DISCLAIMER: This piece contains violence and strong language, reader discretion is adviced.
The covers are soft, my pillows are fluffed, and I’m the perfect temperature. So why can’t I fall asleep? The realization that my friend found out I can fly was probably contributing to my insomnia; not even my family knew. A twig snapping outside my window caused my heart to leap in my chest. I got the nagging feeling that something was wrong. Slowly, I got out of bed making sure the old mattress didn’t creak and went to the kitchen for some water.
On my way to the kitchen, I walked past the living room and got a glance of outside through the window. It was facing the street, and because we were at the top of a hill, it wasn’t hard to see the two black cars lined up on the side of the road, quite obviously watching my house. I kept walking as if I didn’t see anything, thankful that I decided not to go flying tonight.
The foreboding feeling in my chest didn’t leave as I leaned against the counter with my glass of water. Something was going to happen tonight, I was sure of it. If Anthony, my friend, has known for the past week, and decided to tell his father in the FBI then, and the last time I went flying was two days ago then… they knew, and my life was over. The thought of never graduating high school, going to college, and living a normal life flittered through my mind. I couldn’t lose everything without a fight.
My phone buzzed on the counter, making me jump. I rolled my eyes, it was Anthony calling me.
“Dude, they’re coming for you. I don’t know how my dad found out, but he did, and they’re coming for you tonight.” He was obviously panicking for me over the phone.
“You didn’t tell him?” I asked, shocked. If he didn’t rat me out, who else knew?
“Of course not! Man, you’re my best friend, why would I turn you in?”
“If it wasn’t you, then who?”
“We can figure that out later. You need to get out of there. I would have called earlier, but my dad has been watching me like a hawk and just went to bed a few minutes ago.”
“Where do I go?”
“Away! Just get out of there. Call me when you find somewhere safe, you have to go, now! Goodluck!”
“Shit.” I exclaimed as the line went dead. My heart raced in my chest. They were outside my bedroom window, that was the twig snap. The whole house was probably surrounded. As I stood there stressing, I didn’t hear my mother’s approach.
“James? Honey, what are you doing up?” Her voice made me jump again. This situation was way too stressful.
“I’m fine mom, you can go back to sleep. I was just getting some water.” I held the half empty cup of water up a little, as if proving to her I was telling the truth.
“Oh, well I’m up because I heard something outside my window. I wanted to check the cameras your stepfather put up a few days ago to see if there was a deer out there or something.” My whole body froze at her words.
“He put up cameras?” My brain couldn’t comprehend what was happening. He turned me in. That asshole of a man turned me in!
“Yeah, there’s been robberies going on these past couple of days and he wants to make sure we aren’t the next house.” How did I not notice freaking cameras? I knew what she was going to see when she checked the footage. A dozen men, or more, dressed in black from head to toe and crouching on all sides of the house.
“Mom, I have to tell you something first.” She paused, moving from walking towards the office, to walking towards me.
“Sure, what’s wrong?” My mom leaned against the counter across from me, giving me her full attention. Just as I was about to tell her everything, I saw a masked face through the window behind her. My eyes went wide, and I tackled her to the ground as the glass exploded.
“Mom! Mom, are you okay?” I shouted. The sound of smashing glass sounded throughout the house, and I heard my 7-year-old sister, Maddy, scream from her room. My mom looked up at me in a daze, having hit her head on the floor. “Shit.” I cursed, at a loss for what to do. The man was crawling into the kitchen with difficulty, the window was one that was usually at the top of a basement wall. I always found it odd why it was placed there but couldn’t have been more thankful for it right now.
“FBI, hands up!” I heard from my mom and stepdad’s room.
“What’s going on?” My mom asked. She was snapping out of it, now fearing for her family.
“Mom, I’m sorry, this is all my fault. I never told you anything. I should have but I didn’t and now its too late and I have to get out of here. I love you, tell Maddy I love her too. And that I’m sorry. Tell Jake he can go fuck himself for getting rid of me like this. I’m sorry I can’t protect you and Mads from him anymore, I’ll try to get back to you, I really will. Anthony knows what’s going on, you can ask him anything.” I whispered the last part in her ear as I helped her up off the floor. The voice in the other room sounded like Anthony’s dad. Went to bed my ass.
“What are you saying, where are you going?”
“No time to explain!” I kissed her on her cheek. “Bye mom.” Leaving her to the man who just got through the window, I bolted into the thankfully empty hallway and floated to the ceiling. From there, I crawled to the ceiling of the living room. There were three guys in there, waiting with their guns drawn. Was a flying guy really such a threat?
I continued to silently make my way to the window. That was my ticket to freedom. They, surprisingly, didn’t see me. It could have been the dark, or the fact that they knew the guy waiting for me outside would get to me if they didn’t. When I saw him, it was too late. He saw me, I saw him see me, and I pushed off the broken glass and flew as fast as I could. I wasn’t fast enough. Two shots fired, one grazed the back of my calf, and the other lodged itself into the outside of my thigh. It was almost enough to cause a crash landing, I’d never felt pain like that before, but I managed to balance out and continue flying.
It was about thirty minutes when I couldn’t deal with the lightheadedness anymore. The inaccessible top of a building in the city seemed like the perfect temporary hiding spot, and I landed messily, legs unable to support me. The gravel scraped against my body as I fell and continued to press into my skin as I just laid there. I knew that if I kept losing blood I would either die or be found. My hope was that the bullet didn’t puncture my femoral artery, something we just learned about in anatomy. If that was cut, I would need a hospital. Sitting up, I almost threw up at the sight of the bullet wound, the skin was red and inflamed, tearing and gross. There wasn’t an exit wound so the bullet was still in there.
I cursed as I attempted to make a tourniquet out of the sleeve of my previously long-sleeved shirt. My body was too weak to make it very tight, and I just kept getting more and more tired.
My phone started to ring from my pocket. I fumbled with it until it finally answered to the sound of Anthony’s panting.
“Hey.” I slurred.
“Hey? Hey! Really? Dude, I heard the gunshots from my house! I wanted to give you a bit to get away before I called you. Are you okay?” A car started in the background, and Anthony shouted something I couldn’t hear right before I heard a door slam.
“I was hit.” I grumbled, blood all over my hands and the ground beneath me.
“Shit, where? How bad is it? Where are you?” I looked around in a haze.
“I don’t know where I am. On top of a-a city. My legs bad. Remember the- that unit from the anatomy class where-we that-we learned about that-the thing with the artery in the leg?” The words stumbled from my mouth and I wasn’t comprehending what I was saying. I don’t think Anthony did either.
“James, what the hell are you talking about? How much blood have you lost?” At his question, I once again looked around. All the blood on me and the ground, I decided, would be enough to fill a bucket.
“About a bucketful maybe.”
“Okay, James, focus. Where did you fly to?” I tried to think, I really did, but the more I thought the more tired I became.
“Second star to the right, and straight on till morning.” I smiled, remembering my favorite movie. Anthony began blabbering in my ear again about how I should stop messing around. I laid my head on the pavement, shushing him. “Wendy, shhhh. Its bed time.”
“James? James!” Anthony shouted through the phone. His voice was drowned out by the sight of the sun rising. I guess I had done it. I flew until I reached morning. Proud of myself, I smiled against the sun’s rays hitting my face. Satisfied with myself, I allowed the warmth of the sun and the numbness in my brain to lure me to sleep.