|Subject:||Joe Schmuck: Chapter 1 - 06/07|
|Date:||Fri, 19 May 2000 01:00:53 GMT|
It seemed strange to Joseph that the man with one thumb was falling over.
Maybe it was some trick of the pain - he couldn't see clearly through tearing
eyes anyway. The blam blam that accompanied the man falling seemed distant and
weak. It didn't sound like gunfire at all. It barely registered, and half of
these gangers didn't even see him fall. Another quick series of bangs saw two
more fall. It took a jaw exploding outwards and down to convince Joseph and
the people around him that they were under fire.
Joseph felt a sharp punch at his shoulder, not at all like the shallow
scratches up until now. The punch drove him forward falling face first into the
inch of filthy water he was kneeling in. Eyes watering, stinging from a splash
of the toxic rainwater created by the large figure that fell beside him. It
was the one with the crowbar, Joe could tell from his size. He had a hole in
the top of his head the size of a quarter.
Joseph heard two more shots, followed by a loud blast. "Ambush! Up there!
Up!" Blam blam. Looking around, blinking his vision clear Joe looked up,
seeing the flashes to pair with gunshots. What caught Joseph's eye was the
glinting brass as it fell slowly, almost dancing as it hit the ground. "Die
Fucka!" screamed someone on the ground, managing to sound near and far away at
the same time. Two more blasts leapt back up towards the sky. Blam. Blam.
Click. Joseph heard a Click, echoing down, while the shower of expended brass
seeming to come to an end, just a new a new sound roared into life and
dominated his attention.
>From down at the end of the alley, a hail of automatic fire took flight into
the air spraying the area with bullets. Joseph could see a man down there,
standing over a prone figure - a gout of explosive gases angling upwards. Joe
heard noise from above, shattering glass and splintering wood, the sound of
bullets burying themselves in concrete. The grunt of pain and wheezing of a
violent exhale drew his eyes upward again as a person dressing in black fell
out of the dark night, flailing as it tried to project a breathless cry of
panic. The figure landed heavily - face down on top of the big man called
Bruiser. Neither of them moved.
Back down at the mouth of the alley Joe could see the man reloading while
walking carefully towards the carnage. Finished his task, he brought his gun
up, and Joe hunkered down behind the bodies of Bruiser and his rescue party.
His adrenaline was pumping strongly, overriding the pain in his shoulder, as
his worried hands found him a gun. The man was firing at the person in black,
bursts making the body jerk.
Panicking, Joe knew the guy was getting closer, and soon his cover would be
defeated by the sharper angle. The most recent burst finished, a new one would
start soon, he thrust his hand up over the makeshift barricade and fired
wildly. The pistol leapt in his hand as he fired a burst with each pull of the
trigger. Joe struggled to keep it under control but his fear just made him
grip the trigger tighter, releasing the rest of the bullets into the air.
Quickly it fell quiet and Joe froze - waiting for whatever came next.
Nothing did, so he cautiously looked up. The last man was lying on his back -
motionless. Joseph waited still afraid to move, disturbed by the uncanny
silence the gunfight had created. It was over in seconds, and somehow he
survived. Some ragged breathing told him that he wasn't the only one. It
didn't seem important, they weren't moving and Joe was still in too much shock
to feel anything. There was a lot of blood that he absently smeared on his
face as he sat up and cradled his head. "I'm alive" he croaked, needing to
hear it out loud. "I'm alive."
Joseph Staples moment of introspection was broken when the body of his rescuer
rolled over coughing, spitting blood at his feet.