This is the story of John. A man who is on the run from the past, and himself.
Read the story to get a better Idea.
Morning sun fell, broken into bar-like shapes, through John's cheap bedroom blinds, only stirring him slightly.
His belongings lay strewn around him, in neat labeled boxes, some ready for the journey ahead, the rest to be discarded or fated to gather dust in Marie's basement.
Suddenly the sharp, screeching sound of the alarm clock pierced through the room, boring into John's mind, waking him from his relentless nightmares. He reached out with a tired arm, groping over the bedside table for the screeching clock. Never really the morning person, John was repeatedly saying over and over to himself, 'Just 5 more minutes, just five more...'
As he stumbled into Marie's modern-looking kitchen, he noticed the usual laughter of children just down the corridor.
'Dad, dad! Bobby caught a bug in the garden! Look! It's so gross!' John smiled as he picked up Katie, his youngest, and held her high above the light fittings.
'Right! Let's see this disgusting little blighter then!'
Bobby came running in after them.
'Yes, yes I know,' John smiled at his children, 'Do you know what kind of bug that is Bobby?'
'Um... What is it dad?'
John took the still bug and held it up for everybody's observation. 'That, my boy, is a praying mantis!'
'Oh wow! What does it do?'
John was interrupted by the sight of his wife standing in the doorway, while his children slowly dissapeared around him, leaving only the mantis staring him blankly in the eyes. As they melted away, she spoke in her calm tone;
'You look surprised to see me.'
'Well... I hadn't expected you... what with the meds and all.'
'You've been taking... meds?'
The room turned dark as her rage intensified.
'What did I tell you, John? What the hell did I tell you?'
John gritted his teeth, told himself the same old story...
Much to John's surprise, the woman he loved backed back down the hallway, lighting the room once more, leaving him alone, crouching on the polished hardwood floor, with nothing but thoughts, and the whispers of his mind.
John was startled by his sister Marie's voice, and he sprang up wildly.
'Oh, no just a few things.'
Marie tutted her usual tut, the one that showed a freindly dissapointment of sorts.
She unveiled her checklist, and clicked her pen.
'Ok... do you have your... Medication?'
Johns reply was blunt, like he was a teenager going to school again, after all those years...
'Warm coat? Pillow?'
She flicked her black ponytail in a gruff satisfaction, and gave him that look she always gave when she was worried.
'Will you be okay driving there by yourself?'
'I can handle myself.'
'It's getting worse isn't it?'
As she said this, Bobby was crunching cereal at the kitchen counter, unawares of the conversation, Katie was playing with her dolls in the corner, and Roseanne was glancing with dark eyes over at them, waiting for a moment alone. Then Marie swiftly snapped her fingers in front of Johns empty gaze.
'JOHN! Don't pay attention to them. Now have you taken this morning's medication?'
'Oh, um... yeah, no I haven't yet. But I'm half empty almost. So I'll just go to the chemist's on the way out.'
Her face went softer. 'Okay,' she said with a smile. 'you'll stay safe, won't you?'
Then John silently turned towards the door, and slowly lifted his coat off the hook.
He then glanced back to see tears flowing down his sister's pale, vibrant face. Without a word, he walked out of the door, and never looked back.
John's old red pickup truck grumbled down Boone street for the last time, away from Marie's house. She had been his only comfort these past 7 years, making sure he took his meds, helping him get a job, and just being there for him. Now, he was sure that her mundane list will be the last thing she said to him.
As he crossed further through town, the sun was bearing down on him, on all the people who walked the sideways streets, scuttling about their own buisness, ants feeding the well-oiled machine of society.
The red truck trundled up to Donovan's Chemist, "Everybody's Local since 1975." as the droll sign outside pitched.
There was a welcome tinkle as John opened the store door, to see a giant line of the sick and elderly, lining up for their medication. Donovan's was always busy, being the only chemist in town, and the only source of any medication, for it supplied the small nearby hospital east of town.
John unexpectedly had a small tiff with Donovan over his meds. Some jargon crap that he didn't understand. The point was, he couldn't fill up the small bottle he had, and he stormed out of the store, angry and confused, not quite prepared for the long road ahead.
The road was splayed out in front of him, a long, grey arm. It was mostly straight, with the end stretching off into the horizon, shaking uncontrollably with the heat. A jelly view.
John's knuckles were clasped to the steering wheel, his mind set, his goal clear.
Bobby finally interrupted the silence.
'Daaaddy, where are we going?'
John looked at his son, emotionless.
'We're going to get me fixed.'
'But... you're not broken, dad?'
John almost laughed at this lie. He seemed to be telling himself that more and more through the passing days.
'Yes... I am broken.'
Katie leaned around Bobby in her seat.
'I know where we are going, Dad.'
Her voice was dark, nothing like the little girl that John remembered. He almost dared to look at her, but instead reached out into the space of the truck cab, for his medication.
'Daaaaaaddyyyy.... what are you doing?'
Bobby's voice had succumbed also, the very sound was being twisted, morphed. It was a slow, raspy, gurgling voice, and It chilled John to the very bone.
John's hand managed to get to the glovebox. As he opened it, he could feel the cold, clammy hands of his children gripping his arm.
'Don't wish us away daddy... you'll kill us. It hurts daddy... don't do it...'
They were beginning to scream at him now, boring into the very depths of his mind. Reality was slipping away, the road infront of him crumbling into nothingness.
'DADDY! WOULD YOU KILL YOUR OWN SON AND DAUGHTER???'
'Just shut up! This isn't real!!!!'
He finally managed to slip the pill down his throat, as the world slowly came back to greet him.
-End of part 1-