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I Am Santo

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It was a reflex. Simon slammed the long barrel of the silencer down as if the gun were a club. It landed on the head of the unsuspecting man with a dull thud, sounding the way a first cut of watermelon does. His would-be assassin yelped, a dog with his tail shut in a door, and he rolled onto his side out cold in the car’s backseat, one arm dangling like Simon’s hopes to get out of this without prison time or, perhaps more likely, death. Whatever it was under the driver’s seat remained hidden, but Simon’s rapidly arisen fear of that unknown wasn’t the trigger to add more blunt-force trauma to the man’s head. No, it was the familiar high-pitched breath of a school bus’s breaks and pneumatic door that spurred him into action. Simon looked up, over the hood of the scarred midnight car by which he stood, its door open and the legs of his now-silenced attacker sticking out. Right as he did, he saw the scrawny, thirteen year-old awkwardness of Ellie, his kid’s afterschool sitter, exit the yellow bus pulled up to the mouth of the parking lot about a hundred yards away. Behind her stepped little Kailey, long blonde hair like her mom’s spilling around her small shoulders and Alec with his brown, shaggy mop that seemed right out of the 1970’s. Bookbags slung on their backs, the three stepped off the bus without speaking to each other or to the several other children also disembarking. They looked tiny and tired, unenthused to be home in this wretched place, and the reasons for Simon’s descent into the day’s madness sharpened as if placed under a magnifying glass. They deserved better. He and his children all deserved better than this life of caustic, belittling routine drowning them ever further into hopeless toil. It was why he was caught in the cycle, a drain’s swirling pull, and why he desperately had to find a way to swim to safety. These powers-that-be had either given him a chance at new life or ended this one, but he was still fighting. And no amount of shocking coincidence or terrifying surprise would stop him from swimming against the tide set in motion by others’ greed and deceit. He would protect his kids. He would set this right. (To be continued…)Moonlight 2016 movie trailer

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