An Unfinished Piece

The following story is an untitled piece by Isaac Nemetz, a sophomore at Clark. This piece of writing is meant to be an allegory for the September 11 attacks, and it is part of a draft of a longer piece Isaac is working on. Being from New York City, Isaac was affected by the attacks in a personal way, which is why he chose to center the piece on this subject.

An Untitled Piece

Isaac Nemetz

The boy’s footsteps echoed through the vacant streets. He swung his arms madly, spit flying from his open mouth, as the grey buildings and black streets whizzed by. The boy stopped at an intersection and looked around; he heard no one and saw no one. The silence disturbed him. He knew he was still being followed and continued running.

He ran over a mile but the cityscape remained unchanged; only vacant skyscrapers, all gray and windowless. A full moon peeked out between the rooftops. Out of the corner of his eye the boy saw a figure, shrouded in darkness, on the road to his right; the figure held a sword which gleamed in the moonlight. The boy ran faster now; he didn’t know where he’d find shelter, only that he had to keep going.

Eventually the boy reached a warehouse bursting with colorful light. The building wasn’t metallic, cold and grey like the skyscrapers, but brown, maroon, and orange, built with warm, uneven brick. Beams of green, yellow, blue, and white light burst out of the tall, glass windows. The music coming from the warehouse shook the entire block. From a hundred yards away, the boy felt the bass vibrating in his chest. Seeing this aberration, the boy’s heart leapt with hope. The boy approached the door and turned around to survey the area. The figure stood facing him, fifty feet away, weapon in hand. The boy screamed and bolted through the warehouse door.

Inside the boy found himself in the middle of a party. Strobe and neon lights illuminated the dark room. A DJ played music at a deafening volume on an elevated deck in the corner of this massive space. Everyone was dancing.

The boy ran up to a young man and grabbed him by his shirt sleeve. “Help! You have to help me, he’s coming to get me!” the boy shouted over the music.

The man looked at the boy and wrinkled his eyebrows. “How did you get in here?” the man shouted.

“There’s no time, he’s here right now he’s going to kill me!”

“Go tell the DJ,” the man pointed to the deck. “He’ll help you.”

The boy crossed the room, pushing and weaving through the dancing crowd. He reached a staircase and ascended to the platform where the DJ stood alone. When he reached the top of the stairs, the boy looked back at the front door; it opened and the figure glided inside. The figure flipped a switch next to the door and white, fluorescent light flooded the warehouse. A few people looked around in confusion, but the crowd ignored the light and kept dancing. The boy looked at the figure with wide eyes. He wore big, baggy jeans, a black, hooded sweatshirt and black leather gloves. The hood hung low, concealing its face.

The figure approached a man, the same man the boy asked for help. The figure raised his sword and smoothly lopped off the man’s head. The head rolled to the ground, splattering blood across the dance floor, but the dead man’s expression displayed serenity. He walked through the room, killing everyone. He gored a woman in the abdomen, picked her up on his blade, and dropped her in a heap. With every step he swung, sending limbs tumbling to the ground. One person screamed and a few fled, but the majority kept dancing. Why won’t they leave? the boy thought. The boy wanted to yell to the crowd to run, but his voice died in his throat. The boy turned to the DJ who’d remained transfixed with his music, ignorant of the slaughter. “Can you help me? He’s coming to kill me,” the boy yelled.

Looking up from his soundboard, the DJ said, “escape through that window,” he pointed to the exit.

The boy ran to the window and took a last look at the party. An inch of blood stood on the floor. The figure, wading in his massacre, had nearly reached the stairs. The survivors kept dancing, their feet sloshing in gore. The DJ returned his attention to the soundboard and the party went on. The boy slipped out the window, hurried down the fire escape, and dropped onto the street below. Why should I survive? he thought.

The boy ran, his fear of death immersing his consciousness; he soon reached an intersection where the figure stood in front of him, impeding his path. The boy saw its shining sword, dripping blood rhythmically onto the concrete. The moon illuminated their confrontation, but left the rest of the city black.

The boy couldn’t rationalize how the figure caught up to him but he didn’t have time to think. He tore off down the street to the right, away from the figure, only to find the monster in front of him again. The boy doubled back the way he’d came; he wanted to give in and succumb to death’s unavoidable embrace, but he kept running.

The boy ran until exhaustion. He stumbled to a stop at a moonlit intersection and surveyed his surroundings; he was alone. The boy sighed.

A hand clamped the boy’s shoulder. The boy jumped, spun around, and screamed; the figure loomed over him. The boy fell on his backside and crawled away.

Keeping pace with the boy, the figure walked towards him. The monster reached down and lifted the child by the scruff of his neck, dangling the boy’s life in front of his veiled face.

The boy begged the figure not to kill him, but he stopped trembling. A calm came over his mind.

So this is how it ends.

The figure held the boy and waited. “You won’t die today,” the figure said, letting go of the boy. He dropped his weapon and walked away.

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