Chapter 33 Gangster Apostle

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Bravo —Tuesday, 9:46 PM

The sun melts into the horizon behind me. I set my sights on the warehouse's shadowy walls. A violet-orange reflects along windows that dare face me. Time to unsettle the pleasant quiet over Ottawa's Vanier borough. We're just off Montreal Street, perhaps no one will even notice.

"It's a mauzy day..."

I renew my study of the creature at my side. A gnome, by all classifications—red beanie, scruffy white beard, short stature. Whatever Caterina has been feeding me must empower my understanding of his gnomish dialect. When pressed earlier he referred to his race's homeland as 'Noo Fun Land'.

"Indeed. They're calling for a shower of tears this evening. I can hear it..." I draw the compressed air launcher from my duffel bag.

"What in the name of o' Lard Jasus u gonna do wit da, ma b'y? 'At a tater gun?" He recoils further along the edge of warehouse's vacant parking lot.

"Similar in design... I've fashioned it to deliver tear gas," I hoist the cylindrical weapon upon my shoulders, "with a pinch of magnesium for illumination. Silhouette shall soon dance along the windows for our entertainment. Shall we?"

I slide my finger from the trigger as he removes his beanie and rubs it around his head in protest.

"Lard thunderin' Thomas! Deboniare said you'd settle this dispute. I just wan' ma money."

"I sympathize. Perhaps they even brought it. Reciprocally, they may be aiming weapons as we speak. Let's invite them out and ask..."

He hops behind, his hands hugging his chest. I assume it a gnomish jig to sanctify my cannon's trajectory. Clicking the plastic trigger ignites the compression chamber, forcing the payload through the tube at three hundred miles per hour. The window's satisfying crash makes me smile. Freeing myself from the potato cannon's weight, I pull my guns, strapped to my chest, from their holsters.

"The arse is gone out o' 'er now... Oh b'y!"

"Wait for it..."

Incendiary magnesium flares within the warehouse. From this distance the strobing warehouse's activity could be mistaken for a rave, if you ignored the fumes pouring from the shattered central window.

Very well then... safeties off... The double click is a satisfying intro as ants pour from the hive I've smoked.

"Now tell me, my faerie companion, are they holding guns... or your money?"

Six black shadows appear like wraiths as they exit the flaring background. They wipe arms across their weeping faces as their hands wield...

"Guns!" The gnome squeals.

He's alerted the blind prey to our position, leaving me with just a moment to decide... Do I draw my aimed weapons together, popping them like a crashing wave? Or shall I alternate between left and right pistols to create a cascade of casualty?

I turn my wrists forty-five degrees, anticipate the recoil, then translate the depression of triggers into rapid motions of the hammer. As their knees explode to the notes, their heads follow the same chorus before they can even stumble upon my sweeping melody.

I'm a virtuoso, yet I feel empty inside.

The gnome peeks through fingers. "Whadda y'at? Ya look kicked in tha friggin' arse."

I holster my weapons. "You speak the truth, my woodland friend. My art brings me no joy. The voiding denial about my brother's disappearance has been replaced by reality, crashing down upon me. He's gone, Olaf..."

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