He should have known better.

It had been careless, following McGill into the blind alley off 52nd Street without having another set of eyes with him. But Vito Altasinno didn’t credit his quarry with an abundance of cunning. He didn’t expect the ambush.

He had just turned around the corner, bringing the pistol up to fire at the back of McGill’s head when someone slammed his wrist and sent the gun whirling through the air. A gunshot cracked through the night, quite audible despite the honking of horns and the passage of traffic on the street. Glass shattered as the bullet wrecked a window on the upper floor of the apartment building on the left.

Someone shouted down: “People LIVE here! Watch it!”

People die here too, Vito thought, just before McGill’s backup drove a fist into the Mafioso’s jaw.Might be my night. Mama might lose her last son.

He staggered sideways, banging against the brick wall, and then spun to grapple his attacker as the man tried to tackle him. Vito managed a couple of solid blows to the abdomen before throwing an elbow up into the McGill man’s chin.

Unfortunately, that just bought McGill time to get the drop on Vito. He had snatched up the dropped pistol and now aimed it at Vito’s head while his bodyguard brushed himself off and waited for orders like a good dog.

McGill shook his head at his minion. “Vito ain’t goin’ anywhere.” A wry smile. “Except maybe hell. Gonna miss you, boyo.” He squeezed his finger on the trigger.

Vito heard the gun crack a second time. He could have sworn he saw the flash of light in the corner of his left eye. He thought he smelled burning gunpowder. But he never felt the impact of the bullet. Instead, he felt a head-to-toe tingling as the world went swimmy with blue light.

By Brody

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