"So now you're dancing to a different beat!" narrative about a boy being threatened by a gang at gun point.

Essay by powerpointHigh School, 11th gradeA-, August 2007

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“So now you’re dancing to a different beat!” he exclaimed with his strong European accent. His fiery eyes staring deep into mine with a cheeky smirk on his face suggesting that he found it humorous or somewhat like a game, that he could scare and force a young naive adolescent into doing something against his own will. I looked down at his metallic black hand gun clenched firmly in his tight grip, pointing directly between my two eyes. My bottom lip shaking from the deep fear that was churning within the unfathomable depths of my soul, my eyes stinging from perspiration, legs weak and numb as I managed to fumble out a few words,“s-s-sorry, umm w-what is it you want me to do again sir?”. It went quiet. Nothing could be heard besides the fast beat of my heart, and as moments of silence passed the beat was gradually getting louder and eventually developing into what seemed like a sonic boom.

The anxiety and fear at this point was tremendous, making seconds seem like days just waiting for a reply to my passive query.

He slowly loaded and clocked his shiny metallic pistol and I caught a glimpse of the reflected light that beamed down dimly through the cracked window two feet directly above my head from the old run down cheese factory that overshadowed me. I was standing in the middle of two old late 18th century architectural designed, cracked industrial structures that both looked like they could fall down if you accidentally happen to kick them just that bit too hard. I was in the derelict side of town. The buildings stood high side by side with a narrow gap in between it seemed as almost the buildings created a dark dimly lit suburban cave. It was an alleyway that was situated off the side of an isolated back street that was connected to the main road. This part of town was often desolate at this time of the evening where dusk is being slowly engulfed by the deep daunting darkness of the night.

I stood facing this tall, ethnic, middle aged man who at this point of time was so tremendously scary that I was giving him every ounce of my attention as if I were a preschooler meeting the boogie man. But I also felt the presence of the two other irritated men standing behind each side of my shoulders. It was an everlasting silence that I wished would just end. My anxiety levels were still through the roof but my heart rate was slowly decreasing synchronized with the lowering of the hand gun that was still clenched within his firm grip. I was standing there thinking to myself ‘why did I have to try and take a shortcut home from school? Look at the mess I have got myself into now!’ Then all of a sudden there was a break to the silence, the Al Capone like figure spoke.

“You have two options, deliver a package to the penthouse of the Sheek apartments on 6th street, or turn around and get on your knees so I don’t have to see your face. We cannot trust your word, what will it be?” Following this was high pitched whiney voice from behind me who yelled in anger “boss just shoot him, he’s a snitch!” I stood there in astonishment, I had already tried explaining to them that I was only walking home from school trying to take the short way but they wouldn’t believe me, they thought that I was eavesdropping on apparently something that I should not have heard, but I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Still paralysed with fear I responded without hesitation “I’ll take the package, I’ll do whatever you ask.” In the back of my mind was the instant memory of that gun being pointed directly at me, it made me feel sick in the stomach. I had never experienced a fear so great in my life before and I never want to experience it again. I was going to cooperate.

“Get the package Antonio.” The Al Capone like boss mumbled. I heard steps of an approaching being from behind me. I quickly turned to be presented with a parcel held in two hands as if it were a gift. His stocky build was intimidating. He wore a black hooded sweater, making his face barely visible in the dim light only just being able to see his crooked beaten nose that caught some of the light. I snatched the package out of his hands, he said boldly “make sure this is delivered before 6 p.m. tomorrow evening or there will be trouble. We will find you.” Then and there I stated that I would unquestionably do it. This was definitely my top priority. Then hastily all three of what I assumed to be gang members hurried off down the alleyway and disappeared into the night. Just gone, like that, vanished.

I wasn’t satisfied with the information I received, I wanted to know more, more. Like why I was delivering this package? And what were the contents of it? One thing I know now is that tomorrow morning ‘I certainly will be dancing to a different beat’.