Modern Mexican Stand-off

A short story.

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Red hands on four corners stop you in your tracks. The crowd huddles together, quietly waiting, intentionally oblivious to their neighbours. You are on their team, whether you like it or not.

You stand still, adrenaline coursing, foot poised at the ready. Dozens of eyes are trained just above your head. You feel their tension as they stare, monotonous expressions not to be underestimated.

Strings are plucked, a musical haunting. You chuckle and wonder where the flamenco music is coming from. Locking eyes with the man directly across from you, your gaze is only interrupted by the blur of traffic. His mouth twitches and he shifts his weight, stirring strength into his long legs. He holsters his device, ready to bolt.

Suddenly, the white man appears and the migration begins. Your herd surges onward, with you at its head. In a cloud of dust, the enemy tramples the curb purposefully, gaining speed as they gallop towards you.

You keep your eyes trained on the gangly man, his long legs picking up pace. Seconds tick by and you are face to face. His eyes widen and you know you’ve got him cornered. He falters and sidesteps to the right. You are a perfect mirror, forcing him to reckon with you. He stops and looks confused, lowers his eyes and mutters something softly, indistinguishable to your cocked ears.

In perfect time, the dance continues, your opponent sashaying rightward as you move in kind. His eyes come up, softer and vulnerable this time. “Sssorry”, he concedes, ducking around you and rushing meekly past.

You charge ahead and don’t look back. “One chicken down,” you think to yourself with a smirk, the next intersection already in your sights.

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I write about small moments in time inspired by lived experiences.

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