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Round about the Millennium turn-over, I had several ideas that were timely then -- mostly twists on the whole apocalypse theme. Here's one. (There's also a play called "Armageddon Days Are Here Again" that may yet be finished one day.) This began as a movie idea that I fleshed out into a short story and never got around to adapting as a screenplay. It should appeal to my fellow fans of "Supernatural." ;-)
by C.A. Scott
Bennie pulled away from the curb like a tight-end grabbing the ball at third down, shoving through the traffic and establishing himself in the offensive position. His eyes glanced briefly in the rear-view mirror at his latest passenger, the usual business type heading from a less-expensive hotel to the conference at the Hilton on Avenue of the Americas. The guy cowered in the corner of the back seat like a nervous alley cat.
That’s why people like him don’t drive in New York, Bennie thought. Can’t handle the pressure of the Combat Zone.
That was Manhattan traffic for you. Bennie drove with one hand on the steering wheel and the other poised over the horn. When he couldn’t force an opening for his car, he could usually intimidate his way through. That’s how you drive in the big apple!
By the time they reached the Hilton, the man in the back seat had perfected his scaredy cat routine. Like most of ‘em, thought Bennie, whipping the car into place behind a line of similarly marked cabs.
“That’ll be twelve-fifty.” He nodded a greeting at his friend and coworker Ali, who was just pulling out ahead of him, while he waited for the fellow in the back seat to count out his money.
“I’ll need a receipt for that,” came across the seat along with the proffered bills. A buck-fifty tip.
“Sure thing,” said Bennie, hitting a button on the meter and ripping off the sheet it printed out in a practiced, efficient motion. He was already pulling away from the curb when the back door clicked shut behind the departing polyester suit. The businessman, like so many of them, had seemed relieved to have survived the short trip through Manhattan with him. Bennie knew his type. The guy had pulled that suit out of a small, wheeled suitcase that morning, a bit of luggage he’d carried on the plane despite its size because he lived in mortal fear of losing it and his identity to some flunkie baggage handler.
Bennie knew them all. He even knew a baggage handler. None of them was happy. Except for him. Bennie loved his job. He thrived on the adrenaline rush of New York, on the chaos of the daily commute and the steamy film-noir of the city at night. He didn’t like to sit still, and neither did his city. They were a perfect match.
And that was why it was so strange when, all of a sudden that afternoon, Bennie realized he had to get the hell out of there. As fast as he could. Almost before he knew it, he was ass-deep in traffic on the Long Island Parking Lot — ehem, Expressway — heading east. What was out there, he didn’t exactly know, but it was waiting for him. In, of all places, the fricken Hamptons.
** *** **
“Table six is yours, Cam.”
“I’m on it.”
Cameron spun around the kitchen door with an artistry seldom seen off Broadway. The tray balanced upon his left hand seemed to defy gravity as he swung through the crowd that thronged about the bar and skimmed his way past the smoking section. The couple seated at Table Three were just pushing their salad plates away when he arrived with entrees in hand. He presented their dinners with just enough flair and chitchat to make them smile, then headed off for the new table.
Four women sat there, jabbering away without even looking at their menus. He knew the answer to “Are you ladies ready to order, or will you need a little more time?” even before he’d asked it. Obviously old friends getting together for the first time in a long time: they would need to be reminded before they’d shut up enough to even think about what they wanted to eat. They picked up their menus now and began to scrutinize them with the intensity of people pretending they’d been paying attention all along.
Cameron smooth-talked those women into drink orders and wheeled away — not too fast, not too slow — to check on another table. One of the businessmen there asked for more bread. And Cameron, who was truly in the zone that evening, replied, “Yeah, that’s just what you need, marshmallow man. More carbos. You gotta’ walk, what, thirty feet out to the curb for your limo?”
At the sound of his own voice spitting forth that nasty little bit of sarcasm, Cameron skidded to a stop in the middle of the aisle. The customer stared at him in stunned silence. But he was nowhere near as surprised as was Cameron himself.
Opening his mouth to apologize, the waiter then said, “I bet your idea of hunger is having to wait till 2:00 for lunch. Who the hell are you to be asking for more bread anyway, when there are people in Somalia dying of starvation and your company won’t send them its bioengineered desert-friendly sweet potatoes because some marketing genius doesn’t want the wrath of the Frankenfood movement to drive stock prices down!”
The empty tray now hung at Cameron’s side as he clapped his other hand firmly over his own mouth. Where the hell did that come from? He didn’t know what company this guy worked for. He wasn’t even a regular customer! But judging from the way shock had given way to a sort of pained embarrassment on his face, he seemed to have understood exactly what it was Cameron was talking about.
I’m glad someone does, Cameron thought, backing down the aisle. The businessman began to exchange words with his cohorts, and all of them started looking pretty upset.
So Cameron opened his mouth again, this time to say, I’m sorry, sir, I’ll get that for you right away. But what came out instead was, “I have to go!”
His feet carried him to the door, and Cameron felt like he didn’t have much choice in the matter. He attempted apologies that didn’t work all the way out the front of the restaurant, then he was tossing his tray and his nametag and his tie and his jacket on the way to the nearest train station. And all he could think was, If I hurry, I can catch the commuter out to Southampton. But he wasn’t exactly sure how he knew that.
** *** **
“Clean-up in Room 317.”
Darrell suppressed a shudder as he stood up and grabbed his supermop and industrial wringer, armed with citrus-smelling cleaner that had been known to battle its way through even the worst hayfever a New London springtime had ever been able to pack his sinuses with. Ducking past the nurse who’d given him this assignment, he wheeled the equipment down the hall steeling himself for the job at hand.
Room 317 was the undiagnosed gastrointestinal problem. Projectile vomiting. Explosive diarrhea. Which one would it be this time? Darrell trudged along to the door, paused, snapped on his rubber gloves and pulled his surgical-style mask down over his head before walking inside.
Ding-ding! I’ll take door number one, Monty! Darrell let out a sigh of relief. The sharp tang of stomach acid was ripe in the air, almost completely hiding the underlying note of rotten eggs, and the patient lay groaning as a nurse tended to him. The mess he had made was like a Kandinski hung crookedly on the wall. Darrell went to work, thinking only a frustrated art student like himself could see it in those terms.
It wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The guy obviously hadn’t eaten much today. Whatever it was that had triggered this episode had turned ballistic but came off the wall pretty easily. Darrell felt sorry for the patient, really. His condition must be terribly embarrassing, even here where everyone was trained to take such things in stride.
Later, as he was changing out bedpans in another wing, Darrell endured the complaints of half a dozen grumpy patients before finally he had had enough. The feeling came rolling over him like a tidal wave, and he suddenly realized, God, I hate sick people. It was almost like a divine revelation.
He stripped off his gloves and his little white coat, left the supermop and its wheeled bucket right where they were, and headed for the elevator. He was on the ground floor before he thought to wonder what he was doing.
“Going to the beach,” he said out loud, walking out of the elevator into a crowded waiting room. More sick people. Sick people and the people who love them. Not Darrell. No way. He fought the urge to run until he got outside, then took off like that red-headed Lola chick in that German subtitled movie he’d seen at the art-house theater a few weeks back.
Not just any beach, Darrell told himself as he reached his car. Long Island. It had been some time since he’d stood on the back dunes smelling mud and salt and watching egrets stalk across the lagoon. That had fueled some good painting vibes for a few weeks last time. Starting up his car, he checked its clock. There was still time to catch the ferry if he hurried.
** *** **
In his business, Philip both dreaded and counted on tax season. Business doubled after Christmas, and the money he made between then and April 15th compensated for the ups and downs the rest of the year. Thanks to the IRS, of course, he could count on another “up” as October approached and people who filed for extensions had their own season of panic.
But Philip had not become an accountant because he wanted to do other people’s taxes. He liked things neat and orderly, it was that simple. He liked answers in black and white, everything, well, accounted for. And tax season inevitably meant shoeboxes full of receipts and manilla envelopes brimming with scraps of paper. Inevitably there would be the walk-in clients who were so irreversibly disorganized that he’d have to talk them into taking the standard deduction. He wished everyone would; it would make things so much tidier.
“Every little debit has a credit,” he hummed to himself, remembering the silly tune sung by the strange little man who’d taught Accounting 101 way back in high school. The inane little song had stuck in his head for years and always managed to lighten his mood. It’s not quite New Year’s yet, he told himself. And tax season wouldn’t really get rolling until February, when people started to get their W2s. He had a little breathing room between now and then.
But today, for some reason, he couldn’t stop thinking about it, worrying about it, dreading it. Would he be able to keep up with the influx of business without neglecting his steady clients? Would he have to hire some temporary help? Would he just lose it in the end of March: go out, buy a gun, and shoot everyone in the building?
Now where did that come from? he asked himself, sitting back in his chair and staring around at his tidy little New Jersey office. The walls were white. The desk was brown. The scratch paper was yellow. The carpet was tan. The computer screen glowed at him in muted blues and violets. The window showed a muddy gray sky. And everything seemed suddenly pale. Pale and washed out.
And utterly boring.
Philip opened the top drawer of his desk and withdrew his car keys from their little tray. Gripping them tightly in his left hand, he rose from his chair and stepped across the rectangular plastic mat underneath it, turned, avoided the wastepaper basket, and walked the five steps it took to cross the room. Then he reached out with his right hand, turned the handle exactly one-third of a turn, opened the door, and stepped through before carefully closing it behind him. Then he ran for it. Ran and ran, did not wait for the elevator, flew down the stairs all six flights to the underground parking garage, ran to his car and was in it and starting it up before he paused to catch his breath and think about where he was going.
Long Island. Of course. The Hamptons. He’d gone to school at SUNY Stoney Brook, had spent many a carefree weekend on the beach. He didn’t care about the traffic hell that waited between here and there. He had to go, and he had to go now. This was his only chance.
** *** **
A man was standing in the driveway of the estate when Bennie spun his cab to a stop there. The guy was a suit, yeah, no doubt. But not the usual kind. No, this fellow was classy, a real Hamptons type of white boy. His suit was black, tailored, impeccable. His hair was blonde and he was very very pale, almost glowingly so.
“Benito Perez,” he said when Bennie got out of the car. “I thought you’d be the first to arrive.”
Bennie looked askance at him. “How d’you know who I am?”
The fellow looked over at Bennie’s cab, with the big red apple painted on its side, then turned back to Bennie with a beaming smile. “Who else could you be, but War?”
Before Bennie could reply to that, another cab pulled up, this one a local. The guy (if you could call him that) who got out of that cab was also white, also pale. With long brown hair, earrings, and a subtly pierced nostril.
Ah hell, thought Bennie, a weekend in the Hamptons with a bunch of white people. What the hell was I thinking?
“Cameron Morgan,” said the suit. “Thank you for joining us.”
“Hey,” said the newcomer, holding up one hand dramatically. “What’s up with that? How do you know my name?”
“I know your name, Famine,” said the suit, “even if you do not.”
A third car arrived before anyone could comment on the bizarre nature of the situation. This car was a beat-up Honda, maybe about ten years old. Bennie was glad to find that this fellow was black. Hispanics and blacks weren’t always brothers, but in this situation he thought they could at least commiserate.
“Darrell Raines,” said the suit, who proceeded to introduce them all to each other as “War, Famine, and Pestilence.”
Once again, of course, another car pulled up before anyone had time enough to react. Under his breath, Bennie joked, “And this must be Death.”
Death, it seemed, was Asian: “Philip Ng,” an accountant from New Jersey, who looked just as confused as the rest of them. Finally, with no further arrivals to distract them, the four turned expectantly upon the man who, it seemed, had called them together.
“What exactly is this all about?” asked the latest arrival.
The man in the suit offered his hand to shake. “My name is Lucifer. You’re my horsemen.”
“What, so you’re supposed to be the Devil or something?” Bennie asked laughingly, but even as he formulated the question he felt the realization of Truth welling up inside of him.
The man in the suit laughed too. “No, no. That’s my father. But I’m going to be in charge of this whole thing here. And you’re my generals. So to speak.”
There was a short silence as the Truth washed over them all and the four men exchanged knowing but still frightened glances. Somehow, they knew this was not a joke, this blond fellow was not crazy, and neither were they. The Time had come, and as if each of them had grown up knowing and preparing for this day, they were all ready for Armageddon.
As the representative of Death itself, Phil Ng was their leader. He finally took the hand of the antichrist (which had remained poised in the air, waiting) and shook it gravely. “So, Lucifer Junior,” he said in his softened New Jersey accent, “where are our horses?”
** *** **
The Long Island estate sprawled between squat little twisted pine trees, a narrow lagoon smelling of mud and decay, and a private sandy beach. The house was perched upon the foredoon, overlooking a broad pasture where the horses waited. Like their riders weren’t just any cab driver, hospital orderly, waiter, and accountant, these were not just any horses.
They were all very tall. White and Black were bony and rough, with bulging eyes and sunken tails. Red was massive, powerfully muscled, gloriously beautiful. And Pale was like it but more refined, golden in color with a flowing silver mane and tail that, like a cat’s, was never still.
Like the men had simply known the Truth, each horse instinctively knew its rider. But even though the situation, once made clear to them, didn’t seem to have surprised any of the Horsemen, they were all quite taken aback when the animals spoke to them in their heads. All four had feminine voices.
“It’s a combination thing,” said White, blinking her eyelashes as if it would make her beautiful. “Man and beast, male and female, yang and yin, dark and light, blah blah blah. Can we go now?”
Red arched her neck, blowing smoke through her nostrils like a dragon. “Yes, let’s get this show on the road.”
Black hadn’t raised her head, only hung it tiredly next to Cameron’s shoulder. “We get Africa, you and I. And Southeast Asia.”
“Yes,” said Lucifer, standing back to allow the men a moment to get to know their mounts. “Good point, Black. A little detail may be in order to get things going.” When he had everyone’s attention, he went on. “There are demons running rampant all over the world right now. They’ve been doing it for millennia. Your job will be to wrangle them all together into my army. And the world will be divided into quarters. Famine…”
Lucifer frowned but conceded. “Fine. Cameron, you get Africa and Southeast Asia. Pest— er, Darrell, you get Central and South America. Benito, the rest of Asia. And all of Europe extending to the Ural Mountains, to the Middle East, and to the Arctic. Including Iceland. That leaves North America to Phil.
“Now is the time, men. Chaos is coming under our control. The demons of the world have made it possible for you to step in and take over — by more or less concentrating their efforts. Hunger demons in Africa and India, for example. Pestilence demons particularly enjoy warmer, wetter climates. And the war demons have been kicking up their heels in central Europe for decades now…”
“I think we get it,” said Phil.
“Good, good,” Pale said beside him, shifting her weight from one foot to the next. “So lets get moving. You and I are all right here, Death, but the others have long rides ahead of them before they can get started.”
Darrell turned a skeptical eye upon his horse. “No offense, Whitey,” he said, “but you don’t really look like you’d make it to the South Bronx from here, much less South America.”
The albino horse shook her head, blowing a sort of sneeze through her nostrils, and pounded the ground with one hoof. “Don’t worry, Pesty. This is all for looks. Symbolism, you know.”
Cameron cleared his throat. “I’m sorry,” he said, waving his hand about, “but I can’t exactly go galloping across Africa in a tuxedo, can I?”
Black turned and propped her head upon his shoulder. “I don’t know, Fam. It kind of fits the image, don’t you think?”
Lucifer snapped his fingers. “Ah, that’s right! Your props.” And he disappeared into the barn.
“This is all magic and stuff,” Phil told the others with a shrug. “I wouldn’t be surprised if our clothes automatically changed when we got on these horses. Just like we’ll automatically know how to ride them. I hope.”
Pale’s laugh was low and chesty next to him. “Don’t worry about that,” she said. “It’s taken care of.”
“Hey, War,” said Red, sidling up next to him. The smoke coming out of her nostrils had slowed to the trickle of a cigarette. “Wanna’ give it a try?”
Shaking his head, Bennie didn’t look particularly confident. “I’m not so sure, you know,” he said, his New Yorker brusqueness disappearing behind the Hispanic accent he usually allowed himself only at home.
“Here, Death,” said Pale, taking a step ahead of him before dropping her front end in a sort of bow. “Let’s show them how it’s done.”
Phil looked down at his Men’s Wearhouse suit, his nice leather uppers, and then over at the horse. She wore no saddle, no bridle, nothing. But he was Death, after all, the leader of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. He had to trust in… well, whoever was in charge of this. As a Buddhist, Phil should not have believed any of it possible. But as a born member of the Armageddon team, he knew it was. There was no question. So he climbed rather clumsily onto the back of his magic talking palomino horse and hoped for the best.
Pale rose to all four feet again, then spun on her rear end and took off running toward the lagoon. Phil should have been terrified, but he was exhilerated. He should have fallen off, but he didn’t even feel the slightest bit unsteady as the horse’s speed increased and the world began to blur by. He should have screamed in terror when she made a beeline for the water, showing no sign of stopping, but he only put his hands in her mane and grinned into the wind as her feet hit the water and she skimmed right across it, barely raising a splash. It was the most incredible feeling he’d ever experienced, flying like a manic crane on the back of this wild, supernatural creature. They made a wide arc and came back round to the edge of the lagoon again, then slowed to a believable gallop up the slope of the pasture and back to the barn.
The other four Horsemen were on their mounts now, and Lucifer stood amongst them looking like a proud father. Darrell wore a crown upon his head and gripped an elaborate bow strung with shining silver wire in one hand. Bennie’s fingers were wrapped around the hilt of a huge, deadly-looking sword. And Cameron was complaining.
“How am I supposed to ride a horse carrying this stupid thing?” he whined, holding up the balancing scales that hung from his left hand.
“If you wish to survive the trip,” said Lucifer, “and subjugate a legion of demons when you get where you’re going, you’ll be glad you have that. It holds your power, and it won’t work for anyone else.”
Cameron rolled his eyes, and the balance swung in his grasp. “I’m not even a Libra.”
Lucifer smirked at him. “You’re not even a Christian. But you’re still the Devil’s representative of Famine.”
“Hey, good point,” said Darrell. “I’m a fricken atheist.” He paused to look at the bow in his hand. “Or… I was…”
“And Death, here, is a Buddhist,” said Lucifer as the pale horse walked into their midst. “But it matters not. Right, Benito?”
Bennie had been raised Catholic, though he’d never paid it much attention. He ignored the antichrist’s question too, turning his attention to the man riding the pale horse. “What was it like?” he asked.
Phil took a second to catch his breath before replying, “Incredible.”
“Then let’s get this show on the road.”
** *** **
The Horsemen assembled their steeds upon the beach as the sun began to sink into the west. War’s red mare faced directly away from it, head up and nostrils flared with the salt wind that blew at her back, pushing her toward her destiny. Bennie sat his horse like a veteran cavalryman, eyes squinted as if he could see Europe beckoning to him already.
Beside him, the black horse of Famine had angled herself toward the southeast. And beside her, Pestilence and his white horse looked south-southwest. The palomino horse of Death hung back a little, her rider contemplating the sunset.
“So, we’re ready then?” asked Lucifer, who stood on the foredune behind them with both hands in his pockets.
“I guess so,” said Famine.
“Looks like it,” said Pestilence.
“Yes, we’re ready,” muttered Death.
“Hold on a second,” War chimed in discordantly, and they all turned to look at him. He was still squinting into the spreading dark of the eastern horizon. “What’s that?”
A short distance down the beach, there was a shadowy teepee-like shape in the dark. War nudged his horse forward, and Red was so pumped up with energy that she couldn’t help but move off at a canter. The others waited a moment before following more slowly, their horses’ feet thudding softly in the sand. Behind them, Lucifer shouted, “It’s nothing! Geez! Can we get back to business?” and began to jog after them.
As they approached, War could make out more detail of the thing. It was one of those driftwood structures children enjoy building on the beach, a sort of lean-to in the sand that looked like something out of Lord of the Flies. The gnarly branches were fashioned into a cone-shape and decorated with shells and bits of seaweed.
“Isn’t that cute?” said Pestilence. “It’s like a sculpture.”
“It’s almost mystical,” Famine added.
In the distance, Lucifer shouted, “Guys! Come on! There’s too much to do!”
War slid off of his horse and stepped closer to the little structure. The sun behind them was a fat red ball on the horizon, slowly melting. But now he could make out a light coming from behind the driftwood, a white glow that filtered through and spread eerily across the sand. The other men had caught up to him, were nudging their horses forward to see.
The lean-to was only about five feet high. An opening was at the back, facing away from the prevailing ocean breezes. War hunched over, peering inside. And his eyes grew wide. A smaller cone shape was inside, only this one was made of some glowing white stone like alabaster. No beachcombing children had constructed this thing out of flotsam and jetsam from the strand. It was intricately carved and trimmed in gold. And words gleamed like liquid silver upon its flat side, seven large block letters spelling out, FREE WILL. (The final “I” and “E” had fallen apart, of course.)
Again the wash of Truth, like a warm rain. The other Horsemen slid down from their mounts, stepping forward to see for themselves, but Bennie was already turning around to face them. “We don’t have to do this, you know,” he said matter-of-factly.
“What?” asked his horse.
“What are you talking about?” asked another of the huge animals. Standing together, the horses rose up on their hind legs furiously, pawing at the air with their mighty hoofs. Flame shot out from Red’s nostrils, and thunder rumbled across the clear purple sky. The first stars above paused briefly in their daily coming-out ritual, disappearing behind a flash of sheet lightning that lit up the sky.
But the men were drawing slowly together, all straining to see the beautiful thing inside the driftwood shrine.
“We don’t have to do this,” Phil said.
“No, we don’t,” said Darrell.
“Well, duh. Of course we don’t,” said Cameron.
Lucifer reached them, puffing and pounding through the sand. “You are…” he huffed, “the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. This is your destiny.”
All four men turned upon him, then, intoning. “We don’t have to do this.”
“Yes! Yes we do!” their horses screamed. “We were made for this! We have to—” But their complaints were cut off abruptly as all four of them suddenly seemed to melt and deflate, shrinking down to normal horse size. White was now gray, Red just an ordinary brown. And where before they had been furious and powerful, now all four mares seemed to lose interest entirely in the affairs of men, swinging their heads and then their bodies toward the dunes in search of something to eat.
“God-dammmit!” shouted Lucifer.
“Well, that seems a little incongruous,” said Cameron.
Lucifer was shaking with rage now. “How can you give up such power?”
Philip sighed. “But it’s not our power, really. It’s yours. Right?”
The other suddenly seemed to puff up, his eyes blazing as he bellowed, “I am the antichrist! You must follow me!”
“Yeah, and if you were such a big deal,” said Darrell, removing the crown from his head, “you wouldn’t need us. Come on, fellas.” With that, the four men turned and began trudging up the beach, back the way they’d come.
Behind them, Lucifer screamed, “Damn you!”
“I doubt that,” muttered Cameron.
Bennie paused then, turning back to look at the suddenly pitiful man in the suit that was too fancy for his surroundings. “Hey. You, uh, better go catch your horses.”
** *** **
As Bennie Perez pulled his cab up to the curb, Cameron Morgan gathered up Famine’s balance from the floor and checked to see that he had his apartment key. “You know,” he said before getting out of the car, “I get the feeling we’re not the only ones ever to do this.”
“What,” Bennie asked, watching as the young man examined his item of power more closely once again, “you mean single-handedly stopping the Apocalypse?”
Cameron shrugged. “Something like that. I mean, there are as many stories about the end of the world as there are religions. I just wonder if some guys in India or the Amazon rain forest haven’t already done this. Or won’t next year.”
“Hmm, yeah,” Bennie said, then chose not to follow that road. It was like deciding not to dive into the deep end of the pool. “Hey, you gonna’ be all right?”
“Yeah,” said Cameron. “I’ll lose my job, but I’m one of the best waiters in this city. I’ll get a new one soon enough. And in the meantime I’ll catch a few auditions. I hear they’re doing Eating Raoul somewhere…”
“Right. Well. See ya.”
After Cameron had disappeared inside his building, but before Bennie could push his way back into traffic, the back door of the cab opened again and a guy slid inside. When Bennie turned back to see who it was, he was looking down the barrell of a 9-mm handgun.
“Give me all your cash, man,” said the desperate-looking young man behind that gun. He held the thing quite steady, as if he were well aware of what he was doing. But, of course, he wasn’t.
Bennie glanced down at the passenger’s seat beside him, where the deadly edge of War’s sword gleamed, reflecting the night lights of New York City. Then he lifted his gaze again and smiled at the would-be robber. “You really don’t want to do this,” he sighed, and briefly his eyes shone like neon themselves.
The gun wavered, began to shake. Bennie sat still, relaxed, smiling. Images of bloodthirsty conflict began to leak out of his mind, projecting themselves like heat-seeking missiles through his eyes and over the back of the seat to explode inside the robber’s heart, throwing shell-shock shrapnel through his soul. The gun fell away, dropped forgotten to the floorboard as the young man scrabbled to open the door, kicked it open, and took off running.
Bennie leaned over the back of the seat and swept up the gun in one hand, idly wondering just how many of them there might be in New York City. He dropped it beside him, allowing himself a quick glance again at the length of supernatural steel propped beside him. Then he turned back to his steering wheel and gunned the engine, entering Manhattan’s night life traffic once again.
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