Dzinski exhaled, put the car in gear and drove back to his mother’s house. The brunette appeared briefly in the kitchen window when she heard his tires crunch the gravel in the driveway. He left the car, grabbed his suitcase and walked across the grass to the backdoor. He stopped to lean against a tree.
He felt about as brittle as the last brown leaves still clinging to the branches.
Dzinski kept on into the house.
“Used to climb that tree,” he said, when he noticed the brunette staring at him. He set the suitcase down, sat at the table and slid a pack of cigarettes towards her.
“You change brands, or something?” the brunette said, pulling a cigarette loose.
“I ran into some old friends,” he said.
Questions gleamed in her eyes and her tongue went to the corner of her mouth.
“What happened, Frank? Are you hurt?” she said. “Are they?”
Dzinski walked over to the china cabinet, he leaned down and yanked at a door. It was stuck but gave way eventually. He hand reached into the dusty darkness, past chipped plates and ceramic ashtrays and envelopes of pictures meant to be set in albums and came out with a half-filled bottle of scotch.
The brunette hurried and brought back two glasses. He poured. They sat across the table and smoked and sipped their drinks. Dzinski told her about the men in the apartment. About their guns and their intentions and how he has smashed both. The brunette leaned forward on her elbows listening; her low cut blouse hanging loose, her dark eyes enraptured.
Dzinski finished his drink.
“We should get down to the train station,” he said, crushing out his cigarette. “Send you home.”
The brunette slunk back in her chair. Crossed her arms. He was about to say something else, suggest something, something he couldn’t believe he was about to say when there was a loud knock at the front door. Dzinski bit the inside of his cheek.
The familiar, acrid taste of blood filled his mouth.