The sound of wheels screeching on the pavement echoed down the busy intersection of 5th and Lexington, “Hey, get outta the way, crazy broad!” yelled the driver at a woman who wandered in front of his car. Mumbling to herself, she seemed mentally ill as she ignored the world around her. Looking down at her phone, she constantly checked the street signs as she progressed through the city. Knowing her battery was low, Cassie had only one guess as to which VFW hall Amato was going to and she had to get it right. Variations of the worst case scenario filled her mind as she walked in the freezing cold to an old store that was converted into a VFW, just a few years prior. It looked suspicious enough to be a police hideout. Her father taught her how to spot a cop a mile away and this place reeked of cops. It was too neat, and clean right in the heart of a bad neighborhood where the buildings were dilapidated and covered in graffiti. Staring at it from the corner of the street Cassie figured it was either a drug trap or a pig pen. She was hoping for the latter but felt for her 38 just in case.
Cassie didn’t know what she was going to do when she got there, but figured she should stake out the place before making a move. First she walked past the building and then even went as far as to view the it from behind on the other side of the street. Cassie couldn’t leave anything to chance. This already was a huge risk she was taking and for what, a guy who enjoyed leaving her on the sidelines? Though she wasn’t pleased with his actions, she knew he couldn’t do this without her. Too many people had already died from her dad, all the way to a news reporter, it had to stop and it was going to stop with her.
The snow had finally let up and now a punishing wind was blowing through the neighborhood, making her face numb. Covering her entire head with a baby blue scarf, she left only a small slit for her eyes which were now watering from the bitter cold. Fighting the urge to shiver, Cassie carried on and found the back of the building and peeked over a tall wooden fence. She scanned for cameras and found two, one in the back and another on the side. “Bingo,” she said aloud. This couldn’t be a drug trap, it was too well set up for some petty dealer. The place was perfectly monitored on all sides she noticed as she took a second tour of the outside of the building. Going back to the corner, she noticed a large balding man come out of the building and look directly at her. Smoking a cigarette, she watched it dangle from the side of his mouth before he grabbed it with his hand, flicking ashes into the wind. He kept his focus directly on her which made Cassie turn the corner to hide.
“Shit!” she growled, they noticed her. There would be no slipping into this building undetected. As the heat left her body with each gust of wind, Cassie knew she had to something before she had to retreat or die from hypothermia. Just then a loud bang jolted her, in her already heightened state. Looking down the street there was a mail truck and a postal carrier crossing the street to start his route. Cassie looked down at her blue coat and dark pants and figured she sort of looked like a postal carrier. This would be her way in. Casually, she walked over to the truck and noticed the key still in the ignition. It was as if God were smiling on her, and with that, she happily got into the small white truck, and started the engine.
Pulling up to the building, she changed her appearance just slightly by putting her hair up in her knit cap and grabbing a pile of mail. Taking a deep breath, she gathered her courage and walked right up to the front door and knocked. The same large bald man opened and said, “Whattaya want?” Smiling nervously, Cassie said, “I have a certified letter for Jimmy the General.”
Laughing, the security oaf said, “You got lotta of nerve. Who do you think yer foolin’?” He stepped back and went for his jacket but before he could, Cassie got the drop on him and had her gun in his face before he could even reach. Having no choice, the guard put his hands up in the air in surrender. Calmly she instructed him, “Put the gun on the ground real slow and you won’t get hurt.” Following the command, he put his Glock on the ground. Gesturing with her gun she said, “Walk,” and when he hesitated, she barked, “Move!” Once he was out of the doorway, and outside with her, she ran in the building leaving him out in the freezing cold. Bolting the door behind her, he could only pound on the door as Cassie grabbed a nearby chair and securely barricaded herself inside with Jimmy the General.
Rachel Rueben is author of the bestselling YA novel Hag and The Eternal Bond Series both available on Wattpad. To keep up with Rachel, you can sign up for her frighteningly entertaining newsletter here.