” “sh.” Find a word that begins with the letters “sh” and base your post on it. Bonus points if you start your post with those letters. “
Well alright then…
The Accumulator, part thirteen.
Scene: Shadows, cast pin-sharp by the brightness of the moon, darken the petrol station forecourt. A black Mercedes SUV is parked in front of the shop and a dark clad figure can be seen at the door, face pressed to the glass, trying to see inside the building.
The camera pans round to show us Patrick, concealed behind a Land Rover on the small used car lot, watching the other man intently. It is eleven years ago.
The shot cuts to Patrick’s POV and his familiar voiceover once more narrates as events unfold;
“It all happened too fast; the car came round the corner and made straight for the entrance, I didn’t have time to do anything. I was trapped out in the open with only that old Landy for cover, all I could do was watch as the two goons tried to get into the shop where Cathy was hiding.
After a minute or two of rattling the doorknob and peering in through the windows, one of the two went off on his own, round the back of the garage and I knew this was my chance. I crept out into the open, feeling horribly exposed, trying to keep the Mercedes between myself and the remaining Department man and scuttled the last few yards bent double, to stay out of his line of sight.
I came up to the rear of the shiny black 4×4 and leant my back against it, considering my options while the silent sentry paced around by the door. As I crouched there, trying to think what I was going to do next, my gaze fell on a fire extinguisher, hanging from a pillar by the pumps. I risked a peek through the rear windows of the Mercedes and saw the man was facing the shop so I dashed across the gap and grabbed the red metal cylinder. Only then did I catch a flash of my reflection in the glass fronted building and realise my mistake. I glanced slightly to the left of my frozen reflection and my eyes locked with those of the man in black, staring back at me in surprise from the black mirror of plate glass.
He started to move, one hand reaching into his jacket as he span to face me, which was when the second man yelled from behind the garage;
“Hey, there’s a broken window back here, I’m going to take a look.”
Distracted as he was for a second, his attention split between me and his partner’s ill-timed interruption, I took my cue and hurled the extinguisher in his general direction and charged after it. The best I hoped for was that fending off the flying metal tube would throw him off guard long enough that I could rush him, but my aim was obviously better than I thought.
As if in slow motion, I launched myself at him from a distance of ten feet, the fire extinguisher still on its almost flat trajectory towards him as I began to move. I expected his arm to come up to protect himself, to do something at least, but he didn’t move. Only at the last split second, immediately before the flat end of the heavy cylinder struck him full in the face, did his expression register the shock, but by then it was too late.
The man’s nose exploded as the sharp curved edge of the steel tube hit him smack between the eyes, snapping his head back and knocking him down like the last pin in a bowling alley. He fell straight backwards, already unconscious I imagine, as he made no effort to soften the impact, landing heavily on the kerb, the back of his head striking the concrete with a sickening crunch.
Then something in me, or more likely something in Endicott’s fucking programming, made me lean down and reach out my hand. Before I could stop myself, I clasped his unresisting hand in mine and felt that insidious burst of power surge into my body.
I drew back my hand in revulsion, realising what I’d done, but I had no time to dwell on the horror because that’s when Cathy screamed.”
Scene: Inside the petrol station.
The camera slowly pans around, taking in the shadowy display racks and shelves of tourist fodder, only half visible in the thin shafts of moonlight that barely penetrate the gloom.
We see a tall figure, a solid silhouette against the patchy darkness, reach over the counter and say;
“Well, what do we have here then? What’s a pretty girl like you doing in a place like this..?”
He straightens up, pulling Cathy up with him, forcing her to stand, her hands clawing at the fingers entwined roughly in her hair. This is when she screams.
“Ooowwwww! Let go of me, you bloody gorilla!”
“Oh come now, we’re only just getting acquainted, I’m not letting you go that easily.” He laughed, tugging her hair again, making Cathy yelp in pain.
“Now now, there’s no need for all that noise, is there?”
“Oh, spirit, that’s good, I like a little girl with a bit of fight.”
“Really? How about someone your own size with spirit, do you like that, too.”
At the unexpected sound of Patrick’s voice, the man turns; his arm swinging up and around, a pistol already in his hand. He pushes Cathy violently away from him and she stumbles back against the shuttered cigarette cabinet with a scream and a loud crash.
He’s quick, but he isn’t quick enough, as Patrick describes when the camera angle cuts back to his perspective;
“He had quick reactions, scary quick, but he hadn’t reckoned on me being quite so close behind him. As his arm came up, holding the gun, I caught his wrist on the upswing and…gave him a quick jolt from his mate’s final moments. He went down so fast, you’d think someone had cut his legs off. I stepped over him, not bothering to check if he was still breathing, I was angry and didn’t care anymore.
Cathy was ok; she was a bit sore where Thug Number Two had tried to pull her hair out by the roots and she’d got a nasty bump on the back of her head, but apart from that she’d been lucky.
Plus, we had ourselves a transport upgrade outside, with no pesky stolen vehicle reports to trip us up this time, (I was betting on Endicott’s private army of Department thugs wanting to keep their profile low to non-existent, given their propensity for violent retribution) so I rifled through the fallen man’s pockets until I came up with the keys to the Mercedes. We also took his gun, and his partner’s, along with the spare clips of ammunition and the mobile phones they each carried.
“Right, can we now please get out of here, before another member of your fan club turns up?” Cathy looked at me over the top of her tottering pile of snacks and I nodded, heading for the front of the shop. As I was reaching for the handle, I happened to look down at the newspapers on the rack by the door and stopped in shock.
Cathy walked straight into me in the dark, a muffled curse coming from her as her stack of junk food tumbled to the floor once more.
“What the hell are you doing, stopping like that..?”
When I didn’t answer, she looked at the paper I was holding up to the light of the moon and gasped.
“Shit, that’s you!”
She wasn’t wrong, either. They’d got a good picture of me from somewhere and it took up most of the front page, under a headline that screamed;
MURDERER ON THE LOOSE.
Now we really were on our own.”
The final shot is of the black SUV, pulling away from the garage and driving off into the darkness. The camera follows the dwindling taillights until they disappear from view and the screen…
FADES TO BLACK
To be continued (using next week’s prompt)…