The 7:59

Subway service in NYC has sucked the last few days. I was waiting for the train today and thought to myself that I should just steal a train. My next thought was the closing line of the story.
I’ve wanted to try an action/comedy piece for a while. I have no idea if I got the timing of the action piece right. Let me know, along with any other comments/criticisms. .

The 7:59
_____Bullets ricocheted off the hard concrete platform as the team took cover behind the girders. The chewed, congealed gum that had been on the cement for years split like angry welts with each zing from a missed shot.
_____Jimmy’s voice spat out of the radio, high-pitched like it always was when he was stressed. “He’s late!”
_____“I know” answered Rick, the leader of this mission. “Hold it together Jimmy! Everyone, we just need to protect the crate. Tom will be here soon.”
_____The rate of fire from the other side decreased dramatically. “You guys running out of bullets?” shouted Jack, his voice echoing against the ceramic tile that lined the tunnel. A burst of automatic fire answered him.
_____Jimmy darted behind the crate and came up behind the same girder Rick was using as cover.
_____“What the hell, man?” he whispered, his voice a little deeper now that they had a moment to breathe. “Is he gonna make it? Because I really don’t wanna die here.”
_____“Me either” answered Rick, tilting his head to stare back down the tunnel. It was pitch black, dark, like their chances if Tom didn’t cover his end. “I don’t like the silence…they’re probably regrouping to charge us.” He reached for his radio. “Sound off, quietly. I need an ammo count.”
_____“Three clips” whispered Jack. “No, wait. Two and a half.”
_____Elliot was next. “I’ve got half in my revolver, maybe eight rounds in the Glock.”
_____Jimmy’s gun clicked as he checked his load. Rick heard the slide of the clip going back home. “Nine rounds, man.”
_____Rick checked his own reserves. “I’ve got three Desert Eagles, one clip each, one grenade.”
_____“We’re screwed” someone whispered over the radio.
_____“Max?” asked Rick. “What about you?”
_____Silence. Then Max’s gravelly voice echoed from the radio. “Four caddies for the revolver. Three clips for the Eagle. I’ve got two flash grenades, three fragmentation, a pair of smoke bombs and nineteen shotgun rounds. And if that doesn’t do it, we can always throw Jimmy’s socks at em.”
_____“Jesus, what the hell are you carrying all that for? This was supposed to be an in-and-out” came a response from Elliot.
_____“Bet you’re not sorry I brought it. What’s the plan, Cap?” asked Max.
_____Rick thought for a moment. “Ok, remember Newark?”
_____The tunnel echoed for a moment with groans. “Yeah” answered Jimmy. “We remember Newark. How could you forget a shitstorm like that?” There was a pause, then Elliot spoke. “On the other hand, there are no Nuns here, so maybe this time it will work.”
_____More groans, this time broken by a voice from the stairs at the far side of the platform.
_____“We want our property returned” boomed a voice through a megaphone. “We know you are low on resources, and we are prepared to let you go – as long as you leave the crate behind. We have the only exit covered.” When the echo faded, the voice, continued. “Be smart. There’s no reason this has to end with your deaths. We just want what is ours.”
_____Jimmy looked at Rick. “Not the worst offer I’ve ever had.”
_____Rick looked back and sighed. “How can we trust you?” he yelled.
_____“I give you my word” replied the voice.
_____Rick sighed again. He whispered into the radio. “Everyone stay put.” Then, loudly he called out “I’m coming into the open!” Taking off his Disney World baseball cap, he hung it on the barrel of his gun and slowly moved it out from the girder.
_____A triple burst of automatic fire left two holes in his hat. “Dammit”. He clicked transmit on the radio. “Newark. In ten. And so help me, don’t shoot any of our guys in the ass this time, Max.”
_____“Where’s the fun in that?” came the retort.
_____Ten seconds passed. Jimmy popped out behind the girder. Bang. Bang. Bang. Nine shots, evenly spaced into the center of the space behind them. Just enough time for the first of Max’s smoke bombs to land and detonate. All the men had their goggles and earpieces in as the flashbang exploded amid the smoke.
_____Rick rolled off the platform and dropped to the tracks, sprinting to the other end of the platform. He turned sideways as he ran, firing over the edge of the platform as he made it to their side. He was rewarded with the wet smacking sound of bullets finding flesh, and the thuds of bodies falling. He kept running, past the platform to the small maintenance staircase leading back up. The stale air was thick with the smell of cordite as he launched himself into the center of his opponents.
_____His first Desert Eagle was empty. He dropped it, reaching for the next. Bam. Bam. He fired rapidly at the shadows in the smoke, aiming low so his misses wouldn’t hit his men. There was a scream, and one more thud. He spun and jumped to keep moving and be a harder target. He smacked into something and his vision blurred. Another smack – a punch to the head that drove him to his knees. One more knocked him sideways and he rolled off the platform. His ears rung and his eyes teared from the pain.
_____Distantly, he heard the bellow of Max’s shotgun, almost drowning out Elliot’s battle cry. A body flew over hi, smacked against the tunnel wall and slid down. Black uniform. The bad guys. Rick got to his feet and pulled himself back on the platform.
_____Max was there, calmly lighting a cigar, his foot on the neck of a writhing body, it’s eyes wide with fear.
_____“Settle down, you” , muttered Max. “You lost. Be happy you aren’t dead.” Rick looked around. Jimmy had his gun on a man who’s face was clenched with pain, hands behind his back.
_____“Ha!” laughed Jimmy. “Who got shot in the ass this time!”
_____The platform started to shake. A low rumble in the distance grew, the sound of steel grinding against steel. The team turned as one to look down the tunnel. A subway car rushed in, the push of air clearing the swirling smoke up the stairs. The sides of the car were pocked with bullet holes. Most of the glass windows were shattered, and it looked like the car’s frame had been twisted.
_____The engineer window dropped down. A scarred head with vivid orange hair stuck out. “Hey fellas!” called Tom. “Need a lift?” He looked around the platform. “Damn. Looks like I missed the real party.”
_____Rick turned to him. “You’re late.”
_____“Dude, do you have any idea how hard it is to steal a train?”

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61 thoughts on “The 7:59

  1. Ha! I gotta admit Guap that I kept thinking – How is Tom going to help? ha! Arriving with a train was a funny surprise – even though in retrospect, the title should have been a clue.

    Fun Post Guap. Thanks.

    Like

    • Thanks Paul. I kept seeing Jason Statham, maybe Sylvester Stallone as Tom, and for some reason, Matthew Modine as Rick.
      Guess I’ve been watching too many action-comedies lately.

      Like

  2. Can’t believe I had the pleasure of reading a new post from you! Loved it Guap! Loved the setting and all of the action. Thought the pacing was perfect leading up to the battle. Great descriptors and very detailed. Could definitely tell these guys have a history together. What’s in the crate? Loved the stolen train at the end. Great work Guap – really enjoyed reading it – very impressed with your writing 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks so much! I actually have no idea what’s in the crate. It’s a MacGuffin – there for no other purpose than to frame the rest of the story.
      I don’t know if these guys are freedom fighters, or mercenaries, or even just interested in getting a super secret prototype kitty litter. But without the crate, I would have had to illustrate some reason for them to be in that situation, and all I wanted to do was write an action-comedyish scene.

      Liked by 1 person

      • What’s a MacGuffin?? I got the impression they were more like mercenaries and very experienced at what they do. Pictured a movie scene, actually. It would be so cool to see the train pull up!

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        • From the wikipedia: A MacGuffin is a plot device in the form of some goal, desired object, or other motivator that the protagonist pursues, often with little or no narrative explanation. The specific nature of a MacGuffin is typically unimportant to the overall plot.

          The crate (and what’s in it) is irrelevant to the story. Instead, I used it as the hook to hang the story off it. If it were a longer story, whatever is in the crate still wouldn’t be as important as what the characters did because of it.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Well paced, immediate, and exciting. I like the MacGuffin, I remember being told what that means when Raiders came out. Anyway, I quite envy your style here Guap – I suck at doing action. You’re really good at it.

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    • Thank you, Benze. I’ve been in a bunch of subway systems all over, and the tile and the echoing (and the scummy platforms) are universal.
      Except the Washington DC metro. That was unsettlingly clean when I was there.

      Like

  4. Um… WHEN THE HECK DID THIS HAPPEN??? A whole new blog and I had no idea!
    I’ll consider forgiving you because at least now I get to read your words again. 🙂

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  5. I love this, absolutely LOVE THIS! Being a female, I wouldn’t normally read such action/adventure, but your writing pulled me in immediately and I stayed for the whole story! Really, really well done!

    Like

    • Thanks Dawn. That’s funny – half the stuff I write, I see in my head first, then I have to translate it back into words.
      I’ve never tried writing ad a script then “novelizing” it.
      Might be an interesting challenge…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Wouldn’t this be better as a radio play? 😉

      I did hear back from her. She sounded like she was doing well, but wasn’t planning on coming back online.

      Like

  6. Wow this is awesome Guap, I can’t believe it has been so long since I graced your page, and it looks so different here now with this wider template. As for your writing, well how can I put it other than it is great, no worries there whatsoever, and if you ever need any help stealing another train I will formulate a plan, something with zombies in for sure but a plan that will rock those tracks once more 🙂 lol

    Have a wicked Thursday my great friend and sorry for being late…

    Andro

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  7. Have you changed sites, El Guapo! And is this going to be a thriller? For the record, it’s really easy to steal a train though. It’s hiding it afterwards that’s a bit difficult.

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    • I just wanted someplace else just to do fiction, since I didn’t really have anything to say anymore.

      I’m afraid to ask how you know that about trains… 😉

      Like

    • Hi there! This is just for any stories that force their way out of me. I haven’t posted anything at my other site in over a year, but I wanted someplace else that was just the stories.
      My own literary petri dish, if you will.

      (I’m not gonna ask how you know that.)

      Like

  8. This was great, as all of the other comments illustrate. SO glad I found you again, Guap. I plan to be here often, spoon in hand. 🙂

    I am still considering posting the beginning sections of my own book just to see what transpires. Perhaps the prologue would be enough to get people interested…? But I still think you are right about not trying to post it piecemeal, week by week – that folks will have a difficult time following the plot. I’m still mired in editing, anyway, and have had a major life change that has thrown a monkey-wrench into the work, but we’ll just have to see what the future holds.

    Take care, and DO keep writing!! 😀

    Peace,
    C

    Like

    • Thanks so much! The scene here was just nagging at me for a while, so I thought I’d let it out.

      If (when) you do post your book, if you use a separate category, you can put a link to that in your title bar, so all the installments will be right there for readers to go through continuously. Might make it easier to follow…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It is a tight story and the action works well, even if you don’t know a glock from a glockenspiel. The dialogue is funny and the characters stand out. The only recommendation I would make is to remove some of the attributions like “came a response from Elliot” and just put, “said Elliot.” Because the pacing of the action is so swift, slowing down to read who said what and how is a slight drag on the tension.

    Liked by 1 person

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