The key slid into the lock.
With jagged teeth complimenting pins, turning obstructions into openings.
He’d made it.
Stale air, humid smells, gnats in the kitchen.
He’s yawning in the living room, throwing his clothes into the corner with no time, no time at all, none to waste, none to lose.
Thunderstorms and more closing in. But, there’s no more, no distractions, no time.
Gotta move, gotta focus.

The handcuff marks around his wrists are itching.

He ignores the late notice on his "Welcome" mat.
He grabs a backpack and empties what he needs from the dresser: ready to eat meals, ramen, the necessities.
The setup on his work desk is too impractical to travel. He’ll leave that for last.

Broadcasting on one of his monitors is police dispatch:
"Suspect escaped. White male, 5'10", dark hair. Last seen on Oak and Spruce".

Looks like Frank lost them back at the train station.
Gives him some extra breathing time.

He sees a rat eating the sandwich he left on the TV table.
"Fucking rats -- you let one live and they’ll ruin everything."

He takes a hammer and slams the rodent’s head with a crunching sound like crackers in a napkin.

He sits down and looks over his monitors and closes some accounts and transfers some Bitcoin into a proxy he had reserved in case of emergencies.

Frank had been pinched earlier downtown by Oak trying to trade some vials of melanin for a few film reels of sketchy interactions between certain persons of influence and faces of media during one of those "fundraising parties at Bilderberg".

The client was superstitious and paranoid so, they met in person with analog material in hand.
Sounded just fine to Franco. Physical contraband had more value in its fragility. No fuss, no counterfeit, no malware, no bugs, no viruses.
Frank’s work was commerce and customer service. Illicit materials bought, traded, sold like baseball cards.
When he wasn’t some deep web "Crazy Eddie", he’d mine Bitcoin from a warehouse under a phony name.

The client delivered and as soon as he could touch the envelope, Frank was surrounded by ten guns and nine badges.

Should’ve never left the ’Ville. Spooks were probably on the hunt for the film or maybe his hustle; but they couldn’t raid the ’Ville.
Regardless of that, the common denominator was this rat-faced fuck who set him up.

So the screws roughed him up and Frank called them every which thing but Lucy: "Motherfuckers, Pig Cunts, Shit Micks, Freckled-Kiks, Spic-Fuck-Dog-Faced-Niggers", the whole lexicon of insults he could sweat between his teeth.

They tossed him into the paddy wagon, cuffed from behind and slammed the door. And he slid around into both sides of the van with every wild and on-purpose turn on the highway.

Fortunately, Frank kept a handcuff key tucked up in his gums and got loose.
Then he slipped out whatever needed hidden in his sneaker soles and popped the backdoor open, jumping from a vehicle going 65mph and making a break for it.

Frank woke up the girl who was still passed out on his bed.
"Get your shit in bag and split", he said. Pushing her out the door and tossing her things into the stairwell.

She calls him a, "piece of shit, dickless, computer nerd who can’t fuck anyways".

Frank gets his go-bag and waits for the bitch to leave the premises. Hoping - no one paid attention to some cracked out whore in the building.

Nothing. Good.

Frank showers after destroying all his files, CDs, hardware, and burning everything analog and paperwork in the apartment. Cold shower calmed him.
He sits on the sofa with his bag on his lap and listens to the rain.
"Don’t rest, gotta go. Stay on point. Focused. Get on your feet. Maybe a few seconds. Clock’s ticking, running out. No more sand, wind and rain. Stay focused. Breathe. No time."
Franky nods out.

When he opens his eyes an hour has past. Still alive. Still free. A little relaxed, rested.
He slings the strap of his bag over his shoulders and…

Frank staggers to his feet. Stays quiet. He’ll fake ’em out.
They’ll take the bait and move on.
The adrenaline roaring through his body and ringing in his ears.
He’s hoping they’ll see the fake name on the entrance and think twice then move on.
He stays quiet but they keep knocking.
Then he hears another voice, "Frank! Frank open up the door!"
"Yea, he’s still in there. Frank Welling, that piece of shit."

Frank shakes his head.
It’s the fucking whore he short changed an hour earlier.
She somehow found the cops; heard the broadcast.
Either way, she brought the pigs to his fucking door.
"Fucking rats -- you let one go and they’ll ruin your life."

Song name Too Late to Live Long
Artist SamHaiNe
Original text by Sam Haine