Standing now, shaking flecks of plaster and brick from his hair, Max walked tentatively toward the gaping hole where once the elevator doors stood, mindful of the rubble strewn across the hallway. There was no sign of Ralphie, or the cop, or the dark, hooded figures…
Did he remember that correctly? Had there truly been dark, hooded figures in the hallway? The last day or so melted in his memory like so much rainwater streaming down the windowpanes of his friend’s apartment building. A ringing persisted in his left ear, bothersome that.
A crowd of startled faces appeared from Ralphie’s open doorway behind Max. Various neighbors on the floor began filing out, a quiet rumble of questions and exclamations emanating from them as they gathered, transfixed by the aftermath of what seemingly was some kind of explosion. Was it terrorists? A gas leak?
Though Max hadn’t invited him, the elderly gentleman from 9A was suddenly at his elbow, peering down the ruined shaft. The scent of oil and burning electrical wires assaulted their senses. The old man muttered, “how positively noisome.”
Max looked at him, blinking.
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Ralphie thought it all felt like an episode of The Chicago Code as he and Max cautiously followed the officer out the door and down the hall to the stairwell. She had her gun drawn, a grim, stoic look on her face, and moved with trained fluidity. Contrastingly, it was all Ralphie could do not to trip over his own feet.
Max followed a bit too closely, his head swiveling nervously, hissing into Ralphie’s ear. “This is such a mistake. We’ll be sitting ducks going down the stairs!”
“Are you kidding?” Ralphie whispered, breathlessly, in reply. “This is fucking brilliant!”
This is my response to this week’s 100 Word Song Challenge from Lance, Leroy, and Linda, Elvis Costello’s wonderful “Brilliant Mistake.”
“It might actually be safer for you to come with me to the station and answer some questions. No one would dare try to kill you there,” she said blandly, blinking as she turned first to Max and then to Ralphie.
The look on Ralphie’s face, they way his eyebrows were raised, his cheeks taut in an ear-to-ear grin, said he thought the idea was perfect, that he’d be happy to oblige the officer.
“I don’t think I agree,” Max countered. ” Until we know exactly who we’re dealing with, I don’t see how you can possibly know that. I don’t approve.”
The 100 Word Challenge prompt this week is: Countenance
“Chicago PD would like to talk to you both regarding your connection with this man,” said the officer, holding up a black and white mug-shot of a grim-looking, barrel-chested man. “Seen him before?”
Max swallowed the lump in his throat, nodding. “Less than an hour ago that man tried to kill me outside Lucky’s Deli,” he managed, his pulse quickening as he recalled the incident.
“What?” Ralphie exclaimed, spitting out his drink. “On the phone you said you had the grub and everything was fine!”
The cop shifted her feet. “I’m thinkin’ you’re never going back to okay, Mr. Sampson.”
This is my response to last week’s 100 Word Song challenge from Lance & Leroy. Be sure to click the image to head over and read all the great entries.
The barrel-chested man sat behind the wheel of his plain, white van, parked at the corner. He’d had a clear view of the front of Ralphie’s building and screwed up his face in a snarl watching the female police officer enter. He’d been so worked up his heart threatened to beat right out of his chest, but now he’d wait. There was something about those guys that really didn’t make any sense. He knew Max wasn’t dead, though at the close quarters outside the deli the cops should have been picking up pieces of Max from the sidewalk along with the sandwiches. And that downpour? Where the Hell had that come from?
The engine of the plain, white van roared to life and the barrel-chested man pulled slowly away from the curb and into traffic, heading deeper into the heart of the city. There would be another time to take care of this situation. He couldn’t afford entanglement with the authorities again.
This was in response to last week’s prompts at Studio30Plus.com.