From the edge of the pier, the moon dances on the rippling tide like a white cloth. There are no stars tonight. There rarely are in this part of town. The clouds are so thick they engulf the tops of the trees from across the bay.
The smell of ocean fills the air and the sea salt creates a halo that borders the beach. Everything is still. Everything except for me. I stir the tide with my ankles, creating small whirlpools. The water is so dark my feet glow and look as though they’re suspended in outer space. A dancing moon overhead.
A breeze catches me off guard and I shrug my shoulders to hide my neck. A drop of blood falls from the steady stream running down the back of my arm and spats on the white wood of the pier. I look at my watch. 2:17. You should have been here hours ago. That was the plan anyway.
If anything happened, we were to meet up right here. At this pier. If anything went wrong, if the cops came, if the alarm went off, if the whole fucking neighborhood was waiting outside with torches, we were going to split. Then meet. Right here. At this same pier like we always do.
I look at my arm. Not so bad. Could have been worse. The bullet only skimmed my shoulder, taking with it a good size chunk of flesh and muscle. But it could have been worse. I lean forward and scoop up the water next to my foot. I slap my cupped hand on the open wound and keel forward. Stings like hell.
God I hope you’re still alive.
You jump and scream and kick and shout
Hoping someone will hear.
Leap and stomp and roll and pout
But no one wants to come near.
“You’re making a scene,” you hear your Mom say
But you’re only getting started.
You’re glued to the floor and there you’ll stay.
This store will be bombarded
With kicking and wailing and crying and sobbing.
Oh, what a spectacular show!
Your mom will surely regret the day
She denied you a Tickle-Me-Elmo.