Come Hither: Jack

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
A little boy called Jack on a road trip with his parents gets stopped on a freeway.

(spoiler alert?)

Based on one of my favorite songs by System of a Down -- Mr. Jack.

Submitted: February 22, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 22, 2012




We were driving through some freeway in LA. I remember that morning so clearly, so vividly. I was only eight years old at the time, but the color of the sky was enough to keep that memory imprinted in my mind for ongoing decades. It was that shade of gray that made you suspicious of your very surroundings, and the kind that had me clinging on to my Mom, telling her that I didn’t feel like seeing grandpa that day.
“Calm down, Jack,” my Mom said, pulling me free from her legs. “Go tell daddy that we’re all dressed and packed.”
Even when I warned them of my gut feeling, they wouldn’t listen – because, of course, who was I but another eight year old kid?
We were drifting along the roads, the streets empty and the roads smooth. I remember noticing that there were no road bumps, and that the traffic lights were all stuck at green.  I grasped my tummy and let out a little “Ow…”
“You okay, Jack?” my Mom said, merely glancing behind her.
I didn’t respond, but she didn’t notice.
“Take that next turn,” she told my Dad.
We were on the freeway now, and the sunbeam was blinding my vision. Everything was white and painful, but I didn’t mind. I learned to enjoy the sun, no matter how hot it would get. I could see the car in my head rolling down the freeway at 160 miles per hour, the sun’s rays reflecting off of its hood. I could see the gray tires rolling smoothly, not being disturbed by the slightest bump.
And then I remember my father suddenly start slowing down his car, and my Mom turning around to look at him.
I sat up on my seat and turned around to look through the rear window of the car.
“Jack, turn around. Sit down, Jack.”
There was a big black car, the shiniest I’ve ever seen. Its tires were as big as my body, and the windows were tinted black. It was rolling along behind us, possibly smoother than our ride was – if that’s even possible.
My dad gradually came to a stop on the side of the freeway, and quickly began undoing his seatbelt.
“Ted, what are you doing?” My mom said to my Dad. His name was Ted.
He didn’t hear her though. My Mom repeated the question as he started to fumble through the compartment of the car. He then stopped and looked at her straight in the eyes.
“Nada,” he had said. He put a hand on her chin. “I love you.”
“Ted, what are you doing?” she repeated for the third time, but this time her voice wavered and she held onto him.
I sat in the backseat of my car, watching as the clock turned from 6:59 to 7am.
All of a sudden there were four men surrounding our car, they were little men with big guns pointed at the car.
My Mom and Dad sat frozen in their seats, with the exception of my Mom’s hand smoothly reach out to me. I held onto her hand, not knowing what else to do.
The smallest of the little men took a step forward and let out the biggest and deepest voice I thought I’d ever hear in my life.
Your prospect of living is gone.
You ran the light at dawn.
Protectors on your back
The lights are on their track.
You must now face authority.
You’re nothing like me.
You must now face authority,
You’re nothing like me..
“Put your hands up and get out of the car!” he yelled hoarsely. When my parents still didn’t budge,  the little man kicked the car causing it to make a deafening noise. The three of us were all shaking in the car now, and whether it was from the impact of his kick or from fear, I couldn’t tell.
“I said, put your hands up and get out of the car!” the little man yelled out once more.
Without a warning, my dad suddenly stepped out of the car, and the three little men all pointed their guns at his head.
“Take me, and let my family go. They did nothing wrong,” my Dad said, his hands still up in the air.
And again, without a warning, the little man who had kicked the car raised his gun at my dad’s head and blew it off.
I didn’t see anything, because my Mom was grasping me in her arms and had my eyes covered with her big soft hands. I always felt safe from harm in my Mom’s clutches, but when she started sobbing, I felt like all hope was lost.
Someone knocked at the window of our car.
“Ma’am, will you please keep your hands up and step out of the car.”
I sat frozen on my Mom’s lap, not knowing what to do or think.
Clearly, my Mom didn’t either, cause all she was able to sputter through her loud tears and sobs was, “You filthy pigs!”
She was hysterically crying now, and hugging me tighter than ever.
Another knock on the window.
“FUCK YOU!” she yelled, louder this time. Except it wasn’t loud, it was almost like she was screeching. It scared me.
The events that happened in the following two minutes were nothing but a blur to me.
My Mom did eventually step out of the car, but she didn’t have her hands up. She had it clutched behind her back, holding me and still keeping me safe. My brave Mom.
She yelled out a few more obscene words before I witnessed her head being blown off. A few drops of blood sprayed on my face and my shirt, but I was too numb to wipe them off.
The six of us all alone on the eerily silent freeway; three strangers, two dead, and me.
I stood frozen in my spot, trying to not look at the blood that was gushing out of my Mom's head.
“Come here, Mister Jack,” the little men said, putting their guns down.
I quickly looked up at them.
It was the first time I was ever called Mister Jack.
And so I let them take me away.
(This story is based on the song Mr. Jack by System of a Down)

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