What about this? Would like feedback.

An End.

He was awake suddenly, standing in the hallway between the two doors of the auditorium, carrying a heavy vacuum cleaner inverted. He was amazed at his own strength.

There was one staircase to his left, one to his right. He heard no one in pursuit.

Well, he thought, maybe I can.

He dropped the vacuum cleaner and headed for the staircase nearer him, leaping down its steps two at a time. He burst through the unlocked door to the outside, pushing the bar. As he ran down another few cement risers, he recognized the Jamaican, sitting on a railing.

Just as he hit the sand, as the night flowers reached his nose and the soft swish of the tide his ears, the Jamaican grabbed his arm.

Knowing the man’s grip was iron, he twisted away as quickly as he could and ran onto the beach. All India seemed to hold its breath. He ached to be submerged in the warm sea.

He realized he hadn’t time to admire the night. He spun on the sand and rushed back towards the staircase, staying well clear of the Jamaican whose face wore only the slightest of smiles.

Once back inside, chaos seemed to have broken in the entryway to the auditorium. People milled and shouted and screamed. Some were pushed to the carpeted floor, some against walls, some into each other.

There was only one thing for it: to hide. Not difficult in the crowd.

Inside the theatre, he became invisible. He stayed low. He lay on the floor between rows of seats. He could see through bodies towards the front of the stage, on which suddenly appeared six troopers, all armed, heavily.

He heard someone whisper his name. He had been one of six.

Rather than reply, he wriggled further along the floor until he reached an aisle where he sprung to his feet and ran again, up and out of the Odeon. He broke into the lobby and saw a door. He pushed it.

Debbie lay in her bed, attached at every orifice and joint to life-sustaining machinery.

He was desperate for a cigarette. She was smoking a cigarillo, her white hair brushed beautifully and fully away from her face. She was two-toned. Her limbs were dark and stringy, her face and neck white and alive.

She held open a purse. Inside it was a package of regular cigarettes. He took a handful.

“You’re so thin,” she whispered with worry.

What seventeen year old on the streets wasn’t?

He kissed her hair.

Back again into the vestibule. Fewer people milling, less noise. He saw another door to the auditorium, one he’d not seen. He pushed.

The cafeteria was jammed with students, parents, teachers. He saw his mother’s friend Doris and her two children, both girls, both near his own age. One sat quietly at their table. The other, prettier but with glasses, stood suddenly and seemingly without preparation, performed a perfect back flip. He watched as she stuck the landing, seeing the dark honey-colored skin glistening between her top and her skirt. Few other people seemed to notice the acrobatics.

As he turned away, eager to hide once more among his friends in the outsized hall, his hand was suddenly caught and a small plastic bottle colored brown was somehow in his grip. He shook it. Pills.

He had been amazed to hear his own answers to their questions.

He thought of the honorable thing the English always asked of their moles.

Again inside the theatre, he hunkered down. He saw the troopers spreading across the stage, their weapons held at the ready, pointed into the crowds.

He looked into the bottle. Six pills, three small and three larger. He wanted no one killed.

He felt suddenly assaulted by the color of the crowd, by its restlessness, by its fear.

He fished and drew out one small pill, which he swallowed even as he was crushed by the swelling tide of fright.

On the floor, he dodged feet and knees and falling bodies.

He took two large pills.

Nothing seemed to change.

He heard shots in the distance, and cries of people wounded.

He swallowed the remaining three pills.

There was color and rampage and terror around him.

But the silence grew.

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44 thoughts on “What about this? Would like feedback.

  1. Hi John, You just got my attention with your new post “where are U….?”
    Was that intentional ?….As, I actually do have some comments on this story, which is lively and intriguing…..
    Are you still looking for comments? I’m not sure how to give them in this format. Interestingly, I like to edit ( or just give comments!)
    Deborah

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