“Everything is still green. Good work. This will reflect well on your review.” I smiled down at my phone. Everything was proceeding as planned. Better than expected actually.
Within the past week the company I worked for successfully purchased several plots of land to make way for a new hotel. “Riots are sure to follow” many predicted. However we found little opposition to the proposal. The area to build on was considered by most as “No Man’s Land”. But my boss, the CEO of the company, saw something else, something more. What a space could be rather than what it was. Ultimately with the aid of some brilliant marketing from my department the city was easily won over and promised prosperity and a mass increases in revenue. Unfortunately the project put the nail in the coffin for several businesses on the block. Even a local park could not be saved from the wave of industrialization and was fated for the scrap heap.
“Quickly sir, we haven’t much time.” A man next to me whispered. I didn’t hear him of course, for my headphones where in and my music was up. That’s what you did while waiting at the station for the train to take you home. But I noticed his obvious looks.
“Can I help you?” I asked, taking one ear piece out.
“That depends. Can you help yourself?” The man asked, pulling up his coat collar to properly block his chin.
“Uh…” I trailed off and went to replace my ear bud, as set to ignore the man next to me as best I could.
“Don’t disregard me boy!” The man practically floored me with his force. “Not unless you wish to die.”
The cars arrived a moment later. I narrowed my eyes as the doors opened. “Listen buddy, there’s a police station just five minutes away from here. Find a taxi and sober up.” With that I stepped onto the rail-car swiftly, hoping to end our encounter there. The man stepped on after me.
“You fool.” He whispered. I tried turning away only to have him duck into my gaze each time. “Don’t you realize what is at stake?” It struck me then just how short the man was. I wondered if his grave tone of voice compensated for that. With a chime the doors to the car closed and we were on our way.
This was the problem with public transportation now and days. “Can’t you just leave me alone please?” I asked.
Without warning the man pulled open his oversized jacket and pulled from within a sawed off shotgun. Reeling back in surprise I landed heavily on my butt, staring up at the looming figure of a man crossed boarders. Slowly every other person on board took notice. Scrambles followed screams as the population shifted around us in alarm. Cocking the weapon in his hands he looked down on me. “Now do you get it?”
“Get what?” I panicked, struggling to put distance between us. Breathing heavily, I flung my water bottle at the stranger in a feeble attempt to chase him away. Flinching, the man turned away and discharged his gun into a nearby window. Blowing out the entire panel the compartment fell deadly silent as shock and terror gripped mother’s and son’s lungs.
“You’re crazy man!” I shouted over the sounds of roaring winds as the train rushed onward.
“Crazy? HA! That’s what they all said! But I’ll show them.” He ended in a whisper that somehow reached me. “Now where is she?”
I blinked. No. No way could this be happening. “Who?”
“Don’t play dumb with me!” The man shouted and turned his gun to my chest.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” I backed farther away franticly. The man followed. “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” My back hit a pole and stopped.
“I know you had a hand in it. Just tell me where she is and I’ll let you live.”
“Where who is?” I screamed as the man stepped closer. I felt tears leak down my face.
“Don’t play dumb! Because of you I lost her.” The stranger’s face crumpled. “She had to leave her spot, her home, and disappeared. I want to know where you moved her.”
“I really don’t know who or what you’re talking about, but everyone that moved—” The man cocked his gun again and I faltered. Beneath my hands I felt the subway’s brakes kick in, slowing its roll. The man blinked but remained unwavering.
The doors opened slowly. On instinct everyone glanced outside to survey the new area. Unexpectedly the man’s face lit up. Dropping his gun he ran from the train. Shakily, and not without hesitation, I stood along with a few others and inched my way towards the doors.
What we saw made no sense. The man who moments before threatened my life now stood in front of a cotton candy stand and with pure, child-like glee marveled. “Oh Candy…” He mouthed to the woman who stood next to the operation. A cute woman full to the brim smiled back, her rosy cheeks glowing. They embraced to the cheers of many around me. Even those who moments before were cowering in horror bloomed beholding such a pure sight of love.
Retracting my head I calmly walked to a seat inside the compartment and sat, waiting for the train to continue on its way.