STRIKE

Submitted by Emalie Marquez to Contest #14 in response to: And there's a twist! It actually all took place in the past.... view prompt

Jack was stopped short,he ran into something,or someone. It was a boy with brown curls,sky blue eyes ready to kill.

As soon as David saw this kid he backed up. The boy laughed at David,then turned and faced Jack. Jack nodded hello,the boy nodded back.

“Who are you?” The boy finally asks.

“I’m Louis Baletti,or Blind Diamond,or Kid Blink,whatever.” Jack was shocked that he was using his birth name,it was a risk of being caught and taken back to the refuge. Jack was also wondering why he said Kid Blink,and,Blind Diamond. He knew there was no taking that back now. “-So what’s your name?” Jack continues.

“Racetrack Higgins.”

Jack nodded, “Nice to meet you-”

“You’re on strike,right?” Racetrack butted in. Jack nodded, “We was hoping that you would join us-”

, “Join you? A bunch of ragamuffins taking on all mighty Pulitzer?”

“You’re one of those ragamuffins.” David whispers.

“Oh shut it,Simmons.” Racetrack snaps back. David nods quickly. Racetrack turns back to Jack, “Alright. Hear me out. You and your little gang of newsies,taking on the World and the Journal. Oh,Blink. You’ll pay for that big time.”  

“-And you,leader,king of Brooklyn. Sitting around selling boycotted papers? You letting them take charge of you?” Jack stepped forward. Even though Racetrack was a good five inches taller than him,Jack grabbed his collar,and looked at him dead in the eyes. “Race,you realize we are risking our lives. We are not risking our lives just for you to continue like nothing ever happened. Something did happen. It will change your,and my life forever. We can will. We will win.”

Racetrack glared and Jack with icy blue laser eyes,then shook his head laughing. Racetrack grabbed Jack’s hands from his collar and let them go. “Amazing speech there,Blink. Only few would have the courage to ask me to join.You showed me you ain’t scared of anything. Here’s the deal. You set up a rally,the Brooklyn gang comes,my fellers and fellas goes on strike,but we ain’t heading over to Manhattan. Whatever happens in Brooklyn,stays in Brooklyn.” Racetrack smiled,tipped his hat,and was off. Jack stood there,stunned,he got Brooklyn on their side. Jack turned to David, “We’se did it.”

David laughs, “You sure did, c’mon let’s tell the others,”

When David,and Jack reach the other side,entering into Manhattan,the newsies looked at them,hoping for an answer. Jupiter cleared his throat, “So?”

Forest nudged him, “Jupiter,shut up. We all know how long it takes for Manhattan fellers to think.”

The two boys giggled,while Crutchy,Thomas,Braxton,and Axl,looked like they were going to slaughter them. David cleared his throat, “Okay,Forest,Jupiter. We all know that’s not true. Second,Crutchy,Thomas,Braxton,Axl? No killing.”

Forest tapped his chin, “David,you weren’t the one who told us Manhattan is a little slow in the head,”

“I-” David started blushing. Jack laughed, 

“It’s a-ight,we say the same about Brooklyn. Don’t tell Race,”


The newsies went quiet, "Jack,Racetrack has been dead.."


Jack shook his head, "No! I saw him! I swear I did-"

Jack turned,“R-Race! Why are you’se here?” Jack stuttered. Racetrack walked over to Jack,holding a letter in his hand. Racetrack took off his cap and pressed it against his chest,newsies only do that when they are showing respect,or something horrible happened,maybe both. 


 “Here.” Racetrack shoved the letter into Jack’s hands,

“It’s from the refuge,from a gal named Savanna.”

Jack clutched the letter in his hand, “T-Thank you,Race,”

Racetrack nodded, “My fellers brought up Savanna’s name a couple of times,she sounds like a hard worker.”

Jack nodded,feeling guilty for holding something that was Savanna’s. Jack knew it was his fault for her being trapped in the refuge. Racetrack put his cap back on,and waved goodbye,and was off.

Everyone was silent,

To: Louis Baletti

From: Savanna Hayes

Jack opened the envelope gingerly,inside it said:


Dear,Jack

I know you may be worried about me,but don’t be. I’m doing just fine. I want you to continue the strike,continue it for me. Show Pulitzer everything you got. Show him that you got us,we are your family. Don’t ever think of giving up. Think of trying harder. No matter how hard things get,never quit. My brother,Sam is doing fine,he’s on the younger side,they treat him better. Marcel,I don’t see often. I’ve seen him one time. I don’t want to get you stressed,Jack,but he seemed miserable. All in all we are doing fine. Even if i’m not here still give it your all. I’ll always be with you,no matter what. If you could write back,that would be great,tell me how the strike is going. Please,as soon as you get this letter,write back. I needed to write to you before I’m not here anymore. No one is guaranteed a tomorrow. I risked my life sending you this letter,I hope it got to you. If I talk to you I might not be here tomorrow.Please,I am begging you do not try and visit me.Don’t be an idiot. Remember to stay strong, and i’ll be with you every step of the way.


Best Regards,

Savanna Grace Hayes


Jack held the letter is his hands. Was Savanna okay? He had to know. He knew Savanna said not to visit him,but he had to,he just had to.

“What did it say?” Forest asks,leaning to get a peak. Jack pushed him away, “Nothing.”

David walks over to Jack, “Hey,what’s wrong?”

“I need to see Savanna.”

“What? Savanna has-”

“Right now.”

David frowned, "Jack? Are you okay? you're still talking about Savanna. "

A bead of sweat rolled down Jack's forehead.

David gave Jack a sympathetic look,

"Jack,I don't know how many times I have to say this but, Savanna is gone,she died a hero,so did Race. They have been gone for two years. You need learn to let them go."

Tears streamed out of Jack's eyes. He turned away from the newsies and saw two figures, Racetrack and Savanna,they saw him and waved. Jack ran to them.

"Jack! Where are you going!" David yells,Jack ignored him. When Jack gets to the bridge,Savanna blows Jack a kiss and disappears with Racetrack by her side. Jack fell on the ground sobbing. "No! Savanna! Don't leave me! Not now!"

Over his sobs,Jack could hear David calling for him. Jack got up shivering,"David? Where are you?"

David turns in Jack's direction,and gasps,he runs towards Jack,then right through him. Jack gasps from the air being pulled from him. He turns to see David looking over the bridge yelling Jack's name. Jack bit his lower lip. This is what he wanted,now he can now be with Savanna once more.

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