SCRIBBLES: ‘Shattered’

shatteredI have little shards of projects, that I randomly find sometimes.  Drawings bits of stories and those kinds of things.  Sometimes I see them and get inspired to do something with them.  Usually I just look at them and vaguely remember what they are on about.  They tend to be a good thing to post to the blog when I have no idea what to post.  Obviously this is one of those pieces.

This bit I’m calling shattered.  The post date on the file was from 2007.  Yet the politics involved looks like it was written yesterday with everything going on in the world.  It reminds me of possibly a set up for some sort of pulp adventure, I did nothing with.  I really have no idea.  I don’t even remember writing it as sad as that sounds.  Its set in Los Angeles, which is interesting.  I have a few of these random bits of writing that are based in LA.  One day I’ll write something properly set in town.

But at any rate, I’m posting it here.  I hope you enjoy it.

****

The armed soldiers came in like ghosts.  Their foot falls nor did their guns put off more than hisses as they marched over the bottom floor of my house.  They made their way through my two story A-level like Bolsheviks with a similar agenda.  They weren’t after my flat mates though.  They were reputable young professionals.  And I would find out each and every one of them disappeared that night. 

I should have been just as “disappeared” as the lot of them were.  I was no less reputable as a professional; it was only my field had a way of getting information into my hands that perhaps wasn’t meant for my eyes.  So I knew things.  And somehow I got on the list of people who knew too much.  Funny thing was the information they were looking to seize I hadn’t yet even decrypted.  I had been up all night just straightening out the metal heads of the physical unit so I could try to read the damaged magnetic strips.   And perhaps if it wasn’t such a chore, I would never have had a god damn chance of getting out.  I would have been in a dark solitary cell or worse.

There was still little warning when a heavy boot crunched through my ply wood door. The brutal force sent the chunks of timber crashing to the crimson carpet.  The door itself crashed against the white wall with enough noise to take my eyes off the black metal insides of a harddrive.  My eyes darted up at them.  There were six in all wearing black Kevlar vests and those green infrared goggles and heavy automatic rifles.  It looked like I was looking at the guys not picked for a role in Splinter Cell.

“Bryan Thomas, on the floor.”  One of them barked.  I had a screw driver still in my left.   A laptop was open next to me.  My heart raced, and I could only try my best to struggle with the nightmare that was standing before me.

“What’s this about?”  I asked my voice shaking with the sort of fear that makes sane men do mental things.

“On the floor!”  They shouted again.

“I’m not an American Citizen.”   I shouted back at them.

“You have the count of three Mr. Thomas.”  They said.  And that’s when it clicked, what they were on about.  America had been slowly getting more and more crazed about terrorism.  That had to be it.  Someone must have told them there was a Middle Eastern bloke who knew a bit about computers up in this house.  Even if I was about as middle eastern as Barack Obama.  I looked the part well enough.  My mom was a paki, and I got a bit of her looks.  But I got my dad’s blond hair and blue eyes.  I was a sight, the sort weird mongrel you only get in Western Europe.

I threw the screw driver over handed and didn’t even bother with the laptop.  I just gripped the hard drive that was already in my hand and leapt from the bed.  The bullets flew like a metallic hail as they tried to fire on my fleeing person.  “Seize fire; our orders were not to kill him.”  One of the Johnny’s said behind me.  Lucky Uncle Sam didn’t have a target on my head.  So I did what any sensible Englishman would do and with the insanity I leapt through my fucking window.  Two stories up.  But god must have been watching because it was trash day.

*****

Bryan Thomas felt the glass shatter around him as he fell the 30 feet from his window.  Shards of glass and bullets sped around him like a terrific storm.  He closed his eyes tightly as he expected his shoulder to small into the asphalt.  But instead he found his body crashing into stinking plastic bags and IKEA boxes.

“Get a crew behind the house.”  Bryan could hear from above the broken window.  He took in a deep breath, as his dark fingers gripped the aluminum lip of the dumpster bin.  He shook his mane of blond hair free of debris before he leapt out of the dumpster.  His red chuck Taylors clasped the asphalt in a clap.

“Fuck me.”  He whispered to himself.  And inside his genius level mind, he realized the one true fact, if it was the americans that wanted him, for something he needed to do two things.  The first however was to get to British Consulate.  If he got there he’d have the sovereign rights of the UK to protect him.  Then the crown would force them to tell, exactly what was going on, of course that was in west Los Angeles, a bit of a trip from Sherman Oaks on a Friday night.  The second was contacting his lawyer.

Bryan stood in an alleyway and took a deep breath.  He quickly took the opened hard drive and stuffed it into the pocket of his hoody.  Then he drew the hood of the jacket over his skull.  If he was going to survive the trip he’d have to keep himself hidden.   A dark skinned mick tends to be easy to spot even a city as multi-cultured as Los Angeles.  However on the plus side Los Angeles was a big city.  The LAPD often lost their tags even with helicopters.

“Shit.”  He said to himself and quickly began walking towards the eastern exit of the alley.  He slipped his hand into the pockets of his Shorty’s jeans and pulled out the broad (yet remarkably thin) mobile and turned the glass over in his hand.  Quickly he pulled out the battery cover, and dug past the SD card before pulling the white cardboard sim from its socket.   He couldn’t help be glad he didn’t choose to go with Verizon after all.  That would a much bigger problem.

Turning onto to Clovendale, the rapid succession of a helicopter’s whirly blades caught his ears.  He ducked his head low and quickened his pace taking the long block around to the front of his house where his Utility truck was parked.   He felt the heart In his chest quicken as he got to the top of his street.  The entire area had been cordoned off by tape.  He thought himself lucky that his car was parked opposite of his house.  Bryan’s bright eyes turned to look at the two men in well-tailored suits and sun glasses standing in front of his door.  Looking up he could see the chopper looking at the streets behind his house.  He quickened his pace digging in his pants pocket for his keys.

He kept his head down and his attention on the obsidian truck that was waiting for him.  He didn’t use the auto lock as the chirp was too soon.  Carefully he inserted his key into the door and swung it open.  And carefully closing the door with but the smallest applause he started up the car.  The engine’s life caused alert by the two guards.  Who shouted, at him through the windows?  He didn’t wait to see the activity.  Instead he dropped the gear into drive and slammed the gas.  It was obvious, but it was all he had.  He had to get out of there and quick.

It was as he turned onto the main stretch of Los Angeles Blvd that he slowed his speed just a hair and gripped his steering wheel.  Could they risk coming after him on a main road?  He carefully buckled his seat belt.  Looking down at his chest that’s when he realized what the burning sensation was in his side.  He had thought it was him being winded.  But the pool of blood that was dripping off his seat had other ideas as to the pains identity.  “fuck.”  He said.  And closed his eyes for a long moment, trying to stabilize his thoughts, he needed to figure out his next move.  Time was running out in drips.

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