D hit the black-and-white and sped out to the street. There was no discernable expression on her face.
Buildings and businesses passed her. Cafes and banks and video rental stores and an art house movie theater. D parked at the theater and snuck inside.
A restored film print of Vivre sa vie already rolling. D found an empty row and sat.
The film had already started. Anna Karina as Nana watching Renée Falconetti as Joan in Dreyer’s silent movie La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc.
Nana wept. D blinked hot tears and slouched and kept slouching—-getting shorter like a lit fuse.
We DOLLY around a phone booth as Styx talks inside.
“Hey. It’s me. It’ll be done soon. Don’t worry about me anymore. Amérique. Goodbye.”
Styx hit the phone into the receiver. He stepped out the booth. He used the crowbar like a cane.
Someone passed him to the booth. They saw Styx. They backed up. They saw the blood and yelped and ran away.
Styx touched his side gingerly. It made him stop in his tracks.
He stood there for a moment. But not for a moment longer. He walked slowly back to his taxi and got back inside. The engine started.
The shadows were longer when D stepped out of the theater. She slow-walked back to the black-and-white.
D sat inside and listened to the ringing in her ears that was still there but not as much as before.
She turned on the police radio. It buzzed. She played with the dial. Different reports coming in. She tested the extent of her hearing.
She caught several words. None of them worth reporting here.
She sat there. She took out the box again. She hugged it like any other little girl would hug a teddy bear.
An older couple leaving the theater passed. They saw her. She saw them.
D hit the horn for a very long time and then for a time longer. The couple startled away.
Then D laughed and kept her arm on the horn and then started yelling along with it. Then D wept. Then D pulled her arm back and felt something fall out of a pocket in her jacket.
She reached down by the pedal and picked up Santino’s planner.
Page flip—-page flip—-page flip—-page flip. Wet eyes landing on a point. D clocked the time.
She wiped her eyes. She lit up even more.
She reached for a button and the siren began to blare. She peeled out and was on the road as fast as this sentence stops.
The engine died. The door slammed shut. Styx leaned against the taxicab.
Parked in the heart of America. The supermarket in front of him.
He stood there and sized up the building. He scratched at his beard. He felt the weight of the gun in his pocket and the crowbar in his hand.
The sun was fully up. A very long beat of him dwarfed by the building’s shadow. We hold on this frame, a hint of neon just barely tracing his outline.
Then Styx hobble-walked inside.
He passed the automatic doors, now under a high ceiling and harsh fluorescents. The sounds of everyday consumer monotony. Carts and footsteps and squeaking wheels and chatter and moving products and the entire movement of everything. The violence was deafening.
Styx labored ahead.
Eyes watched him. They kept their distance but they were there like vultures.
Styx stepped and was stopped. An older employee with grey in her hair and bags under her eyes that looked past him when she approached with caution.
She said, “Excuse me sir? There anything I,” and Styx moved right past her.
The employee called out again and Styx continued. More eyes on him now. More employees coming out from the aisles. More suits.
Styx kept on walking. They followed.
Girls’ apparel, cleaning products, produce and frozen items. The group of them grew, tailing Styx.
He was closing in on an opening in the meat section—-an employees only area.
Styx cut off. Beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. All faceless and nameless and atomized by the suit and tie.
Styx saw all of this and smiled wide.
Then Styx reached for his gun and everyone scrambled like eggs.
The Doppler effect on everyone that heard D speeding by. Passing so many lights—-like reading the same word over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.
The scene came to her. She squeaked the tires to a stop and cut the siren and engine and slid out.
Across the street—-the facade of a ritzy Italian restaurant. D could see through the window and see the place busy with people inside.
She held the box in her hands. She opened it. She activated the device and wrapped the band and pin around her neck like a choker.
The moon was fully up. The bomb blinking in the dark now. She set it back into her pocket.
The little girl then skipped toward the restaurant.
One of the suits drew quick and fired first. Styx ran for cover.
He ran through the bread aisle. Customers in a panic now.
Suits coming in from the other end. He reached for his gun. He fired. He blew a hole through the suits and moved through.
Another aisle. Another. A maze of production and commodity and violence.
Customers running while pushing their carts. Cashiers at the registers running for their lives. Managers running after them with orders to return to their stations.
Styx whizzed by and a suit tried to follow with a bullet. It instead exploded the head of a customer who was springing for the latest model of a widescreen television. Their child crawled up into a ball and cried.
The masses were shrieking. Everyone fired up hotter than the inferno written about by Dante. The supermarket had removed its mask and became a madhouse. Styx was laughing at how funny he didn’t find any of it.
Another aisle, another suit. Seemingly endless, like attempting to imagine the end of capitalism.
Styx noted an emergency exit. It opened and more suits came through. He rerouted.
Back to the meat section. Styx shot at a suit who popped out and tried to trip him and his hair caught fire and smelled of bacon. The rest of the suits too scattered to stop him now.
He kicked wide doors wide open—-into the employees only area. Before they closed, a suit caught sight of him and fired and tore a hole through his right arm.