Repost Friday

The clattering of the old diesel engine was drowned out only by the screeching tires as I wrestled this rusty old land barge around the tight corner. Slow as hell these things are, unlike the sprite little Mini nipping at my bumper. The cobblestones are nice to look at but god damn they make it hard to drive. Shit! I felt the car door try to touch the road as I swerved around the man and his cart as they blindly crossed the road. Fruit stands, I fucking hate fruit stands. Back on topic though, the Minis chasing me. Why? You might ask, well I may or may not have taken a special briefcase from a Mr Marcionne. Marcionne really wants whatever is in this briefcase so here we are, pretty simple. Excuse me a second.

The narrow streets opened up near the canal into Piazza San Marco and I made my move. The faster Mini pulled alongside me and I thrust my rusty front bumper into his back wheel. The Mini began to roll but I began to slide on the wet stones, not exactly my plan. The screeching was deafening but not nearly as loud as the sound of old Mercedes slamming into even older Cathedral. Bloody and battered, I rolled out of the car. The crowd was already surrounding the upside down Mini, smoke pouring out from the hood. I pulled out my pistol and began unloading into the car as I walked towards it, briefcase in hand. I reached the driver side door, aimed…bastard was gone.

Im gonna need another car.

Shots rang out as a group of thuggish looking men in hats charged over the hill. Not a single car in sight, time to improvise. I took the scooter from a scared looking man and hopped on, spinning the throttle. What a pathetic noise, it wheezed like an old man being awakened for supper. I wasn't going to stick around and see how good those thugs were with guns, so I sped off around the corner, kicking the back end out for good measure. I was back on the narrow inner-city streets, vendors and tourists lazily crisscrossing. A man dropped to the ground in a mist of red as I drove by. Turning around I saw my group of fez-wearing stereotypes on motorcycles, guns drawn. To this day I still can't believe I picked the scooter while these thugs got the bikes, damn injustice. We weaved through the city, shots buzzing past my head. I saw another one of the ubiquitous fruit stands and slid the scooter into it, spilling its contents onto the road. I grabbed the briefcase and darted into the first open door I could find.

I ran up the stairs and threw a shoulder into the first apartment door. Not my kind of place but the footsteps running up behind me said otherwise. I checked my pistol, only two bullets left. I backed up to the terrace and looked down, realizing we were up against another canal. The thugs ran into the apartment, I shot the first in the neck while his partner hit me in the shoulder. As I fell over the terrace I squeezed, planting another shot in the left eye of thug number two. I felt my body hit the water and my breath escape me. Gasping for air, I looked around for the briefcase when I saw thug number three come out of the apartment building, grab the case, and hop in a speedboat tied to the dock.

I love boats.

Covered in Venice canal slime, I reached the last boat on the dock and hopped in. They always leave the keys, lucky me. I blasted out of the dock and made a beeline towards my target, the boat rocketing off wakes as I pushed the throttle to wide open. Tourist canal boats made a maze of wood and gasoline but I pressed on at maximum speed. I was gaining on my target when he made a sharp turn into another canal. I pulled back on the throttle and whipped the boat around the corner, only to see my target waiting, gun drawn. My only chance was to go right for him, so I took it and launched the boat into his. Splinters of wood and metal shot through the air. I remember being flung from the boat, and then…darkness.

I came to and struggled to see my surroundings. Bits of wood littered the oily water, the floating body of my assailant gave hope that this was finally over. I couldn't see the briefcase, I didn't care. I was so tired, I was numb. I felt my eyes close.

****************

I was so glad this meeting ended. My wife's been bitching at me about all the travel and, quite frankly, I was at the end of my rope. I walked down towards the canal and saw police lights flashing through a crowd of people. I asked a bystander what had happened and he told me there was a crash. Two people were killed and a residential slip had caught fire. Not my problem, I wanted to get on a plane and go back home. I turned to leave and saw a briefcase bobbing just off the edge of the street. I needed a new briefcase and money was pretty tight, so I took it. I wonder who it belonged to.