Showing posts from May, 2006
47. "Tell the tale," and Milt sank to his knees.
48. All expression drained from his face.
49. Milt felt short of breath; he sucked the mist stertorously, too weak to hold it in; too weak to expand his blood-filling lungs.
50. "Tell it..." and his head slowly bent over and led the rest of his body down.
51. The crumpled hat slid over his face, paused there briefly, and then drifted off blithely, like a feather.
52. His left hand fell open across the polished nails of the shiny-black, open-toed pump arching her right heel, as with her left, up five inches.
53. The ring rolled off his palm, and it continued on, until it reached the center of a dark puddle in the middle of the street.
54. Natalie leisurely closed her eyes, and, just as leisurely, she breathed in the clean, damp mist.
55. She would not be rushed, not even in the face of death.
56. Bart took aim with his cold eyes; everything else about him wavered.
57. When the weapon discharged he turned his head half around—as if in surprise—as if Lew or somebody else had fired.
58. The blast carved a small crater out of the street.
59. Granules of Piccochi Ave. sprayed Natalie in the face.
60. Somewhere, the ring—more a scarred twist of metal now than anything else—clinked lightly out of the lives of all present.
61. Bart let gravity take the emptied Smith & Wesson 39 from his hand.
62. The pistol hit the street with a metallic slap .
63. Bart kicked it and it spun on the damp pavement toward its victim.
64. Lew patted him on the arm and Bart replied by planting an elbow squarely into his stomach.
65. Lew sucked air, bent just a bit, grimaced, and said, “Nice one. Let’s beat it, huh?”
66. Bart balled his fists, cracked his knuckles, and took a heavy step forward.
67. Natalie’s legs buckled and she felt herself fall straight down; felt herself hit the curb, hard.
68. She landed beside the bloody heap of flesh and bone and fabric—along with a substantial amount of freshly stopped lead—that once comprised the embodiment of one Milt McQuarry.
69. Lew stretched a hand out fast, grabbed, and said, “Chomp, that’s enough .”
70. Bart yanked away, tearing his overcoat’s woolen sleeve where it met the shoulder.
71. He said, “Anywhere but at me…” She barely made out his words. “Eh, Natalie?”
72. Gunfire’s lingering echo filled her head.
73. It had the effect of lead fists punching her skull out from within.
74. Another hard-elbow to the ribs and Bart would’ve been free of Lew’s grasp.
75. “You’ll stare at the rat piss streaming down the gutter,” he said. “Won’t ya?” —Bart, at last, felt the weight of the night press down— “Before raisin’ another eye to me…”
76. Lew crammed him into the backseat, slammed the door, and then, very deliberately, wiped one hand against the other.
77. Bart reached for the handle; the door popped ajar.