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The Shoot-Out



“The Shoot-Out” by Kyleen McHenry

                “Wake up!” Richard looked into Mark's eyes.  They were not focusing properly.  He hit him hard on his shoulder.

                Mark suddenly became focused. “Why'd you hit me? That hurt.”  He slowly began to lose his focus again.

                “Please man, don't die on me. Please.”  His voice began to crack, tears welled up in his eyes.  “We swore that we'd leave the Bronx together.  Don't give up on me now.”

                Mark tried to sit up, but to no avail.  The pain was becoming more and more unbearable with each passing second.  The blood was spilling out from his wound on his side.  He could feel the bullet that pierced his flesh only minutes ago.  “I think I'm done for.  Just grant me one last request big brother.”

                “Anything.”

                “Kill those sons a bitches.”

                Richard shook his head in acknowledgement.  “I promise. They will pay for what they did to you.”

                Mark's face was losing color.  What used to be so bright and full of life was now dingy and pale.  He always had such a spark like no one else he ever knew.  Mark's chest stopped moving.  His hands fell to his side, limp and lifeless.  Richard knew that his little brother was gone.  He stood up and grabbed the gun that his brother was holding.

It's hunting season...is the only thought that went through his head.

                Richard, full of grief and rage, started toward the Shamrock Gang's territory.  The bone-chilling night air blow wildly.  He hardly felt it.  With each passing step, he became more numb, reminiscing the times he spent with his little brother.

- - - - - - - - - - -

                They walked down the Bronx River after school so they could play tag at the Bronx Park.  Their mother, Clarissa, would make them fresh backed sweats if they did good in school the previous week.  They would stay up late studying when they were in Morris High School, which was previously named Cooper High School.  They wanted to go to Brooklyn Law School to be an attorney team of brothers, Richard and Mark: the attorneys for the people.

                Their dreams changed when their mother died when Richard was a senior and Mark was only a Sophomore.  Richard had to drop out of school in order to provide for his little brother.  He ended up joining the Archer Boys Gang shortly after.  Times were tough for two kids with nothing to their names.  His brother graduated high school with honors but ended up joining the gang instead of attending college.  Now, after all of their hard work and dedication, Mark is dead and Richard is on his way either to his death or the death of all the Shamrocks.

- - - - - - - - - - -

                It was the Shamrocks staging ground for practically everything that they did.  He got the information from one of their old gang members who defected to the Archer's side of the war.  He moved as silently as a mouse.  Conviction was shown on his face like never-before.  He was poised to strike back at the tyrants who took his old reason for being left.  He love Mark like a son at times, he did raise him while his mom was at work.  Even took care of bullies at school for him throughout the years.

                Richard walked into the warehouse.  He heard several voices talking to each other.  “Did you see their faces.  Priceless!”

                “They died so easily.  It's almost like a crime.”  Laughing filled the room.  Richard rage increased, he almost let his position be known.

                Richard peeked around the crates and boxes to get a better view of the room and people occupying it.  He spotted the person who shot Mark, gun raised, he aimed and fired.  The backlash was nothing in comparison to his satisfaction og hitting his target.  The crowd roared.  Guns blazing in his direction.  He hid deeper, almost blending with his surroundings.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

                The man who was standing next to the boy he shot picked him up in his arms and cried.  He became angry after the tears would not flow anymore.  “You bastard!  Come out so I can finish you once and for all!”  He still held the boy close to him.  Never wavering his grip, like holding a porcelain doll.

                Richard looked confused for a moment.  Then he stepped out in the open.  “I surrender.”

                The other man raised one hand as to halt the others.  He was obviously the leader.  The Shamrocks lowered their guns.  “Who are you?”  He looked down at the boy again.  “And why did you kill my baby brother?”

                Richard lost the color in his face.  He dropped his gun and fell to his knees.  “He killed Mark, my baby brother.”

                “It was an accident.  He got in the middle of the fight because your brother tried to kill me.  He was only 11 years old.”

                Richard stared at the ground.  He could feel a piercing sensation in his heart.  How could he deny a little boy his life...he was only 11...t was an accident...

                The air became colder, he started to have convulsions.  He looked back up.  “My rage consumed me.  I am sorry.”

                The gang leader shot Richard.  He lay there lifeless like his brother did.

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