Tuesday, January 31, 2012
GOODBYE, LOFU By Destin, age 10
“Take care of yourself,” my mom said. She lay on the hall carpet. Blood dripped down her forehead and oozed into her eyes.
A red beam pointed at my brother’s head and I yelled, “Watch out.’’
“What?” he said.
A bullet crashed through the kitchen window. My housekeeper hit the ground. Her blood dripped onto my foot. I was only eighteen years old.
Paramedics arrived in an ambulance. Bright lights blinked in my eyes, burning them. Across the street, my neighbor stepped off his front porch. From his direction, I heard the click of a gun cocking. The sun reflected off the barrel of his revolver and shined in my eyes. He pointed it at me. I ducked. The bullet hit a boulder behind me. He ran across the street and kicked me to the ground, smiling and giggling. He pointed the gun at my head.
“Any last words before I blow out your brains?” he said.
I was about to yell but my brother Lofu ran across the street and kicked the guy in the stomach, grabbed his gun and shot him through his head. Then my brother carried me into the ambulance.
I woke up in the hospital strapped to a stretcher. A lady was screaming. Crimson knives lay on trays next to bowls filled with bloody water. A man with a hole through his heart rested on a stretcher. I thought they might take my heart also. A nurse rolled me into one of the rooms and transferred me onto a bed with wires connected to an outlet. The sheets felt soft and smooth. A doctor told me to open my mouth. He threw a sleeping pill onto my tongue. Yellow ducks swam through my dreams. I couldn’t see anything. Black clouds hovered in the sky. I was in my brother’s arms.
I opened my eyes. Lofu had me flung over his shoulder. We were on our front porch. He jabbed the key into the lock, but it got stuck.
“Crud,” Lofu said. He climbed onto the roof with a hose somehow. He found a rope and threw it down the chimney and opened the door from the inside. I walked to Lofu’s room. The floor creaked. He stuffed a shirt into a suitcase.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Nothing,” he said. “Go pack up.”
I trudged to my bedroom and looked at a picture on the wall. My dad hovered at the edge of the frame, catching a football. My mom sat on the bleachers behind him, smiling and clapping. The picture was taken when I was eight. My family had gone on a picnic. I remember throwing the football. It spiraled across the field. My dad caught it. He ran, dodging my attempts to tag him. He jumped and reached the end zone. Touchdown! My mom clapped. “Yay,” she said. We ran to our car. My father turned on the radio. Pitbull was singing, “Rain Over Me.” I sang as we drove. At home, I crawled into bed and pulled the sheets up to my neck.
This was before the trouble.
My stomach growled. I crawled to my dresser and grabbed a Pitbull CD. I stuck it in the player and turned it on. Let it rain over me. I walked to my brother’s room.
“Let’s go,” Lofu said.
We headed out the door. The cool breeze blew through my hair. The sun shined on my face. As I walked, I fell into a deep sleep. I saw food everywhere. Grass grew carrots, trees grew chicken and rivers streamed with Coca Cola.
Back at home I awoke to the sound of sizzling in the kitchen. My brother came into my room with a tray of steaming hot sausages and scrambled eggs with green onion. There was a fork and a knife on top of a napkin.
“I’ve never seen you cook food for me in my life,” I said.
He laid the tray on my lap. I could feel the heat through the blanket.
“It’s burning my legs,” I said.
He lifted the tray and I pulled off the blanket. My skin was red. I placed the tray on my desk and kicked the blanket off.
“What the heck are you doing?” said my brother.
“It’s so hot,” I said.
I leaned over the tray and picked up the knife and fork. I sliced into the eggs. I tried to stuff them into my mouth. The green onions almost made me puke. I walked to the kitchen and threw the eggs in the garbage. They smelled like fish. I put the plate in the sink. I heard footsteps coming. There were creaking noises in the hall. I took a peek.
“What are you doing?” my brother said.
“Um... throwing away the eggs because I’m full,” I said
“Do you even know what you’re doing?”
“You are just wasting my money.”
He threw a tomato. I dodged it. It splattered on the wall. I grabbed what was left of it and threw it at him but he caught it and all the juice splattered on his hand. I ran across the kitchen and we looked inside the tomato. A worm slithered through its seeds.
“I guess you don’t even know how to pick good tomatoes,” I said.
He threw the tomato back at me and the worm hit my face. It crawled around my scalp and must have laid eggs. It felt so itchy. I scratched my head and killed a baby worm with my fingernail. I went to my room and got some Raid. I told my brother to look at my head. He cut off four hairs and placed them on a plate. It looked like a hundred lice were sleeping on each strand.
“Your scalp is infected,” said my brother.
“Really. What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know. Maybe if I take you to a veterinarian,” he said. “I think I’ll help you get to the hospital.”
“Okay. Let’s go.”
We hurried to the Lamborghini. White flames snaked along the sides of the car. The headlights blued the midnight sidewalk. My brother drove. As he turned, I shook right and left. When we arrived at the hospital, we walked inside. There were two glass doors that opened automatically. A man lay against the wall near the entrance. His t-shirt read “Max is the best.” I signed a piece of paper on a clipboard and handed it to the nurse. We walked to room 415. I heard footsteps in the halls. I ran to the main entrance. Lofu looked at me through the glass. He opened the door.
“Hurry, they’re coming.”
“Hurry!” My brother dragged me down the sidewalk.
“If you get out of this building I’ll call my buds to come and get you,” someone yelled from the window. His voice was deep and full of sorrow.
Lofu and I rushed away from the building. The man took out his walkie-talkie and said, “They just rushed out of room 415.”
We ran as fast as we could. We jumped over fences. My brother found a ladder and climbed onto the roof of a house across the street from the hospital. I followed him up then we threw the ladder in the bushes.
“Why did you do that?” I said. I looked over my shoulder. The men began pushing through 415’s window.
“Stop clumping the door way,” said the guy in the Max shirt.
I rushed to follow my brother. We hopped from roof to roof and jumped to the ground. We rolled across the street.
“Where do you think you’re going?” someone said behind us. It was Deep Voice, the guy from the window of 415.
I kicked his thigh. Then he looked up. I kicked him in the face. Max watched the violence. My brother sneaked behind him and took his gun. We ran across the street and hid in a Chinese produce market where my dad’s friend Andy worked. He wore a white apron. We hid behind the cash register. Deep voice and Max ran inside the market.
They showed Andy pictures of Lofu and me. “Have you seen these two kids running by?” Deep Voice said.
“No, I haven’t,” said Andy.
The two men took off.
“See ya,” I said to Andy, and walked out the door with my brother. We ran behind the house next door to the produce market. I heard a voice.
“Go check inside this house,” the voice said. I peeked around the corner. The voice belonged to a guy with fuzzy hair and black boots. “Search the perimeter. Go door to door, make sure they did not run away,” Fuzzy Hair said.
“Shh,” I said to Lofu.
“You always act like you’re dad,” my brother murmured.
“What did you just say?” I asked.
“Huh, oh nothing.” Lofu found a ladder in the bushes and laid it against the wall. He climbed onto the roof.
“Where do you think you’re going?” I said.
“It’s called a sneak attack,” he said. “Quiet down.” He jumped down and darted across the street. Fuzzy Hair ran around a house across from where I stood. My brother pushed him to the wall but Fuzzy Hair pointed his gun at him and said, “Just kneel to the ground so I don’t have to shoot you.”
I froze. My guns were in the car. My brother kneeled down and smiled.
“What do you think you’re laughing about?” he asked.
“Behind you,” my brother said.
He turned around but there was nobody there. When he turned back Lofu was pointing a pistol at him. “Just put your gun on the ground so I don’t have to shoot.” Fuzzy Hair moaned and fell on his back.
Max appeared from behind the house and threw a blade at Lofu. As it pierced his heart, the grass crunched and Max’s golden hair swooshed around the corner of the house.
“Why did you do that?” a guy with a crow tattoo said. “We could’ve kept him for good information.” He placed his hand on Max’s shoulder.
“Who cares,” Max said.
Crow Tattoo whispered, “He looks like Sherry. Maybe he’s related to her.”
I ran to Lofu and pulled out the blade. I tried to throw it at Max’s head but Crow jumped in front of it and Max ran across the street. I ran to the Lamborghini and grabbed a gun with a scope. Both men were inside the house. They peeked through the windows. I pulled Crow into my crosshairs and fired but he moved too soon. I tried firing again. No ammo! The two men disappeared down a hall. I grabbed a grenade from the glove box and approached the front door. Footsteps echoed inside. I threw the grenade at the porch and dove into a row of bushes. Flames roared from the house’s windows. Black puffs of smoke hovered in the sky. Sirens blared from down the block. I ran to the Lamborghini, jumped inside and drove off.
A yellow mustang swerved into me on the freeway. The guys in the Mustang wore black masks. One of them glared at me like he knew me. His mask left his eyes exposed. I knew those eyes. I knew who it was. My dad.
I kept driving, cutting off other cars. The Mustang swerved in my direction and I stepped on the brakes. The masked men zoomed past me and crashed into the median. I glanced in the rearview. They kicked open the doors, squirmed out and flagged down a Camry. One of the masked men opened its door and threw the driver on the pavement. I drove to my house. My brother’s keys still hung from the lock. I opened the door and took a bottle of Coke from the refrigerator. I twisted the cap off and slouched down on a wooden chair.
About the Author
Hi my name is Destin. I am ten years old and I live in San Francisco with my dad, mom, and my sister. I like to play with my Maltese dogs, Lexie and Crystal and I like to play Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. I want to be good at drawing. When I grow up I want to be an inventor or a veterinarian. If I were a machine I would be the snake machine at the Academy of Sciences because I love snakes. My favorite book is Trouble in Madagascar, and the author of that story is me! The scariest moment of my life was when I was doing laundry with my sister in the basement. It was pitch black. I couldn’t see a thing. When we got closer to the washer, the light turned on! If I could go forward in time I would want to go to the year 3011 because I want to see if people will have flying cars. My family comes from Vietnam. If I had the chance to go, I would because I have never been there and I would like to experience how hot it really is. The languages I speak at home are Chiuchao and Vietnamese.