The Exile: Episode 34

After the strange phone call from the town’s mayor, I drove the woman and her son back to the burned out shell of their home.

“I’m sorry about your house,” I said. “Thank you for helping me, though.”

Distraught, the woman stared at what was left of the home she had shared so many years with her now deceased husband. Her eyes brimming with tears, she bent down and picked over the ruins.

“We lost a lot. So many memories. Things that can never be replaced,” she sighed as she stood. “But on a much happier note,” she smiled turning to me, “I am glad I could help you.”

I didn’t tell her about how much I had lost or my relentless pursuit of those who had murdered my family. With nothing more to say, I shook her hand and wished her well. Starting up the truck, I pulled away from the house and headed back into town to see what the mayor was really up to.

As I drove down the main drag past city hall, I saw a string of reporters and two state police vehicles. I pulled the truck into a parking lot across the street, cut off the engine and climbed out to watch. Police officers walked out of city hall with the mayor in handcuffs as reporters scrambled close behind shouting questions.

“Mr. Mayor. Mr. Mayor. Is it true that you led a vendetta against a local woman and her child? We understand that the woman is the widow of a prominent doctor. Could you comment on that?”

The mayor silently passed through the crowd, but when he reached the open door of the patrol car, he turned and said,

“Yes. It is quite true. I used every man at my disposal to try and destroy this woman. But I have been involved in far worse business than that, and I would like the opportunity to hold a press conference and confess to everyone.”

As the reporters continued to fire questions, one of the police officers placed his hand on the mayor’s head and pushed him into the back seat of the patrol car. All the while, the mayor’s attorney kept desperately advising him to keep quiet.

Before the officer could close the door, the mayor popped his head out of the car and added, “Oh. And my last order was to arrange for the city to pay for the woman’s house that was burned down at my instruction.”

Leaning against the cab of the truck, I shook my head in amazement at this turn of events.

“Well at least they are good for something,” I said of those who were after me.

When I turned to face the truck, I found myself looking down the barrel of a shotgun.

“You’re a long way from home, boy,” a man’s deep gravelly voice said.

The sun’s glare kept me from seeing his face.

“I don’t care anymore,” I sneered. “I’m all used up. Just shoot me.”

After a stretch of silence with the gun trained on my head, the man finally said,

“All right. If that’s what you want.”

As he pulled back on the hammer of the gun, I squeezed my eyes shut, took a deep breath, and waited.

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Published in: on December 2, 2012 at 9:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

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