Coming to kill you.
D’angelo read the text, fumbled his phone back into his pocket, then spun around.
The purple civic passed by again, slowing as it drove by his studio apartment.
D’angelo ransacked his place – but he didn’t own a gun, and had no steak knives. He checked his closet.
“Dammit!” he said, tearing down four blue suits from the rack. That’s when it caught his attention – his high school baseball bag. He tugged it out from the closet, then opened the bottom slit. He slid out his Easton 777, an aluminum baseball bat. D’angelo tapped the barrel against the flat the wood panels on his floor, then stepped over to his door.
He grabbed his phone back out, and his thumb shook as he responded.
Come get it.
D’angelo slammed the front door and hopped down the stoop. He waited on the side of the road. Screeching tires – purple civic had just slammed the brakes and come to a stop in the middle of the road. The driver flickered their lights on and off, taunting him.
D’angelo’s heart raced as he marched toward it. He clenched the bat firm and breathed heavy. The engine turned off, and the lights went out.
“I’ll kill you!” D’angelo yelled. “You hear me?” He swung the bat over shoulder, but the handle slid through his sweaty hand. The bat fell and rang out on the cement. “I’m not afraid of anyone!” He said, picking it back up.
D’angelo wiped the sweat from his brow. “Ain’t afraid a shit,” he muttered to himself.
D’angelo crept onward. Night had turned cool, so much so he could now see his own breath. The purple civic turned back on, and the lights switched to bright, blinding him. D’angelo shielded his eyes, then heard rubber burn. He braced for impact, then kept one eye open when forced himself to look – The wheels took the civic in the opposite direction. It backed off the road, over some grass, then plowed into a tree. The airbag deployed.
“Karma, bitch,” said D’angelo. He broke into a jog – then his phone beeped. New message.
Meet at McFlannigan’s.
D’angelo squinted at the purple civic. An overgrown man moaned and groaned his way out. He wore a brown raincoat and aviator sunglasses. He stumbled over to D’angelo.
Hiding his eyes were dark aviator sunglasses that had been shoddily glued back together.
“John?” said D’angelo.
John halted with a wobble. His phone was in his hand.
“You drunk, bro?”
“No, never, of course not. I do not drink alcoholic beverages. I’m not an alcoholic.”
“I met you at McFlannigans.”
John shook his head, then turned away and slid his phone back into his pocket. “Common misconception. Where we allocate may indicate certain characteristics of our personalities, but it does not dictate our actions.”
Another beep. D’angelo opened the new message.
Be there in 15 or I will kill you in your sleep.
D’angelo shook his head, then spit on the ground. “Hey, I got to go bro. Good luck with this,” he said, then turned and headed off.
“Wait!” said John.
D’angelo stopped. “What?”
“Where are you going, I was wondering?”
“What’s it to you?”
“Is it McFlannigans? Or will you just go to sleep tonight? It’s just a question, actually two, but that’s it.”
D’angelo knocked the end of his bat softly against the pavement, and stared at John with a single eye squint.
“Great! I’ll go with you.”
“Your cars here, bro.”
John turned, laughed at his car, then swatted at the air with his hand. “I’m quite sure, you know, that even if I leave it here, I will find it here, sitting and waiting for me, later, when I come back for it.”
John jogged over. D’angelo stuck his hand out when he got close.
“You’re stayin’, bro.”
“I know where you live,” said John.
D’angelo pushed his jaw out.
“But only because I watched you run there. I remained where I stood, don’t you remember? I was angry.”
“Whatchu want, bro?”
John stepped forward, and reached into the pocket of his raincoat. “I’m surprised you haven’t figured that out yet. I’ve been… straightforward.”
“You got a deathwish?”
John flipped his eyes down at the bat D’angelo held, then chuckled.
“Never said a joke, bro.”
“The bat. That is the joke,” said John. His hand remained in his pocket, angled straight at D’angelo. “If you knew what I was holding, you would know why I am laughing.”
“It will not help you.”
“I can knock skulls with-”
“Should have brought a shovel. Would have made things easier.”
D’angelo ground his teeth, then lifted the bat over his shoulder.
John flipped his hand out from his pocket, then unfolded a giant map of the world. “I’ve entered the coordinates. I know where our treasure is.”
To be continued…
– Thomas M. Watt