Riotous Living

By: The Great Duhmimchi

Some people have a knack for finding strange things; strange things always seem to find Zane Legends. The fact was that the world itself was strange and Zane was lost somewhere in the middle of it. How had things become so bizarre? How had his very life become so distorted? The answers exist in the world, somewhere, but they too were lost. Zane felt as if he was inside of a storm watching life swirl around him, but he stayed in his moment, frozen, and unaffected. He desperately wanted to reach out and grasp onto any answer at all, but every time he moved even in the slightest he was caught up in the swirling and whirling winds of time and circumstance.

And there he remained, sitting on one of the most uncomfortable chairs that he had ever felt in his life- though he barely even knew he was sitting, let alone that there was something touching him. For the first time I his life he didn't even feel the hallow ache that was echoing in his stomach, telling him that it had been hours since he last ate anything. He felt numb, there in his storm, in his moment. How did it come to this? He silently wondered. Somewhere in the back of his mind something told him that his face was wet dirty. He wiped it with his coat sleeve- not picking up on the fact that his clothes were in even worse condition than his face.

While he sat on his uncomfortable chair in the waiting room, the hospital lights glared down at him, making feel even more alone, and under the gaze of the world itself; as if what he had done had brought on the madness that now enveloped the whole city.

It was then that two men approached him.

"Hi son, I'm detective Jordan, and this is my partner, detective Baker." The other man tipped his hat to Zane. But Zane was barely aware of anything. "We are trying to piece together what happened last night. The store clerk said that you might be able to help us. I know this is a difficult time, but it's best to talk while the memory of what happened is still fresh in your mind."

Those last words struck Zane in his heart as though they were nails being hammered into it. The memory is fresh in your mind he thought to himself. "Those types of memories aren't ones that stop being fresh," Zane said, not even looking up at the officer. Without moving his eyes to look at the men, Zane began to recount the event that was playing over and over in his own mind.

"It wasn't very late yet." As soon as he started, the words came pouring out and he felt as though he was there again, reliving the best day and worst night of life.

"The streets were mostly empty, but the shops hadn't closed yet. We were on our way to our favorite restaurant downtown to celebrate our engagement. We just needed to stop by the jewelry store to pick out the ring." The policeman gave Zane a quizzical look.

"You got engaged before you had a ring to give her?" He said.

"We hadn't known each other very long, and I had just proposed earlier in the day- spur of the moment," Zane smiled while still staring at nothing. "She liked being spontaneous. She didn't even want a ring, but I was brought up more traditionally than she was. So I insisted on it.

"When we got to the store it didn't take long for the clerk to show us his entire supply of rings. She tried on most of them, but finally settled on one. It was perfect. As soon as I slid it onto her finger I knew that it was the one.

"'It's a perfect fit,' the guy said to me.

"'It better be,' I said. 'I don't think there are anymore in this place to look at.'

"The clerk just smiled at us. She wouldn't even take her eyes off of the ring to tell the man that she had made her choice. It was the crash that finally caught her attention. We all turned to the windows that faced the street just in time to see the riots starting. People were being drug from their cars and beaten. We just stood there frozen. We barely even noticed that the crash was the rioters breaking the stores windows to take the jewels from the shop. I grew up in LA, and I had seen riots and I had been robbed before, but not like that. The whole place was in chaos."

"People said they were reacting to Rodney King, but I didn't see him anywhere on the streets." The cop sneered, but quickly realized how insensitive his comment was and urged Zane to continue.

"Everything went so fast. First they were on the streets, then in the store. The next thing I knew was face to face with a gun.

"'Give me the ring,' the guy said to me. I hadn't even realized that I had taken the ring from her finger and clenched it in my fist. I don't know what I was thinking, I just stood there frozen. 'Give it to him honey,' she said to me. 'It doesn't matter.' That was it.

"Suddenly that ring was life, it meant everything. It was like it represented the rest of our time together. I guess it did actually. The guy lunged at me, and we fought for the ring. Then just like that, suddenly my ears were ringing, and the guy was running out of the store and back to the street. I didn't know what had happened until I smelled the smoke in the air. When I looked down and saw the ring still in one hand, and the gun in the other it hit me. I was only trying to keep it for her. She lit up when she saw it."

Zane looked down at his hand to see the ring still gripped in his fingers. He held it so tight that the blood stopped flowing into his palm.

"When I saw her on the floor, bleeding, I. . . I don't know what happened. The world stopped."

Zane's world had in fact halted. His mind was frozen in that moment and even though the police we still asking him questions, he couldn't find the words. The answers still evaded his grasp. The storm seemed larger now, and he felt smaller. He knew where he was, but had no control over what he was doing. When the detective tried to lift him to his feet, he didn't even notice that he had wriggled free of his grasp and grabbed his gun. Before he knew what was happening, time stopped; and his story was over.

Genre: Historical
Setting: In a store
Character: Thief