Chapter 10. The Time of My Life

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"What do I tell them my name is?"

I chewed on the question while also chewing on four strips of gum.

"They won't ask," I assured.

"But what if they do?"

"Tell 'em it's Michael Keaton."

Sam hesitated. His knees were still dirty from tripping several times in our run for the car. My hands were still dirty. They had also been through the mud.

Let me reveal is the thought process of our plan. It was real simple.
You see, the logic behind it as abandoning our share of responsibility faster than we acquired it. Meaning we were now on our way to tattle on whoever pulled the big snip-snip on Daddy Derrick.

We were both inside a phone booth by a Plaid Pantry store three blocks away from Sam's house.

I let him do the talking, although I was the one who wrote down everything he was supposed to say in the notebook from my car.

"911, what's your emergency?"

It was almost like I could feel Sam's heart drop with the reminder that this was actually happening. The soft-spoken lady on the line had to repeat the question.

"Hello, this is Michael Keaton," he said, going off-script. Then he stopped talking.

"What can we do for you, Michael?" the lady asked.

I nudged him, then leaned back on the glass.

Sam looked down at his script. He read it monotone, trying to remain calm yet also trying to emphasize his state of shock. He pretended to be a hiker, one who randomly came across the shack and happened to take a look inside. It was a long shot, but it was better than the original story.

I worried the lady didn't believe us after the long break she took.

"Where did you say this was?"

"Lake Grenada," Sam repeated, "it's outside of Peachbode, Washington."

The lady repeated Peachbode to herself; I heard her pressing buttons.

"We'll get right to it," she said. And hung up.

"Nice work, Michael Keaton," I applauded, resting my head back on the glass wall.

We were crammed together. I didn't feel like being alone again, not ever.

"Well, I can't believe what I just did," Sam said.

He didn't sound scared anymore, more like taken aback. A little frustrated, maybe.

"You only have to live with it until the day you die," I answered, calmly.

Sam left the phone booth. I stood inside up against the glass watching as he pulled a joint out of his pocket and lit it with a yellow Bic lighter.

The parking lot was emptied when a dark green Toyota Cresta pulled out. Even that made me feel lonelier.

On top of that, I felt tacky. I felt tacky for succumbing to anger: I didn't care about Johan's death, I was just mad because this would clearly go on to affect me.

Poor me, right? All I wanted was excitement and a hobby beyond television driving around aimlessly while my friends gathered around their respective interests. And look what I got: involvement; involvement in some big thing that would soon get everyone's attention.

I was angry at this sudden turn of events where I - of all people had to carry around the horrors of Johan-fucking-Derrick's demise.

I went over to Sam.

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