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Pepperoni? Mozzarella.

By Tina D'AngeloPublished about a month ago 3 min read
Photo by Zane Priedīte on Unsplash


I pulled the lockbox down and checked my Glock to be sure the magazine was full, then tucked it into my jeans waistband. If Greg was going to pull some shady shit, I’d be ready. He had agreed to come to my apartment with a pizza and some sodas, so we could sort this mess out together. Or, so he said.

Around four thirty, Greg sent me another message, “On my way. I’ve got the van. Let’s go for a ride to talk.”

I messaged back, “Pepperoni.” Immediately, he replied, “Mozzarella.”

That was weird. So, I texted, “Coke.”

In return, I got, “Pepsi.”

Something was off. I wasn’t sending code words. Maybe someone was with him, forcing him to drive to my place. Out of habit, I double-checked my Glock, then went back and grabbed another magazine from my nightstand, tucking it into a pocket of my jeans. When the van pulled up in front of my apartment, I didn’t recognize the person in the front passenger seat. He looked vaguely familiar though.

Up and down the street were kids outside playing and mothers pushing strollers on this rare, pleasant late afternoon in April. Whatever was going to happen could not happen here, so I opened the van’s sliding doors, knowing I might not return from this trip.

“Hey, Teddy, that seven- hundred pay for your car damage,” the dark-haired guy in the passenger seat drawled sarcastically.

Then, he asked for my phone, which I handed over, realizing they didn’t think I was armed with anything more dangerous than a phone.

I inspected the van for escape routes, weapons, and angles, weighing my chances for survival against what I was given to work with. The guy in the driver’s seat was my old friend, Dr. Porter, from the hospital. I gauged the angles required to hit the driver and passenger in close succession. The driver was easy, but the passenger was at a bad location for a clean shot, unless I shot through the seat. That was not optimal, however. Sometimes a bullet could bounce off the seat’s metal springs and ricochet into the shooter’s face. I waited patiently to see where they were taking me, looking around, timing my imminent escape, attack, or both.

When we left the outskirts of town, I had a good idea of where we were going. We were driving on Route 80, toward my running spot. That would be a gift because I was so familiar with that place that I could run the path with my eyes closed.

While he drove, the blond guy said, “Donnie, show him the pic of his kid.”

His accomplice pulled out a phone and flipped to a photo of Timmy and me at Burger King. “If you give us one ounce of trouble, we’ll visit that pretty ex-wife of yours. When we’re done with her, we’re taking your kid for a ride.”

They just signed their death warrants. I would do all in my power to make sure these assholes were both put down tonight. They drove past my running spot and headed to Shimmer Lake. Probably to tie me into the murders, discrediting anything I might have said about Captain Howard and Wardu. We rode silently until the driver slowed down to find the public entrance road to Shimmer Lake.

Reaching over the passenger’s right shoulder, I grasped the seatbelt, pulling it as far from the mechanism as possible. Then, I slung it around his neck, securing the belt around the headrest where he couldn’t reach. It happened so quickly that he never got a chance to resist. When the driver stopped the van to help his buddy, I flung open the doors, and made a run for it, pulling out my weapon and searching for a place to ambush them from.

There was a big maple tree with a wide trunk about thirty yards away from the road with a clear view of the van. I slowed my breathing and waited behind its shelter, while they argued loudly and began crashing through the woods, searching. These jerks had never served with Captain Howard. That was certain. As they passed within ten feet of my shelter, I shifted silently to the opposite side of the tree, their backs were to me, giving me ample time to set my shots to pick them off.

They began arguing again, finally deciding to split up. The shorter man was in my line of fire when he tripped over a tree root. His feet flew out from under him, and he dropped his rifle. It discharged and another crashing sound came from the direction his buddy had gone.

“Donnie? Donnie? Jesus, Donnie, answer me, Damnit!” He hollered in a panic


About the Creator

Tina D'Angelo

G-Is for String is now available in Ebook, paperback and audiobook by Audible!

G-Is for String: Oh, Canada! and Save One Bullet are also available on Amazon in Ebook and Paperback.

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Comments (1)

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    I thought Greg was supposed to come. Like who are these guys? So glad Ted managed to escape!

Tina D'AngeloWritten by Tina D'Angelo

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