Fear Falling

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
This was written for a contest about 'Fears'. Hope you guys like it!! - Rose Burg xx

Submitted: June 19, 2014

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Submitted: June 19, 2014

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The knife dripped with blood in front of my face. His long metallic arm held it at my throat and my breathing stuttered. I began to sweat profusely, the salty mixture of dirt and tears that stained my face dripped into my gaped mouth. The man began to screech and wail, like a Pterodactyl embracing its long awaited prey. I began to hyperventilate. In. Out. In. Out. In-out-in-out-in-out-in-out. Not again, not again. He leant down and ripped at my neck with the sharpened side of the blade. I took a quick and desperate gasp in before I felt my body fall to the floor.

***

The sheets were tangled around my legs and I sat up in bed. The book fell from my chest and I cursed at the novel that had eclipsed my dreams. I swung my legs out of bed and rubbed my eyes. The room was trashed and I looked out across what $20 had bought me. A fresh blood stain had poured out onto the carpet. I stood up and felt my neck. Apart from the manifesting stubble, any evidence of the cut had disappeared.
 

The sun had begun to pierce through the kitchen window and I chucked the suspense novel onto the wooden bench. The fridge beeped and I dropped to my elbows on the bench top. The Electric Menu Control (EMC) sat below where I had leant. I stubbed the coffee icon.

“Large, black – no sugar,” I told the machine. The fridge began to whir and a steaming cup of coffee came out of the machine. I took it and leant back on the bench. I flicked on the TV.

‘They have infiltrated our barriers – killing thousands as they move through the city.’; ‘There is no way to survive – they are ruthless, and they are not human.’
 

Images of tall soldier like robots marched across the screen, headed for town hall assumedly. I took another sip of coffee and watched as people screamed and ran away from the knife-wielding robots. I placed the coffee down and stepped back towards the bed. I lay down and watched the blood stain on the carpet disappear as I drifted back to sleep.

***

I sat up from bed and listened to the pitter-patter of raindrops hitting the window frame. It was calm. They were gone. The front door to the small apartment flung open and bruised the wall with a thud. James walked into the room and hung a navy blue suit and tie on the bathroom door. I watched him chuck a pair of shined leather shoes at me and I caught them before they hit my face.

“Get dressed. We are back in business,” James called back at me as he walked out of the apartment. I got out of bed for the second time today and took a sip of the still warm coffee. James ran back into the apartment. “Twenty minutes, move your ass!” I raised my eyebrows in understanding. I tipped the rest of the coffee down the sink and placed the suspense novel back in the book stand with the others.

***

“We have thirteen on the outskirts. You’ve really got to stop reading those books,” James said, motioning with his head at the horror novel I had laid on top of my briefcase.

“I fix it,” I replied. The streets of New York flickered past me in the rain. “Besides, we were getting bored,” James rolled his eyes and I leant forward to the taxi driver. “Next right, three doors down,” I told him. The driver nodded and turned the corner.

“You’re going to kill us all,” James said to me. I snuffed a slight laugh. “I’m serious, it’s dangerous.” I shook my head. The driver stopped outside of an abandoned coffee shop and I turned back to James.

“What do you fear in this world?” I asked him. He looked up at me from his phone.

“I fear you.” I shook my head and stepped out of the yellow taxi.

***

The driver sped off and I placed one hand in the suit pocket and looked into my latest job. It was abandoned to say the least. I opened the café door and walked inside. I shuffled around for a torch in my briefcase and shone it over the tipped coffee tables. A scratched coffee mug rolled away from my foot as I walked cautiously towards the kitchen.

 

Shelves holding an array of items had collapsed, leaving shrapnel and broken coffee mugs scattered behind the bar. I walked towards the door leading to the kitchen. It had a small glass window near the top and I shone the torch through and looked around. The kitchen hadn’t been hit. A chef stood motionless in front of a pot that had been caught mid scene. A kitchen hand stood on the opposite side of the room. His wrist was paused in the middle of a cut of green capsicum. It looked like a photograph.

 

I stepped back from the door and pulled out my mobile.

"James. It's me. Coffee house was hit, kitchen wasn't. There are two in the kitchen. Code Cedar. Permission to continue?" I asked.

"Permission granted, do what you have to do." I hung up the cell and moved towards the centre of the shop.

 

I un-clipped the brief case I had been carrying and lay the portal on the ground. I took a seat in the closest chair and picked a coffee cup off the floor and rested it on the still-standing coffee table beside me. The portal began to beep. I leant down and clicked it on then closed my eyes. One. Two. Three.

 

The coffee machine whirred and the sound of the kitchen door banging open filled the coffee shop. I opened my eyes and took a sip of the full coffee cup in front of me. People walked into the shop chatting and a slight drizzle began outside the shop. I stood and clipped my brief case. My mobile beeped and buzzed on the coffee table and I opened the message. A list of twelve coordinates appeared on the screen. A second text came through: ‘JFK airport. Twenty minutes.’ I walked out of the café, slow enough to see the small, meek looking waitress smile at me as I walked out into the rain.

***

The flight attendant wheeled the duty-free cart down the first class aisle. James flicked across the screen of his phone.
“You’ve done it this time,” James said, almost to himself. I shook my head at the flight attendant that walked past.
“Done what?” I asked. He held up the screen of his phone to my face.
“They’re getting bigger-” he pointed at the screen “-can you see those grey blurs on the screen? They are the areas susceptible. And those red dots? Those are the places you already messed up in. You broke the system. You know you’re not supposed to dream. That’s basic training, Mark.” I shook my head and unclipped my seat belt.
“James, you have forever been afraid of getting hurt – of adventure. Of opportunity. You have always been afraid to dream. And you’d be out of the job if I didn’t.” I said. He shook his head and went back to his phone. I stood and made my way back to the bathroom.

The door clipped closed and I locked it twice. I placed the seat down on the toilet and sat with my head in my hands. I sighed and tried to collect myself.

The room shook slightly. The room began to shake more. I fell onto the wall of the cubicle as the plane began to tip downwards. I leant forward and jiggled the lock with my hands but it seemed to be jammed shut. I kicked at the door lock. It wasn’t opening. I rubbed my hands through my hair and leant back on the wall. We were falling fast. I lay straight on the wall that was now horizontal. The toilet on my left; the bathroom door on my right. The walls felt like they were closing in. I looked at my face in the mirror. Three. Two. One. I shut my eyes.

***

The image was simple. The grass was mowed; a flag stood proudly on the front lawn. The family stood in front of the light blue, two storey house with a smile on their faces. There was a sprinkler clicking across the lawn and I felt my breathing slow. It was small at first and then it got bigger. It was falling fast. The aeroplane had tipped downwards towards the home. An engine caught fire and the plane fell faster. I tried to push the image out of my mind. Resist the dream. Resist the dream.

The plane stopped falling and slowed to almost a complete stop. The lawnmowers started up and the sound of clipping – probably roses – filtered the air. The plane strained against my fight, its tip one metre away from the two storey house. The family kept smiling. The flames slowly moved up from the engine. The plane liquefied and it began to rain on the quiet street. The family ran inside – laughing – completely unaware of the disaster that could have occurred. I closed my eyes. One. Two. Three.

***

I slid down the now vertical wall into a ball on the ground. There were three sharp knocks on the bathroom door.
“Sir, are you alright?” the flight attendant asked.
“Yes, yes, I’m fine, I’m fine. Won’t be a minute,” I yelled out. I stood and brushed out my suit in front of the mirror. I flushed the toilet and walked out of the bathroom.

***

“Nice dream,” I said sarcastically as I sat down.
“’You have always been afraid to dream.’ Huh? You should be more afraid, my friend.” James replied. The flight attendant wheeled another cart down the aisle.
“Any duty free, gentlemen?” she asked.
“No, thanks,” I answered. James flicked across the screen of his phone again. James cleared his throat.
“Always be afraid to dream, Mark. I won’t always be able to clean up your mess.”


© Copyright 2020 Rose Burg. All rights reserved.

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