It was a Tuesday night, not much later than 11, and TopHat was the driver. The week before it was Cardinal's turn, the week after would be November's. It wasn't my turn again 'til the week after that. Schedule. That's what separates us from the animals, they say. Course, even though it was his turn, TopHat was never too crazy about being the driver.
Two hours before we leave, he voices his opinion.
"It's too much responsibility," he whines. "If the cops catch us, everyone will blame me for driving. I hate being the driver." We're still putting on our gear, the leather jackets. Bandanas. Masks.
"Shut up," November snaps. He's got his gear on, and he's sitting in the corner. His knees shake with excitement of the act to come. He has an erection.
"I'm just sayi-" TopHat starts before I cut him off. We're ready then, and all of us except TopHat pull our masks down as we get into the van.
Two hours of driving, and we're in the heart of the city. Up and down the streets we cruise, looking for a target. Anticipation gets the best of me. I get antsy. I see Cardinal's hands are shaking. His eyes show nothing behind the mask.
We are ready to turn around dissatisfied, when we see her. Street corner. Ninth and Woodland. Miniskirt. Fishnets.
There aren't any cars around when we pull up to her. TopHat rolls the window down a little, but that's just a distraction. Cardinal and I jump out, and we grab her. She struggles a little. They always do. November is there with a length of rope, and he binds her hands. We can't take any risks. We don't bother with a gag. No one will hear her outside the van.
Where we took her, the city was dark. Dying. Streetlamps did their best to fight the darkness, and they failed. After a half hour of driving, though, it's different. Lit. Her eyes widen, and she struggles against the rope. I smile behind my mask.
"There now," Cardinal says, his light accent poking through, "It'll only be bad for a minute. You'll see."
She screams, and we keep driving.
Brighter and brighter, the city gets, until the dark is gone and the streets are lit from all sides. And where the streets were deserted before, they aren't anymore. Up and down both sides of the street people walk in suits and dresses towards the source of the light. Hand in hand with their children, unafraid of the city, guided by the light of the building.
We pull over, open the doors, and Cardinal and I carry her out to the street. She looks around, confused, and we untie her hands. Cardinal gets back in the van, but I stay for a minute.
"Go with God," I mutter from behind the mask, before I too get in the van. And then we're gone, like we never existed; until next week, when November drives.
She's still confused and lost, bewildered at the sight of dress clothes in the middle of the night, a ritual that is unknown and unheard of to her.
She is still confused when an old woman takes her hand, and walks with her up to the church door.