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The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Forty-One)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Chapter Forty-One: Everything You Know is Wrong

 

Everything you know is wrong. Black is white, up is down and short is long. And everything you thought was just so important doesn’t matter. Everything you know is wrong. Just forget the words and sing along. All you need to understand is everything you know is wrong.

 

Weird Al Yankovick.

 

 

            I watched as Jack looked over the cliff and as he caught my eye he tipped a wink. I had no idea what he was thinking, but I didn’t like it. I’ve always sort of had the idea that there was a self-destructive streak in him. He could see that we were up against the wall and he’d decided to give up.

 

            “I’ll tell you this Pete.” He said looking at Peter Kurbisesser. “If you get me angry, I am going to kill you.”

 

            “Are you?” He asked.

 

            “I’ll come back as a ghost and fuck your shit up.” Jack smiled and laughed and looked more than a little manic. “Hide your remotes and shit.”

 

            I think I could tell what he was working himself up to before anyone else. I wanted to not be mad at him, but he was going to kill himself and leave us to our fate. He liked the idea of jumping, it would make everything so much easier. He would just smash against a sharp rock and die, like he thought he should have after getting shot.

 

            “Just tell us where Jill is.” Red said, trying to sound reasonable. He almost did sound reasonable, being an almost upstanding kind of guy. “That’s all we want.”

 

            I wanted to scream, to tell him to tell her where she was, to save us. I knew those were stupid thoughts though, if they knew where she was they’d do what they wanted to us and kill him anyway. Still, you’re not the one they said they were going to burn alive, I was. I was scared, more scared than I’d ever been. Jack looked hyped up though, he looked psyched, he looked like he could do anything. The problem with that is Jack’s a depressive and he hates himself. He thinks he’s not good enough.

 

            “I tell you what?” Jack said smiling at them. “How about you, kiss my ass?”

 

            He then turned, ran and jumped off the cliff. A second or two later we heard a crack and a scream and rocks rolling in an avalanche. The scream cut off suddenly, but the cracking sounds continued with the crashing of stones. Pete Kurbisesser ran toward the cliff with a big lamp and one the little machine guns they’d been waving as us.

 

            “Where is he?” Red asked looking over his shoulder.

 

            “I don’t see him.” Pete said and fired the machine gun down there, waving his arms around the spray the area.

 

            “Boys!” Red shouted and they were all there with machine guns. They all fired and they must have used up their bullets because they each had to reload their guns, but it seemed like they fired for a very short time.

 

            “He’s dead.” Quayle announced a few seconds after the shooting stopped. “No where for him to hide, even if he lived through the jump.”

 

            “You’re sure?”

 

            “Sure sir.” Quayle said.

 

            “Let’s get her back to the house and get her ready then.” Red said pointing at me.

 

            “Mister King?” Pete asked, looking plaintive. “Can’t we just do them here? It’s more romantic under the stars.”

 

            “I don’t see why not.” Red shrugged. “Quayle, Johnson, bring the other bitch.”

 

            Quayle grabbed me and dragged me to the car. I tired to resist, but he had a grip like an iron cuff. I was yanked along toward the car as Red slapped my rump. It was so scared, and I felt like it would be better to grab one of their guns and shoot myself.

 

            “God damn.” Red said. “Look at that ass. We could have some fun with that ass before we cook her Quayle.”

 

            “Maybe sir.” Quayle said grabbing my face in his hand before groping me. “She got a good pair of tits too. Nice and juicy.”

 

            “We could run our own little train on her, don’t you think?” Red asked.

 

            “Wouldn’t be nothing wrong with it.” Quayle said.

 

            “Just kill me you fuck.” I said.

 

            “No, no.” Quayle said giving me a good hard slap across the face. “Rape first, burning later.”

 

            They shoved me in the back seat of one of the trucks and Red got in the back with me. He gave my blouse a good hard yank, sending buttons flying around the cab as Quayle started the car.

 

            “Damn fine titties.” He announced groping them.

 

            I did as Jack had told me to do in these situations. One quick jab, right for the middle of the throat. Red grabbed at his throat, wheezing like an asthmatic and I grabbed the door handle and rolled out of the car. I hit the ground rolling, getting up before the truck had completely stopped.  I started to run into the fields, and it was a good while before I heard anything behind me.

 

            Quayle didn’t shout after me, that wasn’t his style. I could tell his style, just find me and cut me up, that’s what he would do. As I ran through the grass of the field I remembered a story I read when I was a freshman in English class. A rich guy had been hunting people on his private island, and the guy he was hunting had made fake trails to throw him off. I didn’t have time to run back though, I had to keep going. I could hear him behind me.

 

            I ran as hard as I could, but it wasn’t enough. Quayle was younger and in better shape than me. I was hit in the back and we tumbled into the grass. He hit me in the face and grabbed both my hands in one of his before hitting me again.

 

            “You stupid bitch!” He shouted at me. “You could have offset him. If you’d fucked him good, he might have let you live. Now he’s going to have no interest in fucking you at all!”

 

            “Fuck you!” I said and tried to bite at his hand. He slapped me so hard that I saw stars for a few seconds while he yanked me to my feet.

 

            “Dumb bitch.” He gave me a clap across the back of the head as he shoved me back down the path we’d made. “What are you thinking?”

           

            “That I don’t want to get raped.” I spun around and hit him in the middle of his chest.

 

            He staggered for a moment, and hit me in the stomach. I felt like I just folded up around his fist and hit the ground. He stood over me and put a foot on my chest, shoving me down. This was bad, I was not having a good time, but at least I was fighting. I wasn’t one of those dumb bitches who just lays there and lets it happen.

 

            “You ain’t thinking.” He said as he yanked me up again. “You got to think. You’re choices are getting burned alive or sucking a little dick.”

 

            “Fuck you.” I kicked at him, giving his shin a knock.

 

            “Damnit.” He hit me again, and all the fight just flew right out of me.

 

            I actually swooned when he hit me that time and he had to carry me over his shoulder the rest of the way to the car because I just couldn’t manage to stand or walk anymore. I couldn’t even fight him anymore, I’d really had the fight just smacked out of me. As I was dangling from his shoulder though, an image came back to me.

 

            Jack had tipped a wink to me, and just me. He knew I was the one that was going to be dragged away. He knew I would be the one that wasn’t there. He knew I was the one that would need reassuring.

            I felt sort of stupid as Quayle threw me on the ground next to the truck. I had judged my Jack wrong, I’d thought he was selfish when clearly he had some kind of plan. Quayle opened the back of the truck and played with some sort of locking mechanism. He picked me up and shoved me into what I knew was a dog cage. My first kinky boyfriend liked me to sleep in one just like this only he never put a pad lock on it so I couldn’t get out. The lock clicked in place, and I curled up like I used to in the cage, but without making eyes at Quayle like I did with Carl.

 

            The car ride was quite after that though. When the car finally stopped the two of them just sat there for a while before one of them spoke. It was Quayle who started the conversation.

 

            “You alright Mister King?”

 

            “I’ll be alright in an hour Mister Quayle.” King said. “When this is all over, and Cindy comes home with me, then I’ll be alright.”

 

            “Will it be all over then?” Quayle asked. “Will we actually get back to business then?”

 

            “It’s not been a good year Quayle.”

 

            “I’m aware of that sir, that’s why I’m asking.”

 

            “Yes.” King told him. “After that, we’ll get back to business.”

 

            “This obsession, it’s not healthy.”

 

            “Don’t you start.”

 

            “Not your granddaughter.” Quayle said. “I don’t care who you decide to breed with. The obsession is unhealthy. People are talking. They’re not happy with the way things are going.”

 

            “They’ll do what they’re told.”

 

            “They might not.” Quayle said. “There’s been a lot of rumbling since this project started. We’ve been doing this almost five years now, people are getting impatient. We’ve also been stalled in three expansions and loosing the church will not be an easy blow to come back from.”

 

            “Father William was an idiot.” Red snapped. “We can get another fake church to filter money through. They’re all run by weak-minded greedy fools. Just get one that doesn’t have someone stronger than use behind them and we build up again.”

 

            “That’s not really the point.” Quayle said.

 

            “Shut up Quayle.” King said. “Get your bottles ready, get her tired to the chair so we can out her on top of the fire.”

 

            “Yes sir.” He said.

 

            I shuddered in the cage, wondering how many minutes of life I had left. I couldn’t help but be afraid. Jack should have come to cave me by now. Nick of time was one thing, but this was getting just a little ridiculous. Where was he? Where was my man? Had they actually killed him? I didn’t want to cry, but it was getting harder to hold out hope.

 

            The back door opened and two men grabbed the kennel to take me to the pyre they’d prepared. Oh Jack, where the fuck are you? Don’t let them burn me…

 

 

 

 

 

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September 11, 2011 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Forty)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

Chapter Forty: My Man Will Come

 

Alice Liddell’s Diary

 

            “So!” Jack said looking around at the group that surrounded them. “What’s the deal? Why all this?”

 

            “That’s none of your concern.” King said leaning on the thick oak cane his gnarled hand wrapped around. “You don’t need to worry about that.”

 

            “Oh come on.” Jack said, trying to cajole and play with them. “What harm could it possibly do at this point?”

 

            “Mister King said that it’s none of you’re concern.” The thin guy who looked like one of The Proclaimers said. “That means you don’t need to know.”

 

            “Well of course I don’t need to know.” Jack smiled and actually made a little dancing motion. “But I’m curious. Why all of this? To have sex with a couple of girls? Hell, to rape a couple of girls. For twenty bucks you can have a willing girl on Eight Mile.”

 

            “Shut him up Quayle.” King growled as he stabbed at the ground with his cane. “I’m getting tired of listening to him.”

 

            “Throw him off.” Quayle said signaling a few of them.

 

            “Now hang on.” Jack said, grinning and looking over at Debbie for a beat longer than just a glance needed. “I’ll make you a deal.”

 

            “Yes?” Quayle asked.

 

            “I sort of want to know why all of this, I so rarely get anything explained to me. However, I won’t get an answer if I’m forced to kill all of you.”

 

            “What?”

 

            “Give up now, drop this silly behavior and I won’t kill all of you.”

 

            “HA!” the guy who Debbie had said was their employee laughed. “Now that is chutzpah.”

 

            “Okay.” Jack said holding his hands out and performing a little bow. “I tried.”

 

            “Throw him over.” Quayle said.

 

            “I’m going to be pissed when I come back.” Jack said. “I’m going to kill you first Petey.”

 

            With that, he turned and ran towards the cliff. He jumped over the edge and in a second or two there was the sound of bones breaking and Jack gave out a scream. Rocks began to roll down the hill and the scream was cut off suddenly.

 

            My blood froze. Three of them ran towards the hill with their bright halogen flashlights and machine guns in their hands. They looked over the cliff and then started shooting down there. The three of them emptied full clips into the side of the hill and then started commenting to each other how they got him. I wondered for a moment why no one went down to get him. Make sure. I would have gone down there and made sure I’d put a bullet in his head. You need to confirm the kill.

 

            “Bring her.” Red said, aiming the oak cane at Debbie and then pointed the stick of oak at me. “Break her.”

 

            “Can we do it out here sir?” The one Jack called Petey asked him. “It’s more romantic under the stars, you know?”

 

            “Fine.” Red King said and then walked to his truck.       I watched as the group gathered around that terrified little girl.

 

            “You said it would be okay.” She demanded. “You said I could come back and it would be okay.”

 

            “It will be okay.” King told her. “After you’ve been broken, after you’ve given birth to our babies, after I’ve killed you, it’ll all be okay after that.”

 

            King and Quayle got into their big black SUV and drove away with Debbie. Pete grabbed my arm and yanked me almost off my feet, half dragging me toward another of the SUVs they’d driven. He opened the back door and threw me into the back seat. If I hadn’t been so dumb as to think I wouldn’t need a back up weapon I might have been able to grab at something in an ankle holster. I hadn’t thought it would be necessary though. Of course I thought I would have back up, which also didn’t turn out to be true. Someone had gotten inside and had decided to set me up. I just hoped it was a mole from King’s group and not someone getting back at me for being a woman.

 

            “No!” The little girl, Cindy I think her name was, started to scream. “Please! No! Please!”

 

            I turned to see her being dragged by both arms by the men and kicking at the ground trying to get away. Until another two grabbed her by the legs and lifted her by each limb. She continued to kick and scream, but it was clear that they were going to have her way with her. I heard the disgusting laugh of that Pete character again.

 

            “You should watch closely.” He said. “You’re getting it next.”

 

            “Are you insane?” I asked. “I’m a federal officer.”

 

            “You’re a bitch,” He corrected me, “You’re a bitch and you’re going to be broken. Get used to it.”

 

            “You’re fucking insane.”

 

            “Insane?” He laughed his distinctly unpleasant laugh again.

 

            It’s odd what you notice at moments of extreme terror. Just then, the old Monkeys song Daydream Believer started to play on the radio. I noticed that as it started, some part of my mind decided that Daydream Believer was important enough to notice and pay attention to.

 

            “I’ll tell you what’s insane, you little bitch.”

 

            I noticed that the bushes behind him seemed to be moving too much for the wind in the area. That’s great brain. Let’s make calculations about the local meteorological effects. It was probably a raccoon anyway, something like that. Why bother thinking about that when I should be trying to formulate a plan to get away? For that matter, why think about what my mind is choosing to focus on?

 

            “Insane, my little whore to be, is expecting a white knight to come and rescue you.” He grabbed my ankle and rubbed my calf. “Insane is thinking a dead man can do anything to help.”

 

            “You really don’t know him.” I said kicking at him.

 

            “You think Jack Collier’s going to suddenly come back?” He cackled that time.

 

            “You know what?” I asked him. “I do.”

 

            “God, you bitches are stupid.” He said. “We shot him full of holes.”

 

            “Did you actually get a look at his body?” I asked.

 

            “What?”

 

            “Did you confirm your kill?”

 

            “This ain’t some comic book sweet cheeks.” He laughed at me again, and I really wanted to smash his head in every time he did that. “He’s fucking dead.”

 

            “You didn’t confirm your kill.” I said.

 

            “I don’t need to!” He told me. “I know the fucker is dead!”

 

            “You don’t.” I said. “You don’t know him, he’ll come for me.”

 

            “Look cunt!” He snapped. “You’re gonna get fucked to death. So you better just shut up, or it’ll be a lot worse!”

 

            He slammed the door and shouted at me through the glass.

 

            “He ain’t gonna just suddenly come back and save you’re dumb bitch ass.” He might have wanted to say more, but something happened just then that caught his attention.

 

September 2, 2011 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Thirty-Nine)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

Chapter Thirty-Nine: How far will they go?

 

            I arrived at the Piper house finding a fairly large gathering waiting for me. Piper, and King and even that nice Mister Quayle had come all the way from California to see me. That was nice. He’d managed to escape from prison, come across the country all for the pleasure of killing me. Nice to see the effort. It was a good thing to have so many familiar faces to welcome me. What was less encouraging was the bonfire they were building and putting a chair on top of. They hadn’t lit the flame yet, but it was clear that they were just waiting for someone to take the chair and for someone else to say the word and the whole thing would go up in flames.

 

            As I drove up, four men approached the car and three more brought Alice and Debbie from the house. I pulled the car to a stop and stuck my hands in my pockets, where the silenced Rutthowers were waiting. Red walked towards me a smiled a wide smile in the failing light of dusk. I felt myself getting so angry, that I was actually too outraged to get visibly mad. I was so pissed that I felt calm and flippant.

 

            “Where’s Jill?” He asked. “I thought you were going to bring her with you.”

 

            “I called from the road.” I told him. “No time to go get her.”

 

            “You should have brought her.” He smiled and I think he may have drooled a little.

 

            “Maybe.” I said.

 

            “No maybe about it.” Red suddenly roared. “I say bring a bitch, you bring me the bitch!”

 

            “Don’t make trouble Jack!” Cindy came running from the house toward me, looking less thin, less bruised, but still very pathetic. “He’ll kill you.”

 

            “This guy?” I asked. “Nah. Red King’s too much of a gentleman to kill me.”

 

            “I wouldn’t be betting the farm on that one.” He said and then called over his shoulder, “Peter, get over here.”

 

            And I will be damned if it wasn’t Peter Kurbisesser, formerly an employee of Collier Investigations, or whatever we call ourselves. I say former, because he was fired at the moment I saw him there. He gave me a sort of embarrassed look and then we both looked at Debbie, who would have cut him in half if her eyes actually had been the daggers she was trying to make them.

 

            “How do you see this working Mister Kurbisesser?” I asked him.

 

            “Put your arms up.” Kurbisesser told me. “I’m going to search you.

 

            “Why didn’t you bring my daughter home?” Piper demanded as he walked up to our little group.

 

            “Not now Piper.” King told him.

 

            “He’s been fucking her!” Piper shouted with a sharply pointed finger. “She’s mine and he’s been fucking her!”

 

            “Quiet Piper!” King shouted.

 

            “You and your stupid son have ruined everything you dumb son of a bitch.” Piper shouted at King and then turned to me again. “What did you do with her? Hmm? Tell me! Have you ruined her?”

 

            King had clearly had enough, because without another word he drew a big revolver from his hip and fired a single shot through Piper’s head. Blood exploded from his nose, mouth and the gaping hole that had replaced his forehead. The blood and splattered my face and shirt, but that didn’t worry me as I figured there would be more blood soon. Piper fell against me and I would have taken the opportunity to shoot king, but the damn gun caught on my coat pocket and I only managed to fire a silenced shot at his feet before someone hit me in the back of the head with what was probably a rifle stock but felt like a giant redwood. It didn’t take long after that to disarm me, even going to far as to take my knife and sap away from mean leaving me with nothing.

 

            “You came loaded for bear today?” Quayle said as they laid my weapons out on the ground in front of me. “Is that a Welbey-Fosbery?”

 

            “That’s promised to a lesbian.” I told him as I started to gain control of my voice. “The Marley isn’t being claimed at the moment though.”

 

            “He just keeps talking, doesn’t he?” Quayle asked King.

 

            “I find it moves the conversation along.” I told him.

 

            “Let’s cliff him.” Quayle said.

 

            “Good idea.” King said. “Let’s take them to the cliffs.”

 

            “C’mon Collier.” Kurbisesser said, waving his gun at me. “Get in the car.”

 

            We drove in a little convoy, rocking through the night, towards what they were calling The Cliffs. The Cliffs were nothing of the sort, nothing like what they have out west. Nothing like what we had to climb that night to get to those sons of bitches that… well, did what they did. It was just the end of a hill that was too steep to drive down. A lot of rocks and a few trees sat in the hillside. I suppose if you’d never seen real cliffs, this might look like a series of cliffs to you. We went to the tallest of the hills and all five SUVs stopped so we could all get out.

 

            “Let me explain what’s going to happen.” Quayle said.

 

            “Oh please do.” I said. “It’ll be the first explanation I’ve had in months.”

 

            “Yeah.” Quayle said,

 

            “Ooo, wait!” I shouted.

 

            “What?”

 

            “Could you say something like why not, what harm can it do?” I asked. “I’ve never actually had anyone say that to me.”

 

            “Are you for real?” Quayle asked.

 

            “Maybe, or I might be made up.” I told him. “I have problems knowing myself some days.”

 

            “We’re going to throw you off that cliff.” Quayle said. “It’s a pretty steep drop, you’ll be dashed to pieces on the rocks.”

 

            “Okay.” I nodded.

 

            “Okay?”

 

            “Yeah, then what?”

 

            “Then we take these girls back to the house and if you don’t tell me what I want to know before you go I will set your secretary on fire.”

 

            “That big bonfire you were setting up?” I asked looking over the cliff, noticing one strong looking tree. “The one that looks like a sacrificial pyre?”

           

            “Shut him up!” King demanded.

 

            “You know Red.” I said turning to him. “If you didn’t blurt things so much, I would have a much harder time figuring out what was going on.”

 

            “Huh.” Red said. “Toss him off.”

 

            “No.” I said shaking my head. “I’ll make it better.”

 

            “Pardon?” King asked.

 

            “You tell me all that you expect to do tonight and I’ll jump.” I told him. “How’s that?”

 

            “A woman needs to die by fire.” King said and Quayle actually put his face into his hand. To actually facepalm like that, right in front of me. This would be fun if I wasn’t so angry. “We kill the brunette by fire.”

 

            “Debbie.” I said, trying not to sound annoyed. “Her name is Debbie.”

 

            “The bitch dies by fire.” Red said. “Then we’re going to break little Cindy over there. After we break her, we’ll break your other bitch.”

 

            “Alice.” I announced flatly. “If you don’t start calling them by their names I’ll put my gun in your mouth and blow the top of your head off.”

 

            “Or you could tell us where Jill is.” King said.

 

            “Huh.” I rolled my tongue around my mouth for a second and looked over the cliff. I then walked a few feet toward King, because I’d need the running room. “That’s the offer huh? I give Jill up to gang rape or I give Cindy up for gang rape?”

 

            “They’re both going to be broken.” King said. “You can save your bitches.”

 

            “But you need a woman to burn.” I shook my head after pretending to think about it. “No. I’m afraid I can’t trust you.”

 

            “You can’t afford not to.” King said. “What choice do you have?”

 

            “I can be a man of my word.” Two more steps and I’d be far enough for a good run. “I can tell you to go fuck yourself and be a man of my word.”

 

            “What?”

 

            “Well you did tell me your plans.” One and two, perfect. “I’ll tell you what I’ll do though. I’ll make you a deal.”

 

            “What?”

 

            “You give up now and I won’t eradicate all nine of you.”

 

            “What?” Kurbisesser laughed suddenly. “You’re going to take on all of us?”

 

            “I’ll warn you Mister Kurbisesser, if I jump off this cliff, I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine and I’m going to be very angry when I come back. I will likely slam your head in a car door until your skull cracks.”

 

            “You’re going to come back?” Kurbisesser laughed again, it was an unattractive sound. “As what? A cat? You’d need the extra lives.”

 

            “I got a green mushroom earlier.” I told him. “Instant one up. Wait till I get the glowing flower, you’ll really be in trouble then. Set your ass on fire Quayle.”

 

            “The fuck are you talking about?” Quayle asked, proving himself to be a cultural retard.

 

            “You can still call this all off Red.” I offered.

 

            “Throw him.”

 

            “Oh no.” I said. “I’m a man of my word.”

 

            “Are you?” He asked. “You’ll jump?”

 

            “But I’ll come back and kill all of you.” I said.

 

            “We’re going to rape your women before your blood is even cold.” Kurbisesser almost cackled.

           

            “How you doing through all this Debs?” I asked. “You think they can beat me? We’re pretty fucked up right now, huh?”

 

            “Forget it, Jack.” She said and I could see her wanting to cry. “It’s Michigan.”

 

 

            How many times had I just forgotten it? Just let it go? Yes, this was in fact Michigan, but there comes a time god damn it. This time, something else was going to have to be done. This time, I wasn’t going to forget it. This time I was going to let Michigan know that I was not well pleased with its habit of throwing rocks at my head.

 

            “Fuck no.” I said.

 

            I turned and started to run, I leapt at the edge of the so-called cliff, letting the darkness engulf me. I hoped I was as good at this as I thought I was, other wise this landing was going to suck donkey balls. I would have to wait and see. In the meantime, I enjoyed the breeze as gravity grabbed hold of me and brought me toward the ground, and those lovely sharp rocks. It was actually sort of nice, the way the breeze flew past my ears, you might almost forget the rocks below and their promise not nearly instant enough death.

 

 

August 26, 2011 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Thirty-Eight)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

Chapter Thirty-Eight: In Which Jack Kicks Ass and Takes Names

 

            Wednesday was Karen’s late day. On Wednesday, she would be at the office until nine, so I decided to give her a call on the off chance she would answer the phone herself. I dialed and wondered what would happen if someone else answered it. I decide I didn’t much care because I was going to fuck some bitch’s shit up no matter what. The world was going to have to learn that you don’t fuck with a bad motherfucker cause this motherfucker fucks back. Karen did answer herself, giving a route formula.

 

            “Hi.” I said to her. “Have you got time for a last minute appointment?”

 

            “I’m not sure Mister Jones.” She said and started speaking in code so well that I guessed Debbie must have taught her. “There are two others ahead of you today.”

 

            “Just two?” I asked.

 

            “That’s right.” She said. “I could probably stay a little later if this is an emergency.”

 

            “I’ll be there in an hour.” I said. “You just hold on and it’ll all be okay in a few hours.”

 

            “Okay.” She said. “I’ll see you at nine then.”

 

            I slammed the phone down, grabbed the guns and rushed to my grandmother’s Skylark, and let me tell you that’s a lot less sexy to say than ‘My Hudson Super Six’ is. Still though, it had a bit of pick up and I was able to get to Ypsi in the hour I’d promised. I decided to grab the leather persuader out of my back pocket, palming it in my right hand as I got out of the car. There is no mini pocket on the right, so I had to actually hold the dumb thing. That was okay though, because the guy watching the door was an idiot.

 

            People who follow people think the key is to never look at the person you’re following, or at least never let your target know you’re looking. As a result, if you look for the person who never looks at you, you’ll know who’s following you. The thing is, if you’re standing outside of a building, and you see someone approach, the natural response is too look at them. Maybe not watch them, but to at least glance, have a look. This guy just kept looking at the robins congregating on the lawn, planning world domination or whatever it is robins do when they’re together. He didn’t look at me as I walked straight toward him, and the door I suppose. He didn’t even look when my right hand came up and I back handed him across the side of the head with the sap.

 

            His consciousness attended to, I relieved him of his gun, cell phone and his wallet, because why should he have his wallet? There actually looked like there was money in there when I glanced at it before stuffing it into my coat pocket along with his gun. I went to Karen’s office and found moron number two. This second guy should have been outside and the first guy should have been inside.

 

            People who come to see a shrink don’t like to look at the other people. It’s okay to glance around to see the free chair, but then you avoid eye contact. You don’t look at people if you’re already sitting. You don’t stare at people if you’re in one of these waiting rooms. You only make a momentary glance and get on with your own thing. He looked right at me, staring at me.

 

            “You’re not supposed to stare at people in a shrink’s office.” I said looking at the chair across the waiting room from where I was standing.

 

            “Oh yeah?” I asked

 

            And my hand snapped out, clocking him right across the temple. He tumbled to the floor with a sort of oof sound and then a thump as he hit the carpet. I wanted not to quip, I wanted to do this right, but I couldn’t help myself.

 

            “Yeah.” I told him, “It’s rude.”

 

            I took his gun, phone and wallet away from him as well. I also noticed that he was pretty heavily stuffed with cash, which made me happy. If I could make just a little money on this case, that would be nice. So far we’d mostly had expenses and a few bearer bonds. Good, old fashioned, ill gotten cash has always made me happiest. I opened one door, turned a corner and opened another door where Karen was talking to a young woman in black jeans and a Scary Susan t-shirt.

 

            “Hi.” I said to the Goth girl. “I’m really sorry to do this but I have to take your therapist away because people are likely coming to kill her and they currently have her girlfriend and are going to kill her if we don’t do something really fuckin’ quick.”

 

            “What… Karen?” The Goth girl asked, at least she had decided against black lipstick.

 

            “Jack?” Karen asked.

 

            “All true babe.”

 

            “I thought you had a guy?” the girl asked.

 

            “Oh for heaven’s sake.” I snapped. “Karen, we don’t have time for this, go. Goth girl, she’s bi, she’s polyamorus, she used to be sort of gothy when she was in high school and she’s in a lot of trouble right now. If you go google those things you’ll find out your therapist is into a lot more than you thought. C’mon Karen.”

 

            “Damnit Jack. That’s not the sort of thing I… holy shit.” She got a good look at the guy splayed out on the floor of her waiting room and then pocked her head back into the sanctum sanctorum. “Celia dear, we should probably all leave together, come on.”

 

            “Yeah, he got a little strumpy, had to take corrective action.” I told her as Celia came out of the office with a long denim coat folded over her arm. “Shall we then?”

 

            Neither of them spoke, although they whispered to each other as we walked past the first man I’d concussed that day. I was sort of fascinated that with the signs of violence and the big sexy man leading them away, they were still essentially having their session.

 

            “I didn’t know you were bisexual.” Celia was whispering with a great deal of excitement. “I mean, it changes everything doesn’t it?”

 

            “I don’t normally discuss my private life.” Karen admitted.

 

            “Yeah, but.” Celia stopped to glance back at the concussed form on the sidewalk. “I mean, you’ll understand. You’ll get it. I can tell you about it.”

 

            “About what?”

 

            “Well, I… next week?”

 

            “Okay.”

 

            “What’s that other thing he said you were polarimus?”

 

            “Polyamorous.” Karen said, and I could fee laser beams burning a hole in the back of my head. “We’ll discuss it next week okay?”

 

            “Okay.” Celia said and gave Karen what looked like a pretty impromptu hug. “I’ll see you next week.”

 

            “Okay.” Karen still whispered.

 

            Celia ran to her car, an oh three Packard that had probably been her father’s before he got a new car. She waved at us as she got into her car and started to drive away. We walked to the Skylark and I’m glad to say Karen walked right past it looking for the Hudson.

 

            “This is it babe.” I said.

 

            “A skylark?” She asked.

 

            “Inconspicuous.” I said getting in. “Did I fuck up your session?”

 

            “I don’t know.” She said. “I’m pretty sure you didn’t do much lasting damage.”

 

            “I’m sure it’ll all turn out okay in the end.” I said.

 

            “Are you?” She asked.

 

            “No.” I said. “Wait here. I’m going to go find something out.”

 

            I got out of the car and started toward the guy who had been lying on the sidewalk. I knelt down just as he was coming around and took a handful of his hair in my hand. He yelped as I gave him a yank and pulled my jack knife open in front of his eyes.

 

            “Morning!” I enthused. “I’m Jack Collier, and who might you be?”

 

            “Mike.” He said and decided to complete it. “Mike Tinker.”

 

            “Mike Tinker.” I said. “Well, tell me Mike Tinker, do you feel like you’ve done well today?”

 

            “No sir.” Tinker said.

 

            “Let’s go in Mike.” I said pulling his hair to make him stand.

 

            I dragged him into the waiting room and tossed him into a chair as the second one started to come around. I grabbed him by his hair, and the idiot actually tried to grab his gun, going to far as to jerk his head down to look in the holster, which caused a sharp cry of pain.

 

            “Have I made my point about not staring?” I asked.

 

            “What?” He asked.

 

            “What’s your name?” I asked yanking on his hair to make him stand up.

 

            “Fuck you.”

 

            “You’re going to tell me.” I said placing the tip of the knife against the bags under his left eye. “You want me to start taking eyes because of your rudeness? Or would you rather be polite and tell me your name?”

 

            “Alan Tailor.” He shouted suddenly.

 

            “Good!” A said and shoved him down into a chair. “Now where were you going to take Karen?”

 

            “Back to the house.” Tailor said.

 

            “Which house?”

 

            “What do you mean which house?”

 

            “Which fucking house?” I demanded.

 

            “Piper’s house.” He said. “Where they’re keeping the other girl.”

 

            “Ah.” I said and nodded. “Well. I can’t trust you two, so you’ll have to come with me.”

 

            “What?” Tinker asked.

 

            “You’re coming with me.” I told him. “If you don’t like that, I can just shoot the both of you right now. If you don’t like being good boys in the back seat, I can crack you over the head and put you in the trunk after trussing you up with a bunch of plastic cuffs.”

 

            “We’ll be good.” Tinker said, holding his hands up. “You don’t hafta shoot us or hurt us or nothing.”

            “You fuckin’ pansy.” Tailor said.

 

            “Shut up man, you’re going to get us killed.”

 

            “The fuck I am.” He said, so I hit him hard across the top of the head with the sap and down he went.

 

            “Come on Mikey.” I said grabbing Tailor’s feet. “You get the heavy end because you’ve lived a life without moral firmament. The work will be good for you.”

 

            “Um, right.” Tinker said grabbing Tailors shoulders.

           

            I was good to my word, and I did truss Tailor up and put him in the trunk. The problem was, that after Tinker helped me put Tailor in the trunk, I gave him a good hard sock across the head and let him fall into the trunk where I trussed him up too. I then took them all back to Grandma’s and we locked the boys in Grandpa’s old work shed, which was surprisingly well built and could work as a makeshift dungeon if and when I needed one.

 

            So, Karen and Jill were at the house, hanging out. Tinker and Tailor where locked up in the shed, I had an extra two guns to go with the four I was already packing in the Skylark, and I knew where I was going. As I left the house, I decided all I had left to do was to tell one of the women I loved that I was about to enter the lions den and give the lion that cock slapping I’d been talking about.

 

            “Alice Liddell.” She said as she answered her phone.

 

            “I’m going to the Piper House.” I told her. “Piper has kidnapped Debbie and the guy behind the Thinkonomics people is there causing problems too. A big fat Texan called Red King.”

 

            “Yes.” She said. “I know Jack.”

 

            “You know?”

 

            “I’ve been following Red King for sometime.” She said. “I was trying to get him in California, that’s what I was doing out there.”

 

            “So you’re in Michigan now?”

 

            “I’m at the Piper house now.” She said.

 

            “We don’t go in until I get there.”

 

            “I’m afraid it’s too late for that.”

 

            “Did you arrest them already?”

 

            “No.” She said. “They got me.”

 

            “What?”

 

            “Howdy Jack!” Red’s voice said after a second. “Seems I’ve got two of the girls you were sweet on. And a couple of my guys brought me back Cindy too, just had to kill a couple of faggots to get her, ain’t that nice? So I don’t need you at all now.”

 

            “Wait!” I called out, “King?”

 

            “Yes?” He asked,

 

            “You haven’t got Jill Piper.”

 

            “No I haven’t.” He said. “You know where she is, don’t you?”

            “Let the girls go and well talk.”

 

            “You couldn’t trust me and I know I can’t trust you.” He told me. “You come up to the house, we’ll talk face to face, see where that gets us.”

 

            “I’ll be there shortly.” I said and hung the phone up. I then threw it against the dashboard and shouted “Shit, fucking, fuck, shit, goddamnit it, fuck shit.” In various combinations for the better part of a quarter of an hour.

 

August 10, 2011 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Thirty-Six)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Last week’s entry can be found here.
 

Chapter Thirty-Six: Running Home

 

            We went that day. I dropped Shiri off at the office, went to the hotel and grabbed my things and we were off. I drove into Reno, where I figured we could get a room without causing too much of a problem. I took a shower in the room and then lay down on the bed for what I thought would be a few moments. It was about seven in the morning when I woke up, with Jill curled up next to me like an oversized kitten. I looked around the room, noticing that things were more or less how I’d left it. Jill had brought up a suit case and another matching bag from the car and had her clothes lying carelessly on them. I got up from the bed, moving carefully so as not to disturb Jill and got dressed.

 

            “Morning.” She said as I pulled my pants on.

 

            “Hey.” I said smiling at her. “Did you have your bags in the trunk or something? I don’t remember packing your stuff.”

 

            “Oh I bought that stuff last night.” She laughed and sat up wearing what I noticed was a silk negligee that was more shadow than garment. No woman should be able to look that good without the aid of Photoshop. It’s not fair to us poor males to look at that and then be expected to think pure thoughts. I was stuck though on her phrase.

 

            “How did you buy it?” I asked. “I did mention not using credit cards, didn’t I?”

 

            “Yes.” She rolled her eyes and stood up from the bed. “I wouldn’t do that.”

 

            She walked over to me and gave me a deeply loving kiss on the mouth. I returned the kiss, because there are things you have to do in the name of customer service. She was warm in the cool room, warm and vibrant and sweetly fragranced. I liked holding her, why should I be even remotely ashamed about that? I’m a healthy young man, well maybe not so young now, but still pretty healthy. She pressed herself against me, and ran soft tipped fingers against my back.

 

            “I never stopped wanting you.” She said as she seemed to wrap herself around me like some sort of feminine putty. “I love you so much. I’ve never really loved anyone else.”

 

            “Okay.” I said, smelling her hair and wanting not to be distracted. I had to push her away so I could talk to her. “We’ll talk about that in a moment. First, how did you pay for this stuff?”

 

            “Oh that?” She laughed, and it sounded like tinkling bells. She then licked her upper lip and that wasn’t doing anything for my concentration. “I just made a killing while you were asleep.”

 

            “Pardon?” I asked.

 

            “These guys think they know how to gamble, but you put a girl in a low cut top in front of them, and they will loose twenty grand for the hope of watching you bed over to get it.” She sat down on the bed and made the most attention grabbing pose she could think of while patting the spot next to her. “Come here beautiful.”

 

            “You made twenty grand?” I asked.

 

            “No.” She shook her head. “I made a hundred and eighty grand. And I got the room comped. Then I got some decent clothes. Not bad huh?”

 

            “Not bad.” I admired.

 

            “Come on.” She said pulling the mist thin top off, “Come take me now. I don’t think I can wait any longer.”

 

            Oh the things we independent businessmen will do in the name of customer service. You’ve got to provide these free services though, to loyal repeat customers. I’m not sure how standard the practice of nailing the kidnap victim once you’ve got her safe is for other private eyes, but I seem to have to do it all the time. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, it’s an enjoyable little task really, but it does seem odd how often it happens.

 

            At ten, when we were both done and washed, we checked out of the hotel in Reno and started the long trek across America. Hopefully, while that was happening, a guy who looked like me (only far less handsome) was on his way to Georgia in Debbie’s car. Maybe he was running over small children and dogs to make sure people got the license plate number. And while he was doing that enjoyable task, I was forced to ride cross country with a beautiful girl at my side. I won’t complain though. Well, I will a little.

 

            “You know, you lied to me.” She said as we drove.

 

            “How?” I asked.

 

            “You said I’d outgrow you.” She said rubbing my thigh with her hand. “I never did.”

 

            Shit.

 

            “No?” I asked.

 

            “No.” She said. “I wanted you in me everyday since you left. I kept myself pure for you, ever since you left.”

 

            Oh fuck.

 

            It wasn’t going to be easy to send her back to school if she went on like this. I liked her, but I didn’t love her, and I was sort of full up on girls at the moment. I had quite a busy dance card as it was and another name was just one more name. Even if she was a delight to be with, it was getting crowded.

 

            “I never let a boy touch me.” She said rubbing my thigh with her fingers. “I just stayed pure for you. I cleaned myself out, stayed lean, worked out, got strong.”

 

            “I see that.” I said.

 

            Son of a bitch.

 

            No, not easy to get rid of her. Still, there was hope. I mean even though she was beautiful, she wasn’t bi-sexual beautiful was she? Was she? She was pretty close. I’d already had a morning with her, and I’d never been with anything but bi-sexual girls before. Still though, it wasn’t like she could keep it up if she was straight. And besides, I was living a, whatda call it? Poly lifestyle now, and she’d be too jealous for that.

 

            “I played with girls though, I like playing with girls. We could play with girls together. I wouldn’t mind if there were other girls all the time, so long as I got to have you too.”

 

            Goddamnit!

 

            Well, at least my record was still in tact. That’s me, always looking on the bright side. P.M.A. kids. Positive mental attitude, that’s what you’ve gotta have.

 

            “Are you going to move me into your place when we get home?” She asked as we were driving through the desert.

 

            “I hadn’t planned on it.” I said.

 

            “Why not?” She demanded, sounding a little offended.

 

            “Well, first I’ve got a one room place.” I told her. “And second you’re going to Stanford in the fall.”

 

            “Oh that’s off.” She waved a hand at the suggestion of college. “All I need to do now is make love to you. You’re mine now.”

 

            “Just because you let me into that little slice of heaven between your legs, it doesn’t mean you get to hold ownership.” I said.

 

            “Not really a slice is it?” She asked. “More like a slit, a gate to heaven maybe.”

 

            “The point is my lovely little dear, you’ve got plans, haven’t you?”

 

            “I’m going to live with you and make you happy.” She said.

 

            “No.” I said, probably too sternly. “You need to go to college.”

 

            “You want to get rid of me?” She asked, and if I were smart I’d notice she was getting annoyed. Missing those signs is what got me shot last time.

 

            “Of course not, but school is important.” I said and then I was stupid “Besides, I’m sure your father would like to see you.”

 

            “You’re going to send me back to him?” She suddenly looked on the verge of tears. “You did all this, made me feel safe, just to send me back to him?”

 

            “What’s the matter?” I asked.

 

            “You fucked me, now you’re going to throw me away? You’re going to throw me to him and you want to know what’s the matter? How could you?”

 

            “Slow down.” I said. “I only said you need to go to college. Why don’t you want to go to your father?”

 

            “You’re going to dump me again!” She really was crying now. I pulled the car over to the shoulder and parked. “You’re going to leave me with him like you did before.”

 

            “Back up.” I told her as I slid across and put my arms around her. I noticed my voice dropped into its most reassuring tone when I did this. “Tell me what the problem is and I’ll try to fix it. I can’t help you if you just start throwing anger at me.”

 

            “He used to fuck me.” She started to cry in earnest now and it started to get hard to understand through the sobs. “He’d make me suck him off at first. Made me blow him from the time I was eight. He started to fuck my butt when I turned thirteen, after they took Mom away. After Cole broke me, he started fuck me in the twat too. He said it didn’t matter anymore, because everyone would know it was Cole who did it.”

 

            Mother!

 

            Fucking!

 

            Fuck!

 

            “Oh babe, I’m sorry.” I pulled her face up and kissed her and then held her tight to me. “I am so, so, sorry.”

 

            “You said you’d take me away, take me anywhere I wanted to go, but you didn’t!” She shouted.

           

            “You shot me in the chest.” I said, trying not to sound indignant about it. “I was in a coma for two years. It took another for me to get back to this point physically.”

           

            “No.” She shook her head at me and fixed those sparkling blue eyes on mine. “Cole shot you.”

 

            “No.” I said, trying to sound like I wasn’t blaming her for her actions. “You did.”

 

            “Oh god.” She sobbed again. “I did! Didn’t I?”

 

            “It’s okay.” I said rubbing her shoulder with my hand. “I got better. The point is I couldn’t come save you and I’m sorry.”

 

            “I finally begged enough that Mom was able to send me away to school out here when I turned fifteen.” She went on with the story as if the previous exchange hadn’t happened, which was probably for the best. “He couldn’t come get me anymore. I thought I was safe, but then they came for me.”

 

            “Well, now you are going to be safe.” I told her and kissed to reassure her. “I won’t take you back to him if you don’t want to go.”

 

            “Promise?”

 

            “Promise.” I said. “Where is your mother?”

 

            “She’s still in Switzerland I guess.” She said. “She may have been traded off again by now.”

 

            “Yeah, but she’s got to be, what? Forty? Forty-five? I mean that doesn’t mean she can’t still look good, but as far as trading goes.”

 

            “She’s not forty.” She said. “She’s your age Thirty-two, thirty-three now?”

 

            “Your mother is thirty-three?”

 

            “Yeah.” She said.

 

            “You’re mother isn’t also your sister is she?” I asked, fearing the Chinatown Syndrome. “Because I’m not sure I could take that.”

 

            “No.” She said. “Mom’s dad died in an accident when she was ten. Dad took her in and adopted her. He got her pregnant when she was fourteen, but the blamed it on some drifter. She said he raped her and Dad and some locals killed him. It was dad that got her pregnant though, and he married her when I was about four and she was eighteen.”

 

            “Could you hang on a second, sweetie?” I said sliding across the bench seat toward the driver’s side door so I could get out.

 

            “Where are you going?” She asked.

 

            “I’ve just got to go over to that dead tree for a moment.” I said. “Just wait here and we’ll be off in a moment. You won’t have to go anywhere you don’t want to. You can stay with me forever if that’s what you really want.”

 

            “Okay.” She said, looking a little more cheerful. “I love you Jack. I love you so much it hurts.”

 

            “I know.” I said and walked away from the car towards the dead tree.

 

            I’m not exactly proud of the next three minutes. I’m a grown man after all, and a tough guy. I’m supposed to internalize, while looking totally unflappable. However, I was alone with a car and a girl and I figured neither of them was likely to talk. So I had a temper tantrum. I yanked the tree out of the ground and smashed a boulder with it until the tree came apart in my hands and then I started to kick and scream at the rock for a while until I exhausted the limits of that little task. Then I fell to the ground and proceeded to kick and screamed like a two year old for a while. After that, I was calm. I walked back to the car and grabbed a bottle of water to wash my hands and have a drink.

 

            “Jack?” Jill asked.

 

            “Yes dear?” I asked.

 

            “Are you okay?”

 

            “No.” I said. “I am not okay. I’m pretty far from okay. I’ll be okay later, but right now I can’t even see okay with a telescope.”

 

            “Oh.” She said, cringing a little in the seat.

 

            “But I tell you what.” I said sitting down in the car. “You tell me more about playing with girls and we’ll see if that doesn’t cheer me up, okay?”

 

            “Sure Jack.” She smiled at that, because she thought it might excite or delight me. Mostly it was a pleasant distraction from the thoughts I was having about choking Peter Piper to death with a jar of his own pickled peppers.

 

June 1, 2011 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Thirty-Five)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Last week’s entry can be found here.

 

Chapter Thirty-Five: On the Road Again

 

            I was thinking that I should go across to the other office and try to console Shiri when my cell phone started to vibrate in my pocket. I’ve begun to hate that stupid thing. I’m not a Luddite, I just don’t like people being able to get in contact with me every damn second of every day. I pulled it out, seeing it was the office and answered it.

 

            “Yeah?” I asked.

 

            “Is my car smashed?” Debbie’s voice asked.

 

            “No.” I said.

 

            “Why not?”

 

            “It never came up.” I said.

 

            “You didn’t run over the fucker who killed Dale?”

 

            “No,” I told her. “I half drowned him in the bathtub.”

 

            “Half drowned?” She asked. “Why only half?”

 

            “Because fully drowning him would have been murder and I couldn’t do it, but I made sure he got arrested, he’s in jail with rest of them. Shiri I.D.ed him and everything. He’ll go to jail for a long, long time.”

 

            “Okay.” She said. “You should have smashed my car through the bastard though.”

 

            “Why?”

 

            “I’ve arranged another car for you.” She told me. “I was so sure you’d smash my car up I got Shiri to buy it the day before yesterday. She and Dale were supposed to have picked it up and taken it to her place for safe keeping.”

 

            “Well that’s gonna be a happy little memory then.” I told her. “Everyone here is pretty broken up over Dale. This was a close little family they had and I think this is their first death.”

 

            “Shit.” She said. “Well, we’ve got some insurance, we can give that money to his survivors. Make sure they know we’ll pay for the burial and everything, okay?”

 

            “Yeah.” I said. “I’ll make sure of that. You going to fly out for that?”

 

            “Probably.” She said. “I mean, I guess I should.”

 

            “Alright.” I said. “I’ll have to work a few things out though. Like where we’re going to keep Jill and I for the time being.”

 

            “I have confidence in you.”

 

            “Thanks.” I said. “I should go try to do some damage control with Shiri.”

 

            “Okay.” She said. “I’ll call you later.”

 

            “Okay.” I said, and then decided to add that little thing that guys are supposed to say sometimes, but often don’t. “Love you.”

 

            “Love you too.” She replied and we hung up on that note.

 

            I walked across the office and knocked on the door of Shiri’s office. It took her a few seconds but I did finally hear her say “Yes?” through the glass after a lot of shuffling around. I didn’t blame her, I’d want to have a moment to make sure I was composed too if I wasn’t a completely unfeeling bastard who is ready at a moment’s notice. I opened the door and got a good look. She’s wiped the tears away, but they’d only just stopped a few seconds ago and could start again at any moment.

 

            “Hi.” I said as I closed the door behind me. “You okay?”

 

            “I’ll be okay.” She said. “It was just, you know, sort of a rough night.”

 

            “First time?” I asked her as I sat down.

 

            “First time I was kidnapped and nearly gang raped or first time I fucked up and lost someone on the job?” She asked me with more self recrimination that was good for her.

 

            “Either.” I said.

 

            “Both.” She said as her face scrunched up and a tear started. “You think you’re tough until something like this.”

 

            “The first time is always bad.” I said.

 

            “Does it get easier?” She asked,

 

            “No.” I shook my head. “It never does. However, you get used to it and you with time you’ll feel good again.”

 

            “Is this how it was, when you did that thing?”

 

            “Are you asking about the seven with one blow thing?”

 

            “Yeah.”

 

            “That was a fluke.” I told her. “I was scared shitless that whole time. It was just a lucky strike that I killed Chester Cat.”

 

            “Luck?” She asked.

 

            “Luck.” I agreed. “I was so exhausted that day. I can hardly remember all of it now. You’d think every detail would be imprinted on my mind, but actually it’s sort of muddy now.”

 

            “You weren’t scared last night though.” She said.

 

            “I was pissed last night.” I said. “That was the end of a very long road and I was tired of everyone’s bullshit. Then it turned out that there was more bullshit this morning.”

 

            “Should I have tried to save you?” she asked. “Come after you?”

 

            “No.” I shook my head. “You probably did the right thing. It’s just that I don’t have a history of cooperating with people. It’s sort of my standing policy not to cooperate. I’ve gotten this far on my looks and my balls, which is classic tough guy stuff.”

 

            “I’ll try to remember that.” She said. “I’ll get a pair of balls and start getting by on my looks.”

 

            “Why don’t you just do what works for you and I’ll do what works for me and we’ll both get our respective jobs done.”

 

            “Sounds slipshod.” She said, trying to laugh. “If we’re going to get ISO 1200 certification we need a process and stuff.”

 

            “Fuck certification.” I said, giving my best go at a smile. “They can take us as they find us or not at all.”

 

            “Okay.” She said and then looked at the phone like it was an accusing aunt. “I’ve got to call Dale’s boyfriend and see what they want to do about his burial.”

 

            “Well.” I told her. “Don’t go spending any money. We’ll pay for everything. Debbie said that we’ve got an insurance policy on him and she’ll give the money to whatever survivors he has.”

 

            “That’d be Jim.” She said.

 

            “Then she’ll give the money to Jim.” I said. “Until then, make plans, do what needs to be done, just send us the bill.”

 

            “Thanks.” She said.

 

            “Not to change the subject too suddenly, but I understand there is a car.”

 

            “Yeah.” She said, “Debbie got me to buy it because she was sure you were going to crash her car.”

 

            “You want to go look at it?” I asked. “Get out of the office for a while?”

 

            “Okay.” She nodded.

 

            “Let’s grab Jill and got for a ride then.”

 

            It turned out not to just be a car. It turned out to be a nineteen fifty-seven Heron Roadster convertible, complete with tailfins and rear lights that were really cones to resemble rocket jets. The front end looked sort of what you’d expect if you turned a woman in a low cut dress into a car. Or rather it looked like someone had seen a beautiful woman and tried to express how he felt about her by rendering her in the form of a car’s front end. The car was the expected cherry red, the leather interior was the sort of candy shop red and white that Debbie would like. All in all, it looked like one of the more sexual cars I’d ever glanced at.

 

            “Well…” I said looking at it as we walked around it. “It is exactly what she would pick.”

 

            “It’s awesome.” Jill said, running her hand over the door and leaning across the hood in a pose that was designed to make you think bad thoughts. “You could fuck all night in that back seat.”

 

            Shiri and I both froze in our tracks at that. I can’t say we both went to the exact same place, but I’m pretty sure that if we looked up from our own private worlds we’d be close enough to see the other one waving. Jill smiled at us, placing her finger on her lower lip and letting the tip of her pink tongue press against her finger nail.

 

            “Yes.” Shiri said finally, proving I could even hear her from her own private world. “I expect you could.”

 

            “This is just the sexiest car I’ve ever seen.” Jill stood up in a very provocative way, sliding her breasts across the slick looking hood before walking towards the passenger door and straddling one leg over and then swinging the other leg around.

 

            I am fully aware of the age difference, but I’m also aware that the last three years had been exceptionally formative for Jill. She had rounded out in some places, tightened up in others and over all filled out. I have no idea what Shiri was thinking, but I’m guessing it was an all girl version of what I was thinking. I was pretty sure she must be, which made me want to tell her that she should be ashamed of herself. I’m not one to admonish the subordinates for what they think about when not on the clock, but if Shiri’s thoughts were even one tenth as filthy as mine then she should be ashamed.

            “Shall we see how she handles?” I asked, which I might have gotten away with if I hadn’t then fucked it up. “The car! I’m talking about the car. Not Jill. I’m not suggesting we bang the eighteen year old until she can’t walk anymore. Obviously! I wouldn’t suggest that.”

 

            “Is it this sly talk that gets them all into bed?” Shiri asked. “Do straight girls think differently? It’s not doing anything for me.”

 

            “You could crawl back here with me Jack.” Jill said as she clambered into the back seat. “She can watch, I don’t mind.”

 

            “Must think pure thoughts.” I whispered, just loud enough for Shiri to hear. She laughed and we got into the front seat.

 

            The car, while looking very feminine, handled very masculinly. The Hudson looked sort of male, but it handled like a woman. It was soft and yielding, warm and fluid. This thing was like arm wrestling, or something guyish like that. I suppose Debbie would be able to handle it, she was good with guys. For me though, it wasn’t quite what I was looking for. We had a good afternoon though, driving around and seeing some sights, with Jill sticking next to me, making suggestive comments all day. By the end of he day, Shiri was stretched out in the back seat while Jill leaned against me like lovers in an old fifties teen romance.

 

            My phone rang while we were driving back to the office for a few things. Had I known what it was going to be… no, I still would have answered. I couldn’t leave Debbie hanging like that. If I’d know what the call was going to be, I would have been on my way already.

 

            “Yeah?”

 

            “Hey Jack.” Debbie’s voice was quick. “Where are those take out menus?”

 

            “Take out menus?” I asked,

 

            “Yes.” She said, putting a note into her voice. “The take out menus. You know, if we need to get take out?”

 

            “Are you taking in code?”

 

            “Yeah.” She said. “I can’t find any of them?”

           

            “Can I talk?”

 

            “Yes, I looked there.” She started sounding annoyed, but I could tell it was faked.

 

            “Are you in trouble?”

 

            “Well of course!” She snapped. “Would I be calling you if I could find the stupid things?”

 

            “Are you hurt?”

 

            “No.” She said. “Not there.”

 

            “Are you in danger of being hurt?”

 

            “I don’t think so.” She said.

 

            “How many are holding you?”


            “Out of the three places I was thinking of going, none of them have online menus.” She said. “It’s really annoying because there are more, but I can’t be sure who has them or not.”

 

            “Tell them I’m taking Jill back to Banbury Cross.” I said.

 

            “What?” Jill sat up and I had to wave at her to shut her up.

 

            “Okay.” She said. “I’ll check there.”

 

            “Is Karen alright?”

 

            “No.” She said.

 

            “She’s being watched too?”

 

            “Yes.” She said and I started hearing things that sounded like my desk drawers being opened. “Your drawers are just a fucking mess. All fucked up. You need to do something about this.”

 

            “I’ll be home as soon as I can.” I told her. “I love you babe.”

 

            “Yeah.” She said. “I’ll see you when you get back from Georgia. Bye.”

 

            “Fuck.” I said as I hung up the phone.

 

            “What’s going on?” Shiri asked.

 

            “Debbie’s got people sitting on her.”

 

            “What?” Jill asked.

 

            “There are parties unknown, at least three of them though, at the office holding Debbie hostage. They’ve got Karen too. She’s going to act as if I’m on my way to Georgia, but we’re going to have to go back to Michigan right away.”

 

            “You want me to come?” She asked.

 

            “No.” I shook my head. “Jill and I will go. I’ll keep her safe. You stay here and run this place.”

 

            “What if something happens to you?”

 

            “Come to Michigan and you can have my Webley-Fosbery.” I told her. “This shit is just going to keep going though. Possibly until I shoot every mother fucker in the tri-county area.”

 

            “Pardon?”

 

            “Michigan reference.” I told her. “Who knows about this car?”

 

            “I guess the guy that sold it to us.” Shiri said.

 

            “All anyone would know is that the car was sold to the company? What?”

 

            “I bought it for me, using company funds.” She said. “It was easier that way. I was going to do the transfer stuff later.”

 

            “Well, we will do it later. So long as no one knows this car exists, I can use that.” I smiled at Jill. “No one’s looking for a fifty-seven Heron. They’ll never see us coming. I’ll need whatever petty cash you’ve got lying around Shiri. Not being tracked will be very important. And hide Debbie’s car. No, better yet, let me give you a couple of my credit cards and you get someone to drive down to Banbury.”

 

            “Okay.” She said. “But what are you going to do?”

           

            “Go home, shoot the bad guys, save the day, win the girl.” I said. “And then, when I’ve done that, I’ll crawl under my desk and never come out again.”

 

 

 

May 18, 2011 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Thirty-Four)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Last week’s entry can be found here.  

 

Chapter Thirty-Four: Mister Temple

 

 

            It turned out that I needed Alice to drive Jill and I back to the regional office since Debbie’s car was left at the hotel. I sat in the front seat, with Jill sitting directly behind me as we drove to the San Francisco office. The drive was fairly quiet, because there was something between the two women. I’m not sure it was spoken, but neither of them seemed to be ready to be buddies with the other. I didn’t much care, all I cared about at that moment was having a safe place to rest my head for a few hours.

 

            I felt like I’d spent the last day or so, well… doing the things that I’d done in the last day or so. I felt like I wanted to have a shower and then sleep for a day or two, but I wasn’t going to have the chance. For a while. My phone started to ring and I pulled it out. Alice started to speed up as I pulled the phone out. I didn’t recognize the number.

 

            “Some one is following us.” She said as she put her foot down a little harder, causing the engine to growl louder.

 

            “Jack Collier.” I said, feeling as tired as I probably was.

 

            “Mister Collier.” A voice like a purring puma said to me. “Would you mind asking Miss Liddell not to drive so fast? That speed isn’t safe on these streets.”

 

            “Alice.” I said to her. “The strange man on the other line wants to know if we could slow down a bit?”

 

            “Who is it?” She asked,

 

            “Good question.” I said. “Who wants us to slow down?”

 

            “My name is Temple.” The voice said. “Mister Church asked if I would look after you.”

 

            “Temple?” I asked. “Slow down Alice, we might actually be among friends.”

 

            “Temple?” She asked. “Simon Temple?”

 

            “Simon Temple?” I asked.

 

            “That’s right.” The purring puma on the other line said. “If you wouldn’t mind, I think we should have a face to face talk.”

 

            “Where?” I asked.

 

            “You have an office here in town?”

 

            “Yes.”

 

            “We’ll escort you then.” He purred. “No one’s going to bother you with us behind.”

 

            “You sure?” I asked.

 

            “You’ve got Temple behind you.” He said. “Even those crazy comet humpers aren’t going to bother you with me behind.”

 

            “Well, that sounds reassuring.” I said. “So you’ll follow us to the office?”

 

            “And then we’ll talk.” He said.

 

            We drove to the office, with four black SUVs behind us. I think I must have actually fallen asleep because the trip sort of zipped past and I realized the engine had stopped. I started to sit up when I realized the car had stopped and started to look around.

 

            “Are we in trouble?” I asked.

 

            “No.” Alice said. “We’re here.”

 

            “Oh, that went fast.” I said.

 

            “You snored for like an hour.” Jill laughed as she opened the door and got out.

 

            “I don’t snore.” I told Alice.

 

            “Yes you do.” She said. “You know you do. Every woman who has ever had to sleep next to has noticed it. I almost think the reason you’re so good in bed is to exhaust us so we don’t wake up too many times.”

 

            “At least I’ve got being good in bed going for me.” I said as we climbed out of the car.

 

            “Mister Collier.” The purring puma voice said behind me. “I’m Simon Temple.”

 

            I turned and saw a good looking black man with a shaved head smiling at me. While his voice was about eight feet tall, he’d have to wear three inch lifts to get to six foot. He was good looking though, dressed well in a suit that cost about the same as my car costs. There wasn’t anything ostentatious about him though, he looked like he’d been born knowing what style and sophistication looked like.

 

            “Mister Temple.” I said taking his extended hand. It was firm and strong, but not exactly hard. It was sort of like shaking Church’s hand actually.

 

            “Jack!” Shiri said as she ran out into the parking lot, but she stopped when she got a look at Temple. “Oh fuck.”

 

            “It’s cool.” I said waving at her. “Mister Temple is, well, let’s call him the friend of an old adversary.”

 

            “And that’s good?” She asked.

 

            “We should probably go inside.” I said. “I’ve got to talk to you about company policy towards dealing with the Federales as it is young lady.”

 

            “Pardon?”

 

            “We don’t cooperate with the authorities.” I said and glanced at Alice. “We just sleep with them.”

 

            We entered the building, three guys in baggy pants and t-shirts standing at the office door watching out for us. They were a mixed group, two guys who looked like they were in it for looking tough and one guy who I thought could do some serious damage if given a really good reason. They were also a mixed group racially. One black, one white, one Asian. Interestingly, that was the make up of the executive staff that went up the office as well. Technically though, if I remember right, Shiri is Chinese, Thai, Irish and Latino. Still though, we were more or less a matching set of executive and working staff.

 

            “Were can we talk?” I asked.

 

            “Well we can use my office.” Shiri said.

 

            “I was thinking of discussing something with Mister Temple alone.” I said.

 

            “Well, you could.” She stopped and sighed as she opened the door to the main office where Kari was sitting. She then spoke quickly, “You could use Dale’s office, it’s the one across from mine.”

 

            Shiri then more or less ran to her office and slammed the door behind her. It wasn’t much of a slam, probably she was being annoyed with herself for closing it so quickly. I looked at Kari, who was greatly deflated from her attitude of the last few days. She’d been bubbly and warm, but now she looked like she’d been medicated.

 

            “Hi Jack.” She barely said.

 

            “Hey Kari.” I said walking toward her and taking her left hand in both of mine. “You holding up?”

 

            “I’m okay.” She nodded quickly and bit her lip.

 

            “Okay.” I said. “Mister Temple and I are going to go discuss a few matters.”

 

            “Okay.” She nodded in the same quick way and bit her lip again.

 

            “Something happen?” Temple asked as we passed the desks were four operatives sat, looking dejected.

 

            “One of ours was killed yesterday.” I said as I opened the door to Dale’s office. “This was his office.”

 

            I sat down behind Dale’s desk and Temple sat in one of the client chairs. If nothing else, Dale’s office should have been kept in a museum in an attempt to shatter the stereotype that gay men are neat and tidy. I couldn’t actually see the surface for all the assorted papers, photos, cameras and other paraphernalia of our craft. His chair was good and comfortable though, so who cares if the desk was a sight?

 

            “So what can I do for you Mister Temple?”

 

            “It’s more what I can do for you.” He said steepling his fingers before his mouth. “You’ve annoyed one powerful little group of criminals.”

 

            “I think a lot of them are going to be arrested though.” I said. “I mean the feds are not going to let the Thinkonomics crowd slip through their fingers.”

 

            “Not them.” He shook his head. “I mean the people behind The So-called Church of Thinkonomics.”

 

            “Behind them?” I asked.

 

            “Mister Church told me that you had dealings with them over the event that made you famous.” He smiled then, as if savoring a joke. “The Seven with One Blow event.”

 

            “You’re talking about Unicorn.” I said, wondering if I’d get a flash of lightning and some thunder for saying the name.

 

            “I speak of them.” He agreed. “After that last altercation left them injured, they came out here and regrouped. They’ve been running the Thinkonomics people pretty much ever since they started, so they came here to consider their tactics.”

 

            “Which you don’t much like.” I said.

 

            “I am the sole criminal element in this part of the world.” He stated. “Even the spaghetti eaters, pardon, Italians defer to me.”

 

            “Yeah, but Unicorn isn’t into deferment.”

 

            “No.” He shook his head. “They are not. They haven’t wanted a direct fight with me though, so they haven’t given me an excuse to start one.”

 

            “Are you looking for an excuse?” I asked.

 

            “I’m not looking for anything.” He smiled again and I wondered if he would let me in on the joke. “However, Mister Church did tell me that you were like a magnet for them. He said that if I were looking for trouble I should look for you since it always seems to converge around you.”

 

            “Yeah.” I said. “I do that.”

 

            “I’ve wanted to hurt them, for sometime.” He told me. “And you have created a situation that hurts them without my having to do anything. I am enjoying the event from afar, but I would like to get a closer seat. To that end, if you need something, just ask. If it doesn’t bother you, I’ll have someone watch over you until you leave the general area. I’d like to know where you are.”

 

            “That probably won’t be a problem.” I said.

 

            “Good. I like a man who is reasonable.” And there was something like Church there. A slight hint of menace mixed with the self assurity that comes from knowing you’re the baddest in the room. He didn’t actually know he wasn’t the baddest, but he hadn’t known me for five minutes yet, so how could he know how bad I was?

 

            He reminded me of Church in another way. He spoke like he had to think about what he was going to say and be careful about how he said it, lest he revert to the voice of his youth. I could tell that there was a ghetto talking thug under the smooth exterior, but it was far down and covered with a lot of learned class. He was a man who had come up from the ground level to make himself into something greater than his beginnings would suggest. Just like me, only I wasn’t a crime boss.

 

            “I’ll be going home in another day or two.” I said. “I’ve given my evidence and it’s been agreed that I can give video testimony from Michigan so I won’t even need to come back.”

 

            “That sounds very nice.” He nodded.

 

            “I just want you to know where I stand.” I said. “Because after this I think I’m going to vanish for a while and no one is going to know where I went for a while. I appreciate your offer of help though and I’ll take it kindly.”

 

            “That’s very respectful of you.” He said. “I’m glad we can be reasonable.”

 

            “Well sure.” I smiled my charming smile, which hurt like hell but I did it anyway. “Just don’t have the guys try and be sly, let them just hang out and be obvious. I get paranoid sometimes and I’d rather know my bodyguard is actually with me.”

 

            “Sure.” He laughed as he stood up. “I’ll see to that. You need anything, you let me know.”

 

            And with that he was gone leaving me in the office alone, wondering how deep I’d stuck my foot in it this time and could I pull it out without loosing a shoe.

 

May 6, 2011 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Thirty-Three)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Last week’s entry can be found here.

 

Chapter Thirty-Three: Bullets Miss Me

 

            When I bought the Drexel, which I did very carefully in Pittsburg, I did something to it. I carefully put a drill down the barrel and dug away part of it. The result of my drill job was that the gun wouldn’t fire straight. If you were standing more than, say, five paces away, the bullet would hit the divot I’d created down the barrel and start to turn so that it would exit the barrel at an angle. A predictable angle no less, one you could depend on. Not one you could aim with, but if you stayed in the right zone the bullet would never hit you.

            I felt the air split as the shot fired, but I didn’t react. I stood pat, unflinching, so fucking cool. The sort of cool that would make Fonzy himself say, “Daaamn, that’s cool.” I was pretty sure that my coolness was such that even some of the guys were getting wet. Father William pulled the trigger nine more times, but I was a man of my word and only one thirty-two round was in the gun. He looked at the gun and then at me and then threw the gun at his desk, causing another scar and sending it across the office.

 

            “You might be able to balance an eel on the end of your nose,” I told him, doing my best Robert Mitchum impression. “But you can’t get away with committing attempted murder with this many witnesses. Particularly not since you just used the gun that killed Cole King.”

 

            “That gun killed Cole King?” he asked looking over his desk at it.

 

            “Funny how you were able to pull it out of your desk like that. Don’t you find that odd?”

 

            “You threw it at me,” Father William demanded.

 

            “You ordered an eighteen-year-old girl raped to death, and then you wanted a private eye and a federal agent killed,” I told him. “Never mind who will the courts believe, who will the people believe? Will they sympathize? Or will they rip you a new one for this weekend’s work?”

 

            “What do you want?” Father William growled.

 

            “Why kidnap Jill Piper so much?” I asked him, folding my arms. “I don’t get that at all. Why is she so important to you? Is she worth 500 Raleigh cigarette points or something?”

 

            That was when, for the second time in twelve hours, the government came to my rescue again. The doors burst open and five men came rushing into the room with guns drawn. I spun around, yanking the second handgun from my pocket and aiming. I would have fired a warning shot except I noticed the blue nylon jackets with the three letters in yellow as they started shouting the name of their agency and telling everyone to get on the floor.

 

            “On the floor now!” one of them shouted, and seemed a little put out that none of us dropped. Not a one of us even so much as moved, even I was still pointing my gun at them. I think I was in shock, finding that it was our side who had decided to raid the place instead of theirs. The young agent looked sort of confused and gave me an imploring look. “You’ve got to drop the weapon and get on the floor.”

 

            “Why?” I asked him, which he probably wasn’t ready for. “I’m the one that has the drop on you.”

 

            “There’s five of us.” he almost whined.

 

            “That’s right,” I told him. “And I’ve got the drop on all five of you.”

 

            If I decided to shoot them all, it wouldn’t have been a problem, because they just sort of looked at me with mystified expressions. So confident was I in my belief that I had them covered they actually looked at their guns as if they were the ones who were supposed to drop them. I think they might have dropped them if I’d had another three seconds to just look at them with an expectant expression.

 

            “Smith,” Alice said after letting me play tough guy for what she considered to be a polite amount of time, “What the hell are you doing?”

 

            “Arresting them for kidnapping you and Mister Collier and Miss Piper,” Smith said.

 

            “That is Mister Collier,” she said pointing at me.

 

            “I’m Miss Piper,” Jill spoke up, waving at him with a cute little wave.

 

            “You may feel free to arrest Father William,” she said pointing at Big Bill. “He’s behind the desk.”

 

            “You’re under arrest,” Smith said pointing his gun at Father William and company.

 

            “I knew an agent Smith once,” I said lowering the gun. “He got killed in Michigan.”

 

            “He was a relative sir,” Smith said as eight more agents came into the office, which was getting really small really fast.

 

            “Ah,” I said and then added. “This room is getting too small.”

 

            It was a controlled chaos, but I was allowed to leave the room for an emergency stairway that gave me some breathing room. I stood out there for a few minutes, breathing and listening to the alarm bells that were ringing a cacophony in my head. There were a lot of questions that I needed the answer to, and I wasn’t thinking I was going to get good answers anytime soon, if ever. I rarely get the answers that would actually explain things. Good lord my head hurt, I didn’t realize that I’d grabbed it and was rocking back and forth until the door opened and Alice half stepped into the stairway.  I had to let go of my head to turn and look at her looking at me leaning against the wall, holding my head. She looked concerned and worried and angry all at once. I could sort of tell I was in some kind of trouble with her, even though the anger faded the longer she saw me cradling my head.

 

            “Are you okay?” she asked.

 

            “How did they know where she was being held?” I asked. “How did they know where to find you? How’d they know where to find me? How did Smith and company know to show up just when they did?”

 

            “I told them where you were,” she said holding up her left hand, the fingers were red and swollen, but they looked like they were in the right shape. “I don’t think they actually broke anything but I’ll need to see a doctor.”

 

            “How did they find you?” I asked.

 

            “I don’t know,” she said. “I don’t know how they found Jill either.”

 

            “How did they know where we were? How did your people know we were here?” I still hadn’t moved from the place where I was, crouched down and leaning against the institutionally painted white cinderblock wall.

 

            “Smith!” she snapped while opening the door.

 

            “Yes ma’am?” he asked coming to the stairway with us.

 

            “How did you know where we were?” she asked.

 

            “Miss Cove called me.”

 

            “Pardon?” I asked.

 

            “Shiri Cove, she works for you,” Smith said. “She followed you here and then reported it to us.”

 

            “How did she know to do that?” Alice asked,

 

            “What the hell is she doing?” I asked, standing up. “We do not cooperate with the authorities. I’m gonna have a talk with that girl, she’s letting down the firm.”

 

            “Saved us though,” she said.

 

            “I had them on the ropes,” I told her. “They were about to fold.”

 

            “Sure they were,” she said. “Well now they really will fold.”

 

            “I guess,” I shrugged.

 

            “Did you do that for me?”

 

            “What?”

 

            “Get him to shoot at you,” she said. “Did you do that for me?”

 

            “Sort of,” I said. “Sort of a plan I’ve had.”

 

            “How did he miss you from that distance?”

 

            “When you examine the gun you’ll see that a hole was drilled down the barrel; basically it’s offset a few degrees. He couldn’t have hit me from that distance, which is why I also stood ten feet away from Cole when he shot himself.”

 

            “So he did shoot himself?” she asked.

 

            “Yes.”

           

            “And then you took the gun with you.”

 

            “Yes.”

 

            “You were ten feet away?”

 

            “I wanted to make sure he couldn’t shoot me.” I probably sounded like a monster, the way I could rattle off the details in such a cold emotionless way. “But that he could shoot himself. He wanted to shoot himself in the temple, but that had too much room to go wrong so I told him to put it in his mouth.”

 

            “But it was his choice?” she continued to harp on the one point. “You were far away from him and just told him how to do it?”

 

            “Yeah,” I said and looked at her. She didn’t look angry anymore, she looked like she sort of understood.

 

            “Okay,” she nodded at me and pulled her foot out of the door, letting it close and lock behind her. “You made me feel a little used back there in the van.”

 

            “Sorry,” I tried to smile, but it hurt like hell from the beating I’d taken. “It was all I could think of to distract them.”

 

            “I don’t like being used,” she said.

 

            “I’ll remember that.”

 

            “Okay,” she nodded, looking sort of embarrassed. “I’m a grown woman, I can make up my own mind.”

 

            “Okay,” I agreed, because that’s what you do at this stage.

 

            “Okay,” she said again. “I just want it understood. I’m not that sort of girl.”

 

            “Understood,” I nodded. “I’ll consult you first if we’re ever in a similar situation, or I’ll make other plans.”

 

            “Okay,” she repeated, and her whole face was one big blush. “I’d rather repair the fence than kick you off the reservation. That’s all. I don’t want us to break up, just don’t treat me that way.”

 

            “Never happen again babe,” I said.

 

            “Are you thinking about me naked?” she tilted her head to one side and gave me that look.

 

            “Always,” I told her. “Actually I’m trying to figure out what color panties you’ve got on. I know they’re a fancy pair, I felt the lace.”

 

            “White,” she smiled. “They’re white.”

           

            “Okay,” I smiled through the pain, because being charming is important.

 

            “What are you going to do now?” she asked.

 

            “Not sure,” I said. “I’m going to have to have a word with my employee though. We don’t cooperate with federal authorities at Collier Investigations.”

 

            “You cooperate with me,” she tilted her head again, but that was a completely different look. That was a mended bridge look.

 

            “Only because I want to sleep with you,” I grinned, and did not wince despite the pain.

 

            “Aren’t you supposed to not tell me that part?”

 

            “So confident am I in my wonderfulness that I can be totally honest and not worry about the repercussions,” I said and then looked down at my shoes. “I’m going to have to take Jill back home, go by routes that aren’t expected. I think it’ll be best if we don’t make any records of where I went or how I intended to get where I was going.”

 

            “Just vanish into the heartland?”

 

            “Yeah,” I agreed. “Go someplace where no one would ever look.”

 

            “Where wouldn’t anyone look?” she asked.

 

            “I’m thinking about that,” I said. “When I do, I probably won’t let you know though.”

 

            “You suspect me?” she asked.

 

            “No,” I said. “I suspect that someone around you might listen in on a phone call or something.”

 

            “You know, Debbie said you have some trust issues,” she threw that one out at me, just sort of tossed it lightly.

 

            “Did she?” I asked.

 

            “Yeah.”

 

            “When?”

 

            “We talk,” she said. “She and I talk.”

 

            “Ah,” I nodded. “This isn’t me having a trust issue, I’m just paranoid about the people around you.”

 

            “You’re sure?”

 

            “I’m sure,” I stood up and put an arm around her waist. “If I didn’t trust you, I’d have stayed far away.”

 

            I kissed her then, because I couldn’t think of anything that would be that good.

 

 

 

April 19, 2011 Posted by | Jack | | Leave a comment

The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Thirty-Two)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Last week’s entry can be found here.

 

Chapter Thirty-Two: A Lion’s Den

 

            I was not at all surprised that we drove directly to The Church of Thinkonomics World Headquarters. I was a little surprised to notice a dark sedan following us most of the way but not entering the parking garage with us. I notice that with interest because if they’d been meant to watch over us and make sure we got there the thing would be to come in with us and menace us some more. However it just kept going. Maybe I was wrong about them following us, but I doubt it. I’m paranoid, not stupid.

 

            We got out of the van just as the one and the other were starting to come to from being smacked around. That was good because it meant I could have them walk behind us and they’d probably not be willing to fuck with me even a little now.

 

            “You follow me and Miss Liddell. Get it?” I asked them as we got out of the van. “If you fuck around, even a little, I will just gun you down and worry about everything else later. Note that I didn’t say I’d kill you either. I can shoot you in places were it’d take days for you to die, even with medical help.”

 

            I figured I was having a bad enough day that a few lies wouldn’t cause me anymore troubles. My karma was pretty much in the red ever since Sweden and I didn’t think it would really ever be back in the black anyway. So I made myself out to be a bigger badass than I was, why not?

 

            We went into the building, with Kevin leading me to the set of offices where Jill was being held. I was pretty sure I could trust Kevin, we were just about BFF after all. Kevin held me in that wonderful combination of dumbstruck awe and pants wetting fear. In that place, trust can germinate and sprout up like something sprouty.

 

            We walked through the building, looking normal and escorted. People knew the one and the other one so it was easy for us to get around. When we got to the waiting room of the office where Jill was being held there was a slight problem.

 

            “What’d you bring them here for?” a guard in the waiting room asked.

 

            “Supposed to,” the other one said, since his jaw hadn’t been broken.

 

            “Fuck that,” the guard said taking a step towards me.

 

            I decided to make the point that I was not to be fucked with and shoot him in the leg, up in a fleshy part of the thigh. The gun shot sounded loud in there, and I was pretty sure it would bring more trouble quickly. I walked toward the guard that wasn’t on the floor screaming and put the gun barrel against his head.

 

            “Where is she?”

 

            “In there!” he pointed to a door with his thumb.

 

            “Watch him,” I said as I kicked the screaming one’s legs away from the door, getting a fresh howl for my effort.

 

            Jill was being held by a man in a doctor’s outfit. I’m guessing he wasn’t a real doctor though. He had a scalpel in his hand and was holding it to her throat, trying to look like he wasn’t pissing himself with terror.

 

            “I’ll cut her throat!” he shouted.

 

            “I’ll kill you slow if you do,” I said taking a step towards him. “Let her go now, and you can walk away from this. I only want her, I don’t care about you.”

 

            “I’ll cut her,” he repeated.

 

            “Oh fuck you! I don’t have time for this,” I fired a round that shattered the air and tore a largeish hole through the dry wall next to him. He closed his eye and froze when the shot rang out. I approached and put the barrel against his forehead. “They next one goes through your memory of your third birthday!”

 

            He let the scalpel fall to the floor and I yanked Jill away from him. I was getting annoyed though, so I did give him a smack with the butt of the pistol, just to remind him that he should always do what armed French/Irish/Welshmen tell him to do. We left the little office and went into the waiting room where Alice handed me another gun and patted one she had in her pocket.

 

            “You come with us,” I said slipping the standing guard’s gun into my jacket and then looked at the might-be doctor. “You! Take care of the wounded here.”

 

            We left the waiting room and were back down the halls in a moment. Kevin lead us to the main elevator and the other one took out a key that would let us go to the top floor. We waited quietly together as we went up.

 

            “Is this where we were supposed to be going anyway?” I asked.

 

            “Yes,” the other one said. “Father William wants to see you.”

 

            “Well, I want to see him,” I said.

 

            The elevator didn’t open directly into an office, but into a large and comfortable waiting room. I would have done things differently if I had a private elevator that needed a key, but then I am not a lunatic cult leader. I’m not saying one leads directly to the other, but it might.

 

            “Can I help you?” a secretary asked.

 

            “Jack Collier,” I said walking across the thick carpet towards the door. “I am expected.”

 

            I threw the doors open and found four people standing around a desk arguing something, probably what they were going to do about the three dozen of their members being held on rape and murder charges. I walked to the center of the office and announced my presence by shooting the phone on the desk.

 

            “I don’t want us to be interrupted,” I said tossing the gun over my shoulder and letting it bounce on the soft flooring.

 

            “Who the hell are you?” a strong jawed, white-haired man in the chair behind the desk demanded.

 

            “You should know me by now,” I admonished him. “I’m the man you wanted to see so badly you assaulted a federal officer and had him kidnapped him at gun point.”

 

            “You seem to have changed the situation of our meeting,” he leaned back in his chair and toyed with a watch chain on his vest. A brass plaque before him said that he was called Father William. I saw a degree from an eastern law school on his wall.

 

            “I do that,” I told him. “So what do you want to talk to me about?”

 

            “You know our security is right outside these doors?” one of the men asked in an oily and instantly irritating tone. His suit was so hideous, it looked for a moment that he was dressed in newsprint, but I saw that it was just an ugly pattern made to look like newsprint.

 

            “But I’m in here,” I smiled. “Your security isn’t very good if Heckle and Jeckle here are an example. They didn’t even pat me down to see if I was armed, which I was. Besides, you’ve kidnapped a federal agent, you’re in deep shit right now.”

 

            “Who says we’ve kidnapped her?” Father William asked. “Maybe she’s with us.”

 

            “Oh, you are nothing but a pack of cards,” Alice said and fired a round at the desk, putting a big hole in the polished wood.

 

            “You can’t push my paranoia buttons like that Billy,” I waved it away. “Last time I was fucking her, it took an hour for her toes to uncurl. You couldn’t turn her with a key. So what did you want with me?”

 

            “We’re going to kill you.” the man who looked like he was dressed in newspaper said.

 

            I walked toward the desk and I’m glad to say he backed away. Still though, I’d had had enough and I smacked him good and hard across the head with the sap. He went down like a trust fund princess on whatever guy happened to pull his dick out for her. I sat down in a big green velvet chair and crossed one leg over the other.

 

            “Well?” I asked. “Are we just talking shit? I’ve got things to do today, my time is worth a thousand pounds a minute.”

 

            “We were going to explain that you had us all wrong,” Father William said, unfazed by my violence. That was bad, he wasn’t afraid of me.

 

            “How do I have you wrong?” I asked. “I’ve had to take back Jill from you guys three times now.”

 

            “Three times?” Father Williams asked.

 

            “Once three years ago, once last night, once today,” I said. “Three.”

 

            “Ah, of course,” Father William nodded. “I forget about poor Cole sometimes.”

 

            “You shouldn’t forget Cole King,” I admonished him. “Cole King could still get you killed. So how do I have you wrong? Is Zeeba not really what your little religion is all about? Did you not attempt gang rape last night?”

 

            “We’re not your enemy,” Father William waved my accusations aside as if they were just so much smoke. “We could be your friends. A man of your resources could have a position in our organization.”

 

            “But your organization is about to be smashed by federal investigators,” I said. “And what the feds don’t do to you, I will.”

 

            “We don’t need to be adversaries here,” Father William smiled and tried to sound like a man willing to make a deal. “We could be friends.”

 

            “This is how you treat your friends?” I asked. “Thugs and beatings and killings and making my girlfriend cry?”

 

            “We could just as easily kill you,” Father William snarled.

 

            “Try it bitch,” I stood up and walked a few steps toward the desk. “You think you’re the first bitch to ever try to kill me? I’ve fucked up Church and took his thug Opus’s eye out. I split Knock the Mountain Troll’s head open with a shovel and in case you never read the papers I killed seven of the most dangerous people on earth with one blow. You’re gonna need an army if you come up against me Billy boy.”

 

            “We have an army!” Father William snapped, finally getting mad at me. Another few sentences and I’d have him ready for my surprise gift.

 

            “Got a Navy and an Airforce?” I asked. “Cause you bitches seem to think I’m just some guy who can be pushed around and scared. You can’t scare me, evidence has proved you can’t kill me, and you can’t do anything to those around me because every time you do I’m right fucking there on your ass bitch. Piss me off, go ahead, see if I don’t follow you to the ends of the earth.”

 

            “You little puissant,” William snapped.

 

            “Try it now,” I walked five steps back from his desk and pulled the wrapped handkerchief from my pocket. “Come on bitch. See what you got.”

 

            “Jack?” Alice asked, and I took my eye off Father William just long enough to glance at her.

 

            “I hope you’re watching carefully.” I said. “I’m looking forward to that dance.”

 

            I snapped my hand out and held the corner of the handkerchief. The Drexel thirty-two flew from the handkerchief and sailed across the room. It bounced on the desk, leaving a mark, and then hit him in the center of his middle mound. He grabbed the gun, had a look at it and pointed it directly at me.

 

            “It’s loaded,” I said. “But you only get one shot. I’d suggest you put it in your mouth and end it, otherwise I will fuck your whole world up.”

 

            “You little shit,” he said pointing the gun directly at me and pulling the trigger.

 

April 8, 2011 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Thirty-One)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Last week’s entry can be found here. 


Chapter Thirty-One: Kidnapped Again

 

            “Are you ready yet?” the other one asked.

 

            “How did you get Alice to betray me?” I asked him.

 

            Alice closed her eyes tight, but I saw a tear fall. She didn’t look ashamed, she looked like she was being humiliated. Something was wrong there, something made me begin to think I was being paranoid in the wrong direction.

 

            “Come on,” the one said while the other gave Alice a little shove.

 

            She winced and pulled her shoulder away, like it had been twisted pretty hard. I was beginning to wonder if maybe she wasn’t betraying me here. Maybe we were both staying in the same place and they picked us both up at once. Maybe they just grabbed her first and made her tell them. How many more times was I going to wrongly accuse her of this? Zero, I hope.

 

            “Hang on a second,” I said walking towards Alice. “If she betrayed me, I should get to at least get the kiss of death, don’t you think?”

 

            “What?” the other asked.

 

            “Lots of people, do you want a scene or just a kiss?” I asked. “It’s a Detroit thing. We act tough like this and if you annoy us we kill you and burn your house down.”

 

            “Whatever,” the other growled.

 

            I put my arms under her jacket, sliding along her bra line and down to her waist. The jacket had no extra weights in the pockets and there was no holster on her person. She did wince twice though as I touched tender spots. I kissed her, good and hard with lots of tongue. She winced when I touched her shoulder and only pressed the wrist of her left hand against me instead of grabbing on for real.

 

            “Never thought you’d flip me,” I said, hoping she got that I was telling her I believed in her. “Always thought you were on my side.”

 

            “Jack,” she started.

 

            “Shh,” I said putting a finger on her lips and tipping her the tiniest of tiny winks. “Don’t worry about it, these things happen.”

 

            “Come on,” the one said to me, and something poked me in the back. “Let’s go. And don’t try nothing. We can make it look like you started it, whatever it is.”

 

            “Hey babe,” I said looking over my shoulder. “When it comes down to it, I will start it. Where we going?”

 

            “Front lot,” the one said.

 

            “Groovy,” I wondered if he had even the slightest idea how angry I was.

 

            “Jack,” she started.

 

            “It’s okay sugar tits,” I said. “I know, they said they weren’t going to hurt me and you believed them. It’s cool. I know I look bad, if the economy weren’t so bad I’d buy a hunk of beefsteak and put it over my face. Beefsteak’s too expensive right now though.”

 

            “I didn’t,” she said.

 

            “I believe you,” I said sharply and quietly before adding loudly. “I believe you didn’t know what they’d be doing.”

 

            We walked out into the parking lot and I saw a burgundy van parked far enough away that no one would take notice of it but close enough that it didn’t look like it was trying to stay out of the way. I had one of those moments I have some times. I started to slap at my pockets, finding my keys and knife were in my front right pocket, cell phone in the left front. I tapped the right front pocket again and felt the oval plate that said that phrase that made me famous for almost twenty minutes a few years ago. Time to live up to that shit again.

 

            I reached behind my and patted at the back pocket to find the wallet on the right and then slipped the persuader into my left hand and then slid it up the coat  sleeve catching it on the little pocket I’d sewn there once for just such an occasion. It won’t really hold the leather sap by itself, but it’ll keep you from needing to palm it all day if you’ve got it up your sleeve.

 

            “Have everything?” the one asked.

 

            “Seems I do,” I told him.

 

            “Get in the van,” he said pulling a pistol out. “All the way in the back.”

 

            “Okay,” I nodded at him.

 

            It was one of those van conversions that had two rows of chairs in the back and a pair of captain chairs to complete the back area with two normal seats up front. It wasn’t an institutional van, but a nice thing from a dealership. It even had a TV and DVD player in it. I climbed into the rear most seat and Alice sat down next to me. The one sat looking at us, his gun out but not particularly pointed at either of us. The other one sat in one of the captain chairs while a third drove.

 

            “Am I being taken to get whacked?” I asked. “Or is this beat me so I look worse than I currently do?”

 

            “Shut up,” Tte one said.

 

            “How about I talk to you Alice?” I asked, putting my arm around her and patting her firm thigh with my left hand. “Do you know what’s going on?”

 

            “Jack?” she asked.

 

            “You know what I think?” I leaned in to give her a kiss and put my hand all the way up her skirt.

 

            She was too petrified, or shocked, to do anything to stop me as I let the sap drop from my sleeve into her crotch. She could call me out at any moment or she could just let me do my plan, we’d see. I pulled my hand out of her skirt and started to unbutton her shirt, which is always a good way to distract people.

 

            “What are you doing?” she asked as I opened her shirt enough to see that she was indeed wearing a front clasp bra today.

 

            “I’m just showing you,” I said while unclasping the bra and just about letting people see what was going on. “I don’t have any hard feelings.”

 

            I dipped my head between her breasts, sliding my hand up her skirt again. She gave out a little whimpering moan, something between fear and joy. I could tell she had their attention when she arched her back because of something I’d done with the persuader.

 

            “Jack,” she tried.

 

            “Don’t worry about it baby,” I said to her. “I’ve told you before not to worry about it. I’m making a point though. I’m Jack Collier, and I don’t get scared because some punk points a gun at me. I am Mister Seven with One Blow, and I resent being fucked with.”

 

            The move was smooth, fast and harsh. My left hand came around faster than I think I’ve ever moved before, catching the one’s jaw with the persuader and surprising him so badly he just dropped his gun. My right hand caught the gun before it hit the seat and I aimed it at the other one while giving the one a good hard slap across the head with the sap.

 

            “You want to see who’s badder?” I asked the other one. “I’ll make you a fucking splash of goo if you fuck with me. Don’t let yourself think you’re fast, you ain’t fast enough.”

 

            You don’t have to kill them, just make them scared of you. That was what Tracey always told me. You don’t have to fight all the time, just look like you’re willing to fight and willing to take it to whatever level you need to win. Tracey would have been proud of me then I think, because they all were scared shitless of me just then.

 

            “Shit,” the other one said.

 

            He had pulled his jacket half open and his hand was frozen about three inches from his gun. I heard the one making a noise and gave him another hard whap without even looking. I climbed over the seat and reached with my left to take the gun from the holster. The driver was glancing in the mirror at me, so I decided he needed a sign. I gave the other one a good hard blast across his temple, sending him on a one way trip to the floor.

 

            “You might be thinking you could crash the car and throw me,” I said. “But I will shoot you in the leg and side before you managed to do too much. That will hurt like a motherfucker, and you’ll die slow. Trying to guess which of us is meaner is a fool’s game because it’s me. I’m the baddest motherfucker on two legs. Get me?”

 

            “I get you,” he said.

 

            “Good,” I said and turned to toss one of the guns to Alice before sitting down in the passenger seat and buckling my seat belt. “Let’s go to where ever it is you were supposed to be taking us.”

 

            “What?” Alice asked as she came toward us.

 

            “I want to know who wants us so badly,” I told her. “I want to know who is willing to kidnap a federal agent to get a shitty little private eye like me. So I’ll walk into the lion’s den and then I’ll cockslap the lion for fucking with me.”

 

            “You know they grabbed Jill again, right?” she asked as she repositioned her bra, letting me see that her left pinky and ring finger were both going to need medical attention before long.

 

            “No,” I said. “I didn’t know that. Though I would guess that where ever this nice young man is taking us is probably where they have her. Am I right?”

 

            “Yeah,” he nodded. “she’s there.”

 

            “See?” I asked Alice. “We’re going to have a nice little reunion and find out who fucked up what.”

 

            “They killed four of my agents,” she said.

 

            “Well, they’ve really fucked up this time then,” I said.

 

            “They’ve always claimed they were the victims of a government conspiracy anyway,” she said. “They’ll just say this is more evidence.”

 

            “They’re going to find me a little hard to laugh off,” I said. “Aren’t they mister driver man?”

 

            “I don’t even have an opinion,” he said.

 

            “You have to have an opinion.” I said pointing the gun at the side of his head. “If you hit a bump this could go off. If I ask if you believe God stopped bullets this could go off. If you’re name is Marvin, you’re going to have trouble since Marvins always seem to get shot in the face. Don’t you find that?”

 

            “My name is Kevin,” he said.

 

            “And my name is Jack,” I said. “You think they’re going to want to keep fucking with me after this?”

 

            “Well I don’t want to,” he said.

 

            “Damn right,” I said. “I’m not only a sex machine with all the chicks, but I really am one baaaaad motherfucker.”

 

            “Yes you are,” he agreed.

 

            “Yes I am Kevin,” I said pulling the gun away. “Now let’s get to where we’re going.”

 

 

 

April 1, 2011 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment