I was still sitting on the curb when the cops showed up. Or rather, when they drove past. The police car flew through the intersection at the end of my street, lights flashing and siren wailing. And kept going.
I blinked. The sirens faded into the distance again, clearly headed somewhere else.
I guess the calvary had not been coming after all. I had assumed that when I heard the sirens that they had been called by someone hearing the gunshot, but I guess I had been wrong. But hey, Zombie-face had made the same mistake.
What does it say about my neighborhood that a gun can go off in the street in the middle of the night, and no one called the cops? Maybe I should think about moving.
I sat on the curb for another minute, thinking. It might be a good idea to call the police myself. After all, I had just been attacked, and almost killed. But what would I tell them? That I had been saved by the timely intervention of a crow?
And even if I left that part out, and the part about zombie-face’s crumbling nose…what then? They would assume that this was just some random mugging done badly, or something, and write a report, and that would be it. And if zombie-face decided to come back and finish the job, then they would find my body and write a report about that. Police are great at catching and punishing criminals, and by doing that making people think twice about breaking the law. But they are pretty terrible at actually preventing crime.
Also, I was tired, and my head and ribs hurt. It was almost one o’clock in the morning. The last thing I wanted was to spend the next two hours talking to the police.
Well that was settled then. No cops.
I sighed, and stood up. I walked across the street to where the gun had been kicked under a car. I crouched, then got on my hands and knees and reached under the car to grab the gun. I looked around a little furtively before I actually grabbed it, but the street was deserted. I pulled it out from under the car quickly, and slipped it into the pocket of my jacket.
Even owning a gun is illegal in DC, and just the weight of it in my jacket made me a little nervous. But I could not just leave it there to be picked up by some kid or something. Also, I was not exactly sure if it had my fingerprints on it or something. Not that the cops would check for fingerprints on a gun that they just found in the street, but better to be safe. I figured I could wipe it off really well, then… well, I was not quite sure. Maybe I would take it to a police station or something. Or maybe it would be better to just drop it off a bridge.
Whatever. I could figure it out in the morning.
Yeah, the morning. Tomorrow would be an interesting day. Tomorrow I would be meeting the Mr. Johnson at my great-uncle’s house, and maybe I could get some answers to why my life had suddenly gone crazy. Why did woman on the phone make it sound like my great-uncle had been killed? If his death had been at all questionable, why did Mr. Johnson not say anything about it? He had not mentioned anything about how my uncle had died. For that matter, what was the deal with the woman on the phone? What was her connection to my great-uncle, and why had he given her my number? I would have to give her a call in the morning as well.
And of course there was the big question of who the zombie-faced freak who tried to shoot me was. Was he connected to all this somehow, or was it some kind of random thing? Maybe he really was just a mugger or something. But it had seemed like he had been there specifically to kill me. What was it he had said? “You are more trouble than you are worth?” Something like that.
I stuck the gun in the bottom of my sock drawer. Probably not the best hiding place in the world, but it would have to do for now. Then I went to the bathroom, took off my shirt, and looked at my chest. There were ugly purple and black bruises starting to form on my right side, and the hurt like hell, but when I pushed on them they did not feel broken. Not that I was an expert, but I also did not feel like going to the hospital tonight.
I had a goose-egg on my head as well, where the boot had hit me, and the skin was torn just a little. It had not bled much for a scalp injury, though, and when I checked my eyes by turning the light on and off they seemed normal. Hopefully that meant no concussion.
Other than that I was in pretty good shape. I had a few sore spots from my relatively mild tumble down the stairs, but only one spot on my shoulder was bad enough to have a visible bruise. I took a shower, brushed my teeth, and spread some gel that was supposed to help with sore muscles on my ribs.
Then I went to bed. I figured I had done what I could. If any of my injuries seemed to be worse in the morning, I would find a doctor, but for now I just wanted sleep. I set my alarm, carefully laid down on my left, and closed my eyes.
Tomorrow would be a busy day.