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Fiction Romance

The late-night air crept in through the open window and into the room, causing the curtains to flutter. The smooth sound of jazz had filled the room as a woman sat huddled in the corner, holding her hands in front of her face. “Please, don’t do it!” In front of her, a man stood menacingly, clutching a small firearm in his hand. He aimed the gun at her head, smirking slightly. “I guess this means goodbye, babe.” A soft chuckle escaped him and was followed by a flash and a loud bang. 

There she sat. But, curiously, she felt no pain. In fact, upon running her hands over her body searching for a wound, she discovered that she was completely fine. Shaking, she looked up at her attacker. He was pale. Suddenly, he dropped his handgun and fell to the floor, exposing a bullet hole in his back. Behind him stood a man in a black coat and hat, holding a revolver. “Goodbye, babe.” He muttered as he holstered his firearm. 

The woman looked up at him, still shaking. A wave of calm came over her as she recognized her savior. “Thank God you’re here, Marcus.” She got up, dusting herself off and sighing. “I was beginning to think he was actually going to shoot me.” She looked at the corpse on the floor, slightly nudging him with her foot before kneeling down and picking up his pistol, stuffing it in her pocket. 

Marcus reached inside his coat and pulled out a cigarette and started smoking it. “Gloria, quit acting like you had the situation under control.” He took a draw from the cigarette, stuffing his hand in his pocket. 

Gloria set the handgun down on her dresser before taking a seat herself. “Trust me, Marcus, I knew you’d be here. Otherwise, I might have just taken him out myself.” She observed herself in a mirror, before standing back up and facing the man, walking ever so closer.

The pair, now close enough to feel their breaths on each other, shared a kiss. She slid her arms around his shoulders as his hands moved to her waist. They held their embrace for what felt like a lifetime before he broke away. Annoyed, she crossed her arms. 

“Hey! What’s the deal?” A sharp, pointy tone clung to her voice. Marcus just smiled, snuffing his cigarette in an ashtray on her dresser. 

“You know I can’t be tied down.” She scoffed at his response. She took his hat off, ran her hands through his dark hair, and looked into his eyes, frowning. She sighed, sitting back down at her dresser, and applying some lipstick in the mirror. “By the way, on your way out, make sure to get rid of…” She paused for a moment, turned around, and pointed at the corpse. “Him.” Marcus shook his head, walking towards the door and grabbing the handle before pausing.

“Nope.” He denied. “Your problem now. Also, can I have my hat back now?” She smiled, tossing it to him. He caught it and put it back on his head, walking out the door without exchanging any goodbyes.

As the night went on, Marcus picked up a cab at the corner of the street. The driver was a scruffy man who didn’t waste any time on unnecessary conversation. “Twenty-fifth Street.” Marcus said before handing him a five-dollar bill. The driver nodded.

The drive there was completely silent, except for the occasional dog bark or police siren. The night was soon enshrouded in a fog, almost as if the city itself was trying to hide something. As the car pulled up to its destination, Marcus stepped out and shut the door. The driver sped away, almost as if he was trying to hurry out of there. Marcus began walking, before stopping to pick up a newspaper from a small stand. “June 20th, 1925” the date read. 

As he read the paper and walked, Marcus stumbled across his stop. It was a small alleyway leading to a bolted door. He shoved the newspaper in his coat and knocked on the metal barrier.

“Who’s there?” A timid voice called from behind the door.

“The cigar salesman. Marcus replied, almost confusing the man timid fellow before he realized who was there.

“Glad you could make it back.” He said, unbolting the door. The door opened, revealing a skinny man, clean-shaven man in a black vest and black pants. He had a small firearm on his hip, wide out in the open. Marcus eyed the man before walking in, giving him a pat on the shoulder. 

In the room down the hall, a small round table was sat in the center with a lightbulb hanging over it. Three men sat there with poker chips and cards strewn across the table. The largest of the three had no hair on his head and was very large in his frame. The second man, a slightly older fellow with a large mustache and glasses, and, strangely, a younger man- no older than twenty-eight- who had on a pinstripe suit.

He sat down at the table and grabbed a fist full of chips, putting in the ante. No words were exchanged, yet the men at the table were clearly talking to each other with their eyes and movements. The largest one broke the silence, aiming his words at Marcus.

“How was the situation with Gloria?” He inquired, placing three more chips on the table. 

“It went well. I disposed of her no-good husband. You know, the one who ran the debts for Tony?” Marcus matched the large man’s bets.

“Yea, I knew him.” He lit a cigarette, waiting for the other men to make their bets. The light above the men flickered, and in the silence, a noise was heard. The doorman had fallen, the sound of his pistol being dropped on the door alerting the other men. They all stood up from their chairs and readied the weapons that they had prepared under the table. Marcus stood up and drew his pistol, but it was too late. 

At that exact moment, a man with a Tommy-Gun had barged into the room, spraying hot lead everywhere. Two of the men, the young one and the large one, had already fallen victim to this man’s Chicago typewriter. The old man kicked the table over and dove behind it, narrowly dodging the bullets. Marcus followed suit, poking up occasionally to fire his pistol. The man wielding the machine gun was shouting angrily as he sprayed the table, eventually hitting the old man through the wood. 

“You killed Jackie, now I’m gonna kill you!” He yelled. Blood was now pooling up under Marcus where the old man had been hit. Thinking this was the end, Marcus stood up and began firing his weapon wildly. Suddenly, three rounds struck him; one in the arm and two in the leg. He stumbled backward and dropped his gun. Then, the shooting stopped. The man approached slowly, his footsteps filling Marcus’ mind. The man’s shadow finally passed the table. Marcus was now looking down the barrel of this man’s gun.

“Who sent you?” Marcus asked, his breath shaky and distraught. The man didn’t reply, only raising his gun. 

“I suppose this means that you won’t piss off Tony again, Marcus. Shame, I figured yous was a smatter fella.” He laughed, nodding his hat mockingly at the fallen man. “Say hello to that bastard of a brother you got. I know you’ll be in hell with him when I’m done with you.” Marcus closed his eyes, fully ready to go. Then, it happened. A series of loud bangs, followed by flashes.

Marcus opened his eyes, and instead of hell, he saw Gloria standing behind the man, who was now on the floor dead. She was holding the pistol of the man that attempted to kill her earlier, this time she was the one using it. Marcus sighed, almost laughing. She stood over him, smiling. “Still think I can’t handle myself?” She asked. Marcus sat up, holding his wounded leg.

“Jesus, Gloria. Thank you so much!” He exclaimed, not like him at all. Gloria bent down to his level and embraced him. Helping him up, she led him to a car that was waiting outside. Climbing in, they headed back to her apartment where she tended to his wounds.

“How did you know that I was in trouble?” He asked. 

“I followed your car. Did you think Jackie would be so careless? He knew you hated him.” She said. He was finally bandaged up, and before she could say anything else he took her into his arms. Embracing, they kissed under the light of her lamp as the cold night air flew in through the window, fluttering the curtains. A familiar scene, this time a little happier and a little less bloody. As the pair lay down on the bed, the sun was finally beginning to come up, peaking its way through the New York skyline. The pair of them completed and saved each other, and it only took a couple of bullets to find that out.

June 18, 2022 03:18

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