BITTER END

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The emptiness of revenge; death as a transition; you are still alive as long as one person remembers you.

Submitted: October 11, 2016

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Submitted: October 11, 2016

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BITTER END

Flash Fiction

Nicholas Cochran

 

Three hours earlier, somewhere off Main Street, Justin Forrest had spotted the man he had been seeking for eight years: Randolph Joseph Crew, a man wanted dead or alive for multiple offenses, including murder.

Justin wanted him for only one murder: the murder of his son, Charlie.  

 

Charlie Forrest was only seventeen when Crew shot him during a card-club robbery on San Pablo Avenue in Emeryville.

Charlie was a one-month summer employee of the First National Bank.  He had come to the club to deliver a message to Jack Amos that the bank was cutting off his loans.

Charlie was set to travel with a couple of buddies to Alaska for the remainder of their summer vacation, where they would work some crazy hours of consecutive days on a trawler.

 

Crew had dropped over five thousand dollars at the club on the previous evening. 

Topped with liquor and cocaine, Crew began his heist around three in the afternoon, a time that guaranteed the failure of his plan. A few Emeryville police officers would usually come by around two thirty after their shift and play for an hour or so before going home.

The minute Crew yelled and waved his gun; both officers had dropped to the floor, drawn their service revolvers, and started shooting.

Crew took a bullet on the right collarbone. When he turned to escape, there stood Charlie.

Charlie was unarmed but almost twice the size of Crew.

Crew shot him as a precautionary act.  Charlie took four bullets in the chest and immediately fell backward as Crew fled past him and out the front door.

Crew had carefully planned his escape.  He ran only three long strides to his left, and then down a path toward the back of the Club.

Crew counted on pursuers assuming he ran to the right. They did.

Crew hid next to the wall of the Club kitchen.  Through the open window that alternately released heat and hot words, he heard the latest about attempts to find him.

***

Now Justin had found Crew.

Justin used caution as he approached the low-roofed ranch style house, but Crew—or one of his gang—spotted Justin from the description that Crew had given his cohorts continually over the past eight years.

A member of Crew’s gang yelled a warning to Crew and Justin raced across the lawn. 

The Crew gang smashed out the second storey window to give them a clear shot at Justin.

Justin felt his right cheek at a spot just below the bone.  He expected to find a cut—or at the very least a bump, but there was nothing. 

A familiar area of his brain sent a signal that something was wrong; some aspect of his last touching was in error.  He refused to allow himself to accept a fact that defied reason. 

When hit by a piece of glass you receive a cut or a puncture; or both.  His right index finger reacted to instinct and touched the spot again.  There was no sensation of feeling blood from a cut, and still no bump.

The remaining slashing and gashing pieces of the second story window bounced off his boots and pants and then jumped or slithered to the ground. Smaller pieces were undoubtedly stuck in the weave of his polo shirt and his chinos.  He quickly lifted both arms to examine them for damage.

Nothing.

The entire number of his thoughts, as well as the examination of his hands and arms, occurred within two seconds.

Before the third second had elapsed, he threw himself down, forward, and onto the damp flowerbed beneath the first floor living room window.

While rolling through the bed and closer to the wall, he instantly used his left hand to extract the small caliber pistol from his left ankle holster and flipped off the safety.

As the glass from the upper window settled into the flowerbed and the adjacent closely-cropped grass, Justin stared at the space opposite the broken upper-story window and aimed at the predicted spot where he would fire once the expected object emerged.

 

Justin knew that Crew was probably on the ground floor but that he would try to fool Justin by running upstairs and jumping out the window onto the front lawn.

Justin figured that once Crew landed on the front lawn, he would run around the corner of the house, over the backyard fence, and across neighbors’ lawns until he was on the opposite side of the block, five or six houses to the west. There he would enter his fastest car that he had parked there specifically for a situation such as this.  

 

Justin waited.  He could hear yelling from inside the house.

Suddenly, Justin’s ears picked up the sound of feet rushing up the interior staircase and across the floor of the upper room.

Justin sucked in his breath and cocked his gun.

Crew flew out the window and Justin hit him with four bullets.

By the time Crew’s body hit the grass, it was a dead body.

Justin correctly assumed that any of Crew’s friends; or gang; or hired guns; would not risk the same fate as their employer.

Justin rose quickly; approached Crew’s body; looked at it and kicked it with his right foot to test for any life.

There was none.

 

Justin Forrest slowly walked back across the lawn to the street, got into his Ford Fusion and drove home to tell his wife Jane that justice had been done.

Neither of them said a word after Justin’s announcement.

They never discussed the matter again. Not even on those several days a month when Justin and Jane would drive to the foothills of Oakland to place flowers on their son’s grave.

Over the years, they told their son all the news about his two brothers and sisters, their in-laws and then their grandchildren.

 

 


© Copyright 2017 Nicholas Cochran. All rights reserved.

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