Conor Langan – Saving Mr. President
Saving Mr. President
By Conor Langan
In the east side of Bridgeport, Connecticut, there is a building made of glass, The Dwyer Building. It looks magnificent as it towers over the slums and a small kid. Now, this kid was named Daniel. Daniel lived in this Dwyer Building but he hated living there. The other kids there made fun of his size because Daniel was tiny. His parents were tiny, his grandparents were tiny, and their grandparents were tiny. Everyone in his extended family was tiny. In his head being tiny was great, but he thought he was different from everyone else and he wanted to live in the slums with all the other freaks, big small, skinny and tall. He felt like he belonged there.
One fateful day, Daniel decided to visit the slums to get a taste of happiness. He had only been there once before with his school. They went there to learn about the Cold War 2. There was a man whose name was Jack, Jack Dwyer. Daniel considered him a friend. They had bonded when he gave that lecture about the Cold War 2. He had won some medal and was apparently very important. Daniel didn’t really pay attention to history, but he was fascinated by Jack.
He came out of the lift into the lobby of the Dwyer Building and walked towards the door. He said “hi” to his friend, the doorman, Harry, as he walked out the door. He then walked east towards the slums. He felt like he was being watched. He looked around cautiously before he suddenly heard shouts coming from his left hand side. One of them said, “Hey, get back here shorty!” Daniel recognised his voice immediately. It was Brian out of a gang of kids who teased him. Daniel ran as fast as he could but John the most athletic member of the gang was catching up quickly. Daniel’s plan was to get to Jack’s house but he probably wasn’t going to make it. There was only one other way where he would have the advantage over Brian and the rest, he could take a detour through the forest.
He ran into the opening and dashed through the forest, dodging branches and trees which were easy for him being so agile and small. The others fell behind but there was a flaw in his plan. He approached a giant wall. There was no way passed it, except to go over it. Daniel tried so hard to reach the top of the wall, searching desperately for a foothold. Brian and his gang were gaining. He climbed up the tallest tree he could find, hoping they wouldn’t see him up so high, but of course they noticed him. John started climbing the tree after him. Daniel panicked, his only option was to try and jump. John got closer and closer. Daniel decided to jump. It would be worse than getting caught by Brian and his gang. He hesitated as he was very scared. John was within inches of him now, so he jumped!
At the last second, John grabbed Daniel’s leg, he only went centimetres before he was being hauled back to the tree. He was in mid-air with John holding onto him. He struggled and fell 2 1/2 metres onto the damp forest floor, small rocks and twigs clinged to his aching hands. He tried to get up but he couldn’t feel his legs. Brian was running up to him but he spotted a hole under the wall and crawled towards it. He didn’t think he was going to make it, but he did.
On the other side of the wall, he was safe from the others as even they couldn’t climb the wall or get through the hole. At times like this, Daniel loved being small. He found himself in a clearing surrounded by bushes, in Washington Park, the biggest and busiest park in Bridgeport. He races through the park and runs into the slums. In the distance, he sees the gang and he runs into a dark alley. He realises that this is where Jack lives and he rushes to the door, and Jack lets him in.
Jack recalled a story that had happened a long time ago. Jack was a young soldier fighting for the USA against North Korea. Jack had been on leave visiting a nearby town when he got locked into a house and couldn’t get out. He was reported missing and then as a deserter. By the time he managed to get out of the house, everyone thought he was a deserter and he felt ashamed. He was sentenced by the army court martial to six months military imprisonment, despite his protests. His cellmate was a captured Korean General, whom he befriended. The Korean General told Jack that the last time he had been in touch with his superiors, they were planning to bomb all US communication towers and then bomb the White House. Jack informed one of the guards about this, but the guard didn’t believe him.
One night, after he had collected tools to escape, he broke out of the military prison and stole one of the guard’s people carriers. He drove to his brother Patrick’s house. He informed Patrick about the news he had heard. They sat in Patrick’s lounge and discussed what they should do when on the television there was News Flash about a missile launched from Tonghae, North Korea. Jack knew this was the start of the attack.
Patrick had contacts in the military and got permission to go to one of the army barracks. When they got there, they stole a chopper. They were being threatened that they would be shot down. Once they got within a mile of the White House, the army started firing at the chopper with a turret. The left engine caught fire and the escape hatch was blocked by the fire. The helicopter could have blown up at any minute and it was carrying a full fuel tank and one nuclear missile. They smashed the glass and parachuted out.
The helicopter destroyed a building nearby. They managed to save a few grenades and guns from the chopper. They landed two blocks away from the White House, but there were police cars chasing them. They could already see Special Forces arming the gates of the White House, all heavily armed. As they ran across an alley, a jeep pulled out. Patrick recognised the driver, it was Frank, old friend of Patricks. Frank knew exactly what was going on, as he was listening to a breaking story on the radio, just before that. They explained to Frank the risk the White House was in.
They hopped into Frank’s jeep and he drove them into a parking lot where they lost the police. When they were on the top floor, Frank backed up all the way. He then slammed down on the accelerator, sending them hurtling toward the edge of the building. Jack and Patrick had no control over what Frank was doing and they had no idea what his plan was. Frank had managed to clear the road and land in the grounds of the White House. There was a chopper above them, firing at the jeep. Frank managed to get the jeep to the front door of the White House. There were swat teams everywhere. They got out of the boot of the jeep and threw a sticky grenade at the door. They ran inside and just cheated certain death with about 10 swats aiming at the door.
Once they entered the building, their objective was to find the President. Frank stalled at the door, while Jack and Patrick ran inside. Jack ran upstairs while Patrick went to check the President’s office. Jack heard shouts from downstairs, he thought it was just Frank but then he realised it was Patrick also. Patrick was being used as a human shield by one of the President’s bodyguards at the office door. Jack presumed the President was in the office. The bodyguard pointed a gun at him and fired, but he missed. The bodyguard then fell with Patrick in a heap, Frank was standing behind him with a gun. The bodyguard was dead. The President was in the office and had been tied up by Frank. The three ran up the stairs to the roof, with Frank and Jack carrying the President. On the roof, there was a helicopter. This helicopter was always positioned on the roof, in case they ever needed to evacuate the White House. They hopped into the chopper and untied the President, the swat teams wouldn’t fire at the chopper now as the President was in it. They flew all the way to Alaska, the safest place they could think of in near range.
The army at this stage realised what the North Koreans were planning and escorted the chopper to Alaska and then onto a safer place. As for Jack and Patrick, Jack got the CIA medal for intelligence but was sent to prison for six months for a deliberate crime. Patrick was given a Bravery Award and was sent to prison for six months for assisting in a crime. Frank was also given a Bravery Award and sent to prison for a year for murder and assisting in a crime. Although Jack had to serve his prison sentence, he was a hero.
Daniel had been listening intently and realised that although Jack was ashamed when he was court marshalled and imprisoned for being a deserter, this didn’t stop his courage and his pride in his country and his President. Daniel decided he try to be courageous and he would confront his fears and the boys who were teasing him.
Daniel leaves Jack’s house and meets the group of boys again on the street. When they again shout, “Hey, get over here shorty”, this time he walks over to them. The boys are silenced, as they are so surprised by him crossing the road to them. Before they have a chance to do or say anything, Daniel tells them about a soccer tournament that’s happening. The boys hum and haw about it and say “why should we play shorty?” Daniel replies with a challenge, “let’s see how big you are against other big boys”. They agree to go along and play in the soccer tournament.
Daniel is an okay soccer player but because he is light and agile he is very nifty on his feet and has good ball skills for dribbling the ball amongst the other players. He also has good balance, because of a low centre of gravity. The boys are impressed with him and secretly they have decided to stop calling him shorty and harassing him.
Daniel is the hero of the soccer match, on his team.
Scoil Bhríde Lackagh N.S,
Turloughmore. Co Galway