Walking outside the cemetery alone, with every step heavy, Lucas was determined to seek Tony’s killer. He could not accept that his friend’s death would just be added as a statistic to the list of unsolved crimes.

How could he be so careless not to secure Tony’s safety during that raid?  He should have checked on him during the escape instead of selfishly saving his own skin first. That was a costly mistake he regretted now.

He stopped and looked up the sky. Perhaps, if the Christian missionaries were correct, Tony might be smiling at him from the clouds, happy that all his worries and problems were left behind in the cruel and mortal world.

Not far away from where he stood, there was a commotion. The shouting and the wailing combined as people ran to and fro from the chaotic scene. Sirens blared and heard from the distance, denoting emergency assistance was badly needed.

“What happened?” he asked a female passerby whose face described  pity and sadness. “Why the ambulances?”

“It was grotesque,” she told him, her nervous voice failing. “Bodies are all around, dead and wounded. Severed limbs were scattered around while blood was splashed everywhere. I cannot stand the sickening smell.”

Lucas watched her vomiting on the sidewalk, the contents of her stomach terribly affected by the violent image she witnessed.

Even slightly curious, he did not wish to join the kibitzers on the spot. He has already left a place of death.

– 0 –

It was so easy.

Lefty’s pick up truck cruised to moderate speed once he was assured that no pursuers followed. He was careful not to cause any accident along the way to cool down his tracks.

Accurately guessing that the remaining four teens would visit Tony’s grave, he rented a ten-wheeler truck from an unsuspecting gravel and sand operator, explaining to the owner that he needed to practice his driving skills before taking the exams. Paid with cash, the deal was readily agreed upon.

And as if luck was on his side, his long wait outside the memorial park paid off. Three of the teens walked briskly toward the bus stand, joining other commuters eager to beat the afternoon rush hour traffic.

Parked twenty feet away from the station, Lefty gunned the truck’s engine to life, producing the familiar loud groaning sound. To bystanders, the sight of a troubled vehicle was typical in a country where old and used imported units ran the streets.

Accelerating rapidly after a slow start, the heavy truck drove straight toward the closely-huddled bunch at the station. It mowed anything on its path: bodies, metal structures and other smaller cars. All blocking the way was tossed to the sides, damaged, deformed or destroyed.

In that few panicked seconds, the heinous crime resulted to tens of dead on the spot, several severely wounded and countless more injured with fractures, punctures and deep scratches. Almost none of them had notions they were to meet their tragic fates.

Lefty held the steering wheel steady during the maniacal drive. He seemed hypnotized by the speed he used to eliminate his three targets. To him, it was rather unfortunate that a lot more innocent people suffered in the process.

Leaving the dump truck in a hurry after it rammed a concrete post of a building, Lefty jumped outside to flee the scene. Some people tried to gave chase but he lost them when he dropped off his disguise before reaching his getaway vehicle. Bewildered, the frustrated mob stopped their pursuit when their prey vanished unexpectedly.

One last to go, he mumbled to himself.

– 0 –

“Lucas, there had been an accident!”

Mourners who came back to his dead friend”s house spoke in hushed voices. The news of three more deaths, particularly members of Tony’s gang, heightened their curiosity. It was absolutely certain that the group was targeted for termination.

Lucas was not surprised at the coincidence of it all. He was fortunate not to have joined Jimmy, Karen and Bobby when they left the cemetery. Otherwise, he would not have been standing there hearing the news.

“You should leave!”

That was the short advice of the majority: the killer would not rest till Lucas was a cold stiff.

He walked home, feeling like a zombie: his mind conjured scenarios.

“I need to draw him out,” Lucas thought. “I’ll be the bait.”

(to be continued)



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