New Beginnings, Episode 5, Part 2
People always talk about where they were when they first heard about The Correspondent. She came out of nowhere and tried to make a difference. Some saw her as a beacon of hope, others as a sign of how far down the slope we had come. I never paid attention to all of that. I was too busy. Too busy working to pay my bills, too busy trying to figure out life. I was seventeen when it started. I was The Correspondent. This is my story.
Shutting the car door I started walking. My legs leading me towards the park. My brain was empty as I walked, I didn’t know where I was going or what I was doing. The last thing I wanted to do was to be alone, but I needed to be alone.
After a few blocks I slowed down. The park was across the street from me and I knew where I was going. I walked past our old house, the red bricks seeming bright in the sun. The lawn looked good, the tree we had planted when I was little was still growing in the back yard. Crossing the street I picked up my pace.
I ignored the walking paths and headed stright towards the entrance to The Rat’s hideout. This was his fault. He had shot my dad. My dad was fine until he did that. It was foolish to think that anything was left, but I needed to see. To see where that last fight had happened. I had never been back, I avoided it because it was to close to what happened to my dad. But with my dad gone, nothing was stopping me.
As I pushed through the bramble I came across some old crime scene tape, trampled into the ground by all of the investigators. The entrance had a shoddy metal grate over it. The rust was starting to win and it no longer covered the opening effectively. I started wiggling it and pulling. After five minutes of work it cracked and slipped out of the opening.
I pulled out my phone and turned on the flashlight. Pipe was as damp as I remembered and I crept through it, listening for any abnormal sounds. There was nothing but the sound of crashing water in the storm drain. I made it to the end and saw that the wooden platform was still there, but the shack was gone. There was the occasional flash of the breaker flashing, which meant the room still had power.
Lowering myself down onto the platform I remembered the terror I had felt as I had challenged The Rat. He had almost shot me, and without my armor he would have. My had went to the scar where the bullet had grazed me through my cowl. I walked around the platform testing each board as I walked. It was still stable.
I sat cross legged in the center of the platformed and just listened to the water. It was loud enough to drown out my sadness. Soon there was nothing but me and the water. I felt like I was thinking clearly for the first time in days. Maybe this was what I needed. A sanctuary. A place where I could go when I needed peace.
As I sat I thought about what my mom had said. That dad had always known that I was The Correspondent, and he was proud of me. Maybe I was what this small town needed. Maybe I could make a difference.
I just had to make it through the funeral.
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Dylan Reed has always been interested in a good story. Raised without a TV he spent a lot of time with books and loves reading. Dylan has been a professional entertainer, studied commercial diving, and loves random trivia. He brings all of this and more together in his stories.