Daily Creative Writing Practice - What Ends You From [Short Story]
My practice of bringing depth to simple sentences...
The joy he felt, as he sat down in the little 5 seater of his worn down Honda civic, was a feeling indescribable. As he knew how far he'd come. How much he'd sacrificed. As he went about his journey of dream chasing, that which motivated him to wake up each morning. With fire in his belly. He knew he'd come far, but knew there was so much further to go. His acceptance of a Masters at UCL was a further testimony of his driving ambition.
He sunk back further into the worn fabric of his Honda. His 6ft 3 frame squeezed behind a dodgy wheel. While the temperature dial turned to blue, making its own rules, as hot air blew through dusty vents while ironically 'Man's Not Hot' played through the one good speaker. His student loan the funder of this moving disaster.
But none of that mattered as he knew he'd just leaped a massive step towards his future. A massive step for his mother. He let out a long sigh, closing his eyes to the darkening skies of Leyton. Curried lamb caressing his nose. Though his thoughts traveled to his mother. Thinking of how she worked so hard to provide for three. Her health, the lamb that had its neck cut. Blood spilled. Sacrificed. All so that he and his two brothers had a roof over their heads and food in their growling bellies.
She had to work three jobs, in minimum pay roles, as his father had long since deceased. In a car crash that had changed their world. Especially when the life insurance company, found all kinds of excuses for not paying out the much needed lump sum of cash. To say his mother had had it hard. Was an understatement. The addition of a recent diagnose of cancer made it even harder. Her small frame thick from okra and yam was now slender from cancers multiplying cells. It was her sheer will and determination that allowed for her three sons brought up around the infamous Beaumont estate, to not be caught up in the madness that had captured the lives of many of his close friends. Putting their conscience in a sleep hold, so that all that remained was predatory instincts that controlled the minds of young men who waited to pounce on any unfortunate soul.
He let out another sigh. Imagining it all behind him. Imagining moving his family to the ease of Essex life, their comfort paid for by his medical practice. His mother's cancer stopped in its tracks by his ground breaking work. The Sodom and Gomora of Leyton. Left miles away.
He'd proved though that he was more than just a dreamer he was a doer.
A warm feeling traveled the lengths of his body. He exhaled into a warm chuckle. Life was finally coming together.
"Yo?" The knock on his car window startled him out of his day dream. The harsh realities of Leyton's nighttime scene greeted him with a dark grin and a hint of gold tooth.
He replied "cool bro what's up"
"What area you from?"
He immediately picked up on the hidden meaning behind the question. His heartbeat increased. As it worked out that a situation of fight or flight would soon be upon him.
"I'm from the ends, why you asking?" He added base to his voice, adding a slang tone unique to east London, as he attempted to show the guy he also knew the unwritten code of conduct for the streets.
The guy dismissed him
"I ain't seen you around before"
"I ain't seen you before." His reply was quick, his voice thick with annoyance.
The guy kissed his teeth. "Don't play dumb with me. I'll poke you." The threat and menace in his voice were clear. The faint scent of marijuana oozed from the gold toothed villain.
He replied calmer. sensing how dangerous the situation was now reaching. Action or inaction imbalanced on a knife's edge.
"Look, bro, I ain't here for no trouble. Like I said I'm from the ends. I'm just from around the corner of Beaumont estate. You know Penny?"
There was a long pause. Silence thick with building kinetic energy. Kinetic energy that exploded into.
"Fuck Penny he's a pagon. He owes me money. In fact, give him a message from me."
Before he could react the arm had swung inside the car. He felt a thud on his back and knew he'd just been punched in his back. He sped off with a wheel spin. Tyres screeching. Not wanting to give the gold toothed thug another opportunity to strike at him. He sped off for safety. The yelling street thug now far in the rearview. But he felt faint. He sped off down Church road looking for the turn of Capworth street. But he felt weaker. His hands feeling heavier in none compliance. The influx of adrenaline in his system depleting as the realisation from wetness in his back. That the gold toothed punk had more than punched him.
True to his threat he had poked him. A gushing stab wound as his message to Penny. Pain now agonized him. A grim reality dawning. His breathing now a struggle. A wease sound appearing from his back with each one of his haggered breaths.
His study of medicine and the advanced study of the inner workings of the human anatomy. All in aid of discovering a cure for his mother's cancer. But know let him know that he was in serious trouble. A minute from home. Five minutes from the overworked wards of Whipps Cross Hospital.
He knew this, as he'd volunteered there as real experience for his dissertation. Six months of coming face to face with the brutal realities of the hospital's cancer ward. Life here one minute then gone the next.
A life called Maria turned to a body formally called Maria. He didn't want to die as he knew he had so much more to give. He couldn't die as it was his destiny to save his mother. Not for his mother to find him slumped. Another body added to London's knife crime epedimic. How would she cope with out him. Her as the sole bread winner for two teen boys. He couldn't die they needed him. The world needed him. To cure cancer. To stop the monster that so cruelly took loved ones from families. That so cruelly acted as if God, deciding in its droves of who lives and who dies. Another submission to the unknowns of the afterlife. He felt weaker. He knew he needed to stop the flow of blood. But he could barely move. His body now not responding to the commands of a desperate brain. Who worked desperately to save him. Shutting of blood flow. So that it only went to the major organs. He knew it was all happening as he'd learned this. Witnessed the battle for life as patients fought the Scythe of Cancer. He felt himself slump forward and knew that all was lost. He wondered how proud his mother would have been, of learning the news, of his acceptance into UCL's Doctorate program...
He looked in the mirror, looking over the cut of his six pack swelling each time he tensed his stomach. The pectorals of his chest flicking with each conscious squeeze. He smiled flashing white teeth. The glint from the stream of sunlight caught his one gold tooth in colourful sparkles. The fade of his number two box haircut shaped his face into a resemblance of handsomeness. He knew Patrica would go mad when she saw him. Especially how he'd swelled after the last 6 months behind Pentonville's prison doors.
He flexed his biceps, that bulged with a weightlifter's gains. He flashed another grin imaging all the ways he'd have her on all fours. He let out a chuckle, full of Glee with a hint of meance. He was a rudeboy after all. But before he'd get the chance to meet her and show her insides the levels of his depths. He had to follow his mother on some errand. He'd find out where, when he got downstairs as he knew she was already ready. The constant "are you ready yet?" every five minutes let him know this.
He put on a shirt, black trousers, and shoes just as she'd requested. He checked himself in the mirror. Something was missing. He grabbed his Versace shades. He was a rudeboy after all.
He went downstairs. His mother was sitting somberly. Repeating quietly to herself "what a wicked, wicked world we live in. How can they just take a life."
He zoned her out. Thinking back to the curves of Patrica as he waited with his mother for the call that the uber had arrived.
The call came. He followed his mother into the back of the uber. The Prius moving quietly. He looked out the window. Watching the world of Leyton roll by. Watching as teens waited at bus stops, their heads 90 degreed towards their phones. Mothers with strollers gossiping. The homeless sitting down next to cash points awaiting any handouts. He sneered at them in disgust. What bum allows themselves to get to that place. He kissed his teeth silently. muttering under his breath. "They need to get some light and dark and get to work."
The uber pulled up outside St Johns church. Outside, the church was packed with people. Many in black. Most crying waterfalls. The long black car carrying the words beloved son, allowed him to make the informed guess that he was here for a funeral. He wondered who it was. As he knew these streets to be cold. The scar on his hip was proof of this.
A black lady with cheeks seemingly sucked in, looked up. She was surrounded by comforters. She leaned on them for support. Her eyes wet from crying. She noticed his mother. Saying thanks and giving her excuses, his mother and the lady met in a tight embrace.
"It's a wicked wicked world sister. I have no words to express your loss."
The lady with the gaunt face cried. Her voice piercing. Striking high chords into the hearts of all those who surrounded the vicinity. He could only imagine how his mother would feel if he was to be taken from the world. He dipped his hands into his pocket. Feeling the smooth cool edge of his flick blade. If he was to go, he'd go in a trail of blood, guts and glory. Badman.
"He'd just been accepted for a doctorate at UCL. He told me he'd clear my cancer." She was unable to talk further as she became overcome with grief. Her aura of extreme sadness comforted by his mother in little words of "I'm so sorry." The aura saught for cracks in his armor. Stepping back his mother introduced him "This is my son Tyler."
She greeted him with a warm hug. He let her hug him. As even he could only imagine her grief.
"I'm so sorry for your loss," he said in his best English.
"Thank you for your kind words. You lot are the future, you need to stop killing one another." She cried. She regathered her composure. "Remember you can be anything you want to be. You just need to put your mind to it. You can be anything. You hear me anything. My son Alfred wanted to be a doctor. Through hardworking and dedication he was well on the way to becoming one."
Feeling awkward and not Knowing what to say he said. "What your son's name was Alfred. I may know him."
"Maybe," she replied "my son was so loved. Look how much people have come out for him. He truly was loved. Truly was an Angel. Always talking about how he'll get me out of Leyton. Too many badmind people in it he'd tell me." She went quiet. "Looks like he was right. They stabbed my beautiful son and for what? Oh God give me strength. Be merciful to me and please give me strength." Tears flowed freely from her. The sparkle lost and eyes now dulled from life. His mother held her in comfort. She reached, producing a funeral program. The cover of a smiling dark-skinned man. Couldn't have been more than 23. He looked closer faintly resembling the face. Remembering the confrontation at a car. Remembering how he reached for his flick knife. Delivering a message of street code. Of street honor
"This is my son"
His heart dropped. His whole being drenched with guilt. As he realised that he was the reason for the death of his mother's closes friends son.
His leg wobbled to jelly as all around it felt as if his world was soon to cave in. And his inner monster now exposed for the world to se. Without realising he held his mother for support...
Photo by wild vibez on Unsplash