Dock 11

May 27, 2009
By Jared Hoff BRONZE, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Jared Hoff BRONZE, Grand Rapids, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

A shot rang out, everyone went into a panic, climbing into beds of pickups and

just trying to get away as fast as they could. Tony lay there, motionless with his mouth

left hanging open as if he was still crying out for help. “You’re going to be alright Tony,”

I said. “Can someone call a medic?”

It had been a nice, quiet evening on the south side of Los Angeles. Tony and I had

been hearing about the drag races that were going on, but they were all the way down at

the shipyards, about an hour away if you were planning on going through downtown. But

none of that mattered. Rival gangs usually meet up there to fight, and I didn’t want to get

tangled in that. I didn’t want Tony over there either considering his involvement in a

gang on the west side. He used to be the gang’s leader, until he took critical injury in a

fight that forced him to retire from the gang for good. “We should head over to the docks

later, you know check out the races and stuff,” Tony said. “Here I’ll call a cab.”

“Tony I don’t think that we should…” I was cut off,

“We are going and I don’t care if you don’t want this to happen again,” he said,

lifting his pant leg and exposing a thick scar running down his shin. “Because it won’t.”

Tony called a cab, and he asked the driver to drop us off on 29th street which

would make it about a ten minute walk from there. As soon as we got to dock 11, we saw

that people were just beginning to show up. The cars were there but the drivers were

tuning up for the race. “Looks like it may be awhile,” I said.

“Nah these guys will be ready any second and people are showing up by the dozens.”

Exclaimed Tony. “Well I’m got to go find a place to light up.” I said. “It’s a little windy

out here in the open.” I made my way back between some cargo boxes and was just

pulling out my lighter when a faint noise caught my attention. It seemed to be coming

from a nearby crate but they didn’t store live things in these, or did they? I walked a few

aisles back into the cargo, when I noticed that one of the boxes doors was left open

enough to see something moving inside. As I moved in closer, the double-door swung

wide, just brushing my shoulder. The smell of smoke and liquor rushed out from the giant

crate. I watched, helplessly, as two large men stepped out from what seemed to be a safe

house. One held a pistol, the other a shotgun. There were other members of the gang

inside the crate, the man holding the shotgun gave them orders to keep an eye out for

wanderers and if they were to see one, to take them hostage. The door moved, revealing

the men’s faces. My heart skipped a beat, there in front of me was Al Marino the leader

of the gang that nearly killed Tony. I suspected that it was just his gang amongst all of

this cargo, but knowing Al he was up to something and I had to warn everybody at dock

11 before it was too late.

How was I going to get out of here? There was Al and his partner, but no one else

in sight. I had to make a break for it, but where? The harbor waters would be patrolled by

cops at this hour. My only option would be to go back the way I came, but that involved

getting by Al and his “friend.” I had to be stealthy and cunning to make it back the way I

came. I army crawled the first yard before the corner of the crate. I was almost at Al’s

feet but to get around him I would need to create a diversion. I sifted my hand through

the dirt trying to find as many rocks as possible. I then took my handful and started

throwing them at a steel unit nearly fifty feet away. The other gunman picked up on the

noise and went to sweep the perimeter, Al followed. Now was my chance. I quickly

dashed across the clearing, not remembering that the door to the safe house was facing

directly at me. As soon as I broke into a sprint a sharp pain hit me hard, my knees

buckled and I collapsed, gripping my side and realizing that I might never get to Tony in


I woke up on the ground. I attempted to stand but then a sting pierced my ribs and

it all came rushing back. I fell to the ground one last time before he stepped from the

shadows. “So Dan, you thought that you could get away,” questioned Al while cocking

his shotgun. I tried to drag myself away, using my one free hand as the other grasped my

wound. I tried to get to the nearest crate for cover, Al fired a shot and it sent shards deep

into my foot, but I continued to crawl. “You can keep struggling but you’re just making

this harder Dan.” As I continued to push myself away from Al something cold pressed up

against my neck. It was a cargo box, I looked over my shoulder at the one thing that stood

between me and freedom and I knew that this was it. Al appeared from around the corner,

he strolled down the alley as if he didn’t have a care in the world and soon came to a

stop, towering over me. He cocked the shotgun one last time. Pressing the barrel to my

forehead he said, “I’m really going to enjoy this.” I closed my eyes, awaiting the intense

pain before my almost certain death. I heard one shot, but this was no shotgun.

Discovering that I wasn’t dead, I opened my eyes just in time to see a limp Al Markum

drop to the ground, revealing Tony, pistol in hand.

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