There was a silence. Everything was quiet except for the pounding rain, the blood rushing in my ears, and my heart thumping in my chest. I pulled another hit of whiskey from my flask. My hyper active nerves settled into a simmering mania. Enough whisky, and all moods were convertible into a lesser state of the same quality. I needed that conversion if I was going to take another step down this path.
Two cops; one from each squad got out of their cars, stepped into the soaking wet alley, water running in an ever broadening stream, rain dripping like a shower head from the rims of their plastic wrapped hats.
I thought I heard the fat man laughing from inside the building, and then a flash of lightning burned my eyes. The whiskey flask fell from hands, its contents poured out and mixed with the water pooling at my feet.
The thunder roared for what felt like minutes. It shook the street beneath my feet; knocking out the power for blocks. Now there were no lights at all, just the lightening scored into my eyes. I tried to blink it away, but when I closed my lids the hot flash remained; imprinted, fixed.
A thin scream pierced the rolling thunder. It echoed off the tall buildings lining the alley’s narrow corridor, and then it was gone, followed once more by the echoes of laughter, the mad bellow of the fat man.
The lightning and the thunder did a number on my senses. I felt like I was in shock, it felt like my days in the wars. It was not drunkenness, I had not drank enough whisky for that.
More than the thunder, the laughter was ringing in my ears; a repellant, nasty noise. An institutionalized sound; it belonged to a place where the men in white kept order, barred windows, locked the inmates in, strapped them down while sleeping in their narrow beds, just to keep them from hurting themselves. That laughter was insane.
I slipped out of my hideaway as silent as I could be, and I dodged the gaze of the cops in the alley, the driver of the car still parked on the ramp. I made my way up the loading dock.
I was not looking for a knocker on the door. I just reached for the knob, took a hold of it, and went through. Just as I entered I heard gun shots cracking, flashing in a weak imitation of the thunder and lightning of the storm. Then I heard a long harsh sigh, a soft thump, the rapid footsteps of someone coming my way; heading for the exit.