“Have you eaten breakfast yet?” asked Leo. They were nearing Machias, about five minutes away.
“No,” said Noah, and as he said it his stomach rumbled in response to the thought, and he realized he was ravenously hungry, “I haven’t. Why?”
“Are you on a pressing schedule to apply for this job?” Leo asked, ignoring Noah’s inquiry.
“No,” Noah had left early, hoping to be in and out, and skip around traffic.
“Ok,” Leo pointed out the window at a diner on the side of the road, “Let’s get something to eat,” he said, “my treat,” Noah almost said no, but his stomach triumphed.
“Fine,” he said in a resigned tone. He pulled the truck off the road and stopped in a small parking place in front of the diner. They got out of the car and gravel crunching underfoot they went into the diner.
The shooting started just as their coffee arrived. Noah was staring out the window so he saw the black van screech to a halt in front of the diner, side door sliding open to reveal multiple black barrels focusing on the restaurant.
He stared at them for a moment, not really understanding, not really taking in what was happening.
“Noah,” Leo said, “What are you staring at?” turning in his seat to follow his gaze and seeing the same thing Noah had a second before, “Fuck,” he whispered and grabbed Noah’s jacket, pulling him off the chair and down onto the diner floor, then rolling under a nearby table taking Noah with him.
A second later the diner exploded. Bullets shattered the front window and destroyed everything, from cups full of coffee to the counter to truckers sitting in the diner. Glass rained down onto the floor, tinkling like tiny bells. Blood soon joined it, splashing and dying the ground and the chips of glass red. The blood rolled over the tile and touched Noah’s foot. He had never been that squeamish but now felt waves of nausea course through him as a gentle trickle of blood soaked the tip of his right sneaker.
Bodies fell from the tables, mercifully none close enough to Noah to cause more nausea, but still shaking and disturbing nonetheless. Leo pulled a gun, a thick pistol from his pocket. Noah stared. He had seen guns before, many guns, and had shot a few at ranges. He had seen many, many movie scenes where people had been shot, but this was so different from both those worlds. Noah began to think, at any moment now he could die, any second he could be cut down by a bullet, gone forever and-
“Noah!” Leo hit Noah on the shoulder, hard, waking him out of his trance, “Are you ok?”
“What?” Noah said, a bit spacey. “Yeah, I’m fine,” as he said this he realized something, the bullets were no longer whizzing overhead, they had stopped. Suddenly there was a sharp click and something that looked very much like a small green pineapple tumbled from above into the diner. Noah realized what it was with a start and looked at it in confusion. It seemed unreal, he knew what it must be but there was no way… He didn’t have very much time to contemplate it, because as soon as it landed Leo shot his arm out so fast Noah hardly saw him move and in one fluid motion flipped it back out the shattered window.
The explosion rocked the diner, and the wall, which was already lacerated with bullet holes collapsed. The last thing Noah saw before something hit him very hard in the back of the head was Leo, jumping up to vault the counter, shooting at something behind Noah with a very angry, very determined look on his face. Noah wondered about that look in the two seconds it took him to black out, and then everything was gone.