Hey there all, AaronDragon Here with the prologue of a new story for your reading pleasure…. Tomorrow i’m going to see if i can squeeze in chapter 1 for this and chapter 17 for D.I., it’ll be tough as i gotta go to a family party (I am NOT letting my cousin give me sicknesses by means of soda this time, last week was not fun…..)
Anyway I’ll do some cleaning for this later on, but for now enjoy!!!!
“Mr. Davis, I regret to inform you that based on your credit history and the sheer amount of debt you have I can’t qualify you for a loan of this degree. Perhaps I could offer you a 5000 dollar loan at a 33% percent interest, but considering all the risks involved you would need to but your residence up as collateral for any loan you take.” He said it with a look of pity but that didn’t do anything to soften the blow.
I looked at the balding man in a suit sitting in front of me, I was trying my absolute best not to let this newest piece of bad news get to me.
$5000 isn’t enough, it isn’t nearly enough… I’ll need at least $25000 to have a chance for getting dad that treatment… Shit, how am I supposed to get… Shit…
“Please there has to be something better than that, some loan I qualify for that offers more. $5000 just isn’t enough money, maybe something like a high interest long term loan or some sort of investment…” I said my desperation starting to color my voice.
I was beginning to lose what little control I had over myself, I was usually a lot better at controlling my reactions than this but that talent was beginning to fail me. This was my last reasonable resort, I had tried everything I could think of to raise the money for the experimental treatment besides begging for a loan I couldn’t afford like this. I had sold my car, my apartment, the vast majority of my possessions, my blood, one of my kidneys, and I had even whored myself out to an escort service yet even with all that I was still a little over $30000 short. I was out of possessions to sell that I would be able to live without, my genetics and current health condition being what they are had all but stopped my ability to legally sell any of my sperm or organs or even my blood now for scientific or medical purposes, and without risking arrest or worse by actually selling my body to strangers this was my last real chance. Well this and dying with the hope my life insurance was enough to help dad.
The man in front of me whose desk reported was named Howard sighed and scratched at the back of his head.
“Look Mr. Davis, you have four outstanding loans at other banks and credit unions. The only reason I’m even offering you the $5000 loan is sympathy for your position, your medical records alone already show how much of a liability actually loaning money to you is regardless of anything else…”
…Of course he would have my records… Fuck, if a small bank like this can get access to them then I’m utterly screwed. No one’s going to lend money to a guy with a time-bomb in his brain…
That was the stickler of having a tumor in your head the size of a golf ball, it tended to mean you’d be dead before you would be able to pay back any loan you take out. Honesty this guy must be really sticking his neck out for me if he knew that and was still offering me anything at all, it made me wonder how tragic that file on me siting on the desk in front of him was.
I powered through the throbbing pain of my migraine that had been my constant companion for the past month and made sure my expression was pleasant and reasonable. Over a decade of acting experience had far more perks than just looking good on my resume, over the last few months I had learned all sorts of uses for my talents. Skills that made me the highest earning escort at Lancelot’s Companion Service, skills that let me lie through my teeth in front of the most skeptical loan shark without even a hint of dishonesty that could give me away, skills that allowed myself to bluff my way out of sure death seven times in the past year. Needless to say giving a smile to the man going out of his way to help me as much as he could wasn’t too hard for me.
“Then I’d be happy to take the loan you suggest, please. I’ll sign whatever you need me to.” I said with a grateful and slightly ashamed smile.
“Sure thing Mr. Davis, I’ll just bring up the application form right here… Oh, and just so you know I’m routing for you kid. My wife is a breast cancer survivor, so I know some of what you must be going through. What stage is your-…” He said.
“Dad’s stage four, I’m a lost cause since mine is inoperable.” I said cutting him off, I had grown to hate that pitying look people gave me when they tried to talk about my family’s situation.
“Oh God, that’s worse than I… How long-…?” the man said in shock.
“Dad a year at most without experimental treatment. Me? Another month at most with the understanding that I’m likely to have a fatal aneurism at any moment…” I said as I took the form out of the printer and began putting my signature and information on the designated places.
“Shit kid, I’m sorry… Are you sure that your insurance or something couldn’t help with this? If you keep taking out loans you’ll get arrested for fraud soon, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next place you tried reported you to the cops.”
I just handed over the paperwork, the health insurance company my family was quick to inform my dad and I that our policy didn’t cover what we had. It was the same deal when mom’s MS got bad a few years back, they only covered basic treatments and wouldn’t touch anything with the words experimental or optional near it no matter what we did. When she died all we heard from the insurance company was that our rates had increased.
“I’ll keep that in min-…” I started before a sharp crack sounded and cut me off, there was a quiet moment of confusion that was broken almost immediately with shouting.
“EVERYBODY ON THE GROUND!!! I SAID ON THE GROUND BITCH, THE GROUND!!!”
I looked back at the main floor of the bank to see a man with sunglasses and a scrunched up hood concealing his face yelling at a terrified woman. He was holding out a pistol and one of the guards was slumped up against a wall holding his shoulder with a grimace, the guard’s white uniform slowly had red stain it spreading from the shoulder the guard was holding.
It took a moment before the reality of the situation registered with me, but I still recognized it before most and moved to lay on the ground face down. This had been the third time I’d seen someone shoot someone else this week, and honestly after being in situations like this enough times I was beginning to grow used to them. I made sure that I looked to be in that facedown and helpless position gunman seemed to want when they robbed a place and began making my way slowly to a safer position out of the man’s line of sight, I had learned over the last month and a half of my life that this was the best method for surviving something like this. There were a few screams and other noises of panic as people began to recognize what was happening, but a few cracking noises and shouts later the sounds died out. That’s when I stopped moving and looked up to see the situation, I had managed to get to the left side of this guy and away from the teller stations and personal finance desks.
Pretty decent spot, I should be ok as long as he doesn’t single me out for some reason… now to just calm down a bit, can’t afford to get stressed out…
I focused on finding the quiet place inside myself and keeping my breathing steady and even, I willed my heart to slow down its frantic beating and forced my body to stop reacting to the fear I felt. This was I trick one of my acting coaches showed me as a kid to help me calm down and fully embrace a role, I had used it ever since and practiced with it to find the best way it would work for me. Now I use it to keep my heart rate and thus the chance of a fatal aneurism or clot in my brain down, it also helped at times like this when I needed to look and act calmly. It was a handy trick for all sorts of stuff and luckily it helped me tune out what was going on in the bank and refocus on what I needed to do now.
So I guess I won’t be getting a loan from this place or any other bank now, huh? I guess that leaves me with turning to robbery myself or… Dying… My life insurance should give dad a minimum of $15000 so that leaves another 15000 huh? I guess I could try the black market again, but I don’t think selling more organs would be able to cover the loss and it might invalidate the insurance if I die on an underground doctors table during an unsafe surgery… Then what’s left? Fundraising? No all the organizations that would help financially wouldn’t be able to offer much that’s why I started doing all this in the first place… I just don’t have enough time to get the money legally, huh? I guess that means I turn to crime… Turn… to… crime?
I opened my eyes wide at that thought and looked at the man forcing a young bank teller woman to stuff bills into a duffel bag, I had just had a sudden epiphany. It was true that no movement or organization I could put together or join would be able to raise enough money in time for dad to try the experimental treatment that could help him go into remission, there was just no way to raise enough awareness or interest in a single cancer case like dad’s like that. Then again there was a quick way to get lots of attention and plenty of media coverage, it would even garner tons of sympathy and good will from random strangers.
Everyone likes a good tragic hero story, especially the media… I bet they would also have a field day if said hero sacrificed himself to help others while in a personal situation like mine… They’d play it up for weeks on local news networks, and maybe even get us some national attention… I can see it now: “Man sacrifices himself to bring down bank robber, his father dying of a terminal case of cancer with only one hope to save him. What were the man’s last words? Find out at seven…”. If I can pull this off right all the problems will be solved in one go…
I didn’t really want to die, hell that’s why I had never seriously considered committing suicide no matter how bad life got. Not out of some noble sense of the sanctity of life, but just pure selfishness. I didn’t want to die, so I never really thought of suicide as a possibility for me. I doubted there was such an ideal afterlife like heaven if there was an afterlife at all, so why face that sooner than you had to? Even when I found out I would never make it to my 23rd birthday, I still wanted to live as long as I could.
Now it wasn’t about my wants or could’ve beens, now was about cold realism and facts. Fact one: I was going to die fairly soon and nothing was going to change that, I had a month or so before the doctors say I’ll end up comatose and after that I’ll just die in my coma. Fact two: my father had advanced stage lung cancer and his only realistic shot at life was an expensive experimental virus treatment that showed promise. Fact three: this was the only plan I had that could actually end up getting dad the money for the treatment he needs without to much major fallback on him. When you consider that the choice is fairly simple, the only question was how to pull it off.
Even as I thought about that point I started carefully and quietly crawling towards the gunman, even if I didn’t have a plan I would have to act soon anyway or my chance would slip away. The problem was I was a fine-arts student, my talents were in word-craft, acting, drawing, and a few of the softer sciences. I was an intellectual type who wasn’t even all that good at sports, let alone an action hero. The only thing I had going for me was my admittedly twisted mindset and world view, and that wasn’t going to help much against a gun.
Making eye contact with a husky bank guard laying down near the teller stands, I mouthed be ready and tried to convey with my eyes that I was going to try something. He mouthed back what looked like “don’t be a hero” and “this is stupid, don’t do it” but I ignored him. I didn’t intend to survive this anyway, no need to dwell on the stupidity of what I was about to do.
“Look lady, I said keep your hands were I can see them while she’s putting money in the bag! You move again and I shot your fat ass, not having any of you smartasses tripping a silent alarm on me…”
I stood up as quietly as I could and then forced myself to be calm and in control, my heartbeat was steady and my breathing was easy. I could do this, it was just another role. Robert the hero, a man who doesn’t hesitate in the face of certain death. Even if I was nothing like that I could at least act like I was, and really that’s all that mattered in the end.
“HEY ASSHOLE!!!” I shouted as I began to move, he turned and looked shocked for a moment.
I rushed him, moving at a dead sprint at the gunman while he raised his pistol. I heard a crack and saw a flash as the weapon went off, I felt an intense pain shoot through my shoulder. I did my best to focus and ignore it, and all the while I ran through the pain.
Another crack and flash, another pain this one in my stomach. I was slowing down, I couldn’t help it the pain was too much for me to keep up my run like that. Instead I leapt at the guy, I crashed into him as another crack sounded and pain jolted through my right arm.
I struggled with him for the gun with my good hand, I was having a hard time focusing on what I was actually supposed to do now but I felt like getting the gun away from him was a good start. I rammed my head into the man below me and finally got a grip on what I thought was the gun. There was another crack and I felt my body jolt, the flash of pain cleared my mind for a moment and I remembered what I was trying to do.
“I’ll hold him, I’ll hold him so HELP ME!” I called out, it didn’t matter who came just that someone did.
“THE FUCK YOU WILL!!!” the man below me called out as he struggled harder.
I was never the strongest guy around, but now I could actually feel myself getting weaker. There was a sort of numbness spreading through my body from my chest and I could tell that I wouldn’t be able to hold this man down much longer. Since that was the case I did what I could do, I squeezed hand that was around the man’s own hand and the gun.
I heard the gun go off and felt another jolt in my stomach. I squeezed again.
Another jolt, another squeeze. Jolt, squeeze, jolt, squeeze jolt, squeeze, jolt, squeeze.
Nothing. I squeezed again, nothing. I could vaguely hear noises around me, but they were indistinct and fuzzy. I felt something grab me and move me away before shaking me and pressing down on me in places. I felt that I was forgetting something important, but it was hard to think through all the numbness.
There was something I had to do, right? Something important? What was it? …Oh yeah Dad… Have to help dad…
I started to mumble about my father and how I need to help him, I didn’t know if I was saying things in the right order but I guess that didn’t matter anymore.
“Dad… Need money for… Dad… Bank… Cancer… Gotta help… Dad… treatment… I gotta… dad… treatment… money…”
I had noticed my headache was gone now, it was even getting easier to think clearly. I was positive I was dying, and I just hoped that I had done enough to get media attention and help garner enough sympathy to have people raise money for my dad’s cancer treatment. I couldn’t even tell if I was speaking anymore and everything was starting to blur out.
I had just enough time to wonder once again if there was an afterlife, and hope that it wasn’t hell before I felt myself slip away. It was like falling into a deep sleep, and all my thoughts faded away into the blurred greyness.
And so that’s it really….. i’ll be adding other stuff like the Q&A page for this later, so look forward to that all two of you who might consider using it…
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