Imprints in the Mind


A different intro.....

Shit. Shit. Shit. I stick my foot out the window. My naked leg grinds against the metal sill. I look down. A long deep white scratch on my thigh. It stings, burns even, but I am in too much of a hurry to pay it any attention. I swing my other leg through and pop out onto the fire escape, stumbling and barely catching myself on the handrail.

From my apartment I can hear the loud banging on the door. "Suggs Stewart, we know you're in there." The voice is muffled through the barrier.

Another bang and I decide I'm not going to hang around long enough to see the face that belongs to that voice. I jump halfway back into the opening again, the damn sill now digging into my chest and scramble for the rumpled pile of clothes I  left on the kitchen counter.

The front door flies open just as I back out of the window and slap it shut behind me. For a brief moment I realize I am standing outside in my boxers, no time for that now. I fly down the fire escape, the metal grate biting at my bare feet. The adrenaline rush numbs the pain.

I jump the railing, foregoing the last set of stairs and end up tumbling down the sidewalk. I land at the feet of some unsuspecting pedestrian.

"How you doing ma'am?" I rise to my feet dusting myself off. Now my knees are bloody. Her mouth is wide open in surprise. No time for conversation.

I throw my pants out in front of me, sliding one leg in. I take several hops before jumping to put my other leg in. Several hops more and I am halfway down the street and finishing the top button.

"It doesn't have to be like this Suggs." A voice from the fire escape roars, echoing through the streets.

I sneak a peek back. A large burly man is leaning over the railing. His face looks angry and mean, like an outraged gorilla. Behind him a smaller man sticks his head out of the window.

"We can settle." He hollers at me. "Two million dollars."

I laugh, and with one quick motion slide my t shirt over me head. "Two million dollars?" I call over my shoulder. "Is that the going price for a soul these days?"

No response. At least none that i can hear. With my clothes now on I break out in a sprint, hoofing it down a back alley. I don't know how fast these guys are, so I gotta ditch them quick.

I snake my way through the streets. I cut through alleys. I climb fences. I cut through abandoned lots. Soon I am blocks away.

I dig in my pocket. Thank god I grabbed the pants I had worn the night before, my cell phone is right where I had left it. A sigh of relief.

I pull out the phone, hit speed dial, and the phone on the other end is ringing. I am anxious to hear that beautiful voice on the other end.

"Hello?" Sheila's voice is painfully groggy and full of sleep.

"Sheila, it's Suggs." I struggle to spit the words out of my mouth. I didn't realize I was this out of breath. I am panting.

"Suggs what's wrong?"

"The double G's" I am still struggling for air. "The double G's found me."

"Shit." The sleep has instantly disappeared from her voice. "Where are you know?"

I look around. I have no fucking clue where I am. Nothing looks familiar. "Uh, no clue."

"Hmm," Her voice is full of concern. "Head for the subway. Get off at the Crystal Avenue exit. I'll meet you there."

"Right." I am looking up and down the street, trying to determine the best direction to hit the subway. "I'll meet you there. Look for me."

"I'm leaving now."

"Thanks Sheila."

She pauses. "Hey Suggs, be careful okay?"

"I know. I know."

"I mean it. I don't know what I'd do if I lost you." Just like Sheila to make a desperate situation awkward.

"Thanks Sheila. See you soon." I hang up the phone, and look up and down the streets again. I choose a random direction and am soon jogging off, barefoot, in search of the nearest subway.

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