Slicked back hair and a suit that made him a silhouette. Skin like a ghost and reflexes quick as a nightmare. In his shark’s teeth smile was a match he chewed endlessly. Black shoes that reflect light the way knocked out molars shine on pavement.
And a red tie, the fire of hell.

His name was Jack. Nothing more.
And he was leaning into a chair while through a cigar smoke fog bank and over the card table came Stanislov’s words, thick and postage paid straight from the motherland.

“Do not worry, kid. If everything goes smooth, you will walk away rich man.”

Jack made his living leaving safes and armored cars as hollow as a child’s dream. He never worried.

The sun set and rose three times and the day came.

Six guys carrying rifles behind him and Jack screams and everybody

Everybody minus one. One kid. Early twenties.

The tellers are crying and saying, “please god I have a family.” “please, just don’t hurt me.” “please.” Shoving money in to big bags.

And one of this kid’s pens is leaking into his pocket protector the same way it always does for an hour in the morning before he notices.

Jack’s gun is busy leaving a bruise in this suspender wearing sob’s temple when he sees.

“I thought I told you to get down,” Jack barks as he covers the distance between them, leading with his weapon.

And this kid. This kid doesn’t move.

Jack is inches from his face.
Jack decides that’s warning enough, and he breaks this kids glasses with the butt of his rifle.

For a minute, the kid’s a paper bag, and Jack’s walkin’ away, but then he stands back up.

He sniffs hard.

And the sound echoes.

And Jack stops.

Turns around, and starts comin’ back.

“Alright kid, you wanna play hero? Fine. You can die for these people.”

And this kid, this fucking cubicle jockey, button up plaid t-shirt nobody mops the blood off his face with his hand, shakes his head, and lets out half a laugh.

Jack’s ten inches away, and this kid lets out a deep breath, with a hanged man’s grin.

And right before Jack reaches for his rifle, this kid


And it connects.

NOTE: I believe this one goes under Nodeshell Rescue Project.

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