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Ramen 6378

Ramen 6378

7/4/2010 1:40:47 AM
This story is for a competition in a writing group that I'm in, called the Writers Corner. Check it out if you like to write, doesn't matter what kind. Anyway, I just posted this here to see how the Flood likes it. Enjoy! Constructive comments will be appreciated. [b]The World in my Hands[/b] I ran out into the crowded street. People were everywhere, jostling and bumping against me. Bright lights lit up the night. Small shops selling trinkets and snacks lined up against the buildings on all sides of the plaza. The festival was going well. Glancing behind into the alley, I strode out into the mass of people. As I edged my way past, I vaguely heard the sounds of sirens behind me. I looked back and saw a group of black-suited men accompanied by several policemen gather at the mouth of the alley. One of the black suits, a tall, gray-haired man, waved his hand in a gesture. Both the black suits and the police separated, dispersing into the crowd. I had watched my fair share of action movies. Always, it has frustrated me when the hero panics and runs into the crowd, announcing his presence to the entire world. I pulled my cap lower and set off at a steady, walking pace towards the opposite side of the square. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the men eyeing warily every person who walked past. As I walked closer to one of them, I turned my head as if I saw someone I knew and waved, walking past the man casually, effectively not showing my face, but the back of my head. I reached the center fountain and tried to blend in with the large group of tourists there. I saw several men covering all exits out of the plaza. [i]Well, there goes my escape route[/i], I thought. Taking out a cheap camera from my bag, I surveyed the surrounding area through the camera lenses, pretending to take pictures. I spotted a series of buildings lined up against the plaza. One man patrolled the entire line. I guessed that I could sneak past him, go up to the roof, and make my way from there. I packed the camera back into my bag and leisurely walked through the crowd. I stopped near the edge of the mass to conceal my presence. The timing was perfect. The man had just turned around to walk to the other side of the buildings. Shadowing a couple heading in the same direction, I snuck past the guard and softly opened the door. I slipped inside. The building seemed to be an apartment building of sorts. I quickly ascended the stairs, taking two at a time. Reaching the top floor only took a few minutes. [i]Still[/i], I thought, looking at my watch, [i]I'm running out of time[/i]. I opened the door to the roof. The cold air whipped my hair brutally. The entire city was lying before me, bright lights shining in the night. The distinct sounds of police sirens were still yet audible from here. Now I broke into a full sprint. Leaping over pipes, boxes, and vents, I ran across the roof of the building. The gap between this building and the next loomed in front of me. Inside, I took a deep breath, steadying myself, and sprang from the edge, soaring through the air. Everything seemed to go in slow motion. I could see the individual bricks lining the building walls. I could see the ground of an alley, so far away. I could see the growing edge of the roof coming towards me. I grabbed onto the edge and for a horrifying moment, fell my fingers slipping. My scrabbling feet found an extending vent on the wall, and I managed to pull myself up. I went tiredly to the other side of the roof, managing a relieved grin. I had reached the main road. Now the hard part was over. I hurriedly went downstairs and out onto the street. Looking behind me, I saw police cars and black-suited men patrolling the entire area. I had just gotten out of their range. I went over to the curb and hailed a taxi. Pretty soon, I was on my way to the safehouse. *** I let the taxi driver drop me off a distance away from the safehouse. Paying him, I walked off in the direction of the abandoned shipyards. Looking at my watch, I quickened the pace. Only ten more minutes until the deadline. Finally, I saw the man I was to trade with. He was middle-aged; his face had the beginnings of wrinkling. He walked with a cane, for his legs were weak from a rare disease. He was surrounded by armed men, spread out all over the shipyard. Right next to him was a young man, tied and gagged. A familiar bag was next to him. I sighed with relief. As I drew closer, the man said, "Mr. Burns, you made it alive. You caused quite a ruckus down in the plaza." "I brought what you wanted, Mr. Remington." I tossed him the bag. Remington caught it with ease and dumped the bag's contents onto a table. A small, black box tumbled out. He picked it up reverently and said quietly, "You did well, Burns." "No doubt. Now let him go," I said impatiently, gesturing to the gagged man. Remington ignored me. He then said, "Do you even know what this is, Burns?" He said this all in a very conversational tone. Well, I didn't feel like a conversation. "No, I don't know what it is. All I know is that we had an arrangement. I bring you the box, you release my friend." Remington chuckled, "A box, you say? Burns, this is the technological marvel that will revolutionize the entire world! This box, Burns, is the first perpetual motion machine. It can generate energy by itself, needing no outside source. Do you have any idea how much power the one with this machine will have? How much influence? The world will be in the palm of my hand." I was stunned, to say the least. "You mean that I could've run away with that box during the entire time getting here, and I would have had the world in my hands?" "Why, yes, that could've happened. Which is why I didn't tell you about what it really did." He gestured to my friend. "You can have him. Congratulations, Burns. A large paycheck and your best friend's life. Not a bad bargain, in my opinion." The guards untied the man and took the gag out of his mouth. The man stumbled out of the chair and fell with a soft thump. I hurried over and helped him up. "Charlie, you okay?" Charlie coughed a horrible, hacking cough. After it had subsided, he whispered, "Yeah, Gary. I'm fine. Nothing a doctor won't fix." Relieved, I said, "Well, let's get out of here." "Wait, my bag. Let me get my bag." I went over and picked up the bag, getting looks from all the men in the room. I quickly walked out of the room, Charlie leaning against my shoulder. I eased my friend gently into the passenger seat of the car. Walking quickly around, I got in and started the engine. Within minutes, we were off on the highway. I sighed and said, "Well, it's all over." Charlie coughed again and said, "Yeah, it is." "I'll get you to a doctor straightaway. It's off to the hospital for you. I mean, look at those cuts." "Thanks." A moment of silence passed. Suddenly, he spoke up, "You know, you could've taken the machine and left me, you know. You could have been a pretty wealthy guy, living off that kind of technology." "Well, yeah. But that would've meant leaving you to die." "Yeah. But you know, I would've just taken the thing and ran away." He fastened his seat belt, slipping his hand into his bag. "Charlie, what are you doing?" He pulled out a shiny black gun with a silencer. "Sorry dude. I really am." The car swerved and spun into another car. It skidded along the road, bent up and cracked. After it traveled a fair distance, it slid to a halt. I lay against the cracked glass of the window, blood seeping through my shirt. I looked down and saw a great, big, bloody wound right over my heart. Charlie was mostly unharmed, save for a few cuts and scratches. He eased himself out and opened the passenger door. After he had climbed out, he said to me, "Sorry, Gary. Remington couldn't have anyone know about him and the box. 'Tie up all loose ends,' he said." I couldn't say anything, only cough up blood. Charlie's voice faded in and out. I began to lose consciousness. I could just hear him say with a tinge of regret, "You know, you could've been in my position now, except with both of us alive. I was part of the deal the entire time. They wouldn't have killed me. We could have been wealthy men, both of us." My eyes closed for a moment, but I forced them back open. I was about to shout back something, but blood came out. I coughed some more. I saw Charlie get into a car that had pulled up. The car sped away, shortly followed by the sounds of police sirens and ambulances. I lay my head back and coughed again. My vision was slowly getting darker. I couldn't feel the pain in my chest anymore. My mind fell into numbness. The last thought I could remember was, [i]Perhaps, in another life, the world will be more true[/i]. *** I dropped the pen and wrung my hands out. My colleague came up and said, "Oh, look! You finished another one?" "Yep," I said, smiling. "Go ahead, read it." He scanned over the page and said, "Wow. You really went overboard with this, didn't you. That last part made me tear up a bit." I laughed, "Yeah, I spent quite a while making that part up." I glanced wearily towards the piles of papers on my desk. "Well, one down, about nine thousand more lives to write before my shift is over." "Well, you know, that's what we do. Write lives of how people live their lives. Think of us as having the entire world in our hands, if that makes you feel any better." "Doesn't make it any easier, though. My hand is killing me. We should really get one of those computers that the boss made up in one of his lives that he wrote." My colleague laughed, "Like that'll ever happen." He strode off. Picking up my pen, I leaned over the paper, [i]Now, what will this person's life be?[/i]

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