Continued from Powerless, part iv…
Dan fell to the floor as the bullets ripped through the plate glass windows in front of the store. He would have dove to the floor but as he got to the door to get to the hoped safety of the inside of the store he tripped and fell flat on his face. A few more shots rang out and then he heard screeching tires and the sound of a car racing away from the scene.
His nose bloody, but otherwise unscathed he got up from the floor after the noise abated. “Fuck! My nose!” Were the first words out of Dan’s mouth as he got up off of the floor, grabbing clumsily at his face and covering his sore snout with both hands. Adrenaline was pumping through his system, and he fought to keep control of himself. He looked around the store and saw that the store was by and large intact save for the broken window. He looked over to where Morris the guy who ran the place was. Morris was getting up from behind the counter, and cursing. Loudly. Yelling about this being the third time the glass has been shot out of the front of the store this year.
Dan could barely make out what Morris was saying, such was the thickness of Morris’ accent. He knew Morris was alright. Morris barely registered Dan’s existence in the middle of his tirade. Dan asked if he was OK. Morris looked at him like he had three heads. “Raas, me windows been blown out again. What you tink, mon?” Then he noticed Dan was bleeding. “You got shot in the face? Oh Shit! Lay down, mon I’ll call 911!” Dan waved him off and said “I landed on it when the shit hit the fan back there. I’m OK. Lucky I didn’t get glass in my face.”
Morris nodded his head after being reassured more than once that Dan was actually alright. He said “Go get that taken care of, mon. I gotta board up these windows…again.” Morris continued to speak as he walked to the back of the store ” Dey never leave a mon in peace. Raasclot…”
Dan, in spite of his pain, laughed. It was a forced laugh, but a laugh nonetheless. He waved and said in a nasal voice, thanks to the bloody nose “Good luck, Raas!”
He walked quickly outside and in the direction of his place, head tilted back to keep the blood flow to a minimum. He passed the spot where he had spoken to Randy a few minutes ago. The place was deserted, but he could tell that everyone had bolted at the first sign of trouble. Bottles of beer that were in hands a few minutes ago were on the ground, dropped in the frenzy to get the hell out of the line of fire. No blood to be seen here, but there were bullet holes in the front of that building, Whether they were there before or not he didn’t remember.
The police and other sirens started to show up a few minutes later, as he was walking towards the outside door of his building. “Cops always seem to show up slower here. Like they don’t care about us. In the old neighborhood they’d have been there in 2 minutes.”
As he walked into his apartment the first thing he did was reach for some tissues and a chair. He sat down, and tilted his head back as far as he could. He tore off a few small pieces of tissue put them up his nose and waited. And waited. After a few minutes he leaned his head forward and the bleeding was stopped.
Dan began to read the classified section. He was kind of amused that most of the jobs were either for accountants of Health care workers. Why there would be that much of a need for accountants when no one seemed to have money struck him as odd. But Dan thought little more about it, as he had no background in accounting, and was frankly pretty bad a math. He couldn’t do it. The HHA work was again out of reach because they all wanted you to be certified in something or other.
He had no certification. He looked for work that he had done or thought he could do. Hell, if there was a dishwasher job he’d take it. Any work is better than no work he’d always said.
As he started to get annoyed at the paper and the lack of anything good in it, the phone rang.
Dan thought of his wife. He reached for the phone, ready for whatever it was she was going to dump on him. Then he noticed the number. It wasn’t a familiar one. A phone number with the letters BPA attached to it. He said “Goddamn bill collectors can kiss my ass. You can’t get blood from a stone, you bastards.” He picked up the phone, hit the talk button, barked out the words “FUCK OFF” and hung back up.
That felt good. Then he heard a knock on his door and thought he heard someone say something. He yelled out “Gimme a sec!” and got up. He was surprised at how light headed he felt for a second. He didn’t think he’d lost that much blood. As he got to the door he looked in the peephole, and saw two policemen standing outside.
To Be Continued…
That’s it from here, America. G’night.