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The road before us

3 June 1978
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"Holy Shit!"

We had just walked out of the thump of Ladies Night at Dee Dee's, the door behind Celia in a slow motion swing close on flashing strobes, and between us the last drops of blood were impacting the pavement around a man's shattered head. Someone very unlucky for a Saturday night down at The Crawl, someone I didn't want to know, didn't even want to sniff. Us runaway girls knew when to steer clear. Now, we were swimming in it.

I knew the time crunch I was seeing was due to the three tabs of Salvation I dropped an hour ago, that I could run in just a second, as soon as the adrenalin caught up with the rest of me. In the 'tween time, my eyes stuck in a stare at the dead man's face. He'd fallen in a reverse cranial cannon ball from a dry-dive ten floors up, and for the life of me, he looked just like my daddy. Even with the bloody tooth sliding from the corner of his mouth in a slimy trail toward his right eye, or what was left of it.

I looked up in time to see Celia's lips curling back to scream, and Mr. Unlucky's body crumbling feet first on his own face. Then she was screeching, and time slammed back, and I was flying with the angels down an alleyway, the slap of my metal capped boots keeping pace with the wing beats.

Celia got caught in a lead rain from the rooftop, the ricochets echoing through the warehouse district. Then, the clatter of an ejected magazine that took a tumble.

I took a right, squeezing between two dumpsters to ditch my shoes. I wanted to take them with me, knew I'd need them tomorrow if I lived through tonight, so I shoved them behind some crates in a gambler's compromise. Then, I sat very still, and said a little prayer.

All content copyright David Baker, 2005