"Three damn hours, can you believe it?" I said angrily, as I walked out of the police station with Keiran and Stephan. "That took way too long"
"Yeah, but be happy that all that's happening is our parents are getting called. And knowing my dad, he'll just be proud. My mom will probably just kinda shrug it off." Syralth said.
"My mom and dad expect it by now. They'll just be happy we won and stuff. They'll be a bit upset, but nothing major." I replied, as we headed up 2nd street.
"My parents will be concerned that people are picking on me again, but I can probably just convince them that it was an accident or something. Speaking of which, I better get going home now, they're probably worried about me and stuff. So catch you guys later" He said, as he turned at the intersection of North and 2nd.
"Wait! Before you go, you got a cell phone?" I asked.
"Uh, yeah, the number is 647-8078" He said, as I took a pen out of my pocket and jotted down the number on my arm. "I'll get your numbers later, right now, I really gotta get going, see you later!" He said, as he continued to walk down North Street.
"He seems pretty cool, but he's just so shy." Keiran said to me.
"Hey, man, he's a freaking dragon. You can't help but be a bit wary." I replied to him, as we past the town fire station.
"I don't know, I don't consider that an excuse. He's the most badass creature ever in existence. Why not flaunt that around?" Keiran said.
"Hey, not everyone's like you, Keiran. Some of us like to be human, or would like to be human." I chuckled.
"I'm just saying, if I was in his shoes..." Syralth said, while day dreaming at what could be.
"I know, Keiran, I know. You would love to be a dragon, that's all you go on about anymore. But hey, just be happy you get to know one" I told him, still chuckling.
"Yeah, I know, I know. But still, I mean, he's the one with the wings and the scales, while I'm stuck in this skin. You know I've wanted to be a dragon since, like, forever. He's...I don't know, just not appreciating what he has, I guess." Syralth said.
"It's not like he had a choice though. If I had a choice, I would want to be human, it's just easier that way, no special treatment or anything. And I know if you had a choice, you would be like him, for whatever reason. It's all just a matter of perspective, you know?" I told him.
"Yeah, I see what you're saying, but still...I'm just jealous, I guess. Yeah, it's awesome that I get to be friends with him and stuff, but still, It would be fun to experience what he has, even for a day." He replied to me, as he watched a few flowers flutter in the late-spring wind.
"And I'm pretty sure he would like to experience what you have, even for a day. It's all in the matter of perspective, like I said before. Life isn't some fairytale story where everyone thinks the same way, that would just be illogical." I told him, as we passed 4th Street.
"Yeah, I guess. And you can't always win, right?" Keiran said.
"Right. So cheer up, dude, not winning isn't the same as losing.
"Yeah. I better get heading home now, I'd rather be there when my dad gets the call to see the look on his face, he'll be so proud" Syralth chuckled, as he turned the corner of 2nd and Oak. "See you at the parade tomorrow!" He said as we parted our ways.
Damn...I forgot about the parade tomorrow...oh well, I guess it has to be done" I thought to myself in anguish. I hated the Veteran's Day parade, it eats up practically all day on Sunday. It seems that way anyway. I'd much rather play concert music or jazz than march in a parade. Carrying a saxophone on your neck is more of a hassle than it would first seem. But it had to be done, I was the only tenor sax player in the entire school.
In a few more minutes of solitude I was back home. My parents were still on that business trip with my brother and would be until late Sunday night, meaning I had the house to myself and no one else...but unfortunately, I had to practice for a parade, else Mr. Anderson would be pissed as hell. I walked upstairs to my room and unlatched the case to my tenor. I put it together, clicked all the keys for good measure, and clipped on my lier and music. The songs we we're playing are pretty simplistic and well known. "The Star Spangled Banner", "The Battle Hymn of The Republic", and "She's a Grand Ol' Flag". Simple enough, it seemed. I reached down in my case to get a fresh reed, and picked up a case of them. I opened up one of the little containers, but to my surprise, the reed inside was snapped in half. Must've been a factory mix up or something. I took another on out of the box, but that one was snapped to, and so was the next one, and the next one...
"How is this possible? That was a brand new box of reeds, I never even opened it before!" I thought in frustration as I scratched my head. Then something occurred to me, it was a brand new box that I never opened. When I bought the reeds, the package was sealed, I was sure of it...but then how...Derek. That would be something my little brother would do. I'm gonna kill that little turd.
But there was time for that later, right now, I needed reeds. Mr. Anderson would kill me if I showed up tomorrow without any reeds, and there was no one that would be there that would have any. My only option was to go to DeMero's music store in Scotsdale, and that was a good 20 minute drive, and I didn't have a car available. Neither Keiran nor Matt was old enough to drive yet, Sam couldn't pass her driver's test to save her life, and Tiff worked until ten; and by that time the store would be closed. Looks like I was out of luck. There had to be something I could do...normally Mom and Dad let my drive the car, but they drove that to the business trip, and the Ferrari...no, I couldn't, that car is dad's pride and joy. If anything happened to that car, I would pay for it in blood, I couldn't take it...but it would only take an hour, tops, and those streets were familiar to me. It wasn't like I was a bad driver or anything, nothing would happen to it, and he wouldn't even notice. I knew where the keys were, and as far I as knew, the gas tank was full, and even if it wasn't, there was a gas station at the edge of town. What could go wrong?
I walked downstairs and grabbed the keys off the shelf. I walked down into the garage and unlocked the Ferrari's door. I sat in the padded leather seat, adjusted the mirrors to my liking, and buckled the seat belt. I opened the garage door and started the old cars engine, which purred with delight. I checked the gas meter, it showed that I had a full tank. I carefully inched it out onto the driveway, and turned onto the road. I turned on the vintage 8-track player. Dark Side of the Moon started playing through the old speakers. I quickly ejected the cartridge; I didn't wanna listen to my dad's old-timer music. I adjusted the radio to a very static-y station. It sounded like AC/DC, my kind of music. I sped down the road enjoying the ride and the envious stares of the people on the sidewalk. I decided to treat myself and put the top down, the wind rushing through my dark hair. I found a pair of my dad's sunglasses on the passenger seat and put them on. I felt like I was in the 70's, and it felt good. I turned onto the interstate and sped down the road, the engine roaring with life. I took the exit to Scotsdale, and got stuck behind a red light at the turn. A black Dodge Avenger pulled up next to me, and rev-ed it's engine. I looked at the guy in the car to see him smirking and looking back at me. Seemed he wanted to race. I was confident that with this car, I could easily beat him, he was going down. I rev-ed back, and he nodded and focused on the light. Once that light turned green, we were both off. I wonder what speed this thing could max at? It was an old car, so maybe around 90, but the acceleration would definitely help me win. This thing could probably go from 0 to 60 in about 3 seconds, he should be easy to beat...wait, what was I doing!? This is my dad's car, that I'm not even supposed to be driving, and I'm about to street race with it!? How big of an idiot am I!?
I refocused on the road and waited for the light to turn green. The second it did, the Avenger took off like lightening, as I slowly pulled the Ferrari out onto the road. A few seconds later, I heard the familiar sirens of a cop car, as one pulled out in front of me and chased the Dodge. "Phew..." I thought to myself with relief "That's a relief, that could've been me...and I doubt dad pays insurance on this thing, that would've been bad" I thought to myself. A few moments later I drove past the stopped Avenger. The cop seemed really pissed as he wrote up the ticket. The guy in the front seat of the Dodge glared at me with pure spite, as I drove by.
I continued to drive until, in a few moments, I pulled up to DeMero's. I opened the door and locked the car up, and walked into the small music store.
"Hey, man, I'll be with you in a sec, lemmy just finish up here. Feel free to look around" The clerk at the counter said as I entered. He seemed to be ringing up another customer, who looked like he just bought the entire store out. Amps, stands, guitars, tuners, mics, drums, everything essential for a standard rock band. I took the clerk's offer and walked into the back of the store, where all the keyboards and pianos were. I've always wanted to learn how to play piano, but I never had any time or money devoted to it. I knew a few things from just fiddling around on the schools piano, but not much. I started playing the pianos that were out, making some simple chords and stuff, and playing with all the synthesizers and the cool settings. It seemed like I was there forever, but it was fun.
The man from the front desk then entered the back room where I was. "Looking to buy one of these?" He asked.
"Oh, no...well, at least, not right now. I just need some Tenor sax reeds. You got any?"
"Yeah, of course. Only one size though, I hope that's okay." He said, as he went out to the front of the store. I followed.
"Yeah, it's fine, I just desperately need reeds right now. I have a parade tomorrow in High Ridge. You should come, it'll be fun" I said to him.
"Well, we'll see how busy I am tomorrow." He said, as he rung up the box of reeds. "That'll be $10.72" I reached inside my pocket, but found nothing.
"Where'd I put my wallet..." I asked myself out loud, and the cashier patiently waited. Then I remembered, I left it inside the Ferrari. "Ah, wait, it's in my car, lemmy just go grab it" I said, as he nodded. I walked outside to where I parked the car...and found nothing. Just an empty parking space, no Ferrari to be seen. I froze...I must've parked it somewhere else, I'm probably just distracted. That must be it. I started to walk away at a frantic pace, but stopped when I noticed something on the ground. Skid marks. Leading away from the place I parked my dad's car. Oh no...this can't be happening. I ran inside the store frantically. "Did you notice a red 1976 Ferrari pull out recently?" I asked.
"No, can't say that I saw anything, although I did hear quite an impressive engine roaring a few moments after you came." He said; a look of concern on his face.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!" I shouted at the top of my lungs. Screw common curtsy, my life was going to end tomorrow when my dad notices a Ferrari missing from the garage.
"Is something wrong?" The clerk asked, obviously a bit frightened from my outburst.
"My dad's 1976 Ferrari was just stolen! Along with my wallet and cell phone!" I said, gripping my head in frustration...how did it even get stolen? I patted my pockets...nothing. I must've left the keys inside the car! But I locked the doors...but didn't put the top back up...I'm such an idiot!
"That is a problem...well, at least there's insurance and stuff for that" He said, trying to find a bright point.
"No, there isn't...there's no insurance on the car. It was never supposed to leave the garage. It's my dad's pride and joy, but I needed a car. And now I'm fucked. I can't even call the cops or anything, or they'll bust me for not having insurance. Fuck my life!" I said.
"Wow...that's really bad. There's not much I can do for you, bro. You can use the phone to get someone to pick you up, and the reeds are on the house" He said, as he handed me a phone. It was pointless though, no one could possible pick me up, and even if they could, I don't know anyones number off hand. I took the phone and looked down in agony and tried to think. Who could I call? Then I saw my arm, and remembered. I still had Stephan's number on my arm. It was worth a shot. I dialed the number and waited for an answer.
"Uh..hello? Who is this?" A familiar voice said through the phone.
"Hi, Stephan, it's me, Kevin. I'm in a bit of situation and I need some help." I said through the receiver
"Uh oh...what happened?" He asked me.
"Long story short, I needed to get reeds for my saxophone, I drove out to Scotsdale, and my car got stolen. Is there anyway you can come pick me up or something?" I pleaded.
"Oh...wow. Yeah, sure, I can get my parents car and I'll pick you up. Where are you?"
"I'm at DeMoro's Music store. Pretty much, from town, go south onto the interstate. Travel down until you see an exit for Scotsdale. Go on the exit, and just travel down the road. Eventually you'll see a sign for DeMoro's. That's where I am"
"Um...ok. I'll be there as soon as I can...see you then." Stephan said. I hung up the phone and sat down in the chair, my face in my hands. How could I have let this happen? That car cost over $500,000, and I let it get stolen. I'm a dead man tomorrow night, I just know it...I can't believe this happened. But there's nothing I can do now...nothing. I picked my head up from my hands and looked around the abandoned shop. The clock on the wall read 7:34, I had a good twenty minutes before he came.
"Mind if I go back into the piano room again?" I asked, I needed something to preoccupy myself with.
"Yeah, man, go ahead" He replied to me, as I walked to the back room. I turned on one of the synths and had my fun. To my surprise, it actually had a bit of a piano lesson program installed in it, that could be fun. I set it up to go. The first thing it showed on the little screen was a lit up piano figure, with some of the keys highlighted. The heading on it said "Key of C major" and had a treble clef and a bass clef on the side, each with no sharps or flats in the key signature. Beneath the digital keyboard, it had "W-W-H-W-W-W-H". I remember learning something like that in band one day. It was the relationship of the notes in a major scale, or whatever. I played the notes in the order that it appeared on the keyboard on the screen. It sounded like that standard Do-re-mi scale thing. That makes sense, I guess. I pressed the up arrow next to the screen. It was basically the same set up as the last screen, but it had "Key of G major" at the top instead, and new notes, and one sharp in the key signature. I played those notes, and it sounded like the Do-re-mi scale again, but lower. I continued to scroll through the other keys, some of them pretty interesting, like 7 sharps and 7 flats...how do people even remember that?
"Hi...I'm looking for Kevin...is he here?" I heard a friend's voice say from the front of the store. I guess my fun was over. I walked out of the back room to greet him.
"Hi, Stephan..." I said solemnly. "Let's go..." I said, as I walked to the door, with him following behind me. I looked back for a second. The cashier had the most relaxed face I've seen so far for someone who has seen a dragon for the first time. He just smiled and waved goodbye. I climbed into the passenger seat of Stephan's Subaru and sighed.
"So...what happened?" Stephan asked, as he pulled out onto the road.
"My little brother snapped all my reeds in half, and I needed them for tomorrow's parade. The only way I could get any was to go to that store, and the only car I had was my dad's '76 Ferrari. I took it out, everything seemed fine and all. I almost got into a street race with a black Dodge Avenger, but other than that everything was fine. I got to the store, parked, and, stupid me, left the top up and the keys in the car...it was stolen, doesn't have insurance, and my dad is gonna kill me." I said angrily.
"That's bad...wait, did you say a Ferrari and a Dodge Avenger?" He asked.
"Yeah...why?" I asked, a glimmer of hope in my eye.
"Hang on" He said, as he sped past a corner. He put on his turn signal, and turned onto a dirt road that seemed to lead to the middle of no where.
"Where are you going?" I asked him, as we traveled the bumpy road.
"When I was coming up here, I saw two cars turn on this road. One was red and older looking and one was black and newer. I think it might have been your dad's car." He said, as he continued down the road. It seemed to lead out of the city, pretty far out of as well. Soon the lights of Scotsdale were dimming and the only thing visible was the road in front of the car. We traveled down this road for about 10 minutes, before we came to what seemed like an abandoned barn. Parked next to it, though, were two cars, one of them being a 1976 Ferrari.
"Oh my god, it's here!" I said, as I went to open the door. But before I could Stephan locked the door.
"Hold your horses, we can't just dive right into this. These guys stole this car, they're not playing around, and won't like that we're taking it back." He said. "We need a plan"
"Good point, but what can we do? They probably pulled the keys out of the car" I said, thinking of a solution.
"Does your dad keep a spare set of keys in the car or anything?" The dragon asked me.
"He might...yeah, I think he does, in the glove compartment. We should be able to use those" I said.
"Hmm...but what if he doesn't? Then what do we do?" Stephan asked.
"Well...I'm not sure. I really don't know." I said, defeated.
"Well, I guess we can hotwire it...I haven't done it in a while, but I still remember how to do it. That can be our second option. Now, how do we get to it? My suggestion is to park my car way out of view somewhere, and the walk through the woods over to the car. We can get in the front seat, stay low, and fish out the keys, or hotwire it if we need to. The we travel away and get as far away from them as possible. Head the opposite direction from town, and keep going until we lose them. That is, if they even give a chase. Then we go out, grab a pizza or something, and relax for about an hour or two. We go back to where we park the Subaru, make sure no one is following us, and go back home. Sound like a plan?" Stephan proposed.
"Sounds like a plan" I said. He made a U-turn and traveled on the dirt road for about a mile, and parked in the woods, out of view. We both got out of the car and made out way back to the barn. After a few minutes, we were back looking at the two cars.
"Ok, so on the count of three, we book it over to the car. Keep low and quite. I'm not sure if the doors are unlocked, so don't even try, just jump in. Once you get in, get down under the dash so that they can't see you if they tried. I'll take the driver seat, just in case we need to hotwire, and you take the passenger. Once your in, open the glove and check for the keys. The rest is self explanatory. Ready?" Stephan whispered.
"Ready" I said, as I readied myself for a sprint.
"One...two...three!" He said, as we both took off like lightening to the car. It wasn't too far to run; it didn't take long to reach the car. He jumped in the front flawlessly, and I jumped in the passenger. I got down as far as I could under the dash, and Stephan did the same. That was the worst part, it seemed we were in the clear for now.
"Ok, now check for the keys" Stephan instructed.
Suddenly, I heard a clank in the car. I wasn't sure what it was, maybe Stephan just hit something. I looked back at him, but everything was cloudy. There was some sort of white fog blocking my vision, it was getting hard to see. My eyes were drifting closed, too, I couldn't keep them open. I felt my whole body relax and go numb...so tired. I was so tired...I just wanted to sleep. And I did just that.