Ransom and Ramblings
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(This story contains foul language and violence. Thought you should know.)
Three miles back in the woods, we wait in the run down shack. The sound of rustling leaves enters through one of the broken windows but it’s partially drowned out by the sound of Petey stomping as he paces back and forth over the warped floorboards. Nervously he’s fingering the pistol. I have one just like it, but neither of us knows their make. All we care about is that the guns are big and that they’re loaded with hollowed point bullets. The ability to cause maximum carnage is our primary concern.
From my seat at the water-damaged table, I stare down at the man who is bound and gagged. His cheeks are shiny from his tears and the sight of him fills me with loathing.
“Fuck, fuck, FUCK! When are these bastards gonna call?” Petey asks no one. At nineteen, he’s full of unbridled energy and in the three years I’ve known him, I’ve never once seen him sit still. Even while sleeping, he’s in constant motion.
“Christ Petey, calm down,” I command. “They’re liberals, ya know? And they’re wealthy. I doubt they’ll take a chance. I mean, if we off him, how would they sleep at night?”
“Well then, what’s taking so goddamned long? We’ve been nurse maiding this panty waste for four hours. They should have called by now. Don’t ya think?”
“Ya know, $200,000 isn’t pocket change. It’s probably taking them a while to get it all together.”
Petey just nods at this and continues his pacing. I look down at the bound man in his blue suit. The front of his trousers are soaked and stained. He pissed himself the second he saw the guns. “Pussy,” I think and immediately begin to doubt if he’s worth the ransom to anyone. He certainly wouldn’t be to me.
“I hate liberals,” Petey says out of the blue.
“What?” I answer hoping the conversation might help to calm him.
While still pacing, he begins to swing his thick arms attempting to burn off some extra energy. “Well, the fuckers are always trying to make you feel bad about yourself.”
I chuckle and say, “How so?”
“Ya know, they’re always going on with that save the animals bullshit or save the forest or fuck! I don’t know. Who the hell are they to tell me who I should save or how I should live my damn life. Fuck it, why don’t they worry about saving their own damn lives and leave everyone else’s out of it.”
I look at the cellphone we bought at the department store. It came with prepaid minutes and a code number to activate it, which fit our needs perfectly. The last thing we wanted was a link to us. The batteries are good and the phone is still on, but no one has called in the ten seconds that have passed since I last checked.
“I think you’re confused. The liberals are more for personal freedom. If you ask me, the conservatives are the ones trying to run you life.”
“Which ones say abortion is bad?” Petey asks.
“The conservatives. The liberals are for pro-choice, I believe.”
“It doesn’t fucking matter I hate them all.” With this, the man begins to moan something against his gag. Petey turns and shouts, “Shut the fuck up asshole!” And he fires a round at the man’s left foot. Immediately, the appendage liquefies and blood explodes from his leg.
I’m on my feet instantly. The boom of the pistol is nearly deafening, but I manage to scream out, “What the fuck are you doing? Are you losing it man?”
“Look, it’s over. They’re not calling. It’s time to cut our loses and get the fuck out of here. Got it?”
Almost on cue the phone rings and everything goes quiet. Even our footless victim lies perfectly still. I nervously pick up the phone and say, “Hello.”
A cold voice answers, “Sorry, no dice.” With that, the phone goes dead in my ear and Petey can tell by my face that the money isn’t coming.
Petey aims his gun at the man’s head. The guy tries to squirm, but his blood loss has already made him sluggish. Petey pulls the trigger and the man’s head shatters like a pumpkin that smears the floor with red and gray goo.
The gun’s blast hasn’t stopped echoing off the walls when Petey says, “Next time we’re taking a Republic. Fuck, I hate liberals.”
I ask, “Is there any goddamned difference?”
Petey just shrugs his shoulders and we both head out through the door.
If you have no questions or fears about your abilities, then you will learn nothing from your mistakes and know nothing about your limitations.