Coe Review Staff Blogs Fall 2019

Flash Fiction: Stakeout Interlude- By: Thomas Dillon

I had just set up long distance, specifically back to our hidden hideout, when they crossed the gate out of the lot. I fell to the roof of the three story I had made my vantage point. The rain had gotten through the dirt and shorted out my “waterproof” hidden microphone in the empty lot where the two outlaws met. I had no idea what the delivery boy was getting from that Spine Runner for the package I was assigned to acquire. 

I peered up and watched the delivery boy, an all-leather I.H.K. (Incredible Hunter Killers) biker, walk to his ride, which looked to be made out of an armored car and a private recreational plane. I hadn’t seen a bike in this city with half the mods this thing had, and I hadn’t been a greenhorn to this particular area for awhile. I remember a real piece of work I had to chase back home, a self-proclaimed spider biker with 8 grappling lines on the bike and a mean crossbow on the back. That thing shot an electric arrow right into my calf, almost put me out for good. I had to ride with Sam and…and it was gone. The bike, and its rider, were gone. I grabbed for the comm strapped to my shoulder holster before something caught my eye. The Spines’ Runner with sunglasses and the delivery package I had waited in the rain for two hours to take was still there.

Two options immediately came to mind. The deed was done and the two middlemen had parted ways. The other option was that my location had been compromised, a decoy package was given to the Spine, and the real package was safe with the biker. The biker had then been given directions and rode off to the true destination of the delivery. Suddenly, a drop of rain got in my eye and a third option was revealed. The exact opposite had happened and the Spine wanted me to chase the biker in order to deliver the package untroubled. I became increasingly worried before realizing my own folly. Even if we were in the middle of a downpour that could make an ocean seem dry, I would have heard the motor start and the tires spin. After all, I was absorbed in setting up the long distance module on my communicator and I still heard the little fortress pull up. 

I needed to study the scene, it was obvious that I had missed something. There was the lot, as grey and brown as rusted steel. Then there was a series of small, boarded and abandoned apartment buildings with a sliver of an alley in between. No surprise there. Wait, yes there was. The Spine was walking inside a building two doors down from the lot. I saw another figure in the doorway, but I couldn’t make him out. Now things began to clear, unlike my eyesight which seemed to have drawn the ire of this never ending rainstorm.

Lack of sleep was getting to me. There was a second entrance. Of course there was a second entrance. What kind of tenement house has only a front door? “I must be overthinking this,” I thought. These two weren’t hired professionals or private soldiers, they were middlemen for The Spine and The I.H.K., two gangs which normally attacked each other on sight. I needed to get closer, or else I’d lose them again. I could slide down a pipe leading off the right side of the building, but I could also slide right off of the thing. I climbed down the pipe anyway, wasting time wasn’t an option. Half-way down my leg slipped and I slid down the rest of the way. Cut my hand, but otherwise I was fine. I had to get inside.

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