complex - part one
Author's note: One of my favorite pieces I've written thus far.
failed attemptT h e r o a r of a bus made me snap my eyes open. The problem was that it was going a different way than I wanted to go. I helped the woman onto the bus, surprised that the boys let her go in first. Then I stepped off and sat back down in the bus stop hut thing.
About… I'll go ahead and guess fifteen minutes later, another bus showed up, this time going the way I wanted to go. I got on—reluctantly paid the fare—and flopped into a seat. I so badly wanted to fall asleep, but then I would miss my stop. Judging by the street signs, I was three stops away from mine. I watched the people out the window, just to keep my eyes moving. We were coming through the metropolitan of L.A. Nothing I hadn't seen before.
At the next stop, two men came up, followed by a teen girl and what must've been her little brother; there was a similar look of seriousness on their faces as they stepped on. Judging by their appearance, they were probably in the same situation I was in: homeless. I suddenly felt sad for her, and especially her little brother. No home—and no doubt a way to defend themselves. L.A. was one of the worse places to be homeless in. She and the brother sat up front, the two men all the way in the back. At the second stop, a slightly obese woman came up, sitting in the front also. I pulled on the little rope thing as we approached my stop. Just when the bus was decelerating, a gun shot fired as people screamed, followed by—
"Stop this bus! Anyone with cash fork it over now!" The two men who'd gotten in earlier were moving along the bus towards the front. The yeller held up a gun, the second following slowly behind, stopping at each filled seat with a sack. The frightened passengers hastily dug around for the little change they had.
When the man came to me he stopped and lifted an eyebrow. "You don't have anything, do you, kid?"
"No. But I have this." I kicked him in the nards (anyone who does not know how that feels, shouldn't do it—unless you're a girl, then it's your natural-born right (think about it)). When he bent over, I broke his nose, then punched his throat. He fell to the ground, grabbing at his neck and coughing.
The yeller shot the roof again. "Sit your ass down before I shoot you!" He didn't lift the gun and point it at me—which was usually expected.
I stepped over the choker. "No you won't. I bet you never killed anyone before, have you?"
Now he lifted the gun, pointing it at me. "You don't think I'll do it, kid?" he asked. "You're a nobody, so nobody'll miss ya."
I shrugged. "Maybe not. But this bus has been parked for a while now, dude." I nodded to the window. He looked, seeing all the people on the sidewalk watching curiously. "Looks like you have an audience. Maybe somebody invited the cops too."
The hand holding the gun started shaking.
I reached for the gun when something touched the base of my head, forcing me to freeze. The guy in front of me smiled.
"Betcha can't kick me again before I pull the trigger," rasped the guy behind me. Damn it
The guy in front went back to being all tough. "Hand over your money or the kid's brains splatter!" He'd just reached the girl and her brother in front. "Hand over your money," he demanded.
The teen girl had already put the boy behind her, shielding him. "We don't have any money." She tried to sound tough, but her voice shook. She looked about maybe fourteen.
He suddenly grabbed her wrist and yanked her forward. With the gun, he pointed at her bracelet. "What's this, huh, girlie?" he asked. "Is this gold?"
She tried pulling away. "No. It's fake." She said it wasn't real gold, but her eyes were totally lying. The bracelet was important to her. And I was sure it wasn't regarding the value.
The man seemed to know this too. While he tried to unfasten it—pointing the gun at her so she wouldn't struggle—my mind was swirling like a tornado. I had to do something. Something that didn't give me away. Everyone else was trying to be still. A few people had stopped to watch the bus. I couldn't hear a siren.
The guy behind me suddenly had a coughing fit, and I took my chance.
I turned and yanked the gun out of his hand and hit him on the head with it—knocked out cold. In the same second I pointed it at the guy in front, but he was much quicker than I'd thought. Already he had the girl in his arms, his gun to her head. The little boy started to cry, the girl was trying not to.
He smiled. "Wanna see who's quicker?"
Damn it damn it damn it
Reluctantly, I dropped the gun and kicked it to the steps. It clattered to the bottom, sounding louder than it should have. I didn't sit down; I could only watch as he let the girl sit back in her seat, the gun now in her face. He turned to the rest of the passengers. "Anybody else wanna play hero?!" His voice cracked; he was scared. He raised the gun into the air and fired again, everyone jumped—people outside screamed. The man was about to say something more when a siren started to sound, gradually growing louder, but still distant. The guy started to look panicked, glancing down at his unconscious partner, then up at me. Through the front windows facing the street, three squad cars were slowly weaving their way through traffic to us.
The man cursed for a few seconds—not giving me much time to think—then he grabbed the girl by her dirty blondish hair and yanked her to her feet. In the second that it took him to do that, I was already in front of his closest exit. Nobody noticed me there until he did.
"How did you—?" He stopped himself and pointed the gun at my face. Anyone standing in front of the door outside had hastily moved out of the way. "Move it, kid."
"Let her go. You don't need her."
He made the gun make a clicking sound, which I guessed meant it was ready to shoot. "What's she to you anyway? Move it or lose it, kid."
"I can't let you take her." The squad cars were already parked all around the bus; officers quickly out and getting idiot bystanders to move back. "And even if you run, how far do you think you'll go anyway? We're surrounded. Did that figure into your master plan?"
He fired. The glass behind me shattered. People on the bus and outside screamed. I grabbed the gun by the barrel, nearly dropping it—it was hot. I also pulled the girl and the man through the glass door with me, catching him off guard. I managed to disengage his hand from her while he was still surprised and I forced him to the ground. The girl ran back into the bus just as I caught the man's arms and pinned them behind him—cop style.
"What the hell?!" he yelled, surprised and outraged. Probably didn't figure how much stronger I was than he. "Didn't I shoot you?!"
I leaned down so he could see my face. "You missed," I smirked. An officer—one of the many I didn't recognize—came and took over. I was about to tell him there was another on the bus, but the second guy was already being carried out. Two more officers came off the bus, escorting the frightened passengers and the bus driver. A news crew came onto the scene—the local station for NBC—nearly hitting people trying to get the van as close to the bus as possible.
Some people—desperate for attention (L.A. style)—rushed toward it, some of them pointing me out.
I immediately rushed through the crowd and around the block before they could hound me with microphones and close-ups. That was always so annoying. I booked it all the way to Robert's precinct in hopes he would come up with some fake story about the attempted robbery on a public transportation vehicle. And if he had a couple of bucks to spare.