The Deal: A Cold Night In New York Part 3

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

That hard object eventually turned out to be a police cruiser.
I had been so focused on keeping up with the Ambulance that I had not been paying attention to the roads as much as I should have been; so when both my Mercedes and the ambulance reached the junction just a quarter mile from the hospital I did not notice that the lights had changed to red just as the ambulance screamed on through.
   In one sense I was fortunate that I only clipped the front of the cruiser, and I could see the look of shock on the drivers face as his cop car spun until it was parallel to mine before crashing into the side of my car with a loud thud.
The air was filled with the sound of glass shattering and I could hear the angry voices of the officers inside the cruiser. I quickly glanced at the dashboard clock, there was now only twenty minutes left until the deal had to be completed or I was looking at an eternal life of damnation.
   ‘Don’t you dare try and pull away, boy.’ I turned to see the passenger of the cruiser, an overweight, moustachioed man with a bright red face, struggling to reach for his service revolver. His partner on the other hand was too busy trying to get the car to start again.
   It was as I watched him that I realized I could still feel the soft purring of the Mercedes engine vibrating through the chassis.
   A quick glance through the broken windshield and I could see the red and blue lights of the ambulance dance of the nearby buildings like a cheap laser show as it continued on its path to the hospital.
   I realized I had to make a quick decision: If I remained where I was I was busted and the deal would be broken. If I put my foot down on the gas, sure I would reach the hospital and the ambulance with my target, but I would also have these two angry cops plus their backup to deal with.
I was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t. But just when a sense of despair was starting to creep in to my gut, something sickening and bizzare happened.
   The driver of the cruiser, angry and frustrated at the lack of cooperation his vehicle was showing him, turned the ignition key again. A low grunt, like an animal being awakened from its slumber, emanated from under the hood of the cruiser and then there was a flash so brilliant I had to shield my eyes.
Within seconds the air was full with the sound of tortured screams. The sounds of men enduring pain way beyond the imaginings of most people. When I could finally open my eyes again I was greeted with the horrific site of the two police officers engulfed in flames. The last thing I saw was the anguished, pleading look on the moustachioed officers face and then the skin on his top lip bubble and melt over the place where his facial hair used to be.
   I tried to reason with myself that the whole thing had happened because of an electrical fault with the cruisers ignition system, but in my heart I knew fine well that other, unseen forces, where at play and that made feel even more nauseas than the site I had just witnessed.
Either way, I simply did not have time to dwell on how it all happened.  All I knew was that one obstacle had been removed, at least temporarily allowing me to carry on with what needed to be done.
   I offered no second glance at the burning vehicle or its occupants as I put my foot down on the accelerator. All I could think of was putting as much distance between myself and the foul scent of burning flesh as possible.
Thankfully the Mercedes was still happy to keep running for me, and so we sped off in the direction of the ambulance and the hospital it was heading towards. There was no doubt in my mind that it would not take long before more cops arrived to find their friends charred remains, nor would it take them long thanks to the wonders of CCTV footage to track me down at the hospital.
   I needed to finish the deal and finish it quickly if I wanted to stand any kind of chance of making a getaway. How ironic it would be, I thought, that I should complete the devils deal only to languish in prison for the rest of my newly found eternal life. Now that would be the true definition of irony.
   The Mercedes roared to life once again as I Pressed harder on the gas pedal. There was the briefest sound of metal scraping against metal as my car freed its self from the cruiser.
   The Community General is one of the smaller hospitals in New York, built primarily to serve the local neighbourhoods, which did not exude wealth or status but in fact where at the lower rungs of the ladder where no one would want to live. It was a squat looking building made with more concrete than anything else. Its glass windows, although brightly lit, seemed way too small like a pair of ill-fitting spectacles.
   There was a large parking area at the rear of the building and a wide crescent area out front where ambulances and other emergency vehicles could off-load the sick and wounded. A small patch of grass sat in-front of the concrete crescent with a large square chunk of granite with the hospitals name boldly engraved in it.
   The ambulance carrying Mancini had already reached the hospital and to my dismay its rear doors where hanging limply open.
   As I drew closer I could see the brightly lit interior of the vehicle was empty. Both the paramedics and my target where already inside which meant I was going to have to go public if I wanted to make the deal on time, which, co-incidentally enough, had ten minutes left to go before it would be broken.
Deciding that my car would be no use to me regardless of what happened after midnight, I left it idling just a few feet away from the ambulance.
   As i was about to climb out into the cold night air, and the blizzard that was accompanying it, I reached over to the passenger seat where I remembered leaving the .45 revolver, my trusted weapon of choice for most of the jobs I took on.
   My dismay grew when I quickly realized the lethal weapon was no longer where I had left it. It occurred to me that the jolt of the crash had probably sent it flying to the floor, but a thorough search of the soft carpeted area around the seat turned up nothing.
   This night was just going from bad to worse. I still had the golden bullet, handed to me by the dark lord himself, safely tucked in my trouser pocket but it was no good without a gun to fire it with.
   Another thought did occur to me though as I forced the door open and slid outside. All of the hospitals in the lower Manhattan area always had armed guards. It would mean having to get physical, but it was the only opportunity I had to obtain a weapon I could use.
   There was a slight tingling of fear running down my back as the snow hit and melted against the soft skin of my stubble coated face. I think this was due to the fact that there was no certainty I would be able to get a good enough shot off to kill this so called minion of Satan. I mean if a bullet straight to his forehead isn’t going to do the job then another one is less likely to make much of a difference.
   I reconciled with myself that there wasn’t much point on dwelling on that rather large problem, since if I was unable to make the deal on time then it would all be for nothing anyway and I would end up in the place no human ever wants to go, experiencing the kinds of torture that only the devil himself could dream up.
   The heavy scent of disinfectant was accompanied by a gust of warm air as the automatic doors to the accident and emergency area of the hospital slid open revealing a tired and bedraggled looking nurse behind the reception desk and just a few homeless looking men dotted around the waiting area.
   As with most hospitals everything looked clean and germ free and there was very little noise except for the sounds of someone being rushed to one of the operating theatres for emergency surgery. I could hear surgeons bark orders at their nurses and the clanging of a metal bed carrying the patient himself as it was hurtled down the hallway at breakneck speed.
   What worried me as I stood there letting in the cold and glancing around, was that I could see no sign of a security guard. There was always at least one standing guard near the main doors, usually some guy who was more inclined to hurt people than heal them.
   ‘Can I help you sir?’ Her voice sounded as tired as she looked, and I could tell the nurse behind the Formica coated desk would happily accept any chance to get rid of me.
   ‘Yes I was involved in a car crash just a few minutes ago. My uncle Jim Mancini was in the passenger seat and the paramedics have brought him here.’ I quietly prayed she did not know about the bullet hole to his head, although I saw no reason why she wouldn’t, after all it was her job to know these things.
   ‘Mr Mancini is on his way to theatre three. Just head down that hallway there and you’ll find him.’ She may have looked like a woman who had been awake for far too many hours but her eyes where strangely alive and full of knowledge. It was like she knew exactly why I was standing there in-front of her.
I followed her trembling finger as it arched towards the hallway to my right. I gave her one last glance, thanked her, and then made my way in the direction I had heard the cacophony of sound a few seconds ago.
   I still had no gun, but I somehow felt like that wasn’t going to be a problem. Sure enough, as I made my way down the hallway, the florescent lights almost blinding in their brilliance, I could make out the padded jacket of a security guard. As I got closer I noticed that his stance was relaxed, and he was leaning against the wall.
He was outside the first operating theatre. He was a tall black man with a large frame and demanding presence. I was perfectly capable of fighting and had taken down foes larger than myself but this guy was going to take a lot more time and energy than I was in possession of at that moment.
   The hallway offered no means of hiding. There was no recesses in the walls, no shadowy nooks where I could sulk until I had formed a plan. Worse still, there was no way of creating a distraction other than simply walking up to him and that seemed like it was going to be my only viable option.
   I was going to have to try and hit him, and hit him hard if I even wanted to just stun him enough to grab his gun. I was just a few feet away from the edge of the corridor where the hulk was waiting when an idea suddenly occurred to me.
Heart pumping hard in my chest, I reached into my trouser pocket and tightened my grip around the golden bullet. If this thing was meant to destroy a demon and no special gun was required then that meant there was something in or on the bullet which could help me beat him without a gun.
Or it could just be the devils way of a cruel joke. One last laugh at my expense before he came to take me away and leave his so called friend free to be dispatched by a more capable hit man than me.
   Only one way to find out, I reasoned as I drew closer to the guard.
   ‘Hey man.’ I said, moving until I was less than a foot away from the massive man beast of a guard.
   His huge head turned to look down at me and for the briefest of moments his expression was one of anger but it was quickly replaced by surprise as I slammed my fist with the golden bullet encased in it upwards and into the underside of his chin.
   There was a brief sound of skin being torn, kind of like a sheet of paper being ripped from a writing pad, and then the crack and squelch of bone, muscle and tendons being ripped from their casing. Blood squirted in all directions from his damaged arteries, soaking the walls, floor and even me, as his huge head danced in the air for the briefest of moments before hitting the ground with a thud.

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