Saturday, October 29, 2011

Crab Mentality (Part 16)


June 8, 2010 (9pm)
                Lieutenant Charles Marchus had died after an ambush in the province when Chalano was still 10-months-old. Chalano grew up without his father. Because of that, he never really knew his father. But his mother and his father’s old friends had kept telling him lots of great stories about the lieutenant. Because his childhood was full of stories about his dad, it was as if the man didn’t die at all.
The lieutenant was said to have strong self-control. He was very hard-working, and he had run his own business outside of his job as a soldier. He inspired people, and stories about him continued to inspire even after he died. Chalano admired his father, and he really wished that he was still alive so that his family would be complete. He longed to get some great advice from his father, but there was no way to get it.
Chalano actually felt ashamed of himself when he learned about the crimes of Coal. Even though the man was already gone, Chalano wanted to make his father proud. What a shame it was to seem so irresponsible! He didn’t want to be a criminal, and he had turned his back on Coal to start being just like his father.
                He sat on the edge of his bed as he looked at the picture. Why would his father haunt him tonight? His father had never haunted him before. For that matter, Chalano never believed in ghosts. Then he realized the pattern.
                He stood up, and walked to the windows. He opened one of the windows to look outside. He heard them. Sirens. The fire trucks sped by. Their blinkers were flashing in the cold night.
A fire. Fires always took place whenever he was sensing weird things. A hunch, maybe. Whatever was causing him to sense it, Chalano wouldn’t figure it out tonight because he had left the window, and quickly went to his closet. He took a black jacket, and wore it. The moment was his chance to do know more about his topic for the writing competition next year. He had to investigate.
                His mother would certainly not allow him to get out of the house. He took his slippers, and quietly stepped out of his bedroom. He closed the door behind him, and then crept into the dark living room. He quietly opened the door, and stepped into the balcony from the living room. He ran through the balcony, passed by the double doors of the room at the back, and went down their outdoor staircase. Halfway down the staircase, he paused to look around to make sure that his mother wouldn’t catch him. Keeping his head low to hide from the lights that were coming from inside the house, he made a sprint through their wide garage. He reached the big gate. There was a small tree beside the gate. He climbed up the tree, and went over the top of the gate to jump to the drive way outside the gate. He walked to the north to lessen the chances of his mother catching him sneaking out of the house. He might meet Kim in this route, but Kim had mentioned that his mother wouldn’t let him out of the house when the fire last night happened, so it might be the same tonight.


                Black, clean shoes. He stepped out of the police car. Standing at 6 feet tall, he surveyed the scene before him.The fire had been quickly put down, and only a few sparks in the electrical system of the house were left. The firemen hurried about, carrying hoses, and fixing their equipment. The other firemen were still inside the property, making sure that the fire was completely gone. A crowd of onlookers was beginning to build up around the site. There was still lots of smoke in the air. He walked to the house.

                It was the house that was on the northern corner of Betsy Street and Lincoln Street. Almost across from Kim’s house. Feeling like a persistent journalist who was chasing a good story, Chalano hurried through the crowd to get a closer look. He could hear the conversations of the onlookers whom he passed.
                “I think that somebody got killed.”
                “It happened in less than an hour.”
                Another boy was walking toward Chalano, but the boy’s face was turned toward the house. He was wearing a red hoodie. He turned his head just before he bumped against Chalano, and suddenly stopped walking in surprise. Kim!
                Kim looked like he didn’t expect Chalano to see him. Chalano said, “Hey! What are you---“ Chalano noticed that there was blood on Kim’s lower lip. “W-what happened?!”
                Kim leaned as if to hide from Chalano. Noticing where Chalano was looking, he raised his right hand to cover his lower lip. Kim hurried past Chalano without saying any word. Puzzled, Chalano watched as Kim crossed Lincoln street. There was something different about how Kim walked. Chalano knew that Kim didn’t walk like that on a daily basis. Kim wiped the blood from his lower lip, and entered his house.
                As questions about Kim filled his head, Chalano turned back to the house. Because he was distracted, he accidentally stepped on a foot. He quickly stepped aside to make way for the man, and kept saying sorry to keep him from getting angry. But the man just kept quietly looking at Chalano. The man’s face had no expression at all. He was the same man who watched Chalano and Kim while they were looking at the couple of burned houses in 10th Street that afternoon. This time, though, he was in police uniform, and the name on his uniform was Gallaner.
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