I hold my shoulders high and my jacket close. The cold air burns my face, soothes my lungs.

The urban scene, typical. I wander curiously through out the city, in the dark cold hour of 7PM. Neon signs emit luminance, as do headlights and clearance lights atop the large buildings. Sounds...the cars, the voices, the music. I hear a rapid scuffle to my right. Down the alley I see the glimpse of presence. Gone, quickly. I walk slowly down the alley, my steps echoing, resonating through out the quiet, yet metropolitan gap between structures. I sit on a small crate and light a cigarette with my Zippo, shielding the flame with my hands. I hold my jacket tightly. Minutes pass, relatively placid. I throw my cigarette on the ground. Beep, beep, beep. My pager is going off.

I unclip my pager and check the number. My friend from a few blocks down who is expecting me soon must want me to come now, as he was the one interrupting my calm moment. A gutter drips on me from above, as I hear a door slam. I stand up and start over to my friend's house. Up many flights of steps, and past the front desk, I enter. No one is inside other than him, all the lights out. He motions me over and speaks:

"We've gotta talk."
"Yeah?"
"I need you to do me a favor..." He pauses momentarily. I open my mouth, but he quickly interrupts:
"Good money."
"Look, man, you know things have been hot lately. Let's take it easy for a while."
"How long can we take it easy for? We're running low on money, and you know how that goes."
"Dammit, why don't you understand? It's not that simple!"
Footsteps of nearby origin slowly ascend up the wooden staircase. He looks at me. I look at the door.

Silence inside the building. A car horn grabs my attention from outside. The air is tense. With an almost expected crash, his door falls inwards and police officers flood the small apartment. I stand up and jump out the window to the fire escape stairs. I run down, not stopping to look back. I jump off the third rung of the last level and hit the ground, stopping only for a second, and then running into a nearby alley. The silver shine catches my eye, and I stop. The unmistakable reflection of two badges. "Fuck, cops" I think to myself.

One of the officers scorns, "you people disgust me" I look behind me. No one there. Just me and these two pigs, says my mind. I hear screams from around the corner of the alley and seconds after, running and the sound of steel being pounded upon. The police officers look at each other briefly. I grin as they ask me to identify myself. "Sir, we are going to have to ask that you either identify yourself or we're going to have to arrest you."

From above, the sound of gunfire floods the still air. The two police officers fall to the ground, null of life, and splats of blood rain onto the brick walls. The shell casings jingle like bells as they fall to the ground and atop the dead bodies. I stand motionless.

An older lady from above screams to us, "you people disgust me!" I grin and light a cigarette.
Nodeshell by ShadowNode, rescued.

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