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Destitute

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The halo from the lights of the car parked just across the street shine through the window and interrupt him in mid-sentence.

The curtains are pulled shut and the blinds drawn, but the light shines through like the beginning of a new dawn. Bright and unholy burning in their eyes it fills the room, growing brighter and brighter..

Cartoonz is covering his eyes with his left hand and on his knees reaching under the dining table for the shotgun when the car slams into the wall, rattling the lights and sending splinter cracks through the plaster, dust falling everywhere and he can hear the tires squeal as it backs up, ready to try again.

Delirious grabs the baseball bat behind the front door and BAM kicks it open, running outside barefoot and shirtless, the door swinging back shut, bounces off the doorframe, crooked and hanging off the hinges.

He can hear Delirious yelling as he grabs a spare pack of shells, stuffing them in his pocket and quick on his friend’s heels.

“Delirious!” He yells, almost at the door.

A shot rings out.

The car slams into the wall again, and he’s out the door.

The bat is laying on the ground, the driver’s side window is smashed all to hell, and Delirious is pinned between the wall and the car.

The car is backing up again, and Delirious is stuck to the wall, he slides off the car peels off he falls to the ground and is still.

There is yelling someone is screaming and he takes aim.

The windshield shatters, and blood flies out the open driver’s window, the car peels back bounces over the curb and hits the street.

There are four men inside, the driver is bloody but still alive, his right arm full of blood and unusable, the passenger lays slumped over the dash. The two behind them aim through the windows and Cartoonz has already reloaded his gun.

The empty shells lay on the ground before him. He steps into the yard, the grass cold between his toes, and aims again.

The car is straightening out, the driver looks at him and the shot rings out.

The two in the back are gone. One man’s head is gone blood leaks down the side of the car where the body hangs and the other has lost his throat, those his hands try desperately to restrain it. Their guns clatter in the street as the driver looks away, peels away, drives off down the street smoke peeling from the tires.

The gun is heavy in his hands and it hangs loosely in front of him as he watches the car go.

His heart thunders so hard in his chest the blood is roaring in his ears and all he can do is remember to breathe.

The grass is cold between his toes and the night air chills across his shoulder blades as the gun hangs between his hands and

He steps back, heel digging into the dirt.

He thinks of calling their friends. The guys should know about a hit coming so close to home. The other gangs never dared to so much as show on their front step before let alone try to break down the wall and

Delirious.

He turns, calling out his name but the word falls away the gun is heavy in his hands and he drops it, the muzzle digs in the dirt the gun falls on it’s side and Delirious is laying there, cold, still.

The wall behind him cracked, dented inwards. Blood splattered about in a circle where the bricks twist and stay stuck out at awkward angles and

Delirious isn’t moving.

He’s laying sprawled out on the ground, facedown, one arm twisted up underneath him and the other thrown out, reaching. Even in the dark Cartoonz can see the blood.

A streetlight flickers on and casts shadows over the driveway.

The world has narrowed. There are marks all across the pavement. Delirious’ hand almost touches the spot of light.

Cartoonz finds himself kneeling, though he doesn’t even remember moving, the concrete scratches through his pants legs, is cold beneath him.

He reaches. Delirious’ arm is still outstretched still straining outwards, still trying.

He touches his shoulder, warm under his hand, and asks, “Delirious?”

His voice wavers.

“Jonathan..?”

The night air is cold across his back, over his face and his vision blurs.

Tears stain the pavement and he yells, “Jon don’t- !”

Shaking the shoulder before him, the body turns over Delirious’ face is there before him, looking up at him.

The words heavy and full of salt in his throat, “Don’t go..”

Delirious stares blankly up at him, eyes cold and dark. Hair matted over his face.

Luke falls back on his heels, his hands twitch, his mind lost. He screams.

Shakes Delirious. “Don’t- !”

The body rolls on it’s side, there is blood all across the pavement, there is a hole in the stomach and there is nothing left to hold inside it’s all come out.

“Please,” Luke whispers, lost. The words barely alive in the air. “Please stay.”

“Jonathan, don’t go..”