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NOIR, Chapter 7

Merciless
I walked to my destination with a freshly pawned gun in pocket. I was ready. Stanley didn't know what was gonna hit him. I came up his street, Brookridge, and noticed his house was dark. He wasn't even home. I had it all planned out in my head of how it would go down, but my scenario always involved him being home. This was going to be too easy.

I figured I'd just waltz right in screaming his name and waving my gun in his face, making demands. That would scare him into submission. At least, that was my theory. That was my plan.

At the door, I picked the lock and decided at the last moment I better go through with my plan since he has a garage and he could just be asleep. I swung the door open,

"STANLEY!"

I slammed the door and turned the light on. My gun was in my right hand, my fedora pushed up just a little. The living room was chilly, thus verifying he probably wasn't home. I stormed to the first room. It was a guest room. I turned it upside down tossing the mattress and checking the closet. I went to the next room, his office. He has obviously just moved in, since the furniture isn't placed in its right place. Pieces of furniture are just sitting in the middle of the floor. I check the closet and nothing. I turn his living room upside down, but still I can't find this leather briefcase anywhere.

The furnace room, the pantry... nothing.

The master bedroom is a challenge, since it is the most furnished. I check underneath bed and master bath, but nothing. I enter the closet and there is large box on the floor in the center of it. I begin throwing everything out of it onto the floor.

A handle.

I grip it with my left hand and pull it out from beneath a shirt. It's a gun. It's loaded, so I slip it into the back of my pants and I'm off to the kitchen.

I check every cabinet... nothing.

As I go to leave the kitchen, something catches my eye. I walk over to the door leading to the laundry room. I turn the light on and what really catches my eye is the door leading into the garage. He just moved, it's probably full of unpacked boxes. I walk in and I'm right. There are so many belongings in the two-car garage, you can't even fit one car. I start to rummage, but then I hear a car. I turn the light off and the headlights hit the wall through the windows of the garage door.

Stanley is home. On a whim, I revise my plan.

I wait. I can hear him running around the house, retracing my own footsteps. I watch the crack beneath the door, as the light shines through it. He's running on the tile of the kitchen floor, heading to the master bedroom. He's looking for his gun.

Silence.

I hear footfalls coming closer and closer, lightly. He is walking and coming closer to the door. He stops. After a moment, he starts again and I can see his shadow approaching the door. Slowly his shadow covers the crack and I have no more light.

The door swings open and he turns the light on.

"Don't be stupid," I order him with my gun pushed into his face, "Come into the garage, slowly."

He steps down into the garage, "Keep those hands up."

He is young, about my own age. He is in a black suit with a dark purple vest and tie. He is obviously returning from an expensive event. I pat his front down, "Spin around!" I pat his backside down; he isn't carrying, "Alright, face me."

He turns and looks at me with a sarcastic expression, I implore, "Where is it?"

"Where is what?"

"The briefcase?!"

He roles his eyes, "What briefcase?"

"The briefcase! Where is it?!"

He sighs, "You know, you should probably be a little more specific. I have a lot of briefcases."

I'm impatient. I thrust my gun into his stomach as hard as I can and as he doubles over towards my gun, I grab his hair with my left hand and pull his head back and emphasize into his ear, "Where... is... the briefcase?"

"Okay, okay..." he concedes.

"That's right," I tell him and slap him upside the head with my left hand as I back away from him.

He gestures to corner of garage, "It's over there."

"Move over there," I instruct, gesturing with my gun, "Bring it to me."

We walk across the cluttered garage, past some emptied boxes to our right and full boxes to our left. He goes beyond the full boxes and into the corner, he bends over and then back up and turns around. In his hands are a leather briefcase, just as Holly said.

"Bring it to me," I demand of him one last time.

He walks it over to me, slowly and stops.

"No funny business," I instruct.

As he goes to hand me the briefcase he quickly swings the briefcase, knocking my pistol out of my hand and then hits me in the face with the briefcase and I stumble backwards. I fall onto the empty boxes and he quickly kicks me in the stomach and chest, then retrieves my gun and darts back into the house. I rub my chest and leap to my feet, I then sprint after him. I reach around my back and pull out his pistol as I enter the kitchen,

"STANLEY!"

At the front door, Stanley turns around and takes aim at me with my own gun. I aim back with his, gripped with both my hands. He stands with my gun in his right hand, the briefcase in his left. He smirks, then pulls the trigger... nothing. His smirk goes away and he pulls the trigger again and again... nothing.

My plan worked.

I smile at him and he laughs back at me. He looks at the gun and then tosses it onto his couch. He raises the briefcase up and holds it with both of his hands now,

"Toss it to me," I tell him.

He doesn't.

"DO IT!"

He reluctantly tosses the briefcase towards me and it lands on the floor between us. He is visibly upset by it all.

I keep my aim on him while he stares back at me. After a moment of us staring at one another, trying to understand where the other is coming from, I put an end to it. I pull the trigger. I pick up the briefcase and leave.

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