Lifting his foot off the gas the car slowed to a safer speed. He was still driving faster than his brother would have liked but he heard no complaints. The last time he’d been out of the city his brother Tom had been with him.
“Turn right up ahead,” Tom’s voice whispered from the back seat, disconnected and far away.
Rounding the corner Bill glanced in the rearview and looked away. His knuckles cracked as he gripped the wheel and thought about what lies ahead. Rain beat un-rhythmically off the windshield, a stark contrast to the steady rhythm of the wipers. It had been raining the last time he was out to the Ansie’s.
That night his world had turned to shit. Tom took two slugs in the back. Bill had one clip his shoulder, superficial no big deal. They had barely escaped, Bill dragging his brother along. Tonight it would be different. The element of surprise was on his side.
“You sure you wanna do this bro?” Tom’s voice crept in his ear.
“No… you don’t.”
“Yeah I do. Eye for an eye, know what I mean? Family is all you got in life, without you I got nothing. I gotta make things right, and you can’t talk me out of it.”
The air chilled inside the car.
“You gotta plan little brother?”
“Yeah, I’m gonna knock on the door and shoot the first fucker that opens it and keep shooting till they’re all dead.”
Silence hung in the air as he traced his way along the woods bordering the Anise’s place. He parked and glance at the rear view mirror before getting out, half expecting some words of encouragement. Outside the car he stretched and looked skyward. Bill hated the country. He preferred the yellow moon on every street corner, opposed to the single soulless eye that dipped in the sky outside of the city.
“Back in a few,” he said to the night and walked away.
Minutes passed. The rain slowed to a trickle. Briefly the quiet of the countryside erupted in a storm of gunfire. As quickly as it had started it stopped.
Bill stumbled through the brush, branches scratching his face and tearing his clothes. One hand pressed on the gaping hole in his gut, trying to slow the flow of blood. He climbed into the car and fumbled with the keys.
“You did good little brother. It’s time to go.”
The car jerked and shot forward. Bill drove as blood soaked through his shirt and pants and into the seat. Erratically the car swerved along the winding road. With one hand on the wound trying to staunch the flow, his vision blurred and then doubled. The car drifted and stopped on the roads berm. Taking shallow breaths Bill desperately tried to stop the bleeding.
“I’m dying Tom…please help me,” he said to the empty rearview.
He knew Tom couldn’t help; he’d bled out on the drive home the last time. As the life seeped out of him he felt himself being slid over and his head propped gently against the passenger side window.
“C’mon little brother let me drive for a while. You sit and relax, close your eyes.” Tom’s voice whispered in his ear, clear for the first time.
“I’m getting cold Tom.”
“It’s okay, you’ll be warm soon. Home is just a little further up the road.”by
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Donald Glass lives in Altoona, PA. He writes mostly about the underside of life that dwells in every city … including yours. He’s had work published in all the usual places online including Shotgun Honey, Dead Guns Press, Yellow Mama, Near to the Knuckle, Spelk, Out of the Gutter, Thrills Kills ‘n’ Chaos and has had 2 stories published in the Dead Guns Press anthologies Crime Scene and Dames and Sin.