Wednesday, May 05, 2010
I go first, sprinting from the car to the door of the project. Colin follows, but races across the width of the doorframe to put himself on the other side. Then I kick the door open, it is not locked, I already know that, we have watched them run inside, but I need the door to explode open, I need it to make a lot of noise, and I burst through and flatten myself up against the wall and the mailboxes, the stairway providing cover. I duck around and look up, gun in hand, and see no one. Using those old WWII hand gestures I let Colin know. He bounds past me and up to the first landing.
We'd been drinking coffee, and eating doughnuts. And Colin was complaining about editorials in The New York Times, "it's just the government paper," he said, as usual. We were, I suppose, hidden by the El pillar, and the early morning newspaper trucks, but not so hidden that we couldn't see the drive-by hit, six or seven shots, sounding like a nine, blowing up the windows of two stores across the street and leaving two people lying in blood on the street.
Colin called it in, asked for a bus,* asked for someone to check out the bodies, asked for back up. I spun the car away from the curb, pulled a wild four lane u-turn, and chased the Beemer with the dark windows. Six blocks later we have ended up here.
As I do the next run, to the second floor, the radio crackles that the two on the street are D.O.A. Then a round rushes past me, and I hit the floor, hugging the antique railing, hoping its old oak posts will stop bullets. Colin is calling "shots fired, shots fired" and sirens are whining from two or three directions and I hear footsteps heading up, so I go, and now tactics have been lost to anger and Colin is right behind me. The hall lights up here are out, we can only see by the footlights of the floors below, rising in the slot between the stairs.
Now both of us hear a metallic click, and now, knowing someone is reloading, we pounce. Colin's tackle hits his hand sending the gun and the clips flying. I hit him in the gut, slamming him against the wall, but in this moment we both know we have blown it. This is one. where's the other?
He is standing in the corner. In almost total darkness. Just feet away from us. Holding a Mac-10.
But it has jammed. And he looks at us, while we look at him, then he throws it at me and runs. Colin says, "got him?" and is off. I hear the take down one more flight up, perhaps by the stairs to the roof. The I hear a skull being smacked into a wall, repeatedly, then I hear Colin say, very calmly into the radio, "Seven-Adam Central, we got two under, we need a bus here too."
I handcuff the guy I have. And sit on the floor. And light a cigarette. And now six more cops come running up toward us.
(c) copyright 2007 - 2010 by Ira Socol