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Witness to Everything

An Original Short Story

By Aaron RanyerPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
Witness to Everything
Photo by Kit Suman on Unsplash

I've lived in New York City my whole life. Its great. The people, little bakeries, concerts. Theres never a moment of boredom, unless you're snowed in. Winter is the only season that I cannot stand in this concrete jungle. Once November rolls around in this city that never sleeps, the crowds turn quite bitter. Of course, media only portrays the holiday cheer, tinsel hung on each balcony, the ginormous tree to be put up and lit in celebration of another great holiday. They fail to mention the terrible, dangerous traffic, the chunks of snow and ice falling from window sills onto parked cars or unlucky passers by, and the ten Santas up the block begging for you to take a picture with them for an outrageous price. Anyway, I digress.

I stay on 34th street. Most of the buildings around shield me from the harsh winds, but I always feel a cold breeze on the very top of my head. This could be because I'm taller than your average Joe. Everyone in my area simply calls me "the tall guy." In a rushed atmosphere like this, I guess names dont particularly matter. I want to be so much more than "the tall guy." My parents call me "Empire", which at least required some thought.

Christmas is right around the corner and I have no clue what I want. Yes, I know this holiday "isn't about the gifts" but, money is always needed. Right? If I could truly ask for anything, it would be a cleaner city. 34th street in particular is always crowded with people throwing trash on the ground and filling the air with cigarette smoke and other pollutants. Its like watching a video on loop. The same faces, same garbage, and the same cars always pass. One night, I noticed something rather peculiar. Right before midnight, there were less people than usual, but one man caught my attention. He was wearing all black, constantly looking behind him as if he were being followed. Most stores were closed at this hour and snow is beginning to fall. My eyes couldn't help but follow this man as he walked behind a row of parked cars. He walked farther and farther until he was no longer in my line of sight. Where could be be going? I began to look down alley ways and surrounding streets. A few moments later I heard a loud alarm coming from behind me. The same man that I had been trying to watch ran in front of me, slipping on the icy sidewalk. He took a hard fall after trying to grab me for stability. We made eye contact, he got up, and continued to run. He had just robbed a store down 5th Avenue.

I had just witnessed a crime and didnt know what to do next. Sure, I've witnessed many small things in broad daylight, but never something this serious. The sun was just beginning to rise and police were already scattered around the scene. They noticed the patch of ice where the man obviously fell. As they were firguring out the small details I came to a realization. Cameras were installed everywhere in this big city and surely they would show the whole crime. I guided the police officers into the security room. They played back the tapes and watched them over and over. The heavy snow flurries seemed to have hidden the mans face. Luckily, they took note of him grabbing me before falling. That was it, the evidence they craved.

The officers called in their forensic team who showed up within 20 minutes. They inspected me up and down. My outermost layer of clothing that I wear year round held all of the answers. They found his fingerprints on the granite. Within just a few hours we were told that the suspect was in custody. I felt like a hero. I was finally more than just tall. I, the Empire State Building, was a hero.

That Christmas was memorable. Not only did I flash lights of red and green, but I was on the news. "The Empire State Building not only shone its beautiful lights this holiday, but caught a criminal! Don't forget New York City, that building is a witness to everything!"


About the Creator

Aaron Ranyer

Just a twenty year old with interesting views who needed a creative outlet :)

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