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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1017974-Kind-Word-and-a-Gun
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Crime/Gangster · #1017974
A Master Thief "jumps the fence" and aims at the crooked cop that put him in...
You have to remember, I started on this portfolio in the final month of my grade 8 year...as of now I'm in my second year of college...so my style has evolved...I won't say improved...but evolved...This is the result of a first year Creative Writing course...Enjoy-"Will"

”You can get much farther in life with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone”-Al Capone


You’d think for a man in prison for three years, he’d have other thoughts on his mind. But the most pressing idea in his head was “how did I get day parole?” The sun was brighter than he remembered, a little colder too. But it was still sunlight. An older looking sedan pulled up to the gate. Mark waved at the guard in the tower. Deep down inside he wanted to flip the bird, but there would be time for games later. His suit was a little looser than he remembered it. Prison food would do that to you.
A fresh faced young man stepped out of the car and opened the passenger door for him. Mark was told he’d have someone from Corrections shuttle him around. He had no idea that it’d be a kid. Mark was expected what he had see for years, the large burly angry son of a bitch with a control complex that populated his cell block. But no, he couldn’t be more than twenty. Look how skinny this kid was.
”Morning Sir.” The young man almost saluted him as he held the rear door open. What was this kid? Mark thought again.

”Calm down kid. I’m not the prime minister.”
”Ok Mr. Hardford.” The kid said.

Close enough. Mark stepped into the car, he didn’t put on a seatbelt. The kid took notice but didn’t say anything. Mark could tell he really wanted to. They started to drive off.
Mark was fishing through his jacket pockets, making sure he still had everything with him. His gold money clip still contained a large roll of twenties, his watch was an hour behind due to daylight savings time and his trusty pen didn’t work.
”What’s your name kid?” Mark asked as he put the broken pen back in his jacket. The kid hesitated for a moment and looked in the rearview mirror.
”Joseph, sir.” He didn’t take his eyes off the road. Mark played with the name in his mind for a while. His friends probably call him Joey, or Joe. Not Joseph. His mom probably called him that when he was in trouble.

”So Joey, I have to ask. What are you doing playing chaperone to a guy like me for a day?”
”Volunteer work sir.” Joey replied, still not taking his eyes off the road.
”No shit.” Mark could tell Joey was upset by his choice of language. “Why would anyone volunteer for this?”
”Looks good on a resume.”
”Really? Corrections a career option Joey?” Mark began to tease the young man.
”Maybe sir. Anything law enforcement.”
”I don’t recommend it. Prison guards are close to dog shit on the food chain, big men with small dicks pushing around broken guys.”
The poor kid didn’t know how to respond to that one. He just kept focused on driving; he avoided using the review mirror. Mark didn’t look like a man in his position should. He was a tall, lean man with mess of blonde hair ontop his head, haphazardly parted to either side. His sharp nose was the most outstanding of the features. It did make him seem a little more demonic. Whenever he caught Joey looking in the mirror, Mark flashed him a toothy grin. They drove for a while. Mark didn’t tell him where to go, he was following some path. Joey swallowed hard as he came to a stoplight. It seemed rather long. Mark had better things to do with his time. He reached into his pocket and removed the pen while Joey was absently watching some leggy blonde cross the street ahead of him. Mark wrapped one arm around Joey’s neck, with his hand covering his mouth. He held the pen above Joey’s shoulder, just out of the young man’s field of view, he could still feel a metal point. Joey gasped for air and began to flail. Mark whispered into his ear.

”Don’t scream, don’t panic. Just listen. If you do what I say, you will live.” Mark sighed inside. That line was such a cliché, but the kid didn’t know that. Joey nodded frantically. ”When I let go, I want you continue going straight. At the next stoplight you will stop the car promptly, hand me your driver’s licenses and don’t look in the mirror. Do you understand?” Joey nodded frantically again. Mark slowly let go, but he held the point of the pen at the back of Joey’s neck. The poor kid didn’t know it was just a pen and not a shiv. They drove for three tense blocks until the next stoplight where Joey complied with the demands. As Mark stepped out of the driver side rear door, he looked at Joey. Who was petrified in
terror. Mark leaned in the open window.
”I now know where you live Joey, find a new career path. Law enforcement isn’t your game.” He stuffed a twenty into Joey’s pocket and began to walk back down the street. He glanced at the license in his
hand. The kid was only eighteen. Youth these days, made him want to cry. Just like Johnny was. A little bit naïve but had a lot of energy. Time for that later . So this is what freedom tasted like. But how did he get day parole?



Mark had to hop a couple of busses to make sure he wasn’t followed. He still had a while until they realized he was gone. Joey was more interested in a change of pants then turning him in. He came across a small music shop just off a busy intersection. He thought the name was a little unimaginative. The large white sign read “Paul’s Music Shop.”
Paul was the brains of the outfit. Mark chuckled to himself.
The door chimed as he entered. He could here a piece of classical music playing, soon that piece morph into a jazz chorus. He only knew one man would can do that.
”Paulie!” Mark yelled above the noise. The large man behind the piano took no notice and continued to fuse the two styles together. Mark sighed and slammed his hands down on the piano top and yelled again. Paulie stopped for a moment and looked up.
”Mark! Why didn’t you stop me?” He shook with deep throated laughter. “How have you been? Last I heard you were in a Fed Pen doing what? Three years for armed robbery?”

”Four, but who’s counting.” Mark joked.
”They treating you good inside?” Paul asked while absently plugging away at some minor keys.
”Of course. Always do.”

”I take it you’re on unexcused absence?” Paulie said with a grin.
”You could say that.” Mark replied. Looking around the room once, Paulie took notice.

”You like the instruments?” Paulie gushed about his equipment.
”You still play in that jazz band?” Mark said while still looking. He removed an acoustic guitar from the wall. He tapped the soundboard a few times. It made the familiar hollow sound.
”Every once in a while we’ll hit the clubs for a session or two.” Paulie stared at him for a moment. “I don’t think a guitar suits you. What was the kind of instrument you used to play? I could never remember.”

Mark smiled. He still remembered the old code talk.
”Is anyone is in back?” (Are cops listening?)
”No, I sent them for lunch.” (No, I swept the place this morning.) “I’m sorry, the cops seized the Sauer, but I managed to save the Ruger.” Paulie went to the repair counter and removed a string less guitar. He gently snapped the false backing off and removed a large snub-nosed revolver and a matching shoulder holster. “I have some .357 in the back.”
He paused for a moment. ”You’ve never killed a man before in your entire career. Yet here you come asking for your gun. Revenge never-“Mark quickly cut him off.
”Don’t preach Paulie, you’re too good for it.” He toyed with the weight of the revolver. Professionals of his caliber didn’t really need guns. People tended to listen to you if you pointed one in their face.
”A kind word and a gun Mark?” Paulie paraphrased the old Capone quote. Mark snapped the cylinder open and it spun freely. “You should get those bullets.” Mark gestured to the back room. He rolled his wrist and closed the cylinder.

Three knocks interrupted his train of though. The rookie held a tray of coffees in his hand, begging him to unlock the door of the unmarked car. David was annoyed with him, but he couldn’t get mad. It was his second day. Let’s just hope he got the order right.
”Pyke” David spat as he unlocked the door. “How long does it take to get coffee?”
”Long line sir”
”Just get in.” Youth these days, it made him want to cry. David started the car and pulled out without a signal. A few cars honked at them, but it didn’t bother him. The rookie was more than disturbed by the illegal traffic maneuver. “Don’t sweat it rookie. I’ll show you how to do things around here. UC can be a tough assignment.” He thought at least he should make conversation with the kid. “Pyke, any relation to the detective?”
”Yes sir, my father.” David guess Pyke probably called him daddy or something of the like.
”Please kid; I’m not the Prime Minister.” David thought for a moment. Who said that line before? “Now, down to business, Undercover is a fairly simple concept, but you can’t show any of the patrol cop kinda attitude. Meaning you need to know three things. You can’t have any loyalty, you can’t care about anything and you always want to win. Got it? There will be a test later.”
”Ok, I think I got it all.” the rookie answered as he fiddled with a notepad. They were idling at a stoplight for a while. The tone of the crosswalk made David look to his right. It couldn’t be. Of all the luck. He grabbed his cell phone from the center console and scrolled though a long list of numbers.
”Yeah hey, it’s me. Listen, meet us at the usual spot. I think we can finish that business.”
”What was that about?” Pyke asked.
”Nothing, we’re just going to throw a party for an old friend.”


“You call this a party?” Mark tried to yell, but he was too busy tasting a moldy brick wall. Stiff hands began to pat him down. “Like you mean it man!” Mark teased again. His head bounced off the wall.
”No one likes a smart alec” Dave said, sitting on a fold out chair by the window of the old warehouse. He had the paper out and was nosily flipping through it. Dave never liked getting his hands dirty unless he had to. “I always read the Obits first.”
What sounded like “start with the comics. You’ll live longer.” But it was still being distorted by the wall.
”Come on now Bill. You can let him go.” Dave said without looking up from the paper. The burly plain clothed cop complied. Mark spat blood onto the man’s shoe. He smiled with his now blood soaked toothy grin. The burly cop was ready to knock Mark’s grin down his throat. Dave waved him off and told him to bring the rookie in. “Pyke might want to see this.” Four other men followed the burly one’s lead and the fresh faced cop walked in the room, he was carrying Mark revolver, still neatly placed in the holster. Dave gestured to Pyke for the gun. The rookie tossed it and Dave caught it easily, the paper now in his lap. He toyed with it for a few moments then removed the bulky handgun. Dave carefully shifted the weight back and forth between hands.
”Good balance.” He finally said. “I never understood your love for six guns. Give me a high cap Glock any day.” Mark glanced at the handgun on Dave’s belt. He didn’t have the want to go for it. “Don’t try it. I’m not going to kill you. I need you for another job. How do you think you got day parole?” Dave pressured. Mark paused and thought about the previous question.
”I always liked Cowboys.” He said with a grin, still leaning against the wall.
”So did I. Now why weren’t we friends again?”
”You killed my little brother.” Mark spat.
”Do you know how little that narrows things down?”
”Johnny was about as young as him.” Mark yelled pointing at Pyke who was a little taken back by all the action. Pyke stood just inside the door frame, but then left to a different part of the warehouse. He had his hand near his gun. “He tagged along for the hell of it?”
”Keep going.” Dave toyed with him. “I’m getting an idea.”
”You bastard.” Mark stalked towards him. But the echo of the Ruger’s hammer cocking stopped him.
”Come on now. Play nice.”
”I always thought crooked cops got a raw deal. Criminals sure don’t like you because you hassle them ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty and Cops can’t like you guys playing outside the rules. So where do you fit in? I guess you’re an outcast.”
”Don’t give me that sentiment crap Hardford. You’re too good for that.” Sarcasm dripped from the comment.
Mark laughed for a moment.
”We’re too much alike. Just different sides of the same coin.”
”Nope, I’m still the law in this town. I just work a little quicker.”
”Playing God?” Mark asked
”If that’s what needs to be done.”

A radio clicked off in the other room. We’re not using radios Dave thought to himself. The rookie walked back in.

”We’re not using radios.” Dave repeated the thought outloud. “In fact, our radios should be in the car.”
The rookie went for his gun but Dave already had the .357 cocked. The gun blasted and caught Pyke in the shoulder. Mark leaped and grabbed the handgun on Dave’s belt while accidentally tripping him. Both men fell to the floor, guns at each other’s heads.
”Cliché?” Dave said out of breath with a sarcastic grin.
”Shut up”
“I’ve always heard of a myth of an IA Rookie hitting crooked training officers.”
”Shut up.” Mark repeated.
The sound of the door breaking in didn’t detract from the moment the men had together. Each held the other’s life on a centimeter of their fingers.

The ERTs swarmed the room and everything was still. Mark’s vendetta was over. Dave was caught. Deep down it didn’t matter to him. Prison was even worse for a crooked cop. Maybe Johnny would get the irony. It didn’t matter anymore. Nothing did. As long as that kid was ok. Too much like Johnny. An ERT cop swept Mark up and put him in cuffs, he then threw Dave and Mark into the back of paddy wagon.
Mark looked at Dave sitting across from him. “Youth these days. Makes you want to cry.” Mark just smirked.
”Shut up” Dave huffed.

End
© Copyright 2005 Wilson S. Jefferies (badlander at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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