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The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Forty-Three)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay


Chapter Forty-Three: Holding Out For a Hero

Chapter Forty-Three: Holding Out For a Hero


I need a hero, I’m holding out for a hero till the morning light.

Bonney Tyler


            If Jack’s going to complain about this Legend of Jack Collier thing he’s going to have to stop doing things like this. It’s really not fair of him to both behave like the sort of character that’s stepped out of the kind of books I used to make myself wet as a teenager and complain about people acting like he’s some sort of superman. He’s going to have to pick, which I keep telling him anyway.


            The first thing I saw was some sort of flashing in the house, like someone had started a fire. Then there was the crump of an explosion and the house did burst into flames. The front room of the house was flaming in a few seconds and who was on the front porch? Who was standing here in his trench coat and fedora, looking like some kind of mix between the man with no name and every detective from every movie I ever saw? I almost thought he was in black and white for a moment as he stepped away from the door, his feet crunching on the glass that broke when the fire exploded.


            “Red King.” He said pulling out one gun and then the other. “I’m calling you out bitch!”


            “What the fuck?” King asked, looking at Jack as he walked down the porch steps.


            “I came here to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I’m all out of gum.” Jack announced and raised the two guns.


            I ran, since no one seemed to want to keep an eye on me. They were all interested in what Jack was doing, far too interested to bother with me. Jack started shooting them, and as far as I could tell he hit one of them with each shot. There were nine of them all together, and they fell like flies under his onslaught. What’s odd is how fast it all was. He fired six shots from the old Webley and then four shots from his Marley, all within about ten seconds. I stopped running and turned when the shooting had stopped and saw him standing with only Red King left alive.


            “So Red.” He announced as he put the Webley back in its shoulder holster. “It is down to you, and it is down to me.”


            He opened the Marley and spilled the bullets into his hand. He made a show of throwing away the empty shells and replacing the two good rounds. He then loaded the other four bullets into the gun and closed it. After doing that he tossed the gun to Red’s feet and pulled out his pocket knife.


            “Okay Red.” He announced. “You saw me load it. Let’s see if you can grab that gun and shoot me before I get to you and cut your guts out with my knife here.”


            “I could get that in an instant.” He said looking at the gun.


            “So go for it.” Jack said, taking a step closer.


            “Don’t do it King!” I hadn’t seen Alice coming from the side of the house, but there she was, beautiful in the fire light. She was aiming a pistol at King, but looking at Jack. “This isn’t the wild west. We can take him in.”


            “Who flipped you?” He asked her. “Who gave you up to this prick?”


            “We’ll find out.” She said as the first started to catch on the second floor of the house. “We can take him in.”


            “What do you think Red?” Jack asked as he walked closer. “You want to go with her or me? I’m ready to use your guts for garters, she’s ready to arrest you and put you away for the rest of your life. I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t think either one is very attractive. If you decided to walk away though, I’ll let you get arrested and I’ll back off. I won’t kill you if you go with her.”


            “Oh you are such a sweetheart, aren’t you?” King sneered.


            “Just shoot him Alice!” I called out. “We can put the gun in his hand.”


            “No.” Jack said. “No, he’s got to make up his own mind. Free will, it’s got a beat and you can dance to it.”


            “I’m not going to give myself up.” King announced.


            “Well, I’m tired of this so I’m not even going to cut you now.” Jack closed his knife and slipped it in his pocket. “I think if you go for that gun now Agent Liddell will probably shoot you though. I mean unless this has all been some massive game where Alice is really on your side.”


            “No.” She said, “I’m on your side Jack.”


            “Good to hear.” He announced, not taking his eyes off King.


            “Fuck you.” King said and reached down to grab the revolver.


            Alice fired one shot, which went through the big man’s thigh. He fell to his knees, gun in hand and shouted. He looked at Jack and then looked at Alice. I could see from where I stood that the gun she was holding was out of bullets, the chamber of the automatic was stuck in the open position. He couldn’t see it though, I think he thought it was trapped. He stuck the gun into his mouth and pulled the trigger. His head didn’t explode or anything, the bullet didn’t even come out. He just shot and fell over.


            “Well I didn’t see that coming.” Jack said as he walked up Red and took his gun away from the corpse. The two of us walked towards him as the roof started to burn.


            “Is it over?” A voice called out from the side of the house.


            “It’s over Cindy.” Jack said, an arm around each of our necks, kissing each of us on the forehead.


            “All over?”


            “All over.” Alice said. “I’ll go take care of her and get a car.”


            “You know Debs.” Jack said, his arm still around my neck. “I’m glad we live in the suburbs of Michigan.”


            This sounded like crazy talk to me. So much so that I could only react with surprise after he told me it. I think I even came him the weird mutant look after he said it.


            “Are you?” I asked.


            “Oh yeah.” He announced turning to watch the burning building as Alice pulled her car away from the burning. “Because the suburbs are so calm and quite. You never get weird religious cults that want to rape girls for no good reason in the suburbs. Nope! The suburbs of Michigan are dead boring. Never get international gangs of assassins kidnapping industrialists daughters, don’t have serial killers. You’re ex girlfriend never turns out to be a psycho, trying to get you to help murder her ex-husband and her business partners and rivals. Not in the suburbs of Michigan!”


            He was beginning to raise his voice now, as part of the house began to collapse in on itself. It wasn’t because I couldn’t hear him though, he was just starting to loose his cool a little. I think it had all been too much for him.


            “You don’t have kidnapped girls shooting you, you don’t have to live in a coma for three years, none of this trading of children, no fathers raping their own kids, no incest so complicated you need a flow chart to work out who is related to who and why they shouldn’t be fucking! Oh and being chased by psycho cult leaders across the country while everyone has some super secret they refuse to share doesn’t happen either. OH NO! Never have to set an entire house on fire because you can’t depend on anyone besides yourself not to have be part of the conspiracy against you. Yeup. That never happens here in Michigan! I’m so glad we live here! Imagine what it would be like if we lived in one of those immoral cities! I might have to solve a simple jewel heist or something. Oh the ignominy! I SURE AM GLAD WE LIVE IN MICHIGAN WHERE WE DON’T HAVE THAT KIND OF SHIT!”


            As he shouted that, the house collapsed completely and ash and cinders flew up so high into the sky you’d think they got lost and became new stars. He stopped and watched as they went up and up. He then put his arms around me and kissed my neck.


            “Are you okay?” Alice asked as she approached.


            “He’ll be okay.” I said patting his shoulder.


            “Should I?” She pointed over her shoulder, looking at me with a question in her eyes.


            “Come on.” I said waving to her. “He needs a hug.”


            She put her arms around him, and I put my hands on her arms because that was the furthest I could reach. I kind of got the idea that it would be okay now though. It had passed, he would be alright now. She kissed my finger, I stroked her chin, we were okay together. It was comfortable the three of us could probably be comfortable.


            “We probably should call somebody.” Jack said finally. “Make sure the fire gets put out properly. Go get Karen and Jill, go home. Go to bed.”


            “Where are they?” Alice asked, still holding onto him and rubbing her cheek against my hand.


            “Flat Rock.” He said, still holding onto me.


            “Where the hell is Flat Rock?” She asked. “Is that in Ohio or something?”


            “See?” He laughed. “No one knows about Flat Rock.”


            “Where is it?” She asked.


            “I’ll take you there.” He said. “I’ll show you. You’ll see. No place worth going.”


            “Jack?” I asked. “Are you okay?”


            “No one in their right mind would go to Flat Rock.” He said. “So it’s the perfect safe house. I’ll show you.”


            We all got into what he told us was his Grandmother’s old car and he started us away. Alice made a call to the local police, but none of us stayed at the crime scene. An hour and a half later, we were pulling into a drive way in what he assured us was the town of Flat Rock. It was a little place, hardly worth visiting. He got into the house where Jill and Karen were waiting. Jack called the police and told them to come get the two hit men he had in a tool shed behind the garage.


            While it should have been the end with Red King shooting himself, it was only the beginning. The local police, state police and the federals, all showed up at the house, which got to be quite small with all the people in it and it wasn’t very big to begin with. After a few hours, we were all taken from Jack’s Grandmother’s old house, to the local police station to give statements and things. That took hours, and they kept wanting to go over it again and again until I got fed up and told them I was only going to talk to the feds.


            “What’s the matter with us?” A big state bull called Harris demanded.


            “Look.” I said, feeling like the only girl in the world with the four big cops standing around me. “I’m tired and I’m not going through this again. I’ll talk to Agent Liddell, but the rest of you can leave. If you want more from me, arrest me and you can talk to my lawyer. I’m done.”



September 25, 2011 - Posted by | Fiction, Jack |

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