The story is from Da’s perspective on the day he disappears. The story starts off when he is running from the man to the fig tree.
Step. Breathe. Step. Breathe. My legs scraping against the burnt grass, the white, blinding sun ahead of me. The feeling of metal is predominant in my mouth, sweat cascading off my forehead, striking me like foggy, watery, glasses, panic surging up from my throat. Hold it down mate. Step. Breathe. Step. Breathe. I quickly turn back and catch a glimpse of him, he hadn’t given up. He was still chasing me. With my adrenaline pumping, I keep going. I just need to make it to the tree. My eyes latch on the gnarled, fig tree. Precisely, I’m six hundred and forty two meters away from the checkpoint. I don’t know what I was thinking. I could’ve run to my house or George’s because I know his mum doesn’t work. But Adaan is my safe place. So I kept running. I run past Lake Scarborough which is now covering the old town. I run past the road which is now used as a boat ramp. I run through the narrow mud trail with sharp, prickly bushes on either side. And then I’m there. I made it. I reached the checkpoint. I’m in Adaan.
I made it to the tree. I looked behind me and I saw that he wasn’t there. I took a sigh of relief as I wandered around the tree. My heart slowed down and my breathing was back to normal, I was safe. Suddenly, I heard footsteps in the distance. I looked over to where I heard the noise. Oh no. There’s the man. Running towards me. What do I do? I think to myself. I hide behind the tree.
“Where are you, kid?” Says the man. I gulp. I hear footsteps coming closer. Oh no I think. I run. He sees me, and runs after me.
“Come back!” He says. I felt myself fall. I felt something trickle down my leg. I looked up, he was getting closer. I tried to get up but fell straight back down. I don’t know what to do anymore. I give up and let him catch up to me.
“I’ve got you now.” He said under his breath. He grabbed my arm and pulled me up forcing me to work on my now probably broken leg.
“Why are you doing this?” I say in sort of a whisper.
“You’ve hurt me. Now I hurt you.” He said roughly. I let out a whimper as we keep walking. I feel my eyes closing as I fall to the ground.
I wake up tied to a chair. I look around I only see wood walls, a small window and a door. At my feet lies a simple envelope and a pen. The door opens, the man comes in.
“Write your brother’s name on the envelope.” He says as he unties my arms.
With shaking, dirt and blood caked fingers, I write my brother’s name on the envelope, Jack Carpenter, 7 Rifle Range Road, Scarborough 4926. Memories flash back to the time when we were laying in the grass, watching the ugly yellow tent. That stupid tent! Why did it have to be there? Why did we stay and throw rocks at it? We’re so stupid, I was so stupid. The harsh breathing pluming at my face, his gashed forehead dripping down his nose and splashing onto me. His eyes, eyes of pure darkness staring like hollow tunnels back at me.
His words, those stabbing, spiteful words, “I’ll bury you beneath that tree”.
A harsh blow is struck across my face, losing my train of thought.
“Get up!” he screamed.
I stagger to my feet clutching my cheek. I limply and gingerly hand the letter to him, which he snatches away.
“Those boys will be looking for you, but not for long” he chuckles as he slips a pixilated photo of the tree into the envelope.
Blood pounding in my ears, my legs, well one leg has gone numb. What does he mean? He turns his back, I take this opportunity and shove him away, taking him down, I stagger/limp towards the door. Just before I reach the handle, I feel a harsh pull against the back of my shirt, choking me to the ground. We wrestle on the floor, but he is too strong and before I know it, he’s on top of me pinning me to the ground by my throat. I look up to see his eyes blazing at me, his breath ragged, he speaks,
“You idiot, you will never escape, for I always fufil my promises”
I see a glint of silver behind his back and know it’s too late as he starts to raise it above his head.