Fiction

Shimmering Path

By: Saharsh Satheesh

The rain just wouldn’t stop. Accompanied by the wind, both screamed for their lives as lightning crackled. The thunder feeling inferior let out a bellow that shook Earth to its core. All the while, I stayed snuggled in my bed, wrapped in the comfort of my blanket. The rain was still relentless and showed no signs of stopping. I looked over to the other side of the room. Danny and Max still seemed to be sleeping. A ferocious roar erupted from the sky and one of them jolted up. Lightning lit up the room and I made out the face of Max. “Max!” I whispered. He looked at me and groggily rubbed his eyes. “Do you want to do it?” I asked him. He took a look at Danny who was snoring away. “Let’s do it,” he said. We both climbed out of our beds and crept towards the staircase. We quietly began to make our way down the staircase. When we reached the bottom, we could hear the loud snore of Mrs.Buckledon. I motioned for Max to stay silent, and I tiptoed to her room. She really did sound like a pig. I stuck my finger in her pocket and began to pull out the key. She jerked a little. I froze in my spot. I stayed like that for two minutes until she began to snore once again. I carefully pulled out the key before tiptoeing out towards the front door. “Got it?” asked Max. I nodded and inserted the key into the front door. I slowly unlocked it and opened the door. The rain was still pouring. We quickly filed out of the house and shut the door behind us. We heard the muffled sound of a “Who’s there,” from inside the house, but we didn’t have time to worry about that. We were escaping for good. I took the keys and flung it as far as I could. I heard the soft plop of the keys landing in a bush down the street. “Did you get what we needed?” I asked Max. He raised his left hand in the air which held a plastic bag. We smiled. It felt good to finally escape. We were in a foster home. I only had a mom. She had been murdered when I was 4. Since then, I’ve spent those dreadful 10 years in this foster home. Max was an orphan from Russia. When he was 8, he was put on a ship to work. On one fortunate or unfortunate day, the ship had docked in America for a night, and Max had escaped. From there, he spent the only money he had on arriving at this foster home. Max and I have been best friends for about 5 years now. 

            Mrs.Buckledon was our foster parent. She treated us like we were filthy scums. This life wasn’t the least desirable. That’s why we were escaping. We were on the journey to find a new life, one in which we could wake up knowing that we would be given 3 meals a day, a shower, toys, etc. That was all we desired. We began to walk towards the coast. It was probably a 4-hours walk, but we were ready for anything. We were told that we could get a job there and a place to stay.   

            The rain had died down quite a bit, almost as if it were for us. I would like to think it was. Mrs.Buckledon always told us that we were not special, but momma says otherwise.

            I distinctly remember that night when I was 4 years old. Momma was tucking me into bed. She kissed my forehead and asked me which book I wanted to read. I loved “Cat in the Hat” at the time, so I asked her to read that to me. I still remember her warm smile. It gave me comfort and strength. She was my hero. 

            Back when I went to school, I was asked to write about my favorite superhero. Everyone else wrote about Superman or Spider-man, but not me. I wrote about my momma. To me, she was everything. She was my mom and dad. She really was my superhero. The rest of the kids laughed at me when I went to the front of the class and read it, but I wasn’t ashamed. 

            Momma finished reading the book and placed it back on the shelf. She kissed me goodnight one more time, and told me, “You’re so special, you know that Tyrone?” It felt good to be called special. I longed for someone to hold me in their heart like momma had. She began to walk towards the door when 2 men in ski masks ran into the room. They took out knives and relentlessly stabbed her. She let out an appalling shriek.  With her remaining energy, she managed to shout, “Let my child go! Please, don’t hurt him!”  I was still tucked in my bed, watching my mom being stabbed in front of my very own eyes. She slumped to the floor, but her eyes remained focused on me. I could see that she was fighting to stay alive. The two men ransacked the room before sprinting out. Tears welled in my eyes. “Momma,” I managed to whimper. She stared into my eyes, and whispered, “Tyrone, you’re special. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Be strong my child.” I couldn’t control myself. I began to sob and wail. I ran over to my mom and shook her shoulder. “Momma,” I sniffled. But I knew she was gone. My neighbors had entered the house after hearing all the commotion. They carried her to the car and took her to the hospital. For the next few days, I stayed with my neighbor until foster care took me away.     

            The rain had completely stopped at this point. It was still dark, around 5:00 in the morning. The streets were deserted except for the occasional stray cat. I took the bag from Max and fed some baked bread to any cat that we came across. I knew how it felt to go hungry, and I didn’t want a single creature on Earth to experience it. By now, we had walked for about 4 hours. 

            My legs felt like glass shards had been inserted in them, but I was determined to reach our destination. 

            The moon glimmered on the road, casting a pathway for us to follow. The trees swayed gently in the breeze, almost assuring us that our efforts would not be wasted. 

            I looked over at Max, and he too looked tired. “Any idea on how much more to go,” I asked him. He frowned, trying to calculate how much we had walked, but that frown turned into a grin and to a full-fledged smile. He took his hand pointed towards the horizon. On the brink of the horizon was a shimmering thin line. I could spot what looked like boats. I wrapped my arm around Max’s shoulder and said, “We did it, Max!” His radiant face was beaming from ear to ear. At last, we had found a home, one that deserved the title, “home”. As a sign of gratitude, I smiled at the night sky. I could have sworn the moon winked at me.

Categories: Fiction

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