Saturday, July 7, 2012

Crab Mentality (Part 35)

June 30, 2010 (5pm)
Chalano avoided Kim’s eyes, and said, “I’m sorry …”
He stood up, and walked away, limping. The stairs to the second floor looked like it wouldn’t be there for long. Even though his left leg was painful, Chalano ran up the stairs. The stairs shook as he went up. And was beginning to separate from the second floor. It began to fall. Once he reached the top of the stairs, he jumped to the second floor. His jump made a sound, and caused the weakened building to tremble a bit. As he clung to the wall of his old classroom, trying to get inside, the flight of stairs collapsed to the ground far below him.
Cole turned to look at him, and said, “Changed your mind, eh?”
“No,” Chalano yelled at him.
“A gangster who says ‘no’ to crime? Isn’t that funny? You are like comedy, Charlie.”
“There’s such a thing such as a big change,” Chalano said, and charged at Cole. He tightly squeezed around Cole’s neck with his hands. Struggling to breathe, Cole did his best to pull Chalano’s hands away. After a few seconds, Cole stopped pulling, and, instead, began punching Chalano’s chest. The blows were very painful, and Chalano was forced to let go. Chalano sat on the floor a few feet away from Cole, who had sat up to clutch his throat in pain. Cole stood up to grab a long rope from his bag, and angrily charged at Chalano. He tied Chalano around a small, wooden pole that had been left behind by the burned wall of the classroom. After tying him up, Cole went back to his bag to take a test tube of blue liquid and a matchbox. He walked back to Chalano with a burning matchstick, and attached it to the end of Chalanao’s pant leg. Small flames began eating up the end of Chalano’s pant leg.
“Final choice, Charlie. I really should’ve burned you,” he said, and dropped a bit of the liquid into the small fire. Chalano stared at the fire in frozen horror as it quickly spread on his pants. Without burning his skin, the fire crawled up his clothes. The flames were so blinding. As the flames got closer to his face, all that he saw was a white flash. He stared into the whiteness, and remembered an old memory …
   He was still a baby. The winds were strong, and his family stayed inside the house because of the storm. His mother was reading a book on her bed, he was lying down on his crib, and his father was talking to someone on the telephone in the living room. He overheard his father saying, “Sometimes, when you use your mind to call for help, help comes.”
Chalano stared at the flames, and felt their heat. He’d rather go home, be a child again, and be with his parents. Tears filled his scared eyes, and flowed down his cheeks. Help … Help … Help me …
There was a booming sound in the underground pipes of the campus. The sound of water could be heard. Water rushed out of all the faucets and drinking fountains of the school. The waterways overflowed, flooding the campus. The flood quickly rose up, but it remained within the campus. The fires in every building were put away. The water level quickly crawled up to the second floor. The waters didn’t stop, until it was like a sea. A huge wave formed, and it rushed like a monster toward Chalano and Cole. Cole finally paid attention to the weird sounds outside. He looked to the window. It was too late when he screamed in horror, “What’s going on?!”
The gigantic wave engulfed the room. The roof got shattered, and the walls fell apart as water came rushing in. Cole’s screams were silenced as they went underwater. The pole that Chalano had been tied to got broken off by the strength of the wave, and Chalano was able to free himself. Chalano and Cole clung to the floor of the old classroom, which was the only thing that remained whole. Slowly, they floated back to the surface. They gasped for air once they were on the surface. After a while, Cole glared at Chalano, and yelled, “You did this?”
Cole quickly swam toward Chalano. Chalano was not good at swimming, and was unable to swim away. Cole began to strangle Chalano, saying, “Why didn’t you say that you had a power like this? How dare you oppose me?”
As quickly as it had come, the flood went down. The waters rushed to the waterways of the school. The surface quickly went down from the second floor, trees, and pillars until Chalano’s and Cole’s feet touched the ground. The flood was gone.
Chalano suddenly kicked Cole’s knee, and turned to run. Chalano had been running for only 3 meters when he slipped due to the wet ground. Cole angrily walked toward him. Lying on his belly on the dirty ground and trying to get up, Chalano felt Cole grab his feet and drag him toward the back of the school.
“Let go of him!”
Both of them turned in surprise at the sound of the man’s voice. Callon walked toward them as he pointed a gun to Cole, saying, “Police! Put your hands on your head, and turn around!”
Cole looked behind him as he reached into his pocket, calmly saying with a smile, “I ain’t facing this way, you know.”
“Put your hands on your head, and turn around,” Callon repeated louder as he approached them.
“Your backup’s invisible, just like the lock to your house,” Cole said as he grabbed Chalano, and suddenly jumped into the well. As they fell, Cole grabbed the chain, and pulled the metal cover to a close. When they reached the dark bottom, Chalano tried to run for the tunnel to the cafeteria, but Cole held him.   Chalano resisted, and ran to the opposite direction instead.
      Chalano knew the place well, because he used to hide there during first year. The tunnel had an extension, which was a huge, underground cave. Chalano walked around in the complete darkness, knowing that Cole was still standing at the bottom of the well to block his way to the cafeteria. Cole yelled, “Where are you?”
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