RUN, JANE, RUN
by Aimee L. DuPré
©October 7, 1994
Jane's intuition told her something sinister lurked in the alley ahead.
She walked along the dusky city sidewalk, and the cold wind bitterly blew under her lightweight coat. It was only the end of October, but it had started to snow, lightly at first, then heavier. Each evening, she passed this dead end alley on her walk home from work. Although this wasn't a swanky section, she normally wasn't afraid, for a streetlight was in front of the alley and there was usually traffic on the street. But on this night,
It was late, and due to the snow, there was no traffic.
The streetlight dimly cast a thin shroud in the thick, snowy dark. She hesitated just before she got to the curb.
"It's just a stray cat or dog trying to get out of this terrible
cold," she reassured herself. "Besides,
I can see my apartment door from here. I'm
She felt better. Those
were logical conclusions. So she
stepped past the building and reached the middle of the alley.
Suddenly, a man's arm slid around her neck and a hand smashed hard over
her mouth. He dragged her back into the alley's darkness.
Jane turned and had just started to scream when she recognized the
handsome man holding her.
"Bob!" she said.
"I thought you left town. Why
are you back? Aren't the cops still
looking for you?" She was
visibly shaking, not from the cold.
"Yea, but I had to come back -- to see you, Jane," he
said and smiled wickedly.
"Why? The job's done; you should be gone." Jane's voice
quivered. She obviously tried to
hide something from him about the robbery they had committed.
"Oh, no, Jane. I came
back to tell you how I got all the way to L.A. before I realized you double
crossed me. You replaced my share with newspapers, didn't you?"
Jane struggled out of his grip and ran.
She was near the alley's end before she remembered it dead-ended.
She slid to keep from running headlong into the rear wall and fell hard
to the ground.
Bob rushed over and viciously grabbed her arm.
"Be careful! I don't want you hurt -- yet," he said as he roughly
pulled her up.
Jane gulped and whispered, "Are you going to kill me?"
"Would I do that?" Bob
asked with a smile. He roughly
jerked her arm and abruptly stopped smiling.
"Where's the money, Jane?" he asked, as he tightened his grip.
"That hurts!" she yelled.
"I'll tell you. In my
apartment. I'll get it for you."
"Tell me exactly where it is. I'll
"In my closet in the blue suitcase.
Will you leave my share?" she asked fearfully.
"But, Jane," he said with a smile.
"You won't need it where you're going."
"Bob! No! Don't kill
me!" she pleaded.
He freed her and took a large knife out of his right coat pocket.
His malicious smile transformed his handsome face into something evil.
"Run, Jane! Run! I'll give
you a chance!"
Jane ran to the entrance of the alley, but Bob threw the knife.
The blade silently buried itself in her back.
He stepped over her on his way to her apartment.
"Goodbye, Jane. Have
fun," he said over his shoulder, and he laughed wickedly.
Bob took out a strip of metal and silently broke open the lock on the
door to Jane's efficiency. He felt
for the light switch, and the sudden brightness of the bare ceiling bulb
momentarily blinded him. He saw the
closet door to his left. He crept
by the bed and gently turned the knob. The
door didn't budge. He yanked harder
and realized it was swollen shut at the bottom.
With a surge of power, he jerked the door.
It flew open quite easily, and threw him back into the bed frame. The iron headboard clanged into the thin wall, and Bob heard
a crash and the breaking of glass in the next apartment.
"Damn!" Bob said softly. "Must
have knocked down a mirror."
Before he got back on his feet, he heard a voice in the next apartment.
"Something's wrong in Jane's apartment," a man said.
"I'll go see."
Bob jumped to his feet, grabbed the suitcase from the closet, and rushed
to the window. He heard footsteps in the hall and then a knock on the door.
"Jane?" said the man's gruff voice.
"Jane?" he called louder.
Bob hurriedly raised the bottom pane of the window and threw the suitcase
onto the soft snow. Just as he
began to crawl out, the door crashed open behind him.
Bob glanced around and saw the neighbor -- a man wearing a policeman's
uniform -- and he had a gun.
Bob dove out of the window. The
cop shouted, "Halt!" and fired a warning shot just as Bob leaped, but
he made it. He snatched the suitcase and was away before the cop reached
the window. Another shot missed
Bob, who ran into the safety of a dark alley.
He tripped over something at the entrance, and he and the suitcase
sprawled in the wet snow. He had
fallen over Jane's dead body. The
knife protruded from her back, and there were red bloodstains on her coat and in
the snow beneath.
"God, no!" Bob cried aloud.
"The dead end alley!"
He crawled back to the entrance and saw the cop run out of the building.
He had undoubtedly radioed for backup, and Bob was now as trapped as Jane
As Bob pulled a gun from his coat pocket, he noticed blood on his sleeve.
He examined the ragged hole and realized the first bullet fired had hit
him. Brilliant red arterial blood
spurted on the white snow. Bob
carefully looked out the alley entrance and saw the blood trail that led
directly to his hiding place.
He heard the distant whine of sirens, and he fired in the cop's
direction. Bob crawled over to the
suitcase and opened it. Inside were
Again, Jane had tricked him. He
laughed insanely as he thought how even in death she had outsmarted him.
Abruptly, he quieted as he realized the sirens stopped just outside the
alley. He turned around and saw
several police cars with red and blue lights flashing.
The policeman called to him through a bullhorn, but Bob was too mortified
to understand what he said. Then he
noticed a typed note on top of the cutup newspapers.
Bob's vision blurred and his head
reeled. With trembling hands, he
read the slip of paper.
If you're reading this, you're probably trapped by the cops.
You see, I arranged the whole thing.
I substituted newspapers for your share, knowing you'd come after the
cash -- and me.
My closet door was rigged and opened only after a hard pull.
I knew what you'd do. You'll
never get the money.
It wasn't money I was after -- it was revenge.
You never knew how much I loved you.
I'm sorry it has to end this way. I'm
probably dead now, and you'll be dead or in prison for the rest of your life.
I don't think it was too harsh a punishment.
After all, you did break my heart.
Bob saw a cop throw tear gas, and he coughed and gagged for breath as he
struggled for consciousness; he stumbled out of the alley still grasping the
note. A cop told him to halt, and
Bob quickly raised his right hand. The
cop fired at Bob's chest. The
bullet's impact spun him around, and he fell, his face buried in the cold snow.
He was dead before he hit the ground.
The policeman who shot him walked over to his body.
He looked down at Bob's gun hand and saw only a wadded piece of paper.
"I thought he had a weapon when I fired," he told his companion
softly. He snatched the paper out
of his clenched fist. "It's
blank," he observed. "Nothing
on either side."
Meanwhile, the other policeman found Jane's body and the suitcase.
"Must have killed her for this," he said, as he pointed to the
suitcase full of hundred dollar bills. "This
won't be difficult to clear up. These
must be the two who robbed the bank last week."
The cop who shot Bob, Jane's neighbor, studied the two bodies quietly.
"They took a helluva chance. I'm
shocked that Jane was involved in something like this.”
“It is a lot of money!" the
other man commented.
Jane's neighbor retrieved the gun from the snow and took one last look at the small fortune in the suitcase. Looking at Bob's body, he dryly commented, "But, you won't need it where you're going."
This page was updated Tuesday, April 11, 2006 03:34 PM