the bike, the boy, and the blue thing

I received a message from my boss. It’s the sort of job that requires one to be on call at all times. So I checked the message. It didn’t say much but to receive a package outside of some shady apartment building. When I asked about the details of the package, i.e. dimensions, color, weight etc, she said that it wasn’t that kind of package. and I would know as soon as I saw it. My first thought was, “gimme a break,” so I asked back, will someone be handing it to me? She said two people would. A man and a woman, and that I had to retrieve that package at all cost. I said what any employee of the year would. “Okie dokie.”

I got to the apartment complex without any obstacles. I brought my ‘tools’ with me because she had said at all cost, but in all the years I’ve been under her employ, I’ve never had a job that I couldn’t handle. My boss, she’s a smart woman. Sometimes, I think she only gives me jobs that I can handle because she’s aware of my skillset and experience, and that’s why I’ve never had a job that I couldn’t handle. Of course, the jobs got tougher over time, otherwise I’d have become just another one of those employees with teir thumbs up their asses. You know the kind.

Anyway, I’d taken the motorcycle to dropzone. That which I’d named Peggy, after the story of Bellerophon and Pegasus. I hit a guy on a motorcycle with a shitty car in my youth and turned him into a vegetable. I didn’t feel too bad because he was drunk, but the bad that I did feel made me buy his broken bike at the motorpool auction. I revived it, tamed all its fucked-up kinks and I’m, now, seemingly the only fella that knows how to ride it. No packages came for me at the spot. I sat. I waited. I yawned, I stretched, Repeat. Then I started practices tricks with Peggy. Somehow during Peggy’s revival, I’d set the idle just right to the point that if I had her in first gear, she would walk right beside me, like a real horse. Then again, maybe Peggy wanted to do it. I don’t go too deeply into the things that couldn’t be simply explained. Anything explained difficultly meant it still wasn’t understood. Simplicity is supreme.

Then I heard a window shatter. Fifth floor. The falling glass danced around me. I shrugged and decided simply to move peggy and I across the street.

“This is it,” I thought about the job, “fucking, finally.” I watched and continued watch the fifth floor but nothing else happened. I watched some more and wondered if there was anything else to watch. No one in any of the other apartments turned on their lights or looked out the window in curiosity. That wasn’t weird in a poor neighborhood. I’d have been surprised if the cops were called. It was just quiet. My stomach grumbled because of a skipped lunch and dinner. Silence. I waited a moment longer before i started having Peggy walk next to me again. That’s when they kicked the front doors open and everything happened fast.

I did a little hop skip next to Peggy, who looked as if a ghost was riding her. There was a man and a woman. They watched me skip with widening eyes. I was in all black with a full-faced black tinted winged helmet. Custom made. With the man and woman wasn’t a package or a bag or even a box. It was a little blonde kid. Nowhere close to his teens. He held something blue in his hands. I gestured to the kid to bring it over and that’s when the man and woman, who upon longer inspection looked as though they could pass for the kids parents, stopped the kid from stepping across the street and tried to run.

I snapped my fingers without thinking, Peggy revved, grabbed my tools, and two flashes later, I had the kid and the blue behind me on the bike riding away. The blonde kid was staring at the man and woman now shrinking on the floor behind and beneath us.

‘Were they your parents?’  I asked calmer then I had ever been in my life, masking the shudder in my voice with Peggy’s neighing. The kid said nothing. ‘Did you know them?’ I asked again.

‘They said they were friends, and they loved me.’ he finally said, ‘they look just like mom and dad.’

‘Who were they, and what were they looking for?’ I asked shifting into the next gear. Again, the kid stayed silent. ‘Were they looking for the blue thing you’re holding?”

‘…They said they weren’t from here, and that they knew they looked like my mom and dad, but they weren’t. I don’t know what they wanted. They just told me to go with them.’

‘Then what’s that blue thing, kid?’

‘It’s mine. I told ’em I wasn’t gonna go nowhere unless they let me get it. So they brought me home. Then when I went to get it, daddy came out and started yelling at the other man who looks like him. They were fighting and daddy tried to throw the other man out the window. He didn’t fall and then the lady hit daddy with the t.v. and broke the t.v. Daddy didn’t get up. Then they said that we had to go right now. I grabbed my blue and went downstairs and saw you.’

I said nothing and tried to gauge the situation but decided not to. It was some strange kind of fuckery that I couldn’t possible figure out or even begin to. All I knew was that the boss told me to take the package to the drop, then leave. But what the fuck was the package? She said I would know. Was it the blue thing? I’d never seen anything like it. It’s like a glow-stick sort of thing as thin as a syringe but has a deep eerie blue glow to it. The kid held onto it like it was his soul or a safety blanket. From what the kid told me, they didn’t even know about the blue thing. They wanted the kid. So which was the package? Then I did something silly. We rode Peggy to a nearby Friend’s place and I asked Him to watch the kid while I dropped off the blue thing. I told the kid I promised to be back real soon after I sorted it all out. He screamed and scratched at me when I pulled the thing out of his hand. At least I had a helmet on, but the kid also kicked like crazy. My shins were being rung like the liberty bell before my Buddy calmed him. He always had a way with kids. Made them feel like doing their chores was a right of theirs. In a way it was, but He was damn good at it.

I took off to deliver the blue thing.

I got to the drop zone. I began to hand the blue thing over to the guy I usually made my drops to, funny guy, kinda reminds me of a frog, and I can’t remember if it was before or after I handed it to him before I saw a couple of flashes then woke up in the middle of fucking nowhere.

Peggy was nowhere in sight. My helmet was gone. I had plain clothes on. It was miles before I found a bus and even then, I had no idea where it was going. I just hoped it was going to get me where I needed to go. At least close enough for me to walk he rest of the way. Tuesdays were always pretty rough.

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