A Man Of Two Lives

A man named James with a horrible childhood escaped his old job...or at least thougt he did. Now they want to make him pay.

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1. Gone

 

     James slammed shut the door of his moldy apartment room and shouted, "Baby, I'm home." He waited and then continued walking to his room expecting Jessica, his girlfriend, to be curled up with a book reading. His jaw dropped as he looked at the bed, now ripped and blood stained. Then he realized the worst had happened. They had finally caught up with him.        Quickly, he dashed into his kitchen and opened the knife drawer. James grabbed the cleaver and went back to the bedroom and paused. He knew that if he got back in he may never get back out alive but he also knew he had to save her. James reached under the bed and pulled out a tweed suitcase. He swung the cleaver over his head and with a smooth motion sent the rusted lock travelling through the room in a million pieces.        Setting down the knife, James opened the suitcase and pulled from it keys to a car, a black leather wallet stuffed to the brim with hundreds, a Colt 1911, and lastly, a necklace with a pearl, carved in the shape of a star, given to him by his mother just before she died of a bullet wound to the chest. James charged down the stairs with everything, including ammunition, in a dark brown leather side bag. The necklace, though, he wore around his neck as he almost stumbled down the stairs.         As he finally went out, he briskly walked over to an alleyway to see if she was still there. He was once again in the presence of his old 1969 Camaro. He stood staring at the glossy, black beast in awe, his palms sweating, waiting to grasp her wheel again. He moved the branches covering her. James got in and started her up. The car roared despite the years of sitting around. The car glided through the semi-filled streets like a warm knife slicing through butter. James sped off to the bar to find an old friend who worked there.        Just after walking in, he met a young bartender, no more than twenty-two or three. The bartender muttered, “What’cha want?” in an unfriendly tone. James replied, “I’m looking for Anthony. Does he still work here?” The bartender froze, knowing what Anthony used to do, and then managed to mutter, “I’ll get’cha who ya want,” and disappeared into the kitchen.         After James’ second drink, a man came from the kitchen door. He glanced at him, immediately recognizing who he was. Anthony, he thought, the one who helped him leave CAVE. But now, was he supposed to ask Anthony to help him get back in?         Contraband, Ammunition, Vehicles, and Explosives, known as CAVE, started as a supplier for the military. But then, the headman got greedy. This man, oddly enough, went by Papa Bear. So, Papa Bear started hiring mercenaries, now called Bats, to do his dirty deeds. The CAVE became illegal, obviously, and was forced into hiding.         Anthony walked up to him and asked, “Need a refill, James?” James smiled for the first time in a while. The two talked for a bit and then got up to go to the car. While they were walking towards the car, an uzi spat out a round at them and tore into Anthony’s leg. Without thinking, James pulled out the Colt and shot out the window behind the man with the uzi. Scared, he ran off dropping his backpack.         “He was right. You are the best shot in the game. Or at least, were,” said Anthony. James ignored him, picked up the backpack and walked back to the car. James opened it and found a map to the CAVE’s new hideout. He helped Anthony into the car and they left.        Now, James had two things he needed to do but he couldn’t decide which one to do first. On one hand, Anthony needed his leg patched up but on the other hand, the whole point of this was to get back his girlfriend! Then James thought, “They would have killed her then if they wanted to and Anthony could be helpful. So, it is decided.” James put the map in the glove box and started heading to the nearest hospital.         Once Anthony realized this, he shoved his good leg on the brakes and yelled, “Stop!” “My leg ain’t that bad,” he said. “I just need some stuff. Pull over to that CVS.” James, remembering his medical training in college, pulled into the CVS. After a good fifteen minutes of shopping, they got back to the car.        Anthony wiped the wound clean and pulled out the bullets. Luckily for Anthony, he didn’t get hit in a major artery. “Now for the worst part of all,” he said, while pulling out a bottle of rubbing alcohol and pouring it over his wound. Lastly, Anthony wrapped his throbbing leg in gauze. Collecting all the trash, they got back in the car, pulled out the map and took off into the pitch-black streets of the city.         As the two were going through the streets, Anthony saw two Ford Shelby GT500s on their tail. Anthony yelled, “We’ve got company.” “Of what kind?” James asked. “Two Shelbys,” replied Anthony. “This will be fun,” James said. “Anthony, you might want to use that extra strap cause its going to get funky.” “Great,” murmured Anthony.          A blast came from one of the Shelbys but the bullet bounced off the back window. Anthony looked at James and stuttered, “How on God’s earth?” “Remember, when I told you this baby’s got some modifications?” replied James. Then he made a sharp turn into an alleyway and out onto another road.        “They’re still following us,” Anthony shouted. James continued speeding down the dark road that seemed to never end. Finally, James saw a glow of light from a stoplight. James sped through the red light and kept going. He then turned quickly and made a U-turn right through the two cars and took off leaving the Shelbys far behind. “All those years of driving paid off,” thought James.         A few hours later, well after leaving the city, they continued to follow the map through the countryside. The country was the polar opposite of the city. The tall buildings replaced with trees, the cement with rolling hills, and the thick black pavement with gentle dirt roads. The sounds had also been replaced. The hum of machines and traffic, were now singing birds and the whistling of the wind. The thick, black, pasty smog was now clean, fresh air. They left the stress of the city behind.        This was all new for James and Anthony could tell it was almost cleansing him. James proclaimed, “Such a magical place. It’s sad that the heart of the CAVE lives here.” “You seem to forget that we were both in the CAVE,” Anthony replied. “These crooks, so to speak, are just people. You might hate them because you don’t share the same morals anymore but they are like us. We have the same needs. We breathe the same air. We live on the same planet. They’re just people, like us.”        This made James stop talking and made the ride very quiet. Both were now thinking about what Anthony had said. In a way, the comments had offended James and caused him to ignore Anthony. After a good bit more of driving, James broke the silence. “I’m starving,” he said. “Same,” said Anthony in agreement. So, they pulled over at the next exit with a gas station to get some snacks.         While walking over, Anthony noticed a hole in the hill. Oddly enough, there were many crates of explosives around it. After eating, Anthony pointed out the hole and James suggested, “Lets see how far we are on the map.” Then he noticed that the map stopped at this location. “Wait a minute,” he said. “I bet you anything that’s the way in!”    
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