So in some form or another this has been kicking around since about late 2012. Originally written in my old Lindsay Court room in Keele, I touched it up a little bit a couple of nights ago to remove some of its staccato nature.
In the current climate of international events, this story is totally fictional, there’s no truth involved, it doesn’t even really have a specific place where its taking place.
Terror in the Library:
“Take the bag and fuck off”
looking up from the book in front of me, that rough voice belongs to some brute of a guy, my eyes flit from him to the bag and back. Open just enough to show a few bundles of notes, which right there and then I made assumption they reached to the dark corners of the large duffle bag.
I slowly close my book, giving the square figure blocking the door way a puzzled look. He starts to slip his right hand into the left side of his worn black leather jacket. It’s surreal. A university library, who the hell is this guy?
“You heard me get the fuck out”, his voice less calm than it had been when he first burst in a good minute or two ago had risen a couple of octaves. Gesturing with his unoccupied hand.
My legs are weak as I push my chair back. Am I in shock? Well that would describe the situation. Forgetting the mysterious rush, absent minded turn my back to him to collect my coat and bag,
“Leave them. Take the Bag and get gone”,
If the bag only contains the few wads of cash visible it’s more than enough to replace both items. Unsure how much longer this guy is willing to give me, so I do as I’m told.
The bag’s heavy, I mean really heavy. Either there’s a lot of cash in it or I walking away with a substantial amount of something else. The thought isn’t far from my mind that it might not be far from the plain paper aisle of staples.
Not wanting to stick around I head for the exit. I want to get back, my mind just on the possibility of substantial cash in the bag could contain.
People’s faces blur as I move quickly towards the bus stop over the road. The fact that I’m not stood waiting for a bus for an age doesn’t even register. I’m there it’s there, how often does that happen, well for me that rare.
I hand over the change for the bus fare, only to find it’s gone up, typical. Scrambling around in the back pocket of my jeans for an extra 20 pence, this is bloody stupid, at least £500 in the bag at my feet, and I’m struggling to find 20 pence.
Bus is pretty packed for just after midday on a Wednesday. Rather than the regular crowd of students leaving after their first and last hour of lectures for the day, the bus houses a slice of society sheltering from the icy outside.
The bus rides only half an hour, but it drags. There’s road works, and whilst I’d normally take pleasure at watching business people getting frustrated with the slow ambling tourists, today my sole focus is on the bag next to me.
The bag next to me,
The bag next to me… my eyes dart round the bottom floor of the bus. The bag was there, just there just next to me.
A bell rings and the stop light illuminates, as I focus in on the bag the bag moving towards the exit. Strung across the shoulder of some weedy guy, I move quickly, to make the stop before the bus moves off.
Why I’m following the guy is beyond me, this morning I’d woken up without the contents of the bag, but now greed, the need to hold that bag in my hands, had become my sole drive.
The wiry kid’s got a hell of a pace, but I manage to keep track of him, he ducks in to a dim grungy side street and without a second thought I follow, the bag, I need the bag.
“Hey mate, I think you’ve picked my bag up” doing my best to imitate the guys voice from the library.
He turns looks at me, blood shot eyes, I realise he’s coming down, he’s no idea what’s in the bag.
“er…. Nah mate, its mine….. My nan bought it me….”
“Come on, what say I give you enough to help you score and I’ll take the bag back”
He’s leaning to one side now, sweating, he looks from me to the bag and back. He knows that he can’t carry it much further, especially not with me following him.
Straightening up his face breaks into strange smile, as he places the bag delicately at his feet on the floor, I step forward wallet in hand; this is easier than taking candy from a baby. I hand him my emergency fifty pound note. He snatches it and make a run for it.
I dart towards the bag, despite being the only occupant of the empty side street, I’m worried somebody else might spring up and take it from me. Damn, I had forgotten how heavy it was.
I retrace my steps, back to the bus stop, and wait, isolated from the people around me by phone, iPods and the thousands of fake degrees of life that separate people across the world. I chuckle to myself, were all going the same way, must have something in common.
Bus finally arrives; I’ve just about enough for the journey. The bus is even fuller than last time.
Grid lock halts the already slow midday traffic.
Heavy tourist traffic, crossing the blocked road. Taxi’s, other busses, even some very official looking car’s surround the bus. My hand’s tightly on the bag, a comforter making me feel relaxed about the chaos behind the glass.
There are a lot of blue flashing lights around. Must have been an accident up ahead, some silly tourist crossing at the wrong time. Pretty regular occurrence round here.
The bus door’s open, I guess it is pretty warm in here, despite the terrible weather outside.
Armed response unit swarm the bus, heading in my direction, I look at the bag, and then at them.
“Move away from the bag”
I don’t, well I mean I don’t let go of it, I’m back in that surreal place, shock and adrenaline pumping through my veins, thinking there not talking to me.
Somebodies phone goes off.
No not somebodies, it’s coming from the bag.
That’s enough to make armed response jumpy, I see the flash from the lead policemen’s assault rifles, there’s no sound just numbness where my chest was.
The windows to the side of me blow in, the bus jumps onto the wheels on the opposite side.
As the bus settles on top of the traffic to the side, I feel heat at my feet. My heart beats to burst from its fixtures. Pressed into my stomach, white knuckled, I’m clutching on to the bag. Flames spread quickly from a burning wreck, where a few minutes before an official looking car had rested.