Bangk! by L. Vera
The door swells with the sound.
"Hold on, dammit!" A man in his early twenties arose from the stairs that led to the basement.
"I said I'm coming," yells the man again.
Every time the door knocks, he feels pangs of fear jump through his spine.
He peers through the peephole. With his right hand against the door he yells, "What do you want?"
"Let me in!"
A man in his late forties pushes against the door with both hands. His head hung between his arms, looking down at the ground. He never looks up as he says, "Let me in, you ass."
"Who, the hell, are you?" the man in the inside of the house demands.
"Who, the hell, are you?" the man on the outside yells back.
There is pain resonating from his stomach as a small sliver of fear reaches his throat. He still manages to say, "Get the fuck out of here. You know the rules. You call first. You pay second. You get high last."
The man on the outside mumbles something to himself. He then shakes his head and chuckles. Then he pulls his hands from the door.
The man inside notices that the man outside held a pen in his left hand. It was obscured at first by the peepholes boundaries but was now very clearly visible. Never looking up, the man outside produces a tiny piece of paper and begins to write.
Inside there was silence. Many questions fill the man in the inside's head. Who is this man? What does he want? Why is he writing on a tiny sheet of paper? But better yet, what is he writing?
The man never looks up. When he finishes writing he brings the paper to the peephole. His face is briefly exposed but the man in the inside's eyes adjusts with the note, not the man's face. The man on the outside's face blurs as his left hand pulls his gum out of his mouth and places it on the paper.
The note sticks over the peephole. It is hard to make out what was written. The top half was dark but there was some light from beneath the note. The last word was... "...there." There seem to be two more lines above it. The second line ends with a "g".
The light on the outside got a bit brighter. It was late and the porch light had a tendency to grow brighter through the night. "...standing..." was the word. His stomach fills with the feeling of a large worm trying to crawl out. The light got brighter and then there was a sound of tires hopping on the curb.
He is truly fascinated. It could be the adrenaline from the drugs or the fact that he is just curious about what this man has written on this paper. He could not move. The worm tore a pit full of fear.
It is the drugs and as the car reaches the door he saw the final words. "Thanks for...".
"Thanks for standing there."
The car breaches the door and crushes Manuel under the door, under the car, and under the man who was outside. Now he is inside.
* * *
There is another man inside the two-story building. He is busy weighing his merchandise on a digital scale. He had just sent his friend upstairs to see who is banging at the door.
What he heard had bothered him. The spiteful, malice filled banging had a bit of a different sound than normal knock. As if whoever was knocking held something in his hand. A gun? A bat? It was a pen.
He grabs his gun. He carries his trusty revolver around with him everywhere. As a precaution he always left it on the table he worked. Over his lifetime he has fired his gun more than several times. A customer once asked him if he had killed anyone. He said, "How would I know? I never stuck around to find out." Everyone laughed. Himself included.
There is silence upstairs. The man knocking must have gone away. He rests the gun neatly back where it lay before. He is in his mid twenties but looks as if he were in his thirties. His head was bald and his arms were muraled with tattoos. It is too quiet he thinks to himself.
Before he had a chance to yell to Manuel, a car crashes through the door.
"What the...!" involuntarily left his lips.
He stands there waiting. He hears a car door slam and then once again there is silence. He stands there for what seems like a couple of minutes. He stares at the door that led into the basement. There at the top of the stairs is the only way into the basement. But nothing came through.
He thought to himself, it must be over. He refuses to move until he knew for sure. His life depends on it. He had been to jail before. He had also been to prison. He had never been on his deathbed, yet. He had never seen anyone die. Of course he knows he must have taken someone's life, but he never witnessed it. He never saw anyone die but everyone he shot at somehow disappeared. Some left town, mostly their own fear drove them away but his fear does not drive him away. His fear made him stand still; he is paralyzed, frozen.
Then he sees shadows step into the light under the crack beneath the door. He remains quiet, his eyes fixates on the door. He holds his gun directly in front of him.
The light from behind the door goes out. Then the door opens and slowly swings open. The man downstairs in the basement fires three shots. A shoe steps out and he fired the rest into the shadow filled body. It stumbles forward pushing the door quickly open.
Out of the shadows fell a young woman named Jane. She was the only woman who believed in him. The only women who knew he could change. She waited for him when he was in jail and when he was in prison. She waited for him upstairs in her room waiting for him to finish and spend time with her.
Her mouth and her wrist were bounded with duct tape as she lies slumped on the stairs. Now she no longer needs to wait for him.
Police sirens fill the house. The darkness at the top of the stairs turns into a fearful red then into an assuring blue. It is over. The cops are here. The man upstairs is gone.
It really is over. The drug dealer has no other choice; he no longer has a reason to live. His only love is gone.