It just occurred to me that I’ve been rather remiss: I’ve been going on and on about how I’m a creative writer, but I haven’t actually shared any of my creative works with you (besides shamelessly pitching my book, of course). It’s high time I corrected that failure.
This piece was a one-shot that I wrote a few years ago in response to a writing prompt that Mike Kupari posted on a web forum that we both frequented at the time. It’s set in the same universe as the Four Horsemen story I’ve mentioned before. I was planning on expanding it into a full-length novel, but never got around to it. Maybe some day, but in the meantime I’ve cleaned it up and “modernized” it a bit for your reading pleasure. I’ve tentatively titled it Death and the Angel. I hope you enjoy it.
Oh, and I think this song* serves as an excellent soundtrack. So without further ado:
Tires squealed on the soaked asphalt as my Mustang roared through the night. My MP5 flew off the passenger’s seat and landed in the footwell as I braked hard for the exit ramp. The stock was still coated with blood and bone fragments from when I’d bashed in Carmine’s skull with it. Fire coursed through my chest with each breath, a constant reminder of those few seconds where everything had gone to hell. Kevlar and quick reflexes had saved my life, but they hadn’t been enough to keep Sal’s men from grabbing Helen.
Her angelic face filled my mind’s eye as I pressed accelerator against firewall, tearing through the streets of Atlantic City at psychotically dangerous speeds. I barely noticed. I was on the razor’s edge: acting and reacting by pure survival instinct, fueled by that dangerous cocktail of pain, adrenaline, and manic desperation.
I had only let my guard down on the platform for a few brief seconds, but it had been more than enough. I’d screwed up. I’d failed her. Now she was back in the hands of that monster. I didn’t let myself think about what Sal might be doing to her. I’m not a religious man, not by any stretch of the imagination, but from the second I’d car jacked that Uber driver in front of 30th Street Station, I had been praying that I wasn’t too late.
The parking lot at Farley State Marina was all but deserted, no surprise considering it was well after 0300. A handful of vehicles were parked near the docks. Right smack in the center was Sal’s Porsche. For a terrible moment, I thought I was too late. Then I saw the Appolonia. The enormous Sunseeker sport yacht was still in her birth, lights blazing like a beacon in the storm. I let out a breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding.
I parked a little ways off from Sal’s vehicles and grabbed my MP5, slinging it over my shoulder and pulling the stock open as I climbed out into the driving rain and began moving towards the marina with deadly purpose.
A figure emerged from the darkness as I neared the docks.
“Carmine?” he called. It was one of Sal’s men, “Terry? Rod? That yous guys?” It took me a few seconds to identify the voice. Vinnie. Or maybe his name was Vito. I didn’t remember. And it didn’t matter. I snapped up the submachine gun and let it answer for me. The goon crumpled in a bloody heap. The fat, stubby suppressor attached to the muzzle muffled the gun’s report down to a polite coughing fit. Nobody would notice it over the rain. As I marched past, I saw that he was still moving, gasping for air, trying to draw his pistol. I let off a second quick burst and splattered his brains all over the pavement. Raindrops hissed and popped as they struck the now-warm suppressor.
I moved onto the dock, subgun at low-ready. Aside from the lights on Sal’s yacht, there was no sign of life. I headed towards Appolonia’s slip, moving from shadow to shadow like a ghost. Or the Grim Reaper. In less than a minute, I was crouched on the enormous yacht’s swimming deck. Once more, I prayed to a God I wasn’t sure existed that I was not too late. If I was…
I shook my head. It didn’t matter. It was no longer a question of whether or not I planned on letting Salvatore Abandonato live. It was only a matter of how slowly I was going to let him die.
Hope you liked it.
Never stop writing.
*Yes, I know it’s a cliche. Don’t care: I love that song, and it fits the mood of the piece perfectly (in my opinion, anyway).