Heard at lastMature

Chapter nineteen


Jason walked under the overcast evening sky in a hooded jacket, and he rushed quickly, his feet slapping against the old broken road and sloshing in the many accumulated puddles from the day before.  He paused just outside one of the city’s buildings and looked around to make sure he was alone and that no messenger or surveillance probes were around.  When he was Satisfied, Jason ducked into an alley and slunk through the safe darkness.

The city was off limits to the commoners unless they were there on official business.

Jason was not.

He crouched as he walked and his feet were silent on the grimy slate ground.  He hugged the walls, where the shadows were thick, and he let his hands slide against the walls for support.  Jason paused at the lip of the wall, where the forgotten little passage opened up into the street.  He held his breath, then lurched forward and let himself blend into the light and the crowds.

Jason walked next to the transport grid, on the slate walkway with plenty of other children of various ages.  The city had it set up that instead of having to use the old crude machinery such as cars and bikes of the twentieth and twenty first centuries.  Instead they laid the city out with magnetic grids that the transportation shuttles used with their own set of magnets to hover above people and object.  The Transportation Shuttles also had destinations preprogrammed into them so human error could not endanger anyone.  It was a very well thought out system, and it proved energy efficient and safe.

To further prevent accidents, no person under the age of twenty, when they are sent to their own household, is allowed to drive, or even ride, in one of the transportation shuttles, save for children under the age of ten, who may ride only with their mothers.  The transportation shuttles looked quite like oblong baubles floating in mid air.  They were an elliptical shape, with a flat bottom for landing.  Smart metal made the sides up halfway, and windows covered the top portion.  The insides Jason had never seen except through glimpses of windows, but he thought they were covered in white round seats probably made out of smart and synthetic leather.

The outside metal could be customized to turn certain patterns and colors, from red to animal print to jungle foliage to underwater scenes.  Bright colors were often used, and it was almost an unspoken competition to all the elite to show off their transportation shuttles, and Jason glanced upwards as a sea of movement and color zipped overhead.

Jason wondered if his father was up there right now.  He hoped not.  He also thought about Cassidy Bree as he looked at the crowd he had become a part of.  Could she be out here also?  Jason was not sure if he even believed himself about the fact of his sister’s life anymore.  He hadn’t said anything about it to his mother; he had just left after she told him the information he needed.

Jason hung his head in shame as he realized how much of a jerk he had been to his mother after she had told him his father’s name, but regret did not mix with that shame.  He deserved to hear what he had said, and at least it let Jason actually do something about the trouble in his life.

He gripped the knife tighter in his hand, making sure it was still there, and he shoved his way through a pair of girls that looked to be about his age and were carrying art bags at their sides.  He watched them out of the corner of his eye as one of them started shouting at how rude Jason was.  They were both pretty, and Jason wondered if every rich person was.  On any other day, Jason probably would have said something smart back at her, or even throw her against the wall to try and scare her for a little fun, but today he just shrugged, ad muttered “Sorry,” just loud enough for them to hear.

He kept walking down the slate walkway and turned the nearest corner.  He looked around as the walkway forked into two paths.  He had no idea where he was going or how to get to his father’s house, but he took the left oath on a hunch and sped up his pace.

The light overhead faded to almost dark as he walked, and the streets emptied of bystanders.  Jason stopped his walking abruptly as he came by a gated three story house with smooth plaster walls and an engraved stone displaying the address.

37 East 17 North.

The gate latch was unlocked, and Jason looked around to make sure he was alone once again, before he pushed the black grill gate open and ducking into the natural plant garden.  He paused between two small oak trees as he glanced at the house.  He could see a window and a light inside.  If only he could get in there, then he could talk to his father.  His mom had told Jason that he had no wife and no child, and worked solely as an official for the government, so Jason thought it made sense that he would live alone.

Jason was able to sneak closer to the window and looked for a way to open it.  It would be easy to climb up to it, it was a mere six feet off the ground and easy for Jason to get a hold on the sill.  He gripped the sill with both hands and readied himself to jump up, when he paused and heard voices talking in the garden. Well. A voice.  A man’s.

His father’s.

Jason let go of the window sill and turned around to where his back was pressed against the plaster wall.  He looked around and saw no one, so he edged his body forward until he reached the owner of the voice.  He could see a torch light shining and he stopped.  The voice was talking obviously to himself, and no matter how hard he tried, Jason could not decipher what it was saying.

Jason unlatched himself from the wall and slunk forward in the darkness and glad that night had come.  Hw sucked in his breath as he glimpsed the man who his father was.  He was tall, like Jason, and had the same shade of hair that he wore short, but not in a buzz cut like Jason did.  He had a clean shaven face and wore an expensive looking tailored suit that was tight on the upper arms as if he had hidden muscles there.  Joshua was turned away from Jason and talked now in a murmur.

Jason stood up quietly and watched his father with a mix of hatred and awe at the same time.  His father turned as he spoke, and when he turned around completely, his moth stood open in surprise as he saw a young man standing in his private garden.  He cleared his throat and lifted his eyebrows as he surveyed Jason.

“Hello.  Can I help you?”  he said, a little perplexed.

“Yes, you can.”  Jason said.  “My name is Jason, I am your son.”

The End

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