Through the slats of the stacked-up pallets I’m squeezed in behind, I see the barrel of the .38 that left me to bleed out on the floor stick past the door frame. I hoped that it, and the waste of skin with his chubby little sausage finger pressed against the trigger, would’ve assumed a job well done and buggered off. But, just my luck, it looks like that little prick Eugene wants to make sure what’s left of my sorry life is at its end.
The pistol comes into full view. A pudgy face with a crazed grin, nearly splitting it in two, shows soon after. Didn’t think I could hate it more than I already do, but I was wrong. Before the door closes, cold wind and a few scattered snowflakes push into the room, along with the echo of a Christmas carol pouring from a loudspeaker down the street. Eugene walks slow across the open floor, eyes searching every corner, sometimes twice. I think I’m done for, but I’m deep enough in the shadows that he passes by without noticing me.
With a clear view of his back, I wish I had the strength to get up and kick him in his underused micro-penis, just like I used to do when we were kids. Course, I didn’t really mean it back then. It was something to do. Now, given the opportunity, I’d give it all I’ve got.
Who would have guessed that we’d be two of the only ones from our generation not to have dreams of moving to the big city? When you live in a place called Last Chance, typically, it’s a given. I still haven’t figured out my excuse, but Eugene’s family has been here for generations. They founded the place for all I know. Probably been running things behind the scenes the whole time. Politicians and cops. Money and drugs. This town’s their own personal puppet show. Too bad I stumbled into something without meaning to and threatened to cut the strings.
Eugene takes a few more tentative steps before circling back to the entrance. I try not to make sad little girl noises as I draw my hand away from the oozing wound in my side and reach out for my blade. As my fingers wrap around the handle, it occurs to me I’ve only got one shot at this, and I need to make it count.