The Sound of My Death
Morning sun breaks through my eyelids, heat dancing red. Moving isn’t an option; ropes are too tight. I know if I don’t try I’m done. Try to loosen the ropes around my wrists. Not happening. Try to jerk my knees away. Choking. Nope. Wait. Someone’s breathing. Someone besides me. Deep rasping breaths. Right next to my ear. Gurgling bloody breaths. Slowing down breaths. I roll away from the sound. Doesn’t work. Pressure on my right side. Breaths in my ear. Tied up. Oh damn. A click sounds and the light gets even brighter. Red slashes in my eyes. The ripping tearing sound of duct tape coming off my mouth. I scream. He slaps me.
That’s when I remember. “Together in life, together in death.” Whispered in my left ear. And the click of a safety being released.
The rasping breaths have stopped. I can feel something wet and sticky running under my elbow. It has to be blood. Mike’s blood. My best catcher. Dead because I couldn’t keep from snooping. Couldn’t keep from finding out why Mike thought somebody was trying to kill him.
I found out all right. I found out the reason Mike came to see me in my new digs. Wanted me to find out what someone wanted with him, why they wanted him dead. I found out they wanted both of us dead.
Because, according to him, together in life, we’d destroyed this guy’s life. So now he’d kill us both.
And ruin ours.
Click. Click. “Damn!” A whoosh of air. He’s standing up. He’s over me. I can do something. I have to do something.
Thud. Whiz. Zip. Wham. “Open up! Police!”
“Never!” The sound of rapid footsteps. The bam of a SWAT ram against the door. The door crashes to the ground.
Footsteps running away, the sound of breaking glass. A loud scream. That never-forgotten sound of a lifeless body hitting the ground.
“Jake!” Air displaces around me. Knife through the ropes around my legs and hands. I’m yanked to my feet. Duct tape ripped from my eyes. I yell. “Took you long enough!”
As my eyes water from the bright light of a sunny morning in Florida, the SWAT captain holds me up. “Sorry we didn’t get here in time for Mike,” he says.
I pretend the water on my face is because of the bright sun. “Can’t be the cavalry every time, Captain.”
He walks me out into the sounds of birds singing, people jabbering. Back into the normal world.
I pretend not to watch as the meat wagon takes Mike and the killer away.
Too bad I still have no idea who he was.