Gino was late.
Shouldn't have surprised him since Gino was always late, but this time was different. This time there was a lot more than some two-bit street deal on the line... if this meeting didn't go like clockwork they'd be as good as dead.
Gino knew that.
So where the hell was he?
The plan was simple. Get the money and run like hell. No side trips, no last minute goodbyes or second thoughts. Just hand Joey's guys the tapes and get out of town before they had a chance to retaliate.
His hand nervously found it's way back into his pocket while he listened for the familiar rumble of Gino's old Torino to pull up outside, his fingers closing over the crumpled sandwich bag that contained enough evidence to send Joey Falconeri upstate for the rest of his miserable life.
But why let the Feds have all the fun, you know?
Get rid of Joey and another lowlife would just take his place. Wouldn't do the neighborhood any good... wouldn't make it any safer to walk down the streets at night.
But for two hustlers barely making enough chump change to keep a leaking roof over their head and something that could pass as food in the fridge...
Well, a chance like this didn't just come along every day.
As soon as Gino got back they could make the exchange and go anywhere they wanted. Maybe get lost somewhere on the West Coast. California looked nice in the movies, lots of white sand and palm trees.
Or was that Florida?
Didn't really matter. They'd just drive until they found some place with sky blue water and those fruity little coconut drinks with the umbrellas in them.
A door slammed and he instinctively stepped further into the shadows, his stomache churning as Joey's guys stepped out of their black Escalade and started toward the underpass.
It hit him then, his breath becoming labored under the suffocating weight of fear as they steadily approached the arched entryway, their faces wearing the same grim expressions they'd had on the night Joey Falconeri ordered them to gun down the skimming bartender in the tapes.
Gino wasn't coming.
The plan was supposed to be simple. Get the money and run like hell. Too bad nothing ever stays simple for long...
One week after the photo or picture is posted I will pick one offering to put beneath the image. This is a way of celebrating exceptional creativity. Any and all posts are available for your creative mind to make an offering at any time (even ones where a writing has been placed on the front page like this one). If you are new here and want to offer to every image here, feel free. We are writers, WRITE! If this is your exceptional writing posted here on the Front Page Pictures, Poetry & Prose invites you to include the Exceptional Writing Award Button on your blog. Visit the Exceptional Writing Award post for the details and the button to download.