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He backed away, one arm around the young girl’s neck, the revolver in the hand of the other, sliding them both across the tiled floor. “You don’t know me, man! You don’t fucking know me!”
Kwalski lit a cigarette, back against the wall outside the bank. He flicked away the match and pulled his pistol from its holster. “Oh, I know you! You bet I know you!” he shouted back at the criminal. He’d seen them all before, a thousand like him, all the same, scum, and just like all the rest, he’d take him out.
“Fuck you, Kwalski! You don’t know what I’ve been through,” he let out a maniacal laugh, shook the sweat out of his thick hair and pulled his forearm in tight around the girl’s neck until she choked out a scream. “You think I want to be here? You think I want to be doing this?”
“I know you do, I know why you’re here, I know why you’re doing what you’re doing.” Kwalski raised his pistol in-front of his face and slowly turned into the open doorway.
“We’ve all got a choice.”
“Fucking stay there, Kwalski! Fucking don’t come any further or this one’s brains will be redecorating the inside of this bank.” He tapped the gun against the girl’s temple before pointing it straight at back Kwalski. “You think I have a choice? Fuck, man! You god damn cops!”
“Everyone’s got a choice. You chose to do the wrong thing, now you’ve got to be taken down.”
He laughed and shook his head. “Hear me out, Kwalski,” he stepped back until he reached a wall, eyes darting manically. “Look, my kid, she’s dying and I need the money,” he whimpered, the eyes focusing, tears starting to roll. “She’s got this disease, you think I’m the bad guy? Try the fucking hospital that refused to take her in because I couldn’t afford the insurance. Try my boss who fired me because I couldn’t work the hours between looking after my kid. Try my ex-wife who fucking bolted with some other chump and never looked back and didn’t want anything to do with our kid. Try — ”
“Try nothin’ scum bag! You know the rules, you know the law! You commit the crime, you pay the price! Now give up the girl and come with me!”
“You — ” He stuttered. “You don’t think any of that counts? Come on man! You don’t think that” — BANG. The girl leapt and screamed, running over to Kwalski, screaming and screaming, flinging her arms around him, burying her face into his shoulder.
Kwalski grabbed her and looked down at the man, the criminal, the scum. “We all got a choice, you made the wrong one.”