Visions of being the lead story on the news flashed through my mind. It had been Lindsey’s idea to add adventure to our married life, so tonight we were cranking it up and playing out our fantasy out of our home.

Lindsey wore her favorite costume, a black, skin-tight, leather body suit. A thin, leather thong held her black, shiny hair, and the stilettos complemented her slim dancer legs. I was dressed as my favorite comic book superhero down to the thighs, cape, and shield.

I turned the ignition key to our green mini-van, dubbed the crusade-mobile, and as the engine roared to life, the disc player blasted our warrior song, Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” We danced in our seats. The headlights illuminated the dark road ahead. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

Lindsey’s fingers caressed my arm, and in her seductive voice, she murmured, “I’m so happy you came to save the city with me. Someone is going to try to poison the water in the reservoir. We need to find the evil perpetrators.” 

I played along. “Yes, Dr. Mad Luna is back in town, and he perfected his killer serum.” 

The crusade-mobile flew on I-95 toward exit 12. We turned toward the seediest part of the city–Evergreen Avenue. I was happy that we were the only vehicle on the road at this hour of the night. Evergreen Avenue was a long stretch of road with a few working streetlights that illuminated the abandoned brick buildings with their windowpanes shot out. The gray fences meant to keep us out were all gone. Even the homeless had more sense than to come here. Lindsey shut the player off, and silence surrounded us.

Then, out of nowhere, we heard it. Pop. Pop. Pop. The sound of gunfire filled the air. I swerved to the left side, and it jolted us back to reality. 

Lindsey turned to me and grabbed my arm. “Oh my God, turn around. Let’s get the hell out of here!”

“Not on your life. We are the defenders of the universe. We are here to save the world.”

“Harry, cut the shit. Those are real bullets! Let’s go home.”

I pulled out my iPhone and dialed. A male voice came on.

“9-1-1, what is your emergency?”

“Here, take the phone. Tell them what’s happening.” She grabbed the phone as gunfire erupted again.

“They are shooting at us,” she yelled into the phone.

“Where are you? Anybody hurt?”

She was shaking. “No one is hurt.”

“What is your location?”

“We are at the Old Montgomery Manufacturing Building off Evergreen. Someone is shooting from the second floor,” I shouted.

“Stay with me. I’m notifying the police.”

My heart was beating out of my chest. I shut off the headlights and drove into the parking lot.

“Harry, what are you doing? Keep driving. Help is on the way.”

“The shots were coming from the other side of this building. If we stay here, we’ll be safe till the cops arrive. Maybe we can help the cops nab this guy.”

She looked at me as if I had lost my mind. Maybe I did. But I felt strong, determined. I could do this. No hesitation.

The iPhone came to life. “Someone will be there within minutes.”

“Ok,” I heard Lindsey say as I jumped out of the car and headed toward the building.

“Harry, come back.” I heard the car door close. She was running after me.

“Go back,” I shouted.

“We are in this together.” We huddled by the door.

“I’m going up. You keep an eye out for the cops. Give me the phone.”

“Harry, I’m not staying here by myself. I’m going with you.”

“No. Stay here. I will be right back.”

“No, I’m coming with you.”

“Ok, but stay about six steps behind me.”

I whispered into the phone. “We are coming up.”

The hallway was dark. I gingerly walked up each step until I reached the second floor landing. Moonlight streamed through the windows, and I saw Carlos standing by the side of the door. I gave him the signal. He moved closer to the door. In his hand was the black revolver. I turned into the room and Lindsey followed. She ran toward me.

“Harry . . . the shooter . . . do something! He has a gun.”

“Sorry, Lindsey, but divorces are so expensive.”

2016 Derringer winner; 2016 Alfred Hitchcock- The Picture that Won- July-August 2016; 2015 and 2016 stories included in Level Best- Best New England Mystery.

Copyright © 2018 Vy Kava. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of the author is prohibited.