JUMP reboot

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JUMP reboot

Post by Red on 17th November 2012, 5:38 pm

So a few years ago I started a story called Jump that I shared with a few people on this forum. Well, Jump died, and so I stopped writing it until now. The idea is similar, but the setup and such is very different, and I'm... kinda uncertain about how I feel about it. Anyway, to begin:

One

His hands fumbled with the cap, barely feeling the sharp edges of the bottle cap as he finally pried it off the next bottle. Six other empty bottles sat next to him, and the stink of cheap beer filled the car. He didn’t notice it though; he was too out of it to care.

The digital clock on the dash was blurred, to his eyes; two-something in the morning? Did he care anymore? Not horribly.

The reason for his drinking was laid carefully on his dashboard, the small photograph kept high up away from the alcohol. He could spill wherever he wanted in the car – he already had, really, his hands were so shaky – but the photo was sacred. He couldn’t let it liquor touch it.

The photograph was still pristine – a young man, clean shaven, dark hair and a broad smile next to a young woman, plain to most men’s eyes, long brown hair held back in a bun and a tired smile on her face as she cradled an infant in her arms.

What the photograph didn’t capture, though, was the way she shook his hand when they first met – strong, confident, uncaring. It didn’t capture the way she smiled, as if she had been caught by surprise, or the way her pale green eyes lit up when she used to see him. Before he proposed.

The photograph didn’t capture the disgusted look on her face when he’d stumble back home, drunk again. It didn’t capture her exhaustion from working day and night, making up for the fact that he was now unable to provide for them. It didn’t capture her fear when he lost his temper the first time.

And of course, looking at the photograph you would never be able to tell that another man would enter the picture two years after it had been taken. One who would stand at her side as they told him never to come back. I’m filing for divorce, Glenn. Natalie can’t grow up like this.

Tears were still streaming down his face. His ugly sobs had calmed down after the first few drinks, and he leaned forward, setting the half finished bottle aside shakily. It tilted and fell, and beer spilled across the floor of his car, the only thing left, as he leaned forward and rested his head on the steering wheel.

No one had bothered him, parked in the parking lot at the liquor store. It was only him, the car, and the night. And the beer.

He felt restless, all of a sudden. Like he wanted to run. Like he wished he could turn and run away and when he finally came back everything would be back to how it had been. Before the school had laid him off because of budget cuts. Before he fell into drinking. Before Lindsey had to carry all the weight on her own.

He fumbled for his keys, unsure where they were, patting at all his pockets before he eventually found them in his jacket pocket. His breath rose up in front of him as he struggled to pull his keys out, missing the ignition the first few times before he got the thing to start. He turned the heat up, blasting hot air in his face and taking the car out of park.

At two in the morning, an old white Ford pulled out of a parking lot and onto the empty streets, the driver slamming on the gas and tearing down the road.

***

The boy stumbled out the door, one hand over his face, touching his noses gingerly. He knew it would hurt, but every few moments he felt like he had to check, just to make sure it was still broken. He slammed the door shut behind him, stumbling out into the street.

He couldn’t hear Jared screaming at her any more, down in the street, but he could imagine him in the apartment above them; his mother trying to hide as he lashed out at her, you useless, whiny bitch, you and your fucking kid, I’m a damn saint for putting up with you both!

This time he tried to stop the fucker, stepped in between the two of them, but it wasn’t even a fight. The bastard tossed him aside into the wall and turned on him; he was more monster than man at that point, and he wasn’t sure how long it was until his mother grabbed Jared’s attention again by throwing his phone at his head.

He’s really not that bad of a guy, Adam, she would insist. He only has his moments, and we really do need him…

And as much as he hated it, she was almost right. Jared’s paycheck was hardly negligible, especially tight as things were. He’d lasted longer than all the others she’d brought home, each time insisting that this one would be different, that he’d have a father again.

The boy touched at his nose again, cringing, and he spat in disgust in the street, looking back up at the apartment. Son of a bitch. He should have stopped him, he should have stayed, but…

He was fucking pathetic. There was nothing he could do.

He reached in his pocket and pulled out the set of keys – keys to Jared’s car, key’s he’d snatched off the table near the door before darting out of the apartment. He’d take that cute little Ferrari that Jared loved so much more than his mother and sell it. Or maybe he could drive it into an alley into one of the bad parts of town and let it get stolen. Then it wouldn’t be their fault.

He searched through the parking lot of the complex, finally finding his car and unlocking it, sliding inside and turning on the heat as he started to shiver from the cold. It was a manual transmission – just his fucking luck, he supposed. Whatever. He could figure it out. He could do at least this.

He turned the car on, putting it in reverse and backing it out, fumbling with the gearshift and stalling the car. Cursing, he restarted it, turning and driving out the parking lot at a slow, sedate pace so that he wouldn't have to shift.

He drove maybe five blocks down the street before he hit a red light. He checked the clock in the car; 2:15 in the morning, January 22. The light turned green almost just as he pulled up to it, and he stalled the car again when he forgot to press in the clutch.

He fumbled with the ignition, finally managing to start forward, and looked up to see a car coming at him from the other direction down the road, an old white ford. The car was weaving, unsteady, and the boy had just enough time to try and swerve to the side as the car careened into his lane.

***

The sound of the crash was enough to wake up the people living in the houses along the edge of the road. 911 was called. An ambulance and several police cars came by to drag the teenage boy and the drunken man from the wreck.

The two were alive, just barely, and each of them was identified by the license they carried. Glenn Kelly, 33, and Adam Vallen, 17. Family was called as the two – both miraculously still breathing – were rushed to the hospital.

ER doctors struggled through the night to keep them alive, until finally the two stabilized. Lindsey Kelly would come by for a time to see her husband – well, soon to be ex-husband – but was quick to leave. No one came for Adam.

Doctors declared, as the hours passed, that the both of them had slipped into a comatose state. The local news station spent nearly an hour reporting on the accident to fill space. The two lay motionless in the same hospital room; there was little space elsewhere, and with both of them conscious they wouldn’t be caring about who they were rooming with.

For all intents and purposes, at that moment the two could have been dead.

But in Glenn’s mind, he had only just awoken.

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THANKS SO MUCH TO LEAH FOR THE SET!

Claims: Silver, EphPhoenix, Cave Johnson (Portal 2), Nephenee (Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance), Hazama (BlazBlue), Henry (Fire Emblem: Awakening), Elizabeth (Bioshock Infinite)
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