Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Darkness

Darkness shrouds the city; rain dusts the streets and muffles the sounds of morning. Orange beacons of light are quenched by the gloom, and here I am, awake, waiting. The rain slicks off my trench coat, rivulets of water form between the folds in the cloth. The wide brim of my fedora catches most of what rain was headed for my face, but still water beads across my lens, giving what light remains a twinkling appearance. Cold in my hand is my revolver, the steel bites at my hand sucking out the warmth, as if draining the very life from me. The gun gleams, proclaiming to the world, I shall take a life tonight.

As a rule, I don't like to kill, but my quarry has made it clear he has no such qualms with that particular deed. The cold icy rain is juxtaposition to the hot life the poured out of my partner's chest. I liked that dame, and there wasn't a damn thing she did to deserve those to slugs, and I was going to make sure they got back to their owner.

I was as taut as the cables on the Golden Gate Bridge, and I felt like I was carrying just as much weight. I felt the slightest move and I might shatter into a million pieces. Every out of place sound seemed to rake on my nerves, until all I noticed were the little things, and not the big black car that drove past. Unfortunately, the car noticed me. With squealing tires, the car came about.

I had found my man; the problem was he had found me first. Like a jack rabbit, I leapt out of the way, and rolled through a deep puddle. Standing up, I bolted as the driver once more skidded around to bear down on me. I ran, behind me the demon eyes of his black Cadillac. With a spryness not seen since my youth I fled, up the sidewalk. Risking a glance over my shoulder, I cocked my revolver and let fly hot lead. The recoil shook my soul, hammering home the choice I made; it was my life, or his.

The bullet did not find its mark, but left one in his grill, in my head I counted 'one.' Realizing the limit of my chances; the size of a man's head behind the wheel of a monstrous car; and the unsteadiness of my hand I had come too the only rational conclusion I could: get him out of the car.

In the distance, my solution, a parked dump truck whose brute like girth stoically waiting in the dark of night. With keen incite I cultivated my plan, timing would have to be perfect, and time I was running out of. Quickly I redirected my path towards the rear of the truck, and with reckless abandon opened fire on my pursuer.

'two,'
'three,'
'four,'
'five,'

The cacophony of death, muted by gloom that held the city in its thrall, rang from my hand. Each bullet ripped through the air with unlikely precision, as if my hand guided by Athena, and my enemy's heel exposed. Each one found its mark, and that mark was the radiator of my foe's chariot.

Banshees of steam erupted from beneath the hood, screaming with a fury that could curdle your blood. With his vision blocked my hunter lost control of his car. He quickly discovered that he was now holding his sword by the blade. His fate sealed I dived out of the way as his car careened into the waiting truck. Steel on Steel they tested each others mettle, but his car was no David, and so Goliath won.

From the smoking wreckage, I heard a noise, it was almost a whimper, almost a moan, but it meant he was alive, at least for now. I moved quickly to his window and made to shatter it with the butt of my gun, but the crash has already done that job for me.

With one hand holding, a now steady, aim on his head, the other reached into his pocket and removed the small, unassuming, statue that had cause such carnage. His body seemed to relax as it the falcon statue had weighed greatly on him. His ease lasted only moments as I cocked my revolver. His eyes widened, his pupils dilated, he stammered out,
"You got what you came for. Now go!"

I paused, not to consider my next action, but to let him suffer in the moment. Dangling hope and mercy that he would never have given me, and then I let him know as much.
"Oh, the falcon bought your life, but now you have to pay for hers."
'six'

Once more into the cold I set out, this time the revolver was warm in my hand, contented to not leach away my life, as it was sated with the one it had ended. Dawn was coming, the dawn after the storm, it would still be gray, it's always gray, but it would be lighter, and so would the burden I carry.
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