The engine in the Ford sputtered to a slow and painful death as it sounded like it was drowning in its own fluids.

“What is it?!” Ray yelled out from the back seat frantically.

“I think they must have hit the engine block on our way out of dodge.” Vinny said calmly from the driver’s seat.

Tony was sitting in the passenger seat with his head hanging out the window. He pulled his head back into the car and looked around.

“So, this is it?” Tony asked with a bit of remorse in his voice. He slouched his shoulders.

Vinny pulled the car over and pulled the parking brake tight. He looked around at the others.

“Looks like it, boys.” He answered while nodding ever so slightly.

“We’re just gonna surrender? Just like that?!” Ray asked angrily from the back seat.

Vinny raised a finger and glared at Ray.

“I didn’t say anything about surrendering. And, don’t you ever accuse me of being a quitter. That ain’t in my blood. If there’s anything that my family has ever taught me, it’s that we are not quitters. We will never surrender. And, we will never go down without a fight. Now, hand me my gun.” Vinny stated with an outstretched hand towards Ray.

Ray reached down at the floor and grabbed a fully-loaded tommy gun from the case that sat beside his feet. He cocked the gun hard making sure it was primed for a battle and handed it up to the front seat.

“Look. They already took out the rest of us. That’s 6 of our brothers in 2 separate cars. And, they got mowed down without even the slightest bit of hesitation from the coppers. I doubt their gonna go any easier on us.” Vinny said while clutching the gun and popping the door handle.

“Okay so, how many you figure are coming after us?” Ray said as he prepared his own machine gun.

Vinny stepped out of the vehicle and smiled while placing his trusty black fedora on top of his head.

“Considering that we just robbed a federal bank and made off with a pretty large chunk of change…” He squinted. “I figure we got a whole army barreling down our asses.” He looked back towards Tony and winked “What do you think?”

Tony climbed out of the passenger seat and looked down the road from where they came. A trail of smoke grew in the distance as a barrage of cars raced to their position. “I think this gon’ be one helluva final stand.”

Vinny chuckled and nodded while looking at his brothers. He paused for a moment and reflected on everything they’d been through. Growing up in the streets during the depression. Scrounging about just to survive. Making their way into the mob and up a few notches in the chain of command. And finally, they were here. Robbing banks and making the nightly news reports on radios all across the nation.

“Alright, boys. Get into positions. I want a wall of lead pouring down on them once they pull up. I highly doubt they’re gonna give us a chance to make amends.” Vinny told his men.

All three of them in their black suits, formed a line across the street. They slowly marched away from the getaway car with their guns at the ready. They watched as the dust cloud grew closer and the sounds of roaring engines started to echo off the street around them. Ray looked at the shops all around. People were inside each and every one of them. He raised his rifle and fired a few shots straight into the air. The civilians, all startled by the loud gunfire that interrupted their otherwise peaceful afternoon, screamed and ran away from the street.

Tony looked over at the others and questioned their stand “Should we…uh… get into defensive positions or something? Like… not stand out in the open like this?”

Vinny glanced over his shoulder and shrugged “You can if you want to. I think it’s just gonna delay the inevitable.”

“Well if you ain’t leaving” Tony replied “I sure as hell ain’t. I hadn’t for the last 15 years. What makes you think I’d leave now?” he smiled.

“You see that right there” Vinny started up again “That right there is loyalty. And that’s something these coppers ain’t have. Remember that when they show up here. Don’t hesitated for a second to pump ’em full of lead, you hear?”

The dust cloud was now within a mile of the town. Vinny checked his rifle one more. A round was in the chamber and he was ready to open fire on the feds that were rolling into town. He felt his heart racing and sweat start to trickle down his brow. Partially because of his nerves and partially because of the hot sun beating down on his thick wool suit. The heat was stifling. He looked side to side and smiled at his best friends for one last time. But to him, they weren’t just his friends. After everything they’d been through, they were brothers. And, he was ready to die beside them. He pulled the rifle up to his shoulder and got into a firing position as he continued to slowly stride forward down the street, walking towards the cop cars that were flooring it towards the trio.

Finally, the sirens were now blaring loudly. Some of the feds pulled their torsos through the car windows and were hanging outside with guns pointed at the trio. They readied their rifles but didn’t open fire until they knew they were close enough to get more accurate shots. Their orders were simple. These thugs were no longer wanted alive. The new policy was shoot-to-kill.

Vinny waited just a few more moments to make sure that he could make every bullet count. He smiled devilishly right before pulling the trigger.

“I’ll see you two on the other side!”

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