Some Kind Of Angle
As the Nokia beeped out a lame rendition of “Push It” by Salt ‘N Pepa, he fumbled to muffle the noise. Could there have been a worse time for his cell phone to ring? He doubted it while noting to himself to change the goddam incoming call tone.
If he ever got the chance.
And how in the bleeding hell was this call getting through anyway? His phone’s battery had run out of juice practically 24 hours ago, yet as he stared at the illuminated screen, the power indicator showed full strength.
“Weird!” he whispered. Maybe it was devine intervention. Maybe it’s make believe.
But he took the bait and pushed the receive button, and the music — if you can call it music — stopped. He held his breath and lifted the phone to his ear where he heard a female voice already in progress.
” — rageous… How could you even think about quitting now!”
“Wha…?” He had no idea who it was.
“You’re so close, I can’t believe you’re just going to throw in the towel!”
“Who the fuck is this?” Kar asked.
“You know perfectly well who this is you sonofabitch! And if you think I’m just gonna let you lay down and die when you’re only a few steps away from seeing this thing through, then I’ll see you in hell and kick your ass from here to eternity!”
“Fuck you! Whoever you are!” Kar yelled, and the exclamation echoed dully throughout the warehouse south and east of downtown.
“No, fuck you! You’re no quitter!”
He certainly wasn’t so sure. Seven days of chasing and killing and hiding and hitting had exacted a pretty good and harrowing toll, and he was feeling pretty done and depleted.
Especially to have found his daughter alive and well only to see her slip away from him. Yeah, that was about the straw that broke the back. Not only that, but now not only were the scant remainder of Sheridan’s goons after him, but the cops were all about putting him out of commission. Yep, stick a fork in him.
“You’re not finished yet, Karlton. As long as there’s strength in your hand to pull a trigger and breath in your body, you keep going, dammit! You keep going! If not for you then for your â€”!”
“Who the holy fuck is this?” His exasperation was evident, and grew exponentially when he heard a click and held the phone away from his ear.
As if the call had only been in his imagination. He heaved the thing like a grenade over the stacks of boxes he had holed himself up behind and heard it clack and shatter on the concrete floor some distance away.
Now I’m going crazy, he thought. Maybe just crazy enough to listen to whoever that was or wasn’t.
He unholstered the pistol and popped the clip. 10 bullets left. He slid the clip back in and chambered a round. Outside the rear of the warehouse, the cops had gathered and from the screech of tires on the asphalt, more were arriving every minute. The lights of the patrol car light bars flashed through the windows and danced on the walls.
He flashed back to Sheridan’s final moments, when he heard the helicopters approaching and the dying crimeboss wheezed out something about reinforcements arriving.
“The police?” Kar had inquired. And Sheridan just chuckled as if he’d owned them.
And now it was clear he did.
Thus, there were two things he knew. First, there was a good chance he wasn’t going to get out of this alive. And second, if he had to he was going to die trying.
The massive building suddenly shuddered from the proximity of the police helicopter that hovered above it, and he had an idea.