The Pursuit of Happiness | Teen Ink

The Pursuit of Happiness

April 18, 2009
By JoshMac PLATINUM, Rifle, Colorado
JoshMac PLATINUM, Rifle, Colorado
29 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Writing Prompt: You glance into the back of the trash truck as it pulls away from the curb, and see a pair of legs dangling from the back, right after your mom has taken out the trash. Write about what is happening.

It was a Wednesday. Doesn’t it seem like all bad things happen on a Wednesday? This particular Wednesday would be worse than usual though, because it was trash day, one of the most horrible days ever. Believe it or not, though, it would get worse. You see, that day, my mom had taken out the trash, and it is here that the story begins.
Amid the sounds and smells of the garbage truck, and the sounds and smells of the garbage people, I glanced at the back of the aforementioned truck and witnessed a horrific sight: a pair of legs dangling out of the back! Curiosity quickly turned to dread as I recognized the Hannah Montana shoes attached to said legs. They belonged to the one, true love of my life.

“My mannequin!” I shouted, as I dashed after the truck. It honked in derision. The mannequin and I had been through so much together; we’d been best friends since eighth-grade! I couldn’t lose her, especially since tonight was to be our first real date! My mom, on the other hand, couldn’t stand her. She said she was too boring, and not much fun to talk to. I still loved her, though.

I sprinted after the fleeing vehicle in question, when I realized it was all in vain; there was no way I was going to catch the truck!

Glancing to the side of the road, I caught sight of a beggar pushing a shopping cart full of booze and blankets. Mostly booze. I took a running start, and then leaped into the basket. I removed my belt, and whipped the hobo across the back.

“Mush!” I shouted. Somewhat surprisingly, the homeless man took off as fast as his mismatched high-heel shoes could take him. Sadly, that wasn’t very fast. The poor guy hobbled as fast as he could before he finally collapsed on the ground, succumbing to fatigue. I guess that’s what I get while letting him drive under the influence.
By now, the truck had a good lead, even though it had been making frequent stops. Everything looked hopeless, and I began to despair. Then… An epiphany. I knew what I had to do.

Standing atop the overturned shopping cart, I stretched my arms out wide, remembering the Lord Of The Rings movies.

“Help me, Peter Jackson!” I repeated, over and over. Finally, a most welcome sound alighted to my ears: The screech of a massive bird of prey. I felt strong talons wrap around my arms, and I was lifted into the air. I felt like Gandalf, being carried off of Isengard in the grip of an eagle. I glanced up. It was a vulture. Not quite as glamorous, but beggars can’t be choosers.
Speaking of beggars, the corpse on the ground, now far below, was attracting almost as many eyes as I was, soaring high above. I could identify a police officer, distinguishable by his pompous uniform. He seemed to be listening to a witness who was also gesticulating towards me. Uh oh. Now I was running for both my life and my mannequin’s.

I pointed towards the garbage truck, and the bird soared in its direction. Quickly overtaking it, we were soon right above the truck. Tapping on the vulture’s talons, it released me, and I went plummeting downwards, freefalling towards my love. I landed with a squelch in some rather suspect material, and began searching for the mannequin. I spotted a hand, barely extended above the waste. Swimming with all my might, I finally reached her. I grabbed her hand and pulled, but with little effect.

“You really need to lose weight,” I muttered. I yanked and pulled with all my might, and finally, with a sickening pop, she was free. However, my ecstasy turned to sorrow when I saw her eyes and face were in that unmatchable expression, the look of death. I had been too late.

In a mood swing that would’ve made several teenage girls jealous, I became angry, angrier than I had ever been. I glanced down; my skin was turning green!

“Hulk smash!” I roared. Then I realized that my skin wasn’t really turning green, it was just some of the “suspect material.” I was still angry though. I grabbed the mannequin, and tucking her under my arm like a football player, leaped out of the back of the truck. Not smart. You see, the truck just so happened to be moving at the time. I hit the ground hard, and lay there a moment, stunned. Then I picked myself up and continued my pursuit.

Once again, I found myself in a losing race, and this time, there were no conveniently placed hobos or vultures. At this point, I was hit by the unfairness of it all. I hurled the mannequin to the ground, where she was promptly run over.

“Get out of the road, moron!” shouted the driver. Some people are so inconsiderate! I flipped the mannequin’s middle finger at him, and dragged her out of the road. I had completely lost track of the truck by now, so I began the long walk home. I’m not completely sure what I would have done if I had caught up to the truck, just like a dog chasing cars. Most likely, I would’ve only gotten run over. Just like a dog chasing cars.

I had almost reached the Wyoming state boundary and was about to cross back into Colorado, when I heard the sound of police sirens. Glancing back, I saw the same officer who had been questioning the witness of the homelessmanslaughter. Yes, that is a word.

The cop flung open his door, and proceeded to place me in handcuffs. I didn’t even attempt to resist. He stated my rights, and then threw me in the back. Now I’m serving time in the state penitentiary, alone and without my mannequin. The judge said that the only way I’m getting out is in a bodybag, but I’m gonna break out. After that… Well, I’ve had my eye on one of the mannequins at Victoria’s Secret for a while.

The author's comments:
This isn't my best work, but the only other decent piece I had on my computer. Please read, comment, tell me what you think. Also, you should read my other two pieces and comment on those/

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This article has 3 comments.

Roscomacaw said...
on Dec. 12 2009 at 8:54 pm
Wow! Sounds like you could use a course in Mannequin Management. Of course, I really didn't understand your fascination with your galfriend. She seemed pretty "trashy" to me.

on Apr. 30 2009 at 2:38 am
umm... yeah, so here I am commenting... Very exciting stuff. Give this article five stars. That is a demand.

on Apr. 29 2009 at 3:58 pm
Dickies_X3 SILVER, Chadron, Nebraska
8 articles 6 photos 16 comments
I was locked up in the Griffith Center in Rifle lol