Prelude to The Wasteland: The Trash Can

This is a short scene I wrote a while ago as an exercise in story for a storytelling course. Enjoy!

On a rainy day after school, Jimmy was being chased home by a group of bullies. Every corner he took, it seemed as though they were gaining on him. No matter how fast he ran he felt like he wasn’t running fast enough. The rain was coming down a lot harder now and the wind began to pick up. He wished he didn’t live so far away from school. From what seemed like directly behind him he heard one of the boys shouting,

“Yeah, keep runnin’ Jimmy boy! Your mommy isn’t here to get you outta this one!”

“Yeah, Jimmy jam,” added another one of the boys. Jimmy jam was a nickname given to him a few weeks earlier by the bullies who caused him to sit on his strawberry jam sandwich while he tried to ask Stephanie Miller, his longtime crush, to a dance.

Jimmy ran harder and harder. He began to feel like the books in his backpack were huge cannon balls that were slowing him down. He then reached a point between the local grocery store and another building, which he thought would make for a quick cut to elude the bullies. I can’t get rid of them, thought Jimmy. They’re gonna kill me this time, I just know it. Here goes. Jimmy made a sharp turn around the corner and into the alleyway, but as he did this, he lost his balance and slipped forward face first into a trash can and was immediately covered by dirty newspapers and rotten fruit. His cheek burned from a fresh cut he received from some broken glass. No sooner than his fall did the bullies reach him, out of breath and ready to pulverize him.

“Ha ha Jimmy Boy, we gotcha!” said the boy who was clearly in charge of the group. He grabbed Jimmy by the backpack and raised his free hand to throw the first punch. The other boys surrounded their leader and Jimmy like a pack of wolves salivating for a fight. By this time, it was raining so hard that it was difficult to see anything and the deafening sound of thunder indicated that things would not be getting better anytime soon. The next moment seemed to occur in slow motion. As the leader of the bullies began to lower his hand to strike Jimmy, lightning struck the trash can he ran into and created an electric force field that repelled the bullies from Jimmy. They screamed in pain as they flew ten feet away from him. Jimmy didn’t move. He didn’t know what to make of what had just happened. I need to get home to mom, he thought to himself. It would be his last conscious thought before he tried to get up from the ground. He was only able to get up enough so that he was on his knees, but just then the lightning struck the can once again removing the force field. Jimmy jumped to his feet, but he wouldn’t get far. The trash can began to levitate and glow brightly. Before Jimmy could take one step, the trash can sucked him inside.


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