On the Run

The garbage man was suspicious. He was stopping at every house to look for somebody.

Freddy was watching from afar, waiting for the coast to be clear. He had made it across town without once being seen. But it had cost him. His clothes were torn, grass stains covered him as if the child with the green crayon just couldn't color within the lines, he had twigs in his hair from the close call that had landed him in the tree, and he'd even been lightly mauled by a guard dog.

No one knew he was here though, at Fifth and Gaborough. He had escaped his life. His life was moping quietly back at his house. But he--he was here! Here, on this random residential street with the adrenaline pumping in his veins, and the garbage man now only feet from his hiding place.

Freddy stared down the next lawn and sized up the following fence. He would be at the airport by dusk if he kept this up. And then, though he didn't know how, he would get himself on a plane to <place exotic destination here>.

But his life could be hiding around any corner. Someone he knew could spot him at any moment. So he had to continue his neighborhood creep, though it was demeaning to crawl on his belly through gardens belonging to innocent bystanders.

After another hour of this, tired to the bone, Freddy narrowed in on the airport. Now, like a graceful baron, he would transform from an invisible fence jumper to a respectable and extremely inconspicuous business man...who happened to look like a bushman barbarian.

Entering the airport, he pretended with all his might that not even one person was staring awkwardly at him. He acted so nonchalant that he even knocked over the magazine rack that he chose to casually lean against. And then, with the grace of a dog playing fetch, he switched roles in the blink of an eye and ran from the scene.

Upon rounding a corner, he quickly sat down, crossed his legs, and raised a newspaper over his face. For some reason, a security guard confronted him anyway. Perhaps it was because the newspaper was upside down.

"Excuse me, sir," said the man.

Freddy lowered the newspaper. "Yes?" he inquired.

"Did you just knock over that magazine rack?"

"What magazine rack?" asked Freddy.

"The one you just knocked over."

Freddy raised an eyebrow. "You appear to have just answered your own question," he said coolly.

The security guard folded his arms. "May I ask why you knocked it over?"

"I was testing its stability," Freddy said. "Didn't you know? I am a civil engineer."

The security guard squinted at him. "I see..." he drawled. "And tell me: why did you flee the scene?"

Freddy paused with his mouth ajar and then said, "Because I had to go to the washroom..."

The security guard frowned. "On that bench?" he asked.

"Heavens no!" Freddy said, getting to his feet. "In the washroom just there." He pointed to a nearby washroom and then said, "I'll only be a moment. Then I will be back to settle whatever complaints you have of my innocent affairs."

The guard let him go out of the realization that he would really rather take a coffee break.

But Freddy, just to be sure, climbed out of the bathroom window and down into the luggage bay.

The End

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