Pushing the Maximum

Chapter 1

Sunday Morning

            It was an early Sunday morning the day it all happened. The dew, thick as molasses at the tips of my lawn. Darkness filled my arena due to the witnessing of what my eyes were observing within my global atmosphere; the stars and moon providing my only light. My mind was clear, palms were dry, and my heart filled with love. My reality was what every man would dream for in one lifetime; a beautiful wife, 4 healthy children, and a dog named Runyon.

            It was 3 months now that I started to wake up early every morning to go on my morning jogs. I loved the alone time with Runyon, but it seemed Runyon just loved the sightseeing. I must admit that I would stop on occasions to soak in the view, but Runyon would always be the first to notice. That dog had an intellect that I could never explain. Hell; if an interpreter could understand his barking; I bet Runyon would score the maximum on the human I.Q. test.

            This morning was different though. I guess the ole fart had his mind made up that he was going to stay behind for some odd reason.  The look on his face expressed a look of fright when I stared back at the house from the bottom of my drive way. I waited and whistled for him in the hopes that he’d still come but no dice. So, I eventually started down the road that paralleled my house. As my peaceful home disappeared in the shadows; I began to think that Runyon was growing tired of the same ole sights every morning, or maybe I was talking his ears off on our jogs. Either way; I was missing ole Runyon. Today after church the whole family would enjoy the sights of the River Banks Water Fall National Park instead of the normal sleep-in Sundays.

            Since my running partner decided to ditch me for a woman and 4 children; I decided to run off the normal path that Runyon and I would usually take in search of some new views. The decision was a good one as I ran up on a path that lead me to a dead end, but at this dead end was a cliff that showed the beautiful view of the sunrise over the park that we would visit later on in the day. I stood and watch the view for at least 10 minutes wishing Runyon was here to stare in awe with me. Finally, after soaking the view in my mind I headed back to my home where my family would be waiting so we could venture off to church.

            As I was approaching the last curve that would lead to the end of my jog; my mind began thinking of the new sights that I had witnessed. I could not wait to see Runyon to rub it in his face. However; as I drew closer to my house; my mind would slowly start to change focus due to what I was observing. I noticed the door was opened allowing access to my house to anyone that felt like entering. My thoughts were interrupted by Runyon barking at amplitudes that would wake the neighborhood, but suddenly his barking turned into desperate calls for help that followed by a loud gun fire. Immediately I started to sprint towards the front door. With my heart beating faster than my sprinting feet; I arrive at my destination to find my wife cornered by a masked gunman. I run for the gunman spearing him into the wall with his head bouncing hard off the polished hardwood flooring that now stained my home with Runyon’s blood. The gunman pops up quicker than he had been taken down, and now points the gun at my wife and me. I close my eyes tight as he pulls the trigger, but the gun seems to be jammed. I charge the masked man for the second confrontation prompting Lisa to call the police.

            We wrestled around the living room floor for quite a while as the gunman tries to escape for his freedom. The gunman finally gets tired of trying to escape and reaches for his gun with hopes that the gun would fire this time. He points the gun from the corner that I found my wife backed into and pulls the trigger. Once again, I close my eyes, but this time the gun goes off twice; my knees buckle as I fall to the ground.

            In shock; I open my eyes feeling around for a wound, but to my surprise I had dodged his bullet.  I then noticed the gunman was slumping over in the corner from a single gunshot wound. I turn around to find my wife kneeling down to an officer who has also been shot. As I rise to my feet; I run over to pick my wife off the floor providing her comfort. I then start up the stairs to check on my four children that locked themselves inside of their room as a result the commotion. After comforting my kids, I call Lisa upstairs so she could keep the kids’ attention off the crime scene downstairs.

            I walk into my bedroom and grab my pistol and begin to head back down the stairs. As I reach the bottom of the staircase; another officer arrives in the doorway with his gun drawn.  

            “Freeze, drop your weapon!” The officer looks me directly in my eyes, but immediately after I surrender my arms in the air; the officer fires a shot hitting me in my chest. I fall off the bottom step onto the floor. Blood beginning to come out of my mouth; I begin to hear Lisa screaming from the top of the stair case. I slowly started to lose complete consciousness.

            My eyes slowly begin to open for the first time since my last remembrance only to find myself in an empty hospital room with tubes sticking out of my nose. I press the button to alarm the nurse. She walks in the room to me asking for the location of Lisa.

            “My wife, Lisa, where is she? Have she been here to see me yet?” My voice starts to quiver with pain as I mumble the words toward the nurses’ direction.

            “No sir, nobody has been here to visit you! You have been in a comma for a week. What’s your name sir?” The nurse rubs my arm and holds my hand as she speaks her words. The comforting continued as I softly muttered “Daniel! Daniel Levens! Where’s my wife Lisa?”

            As I speak my words, I notice that she has started taking down what I was saying on a notepad. She then closes her notepad and ensures that they will try to find my wife as soon as possible. With one last look at the nurse; she turns and starts out the door, but before she exits, she turns on the television.

            The news is broadcasting the funeral of a local Pillar Tower officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty. First murder in Pillar Tower, Georgia since Judge Merivent was found in his home with his guts cooking in a frying pan; nearly burned his house down. The news feed prompts that they have a man wanted for questioning in the murder case, but as I try to read more the nurse returns back into the room with her notepad.

            “Mr. Levens, does your wife by any chance have a different last name than you?” The suspicion fills the room as the nurse now stands by my bed looking down at me.

            “No!” I replied. “Lisa Levens! Why did you find her?”

            “Yes Mr. Levens, but the ironic thing about my findings is that she is also a patient here in the ICU unit. Do you know if she was harmed in the events that took place at your home also?”

            “Events?” I questioned.

            “Yes, you were shot a week ago, and now your wife is in a comma as well. What is the last thing that you remembered before you blacked out?”

            “I don’t know!” I began to yell.  With my memory ever so fussy; I close my eyes to try to remember back a week ago. “Lisa…screaming because I had been shot!” I explained.

            The nurse leaves the room with her pad in hand. This time she leaves the television off. The nurse stays gone for a longer duration, and my mind starts to wonder was she going to return. I began to ask myself the nurses’ name only to remember that she never mentioned, but I do remember her name tag saying something like Susan.

            With Lisa on my mind I started to worry, and my worrying started me to cry. I wondered what had happen after I had blacked out, will she wake up soon if at all, and then back to what had happened. All this worrying got me tired as I found myself weakening; I began to drift asleep. The next morning; I find myself awakening to the presence of 2 police officers standing in my room.

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