Babylon's Run



The voice resounded in the phone’s speaker didn’t sound like her, it sounded like someone else, someone rougher and more sincere.

“Allys? You there?” The voice resounded through the phone lines. It sounded like the man he knew, yet she didn’t know if that was true. ”Allys, I think I’m in trouble.” The voice again, begging. ”I’m sorry, Allys, I didn’t mean for it to happen, it wasn’t supposed turn out like this…”

She couldn’t wait to hear the end of this.

“John? Is that you?” She interrupted, even though she already knew the answer. No one else whined like he did.

“I know we said we were done with the business,” He continued, as if she didn’t reply at all. “But this was just one last job, just one last one, just…”

“John, just slow down.”

“Just one last one, Allys.”

“What happened? John, slow down and answer me this. What happened?”

A dry pause, one so silent that you could hear him swallow on the other side of the line. “Well,” He started, before he paused again, that same swallowing sound on the speaker of the phone. “I finished the job and I was on my way to the drop point.”

“What job?” Allys asked, yet was just ignored again, as John continued.

“I got on the bus, and feeling pretty good, but then…” He stopped as he started choking, and sobs were heard along with the static of the phone. “Ah man, Allys, you said you were out and done, and Toni and Dante bailed out on me yesterday.” He continued through his sobs. “But I thought I could do it on my own and,” Pause as you could hear snot coming out of his nose. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, Allys. It wasn’t supposed to happen like this, I swear.” A loud clunk on the other side of the line, as if he banged the payphone with the phone receiver or something. “Fuck!” He screamed all of a sudden, as he bangs over and over again with the phone receiver. “Allys, the Yakuza are gonna kill me!”

“What?” Allys could hear her heart pump fast. “Wait! What did you say? The Yakuza?  You got involved with the Yakuza?!”

“I’m sorry,” The sobs came again. “I’m so, so sorry…”

Somewhere within the realm of the sitcom on TV, someone said something and someone laughed at the stupidity of it all.

“The Yakuza, Allys, they’re gonna kill me.” John was hyperventilating now, sounding pretty much freaked out. “They’re probably already on their way. They’re gonna find me and kill me!”

“John, where are you?”

“I’m gonna have to get out of here soon. I can’t stay long. They’re looking for me!”

“No, no, no, John. Don’t leave!” Allys screamed at him, even though she was sure her voice wasn’t carried through enough to his brain. “Don’t go anywhere, we’ll handle this! Just tell me where you are.” With a calmer voice, she asked “Where are you?”

Silence, nothing but the static swimming in the phone lines.

“I’m sorry, Allys.” The voice that came over was much quieter, much more calmer. “I’ve gotta go. I’ve gotta get out here.” A nervous chuckle, one that Allys imagined was accompanied by John’s usual non-caring shrug. “I’ll think of something. Maybe I can fix it all somehow.”

“No, no, John. Don’t you hang up on me!” Now she was the one getting frantic. “Where are you, John? Where are you?”

“Sorry, Allys.” Was his simple reply.

“John, don’t go anywhere!” She screamed, somehow the fear reflecting in her voice. “Where are you? Don’t go anywhere, John!”

And there it was, the buzz of disconnection, the tone that perpetrated it all.

“Do you hear me?” She screamed at the phone. “Stay where you are! Don’t do anything stupid!”

The tone, nothing but the tone listening to her tears, the ones that poured out somehow, without her being aware of it.

“John? John?” She spoke in a lower voice, one almost down to a little whine. “Hello? John?”

No answer, no nothing.

And with a hard slam, she hung the phone up, sobbing, her shoulders shaking. “Damn it!” She screamed, over and over again. “Damn it, damn it, damn it!”

And this was how our story began.




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