My Trip to New York City
The sun rose over the ocean, glittering and shining, rising with every second higher and higher. The bright trail of light on the water getting brighter and brighter. Just as it did every morning. The sand was getting hotter with every minute giving a tingling feeling to my feet. It was as if the sun was the microwave and the earth, a platter of chicken sitting on a plate inside. I walked away from the beach back to the small town, I needed some groceries and this was the only time to get some. I walked into the store, it was loud and noisy with many fans blowing in all directions. The floor was hard and dry and the people tired from the lack of sleep.
“Hello!” said Jack.
“Hello!” I replied. Jack was the town’s tailor, but he spent most of his time in night clubs.
“Not bad, it’s just my leg hurtin’ again, I came by for medicine.”
“If you wouldn’t spend so much of your time at that filthy karaoke it wouldn’t hurt as much.”
“Yeah maybe I’ll take a day off today or somethin’.”
“Mmmhmmm...” I said and wandered off. Jack was never interesting, he always said the same things. One day his leg would hurt, one day he was drowsy from alcohol, and sometimes he would just make stuff up. I grabbed a sack of oranges and asked the cashier how much they were.
“A dollar a sack, sir.”
“Thank you!” I told her as I paid. I soon was on my way home. The streets were already cackling with voices, random bits of conversations swept by me “It’s awfully hot today!” or ”‘Is the market out of meat?” or “Where are you going?” I heard as I made my way down the busy walkway. I then turned the corner and the chatter disappeared. It was like diving under water in the ocean, quiet and nice, so peaceful.
“Mister! Mister!” said a voice behind me. I jumped but only to recognize the man as the town beggar, Kevin.
“Kevin don’t scare me like that!” I said loudly. He had bad hearing so It had to be loud.
“Oh, my apologies mister. I was just thinking if could have one of those juicy oranges, Mister.”
“Well yes, I suppose you may take one,” I said. I took off my jacket, it had gotten tangled with the oranges. I placed the jacket on the ground and took out two oranges. I handed them to his shaking hand, and he took it greedily.
“Thank you mister! Thank you very much mister!” he said as he left me standing in the middle of the street alone.
“Good bye!” I yelled back to him as he ran off. Here in Apalachicola we all more or less knew each other. We were proud of our small town, only a small dot on the map but we were better than that, we were the place to be in Florida. I came up to my house right as it started to rain. The smell of the freshwater hitting the ground was freshening and I swear I saw the grass get greener immediately. I stood under the rain for a couple minutes feeling the droplets hit my head one by one, then I slowly opened the door and went into my house. I then realized that I had left the oranges and my jacket out in the street! My jacket had my money and my keys I had to run. I bolted out of my house locking the door behind me. I sprinted through the rain getting wetter every second. I felt my age come upon me with every step I took. I turned the corner right as a car was riding by. I nearly got hit but the driver stopped with an angry look on her face.
“Watch where you’re going!” she yelled. But I didn’t have time for her I sprinted on to the place where I had left the bag and my jacket. When I got to the spot there was nothing there. I turned around a few times looking at the ground miserably and sobbing. A tear rolled down my face; I had lost about 500 dollars and my keys. I slowly turned around and waddled back home, as I walked past the ocean it seemed colorless to me. How could I be so stupid to leave my jacket there in the street, how could I of all people let that happen? The next thing I knew was I smelled smoke, “Oh good now I left the stove on and my house is on fire, which was a stupid thing to think because I hadn’t used my stove since yesterday evening,” I thought aloud. I jogged toward my house worried that it actually was on fire and sure enough it was a light. I looked in the window, in the part of the house that wasn’t on fire yet, and was amazed by what I saw. The house hadn’t just been set on fire someone had been in there before that, the kitchenware was thrown on the floor and the bookshelves toppled. I was horrified as I understood that someone had looked for something in my house. I quickly ran to the pay phone on Herbert street and dialed 9-1-1.
“Hello, 9-1-1 how may I help you?” said the man on the phone.
“Umm, hi uh my house is kinda on fire and yeah...” I murmured.
“Okay, what’s your house address?” he replied anxiously.
“674 John Adams Road, Apalachicola.”
“Okay we’ll be right there.”
“Great!” I said as they hung up. I ran back to my house to see how bad was the fire. The orange flare was now rising from the roof and the police was still not here. I started to get nervous, what if my house would burn down completely. I sat down on the bench outside waiting for the fire department to arrive. About 10 minutes later they came. Four men in bright red suits leaped out of the truck and ran to the house. One of them came over to me and started asking me boring questions, such as: Do you know what happened? and Were you in the house when it happened? Of course the answer to all of these was, no. I couldn’t have known what had happened except for the fact that I had left my jacket on the street. In about ten minutes the fire vanished; and me and David, the fireman who had talked to me earlier walked in to see the damage, but there was much more than damage done. Where the bookshelf had stood the hooligans had my silk white tablecloth slightly burned and written on in bright red letters WE’LL BE BACK I looked at it for a couple seconds. “What does this mean?” I asked the main police man, David.
“Well I don’t know, we’ll have to call the police, probably.”
“And after that?”
“After that we’ll see,” he replied. “Now where’s my walky talky?” he continued. He went to his truck to retrieve the device, at the same time he was yelling at the other firemen to leave. He shortly contacted the station and ordered the police to come. I was shocked, I still couldn’t believe that someone would want to rob me and burn my house down. The fact that someone needed something from me was appalling. The day was slowly ending and the sun was soon to set. I always thought this was the best part of the day the weather wasn’t to warm but not too cold, and the ocean sounded like a waterfall washing away the day. The police came soon enough and started their investigation. They went into my house and started looking around. It was already dark when they started to ask me questions.
“Your name?” said the woman who looked in charge.
“Place of birth?”
“Charlotte, North Carolina.”
“I’m a retired clarinetist for the Miami Symphony Orchestra.”
“Good. Do you know anyone here or in Miami who would have interest to you?”
“I have friends friends in Miami but nothing more.”
“That’s interesting. Because we have found out that you were most probably robbed by a fairly famous group from Miami.”
“I have no idea…” I replied.
“Well then you’re coming with us.”
“What? Why? I don’t want to go anywhere. I want to stay in Apalachicola for the rest of my life and not go anywhere!” I whined. I would have gone on but I realized that I was sounding like a little kid.
“I understand, but you really must come.”
“Where are you going?”
“Why?” I asked even though I understood the reason.
“To find out who did it.”
“Did what?” I asked blindly.
“The robbery!” she said, obviously agitated by my stupidity.
“Oh right, right.”
“Okay well hop in the car then.”
“No in two weeks. Of course now!”
“Yes, I suppose I’ll get in the car then...”
“Yes I suppose you will. And hopefully you won’t accidentally sit in the wrong car.”
“Is there a different car?” I asked.
“Just get in the god dang car already!” she said loudly.
“Oh, okay...” I replied, beginning to get scared of the her. The car was a black Ford with darkened windows, it smelled like mints as if the police ate candy canes instead of solving crimes, “Breaking news Kent Schmidt discovers that police eat candy canes instead of solving crimes!” I imagined. But I knew that the police did not eat candy canes; they solved crimes. It was already dark outside, and the fog was starting to rise ‘Dang it! I wont be able to see the police eat the candy canes!’ then engine started. She took shotgun while the other police man was driving. I wondered why I was in the back, if my father had taught me correctly then they were supposed to offer me the front seat. The car sped down the Florida Turnpike it was quiet the sunset was over and there was no light except for the headlights of course.
“We’ll be there in about seven hours, you can sleep if you want to…” she said welcomingly.
“Oh good. I’m sorry what’s your name again?” I asked for I realised she hadn’t told me her name yet.
“Oh, thank you...” I said. I was getting awfully tired so I decided to close my eyes and fall asleep. It wasn’t easy the Florida Turnpike was a long and bumpy road in about a half an hour of riding through the night I fell asleep. I dreamed of the beautiful tall skyline of Miami; the Atlantic Ocean glittering even brighter than the Gulf of Mexico. In my dream I forgot about the robbery, the fire, and the rude police woman. All that I imagined was the marvelous city of Miami. In my dream I walked along the boardwalk smiling at the fellow ongoers; the locals, the businessmen, the tourists and many more. Passing the many cafes and restaurants. Then the car jolted and I woke up in front of me were the tall buildings. The sun was shining brightly, and the city was alive. The car stopped on Second Street, I knew this spot well it was only two blocks away from my old apartment. This was a quiet neighborhood no gangs, no accidents, just normal people living in the stacked next to each other apartments. Christina got out of the car and opened my door.
“C’mon we’re here!” she said.
“Okay, where to now?” I said drowsily as I was getting out of the car.
“We are going to try to find the people who, we think, burned your house.”
“And what part of town do they live in?” I asked.
“Miami Beach...” she said. I stared at her in awe.
“Mi-miami Beach?” I asked fearfully. She nodded. I stared at her, Miami Beach was one of the most dangerous places in Florida. Sure there were the tourists but behind the green screen the crime was major. Gangs, lunatics, and burglars rushed down the streets and alleyways. “Why are we getting out of the car then?” I asked. Miami Beach was not walking distance from Miami.
“We’re taking a bus, to look less suspicious,” she said, “If anyone asks who you tell them you’re a tourist from New York.”
“Why New York?” I asked confused.
“Just go with the plan okay?” she said annoyedly. I rolled my eyes at her, I hated the policewoman there was something wrong with her. Her sparkling eyes and her mysterious growl.
We got on the bus to Miami Beach, the air conditioning was blowing hard and it almost felt cold on the bus. I shivered as I came in, the bus driver glared at me like I had forgotten to do give him the money after some poker game. I quickly looked away.
“Stay cool, just stay cool...” whispered Christina. I sat down on the aisle seat next to an elderly lady, who was chewing something. I quickly realised what she was chewing -tobacco- one of the nastiest things to chew. It smelled horrid as her stained teeth mulled the dark greenish blackish substance. I tried not to breathe but I didn’t get far. I looked over my shoulder towards the two seat where Christina and the driver were sitting. They were discussing something in a whisper, I wondered what they were talking about. Just then I realized something, I was starving! I hadn’t eaten for nearly 24 hours, if I wouldn’t eat for much longer my elderly organism would surely soon pass out. So there I was, sitting on a tobacco smelling bus, with crazy people around me, and why was I here? I was here because some stupid police woman thought that they could catch the people who burned my house!
In about a half hour the bus stopped and the high pitched, mechanical voice, in the speaker pronounced, “Miami Beach downtown.” Christina leaned over towards me and spoke,
“C’mon this is our stop.” we got out of the bus and I took a great big breath.
“Where do we go now?” I asked.
“Couple of blocks...” said the driver. I realized that those were the first words he had said to me. So i decided to ask him for his name.
“What is your name again?”
“Rudolph, Rudolph DePlaey.”
“Nice to meet you.”
“You too...” he murmured and we started walking. The streets were busy with tourist from different states. The hot dog stand vendors were selling out, and stood there with smiles on their faces. We walked Jefferson Avenue, I had no idea where we were going. It was awfully rude of Rudolph and Christina not to tell me such important details, but I didn’t say a word; I wouldn’t want to upset them.
“When are we going to eat?” I asked. I wanted to break the silence it felt boring.
“I suppose we have a little time now…” said Rudolph as he looked over towards Christina.
“Oh that would be wonderful!” I remarked, and we walked in to the nearest cafe.
“Hello and welcome to Miami Beach’s most fabulous cafe, Giorgiano’s!” said the lady at the cash register.
“For three please…” said Christina. We sat down at the table next to the window. There were three glasses of ice cold water next to three paper white napkins. In the middle of the table there was a bouquet of white, aromatic daisies in a white porcelain vase. I took a sip of my water then I looked up. I jumped in my seat when I saw that Christina was holding a gun.
“Ah!” I yelled.
“If you keep screaming I’ll shoot.”
“What? Why? What did I ever do to you?”
“What did you do to me?” she snickered, but I didn’t find it funny at all. Sure my college roommate got drunk one time and tried to shoot me because he thought I was his mother, but other than that I had never been threatened this way. “You ruined my career you freak!” she pronounced in a loud whisper.
“Umm, how? I don’t even know you! And I wouldn’t be calling me the freak right now.”
“You’re the retired principal clarinetist?” she asked, I nodded “Now, imagine if you hadn’t gotten into the orchestra because I would beat you!”
“That would be bad, but your point is what?”
“That I am that person! If not for you then I would be a musician! It’s all your fault!” she screamed.
“So you aren’t actually the police?” I asked.
“No! I have no job because of you!”
“Then who is Rudolph?”
“You? You burned my house!”
“No that was my other brother David.”
“You’re mad! But look I’m sure we can sort without without shooting me.”
“No we can’t!” and with that phrase she leaped out of her chair and fired. I was lucky enough to duck and she hit the picture on wall. I ran out of the cafe and turned left. As I was running I could hear Rudolph and Christina chase after me. I then ran into a sign. As I recovered from the blow I could hear two more shots fired.
“Just stop you’ll never run away!” yelled Rudolph in the background. I ignored him and looked at the sign it read Train Station. Maybe I could catch a train! I ran into the building. Threw a 100 to the man in the cash register.
“Hey!” he yelled after me, but I was already jumping into the nearest train. I had no idea where it went to I just knew that I had lost them. I jumped in the nearest seat and fell asleep.
I woke up to the view of the New York City skyline.