You never know what's around the corner.
|The elections turned out to be a disaster. Committeeman Davis had been the favored candidate for Mayor because he had a perfectly balanced platform which promised business growth and assistance to those in need. He had a way of delivering ideas which instilled confidence, hope and cooperation among those with different points of view. My dear departed mother would've loved him. While leaving the room, I made way for an elderly lady who reminded me of her. I wished mother could see me trying to make a difference in the world as a campaign manager. I deeply miss her.
My friend "Cotton" and I slipped out though the emergency exit to have a cigarette. No paparazzi back here. Out front they fought tooth and nail to get a shot of anything that moved. What a pain in the rump.
"I can't believe it," Cotton said regretfully. "I just can not frickin' believe it!"
Cotton has been my friend since high school, long before I won the lottery. My mother often called him her adopted son because we were always together. I'm not very proud of those days. I wish I could go back knowing what I know now. Together, Cotton and I had learned how to chat up the girls and party hearty. A 6' 1" 210 pound wing man was helpful in tight spots. He always knew the right time to step into a situation.
"I can't believe he'd do such a thing so close to the elections, Mike," said Cotton.
On the Friday previous to the elections, Committeeman Davis was videoed in a compromising position with a woman who was not his wife. I'm certain the woman was planted to seduce him. When the videos were released to the public, the shit hit the fan.
"I can," I replied. "That red-head was way hot! I can't believe Davis was so reckless, he let himself get caught. I figure he was drunk, drugged or both. Anyway, we got five thousand votes. You know what that means? The glass is one-tenth full, be thankful."
"Don't sound like much to be thankful about."
"Shut up, Cotton," I snapped.
Cotton looked up and shot me a sharp glance. "Kiss my Ass, Mike," he said, stretching out his hand with middle finger extended.
I laughed and shook my head. One of the great things about my friendship with Cotton is our freedom to express ourselves. I turned and walked down the alley.
"Catch you later, Bro," I said. "If you want, I'll be upstairs at the Edelweiss tonight."
"Outstanding!" replied Cotton. "I'll see you about nine."
I walked toward an intersecting alley which lead to Canal Street where my car and driver were parked. Life was much changed since winning the state's 328 million dollar lottery a few days after my mother's death. I decided to make my working class life more useful and, in some way, to make up for my selfish years. Enough said about that.
Turning the corner, I walked into a tall shadowy figure of a man. We didn't collide, I literally walked "into" him! I jumped back in surprise. He didn't flinch. He was dressed in worn boots, long raincoat, and gloves, all in black. He had his head bent down so all I could see was his long black hair and beard.
"Oh, my God! You scared the crap out of me!" I exclaimed. The stranger didn't respond in any way. "Are you okay? Is there anything I can do for you?" I'd made it a habit to assist the less fortunate and this dude appeared quite needy. I reached out to put my hand on his shoulder, but it passed through him as if nothing were there, yet I saw him plain as day.
The stranger slowly lifted his head. I was taken aback by his leathery weathered face and dark eyes. A shiver ran down my spine.
In a scratchy voice the stranger said, "A great injustice has sealed the fate of all life to end on January 16th, 2150 by the release of scientifically engineered biological agents. President Davis would've implemented restrictions to prevent such a release. It comes to you to correct this injustice as you are the most likely to succeed."
"What the...," I choked. "This is crazy!" However crazy it seemed, every cell in my body told me it was true.
"How can this be?" I asked.
"I am but a projection to advise you. You must be taken back to the night of the injustice, the night Committeeman Davis fell to temptations of the flesh," the stranger droned.
Before I could wrap my mind around such a wild story, daylight faded into darkness.
"Now is the time you must intercede to assure the future of mankind." the stranger said while fading into nothing. He was there one second and gone the next.
"Intercede?" I repeated, looking up at the stars in the sky.
I looked at my Rolex. It displayed that it was 9:30pm on Friday. Suddenly it all became clear.
"This must be the night he's going to get with that red-head. I've got to stop them!" I said to no one but myself.
I ran to Canal Street and, as expected, my car and driver weren't there. I remembered the Carlton Hotel was just a couple blocks away, so I ran for my life. I jumped in and out of traffic, shoved past pedestrians screaming, "Make a hole!" I dashed up the stairs of the Carlton, through the entrance and across the lobby.
Entering the Carlton Ballroom I saw Davis slow dancing with that beautiful red-head that started this whole mess. I ran, screaming like a wildman up to the surprised couple. I picked the woman up over my shoulder, carried her to the buffet and dropped her into a very large bowl of red punch.
Committeeman Davis was rushed away from the scene by security. I was wrestled to the ground and cuffed.
"Phew!" I breathed. "I just saved all life on the planet from extinction. Mom would be proud."