Behind Windows and Blinds

Zackary Mitchell has never exactly had it easy, but he's got by. His life at present is the closest he's ever been to normality, with a good house, friends and girlfriend. But bills need to be paid so that's how he ends up working at Murphy's downtown. That's when Zack's life as he knows it all starts to fall apart...

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Running late!

 

Ocean blue skies held May’s setting sun in place, 6:30pm and the sun was only just beginning to take its final bow, summer was on its way. It looked so peaceful up there, so mellow, so unlike the city it covered.

Zack ran, ran for his life.

Well running for his life might have been a bit of an understatement, He was really running to keep his life and to make sure he had a life worth living so really he was running for his whole existence. Zack was not being over dramatic; Zackary Mitchell was never over dramatic. He was late, two hours, 13 minutes, and 22 seconds late to be precise. He never meant to be late either; it was his flat mates fault.

 

Lusi had gotten herself in to a mess about this month’s rent and started shouting odds at him and Chase. Normally he would be quite amused by Lusi’s antics but only this time she managed to break the fridge, the fridge of all things! Food’s house, the centre of Zack’s life, his one true love, now lay strewn in the kitchen. Zack and Chase had thought she was kidding when she said she would hurt something they loved, if they didn’t get their act together and pay the rent “Lusi, Lusi, Lusi listen there’s no need to act crazy now,” Chase had said trying to calm the situation “I’m not acting crazy, I’m acting logical,” Lusi replied basically foaming at the mouth, with a savage glint in her eye They were stood in the kitchen of their shared apartment on the corner of Canner, New Haven Connecticut. It was an expensive place owned by Lusi’s dad which meant that she was acting as landlady.

This position of power was not good for Lusi it went straight to her head making her impossible to live with. The resident’s parents were generous when it came to money. It seemed that they had all decided to be rich and live privileged lives and bribe their children out of it. “Logical? Lusi, it would harm you as well as us, and cost more than the rent!” Zack informed her edging closer to the fridge “Don’t think I don’t know that Zack, but if this is the only way I can get you two to listen,” Zack was trying to get as close as he could to the fridge, he had to make sure no one did anything they would regret. Lusi had positioned herself in front of the small one door refrigerator, with Chase and Zack on either side of her, ebbing closer.

Lusi was wielding a hammer which was precariously swinging as she swiped it through the air “Lusi put the hammer down,” Chase almost ordered “Yeah, no need to hurt Gloria!” Zack exclaimed Chase and Lusi stopped for a moment just staring at Zack “What? She means a lot to me,” The fridge in question had been part of the apartment when they arrived four years ago, by now it was falling apart and had to be kicked occasionally, just to make sure it was still working. “See this is what I mean, you two have no sense of maturity, when you’re not busy flunking Uni you’re sitting on your asses here eating all the food and naming inanimate objects!” Lusi shouted Chase and Zack were appalled “Hey I work hard on my flunking, it’s an art,” Chase said Chase Carter, a lanky twenty one year old, who’s greatest talent was wasting time. He spent most of his day, who knows where and only very rarely came in to Uni and when he did he was pretty much always stoned.

“Yeah, it’s not something you can just do overnight, you have to have the right edge, right qualities,” Zack added “Damn straight,” Chase agreed high fiving Zack “Oh well done guys, because when you don’t graduate I will be the only one bringing in the money, which means we will fall even further behind on rent! End up on the street selling our bodies hooked up on crack!” Lusi Daniels.  A fiery nineteen year old who always had something to complain about. Her bright red hair, which reflected her personality, framed piercing green eyes, eyes that always seemed to be everywhere. She was very smart and without her Zack and Chase would be lost. She spent most of her time at Yale University as a student but when she was at home she didn’t make things pleasant for anyone. “Lusi we will pay the rent, give us a chance and stop being such a crazy bitch!” Chase shouted Idiot! Zack’s mind shouted as he saw the anger in Lusi’s face turn to white hot fury “Yes Chase cause calling her a bitch is really going to help the situation,” Zack told Chase who was now obviously regretting his words Lusi lifted her arm, the hammer shining in the light of the bulb hanging ominously from the ceiling We really need to fix that Zack thought noticing the bulb was held in place by tape.

“I want the money now or Glory gets it!” “It’s Gloria,” Zack shouted “Err Zack now is not the time,” Chase vexed “Well, if she’s going to mutilate Gloria than she should at least give her the decency of getting her name right!” Zack replied angrily reaching the fridge, placing his hands on it protectively. “It’s an inanimate object!” Chase and Lusi both shouted incredulously “Doesn’t mean she doesn’t have feelings, she still loves like you and I,” Silence fell over the group as the three of them stared at each other. Lusi was the first one to break in to laughter followed closely by Chase, Zack on the other hand failed to see the funny side. “Zack you’re an idiot,” Lusi managed to get out through her laughter “Don’t worry I wasn’t really gonna hurt her,” “What the hell Zack? Seriously you have a horrible obsession with that fridge,” Chase said exiting the room already bored with the conversation and satisfied that no appliances were in danger. Lusi put down the hammer and started rifling through some papers on the kitchen counter which lined half of the room.

“Hey without her the percentage of food in this house would drop severely,” Zack didn’t understand how they couldn’t see how amazing the fridge was. “Well that's not going to happen, Gloria is safe in the hands of us,” Lusi assured him giving Gloria a pat. Suddenly something somewhere snapped and with an almighty splutter and bang Gloria fell forward crashing to the floor. “GLORIA!” So that was why Zack was late for his first day at his new job. Early evening and the streets were packed, Friday meant that all the kids of the neighbourhoods were out and couples were walking enjoying the sweltering heat. Everything insight seemed to be covered in a golden glow Twilight hour Zack thought breathing in the early summer atmosphere. A beautiful evening, to just sit back with friends, but not for Zack, he envied all the happy people he passed, wishing for a moment he had those carefree days back. Zack was not enjoying the heat although he loved the snapshots he stepped in and out of on his way.

As he ran down Whitney Avenue he thought he may die of heat exhaustion, which would make him later, more drama. He hated living so far away from downtown; he liked all the hustle and bustle of the inner city. The neighbourhood which he lived on now was too quiet...well quiet for New Haven, but he still didn’t like the fact that when he went to bed at night there were moments of complete silence, It meant all he had was his inner thoughts, and they were far too hard to comprehend and understand. Whitney Avenue was a long street which ran parell to Orange with all the small neighbours connecting the two such as Canner. Zack was now speeding down Whitney Avenue en route to Crown where his new job lay. Twenty and he still didn’t have a driving licence, probably a good thing, Chase and Lusi would not trust him on the roads, he didn’t think he would trust himself either, the adrenalin, that rush of speeding at top speeds was addictive. Anyway he would definitely not be able to afford to buy and run a car. He didn’t even have a bike, so he ran on foot in the heat. Bar tending seemed to be the only work that he could get in this town at the moment due to the current financial climate, so a bar was gonna have to be his new work place. For the last four years he had been going through jobs like Chase went through his beer or Lusi went through her books.

Again it wasn’t his fault, employers in New Haven seemed to just have a problem with him, he couldn’t see why. The bar he was on his way to was called Murphy’s; Zack couldn’t remember ever seeing it before so he guessed it was a new place. It would take around half an hour to get to his required location but he was hoping to make it in half that time, he didn’t really see the point as he was just going to get fired once he was there. No employee should turn up to their first day at work two hours late even if it wasn’t their fault.

 

Zack soon found himself running across The Green, one of the best places in this town, a vast expanse of grass surrounded by trees. Hundreds of people milled around. It got Zack excited being here, the International Festival of Arts and Ideas was coming soon which meant coming here to watch big bands and acts perform, pure bliss. Zack’s mom worked behind the scenes of the festival, which meant that he scored free tickets to most of the gigs around, well used to. New Haven Green was a gathering place, where people from across the town came together to enjoy the simplest things, that's what he liked best about it. Ten minutes later Zack’s sides burned and everything else ached, but he had made it to Crown. Taking a moment to get his breath under control he proceeded to look for Murphy’s.

The Street was desolate, a sudden change, from the neighbourhoods he had just been passing through, it was next to silent here. It was the kind of setting from a horror movie, Zack half expected something to jump out at him, ready to tear him limb from limb. Looking around Zack noticed that most of the building on this street were boarded up or broken in to; there were even some abandoned and shut down. Zack wondered what might have happened here to make all the businesses close down except for the bar he was now heading for. He laughed at the thought of the owners scaring away the competition, like some crazy mafia plot. Half way up the street at the corner of College Zack found the bar. Red painted wood fronted the building, making it catch a passer bys attention straight away.

There were two entrances, one that opened up on to ground level and a second which lay hidden down a few steps which Zack guessed went in to the basement. Murphy’s was written in black above the ground level door and there was another bigger lighted Murphy’s sign above that, which would be turned on later. Zack was hesitant to enter the premises as all of a sudden he felt a sense of nervousness and apprehension, he really didn’t want to get fired from this job, he couldn’t risk more items getting broken at home and he didn’t think Lusi could take the stress. After much debate, he managed to open the door and unleash all that lay behind.

 

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