Lab Rat part 69

Posted: April 6, 2011 in Fiction, Test Subject
Tags: ,

“You think I can get away with just using a hat or sunglasses?”


“Can I borrow your shades?”

“Really, kid?”

“I can’t exactly buy some. All I have on me is my card.” He groans. “Look, it’s not like I’m asking for your hat.” I can feel my head scorching in the sun. The stubble isn’t exactly providing protection.

“This is going to be a long day.” He hands me his shades. Dad’s a bigger guy than me. Naturally, his glasses don’t fit. They’re huge on me. I look like a bug. I know it.

“How do I look?”

“Adorable,” Jennifer says.

“Ridiculous,” Dad says.

“Can we hop a bus now?”


“Then I look great.” We keep walking, and I keep my eye out for a bus stop. “So we know how the black hats are going to try to find me. How do I beat them?”

“You have to redefine your terms for victory, kid. The government isn’t going to go away. You gotta understand that even after you bust your doctor out, you’ll be on the run for the rest of your life.”

“So you’re saying I can’t win.”

“I’m saying that you have to accept the consequences of victory.” Dad fishes out another toothpick. “You ready for that, kid?” I don’t know that I am. If I cared to examine it closely, I could see dreams of having a house and a car and all that crap that TV tells me will make me whole. I don’t really care to examine it closely though. It’s all so distant that it may as well be a dream someone else told me about once.

“I don’t know if I’m ready to be on the run forever,” I admit. “I don’t think I could look myself in the mirror if I didn’t go after Taryn.”

“Fair enough.” He chews on his toothpick.

“Look, when I get Taryn out, she’ll figure out what to do. She’s smarter than either of us. No offense.” I can see a stop a few blocks away. “It occurs to me that I was fucked the instant Johnson knew my name. I mean, the guy’s got me over a barrel no matter what.” I look at Dad. “I may as well piss in his cornflakes while I have the chance.” I can see Dad thinking about this.

“You’re right. He’s got you by the hojos alright. Okay, so we’ve got our goal.”

“I don’t even have to get away from him to win, really.”

“Let’s not get fatalistic. You get yourself out too. Don’t just roll over. Ever.” He’s right. Of course he’s right.

“Don’t worry. I plan on being a catastrophe for this guy.” I give my humorless smile.

“That’s my boy.” We stop at the bus stop. I let Dad and Jennifer take the bench, and I stand. The vest is hot, but it keeps me from sweating through my shirt. I guess that’s a blessing of sorts.

I have a big job interview today. I’m hoping it goes well, because GOD DAMN am I bored. It’s not that I don’t enjoy having all day to write or do whatever. It’s mostly that it is super unhealthy for my brain to sit around the house all day.

My homeboy Alex has extended an invite out to the middle of nowhere to play with his assortment of gasoline powered toys. I want to go. Bad.


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