Author: OwlCityTard PM
ONESHOT- What if Connor never found the Unwind order or the missing ticket? What if Connor never knew the world beyond Ariana? What if... he never lived past 16? Rated because I'm too hardcore to submit a K. PFFT.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Tragedy - Connor L. - Words: 1,081 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 1 - Published: 06-05-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7055178
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Actually, this was a prompt from school... Because our school has Unwind as REQUIRED READING. AS IN, IN THE CURRICULUM. You wish you lived in- *COUGH* I mean, you wish you lived... where I live. Yeah.
Unwind is the property of Neal Shusterman and the brilliant company that published it- Simon & Schuster. CAN'T WAIT FOR UNWHOLLY. ;D
Restless, Connor peers over the rickety bathroom stall door, acutely aware of the steady dripping of the leaky faucet, driving him to insanity. The paint crackles unpleasantly as it peels, and the floor creates a warped checkerboard pattern with the black tiles and stained concrete patches.
Suddenly, the shrill screech of the bell blares throughout the school. Connor instantly dashes out the door. He pauses for a moment as the current of students sweeps him back and forth in the hallway and bares his teeth in a deep scowl, serving to reinforce his delinquent image, before diving for the exit. Thankfully, no one pays much attention to his sudden appearance and departure- such phenomena is common where Connor Lassiter is involved.
He hefts the barely existent weight of his backpack and begins to scan the parking lot for an escape route where he can avoid as many teachers and students as possible. However, the yells of nearby freshman startle him, causing Connor, suffocating in the tide of people, to bolt across the gravel and weave between the honking cars. Even a shouted greeting from Ariana as she and her parents drive by fails to distract him from darting through the maze of streets leading to his house, nestled between the trees and shrubs of suburban Ohio.
The sound of his footsteps echo on the pavement leading to his front door. He struggles to stifle his ragged breathing patterns as he opens the unlocked door (hypocritical father, he should remember to lock the door for once before nagging Connor) in an uncharacteristically cautious and silent manner. In one swift motion, he pulls off his shoes and sets them down on the fluffy welcome mat. His socks, thin and blackened from dirt, make no noise as he pads down the wooden floored hallway, avoiding the floorboards he knows that creak from his other midnight excursions. Ever so slowly, he peers around the corner leading to the kitchen.
His father's favorite and blindingly red sweater immediately catches his attention. He sits there, his back to Connor, deathly still as he stares at something on the counter Connor's can't quite see. Hastily, Connor steps backwards, eager to avoid a confrontation with him.
With a speed that contradicts his age, his father spins around and pins Connor to the wall with a vulture-like glare. "Stay right there."
He slides off the stool with a strange ease. Connor, still paralyzed with shock, has barely processed the yellow and pink forms on the table before his father reaches over and clutches the loose folds of his shirt and his shoulder.
"Come, I've got him!" Reality slaps him in the face, as he realizes the missing sheet is the white one, completing Unwind triplicate.
His voice is hoarse. "You didn't."
Juvey cops flood into the house and raise their tranq guns, pointing them all at Connor. Two of the men step forward, ready to catch Connor in case he tries to escape. A dark, haunted expression in his dad's eyes bores into his brain, and he notices his mother, stony-faced, holding his confused younger brother in the side entrance to the kitchen. "We did what we had to do, son."
"I'm not your son! I stopped being your son when you signed the unwind order!" He thrashes wildly, like a fish out of water, but his father is unexpectedly strong, holding him tight. Connor glares hatefully at him, but his father looks down, unable to meet his gaze.
Connor punches his father, hard, in the gut. A deep satisfaction fills him as he hears a wheeze of pain emit from his father, and he hits the ground running, practically halfway out the door in a heartbeat.
He had hoped the element of surprise would buy him a few seconds at least, but the Juvey cops barely bat an eyelash.
"Men! After him!"
The majority of the Juvey cops chase after him while a few hang back to help his father to his feet. Exhilaration pumps adrenaline through his veins, far more potent than any drug kids back at his high school had experimented with. His feet scream in protest as the sharp pebbles pierce his socks and dig into his flesh.
The first shot whizzes by, and Connor risks a glance back.
Juvey cops are hot on his trail. Some are within a few feet, and stop for a few moments to aim. Panic jolts his brain, and for the first time, the question, buried deep in the recesses of his brain, surfaces.
What happens to the mind, the soul, after unwinding?
He shakes his head violently as he runs. Those precious seconds wasted mulling over answers are seconds that bring him closer to personally discovering what they actually are. Mindless fear instantly consumes any chance of a sudden epiphany, and only the burning desire to survive spurs him on.
Still, it's not long before a needle slices through his tender skin, and black fog clouds his senses. As he stumbles over cracks in the pavement, his traitorous momentum translating into the gravity wrenching him towards the ground, he tries to summon the pure spite he has for his family, wanting to curse anyone unlucky enough to have Connor Lassiter's organs or body parts grafted onto their bloody stumps or into the cavernous gaps in their bodies. He anticipates that prickly sensation of hate, scalding him with its intensity, making him alive for what last seconds he has left, damning his parents, damning his friends, damning everyone.
Yet, all that he can feel is a faint sense of regret, a subtle chill that hollows out his insides, wistful and lonely, imagining what he could have loved, could lived, could have known, before the darkness engulfs him.
Virtual cookie to anyone who realized that "I stopped being your son when you signed the unwind order!" was a direct quote from the book. :) Heh, Neal Shusterman's style is impossible to imitate... Eh, well, I tried. Pointers on that would be much appreciated.
Review please. :)R