The whine of the sirens were behind them, now, right behind. "Ramon!" yelled Genet. "I said step on it!"
The tattered carcass of the Terrible Triplets clattered on the road like cans tied to the back of a wedding car, as the stolen Ford Escort dragged them along the motorway. There were four or five policemen on their tail. Genet tasked himself with shooting at them, and Ramon with driving. He loaded his gun, and looked at his friend: who gave him a look of concern back. Genet checked the fuel metre - it was almost on empty.
"Just a little bit now," he shouted over the roar of the motor. "Then we'll jump out..."
He pointed the gun. A policeman loaded his, and Genet shot his head off. He shot the rushing tyres of two of the cars, forcing them to come to catastrophic halts. He shot through the window of the third.
His last bullet, and victim, remained.
He wanted to get this one right. He put his eye down the sight. Kill without remorse. It was kind of funny, after a bit, shooting people. Nobody had time for remorse or sadness when there was a Killer's Game on...
See down the sight...get him in line...pull the trigger back...
Suddenly, the ground ripped from underneath him. There was a ripping of metal and the nose around him got louder than before. There was a massive metallic burp, and for a second, Genet was flying, in the air, his bearing and target completely lost -
He was thrown down. The roof of the car dented until he was squashed, with his head and arm sticking out the window. He heard a shrieking sound in his ears, an awful shrieking sound, and saw, hazily, a great pile of cars. He clenched his eyes shut again as the police car flew inches from his face, its siren a frenzied, strangled howl.
Something flew out of the corner of his eye and exploded. Grenade.
Genet reached hurriedly for the door and opened it, falling out onto the heating tarmac. The car was upside down, its rear end the ribboned remains of the Three Triplets. Genet ran round to the other side. "Ramon, come on."
The giant was in his seat, slumped forwards, bleeding everywhere. Genet could see ripped muscle and bone.
"Ramon. Get up. We're going."
The fire was getting hotter. Genet looked up, and saw a character walk away from the scene.
He knew what state was in before he tried to get his friend out of the car. His head was destroyed, brains spilling out everywhere. Genet had seen this before, but it made him want to be sick. Violently sick.
Ramon's eyes were shut. His tongue lolled out. Genet felt for a pulse. There was none.
There had to be one! He was Ramon. He was indestructible. Genet frantically searched, on his wrist, on his neck. Suddenly he stopped, standing up slowly, watching the character disguised by the heat haze walk slowly away from the scene, his friend's wrist slipping out of his hot, sweaty hand.
Heat rose in his cheeks, but he felt cold. Very cold.
A tear rolled out of the corner of his eye, making a track in the dirt and blood on his face, and he flicked it away furiously. "Ramon, stop this act," he said hoarsely. "Just open your eyes. Open your eyes."
There was no hope for him, and Genet knew it. Another tear rolled down his cheek, but Genet let it fall, onto his jacket. In the thick, hot smoke from the burning cars, and the heavy, acrid smell of burning rubber, Genet cradled his head, broken like an eggshell, staring while the tears began to trickle out of his eyes, falling into his mouth and onto his chest, and onto Ramon. His breathing was quick and shallow. A hundred thoughts raced through him, but he registered none.
"Please!" he shouted. The fire crackled quietly. Not a single noise was made otherwise.
Genet was on his feet. "Fuck you!" he roared, his eyes glittering and screwing up, his sweaty fists clenched, his heart beating in voracious anger. "I will find you, you bastard!"
He collapsed back down. A ragged sob escaped his mouth. The threat was nothing, nothing in the face of what the man had done to Genet. He could kill everyone in the world, but Ramon was still dead.
Genet picked up the gun, raised it to his throat, and squeezed the trigger. It clicked emptily.
He threw it aside and covered his face in anger and shame. His throat blocked, he could not breathe. His entire frame shook two or three times as the fire flickered and died down around him, the smoke dispersed in the air, and the sky, growing light once again, brought with it the quiet songs of birds.