This passage was inspired by this week’s Red Writing Hood Prompt – Rain.
The pouring, driving rain continued to come down in sheets, obscuring the gunman’s departure and pretty much everything else at the intersection. Dozens of passersby bolted for the relative dryness provided by various awnings and storefronts nearby. Max crouched behind the news stand, getting drenched, his heart beating like a freight train in his chest. He’d come this close to getting a gaping hole punched through it and he was still juiced up from adrenaline.
No one said a word to him as the downpour subsided and the deluge dried up, as if someone had turned off a faucet in the sky. Foot traffic resumed and various sneakers, boots, and high heels trod along the sidewalk where Max had fallen, trampling the mess of sandwiches and wrappers into the concrete. It was almost as if the episode hadn’t happened at all. Or maybe he’d hallucinated it?
Max stood, peeled off his sodden jacket and attempted vainly to smooth the wrinkles of his shirt. He tried to look casual. He fought the urge to shake himself like a dog as water dripped from his wet hair down his forehead and into his eyes and down the back of his neck. He checked his phone to see how late he was and did a double take. The clock on his phone read 3:04. He distinctly remembered checking the clock on the wall inside Lucky’s when he picked up the sandwiches and seeing 3:00 exactly.
Four minutes? Was that even possible? He stuck his head back in the door of the delicatessen to check their clock again. 3:05. Max was dumbfounded. He remembered the feeling of time slowing down when he’d looked up from his seat on the ground and seen the barrel-chested man. Dropping his bag and diving behind the news stand, the shotgun blast, the sudden storm, all of those things seemed to have happened in a blink, but c’mon, there was no way they actually did. Was there?
Punching a few buttons, Max re-dialed Ralphie’s number. It barely rang once.
“Dude, what? Just get here!”
“What?! It’s been like two minutes, you said you were running late, I get it. Is it raining there? Don’t let the sandwiches get soaked.”
“I know, but…”
Ralphie hung up. Max was confused and still unsure what had happened. Shaking his head he went back inside Lucky’s. He couldn’t go to Ralphie’s without those sandwiches.