Noir: Before Dawn

I woke with a start, whether from the pounding in my head, the cramp in my neck from sleeping on the couch, or some other cause I couldn’t tell.

I sat up, regretting it instantly. The pounding in my head doubled. I staggered into the kitchenette and downed four aspirin. I drank directly from the tap to wash them down.

Returning to the living room, I held aside one of the curtains. The garish glare from the few neon signs out on the street flooded into the room, temporarily redoubling my headache. It was still before dawn. I checked the time; it was 5:10.

The street was quiet except for a taxi turning out of sight. A brief glimpse of motion through the thin fog drew my attention to a black car parked on the opposite side of the road.

There was a knock on the door.

I grabbed the pistol from where I had left it, on the floor beside the couch. Making my way to the door, I unlocked and cracked it open.


I opened the door completely.

“I thought I put you on a bus to Miami.”

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