Day two of the National Novel Writing Month challenge. The song I ended up picking today was “He Got Game” by Public Enemy from the soundtrack of the same movie. Now surprisingly I didn’t write this short story about any sport. I was inspired by a few stanza’s towards the end of the song “Now if you take heed to the words of wisdom/written on the wall of life/then universally we will stand and divided we will fall because love conquers all…This is a wake up call to all you sleepin’ souls/Wake up and control your own cipher/and watch out for the Spirit Sniper trying to steal your light”
Here is part one. I was too tired to finish but I will tomorrow.
It was on the corner of Tenth and Washington when I first saw the writing on the wall. Like anyone else in this greed-driven city I didn’t pay it that much mind. It read: “Wake up you Sleeping Souls.” It was one of thousands of spray painted graffiti left by the bored, the rebellious and what was left of the artists. The only thing that caused me to remember it was the fact that it was tagged on a brick building with no windows and the words weren’t painted so that people who drove by would see it. It was down a narrow alley where cars didn’t travel and most people didn’t walk. Why have a message where no one can see it? I wondered. The only reason why I saw it was that two men were having a heated conversation across the street when a black car screeched to a halt in front of them. I had seen that movie, someone was about die and I didn’t want to have any part of it.
I made sure I pulled up my hood, I didn’t want to my red curly hair to bring unwanted attention. Being a girl in this neighborhood does you more harm than good.
The police left long ago. People like to say it was because there was no money in arresting thugs and druggies. I think it was that the police were getting paid off by Big Jimmy to stay away.
Big Jimmy ran Noddnaba He strived to make sure we lived on next to nothing because if we felt next to nothin’ then we’d come to him for a job or to escape into his drugs. Either way, he’d control us like puppets.
I was one of the few since the riots that could still live in both worlds. There was a strong divide between the destroyed slums of Noddnaba and the business of Vora City. I took 3 buses and walked 2 miles to get to work in Vora City. They were working on building a wall to divide the two neighborhoods but until it was completed I always found a way to get through undetected.
Once I almost did get stopped by the VC Police but I quickly pulled out a cell phone and pretended I was talking to someone important and the VC Police let me go. No one in Noddnaba was allowed such a device, our towers were destroyed in the riots, so even if we have them, they wouldn’t work. I picked up my phone from a trash can. A business man on 22nd Street got upset with whomever he was talking to on the other end and threw the phone in a trash can before opening his suit pocket to reveal another phone. The phone only worked for me for a month. I didn’t care, I didn’t have anyone to call anyway. It was now more of a prop to get me through Vora.
Just past the still-being-constructed wall was where I hid my clothes. My hoodie and tennis shoes would get me arrested. I would switch into high heels and a fitted jacket and leave everything else in a laundry bag that I’d let dangle from an open manhole cover.
I worked in the mailroom of Segrims & Sabbath. I knew everyone’s name but no one knew mine. Even my boss called me “you” and my checks were made out to Cash.
The company I worked for was in control of the advertising for all of Vora City. They were the ones that pushed the products that everyone felt they had to buy and people just laid over their money like zombies. Most of the mail that came through was from collection companies about clients who were becoming too poor to pay back for the services they promised to pay. The people of the city were quickly being owned by the crap they bought. Everyone was in debt to someone, except me. Before my mother passed her and I bought the apartment I was living in. I only needed money to pay utilities (which not many were actually available anyway) and food. The rest I saved for my future. I had a picture of my grandmother’s house in the country, living off the land, not another soul in sight. That’s what I wanted most. That’s what my future would be if only I could get enough money to get out of this twisted and upside down place.
On the way home from work the writing on the wall had changed. No sign of the old message being erased. The new one read “Watch out for the Spirit Snipers trying to steal your light.”
I couldn’t sleep, there was a weight on my head I couldn’t shake. Sure Crazy Mary was yelling at the moon again, but I that wasn’t the reason I couldn’t fall away to dreamland. I closed the window only lightly buffering out Crazy Mary. I felt heavy, as if there was a magnetic pull from the top of my head through my body and pass the floor below me. Each step back to bed got hard and harder. I gave up and sat in a chair in the living room.
A small light appeared in the bedroom. Nothing bigger than a fireflies’ light. Against my body’s wishes I got up to investigate.
A ghostly white light hovered around the picture of my grandma’s farm.
“What do you think you think you’re doing?” I asked the entity.
The orb swooped over to me and hovered a few inches from my nose. I could see the faint appearance of a sunken in eyes and a devilish grin. Protective of my picture I stared it down.
The orb being the first to blink grinned and crashed through my window.
I rushed to the window to watch the orb swerve over to Crazy Mary’s porch. The orb waited behind Crazy Mary as she continued to yell at the moon.
“Crazy Mary, look out!” I yelled from the cracked window.
Crazy Mary turned around and opened her mouth to scream. But the scream never came. The voice Crazy Mary loved so much was sucked out of her throat and ingested by the orb.
For Part 2 click here https://katechaplin.wordpress.com/2011/11/04/he-got-game-part-2/