Tag Archives: hero

That’s the Ticket! Pt. 5 (Final Episode)

29 Aug

That’s the Ticket! Pt. 1

That’s the Ticket! Pt. 2

That’s the Ticket! Pt. 3

That’s the Ticket! Pt. 4

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Glenn was violently brought back to reality when someone tackled him. A few other valiant movie goers decided to jump onto the pile of bodies, probably seeking their own personal moment of heroism. Glenn felt like he was suffocating.

Despite an elbow smashing his face, he managed to say “He had a gun”

Someone close to him heard the words and cried for the mob to let up. The message spread slowly and Glenn felt a little relief. Then came confirmation, “Holy shit! Guy DID have a gun!” This informant had rolled the corpse over, exposing the firearm.

A few people in the mob offered apologies to Glenn. There were even a few shouts of “He’s a hero!” and “He saved our lives!”

Glenn’s mind went back to Heather. Surely she was somewhere in the menagerie of bodies. He even called out, “Heather!” A few Heathers even answered, but none where the one he was interested in.

The mall was shut down and a few people, including Glenn, were held for questioning about the event. Glenn sent off a few more messages to Heather, the last being –I hope you are safe-

As the police were wrapping up their investigation, their radios went crazy. A shooting had taken place at the Somerset Mall, across town. There were murmurs of it being a tandem crime. It happened at the movie theater at the same time the premier of the same film was about to be shown.

*          *          *          *          *

As Heather and her boyfriend filed into the screening room she took on last glance at her phone. “I hope you’re safe???” she read aloud. “Well that’s fucking creepy. I guess he figured out what happened and now he’s pissed”

“If that nerd-loser is threatening you, I’ll kick his …” her boyfriend’s words were cut short by screams. The crowd started to stampede. It quickly was made clear as to why. At first, the bursts of noises were thought to be fireworks going off, maybe even some pyrotechnics in honor of the big premier. Then the crowd grew wise and cries of “Gun!” rang out.

Heather got pushed over. She cried out to her boyfriend but he had already shoved his way through the crowd and was well ahead of her heading towards the exit. She first felt her legs and hands get trampled, then her torso. It became difficult to breathe. She couldn’t get up. She went into panic. She felt as if she was in the ocean and a wave had knocked her over and was holding her under water. After some excruciating time and a few unfortunate stomps, she cried the last tears of her short life.

Her boyfriend thought he was going to get out unscathed. Little did he know, he was pushing his way right towards the shooter. When he was confident he would finally escape, he came face to face with the deranged gunman. The man was expressionless. He uttered the words “pretty boy” before foiling the escape plans and claiming one more victim.

*          *          *          *          *

Glenn never spoke to Heather again. After a few days of trying to call and message her to no avail, he gave up. He fathomed that she must have been traumatized by the events at the theater and wanted to move on with her life. He still believed that their meeting was impeded by the averted tragedy. He had never learned of her fate. He shunned the news because he didn’t want to see his face anymore. He was considered a national hero and reluctantly did a media tour around the country. He only took up the offer as a way to see the country.

The pinnacle of Glenn’s rewards was a private screening of the movie he so dearly wanted to see. The whole cast showed up. It was a red carpet event. When the invitation was extended, he thought of asking Heather to accompany him. Although he decided against it, he did fantasize about walking the red carpet, hand in hand with her.

 

The End.

That’s the Ticket! Pt. 4

22 Aug

That’s the Ticket! Pt. 1

That’s the Ticket! Pt. 2

That’s the Ticket! Pt. 3

Crowded movies

A half hour past and Glenn hadn’t received a reply. She must be busy getting herself ready, he justified. She is probably finishing up and almost ready to leave or on her way even. The crowd was getting large and Glenn was getting nervous that they might have difficulty finding one another. He sent off another message with his exact location to make sure that didn’t happen.

Glenn was too preoccupied to notice a strange man pacing nervously about ten feet from him. The man was inappropriately dressed for the balmy summer evening. His baggy Cleveland Browns jacket caught Glenn’s attention. His father was from Cleveland and a die-hard Browns fan. The man’s behavior made Glenn pay attention to him.

Besides pacing, the man looked as though he was talking to himself, like he was psyching himself up. Glenn found the look on the man’s face unsettling as well. Glenn was so focused on the man that he had stopped looking at his phone impulsively every other second.

In fact, he had been so focused on the man that he hadn’t noticed the lobby of the movie theater fill to a shoulder to shoulder crowd that spilled into the mall itself. The man’s strange energy was a magnet for Glenn’s attention. Not even the freaks in cosplay could peal it away. His heartbeat increased and his palms were sweaty.

The man took a deep breath with his eyes closed and flung his jacket open. Glenn was given instant justification for his fight or flight response to the man. Tucked into the man’s pants was a firearm, a rifle of sorts. Glenn didn’t know what kind but it looked real.

In an instant, Glenn’s world was only this man and himself in a tunnel. He heard nothing. There was only a dark void in his peripheral vision. Immediately behind the man stood a no-smoking sign on a pole with a heavy metal base.

Without even thinking, as the man reached for the weapon, Glenn sprung from his seat and grabbed the sign. He held it like a baseball bat with the heavy metal base in the air. Remembering his days of junior high baseball, he stepped into a swing. The man didn’t see it coming. The base smashed in his cranium. The bone split open with a sickening crack. Blood splashed the crowd. The man fell dead upon his weapon, hiding it from the mass of people that was now horrified and starting to come online as to what happened.

Glenn stood there, chest heaving, with the bloody sign in his hands. As he dropped it to the floor he heard voices in the crowd calling out to apprehend him.

To be continued…

 

Thanksgiving Hangover

27 Nov

Hangover

As Ben slowly came to consciousness he could only remember two things about yesterday. It was Thanksgiving and he drank too much. In reality the turkey grease in his beard reminded him of the former and the feeling of dirty death in his body reminded him of the latter.

Throwing up was inevitable, but he was putting it off. He hated throwing up. He couldn´t shake a certain feeling of guilt despite not recalling anything from the previous day. He went to check his phone for clues. The battery was dead. “Lucky phone” he thought. “I wish my battery would just run out one day”

Self-loathing was overtaking Ben. This happened frequently during Ben´s hangovers and hangovers such as this one were happening more frequently as of late. His embarrassment was augmented knowing his whole family bared witness to whatever transpired yesterday. Most had traveled from out of state to see what a sad sack Ben has become.

After a few hours of fighting it, Ben gave into the urge to purge. This made him feel slightly better. He realized he´d better face the family and get it over with. Every hour that passed, the feeling of shame and embarrassment grew. He slipped into some jeans and brushed the taste of vomit out of his mouth.

He embarked on what felt like an interminable trek down the stairs. “Oh, great” he thought. “They´re all there”

He peeked around the final banister and timidly said “Hi.”

“There he is!” a beaming aunt cried, “Our hero!”

“Hey sport! You rest up well after that adventure? You deserve it” an uncle chimed in.

Ben´s head was spinning. What are they talking about? Another aunt kissed him on the cheek as she handed him a cup of coffee. “Special cup for the hero of Thanksgiving!” she said, “Ummmm, someone still smells a little of yesterday´s indulgences” she chided, “Heck, you deserved it!”

Another aunt approached, “Ben, your clothes from yesterday are in the dryer, I even put an extra dryer sheet in there for you”

“Why?” Ben asked, perplexed.

“Don´t be silly” she responded.

“No, really, what happened?” Ben insisted as he put his hand to his forehead.

An uncle started in from the other side of the room “Oh, Ben, you really don´t remember, do you?”

“Not really, sorry” he answered.

“That´s okay! Hell, I was young once, I think I forgot a few nights myself” he laughed “Your little cousin Andy was a playin’ and a slidin’on the ice on the pool; ice cracked and he fell right in. Don´t know why you were there…

Ben knew, he was smoking a bowl at the side of the house.

“…but thank God you were. You jumped right in, not thinking for a second about yourself and snatched little Andy right out of the water, from under the ice, with the quickness. You 100% saved his life”

“Three cheers for Ben!” an uncle cried.

“Hip, hip, hooray!!!” they repeated.

Ben stood there bewildered, but feeling a little better.

 

 

If you’re gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough

20 Dec

boxing-ring-dark-empty

 

Alan´s grandfather was his hero. As he laid dying he gently pulled Alan toward him by his thin seven year old arm and whispered “Son, if you´re gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough”

Alan didn´t really understand what his grandfather meant by these words for some years. When he did discover what he meant he thought his grandfather was a genius. Then after a quick Google search, he realized he was really a plagiarizer on his deathbed, but nonetheless, the words packed wisdom.

Alan was a terrible student. He got low grades in all subjects except physical education.  He could barely read well into his Junior High years. Alan was like a powerful Massarati sports car being driven by learning disabled child. The good thing for Alan was that he recognized this early. He made up his mind. He was going to be tough.

By fifteen years of age, Alan was already the equivalent of a Jiu Jitsu purple belt and was deadly proficient in Muay Thai. His coach was trying to get him to sign up for a local MMA tournament. The problem for Alan was, inscriptions were only for adults above the age of twenty one. If Alan kept his mouth shut, he could pass for man of twenty five. He weighed 200 pounds with next to no body fat and stood at 6 feet one inch. When his coach suggested he get a fake ID to enter Alan heard his grandfather whisper “…..you gotta be tough…” and agreed.

Alan had to make a drastic weight cut. His coach wanted him to fight at 180 pounds. He would have to lose 20 pounds in a week. “….you gotta be tough….” echoed through his head as he starved himself and went on three mile runs wearing makeshift sweat suits made of trash bags.

On the day of weigh-ins, Alan´s breath reeked of death. That´s because his body was on the brink of crossing over.  He was extremely dehydrated and malnourished. He made weight, drank water and immediately threw it up. His scheduled opponent weighed in 5 pounds overweight. There were no other fighters in the 180 pound class so he was asked if he would still accept the fight. The whisper of “…you gotta be tough…” once again propelled him to agree. His opponent did not have a dead look in his eyes like Alan. Unlike Alan, he did a scientific weight cut under the watchful eye of hired professionals.

On fight day, Alan was only able to put 7 pounds back on, weighing in at 187 sickly looking pounds. His opponent on the other hand hydrated correctly and weighed in at 205 pounds and looked like a muscular Greek statue. Alan still did not feel well. His opponent, on the other hand, felt the universe pulsing through his finely tuned body. He was ready to go, Alan was not. “….you gotta be tough….” Alan lipped these words as he entered the cage.

The first round started with a hard shin right on Alan´s temple. He passed out immediately. The judge did not notice that he passed out and did not stop the fight. His opponent dove on him punching him in the face three times. Instead of finishing the fight as intended, these punches only served to wake Alan up. He went into auto pilot as his training kicked in. He was extremely hurt as he closed his guard around the waist of his opponent. His opponent was shocked that Alan survived this initial attack. Any mere mortal would have only woken up in the locker room. Little did he, or anybody know, Alan wasn´t really awake. He was extremely concussed. Though his eyes were open, his cpu was not really on.

His opponent found a hole between Alan´s guard and rained elbows so hard that Alan´s head bounced off the canvas. After about five of these the referee had enough.  He stopped the fight. As his opponent celebrated his brutal victory, nobody noticed the foam forming around Alan´s mouth or that his eyes were rolled into the back of his head. As his body convulsed, his mind started to float toward the halogen lights in the rafters. The rafters disappeared but the light remained constant if not brighter.

As is over being announced over the P.A. system Alan heard a familiar voice say “You sure were tough, son. But I am afraid I steered you wrong.”

“No pop-pop” Alan answered “I was tough, the way I was supposed to be”