This was my submission for Show Me Your Lits this week. Did a few tweaks. I’ll probably delve more into this story later.
It is easy to mouth oaths that bind one to duty, but so much different to carry them out when the world dips into chaos. In youth, man sees things in light and dark, but as we age, we begin to see all the gray, the many shades that do not fit into right and wrong. For some, that means they drift away from their positions, drown in the society that births them. For others, it means they take a stand on one side or the other.
For me, it means standing in the middle and trying to save those that I can.
“You know the rules Nick,” Fat Boy sighed as he paced the room.
Oh yea, I knew the rules. His rules at least, or the ones I paid attention to. Contracts did have their advantages. The question was, had he ever paid attention to mine? I glanced to the corner. Blonde hair, gray t-shirt, black jeans, she fit the description.
I walked calmly to the desk and leaned on it very careful not to look at the young woman who huddled in the corner. “Your rules never included kids, Fat Boy.”
The tall, lean man stopped and spun on his toes. His acne scarred face twisted in a snarl as he stalked over to me. “She’s of age,” he hissed as his eyes flickered down and to the side for a brief instant.
“Oh really?” I leaned forward just a bit so that my nose nearly touched his. “She doesn’t look it.”
He shifted and started to move to the girl, but I grabbed his arm. His eyes traveled from down his arm and back up to my face. “This is not your business.”
I tightened my grip. “I’m making it my business.”
“The girl comes with me,” I said quietly.
Fat Boy stiffened at my tone. I had worked for him on and off for several years. My reputation for following a contract to the letter was almost legendary, however I did have rules. Those who crossed the line knew what they were getting into. This girl, clearly didn’t and I was not about to let Fat Boy drag her into the slums.
I think Fat Boy knew he was pushing my limits because he seemed to relax. “She’s okay, Nick. I’ll send her home after a few days.”
I saw the lies in his face. If I walked out the door that girl would never see her home again. Either Fat Boy was making a claim or she was going to be a gift for someone Fat Boy owed a favor to. The bruise on her face told me she wasn’t being treated well. Her vacant eyes told me that she had been given something to calm her down. That road never ended well with one of Fat Boy’s girls. They often ended up in a dumpster somewhere.
I couldn’t help all of them but I could this one.
Decision made, the tension rolled out of my shoulders, down to my legs where they tensed just a bit. I dug my left foot into the carpet just a bit as I dropped my hand from Fat Boy’s arm. He grinned at me thinking I believed him. “Collecting on the Davis deal right?”
I nodded, keeping my eyes away from the girl.
Fat Boy walked around the desk and sat in the chair. I waited until he leaned over to open the drawer on the right side. My wrist flicked forward, sending a deadly fiber carbon lance into his throat.
As he leaned back, the second lance hit his chest, right between the ribs.
I ran to the girl, the one the Amber Alert was out on, and hauled her to the door. I’d drop her off at the hospital and collect on Fat Boy later.