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I Am Santo

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The sky uncertain, blue vying with storm clouds and the sun lurking out of view, Simon ran into the woods, winding his way west. The trees were thin ghosts surrounding him, tombs of history and in their rings he imagined the record of countless cycles like the one he was in; routines controlling lives as if children’s puppetshows. He did not sprint, but kept his pace constant over fallen pine needles and seasons of dead leaves littering the path. He sensed his old home’s direction, and from there it was two miles to the projects. His lungs burned against the effort, but he pressed on with Alec and Kailey pulling him as if in a tug of war for him to protect them. The counter pull of malevolence and greed, his own base nature’s ally in this horror, weakened. He didn’t care about money anymore. Just his kids. He wondered if another Jaimie was moving toward them, the metal of a weapon digging into his hip as Simon’s own was. But that thought was too tangibly painful, so he kept it close while arresting its pain, like juggling cactus. The woods loomed, the sky again spitting rain, and somewhere in his memory he saw Daneen urging him on, maybe when he was applying for substitute teaching gigs, but now not just cheerleading. She pleaded for him to get home and stop what she’d started; the work she could not complete finished by a lover with a heart colder than winter stone. But Simon knew that heart. It was his own, and as he neared his old home, his pace slowed and he winced, taking in cold breaths. Somewhere nearby a family was grilling food and the smell made his stomach churn. A dark heart too needs fuel, maybe even more, but Simon stowed those thoughts, crossing through the backyard without care for who saw him, noting a new swingset put in. Their house. He’d lost it in foreclosure after Daneen was killed. He started running again, a silent prayer for his children’s safety playing in his mind like a scratched record. Another loop. Another cycle within the cycle. Simon wondered if this race home was what the father of the kids Jaimie killed had endured and he moaned against his body’s fatigue. Just keep going. Just get home. (To be continued…)watch film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales now

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