bricktown

bricktown

and the wooden double doors to the lobby of the lofts above Nikki’s Pizzeria nearly ripped off their hinges as two punks staggered out into the city, shielding themselves from the rain with the sleeves of their tattered jackets.

“Let’s go,” one of them said. “Before they come lookin’.”

“Slow down,” said the other. he was small and struggling to keep up. “You don’t need to do this.”

they hustled through the thunderstorm, past the sewer grates on East Lafayette, over the re-paved patches of concrete, across Beaubien toward the nearest People Mover station.

“I gotta get outta here.”

“They’ll find a way to find you. You shouldn’t be running.”

“I can try.” 

they both hopped over the metal arms of the turnstile and scampered up the concrete steps toward the platform.

Upstairs.

they waited for the next train. one of them studied the dull glow of the headlights emerging from the tunnel and watched as the monorail roared up the tracks, rolling to a stop.

the other didn’t.

they both boarded the boxcar. heads turned. some passengers exchanged glances. the automatic doors slowly closed.

the smaller kid leaned towards the other. “Let’s go talk to ’em first. It doesn’t have to be like this.”

but the other kid didn’t answer. he scanned the different shades of faces on the train. his gaze crossed an elderly black lady sitting across the isle from him.

“Look away.”

she silently complied.

a few moments passed. nothing happened.

the People Mover continued chugging down the tracks. they could both feel the brakes beginning to grind beneath his feet. one of the punks clutched his stomach and gazed out the window. when the train started rumbling, the smaller kid decided to stand.

He looked down at his friend as the People Mover continued crawling to the platform. They were both still wet from the rain.

“You shouldn’t be run