The Sting

It took some forty-five minutes to drive to the shop. Amy Girl looked out the window; Gary played Bruce Springsteen, his Born to Run work, a repetitive paean to a young rebel on his motorbike and his last ditch offer to his love to jump on the bike and flee. The intended effect was there: both elation and a sense of the monumentality of those seconds and minutes. At the same time, he was tired and more than a little hungry, and his penis actually throbbed from unaccustomed excitement and inattention. His body, it seemed to him, ached a general feeling of indifference in the face of the experiential quantum mechanics, in which the mundane coexists with terror, that was swallowing him whole.

They came into the shop slowly, but the professor called to them. Amy Girl stopped Gary from turning on the overhead light, then she was gone from beside him, and a few moments later he saw her silhouette at the edge of the cone of the professor’s flashlight. The professor had embraced her, and she was whispering to him. But from his movements, the professor seemed only now to comprehend something, and stepped back from her. Gary surmised: she hadn’t been frank about the danger he was in. The professor leaned against the table with Scotty’s bowl and spiral. Gary heard her repeat, “It’ll be okay, it’ll be okay.”

A minute later, Gary joined them at the edge of the flashlight cone. “I’ll see if Scotty will come back.” He leaned over the table and clicked the battery on and off, waited, then on and off. Then he waited and clicked it on. He turned to see Amy Girl looking pensively at him; he smiled his meek smile. “Like turning an engine over, I think. You’ve got to prime it.”

She seemed unimpressed with his platitude, but had a flash of insight. She took the phone from her purse and examined it.

He took the opportunity to look at his watch. There wasn’t much time; he and Scotty had agreed on posing an hour deadline to Alice, an hour to resolve this, one way or the other. This, after Scotty had pried — through silence — the truth from him; this, after Scotty had shown the flaws in every scenario that Gary painted to him. All right, Gary had said, what do you suggest? Scotty was silent on that point, but Gary found himself constructing the current plan in the ensuing silence. At the center, presuming all the pieces fell as anticipated, was Alice’s choice: her chance to decide who sacrificed for her and who was willing to sacrifice her.

The story they provided was that Alice was to send Reggie to get the device before Gary put them all at risk; she had just gotten the address from the device itself. Then Reggie was to get rid of it. Right now. The key was right now. It would be gone within an hour.

Amy Girl was trying to turn the phone on and off, but nothing happened. Then she turned it over, and pulled the battery. The spark told her — it had been on, the whole time.

There was a back way out the storefront. When Reggie came in the front door, there was a chance that Gary could get out that way; he had left just the doorknob lock on so he would barely have to break his stride. And Reggie had three minutes to get there.

“Oh my God,” said a voice — could have been Amy Girl’s, but Gary realized slowly that it was the professor’s. There, in the center of the spiral, a green cloud had formed and was expanding, in a way that Gary had never seen before. With a sudden yellow and black-tinged flash, a beam caught the surface of the goo in the bowl and started raising a lump.

Gary looked back to Amy Girl, who was not looking at the bowl at all. She was weighing this moment, perhaps weighing whether this last deception merited a bullet in the brain. Or probably she had already decided and just waited until he was watching her to turn to the professor and put her arm around his shoulder. The prof was impervious to all this in his state of marveling. Gary filled in the message from Amy Girl: ‘it’s not worth trashing this moment to kill you, and most likely I’ll be able to watch you squirm and die before I do — or don’t.’ She must have thought she had immunity — as Gary did — but each for their own reasons. Gary brought the watch to his eyes.

The seconds pulsed slowly away, their progression marked by the slow growth and evolution of the lump that the beam was creating from the silvery liquid chaos. A square, an undeniable geometric shape, formed, then was refined by smaller echoes of the same shape of which each in turn took on noticeable function: here a small screen, there a lens, over there an antenna for audio reception. Weak flashes passed over the screen until finally a defined image formed: the professor himself, crudely drawn, with Amy Girl embracing him from behind. The tears in the professor’s eyes were not visible, nor were those in Amy Girl’s. Gary had no tears, but his eyes were welling, as he sang Bruce Springsteen to himself, repeating the words and a few notes until they had slowed the thoughts in his mind.

The seconds were painful, even as he got to see Scotty one last time, hear that metallic sham of a voice, see the letters flash across the screen. He looked away to the darkness in the back of the shop, where a curtain hid a doorway and ten feet behind that a way out into the alley. But he had to wait for Reggie, who was taking his damn time.

The last few minutes finally just meshed together in the darkness. There were barely fifteen seconds left when he knew he could not hope any longer. He felt something akin to anger: Scotty had been silent during the planning, but he knew how to play silence quite well. Was there something about this plan that wasn’t Gary’s own? Thirteen. He knew the risks of what he had undertaken — a hundred reasons why it could fail. Alice could — oh my God! — already be dead. Ten. Scotty would have told him if that were true. Everything was still on track. Eight. Reggie could have refused; he could be suspicious, beat it out of Alice. Six. Or she could lose her nerve; Gary knew he would forgive her. Five! Or maybe he wouldn’t be able to, at the last moment. Four! Time was up — his life was ebbing away. Three! Maybe — Two! this was the inevitable — One! outcome.

Gary was silent. Scotty saw the moment pass, and would shortly, out of deference, retreat into the nether from which he had come. But for the time being, he attended to the condemned.

iphone video wallpaper repository
how to unlock iphone 3g 4.1 to any network blackberry rate plans families how to unlock att wireless to any network
unlock iphone 3gs 4.0.2 for free iphone 3g t mobile sim card
iphone 4 white case replacement get iphone ringtones on android
apple iphone 4 free case canada
how to unlock iphone for t mobile use
unlock 3g iphone 4.1 apple iphone unlocked tmobile iphone 2 dealers
apple iphone 4 review phone arena apple iphone lock buy iphone review cnet australia
apple iphone 3g 16gb price usa how much did it cost for a new iphone screen
best iphone 4 jailbreak tweaks goes you buy iphone 4 without contract
jailbreak iphone 3g 4.1 windows vista
iphone 4 jailbreak apps list
iphone jailbreak 4.2 1 get iphone apps on google phone
iphone review uk iphone comcast 2011 cost coolest free iphone apps
belkin iphone accessories fm transmitter
iphone 2g unlock 3.1.2
apple iphone 3gs 16gb black at&t
apple iphone review
iplus iphone jailbreak ziphone
best iphone apps 2010 gizmodo
make iphone ringtones itunes 9 iphone malaysia buy maxis
iphone ringtones free windows vista download iphone apps 4 free
iplus iphone jailbreak payload apple store 3 uk
iphone 3g unlock software youtube iphone image source code
top iphone 4 cases
download unlock iphone software free telstra iphone plans australia new iphone 3g rear
cheap iphone 4 accessories uk new iphone stuck in a bar
jailbreak unlock iphone 4.1 3gs cheap itouch 4 cases uk learn to get free iphone apps jailbreak
free iphone wallpaper maker download iphone 3g for ipod touch 2009
top iphone photography apps free iphone accessories youtube
apple iphone ringtones free download apple iphone best offers g1 specs
iphone 3gs cases ebay
cheap iphone cases and covers how to registration iphone 3g 4.2 1
where are my iphone apps stored buy new iphone without contract
t mobile iphone 4 settings
iphone 5 rumors at&t
iphone 4 insurance uk bargain iphone unlocked 8gb
how to install iphone apps on android buy iphone online free shipping new verizon phones release date dec
iphone jailbreak free software download cheap iphone deals target
buy iphone 4 cheap online iphone 3gs cases university of kentucky
best iphone apps canada vodafone india plans uk
how to jailbreak iphone 3gs 4.2.1 new bootrom iphone price world 2008
new iphone 3g 8gb for sale
buy iphone 4 without contract from apple best place to buy iphone in california
rogers iphone family plans
iphone 2g firmware 3.1.3 ipsw download free hot pink iphone apple iphone deals no contract
iphone 3g 2009 june
new iphone rumors 2010 iphone 3g reviews canada
new iphone apps 2011 iphone 3gs plans new iphone os 2006
iphone photography book iphone price in new york unlock
iphone photo album app code
download free iphone 4 apps
where can you buy iphone 4 without contract best place to download iphone 4 uk
o2 unlock iphone 4 form how to jailbreak blackberry bold buy iphone 4 pay as you go osceola
how to get iphone ringtones from itunes iphone 3gs 16gb sim card
iphone malaysia price
how to jailbreak iphone 3g 4.1 mac pwnage tool 4.2 cheap iphone packages contract
buy iphone uk without contract new iphone discovered
iphone 3g specs camera at t phone plans
buy iphone uk apple
unlock iphone 4.2.1 free iphone 4 accessories argos apple iphone 3g open
buy iphone 4 cheapest
buy iphone 3 uk iphone myspace unlock sim iphone unlocked for free usa
write iphone apps on pc iphone 3g cheats o2
at&t iphone 3g unlock code
best iphone photography apps 2010
free iphone jailbreak 4.0.2 bargain iphone deals o2 verizon wireless at&t ceo
where to buy unlock iphone 3g free itouch apps jailbroken artist iphone 3g cases
free iphone ringtones maker software download jailbreak 4.1 at&t
new iphone update problems
unlock iphone 2g macrumors at&t iphone on verizon internet
iphone 3g cases best
buy new iphone 4g droid vs iphone sprint 2011 iphone 3g horsepower wifi
iphone 3gs jailbreak 4.1
unlocked apple iphone tmobile
iphone 3g unlock 4.0.1 redsnow
apple iphone price in india in 2011 iphone 3g ebay buy ipod touch 8gb for sale
unlock iphone 3gs 4.1 free 3g iphone verizon wireless internet settings
iphone jailbreak version 4.0.2
iphone accessories review 2010 blackberry 5 price without contract iphone build compared
new iphone games december 2010 iphone price drop usa
iphone 2g unlock software download iphone web apps best buy best iphone 3g for sale
must have free iphone apps uk iphone cingular voicemail o2 pwnage tool
iphone image processing source code iphone hack version
new iphone release
iphone 2g jailbreak 3.1.3 redsnow largest iphone apps review
unlock iphone 3g for free download iphone leather free iphone apps december 2010
how to get free iphone apps jailbroken 3g iphone price in africa designer incase pouch
how to jailbreak iphone 3g 4.1 firmware
iphone 4.2 update problems itunes itouch 2011
iphone jailbreak 4.2 redsn0w sale iphone 3gs 8gb
what’s new iphone update 4.2.1 best iphone build canada
how to unlock iphone 3g free 4.0
apple iphone 4 apps free
how to unlock iphone 3g 4.2.1 for free order iphone 4 without contract us top 10 iphone 4 files
what is the new iphone software update blackberry storm specs clean iphone apps waiting
iphone ringtones mp3 download iphone manual uk 2010 apple iphone apps game
jailbreak iphone 3gs 4.0.2 mac new bootrom iphone apps install from mac compare iphone price build
cheap new iphone 3gs 16gb where to amazon iphone 3gs without contract
t mobile iphone 4 activation iphone family construction comparison