Alex fidgeted with his uniform while standing in the queue for the tenth time now.
“Hey moron! Complete my English assignment and bring it home by 9 or I’ll make you bleed this time.”, Bruce whispered and shoved Alex out of the line. He did nothing but kept staring at Bruce’s feet until they disappeared into the crowd.
When Alex’s turn came, the vendor smiled,“There you go buddy!”, he handed over the atlas to him, “I’m really sorry for making you wait for days but I hope I made that up by getting you the latest 1957 edition.” This kind gesture made Alex respond with a heartfelt thank you.
Reaching home, he threw his bag on the bed and dropped the atlas on the study table. Eagerly, he turned the pages with his fingers crossed but nowhere he could find what he wanted. He laid back on the chair with a pen in his mouth and continuously fluttered the pages with his anxious hands.
“Alex! Lunch is ready!”, his mother, Olivia shouted. Her voice made him realise that may be she can help him with his problem. Running down the stairs, he asked, “Mum, do you know where I can find a detailed map of our city? I need it for a project.” His mother replied, “I’ve no clue honey but I guess Charlie used a map when he went out to hunt in the forests so like all his things....”. “It’ll be in the basement.”, he completed her sentence.
Turning on the light, he started looking for the map. Soon his eyes fell on the large trunk that he usually visited when Olivia was not home. He saw sparrows, pigeons, cats, squirrels and every animal that he dismembered. He slowly picked them, reliving the calming experience he got when he first chopped off their feet so that they’d not run away, the way his father ran away with that other woman. After taking all of them out, he saw a big plastic rolled up on the base of the trunk with dried blood on it. There it was, filling him with satisfaction - a wall map of his city showing directions to all the nearby forests and rivers, exactly what he wanted.
Coming back to his room after a late lunch, he was studying the map when he heard his mother exclaiming,“Honey, I forgot to tell you that I’ve got a night shift today so I’ll be late.”, soon Alex heard the closing of the main door. “It’s a lucky day!”, he slyly murmured as he looked at the clock.
“I’ll be there at 9, Bruce.”
5 April 2021