He watched the young boy on the swing swaying back and forth. The boy looked to be about eight or so, tall for his age, wearing a striped blue and white shift. Had those funny looking running shoes like one of those basketball stars he loved to watch on the TV once in a blue moon, when his mother would let him. The young man in the pick up had been watching the boy for a week now. Knew his every move. Knew his friends, where he liked to hide out, what paths he took too and from school or play. He’d studied him carefully; methodically.
If a sheriff’s deputy had driven by at that moment he’d of probably waved and the young man sitting in the Ford pickup with its beat up look: dents, scrapes, and rusty red exterior ready to fall apart right there on the street. But if that officer had taken a closer look, actually studied the young man’s eyes he’d of given it a second thought. He’d probably of rubbed his own eyes and hoped what he’d seen in that young man wasn’t really there. Those eyes were blank and lifeless as if there was absolutely no one home. Eyes staring out of those black sockets were like doorknobs rubbed smooth over years of neglect and abuse, leaving nothing but that tarnished and worn look that such things get after a century of use and abuse.
It was those lifeless eyes that were now staring cold and in deadly earnest at the eight year old swinging by himself in the swing. All the other children seemed to be content to play by the schoolyard, running and hopping around the gym bars like little monkeys. While others were at the tether-ball court whipping the balls round and round, back and forth like their lives depended on it. But the young man in the truck wasn’t worried the least about all these other children. No. He had a plan. Not a good one. But a plan nonetheless.
He heard the buzzer go off for school’s end. He knew the boy went home the same route everyday. He’d been watching him for a week. He knew as well there was a place the boy would take a short-cut by the creek, a cut in the fence that allowed him to sneak on down and across the now dry creek bed near a wash out. He’d walk up that way by a clump of river birch and wild lavender lilacs, and other growth of weed and wild flowers jutting up in batched defense of a hidden spot within those trees. He’d wait there for the boy and be ready. He started up the truck and headed back down the dry creek road he’d come from, his eyes still focused and dull as a doorknob.
* * *
– Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.
Comments are welcome and needed. This is my getting wet in noir, a first stab at this genre, and all the insight I can gather (likes, dislikes, whether its too sentimental, gritty, etc.) will help out. Obviously as I’ve said before this is a fast storyline mode for the first run through. Just getting the ideas and story down day by day. I’ll come back on the 2nd draft and start filling in details of character and setting, but for now the story itself is driving things. So if you’d be so kind drop me a comment, tell me honestly what you think.
Read more: Flowers for Lobelia – Noir Novel in Progress