Joe vol. 7 - Thursday September 14, 2017
He rode the bus to the second-to-last stop then departed, well outside of town. As he hailed a cab he checked his pockets to make sure he hadn’t absent-mindedly grabbed his cell phone, he wasn’t leaving anything else to chance.
“Where to, kid?” The cabbie was a large man with a graying beard who spoke with a slight Boston accent out of the corner of his lip as he chewed on something. Joe hadn’t thought of where to go just yet, but he didn’t want to seem suspicious so he tried to use his ignorance to his advantage.
“I have to grab the address, just keep heading this direction for now, I’ll find it.” He fumbled in his pockets while his mind raced, counting the money he had stolen from the poor kid who had come to his door, mixing it with his own. He had enough cash to get him well-away from town but without visiting an ATM he wasn’t going to do much else. If he had learned anything from the TV shows his parents used to watch it was that the cops always track your ATM charges, so all this running would be pointless if he used an ATM at the end of the line.
“Ah, it’s on this road, about 10 minutes further or so. I can stop you when you get there, I don’t have the address I guess.” The cabby nodded at him and spit brown liquid into a plastic cup he kept in his center console. Joe watched as the scenery became less and less houses and more and more trees and dirt roads. Finally, a couple miles after they passed a branch of his bank he asked the cabbie to stop. He paid his fair and left a generous tip, hoping that if the man liked him he’d remember him less, then he was off to walk back towards the bank and hopefully hail another cab, or find a bus or train station nearby.
His heart started to race and he could feel his blood pumping through his ears as he took out the maximum amount the ATM would allow. He’d have to make a few more stops before he had it all, but best not to do it all here and raise some sort of red flag in the system. Joe stuffed half of the money into his wallet, the other half into his socks then headed back up the street where he came from. It was just after noon, he had plenty of time to find another form of transport to keep on heading away from town. Currently he had been heading west but he thought he might change it up and head north, try to confuse anyone who might eventually track his movements. Everyone always looked for patterns in the TV shows, maybe if he was erratic he’d actually get away with it. Joe pulled his flask from the breast pocket of the jacket and took a sip, trying to slow his panicking heart. The warm liquid rolled down his throat and the world slowed down slightly, allowing him to focus a little better. “Alright, there’s a train station around here, I remember hearing about it, I should head South, not North, away from any of my crime scenes.” He glanced around to make sure no one could see him talking to himself, then tucked the flask away and started walking again.
By a wild stroke of luck he found himself in front of the train station within the hour and bought a ticket to Miami, Florida. He didn’t plan to ride all the way there but at least he was headed south. While he waited for the train to arrive the other passengers stared at him and whispered amongst themselves, the TV in the station was silently detailing a terrorist cell’s recent activities in the middle east. His paranoia was starting to rise again, but it was absurd. “They’re not talking about you,” he told himself, pretending to read one of the bible’s he was holding in his sweaty hands.
“I’m telling you, it’s him. Look!” His fear getting the best of him, Joe looked up at the TV to once again see his face plastered on the screen. “It’s him! Get your phone!” He turned and looked at them just in time to see them snap a picture with a smartphone. Joe was shell-shocked. His mind raced, the noises around him deadened into a dull murmur while every stared, pulling out their phones. There was no time, he had to react. His mind raced as he tried to think of his options, but nothing came to mind. He barely registered the thought as his right hand pulled the pistol out from it’s hiding spot in his belt and fired a round directly into the woman’s head who had taken his picture.
Her head jerked back as a small red hole formed and a warm spray covered the two men standing behind her. The room was suddenly alive, and Joe with it. He circled, firing shots wildly into the crowd as they all fled from the platform. A woman here, a man there, his bullets punctured their skin sending red droplets to the ground. Some of the fell silently, most of the fell screaming, clutching some hole in their body as blood spurted out. When the platform was clear Joe quietly tucked the gun back into his belt and sighed. The area was silent except for the pathetic whimpering of a few wounded men and women. Joe took a long haul off of his flask before tucking it into his breast pocket where it had come from. His shoes landed with heavy thuds as he approached a woman crying on the ground. Kneeling down, he stared into her face, looking deep into her eyes as she started to hyperventilate, clutching her arm and moaning with pain.
“I…” Joe opened his mouth to speak but was interrupted by the sound of sirens in the distance.