Run Amok Steve Johnson

Sometimes, all it takes is the perception
of disrespect for peace to escape


All the Way
by Lady Kyd feat. H-y Loco



RUN AMOK (Fiction)
by Kendall F. Person

AcrylicMelissa Jackson exited the corner store just as Freeman Lewis raced passed. In hot pursuit were the boys in blue, who underestimated the stamina of the perpetrator they were trying to catch. “Move out of the way!” shouted one cop to Melissa, who stood wondering what ole Freeman had done now. Cho Kwon heard the commotion from inside the store and hoped it  would stay outside. Jose Hernandez was just a little boy, but in the peaceful city he lived, he was allowed to walk solo  to the neighborhood store. Candy bar in hand, he felt inside his pocket and pulled out  the loose change. The shouts of the officer, which had nothing to do with him, startled his young nerves, causing him to drop the pocket change, which made a loud chiming sound as the coins rolled across the floor. On the next isle, Mrs. Parker had just grabbed her favorite bottle of beer. Trying to come down after an all night binge, the shakes had set it and the sounds of the city noise made them even worse. The bottle slid from hand, and the sound of breaking glass, made Cho dial 911.

Freeman Lewis was running from his past and although he was outrunning the cops, he would never be fast enough to outrun who he was. He slipped into an alley,  jumped inside a large garbage bin, buried himself under the trash, then nearly cried, because he felt right at home. Had he waited a second longer, he would have realized he made the wrong move, for today was Monday – garbage pickup day. Michael Ross drove the garbage truck into his assigned alley. He was listening to his favorite song and thinking of his honey. Had he been paying attention, he would have realized there was life inside the dump.

When the cops turned the corner and saw Freeman no where in sight, they smiled at one another, knowing exactly where he tried to hide. Inside the store, young Jose was on the ground, searching for his money to buy a candy bar. Mrs. Parker leaned against the freezer’s door then slowly slid to the ground, as the floodgates in her eyes unleashed and she began to sob and cry. No one answering 911, but Cho held onto the phone. Melissa remembered she had forgotten to purchase gum, and stepped back inside the store. On the outside, directly behind, when the officers turned into the alley, Michael had already maneuvered the lift and was inserting it into the sides of the garbage dump. Freeman felt a jolt, and thought he had been found, so he prepared to give up. Melissa was a regular, always gave a smile. Cho’s father really liked her and in fact, Cho’s father liked everyone. He would even let Freeman slide on money, although he knew he was a useless bum. But Cho was his own man, and did not have his father’s soul. He thought everyone not like him, was out to rob the

Freeman was not a smart man, but nor was he dumb. When gravity deserted, he knew what was going on. He banged on the sides, and was able to lift the lid, one cop did see him and one acted as if he never saw a thing, with Michael still oblivious, that Freeman he was about to kill.  Melissa heard the crying, Jose searched for his change,  One cop ran toward the dump, waving his hands in the air. Michael noticed the running cop, but did not slow or stop the lift, because he also saw the other cop, who gave him the thumbs up.

Summer was nearing its end and was going out in a blaze of glory. Just half past noon and the mercury had already reached a balmy 96 degrees. The peaceful city bustled with activity, On the steps of St. Michaels Cathedral, a wedding party threw rice. A young couple had been married, and all that surrounded, celebrated their new life. Across the street in a city park, but not more than 50 yards away, a family reunion was taking place. And although the heat was unbearable, they were enjoying  the day nonetheless. Two blocks south, in a solemn procession, officers in uniform were mourning their dead. Officer Brad Fisher died from natural causes, and little did they know, he was about to be truly missed. Officer Fisher was the link that held peace together, earning the respect he received, from both fellow officers and the community in which he served.  And crossing the street at the very same time,  a group of teenagers, different in age, race and creed, but until the peace would be broken, all that mattered was that they were friends.

waterBack inside, Melissa tilted her head to the side, causing her eyes to squint, trying to determine, if indeed, it was crying that she heard. Cho mistook her expression, thought she was mocking him. It was one thing to be robbed, but he refused to be disrespected, right inside his father’s store. He hung up the phone and reached under the counter, while scanning the store with his eyes. And giving his perception no consideration, he wrapped his hand around the handle… of a butcher’s blade kept sharpened.


As the teenagers crossed the street, one of them, for no reason at all, flipped off the funeral procession of officers. Most did not see the teenager’S expression of rage, and those who did were too lost in grief for it to mean anything to them. But Officer Dan McGuire saw the little bastard and and thought, “How disrespectful!” So he broke ranks with his brethren and approach the kid set on teaching him a lesson. The teenagers saw the cop coming and had no idea what their friend had done but knew it was trouble and for whatever reason, decided that on this occasion, they were not going to be punked. Before Officer McGuire could approach, one of the teenagers threw a solid rock. It flew passed the officer and smashed into the hearse, breaking out the front window and now putting all of the officers on red alert. The breaking glass was all it took for Officer McGuire to pull out his government issued weapon, aim it at the aggressors, and without thinking, pulled the trigger, killing the teenager behind the one that had flipped the bird.

HarmonyFreeman Lewis screamed to the top of his lungs and finally Michael Ross did hear him. He pulled reverse upon the lever and set the canister back down. Freeman collapsed inside the trash bin, his whole life now just an emptiness blur. The good cop approached with gun in front, but knowing the perp had to be much to shaken to put up a fight. Freeman Lewis rocked back and forth, and had not the strength to put his hands up as ordered. But before good cop could apprehend him, bad cop ordered even louder for him to “Surrender peacefully!”  Both Michael Ross as well as the good cop, looked into the eyes of the bad. Neither understood his aggression, but both were now in fear of Freeman’s life.

The mercury had risen to an oppressive 105. The ice in their chests had melted and all of the park water fountains had been shut off. A couple of the reunion revelers had crossed the street toward the church, in search of cold water to quench their insatiable thirst. A rice thrower, threw a little too hard, and a handful of dried rice showered the hot and bothered men that crossed the street in search of cold water. “What the fuck are you doin’ throwin’ shit at me!” shouted one man. And instead of apologies or level heads taking over and explaining that no harm was intended, “Get the fuck back over to your park, what are you doing by our church!” yelled a voice, now offended. One thing led to another, and the beautiful wedding party and the wonderful family reunion, where now the Hatfields and the McCoys as each side called out for back up and each side prepared to fight, although no one knew or asked, what the hell the fight was about.

AcrylicMelissa walked over to the far aisle and saw ole Mrs. Parker sobbing against the freezer and atop the broken glass. Jose had gathered up all of his change and rather than proceed directly to the check out counter, he followed the sobs as well, because they sounded like his mother. Even for Cho, who held onto the butcher’s blade, the crying was soothing, somehow calming his mind. He turned down the aisle and saw Melissa trying to help Mrs. Parker stand and little boy Jose was attempting to clean up the mess. Cho rested the blade by his side and felt embarrassed by the way he reacted and what he had planned to do with the knife. But before he could walk over to the trio and help, the glass store front of his business shattered and calm that he felt was broken and distrust returned to his heart. So he raised the blade up high and proceeded toward the trio, not giving a damn, that he was no longer in Vietnam, and these people in front of him met him no harm. And giving what he was about to do no further thought, he brought  down the butcher’s blade and kept chopping until his 3 customers were dead.

courtesy of thepublicblogger short story vault

RUN AMOK (nonfiction)


One Comment on “RUN AMOK (FICTION)

  1. Pingback: RUN AMOK (NONFICTION) | The Neighborhood

%d bloggers like this: