Dally ran out of the hospital, cursing under his breath. That little punk, he thought, this is what you get for caring, Johnny, and now you’re dead. Staring at the street beneath him, he aimlessly wandered through Tulsa, wrapped up in his thoughts and emotions. He let out a long, heaving sigh.
“This is what you get for caring,” he murmured accusingly to himself. He slumped against the brick wall of a store, carelessly tossing a handful of pebbles onto the wet pavement. “Fuck. Why did you care about him?”
He pushed his soft platinum blonde hair back from his sweaty face as he thought about Johnny. It truthfully was his fault. He shouldn’t have let Johnny and Pony disappear into the depths of the pungent smoke, let alone out of the car. But he did, he let them go into that burning church. And now Johnny’s dead.
Even Dally knew that if he hadn’t… if all of those kids had burned to death… Johnny and Ponyboy would never have forgiven him. But the cost was Johnny’s life… Dally could still see them hauling out Johnny, his limp frame swinging from the fireman’s shoulder. The putrid wounds, the missing skin exposing burnt flesh… the patches of skin still hanging limply from him… and as he thrashed, and screamed, a tear had come to Dally’s icy blue eye.
There was a loud crack, and a flash of lightning, forcing Dally inside. It was considerably cooler in the store. But the bright lights reminded him of the church, the fire… Johnny. Fingering the gun, Dally looked at the clerk. He needed a way out. He needed to stop thinking, because thinking was going to get him hurt.
“Yeah that’s right, Dallas Winston, put up your emotional barrier. Pretend you don’t give a shit. When you’re that way, nobody can hurt you,” he whispered sullenly, chastising himself. So he did what he did best. Inside, he knew he shouldn’t, but he was too angry to care, to behave rationally. He grabbed a bottle of liquor off the shelf and aimed his gun at the clerk.
“Give me all your fuckin’ money!” Dally yelled angrily. “Now!”
The cashier threw the money in the bag and hastily thrust it into his outstretched hand. He picked up the phone as Dally ran, but he didn’t care, he just had to get as far away as possible. He never remembered calling Pony and Darry, but that was about the time some of the whisky had disappeared too. All he did know is that he had to run as fast as he possibly could to Pony’s.
The sirens were getting louder, the lights brighter. The incessant shrill annoyed Dally to no end. His fate was sealed. He had to accept it. Maybe he wasn’t supposed to live after all. He was never going to make it, and that was inevitable. But that was fine.
Turning around, Dally drew the unloaded pistol and threw it, along with the liquor bottle, its contents flying in a huge arc into the night sky.
“Take me, motherfuckers!” Dally screamed, an arrogant smirk rising on his elfish features. He heard the cops shoot. He was actually glad he was going to die. There was no more havoc to wreak in this miserable place anyway.
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