The sun rose over the hills in the Far East and Mr. Gregory Hem carried his last step over the sand dunes of the Sierra desert. The wound on the back of his head was left unattended under the hot sun. Rather than clot together like an evil sponge, the sweat from his hair kept the blood flowing out like a river down his back. He stumbled over his shadow, socks filled with sand and sweat. His pants dangled in shreds from the knees down. The bastards that left him to wander the dunes on the verge of sanity were the ones responsible for starting the revolution he heard on the radio that morning. Hours passed since his watch kept the correct time. The sun beat down on his soaked scalp, changing direction of the river. The blood he treasured ran down the front of his face, staining his eyes and blinding his near-lost vision. The head rush pushed Gregory out of his mind and caused him to tumble from the top of a dune to a bevel patch below.
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Memories flooded into his mind. Gregory could remember the many hours prior to this ordeal. He saw himself picking up the morning paper with hope for some good news. A passionate kiss from his wife sent him on his way to work. He opened the door to his truck and climbed inside. Gregory saw himself buckle his seatbelt like a safe driver and crank the ignition to a morning roaring start. The radio station played an easy-listening blues riff to an old classic that had been once long forgotten. In the rearview mirror, pedestrians filled the streets with no way through. He simple had to honk or heave a way through. Traffic was always at a slow-moving pace. No more than a foot every ten minutes.
Waiting in traffic never bothered Gregory as much as the next driver for he always had a way to keep himself entertained. He enjoyed counting the cellular phones in use and the number of hands left off the wheel. One hand on the phone, one hand on the wheel, and no mind on the road, he used to say. Sitting peacefully in the safety of his own vehicle, Gregory admired the gathering wildlife taking enjoyment in the stillest of the human species. In his side mirror, Gregory could see men outside. People sometimes left their cars to talk to construction workers of people they recognized. The two approaching men, large in shape and high on something seemed to recognize Gregory. They crawled into the bed of his truck and pounded the roof with their fists.
With a steady flow of anger being built up inside Gregory’s head, Mr. Hem opened his door and carefully stepped out to question the men. As he stood with an annoyed expression on his face, both men jumped from the bed of the truck and landed with solid force on the hot pavement. Without a word, they grabbed Gregory's hands and dragged him through the rocky street. Gregory kicked and tried to squirm to freedom, jerking his arms from their powerful grips and wanting to run back to his truck. But Gregory never spent enough time in the gym. The only thing he remembered from Karate as a child was how to kick from behind. He felt nervous enough to give the technique a try. Gregory spun the back of his foot and hit one of the men in the back. The large man felt the stun and released his hold, giving Gregory a chance to lunge for the next attacker. He shoved his rock solid palm into the masked man’s face and broke his jaw. Unfortunately, the blow to his face only made his angrier, for the shock never released the grip around his arm. After taking the time to fix his shirt, the other man grabbed Gregory’s arm again, making sure to not fall for another trick like that.
Gregory tried again to squire to freedom, but only made the kidnappers loose patience. He figured they planned on taking his beaten body back to their hide-out where a ransom will be sent and kept in the dark. He wondered where in the city they were going to take him, or even outside in the rural farmlands where the color of my skin may kill me. Gregory couldn’t tell what race the men were for they both wore ski masks. Their matching gloves gave Gregory an inclination of gang signatures. On the radio report, the journalists reminded viewers that those responsible for the murders of those little girls never left any fingerprints. He started to question reality, were these same men? Gregory began screaming for help, which pissed the men off far too much. The one with the broken jaw pulled out a whacking weapon. Gregory couldn’t tell what the weapon looked like from the side but felt the pyramid edge take his conscious life.
The blow to the back of the head sent Gregory crashing to the ground. Blood was splattered on the hot pavement and shirt of the other kidnapper. The light from the morning sky faded from Gregory’s vision as he tumbled to the ground, watching the clouds move across the sky in colors. He felt the men grab his ankles and drag him into the bed of a truck. The engine roared and Gregory recognized the same song being played on the radio of his truck. He barely understood what was going on before he passed out, and the men drove off the road in the opposite direction.
When he returned to life, Gregory found himself lying near a cacti patch. With his mouth full of blood and sand, he bit into a broken off piece of cactus; remembering that cacti contained water and ignoring the pain from the transparent thorns. He looked around the sand dunes; everywhere was thought to be the same direction. Every mile fell on an eternity and every eternity felt like an endless song from a past life. Gregory felt like he could never give up. The endless walk gave him time to rethink his life in a new perspective. His mind could not sit still on a single emotion. A heat stroke of thoughts flooded out of his draining mind. He held on to the random ideas that kept him alive for the last hour of his life. He truly believed these to be the words that could save have saved his life if only he had remembered to think.
Hold your head up high
look at life through the calm wind
and hope for the best
You may see what happens next
Keep one eye on the present
and one on your future
There are times when life can seem hard
Being caught in a dead stop
is hard when things get worse
Things turn out better than they should
Just know that we are not alone
Sometimes the path is unknown
We are all travelers at large
and wanderers of our hearts
Pick up your straggling shadow
Place your destiny before the path
and never give up the last breath
Open and read the pages of my DarkerMind
where one's style of writing comes from deep within.
I don't plan to change the world; just trying to leave my mark.