Escaping New York By tyler

The wind howled in the night sky. Glowing, white stars winked at me as if they turned my almost definite death into a cruel joke and were sharing it with the heavens. The massive hill that I was traveling on was surprisingly well trimmed. But the bright, green grass was plastered with a coat of red blood as the cold, lifeless body was dragged across the deserted landscape.

The streets of Manhattan are brimming with thugs, thieves, and murderers. The most powerful gangster would be "H". Well, his name isn't really H, he got the nickname from a rumor. Something about hanging one of his thieves for disobedience. Anyway, I am one of H's many thieves. I’m not just any random, weak kid roaming the streets, I like to view myself as an average mugger that makes a modest living.

H demands at least $3 every day from his servants, if you don't have it, you bring an item of value and hope it'll keep you out of his dungeon. Yes, you heard that right, he has a dungeon for all the thieves he's disappointed with. Despite resorting to mugging and thieving, I do have two friends.

My first friend, Jack, is a skinny, American, 12 year old kid that always has that goofy, mischievous smile on his face. My second friend, Matt, is a clumsy, burly yet, polite 13 year old kid that could be quite intimidating if he ever would grow into his gigantic mass.

At the moment, I layer huddled next a garbage can. Jack and Matt were scouting an antiques store that could be a big score. I wondered if it was worth sitting in a damp and dark alley with rats crawling along the floor. It wasn't the worst I had been through. H sure knew how to torture a guy. H is a terrible man, I thought. He tortures even the small thieves he takes in and works them to the bone. I can't stand working for him anymore, I must escape.

“Come on Will,” whispered Jack, “The worker just left for his lunch break, let’s go.”

“Yeah okay,” I answered hesitantly, I shook off my inner thoughts and stood up.

The antiques store apparently was stacked with money from a recent customer. Even though they were thieves their moral had stopped them from planning to take all the money. Instead, they all collaborated and decided to take a mere $30. If rationed and split between the three of them it would last 3⅓ days. This was no amateur mission, it was the real deal and so Jack, Matt, and I raced into the antiques store…

“Nice work, guys,” I complimented.

“Thanks, you weren't so bad yourself,” replied Matt, “You were faster than any of us. You grabbed loot as fast as a starving lion devours a juicy steak.”

“We all did great,” said Jack as they stepped onto the familiar, cold, stone stairs.

The stairs led up a little while until stopping at the awful house, H’s house for homeless thieves. The door was a wrought iron door that stood a head above Matt. The large house lay in disrepair, the windows were shattered and boarded, the dilapidated roof looked like it would collapse at any minute, and the patio creaked as if it wanted to retire and break down. They already had safely stashed their money away and only carried 3 dollars each. They waited at the top of the stairs until a voice answered from the door.

“What’s wrong,” I asked the boy

“I don't have enough money,” cried the boy. “I don't want to go to the dungeon.”

“Here, you take $2.50, that way H won't be mad at you as much as me.

“Thank you,” thanked the boy as he hugged me around the waist.

“You’re dead,” admitted Jack

“We’ll see,” I said nervously as I entered H’s lair…

“You ungrateful slop!” roared H. H was a burly, mountain of a man, tanned, monstrosity. His teeth glistened with gold and his pudgy belly alone was twice the size of my head. Then, almost immediately, he raised his fist and… all I could see was red.

I woke up in the dungeon along with Jack. My nose was broken and on fire, and my back was scarred from the whip. Thick red lashes lay burning against my agonizing skin. My dirty face was coated in a thin layer of blood.

“What are you doing down here?” I questioned.

“What you did for that little boy back there should've been rewarded, not punished,” praised Jack. “I protested and well… her I am.”

“We need to escape from this wretched pit of thievery,” admitted Will. “Look, I've been stashing part of my loot at the gigantic hill in Trey Park, we can both get some money and start a new life in a different part of New York.”

“What about Matt?” questioned Jack

“Yeah, Matt...” sighed Will, “I've already asked him, he insisted on staying here, but he said he would help us escape the dungeon.”

“Alright, I'm in,” whispered Jack.

Matt appeared at our cell and slid a shovel through the gap of the bars.

“Dig up a little and you will find an air shaft, if you go straight and make 2 rights you should get to a large grate that leads outside. Make your way to Trey Park but hurry, H’s servants might attempt to give chase,” claimed Matt. “Good luck,” finished Matt as he hurriedly walked off.

The air shaft was so cramped and smelly that when I finally got out the grate it was like heaven. I breathed in the cold air, it was starting to gain speed, soon it would howl in the night sky. It was night now and we better hurry. Jack and I sprinted through the small alley until the reached a dimly lit street with rows of buildings on each side.

“Quick, follow me,” called Will as he dashed through the barren street.

They ran and ran until Will suddenly stopped in front of Trey Park. It was to good to be true, and it was.

“The bright, loud crack of a gunshot interrupted the peaceful night. There stood a gang of H’s spies.

The wind howled in the night sky. Glowing, white stars winked at me as if they turned my almost definite death into a cruel joke and were sharing it with the heavens. The random patches of flowers were bent toward me as if they were waiting for me to suffer. The massive hill that he was traveling on was surprisingly well trimmed. But looks were deceiving as the bright green grass dropped away to dead patches of grass, probably simplifying by friend and my pursuers. When the gun was fired it was like it lit my friend on fire, the side of his chest was charred black with a bullethole that was about the size of a nickel. His eyes were glazed and his face was permanently frozen in fright. I knew I couldn't save him, but I had to make sure his corpse was properly buried and so I trudged on. The bright, green grass was plastered with a coat of red blood as the cold, lifeless body was dragged across the deserted landscape.

I couldn't escape them with an almost dead corpse in tow. So I decided to leave the body in a nearby large bush and quickly cover it with some leaves so it was almost indistinguishable to the thieves. The box that had the loot was stashed next to a dead bush and covered in dirt.

I needed to lure my pursuers into the expansive playground that covered much of the park. The wood chips crunched underneath my ratty shoes. The playground was colorful and had a playful charm to it. There were all sorts of slides, bridges, towers, and plastic obstacles that would help to hide me. I ducked underneath a huge, plastic red slide that wound down like a winding staircase. Then came my pursuers, H’s thieves. Gunshots rang through the night as the bright flashes of light were fired off.

“Where are you Will,” called my one of my pursuers.

“Lets fan out, he’s unarmed, we’ll search the whole complex if we have to,” said a gruff voice.

My heart felt like it would beat out of my chest, then I thought of Jack. The pleading look on his face as he tumbled onto the grass, I can't let them take him, for Jack.

A thief was walking towards my hiding spot, I waited, and waited. When the thief grew near, I sprang just like when I used to mug someone. I simultaneously wrapped one hand around his mouth and took the gun from his hand. His muffled screams could not be heard as I slammed him into the red slide. He crumbled like a stack of cards.So I raced up part of the slide and hung low to it so no one could see me.

Just before Jack had been shot I had spotted 5 thieves, 1 down 4 to go. One of their members had been silenced. They would probably attempt to find him.

The other thief came walking nervously over to the red slide. I leveled my gun at my target, no! I thought, I can't kill him, the gunshot would alert the other members. I carefully shuffled down the slide and threw my gun. Yes, I threw my gun, I know what you're thinking, who would have the nerve to throw a gun? I certainly did and fortunately for me, the thief was taken my surprise. The gun caught him square on the head, thump! He fell to the ground. I looked over at a yellow ladder and climbed it up to a high platform. From my high vantage point I could see the other three thieves. One was checking under a blue bridge, one was currently climbing up an average sized rock wall, and the last thief was sitting upon a giant purple tower. He was watching like a hawk at the terrain below. If I acted quickly to took out the thief near the bridge, I could shoot the other thief off the rock wall. Then I would isolate the last thief at the tower.

That was the best option and so I climbed down the blue platform. I quietly started across towards the thief near the bridge until I stopped when he was about a few yards away. The thief was plump and had a buzz cut that made him look like an overweight commando. The thought of this made me giggle and the boy turned. I gasped as he pulled the trigger, I lunged away just in time. I shot wide of him, to my good luck he turned and looked a the hole I just blasted into the bridge. While he was distracted and gave him a sharp kick to the groin and that kick collapsed him in pain. I kicked him in the head once more before I went over to the rockwall.

The teenage thief at the bridge had broken glasses and looked like a geek. He was hurriedly climbing down and was about 10 feet from the bottom. When I came over, I, without regret, shot him in the foot and watched as he tumbled down and landed on the rough wood chips. He had a few broken bones and was lucky to leave with his life. I ran to the purple tower.

It stood a story above any other building in the super-playground. It had massive gates that were opened wide. I peered inside and saw a winding staircase that would lead to the top where the last thief was. The thief had heard gunshots but most likely didn't know I was there. And so I carefully walked up the stairs, causing as little noise as possible.

When I finally reached the end of the stairs there was a platform that spread the width of the tower. There was a wooden trapdoor above that led to the top. I slid it open and the thief fired. He was too, slow as I ducked and the bullet embedded itself deep inside the plastic wall. The trapdoor clanged shut.

Actually I thought, this would be easier than I thought. I just need to shoot through the top of the tower until I hit my target or I flush him out. I had stolen the ammo from the other thieves and begun shooting up through the top.

Soon hundreds of tiny bullet holes were visible through the top of the tower. Creak! Crack! Whoosh! The top of the tower caved in and collapsed in a pile of rubble. Two guns clanged down onto the center of the rubble. From the edge of the rubble rose a thief, the last thief. I knew who he was immediately, the one who killed Jack. He grinned maniacally and his skinny legs bent down to a running position. I seethed with rage and took off. It was a facedown to the weapon and I wasn't going to lose.

We both neared the gun and sprang for it. We both grasped for it. I found the trigger. Bang! One thief was dead, one killer, was alive. That killer was me.

I stood in the cold wind, looking at the horizon. A brilliant hue of yellow and red warmed the winter night sky. The sun was rising, beginning a new day. For me, it was the real beginning of my new life.

Credits:

Created with images by FrankWinkler - "new york skyline manhattan"

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