Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bella and the Black Book: Chapter Four

Guns really aren’t that big. Compared to the size of the damage they cause, bullets really aren’t either.

I’m sitting on my ass on sun warmed pavement waiting for one of the two men standing over me to decide to end the other. Personally, my money is on Mr. McGuffy to shoot first. His hands were already shaking from the weight of the shotgun, while the other guy was standing stock still and appeared to be ready to wait this out until doom’s day. Either way, I didn’t really want to wait around for Doom’s Day or any other holiday to come along. I kicked the shooter in the shin and watched as his shot went wild. When he hit the ground, the gun skittered across the pavement as if it were running away. Mr. McGuffy, moving with a speed I wasn’t used to seeing in the old man, immediately went to stand over him.

“Get out of our lot,” he repeated.

I caught a whiff of fear from the shooter, who was looking up at the shotgun with a sudden uncertainty.

“You might want to do what he says.”

Even as I was speaking, I was scrambling for my book. The man turned, his sudden need to get to the book before me overriding his understanding that he was being held under the barrel of a shotgun, and Mr. McGuffy’s trigger finger got the better of him.

The sound was deafening and the sudden addition of a lot of blood to the air made me gag. I put my hand down on my book and doubled over, pressing my face to the pavement which gave me a face full of old asphalt, gasoline, and spilled oil. Still a better smell than death, which by the way is blood followed quickly by shit as the bowels let loose.

Mr. McGuffy was saying something, I could hear it just barely over my heart pounding.

“I think we may need to call the police.”

“Yeah, we might want to do that.”

And I might want to not be here when they come around.

I pulled myself up from the pavement and tried not to shake as I took one step, then another toward my apartment.

"Where are you going?"

"I need to wash up." My voice sounded so much calmer than I felt. I felt like I was about to come flying apart any second and I held the book to my chest as if it would keep that from happening. The edges pressed into my chest as I breathed. One step. Then another. One foot in front of the other. Keep moving, keep moving. I walked back in the front door of my apartment and shut it behind him, glad for a moment I hadn't had the wherewithal to lock it when I was being death marched out of the building.

The door securely between me and the outside world, I sank to the carpet and gasped for air. I picked myself up off the floor, stuffed the book under one arm, and rifled through my things. I needed my emergency funds, my other IDs, and the keys to the spare car. I fumbled once and felt tears prick my eyes. Blinking them back, I kept looking.

Panicking won't help. I need to go. Before they start asking questions.

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