• Marquise Williams

Fiction: The Hawaii Moment


Photo Source: Pixnio


With the opioid Mecca that was Goldrich County miles behind, we had driven down Calypso Road until nothing surrounded us except grey clouds and cold dead forest. This was it. This was going to either be my ticket out of that shithole or my death sentence. No more graffiti on abandoned homes. No more plywood for windows. No more syringes and bottles on broken sidewalks. No more late-night gunshots. No more garbage stifling the already stale air. No more avoiding my junkie neighbors. No more having very few friends. No more mom and dad sheltering me from the world like I’m Rapunzel. No more. I deserved better. Bootleg deserved better. Even Pollyanna, the new girl, deserved better.


For our YouTube video, I was going to do a nollie beta flip to nose manual, a hard enough combo on its own. But to get noticed and paid, the danger had to get cranked all the way to eleven.


“This is it Homeschool,” Bootleg said to me, pounding the steering wheel of his pickup. “Your big Hawaii moment! Feel yo nuts gettin’ tingly under your denims and shit?”


“I’m sorry,” Pollyanna said from the backseat. “What’s a Hawaii moment?”


“You ever played Tony Hawk’s Underground?” I asked her.


“My parents don’t own a TV.”


“Then you’re about to see. It’s what’s going to break us out of the county.”


“Thank god,” Bootleg said. “Screw Goldrich and everyone in it!”


We got out of the truck. From where we stood, Calypso Road sloped down about five hundred feet and flattened out toward an abandoned coal plant. Weeds peeked through the cracks. Ankle-deep potholes scarred the asphalt like sores on a meth-head’s face. It was perfect.


“I’m sorry,” Pollyanna said. “We’re riding down this?”


“Scared Polly?” Bootleg said. “Homeschool, I thought you said she could ride.”


“She can. You should’ve seen her at the skatepark. It was like watching Daewon Song.”


Pollyanna fingered the belt loops of her camo pants and hid her smile by bowing her head. Then she made a weird, tiny, happy noise, as all people who’ve had little to no contact with regular people tended to do (speaking from experience).


“I know this is dangerous,” I said. “But I wouldn’t have begged you to come if I didn’t need another camera angle on this shot. You can handle this. Can I count on you?”


Pollyanna nodded.


“Great,” I said. “When this is done, we’ll get some footage of you and Bootleg as well—we’re all escaping Goldrich.”


“So come heavy or not at all Polly,” Bootleg said. “Ain’t like any of us brought a helmet or nothin’.”


We unloaded the kicker ramp off the truck bed and placed it ten feet down the slope for that extra launch speed. Bootleg grabbed two Digital 8 Camcorders from his truck and gave one to Polly. He positioned himself on my right while she went to my left. They both gave a thumbs up.


This was it. I swallowed a pounding heart. I heaved air through an iron-tight chest.


Do or die.


Go.


I kicked and pushed and kicked and shoved, rolling faster and faster until I nollied off the ramp and soared like an F-4 and for a moment I was weightless. Then, as soon as I spun to begin the flip, my feet tangled up the board. I bailed out by landing on my feet and rolling about ten feet on the asphalt. I scraped an elbow. We went back up the hill.


Kick, push, kick, push, nollie. This time both the spin and the flip connected. But the moment I landed the nose manual, I tripped forward and broke the fall with my hands. Blood trickled down my palms. The heels of my hands jammed themselves into my wrists.


No matter how hard I tried, I fell again and again. What was supposed to last ten, maybe twenty minutes, became two hours with the occasional break. My body ached. Bruises. Blood. Yet I pushed through the pain. At this point, I was willing to sacrifice anything and anyone to land this one trick.


“Maybe we should try again next week,” Bootleg said to me.


“One more time,” I said. “I feel good about this one.”


“We’re all tired man. Give it up.”


I looked to Pollyanna. “What do you want to do?”


Sweat poured down her face. Her eyes were glassy. “Whatever you want to do,” she wheezed.


“Majority vote wins.”


Bootleg sighed. “Last one.”


We went back to our positions.


Kick, push, kick, push, nollie, beta flip—crisp and clean throughout. Then the front wheels connected with Calypso. After my knees absorbed the shock of the landing, the nose manual cruised along smoothly. But there wasn’t time to celebrate. I had to focus.


I constantly adjusted and readjusted my body for balance as I serpentined past the bullet-hell of cracks, bumps, and potholes. I rolled down faster. The wind blew harder. Time turned in a Twilight Zone where things simultaneously moved infinitely slow and exponentially fast. Every sensation inside and outside of me trembled as if on the verge of explosion; even the red-white-striped chimney of the coal plant appeared like a quaking finger to heaven.


Adjusting and readjusting.


Serpentine.


Adjusting and readjusting.


Serpentine.


Almost there. Just a little more.


Then it was over.


I did it.


“Yes!” I cried as loud as I could, pumping my fists in the air. As the grey clouds parted to let a little ray of sun through, my eyes welled with the sweet sting of tears.


That’s when I looked back and saw Pollyanna face down on the pavement. Not breathing. Not moving. Bootleg ran to her, shouting for her to wake up. I stood still. Although a part of me was terrified, another part of me ... shamefully ... didn’t care. As the puddle of blood expanded from under her skull, I pictured myself packing my belongings and booking a first-class ticket to Hawaii.



Marquise has published other stories in Creepypasta, New Reader Magazine, and Every Day Fiction. He currently works as an electrician based in Philadelphia, PA.


If you would like to learn more about Marquise Williams, you can find his website here and his Instagram here.