A Night in Los Santos (Short Story)

This is the first in a series of stories inspired by events in Grand Theft Auto V.

The mist over Los Santos hung like cigarette smoke. It was thick and swirling when I stepped out of the hospital. I shrugged on a black jacket and slicked back my ‘80s style mullet. Neon lights pulsated at the edges of my vision and human shapes shuffled past in the shadows.

I checked my pockets and found that the hospital had taken my money. I was unceremoniously turfed onto the street with nothing. I had no car. I was aimless, adrift in the broken dream that was America.

I walked out into the road and a car screeched to a halt like a gift. It was a white sedan. I was never very good at remembering brand names. I pulled a revolver out of my pocket and pointed it at the driver. Her tiny round white face opened in a chasm of a scream. I pulled the trigger and her head exploded red. I walked over to the car and heard running feet. Turning around I saw a large herd of pedestrians fleeing from me. I shot as many of them as I could before the mist swallowed them up.

I opened the car door and dumped the dead headless woman in the street. I got in the car and stepped on the gas. Slow smooth jazz pumped from the radio and I relaxed into a sort of trance. I sped through red lights, I skidded between cars, and I didn’t think once about crashing.

I hit the freeway and saw the blue flashing lights. They gradually came into focus as the mist receded and I raced towards the police roadblock. I sped up and aimed for the middle, the intersection where the law had chosen to make its stand. Bullets whipped past me as I shot through their temporary fortification.

I looked in the rear view mirror and saw a column of cars forming, an army of militant police officers who had no desire other than stopping me. A helicopter lit their way and I felt small in its omniscient stabbing headlight. Remembering a movie I’d seen about a driver, I spun the wheel fast and opted for side streets over the open road.

As the streets narrowed so did my focus. The radio was still playing smooth jazz, lulling me back into my existential reverie. But as I sped towards a cross roads a police car spun into view. It clipped the side of my car and I flipped over skidding along the road with my wheels in the air. Now I was awake, the dream of the open road gone and the reality of actions and their consequences nightmarish and tangible.

The car smashed into a tree and came to a stop. I crawled from the wreckage only to be caught in the glare of the helicopter’s moon. I looked around and I saw figures emerging from the mist, government gunmen come to kill me. I fumbled for my revolver but before I could pull the trigger a wave of thunder hit me.

A bright day greeted me when I stepped out of the hospital. It was the world sold by Vinewood and I was free to do as I pleased. A woman stood nearby, arguing with her boyfriend on the phone. Without thinking I reached for my gun.

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