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And now ...
The Kid sat back in his seat, eyes closed, the thrumming of the engines beating a slow rhythm through his chest. He was airborne, headed to Vegas. Chicago and Midway were fading behind him. Next stop Des Moines. And then a whole bunch of other stops as this all night milk run to Vegas wound its way from one rusty bucket to another. Just as long as he made it to Vegas. Yeah, Vegas. They were building new hotels and casinos and the rackets were running wild out there. He'd get a job with somebody - he just needed to make the right connection. And he had one. A name at least. The guy worked the protection racket. Sully. The guy's name was Sully.
His hat was down over his eyes. He thought he might sleep. He hoped so. He hadn't been able to rest for days. The cops were on his ass. He had messed up. He hadn't done his work with his usual efficiency. They found Joey The Hat quicker than he thought they would. And too many people had seen him with Joey. And the fuckers ratted him out. The cops were on him so quick he didn't even have time to set up an alibi. So he had to run. And it seemed wherever and whenever he stopped to rest they would be hot on his heels and he would have to keep moving. But he'd given them the slip long enough to catch a cab to Midway and get on this plane. Yeah, well he'd been thinkin' about Vegas, anyway. He just didn't plan on goin' so soon. He didn't even have time to pack. At least he'd got this hat. Yeah. Thanks Joey. But now he was tired. He thought about how tired he was. He hoped he would sleep. He needed sleep. But sleep didn't always help. The dreams would come, sometimes. Them fuckin' dreams. Oh, how he hated them dreams.
The dreams made him crazy. At least, he thought they did. He knew he wasn't 'right'. He knew he was different. And he didn't care. In fact, there was something very liberating in knowing that he didn't care about things that mattered to other people. Like life, for example. He didn't care one way or the other whether people lived or died. There was power in that. Power, because he didn't care whether HE lived or died, either. Which meant he could do just about anything. Anything at all. Except go to jail. He'd been in jail a couple of times and he resented, he hated, being cooped up, being prisoner. And that's how he felt when she put him in the closet. Like a prisoner.
The sound of the engines drifted away ... farther and farther away ...
He was in that dark place. It felt hot and stuffy and cramped. There was no light. But he could hear sounds through the door.
I'm in the closet again and I have to stay in here cause she's not alone, there's a man, I can tell it's a man, I can hear his voice and he sounds rough and angry and she wants me to stay in here when she's not alone, but it sounds bad, like he's hitting her and hitting her and I can't get out, the door is locked, she locked the door, I can't get out and now it's quiet and I don't hear anything. I feel something at my feet and it's wet and slimy and it makes my fingers sticky and it smells familiar and I know it's blood.
He waited and waited and finally, there was light under the door. The cop opened the door and lifted him out of the closet. He tried to pull away, but the big Irish cop just held on to him all the more tightly and the rage began to build in him. The rage and the hatred at being held, he didn't like being held, it made him prisoner again, he needed to get away and he couldn't and the rage built and it built until he finally let out a blood-curling SHRIEK!! "Sir!! Sir, are you alright?"
"Fuck!" He shook his head, tried to clear the cobwebs. "Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. Fell asleep, I guess. Bad dream. Where the fuck are we?"
"Des Moines, sir. We've just landed in Des Moines."
Des Moines. And then Kansas City, and then Oklahoma City, Albuquerque and then Vegas.
Shit. It's gonna to be a long night.