88A Chapter by Kyle P.
An idea of a pianist who leads a revolution in a dismal utopian society
Edward woke with a sharp image in his mind: his own mother looking him in the face with a smile and open arms. Her face was clear as day. But he couldn’t touch her.
He wiped the sweat off his face and turned to see Bernardo, his stepfather looking out his window through the blinds. The light played on his face in an interesting arrangement.
Edward leaned up on his elbows.
“Bernardo, did you wake me?”
“Yes,” he replied with a thickly accented voice.
Bernardo didn’t respond. He continued looking out through the window frantically checking what he was seeing.
“I’m sorry! So sorry! Too sorry!”
“Just tell me what’s wrong!”
Bernardo faced Edward.
“You must leave.”
walked over to his dresser and turned on a light to reveal the little, brown,
cramped room. It used to be a washroom, but it served as Edward’s bedroom.
“What’s wrong? Why do I have to leave?”
“I can’t tell you right now, Edward.”
“Yes you can. Just tell me straight.”
“It’s not like that! You must leave now!”
“You don’t have to tell me everything! Just tell me something! Any-”
“They are coming! They are coming to get you!”
Before Edward could respond, Bernardo reached forward and grabbed Edward’s wrist. He showed Edward the dark spiral that started in the center of his palm and swirled out to where his thumb connected with his hand, close to the wrist. There was a thick, ropy scar that stretched from the spiral down his forearm, originally cut when Edward was much younger, and tried to cut the mark from his hand, resulting in a nearly fatal wound.
“They are coming to get you for this!”
“God knows! Maybe racist, maybe idiots, maybe very, very smart! I don’t know! But I do know that you have to leave here!”
He took Edward’s hand and led him out of the room, into the main room of the small apartment and into the kitchen where he opened the window. Edward stepped out through the window onto the metal staircase that was attached to the side of the building. It was pitch black in the sky, but the city was in full swing.
Edward heard some shouting.
“Wait, Edward!” said Bernardo reaching out to his son as he began to depart. Edward looked up and saw the man holding out a book and a small leather pouch. Edward reached forward and grabbed them.
“This is from your mother. She wanted me to give it to you many years before, but I just couldn’t make myself do it. Now you must take them, and-”
This caught Bernardo off guard and he stuttered and tears caught his eyes. Edward walked down the staircase, carrying his bag over his shoulder.
When Edward could not hear Bernardo anymore, the old man said, “Goodbye… my son.”
Edward reached the bottom and leapt off into the alleyway. He looked around to check himself and then walked down the alley. Cars swept by on the road up ahead. When he reached the sidewalk, he felt the deep, pulsing rhythm of the city pounding in his veins. He was born here and it was a part of him.
Edward walked down the road to an intersection. He pressed the button to cross and stood to wait a moment. He made sure to hide his hands in his pockets so as not to reveal his marked status.
As he crossed the street, he saw some men traveling in a group walking to meet him at the next corner. Edward averted his eyes and sped his walk.
The men sped up.
At the corner, Edward passed the first man, but a second man put out his foot and tripped Edward so that his face hit the icy sidewalk.
Edward got up and faced them for a moment.
Then he continued walking down the sidewalk and the men followed him. When he reached the next crosswalk, he saw they were still following, so that when he crossed, they crossed right behind him. When he reached the next corner, he ran across the crosswalk. With him on one side and the men on the other, he was safe for the moment. A bus passed and blocked him from their view. When it passed, they saw that he was running down the sidewalk. They ran after him, nearly hitting a car as they crossed.
Edward turned the corner and ran into the nearest shop. He found that he had run into a bar. Some men were playing pool over in the corner and tattooed couples sat at the bar, drinking into the night. The hard rock music blared over all the talking and commotion in the room. He sat down at the far end of the bar. The bartender, a slender, blonde girl, approached him.
“Nothing hard right now. Just water will be fine.”
She pulled out a glass and filled it, looking at him with a conspicuous look all the while.
The first sip was a refreshing burst of moisture.
When he looked down the bar, he saw that the men had entered and they were looking around for him. He turned back down to his glass. When he looked up again, he saw that the three seats next to him were empty. On the fourth one, a girl sat, eyeing him with a favorable look. He turned back to the bartender.
“Hey, do you have a hat or something that I could wear?”
She just looked at him.
“It’s just…” he sighed. “Can you keep a secret? A big, terrible secret?”
Edward extended his marked hand.
Her eyes widened.
“There’s someone looking for me and they are in this room. I need to hide myself, so-“
“Come back here.”
Suddenly, Edward felt someone put their hand on his shoulder.
“Excuse me miss. We’d like to order five drinks for us four guys and this one.
© 2011 Kyle P.
Added on October 25, 2011
Last Updated on October 25, 2011
Centauria, The Realm of the Irregular