Watch It Burn

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June 2nd, 1951

Light flooded my vision. Was I dead? Was this heaven? Surely not, they would reject me at the gates. I coughed and groaned as feeling crept back into my body. Sarah... Maggy? Are you there? I struggled with my consciousness. I think I was awake, but I felt uneasy. Then I remembered, just enough to feel the pain. This was hell, the reality I can't escape. I was still alive and I couldn't have been more pissed off.

I stared blankly at the walls as the orderly rolled my wheel chair towards the exit. My mind was full with heavy thoughts, past and future. It had been three days in this shithole hospital, full of doctors that don't give a flying shit. They just want you out to get another sucker in. We aren't people, just pay cheques.

"Here we are sir." The orderly said as he stopped at the door. "I hope you have a good day sir, and take care of yourself." He smiled.

"Go fuck yourself." I muttered. I'm sure he was caught off guard by my callousness. But how would you feel after having your family murdered then charged eight thousand dollars on the way out? I would have rather die with my family. Fuckers never cared to ask me if I wanted saving. How does one live when your whole world is dead? You... well... you fucking don't.

I struggled out of the chair and to my feet. My stomach burned and I groaned and probably cursed a few more times. The orderly quickly took away the wheelchair and left in a huff. I stood outside the hospital and reached into the pocket of my blood stained trench coat and grabbed my pack of smokes. I pulled one out, lit it up and took a huge drag. I coughed like a bitch that was trying his first cigarette then shuffled towards home.

I was all the way across the city. I flipped open my wallet. Fuck, down to my last forty fuckin' dollars. I hauled heavy on my cigarette and coughed again. The deep inhales were fucking with my skewered insides. Not enough for a cab, I'll have to take the subway.

I needed a damn drink. Thankfully I knew a place just up on 43rd. Bourbon; it was my drink, my secret love. My wife would jokingly call me an alcoholic and it was probably true, but alcohol made me think clearer. It got me to slow down and think things through. I grabbed two big bottles off the shelf and spent thirty of my last forty dollars. Just enough left for the subway home.

"Home", I thought to myself. I had no more home, not after what happened. It was now the murder house on Cherry Avenue, a story in the paper, a whispered tale of horror among the neighbours. I'm sure they thought I was dead too. I wish I was, but it was home to me no more. Dead... like my family.

I walked down the steps to the subway. People stared at my blood stained coat; I could feel their eyes burning holes through me. I didn't give a shit though. I didn't give a shit about anything anymore. I stood at the terminal and waited. I wrestled with my emotions briefly before cracking open one of the bottles of bourbon. I took a big swig. Fuck it was tasty. It reminded me of nights with my wife, where she would have dinner on the table when I got home from work and I would pour myself a nice glass and we would talk about our days. I never shared much, but she loved to talk and I loved to listen to her. They were wonderful memories, but painful fuckin' memories.

The subway train arrived and I got on, found a nice seat away from everyone and huddled up. I took another swig of bourbon and let the memories wash over me. I noticed a pretty girl sitting at the end of the car. She must have been eighteen or so, but she reminded me of my daughter with her long brown hair and thin lips, her hazel eyes and the way she fiddled with the book as she read it. I smiled, but tears soon tried to follow. I swigged more bourbon to fight them back.

I used to be a cop; the toughest mother fucker around. It was my job to protect the innocent, but this city has gone to shit. Half the cops are corrupt and paid off by the mob, the rest are too afraid to do anything about it. It's one of the reasons I quit the force and became a private investigator. I wanted to help the people, the people the police are afraid to actually protect. I gave my whole life for this city, literally, and the fuckers have the balls to tell me they can't do anything about my family. They claim they have no suspects or evidence. Fucking fuckers, I know exactly who is responsible. I drank more bourbon, but it wasn't comforting anymore, it only fueled my frustrations. It was Joey Macone, the mob boss that has taken this city by storm. He sent his men to off me, I fucking know it. I could spot his thugs from a mile away. I threw a few in jail years ago, but they always seem to make it back on the streets.

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