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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1987009-What-if
by L.K.
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Mystery · #1987009
Daydreams can be better then real life sometimes
So here she was, sitting by herself drinking a coffee in the food court of the shopping centre. Earlier it had slipped her mind that the contents of the take away cup would be hot, which it was. When she took that first sip the scolding hot liquid embraced her tongue and flooded into her mouth. All she could really do was swallow and grimace as she felt it burning down her throat.

"What a good start to the new year." She croaked.

For the next 20 minutes she sat breathing in the cold air just to try and cool her poor tongue. Eventually she was able to actually drink the coffee as it reached that dangerous level of heat where, at any minute, it could go over the thresh hold of perfect drinking temperature and plunge head first into the depth of sickly, gross, cold coffee. But she drunk it anyway, it being the first drink of the day.

You wouldn't have thought that two days ago she was off, in a car, travelling all over place for 10 days. They had been some amazing 10 days. She's seen beautiful landscapes and pitch black nights. Where the night sky was not spoilt by the constant buzz and contamination of urban life. Going from sleeping in the car, which actually wasn't that bad because it had heated seats, to luxury, soft, cosy beds that you never wanted to leave or that cheap B&B in which the beds felt more like stone slabs and probably had more bodily fluids caked into the sheets then she dared think about. But it was an adventure, it was something new every day, and now it's back to this. Every day is pretty much the same. She hated the same, the repetitiveness; the normality of it all. How people plodded about in their happy little lives, pretty oblivious to everyone around them. Modern, civilised, social life was a droll.

She watched an old couple, arm in arm as they meandered through the aisles of the shop, browsing through the many wonders on the shelves and things that no one probably actually needed, but they were enticed to think they did. Simple lives it seemed but no matter how much she hated people, she wondered what it was like in their little world. How they viewed everything and what this little old couple had lived through. Did the see they war? Maybe only as kids but what was it like? What was it like going through decades that seemed so different and crazy to what seems to be at a constant state of boring, skinny jeans and weird puffy jackets. She'll never know of course and she dared not ask.

She slipped further into her daydreams, allowing herself to start to be fully absorbed. Wondering what it'd be like if she were a character in a book. If she was in a book, what genre would it be? Right now she wished it was an action adventure, or an adventure at least. Or perhaps a fantasy or detective novel. Though of course people died in those genres, regularly. So if she was wishing this, did that mean that in some weird way she was wishing people dead? She shrugged the thought off and shook her head. Of course not. She eyed the shops in the upper level before peering through the glass banister surrounding the huge hole in the floor which allowed you to see the level below. There she noticed a jewellery store, the various shiny objects sat proudly in the windows smugly as if no one could touch them. Yet more material possessions that people didn't need but crave to own. She sighed, tilting her head to the side and biting her lip gently. Her thoughts began to wander again, running at full speed towards the idea of life being a book. It this were a book then suddenly...

There was a crash and the doors of the jewellery store were blown open scattering glass and stone across the shiny floor and destroying the dead tranquillity of the centre. Screams filled the air as people hurried away, most probably in fear for their life. Out of the fog and rubble 3 figures walked out, each wearing a mask to cover their features. Two of them had guns while the other held a bag over their shoulder, no doubt full with expensive necklaces, watches and rings.

"Get down!" One called in a surprisingly high pitch but definitely masculine voice.

He hissed, pointing his gun at a small group of innocent pedestrians who, promptly, dropped to the floor shaking in terror. The other waved their gun at people the other side and they dropped accordingly. The third, the one standing in the middle, glanced around waiting for everyone to drop to the floor, or perhaps checking there wasn't any security or police, who knows.

A tall, slender man with short, wild ginger hair vaulted over the railing on the first floor. People around on the first floor gasped, expecting him to fall and break something or even die but he didn't. Almost disappointingly. Granted his descent was pretty rapid but as he neared the floor, inches off he slowed and his feet lightly touched the ground, followed by a girl, the coffee drinking girl, but without coffee now.

"You! Stay where you are!" One with a gun said, pointing it at the pair. "Or I'll shoot you!" The man in the middle chuckled and shook his head.

"Not a wise choice." At this the man lowered his gun and looked at what seemed to be the leader.

"What?" But the leader ignored him.

"Took your time."

"We were drinking coffee." The girl retorted.

"Ah, I see. Nice to see you again lil lady." He said, nodding to the girl. "But we all know you can't do anything. What you just did was illegal."

"What we just did?!" The girl fumed "you just robbed a blooming jewellery store!"

"Different rules lil lady. You two care about breaking the rules and being told off by mummy and daddy." He mocked. "Whereas we, we don't give a damn."

The girl had heard enough and the red head knew this. He smiled pleasantly and stated.
"That may be so, but she can still do this."

As the words left his lips the girl swung one long leg and her floor connected with on of the armed perpetrators right in the side. He stumbled, gasping.

-----------------


It was a funny thing, the look on the robbers faces as one of their trio fell to the floor totally, 110%, no doubt about it, unconscious. Granted you couldn't actually see much of their faces under the masks they wore except their mouths, eyes and occasional stray hair, probably the point she thought. Though she had noticed a very evident, bushy blonde moustache on the one who now lay sprawled across the floor. It was quite a memorable one from what she could see, and very well looked after. Sort of reminded her of a teacher she'd once had in school. Strange. Though of course it wasn't him, he had died, a very sad occasion.

She was rudely yanked back out of her thoughts by the sound of the red head calling out to her and with quick succession all the air left her lungs and she was falling back, no she was flying back. The other armed man had seized the opportunity to strike while her attentions lay elsewhere, he'd dropped his gun and ran at her, the gun sliding towards his boss. His shoulder had connected with her chest with immense strength and now they were hurtling through the air. Sooner or later going to fall in a tangled heap on the floor or hit something. They hit something.

The girl felt a rib or two crack as her back slammed into the pillar, stopping her, and the man momentarily kept going. She let out a pained wail and crumpled to the floor, the man still on top of her. He was heavy and well built, she could tell that now. Made worse by the pain shooting through her torso.

Her body was buzzing as she gasped for breath but it wasn't easy. She mustered up her strength and pushed at the man, who had got his bearings seconds earlier and was pinning her down, his fist drawn back ready to strike but by the time she had noticed his fist contacted her face and the world got knocked into a funny, dizzy, starting to fuzz angle. His fist hit her again and again as she tried miserably to defend herself. By the forth punch she managed to lift her arm enough to knock a blow destined for her face, into the floor. He cried out, half out of pain, half out of pure shock. This gave her a chance, a split second to retaliate, throw him off more. How better than a head but? Right to the nose. She felt part of his nose crunch on her forehead. Good. Gross, but good. He roared up, not pinning her down anymore and before she could do anything else he was being dragged off her.

While his partner was battling on the floor the red head had told people to just get out. He'd then spun round and as he reached his partner the robber was rearing up with pain. The red head grabbed the back of the cloth mask, grabbing hair with it, and dragged him off the girl. He'd gone to draw his weapon when he heard a shot. A warning shot. It echoed through the shopping centre and everything fell into a deathly silence once again. No one dared move. Some bystanders had escaped but the others, the slower one or ones closer to them had all stopped, all staring at the scene. The bullet hit very close to the girl and she sat there, eyes wide and blood dripping slowly down her face. No that would be inaccurate, eyes huge would probably be the right description. The boss had picked up the gun which had slid to his feet and now just wanted to get on with things.

"Enough. This is getting tiresome. Leave, both of you." He then turned to the other people. "You have 5 seconds."

To which the breaths returned while panic and desperation filled the air, so thick you could quite possibly had a slice of it if it were a cartoon. After what was probably more then 5 seconds the boss turned back to the pair, his gun still pointed straight at the girls head.

"You seem to forget." The red head purred "both your men are down."

"It's just you against us." The girl injected but the boss just chuckled, this genuinely tickling him.

"Are you two stupid? There is a gun pointing at you!"

Remaining calm the red head added,
"At her, your gun is pointed at her, not me. By the time it'd take you to aim at me I could quite easily draw mine."

"Very true. You would just let me shoot her?"

"I'd rather you didn't, of course. Besides making things more difficult for me if I return alone, it would make more mess. Rubble is one thing but a body? That can't just be dumped by the police. It's also a lot more paperwork."

The red heads eyes flicked to the girl, she smiled. This was a signal. Well she hoped it was. If it wasn't then she'd catch both men off guard. Her bruised hand pressed painfully on the floor as the conversation continued, but she had zoned out. She could feel the stones in the ground, the mud deep down there mixed with clay, and of course the concrete. Her focus deepened as she put all her remaining strength into the ground but obviously this showed on her face a bit too much.

"What is she doing?"

The boss’s voice for the first time seemed to fill with panic. The red head smiled his sweet smile again and clicked. It was dark. Not like someone turned off the lights dark, like someone just stole the sun dark.

"What are you-?!" The boss started to move so she couldn't wait any longer.

The ground around him cracked and crumpled. Parts of the concrete, fake marbled floor protruded from the ground, sticking in the air like a tiny volcano had just opened up at his feet. He called out as he began to fall, being-...

Oh who was she kidding? It wouldn't be like that. Her realisation that her imagination had flown too far away had dragged her back in to reality, leaving her chest feeling heavy and a lump in her throat. She wouldn't be the cool girl that helped the hero, she'd be one of the scared little shoppers ducking and praying for her life. Maybe not praying. The closest thing to what would actually happen in that story was she would probably be the idiot pedestrian that got beat up, or ever killed. She giggled to herself at this, much to the confusion of a passing youth. Chucking her empty take away cup in the bin she headed for the escalators, smiling at the thought of having powers. That WOULD be pretty cool.

-----------


By the time she had reached the other end of the shopping complex it was pretty busy, though that was to be expected as it was a weekend. This is pretty much how she spent her weekends now, either wandering around people watching and drinking coffee with the occasional spot of shopping or staying at home relaxing. Right now she wished she had chosen to do the latter today, there were WAY too many people. It was pretty hard to push through the never ending waves, of which none really wanted to move out the way for anyone. She smiled to herself, overhearing fragments of multiple conversations that, put together, made no sense at all. Yes it may have been a better idea to stay at home for the fact of there being no one else around but if she had she couldn't be here. No matter how much she said she hated it, it wasn't strictly true. She did like being out like this, it was nice to see different people wandering around in their little worlds and occasionally she would bump into people she knew. Although most of the time it was someone she didn't actually want to talk to and was confronted by "we haven't talked for ages!" Which was very true, they hadn't but it was probably for a reason.

She noticed the old couple from before settling down at one of the little cafes situated in the middle of the walk way, dividing it into two separate walk ways. They really seamed in love those two, it was nice and without realising she had a smile on her lips and wasn't paying attention to where she was going. A woman rushed passed with bags in both hands, clipping the girl's shoulder.

"Watch where you're going stupid!" She heard the woman hiss and walk away cursing under her breath.

Her own fault really, she should have been watching where she was going but still, rude much? In the girls head the ground below the woman started glowing, making others around her gasp and move back. In pure shock and confusion the woman froze on the spot, staring horrified at the floor.

"W-what's going on?!" She yelled, knotting her brows.

She began to shake and sweat started to roll down her forehead. Suddenly the light got incredibly bright, causing those observing to cover their eyes or look away. The rude woman dropped the bags and screamed, scared now then suddenly it stopped. Silence filled the area and no one knew what to say or do, or what even just happened. Some couldn't even see yet, as their eyes hadn't refocused after the blinding light. There, where the woman had been standing just lay her bags, no sign of the woman at all. After a few seconds someone moved, and just walked off. Closely followed by another, then another and pretty soon everyone was just continuing with their daily lives, stepping over or around the bags which lay on the ground, deserted. She shook her head, literally shaking that thought out of her mind.

Out of the corner of her eye she saw a gap in the swarm and headed towards it, her heart beat fastening at the thought of breaking free from this madness. She twisted to the side to shimmy past a man, him doing the same with great ease. It didn't even seem like he had to think about it, he just glided. A sweet scent filled her lungs and she looked at him, knotting her eyebrows. It can't be. That man, the sweet smelling one look just like him. The one from her daydream. But he wasn't real of course...right? She had stopped by this point. Staring at the man as he started disappearing into the crowd. She took a step forward, starting to go after him but was brought back to earth by hearing her name being called in a familiar voice.

"Ivy!" They called.

Ivy. That's right, little coffee drinking daydreamer's name was Ivy. She sighed and headed towards the voice. Breaking free of the crowd she stole one last look behind her in the direction of the man then returned her gaze the bright face of her best friend, Heather. Ivy glanced back over her shoulder, furrowing her eyebrows again letting that last moments of her daydream follow that man
"what if...?

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