Eric Jakobs

Cornered by bubblegum

Wednesday

Justin had already opened the presentation. Everything was set. Elsa, his manager, gave a confident smile as people walked in. The both of them shook hands with the board members. “Very excited to see this proposal of yours Justin.” Cardin said. Justin smiled. It was a positive sign his name was known. 

An assistant rushed in to provide drinks for the arrived. As the door closed Justin looked around the room. Not all faces were familiar but this would surely change for the better. 

“I want to thank the members of the board for their time to join this presentation. I know you all have a busy schedule so let’s get right to it.” He noticed Elsa looking at the clock. He had been granted 15 minutes at the max for this illustrious crowd.

He began: “The Launch system is aimed at the improvement of product introduction times. Currently it can be up to two years to get a product marketed locally. It is the aim of the system and the associated workflows to cut this time in half.”

He pushed the button for the next slide. “We integrated the product catalogue, the sales forecast and the financial approval into a single…”

“Excuse me?” Biederman raised his hand.

“Yes?”

“What has that got to do with what we’re seeing right now?”

Justin looked at the screen. The slide showed a piece of chewed bubblegum pressed on a desk.

His gaze met with Elsa. She was all questionmark and immediately looked downward as if she was attempting to downplay any connection with him.

“I don't know how that got in, I’m sorry.”

He moved to the next slide. This had 2 pieces of bubblegum pressed on the corner of the desk. Hastily he pushed the forward button. The slide after that was the desired one.

”I’m really sorry. I sure hope this does not stick with you,” he said with an awkward smile and continued his story. “The catalogue currently has 400 pieces.”

“Of bubblegum?” Cardin asked. They all laughed.

“Four hundred products I mean.. no bubblegum but there are chewable tablets.” Justin even managed an honest smile. He could feel a small electric current jumping from his stomach to his chest every time he went to a new slide. But the remainder of his presentation was unaffected.

 

“How did that happen?” Elsa asked him after the meeting. 

“I have no idea I never even seen those slides. An hour ago they weren't in.”

“Wrong time to joke Justin. I personally never had the opportunity to present to the board do you realize that?”

”You honestly think this happened on purpose?”

“No you're right, and let's face it you aren’t exactly Mr. popular around here.”

“What does that mean?”

“Justin...really.” She looked at him in a mildly condescending way. ”But at the very least they seemed to like your proposal.” 

 

"Need to check that file." Justin said to himself as he walked to the car. He noticed from a distance that something was stuck underneath one of the windshield wipers. It was a chewing gum package. When he slid it open he saw that only one piece of gum at the corner of the blister pack was out.  “Dammit,” he said and pocketed the pack. For a moment he thought of walking back into the office. ”Later,” he grindingly said to himself. 

 

He drove off. At the stop sign a circle of familiar faces emanated out of the figments of contemplation. “Mr. popular...who fucking needs to be Mr. popular! None of you could have sold it like I did.” He pointed at the imaginary faces. From the corner of his eye he sensed the observing hoodies in the car next to him. As the light turned green he hit the pedal. The car accelerated with screeching tires. “I’m the fucking king.”  In the middle of the crossover he heard a large bang coming from underneath. The car shook and stuttered violently to a halt as Justin's foot pushed the brake. There was an odorous penetrating smoke. In a reflex he opened the door, his heart beating uncontrollably. Pieces of shredded rubber left a black trace leading to the moment and place of impact. Both front tires were gone. But not only that. Explosive splinters showed on blackened twisted wheel arches and the front of the chassis was severely misaligned. The hoodies had stopped and came out of the car. Are you ok?” one of them asked. He was not. This was no accident

 

 

Thursday

"Did you sleep ok?" His wife asked as he opened his eyes.

"Yeah for the last 45 minutes or so darling." Justin's head felt heavy so he laid back on the soft, enclosing pillow for a moment. Just a couple of minutes he thought. "Maybe I phone the office and explain what happened. I'm late anyway."

"Daddy daddy!" His daughter rushed in.

"Could you possibly wait until I’m up Sarah?" He sounded more annoyed than he wanted to.

"Did you put this in my bed?"

Justin and his wife looked in horror at the bubble gum package their daughter had in her hand.

He grasped it and slid it open to find that again one of the gum pieces was missing. Crazed he hurried into his daughter's bedroom to look underneath the bed and to check the window but nothing seemed out of place. 

“Want me to phone the police?” His wife asked.

Justin gazed at the package. Let me think...This may be a lead.”

“Duh!”

“Not for them. I mean not for the police. This is a message. And it’s for me. They will not find fingerprints. Because If they did they would find that they are on record.”

Justin’s wife looked puzzled. ”what do you mean?”

“Trust me on this. I have to sort this out. This fucker managed to break-in into our home, the company network and plant explosives on the car and he did it in a day's time.”

Saturday

Justin parked the car before the bend in the road because he wasn't sure so it was better his vehicle and it’s license-plate weren't known even though it was a temporary rental. His heart-rate seemed to increase with every couple of steps he took. The house looked like an anachronism because it was the only old residence in a renewed neighbourhood and it stood in the midst of a large patch of dry lawn with an 8 foot high fence around it. The property seemed maintained to a bearable minimum. He must have had generous offers for the land Justin thought. This didn't exactly help to ease his mind as he pushed the button at the gate.

A voice came out of a little speaker. 

“Can I help you?”

“I would like to come in and talk to you.”

“What about?”

Justin lifted his head towards the camera. On the other side someone was studying the lines in his face. Especially the ones that did not stem from genetic makeup or aging.

There was a weak clanging sound of release.

The main door opened and they stood eye to eye. The person he saw was certainly older and more mature but also very close to the image he had in mind. Justin realized that by comparison he must have changed much more. Out of habit Justin extended his hand, immediately regretting the move. He was even Surprised when it met the other hand. But it wasn't exactly what you would call a firm handshake.

“Justin.”

“Mr. Bruckner.”

“Shall we go to the living room? You can hang your coat over there if you want to.”

Bruckner did not wait for an answer and paced through the corridor. Justin left his coat on. He noticed a couple of small monitors in a room to the left with monochrome security cam images. The living room was dark with tiny subdued led lights and closed drapes.

“Please sit down.”

Justin slowly lowered himself into the large leather chair envisioning metal braces to pop out of the armrest.  

“You expected me?”

“No,..I used to. But I haven't for a long time.”

“Really?” Justin said in a sarcastic voice.

“What do you mean?” Bruckner asked.

Justin took the bubblegum package from his coat and threw it on the coffee table. 

“This has to stop Mr. Bruckner.”

Bruckner picked up the pack. “That is up to you.”

Justin shifted uneasily. ”Ok how do I make it stop?”

“Don’t buy it anymore.”

“Don’t buy it anymore?” Justin's eyes became wide as he tried to grasp the meaning of the words.

“I like chocolate a lot Justin, but if it’s not in the house I am not tempted." 

Justin closed his jaws and felt his cheeks drawing inwards and then he said, “Listen you have every right to be angry but..."

"O, it's a bit more than that." Dane Bruckner said with a lingering voice.

"What?" Justin snapped.

"It's a bit more than just the right to be angry. Wouldn't you agree?"

"You could have killed me."

"Perhaps I could have..but you see I didn't." Dane showed his teeth with bitterness.

Justin bent forward. "So you admit it. It was you! You were in my house and you trashed my car."

"Did you hear me admit? Listen to yourself and tell me why would I admit to anything?" Bruckner leant back in his chair. He looked totally composed.  

Justin studied Bruckner. This was the same face but yet it wasn't. Something was gone to never be replaced. Justin had a tremble in his voice when he uttered his next words “What happened. I can’t..."

“What you said what happened Justin and I what I said are two altogether different things.”

Justin raised his lower arms as if to stop Bruckner’s words in their tracks and almost silently uttered the next words. “You were right.” 

There was a long pause and Dane Bruckner looked at Justin and even though his absentminded gaze had no intention to penetrate Justin wished himself in another place.

“There was a time Justin..I even doubted I was right. When you've had as much time to think as I have you begin to question everything, even the point of your own existence.”

“I know it doesn't help but I regret what happened.” Justin said.

Dane Paused. “Would you like something to drink?”

“Some water maybe.”

“I need something else.” Bruckner stood up and opened a cupboard and poured himself a glass of whiskey. “Maybe you could use some.”

“I need to drive.”

“I didn't see your car.”

“It’s a bit down the road.”

“Drink one, we'll' thin it down with some water later.”

Justin accepted the glass. He felt some relief. Maybe the worst was over. In an hour it surely would be he thought.

“Well Justin, as much as I hate to admit it. Your face looks pretty good.”

“Yes well, you can still see it."

“Hardly.” Dane noticed some very vague white lines. ”I am inclined to say not nearly good enough. Must have been some ace surgeon.”

“Mr. Bruckner.”

“You can call me Dane. There is no need for this courtesy now. Not anymore." 

Dane Bruckner felt a rage surging as he was thinking of that one day. For a moment he stood back in that classroom with that feeling things were going out of hand. Because of one student who knew exactly how to pinch his nerve. 

He never was a strict teacher. But the inconsequence can become a slippery slope if you are not careful. Even on a sunny day in May ten minutes before the school bell rings. 

“Is that bubblegum in your mouth?” He asked.

“No it’s just my jaw moving,” Justin said.

The kids were all laughing.

“Ok please put the gum in the bin.”

Justin’s jaw movement stopped. “I don’t have any gum.”

“Are you sure?”

Justin opened his mouth. ”Come and see for yourself.”

”Ok well. Fine then let me explain the assignment for next Tuesday.” Dane looked at the clock. Almost time. Let it go. It will not help.

And then he noticed Justin's head turning to the back of the classroom. Even from this angle Dane could see he was chewing more avidly than before, all the while demonstrating his guts and glory, Instigating further chuckles, drawing the attention away from his message.

“Justin..the gum please!”

Justin rose, walked up to the front of the classroom, took the gum from his mouth and pressed it on the corner of the teachers desk.

Justin looked Dane challengingly in the eye. Dane felt his teeth clench.

“You want me to go?” Justin said in a high voice, not nearly as deep as most of his male classmates.

Dane didn’t respond. He looked at the uneven spit laden  wad of gum. 

“I am going.” Justin said in the brief moment of unresponsiveness that followed and he opened the door.

“Justin, wait a second.”

“I’m gone Mr. Bruckner.” He waved his hand while going out the door. The class roared with laughter.

Dane followed Justin into the hallway. Justin looked back and hurried into the students mensroom. Dane paused a moment. He wasn't sure this was the right thing to do. But then he opened the door to call him back. Justin paused with his hands on the edge of a wash basin looking at the mirror. Dane had a bad feeling as he went in. No student would normally be allowed to go to the restroom five minutes before the end of class. 

They were alone.

Justin briefly looked back. Then he forcefully knocked his own head against the surface of the mirror. He did it five times with an unrelenting dizzying force. The mirror cracked as Dane rushed to stop Justin. 

“No nooo don’t do this!” He yelled.

Blood was all over the cracked mirrors surface and on Justin’s face. Justin turned towards Dane with a dazed look. Then he touched his bloody face and smeared his blood over Dane’s shirt. 

“Help..stop.” Justin uttered. The words hurt him with every movement of his jaw and lips. "Help!” He screamed as piercing shards of glass seemed to stretch the wounds in his cheeks. The door swung open. The concierge and principle were staring at them.

 

"Mr. Bruckner, I know things must have been hard for you and I can't take back what I did.” Justin said as his eyes pointed at the floor.

“Do you have any idea what happened to me?" 

“I know I can never change that.”

“Do you know what it is like Justin, to look into the eyes of a loved one and see that they do not believe you? My girlfriend didn't believe me. My own mother didn’t believe me."

“They should have listened to you.” Justin paused and licked his lips. “But maybe you should wonder what it is you did that made them think you were capable of this.”

“Don’t go there, Justin.”

“Did you ever threaten someone before?” Justin said with a ever so slight smirk on his face.

But Dane noticed. 

“I never was the perfect teacher. I wasn't always as composed as I should have been. But do you really want to go there? Is that what this is about? My shortcomings? For a moment I thought that you actually had regrets.”

“I do. I really do.” Justin leaned backwards. Almost to relaxed it seemed.

“It was your word against mine Justin.”

“Listen I was sixteen.."

“Exactly the point. You got the perfect protection because of your innocence. Now you listen to my story and I will tell you what happened. And you will see where I stand. Can you do that Justin?” 

Justin sighed and looked around. There was nothing else to do but listen. 

"I lost my job and social standing. It was not only jail time Justin. But jail surely wasn’t easy. I was the new guy. I was prepared by all the movies and tv shows to select the clan or brotherhood or whatever you want to call it that would embrace me as one of their own in return for the least amount of trouble. In any case I knew jail would be hell as a loner.

Thats where I met Johnny. He was an ex army intelligence guy. Someone in there with more than half a brain that I could relate to."

“A white collar guy.” Justin said, trying to grasp the story.

“Not really. He was just someone I could talk to. White collar is not what I would have called him. Damn your white collar and damn their false sense of righteousness. That is what put me there in the first place.” Dane shook his head in disgust and looked down. Justin became alarmed.

"There was this big bald guy in the prison yard. Looked like a powerlifter, big but no definition. No neck, shoulders like tree trunks. I looked past him." Dane Bruckner wandered off and saw everything like it happened for the first time. 

 

"I looked up the a high walls of the prison yard. Those walls are really high Justin. You do not see what is beyond them. What is beyond simply does not exist anymore. The moment I tried to reimagine the green pastures and forests that I knew lay behind the walls I suddenly felt a strong grip on my throat. ‘Heard you molested some kid.’ The big guy said to me.

‘No that's not true I'm here because I am wrongly accused. I supposedly hit someone,’ I said.

Johnny intervened, ‘Leave him alone.’ He said. I was in luck because someone actually rooted for me.

‘Supposedly I will leave you for now but you will need to redeem yourself. It is the rule.’ The big guy looked at me and Johnny with wide open eyes and left us alone.

‘What does that mean?’ I asked.

‘You have to pay off your sins.’ Johnny said and he laughed nervously. 

‘Isn't that what I am doing right now?’

‘No, no that's what you do for the outside. This is your penalty inside. It is a way to prove yourself worthy.’

‘What did you do then, to make things right?’ I asked him.

‘Hey I just stole some army supplies.’

I was confused. ‘Isn’t it up to the army to punish you?’

‘The point is you did something really evil. Child rapists or pornographers or mutilators they have to pay inside.’

‘I am none of those things.’ I said.

‘Word is you maimed some youngster for life. These guys here, they have kids so they do not take this light heartedly. Kids are off limits.’

‘And if I did, how would “I redeem myself” as you call it?’

‘There are only three ways to get out of this. First you don't bother with redeeming yourself and fuck up the alpha male in this joint which happens to be Rollins, the big guy you just eh, conversed with and I don't see that happening.’ Again there was this nervous smile. I just nodded. I couldn't believe my luck.

‘Number two you kill yourself.’

‘Not my preference..yet.’ Even if I did think about it Justin. And I thought about it a lot. Perhaps you can imagine.”

Bruckner paused. There was no response from Justin.

“Well anyway. And then Johnny said, ‘Number three you hurt someone with a higher retribution level. Especially someone who did not pay off his debt yet himself.’

‘Anyone you can think of?’

‘Arnie Fillmore. Block 2 cell 16. A sleaze convicted of putting his girlfriend on fire after she found his child porn collection some of which he produced himself. It doesn't get much worse than him.’

Time passed. It took me a broken nose to realize there was no easy way out. I must have pissed of a lot of people to be send to this particular jail Justin.” Bruckner pointedly added.

“I told Johnny,‘I need a razor blade, Rohypnol, and some duct tape.’ 

Justin interrupted.“You are not serious are you?”

“Well, they found Arnie Fillmore about two weeks later. With his ballsack cut open and his blanket soaked in blood. I had no intention of killing him but covering the slit on his bleeding sack with a piece of duct tape was harder than I thought. You know I always hate it when the tape sticks back on the role just when you need another stretch of it. Things got really messy, really quick.”

“You killed him?”

“Nearly.” 

“Next day Rollins came up to me. The big man was actually stuttering. ‘We like to scare the new guy. But fuck man, what did you do?’

‘But he was a child molester?’ I asked.

‘Sure.’ Rollins said. ‘I just hope you're not angry with me.’ 

Two days later we had spaghetti. I sat opposite Rollins as he was chewing. The corners of his mouth curved downward. I stared at him. He stared back at me. Everyone else at the table stared at the both of us. His molars were doing overtime. I asked him if he liked it. 

‘It's a bit tough.’ He said with food remnants and saliva on his chin.

‘Anyone else having a tough time?’ I asked. 

‘It’s the meatballs.’ Rollins said. ‘They didn’t cook long enough.’

Johnny glanced at me for a second and suddenly started chewing heavily with a smacking sound.

‘Same here.’

I pried my eyes at the others seated at the table. My jaw was clapping.” Dane demonstrated the movement to Justin.

"The others at the table joined in. You know why?”

Justin shrugged.

“They liked me just enough to grant me this silent revenge. I had an easy time after that. That and I got out in 11 months.”

“It's shorter than your sentence.” Justin said.

“Except you don’t really get out just like that.”

"Listen.." Justin tried to interject.

"I'm not finished. Would you please indulge me. You'll want to hear the rest of the story."

Justin took a peek at his watch.

"I can't imagine anything being more imminent on your schedule."

"My wife, she could..."

"And what a lovely wife she is...still." Bruckner sneered at Justin.

In a moment everything fell silent. It was just a moment but long enough for the both of them to have this mutual understanding. This could go in more than one direction and this meeting could not be undone.

"Ok I could use some more of that scotch." Justin said.

"Good stuff. Learned to drink it in Mali. Of all places. After going home. And after having to fix my big living room streetside window for the third time, with a wooden board finally. I was going nowhere. I actually welcomed my dear friend Johnny's call. After three months of physical training we tried out for Darkstream,..... ever heard of them?"

Justin shook his head.

"Mercenary outfit. It's like Blackwater only smaller. Even the name is similar. Not as elite. You don't need to be a green beret or anything like that to get in. Even a prison record like mine is ok. You have to sign this little waiver though. Small catch. If you take on certain assignments you are on your own. No pension, no certainty, no strings and no questions asked. But they pay 500 dollar on a normal day. I nearly didn't make the cut. Apparently it was the psychological evaluation that won them over. 

I wonder what they saw in me. 

I wonder if what they saw was that positive to begin with.

First six months of training they did not pay. Just room and board. Minimizes costs during selection. Eighty percent doesn’t make it. Johnny had to duct tape two of my broken fingers during a training but I guess that's another story.” Dane paused. ”By the way duct tape can save your life. I hope you know that. Anyway next it was off to Mali to escort food supplies during a famine. It went ok for the first month. Nothing happened. We were eating dust and slapping insects but then they ambushed one of the convoys and they kidnapped five of our outfit including Johnny and a couple of locals."

"Boko Haram?"

"It’s all scum, doesn’t matter how you name it. A couple of days later they send someone with a ransom demand. He also had a little box with a severed tongue inside. I will never forget this man's face I told myself. And I didn't. Even from where I was standing I could see the stitches around one of his eye sockets. The socket itself was empty. Not the hardest features to remember. There was no negotiation. At least none that I know of. At the end I saw my mate Johnny on LiveLeak with his head being cut of.

Two years later, when I was home again, I was doing some shopping at a supermarket nearby. And who do I see talking on his cellphone?" He looked at Justin expectantly.

"No way," he responded.

"It was the same guy. They actually let him in this country on some refugee story no doubt. I could not let this go by. Let him walk free like nothing happened. I found out in which house this guy was living and so I contacted the Darkstream organization back in Mali. I told them what happened and if they would be able to provide evidence this person was a terrorist. They send me back some pictures and a signed written statement. I contacted the local refugee organization. They invited me for a ten minute talk and they said they would look into it. But nothing happened. I came by their office again after I saw this bastard repeatedly on the street and this caseworker said he was working on it. And that's when I noticed the envelope with the report. It stuck out of the pile and was still on his desk. I asked him if I could see more paperwork, any evidence that this was processed and going somewhere. ‘Listen.’ this guy said to me. ‘This is just one person. We have dozens of applications.’

‘But this guy is a killer.’ I told him. 

‘We will handle this, ok?’ He answered.

I was getting agitated.‘It's been six months since you have received the written statement of army intelligence officials.’

‘Don’t tell me how to do my job.’ This desk jockey said to me.

I pulled the envelope from underneath the pile. Of course I had a copy but I couldn’t let this dimwitted professional slacker handle it.

‘Mind giving that back?’ He asked me while grabbing the envelope. I pushed him. Just a little bit. He nearly fell down but managed to stabilize himself.

´You have a history of violence Mr. Bruckner.´ He snapped at me.

‘O is that it?’ I stared at him and threw the envelope back on his desk.

’I’m so positive you will do what is needed.’ I told him.

And then I went out the door.

Four months later the house where this refugee was hiding burned down.

“But I think I heard about this. Weren't there more people in the house?” Justin asked.

“There was this one person we weren't certain of so we let him go.”

“What do you mean? And who is we?”

“We allowed him to jump out of the window. He broke his leg. The others we shot with a sniper rifle the moment they tried to escape. They all fell backwards into the house. Bet you didn’t read about that in the news.”

“I heard there was a gas explosion?”

“Looked like it at least. Covered our tracks as far as I know. With the right charge you can fool anyone.”

“How do I know you are not making this up?”

“You don’t. So maybe it was just an ordinary fire. And maybe there was no terrorist and maybe it was all an accident. Just like what happened with your car.”

“I see.”

“Anything can happen. You can lose your career, you can lose your life or you can lose your loved ones.”

“What do you want from me? An apology? You have that and I will say it again: I am truly sorry.”

“That sounds pretty good I would say.”

“I mean it. This has been haunting me even before all this.”

“I just want to know one thing...... why did you do it Justin? Could you tell me that? What possessed you to put yourself at risk just so you could put me to shame like this?”

“I don't know.”

“Come on, there must have been something that set you off, some feeling, something that pushed you.”

“I just wanted people to empathize.”

”Empathize. Why? You were a regular kid as far as I could tell.”

“I never had it easy as a kid you know?”

“At home you mean?”

“My parents they… I don’t know how to tell you this.” Justin was rubbing his hands. He couldn’t look up.

“Did they mistreat you?”

Justin nodded.

“Both of them?”

“No but my mother....she knew.”

“Oh was it like that?”

“I know it does not make things right but. This must be why. Otherwise I am just no good.” 

There was a tear forming. Dane saw it emerging from the corner of Justin’s eye.

“Well Justin, I am beginning to understand you. Now If you truly apologize you would not do anything to harm me now, would you?”

”No of course not.”

“So you wouldn’t, for example, record this conversation on a cellphone to use against me.”

Justin looked up. “No surely not.”

“Can I see it?”

Justin reached inside his coat pocket. He laid the phone on the coffee table.

”Now if you trust me Dane, you will not need to check.”

“That is so true. If I trust you I won’t need to check. But we are not there yet, are we?” Dane grabbed the phone and started to go through the menu.

“Listen, I will erase it ok?” Justin grabbed his head in an attempt to control his mental state.

“It appears that you lied to me Justin.”

“It was just some sort of insurance.”

“Any other kind of insurance you might have?” Their features tightened as their eyes met. “It’s not that cold and yet you sit here with your coat on.”

“I did not plan on staying long.”

“Awful lot of pockets.”

“What are you getting at?”

“The way I see it there are three choices. Do you want me to tell you about the choices Justin?”

“Now Listen Dane, we are both adults here. Nothing needs to happen. We can work it out.”

“I happen to know your father died when you were six. Another reason they were all so inclined to believe you, to empathize with you.”

“My stepfather. It was my stepfather. ” 

Dane shook his head. “So was it your stepfather that sexually abused you or was it your real father?”

Justin had a blank face. He sighed. Finally he looked Dane straight in the eye. “Does it matter? Why do you need a reason anyway? You had it coming. You were asking for it.”

“That's what I thought. It seems there are no redeeming factors here. You did the things because you could Justin. You are the type of person that gets away with it all the time because you miss that one gene that makes you care.”

“What about you then? Aren’t you the murderer who decided to play god?”

“The problem is, Justin, for every one of you there’s one of me. Someone who does care. And who is willing to do what this weakened society of ours cannot do. To right the wrongs that have infested us. You helped me find out my true self.”

Justin pointed at Dane as he spoke with a cracking voice. “This is just your personal vendetta, nothing else man, don't you see it?” 

Dane remained calm and continued. “Choice number one, you reach in your pocket and try to kill me.”

“I don’t have a gun. Really.”

“Choice number two, you kill yourself.” 

Justin shook his head in disbelief.“And for number three I need to kill someone else worse than me right?”

“No it’s easier. I have made things much easier for you than they ever were for me buddy.”

“Tell me.”

“You need to confess to the police and tell them what you did. I won’t get my old life back but they will know I wasn’t a bad person. You will not have to do any time after all these years. That is the way the law works. We will record it and I send this to just the five people that I think need to know the truth.”

“These people left you Dane. In one way I did you a favour! Most people never find out who to truly trust and believe in.”

“Is that how you justify this to yourself? You imagine you did me a favour?”

Justin reached into his jacked.

“Are you sure?” Dane asked.

“What?” Justin uttered as his hand slid deeper on the inside of his jacked.

“You’ve made your choice.” 

Dane grabbed the gun tucked next to his seatcushion. He aimed, ignored Justin's bewildered look and fired. It was a silenced shot. And it was deadly. Justin’s arm dropped out of his jacket and in his hand was another package of bubblegum. Blood spurted from his mouth. “I wanted to tell you. I really don’t.. like your flavour.” 

“And I don’t like yours.”

 

All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Eric Jakobs.
Published on e-Stories.org on 25.04.2016.

 

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