- Author: Ian Jones
Book online «Dying For LA Ian Jones (the ebook reader .txt) 📖». Author Ian Jones
Dying for LA
Late Sunday; February, in Downtown Los Angeles.
John Smith wandered along slowly on his way to 7th Street Metro Station. All around him huge buildings towered up, normally this would be a bustling area but now the streets were quiet, it had just gone ten in the evening and the city was winding down, getting ready for the week to start all over again the next day. He had enjoyed a good meal in an expensive Chinese restaurant, courtesy of a grateful customer. His work in the city was complete and he was considering staying a couple of nights extra to have a good look around. He had never spent a great deal of time in LA so he was interested to see what it had to offer, then he could get on a plane and go and see his daughter in New York.
He had enjoyed dinner that evening, a restaurant that despite the day of the week had been busy. The food had been excellent and the service impeccable. Despite his initial reservations the evening had been worthwhile, it was likely there would be even more work as a result.
It took him a while to find the station, there was no signpost but eventually he found it, on a corner behind thick black pillars. He was still out of sync with LA time so he decided to stop by at an Irish bar just round the corner and sat down with a Miller Lite watching premiership football on the screen in front of him. West Ham were beating Liverpool. The guy sat next to him was watching NFL on the three other screens which were all in a line along one wall and they cheerfully criticised each other’s choice of football to watch, until Liverpool scored an equaliser and his sparring partner decided that actually more was happening on John’s screen and bought him another beer, and they sat watching until the final whistle blew.
John politely declined the offer of more to drink and then left. He walked down to the corner, entered into the station and went through the turnstiles and then down the steps to the right platform. It wasn’t too busy, no more than twenty or so people waiting. He wandered about half way along and leant against the wall next to a staircase, waiting. There were stone seats in a square further along with an old drunk sitting at the other end smiling to himself and softly singing ‘Dirty Old Town’. The other waiting passengers were spread out disparately along the platform, standing singly or in small groups. Close to John two women stopped to wait, one was repeatedly checking her watch. She twisted around to look down the tunnel and a mobile phone fell from the bulky handbag she was clutching. John bent forward and picked it up then handed it back to her. she took it and stared blankly at him.
‘Thank you,’ the other woman told him with a frown at her companion.
John nodded and went back to leaning on the wall.
The information message was unchanging, it seemed to have settled on the next train being two minutes away.
Everything was calm and serene, people were just waiting patiently for the train, it was the end of the weekend, time to be at home.
Suddenly there was a shout, followed by a shrill scream, then another, louder. More shouts. Sudden panic and yelling all coming from where a set of stairs descended. John turned to look and saw a man running fast down the platform toward him, his mouth wide open. Behind him were two men in pseudo-combat uniforms, moving stealthily forward and aiming assault rifles and he could see more similarly dressed figures visible behind. John didn’t think twice; he didn’t stop to wonder what was going on or if there was anything he could do, he instantly threw himself down against the wall he was leaning on, into the corner tight to against the floor just as the guns started firing single shots; repeatedly, deafeningly loud in the confined space, sounds of breaking glass and ricochets and then silence. Muffled sobs, footsteps, and then more shots, closer this time and then a loud thump.
Silence again. More footsteps, then another couple of single shots.
Then rapid fire, a short burst, forward to where John was lying, two guns that were moving, bullets suddenly blasting and raking across the wall then into the floor. A chunk of thick tile shot up and struck him hard on the forehead. He screwed his eyes up in pain and could feel warm blood running down.
Footsteps moving cautiously close by. Short muffled conversation.
Slowly, carefully, John moved his head to look. He could see the body of the woman who had dropped her phone lying on her side, and another close by. Impossible to tell if they were alive or dead. Next to them there was a pair of scuffed combat boots, then another pair appeared, walking hesitantly, and stopped. Two men were standing there together. One of them put down an AK-47, leaning it against the wall right where John had been standing. John could see it in his peripheral vision. His instincts took over. It was an old original model, wooden stock. It looked well cared for, and fitted with a standard magazine. Thirty rounds. The gun had been placed with the selector lever facing him, he could see it was set to single. There was a carving in the stock near the shoulder rest; 1-Too. It rang a bell, but he couldn’t place it. But there was only one important thing: and that was there was a gun. Right next to