Amidst The Chaos, I Found An Idiot

Submitted into Contest #54 in response to: Write a story about someone looking to make amends for a mistake.... view prompt

16 comments

Adventure Drama

I laid there while looking up at the sky. The collapsed roof served as my window as dark grey clouds started to fill up my vision. They swirled and swished before merging; lightning crackled throughout the sky while rain used the distraction to descend. The raindrops pelted my face like bullets, but they lacked the lethality I craved so much. I had wished someone would have passed me along to hell because I was too much of a coward to do it myself; it was the least I deserved after all I did. 


No matter how much I prayed, death didn’t come to me. I survived all of those encounters and could never pull the trigger. It felt like something was keeping me alive like I still had things I needed to do. That thought crossed my mind numerous times, but it felt like a load of crap. What could a scumbag like myself need to do? Aside from pointing a gun with at least one bullet in it at myself and squeezing, nothing else came to mind. I continued looking up at the sky as the onslaught of raindrops bombarded me. My eyes slowly started to get heavy while I struggled to keep them open. Is this it? Is it finally the end? A slight smile appeared on my face as I spoke.


“Please let me die!”


My consciousness faded away soon after. 


***


The same memory played in my head for the umpteenth time; it was the month where everything went to hell. I was stupid and only cared about money; if someone brought me a large amount of cash, I’d do almost anything. I woke up in my dingy apartment while planning on going to some job interviews. Regardless of my effort, every one of them rejected me. I tried to stay positive and trudge on, but it felt pointless. I was almost about to give up on everything when one of my friends gave me an offer; it wasn’t exactly a law-abiding job, but the pay wasn’t something I could ignore. 


 I was offered one hundred thousand dollars for just a small delivery. I slightly hesitated at first, but the idea of all that cash washed it all away. I waited until night to start the job. I got into my car and in the passenger seat was the mysterious suitcase I needed to deliver. No one told me anything about what was inside, but I didn’t care. I put the key into the ignition and drove towards my destination. It was a warehouse building about an hour outside of the city. I half expected to see cop cars chasing after me with blaring sirens, but there was nothing. The ride was too quiet if anything. 



 After an hour, I reached my destination. The warehouse was the largest building around, so it was easy to spot. I turned the car off and exited with the suitcase in my right hand. I walked up towards the building’s left entrance and knocked three times. The door slowly opened partway as a man peeked through. He ripped the suitcase from my grip, while he shoved a paper bag into my other hand. I opened it up and saw the money. The full amount was there as I counted it in my car. I soon drove out of there while thinking about all the things I could buy now. That was the plan at least, but I was so wrong. 


The few weeks weren’t so bad at first; I moved into a new apartment that was safe from break-ins. I could finally relax without being stressed out all the time. That day was a lazy day for me. I had nothing else to do, so I was flipping through tv channels. As usual, nearly everything was boring. However, I noticed something that caught my eye; it was an aerial view of the warehouse I delivered the suitcase to. It seems the group inside the warehouse were working on prototypes for advanced weapons. There was evidence towards that theory, but no completed products to show; either they weren’t successful, or they already shipped everything out. That idea sent a chill down my spine. I had expected to see bombs fall from the sky shortly after, but there was only silence. 


A few days had passed without any weird noises in the sky. I tried to forget about that warehouse incident, but it still lingered inside and weighed me down. I took a walk outside of the city to ease my mind. It was cloudy on that day, but the soothing wind gave me the energy to enjoy nature. Everything was going better than planned; I started to forget about everything that had me worried. A smile appeared on my face as I happily strode down the trail. Vibrant green trees made an arch on the walkway; the magical ambiance of Autumn united with the trees to ease any soul. 


I was slowly walking down the trail when I saw something; it was a bird nestled slightly underneath a bush. I assumed it fell from a nest as it wasn’t moving. I was just about to grab it when I heard a loud boom in the distance. I looked towards the city and saw buildings burning with the fury of a thousand suns. I knew there wasn’t anything I could do, so I ran in the opposite direction as fast my lungs would allow. 


***


I slowly opened my eyes and was brought back to the present. My cowardness allowed me to survive like a cockroach, but I still felt like I was sleeping in the garbage. A strong sunbeam peered in from the hole in the roof as it shined on my face. I was just about to curse surviving another night when I felt an odd poking sensation on my body. I immediately sprang up and scanned my surroundings; the assailant turned out to be a small boy around ten years old. He was holding a long stick in his right hand. 


“So you weren’t dead!” he said with a hint of surprise. 


“Sadly not. By the way, what are you doing here?” I questioned. 


“Dunno,” he replied with a blank face.


“Where are your parents?”


“Dunno.”


“Does anyone take care of you?” 


“Dunno.” 


I decided to stop asking questions as I realized it was useless. It was a miracle this kid survived this long with a head full of air instead of a brain. He probably had less of an idea where he came from than I do. I looked at him once again while he was staring at me with a blank expression.       


“Do you at least have a name?’ I asked him.


He started to look like he was thinking hard now. He took a few moments before answering.


“Dunno.”


I facepalmed for a long moment after he said that; I should have known better. It seems he was even dumber than he looked. The least I could do was bring him to the nearby village.


“Hey kid, do you want to follow me to the village?”


“Sure!” he replied with a sparkle in his eyes. 


All I could do was sigh heavily. We picked up our packs and started the journey towards the village. The little runt had a good supply of food on him, so he wasn’t completely hopeless after all. We exited the beat-up building and walked on the side of the wide road. Thick trees lined the edges; the gradient of Autumn displayed itself in the leaves while the wind rustled the leaves at our feet. I looked up towards the bright blue sky. The sparse clouds were slow dancing; they gracefully swished and swayed with every breeze that came through.


Was the world always this beautiful? Everything looked grey and dull before. If the rest of the world looked like this one small section, I wanted to experience it. However, the guilt remained. Do I deserve to be happy after what I did? But at the same time, dying won’t let me fix anything. The runt noticed my expression and started to talk.


“Why do you look so sad?” he questioned.


“It’s just my face,” I lied. 


I would have to decide on what I wanted to do, but not before I made sure this runt was safe. We walked down the road until we came to an intersection and turned right. Much of the walk was quiet, aside from the occasional bird chirp and sweep of the leaves. The silence broke when the kid started speaking. 


“Where are we walking to?”


“Did you follow me without knowing where we were going!?” I spat.


“I mean...I guess,” he said with dull eyes. 


“Why!?” I exploded.


“You seem like a nice person,” said the runt. 


“Let me give you some advice, kid. Most people are only in it for themselves; they will stab you in the back without any hesitation! They are trash and will live like trash, just like me."  


“Then why are you helping me?” he finished.


The kid was right. Why was I doing this? There wasn’t anything in it for me, not to mention the risks that were involved. I just went with the flow and helped him without knowing why.


“Just shut up and follow me,” I said with defeat. 


We finally arrived at the village after a long walk. It had big walls made from scrap metal that enclosed the whole space. The large front gate came into view; it had two guards with one on either side. We walked up to it and asked to come in. A few moments passed; a low rumble soon resonated from the gate as it slowly began to rise. After it raised all the way, we stepped through. More guards searched us for weapons before allowing us into the village. Rusted shack buildings filled the space. Some of them served as housing for people while the others were shops that sold various trinkets and supplies. It’s a good thing we got here before dark; An orange glow lit up the sky as the sun was starting to set. 


“Ok kid, I’m going to get us a room for the night, try not to break anything.” 


“Will do!” he replied with enthusiasm.


I went into one of the shacks. The large sign on top let me know it was a hotel. I stepped inside to see a thin man standing behind a counter. His eyes lacked the glow of life that put even the dead to shame. Regardless, he spoke. 


“What can I do for you, kind sirs,” he said.


“Just looking to get a room for two,” I replied.


I fumbled in my pockets a little bit before I pulled out some coins and placed them on the counter. The thin man snatched them up like he was a hawk.


“Of course, of course. Right this way,” he replied.


He led the two of them through a corridor that seemed to twists in different directions. After a few minutes of navigating, they came up to their door.


“This is it. Thank you for your patronage,” the thin man finished. 


Before I could even say my thanks, the man sped off. We opened the door and stepped inside. Two beds occupied the space. They didn’t look fancy at all, but they would have to do. The little runt nearly sprinted towards one of them. He took his pack off and flopped face-first onto the mattress. 


“Hey kid, don’t get comfortable so fast. We need to figure out the plan for tomorrow.”


I didn’t hear anything from him, not even a peep. I went over and pushed him onto his back. This idiot passed out as soon as his head hit the pillow. He had the biggest grin on his face like nothing worried him. It was pointless trying to wake him up, so I went over to my bed. I took my pack off and laid down. Every inch of my body ached in pain from the previous night. I honestly had no idea what I wanted, but I guessed I could hang onto the idiot for a bit longer. The heaviness of my eyes soon overwhelmed me as I fell asleep with a smile.  


It was the first night where I let go of the past and wondered what the future would bring.


August 10, 2020 20:53

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16 comments

Graham Kinross
22:17 Jan 16, 2022

The title sounds like a book by either Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchet. Your writing style here is really strong, reminding me of Tamsyn Muir or Andy Weir. Great stuff.

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Amazing story. The title really caught my eye! I feel like you should win some kind of award for this line alone -- it had me gasping for air: “So you weren’t dead!” he said with a hint of surprise. “Sadly not."

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20:28 Aug 28, 2020

Great story! The title was very well chosen

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E. Jude
21:28 Aug 22, 2020

Nice story!! I like how you portrayed everything and the words you used! What a title! Good job overall! I would love it if you could check out my stories too!!! XElsa

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Jamela Faye
19:54 Aug 17, 2020

The title is calling my name! Your English is pretty good, too! And...would you mind reading my 2 latest submissions?

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Brandon Johnson
22:31 Aug 18, 2020

Thanks! I'll check them out!

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Deborah Angevin
10:45 Aug 17, 2020

The title attracted me to click and read, and I'm glad I did! This is wonderful; I enjoyed it, Brandon! P.S: would you mind checking my recent story out, "Grey Clouds"? Thank you :D

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Brandon Johnson
19:19 Aug 17, 2020

Glad you liked it! I'll see if I can check it out.

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B. W.
22:09 Aug 16, 2020

this is really good! i liked it, you did an amazing job! im not sure if you have already but do you think you could maybe check out one of my stories like "a friends secret" ?

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Brandon Johnson
14:02 Aug 17, 2020

Glad you enjoyed it! I'll check it out!.

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B. W.
16:55 Aug 17, 2020

no problem and thanks

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Shreya S
07:30 Aug 13, 2020

Loved the story! Can I just also say- your titles are really the best. Each one is new and different, exciting, really.

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Deepti Kumari
02:38 Aug 12, 2020

I really appreciate the way you wrote it. It made my day. Thank you

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Keerththan 😀
05:29 Aug 11, 2020

Well written. Great job. Loved it. Keep writing. If you have time, take a look at my stories too?

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Rayhan Hidayat
01:22 Aug 11, 2020

I liked this, very well-written with a lot of clever phrases like “His eyes lacked the glow of life that put even the dead to shame.” The opening part where he’s lamenting his mistake was incredible, some awesome descriptions and it really made me feel sorry for him yet also wonder if he maybe does deserve going to hell. This needs a proofread because there’s one or two instances where the tense changes, but that’s it really. Good stuff! 😁

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Brandon Johnson
02:33 Aug 11, 2020

Glad you liked it!

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