The Yellow Vespa

I was sent to the mall to purchase a book from Barnes and Noble. I was in a hurry because my mother needed the book for a social event that was to happen in the next hour or so. I ended up parking on the wrong side of the mall and went in through the library entrance. This library had been other businesses in the past, but the labyrinth structure stayed the same. There was an elevator that went from the second floor down to the parking garage. This did me little good as I needed to find my way to the first floor of the shopping mall, the floor where Barnes and Noble was. After some frantic, aimless navigation of this library, I found the stair well and made my way out into the halls of the mall. This mall had the tendency, as most malls do, to give me extra things to carry and keep track of. I soon found myself riding a yellow Vespa, wearing suit pants and a white dress shirt, and carrying the jacket in a Men’s Wearhouse bag that hung from the left rubber handle of the Vespa.

I should mention here that I can fly. Now, by fly I mean I can keep myself off the ground with a forward momentum longer than most would be able to. It isn’t actually flying because gravity always wins in my struggle to be air-born. But there is something slightly supernatural about the height I can accomplish and the length of time I can spend lifted from the ground. Two black, adolescent brothers watched as I nearly reached the shopping mall ceiling in my rush to find Barnes and Noble. I made eye contact with a very tall man as I reached his eye level. One boy was 12 or so. The other was about 16. As I landed, the two ran up to ask about what they had just seen. The younger asked if I was a super hero. I said that I was not and joked that I may have the ability to fly, but was not very strong and would make a lousy super hero.

The older brother left and I stayed with the younger brother. He asked if I would like to come over to his house some time. I said I would like that. I began looking for a pen when I spotted a tailor’s shop. The boy and I left the yellow Vespa with the Men’s Wearhouse bag still hanging from it in the mall and entered through the glass door at the front of the tailor’s shop.
It was quieter in here and the man behind the counter met me with a smile. I asked if I could borrow a pen and he was happy to oblige. I looked through the business cards in my wallet until I found one I no longer had any use for. I hoped it would have some blank white pace on the back. I turned it over and it was entirely white with the exception of something written in my own handwriting, something familiar and possibly significant. I had little time to read it and was eager to get back to my new Vespa so I wrote my phone number below the message.

I told the boy that we needed to get back out to my new toy before someone took it and he went out to check on it while I returned the pen I had borrowed. When I made it outside, I found the scooter and the bag attached exactly where I left them. The boy was nowhere to be found. Then I heard screaming behind me. I whipped around to witness the boy and his older brother being pushed through the center area of where the hallway I stood in and another crossed.

I followed, but my new Vespa was almost completely out of battery life. I chugged ever so slowly in the direction I saw them heading. As I exited the shopping mall, the structure of the hallway continued as a street. There was a cross section of road the mall was built along, but I assumed, for some reason that the boys’ captures would’ve continued on the same path, heading forward instead of left or right. The lawns of the houses on both sides of the street corners were elevated, held in place by wood planks. 2 white teenage boys sat in lawn chairs in the elevated lawn to my right. I made eye contact with one as I passed. He asked to the back of my head if I was looking to Sean and Jason. I said I was and he pointed to the lawn on the other side of the street. Because of the height of the lawn, I had not seen them as I passed. They were laying naked, face-down in the grass. The youngest was on the far end of the lawn. His smaller body mirrored his brother’s.

With some sadness and caution I left. I needed to make it back to my car and had completely lost any sense of where it might be. I came back down the street and made a left when I got to the mall entrance. It was now getting dark. I felt the sawed off shotgun handle sticking out of my green backpack. It was the same backpack I carried through most of my high school days. I pushed the handle of the gun downward into the bag and zipped the bag closed.

It was now completely dark and I made my way through back allies. I hid behind a fence as a police car trolled by. I hadn’t killed the boys, but knew I would be suspect. After the car had passed I fit my Vespa through the hole a few missing planks created and began pushing the scooter down the sidewalk. I flipped on the headlight, but I knew it wouldn’t last long and would only draw attention. I quickly shut it off again.

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