By G. K. Bostic
Jan. 18, 2011
Once upon a time there was a boy with a dragon tattoo. Ah, but this is no fairy tale....
The darkness enveloped him like a shadow devouring his maker. All he could hear was the roar of his breath and thunder of his heartbeat. He strained to hear any other sound, but if there was any, it was drowned out by the sound of his fear.
He'd been running ever since he saw the body, and now he was lost, completely lost and disoriented. Kevin knew this neighborhood. He should be able to get his bearings if he could just think. The clouds allowed no moonlight to show the way. There were no stars to be seen....just an incredibly black sky....as black as the threat Kevin felt closing in on him.
"Oh my God" he thought as he heard his hunter approaching. "I can't just stand here. I've got to run. I've got to find my way." He ran blindly. All he could see was the outline of some buildings now. He ran toward a faint light that he thought must be a street light in the distance.
"I've got to get to where there are other people." It was late. but Kevin hoped to find someplace public. He remembered a hospital somewhere in this area.....and a gas station across from it. The mini-mart at the gas station might be where the light was coming from.
He ran in that direction as fast as the blackness would let him. Seeing the light becoming brighter, he approached what he could now see was the corner of the building. He was sure the light was coming from the right and ran around the corner and straight into disaster.
Two huge hands slammed him against the wall and Kevin felt the panic rising. He looked up into the dark angry eyes of his captor, and the evil he saw in those eyes made his blood run cold. He struggled to free himself and thought he might be succeeding when the grip on his left shoulder was loosed. Then he saw why. The man's hand went to his gun which he raised above his head. Kevin realized it was over just before everything went black.
"What's your name boy?" Kevin heard the voice through a fog. Slowly, realizing he was still alive, he opened his eyes. He didn't recognize his surroundings but knew he must be in some kind of deserted building. It was obvious from the dust and cobwebs that no one was living here. It smelled of must and mildew and the lack of human habitation. His thoughts were interrupted when his captor growled, "I said, what's your name boy?"
"Kevin....who are you? What do you want with me?"
"I don't want anything with you punk! You're just a nuisance....a pain in the ass problem I gotta deal with."
"What are you going to do to me?" Kevin hated that he could hear the fear in his own voice. But he was afraid….more afraid than he’d ever been in his life, and he just wanted to be home with his Mom.
He knew that wasn't going to happen though. His mother was dead. He saw her. He saw the blood all around her head when he walked in the house a few hours earlier. Well, at least he guessed it was just a few hours ago. He didn't really know how long he'd been unconscious. It was still dark outside. The only light was coming from a bare light bulb dangling from the ceiling behind the man who would soon kill him like he'd killed his mother.
Suddenly seeing that picture of his mother lying there in a pool of her own blood, Kevin's rage took over leaving no room for rational thinking. He lunged for the monster before him only to be met with a fist that knocked him to the hard concrete floor. The man grabbed him by his shirt and yanked him to his feet. Kevin heard and felt the shirt rip as he saw the fist coming again. He flinched waiting for the pain of another punch, but it didn't come. His attacker stopped cold, and when Kevin looked back up at him, he couldn't quite read the expression in his eyes. He looked kind of scared and confused. He dropped Kevin down to the floor. "What's your last name, boy?" he almost whispered.
"Hopkins.....why? What are you staring at?"
"Where'd you get that tattoo, boy?" He was staring at the dragon tattoo on his chest. Kevin looked down, remembering when he'd gotten the tattoo. "I got it before my Dad left for Iraq." His father had allowed him to get the tattoo, which was just like the one on his own chest, to help him to cope with his deployment.
"What's your father's name, boy?" The anger was gone from the man's face, replaced by a look of confusion and fear. Kevin replied, "Josh." and saw the look of shock and horror on the man's face. Then he saw tears in his eyes.
"What the hell? What's going on? Who are you anyway?" Kevin asked, forgetting to be afraid.
"It doesn't matter who I am. I’m just one of the men your father saved in Nam. He died saving our lives." he sobbed turning and running from the room. Kevin heard him run up the steps, then he heard a door slam as he took off.
"My dad saved your life, you bastard! And you killed his wife....nearly killed his son. You'll pay, you son of a bitch.....you'll pay!"