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Old 01-17-2019, 08:11 PM
Dock Dock is offline
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Default Echo street: The crash



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Prologue — The Buggin Family
Thanksgiving Day, 2017
201 North Echo Street
Sadie’s Creek, IL


Jaykeem Royce hefted the five-gallon bucket onto the table. The sealed mylar bags filled with rice and beans rattled inside.

“Great,” Gallenjorn droned. “More wasted food.”

Royce glanced around the wine cellar. White buckets filled with food were stacked atop each other along both sides of the wall, filling in shelves where wine casks were supposed to be.

Royce stared at his foster brother. The man’s skin was as pale as Royce’s was black. “These are emergency provisions.”

Gallenjorn sighed. “Mama Buggin has made us stock this place every Thanksgiving since we were kids. How much money you think she wasted on this stuff?”

Royce frowned. The attitude reminded him of what Pappa Buggin wrote in his journal about this cellar:

I’d rather stock-up 10 years too early, Papa Buggin wrote. Than 10 minutes too late.

Pushing the glasses up his nose, he explained the issue in his typical monotone voice: “That is non-sequitur. Most of these foodstuffs have not reached their shelf life. They are emergency rations, hence they are not utilized outside of an emergency scenario. Such incidents are, by definition, impossible to forecast.”

“Uh huh,” Gallenjorn said. “How many days you think this’ll feed twenty people?”

Royce did the math in his head in the matter of seconds. He had a thing for numbers. “Three-thousand two-hundred and thirty-nine days.”

Gallenjorn pulled out his smartphone and opened the calculator app. As he keyed in the numbers off his checklist, he said, “What’s that? Like ten years or so?”

“8.874 years.”

The big man finished running the numbers. He hit the equals button and blinked. “Damn you’re good.”

Royce raised a brow as Gallenjorn turned the screen to show him.

8.873972602739726.

“Indeed,” Royce said simply.

“You ain’t normal, Jaykeem,” he said. “You just ain’t normal.”

Royce didn’t need his foster brother to tell him that. Of all the kids he’d grown up with, only Royce still lived with Momma Joy. And unlike the rest of them, Royce longed for the day this cellar would be put to use.

A thirteen-year-old boy wearing ripped jeans and a backwards hat came wheeling into the room on a skateboard. Dustin Gallenjorn, a mini-version of his father, nearly collided with Royce.

“Dad, I’m bored,” Dustin said. “Can we leave?”

Royce scowled. Of the six kids Gallenjorn had fathered since he was eighteen, none of the little ****s annoyed him as much as Dustin.

“No,” Gallenjorn said. “It’s Thanksgiving. We only spend one day a year with your grandmother.”

The kid was about to run his mouth again when heavy footsteps on the stairs caused Royce to turn. An obese black woman hobbled down the stairs, two buckets of wild oats in each hand. Royce hurried over to grab them from her.

“Thanks,” LaTonya said, gratefully giving up her load. Royce carried them over to Gallenjorn.

“What’s all this stuff for, Auntie?” Dustin asked.

“For the end of the world, little man,” LaTonya said.

“End of the world?”

“In case something happens that causes Walmart to close down,” LaTonya said. “Momma Joy makes us stock this place up every Thanksgiving.”

“Why?”

“Momma Joy thinks the economy is gunna collapse someday,” LaTonya said.

“And that most of the country’s gunna starve.”

“Wow…” Dustin said, glancing at Gallenjorn. “Nothing’s gunna happen though, right, Dad?”

“Ain’t nothing gunna happen,” Gallenjorn said.

LaTonya crossed her arms. “And you know that for a fact, Big G?”

Gallenjorn shrugged.

The sound of the door creaking open at the top of the stairs interrupted him.

“Dinner’s ready, ya’ll.”

##

There were six people around the table. Four of his foster siblings, plus Momma Joy Buggin and Dustin. Gallenjorn and his oldest son were seated on either side of Momma Joy. Next to Dustin was Royce’s sister Lucy, who everyone called Lucky. She was wearing an expensive pantsuit of the kind you’d see anchors wearing on Fast Money or the Closing Bell. Next to her was Carrie, another of Royce’s sisters, who had freckles and pale skin, and wore an Elgin Police Department uniform. Next came Royce himself, who was in turn sitting to the left of LaTonya. At a smaller table in the corner of the room sat five more of Gallenjorn’s kids plus Royce’s other brother Steven, who everyone called **** Ant. The youngest girl, named Harmony, was seated on **** Ant’s lap and playing with the braids in her uncle’s beard. **** Ant, who Royce saw smoking marijuana on the porch a few minutes ago, was eying the spread with a pair of blood-red eyeballs.

“Thank you all for coming home,” Momma said. “It means so much to me…” her voice creaked at the end.

Royce frowned. Momma Joy was quick to anger and quick to sentiment. Royce wasn’t quick to anything.

“We all live on this street, Momma,” Carrie said. “It wasn’t that big of a deal.”

“Even so, it means a lot to have ya’ll home for Thanksgiving,” Momma said.

“Always meant so much to Wilbur, even though he never said nothing.” She turned to the picture of her husband of forty years. A tear streaked down the side of her cheek. “We miss you, Papa Buggin.”

They all studied the picture hanging on the wall. A rotund man in suspenders sitting on the seat of a backhoe, a five-year-old Royce on his lap with Carrie and Lucky on either side of him. In the background was the thirty acres of cornfields behind the house. The farm he and his five foster siblings had grown-up on.

Royce swallowed back the lump his throat. His foster dad had been dead nearly four years now. But the hole he left in their family was as wide as ever. Thankfully, Royce was endowed with the man’s journals going back the entire seventy-eight years of the man’s life. Even in his absence, Royce had taken his teachings to heart.

“When I’m dead and gone, I want ya’ll to take care of each other,” Momma said. “And I want you to be prepared for hard times. Hard times is coming.”

“You been saying that for thirty years, Momma,” Lucky said.

“And I’m saying it again now,” she said. “Now let’s say grace.”

Royce sighed. Momma’s prayers were always long and drawn-out. But he’d learned to do as he was told under this roof. He joined hands with Carrie and LaTonya.

“Lord, we thank You for the bounty we’re about to receive,” Momma said. “We thank You for bringing our family together.”

Several heads nodded at the table.

“We thank you for LaTonya,” Momma said. “We thank you for making LaTonya’s Hunting and Firearms Supply a raging success. In the coming year, we ask you to help her get better control of the diabetes, morbid obesity, and chronic kidney disease. We that you spare her from having to go on the Dry-Al-E-Sis, Lord. So many black women her age have to go on that wretched Dry-Al-E-Sis.”

“Dialysis,” Royce corrected.

“Amen, amen,” LaTonya said, ignoring him.

“We thank you for Ichor,” Momma continued, using Gallenjorn’s first name. “We thank you for the half-dozen healthy children you have given him. We ask You to help him navigate the divorce with that rotten, cheating, no good, worthless, backstabbing little piece of—”

“Momma…” his female siblings admonished.

“Sorry, sorry,” Momma said, clearly flustered. “We ask, Lord, that in the coming year, you will help Ichor navigate the treacherous waters of divorce.”

Royce watched Gallenjorn on the other side of the table give a gracious nod.

His brother’s head was bowed, his eyes squeezed shut.

“We thank you for Carrie and her recent success at the police academy,” Momma said. In a voice completely devoid of irony, she continued: “In the coming year, we ask you help remake her. Remake her into less of a left-wing feminist tightwad. That someday she may become someone a man would want to speak with more than a few seconds.”

Lucky burst into laughter across the table, drawing a fierce glare from her sister.

“Thank you, Momma,” Carrie said flatly.

“We thank you for Steven, Lord,” Momma continued, using **** Ant’s first name. “We thank you for giving him the motivation he has clearly lacked most of his adult life. We thank you for giving him an entrepreneurial spirit and a heart for growing things.”

“A heart for growing dank-ass weed,” Dustin chortled.

“In the coming year,” Momma continued, ignoring her grandson. “We ask You help him realize that selling drugs is a wicked and evil business.”

Royce glanced at **** Ant seated at the kid’s table. His brother was still grinning at the food, likely oblivious to what had been said about him.

“We thank you for Lucy, Lord,” Momma said. “And that her good looks and talent have landed her a new job with them Wall Street banksters that have destroyed the world with their greed.”

Lucky kept her head bowed and made a raise-the-roof motion with both hands.

“We ask You keep her heart honest and pure,” Momma said. “The way it’s been since the day Wilbur found her on them train tracks eighteen years ago.”

“Honest and pure my ass,” LaTonya muttered next to him.

“Lastly, Lord, we thank you for Jaykeem,” Momma said. “We thank you for bringing him to his final year of med school. For taking an autistic black boy with crippling social inadequacies and turning him into a doctor.”

Royce blinked.

“In the coming year, Lord, we ask you to help him become less awkward and robot-like. To develop the social skills necessary to realize that living in this house with his aging momma ain’t what a thirty-year-old man should be doing.”

Royce frowned. He didn’t see any reason to leave.

Last edited by Dock; 02-02-2019 at 02:19 PM..
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:18 PM
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Chapter 01 — Violence
Peoria Central Hospital
Peoria, IL
January 1, 2020


Talking to people was always hard for Doctor Jaykeem Royce. So when the surgery ended, and the OR nurse wheeled his patient into the post-anesthesia care unit, Royce trailed closely behind, hoping to complete his assessment while the patient was too narc’d out to talk. The red-haired anesthesia nurse was giving a report to a semi-obese PACU nurse whose body type and nose gave her a porcine appearance.

“Another gun shot victim?” Pig Face asked.

“Yeah,” Red Hair said. “It’s those riots down at Walmart. The national guard shot three people.”

“The national guard?” Pig Face replied. “It’s that bad, huh?”

“Take away people’s food stamps, this is what you get.”

Royce stepped over to the gurney.

“Does your abdomen hurt?” he asked the patient whose name he had long since forgotten.

The patient’s head was sideways on the pillow, tongue lolling out of his mouth. His chest was rising and falling in slow, deep breaths. A long white binder was wrapped over his mid-section to cover the stitches.

Royce reached over and pressed on his abdomen. The patient gave a slight, involuntary squirm, but kept sleeping. Royce then placed the bell of his stethoscope on the man’s sternum, hearing the simultaneous noises of the heart beat, bowels, and breath sounds. Satisfied, he draped the stethoscope over his neck and walked to the nurses station. A clock on the wall read 5:43am.

“Happy New Year, Doctor Royce,” the unit clerk said as Royce dropped into a chair in front of a computer.

The smiling man stared at Royce like he expected a response. Being the general surgery resident on trauma call meant Royce’s morning would be far from a happy one. But instead of pointing this very obvious fact out, Royce simply ignored the man.

“Damn rude surgeons,” the clerk grumbled as he walked away.

Royce navigated to the patient’s chart and typed a quick operative note and a daily progress note. He then spent some time entering in nursing orders. He was nearly finished when a television in the corner of the room caught his eye.

The news station was showing footage of people forcing their way through checkout lines at a local Jewel Osco. Dubious-looking young and able-bodied people forced their way through security scanners. They were carrying baskets or shopping carts, many of them overflowing with groceries. In the backdrop, a group of uniformed employees stared at the mob, too shocked or intimidated to do anything. The caption read: EBT Recipients Forced to Steal as Government Shutdown Causes Interruption in SNAP Program.

Royce stared at it. Didn’t seem like anyone was forcing these people to steal anything.

The image changed to some sexually ambiguous person sat at a long table, looking all dour.

“The government shutdown has caused a halt to the federal food stamp program,” the newsperson said. “As a result, a third of all U.S. families are without nutrition assistance.”

“Horrible, isn’t it?” someone behind him said.

Royce turned to see Pig Face standing over him. “Excuse me?”

She motioned to the television. “This insane president. He’s gunna cause mass starvation. You can’t expect people to survive without food stamps, you know?”

Royce didn’t know. In his characteristic monotone, he said, “I have never required government assistance to obtain an adequate supply of foodstuffs.”

Pig Face raised a brow. “That’s nice for you.”

Royce stared directly into her eyes. “Indeed.”

He turned back to the computer just as a tiny alarm began beeping. Reaching into his pocket, he removed his pager and studied the screen.

TRAUMA — 32 female, class I. GUN SHOT wound. ETA 10 MINUTES.

He sighed. Being the general surgery resident on trauma call meant his morning would be far from a good one.

As he made his way toward the elevator leading to the emergency department, the lights went out.

##

The lights flickered out, casting the nurses station in utter darkness. The hum of the nearby vending machines ceased. The computer screen blackened and the TV snapped off.

“Power outage,” the clerk said unnecessarily. “Backup generator should kick in any second.”

Royce turned in the chair, waiting for it to happen. Thirty seconds passed. Then a minute. Then two minutes. Utter silence filled the corridor.

“What the hell’s going on?” a nurse asked.

Royce stood from the chair and walked to the window. Opening it, he glanced out at the downtown skyline. Usually lit with dozens of bright white lights, all was blackened. Moreover, the lights in the distance, in the subdivisions lining the city beyond downtown were also absent. Even more curious were the streets. Not a single car light could be seen moving below.

The door to the stairwell banged open and Royce turned to see a security guard huffing.

“What’s going on, Adam?” the clerk asked.

“I don’t know,” the guard replied. “Backup generators aren’t working.”

Royce reached into his pocket and took out the black pager. The usually phosphor green screen was darkened. Next, he fished out his phone. Despite having a full charge just a few minutes ago, it was off. He held down the side button for several long seconds. Then he let go and repeated the process again. The phone didn’t start.

“My iPad won’t turn on,” one nurse said, almost panicked.

“This is bad,” the clerk said.

Royce heard footsteps squeaking down the hall. One of the respiratory therapists was running at them.

“We need some hands!” he shouted.

“What’s the problem?” the clerk asked.

“The problem?” the RT said incredulously. “The problem is the ventilators stopped working. We need to start bagging people.”

Royce simply stood there as several nurses ran down the hall after the RT. Turning back to the window, he stared out at the blackness over the city. What kind of catastrophe would cause a power outage severe enough to destroy the hospital’s backup generators?

I have seen hell, Papa Buggin wrote. And it is a crowded city without power.

Royce realized he had to get home. And not to his apartment in West Peoria. He had to get back to Sadie’s Creek, and the house Momma Buggin left to him on Echo Street. It was time to bug-out.

##

In the doctor’s lounge, moonlight cast through a ceiling window, illuminating the contents of Royce’s locker. Royce quickly changed from hospital scrubs into blue jeans, then swapped his Crocs for a pair of Timberland work boots. At the bottom of the locker was the backpack he usually carried, sitting atop a much bulkier backpack. He grabbed the Gowara Gear Tactical Sling Back Pack. It was only one of his two Bug-Out-Bags, the other being inside his truck.

He grabbed the bag, set it on the table, and did a quick check of its contents. Three one liter bottles of water plus a two-pack of Life Straws and purification tablets. There was energy bars, freeze-dried meals, and a three-day supply of MREs. There were extra boots, pants, wool socks, sweatshirts, bandannas, and a poncho. A rolled-up tent was fixed to the outside of the bag, along with a ground tarp and bedroll. A first aid kit, firestarters, heat blankets, medications including antibiotics you could only get with a prescriptions, and other supplies. Rounding out the supplies was a Bowie knife.

Royce reached inside and grabbed the knife. He fixed the knife in it’s attachable sheath onto his belt. He grabbed the Arc'teryx jacket off the hanger and put it on, pulling the zipper up to his sternum. The locker clicked closed, and Royce didn’t bother to secure the Masterlock. He didn’t need anything in it, and doubted he’d be seeing this place ever again. Propping the Gowara on his shoulders, he made for the door.

It opened just as he grabbed the handle, coming face-to-face with a stout bearded man.

“Royce?” Doctor Frample said.

“Good morning, sir,” Royce said to the chief of surgery.

Frample looked him up-and-down. “You going somewhere?”

“I am going home.”

“Like hell you are,” Frample said. “There’s a massive power outage. We need every doctor in-house.”

“It is not a power outage,” Royce explained. “Most likely, this is the result of nuclear EMP activity.”

Frample stared sideways at him. “The hell are you talking about?”

“The majority of lives in this hospital are forfeit no matter the care they receive,” Royce said. “Studies show that ninety percent of the population will die in the event of a protracted interruption in the power grid. And the vast majority of early casualties will be in major cities, where resources are stretched thin. Therefore, it is imperative that I exit the city of Peoria as soon as possible.”

“Exit the city?” Frample repeated. “Look, you need to get your ass to the emergency department. We’re running Disaster Scenario One right now and I need all hands on—”

“I cannot allocate anymore time to this conversation,” Royce interrupted.

The old man gaped at him as he turned down the corridor toward the exit. But Royce didn’t care. He had a very long trip back to Sadie’s Creek, and the more time he wasted, the harder it would become.

##

Royce came out onto the lower level of the parking garage.

His blue 1979 Chevy Blazer was parked with its ass-end facing a concrete wall, in a space next to the up-ramp. It was an ancient truck with scars running through the baby blue paint job. Papa Buggin always thought it would still run after an EMP, given its paucity of electronic modules. The old truck used a naturally aspirated carburetor, and Papa Buggin always thought it might run after an EMP given its paucity of electronic modules. Royce knew he'd soon test that theory.

A hydraulic snow plow hung from the front grill. The blade was retracted to prevent it from hanging out of the parking space.

Royce pulled the keys with the old GM logo from his pocket and opened the door. He set his bag on the passenger seat and settled in. He shut the door behind him and placed the key in the ignition.

Moment of truth, he thought. He turned the key.

The old engine sputtered to life, and a smile lit up his face. He turned to the back seat and spotted his second Bug-Out-Bag, which was basically identical to his first, save for a few contents. Opening the middle compartment, he fished out the Beretta PX4. He opened his jacket and placed the gun into the shoulder holster he always wore to work. It might've been illegal to wear a gun inside the hospital, but an empty holster was another matter.

##

Royce exited the garage onto Glen Oak Avenue. Passing under the bridge linking the garage to the main hospital. The emergency room appeared on the right, its parking lot crammed with cars. In the moonlight, Royce could see a group of people standing just outside the entrance, looking lost and confused. They all turned as the Blazer roared by, and he could see their breaths smoking in the chill air.

At the Berkeley Avenue stoplight, a semi-truck was blocking the intersection. A group of three people including the uniformed driver were standing there, staring up at the starry morning like it held an answer to their calamity. Royce rolled to a stop, intent on retracing backward. But as he turned over his shoulder, he spotted the mass of sheeple moving into the street. A few of them were shouting and waving arms over their heads. No doubt wanting something from him.

Royce put the truck back in drive, and turned left onto a grassy hill. He bounced on the leather seat as it glided down the slope and slammed into the westbound lane of I-74. He weaved across derelict vehicles till he reached the turnaround. A squad car was stationed there with its hood popped open, an Illinois State trooper staring at it. She glanced up as Royce lit her up with the headlights, her eyes widening.

“Stop!” she screamed. “In the name of the police, I command you to stop!”

Royce scowled. Papa Buggin always said the cops would confiscate working vehicles in an EMP situation. So he had no intention of stopping.

He kept up a steady forty-miles an hour as he crossed the bridge over the Illinois River, carefully weaving through the few cars in his way. Several pedestrians walked along the shoulder, many yelling for him to stop. Some of whom didn’t have adequate clothing to survive the wintry morning.

At the far end of the bridge, an old sedan sat nose-to-ass with a pickup truck, blocking all four lanes. He glanced at the westbound lane, seeing a similar blockade setup. Only in this lane, a large RV was turned sideways across all four lanes. The signage on the side of the RV read International Disco Club.

He frowned as he drew to a stop fifty feet from the obstruction in his own lane. Reaching over to the plow controls, he pressed a button. The blade plopped onto the concrete with a metallic thunk.

“Hey!” someone yelled.

Royce turned to see a group of people climbing over the median toward him. And paused. The women were dressed in flashy bell bottoms and sparkling disco tops, while the men wore jumpsuits or spandex with cowboy boots. Under the circumstances, the most absurd-looking imbeciles he’d ever seen. But judging by the setup, it was clear they’d created this blockade.

His foot jammed on the accelerator. The engine whined as it picked up speed, the plow blade sparked as it dragged across the pavement. Bracing himself against the wheel, he smashed through the front of the sedan, rending it sideways and out of the way.

He gave a sigh of relief as he cleared the obstruction. Fifty feet past the blockade, he pulled back on the elevator and caused the plow to retract. In the rearview mirror, the disco people were standing there, watching his retreat.

##

The first thing to do after an EMP, Papa Buggin wrote, is to spend your cash as quick as possible.

Twenty-five miles outside Peoria proper, Royce turned off I-116 and into a parking lot shared by a White Hen and a Texico gas station. It was just past seven o’clock and the lot was empty save for a Lexus in the employee’s space.

Royce parked the truck. Leaning into the passenger side, he opened the glove box, which made a metallic click as it opened. Reaching in, he lifted an old car manual up and fished out a stack of currency. A thousand bucks was stowed between the pages, mostly in denominations of 10s and 20s. He collected the entire stack and left the vehicle.

Inside the store were two other people. An turbaned employee was stood behind the front counter, frowning at a white guy in a soiled hoodie and sweatpants. A collection of candy bars, potato chips, ice cream, and produce sat in a basket between them. The customer turned as Royce entered, revealing a pair of designer pink glasses and a Bernie Sanders for President 2020 logo on his sweatshirt.

“You have no money,” the employee said in heavily accented English. “What do you want from me?”

“What do I want?” the customer repeated, like it was the dumbest question ever asked. “How about something to eat? Something to keep me from ****ing starving.”

Royce’s brow shot up as he grabbed a shopping basket.

“This isn’t a soup kitchen,” the employee said. “We don’t give stuff away for free.”

The customers face reddened. He thrust a finger over the counter, causing the turbaned man to lean backwards.

“We are in a national crisis,” the customer spat. “I demand you give me this food. You owe it to me and I deserve it.”

Royce watched the scowl form on the old man’s face.

“You deserve nothing,” the man said. “Now please leave my store.”

The customer screamed. A loud, obnoxious shriek, of the kind you’d hear from a petulant five-year-old. Except this came from a grown man. Royce watched the man march out of the store, feet stomping the ground with each stride.

When the door closed, the employee gave Royce a weary look. The name tag on his White Hen golf shirt read Hazun.

“Sorry about that, man,” Hazun said.

Royce blinked. He hadn’t the slightest clue what the man was apologizing for. He collected a series of items in two shopping baskets. Mostly novelty foods he didn’t much like. Then he loaded up the other cart with a bunch of generic-brand water bottles and headed to the counter.

“We only take cash,” Hazun said. “Until the power comes back up, I can’t run any cards.”

Royce reached into his jacket and produced the stack of cash. Hazun stared at it with raised eyebrows.

“Give me those tobacco products,” Royce said, pointing at the cigarette cartons and canisters of dipping tobacco.

Hazun turned to the shelf behind him. “Which one?”

“All of them.”

##

Royce set the plastic bags in the truck. That settled, he turned for the Texico gas station next door. then made for the small grocery store next door. He still had cash to unload, and didn’t want to be left with worthless paper.

The lights in the station were off, and no one was in sight, but the main entrance was around back. He moved into the alleyway and found a middle-aged woman in a Texico jacket smoking a cigarette. She was rough-looking and wore far too much makeup. Maybe fifty years old, or even a very rough forty. She leaned against the wall, one foot planted vertically against the brick. Even from five feet away, he could smell the scent of liquor on her breath.

“Are you open?” Royce asked.

The woman squinted at him. “I’m open for all kinds of things, sweetheart.”

Royce didn’t know what to make of that answer, so he pressed on. “I’m here to obtain fuel. I’m prepared to pay in hard currency.”

She pulled on the cigarette, blowing smoke in his direction. Giving him a half-smile filled with crooked teeth, she said, “Your kinda cute. What’s your name?”

He frowned. “I am Doctor Jaykeem Rutherford Royce.”

“You wanna smoke some rocket fuel?” she said. “I’ll give you an ounce for twenty bucks.”

He frowned. This whole interaction was becoming more confusing by the second. “I am not interested in rocket fuel. I am interested in unleaded and diesel.”

The woman cackled with laughter. “Alright then. How about five bucks?”

“For gasoline?”

“For a puff of my crank pipe.”

“Methamphetamine?”

“Yeah.”

He gave her a fierce scowl. “I do not consume cardiotoxic sympathomimetic agents.”

The woman turned and mashed her cigarette out on the brick wall. “Gas station is closed.” Then she used a key on the backdoor and disappeared inside.

Royce stayed there a good thirty seconds, trying to parse through the interaction. He might’ve had a thing for a numbers, but he definitely didn’t have a thing for social interaction.

He passed to the front of the White Hen just as three black men emerged from the store. One wore a green hood and was carrying baseball bat. The other was a fat guy in a FUBU T-shirt hanging down to his knees, next to a third man in a Chicago Bears sweater. All were carrying baskets filled with candies and other goodies. As they stepped into the morning light, Royce caught a peak through the glass door. Hazun was laying on the ground near the entrance, unmoving. His face was a bloodied mess.

“Hey my nigga,” Green Hood said. “What chu got in that pack?”

Royce started walking toward the Blazer, careful the keep the group in his periphery.

“Where you going?” Green Hood said, dropping his basket of goodies and following alongside him. The bloody aluminum bat was still in his other hand.

Royce kept walking and Green Hood came up alongside him.

“Yo nigga, you deaf?” he snapped, grabbing Royce’s left arm.

Royce reached into his jacket, grabbed the Beretta. Green Hood’s eyes grew big as a cow’s as the barrel was quickly placed an inch from his face. Royce fired.

An ear-splitting crack as Green Hood’s head exploded in a bloody shower. Without missing a beat, Royce snapped toward the other two, shooting the fat one twice through the FUBU logo and once through his fleshy forehead. The one with the Bears sweater turned to run, and with well-practiced aim, Royce shot him through the back of his C-spine.

With the threats neutralized, Royce re-holstered the Beretta. He took a quick second to settle himself. His heart rate was about seventy beats per minute, up from the usual sixty. With a single slow breath, he was back to his baseline level of calm indifference. Opening the door to the truck, he slid inside and started the engine. As he pulled away from the three corpses, he felt no remorse.

Try to avoid fighting, Papa Buggin wrote. But when you can’t, use overwhelming violence.

Last edited by Dock; 01-21-2019 at 05:21 PM..
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Great start to the story, please keep it up.
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:53 AM
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Omg a story a story on this board lol been so long since someone started a story please please finish
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:55 AM
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Get bent
 
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Heck'of'a start! MOAR! It had to be said...again.
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:39 PM
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A good start it seems.
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Old 01-19-2019, 08:44 PM
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I think I'm gunna make this Echo Street thing a series of mini-novels
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:26 PM
old disturbed guy old disturbed guy is online now
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I like it. Please keep it going. MOAR please
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:08 AM
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Excellent start! Very different character from normal, keep it going.
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:03 AM
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Awesome start. Could be written today with furloughed TSA and other unpaid gubernment personnel fending for themselves.
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:56 AM
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Its nice to see a story in this thread even more so when it comes from you Dock I need to see moar
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:43 AM
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Excellent.
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:24 PM
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Next section please waiting waiting
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:50 PM
BabyBlue BabyBlue is offline
Forward, into the fray!
 
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*Big puppy eyes* Please sir, may I have some more?
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:42 PM
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great start
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:33 AM
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A very good start. Please continue your tale.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:53 PM
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Good start. Keep it going!!

Bob
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:31 PM
cavsgt cavsgt is offline
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Very good start, I hope that you can continue. Thank You
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