"I wonder if I would die if I dove off this building?”
“We aren’t ready for that kind of test yet. Why
did you take the injection, are you crazy?”
The man, wearing black jeans, a black t-shirt and a
white lab coat, stood near the edge of the building.
Twenty stories up.
“There’s no way anyone could survive jumping from
“I know… don’t even think about it.”
The man in black leaned over. He could feel the wind
on his face. As high up as they were, the wind was a lot
greater than on ground level. He leaned over, looking
“It’s high, but not that high…”
The man in black turned to look at his friend.
The man fell toward the ground. The wind rippled his
face, forcing his mouth open. The white lab coat flapped
as he spread his arms and legs. He counted the floors as
he went down.
He pulled his hands to his side and tightened his legs
beside one another, imagining how it would feel to fly.
But he was only a few feet away from what would most
likely be his end.
He noticed how close he was and shifted his body. He
imagined that maybe if he could land and roll, he would
be okay. Surprised at how easily he could maneuver
himself, he got into position.
He was ready for whatever outcome; he believed in
his experiment. He thought about all the testing he had
done so far. It had to work.
The man in black landed on his feet and rolled.
Without breaking momentum, he rose and continued
running. He was uninjured. He’d landed. His experiment
worked. His white lab coat flapped as the speed at which
he ran was greater than he could ever imagine. He circled
the building he had just jumped from a few times before
taking off down the nearby highway.
“I’m running almost as fast as these cars!”
He leapt up, grabbed onto a street light and swung.
After pulling himself up, he jumped again, landing on the
roof of a nearby house. Jumping once more put him on
top of a taller house. He leapt from the house to the
street and ran. The speed was addictive. He didn’t want
to stop running.
He was getting tired.
He ran to a nearby field, as he thought it was a safe
spot. His vision started to blur. He stopped running and
took a seat in the grass. He thought about the jump from
the building and how dangerous it was, but that was all
he could remember. He passed out.
Moments later his friend, the man that stood with
him atop the building, arrived.
“Tracy? Mr. Jones?” he said.
There was no answer.
“I think he’s okay, let’s get him back to his office…
This idiot. I told him we weren't ready for human trials.”
The man in black slept for several days. When he
awoke, after a brief scolding from his friend and partner,
he resumed his experiment. He wanted to make it better.
He was happy with his success, but it needed more work.
Chauncy arrived at the HD Shop a little earlier than
usual. The HD Shop was a home electronics store,
Chauncy’s baby. His pride and joy. He was the owner and
founder of this popular store. The HD Shop was a onestop
shop to get all the latest televisions, stereo equipment,
and other home electronics and gadgets. A very
high-end store in the growing city of Charlotte, North
This morning, Chauncy didn’t just show up early
because he had a boost of motivation. Someone had
called him in. Not an employee or a customer… it was the
police. What awaited him was very disappointing. He
put his whole life’s work into this store, and it had done
well for him. He lived a comfortable life with all the luxuries
that went along with the fantasy of being a business
owner. What he saw as he pulled up and got out of his
car left him distraught.
The front window of the store was shattered. A large
cinderblock brick sat on the floor just inside the store.
That cinderblock was used to break the window and gain
entry. Someone had robbed the HD Shop. Shattered
glass covered the floor around the block. A closed sign
hung on its frame, broken partially from its mount but
still lit as it swung back and forth.
Through the broken storefront window, the view
inside showed there were no damaged items, but clearly
missing items. Someone had moved the display shelving
of the new large-panel TVs around. Several were missing.
Movie players and computers were also missing from the
shelves. The thieves had their pick of items and meticulously
grabbed things they wanted. They even took all
the accessories that went with those things.
“It was like they had all night,” Chauncy thought to
He also thought about how it looked like the thieves
had a plan and the layout of the store.
“Could be an inside job, but anyone can walk in a few
times and get the layout of the store,” Chauncy thought
A few workers surveyed the damage. A replacement
window pane was staged nearby, ready to install and
replace the damaged one. Chauncy walked through the
HD Shop to the back of the store, to his office.
The back office of the shop was lush. One side of the
room was an oversized leather couch. On the other side of
the room sat a large, mahogany executive-style desk. The
highest end personal computer sat on that desk. Mounted
on the wall were several surveillance monitors. Chauncy
stood in his lush office and looked around. He looked at his
computer for a few minutes, and then looked over at his
surveillance monitors. Shaking his head, he tapped away at
the keyboard on his desk while guiding his mouse around.
Two police officers waited in Chauncy’s office.
Chauncy walked by them as he came in as if they weren’t
there, showing no acknowledgment of their presence.
Officer Ryan, a forty-seven-year-old black man, was
writing notes on his notepad while Officer Ford stood
impatiently. She shot Chauncy a look as he walked past,
expecting some type of address, but there wasn’t one.
Chauncy typed on his computer. His face grew with
anger as he typed. He kept looking at the monitors,
trying to process what happened. He looked at the
screens for moments which turned his face red, but
before his cool could leave him, he calmed himself.
“How is it I have owned this store for ten years, and
not once have I been robbed or broken into—but in the
past two months, it has happened three times! What the
hell am I paying you for?” Chauncy said as he aimed his
glare at the police officers.
“To keep my shop from being broken into! That’s why
I’m paying you!” he added.
Chauncy looked at his watch, and then walked over
to the file cabinet mounted on the wall. He took out a
set of keys from his pocket.
“Sir, I know this is unfortunate, but we are here to
help,” said Officer Ford. “So, you said—”
“Excuse me, Miss Ford, I know I don’t actually pay
you, and I apologize for saying that,” Chauncy interrupted.
“I’m just mad and frustrated.”
Chauncy unlocked the top drawer of his desk and
grabbed a TV remote. He sat it on top of the desk. He
then reached back into the desk and picked up a
prescription pill bottle and opened it.
“I accept your apology, don’t worry about it. You are
upset, and it is understandable,” said Officer Ford. “Also,
it’s Officer Ford.”
Chauncy dumped a few pills from his prescription
bottle into the palm of his hand. He lifted his hand and
tossed a pill in his mouth, no water, chewed and swallowed.
He put the rest loose in his pocket as he returned
the prescription bottle to the desk drawer.
“Officer Ford it is,” Chauncy said.
“So, you were saying you had surveillance film of what
happened?” said Officer Ford. “Can we see that?”
Chauncy grabbed the remote from his desk and
aimed it at one of the surveillance monitors.
“That’s some set-up you got there,” said Officer Ryan.
“I didn’t even notice the cameras when I was walking
through the store.”
“Yeah, I spent a ton of cash on this so that no one can
see the cameras,” said Chauncy. “Got my house wired the
same way. I hit this switch, and…”
Chauncy leaned over to his computer and pressed a
button. All the monitors went black. After a second, they
all returned and there was a bedroom on the screen. On
another screen, a living room. The third showed the
front door of someone’s home. Basically, every inch of a
house was being displayed through the monitors on the
“Is that your house?” Office Ford asked.
“Yes, it is, and the cameras are just as invisible there
as they are here,” Chauncy replied.
Chauncy went back to the computer and switched
the monitors back to the store cameras. He pointed the
remote at the screen and started the playback of some
video recorded during the break-in. Everyone focused
their attention on the monitors mounted on the wall.
Each one displayed a different angle of the robbery. All
played in sync.
The video started.
Three thieves stood outside the store, wearing a" black.
One thief slung a large cinderblock through the #ont
The other two ran inside a$er the glass fe". They rushed
to the seventy-inch flat-panel TV, while the first thief grabbed
a movie player #om the shelf.
The lights of the van backing up near the #ont of the store
came into view. The van doors opened, and the thieves loaded
the stolen items. A$er the thieves finished loading the van, one
thief ran back into the store and grabbed a handful of cables.
Fina"y, a" the thieves got into the van and drove away.
“Do you have sound on this?” said Officer Ryan.
“Yeah, let me turn it up and I’ll replay it.”
Chauncy pointed the remote and started the video
again, this time with sound. They all watched again as
the thieves committed the crime.
“Did you hear? Somebody said something,” said
Chauncy reversed the video again and played. They
watched the deed again and got to the part where the
thieves were about to run back into the store. They
heard a voice from off camera.
“Who said that, was it the driver?” Chauncy asked.
“They said ‘go back and get some cables, those things
are expensive.’ Some nerve,” said Officer Ford.
“Who cares how expensive cables are when you stole
the TV you need them for!” Chauncy yelled.
“From the video, we can’t make out any faces, but we
would like to hold onto the footage if possible. One thing
we do know, they knew exactly what they were going in
there to get. They have been in your store before,” said
Chauncy leaned over to his computer and loaded a
drive into the USB port.
“Sure, I’ll make you a copy. Just a sec.”
Chauncy tapped a few keys on the keyboard and
copied the video to the drive.
“I need to be out on the floor more often. I need to
know if people in here are actually shopping, or just
getting a shopping list together to come back later and
steal my merch!” Chauncy said.
He pulled out the drive and handed it over to Officer
“Mr. Peters, I would say take notice of your
customers… but that’s it. There is a whole lot more
paperwork involved with a murder versus a B and E,” said
The three of them left Chauncy’s office and walked
out to the showroom floor. They looked around for a few
moments before Chauncy escorted the officers through
A few employees had shown up for work. They were
shocked as they looked around, wondering what
happened. The workers finished replacing the storefront
window pane and were now packing up the job. Chauncy
noticed the employees.
“One of you get a broom and clean up this glass.
We’ve got to open the doors in thirty minutes,” Chauncy
Jeff, a personal trainer from a nearby gym, walked by.
He stopped when he noticed the damage.
“What happened, someone broke in again?” asked
“Yeah, third time in the last two months. They got
the seventy-inch this time,” Chauncy responded.
Officer Ford walked by Jeff. She stopped and looked.
Jeff was a very well-built man, very easy on the eyes, and
Officer Ford noticed.
“Please tell me he broke into your store. I’d love to
get him in cuffs,” said Officer Ford.
“Miss—I mean, Officer Ford…” Chauncy said with
surprise in his voice.
“I was being Miss Ford that time. You got it right,”
Officer Ford answered. “I am human! Who is he?”
“That’s Jeff. He works at the gym down the street.
Used to be my wife’s personal trainer. Had to put a stop
to that,” Chauncy said.
They both laughed.
“Rodney! Get someone to help you bring another one
of those seventy-inches from the back,” Chauncy yelled.
Chauncy and the two officers stood in front of the
store for a while as they went over the final details. The
employees continued cleaning and getting the store
ready. One employee had the TV turned on, watching
the morning news.
“You see this?” said one employee.
The fi!h family has gone missing last night in
what seems to be a serial kidnapping epidemic. The
other four families were kidnapped while returning
to the city. They were held hostage for approximately
a week, and then let go. A" their belongings were
stolen. The identities of the kidnappers are sti"
unknown. They didn’t ask for a ransom or anything,
just held the families for a week, then let them go.
More at noon…
“Turn that off! We don’t need anything depressing
playing when the customers come,” Chauncy said. “They
need to be smiling, happy, and ready to spend money.”