Thanks to Cormac Brown for hosting Friday Flash Fiction.
Mule. On the Run.
Mule had to kick out the back window to escape. Nick of time, it was. Killer had just walked into the apartment, going room to room with his silenced Magnum .357, a gunman’s gun. Killer, wearing black from head to toe, shades covering bloodshot eyes which always lit up at the mere sight of his prey, kicked down the door to the now-empty room.
Mule hit the asphalt and ran. The package was wrapped in his arms, held tight against his body. Couldn’t let that go. Not now, not ever. Precious, is what it was.
Behind him, Mule heard Killer curse as he leaned out the window frame. Mule shifted into high gear as Killer took his aim, fingered the trigger, but pulled back at the last second, always a pro, never one to shoot for the sake of shooting, like those amateurs in every action movie, spreading bullets like butter on toast.
Killer jumped down and hit the ground with a thud just as Mule rounded the corner and found an abandoned bicycle, ancient one with the three-speed shifter on the frame. Mule got on and pedaled, steering it down the cracked pavement with one hand, swerving around any obstacle.
Ahead, a car rounded the corner, fast, and Mule turned at a 90-degree angle to avoid it. That allowed him a look behind him at Killer, gun tucked under his jacket. Mule could see Killer looking for a way to keep up with him, finding a teenager and his longboard.
Mule pumped his legs to regain speed as Killer’s meaty paws grabbed the skating boy and separated him from his board. Killer threw the teen to the ground and hopped on the board. It took him a few moments to get it right, balancing his bulk on the narrow board. He managed it and took off after Mule.
Legs pumping, but losing steam. Fast. Mule’d never had much endurance, going back to high school gym class, laps around the track at a speed close to park. Not where he got the name Mule, in case you’re wondering.
No, that came when he started working for Dealer. Slaving, would be more like it, as he worked to pay off a debt. Not his.
Sister, addict because of Mule, who’d helped her sneak out to go to a party where she met Pimp, older black dude who charmed the clothes off her fourteen year-old body and had her snorting and whoring before her next birthday. Pimp ran with Dealer.
Mule got wise to it the hard way, walking innocently downtown and coming up on his sister, higher than high, strutting up and down the street looking for a john who’d pay for her next hit.
Mule went to Dealer, worked out a way to get his sister out of the whoring business. At least there’s that, he thought. One step at a time.
Dealer had him on deliveries and pickups, calling him UPS and Brown, giggling his fat ass off every time they met.
Now Sister was dead, od’d in the back room of a titty bar Pimp had taken her to. Bad shit from a poisoned shipment Dealer got for a good price.
So the next time Dealer sent him out for a pickup, Mule saw his chance for payback.
Package was nice and heavy. Mule knew it was worth oodles to Dealer, maybe more to someone else. So he decided to keep it for himself, sell it to the highest bidder, Ebay-style. Grab the coin, run, farthest place from here, beach and babes would be nice.
He worked fast, but not fast enough. Killer found him like a fat kid finds a stash of cookie dough ice cream.
And now, on a crowded downtown street under the high noon sun, Mule was on a stolen bike, exhausted, trying to put distance between him and the skating Killer, closing in on him. A dozen feet, at most, less with every passing second. Mule had the faster vehicle, but not the stamina.
And then Killer was next to him, the sound of the board’s wheels rubbing on the pavement coming in loud and clear in Mule’s ears.
A steel-capped boot, black, came up, then down on Mule’s left ankle. Lost his balance and fell off the bike, naked skin scraping on the asphalt as he spun and slid to a stop under a parked Benz. Mucho pain.
Killer got off the board, came back to bend over Mule’s beaten body. Pulled him out from under the Benz.
Mule’s eyes opening, a dark mass spinning above him. Focus came fast as he realized he had a black Magnum .357 pointed on his forehead.
Behind the shades, the illuminated eyes of a predator sinking his teeth into his prey.
Killer cocked the gun and fingered the trigger
Tires screeched. Honking, loud and long, then short, again and again, louder. Metal slamming together. More screeching.
Killer’s legs taken out from under him, sideswiped by an out of control Beemer, throwing the big man into the air, twisting like a diver off the high tower, only not as pretty as he landed head first on the asphalt, his skull smashing open like a watermelon, pieces landing next to Mule’s head.
The beemer’s bumpers, front, then back, passed inches over Mule’s head.
Mule who hugged the package tightly against his chest and smiled, before the lights went off.