Remembering For a Friend

Posted on September 28, 2009

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Gunfire erupted one rainy April night. It was a meet like any other. Things seemed normal; but in hindsight, there was an eerie vibe. I should have known something was off. In fact I did; but I was there, as were the coke and my buyers. I set the thought aside, and went through with the deal like so many nights before. Upon entering, the lines of the arrangement were set; loyalties were expected. Only two people present knew the meeting was to end violently; unfortunately, I was not one of them. As the money was produced, I should have seen members of the opposing team already moving for the merchandise. My peripheral vision quickly registered fast movement and the glare of a stainless big-bore revolver. The sound of the first shot temporarily froze me. I was suddenly thrust into a fight-or-flight mindset. I reached for my own pistol as I moved for cover behind the truck. Contagious gunfire began. In a split-second, a thousand thoughts raced through my mind. I instantly realized that all rules and etiquette were out the window. I would kill everybody around me, if need be, to escape. But getting out alive was not my only motivator. I refused to let _____ and his crew take my load. It became personal; we went back so far…how could that prick try something like this? On me? We were ALL going to come out so far ahead…

 

The concept of double-crossing him was a recurring thought in the past few months. Out of respect for a fellow player in this dirty business, I never tried; and made damn sure that none of my crew got any stupid ideas. I don’t do business like that, and I’ll be damned if they do so while acting on my behalf. It seemed nothing was sacred to ____. It was time to get out. I snapped the safety off my 4506. As I turned to acquire my first target, the passenger window of the rig exploded above me; showering down a barrage of auto glass. Pops and pings echoed all around me. I fired off five shots at the mustached man in the blue coat. I saw him stumble momentarily. He crumbled to the ground unceremoniously as I leaned back against the wheel well for cover. My actions had drawn negative attention. Automatic weapon fire peppered the driver’s side of the truck. Several semi-auto shots from elsewhere stopped it just as abruptly as it had began. My guys were alive in here and shooting back. I leaned out again. This time I saw _____. He looked scared and vulnerable. There was only going to be one of us that left with the big prize. He had his back to me, yelling and taking aim at _____. I fired again until the big .45 locked open. I dove for cover and did a tactical reload. I’d missed him. The rumble of thunder and pounding of hard rain on the warehouse roof contained the noise of the battle waging inside. Calling the police was not an option, nor would I exercise it even if it were. This was worst case scenario; a shootout in a drug and cash-filled warehouse with mounting casualties…

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The hidden compartment in the rig was stocked to capacity and locked. Everything was set. I plotted my usual course. As I turned the key, it immediately dawned on me what a daunting task I had undertaken. Every run is the same. It begins with a nonchalant attitude; business as usual. You coast along, maintaining the appearance of a regular working guy. The sight of law enforcement used to be nerve-racking. By now, it only mentally inspired me to become more casual. He’s just a regular guy in a cruiser; he doesn’t know shit. By the end of the run, you tell yourself that success is imminent. Upon completion, you feel only adrenaline and ecstasy. You’ve done it. You no longer assume risk for anything involved in this transaction; you’re just a hell of a lot richer. It’s a high of its own; big risk for big reward…I had won again.

-KZ

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