Copyright © 2003, 2015 by D'Artagnon
Sammy walked out into the sunlight, stretched his arms far over his head and inhaled. His arms tightened as they reached for the sky, his shoulders sliding backwards, rolling. He felt alive. He walked down the street, hands stuffed into the generous pockets of his fleece sweat shirt. Today was the first day he could finally be himself in his entire life. Today was the first day after he had broken free.
He took a left turn and headed down the hills, towards the river. A whistling breeze swept through the trees as Sammy walked, drawing his attention up as he watched the leaves ripple and tug at the deciduous foliage around him. Something new was in the air, he could almost smell it. He could almost feel it brush against his senses like the whole world opening up to him. Sammy glanced around, wondering if his new freedom was without a price he hadn't considered.
Joshua was in his usual pissy mood when he left the house. He stepped out the side door and was confronted with the ruined remains of his mountain bike. He sighed loudly and hunkered down beside it. His whole life had been built around this machine until recently. It had been his freedom, his pride and joy, his way to find speed.
The wreck had been totally unexpected the day before. One boulder in the right place to knock the bike into the air, another in the right place for the bike to smash into. Had Joshua not sailed over that second boulder, he'd have been smashed as well. He still marveled at how lightly he had landed on the other side, how clearly it would have crippled him if he'd held on to the bike as well. He looked at the twisted frame, sighed loudly and kicked the remains of his bike. Just another twisted part in his twisted life. He shoved his hands in his pockets and headed out onto the street.
Kyle spent his morning on the ice. He sped up the rink, heart and lungs pumping, feeling the sweat coat his ribs and soak into his undershirt. His hockey jersey was drenched, a barrier of heat and cold and wind as he furiously pumped his legs. He saw his father out the corner of his eye, talking to the coach again as he ran the speed drills with the rest of the team. He saw it, and groaned inside, feeling the anger build.
You see, Kyle loved to skate, but he didn't like how much everyone thought he was the next great thing in the town's hockey history. The next sports star. And while that was his dream as well, he'd rather do it on his own terms. Not to live for his father. Not because it was some one else's dream. Living for himself for his own dreams, that's what drove Kyle on. Kyle put his head down and turned that anger into energy, and poured on the speed.
Tom knew a different kind of morning. His eyes refused to open despite the alarm clock bleating at him. He slipped a hand out of his boxers, out of the heavy blankets on his bed, and reached out to switch off the alarm. He had no intention of getting out of bed any time soon, not after such a long night of prowling the streets. He brought his hand back next to his face after tagging the snooze button and smiled, snuggling back into his warm bed.
And then the coppery scent of blood from his hand, now by his face, made his skin shudder, his blood run cold. He sat up suddenly, looking at his hand and the thick, cloying dried blood on his hand and felt the fear of suddenly realizing he couldn't remember what he'd done the night before.
Andy waited in the tree. It had always been his thinking place since he had been a little boy. His sanctum in a world that was increasingly making less and less sense. He sat in his favorite spot, a wide bough that split off of the old elm tree at a nearly perpendicular angle to the thick trunk, his back to the bole of the tree. He was completely invisible from the ground, but he could see events in the small river town unfolding around him.
The valley was his, after all. None knew what went on anywhere near as well as this child of the woods. He watched in fascination as things were starting to open up all around him, as the world drew in breath and awoke from the misty dew of morning. The time had come, he knew. And it was time he took action. No more just hiding and observing, seeing what others chose to ignore.
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