Prompt for June 9: Don’t Look Back


[Prompt from .]

As I approached the door to the back alley entrance, I smelled the faint acrid wafting of tobacco. Sure enough, a glance downward revealed a half-smothered cigarette near the edge of the dumpster. I sighed. Dumb kid.

There was a gasp of breath before he lunged himself at me from behind the dumpster. With ease, my hands found his collar, clasped together behind his neck, and pulled his scrawny body to my left side. I then pulled him his chest into my raised knee. Then again. After the third knee, I released my clench hold and waited. With my hands shoved into my pockets.

Jimmy was bent over, breathing heavily. He coughed a few times, then spit about a tablespoon of blood out of his mouth, the deep red looking like black tar in the low light of the alley.

“H—how?” he rasped.

“How I knew you were there?”

He nodded, his breath still coming in rasps.

“For starters, you should stop smoking if you want to be in this line of work. Cigarettes are easy to spot if you’re looking for them, not to mention the smoke remains on your clothes for quite some time. Also, you were far too eager to attack me and gave yourself away.”

When Jimmy finally stood up, I could see that his jaw, still barely growing stubble, was set and his eyes shown from the moisture there.

“I tell you this as your mentor. If you want to continue on this path, you have to leave behind your old habits and your need for praise. Listen to what I have to tell you, do everything I say, and, if you stay alive, you’ll be a weapon no man can beat.”


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