After-Hours in Philadelphia

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More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
khfak

Submitted: December 01, 2012

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Submitted: December 01, 2012

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A grey cat walks along the dimly lit sidewalk moodily, passing the Adelphi Deli.  The cat sniffs and continues slowly, dragging his tail as he walks.  In the doorframe of the deli, the owner takes one last drag off of his cigarette, and stamps it out.  His son is inside, mopping the counter.  Their relationship has been spiraling downward ever since the mother passed away.  The owner looks suspiciously across the street at a hooded man walking briskly across a dark field.  He can just barely make him out.
A hooded man walks fast through the darkness.  He can tell that the grass is wet under his shoes.  He picks up the pace; he needs to hurry to meet his dealer outside of the Chinese restaurant a couple of blocks away.  It is almost midnight, and he is losing time.
Outside of the China Gold Garden restaurant, a teenage boy checks his watch.  Almost midnight.  He hopes that his buyer won’t be late.  These shady interactions were never his preference when it came to acquiring money.  Inside his jacket pocket, he feels the baggie that contains three grams of tree.  
The doors to the Lone Star Bar open, and a man with a guitar case slung over his shoulder steps out into the night.  The gig went well; the crowd was energetic and his set couldn‘t have gone better.  Suddenly, his stomach pangs with hunger, so he decides to head over to China Gold Garden to grab a bite to eat before returning to the apartment.
In the deep shadows of an alley, a man with ripped and dirty clothes searches the trash cans for food.  He doesn’t find any.  He continues to dig, and sees a glimmer of something shiny.  Pocket change? A watch?  His excitement heightens as he digs deeper.  He finds that it isn’t pocket change, but something even better.  He opens its barrel and stares at the one bullet still in it.
In her shabby apartment, a young woman waits impatiently for her brother to return from his sale.  She will use the money to pay back her dealer, because he fronted her the heroin.  Her addiction has come to the point where she needs it to live, and so now she is practically owned by her dealer.  If the money is not given to him tonight, there will be hell to pay.
As the hooded man continues to walk across the dimly lit streets towards the Chinese restaurant, he is followed by a man in ripped, dirty clothes.  The hooded man is unaware that he is being followed.
The man in the ripped, dirty clothes smiles as he stalks the hooded man.  Inside his pocket, the gun fits his hand perfectly.  He is confident that he will have food to eat tonight.
After having another fight with his father, the owner of the Adelphi Deli, the son storms out of the place.  He stole his father’s car keys.  The car speeds off before that father can even react.  Horrified, the father takes a bike laying by the sidewalk, and hurries to follow the car.
Outside the China Gold Garden restaurant, the teenage boy sees a hooded man walking fast towards him. “About time”, was all he said.  In a routine and quick procedure, the boy slips him the bag in a formal handshake.  The man gets out his wallet and gives him 60 dollars.  Just behind them, the man with the ripped and dirty clothes pulls out his newfound gun, and asks for the money.  
Intent on getting the money to his sister, the teenage boy tries to run away.  A single shot rings out into the night.  The boy is lying on the sidewalk, a pool of blood beside his head.  The hooded man runs off while the murderer collects the money.
A mile or so away, the sister hears a loud popping noise echo through the distance.  She checks her watch worriedly; five minutes past midnight.
In the car, the deli boy grips the steering wheel with tears in his eyes.  In the rearview window, he can see his father on a bicycle, calling to him.  He presses harder on the gas pedal.
The sister hears a knock at the door.  Maybe her brother!  She begins to think that things might start to work out for her.  She opens the door, and meets her dealer’s furious, strung out eyes.  Realizing her immediate danger, she tries to run away.  He catches her by the hair, and throws her across the coffee table. The beating lasts half an hour.  No words are said between them.
Chuckling and coughing, the murderer in the ragged clothes counts the money.  60 dollars; enough to eat for a long time.  A loud roar forces him to look up.  Headlights.
The boy looks back at the father in the bicycle through the mirror.  He is farther away now.  Looking back towards the road, he sees a grey cat in the middle of the street, directly in front of him.  The car swerves out of the cat’s direction and crushes a homeless man bent over a dead body, and then crashes into the China Gold Garden restaurant behind them.  The boy’s ribcage trembles with pain as he impacts, and collapses.  His heart stops immediately.  The car is halfway into the restaurant, and General Tso’s chicken splays over the windshield.  It mixes with his blood.  It will be served cold in the morning.
The grey cat walks away, unharmed.  Six hours later, the sun will come up, and life will go on.


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