“Untitled” (part iv)

“I fucking hate you,” Eric’s mom informed him. “You disappear for two weeks without letting me know where you were! How disrespectful of you, you piece of shit!”

“Mom, put down the booze and listen!” Eric replied. “Like I said, I got drunk at a bar, walked home, got HIT by a drunk driver, she nursed me back to health, and now we’re in love. Are you fucking stupid?”

“That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard!”

“There’s nothing crazy about it at all. It happens everyday!”

Eric’s mom shook her head. “Your father would be disappointed in you if he were still alive.”

“He is still alive. He just lives in Indiana!”

“Get out!” she screamed. “You’re not welcome back in this house. You’ve been nothing but a burden to me. You sleep all day, you do nothing but clog the toilet and play Xbox. And I’ve even caught you wearing my underwear! You’re a disgusting pervert!”

“Ma, I’m a man goddamnit! A MAN!“ Eric shouted. “And as the man of this household, I will not be addressed in that tone! I’m a proud libertarian and I believe in working for everything I’ve got! You’re not kicking me out! I’m unplugging my Xbox and LEAVING!”

Eric yanked the plug out of the wall, kicked the door open, and stomped his way over to Don Lemon’s house a block away. He pounded on the door until Don’s pregnant wife, Stacy, answered.

“Don’s not here, sweetheart,” she said to him.

“Oh that’s okay, I’m just gonna play Xbox and crash in your basement for awhile. Don will be cool with it.”

“Uhh, I don’t think so,” she replied as she tried to block him from entering. “Don and I have to discuss this first.”

“Darling,” Eric said, “with all due respect, Don is the man of the house and I’ve known him longer than you. So please, step aside and let a grown ass man play some goddamn Minecraft!”

Right then, Don Lemon pulled up in his 4-cylinder Honda CR-V. “Don, can you believe this shit?” Eric said to him, “your wife won’t let me through the door. Who does she think she is?”

A puzzled Don looked over to Stacy. “What’s going on here?” he asked her.

“Eric wants to….”

“Let me explain, Don,” Eric interrupted, “Ma was being a bitch, so I told her to fuck off. I came over here to crash for awhile until I can talk my girlfriend into letting me move in with her. It’s not a big deal!”

“Your girlfriend? Move in? I don’t understand…”

“Yeah, my girlfriend dude, I told you! She’s like 60 years old, but still pretty hot, you know what I’m saying? Plus she’s rich. Anyways, I’m trying not to make things weird because we’ve only known each other for two weeks, so it’s probably too early to move in together. So I’m just gonna stay in your basement until enough time passes and I can move in with her. It’s quite simple.”

“I don’t think so, Eric,” Don replied, “Stacy’s due at any moment and we’ve got enough going on in this household…”

“I see, I see…,” Eric nodded, “so I guess our friendship means nothing to you. I should have known. Stacy’s totally domesticated you. You’ll never be Enkidu to my Gilgamesh, Robin to my Batman, or Spock to my Kirk. Oh well! A real man must forge his own path anyway.”

Eric straightened himself up, ran fingers through his hair, and with the Xbox in hand, he started marching proudly down the street. Then he stopped in his tracks. “Can you drive me to my girlfriends?” he asked Don.

TO BE CONTINUED…

untitled (part I)

Remember, for the month of October, this is the story that AI told me to write:

A woman in her sixties, who can be quite compassionate.

A man in his early thirties, who can be quite aggressive.

The story begins in a nightclub.

Someone is driven out of their home.

It’s a story about greed.

Your character reluctantly becomes involved

So here’s the story. I don’t know what to call it.

“I don’t piss in public toilets,” Eric shouted above the music to Don Lemon. “The toilets are connected to the publicly funded municipal sewer system which then goes to a treatment facility. From there, hazardous chemicals and biologicals are removed from the water where it is then discharged into receiving waters like lakes and rivers. Downstream, other municipalities treat that same water so that it is safe for human consumption. That’s socialism. I’m a libertarian. I don’t believe in using such systems. Besides, REAL men piss outside.”

“Look,” Don replied, “I’m just saying that there’s no sense in holding your piss in! If you gotta go, GO!”

Eric and Don met in college. Despite their paths diverging after graduation, the two remained close. Now in their early 30s, Don was killing it selling Mazdas at the local dealership. Eric was still taking odd jobs stocking shelves and slinging pizzas.

“Mazda is a quality machine, Eric,” Don would always tell his friend, “I could get you a good job down at the dealership.”

This made Eric chuckle. “Don, you know I’m a Hyundai man.”

Don was happily married. But his friend Eric wasn’t blessed with the skill of communication. Or even empathy. He’d pity his friend as he watched him fumble around with women throughout their dorm days. But Don’s obligation to his best friend never wavered. Though knowing it was futile, he’d encourage Eric to mingle, hoping that some lucky lady would relieve him of his duty to his awkward friend.

Now the two pals were batching it up at the club. Don sipped his cocktail, leaning against the bar. Eric was pounding the rum and cokes, ignoring the patrons.

“She’s cute,” Don said, referring to the girl on the other end of the bar. As opposed to the other girls in the club, this one was closer to Eric’s age, dressed down in jeans and a t-shirt.

“She’s alright,” Eric replied.

“Buy her a drink!”

Eric stumbled his way across the bar. After seven rum and cokes, he was easily able to overcome a vague sense of nervousness. “Hi, I’m Eric,” he slurred, “can I buy you a drink?”

The disinterested girl nodded. “Wh-what do you do?” Eric asked.

“I’m a graduate student.”

“What do you study.”

“Middle Eastern Studies.”

“I love the Middle East!” he exclaimed. “Did you know that since the US invasion of Iraq, the economies of various nations in the Persian, or Arabian, Gulf have exploded: the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, etc. And they did so without much help from public subsidies. A perfect example of the power of unbridled capitalism. This, as opposed to Iran, who, US sanctions notwithstanding, drove their economy into the ground by nationalizing most of their industries. What a shame.”

“Uh-huh.”

Moments later, the girl’s friends came to collect her. “Gotta go! Thanks for the drink,” she said.

“Fuck this,” Eric thought. He signaled the bartender to close his tab. “Are you leaving?” asked Don.

“Let’s face it, Don,” Eric explained, “females just aren’t interested in an intelligent, nice guy like myself. They want bad boys to treat them like rag dolls and whores. I’m done with this shit.”

“At least let me drive you home,” Don pleaded to his friend.

“No! Those are public roads! I’m WALKING home.”

***

Across town, in a much quieter bar, Patricia was lamenting her 60th birthday. “To god for allowing me to live one more year on this godforsaken planet!” she toasted to her friend.

“Maybe you should stop drinking,” Debra replied. “If you get one more DUI, you’ll surely be fired from you VP job at the bank.”

“Poppycock!” Patricia yelled. “Without me, that bank wouldn’t run!”

“Just take it easy, you gotta be at work in the morning.”

Patricia looked down at her watch. “Oh fuck, you’re right. I better go.”

“Well let me drive you home,” Debra pleaded.

“Sit the fuck down bitch,” Patricia replied, “you’re acting like I never drove drunk before.”

Patricia pulled out her keys and revved up the engine to her red Porsche 718 Cayman GTS. She cranked up Def Leopard’s Hysteria album and sped out of the parking lot.

On down the road, while walking home, Eric finally had to relive his bladder. With his deep-seated hatred for all public works, Eric pulled out his penis and began pissing on the street. Patricia, meanwhile, was singing at the top of her lungs to Animal as she burned down the road.

Suddenly, mid-piss, Patricia clipped Eric with her Porsche. He helicoptered into the air before landing on the pavement, unconscious, and covered in urine.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Meet William Shitz (part xi): tears in rain

“Pull the trigger, Jim Grey,” William said as rain poured down his face. “That’s why you’re here, after all.”

I stood frozen in an awe-inspired fear. The nude figure that stood before me transfigured into a dark angel. He was still man, but appeared to possess the powers of hell.

I was unable to pull the trigger.

But before I could react, William grabbed the barrel and slammed the butt of the shotgun to my face. Still conscious, I fell backwards into the muddied forest floor. I could taste something from the corner of my mouth; it was blood, assisted by the rain, streaming down from the wound on my forehead.

I had never bled before.

William now held the shotgun but threw it aside as he stood over me. His cock was inches from my face. Finally, the rush of panic kicked in and I sprinted aimlessly through the woods.

But the newly minted demonic angel was never far behind.

Then I reached an obstacle: a gully nearly 100 feet deep but a little over 10 feet wide. I had no time to think. I leapt across the crevice but my feet missed the landing on the other side.

My life was hanging perilously over the side of a cliff, fingers barely maintaining a grip on a wet, slippery rock jutting over the edge.

William looked down upon me struggling like a helpless creature. For the first time in his 70 years, he felt something he previously thought impossible: sympathy…compassion. Mr. Shitz then entirely hurdled the 10 foot gap and kneeled down before me.

“It’s quite a thing to live in fear, isn’t it?” he asked. “But that’s what it means to feel alive.”

Right as my fingers slipped, William grabbed my wrist and single-handedly pulled me to safety. As he dropped me on land, I impulsively wiggled backwards up to a tree, not knowing what to expect.

The arctic fox wandered up and sat obediently next to Mr. Shitz. The old, dying man gazed upon the animal and sat down before me.

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe,” William told me, “I’ve had shits like fire from a baconator in Hoboken. I watched Harry Reems and Arthur C. Clarke cheer as they masturbate. Now all of those moments will be lost, in time, like the career of David Blaine.”

A look of sorrow fell over William Shitz’s rain-covered face. “Time to die,” he uttered. And with those words, the clouds departed, and the fox trotted off into the sunset.

I laid there for what seemed like hours, pondering Mr. Shitz’s last moments. And in his waning hours, he bestowed upon me the gift of humanity; his last, and perhaps only, act of benevolence.

Then I heard a voice from across the gully. “I guess he’s through, eh?” it asked. It was Archibald, holding the shotgun.

“Finished,” I said.

Archibald tossed the shotgun to my side and started to walk away.

Then he paused.

“It’s too bad I won’t live,” he pondered aloud, “but then again, who does?”

TO BE CONTINUED…

Meet Williams shits (part viii)

“Mr. Shitz is no stranger to wandering bare ass naked in the woods,” Archibald informed us, “this is no cause for alarm.”

“He wanted Allen to kill him with a shotgun, Archie!” I said, “I think concern is warranted here.”

Archibald put his hands up to his face and rubbed his bald head. “What difference does it make?” he asked. “He’ll be dead soon anyway.”

Darla put down the booze and spoke up. “Archie’s right,” she said, “we should let him die the way he wants: balls dangling in the wind.”

“But that’s not the way he wants to go!” I replied. “He wants me to hunt him; he wants us to hunt him.”

“But why, Jim?! Why?!” Allen Funt cried out.

I went to the bar and poured a stiff drink. “Because…,” I said, “because his whole life he’s felt misunderstood. He’s been alone in this world. He wants us to to prove our love to him, by hunting him in the wilderness so we might see his true self.”

Allen Funt continued to bawl his eyes out. “I just want to go home and see my family!” he cried.

“Calm yourself, Allen,” I said, “you’re just as much a part of this as we are.”

Darla, already three sheets to the wind, tried to slur out her words. “And how do you know so much about father, Mr. Grey?” she asked.

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” I replied. “None of you would.”

Archibald picked up the shotgun and began loading shells. “Probably not, Mr. Grey,” he said, “but I know what I must do. I’ve been William Shitz’s butler for 47 years. If anyone must put him down, it should be me.”

“That’s your responsibility?” I asked.

Archibald took a long pause. “Yes,” he said. “It’s common knowledge that butlers must take an oath to do what must be done, even if that means mercifully killing his master with a shotgun. It is my sworn duty.”

I walked up to the aged butler and put my hands on his shoulders. “When the time comes,” I asked, “can you do what must be done?”

“Yes, Mr. Grey,” he said as he looked me square in the eye, “and if I can’t pull the trigger, then it becomes your responsibility…and I too must be executed for my dereliction of duty.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

Meet William shits (part vii)

“The arctic fox spends its days burrowing underground and avoiding contact with its own kind,” Mr. Shitz explained while staring down the sights of his shotgun. “It’s a solitary animal, much like myself. When it dies, it dies alone.”

Mr. Shitz pulled the trigger, unleashing the sound of hell. A helpless fox, only a few yards ahead, exploded into a million pieces, leaving only fur and guts strewn about.

After witnessing the appalling sight, Allen Funt started heaving at the foot of a tree. With a slight smile on his face, Mr. Shitz reloaded the shotgun. “Mr. Funt,” he said, “I do believe it’s your turn.”

“No thank you, sir,” Mr. Funt replied as tears streamed down his face, “I just don’t have it in me!”

“Goddamnit Allen!” Shitz yelled, “I will be dead in less than a year and you will be the CEO of a billion dollar company! Now if you want PTO, a livable wage, and health insurance, you will senselessly kill the last surviving member of this species into extinction!”

“I can’t!”

Shitz cocked the shotgun and directed towards Funt. “You will!” he declared.

“Oh god I’m gonna die!!!”

“Gentlemen,” I interrupted, “what’s the meaning of this? Mr. Shitz, please lower your weapon.”

Allen Funt pissed his pants as he had a stare down with Mr. Shitz. He also shit pants. After a few moments, William came to his senses and lowered the shotgun.

“My apologies, gentlemen,” Mr. Shitz said. “Mr. Funt, it was my hope that killing these animals would give you the courage to turn this shotgun on me. It was my dream to be executed by the man who would supplant me as CEO.”

William then looked out onto the field to admire the last surviving arctic fox. It was juxtaposed proudly against the endless horizon. “It’s just you and me!” William yelled to the animal, “we’re the last of our kind!”

He dropped the shotgun by his side then looked over to me. “Mr. Grey,” William said, “you are my protector; my guide across the river Styx. But I’m not ready to punch that ticket.”

Mr. Shitz started stripping off his clothes, down to his underwear. Finally his bare cock was flapping in the wind. It was cold that day.

“Jim Grey,” William continued, “if you want me dead, you’ll have to catch me first.”

Allen Funt and I then watched Mr. Shitz’s flabby asscheeks jiggle as he hopped like a jackrabbit into the tree line.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Meet Willem shits (part v?)

“Damn it Dad! When you spend six years in a French whorehouse as I have, you can smell shit from a mile away! And YOU, sir, are full of SHIT!” Darla yelled to her father.

“Darla, please,” Mr. Shitz responded, “I’m wearing adult diapers now. I assure you, there’s not an ounce of shit in me.”

“Well you can’t spend your remaining days toiling away in your study!”

William stood up from behind his desk and shoveled ice into a glass. He poured himself a tall drink of Jack Daniel’s whiskey. “Are you sure that’s a good idea in your condition?” Darla asked.

“Goddamnit Darla, can you stop pestering this dying man?!” he snapped.

This was the first time Darla heard her father drop his high-class pretensions. “So there’s a man underneath that mustache and ascot after all,” she said.

“Fuck you,” William replied as he pounded the whiskey. “I have nothing to be ashamed of. I raised you and I built a billion dollar company. Now leave me be.”

Darla laughed and stood up. “I’m home now,” she said, “you’re gonna have to face me eventually. Or else I will haunt you till your dying day.”

She stormed out of the study. Moments later, I walked in to find Mr. Shitz blind drunk. “Damn it, Jim, I can’t handle this right now,” he said to me.

“Yes sir, I understand,” I said. “Mind if I have a drink?”

He nodded.

I took a sip of the stout liquid and wondered how humans could stomach the stuff. “Sir,” I wondered aloud, “can you tell me about your wife?”

William swiveled his chair, back facing me. “What can I tell you about her that you don’t already know?” he asked.

“Well,” I continued, “I know that you loved her. Doesn’t that extend to your offspring as well? Especially since she’s a continuation of you and your wife?”

William swiveled back around. “Are you some kind of fucking moron?” he asked.

“In your ways, yes,” I said as I downed the whiskey.

William laughed. “Darla and me have an understanding,” he said, “care for another drink?”

“Please.”

The conversation trailed off after that. William eventually passed out on his leather-bound sofa in the study. But being new to this intoxicating experience, I ventured out to the garden, carrying the bottle with me.

The pond was the most beautiful spot. As dusk started to settle, katydids and frogs began their nightly symphonies. Across the way, I saw Darla lighting a cigarette.

I turned my head when she looked my way. I focused on the bottle as I pretended not to notice her. Then moments passed and she was out of sight.

The sun finally sunk below the horizon and the moonlight peered through the clouds. I thought I was alone.

“Mind if I have a swig?” a voice from behind me asked.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Meet William shits (part iv)

Who am I, this mortal shell Jim Grey?

Didst I fly too close to the flame? Did I sear off my wings and tumble to this providence of flesh and sin?

“Hear me now o Heaven!” I cried out, “must I die with the blood of my veins?”

But reprieve was delivered from upon high; “be a good servant, but not for thy sake.”

Yet a servant is nothing more than a slave; and I’m a slave by the Grace of heaven.

***

I was no more free than Mr. Shitz was free from impending death. “What happens when I die?” he asked.

“I am no more an expert on death than you are on life.”

“Is that the meaning of your visit Jim Grey? To give me one more shot at life?”

“Perhaps.”

But how could I deliver something that I don’t possess?

Now enough about me….

***

The helicopter landed on the estate lawn. Archibald extended his hand to help Ms. Shitz deboard the craft. “How delightful it is to see you again!” he told her as they strolled across the grass and into the foreroom.

“Tell me, Archie,” Darla said, “how bad is it?”

“Your father is fine right now,” he replied, “but in time, his health will deteriorate. He will lose all control of his faculties. Piss and shit will flow out of him continuously before his bowels fall out of his asshole at the moment of death. I can’t think of a worse way to go. He would be better off ending it now rather than remain cognizant as his dignity melts away.”

“How horrible!” Darla bawled as she buried her head into Archibald’s chest.

“Yes,” he said as he wrapped his arms around her, “but you mustn’t say anything about it when you see him. He’s still processing his ass cancer diagnosis.”

“I understand,” she said while wiping away tears. “He’s always been a stubborn man. This will take time.”

“Of course,” Archibald replied as he offered her a brandy. “How was your stay in France?”

“Absolute dogshit!” Darla exclaimed. “They’re a bunch of chain-smoking, wino bastards! And the world thinks the US is racist?! Try spending 15 minutes at a Parisian bus stop! Jesus fucking Christ!”

I wandered in through the kitchen door bearing a gift. A rose for you,” I offered Ms. Darla Shitz, “I’m Jim Grey. Welcome home.”

Nothing across all heavens, from the seas of Aquila to the moons of Indus, prepared me for the sight I saw; a woman, whose beauty rivaled that of Artemis.

“This is our new gardener, Ms. Shitz,” Archibald said. “He’s an acquaintance of your father.”

“Thank you, Mr. Grey,” Ms. Shitz spoke as she placed her hand into mine, “it’s a pleasure to meet you. Now, please excuse me. I must be meeting with my father.”

“Of course,” I said. I watched her gracefully gather herself as though there wasn’t a storm raging inside of her.

There too was a quiet storm gathering within me. What was it about Darla Shitz that promoted such passion?

Why was heaven hellbent on its temptations?

TO BE CONTINUED…

meet William shits (part iii)

“I don’t know sir,” Allen Funt said while bawling his eyes out. “I’m already stressed out enough. I don’t know if I can handle running this company while you tend to personal matters.”

“Damn it, Allen,” William retorted, “you’re a workhorse! The best one I’ve got! You should consider it an honor that I’ve selected you to run this factory!”

Allen buried his head in his hands. “I haven’t seen my kids in two years, sir,” he said. “Please, Mr. Shitz! Please loosen my load!”

William got up from behind his desk and plopped down next to Allen. “I’ll tell you what,” Mr. Shitz said as he patted him on the knee, “if you do a good job, I’ll give you a 1.5% raise on top of your $24,000 yearly salary. So please, Allen, find the strength to carry on.”

Allen nodded, blew his nose, and wiped away the tears. “Yes sir,” he said. Then got up and returned to work.

William sat back down behind his desk. I entered his office carrying a bouquet of lilies. “Good morning, Mr. Shitz,” I said, “I just cut these and figured you’d enjoy some.”

“Lilies?” William inquired. “Who the hell are you?”

“I’m your new gardener, Jim Grey,” I said, “If you recall, your wife wanted these planted at your estate before she passed. These were her favorite flowers. She wanted you to think of her every time you looked at them.”

William was dumbfounded. “How-how do you know this?”

I found a vase and placed the flowers inside of it. “Mr. Shitz, I know that you’re dying,” I said as I sat the vase on his desk. “Yet you feel that there’s too much to be done. And you’re right. You’ve always been a hard worker. But this might be the hardest thing you’ve had to face.”

“But…how do you know so much about me?”

I sat down in front of his desk. “Do you believe in the afterlife, Mr. Shitz?”

“I’ve- I’ve honestly never considered it.”

“Well I’ll just say that I’ve watched you your entire life,” I said, then smiled. “I guess you could call me your protector.”

“I see,” William replied as a growing look of concern fell over his face. “Then I suppose heaven’s been displeased with my performance.”

“Not entirely,” I said. “But there is an opportunity here to right the wrongs. It’s not too late, Mr. Shitz.”

“If you are who you say you are, Mr. Grey,” William said, “then what do you know about living as a mortal; to face the temptations of flesh and blood?”

“This is not just a chance at redemption for yourself, William,” I replied. “If we work together, we will both be back in heaven’s good graces.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

turning over a new leaf

For the month of September, I want to write something nice for a short story. I’m always writing about shitty people doing shitty things. How about this time, I write about good people trying to make the world a nicer place?

OR, How about I try to write an actual goddamn story and not shit post the entire thing?

Ya know, I enjoy fine art. In fact, I wish that I could’ve been a painter. Seriously.

I love Claude Monet. Impression, Sunrise might be the most profound thing I’ve ever seen. It really stirs the poetry in my heart. That being said, I just wish the fisherman was pissing over the edge of the boat. 🤷‍♂️

Or consider the serene scene in Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Would it have killed Seurat to have added a dude taking a shit in the water?

C’mon!

Unfortunately, God didn’t bless me with the skill of the brush. Instead, he made me barely literate enough to string together sentences that are adequately coherent. But words are to a writer what color is the painter.

“What the hell are you talking about?” you might ask.

I’m trying to explain how I view the world. I always try to find the absurd and the vulgar, even where most find profundity.

It’s like that time when I got REALLY high and started thinking about 90s/00s Oscar-bait films. Specifically the westerns: Dances With Wolves, The Horse Whisperer, Legends of the Fall, Brokeback Mountain, etc. And then I created a trailer in my head: Brokeback Wolf Whisperer, which was directed by Ang Lee, written by Paul Haggis, and starring Kevin Coster, Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman, Jodie Foster, Brad Pitt, Richard Gere, George Clooney, Nicole Kidman, and Paul Reubens.

I don’t remember what it was about, but I think it was mostly Morgan Freeman talking sense into a wheelchair-bound Richard Gere:

“Why are you always whispering to wolves, Silas? They don’t understand a damn word you saying!”

“Because of my broken back, Ennis!!!”

So I want to do a story like that: something sappy, something heartwarming, something that’s barely above the quality of a Hallmark movie. That’s my challenge for the month of September.

And don’t do drugs 👍

****

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Jack hardcock: Christian detective (part xi)

“Shit!” I yelled. “After killing those bald eagles, I’m all outta bullets!”

“Jack,” Pete replied, “if you can get us out of this, you might make me a believer after all.”

That was all the motivation I needed. So I said a prayer: “Lord, everything that’s happened so far has led me to this point. Give me the strength to kill Sally and lead Peter Tucker to Salvation in Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Right then, as the Goodyear Blimp hovered above, Sally, who was piloting the aircraft, released dozens of live hand grenades down onto Progressive Field. Pete and I weaved and bobbed our way through one explosion after the next but when the last grenade landed, it didn’t explode.

That’s when the Lord gave me a sign.

I saw Deshaun Watson, who was supposed to the throw the first pitch in the celebrity baseball game, cowering in the corner and pissing himself in the dugout. “Deshaun!” I yelled, “we need your arm strength! If you pick up this live hand grenade and hurl it back at the blimp before it detonates, you might be redeemed in the eyes of the public for all those disgusting sexual acts you did to those masseuses. Maybe not though. But what other choice you got?! Hurry before it explodes!”

Watson gathered up the courage, climbed out of the dugout, picked up the grenade, and with all of his strength he launched it towards the blimp.

He was right on the money. The grenade exploded, and the blimp came tumbling down onto the field.

Sally was in a daze when she climbed out of the wreckage. “Holt!” Pete ordered as he lifted his 9mm towards her. But Sally was too quick. She drew her weapon and shot Pete in the abdomen.

Then she turned her gun towards me and laughed maniacally. “I finally have you where I want you, Jack Hardcock!” Sally said, “Prepare to meet your maker, Cleveland scum!”

Sally then ripped an entire clip into my direction, but to her surprise, every bullet missed. I dodged my way over to Pete’s position. With one hand over the bullet wound, he tossed me his 9mm with the other. “Pete,” I said, “without my .38, I’m useless!”

“I believe in you, Jack,” he replied, “have faith!”

I lifted the 9mm and emptied five bullets into Sally. As she dropped to her knees, I walked towards her, still aiming the weapon. “But why, Jack?” she asked, “I was only trying to clean up the streets. Wouldn’t your God approve?”

“No Sally,” I said, “Vengeance is the Lord’s. And I am His instrument.”

I fired one more round into Sally’s skull and her body fell to the ground.

TO BE CONTINUED…