Original Challenge Post - 8/27/2018
"Hold on. You died."
"Yeah, well, it didn't stick."
2018 © Jena Gregoire
I rushed down the darkened sidewalk, eager to put as much distance as possible between myself and the sin I'd just committed. The steel in my jacket pocket was scorching against my hand but the adrenaline wouldn't let me feel the full force of it. Did that really just happen? I thought as I glanced over my shoulder. I stumbled slightly as the tip of my shoe caught the edge of a crack in the dilapidated sidewalk. I regained my step and slowed my gate, carefully peeking around the corner of the alley to be sure it was clear before I slipped into the safety of its shadows.
I ducked behind a dumpster and leaned against the wall. I tried to concentrate and listen for the sound of footsteps but the thundering in my ears drowned out all hope of hearing anything, let alone a professional in predatory pursuit.
I didn't mean to kill him. I panicked. I'm nobody. A small-time grifter, short cons only. I don't even know how I ended up in the same room with the guy. I didn't belong there and it was as obvious to everyone else as it had been to me. The moment the door closed behind me, I slid my hand over the gun hidden in my pocket and felt to make sure the safety was off. I should have just left it alone.
It was an honest mistake but that didn't change the fact that now a man was dead. And not just any ordinary man but the head of the oldest crime family in the entire western hemisphere. And it was all my fault. The army that must be after me right now...
As I closed my eyes and focused on my breathing, the same question repeated in my head over and over again. What just happened? What just happened? I silently chanted the words like they could somehow change what I'd done, like they could rewind the last ten minutes and somehow undo what would surely prove to be the worst mistake of my entire life.
I pulled the gun from my pocket and using the sleeve of my jacket, I wiped it down and stood up just enough to toss it into the dumpster. I crouched back down and leaned back against the wall again with my head in my hands. I had no clue what to do next or even where to go. I couldn't go to my apartment. If anyone in that room had any clue who I was, that's the first place they'd look for me. Nope, home was not an option.
A car passed by the mouth of the alley and I about jumped out of my skin. I couldn't retreat far enough into the shadows and at that moment, I knew I'd never feel safe again. There was no cave deep enough to hide in. The Dellucci family had staying power and with good reason. Their network of contacts was legendary. With the kind of resources they're rumored to have at their disposal, everyone knew not even WITSEC had a snowball's chance in hell of keeping them safe.
God, I am so screwed...
"Maybe not," a voice said from somewhere further into the alley. It was so dark I couldn't make out who was speaking.
"Can I-- Can I help you?" My words came out in a stutter even though it was likely just one of the city's countless vagrants. I'd probably stolen someone's squat for the night and while I was busy worrying about a mobster coming to snuff me out, this guy was probably searching for a brick to take care of the job himself.
"Listen to you carrying on. You're just a big ball of nerves."
"What are you talking ab--" He stepped into the light and I choked on my words. The evening's events played over in my mind. I was standing there with my back to the door and the sudden realization that I was surrounded by most of the FBI's Top 20 Most Wanted list. The baddest of the bad. The types of guys they make those spy movies about. It all happened so fast but it felt like an eternity as it unfolded.
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Flash Fiction Challenge - 2018 - Volume IGeneral Fiction
Each week, Pure Textuality PR will post a writing prompt, dialog line, or story starter out on our blog (it will also be included in the weekly author newsletter). Participating authors will then have the week to post a piece of flash fiction based...