Disclaimer: I own the plot. 'Nough said.


I woke in a cold sweat. It felt as if I had woken from one nightmare into the next. My head was pounding from the night before. I walked to the bathroom, stumbling over every article of clothing that lay on the floor. I made my way to sink and turned the faucet on. The sound of water falling onto the smooth, white porcelain soothed the throbbing. I looked into the mirror and saw a broken man. Black, shaggy hair, 5 o'clock shadow at 3 in the morning, bloodshot eyes and the physical structure of a high-school jock who doesn't try too hard to impress the cheerleaders. I opened the medicine cabinet and grabbed the knock-off Tylenol brand off the shelf. I popped a handful of pills into my mouth and drank from the tap. It would take a while before the pills took affect so I turned the television on and flipped to the news. What I saw reminded me of a past life. Fire engulfed a tall, sleazy hotel like a blanket of red death. Mobs of rioters were taking out any unlucky police officer who got in their way. I could never understand why people where so ignorantly violent when they wanted something done.

"We're above the city of New York, where civilians are protesting the inclusion of the mafia into the government. Earlier this month, family members of the late Jack Lupino have somehow gotten into office. Whether they worked hard for their chairs, or forced their way in, we may never know"

Just as I started to lay my head on the sweet bliss that is my pillow, I heard a knock at my apartment door. "We know you're here you son-of-a-bitch!" the next sound I heard was a bullet going through the keyhole. I jumped, grabbed my black leather coat, grabbed my two Barretas, and leaped for the fourth story apartment window just as Lupino's goons rushed the room, guns blazing.

Then the world around me slowed, I could see everything: the bullets, the angered, cursing faces of the mafia members who wanted to take my life from this god-forsaken planet, and the bullets whizzing passed my body. Bad aim as usual. I pulled the trigger and the pointed, cylindrical metal harbingers of death flew out the barrel of the gun. With a blurry trail of air and sound, it made it's mark between one of the killer's ribs, piercing the skin and traveling right through his beating heart, and finally out the other side of his body. Squeezing the trigger on the other gun, the next mafioso fell with the same swift brutality as the last.

Time flowed back to its normal pace as I realized an important, bleak fact of life. It doesn't matter how hard you work to forget the past, how far you try to run, those ghosts of the past will continue to haunt you. Haunt you until your body finally gives up and you find yourself lying on the concrete, intoxicated and broken, drowning in your own blood and vomit that just further remind you of how crap-filled your life was, and you let go of what is left of your pathetic existence. Only then will those ghost leave you alone. The next thing I felt was my body making contact with the cold, snow covered street of New York City.

I stayed partly buried under the foot of snow for a good minute until I finally shook my head and started to lift my aching body. I told myself I had something to do, i couldn't just lie there and die, and started for the nearest pay phone. I placed the guns in the inside pockets of my leather jacket and hoped not to run into any more of Lupino's lackeys. As soon as the coast was clear, I started for the phone. I put in my spare change and dialed the number I was told to call if I ever needed anything. The man on the other side of the line had a thick Russian accent. "This is Vlad. Who is this? What do you want?"

I looked over my shoulder for good measure, partly out of paranoia, and spoke into the phone with my deep, gruff, vigilante cop-gone-rogue voice, "I need your help with something, Vlad. It's Max Payne."

Authors Note: Well there goes the first chapter to my story. This is my first story, just to clarify. Sorry for such a short story to begin with, I promise to write more in the future! Thank you all for the time you have spent reading, and don't forget to take an extra minute to review.