.The Midnight People..

.1.

Parker shuffled down the alley, his gun held in an intense two-handed grip knuckles white around the contoured grip of the semi-automatic.

He tried to be quiet as he moved but was failing miserably; seeming to be able to find every discarded can and bottle in the ever decreasing space.

He had been the closest when the call had come in and it had been blind luck that he had seen the man as he ran across the street, the dying scream of an alarm trailing him.

The call had been a burglary gone wrong, there had been shots, one or more people down.

The criminal that he had been chasing had run down here and probably wasn't even aware that it was a dead end.

He flattened himself against the rough brick of the wall and dropped down a foot. He peered quickly around the corner taking in the end of the alley in a practised glance.

A flash of light lit up the darkness accompanied by the sound like fabric tearing and he felt rather than saw the bullets as they tore chunks of the wall away just inches above his head. Brick dust rained down on him and he closed his eyes as it fell on his face.

He flicked the safety off his own gun and held it around the corner firing three quick shots down the direction the shot had come from. He heard two of the three strike something metallic, probably a dumpster, and the third thud into something more...giving.

Parker heard a grunt of pain and then the sound of a body falling to the ground.

Was that it? was it that easy?

He took a deep breath and rounded the wall gun held out in front of him scanning every bit of dark around and ahead of him.

Twenty yards ahead of him he saw what appeared to be a pile of rags on the floor, a thin arm was flung out from the side fingers still loosely clutching a smoking mac-10. He kicked the gun away from the body and slowly bent towards it.

He was reaching for a pulse when he noticed the wound.

The bullet had hit just above the heart; the entrance small and leaking just a little blood, the exit wound large and ragged, the flesh pushed out in a huge explosion of gore streaked tissue and bone .

'Control, this is officer Parker, over?'

The radio hissed in his hands for a second before springing to life shattering the silence of the alley.

'Receiving, situation, over?'

He didn't hear the shuffle as the body moved and then slowly stood up behind him.

'Control, suspect down Shearer and fifth, need an ambulance...tell them there's no hurry...out.'

Parker returned the unit to his shoulder and clipped it back into place. He returned the pistol to his hip and let out a deep sigh.

Then he heard it; the soft intake of breath behind him. He spun on his heel his eyes widening in disbelief in the darkness.

The white face of the dead man, the man that he had just shot and killed smiled back at him with faintly luminous eyes. He smiled and then spoke.

'Ouch...that hurt.'

Officer Nathan Parker took a huge breath to scream but it went unheard as the dead man fastened his jaws around his throat and tore into his jugular painting everything an arterial red.

Both men slumped to the ground in an untidy heap of flailing limbs.