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The Man who Stole Johnny Apple Seed

“I used to be a man of great stature. I was a man of great importance and wealth. Now I am not”.—Paul Johnson, 59

Paul Johnson was the CEO of a very big company. His name was in the papers, on the radio, and always on t.v. He had a lovelly wife named Rita. Rita and Paul lived together in a country that used to be called Tritia. It is not called that now. Paul was a middle aged, balding individual who liked to spend his pspare time watching boxing matches and orgainizing his garage. Rita liked to watch the Spanish soap operas, while re-organaizing her clothes. Paul and Rita had been married for twenty-one years.

One Sunday morning, as Rita was crawling out of bed, she stepped on a tack. She screamed and fell back into bed. “Just my luck!” she thought, “Only I would hurt myself within the first thirty seconds I’m awake.” Rita washed her foot and carried about her business.

On this same Sunday, Paul was up by 5 am to fix his coffee and meet up with some clients for brunch and a game of golf. On the way out, Paul grabbed his golf bad and in the process, also grabbed Rita’s keys.

Ok. So Paul is going golfing and Rita is showering. It’s pretty dreary outside, so Paul decides to take the long way and be safe. He reaches the café where brunch is to take place about 10 am. He sees his buddies already sitting down. He joins them, and orders some coffee—with no milk. Paul is a vegan.

Rita is now out of the shower and limping. “Maybe I should get a tetanus shot,” she thinks. “No, no time.” Rita has much to do today. First, she has to take Paul’s suit to the cleaner’s, and then off to lunch with her best friend Brenda. Rita looks older than she really is.

After brunch, Paul leaves the café annoyed and disgruntled. “How dare Simon remark on MY hair regression. Look at HIM.” He thinks. Paul gets in his car, and drives quickly off the lot. He has become so angry he decides to skip golf. Returning home, Paul notices his gas light has come on. He pulls into the nearest gas station, and begins to fill up.

Rita is ready to leave the house, when she realizes her keys are missing. “Darn it!” she says, “Paul must have accidentally grabbed them.” Not wanting to miss her engagement, she calls a cab. Her foot has begun to become increasingly painful. The cab arrives, and with suit and purse in hand, she leaves the house.

Paul has pumped his gas. $22.00. He grabs some money out of his wallet and goes inside to pay. As he is being rang up, he notices someone get in his car. “What the…” he says. Before he can slip out the rest, he is already outside, running.

Paul jumps onto his hood, hurting his left ankle. He limps over to the driver side and grabs the man in the seat. Paul pushes him to the ground, grabs the gun under his seat, and shoots.

It is now 11:15 am, as Rita pulls up to the restaurant. She pays the cab fare and heads inside. She notices her foot has become swollen, but shrugs it off as she finds her friend, and begins ordering.

At the same time Rita is ordering eggs benedict and orange juice, Paul is being carried away to jail. The man that Paul had grabbed had noticed a cigarette burning, and was trying to prevent it from flying out of the car. Paul is charged with first degree manslaughter. As he enters the cell, he notices a beetle crawling across the bed.

As Rita is finishing her eggs, she is about to call a cab when she notices she is now unable to walk. Her friend, Brenda, calls an ambulance, which arrives seven minutes later.

Paul patiently awaits his one phone call. When he gets it, he calls the house. No answer. “Where is she??”, he wonders. He returns to his cell and waits for another chance to call.

When the ambulance arrives, Rita’s leg has turned a pale shade of green and she is gasping. The ambulance flies down the road towards the hospital. Rita takes her last breath three minutes prior to arrival.

Paul and Rita were married for twenty-one years. Paul was an important man, and now awaits parole. The house went to Rita’s sister—the only kin to the family, and the only visitor of the funeral.

Paul sits patiently year after year until he turns sixty-three, when he dies from a gunshot wound to the chest by another elderly man—Peter. Peter is also a vegan.



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