Short Story Part VI: Freedom

Without further ado, the conclusion of my short story with no title as of yet. I hope that I can use this story as a launching point into a larger world that I am already creating in my mind. 

The hardest part for me with completing the story was really how is it supposed to end. I knew where I wanted to end up, but the question is always how to get there. 

Stay tune for future posts as I continue to develop and create my body of work. And if you want to catch up on past installments of this short, click below.

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V

Part VI
The stack of bills sat like untouched diamonds buried within a hellish under belly. They stared into me, unrealized of the surrounding reality. I can’t imagine the amount of blood that has been spilled for every single one to find their way into this black duffel bag. I’m the hunted now and there is no returning to what I once knew. The 9mm made sure of that.
Slinging the bag across my back and tucking the pistol behind my waistband, I exited up the cellar stairs, into the unknown. A black SUV, tinted windows, is already waiting to carry Angela and I into a new beginning. The dirt and mud across the tire treads made me think of other runs that truck may have done in the past. Hopefully, they were lucky.
To make this as quickly as possible, I left our two luggage cases at the cellar opening; we weren't going to need the Jeep any more. I did a quick scan to see if Angela made her way down the stairs yet.
The driver side window rolled down. I wait for my guy to say something, but all I could hear are the surrounding trees.
I get impatient, “Hello would be a nice start? Could you have parked any God damn farther?! Give me a couple. I’m waiting on Angela.” Nothing. The silence was thick and the dark SUV sat there and watched.
Grabbing the two luggage cases I left by the cellar door, I make my way towards the dark SUV. I barely make out the silhouette of the driver, but the closer I get the colder the air becomes. Then I see my guy, but he doesn't look right. Tense and grim, an expression like stone. 
I don't feel betrayed when the bullet flies through the windshield. I'm not even mad when the interior of the glass is suddenly painted red and a bloody head leans out the driver side window. It all happens so quickly before I realized that it was all over before it began. 
I drop the bags and make for my pistol, just before the back doors opens. This was all on me and I need to make this as tough for those bastards that are after me. 
Then I see her black hair, without as much as a struggle, stepping outside the back seat of the SUV, accompanied by two large thugs in black. Angela’s eyes look beautiful and terrified, staring back at me with all the questions in the world and me with no answer but cold steel in my hands. I can't focus. How could I have let this happen?
A man, wearing a sharp Armani suit, exits the passenger side door. Sebastian Nikolov, friend from the past and as ruthless as he is brilliant. He is going to make certain that this will end on his terms and I am well past redemption.
“You gave us a bit of a slip, but in time, a rat always leaves a long enough trail of filth behind,” Sebastian taunted.
My voice cracked, “I made a bad call, I was only trying to start fresh.”
“And so you make a move for my cargo payment? You thought this out carefully,” Sebastian walks over to Angela, as he withdraws a pistol from behind his breast pocket. “You know how much I do not enjoy these exchanges, so I will ask for what you know is mine only once.”
I've seen too many of these so-called  “exchanges” to know all too well that someone on my side has no negotiating power. My leverage is gone and he has everything before I even give up the bag. Without a word, I drop the bag and swing it towards the nearest goon. 
“I can’t have you acting brash once we let your lovely lady go,” Sebastian noted.
The gun by my side is useless from the point I killed the runner -- nothing more than an image of all the mistakes I’ve made. I toss it at their feet and Sebastian nods in confirmation. 
“I’ve always respected you as an equal, Doc. Your services to me have been invaluable and I will forever be in your debt. Therefore, take this gesture of allowing your freedom as my humblest gratitude.” Sebastian motions and his men return to the truck.
Tears in her eyes, Angela makes the long walk back to me, back to where she belongs. Back to her home, or wherever we will make it. Back to the happiness that we once remembered -- real and frail in the chaos of a world. I smile at her, letting her know its all right. She smiles back at me, assuring me that she is strong for me, through everything; I will forever be grateful to her for it.
Then a gunshot echoes in the darkness and time stood still. I put my hands to my own chest; I couldn’t feel a thing. Maybe the bullet passed a vital nerve. Maybe I was dead already. Then I see blood soaking through a shirt atop of a belly that is not my own. A belly that cradles the small, fragile body that was to be my son. Angela still stays strong as her body fell to the dirt.
The world goes dark and all sense of existence leaves my body; I see her lie helplessly. I hold her in my arms, unsure of time and space. She looks up to me, with an assurance that everything will be okay.
“Stay with me,” I said.
“I see you now, David. Don’t let this...take a hold of you” The color from her lips begins to fade; she's drifting into darkness. In an instant, we're no longer against the earth, but an abandoned space of bright light. The realization is unlike any feeling that I have ever experienced on earth.
Bathed in the light, Angela smiles, "Your time to reveal yourself to the world will come.” A small boy, from long ago, deep in a memory, appears behind Angela. Those same eyes, with the innocence of a promised tomorrow, looks up at me. Angela places her hands around the young boys shoulders. I touch his head; the same black hair nestled between my fingertips.
Then in an instant, they're gone with nothing but my blood soaked hands. Angela's body lay in peace and I weep with a sudden burst of pain.  I knelt there, left behind to bask in my newly bestowed freedom.


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