Original Fiction: The Convict (Short Story)
Author's Note: So I have no idea what this is. ^^; Well actually I have no idea where it came from. What it is are the thoughts of a dying man as I imagine him. I'm not sure what the point is but I do like the story so please read and rip it apart so I can get better.
The Convict I was running. Quickly. More quickly. I was sprinting now, drawing my body out to its limit. My lungs felt as if they were about to burst from my chest. But I had to keep going as there was no other alternative. Had I known what twists and turns my life would take after Leigh's death this never would have happened. The gate! But it was closing and now the only way would be to scale a wall. I threw myself against it and tried to pull myself up but my exhausted muscles would not obey. It was then that I felt the bullet slam through my right shoulder. It would kill me. I flopped backwards and the guards came to inspect. I shouldn’t be here. Not in this place. My life would’ve taken me to the top but the accident.
Thoughts of a Dying Man
Maybe I should explain...I'm Alexander McDonald. Or I was. Do the dead still have names? This is something I've never actually figured out. I suppose I should explain once more. That little description you've just read. That's how I died. Trying to break out of prison. Kind of weird don't you think? In a past life I was a computer programmer, but that's as gone as my innocence. It's as gone as my blond hair. Heck it's as gone as my life. But where was I?
“He’ll die soon”
The words were warped to my ears and I could feel hot tears track their way down my face. I wasn’t sure if it was from the pain of the bullet still embedded in my shoulder or the pain of my memories. I could hear the guards speaking again but that memory was carefully put away for a new voice was taking the quiet murmur of the guards away. A woman’s voice. And it was not quiet.
“ALEX! ALEX McDonald!”
I finally took notice of Mother. Mother was...well how can I describe who she was. She hated me. She did. In fact the minute I got caught the first words from her mouth were: “No son of mine would be stupid enough to get caught.” She was worried about me being caught not while I was out hacking into sophisticated security systems. But that is Mother. “Mom...”
“Don't ignore me, Alexander Craig McDonald,” Yes, that's my full name. No, I do not like it. “You will look at your mother when she speaks.”
I suppose in a way I love Mother. Loved her. I don't really know how to describe the simultaneous emotions of love and hate that she could evoke. Mother was an expert manipulator. She could make you hate her, she could make you despise her, but most of all Mother could make you love her. And you couldn't help it, she could manipulate you anyway she wished.
“Mom, I was thinking. Can't we just have a normal family supper without you yelling?”
“Alex,” said Leigh gently. Leigh is my wife. Was. Was my wife. She's dead too. I haven't seen her yet but I want to so badly. I do. She could calm like no other. She was my grounding force and I suppose that's why when she died I went so out of control...but I'm getting ahead of myself. That comes later. “Alex, you were zoning a little bit,” Leigh said softly, almost as if she were amused. This is why I loved her.
“When are you going to move out of that hovel, Alex? You can afford much better. This is what I'm trying to tell you. And I get: ‘Mom, I was thinking.’ Thinking? You should think about your salary...” God she was going into lecture mode. I hated it when she did that. It always made me feel like I was ten inches tall.
“I don't want to buy a mansion, Mom. I don't make that much. I design programs and I get paid on the basis of whether those computer programs work," I said, tired of having to explain I was not Bill Gates. I looked at my watch and it hit me. “Oh my god, Leigh! We have an appointment with your doctor in ten minutes!” Her gentle smile told me she already knew I had forgotten. “Bye, Mom.” I kissed her on the cheek and helped Leigh up.
You see a woman at eight months pregnant is really not all that mobile. In fact she hardly goes anywhere. After I helped Leigh into the car I went around to the driver's side and fastened my seatbelt. I suppose tragedy happens everywhere, but I didn't expect a drunk driver to ram into me almost two blocks from mother's house.
I survived, but Leigh and my baby didn't. Most of the rest of that accident I've blocked from my memory, but it was the beginning of the end.
Two months after the accident I created Prime, a master thief he could hack almost any system and most often he did. I went on a crime spree of stealing. Don't think badly of me please, don't. You see Leigh left this awful gaping hole in my life and a creeping numbness settled over me. I couldn't feel anything. I was fired from my job, I lost the "hovel" I had been living in; life was going downhill.
The amazing rush after my first robbery brought feeling back. My first robbery almost didn't happen. I never planned on becoming a thief, no one really does. Think about it, how many little kids go around saying: "When I grow up I'm going to steal stuff". None that's how many. But after that first robbery I had to do it again. I had to up the ante or that terrible numbness would come back. It was about six months after my crime spree started and nearly a year since Leigh's death that I was caught.
Being caught wasn’t good for me because I hated prison. That brings us full circle. Here I am now, dying. Losing blood steadily while the guards stare stupidly at me. Here I am about to die, and all I can do is keep reliving that horrible moment when Leigh was taken. Why have I told you this? I don't want to be forgotten when I'm gone. Even if I'm only remembered as a good thief who got caught, I want to leave a mark. If I leave a mark in some way Leigh will have left a mark too.
God, if you're there, please take pity. I want to see Leigh, I want to see her so badly but I have no illusions. I'm not destined for those shining gates that Leigh passed through. I think down below they're calling for me. “Alexander. Alexander. We need you to burn, Alexander.” I can hear them calling. I can even imagine that spot that they have waiting for me. But I hope to whatever deity is listening that I might see Leigh. Just Leigh; it's all I want. That's why I let them catch me.