Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Boy Named Nod: The Paper Route Part 4

I Spy

Jefferson Blank had never been scared. Unnerved. Bothered. Worried.

Never scared.

There never had been a reason to be scared. Some kids got beat up in school but Jefferson Blank had never been noticed. Not; nobody liked him or talked to him. Just; nobody remembered who he was when they looked in their yearbook.

No straight A's. No straight F's. Went to business school and did something worthwhile.

No one would remember him there either. No A's. No F's. Jefferson Blank was less than a shadow. People jump when they see a shadow. Jefferson Blank was pane of glass.

Something there, don't run into it, but nothing to see.

Quiet. Efficient. Clean.

No one - no thing - no situation

Never scared.

Wisping through the crowd, his teeth chattered. There was frost in his stomach and a forest fire in the roots of his scalp.

Jefferson Blank swallowed.

The boy's eyes were still in his head, looking at the backs of his own eyes.

A little voice whispering, prodding, prying.

What's in there? What don't you want me to find?

Jefferson slipped past a fat woman that stank like overchewed roast beef and horseradish, sweat dribbling into his eyes.

"He saw me."


"Have you ever killed a man?"

Nope. My imagination keeps running away with me and making up for it, though.

I lost the bowler and tie and kept running. Mr. Jonathan dove into the crowded elevator. He was a greased right hook, in, out, and around again. In close, nobody would be able to get a clear bead on him before they died. The elevator carpet would never be fully clean again.

I bypassed the elevator and ran around the long columns, slipping between people's legs. Jacket, half-buttoned in the wrong holes. Twisted glasses. Tripped, once, and cried for Mommy.

They bought it. Too many had seen Mr. Jonathan. Too many had seen his razor. They forgot me.

I couldn't see the competition but I knew he was ahead of me. Thirty feet.

Strong nightmares this one. Good at hiding too.

That was alright. Only had to find one.


Come now, open up. I promise this won't hurt much.

Jefferson Blank stumbled and crashed into two suits. They sneered.

They spoke to him.

They... spoke?

Jefferson Blank scrabbled forward between them and struggled to his feet. Forward. Must forward. Must. Go.

Inefficient. Sloppy.

hide. i've got to hide. gogogo.

I seeeeee youuuuu

No! No seeing! No one sees!

Jefferson Blank fell apart and I ran. Clawing at carpet. Pulling. Fingernails digging. Further. Further.

There. Open door. Bolting through. Slam. Click click click. Lock. Yes.

I curled up in corner.

There you are Martin. It is Martin, isn't it? Martin J. Windham?

No. Jefferson Blank closed his eyes. I opened them.

Just hold still Martin. I have a couple friends that want to talk to you.

Jefferson and I screamed.



Call it gift. It is.

A scream cut through the crowd. It wasn't a "he's got a gun" scream or a "I'm gonna die" scream. It was the type of scream you hear when people wake up from a dream they can't remember.

I pushed open the door it came from.

They followed me in.


The boy. It was the boy. Him. Eyes. Those eyes. Behind him. Who? Who's there?

"Allow me to reacquaint you Martin, with two people I think you might've forgotten."

Two? Nonono. Dead. Both dead.

"The first is Warren Smith. Remember Warren? He didn't like the bullies much. Didn't like you either. Shot 13 students. Cold-blood. Mysteriously found with his head turned around backwards. I wonder how that happened?"

Can't see me, don't see me. Can't. Won't. Can't see can't kill. Go Warren go. Smell. Blood and powder and sweat. Go Warren. Can't see.

"The other fellow here is Mr. Robinson. He was found dead too. Neck snapped. Odd that. Warren shot everybody he killed. I wonder who killed Mr. Robinson."

No Warren, go go.

I stepped out of my locker and grabbed his head. It snapped. He was a garbage. Trash.

No. Don't see. Don't see that. Please. Please don't see.

Don't tell.

"They're both unhappy with you Martin. You let Jefferson kill them."

Nonono. Don't go. I didn't. I didn't do it.

I grabbed Mr. Robinson's head and twisted. He fell too. More trash.

No! Not trash!

Unclean. Inefficient. Waste.

Who are you?

Jefferson. Jefferson Blank.

"Think I should let them have you Martin? I think they want a word with you."


I slipped out the door and into the crowd. A flood. A flock. A cloud.

Out we went, gushing out the exits. Everyone saw a small, scared boy.

I heard Mr. Jonathan in my mind, long-since recalled.

"I thought you wanted his head."

"No worries. I took it."

"He's dead?"

"Jefferson Blank is no more."


"Hi Jefferson."

"Afternoon Jefferson."

"Got that analysis done Mr. Blank?"

I cried.

My name was Martin.

Why? Why do people see me?

No comments:

Post a Comment