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Hideaway
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TITLE (EDIT)
Hideaway
DESCRIPTION
After her father is killed by members of the Italian Mafia, Semara Menaratti is placed in the Witness Protection Program.
[1,173 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Suspense
AUTHOR
Laura Peruzzi
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
-
[June 2001]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (1)
Two Days Of The Beginning Of My Life (Short Stories) A teenage girl finds understanding in her surroundings after 48 hours of drunken adventures. [1,486 words] [Teenage]
Hideaway
Laura Peruzzi


  The warm Florida breeze blows peacefully today. Palm trees sway back and forth, dancing to the music streaming from my headphones. The
smoke from my cigarette flies wildly around, and as it escapes from my lips, creates beautiful shapes and patterns. My toes dig themselves into the hot sand. My mirrored glasses reflect the intense ball of sun and the crystal clear waves lined by foam that whoosh in from the ocean. The serene shade of blue of the sky is so relaxing; staring at it could put you to sleep.
  “Semara.” The calling of that name disturbs the calmness of this situation. I promptly sit up and snatch off my headphones. Funny, I could
hear the call through the blasting music. I scan the area, my heart racing, full of panic. My heart is beating so loudly I swear everyone around can hear it. No. I refuse to believe it. It’s just an illusion. It’s all in my head.
Someone is just calling for another Semara. Not me, it’s not me. But, really, how many people have that name? Calm down. My mind is just playing tricks on me. Calm down. I slowly and cautiously lay back down. The sunlight is blocked from me. The shadow of a tall figure behind me lays itself upon me.
  “You’re blocking my sun,” I say, with a hint of playfulness. I begin to sit up when suddenly I feel the ice-cold metal barrel of a gun pressed against the back of my neck. I’m frozen. Paralyzed. I cannot move, think, or even breathe. My spine shivers and pure terror fills my gut, fills my heart.
  “Semara, I thought it was you. I called your name but I guess I forgot that you wouldn’t be responding to that name anymore, right? So I decided should come over and well…”
  “How…How…H-How did you find me?” I barely made out what might be the last question I’d ever ask.
  “Well, let’s not worry about that. You know what they say…you can run,” he leans in closer and whispers in my ear, “but you can’t hide.”
BANG! He shoots once. BANG! He shoots twice…


  “Aaaaaahh!” I wake up. I’m soaked in sweat. My hair matted against my head. The dark green sheet sticks against my body. I’m breathing
heavily. I wish I would just die in my dreams, then I wouldn’t have anymore of these fucking nightmares! I get out of bed and get in the shower. The steaming hot water washes away all the sweat, all the fears. Washes away Semara Menaratti, the girl lost in my past. That was such a beautiful name too. But now my name is Kristen Johnson, and if that doesn’t sound a little too ordinary.
  About a year ago, my father was murdered by members of the Italian mafia, of which he was a prominent figure himself. I witnessed the murder and went to the police. Since my eyewitness testimony was the only evidence in the trial, I was a key element in the prosecution of those men. The police said that my life was in danger because the men who killed my father were looking for me, to make sure that there would be no trial. It was then that I was placed in the Witness Protection Program. I did not get to go to my father’s funeral. It would have been the first place anyone would expect me to be. Instead, I was transported to the Witness Protection main facility. I was picked up in a large white van, which had dark curtains on the windows that enclosed and hid me. They did not tell me where I was going. They didn’t tell me much of anything until we got there. The time passed by so incredibly slowly. We must have been on the road for at least 5 hours. Near the end I recall frequent stops and the noise of electric gates. And then the van stopped.
The side door of the van was opened for me and I got out to find myself in what appeared to be a large garage or warehouse. I never got to see the outside, or most of the inside of the facility. I was limited to the living area
that was to be my temporary home for the next few weeks while Semara Menaratti was erased, and Kristen Johnson was created.
   I was not allowed to contact anyone because of the risk of being found. I don’t think I had ever been lonelier in my life. I tried to passed the time thinking about my past and remembering. I had to cut off my relationships with all my friends, and my family, which I didn’t have much of in the beginning. My mother had died of breast cancer when I was
thirteen. And my father was never really home anyway, and when he was, we were fighting. After my mother died, we moved to a really rich town,
one where the grass is always green and freshly cut, and there are golf courses ad country clubs and everything looks plastic. I made friends at
school and met people in my neighborhood. I met a girl who lived two houses down named Danielle. She introduced me to most of her friends. I
remember one of her friends, Paul. We would go over his house and he’d make us line up his cocaine. He always called me beautiful. He overdosed and died three months after I met him. Danielle had a lot of money to throw around, especially on drugs. She was big on heroin. I wasn’t all that interested in drugs that heavy, but she was good company, most of the time.
I’ll never forget Victor. He lived a couple blocks away. His parents had gotten in trouble with the law over drug charges, so they fled the
country and went to Venezuela, leaving him the house and the Mercedes. I spent a lot of time over there. I stayed friends with him for a while, well until now.
  My teen years were full of drugs, sex, and alcohol. My childhood years, full of confusion.
I now live in an apartment in south Florida where I am enrolled in a community college, and keep a low profile. The trial is a month away, and I
am very nervous. I have been having these nightmares for a while. I am just too tense. I need to relax, unwind. I pack up a few essentials and take a drive to the beach. This is how I escape; I let the sun bake my troubles
away. It such a beautiful day too. The serene shade of blue of the sky is so relaxing; staring at it could put you to sleep. It is so beautiful outside. I turn the volume all the way up on my headphones.
 I just want to relax, not be bothered by anything. But the shadow of a tall figure behind me lays itself upon me…

 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2000 Laura Peruzzi
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
June 2001
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1909
 

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