Afterward

In the cab, he leans against his door, his arms curled around himself. The driver is experienced in this, perhaps — she looks both pissed and worried as she avoids potholes, traintracks, other cars and pedestrians. Barely. There’s no swerving; it’s mostly smooth. He keeps to himself, eyes falling shut as pain, exhaustion and blood loss creep up on him.

Her house is destroyed — he should’ve had her leave sooner. He should’ve told her to go. He should’ve done his assignment sooner, called the bosses, explained.

He should’ve something. Anything.

Now she’s there, wet and covered in smoke and slime — the safehouse will have to be abandoned after tonight. He wants a cigarette. He wants a drink.

He wants to stay conscious, because he’s certain he’s got to say something. I’m supposed to tell her something. Bright eyes look to her — his are glassy and unfocused, and finally just sort of slip away as he tastes blood in his mouth.

It’s like the insides of him are soon to become the outsides of him.

Everything has gone from bad to worse, and is certain to go from worse to truly fucked.

So why’s he smiling?

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Go ahead -- say something. Anything.