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Flash Fiction: Halfway Point

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This flash fiction piece was written for Sunday Scribblings. Be sure to drop by, read, and leave comments!
~~~~~~~~~

Vince rested his hand on the gun at his hip. "I don't like it."

"Looks okay to me, boss." Ozone shrugged.

"It would." Speedball toyed with his knife. "You've always got your head in the clouds."

"At least it's not up my--"

"Guys." Vince motioned for silence. "Save it for after we close the deal. Speedball, check the west side. Ozone, you take the east. I'll go up ahead and see if anything's happening yet."

While his men went to inspect the decrepit buildings and alleyways, Vince moved cautiously up the street, trying to appear casual while keeping a sharp eye for anything suggesting an ambush. This was no-man's land, halfway between the area he controlled and that of his contact, but that didn't explain his unease. Bigger things were happening. The vibe felt off.

A shadow detached itself from the darkness and Vince started to draw his gun, but then realized it was only Malo, his contact. He waited, every nerve on edge.

"Your guys ready?"

Vince gave a slight shake of his head. "Bad time, bad place."

Malo's lips twisted in an ugly sneer. "You can't back out now. We have a deal."

"I'm not backing out. We just can't do it here. Something--"

Running feet. A shout. Then the hard impact of asphalt as Speedball shoved him to the ground. The explosion obliterated every thought and sent tremors through the earth. When he recovered enough to look up, Vince saw Malo on the ground in front of him, equally alarmed.

"It's a setup," Speedball said. He hauled Vince to his feet.

Malo threw up his hands. "It wasn't me, I swear!"

There was no time to speculate. Vince and Speedball ran back the way they had come, with the sound of gunfire erupting in the distance. They reached Coal Street, one of the borders of their turf, and ducked into a building.

"What was that about?" Vince said, after catching his breath.

"Not sure."

"Probably the Diablos. Seems like their kind of work."

"They've got infiltrators everywhere," Speedball agreed.

"Ozone get out?"

"Dunno."

Vince pondered. He was always willing to risk his neck for loyal guys, but if he didn't know where Ozone was or if he was even in danger...

"We shouldn't do this any more."

"Do what? Make deals?"

"No, meet people out there. We should make them come to us."

It was a nice thought, but no one could earn a living that way. Vince suppressed a sigh. "Sorry, man, but that only works in fairy tales. It's risky, but in real life you have to try to meet folks halfway."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For more stories about Vince, go here.

5 comments:

oldegg said...

I thought half way may be the safe option but clearly for Vince, Speedball and Ozone that doesn't seem to be the case this time.

August 9, 2010 at 12:01 AM
Alice Audrey said...

Scary when meeting folks half way means taking your life into your hands.

August 11, 2010 at 7:23 PM
Dee Martin said...

I like how Vince always thinks, always is on edge, always watching for whatever is going to happen and it happen it does. I'm getting to like his character more and more.

August 15, 2010 at 6:57 AM
Thomma Lyn said...

Marvelous pacing and dialogue -- taut and tight. Vince is a fascinating character.

August 21, 2010 at 8:31 PM
Susan Helene Gottfried said...

ahh, ain't that the truth. You've gotta meet people halfway.

August 24, 2010 at 8:15 AM