May 8th, 2006

Theatrical Muse: Week 125: Question 125

Name: Conrad Ecklie

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Word Count: 533

Who was "the one that got away"?

His stomach, his insides, churned as he walked along the concrete pathway, dark, even though they were lit up at regular intervals by streetlamps. There was a curse, a murderer, lurking around every corner, he was sure.

Even though his gun rested in his holster, which hung off his belt, hard, cold, smooth and heavy, it was one of those very few times that a rumbling, niggling, nagging, destructive feeling struck at Conrad Ecklie’s gut. Usually, whatever feeling his body wanted him to feel, was just reigned in and dismissed as something that didn’t need to be concerned about. Sure, he let his emotions show, and he smiled and laughed, occasionally, and all those things, but he had so much control over his emotions, that it was mostly, up to him, as to whether he showed one or the other, or not. His life was all about pretending, all around pretending and not letting people see the real man who lay on the inside of his cracked and broken, yet seemingly immaculate and strong, shell.

There were lights, but the streets, the pathway, they still seemed as dark as the oil slick black night sky that hung above him like some threatening menace just waiting for him to slip up, trip up, and fall over and downwards into oblivion.

He had gone to the store, greeted the old man he had known since his childhood, bought some milk, and walked out. Why he hadn’t just driven there, he wasn’t exactly sure, but his legs had just been itching to do some walking, just dying to take a stroll. And then he’d left the store, and slipped back out into the inky black darkness that was night. Surprisingly, it was, actually, quite a dark night. This was a surprising fact, somewhat, to him, because it was, after all, Las Vegas that he was living in. The City of Sin, probably just as much as it was the city of great big fucking neon lights.

Turning the first corner, the fear had gripped the CSI, hard, and right in the stomach, like a swiftly made, diamond hard punch. What had set it off, he didn’t exactly know, but he did know that it was there, that it was real.

When he reached the road that broke up the concrete path so that it could get through, he looked both ways, made sure it was safe, and then crossed. All of a sudden, he broke into a run.

It might have seemed funny, to see a middle aged man sprinting down one of hundreds of Las Vegas streets, with a plastic paper bag, containing one carton of milk, hanging, flapping and flittering off one arm, as if it were a streamer. Even though nobody saw him, while it may have seemed funny, it was not. Because, it was one of those very few, very brief times, that that very man lets his emotions shine through. And when that happened, when he showed another side of himself, the one was scared, afraid, lonely, and terrified of dying, there was nothing funny about it. His missed his wife, he missed his parents, he missed his everything and everyone.
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