That day, the temperature was too high. It was winter, but the sun was hot as hell. Many people stayed at home cause of the temperature.
So Mr. K was sitting in his chair, in a place where he had never been before, expect the past six days. He was staring at the clock on the air, in a place where there were no walls, just one door. Time was 12:55
He waited for the time to go 13:00 hours, because only then could he open the door and …run. Run again, as he had been doing for the past six days.
In his hand he was holding a cigarette or at least he thought he was. He did not smoke it, he just held it between his sweaty hands, turning it round and round.
“I hope I can make it this time because it is my last. God knows how much I try” he said to himself. The clock now said 12:57.
Mr.K stood up. He threw the cigarette on the table, and looked at himself in the invisible mirror.
“Well, I hope that this isn’t the last time I am taking a look at my face” he muttered again.
As he was waiting he looked at the clock. He saw time turning 12:58 and then 12:59.
Then he took a deep breath. His struggle to save his life but also to save another man’s life was about to begin. But this time was the last time, the final 7th time.
Suddenly, the time was exactly 13:00
Mr. K opened the door very fast.
He started to run. He ran as fast as he could. He has to be in a certain place, at a certain time. In his past six attempts, he arrived at the place a few seconds later, and he couldn’t do anything. Actually, the only thing that he saw was a red spot on the ground, nothing else. These few seconds were too many in reality; maybe hours, who knows, maybe days.
Now, for his final attempt he had to run as he had never run before.
As he was running, he felt the sun burning his face. His body was all wet from the sweat. Of course he didn’t slow down at all, because it was a race between life and death. If he could win in his last attempt, he would get the prize of his life. Another man would win the same prize too.
As he was running he passed through the woods, scratched again his arms and legs, but he didn’t slow down. He could not see well because of the sweat in his eyes but he continued to run as fast as he could. Sadly, he didn’t know if he was going to arrive in time, or …some seconds later.
Now he could see the finish, the old house where everything started. The small alley where two lives stopped.
In a moment, he was about to see himself walking through this alley. He could see the other man coming to his side.
For a moment he believed that he would arrive on time. That he could stop himself from robbing the other man, stop himself from the fight that was about to start. He had to stop that fight, he had to protect himself and not kill the other man.
Now he was too close, a few meters away. He tried to smile, finally he was able to protect himself. Save his life, and save the other man’s life too.
Now he was just a few meters away, just a few seconds. He reached his hand trying to stop himself. Just a few inches away from saving two lives!
And then …Mr. K was frozen! He could not move at all. He was stationary! He was a still picture, that’s what he was! He tried to move his hands, but he couldn’t! Tried to move his legs, but he couldn’t. Tried to scream, scream himself away from doing the robbery. But he had no voice.
He could only see what happened: he saw himself threaten the other man with a knife. He saw the other man resisting. He saw the fight between himself and the other man. He saw the other guy as he fell on the ground. He saw the man’s white t-shirt turning red from the blood. He saw himself standing still with a red knife in his hand, and a few seconds later as he tried to help the other man in vain. He also saw the two policemen who accidently were passing from there. He saw how he arrested him. He saw everything from an angle that he had never seen in his previous six attempts.
Mr. K is sitting alone. He cannot move his hands. Not even his legs.
Mr. K can’t even speak. He is lying in a cell looking at the liquid and cold ceiling. This ceiling that shows like an old cinema why he is here. This cold and liquid ceiling is there to remind him every day that a moment can change everything. A moment, not even a second…
Story by: Konstantinos Pamfiliss
Illustration-Synthesis: Christos Doukakis