miles smiles at the boy. The limousine continues on to their new horizon.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

In the present time, an hour before Veronica will arrive home, Zee sits in her house. He looks over the prepared dinner. He takes a spoonful of sauce and brings it to his mouth. He tastes it, and makes an approving sound as he obnoxiously sucks the rest of the sauce off of the spoon. He throws the spoon back into the pot. Zee grabs John’s cell phone off of the counter. He scrolls through until he finds Veronica’s number. He dials and waits for an answer. When Veronica answers, Zee does nothing but breath heavily into the receiver. Zee hangs up and throws the phone aside.

John is tied to a chair across from where Zee is standing. His mouth is gagged and his eyes are opened wide to the man in front of him. Veronica’s son, Michael, sits beside his father .Untied. He sits patiently and obediently. Every so often, John tries to free his hands. John looks sympathetically at his son. Zee walks over and kneel down toward Michael. John angrily tries to free himself.

“How are you?” Zee asks.

“Okay.” Michael hesitantly responds.

“I’m not here to hurt you. I need you to understand that. You mother did something very bad.”

“What?” Michael responds.

“She went against what our leader has allowed us to do.”

“I don’t understand.” Michael says.

“Do you love your parents?” Asks Zee.

“Yes.”

“Then this will be hard for you. But, the pain is something that will subside. Don’t let it control your life.” Zee responds.

Zee reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small cannister. He looks it over for a moment before considering his options. He sets it aside for a moment, and pulls out Zeus’ blue collar. The collar shows it’s age. Michael reaches out to the collar, but Zee pulls it back. He smiles to himself, realizing that maybe he should let it go.

“You have a best friend?” Zee asks.

“Yes.” Responds Michael.

“This is the reminder of my best friend. I loved him.” Zee says, while thinking about Zeus. He shakes the collar for a moment.

“Tell you what. You want to hold this?” Zee asks.

“Can I?” Responds Michael.

“You can, but only if you drink this.” Zee responds, after he lifts the small cannister.

Zee holds it out for Michael. John begins to rock his chair back and forth. He aggressively tries to break free from the rope, but is unable.

“What is it?” Michael asks.

“Something that will help you sleep.”

“But, I’m not tired.” Michael responds will a little annoyance behind his tone.

“Exactly. This will make it easier.” Zee says.

“And, I get to hold the rope?”

“It’s a collar, and yes.” Zee says, with a smile.

Michael takes the cannister from Zee. He opens it and takes a sip. Zee smiles, and hands Michael the blue collar. Michael hands Zee the cannister back and accepts the collar. He smiles at it for a moment, just as his eyes begin to close. Michael falls backwards onto the ground - unconscious. Zee slides Michael’s body out of the way and against the counter. John continues to try to fight free.

Zee stands and his demeanor completely changes with John. He quickly punches John across the face, stopping john’s aggressive fight. John shakes his head free from the shock. Zee removes the gag from John’s mouth. A line of blood begins to run down his chin. Michael, hurt, looks down to his unconscious child. He looks back to his captor.

“Why did you kill him?” John asks.

“Shut up.”

Zee walks over to a bag and pulls out a long rope. He looks over a center beam in the kitchen. He throws the rope over the beam and begins to make a noose. John begins to breath heavily in the chair. His heart rate increases. His blood pressure rises. After a moment, Zee pauses, turns to John, and smiles. Zee finishes the noose and walks over to John.

“What do you want? We have money.” John says.

“Do I look like an individual who can be bought?” Zee asks. John shakes his head.

“What do you want?”

“Nothing you can provide.” Zee responds.

“Try me.”

Zee smiles, takes out a knife, and begins to cut the ropes free.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

Zee walks down the street as the Hazmat cleaners have entered Veronica’s house to clean up his mess. Zee stops, sneaks around a large bush, and heads back toward the house. Outside of Veronica’s house, Zee stands peering in through the kitchen window. Zee watches the cleaners place Veronica and John into matching body bags. They disappear toward the front.

Zee cracks the door open and sneaks inside. He looks over the unconscious Michael, lying where Veronica laid. Zee picks up the child and heads back to the door. He closes the door behind him and disappears back into the darkness. The cleaners come back into the room, carrying their supplies, confused at the disappearance of the young child.

Zee carries Michael in his arms down the dimly lit road. Zee stops in front of a black Cutlass, much like his abusive father’s, and opens the trunk. He places Michael gently down on the inside. Zee looks over the sleeping boy for a moment. A car approaches in the distance. Zee slams the trunk quickly. He is nervous and anxious. He takes a moment to breath, fumbles for his keys, and leaves.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

A modern office overlooking the Scotia downtown core. Clean and tidy. Not a spec of dust anywhere. The large ostentatious mahogany desk sits almost the same width as the wall. Behind the desk sits Miles Zimmerman. His back to the rest of the office, as he looks over, well, HIS treasured city. He is much older now, but still carries himself with the same confidence as when he was young. He rocks the leather chair back and forth, while he contemplates his next move.

Zee sits beside his partner Kellan Stitzer. Kellan, well dressed and very focused, looks over to Zee with concern. Kellan was supposed to be with Zee for last night's job of hunting down the rogue Doctor Veronica. Kellan had other plans, and let Zee go on the job himself. The news of Veronica’s missing child is just as a surprise to him. Kellan shakes his head at Zee, and looks to the back of Miles’ chair with a hint of trepidation.

“He just escaped?” Miles says, without turning around.

“Just ran right out the door.” Kellan responds.

“You would think that two pros, like yourself, would be capable of catching a ten year old boy.” Miles says while turning his chair around.

Zee and Kellan look back to each other.

“We were concentrating on the job at hand. We found the target to be of the utmost importance.” Zee responds.

“True. But, the job was to kill all three targets. This is the first time you have both failed me.” Miles says, as he stands and begins to walk around the desk. He places his hands around his back, and leans against his desk.

“I suspect neither one of you would be sympathetic to the boy?” Miles asks, interrogatively.

Zee and Kellan both shake their head.

“Never.” Kellan responds.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

Zee and Kellan walk out to the Cutlass together. They both walk in silence. The anger is palpable between them. The air is crisp and cuts through them easily. Zee slides the zipper up on his coat, while Kellan doesn’t seem phased by the cold wind. Both men stop in front of the Cutlass. Kellan takes out a gold camel and lights it. He puffs for a moment, then turns to Zee with concern.

“You take the boy?” Kellan asks.

“You would know, had you been there. Like you were supposed to.” Zee responds.

“Look, asshole, you said you had this job covered. Now, we’re on the line for this kid.”

Kellan leans in closer. The smoke trail from the cigarette catches Zee’s eye. Zee rubs the smoke free from his eye. Kellan keeps his intense focus on Zee. He takes a long puff and blows it all in Zee’s face. One of the utmost insulting things that one can do. Zee turns away for a moment, forcing the anger back down.

“I said, I don’t have the boy. Why would I do something like that? I wouldn’t risk our lives.” Zee responds.

“Yeah, you better not. I wouldn’t think twice about putting a bullet in the back of your head.”

“I feel the same way about you.” Zee says.

“We go now, and we fix this.” Kellan says sternly.

“Right.” Zee responds.

Kellan flicks his cigarette toward a bush. Kellan walks over to the passenger side and gets in. Zee looks over to the cigarette. He thinks about the boy, and how or when they find him that Zee will be the cause. Sirens grow in the distance. Zee listens closely to the growing piercing sound. The sirens continue to come closer. Zee’s anxiety continues to grow. His heart begins to palpitate rapidly. He can see the lights now, they are coming in their direction.

Kellan steps out of the passenger side and looks toward the sirens. He rushes over and stands beside Zee. Together, they watch as four police cars pull up and surround Zee’s Cutlass. The secret police exit the car, and aim their guns toward Zee and Kellan. Both men slowly raise their hands in surrender. Kellan turns his gaze toward Zee.

“What the hell is going on, Zee?” Kellan asks.

“Looks like they’ve come for us.” Zee responds.

“No, I’m not going out like this.”

“What are you going to do?” Zee asks.

Kellan looks around at all of the Officers. He takes a moment, and it’s as if time begins to slow down for him. Kellan watches the blue and red sirens. The Officers begin to rush both men, with cuffs in their hands. Kellan closes his eyes, takes a deep breath, and reaches for his guns. Zee looks over to Kellan, realizing what he is about to do, and ducks out of the way. Kellan raises two guns and points them at the oncoming onslaught of Officers. He gets ready to shoot. The Officers, realizing their fate, stop in their tracks. A sly smile crosses Kellan’s face as the massacre begins.

 


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