"Booking it" is what he'd probably call it. Going fast. A motionless dictionary would tend to agree. They've a lot in common. Adorned with gold. Not great learners but excellent informers. Etc.

He's a big guy. His footfalls, heavy and lumbering, bounce between the K Street apartment buildings disrupting a rare city quiet. Even from three floors up you can hear him puffing. He looks back with a sort of worried expression betraying not just fear, but an inexperience with fear; he's scared shitless. An old woman in her Sunday Baptist Best watches him as he crosses the street in front of her. Wearily, she traces his path from the end of the street, shakes her head, crosses herself, and limps out of sight. He rounds the corner and K Street is silent.


.. . .. ... .. .. .. ...


Light, irregular footfalls prod the momentary quiet. Wiry, lanky, but by no means athletic. Quick enough, were it not for a perpetually sagging pair of camouflage pants busying one hand and interrupting his gait. Other hand jammed in a pocket even whilst running. No question as to what might be concealed there. A motorcycle engine whines blocks away.

This lanky one scans the empty street. He ducks between cars and presses up against fences. He, too, is scared shitless and doesn't even know the way it shines in his eyes despite the aggressive mask. He is still a boy.

A motorcycle roars to a halt beside him. Cheap, mirror-finished helmet barks a question at him. He barks an answer, gesturing with his free hand to the end of the block. A police siren wails in the distance. The peculiar lower frequency of the modern squad car is absent. Too far away. Still floundering back wherever all of this began.

Two more sets of footfalls. Two more join. They are even more boyish; sinew, dumb bravado, ready for a war. Again, angry gestures to the end of the block. Again the siren, this time a low moan joins the chorus, slamming off wall and window. Three blocks, tops.

They book it.

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