A very short story, possibly the beginning of a series of vignettes.

I feel like there are a dozen worlds, all closing in on mine, all at the same time.  Now I don't mean that this world is mine, like I own it, I just mean the one I'm currently occupying.  I even think this is the one I was born in, though it does look a lot different these days than I remember.  When I was born this world was warmer, and the colors were softer.  Browns and yellows and oranges, sometimes swirling patterns.  Soothing wood paneling, and thick rugs.  The world is now colder, harshly angled glass and metal, cracked cement, and spiky digital waves that pierce my ear drums.

I think there was screaming in this world when I was born.  It could have been me screaming though.  Babies scream don't they?

Not the same screaming like Chelsea is right now.  She yelling her damn head off at me.  It's a pretty head, her hair a mess of bleached blonde, and blue-black dye, frazzled around her chubby cheeks.  She's thinking of having her hair done in dreads, and if she does I think it'll look fantastic.

And not just her, there's three other people yelling at me too.  One is an old man, he looks like he might be homeless, his brown corduroys are too short and filled with holes, and his stained puffy vest is about two decades out of style.  They have me backed up in the corner created by the coffee shop on the ground floor of some office building, and the jersey barriers securing a parking garage, keeping the crappy cars of people like me from parking next to fine upstanding business folks.

Another of the people screaming at me is a woman, she might be in her fifties, but knowing how the city can age a person, she also might be in her early forties.  She's got one of those ugly stringy old lady necks, and her make up is caked on dramatically, to hide her age, addictions, or fatigue, I don't know.

My back strikes the jersey barrier behind me, and I sink to a crouch.  Why won't they stop yelling?  My hands are full, but I want to run my fingers through my hair so badly, and tug on it, and cover my ears.

The coffee shop isn't one of those nice ones, with World-Jazz-Fusion from Morocco or something playing lightly, while you dally over whether to get soy milk, or go nuts and get the full mocha experience.  It's one of those greasy spoon deals, when the coffee comes in regular and decaf.  The sugar's clumped rock hard in the glass containers, and the little lid thing is crusted shut, granite hard.  I think the woman screaming at me works there.

Some of the people who go to the trendy Moroccan World-Jazz-Fusion-Folk-Americana, sorry I got carried away.  Some of those people are standing several meters away, where the drive up to the parking garage (and the dumpy coffee shop, if you know it's there) meets the street.  Their coffee shop is on the corner.  They're not coming down the street though, they just stand there dumb, blinking blue lights hanging out of their ears, and double-mocha-soy-extra foam-latte-chinos clutched in one hand, and briefcases... er I guess laptop bags now, clutched in the other.  They would never venture down the alley where Chelsea, and the homeless guy, and the waitress area all yelling, no, screaming at a confused guy with a gun.

I have a gun?

I guess I do, it's black, and cold, and slippery in my sweaty palms.  The damn thing is preventing me from covering my ears to stop their screaming from hurting my head.  I stand up, pleading with my eyes for them to stop the screaming, 'cause for some reason the words coming out of my mouth stopped making sense minutes ago, I can only look, and beg, and rub the grip of the gun against my pounding forehead.

I don't have to worry about it for long though.  The other person screaming at me, remember I said there were three besides Chelsea?  I remember that, just checking if you're still with me.  Ha!  Well that guy tackles me from behind.  He's an attendant at the parking garage I was backed up against.  He's a black man, and I hate to point that out, but he is, and he's quick as hell too.

The cement of the alley comes up on me quickly, and the gun goes flying.  And for one blessed moment everyone finally stops screaming.

The End

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