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Chapter one, falling through a manhole

  1. Chapter 1

    Jamal pulled down the hood on his sweatshirt. “Hey bros, wait up.” he said, jogging ahead to catch up to his friends, Jerome and Mardinon’te. They slowed under a lit up tree a few steps ahead until he caught up. “They still have christmas lights up around here, huh?” jamal said as he came alongside them. ”You see new things in chicago every day.”

    Mardinon’te ran his fingers through his afro. “Beats me how someone hasn’t stolen ‘em.”

    Jerome answered. “There's street cameras here, they'd be caught for sure.”

    “Never stopped them before.” they all laughed.

    “What movie do you wanna see tonight?” Jerome asked

    “I’m not sure. That new thriller remake looks good.” Jamal said

    “No way, i’m not watching that. I’ve gotta walk home all alone, that’ll terrify me!” Mardinon’te said.

    “How ‘bout the new starwars?”Jerome said.

    “It’s just the same as the others.”

    “Quit being such a pessimist, mardinan’te.”

    They walked on in silence for a bit. They certainly made an odd bunch. Mardinon’te towered over the others by a good two feet, but Jamal and Jerome were far from short. Each had a different haircut; for Jamal, it was buzzed, Jerome had waves, and Mardinon’te had an afro with the sides buzzed.

    They finally decided to watch the new superhero movie, and were almost to the movie theater when Jamal stopped walking. Mardinon’te and Jerome kept walking for a few steps, but stopped when Jamal didn’t start again.

    “Whats up, Jamal?”

    “Do you hear that?”

    “Here what?“ Jerome asked.

    “That Ticking. It sounds like it's coming from over here.” Jamal pointed down an alleyway.

    “You on somethin’?” Mardinon’te asked. “Dont even think about goin’ down there, thats just plain stupid.”

    Jamal didn’t listen. He had a hard time believing his eyes. It might have been a trick of the light, but he could have sworn he saw a rabbit with a vest on. He took a few steps farther down the alleyway and a faint voice brushed his ears.

    “Mustn’t be late, mustn’t be… lustn’t be mate, laten’t me bust… mustn’t be, mustn’t be….late.”

    Jamal rounded a large trash can to see a very large rabbit, about three feet tall looking at an upside down pocket watch in the shape of a heart. He looked at Jamal, said ”mustn’t be late,” and dove down a sewer drain.

    Jamal rushed over and peered down the drain into the depths below. ”What on earth?”

    “Hey, Jamal!” Mardinon’te yelled.

    “I’m fine, just a sec!” Jamal Yelled back. Peering down the hole he could see nothing but blackness. What the heck! Did someone give him something? He just saw a talking rabbit reading a heart shaped pocket watch and wearing a suit!

    This has gotta be some sort of prank. He shoved his head down the hole to see clearer, but to his shock, rough and cold hands seized him from behind and shoved him down. He could vaguely see the ground rush to meet him, it seemed to fold away from him, leaving darkness alone below. He managed to cry out once, but then the air around him seemed to become a vacuum. With no air to slow nis fall down, he plummeted at an insanely fast rate. He was vaguely aware of the cliff-like walls around him zooming by, but he would have been more aware if he wasn’t trying with all his might to scream.

    He seemed to fall ages, but it was probably only several seconds until his air supply was restored. His mind tore itself in two as it fought between the urge to scram and the urge to gulp in as much air as possible.

    After several minutes, though, one does get tired of screaming and gulping, so he decided to stop. The tunnel he was falling through was crisscrossed with countless other holes, some not large enough to crawl through, while others were the size of a football field. Some were dark and gloomy, while some were shining with what looked like sunshine, despite it being evening and deep underground.

    Thousands of discarded objects littered the sides of the shaft, a lamp, a piano, chairs, pizza boxes, and others. Down, down and farther down went the tunnel. The whole world spun around him as he plummeted.

    The whole scene mesmerized him so that he had trouble focusing on one object. Suddenly, the bottom came into view, nothing to land on but solid rock. He barely had time to jerk his hands around his head for protection before he slammed down onto the ground and his vision went black.
    Clara Atsinger likes this.


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