Rocco shouts, “Go!” and Fred’s off and running, full speed down the alleyway, the black and white police car peeling after him in a squeal of tires, stink of burnt rubber. He lets his momentum carry him into the wall and off again rather than try to fight against it, bricks hot with summer through the green cotton of his shirt. The car cracks a chunk of brickwork out of the wall with its front fender. There’s a dumpster at the end of the alley and he throws himself into it headfirst, just for a second, cheerfully useless metal between his stooped shoulders and two tons of semi-official death.
The siren cuts off abruptly. Fred sticks his head over the edge of the dumpster. “We get it? Rocco? We get it, huh?”
“Oh, yeah,” says Rocco, his voice squeakier than usual. “Great shot. It’ll look fantastic.”
“Heck,” says Derek, who’s gone back to look at the hole he left in the wall. “Heck. Heck. Rocco, look at this. They’re gonna throw us out of town again.”
Rocco squints up at the sun. There’s voices filtering down the alley from the street, angry, frightened voices. “Everybody in the car. Clear out now, scatter, meet back here later. We’ll patch things up tonight. I know a guy who can get us bricks, mortar, whatever we need.”
Fred starts to complain – “Rocco –” but sirens are wailing again, real ones this time, and they’re getting closer.