The guys were hidden in the street. The searchlights with their crews were at the ready. The neighbors had all been warned to stay inside with their house lights off. They were under the misapprehension, fostered by Smitty, that it was a movie shoot and that the guns would be firing blanks. Each searchlight crew had a cell phone, ready to relay Smittys’ command to turn the lights on. They’d set the cell phones on shaker mode so they wouldn’t ring. One shake and the lights went on. All we needed now were the bad guys. Smitty was like a football coach at half time, getting everybody revved up and anxious to get on with it.
While Smitty was outside, his cell phone rang and I answered it. It was one of the Richmond bike guys, calling to tell Smitty that three cars full of men had turned off onto the streets coming up here. He said they were driving real slowly like they didn’t want to attract any attention. He estimated they were about fifteen minutes away.
Josie whispered a question to me. “So – what do you think of Dad’s plan? Really.”
“We’re gonna’ paralyze them with searchlights? Its nuts!”
“There’re so many variables – and so many real guns. So much left up to chance. What if they don’t use the streets? What if the lights don’t work? What if they charge instead of turning and running?
“What can we do?”
“With Smitty at the helm? Just wait and hope!”
Five minutes went by. Seven minutes. Ten minutes. Twenty minutes and still nothing.
Suddenly bright lights. All three of the searchlights came on, almost simultaneously. Just as Smitty had said, they were really powerful, lighting up the whole street for several blocks.
Like the proverbial deer in a headlight, on the street nearest to us stood six men, stopped in their tracks with genuinely startled expressions on their faces.
It seemed like a minute they stood there, though it was probably only a few seconds before they turned and bolted down the street. They only took a few steps before they stopped. Below them, equally well lit, were our guys, strung out in a line, completely blocking the street. Holding sawed off shot guns at the ready.
From the other street they heard one gunshot and one of the searchlights blinked…*
*Excerpt from “CASEY’S SLIP” http://tinyurl.com/caseysslip
Richard L. Wren
IN HIS NEW CAREER AS AN AUTHOR, RICHARD DESCRIBES HIMSELF AS TALL, DARK, HANDSOME AND A LIAR. A FOURTH GENERATION CALIFORNIAN, A SAILOR, FATHER OF FOUR BEAUTIFUL AND SUPPORTIVE DAUGHTERS, AND HUSBAND TO ONE OF THE BEST WIVES OF ALL TIME. [MORE]