TRAIL OF DEFECTS
“See you tomorrow,” Kelly O’Conner called to his bouncer, as he juggled the bank bag and keys to lock up Kelly’s Lounge. The dim outside light above the door glowed through the darkness enough to show the outline of two trucks. They were parked in the dirt drive nestled between evergreen shrubs and an old shed.
The threatening rain clouds gave a slight chill to the air. It obscured any light from the heavens and blackened the night sky. Ominously quiet and lacking the rustle of wildlife, the night sent a shiver down Kelly’s spine. He shrugged it off. His day was not finished. He needed to make the bank deposit before he could head home. The peace and quiet of his warm bed enticed him. It was a busy night, and he was bone-tired.
“Do I need to be here early tomorrow?” Arnold pushed his bulk behind the steering wheel of his white Toyota pickup and held the door open, listening for a response.
“No, I’ll take care of the delivery tomorrow. Go home. Get a good night’s sleep.” Kelly waved him to leave, not wanting to impose on his employee’s free time.
Arnold nodded, closed his pickup door and drove around the building and across the gravel lot to the county road. Kelly walked around the side of the building barely able to make out the silhouette of the old planked-woodshed. He checked the door handle and made sure it was unlocked. His distributor’s deliveryman picked up the empty beer kegs and left the full ones in the morning. Stuck back off the main county road, Kelly didn’t worry about theft. The shed had little of value, just a few restaurant supplies. Antique beer signs he couldn’t part with were stored there, a couple of old wooden chairs, odds-and-ends of dishware, and two giant boxes of napkins. Nothing of value for anyone to steal.
Kelly was walking to his truck when he sensed someone behind him. It was not much, a flicker of movement and a tiny jolt of adrenaline. He started to turn around but felt the barrel of a gun pressed in the middle of his back. Kelly froze. A gloved hand came around reaching for the bank bag containing the bar’s cash receipts. Quickly, his head buzzed with thoughts. He had been busy, and he had not made it to the bank as planned. This would cover his next mortgage payment. Kelly instinctively tightened his grip on the bag.
“Gim’ me,” a low voice behind him growled, bumping the gun into his back.
Kelly hesitated, uncertain what to do when a bullet pierced the shed door. He released the bag. A hand pushed him against the shed. He caught himself before he fell. A sweatshirt-clad arm reached around him to open the door. Kelly turned his head in time to glimpse the sleeve of a dark hoodie and gun before he felt a thud. Pain echoed through his head. He fell into the shed. The door slammed shut behind him.