Year 2026, Month 8, Day 16
Graze College Dorm
“I’m finally finished…”
After sorting out my boxes and furniture in my dorm room, I threw myself onto my bed.
The day I graduated, I told my mother and father that I was leaving for college instead of paying off the mortgage on the house. Unsurprisingly, not a single one of them supported my decision as they wanted to keep their carefree lifestyles. My father tried, again and again, to convince me to work for him until it was paid off, at the cost of 15 years of my life.
A smile of satisfaction formed on my face.
“I’m finally free! I’m really, truly, free!”
Father, thank you for dying; things are looking up for me. Deep inside, I knew it was wrong to be rejoicing at his death. But this feeling quickly disappeared when I took a look at my first meal without my fake ‘family.’
I got up off my bed and flipped the switch for the mini TV in my dorm. The speakers started to crackle with life and the screen hummed with a high pitched noise. So cheap! It is a pity that I only have this TV and 3 sets of clothes. I had to sell everything else and take a $150,000 loan to attend the cheapest college. There is only enough money for tonight’s food.
“In other news, people around the world have been reporting cases of supernatural phenomena. Hank, what do you think of this?”
“Recently the gravity around San Francisco and Britain has dropped from 9.807 m/s² to 9.601 m/s². Numerous scientists around the world have deemed the areas safe but we can’t find any direct correlation. Hanna, do you think this will affect our daily lives?”
“This won’t affect us in the slightest, the worst thing is that our cars will be slightly harder to drive.”
“Well Hanna, social media has been focused on more than a dozen photoshopped photos and edited videos that show people doing the impossible! In the dozens of fake videos, all of them claimed that something called a “Numen” granted them powers. I don’t know about you Hanna, but I think this is just another Russian hoax made to scare people to vote for the……”
An ear-popping snap emitted from the TV. It seems the TV was too old and finally kicked the bucket. It doesn’t matter anymore, there are already too many things happening to the world right now and the last thing I need to hear are squabbling politics.. I should just be happy I have this small dorm.
Bah, who am I kidding? It’s been years since I’ve come to this conclusion, but in case you didn’t get the memo, here it is: This world went up in flames. Global warming spiked about five years ago, China has increased its control over our total capital over the world, hell, Adriana Grande even received the Nobel Prize in literature.
People with power become mad. This is the truth. When you’ve come to accept it like the rest of us, treat yourself to a beer.
To mark the first day of my new life, I’ve decided to treat myself to three weeks worth of ramen at the convenience store. I pull myself up off the old bed and give a quick prayer for my broken tv as I walk out the door. My legs carry me to the oh so prestigious 7/11 right around the corner. I pick up 15 bags of ramen for 5$ and walk up to the cashier. Looking to pay, I reach into my pocket, only to be greeted by an empty, dusty wallet. I guess I’ll have to make a quick stop at the bank.
‘Whatever you choose.’
‘You must be better than me.’
I recall an unsettling memory, one which brings a special kind of trauma. The last words my father said to me before he passed away. I wonder if these thoughts came about because of my bank account or my stress. Either way, I put on my headphones to drown out my thoughts.
I enter the bank towards the nearest ATM when suddenly smoke began to rise from all of the ATMs. The smell of sulfur quickly spread through the air and hit me in the face.
“Don’t make a sound.”
I turned around to see a grizzly old man wearing a paper mask, with the barrel of his gun pointed right at me. Taking a second look it was an origami rabbit mask.
“Now, give me your phone and sit in the corner.”
The man wore an unkempt red tuxedo with a black tie. His shoes were brown leather with spotted with oil stains. Without much choice, I silently comply.
Carefully looking around myself, the bank was dimly lit but I could tell it was shaped like a T. Before I could move my eyes spotted movement directly in the center. 3 security guards had holes in their chests and were bleeding out on the floor, but they weren’t from mere bullets. These holes were larger than a man’s fist and much too ragged to be from any firearm. Amidst the chaos, a loud siren rang in my head. My conscience instantly went cold, and I stood there petrified, my mind racing. How was this done by a person single?
I hear zippers and papers coming from the right side of the bank. A muscular man wearing a purple tux and a paper tiger mask walks around the corner. He is at least 6’4 feet tall but his tuxedo could not hide the potbelly. Following him was a slim dark-skinned woman wearing a white tux and a panther mask. She was holding 3 blue gym bags with one arm and tiger face was holding 8 effortlessly. The old Rabbit puts pressure on my back, forcing me to move forward. As I looked up, I see 15 other hostages: 8 civilians, 3 civil servants, 4 employees huddled in the back.
Clack Clack Clack
Clack Clack Clack Clack Clack
I heard the sounds of hurried footsteps of two men, one of them sounded light and fast. He must be short. A tall lanky man wearing a black tux with a paper monkey mask came around the left corner short of breath. “Fox went too far and triggered the backup alarm system.” The other person finally arrived, it was a small child no older than 14 wearing a green tux and a fox mask.
The Rabbit points at the Tiger, “Take the hostages and Puma to the back. Fox messed up and alerted the police.” Fox sharply turns his head but Rabbit continues, “If you didn’t walk that far then…” he lifts his gun directly at Fox’s head “This is the last time you are working for us.”
A loudspeaker sounded off from outside, “THIS IS THE POLICE. RELEASE THE HOSTAGES OR ELSE WE WILL USE FORCE.” I feel almost relieved, surely the police knew how to deal with these kinds of criminals. Mikey takes his aim off Donald and aims straight up.
It was apparent that this was not an amateur heist. These robbers were well prepared and more than willing to kill any opposition. Yellow sprints to the back of the bank and nabs an old woman. I look in the direction of the sound but red blocks the way.
He roughly pulls me towards him and twists my arm behind my back. He rests his gun behind my head. “Now you are going to stay nice and quiet, ya hear?” I slowly nod for the man as he carefully escorts me to the center of the bank. With his body so close, I could smell the musk of brandy and whiskey.
One of the armed men shouted in the empty room, “We have three hostages with guns pointed to their heads and 12 more in the back. Make the police cars leave now or else!”
“We will count down from 5 and if we don’t see any movement we will shoot!”
One of the men hit me. “Next time, I shoot.”
These men are insane.
Grey matter flies all over the wall. My hands start to tremble as a loud sound goes off 5 feet from my right. I only hear the other hostages scream out in terror. “LION YOU IDIOT!”
Smoke fills the room covering everything in a grey haze. The enigmatic burst of smoke shocked the police, causing some to prematurely fire their surroundings. Tension breaks and the room erupts into a ballistic hell.
Maybe the police force wasn’t as prepared as I had thought.