The Exile: Episode 33

As I stepped into the mayor’s office, he closed the door behind me and motioned toward a group of chairs by his desk.

“Have a seat,” he offered.

I found his behavior strange, too friendly, as though he had expected me. But how could that be?

Pushing aside my discomfort, I slipped into one of the chairs and watched him as he moved around to his desk and sat down.

“Sir, I want to speak to you about several citizens of your town,” I began.

“Yes. I know,” he replied.

I stammered, “You know?”

“Yes,” he said with a smile of self-importance.

“How can that be?” I asked confused.

“Who do you think has been giving them orders?” he laughed.

I glanced over toward the door.

“I wouldn’t bother trying to leave, son. I’ve got men outside this building. If you leave without my okay, they have orders to kill the woman and her child.”

He sneered as he continued.

“I don’t know who you are, and I don’t care. As far as I’m concerned, you’re just some bum who wandered down the wrong street.”

“But,” he said leaning back in his chair, “I’ll make a deal with you.”

“What?” I asked angrily.

“You leave now, don’t look back, and I’ll forget I ever saw you.”

“What about the mother and her son?” I asked.

“Well, I wouldn’t worry about that. But if it makes you sleep better tonight, let’s just say they’ll be fine.”

With his hands folded across his chest, he rocked in his leather chair and waited for my answer.

For a moment I thought about just turning and walking away. Leaving it. Heaven knows I had my own problems. But I knew I was a better man than that.

I stood up, leaned in toward his face, and looked him square in the eyes.

“I’m not going anywhere. And you’re not laying a hand on them!”

“Shame,” he said as he sat upright.

“Well, in that case, I’ll give you a five-minute head start. And, son,” he said, leaning hard on both his elbows, “don’t think you can hide. This is my town,” he smiled, motioning to the door.

When I left the outer office headed toward the elevators, I heard his receptionist say,

“Sir, your next appointment is downstairs.”

“Excellent. Send them in when they get here,” he responded.

As I stepped into an open elevator, I heard the bell of the elevator one over just before its doors opened.

 

 

*          *          *

 

 

Once I reached the lobby floor, I quickly exited the building and hurried back to the truck.

“How did it go?” the woman asked as I climbed inside the cab.

“Not well,” I responded, shifting into reverse and backing out onto the street.

“What are we going to do?” she asked.

“I have no idea?” I answered, pulling forward.

Just then a cell phone in her purse rang. She hesitated then reached for it.

“Hello,” she spoke into the microphone.

After a moment, she handed the phone to me.

“It’s for you,” she said with a puzzled look.

“Hello?”

“I would like to apologize for the way I spoke to you and. . .and. . . and threatened you,” the mayor’s voice came across. He sounded terrified.

His voice trembled as he continued, “I just want you to know that I’m going to let you and the woman go without any problem.”

Suddenly, he cried out in pain then added,

“And the child. Then I’m going to turn myself in to the FBI. . .I am?” he asked.

After another scream, he said,

“Yes. Yes of course. I’m going to turn myself in. You have my word.”

The line went dead, and I pulled the phone away from my ear, staring at it in bewilderment.

“What happened?” the mother asked.

“I have no idea,” I replied.

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Published in: on October 29, 2012 at 3:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

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