The Night Shift

7:45 PM December 24, 1999


It is Oscar Robertson’s first night as the security guard in District 9. Oscar is on the watch but nothing is happening. Oscar hates this job and thinks this is the most boring job ever. Three nights later, on December 27, Oscar doesn’t even show up and nothing happens. For the next two nights he doesn’t show up until the school’s 5th grade teacher calls in to speak with him. Oscar gets to the office. In the office, he sees a very slim and tall woman.

Oscar says, “Why did you call me in?”

She says, “I’ve been informed that the kids are losing their technology and money. Could you stay on the look out for people coming in and out of the school?”

“That’s my duty.”

That night, Oscar doesn’t see anything suspicious. It is New Year’s Eve in 1999. Everybody is inside their homes thinking the world is going to end, but not Oscar, because he has the night shift.

Near the police station there is a garden where Oscar hides in the bushes with his rifle, watching the school. 11:59: everybody is inside their homes holding on to each other for dear life. Then Oscar catches a glimpse of something near the school. It is a man in a Mexican red wrestling mask approaching the door. Oscar loads…

…and fires, and he hits his mask as he attempts to run inside the school. Oscar fires at the handle which thankfully knocks the handle off, so the man in the mask makes a run for it, but is stopped by a bullet hitting his arm. He cries in pain and agony. Oscar walks up to him and sees that it is the janitor. Oscar says, “What? Why were you trying to steal the kids money?”

“I wasn’t stealing the money. I was cleaning the bathroom so thats why I have the mask so I don’t have to smell that awkward urine smell,” says the janitor. I glance over my shoulder and spot a kid on the 8th floor with a Mets shirt on. He opens the window and says, “What happened, Mr. R?”

“Nothing,” says Oscar.


10:30 AM   December 31, 1999


Today is the first day for Brett of the CPT’s and he is frightened to death. Right now, he is in math class writing in his journal. “If you didn’t already know, the CPT’s determine if you get in Hunter.”

If Brett gets into Hunter, his family will finally appreciate him. Since he is the middle child, getting appreciated is mission impossible. This is a once in a lifetime experience.

He gets bullied a lot.

He’s very shy.

He has no friends. Is this the life you dreamed of? Well, it’s certainly not the one he dreamed of. He thinks he did really well on the math part of the CPT’s. Tomorrow Brett will do the reading section.

That night, he goes home to a family all cuddled up on the bed watching his favorite movie. He asks to watch with them but they ignore him. He goes to the living room and turns on channel 26 and watches the exhibition Mets game against the San Francisco Giants. The worst part is the game starts on western time at 7:30. He watches the whole game, which ends at midnight. The final pitch of the game is pitched and the Mets win. Then the clock strikes 12:00 and he hears a gunshot. He runs to the window to get a glimpse of what’s going on. He opens the window to see Mr. R.

He says, “What’s going on?”

Mr. R says, “Nothing.”

Everyone is okay, and the world didn’t end. But soon Bret figures out that the janitor is on the ground in a puddle of blood. The blood is coming from his arm. He shouts as loud as he can until someone notices him; that someone is a cop. He thinks to himself, What have I done? Mr. R was like a brother to me. He was always there for me. NOOOOOOOOOO!!! The janitor is taken to the hospital, where he will be given a mechanical arm.

The next day, Oscar goes to court. The jury decides he has a choice of either two years in jail or to serve in the army for four years. Oscar choses to take the four years to serve the army. Oscar chooses to be in the air force. Bret doesn’t get into Hunter, which is for the best because he doesn’t deserve it, because he turned on a friend. A friend that has been there when needed is now gone. If Brett hadn’t had screamed, then Oscar wouldn’t have taken the blame. Oscar says, “If it wasn’t for the little brat, I wouldn’t be here.”

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