His Style

By
It was a hot summer day. A day that in LA, if your sane, your inside. But that’s not Anthony's style. He was waking through a back street, music leaking out of his ear buds, his old and ripped sneakers slapping against the pavement when the shots started. At first it was far away, and then it got closer. Then Anthony made the first mistake. He stayed were he was. Then the shot's stopped. Then Anthony made his second mistake. He walked toward the place that the shots had come from.
Screams echoed through the streets. Anthony turned a corner and walked into a war zone. Two bodies lay by a burning car, one more lay by a house that was so full of holes, you could see into the living room. Anthony suddenly shuddered with fear and turned and ran toward a back alley that he had found a few weeks ago. His step's sounded loud in the now silent streets. He turned a corner and sprinted into the covered back alley. It was cool and dark. Anthony slumped to the ground and lay for several minutes, but it felt like hours. Then he suddenly felt something wet and warm. He pulled his now shaking hand away from the substance. It was sticky. He retched as the smell of fresh blood met his nose. He reached to his back pocket for his flash light and turned it on. The man was tall. About six feet. Under his long black hair his expression was twisted, almost smiling. A red pool was slowly gathering on the cement below him, soaking his beat up jeans and old shirt... He was clenching a switch blade. Anthony shuddered.

He was about to run away when he noticed a large black bag lying beside him. Slowly, as if he was going to wake the dead man up, he picked up the black bag, and looked inside. Bunches of 100 dollar bills stared back at him. He slowly reached toward the bag, but stopped. “This was that man’s money. But he was dead. But it was HIS money,” Anthony thought. He slowly got up. But then he thought of all of the things he could buy. The cars, the phones, the high life in general… but no, that wasn't his style. This was blood money. This man had died for this money. And if Anthony had it… but it was so much money. Maybe he would take just a few bills. Just a few. 200 dollars. That couldn’t hurt. He reached toward the money once again. But stopped. He couldn’t do it. “It was because of the dead guy,” he thought. “I should go somewhere else.”

He grabbed the bag and ran, before he could change his mind. He knew of a small drain tunnel near the edge of town. He had found it several days ago when he was skipping school. It was a perfect place to hide anything and anyone. Anthony laid down the bag full of money. Now he could make up his mind. He reached towards the bills. And yet, he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. But there was just so much money. He had to take some.

Then he noticed something. There was a wallet in the bag, half hidden by bills. He reached in to the bag and pulled out the wallet. He flipped it open, and yelled in horror. The wallet was the dead man’s. And his name was Vincent. The man had a name. He had a name. He had a name. Anthony dropped the wallet. If the man had a name, he had family, friends, loves, and fears. He was human.

And at that point, Anthony walked from out of the drain tunnel, and started the long journey back to his house. Anthony was never the same. He never visited the old alleyways of LA. Several months later he and his parents boarded a plane for North Carolina. From there they drove to Virginia, so his dad could get a job at a school there.

Several years later, he returned to California, and found that the alley way were the dead man had lain was now a Wal-Mart. Anthony immediately went to a flower shop, and bought a blood red rose. He laid it down, behind the Wal-Mart, as night fell. The cement was still hot. Anthony slowly retraced his steps, his old sneakers slapping the pavement,music leaking from his ear buds; he was walking through a back street, when the shots started. But he just walked the other way. Because that was his style.





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