Table of Contents
SHORT SERIES OF GRAPHIC REVENGE
For the Reader
Chapter One: Just Another Great Day in Politics
Chapter Two: What is this?
Chapter Three: Turning into Chaos
Chapter Four: What the Darkness Brings
Chapter Five: Demagogue, Does Not Mean Protected
Chapter Six: The Real Story
Chapter Seven: What Do We Do Now?
Chaper Eight: Swayed Outcome?
Chapter One: It’s All in The Cards
Chapter Two: The Good Life
Chapter Three: Surprise, Surprise
Chapter Four: Reality Hits
Chapter Five: Act I
Chapter Six: Act II
Chapter Seven: Act III
Chapter Eight: The Final Act
The Liberal Professor
Chapter One: Exams Optional
Chapter Two: There is work to do
Chapter Three: Dripping with Pride
Chapter Four: The Night Crew
Chapter Five: Class Begins
Chapter Six: The Mid-term
Chapter Seven: The Final
Cop Lives Matter
Chapter One: Game Over
Chapter Two: The Protest
Chapter Three: The Success!
Chapter Four: The Meet
Chapter Five – The Reality
Chapter Six – The Ignorance
Chapter Seven: The Greed
Chapter Eight: The Hypocrite
Chapter Nine: The End
SHORT SERIES OF GRAPHIC REVENGE]
By Mackenzie Stark
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
SHORT SERIES OF GRAPHIC REVENGE
Copyright © 2017 DeckersPress
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Published by DeckersPress
For the Reader
First off, if you downloaded and are reading American Hypocrites Short Series, thank you!
American Hypocrites delves into real life situations and shows us possible outcomes. The possibilities are real, however unfortunate, unattractive, or even impossible they may seem at the time. When people are pushed to the limits even the most innocent could turn into criminals and there’s no telling what someone would do when seeking revenge for lost loved ones and lives gone wrong.
I would love to know what you think!
Chapter One: Just Another Great Day in Politics
Hypocrite, Merriam-Webster definition: 1) a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion 2) a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.
Five police officers were killed and seven others wounded in the ambush. It was the deadliest single incident for U.S. law enforcement since September 11, 2001.
Dianne Palermo is a political powerhouse. Everyone knows her. She takes a firm stance on her beliefs and doesn’t hold back. As one of the most accomplished women in politics you can either love her or hate her, but either way, you know her.
Today, she’s at home in San Francisco where her house is more of a fortress than a home, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She likes the quiet, away from the hustle and bustle of her life. She also enjoys the security of the six-foot brick wall around her house, and of course the staff that monitors the property.
Her schedule is consistently booked but on this Thursday evening she has a small break. Her husband will be back in town tomorrow and they are hosting a house full of people before their big fundraiser Saturday night.
Dianne is in her office on the second floor, sitting on her window seat watching the sun go down. She smiles and takes in a large breath, inhaling her own pride. She is satisfied with her achievements and feels good about her life.
She has only one more meeting scheduled this evening and it’s with her assistant. Well, her second assistant because her main girl is out of town, much to the annoyance of Dianne.
“Good evening Dianne!” The call comes from Holly downstairs, the second assistant.
“I’m here, I’m here,” Dianne calls out on her way down to the kitchen. Holly brought her one of her favorites, a triple skinny vanilla latte. “Oh, you are my savior!” Dianne picks up the glass and removes the lid, “This…is a godsend!”
“Yes, well, so is this!” Holly gives her a copy of the L.A. Times, opened to the section where there is yet another rave review of her latest speech.
“Is it good?” Dianne asks, sitting down with her latte. Not really looking for an answer, she starts reading.
“Oh my,” she smiles, “well, well, well,” she smiles some more and then giggles. The look on her face is almost as if her supporters are standing right there in front of her and she’s about to receive an award for her political genius.
Dianne gets done reading the article, about herself, and then folds the paper back up. She sees the top headline as she sets it back down on the table that reads, Protesters return to the streets throughout U.S. breaking into more violence across the country.
Dianne is disgusted, like usual, “What a mess! Thank goodness we do the work we do, right?” Dianne gets up and says, “You understand, don’t you Holly? I mean, people are ridiculous!”
“It’s a real thing across the country…,” Holly starts to put in her two cents, but then immediately regrets it. She knows that Dianne is very stubborn in her beliefs and does not acknowledge any thoughts outside her her own.
She has heard Dianne preach time after time that it’s people like her, and her closest counterparts, that hold our country together. People that oppose what she knows to be best are either mentally deficient or completely ignorant. They just don’t understand! They don’t know what is best!
“Well, make sure you’re on board. There’s a reason you’re second assistant Holly, Nicole knows all about it!” Dianne finishes up the rest of her drink and sets the glass down, “Look, I’ve worked hard to get where I am. I feel like everyone’s gone and lost their mind!”
Avoiding an argument, Holly goes for some morale-boosting instead, “You’re right. I mean, you are all these poor people have to get their lives back on track! All of this nonsense is just people that don’t understand and it makes no sense! It’s just appalling to me that people don’t get it.”
“That’s exactly right!” And with that, Dianne is all smiles again.
Chapter Two: What is this?
The Baltimore Sun:
[_It started Monday morning with word on social media of a “purge” — a reference to a movie in which crime is made legal. _]
Dianne starts going through more paperwork from Holly when Teresa timidly walks in.
Teresa is from Mexico and has been helping the Palermo family for years, “Excuse me,” she says, “may I come in?” Her English is limited and her accent is heavy.
“What is it Teresa?” Dianne asks, visibly annoyed by the interruption.
“I am sorry. I must go.” Teresa would normally stay on the property all week, only going home on the weekends.
“Go? But today is Thursday?” Dianne reminds her, questioning why she would leave. “We have things to do for this weekend, guest rooms and the linens!”
Teresa is struggling for the words and points to the TV.
“Do you want me to turn that on?” Holly asks.
“Yes ma’am,” Teresa says, nodding her head.
Holly turns on the television they see a Breaking News story unfolding. They see that by recommendation from the San Fran PD, people are closing up shop and shutting things down in the city. They see officers in riot gear filling up the streets and other shots of people throwing rocks and bricks.
Dianne turns to Holly, “What is this?”
“It looks like it’s happening now. This is breaking news!” Holly says, in aw of what she is seeing on the screen.
“No work. I must go. Ma familia,” is all Teresa says. She looks from Dianne to Holly, and then back to Dianne, “I sorry miss. I go.”
“Well, wait a minute! Teresa, we have people coming tomorrow! We have a lot to do!”
“I sorry,” Teresa says again. And with that, she turns and unties her apron as she walks out of the kitchen. Dianne and Holly exchange glances. “Find Robert!” Dianne yells.
Robert, who is the main man in charge of Dianne’s personal affairs, gives them the lowdown. She has a limited help staff in San Francisco but relies on them heavily. Today however, they have all up and left. The police are losing control and people are trying to get out of San Francisco. He’s about to go into more detail when Dianne interrupts him.
“I can’t believe this!” Dianne doesn’t want to hear about excuses. Her frustration is around her weekend obligations, not some mess in town fueled ignorant protesters.
Holly, however, does see the situation as something serious beyond Dianne’s plans, and wants to call her boyfriend. He works downtown and she’s noticed he’s already called, “Uh, Dianne , can I…”
“Not now Holly! Can’t you see we have a situation? You’re not trying to leave also are you?” She flashes Holly a stern glance, “I certainly hope not. I need you, if you didn’t notice!” Dianne wants no distractions and certainly not from her incompetent second assistant.
“Right, okay.” Holly gives in. Her phone does vibrate again though and she looks down. It’s a text from her boyfriend Justin. She clicks into it:
What’s going on? We need to get out of here. Let’s head to Mitch and Tammy’s in San Jose until things settle down. Call me.
Holly looks up at Dianne, but then reluctantly puts her phone down.
Chapter Three: Turning into Chaos
In Chicago, chants of “No hate. No fear. Immigrants are welcome here” rang throughout the group of hundreds of protesters as they marched Saturday in Millennium Park, a popular downtown tourist attraction.
Dianne stomps out of the kitchen and into the living area just inside the pool. Robert and Holly follow. When they get there, they are met by her security guard who just walked in. Clint looks at Robert and then to Dianne, “We have a breach.”
“What kind of breach?” Dianne asks. Clint helps secure the property by watching the front and walking the grounds.
Clint fills them in. Things have been tampered with and the security cameras are down, as well as the land line.
“What?” Dianne runs over to one of her house phones to check the line, and sure enough it’s down. “Okay, well what do we do?” she is starting to panic, “I mean, what are you doing to do about it Clint?”
“First things first. I wanted to make sure you were okay,” he says.
“Of course I’m okay! And that’s your job!” Dianne shoots back.
“Yes, ma’am, let me see what else I can find out,” he says. Dianne grimaces but gives him the nod, and he goes.
Chapter Four: What the Darkness Brings
Multiple acts of vandalism then took place in Northeast Portland. Protesters tagged buildings, kicked cars, shattered an office building window and knocked out power.
Holly decides to check on any TV updates but before she gets to the kitchen, the house goes dark. She rushes to try a few switches and nothing turns on. She turns back to Dianne and Robert and slowly, their eyes start to adjust to the moonlight.
Then, it hits them all at once that the patio doors to the pool are wide open. After a moment of silence, they each take off running in different directions. They shut the patio doors and then start going from window to window, closing anything they see is open. Dianne likes the open breeze through the house and there is a lot to do. In the frenzy however, they all lose track of each other.
Holly calls out, “Dianne?”, there is just silence, “Anyone?” She isn’t quite sure what to do. She goes back to the kitchen but can’t find her cell phone. She feels her way around and notices all their notes are scattered about, like they have been gone through. Has someone been in here? She thinks it, but she refuses to believe it.
Feeling a bit lost she continues to feel her way around. She finds the knife block. She stands there with her hand on a large knife and lowers her head and sighs. Could this be any more like a movie? She hesitates, but then grabs a large knife from the block. “I really hope I don’t need this,” she says to herself in a quiet voice.
Dianne and Robert find each other in the back sunroom. A bit winded, they sit down. The walls are lined with glass and the lights are still on along the pathway outside. They take solace in the little bit of light it gives them while they catch their breath.
Dianne’s expresses her fear through frustration, “Where’s Clint? And we need to find Holly! I don’t even have my phone.” Robert does not have his phone either.
The lights in the garden suddenly go dark and it instantly gives them an even more uneasy feeling. Then they hear, tap, tap, tap.
Robert and Dianne exchange glances and then turn back to the glass, “It came from over there,” he points to the right.
Tap, tap, tap.
“That came from over there!” She points to the left.
“Someone’s out there,” Robert says.
“Who? Who is out there?” a feeling of desperation is coming over Dianne.
“I don’t know!” Robert replies.
They are startled by the slam and see hand in a black glove up against the middle of the glass. Another hand slams in, BANG! That hand has a gun in it. The two are frozen and can’t move. All they can see is a figure dressed in all black.
“Come on!” the stranger says through the windows, “Let us in!”
Tap, tap, tap.
“Just…don’t move,” Robert tells Dianne.
“Why haven’t any alarms gone off? And where is Clint?” Dianne frantically asks Robert.
“Anyone’s guess at this point. And the alarm has probably been disabled like everything else.”
Dianne is beyond uneasy. She squeezes her eyes shut and pushes her head back against the wall as if this is all a dream and will go away.
They sit there for what seems like an eternity, but there are no more sounds and no more tapping. Robert eventually gets up and tries to see outside but can’t see a thing. While he’s standing there, the pathway lights turn back on.
“Well hello there Boss,” a strong, male voice says. It’s coming from the doorway off the hall but it’s too dark to see anyone. Robert and Dianne are sitting ducks.
“What?” Dianne asks in a shaky voice, straining to see who is there.
“Don’t you worry,” the man says, his voice getting closer. “You just wanna help people, and welcome everyone, right?”
“Robert?” Dianne whispers.
“Don’t talk to him! He can’t help you!” The large, dark beast of a man has now approached Dianne and is hovering over her, “You do wanna help people, right?”
“Too late!” a woman who is walking in from the other end of the hallway says. “Besides, she thinks WE are the problem, isn’t that right Ms. Political? Or maybe it’s just Ms. Politically Correct!” She lets out a chilling laugh and then looks to the man, “Sorry I was late,” she says, “had a small problem in the kitchen. A little bloody, but I took care of it.”
Dianne lets out a gasp, Holly!
“What do you guys want?” Robert attempts to start a dialogue with the man.
The man looks at Robert, but then turns to Dianne, “We came here to see YOU, who is this guy?”
Dianne doesn’t answer.
The man walks over to Robert and tells him to stand up, which he does. “Yea, I think it’s time for you to go now mister. We don’t need you.”
“Wh-what?” Robert asks.
“You heard the man…get out!” The woman walks over to one of the sliding doors, unlatches it and slides it open, “GET OUT!”
Robert slowly goes to the door. Before he takes a step outside, the man grabs him by the arm and then hits his head with his gun, knocking him out. The man shoves him out into the garden and slams the door shut and locks it, leaving just the three of them inside.
“See, here’s the thing,” the man starts out, ”when you’re talk’n, we’re all listen’n!” He turns around, “And we don’t like it!”
“That’s right!” says the girl. She is standing against the wall twirling a knife in her hand.
“The problem is,” he throws his hands up in the air, “Talk’n is all you seem to do! And while you’re doin all that and getting your cheers and your votes, and your standing ovations, we’re getting screwed!” the man is yelling now.
He reaches down and grabs Dianne by the arm and manages to get her to her feet. She is limp but he drags her down the hall, “Now it’s time for us to do the talk’n!”
The woman follows and starts to skip and chuckle as they go, like she is excited. Dianne still has no clue what they are talking about but is now in fear for her life. Who are these people? What do they want from me and…how did they get in?
The man pulls her back to the living area by the pool and throws her down on one of the couches. The pool is still lit up outside, adding some light to the situation. He talks as he walks, “You know,” he says, “we’ve been watching you for a long time. Hell, even Pumpkin here was a fan at one time! You thought she just might be the ticket, didn’t you Pumpkin?” He turns to the woman.
“I sure did Bear, believed every word!” she replies.
“But see, she can’t even stand to watch you anymore. We’ve seen enough! It’s time we set this straight!” he says.
Dianne can see there is someone else in the room, in the corner, slumped over a chair maybe. In the dim light, she can’t quite tell. Is that Holly?
“Could we just talk?” Dianne blurts out, “Do you need money?”
“Money? What? That’s funny. We’re way past needing money. Get down on the floor!” He pulls her off the couch and throws her down to her knees.
“I ju-just thought that if you did…”
She doesn’t get anything else out before Pumpkin slaps her across the face, “Do we look stupid to you? Cause you say’n stuff like that sure makes it seem like you think we’re stupid! It’s like the stuff you always say!”
When Dianne pulls her head back up from the slap she can see that someone else has shown up. It’s another man, dressed all in black like the others. Overwhelmed, she lets out a wail and then the tears start flowing.
Chapter Five: Demagogue, Does Not Mean Protected
In 2010 one of the illegals slaughtered my son,” she began. “He tortured him, he beat him, he tied him up like an animal. And he set him on fire…
The new guy walks over to Dianne, “What do you possibly have to cry about lady?” He just stares at her for a minute. He grabs her face with his strong hand so he can look into her eyes before walking out of the room.
“She doesn’t know Dog!” Bear laughs and turns to Dianne, “She just sits up here in her big ass house behind her big ass wall!” Bear adds.
“I’m just trying to figure out why you are here…I’ve talked to you?” the tears are still flowing, “I don’t understand!”
“You might as well have been! Acting like you know best!” Pumpkin says.
Dianne just looks up at her, “Please, just tell me what is it that you want? What have I done to you?”
“Damnit woman! You really don’t get it do you?” Bear screams at her.
The lights come back on and Dianne can see the intruders more clearly now. They are covered in black. Their bandana’s are decorated like the American flag and their eyes are covered like bandits. They are also wearing hats and gloves, so she cant see any of their personal features.
She looks to the mystery person in the corner and realizes she was right. Dianne screams, “Holly!” Holly’s face looks like it took quite the beating. She is taped and bound to a chair and appears to be unconscious.
Pumpkin walks up to Dianne, “Had to,” she says, “she wasn’t very welcoming when I met her.”
Dog comes back from turning the lights on and starts back in right away, “Damn, you sure got nice things and all.” He picks up a vase that Dianne has on a table, smirks and then drops it. Dianne just watches with mascara running down her face as it shatters on the mosaic tile floor. She remembers when Jeff Koons personally gave her that vase…and it is now in a thousand pieces.
Dog just looks at her, snickers and then continues to walk around the very decorated room, dropping and throwing things. Pumpkin has now sat herself down in front of Dianne.
“So, where is everybody?” she asks, “Where are all the people?”
“What are you talking about?” Dianne asks, barely getting the words out, “Do you mean my staff? They left.”
“Or they’re dead,” Dog chimes in, “That security guy sure was surprised!” The three start laughing and then he joins Pumpkin on the floor. “Step aside there darlin. Maybe I can help.”
Pumpkin moves to the side, “Be my guest!”
Dog kneels down in front of her and starts talking in a quieter voice. He brings his face close to Dianne’s and even though his face is masked, she can feel the heat from his breath. “What my cousin is ask’n you is, where are all the people you are always preach’n about?”
Dianne is just staring at him but says nothing.
“I don’t think she knows what you mean,” says Bear.
“Aw, she’s just a little nervous, aren’t you Boss?” Dog starts rubbing her shoulders, “Just calm down and we’ll get this figured out.” He starts to wipe her mascara lines with his glove. She shutters and more tears flow as he’s touching her.
“See, what we wanna know is, where are all the people that should be welcome? You’ve talked enough on the subject, so where are they?” he pauses, “You know, [_just come on over to the US of A, we’ll take you. _]You want to protect them all so…where are they? Why aren’t you “protecting”?”
“I, I don’t know,” Dianne says, turning her face away from Dog.
“Well, lemme tell where they are,” Dog says. He keeps his face close and follows hers wherever she tries to look, “They’re in my town!”
Pumpkin suddenly screams and in a fit of rage rushes across the room. She runs her hand along the mantel, wiping everything off of it and sending it flying. Dianne is mortified. She turns her attention from the woman, back to Dog.
“What we’re trying to say is that YOU don’t seem to know what you are talking about…so we are here to educate you,” Dog explains.
“I mean, you sure are pretty and everything,” he unclips her tightly packed bun and her hair falls to her shoulders. He reaches down and rips her shirt apart and starts to feel her breast, “but you’re dumb as rocks!” He gives her breast a squeeze and then leans in real close to her face, “Dumb. As. Rocks.” Dianne can see he just winked at her and she wants to throw up.
Pumpkin grabs onto Dianne’s hair from behind and pulls her head back. She flips open a switchblade and holds it to her throat, “It’s time for a little dose of reality, bitch.” She then takes her knife and cuts through Dianne’s long locks, taking her length. She laughs, “Hey, I think we can sell this Bear!”
She steps back and so does Dog. Bear has pulled down a picture from her wall. Apparently, Dianne is the Most Fascinating Person. He pulls out the paper and rips it in half. He talks while he walks around the room opening more frames and crumpling up photos.
“Do you understand anything that happens outside of these walls?” He stops and looks at Dianne, who says nothing.
“Speak up!” barks Dog. He raises his hand as if to slap her as motivation.
She leans back, turning her head, “I…I don’t know what you mean!”
“Sit up!” yells Dog.
Dianne is crying but pulls herself back up straight on her knees.
“Pathetic,” Pumpkin says, in a scolding voice.
Chapter Six: The Real Story
The Daily Mail on Kate Steinle:
Records indicate Sanchez had seven previous felony convictions and has been deported to Mexico on five separate occasions.
“I think it’s story time,” says Bear. Dianne’s eyes open wide. She is terrified. Dog smiles at her and then walks to the next room and grabs a table chair.
“Oh goodie!” exclaims Pumpkin, clapping her hands. She then pulls out a black bag that was stowed behind the couch and starts digging through it. She pulls out duck tape.
Bear grabs Dianne and pulls her to her feet and shoves her down in the chair. Pumpkin tosses the tape to Dog and he gets to work. In no time, Dianne is bound to the chair by her feet and her hands. Bear sets down his gun and goes over to the bag. He pulls out a piece of paper. It’s a slightly wrinkled cut out picture, and he holds it in front of Dianne’s face, “Okay, so…can you tell me what this is?”
“No…” Dianne is having a hard time breathing, much less talking.
“No? Well, look a little harder and tell me what you see.” Bear says.
“It looks like a man…from a newspaper?”
“Bingo!” Yells Dog in the background. He’s walking around the room now, pulling out drawers and dumping the contents.
“One point for the madame! Now, can you tell me anything else? What does he look like to you?” Bear continues.
“Um…Um, he looks like a man, maybe in a mug shot?”
“Bingo again!” Dog cheers.
“Okay, okay,” says Bear, “now for the biggie…does he look like he’s from here?”
“I guess not, maybe, possibly…” Dianne says.
“Well he’s NOT!” Bear yells, “Does he look like he’s from anywhere around here?”
“I mean…I don’t know…” Dianne is trying to figure out where this is going and WHAT any of this has to do with her.
“Can I give her a hint?” Pumpkin asks in a sweet but sarcastic way. Bear tells her to go ahead. “He’s from far, far away!” She cocks her head hoping that will be enough for Dianne to understand.
“I, I…” She doesn’t.
“Okay, let’s set that aside for a minute and move on,” says Bear. He reaches into the bag again and brings out a small bundle. From it, he pulls out another picture. This one is in a nice blue frame. He puts it in front of Dianne but doesn’t say a word.
She sits for a minute just looking at the picture and then takes a deep breath, “It’s a girl,” she says.
“Damn right it’s a girl!” Bear yells, “How old does she look to you?”
“I’m not sure,” Dianne has no idea. The girl is simple. She has long shiny blond hair and pretty blue eyes. No braces, so that doesn’t help. She looks innocent and her smile lights up the picture. But Dianne just doesn’t know and she’s afraid to throw out the wrong number.
“Well, let me tell you,” Bear says, “this precious little young lady is thirteen!” He picks up the other picture so he has one in each hand, “Okay, you ready? Here comes the biggie…”
Dianne is just staring at him, afraid of what is coming next.
“This man and this young lady have something in common,” Bear starts out, “can you guess what it is?”
“I, I can’t think of anything,” Dianne says.
“Well think HARDER!” yells Pumpkin.
Dianne looks at the pictures but can’t figure it out. Her eyes keep welling up with tears and she can’t make it stop.
“Of course you don’t know, why would you?” Bear says. “Living up here, make’n laws, give’n speeches…preaching your goodwill crap! You are so out of touch!” He looks over at his gun on the table and takes a gulp of air before continuing, “All right,” he kneels down in front of her and gets really close, “this is the big and important part of your education today so listen up good, okay?”
Dianne is numb, yet her body is trembling.
“I’d answer him if I were you,” Dog says. He’s now sitting on the floor rummaging through all the the things he just dumped there, and it appears he’s setting a few things aside. Dianne assumes he’s going to take them.
“Okay,” she says, “I’m listening.”
“Good,” Bear says, “Now, this man is from Guatemala and this girl is from Kansas, got that?”
“Yes,” she says.
“This girl was born in Kansas and grew up there. I am from Kansas…worked there my whole life. Got that?” He asks her, his voice firm.
“Yes,” she says.
“This man also lived in Kansas. He’s 40. As you now know, he was not born in Kansas and hasn’t worked a day of his life in Kansas, or anywhere in the U.S. for that matter. Now you got that too?”
“Okay now this girl here…can you guess who she is?” Bear asks.
“I, I’m not sure?” Dianne is confused but is starting to get the feeling they whatever the answer is, it’s not going to be good for her.
“That there sweet thing is my girl, my little thirteen year old girl. And that’s her mama over there.” He gestures to Pumpkin. “Can you guess where my little girl is right now? I mean, why are we here and she isn’t? I’m sure she would’ve love to come see you, as famous as you are and everything!” he sets the pictures down on the black bag.
“She’s very pretty,” Dianne says.
“You’re damn right she is!” Bear yells out. Then he gets back down on the floor and puts his hands on Dianne’s knees, “Well, she couldn’t make it today cause ah…well, she’s SIX FEET UNDER!”
Dog walks around them, “Question is, how did she get there?”
All is quiet for a moment except for Dianne’s whimpering.
Pumpkin walks up to her and slaps her again, “THIS is the piece you are missing lady! That was MY baby! Killed by that man! He was an illegal. Didn’t even speak english, got the money he needed from the government and then, in all his glory for make’n it in the USA, he raped and killed my little girl!”
“Let me ask you Boss, was your daughter raped and killed? Maybe by someone who never should’ve been here?” Bear asks, with pain in his voice, “No!”
Chapter Seven: What Do We Do Now?
[_ In Southern California, about 1.4 million undocumented immigrants live between the southern Ventura County border and the U.S.-Mexico border -- the biggest cluster of undocumented people in the country. _]
Bear grabs Dianne by the neck and starts squeezing just enough, “It’s people like you, who say the wrong things.You send out the signals to the world that you are all righteous,” he squeezes just a bit harder, “but you only abused your power and don’t know a thing!” He shoves her as he lets go.
Dianne tries to catch her breath when suddenly, all attention turns to Holly. She is awake and she squirming in her seat, trying to get out of her restraints.
“You better shut up bitch,” Bear says. Holly doesn’t stop though. She screaming through her taped mouth and shuffling her chair. “Someone shut her up man,” Bear can’t take her moaning and squirming.
Dog walks over and puts rope around Holly’s neck, “You heard the man pretty lady,” he says. He secures the rope but does not pull it tight, “shut the hell up!”
But Holly doesn’t shut up. She wants her boyfriend, she wants out of there. She is scared to death. As she sits there, she realizes her big dreams of changing the world are false. The do good dream she had of politics is far removed from any reality. The reality she grew up in! She is terrified. She shouldn’t even be there in the first place. All she really wanted was to write for her newspaper back home. But she was led by political heroes and she wanted to climb the ladder.
Her screaming intensifies and she is now shaking in her chair violently. But it only makes Dog tighten the rope around her neck. She doesn’t stop. She can feel herself fading.
Now Dianne is screaming. Watching Holly is too much. Holly was good. Just as good as Nicole, she knows that. She wants to tell her. She wants to save her, “Holly, hang on!”
Whap! It’s lights out for Dianne. Pumpkin smacked her a good one.
It’s also lights out for Holly, but she is out for good.
“Untie that bitch and let’s get her out of here!” Bear says.
Dog throws his rope down, a little amazed at what he had done but at the same time the built up rage and anger is more powerful than any guilt right now. He gets to work.
Chaper Eight: Swayed Outcome?
Many of these (illegals) have had encounters with local law enforcement and subsequently been released back into the communities. Perhaps most notably was the murder of Kate Steinle.
Dianne is starting to come to. She hurts everywhere. Her butchered haircut, disheveled clothes and cuts from the tape have transformed this accomplished icon to nothing but a victim. She strains to lift her head. Her ears are ringing and her eyes are full of water. She manages to get her head up and blinks enough to see. She is outside by the pool. She isn’t in the chair anymore, but tied to one of the pillars outside.
“Lookie there, looks like Boss is wake’n up!” Dog jumps up with excitement, “Glad to see you’ve returned my dear. How are ya feel’n?”
“I am,” Dianne clears her throat, “I am sorry.”
“You’re WHAT?” Bear asks. By his tone Dianne knows he’s as amped up as ever.
“How can you stand there and say you are sorry?” Pumpkin asks. “Reminds me of you standing there at one of your rallies!” she holds up a bat that she’s been carrying around, “and that just pisses me off!” She swings the bat with all her might and hits Dianne in the knees. She screams out in pain.
“Stop your whining!” Bear screams at her, “You caused your own pain!” He walks around the pillar, still talking, “You see, how it works is…we have enough crime and now we have extra! WE are just ONE family effected by that extra!”
He grabs the bat from Pumpkin and starts swinging it as he continues talking, “My little girl, my little sweet princess did not deserve your piece of extra. She wanted to be a veterinarian…shit, she wanted to go to high school!” He wacks her in the gut with the bat.” Dianne is sinking down the pillar and can no longer stand.
Bear looks at Pumpkin and Dog, and they know, it’s time.
Pumpkin goes over to Dianne and unties her, and her and Dog take her over by the pool. That is when, in her daze, Dianne sees Holly. She is in the pool, face down and obviously dead. There is blood in the pool. Dianne starts to cry.
“Please, I can help you. I didn’t know!” Dianne pleads with them.
“But you said you did! You were so right, remember? We should be like you, remember?”
Dianne lowers her head, “Please, what can I do?”
“Can you bring my daughter back? Maybe it would be nice to have your daughter here right now?” Pumpkin says. Her and Bear are standing on either side of Dianne now.
“It’s time for the end of the story. Want to know what the man did after he raped my little girl?”
Dianne shakes her head no, “No, please no!” She can barely think through the terror running through her veins.
“She got slammed in the head with a brick!” Bear says. “After she was pulled away walking home from school, she was terrorized, raped and then killed with a brick! Can you believe that?”
Dog has now joined the group and is standing in between them and the pool. He is holding a brick.
“Way I see it,” Bear says, “since you think everyone listens to you and everything, this will make sure our message gets out loud and clear.”
Pumpkin steps aside and Dog takes her place.
“You got any last words?” Asks Dog.
“I’m sorry, please just let me go. I can do so much for you!”
“You’ve done enough.” Bear tells her.
“Your light’s about to go out, bitch,” Dog says, “Say good night!”
Dianne’s last thoughts were in slow motion. She saw Dog raise the brick. She managed to raise her head and look up at the stars. She took a deep breath and then closed her eyes.
She splashed into the pool head first.
And that’s how they found her. Dianne, beaten and face down in her own pool, at her own house…in her own town. There was no trace of the intruders. Only a single poker chip, placed above a message written out on the patio tiles:
Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you…
Chapter One: It’s All in The Cards
“Keeping the American people safe is our first responsibility. It’s the oath we take, and if the American people aren’t safe, what else really matters?”
First Thursday of the month and the card game played out like usual. Many want in but only a select few are chosen to play. Play poker of course, but there’s also something much bigger. After enough poker has been played, it’s time for the evaluation. The evaluation of issues brought to the table that go beyond any agendas or media reports being pushed out to the country. And in the end, one stands out…one is the winner.
Chapter Two: The Good Life
“The order temporarily bars travel to the U.S. by people from seven countries in the Middle East — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — which were designated in 2015 by the Obama administration as “areas of concern” because of terrorist activity.”
The alarm goes off at 5 am which is no problem for Madison Leigh. She gets out of bed eager to get her day going. She opens the patio door off her bedroom and takes in a large breath of ocean air coming in off the Pacific. She’s at home in California where she prefers to be over anywhere else. “Home is where the heart is” she always says, and for Madison, Hollywood had her from day one.
She is an accomplished actress. She’s gotten multiple Emmys, Best Actress, you name it, and is about to break the record for the most Academy Award nominations. On her latest project, she is counting down to her last two weeks on the set of what she hopes will be the biggest premier of her career. Life is good.
She showers, drinks a glass of hot lemon water like she does every morning, and meets her driver downstairs. At the studio and in makeup by 6, her mind is already racing.
“Where’s Lisa?” she asks Patrick, her makeup artist extraordinaire.
“She went to get your coffee,” he tells her.
“With the light cream and not those damn sugar cubes,” she looks up to Patrick, “Yesterday I thought my teeth were going to dissolve right then and there!”
“Patience my queen,” he smiles down at her, “she’s new to you, but comes highly recommended!” He leans in a little closer and whispers, “I think you just make her nervous.”
“Who? Me?” Madison picks up on the sarcasm and goes with it, “Not me!”
It’s no secret that Madison is intimidating, and it would be a lie to say that she doesn’t love it.
“I mean, don’t get me wrong Patrick, but I didn’t make it this far by not paying attention!” She turns her head from side to side, tapping her jaw line and observing her reflection in the mirror, “I’ve learned a lot in this world and it would do people some good to stop and take a listen!”
Patrick bends down to join her and speaks to her through the mirror, “Don’t look at me!” he tells her, “You know I love you! I’d follow you into a wall of fire if you asked me to!”
“Yes, well you’re sweet. And obviously brilliant!” she says with a laugh, happy that Patrick gets it.
“Seriously, you’ve taught me a lot! Take the election for instance…I’m just appalled! I sometimes feel like if I didn’t live here, I would simply go crazy. I have family out “there” you know,” he says with air quotes, “but I wouldn’t dare go back there right now!”
Madison jumps on that one immediately, “Well, they’ve gone and lost their minds, that’s pretty clear! It seems the whole country has gone wild!” She breaks from the mirror and turns to look at him face to face, “To even think that closing our doors and shutting people out is the answer, is horrific. There would be no Hollywood, that’s for sure!” she pauses and sighs. “I just don’t understand people. Is there no sanity outside of L.A.? People would be lost without us! I can only hope that my words of wisdom made sense to the people out there.”
“Had to,” he says, “your speech was fantastic! You were spot on with all of it! And God news people will listen to you.” He smiles down at her, “Maybe you should run for office!”
He is still young, and Madison appreciates his admiration but there is no way she would consider anything like that and comes back with a solid, “Absolutely not!” She softens up her tone a bit and continues, “My work is here Patrick. You must know that what we do is so important. We reach millions of people across the country and the world with what we provide. People get lost in the lies and hate every single day and I take solace in knowing that our movies and messaging have to reach at least some of them.”
“You’re right,” Patrick goes on, “I mean, the movies you do are probably all these poor people have to get their minds off their troubles, and God knows they’ve created enough of them! A little too scary for me thank you!”
Lisa walks in right when Madison and Patrick are finishing up their conversation and waits before speaking up, “Coffee time! Just like you like it!”
Madison takes the cup, giving Lisa a look of skepticism. She takes a sip, and Lisa breathes a sigh of relief, and then moves on.
“Okay, so, welcome to Friday!” she smiles and breaks out the day planner, “Shooting starts at 7:30, writers’ room at 1:00, makeup again at 2:30 and then we should be able to have you out of here in time for the writers’ dinner at 8!”
Madison takes in a deep breath of satisfaction, of herself of course, They will thank me for this one, it’s going to be a hit!
Chapter Three: Surprise, Surprise
L.A. Times, Jack Shaheen, professor and author:
“There has never been liberal Hollywood when it comes to the portrayal of Muslims on TV.”
(Examples include: “24”, “Sleeper Cell”, “Tyrant”)
The workday comes to an end. Lisa is still on hand, and Patrick has returned to assist in Madison’s change-out from being on set to going out dinner. After about an hour and a half, it’s mission accomplished and everyone is ready to get going.
Patrick and Lisa head out to the limo that is waiting for them. They pack it in and the driver heads out.
“What about Ms. Leigh?” Lisa asks.
“Change of plans, just taking you guys wherever it is you need to go,” the driver responds.
They both are surprised at first, but with Ms. Madison Leigh plans change all the time, and her reasons are never questioned. They both give into the night off and don’t think about it again.
“I’m about to leave,” Madison’s still inside and on her cell phone, “Oh please, it’s going to be great, like always. I don’t know why you worry so much!” Madison loves her agent but over the years wants him only when she really needs him, not when he thinks she does.
She gets done with the check-in call and walks outside. The black limo is waiting for her like expected, and she gets right in and they drive off. To her surprise however, neither Lisa or Patrick are in the car.
“Where is my assistant?” she asks, in a demanding tone. She also notices that it is a different driver than she was expecting as well.
“They just left Miss. We are right behind them,” the driver says, “sorry for the confusion.” He smiles in his rearview mirror giving her some reassurance, “there is wine and crackers for you in the back, just as you requested,” and then he puts up the divider between the front and the back. Without any real reason to question it, Madison accepts the explanation and settles in.
She picks up the glass of wine and takes a long sip. It warms her and calms her nerves. She looks out at the hustle and bustle on the lot and takes in the feeling of contentment with her life. Feeling relaxed, she grabs her phone and starts thinking about vacation spots for when this project is all said and done. Dubai or St. Barts? She pours another glass of wine and after some daydreaming and deliberation she figures it out. “St. Barts it is!” she says out loud and with a giggle.
Before she even has a chance to get back to reality, the limo takes a hard right and she falls over to the left on the seat, spilling wine on her dress, “Hey!” she calls out to the driver, knocking on the divider, “what’s with the driving? I don’t pay you to be reckless! I want to get there in one piece!”
She is shaken but more than that, she is annoyed. Unacceptable!
She looks out to their location, while wiping herself off and setting her wine down. After the studio lot she didn’t pay attention to where they were going, but it doesn’t look anything like it’s in the direction of the dinner.
She knocks on the divider again, “Hello?” there is no answer.
“Hello!” she calls out a bit louder, “Excuse me?” She continues knocking and after a minute, the driver lowers the small wall between them.
“Excuse me, have you any driving skills and where are we?”
“We are close,” he tells her.
“Close to what exactly?” Madison is starting to shake with anger. No plans change unless she makes the change, and this couldn’t be more aggravating.
The driver leaves the divider down and only looks back at her again in the mirror and smiles. He takes another right, and this time it’s onto a gravel road. Madison is just looking around and not sure if she should be full of outrage or maybe a bit fearful as well.
“What is this? Is this some sort of joke?” She’s looking out the windows, but nothing is helpful. Her birthday is in a month and so part of her wants to believe there will be a good laugh about this, but her guts are telling her something different.
The limo suddenly screeches to a halt. The driver gets out and without warning opens her side door, pulls her out and throws her to down onto the gravel and into the dust. He says nothing. He simply gets back into the limo and drives off, her bag and phone still inside.
Her hands are scratched from the rocks, and her dress is ripped. “What the hell?” she calls out. There is nothing. It’s all quiet until she hears another vehicle approaching behind her. The driver slams on the brakes sending more dust her way. She coughs and stands up and is met by two people who have now exited the van.
“What are you doing?” Madison asks, “Is this some kind of game?”
Chapter Four: Reality Hits
Breitbart, Stephanie Ruhle:
“It’s fair to say there are many people in Hollywood that are now out of touch with average Americans.”
“Not a game A-List. You’re in the real world now!” the large man standing in front of her says. The second stranger promptly walks up to Madison and grabs her by the arm.
It’s going to be dark soon, but there is still enough sunlight left to see, and she starts to check out the two strangers all dressed in black. They have headlamps on over black baseball caps that are on backwards. They are both wearing large black-rimmed glasses with tinted lenses, making it hard for her to see their eyes and their faces are covered by scarves that are designed like the American flag. The big man reminds Madison more of a stunt double than an actual person. Her body tingles from the intimidation, and she feels a bit faint.
She desperately speaks out, “Do you have any idea how many people are expecting me tonight? They are probably already looking for me as we speak!”
“Well,” Madison realizes the smaller of the two is a woman, “your phone is at your precious dinner by now so unless you yourself are pinging somewhere, good luck!” It’s at that point, the first tear runs down her face. On the inside, she is screaming, This cannot be happening!
“Time to go A-list,” the man says. He is blunt and quick. He pulls her and jerks her, and throws her into the van. The woman crawls in with her.
The road is bumpy as they go. Madison lost all sense of direction back in the limo and has no idea where they are. There are no windows in the back and all she knows for sure is that they are getting farther away from her beloved Hollywood, where things are normal, and she feels safe.
When the van finally comes to a stop, Madison hears the driver get out and come around to the back. He opens up the doors, and she is directed to get out. When the woman reaches for her, Madison tries the confidence route one more time, “Look! I’ve had enough! You can’t do this to me!”
“Uh, what makes you think that?” the man asks her, “And you should be nice to my sister,” he says, “she’s not as nice as you’re hoping she is.” He throws a black backpack down to the ground in front of them.
The woman’s grip on Madison tightens, “Thanks Butch, we’ll have to see how bright she is,” she leans in close to Madison, “we wouldn’t want to add to this already remarkable situation.”
“Oh no my dear Sunny, we certainly wouldn’t want to do that!” the man cheers.
“Let’s get started then. First off, we can’t have any of this,” Sunny starts pulling on Madison’s dress.
“What?” Madison asks, fearing the worst.
“It has to go, so either you take it off or I will!” Sunny proceeds to unclip Madison’s shoes and pulls them off while she is standing there.
Madison reluctantly does as directed. She pulls the shiny gold straps off her shoulders and slides the black dress down and off her hips. There is a slight chill in the air, and she feels it. She stands there half-naked and nervous, trying to cover herself the best she can. Sunny digs around the backpack and pulls out a white t-shirt, “This is much more fitting!” she says to herself, “put this shirt on,” she tells Madison, throwing her the shirt.
The shirt is a short-sleeved cotton number that says “KNOW IT ALL” across the back.
She then throws a pair of ripped jeans and a couple of tennis shoes at Madison, hitting her in the face. “Don’t worry,” she says, “I know you like the dress, but frankly you ruined it by putting it on.”
While Madison puts on the rest of the items she watches Sunny stuff her dinner dress and shoes into the black bag. She then strips Madison of her earrings, along with her bracelet and rings. Those also end up in the black bag.
Chapter Five: Act I
Tweet, Sean Hannity:
“This is exactly why Hwood is DYING, what a bunch of hypocrites…”
Butch walks up behind Madison, “Time to go,” he shoves her forward and they start walking. Madison’s feet are shuffling and dragging. The shoes aren’t like any she’s worn before. The souls are hard and there are no laces. They are moving away from the van and up a hillside.
“Come on, just pretend this is a movie! And don’t worry,” Butch adds, “you’re big scene is right around the corner!”
There is not one thought Madison can put together to resolve what is happening. They are walking through some low brush, and she is stumbling over the rocks and slipping on the dirt. She is frantic and tries to put this together. Maybe they were working on the lot? “Did I miss you guys on set?” she dares ask.
“Are you kidding? I wouldn’t be caught dead working in Hollywood!” Butch shoots back.
Madison’s bad feeling starts to get worse, “Are you from California?”
Sunny comes to an immediate stop, “Oh, no, no, no. Let me be clear, we’re from the good old USA, where the real people live. We would never want to be a part of your elitist pack!” She shoves Madison forward to keep moving, tripping her as he pushes her forward.
Madison feels trapped and like she’s about to go mad.
“Did I do something?” Madison sniffles, “Please tell me!”
Sunny has had enough, “You are a piece of work!” She turns and slaps Madison across the face, “THAT is because I wanted my family to be safe!” She slaps her again, “And THAT is because my sister thought she was safe!” She then grabs her by the neck and gives it a good hard squeeze before finally letting go.
Madison is coughing and puts her hands to her throat and realizes her nose is bleeding. Butch screams into one of her ears, “You think you are America! You are so full of your damn garbage! There’s a whole big, bad world out there A-list! One without stars and limousines taking you everywhere. One with real people, not fans and paparazzi!””
Madison looks down to the blood on her fingers just as Sunny pushes her to start walking again. She is scared and has no idea what the two strangers want, but knows it’s not good.
Butch talks as they walk and surprises her with what he says next, “What kills me…and I mean kills me, is how much of a hypocrite you are.”
“Hypocrite?” Madison asks, half under her breath and with spit flying out of her mouth.
“Wow, you really don’t get it,” Butch says, “you’re a funny one A-list, just keep walking!”
But Madison can barely walk at this point. She’s tired, drained and scared to death. It’s then she sees the Hollywood sign. She hiked to it back in the day, but doesn’t remember it much. Today, they came up the backside and the sign now sits in front of them.
Butch stops the group, “Well now, we’re on top of the world, isn’t it grand!” he calls out, throwing his arms into the air. He sets his backpack down on a big rock that is next to them and pulls out two zip ties. Sunny takes them and secures Madison’s arms together out in front of her and then speaks directly to Madison, “Okay now, this is the important stuff, think you can listen? We’ll see if you can understand more than scripts, lines and speeches,” she pause, “You know, most of my life I really thought you were something! But then, then you had to go and ruin all that!”
Chapter Six: Act II
Meryl Streep, Oscar Speech:
“Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if we kick ‘em all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts…which are not the arts.”
Sunny pulls out a black bundle from the backpack next and from that, pulls out an Oscar award. Madison’s mouth drops open, and she lets out a gasp at the sight of it. She knows it must be one of hers.
“That’s right!” Sunny says, “Did a little exploring today and look what we found!” She turns the Oscar around in her hands, admiring it. “Must feel real good to get one of these, for a great performance.”
Madison doesn’t say anything.
“Well? Did it?” Sunny yells, wanting an answer, “I mean, we’ve been watching some of your performances lately and the only thing that could possibly be award-worthy about them is how full of bull they are!”
“My awards mean a lot me…of course,” Madison gets out.
“Of course,” Butch repeats, mocking her.
Sunny looks out down the hill, “Some great homes down there. Like your house for instance…all tucked away all nice and safe. Wish I could feel that safe, but I don’t!” she yells. And then, without another word, she slams the award into Madison’s gut, “Here’s what I think of all your damn security!” She raises the Oscar again and throws it down toward the Hollywood sign and into the night.
Madison has a hard time catching her breath and is spitting up saliva. To her surprise, Butch pulls out another Oscar, “Oh now, lookie here…here’s another one…wow, you really are amazing!” he says, holding the award tight in the grip of his large hand. His evil laugh is intimidating and has Madison cowering to the side.
“Know what surprised me the most about your place?” he says, “You had your help, which I wasn’t very impressed with by the way, and nice things and all, but that was it. So…what’s up?” he glares down at Madison.
“I-I don’t know what you mean?” Madison doesn’t know what any of it means, and her thoughts are all over the place. Who are these people? How did they get into my house?
Butch keeps going, “Well, where were all of the people you wanted here? You know, those people that without them we would have nothing to watch and do? They should be welcome you said! But none were at your house…you just had your help and your pretty things, like this!” He holds up the Oscar.
“Well…I-I…” Madison’s at a loss for words. Her eyes are filling up with more tears.
“What, do you stutter in real life or something?” he’s holding the Oscar in front of her face now, “Are they not welcome at your house? And I mean, I never see them welcome at your parties like the one that got you THIS either!” he shakes the Oscar in front of her, “Why keep people, that you want, so closed off when there’s no one better to give them their big chance than you?”
Madison’s now crying uncontrollably and can’t get even one word to come out of her mouth.
Chapter Seven: Act III
Fox News Insider, Robert Davi:
“Open the gates in Bel Air and let the people camp out. Why have any boundaries at all.”
Butch isn’t done, “Look, we know they’re not all dangerous, don’t get me wrong, but what’s amazing to me is that people like you think they are all safe! Open borders! Screw vetting!” He screams before grabbing her by the hair and pulling her head back.
He plants a kiss on her bloody lips, “Better yet, screw you lady!” He let’s go of her hair and then takes the second Oscar and throws it past the sign and down the hill, just like Sunny did with the first one. He walks behind Madison pushing his body against hers and reaches his hand up into her shirt. He starts rubbing and squeezing her breasts. She cringes and starts shifting under his touch.
“Do you like to be felt up by a stranger?” He rips her bra apart and starts squeezing her nipples, “I bet you do,” he puts a hand down her pants, “why haven’t you offered these safe and loving people shelter? You obviously have the room! I mean, Hollywood needs them…Hollywood is them! Isn’t that what you said? So what’s the big f’ing deal!” He pushes into her hard and Madison’s body is vibrating.
“Maybe,” Butch says, “just maybe, they aren’t with you because you’re too good for them, even though you preach all day about how we should all be so accepting and considerate!” He takes his hands back and lets go of her.
Sunny starts in, “Let’s get to the truth here A-list…deep down, you don’t want those scary strangers in your house! You don’t want to find out what they would do, or maybe what they would steal, right?” Madison is breathing hard, but says nothing. Sunny smacks her and she falls over, “Right?”
“Okay, it’s time to get serious,” Sunny says, “You give your talks and your opinions and insult all that I am, and tell me I’m the one causing the violence? You say your work is breathtaking and that you are compassionate. Do you even know what that means? I’m sick of you and all that you stand for, you ignorant bitch!” she raises her arm and slams the back of her hand into Madison’s face.
Madison’s face is bleeding again and she spits out a tooth. Sunny continues, “You say it hurts you to see these people in our country with terror in their eyes? Well know real terror, and now so will you.”
Chapter Eight: The Final Act
The Daily Mail:
“The refugee rapist had a machete and threatened her partner, 26, with violence.”
“The 31-year-old asylum seeker tried to run when being arrested.”
Butch grabs a photo out of the backpack and holds it up so Madison can see it and then sets it down in front of her, “She is beautiful, wouldn’t you agree?” he pauses, “And don’t even think about not answering me or I’ll throw you off this mountain right now!”
Madison is looking at the picture, “She is…very beautiful.” Madison is also thrown off by the photo. It is of a young brunette, and the photo seems so personal. The woman is outside, and the sun lights up her hair. She is not wearing sunglasses, and Madison can see her big brown eyes. She looks innocent, and happy.
“That’s right she is beautiful!” Butch tells her while he grabs another photo, “And this one?”
It’s a picture of a child, a girl. Madison thinks may be eleven years old or so. Same beautiful brown hair and brown eyes. In the picture, she is holding a violin and looks proud. Madison is becoming more anxious about what is coming next. Butch sets the picture down next to the first one.
“Do you think you are more special than these two?” he asks Madison, “Do you think they would be lost without you and your precious art? They had a LIFE, and it had zero to do with you, or this place!”
“I-I…” Madison is mortified.
“I-I”…you sure do stutter…who knew? Maybe it’s one of those crazy twitches people get. For you, it must be when you realize what a pompous, conceited ass you are!” Butch has one more picture and he breaks it out and holds it in front of Madison’s face.
A feeling of panic and anxiety shoot up Madison’s gut and into her mouth. She starts coughing again, almost gagging. The picture is of two very decorated coffins at a burial. There are red and yellow flowers with children and older folk standing all around them, “No!” Madison cries, “Are they…”
Sunny screams in Madison’s face, “Dead!”
Butch lowers the picture and sets it by the others. Madison stares down at them. She can’t control her breathing, her face hurts, her mouth hurts, and she is shaking with fear.
“Our sister, Marlana, picked up her 10 year old daughter, Bella, from school and they had gone straight home, but there were no gates or guards at her house…just a man waiting for them. They got inside, and there was nothing they could do. He tied them up, he beat them, he raped them…and then he killed them…both of them!”
Madison’s vision is blurry, and she sways a bit trying to focus.
“Let me fill you in on the main point here A-list,” Butch says, “the man wasn’t from anywhere around here. You know, our country I mean. He came over in a group and put on the face of an innocent victim. But he was anything but innocent and had his own agenda. An agenda bigger than you or me. For sure, we did the best screening we could with our available time and resources. And in the meantime, I’m listening to your crock of bullshit on the big screen telling me how evil and mean I am. Open borders all the way, right A-list?”
He kneels down in front of her, “Come to find out, he was not just one man, he was one of many, and he was the leader. He went on to destroy more lives until the big day he took his own in a suicide killing.”
Sunny pulls out a pair of scissors and grabs Madison’s hair, “You talk the talk but just can’t walk that walk, can you? You’re all for them and you don’t know shit! You’ve been a fairytale person in a fairytale world. But not anymore. Today, you are nothing.” She chops at Madison’s hair, one big chunk at at time.
Madison’s guts are tied in knots and she’s choking on her own throw up. She is too upset to do anything but sit there, squeezing her eyes as tightly closed as possible.
When she opens them, she sees that Butch has one more Oscar. Of course he does, she had three. Regrets are flying through her head and desperation has taken over her whole body. But for Madison Leigh there is nothing else to do. Brought to her knees, stripped of all that she was, hard work discarded over a mountainside, it’s lights out for Madison.
The last think she sees is the Oscar swinging in her direction.
When the sun came up the next morning and Madison was found, it was shocking. Her body was hunched down, bloody and beaten, her head practically in her lap. No longer in zip ties, her wrists had been cut, causing her to bleed out right there on the hill. She sat there in death all night, and her body was cold.
There was not one clue left behind as to who had been there the night before. All detectives found was a single poker chip placed in her left hand, and to the right of her a message written out on the rock:
HOW CLEVER YOU ARE MY DEAR! YOU NEVER MEAN A SINGLE WORD YOU SAY.
The Liberal Professor
Chapter One: Exams Optional
Colleges and universities are encouraging students to cry, cuddle with puppies and sip hot chocolate to soothe their fragile psyches.
School break is around the corner and for Joanna Butler it couldn’t come at a better time. Being an Economics Professor is no easy task, and the fact that it’s at one of the top Universities in the country, not to mention the birthplace of free speech, makes it all that more challenging.
She thinks back on the last year as she stares up at the awards lining her office walls. There were many frustrations and irritations but today Joanna is glad that she has found her own voice in it all. A place where her views can matter and not be ignored.
She lets out a sigh and looks down at the letter on her computer:
_Your emotional distress is my top priority and therefore I have made the decision to make your final exams optional this semester. As you can imagine, rescheduling this test would be near impossible and although I realize some of you may have studied and prepared for this, we have many that are experiencing extreme trauma from recent events. _
Please know, the choice is yours on whether or not to participate. Please also know that to be fair to all, I will be calculating grades both with and without this score. Please let me know your intentions by tomorrow AM.
If any of you need additional comfort, Professor Stevens will be bringing his dog “Squeakers” into the office starting Monday.
“Perfect!” She takes in a deep breath of satisfaction and signs it.
All My Best, Dr. Butler
She hits send and off it goes.
“Knock, knock!” It’s one of Joanna’s TA’s popping his head in, “May I come in?”
“Oh, of course! I was just sending out my email on exams,” Joanna says, “you should have it in your inbox.”
“Sure enough!” He says. “Got it!
“So, what’s up. What can I do for you?”
“Well, I wondered about this,” he points to his cell phone in reference to the exams, “and I wanted to check in if you still needed me to help grade those papers this weekend.”
“Nope, I don’t think so Daniel,” Joanna thinks for a minute, “I’m moving all of that to next week, I mean, with the event and all.”
“Event?” Daniel asks.
She reaches over to a small stack of flyers that are on her desk, “Did you get one of these?” It’s a flyer promoting the weekend’s festivities:
Love not Hate Cry-in – Join us to Mourn, Encourage & Include (hot chocolate will be served)
“I did not,” Daniel responds, opening up the folded flyer.
“Just went out this morning. You were helping those students in the auditorium when it all unfolded. I expect you to be there!” She looks up at him more intently, “At least stop by Daniel and have some hot chocolate! It’s for a good cause you know and your participation will look great on your resume.”
“Right…” Daniel starts out. He originally wanted to tell her about how his father is in town and it’s his birthday this weekend. But then he stops himself “…of course, I will be there! Wouldn’t want to miss it.”
“Well good!” Joanna exclaims, “The more the merrier at these things. We are trying to make a point!”
“For sure,” says Daniel, “okay, well, I’m gonna run now. I guess I’ll see you tomorrow!” He waves his flyer as she leaves and she wave back without looking up. She has already buried herself back into her computer.
Daniel grabs his things and makes his way down the long hallway of the faculty hall. It’s Friday night and the students are all gone and he’s guessing there are only one or two professors left in the building. All is quiet. He folds up the flyer and puts it into his jacket. He’s already pushing it to make his dinner plans and is in a hurry to get out of there.
Just as he’s about to walk out of the building, he sees a man sitting in the atrium, “You looking for someone?” he asks.
“I’m fine,” the man says, kindly enough. He doesn’t look up though, “just waiting for someone, that’s all.”
“Oh,” Daniel pauses. He then sees the man is holding a school badge and decides it’s all good. “Okay!” he calls out but the man doesn’t respond. “Prick,” Daniel says under his breath as he pops open his umbrella and walks out the door.
Chapter Two: There is work to do
The university has become a therapeutic society where students want to discover and relish their status as victims.
The man in the atrium eventually looks up and he watches Daniel take off down the quiet campus sidewalk, “A college full of ignorance,” he mumbles to himself.
He pulls out a crumpled up news article from his coat pocket and opens it. He lowers his head as he reads it and after a moment wipes tears from his eyes. After sitting for a few more minutes, there’s a knock on the glass door to the building.
The man is startled by the noise, but then recognizes his friend at the door. He makes an attempt to fold up his article, and shoves it back into his pocket before getting up.
He opens the door, “Max.”
The two men are old friends. They served in the Army together after high school and both married young. They never did make it to a high-end college but they did continue on and made quite the careers for themselves.
Using their military background they did many things over the years. Today, they are business partners and run a security company, providing services in and around the San Francisco area. They also have quite the poker group that gets together every first Thursday of the month. They they play hard and share in good times. They also discuss many things that don’t involve poker and that go well above and beyond the stakes of the game.
Jack pulls out a large backpack he had set behind his bench and loads up.
“Okay, so…” Jack is ready to start discussing the plan when a man from university security comes up the set of stairs to lower level, and walks over to them.
“Hey Warden,” Max turns to the man, “how are we looking?”
“The building is clear. Last one to leave was that TA and the only one left is Dr. Butler.
“Sounds good,” Jack rubs his hands together and looks to both of the men, “we have work to do.”
Chapter Three: Dripping with Pride
Fox News Insider:
College Students Want to Eliminate Grades Below ‘C’ and Written Exams.
Joanna is on her phone and is all smiles.
“Aren’t you relentless! This year has just gone so well, I mean, can you believe it? … I know, I know … It’s been amazing, thank you. I am actually quite proud of myself and the students are fantastic,” she starts laughing and spinning her chair around, “I haven’t had one student demand or complain in two weeks!”
She stops her spinning and looks at her reflection in a mirror she has stuck to her computer monitor. “Okay, well I suppose … No, you’re right, I deserve it! … After my event tomorrow? Dinner at 7? … Great, I can’t wait!”
Whoever her flirt is on the other end, finally closes out the call and Joanna just sits for a moment with a satisfying grin on her face. Her face then turns serious as if she just remembered something, and she sits up, grabs a pen and starts writing some things down.
It’s all quiet until she hears a creak in the floor, coming from the hallway outside of her office. She quickly turns to the door, “Hello?” There is no answer.
“Daniel, is that you?” She waits another half a minute and with nothing more, she turns back to her work.
There’s another creak coming from the hallway, “Hello? Is someone there?” Nothing.
She decides to wrap it up and grabs her briefcase up off the floor and puts her extra flyers inside of it, along with her notes and a few other things. She grabs her cell phone and turns off her monitor.
She reaches behind her door and takes her jacket from the hook and is ready to leave, when the lights go out.
Chapter Four: The Night Crew
Safe spaces may become empty spaces at the University of Missouri, where officials acknowledged an expected sharp decline in enrollment next fall is due at least in part to protests that rocked the campus last fall.
“Evening Professor.” It is a low voice and not one that Joanna recognizes.
“Who’s there?” Joanna strains to get a peek at who is on the other side of the door but she doesn’t move an inch before a second man grabs her shoulders.
“Just stay calm Professor,” he says, “let me get your bag for you.” The man slowly slides her bag from her shoulders and off her arm. Her umbrella drops to the floor.
“What is this? Is this a joke?”
“This is most definitely not a joke!” The first man snaps, “Let’s get going!”
“I’m not going anywhere!” Joanna tries to stand firm.
But that is not a choice Joanna Butler can make. She is soon blindfolded and her hands are tied behind her back. The two men waste no time and swiftly escort her out of her office.
The halls are fairly dark now. The building does have lighting that flips on at night but it is minimal and dim. She can’t see a thing through her blindfold but the two men can easily make their way.
She is led downstairs and to her surprise, outside. It’s raining and she is getting soaked and slipping under the strong arms of the men dragging her along the way. She’s lost all sense of direction. They pick up the pace and end up walking up a set of stairs. After just a moment, the door opens.
“Hello again Warden. Let us in and shut that door!” the first man says.
“Sure thing Sarge,” the man says, and he steps aside.
They all get inside and the large door slams behind them. Joanna knows now they are in a lecture hall.
“Ah, this room is nice,” Sarge says, “Yea, I bet there is a lot of learning going on in here, eh Professor?”
“If we are in the lecture hall, then of course,” Joanna replies, “there are classes here every day!”
“Good!” Says Sarge, “Then you should be right at home!” He yanks her arm and starts to lead her down the stairs. She stumbles a few times as he forces her down to the front of the auditorium. The second man follows.
Joanna is known for keeping her cool and remaining unaffected in stressful times, but this time is different, and she knows it. “I’m just not sure I understand any of this, what do you guys want?”
Without warning, Sarge throws her down onto a chair. It’s an old wooden high-backed chair, and her body slams down hard. “Of course you don’t understand lady!” Get the duct tape Captain,” he tells the second man, “but that’s okay, we’re gonna fix you up good. Today, YOU are the student!”
Captain speaks up for the first time, “You’re a professor! But today, you are ours and all the shit you sit and think about while you’re in your important and educated life is no more!” He unties her hands and immediately grabs the collar of her shirt and rips it apart, “What is this, silk?” he asks. It is, and it comes apart easy.
Sarge grabs her watch and her shoes, “Wow, these look expensive.”
They toss the items to the side. They set her arms in her lap and wrap the duct tape around the chair and over her stomach, securing her in place with her arms in front of her.
Joanna hears shuffling and the men walking around but can’t tell what they are doing, “Please, just tell me what you want? What is it?” Neither respond but then suddenly one of them grabs her by the shoulders. She can feel he has knelt down in front of her.
“Okay Professor, I’m going to take your blindfold off now,” Sarge puts his hands to her eyes, “and don’t start screaming or anything because if you do, it won’t be pretty.”
Joanna is breathing deep and hard now, almost hyperventilating. Sarge slowly loosens and then removes the blindfold. The lights in the auditorium are low, except for the spotlight focused on the small group on the floor. She blinks her way back into vision.
The two men are large, very large. Not overweight, but big, burley and clearly very strong. They are wearing all black and have big rugged boots on. They are wearing black hats and have black paint around their eyes. The main part of their faces are covered with bandanas that look like the American flag. To Joanna, these men are completely overwhelming. What could these two beasts possibly want with me?
“I, I…” Joanna wants to try to reason with them but can’t get anything out. Both men are standing tall in front of her, hovering like angry parents with their hands crossed over their chest.
“Shut up! You are in class this time,” Sarge tells her.
“Let me explain.” Captain begins, “the education you’ve been providing, shall we say…isn’t quite the quality we’d expect for the dollars you cost.”
“Definitely not what the school says it is…What the school promised!” Sarge adds in a loud and angry voice.
“That’s okay Sarge, keep your cool,” Captain says. “It’s gonna be cool, right Professor?” He is still standing over Joanna. She still can’t speak but she nods. She is cold. She looks down and her tears drops to her arms. She is topless aside from her bra, and she is trembling.
“Okay good then. Let’s get this started!” Captain claps his hands together and slaps Sarge on the back.
Chapter Five: Class Begins
The Washington Times:
Berkeley protesters form human chain to stop white students from getting to class
Sarge pulls a satchel from the backpack and sets it down on the speaker’s podium. Captain pulls the backpack inn front of the white board and Joanna watches him as he digs through it.
Joanna can’t stand it. She’s sitting there, tied to chair in a lecture hall where she has given many great speeches and taught many great classes. She is too confused to think through this and can no longer stay calm. Panic sets in and she lets out a roar.
“Ahhh, let me out of here! What do you want? Let me go!” She starts violently trying to throw her chair and rip her arms out of the tape, “Please! Let me go! I haven’t done anything!”
Sarge instantly grabs the chair and holds it firm to the floor and then without hesitation, raises his hand and slams it across her face.
“Now, why did you have to go and do that?” he says, “I thought professors like you were smart!” he pauses, “But then again, that’s why were here, isn’t it?”
“That’s right!” Captain adds, “It’s no secret anymore Professor. We know your ignorance and stupidity is right up there with the best of them!”
Sarge lets go of her and steps back over to the podium. He pulls out a pen and a pad of paper, “So, here’s what we’re going to do smart lady, it’s time for you to have a lesson! We talk. You listen.” He puts the pen in one of her hands and the pad of paper in the other, “You might just want to take notes.” He flashes her a sarcastic smile.
Out of nowhere, there’s a flash and it catches Joanna by surprise. “Great shot! You look great,” says Captain as he puts his camera back into the backpack.
Joanna is stunned. She is lightheaded from her outburst and breaks down. She can’t control her tears and her body is buzzing, and feels numb. Sarge has just pulled out some papers. She sucks up her breath in an attempt to calm down. The tears keep filling up her eyes but she tries to focus.
“Okay now, let’s begin,” he holds a picture of a baby wrapped in a blue blanket up to her face, and he asks her, “what do you see here?” Joanna is just staring at him, makeup washing down her face.
“Speak up when spoken to Professor!” Captain yells at her.
She can’t stop sniffling but gets out an answer, “Yes, Okay.”
“All right then, let’s try this again,” Sarge holds up his picture one more time, “what is this a picture of?”
“It is a baby,” she says.
“That’s right,” Sarge tells her. He hands the picture to Captain who slams it up onto the whiteboard and tapes it there.
Sarge breaks out another picture and this time it’s of a boy around six, “Can you tell me what this is?” He waits for a minute but she says nothing, “Come on now, it’s not that hard…give it to me in detail.”
“It…it’s a boy…at Christmas,” She is so confused she is choking on her words, “Please, just tell me, what is this? What does any of this have to do with me?”
“Stop your whining bitch!” Sarge yells, “Man, is that a requirement at this school?” he asks, looking to Captain as he hands him the picture. Captain tapes it up on the whiteboard next to the baby picture.
“Why do you do the things you do Professor?” Sarge is violently waving his hands in the air as if questioning her sanity.
“I don’t know!” Joanna yells out, “I mean, I don’t know what you are talking about!”
“Would you hurt a child?” Sarge asks her.
“Of course…I, I would never…” Joanna lowers her head, tears still flowing. She drops her pen and immediately looks up to see if another punishment is coming for the error.
“You know,” Captain breaks in, “I don’t think she’s taking this class seriously. She’s still in her head!”
“I think you’re right,” says Sarge, setting his papers down on the podium.
Captain walks up to Joanna and kneels down. He’s looking her up and down. Her nylons are ripped from walking in the rain and her knee is bleeding a bit from scraping it on the sidewalk. He starts tapping his fingers on it. Joanna cringes under her skin with every tap. He reaches up to her hair and wipes her bangs from her face, “Well, here’s a problem Sarge, she can’t see!” he observes.
Sarge walks over, “Well isn’t that a shame, let me get that for you.” He rips a long piece of duct tape and tugs her hair back. He tapes her hair up and away from her face, wrapping it around from her forehead to the back of her neck.
“And what are these?” Captain asks, inspecting her earrings, “Are those diamonds?” She just tilts her head away from him. She is wearing drop earrings with diamonds hanging down. He starts rubbing her ear lobes and inspecting them, “Really nice! You get those with your high-end smart-teacher salary?” She refuses to look at him. She is terrified and her body is jerking with fear as his fingers fun over her ears.
He then grabs hold of each earring and without warning rips them both out of her ears at the same time. Joanna screams and starts jumping up and down in her chair.
Captain is still looking at her, “Hurts, doesn’t it?” He laughs a bit and runs his hand over her face and his fingertips over her chest. Blood is dripping down onto her shoulders.
“You’ve handed out enough pain Professor,” Sarge points out, “stop your crying!”
Captain throws the earrings to the side with everything else, “You got that right!”
“So,” Sarge says, “where were we? Oh yes. Now do we have your attention? Time to get serious.” He smiles.
Chapter Six: The Mid-term
The students also said they would like university campuses to have safe spaces from student loans, penalties for underage drinking and penalties for large parties…
Get serious? Joanna is starting to hyperventilate again, “I’ll do whatever you want! What is it that you want?”
Captain giver her back her pen, “No worries Professor, this is just a discussion, not an exam,” he winks at Joanna, “I know you know what I mean.”
She is sweating. Her arms hurt from the tape and her head hurts from the madness. She can feel the warm blood dripping down her shoulders and the pain in her ears is piercing. But then she has a thought. What did he just say? Is her referring to…no, he can’t possibly be!
She just wrote her letter to her students, like she has done many times. His words are eerily familiar and it’s making her nauseous. It takes a minute, but she comes out of her daze and sees that Sarge is holding yet another picture. This time, it is of a boy in his teens and he is holding up an award that says, NEC Second Place Medal. “Now I know you know what this is!”
“N…national econ, economic award,” she spits out. She tries to look away but Sarge is holding the picture in front of her no matter what she does.
“That’s right it is,” Sarge calmly gives the picture to Captain and like the others, it goes onto the whiteboard. Then he just stands in front of Joanna and sighs, “What are we going to do with you?”
“Wh-What?” she asks. She refuses to look at him.
“You just don’t want to be here, do you?” He watches her shake her head no and then slaps her across the face one more time.
He then gets a piece of rope out of his bag. Captain holds her head up and back against the chair and Sarge takes the rope and ties it through the holds in the back of the chair and around her neck, talking to her as he goes, “What I can’t figure out is…HOW does someone like you get to be…someone like you?” He pulls on the rope. Any tighter and he’d be strangling her. She is gasping for air.
“You have all your awards and recognitions, you have your big office and position at a great school!” He secures the rope behind the chair, it’s snug but she has enough room to breath, and then takes a step back, “I guess you just got stupid! Just like you’re making all the kids stupid!”
Joanna can’t help but face the front now. Her eyes are glued to Sarge. He breaks out more pictures.
Chapter Seven: The Final
The Brown Daily Herald:
Schoolwork, advocacy place strain on student activists – Students struggle with mental health, academic pressures as they act on social justice responsibilities.
“It’s time for the big stuff now Professor. You should get it no problem,” he holds up another picture. Joanna recognizes the boy in it immediately. It’s Jeremy Collins, one of her students. Well, former student, as he left the school earlier that year. He was a Junior.
Joanna is taken aback. She can’t take her eyes of the picture. She then scans the pictures on the white board and is suddenly even more terrified than before realizing they are all of Jeremy. This cannot be good! She thinks to herself, but she can’t figure out why.
Sarge’s hands are starting to shake and so is the picture. Sarge hands the picture to Captain.
“You sit here all righteous”, Sarge preaches, “and all-knowing. Do you know these kids? I mean, do you really know them or care at all?”
“Yes,” Joanna says. Her face is red from the last slap and soaked from her tears. The blood from her ears is drying on her shoulders and chest. Through her sobs, she tries to continue, “I, I know Jeremy. I mean, I knew him when he was here. He…h-he is a fine young man.” She takes in a couple of breaths, “Do you know him? He left the school a while back.”
“Oh, he knows him all right,” Captain interjects.
“We pay good money for our kids to go here and what do you do?” Sarge asks, “You take them in and try to make them one of your own. Well they’re not!” He is just standing there, shaking and crazy. “There’s one more Professor.”
Joanna moves her eyes from Sarge to Captain. She is shaking and can’t take much more. She watches as he slowly pulls one more sheet from the bag on the podium and brings it over to Sarge and puts a hand to his friend’s shoulder.
Sarge takes a minute to look at the picture before turning it around for Joanna to see. She can see it’s of the same boy, Jeremy. But he is so skinny? His hair is a mess. He is sitting on the floor somewhere, backed into a corner. He is smiling, kind of. It’s a pathetic smile. The attempted smile of a sick person. [_Can that be him? What happened? _]Joanna can’t figure it out. He was a top student but something happened. Over the last year he had problems and became more introverted, but this? [_This is him now? _]
“I WANTED my son to go here!” Sarge blurts out. “Saved up for years to get him into this school!” His voice is very loud and full of anger now and Joanna feels it’s only going to get worse. “He never did graduate and never will! Not even your pitiful safe rooms were enough to keep him engaged. Do you get that?”
“I just don’t know,” Joanna is trying to figure out what is happening. She starts coughing and spit is dripping down her face. She feels like she is going to throw up.
“What? You feel sick? THIS is sick!” Sarge shoves the picture closer to her face. “School was too much, or the lack of school as people like YOU made it to be.”
“He was a great student!” Joanna is trying, “I didn’t know what happened when he left, or why he left. He seemed…dis-distracted!”
“Of course he was distracted Professor! And why do you think that is?” He stops his pacing and looks at her. His eyes are fierce and almost glowing against the black paint, “I mean, just the thought of graduating and leaving this pathetic place became something way too difficult for him to consider. How in the world could he make it outside of these walls?”
Joanna is overwhelmed and starts to raise her voice, without even noticing. She lets go of the pen and paper and they fall to the floor. She tries to wriggle in frustration but she is tied too tightly. “I don’t know what you mean! I was good to Jeremy, I loved having him in my classes!”
“Your classes?” Captain asks, “That’s funny.”
Joanna is thinking that the two men are just crazy because this has nothing to do with her but then Sarge screams out, “THIS IS MY SON!”
Everything stops and goes silent. She looks to him in shock. She’s wondering, but knows, that whatever this is, just got much worse.
He takes a big breath and continues, “My son was arrested five times in one year for protesting. Protests YOU encouraged him to go to! The stress from those arrests and the protesting alone caused his anxiety to skyrocket! He never even HAD anxiety before!”
He starts pacing and walking around Joanna, “My son came out a mess.” He holds the picture in front of her again, “This student…because of his anxiety became addicted to prescription drugs. This school and all it’s prestigious and respected work, scrambled his brain!”
He tapes the picture on the end of the line of pictures showing Jeremy’s life, “Look at my son! Look at him, growing up with big dreams! He was set to take over his grandfather’s company you know.”
He walks back and forth along the photos, “He was the one to carry on the family business.” He stops at the last picture, “But what did we get instead? Legal bills from the crimes and disturbances my son participated in, on YOUR behalf, that I cannot pay. Medical bills for his anxiety and depression, and therapy bills that are out of control, BECAUSE of this school and your teachings. Massive school loans I now owe from a dream he never finished!”
He walks back over to Joanna, “The worst part is that the values I have taught my son over the many years I spent raising went to shit. You ruined all that. When he left here and all was said and done, he might as well have been five years old for God’s sake!”
He starts shaking her and screaming in her face, “You wanna talk about my son? YOUR good student? He couldn’t come back to school and he most certainly couldn’t work!” Still screaming, he continues, “Want to hear some funny stories of Jeremy on interviews? Well now, let’s see…he lost one because he refused to call himself an American, one because he couldn’t spell while taking a simple interview exam and one because he cried during the interview! Why did he cry? The guy asked what he thought of the weather they were having and my son was offended!”
Joanna is out of words. Her work was good! She doesn’t understand. She is devastated. She sees the rage in these men. They are out for revenge. And she’s it.
“Well, this sick, depressed and anxious little protestor of yours couldn’t be helped!” He takes a flyer from her bag and shakes it in her face, “Not enough Cry-ins in the world could’ve saved this boy!”
Joanna is thinking the unthinkable, “No!” she cries out, “No! Wait! Is he?”
“You’re damn right bitch! He’s DEAD!” He pulls the crumpled article out of his pocket. He unfolds it and holds it up for Joanna, “He killed himself! Spent the night reviewing footage of protests and my wife found him lying in bed with his school books all around him. Shot himself with my 9 mm!”
He puts the article back in his pocket. Joanna gasps and is screaming so hard, barely any sound coming out at first, but then she starts screaming and yelling again, “No, no, no!”
“Oh yes Professor! Shot himself in the face,” he puts the paper back and his face close to hers, “probably couldn’t face the degraded man he became after being at your school and in your precious classes!”
“Wait! No! I loved Jeremy!” she is sobbing and blubbering her way through her words, “Please! What can I do? I didn’t realize!” She’s coughing again, “I was trying to help them!”
“Help them? You are ruining them!” Sarge screams at her.
She didn’t even notice that Captain took a stand behind her. He starts undoing the rope around her neck. It loosens, but he keeps a hold on it.
She is now desperate, “What are you going to do?” She squeezes her eyes shut, knowing that any hope she had has left the building.
“I think you know,” Sarge tells her. He points to the pictures on the white board. Joanna is crying hysterically. “LOOK, at his life, the life you stole from him…from all of us!”
Captain tightens the rope, just enough for her to feel real pressure. She starts to gag.
“Look!” Sarge screams again.
She does look. She sees the infant in a blanket and the bright-eyed boy with his award. She taught him, but then she took him down a path. Her eyes are feeling the pressure from the strangulation. She can barely see the picture of the sick boy. She starts to gurgle and sucks in one more breath…and then releases it.
Captain lets go of rope, “Her path of destruction ends here Sarge,” he says, “this one’s for the boy.”
The two are long gone before anyone finds her. The Warden kept a good watch, his debt to his uncle served.
When she is finally found the next morning, it is quite the sight. The Professor, in her own lecture hall, sitting with her pen and paper in hand. She is still tied to the chair, head down and half-naked, stripped down to a mere victim like so many of her students. Students that will soon be set free from their educational walls of security. No more puppies and safe rooms. No more cry-ins or missed exams.
The pictures are all gone as with any trace of Jack or Max. All that is left behind is one poker chip on the podium, and a message written out on the white board:
DO WHAT YOU DO, AND YOU WILL GET WHAT YOU DESERVE
Cop Lives Matter
Chapter One: Game Over
Recently an Alabama detective was pistol-whipped to within an inch of his life because he says he hesitated to use force lest he be the next headline.
The game wrapped up and it was now time to discuss the winner. Not about who won at poker but what they would do next.
They would discuss topics and issues that are so big, no one is immune. Although one may like to believe it, the fabricated walls of protection built by money, politics and power, are no safeguard.
If you’ve done it, if you’ve been a part of it…you should know… they may be coming for you.
Chapter Two: The Protest
[_Meanwhile, protests and riots against the police were gathering force across the country, all of them steeped in anti-cop vitriol … “What do we want? Dead cops,” chanted participants in a New York anti-cop protest. _]
“Fry’em like bacon!”
“Put the pigs in the ground!”
The protest chants rang loud across Portland and continued throughout the day in one of the biggest anti-cop protests the city had ever seen. The activists appeared unstoppable as their wave of destruction and hits against the police blew through the streets.
The protesters came armed with bats, crowbars, flares, rocks, bricks…you name it. One officer lost teeth after having a heavy piece of metal thrown at him, another suffered broken vertebrae when a brick was thrown down on him and yet another suffered brain injury from more projectiles. For those putting on the madness, the violence proved only to be more motivating as the day went on, but for those on the other side, it was vicious.
This crowd held nothing back, and nothing was off limits. Even if you weren’t a cop, if you weren’t for the cause, you entered at your own risk. Some, like retiree Sandy Huber, had the unfortunate experience of taking in the lesson.
For the most part, she stayed behind the large crowd, watching in amazement as it moved along yelling and wrecking everything in sight until something in particular caught her eye. She walked up slowly to observe an American flag that lay on the sidewalk, on fire. She stopped and stood there and watched a lifetime of respect and courage for her country, be trampled on and burned before her eyes.
Her husband had been a policeman until he was shot and killed one week before retirement. Today, the woman came to the “rally” wearing his officer ring to show her loyalty for her husband, and all the men in blue. She didn’t like the new America that seemed to surround her, full of division and hostility. She wanted her old America, the one she believed in for so long.
Today was a day she didn’t want to miss. It was a chance to stand up for those on the receiving end of so much hatred. She even wore her MAGA hat with the hopes that America could in fact be great again.
The ring, the hat, her allegiance to the flag…it was all too much. There was no room for those who supported cops, or any sort of law and order. Everything she stood for, was everything they were against. Before she knew it, she had three men dressed all in black surrounding her.
“What’s your problem lady?” A man plants his face in front of hers, removing her big round sunglasses. He takes her hat and throws it into the fire with the burning flag. He pulls her by her hair and throws her to the ground.
As firecrackers go off behind her, he leans down and screams in her face, “You are all the same!”
Another one notices the ring on her finger and grabs her hand, “Pig lover!” he yells. He pulls off the ring and throws it into the fire where her hat is. She looks up to him and is about to speak but doesn’t get the chance. The one man starts kicking her, and others follow.
She’s getting it from all sides, and it doesn’t take much before the 70-year-old passes out completely. The fact that this woman is elderly is of little consequence for this group. They are there spread to the violence, attack police and any of their supporters, and do what they can to destroy the town. And that’s how it all went down.
As devastating as it all was for Portland, the day couldn’t have been a bigger success for those putting on the madness. Only when the police fought back with tear gas and stun grenades did the crowd finally start to die down. For those instigating the problems all that meant was that their workday was coming to an end, and it was time to get paid.
Chapter Three: The Success!
Many police officers are resigning, seeking other professions,” he said. “Why do we continue do our job when we have thankless individuals out here who don’t respect us, who are very defiant, very disobedient, determined to do what they want to do.
– Maryland Sheriff Mike Lewis
“That was amazing! Did you see that Pig go down?” exclaims Devon, one of the protest’s main players.
“Sure did!” Mason tells his friend, “We are unstoppable. I love this shit man!” Running on pure adrenaline, the two young men can barely contain themselves. “When do we get paid?”
“Let’s find out,” Devon breaks out his cell phone as they walk and calls their contact, David. He’s the guy who pays them after a job. “Hey boss…you know it…we are about to head out…Right…” he stops and holds the phone away from his ear so that Mason can also hear.
[_“You know the drill. When the big man pays me, I’ll pay you!” _]
“Okay, got it,” Devon responds, putting the phone back to his ear as David ends the call. Devon puts his phone back in his pocket and turns to Mason, “Now we just wait for the money, and it’s time to go!”
The two young men take one last look back on the path of destruction they will leave behind. They never leave together in order to avoid being caught together. If one gets picked up, the other knows what to do. They nod in agreement and then take off in different directions.
David Bryson hangs up the phone and takes a sip of his scotch, curling his toes in the carpet, “Success!” he calls out even though no one is there to hear him. He sits down and opens his laptop, and flips on the TV to catch the latest.
He listens to the anchor and her updates:
“Several cops were injured in the violence. We currently have no updates on their conditions; however, no police deaths have been reported thus far.
“The extensive damage to the city is deemed the most destructive this year as protesters and activists took their stance against law enforcement.”
David settles in and starts to put together his close-out email, like he does after every one of the events he manages. The email is to the big man, the big money man that is. He’s the one in charge, providing the funds and helping to manage the resources that make events like today possible.
He’s a billionaire with a resume that includes things like Financier, Investor, Economist, and Philanthropist. His wealth, visibility, and business dealings attract a lot of attention, and so he keeps a healthy distance from things like today. He uses crews on the ground to do the dirty work while he stays far away and under the radar. He’s the guy that has the money, and will spend the money, to keep their presence known and keep the movement going forward.
Some people question why the big man is so active in working against the very country that gave him his wealth and support, but not David. To him, it’s all good because along with his street soldiers, the paycheck at the end of the day makes up for any misplaced values. Today, they had 73 of their guys out there and things only seem to be getting better. More and more young people are coming out of the woodwork wanting to participate and that means the events can keep going, and the money will keep rolling in.
David gets his email sent and feels good. He’s about to down the rest of his scotch when he notices the time and realizes he needs to get moving. Although David moonlights as an “event manager” his real job is an independent news analyst and he has an interview in an hour. He’s due to meet CNN to share information on any latest developments with regards to the anti-cop movement, and to give an update on today’s affairs.
“Ah, I love the counterfeit news network!” he laughs, pushing his scotch to the side and grabbing his wristwatch instead, “These guys will eat up anything for a good story, this will be fun!”
Just by looking at David, one would never know how conniving and soul-less the man really is. He’s got the perfect east coast prim and proper look. He’s slim and good looking, with the hair of a Kennedy and a smile that will catch your eye. Behind it all though he’s just another greedy guy trying to take as much as he can get. He loves the interviews because it gets him screen time where he can show off his knowledge and of course, he gets paid for it!
He is staying downtown at the Paramount Hotel and doesn’t have far to go. When he’s all cleaned up and put together, he packs up his briefcase and heads down to the garage where his ride should be waiting for him.
Sure enough, there is a black sedan and a man standing by the the car holding the passenger door open. The two acknowledge each other and David gets in, pumped and ready to get going. But that’s not what happens.
The minute he’s in, and his door is shut, the driver leaves and is replaced by someone dressed all in black. The doors are locked, and not even another second goes by before David is knocked in the head from behind, and knocked out.
Chapter Four: The Meet
With the number of applicants down more than 90 percent in some cities, police departments may soon be posting more signs that say “Help Wanted” instead of “Most Wanted.”
David starts to come to and realizes that he has a person on either side of him and is being dragged by the shoulders. He tries to catch his footing, but his headache is ringing loud and he’s still pretty out of it. To top it off, his head is covered and he can’t see a thing.
He’s thrown into a chair, “Who’s there?” David calls out.
“What do you know, he’s awake! Well, welcome back Amigo,” The voice is unfamiliar and David is surprised it’s female, and Hispanic. He hears the woman walk from one side of him to the other, and then he can feel that his legs are being tied together at the ankles.
[_Did she just call me Amigo? _]The term, and the woman, catch David off guard.
“What is this? What am I doing here?” he wants to know.
“You are here because you seem to have a small problem with this great country that you live in!”
His shirt is ripped off, and then he’s then quickly hoisted to his feet. His arms are pulled out to the sides and he feels his watch being taken off his wrist. It’s replaced with some sort of leather cuff. His other arm is secured at the same time. The two strangers adjust a few things, and David’s arms are soon stretched out to the sides even further.
He feels the tie around his neck loosen, and then the woman removes the cover. He takes a large gulp of air before really noticing what’s around.
He’s in a room, in what looks like a basement somewhere. There are pipes overhead, and he can hear what sounds like steam in the background. It’s dark for the most part, aside from the bright light that hangs above him, his briefcase and phone on the floor a small distance in front of him. He also sees his phone has been smashed.
“What the hell? Get me out of this!” he screams, attempting to shake himself free. The wrist cuffs and tight chains that are holding up his arms don’t allow for much movement though, much less an escape. He gets nowhere and only ends up struggling himself right out of breath.
Checking out his two attackers, he sees they are both dressed all in black. The woman has her dark hair in a long pony tail, and he can see the other one is a man who is quite large. Their faces are hidden behind dark bandana’s decorated like the American flag and they have camouflage paint around their eyes. They are standing directly in front of him.
“Who are you and what do you want?” David is beyond confused.
“Well now,” the man starts out in a sarcastic tone, “I’m Mickey, and this here is my wife, Mallory!” David hears the man giggle under his breath. He can tell by the man’s accent that he is also Hispanic, which only confuses David more.
He looks from one black bandit to the other, “I…don’t even know you! I…” He is about to continue but is interrupted.
“Shut. Up!” Mallory screams, slapping him across the face.
But David doesn’t shut up, “I’m supposed to be interviewing on CNN,” he tells them, “don’t you think I’ll be missed? They are going to be all over this!” His thoughts are running wild, but he reassures himself that he is David Bryson after all and of course people would come! Wouldn’t they?
Mallory shakes her head back and forth, “What, the fake news? They’ll take anything. And anyway, we took care of it and no, they will not miss you.” She then grabs a knife out of her back pocket.
David doesn’t know what they think they know, but then again, he doesn’t like the answer. He also doesn’t like Mallory walking up to him and popping open her knife, which happens to be a switchblade.
She runs her nails through his hairline, “You know, it’s a shame…you are even prettier in person. Such a waste.” She pulls on the hair hanging down his forehead and swipes the knife close to his scalp, cutting off his signature curls, “Too bad you really are so ugly! Now this…this is much more fitting.”
Mallory’s cuts were rough, and there are little droplets of blood trickling their way down David’s face. He is shaking his head in disbelief, “I just don’t understand, what can I do? What do you want?”
Mallory wipes her knife on her pants, closes it up and puts it back in her pocket. “You pretend to be a news analyst…what a crock!” she yells harshly, “We hear what you say on TV but we know what you do! You talk to your viewers pretending to be amazed and appalled by what’s happening out there, then play hero to your street soldiers!”
She grabs his cheeks and squeezes hard, and much to David’s surprise her grip is quite firm. His face aches, and he feels tears starting to fill his eyes. “You with your pretty little face, you are nothing but a hypocrite!” She releases her grip, “Welcome to the real world!”
Chapter Five – The Reality
The New York Daily News:
[_President Obama, who placed a call to Mayor Rawlings, called the killings a “vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement.” _]
David tries one more time to get out of whatever this is, hoping money will do the trick. He is a firm believer that anyone can be bought, “I just don’t understand! Is there something you want? I can get you money if…”
He doesn’t even get the full offer out before Mickey shouts, “Don’t try to throw your dirty money at us!”
And then, WACK!
Mickey now has a baseball bat which he slammed right into David’s gut. David’s lets out a wail and the color drains from his face. His body wants to fold, but with how he’s tied, he doesn’t get far.
Mallory puts her hand to his mouth to silence him and then reaches down, grabbing him in the crotch, “We don’t need money you idiot! But you need to listen up,” she tightens her hold on him, and he winces as she talks, “WE are in charge!” She clinches him hard one more time before taking her hand back.
David lets out a gasp. The pain is intense, and he struggles to talk, “Just please tell me…tell me what this all is!”
Without saying a word, Mallory walks over to their bag and pulls out a folder. She sets it on a small table that’s off to the side. From the folder she pulls out a picture and holds it up in front of David. The picture is of a protest. David knows it’s the one his group put on in Chicago.
His head is spinning, “What are you doing? Let me out of here!”
“Oh, you belong to us now,” Mickey says, “Don’t fight it. I can assure you, it’s much better that way.”
Chapter Six – The Ignorance
Fox News Insider:
[_“This is something out of another country,” Tucker Carlson said. _]
Not knowing what to do, David reluctantly focuses back on the picture. He sees a group of males wearing gas masks and head coverings running through a larger crowd. “Your guys, your handiwork,” Mallory points out, “it’s amazing how you can take a perfectly good city and annihilate it within a few hours!”
“What’s also amazing,” she continues, “is what I don’t see. You make plans to take down a whole city but you’re nowhere to be found! No,” she pulls out another photo, “here’s where you were during Chicago, staying right at the Trump International!” She looks to David, “Really?”
The next picture is of Dallas, “This one was really out there, even for you Amigo. I have to say, I didn’t expect it. But, easy for you to handle from your room at The Ritz I’d imagine, completely out of touch about what you’ve done.”
Mickey chimes in, “I can handle that Mallory. Let me get you in touch Amigo, and I quote, “it was “The deadliest single incident for U.S. law enforcement since September 11, 2001!” Yep, your riots are something else!”
“Riots? Do you mean the protests?” David funds protests and as far as he’s concerned, what happens after that is not his problem.
“Protests, riots, call them whatever makes you feel better Amigo, but they are all the same,” Mallory tells David, “Your people are nothing but runners of violence and cop hatred, and because of people like you, people are dying!”
“Wait a minute!” David is not a murderer, “I’ve killed no one! Protests are free speech. So I help with those, what’s it to you? You don’t believe in free speech in this country?”
“Ignorance!” Mickey explodes, “Promoting the killing of cops and looting businesses, paying people to burn the flag and light police cars on fire is NOT free speech!”
“Okay I don’t know what’s been done to you,” David feels like he’s scrambling, “maybe you have me confused with someone else.”
Mickey and Mallory are silent and David thinks maybe he’s on to something. He dares to keep going, “But…I know a lot of people and maybe I could help you? We could work together!”
“See, that right there sums up one of the reasons you are here today,” Mickey tells David. He waits for a reaction but doesn’t get it. “What you are doing will have massive impacts on the country yet you are completely detached from any of it. You are dangerous because you are ignorant to the effects of what you create in our streets. And you are ignorant because you don’t care.”
Mickey leans in very close to David, “Well today, Amigo, you will care!”
Chapter Seven: The Greed
[_($400,000 paid to Obama for speech on healthcare) _]
[_Assuming he talks for 45 minutes, that works out to “only” about $36 per word uttered. But with that one health care speech, Obama will make enough to pay the premiums on more than 100 ObamaCare plans for median-income families. _]
“And since we are on the subject of YOU Amigo, let’s just get it all out on the table.” Mickey walks over to their duffle bag and pulls out a black book. He opens it, “Ah, here we go, let’s take a look at what’s been going on!”
He flips in a few pages and runs his finger down some lines, “Here we have $150,000 in donations! Wow, that’s a good one!” He lifts his head to look at David and then looks back to the book, “$85,000, $120,000…the money just keeps rolling in for you guys!”
He flips another page, “And here’s something interesting…look at this…you paid this guy $5,000 a month for his participation!” Mickey keeps going, “$3,000, $2,500, and then this guy Devon, he must be real special cause he got $6,000!” He taps his finger on the specific line he’s talking about.
“Where did you get that?” David is getting hysterical, “Give me that! You have no right!”
“What? This information? Easy to get!” Mickey goes deeper into the black book, “Let’s see, you said you live in New York, this is true, but you also have a home in Miami, Santa Barbara and oh, yes, a small ranch in Texas! Boy, I’d like to see that one!” He turns to Mallory and they both start laughing.
Mickey flips a few more pages, “And then you play news analyst! That’s great. You reported on the protests you supported! These facts here,” he taps in the book some more, “did you know that you were on CNN 22 times last month alone? You’re incredible!”
“I report on what’s going on!” David speaks up for himself, but immediately regrets it. Mickey throws the book down and grabs his bat.
“All you care about is the money!” Mickey yells before, WACK!
He hits David again with his bat, this time at the kneecaps. David’s knees buckle but that only pulls on his arms. He groans and does his best to stand up straight. He also feels the tears he’s been holding back start to run down his cheeks. His legs are killing him and he’s struggling to stand, “Please, just let me go. We can work something out! I know a lot of people!”
“Stop!” Mickey yells, “You won’t be paying or talking your way out of this one, and there will be no more lies and excuses!” His voice gets low and firm, “I was ‘Juarez’, Amigo. You don’t want to mess with me.”
David goes still and quiet. He knows all about Juarez, a serious and well-known drug cartel out of Mexico. There is a lot of money in what they do, money he knows he has benefited from, even if it was from a distance. He also knows how dangerous they are and realizes now that this man before him is not someone to mess with.
Mickey stares into David’s eyes. “Greed is the second reason you are here. It has killed any purpose you might have had at one point, and now you work without any morals or guilt, and you have hurt one too many!”
Chapter Eight: The Hypocrite
[_Of the 64 shooting deaths of officers this year (2016), 21 were the result of ambush-style attacks—the highest total in more than two decades. _]
David realizing that this man was part of Juarez and that they seem to have all of his information, makes any thought of him getting the upper hand seem impossible. Not to mention the fact that he is in pain, cut off from the world, and now really scared.
Mallory has come back with more photos. “I have only four more photos for you.”
The first one she holds up is of two young boys, and they are smiling. The younger one is on a bike and just like David’s own childhood in the summers, they look happy and carefree.
“This was our new beginning,” Mallory explains, “Jose was 12 and Luis was 7. Coming from Mexico, America was so beautiful. We had never seen anything like it! We landed in Texas and could’ve stayed there, or even went to California like so many others, but we wanted to be in. We wanted to be away from the crowds and groups, and live a simple life.”
The next picture is of a farm. The picture shows the house, the barn, and the fields in the background. David is drawn to the bright orange sunset. He starts thinking about his own ranch in Texas and how he’d give anything to be there right now instead of where he is.
“We’ve had the same farm in Oklahoma for ten years now,” Mallory turns to David, “Over that time, my husband and I built a home and my boys were becoming men. They worked on the farm, they made friends; they learned the language! They grew up to be Americans, just like you.”
David looks back at her. A sense of nostalgia comes over him and is causing him to miss his own family. He’s surprised by it. He feels a lump forming in his throat and starts to blink to keep himself from crying.
“The best part of it all was they felt free…and safe,” Mickey starts up. “Of course there is crime wherever you go, but this is not a country[_ run _]by crime. Not that you care since that exactly what you seem to be working to create!”
David looks to him questioningly. Mickey doesn’t bother explaining and instead is looking for some answers, “You know anything about security Amigo? I mean, you ever need some security or God forbid a cop?”
“Well, I-I…I mean, of course!” David has a bad feeling about where this is going.
“Wow! The truth for once!” Mickey looks up like he’s thinking, “Let’s see…you had that time in Saint Paul when you were attacked leaving the Italian place, and you had your security right there to help you! Then there was that other time in Baton Rouge when your car was attacked, but thank goodness you had your “guys” and who? Oh yea, you also had the police to help keep people back and get you out of there!”
Mickey is just walking back and forth, almost like he’s reminiscing and enjoying himself, all the while swinging his bat, “But a favorite of ours, and of many I have to say, is the security at your residences! You’ve got doormen, secured gates, and even a wall! And I’ll bet you anything you even have those cool alarms too, that will call the police right then and there should even the smallest thing go wrong.”
David is just staring at him, but Mickey wants his answers and is out of patience. He holds the bat up vertical and hits the end of it down hard on David’s foot. David falls in the chains once again. Between the yank on his shoulders wrists and the excruciating pain in his crushed foot, David starts to feel dizzy.
He does his best to stand on his good foot and try to be ready for what is coming next. He finds it is another photo, this time of a cop. The officer is young and after a moment David can see it is their oldest son.
“Do you know him?” Mallory asks.
David nods, “It…it’s your son.”
“What is his name?”
“I…I…Jose?” David isn’t sure.
“Say it again” Mallory pushes him, “his name is Jose!”
“His n…name…is Jose.” David feels like he’s going to throw up. He can see that Mallory is getting more pumped up and notices Mickey off to the side with his bat. He just lit a cigarette.
“Jose,” Mallory enunciates his name, “grew up and wanted to give back to the country that gave him a chance and protected him along the way. He became an officer. Can you see that Amigo? An officer of the law!” Mallory waits for only a second, “Answer me!”
“I-I do see…I can see he is a cop…” David doesn’t know what else to say. He’s looking at the photo. The man can’t be more than 21 or 22 years old. He is young. He is fit and decked out in his uniform.
“But you call him a PIG! “What do we want? Dead cops!” Remember that one Amigo?” Mallory yells out, “You guys seem to love that one!”
Mickey steps in closer, blowing smoke in David’s face. David starts coughing, “You want dead cops now?” Mickey asks.
“I don’t…I don’t know what you mean?” David tries to engage, knowing it must have something to do with himself, even if he doesn’t know what.
“You are not true to your word Amigo,” Mickey clarifies as he slowly puffs one more long drag before putting his light out on David’s shoulder. David throws his head back, grimacing from the pain. The only sound is the sizzling of his skin as Mickey grinds the cigarette into his flesh.
“And so,” Mickey continues, “there is the third reason you are here. Above all else, you are a hypocrite. Your life feels good because YOU feel protected, and you reap the benefits this society allows you while protesting against your own country. You are sabotaging the future of our children! But I have one more son left Amigo, and I’ll be damned if I’ll let you ruin his life like you did Jose’s!”
David is in shock. His skin is burning, he can feel the tight wrist holds on his arms and as he stares down at his bound ankles and broken foot with tears in his eyes. His whole body aches, and he doesn’t think he can take much more.
Chapter Nine: The End
Law enforcement: It’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it. But what happens when no one wants to be that somebody?
“We left a place run by drug lords, violence and gangs.” Mallory goes on to explain, “We had the big dream for a new life, a good life, here in America. We wanted our boys to have that chance!
But because of you, we got THIS!” She holds up one more picture. It’s blown up larger than the others, and the colors are more vivid. It’s of an officer’s funeral. David’s eyes are watering but he strains to focus, out of fear he will get beaten again.
The picture looks to be early morning from what David can tell. There are cops in cruisers with lights on, some on motorcycles and even some on horseback. There are also six officers carrying a coffin.
David brings himself to ask, “Is that?”
“That is my SON!” Mallory snaps.
“No! Look, I was wrong about what I’ve said! Please believe me!” David is frantic and slurring his words, “I am so sorry for your son!”
“Best part is,” Mickey says, still hovering over David, “that’s YOU! That’s your handiwork once again Amigo!”
“No! I don’t know you! I don’t want to hurt your family!” David is shaking, “I did not know your son!”
Mickey stands back up straight and is now yelling, “My son was killed in the line of duty because he was brave! But he was alone in an ambush by people you brainwashed to hate cops. They did not even know him!”
Mickey then plants himself directly in front of David. He’s breathing deep and heavy, and then he speaks, “Did you know that El Chapo was worth $14 billion when he was arrested? That is from the same greed and dirty money that runs you Amigo.
El Chapo ran free in a country run by fear, and where money and power come from drugs and cartels; where cops are not cops, and law and order does not exist. With people like you leading the way, we are not far behind them.
You are taking our cops. You with your protests and death wishes. Who wants to be something that is hated so much, and hunted? We will be left with nothing but under qualified deviants no better at protecting us than they can protect themselves! But I did not leave Mexico to end up in a country where the cops are crooked, deal drugs and can be bribed.
And then you take our children. They are our future but to you they are a tool that will help destroy America. You use them, you preach to them, you teach them to go against all they have been brought up to be. What they believe to be reality doesn’t even exist!”
Mickey leans in even closer, “And you, you think you are on top, when in all reality you too have been “taken”. You are just too far gone to know it. You have also been brainwashed and are under the spell of those wanting more.”
Mickey makes a fist and pounds it into the air, “Open borders! Fight! Resist! You are a fool to think Globalism could be your win in the end.” He stops and takes a deep breath, and then continues, “Well it’s not your win and it’s certainly not the end. You are the first of many to go down. The billionaire puppet master you hold so high? Make no mistake, we WILL get him as well before this is all said and done.”
David is frozen. He just looks to them with tears running down his face.
“Your movement is coming to an end Amigo,” Mallory says in a low and firm voice, “There is a new movement in town and it is much bigger than you could even imagine.”
“And we’re not the only ones,” she adds, “you think your little riot runners are on your side? They are just as big of hypocrites as you are! They are out for themselves.” Mallory waves her finger in front of him as if scolding him for his actions, “And you haven’t been so nice to them lately, have you? We know all about it. You should’ve paid them like you promised. They are leaving your pathetic movement, one by one!”
Mickey throws his bat down and starts to rub his hands together, “So Amigo, just like our Jose, you are in an ambush…and it’s time.”
Mallory goes to their bag and digs out another black bundle.
David can feel the clock ticking, “Wait, no!” he cries out.
Out of her black bundle, Mallory produces a gun. David sees the gun has been altered. The end is fat, and he knows it’s a suppressor. She walks up to David and holds it to the side of his head.
“Please! I’m begging you!” he pleads.
“My Mallory here doesn’t mess around either Amigo,” Mickey says, “She is going to shoot you with a hollow point bullet. Do you know what that is? It will explode in your head, messing up that pretty little face of yours. But don’t worry, when it blows up that pathetic facade of an identity you’ve created for yourself, you won’t feel a thing.”
Mickey takes a few steps back, “THIS is how it feels when you are attacked. THIS is how it feels when there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Fear is zipping through David like sparks of electricity. He blinks through his tears, cringing at the feeling of the cold end of the gun on his temple. He squeezes his eyes shut, and swallows.
It was a maintenance man that found David and called it in the next morning. The police arrived first, and the detectives followed. The scene was unlike any other.
The dapper pretty boy who was a hidden street hero, all the while playing a know-it-all on television, now hung there for all to see; beaten, shot, and almost unrecognizable.
With how violent his death appeared, they were amazed to find the scene squeeky clean and bare of any real evidence that anyone had been there. It was as if David Bryson did this all to himself.
What they did find was a single poker chip left on the ground at David’s feet, and a message written out in chalk on the cement floor:
HYPOCRISY IS THE HOMAGE THAT VICE PAYS TO VIRTUE
Thank you, most sincerely, for reading the American Hypocrites Short Series, exploring real life feelings, frustrations, situtations and outcomes.
Please consider leaving a review at your eBook store of choice, as I would love to hear your feedback!
This is what it says it is. This is a short series of graphic revenge. The stories take individual and very real situations that were instigated by those implied and shows what happens when things have gone too far. The people affected have something to say, and something to do. They are there on behalf of themselves and the American people. Nothing is too blunt, bloody or harsh for someone seeking revenge on another when they have been pushed to the limit.