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Journey’s End

Creative Writing Challenge: 2 AM Photo – It’s 2AM and your phone has just buzzed you awake, filling the room in white-blue LED light. You have a message. It’s a photo. No words, no explanation. Just a photo. Tell us all about it. And what happens next.

My phone buzzes me awake and I open the message, eyes blurred with sleep.

The message contains a scan of a very old photograph, its colours faded by time, its edges fraying with age.

I recognise it at once, know when it had been taken. I’m standing between two men, our arms around each other, smiles on our faces. On my left Darian, my best friend. Tall, muscular, gang tattoos etched up his arms. On my right, his brother Cody. Younger but just as tough.

In the middle, me. Short and stocky, seventeen years old, the red bandanna around my head marking me as an initiate. A gang wannabe.

It was taken two days before my life changed forever. Two days before Cody called me That Name. I could take a lot, but not That Name.

My mood could change in an instant. Loving friend to murderous beast.

I don’t remember anything between hearing Cody call me That Name to pulling my blade from between his ribs. My face must have mirrored the shock I saw in his as he fell back and sank slowly to the ground. I stared at his blood dripping from my blade. And I ran. I ran as fast and as hard as I could. And I never stopped running.

Until now.

Darian was my best friend but I knew he would have to come after me. Darian lived by The Code. An eye for an eye. I knew it would give him no pleasure to end me, but I knew he had no choice. The Code was The Code.

Forty years have passed since that day, the day the photograph was taken. I walk out of the tiny cabin where I’ve made my life these past three years and stare out over the lake. It’s placid and calm today but sometimes the storms come over the mountains and it turns instantly into a raging animal.

Its mood can change in a instant. Loving friend to murderous beast. The irony of my chosen refuge is not lost on me.

Darian sent the photograph knowing I would realise its significance. He’s giving me time to get my affairs in order before he comes to end me. But I don’t have anything I need to do. No business to pass on, no-one to tell. I think I’ll just sit here, looking out over the lake and wait for him. I hear he’s a big-shot now. He has people to take care of insignificant matters like me, but I know he’ll come himself. I know because he’s my best friend. I know because he sent me the photograph.

I hope he gives me tonight. I’d like to see the sun rise over the lake again.

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  1. March 21, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Nicely done, sir!

    Like

    • March 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm

      Thank you! Thought I’d try my hand at a spot of fiction for a change.

      Like

  1. March 22, 2013 at 2:37 am

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