Saturday, May 31, 2008

Short Fiction: Immigrants and Out of Towners (Portland Prelude)

They rode four in the car, three and a driver. It was late, just after one in the morning on an April night where in Maine things seemed wet no matter what you touched or where you were.

They crested on to the Casco Bay Bridge, a billion dollar-project that spanned over the mouth of the Casco River and emptied into Casco Bay. It had four lanes, two going in each direction, and could be opened in the middle to let large ships up river. You got on in Portland and got off in South Portland. If the bridge was down, it took you about three minutes of driving at 55 mph to cross it.

The city lights from the buildings and rigs and ships beneath them shined like cats’ eyes, and the water was still. No one was on the road except a Mazda R6, silver in color that was stopped at the red light in the middle of the bridge, because the gate was starting to slowly climb up.

Watercraft that required the bridge to open for them were usually sent a notice to only enter port between the hours of 2100 and 0400 Mondays through Fridays. Being that this was a Thursday night, the men in the Volvo wagon which was drawing up behind the Mazda, were fully aware of the shipping and bridge schedules.

The Volvo stopped and idled and the driver put it into park and waited. The men seated around him drew masks over their faces and checked their weapons. The man sitting front passenger turned slightly towards the men in the back and spoke through his balaclava.

“No reloading, just empty the gun into the car, and get back here. Julio will keep the Volvo just a few yards up from the Mazda. Charlie will do the finish shots and confirm the kill, ok?” And the two in the back, clad in black ski masks nodded silently. The man in the balaclava turned back and checked the chamber on his German-made G3 7.62x54mm.

They waited for the bridge to finish going through it’s mechanized motion and start it’s decent. The driver put his vehicle back into gear and once the light turned green, he pulled out wide in front of the Mazda, screeching his tires. The lights on the Mazda, which had been red, went out and then pumped back into place as the crazy Volvo wheeled around it.

The Volvo came to a halt just in front of the Mazda, and the men all climbed up, except the driver. With the battle rifle on his hip, the man in the balaclava opened up first into the silver colored coup, spraying fully-automatic gunfire into the windshield and engine block. His two counter parts came by him, and with an AK47, 7.62x39mm and an AR15 5.56mm they joined in on the kill. The blazing gunfire deafened the still night, yet it seemed that there was no sound at all. The car took all eighty rifle rounds to it’s driver’s door and windshield. And when all the weapons were empty, the man in the balaclava turned, dressed in his leather coat and twill pants, and ran back to the idling Volvo, followed by the man who was sitting directly behind him.

By the time the two got back to the car, there were two short pistol pops from behind them, and then more footsteps. Once they were all back inside of the vehicle, they sped away, no one looking back.

They were deep into South Portland, in a little neighborhood called Manor Gates, at a Hannaford’s parking lot when the one with the pistol broke the silence:

“He wasn’t in the car,” he said evenly.

“What?” Came the driver.

“He wasn’t in the car, it was just a female by herself. She’s dead now,” he finished and looked out the window. The four sat in silence.

The front passenger side door clicked open and the passenger stepped out, peeling his balaclava off and leaving his G3 in the car.

“Fuck,” Jimmy Dreamer said under breath, while wiping the sweat off of his face. He walked towards the Hannafords, and through the back alley, ditching his mask in a dumpster along with a pair of leather gloves. On the other side of the alley was a parking lot for an Osco Drug, and that’s where he found his Jeep Cherokee waiting for him.

He checked behind his back, looking around, and then shined a small LED flashlight into the interior of the vehicle, as well as under it. When he was satisfied, he took one more look around, and climbed in.

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