Lab Rat Part 14

Posted: January 24, 2011 in Fiction, Test Subject

My dad showed me Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
once. I remember this scene where they jumped off of a cliff into the raging river at the bottom of a canyon. I can’t remember whether or not they lived. All I can think of is that my arms are wind-milling exactly like those guys as I pass the zenith of my arc and fall a story and a half down to the next roof top. I land hard. My knees give out and I face-plant and skid on the gravel. It feels like falling off of a bike. My palms burn and I roll over onto my back to catch my breath. Clearly, I need more practice.

I brush the rocks out of my hands. Damn, does that hurt! I stand up. The next building over is my goal. I’m suddenly not relishing the idea of jumping to the fire escape, but it’s either that or break into the building I’m already on. I don’t know what kind of security there might be but I do have a pretty good idea about the response time of the police. Ally shot me when she wasn’t mad at me. I’m not at all sure I want to see her angry. I walk over to the edge of the roof. I can actually reach the steel scaffolding from here. I breathe a heavy sigh of relief. I climb onto the platform check the window. It’s a hallway. That’ll work, if I can get in.

I pull up on the bottom of the pane. Not a budge. Too bad I don’t still have the telekinesis. I give up and go up to the roof. There isn’t much up here but another roof access, this time in the form of a door. I try the knob. Locked. It was worth a shot. I think about the injector again. I really want to use it. I just don’t have the skills to do this kind of thing. I sigh again and go look over the edge. Five stories below me, the law swarms like ants on a cheese puff. The white of floodlights doesn’t quite wipe away the sweeps of red and blue. There are a pair of fire trucks parked in a “V,” and the block is barricaded on either end of the street by a quartet of police cars. Outside the end of the block nearest my place is a news van. I sniff the air. Smoke. Must have been a fire. They must have gotten here pretty fast to have kept it only in that one area of the building.

I think. There are a couple of possibilities here. One is that the corner store guy accidentally started a small fire and called 9-1-1. It doesn’t seem that likely, but it’s possible. My second possibility is that Ray-Bans and his buddy got out of the trunk and came back to collect the protection money and Corner Store Guy still didn’t have it. No one was there to stop them, so they lit the place on fire. Either way, we have a burned business. It occurs to me – maybe Ray-Bans and the other guy didn’t come back so whoever is running the protection racket sent more guys.

Dad would be proud that I thought so hard, but less proud that I’m still so far from the truth. He’d ask what I’m not seeing. He’s really good at spotting what’s wrong with a picture. I’ve been in trouble more than a couple of times because I missed a detail after doing something wrong. I pull back from the edge. I need more information. I go back to the fire escape and climb down to street level. I head back to the first fire escape I climbed tonight and grab my stuff. I need to go home and eat. Doctor’s orders.

I’m figuring out how to work WordPress. It’s really cool. As it turns out, it’s far better than when I was writing on spaces.live.com. Some of the new features are going to be really handy when I’m AFK. I had thought that this might be a good place to end chapter two, but I feel like it’s still short. It pretty much won’t make a difference as far as my posting, but I’m trying to keep in mind that in order to make a go of publishing a book, one must first write a book.

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