2022 Writing Contest

I place the box down on his desk, before I follow Shawn to take our leave. Jackson presses his head against the box as if listening for something. But before we could leave, guards take places before us, preventing our escape. I glance around for any nearby windows. Spotting one, I pull Shawn close. I ask in a whisper, "do we need to get out of here?" Shawn answers my question by rushing to a different window. As he crashes through it, I rush to my own window. Crashing through it, I tuck my arms and roll when I land on the ground. Rolling slightly, I stand back up and begin to run from the building. Hearing a loud explosion behind me only makes me running without stopping. Sparing a glance back at their building, the upper stories are in flames. I didn't plan to be part of shit like this again. I keep running until arriving at the club. I go to the alleyway we had come out of and knock on the door. When I get no response, I hit it harder, until eventually it opens up. Standing there is Shawn, who assures me in. How did he get here before me? Shawn closes the door behind me as Austin greets me with a question, "not difficult right?" I grab Austin’s collar pulling him close as I ask, "Why didn't you tell me, it was a fuckin bomb?" Austin waves away the people who moved close before saying, "you didn't need to know" I ask, "why not? Maybe you didn't expect me to come back" Austin smirks before forcing me to release my grasp as he states, "I had faith in you two, you did good." I take a step back while asking, "Can I have my money now?" Austin reaches into his pocket and slaps a wad of bills into my hand while saying, "I hope we can do business together again soon" I look at the money, money I got with blood and pocket it. I say, "Don't bother me again" Walking out the door into the alleyway I make my way back home. I take my time. I need to think. I got paid, for blowing up the leader of the JackleShakles. Not what I expected to do, but at least more money is good. More cash means it's easier on us all, so I shouldn't complain. I sigh, before leaning against a building-Shawn takes his place next to me, taking out a candy cigarette and places it between his lips, just like old times. I ask, "You got one for me?" Shawn gives me one, and I relish the feeling although it’s chalky and stale. Placing it between my lips puts me at ease. Shawn asks, "How's the day job anyways?" I reply, "I'm probably the hardest worker, why?" "Just curious what you've been up to. We haven't had a proper talk for a long time" "Yeah, we haven't" "If I'd known it was a bomb, I wouldn't have made you help, you know that right?" "Yeah, I know, I know" "Good, well. How's your mom?" "Same old same old, but maybe she'll get better. Got to be hopeful" Shawn eats a bit of his cigarette before asking, "do you miss your old man?" I shrug before saying, "not much, I still hate his guts but not as violently as I used to"