On the Road By Jack Kerouac

“I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Professional Writing assignment: ‘Salem’s Lot genre transformation- Horror into gangster

John had alerted his parents that the ATM machine was not working, when the lobby lights began to flicker. A flow of gasps filled the air and the customers froze. A bullet through glass quickly turned those gasps into screams. And within seconds, thousands of glass fragments burst through the lobby, shooting through the air as if to escape their frame.                                
It was then the sinister figure stepped through the space in the wall, the soles of his black shiny shoes against the marble floor and the odd coin dropping to the ground were the only sounds to be heard in the next sixty seconds. That minute felt like an hour as eyes in the lobby blinked continuously from Costello to Officer Gold, praying for a hero to save them. As Gold reached for his gun, his heart was beating intently fast, increasing with each inch closer his hand moved. He raised his colt revolver slightly above his head, and aimed it with no intension of shooting. His hands were drenched in sweat making his grip on the handle weak.                                                                      
From the corner of his eye, Gold spotted John tugging his Mother’s hand trying to drag her quietly towards the exit that lead to the back alley. Jack stood quietly in front of them looking around for something to use as a weapon but struggled. His fists were clenching tightly, red circular dints were forming from his fingernails.                                                                                                   
 Costelllo slowly crooked his head and stared intently at the threesome, his thin pink lips stretched into an unsettling smile. His eyes narrowed, creating thin creases in his tanned leather-like skin. As he started towards them slowly, he ran his hand through his dark slicked back hair and raised his gun towards Jack.                                                                                                                                
With one swift pull of the trigger, a loud bang echoed in the bank followed by a sudden splatter of blood against the white wall. Jack’s body slumped to the floor with a crunch as he fell on top of shards of broken glass. A continuous pulse of blood flowed out from the gaping hole in his head. Maria shrieked in pain while running towards her husband’s body.                                            
Within seconds, another loud bang issued. Maria’s body then fell flat on top of Jack’s. The wall in front of Costello was newly painted in red and a puddle of the same colour was slowly spreading beneath the lifeless bodies. John screamed in fury and impulsively ran at Costello.            
“And here you are!” Costello yelled in his thick Italian accent, his voice rough and deep. Viciously, he hit John around the head with the gun and wrapped his arm tightly around the boy’s neck.
Gold was now stood with both hands on the gun, shaking. He was still in astonishment from the sudden shot that caused massive chaos in the bank. From one moment of warning the Clark family of staying away from the Mafia, and Jack denying such dangers, to the next moment of obscene violence.
The bright lights of the bank had soon vanished almost as quickly as the lives of John’s parents and had been replaced with a shadowy dimness.          Costello dragged John over to the bank teller, with one hand he had John’s face pushed up against the glass, his other holding the gun to his head.                                                                                                                                                                               
“In the name of the law-“                                                                                                          
Gold slowly stepped forward, still holding his gun high. Still shaking. He aimed his gun directly at Costello’s head, but as he went to pull the trigger, his foot slipped on a puddle of blood. Gold skidded a few feet forward, leaving a stained smear across the floor. Followed by a bang, Costello yelped in pain as he clutched his shoulder, dragging John with him. He kept his hold on the boy with his uninjured arm and in the other, preserved his grip on the gun.
“You take one more step and I’ll blow his brains out!”    With difficult force, Costello tilted the gun towards John’s head, grunting in pain from his wound. Sweat was spreading along the collar of his black cotton shirt. Pit stains forming on his jacket. Gold came to a halt.                                                         
“Back the hell away,” Hiding behind the pain, Costello managed to force a smirk. “You keep your distance okay, big shot?”                                 
Gold never lowered his gun keeping his guard up at all times. The veins in his hands were pulsing from the fire of the gun as he stood with his arms trembling.                                                            
They faced each other.                                                                                               
“Finally together huh guys!” Costello said, smirking. His ragged skin was glistening with sweat, yet his smile was quite handsome - in an impish sort of way.  As Costello tilted to the side, Gold noticed the initials printed on his collar. Familiarity struck him. He’d seen them on the collar of Accardi’s shirt, a ruthless gangster who terrorised his neighbourhood when he was a little boy. The reason his Mother wouldn’t let him stay out past six o’clock and why gun shots were heard at every turn.     
Each evening after his Mother had read him a story and tucked him into bed, he would lay listening for the clinks and clangs of his Father double locking the front door and shutting all of the windows. The image of Accardi on the front of the Chicago Post was burnt into his brain. That familiar smirk with thin dark eyes and a slick moustache.                                                                                         
“What now?” Gold said, his voice deep and breathy. His eyes were locked on Costello’s dirty fingernails wrapped around his gun handle. The barrel was pushed against John’s jaw.          
“Well big shot, maybe we can arrange a little give-and-take. A nice juicy reward in exchange for this little guy.” Costello tightened his grip around John’s neck, hoping the boy would let out a cry of pain, but John gritted his teeth and kept silent.                                                                                                               
“You’ll be crying if I shoot you, little guy!” Costello spat his words at John as the sweat began to drip down his cheeks.                                              
“That’s enough, keep your hands still!” Said Gold.                                          
“Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. Give me a reason not to, big shot.”           
“What do you want?”                                                                                                  
“Throw your gun across the lobby. Let’s leave the law out of this shall we? Just two fellas against one another.”                                                                              
“Yes.” Gold said, trembling in this boots.                                                                             
“Fucking throw it then!” Costello bared his pearly whites. The space between his eyes brows crinkled as he licked the sweat above his lip.                              
“How do I know I can trust you? It would be a safer bet to loan you all of the money in this bank and trust you to pay it back!”                                             
“Okay big shot, I’ll prove my trust.”                                                                       
Costello threw his gun to the floor and released his arm around John’s neck. John stood in bewilderment, unable to grasp what had just happened so quickly. So easily. He blinked several times before returning back to Earth, and sprinted towards his parent’s lifeless bodies.    
“John, go!” Gold cried. “Get the hell out of here!”                                          
John looked over at Gold, his eyes full of tears. “They’re dead officer. They’re dead!”  
John dragged himself up and positioned himself face to face with Costello. “Not long now, little guy,” Said Costello softly. “You and I will—-”             
John pulled his arm back and with what little strength he had, wacked Costello around the face making him stumble. Costello paused before raising his head. He began breathing heavily with one hand leaned on the bank wall. Gold thought for one second that he saw steam coming out of his ears.         
Who the hell do you think you are kid?” Costello growled. The vein on was forehead was pulsing vigorously.                                                                                   
“Back up!” Gold yelled, and pointed his gun out in front of him as far as it could reach. Costello raised his hand across his face to shield himself. Gold pulled the trigger of his gun, and the darkened lobby was temporarily lit with the flashes of three shots, all missing Costello’s body by a few inches.
“I swear, I’ll kill you.” John said.                                                                                                               
He then fled the lobby. The last light in the bank had left.                           
Costello stepped forward, and to Gold, it seemed as if he’d gained a foot in height. He flipped back the few strays of hair from his forehead and removed the scarf from Maria’s neck to tie it around his wound. Costello was wearing a white suit with a black shirt underneath. Gold felt the contrast between the two colours was absurd. To him, Costello should have been all in black. His dark eyes stood out considering the thin shape of his lids from the burning scowl he shot at Gold.
“Your turn. Throw your gun, hero.”                                                                                       
“I am a police officer!”                                                                                                 
Police officer!” Costello laughed uncontrollably. It washed over Gold like a wave of filth.
Gold stood without a plan of action. Why should he throw his gun down and make himself vulnerable? From being a small boy he was told one thing repeatedly, never trust a gangster.      
The voice in the back of his head warned him of the consequences of defying this dangerous man. You’ve already missed more than once big shot. Is it worth another try? For all he knew, there might only be one bullet left. One more chance. He wasn’t sure his aim would suffice.                                      
Gold’s hand was sweating and his grip on the gun was slipping fast. His eyes shot over to Costello, who was now steadily walking towards him, one side of his mouth curved up into an unnerving grin.
“Back up,” gold said, his voice breathy and rough. “I command it, in the name of the law!”                                                                                                                                          
Costello laughed at him.                                                                                                             
Gold gripped his weapon as tight as he could and pulled the trigger. The lobby was deadly silent as the fatal clicks of an empty gun echoed loudly. As Costello moved increasing closer, Gold began to back away quickly, his body hitting the blood covered wall, which stained the navy blue of his uniform.                                                                                                                                                      
“Where you gonna run to now, tough guy?” Costello smiled and tilted his head.                              
“You a fan of Honoré de Balzac, officer?” Costello lingered on the last word as      if it had no meaning.                                                                                                                   
“Well officer, he said ‘Laws are spider webs through which the big flies pass and the little ones get caught.’ And I’ll tell you now, I’m a horse fly.”                   
Costello leaped forward and smacked the gun out of his grasp. He then recoiled in pain from his injured arm. In the same moment Gold recalled his mother crying as Accardi ran down his childhood street, releasing gun shots as he passed. Costello chucked the gun to the floor, and it landed directly next to Jack’s hand.             
“You won’t get away with this!” Gold cried out.                                                                               
“Oh yes I will, and by the end of it tough guy, everyone’s gonna know what a hopeless piece of garbage you are. Where’s you’re shield officer? You’re not even proud to shove that in my face. Your gun might as well have been a water pistol.” Suddenly in the dimness of the lobby, Costello punched Gold with brutal force, causing the back of his head to smack against the red wall. He now laid dazed out on the lobby floor. He could taste the coppery pang of the blood that dripped from his nose. The coldness of the floor amongst the pain in his head somehow soothed the throbbing.         
“Tut tut tut, poor officer. When I first saw you arrive, I thought maybe you could fit in with the wise guys. We’d straighten you up, get you a nice suit to fit around that beer belly of yours, but you haven’t succeeded my expectations officer. Looks like you’ll have to join your friends on the other side.”                                                                         
“No! No…Please-”                                                                                                                         
Costello had already picked up his gun and aimed it at gold’s chest.                        
“I’ll shoot you in the heart tough guy, ay? It’s not as if you got any passion in there anyway.” He pulled the trigger and the small amount of life that Gold had in his eyes quickly faded.

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