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His foot hit the concrete. He didn’t feel his feet on the ground. His body was just following the tunnel vision in his mind. His movements were automatic because his consciousness was hijacked by adrenaline.
He stopped at the end of the alleyway, his heart pounding in his ears. Putting his hands on his knees while he caught his breath, he looked back into the darkness. He could smell that someone had smoked a joint a few minutes ago. It was one of the last houses he had passed.
His hearing was obscured because his heart was pounding in his head like a drum. But his ears didn’t catch shuffling feet, or the clinking metal of a gun shifting around in someone’s hands.
It felt like he was safe for now. His ears confirmed that, once his heart slowed down enough for his hearing to work properly. He started strolling calmly down the sidewalk, going farther into the neighborhood. If he kept running, he would just draw attention to himself, especially if he headed toward the busy city street.
It was a mistake to go there so soon after he had killed him. He should have waited until things cleared up. Then suspicion would had been drawn away from her.
That was how it worked, always on to the next reaction to someone attacking one of their own. Or stealing from them, or getting arrested, or slipping a little of the product or cash aside for themselves.
Those people would tell themselves that it was for saving to get out of the damn neighborhood and get a real job, so they could protect their families. But they’d always just blow it all on more drugs, or strippers, or hookers. Or it could be some idiotic purchase like a flashy new gun or car. As if the cops wouldn’t notice. They all really just wanted to be Scarface. But they couldn’t admit it to themselves because that would validate a stereotype.
A black Honda Civic slinked up from around the corner. The tires squealed, but then it slowed down to try to creep up on him.
As the car approached, he opened a gate for a little wooden fence in front of a house. It was a few down from the one he’d passed. It would be dumb to make it seem like he was reacting to anything they did. They definitely suspected him, but he had already taken off his sweater and thrown it in someone’s yard, and they hadn’t seen his face yet.
After opening the gate, he made a show of pretending to find his keys. He fished deep in his pockets for them, then gradually fumbled them out and into his hands. He looked for a particular key, feeling the eyes of the men in the car boring into his back.
“Damn,” he swore out loud for their benefit, smacking his thighs with his palms. He made it look like he had forgotten his house key in his car, and was heading there. One was conveniently parked in front of the house.
The black Honda had tinted windows, so he couldn’t see who was inside. But it had pulled up to the curb about 10 feet behind the car he was walking towards.
He dropped his keys in front of the front wheel on purpose, making it look like an accident. His small silver pistol slipped into his hand from inside his boot as he grabbed his key with the other hand.
Keeping his gun obscured from the Honda’s view, he did the next three actions in one fluid motion. While the hand with the key in it drifted toward the door, he swung his gun around to aim at the Honda’s engine. He knew that the windows would be bulletproof. Burning metal started slamming into the front of the car from his pistol as his keys dropped to the ground. He grabbed his bigger black handgun from the back of his waistband before the keys landed. The weapon had been moved around a few times so the guys in the car wouldn’t see it.
All four windows of the Honda started rolling down, and he saw guns poke out of the openings. He ran back and then dove in front of the car where he had dropped his keys. Bullets shattered the windows and crashed into the metal and plastic.
He could smell gasoline. As soon as the shots stopped, he stepped out from in front of the car because he knew it would take them a few seconds to reload. Hot metal rapidly flew from both of his guns, pounding into the Honda’s engine.
One of the dumbasses started shooting from the Honda after seeing the flames coming out of it.
The dumbass shot him in the calf, so he fired the last barrage from his knees, grunting in agony on the way down. Another bullet hit his shoulder, shooting blood into the air.
The Honda exploded half a second later, propelling him upward and several feet down the road. He landed awkwardly on his injured shoulder, screaming in pain.
Then he looked up at the burning car, grinning and laughing quickly with smug victory. But another wave of agony shot through him a second later, blunting his ego.
Hearing sirens, he pushed himself to his feet and headed back to the main busy street. He would get lost in the crowd, then grab a jacket from a dumpster behind the clothing store he saw. Then he would hotwire a car on a mostly empty street, and vanish like smoke.