Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chapter One - The Tracker

Okay, this is the first chapter of my story. I don't know what I'm going to call it yet or anything, and I don't know how long it will take to finish the rest of the chapters, but I'm working on it. Tell me what you think!

I practically flew down the stairs. No one was looking - surprisingly, since it was the last day of school. But, I was using the old, dirty stairs. The path less traveled by. I had to get out quickly. The last day of school meant the first day of summer. And, the first day of summer meant that my test had begun.

--

I wasn't too obvious. I slowed my pace after the first block. I looked over my shoulder as I turned corners. I used reflectors wherever I could find them to look behind me rather than turn around. I was being careful; I was out of practice. And, although my senses were tingling, and there was a new found spring in my step, I knew that cockiness meant miscalculations. Miscalculations meant misconceptions. Misconceptions meant mistakes. And, mistakes mean death.

I had prepared for today this morning. I chose my black leather jacket to wear over my black tank instead of the soft blue one. I wore my skinny jeans that stayed close to my calves instead of my flares. I put on my converse with the comfy socks instead of flip flops. I threw my straight hair into a high pony tail and wore a thick stretchy band around my head to keep my bangs from falling in my eyes instead of curling it and letting it fall over my shoulders. But, I wore the thick eyeliner and mascara just for show. It’s more intimidating.

Of course, I had packed the necessities. Two were in the inside pockets of my jacket. The big one was in the bushes. You could get in trouble for bringing that to school. I smiled as I turned the last corner to my makeshift headquarters. My teammates were Me, Myself, and I. I looked over my shoulder one last time as I reached down and picked up my biggest gun from the shrubbery. It wasn’t well hidden, but as everyone knows, the best place for something to hide is in plain sight.

I was slightly out of breath by the time I reached my house. I needed something to eat, and McDonald's was simply not going to cut it. I ran in through the side door, and walked up the steps inside. It opened into a large, clean, white kitchen, and I opened the refrigerator to find all the fruits and veggies laid out on the middle shelf. I took an apple and washed it at the sink. I cut it in half skillfully. Knifes didn’t scare me anymore.

I longed for the day I could once again bite into an apple. Unfortunately, braces don’t appreciate apple gunk. Or, anything else, basically. I started chewing when Sandra came in through the other door.

“First day?” she guessed, asking warily. She had seen me in action. And, she was a small, shy girl. The broom she was holding was put into the closet next to the refrigerator.

“Yeah,” I replied briefly as I threw the core from one half in the trash and began on the other.

“Well, good luck.” She was more comfortable now, seeing that I wasn’t in a mood. This is just a test. A practice. Nothing serious, I said to calm myself down. I wasn’t shaking or anything, but I was getting jittery.

“Thanks. I’m gunna need it.” Actually, I didn’t. These were amateurs I was dealing with, and I did my research.

I left with another toss into the garbage. I grabbed my satchel and stuck another apple in one of the inside pockets with my gun. You never knew how long you would have to go without food.

Relax, I told myself. Remember, they are amateurs. Don’t be too hard on them. They won’t even take it seriously. Crush them softly, I thought with a smile. I jumped on my bike. The handlebars were wide, and I had slung my satchel into the basket in the front as I began my descent down the driveway. Just get them, get out, and move on.

It would take about half an hour to get there on foot, so I decided on the bike. It would cut time in half, and it wouldn’t be as loud as my rusty red truck, as eye-catching as my yellow convertible, or as slow as walking.

I took a weaving path to get to my Target’s house. I had contemplated on my attack plan the night before. I didn’t want to try something too complicated - word would get out soon enough, and I didn’t need any of that. I would start simply; no fancy maneuvers.

My bike was in good condition, and so was I. I pedaled down the main street, and took a right. The trees from the canopy above me were creating shadows that danced along the paved road. The houses weren’t too fancy, but there was a certain class about them. I knew my Target got off the bus seven minutes after three. Sometimes the bus was a few minutes late, but I found the school’s bus system was quite efficient.

I wanted to get to her house by 2:50. Time for me to calm down and plan my attack - again. It was about 2:40, and I scolded myself for forgetting my watch. I was making good time, though.

As I rounded the corner, I looked over my shoulder once again. I caught a glimpse of a figure walking in the direction I was. I continued unfazed, but my guard did not go down. He was a Tracker.

The next time I looked behind me I pedaled slower and altered my path to throw him off. He had to be a Tracker. We continued for a while, every once in a while, I’d look back again. I’ll admit it, though, he was good. He never looked at me…or I never saw him look at me. His gaze was always on a passing car, or the houses that lined the street. It looked like he was walking aimlessly, but somehow he was gaining on me; probably jogging faster when my back was turned.

He only tripped up once, and I was lucky to see it. I turned and I could see part of his gun through his jacket. After my suspicions were confirmed, I put myself on the defence; there was no way I could get my Target and fend off a Tracker at the same time, especially out of training.

I had been in this part of the neighborhood many times before. I needed to study my Target, and I had found a rather large section of land that was occupied by a thick grove of trees. I usually ate lunch there when doing my research and my Target left. Sometimes research gets boring, even when it’s alive and breathing.

I guided my bike to the woods while peddling faster, trying to get to the cover of the trees. I look behind me and saw that my Tracker started running when I picked up the pace. I stood up on my bike, letting it glide as I swung my right leg over the seat so I was standing on one side. The trees grew nearer, and the paved road was starting to end. I lowered my left foot to slow down my bike, and pulled the brakes slightly. I was starting to slow down, but my sudden quickening of pace before had put much distance between me and my Tracker. I hopped off my bike and grabbed my satchel out of the basket as I guided the bike to lie against a tree. I put the bag over my shoulder and started to look for my gun, feeling stupid for not having it ready before.

Soon enough I realize I cannot get to it in time; he reached the point that I had started to slow down at, and had quickened into a sprint. Maybe he isn’t an amateur, I thought to myself. You don’t see that much enthusiasm during these times. I give up on finding my gun and start running through the woods, dodging the trees that come up out of nowhere.

I think that I am distancing myself from him, but when I look back briefly, he is weaving through the thickest parts quicker than I could do it myself. Yeah, definitely not an amateur. I pick up the pace a little, and my hand starts to search for my gun again in my bag. I find it, and with a smile I bring it up to my chest. I promised myself not to use my big one until the end, but he was actually good, and the bigger one would be more reliable.

He was closing in, and I was prepared to turn around and shoot when I heard him loading his gun. Maybe I wouldn’t be able to hear his long speech. I load mine as well, and start to shoot behind me. I miss horribly, and I see him duck out of the way. The next second, he is aimed at me and prepared to shoot. I turn around and I think that I am finally going to be able to get a better look at him, but he stops running and I hide behind a big tree that I took as an oak. I look around the tree and see that he is having difficulties with his gun. He shoots it at the ground, but nothing happens.

I wait for a little to see if he had a back-up, but he continues to struggle with it, banging this time with his wrist. He looks up at me as I lean from behind the oak. I was about a hundred yards away, and the first thing I notice was his piercing blue eyes. They show fear, and a smile creeps over my face as a hunter would do when his prey is trapped. Of course, I was the prey a second ago, but in this crazy world, anything can happen.

“Having a little trouble?” I ask slyly as I load my gun for a second time. I step out from behind the tree and stand with my feet a shoulder width apart.

"Jus’ a minor problem.” He responds, clearly trying not to show the fear that had already been exposed.

“Should I wait?” I smile again, and he knows that I won’t. He drops his gun on the ground, obviously fed up with it. He raises his hands in surrender, and I walk closer slowly, my gun not fully extended.

“Fine,” he says, “I never wanted to do this anyway.” He was wearing khaki shorts and a grey faded hoodie, an odd choice for the last day of school. “Jus’ get it over with.” He stares me down, trying to find pity in my cold heart. Obviously, he doesn’t know how many I have killed.

“I will.” I continue to step closer, increasing the suspense. I love to watch them squirm. But, he was actually playing along. It was getting fun.

After a few seconds of suspense, he breaks the silence. “Are you going to shoot me, or not?” He wasn’t really upset, and I could see his smile starting to show.

“I will,” I say again. This gets him more annoyed. “You’re a good runner.” My compliment does nothing to faze him. By that time I was standing in front of him, gun fully extended; loaded.

“Yeah. And you’re good at working the suspense.” His answer was sarcastic, but I could still see the smile. “Just shoot me.” His head lowers a bit. ”You know, we’re gunna have to go through this again tomorr-“ I raise the gun to his face and he stops talking. He lowers his head all the way now, and I prepare to shoot.

“Yeah, but I take it seriously.” I was almost mad. Everyone thought it was a joke.

“I take it seriously too,” he said, talking to the ground. “I’m just pointing that out.” His hands were at his sides now, no longer in the air in the sign of surrender. I smiled a little, but it was not a sneer.

“Well, let’s see how seriously you take this.” I pull the trigger and his head gets soaked immediately. He falls to the ground, and I laugh at how seriously he did take it. He chuckles on the ground, and I lean down to his level. “You didn’t have to fall,” I said, the laughter still escaping me. The arm that was holding my water gun fell to my side.

“Well, you didn’t think I was serious,” he said quietly, still laughing. “Now go away, I’m dead,” he said with a smirk. I continue to laugh as I walk my way back out of the woods. Maybe there was someone who was going to take it seriously after all. I was still smiling when I turn around to look at him again, lying in the dirt.

“See you tomorrow,” I yell, but the dead man stays quiet.

The next time I turn around, he is gone.

3 comments:

Marie DeVries said...

oooooo! I like it.

one thing I'd change:
in your second paragraph when you do the chain reaction thing, I'd make it all present tense: all 'mean' and 'means' not 'meant'.

oh, and I don't think you've told us her name yet... maybe have Sandra mention it? Just so we know who to call this character...

I like how you don't tell us they are using water guns till the end. You are working the suspense, too ;)

Maggie DeVries said...

Yeah, I haven't said the name because I haven't decided on it yet... :/

he he thanks!

rinielsmusings said...

Love it!!! I can't wait to read more soon. I like the way you led up to the ending. The suspense was great.
The only thing I can warn you about is starting your sentences with "I" too much. That's pretty mcuh it. :)