This is a book I have been working on. Please respect copyright laws. This is the first chapter. I hope you enjoy.
Jack opened one eye and then the other. Disappointment washed over his face as he accepted his present location. His disappointment turned into acceptance following a scream cry fit that left him shaking and vulnerable. His fears had turned on him, he was what he feared. He became the childlike adult that he had pushed away many years prior.
Following the violent pain of his lost internal childhood, soothing blood flushed into his heart and he was calm. He relaxed while tears dried on his face, the tears of a scared child. He was left with what he began with, fear. The fear of the unknown; the fear of his place in the world. His rise to the office of the Governor had been long and deliberate yet now he was lost.
The ground smelled of a mixture of chemicals, the most prominent filling the stale air with a bleach like odor. Jack wiped away the tears and examined the partially lit cavernous dwelling he was now in the bowls of. The light allowed for a portion of the wall to be visible but only to the most trained eye. The southern wall had a chipped away marking that represented its face. The statement of “Spanish class” was clearly spelled out on top of “Divorce” and “Humility.”
He scanned the wall feverishly looking for a clue to his whereabouts but could not find evidence of any other traveler. He savagely searched for clues to his locale but came up empty handed. He read the drawings on the walls over and over again, taking in the complete linear span of time that they created. The creation reflected his life span. Every significant event spelled out in front of him from his eighth grade Spanish class to his meteoric rise to the office of the Governor. His divorce spelled out in large lettering spilled fear into his mind. He feared the memories that could turn on him easily. He would think of the good times he had with his ex-wife and then fall back into the hurt that she forced onto him.
The words on the wall made him fall to the ground with emotion. He felt like a failure, he felt as though he had lived a life insignificant. He felt the complete breakdown of his past and future. When he finally arrived at the wall that stated “Death” he stopped. His body stiffened and his movements slowed. He screamed to no avail. Sweat dripped out of his pores.
Jack’s movement was measured by small muscle contractions that shot fire up his spine and forced him to wobble every step. He took three steps forward and then landed directly on his face from the vibrant pain moving up and down his spine.
While on the ground he whimpered in pain and then rolled to his back visualizing his every cell turning on him. His body was a toxic field of hurt and torment. The cave pulled him emotionally in every direction. He wanted to stand up but he could not, he wanted to crawl but he could not. He was seemingly stuck in one place grasping at the air in front of him with his hands fighting for his life.
The cave controlled his body yet his mind whilst being polluted with the agony of cellular breakdown was completely clear and mindful of the torture it was enduring. His thoughts raced from past loves to regrets. He beckoned for a moment of pure bliss and then the pain stopped. His cells began to reconstruct and he felt as though he had been re-born. For the next ten minutes he laid still in the fetal position hoping that the pain would not return.
One eye opened and then another. Jack looked for spatial recognition but only the single light from above him captured his gaze. The light shone like the bright light of a full moon, it felt warm and forgiving, it felt as if life had given him a gift.
The light fell dark and Jack closed his eyes.
Morning came early on January 19th 2009. Jack Reynolds, the sitting Governor, slowly awoke to an alarm clock on the nightstand a mere two feet from his bed. Jack rubbed his eyes and looked over to the half empty bed he lied in. He frowned, and then turned the alarm off. Jack stared at a mirror on the side of his room, he looked himself over. His large belly pushed his University of Washington t-shirt out in the center, stretching the word Washington out to capacity. Jack had a receding hairline and frown lines on his forehead. He smiled but his joy soon washed away. “Well, this is it. The last day” Jack whispered to himself.
Jack scanned the room finally fixating on a single picture on the nightstand. He stared at the picture intently. The picture was framed cheaply in black with a gold trim. In the picture were: Sandra, Jack’s ex-wife and his two children Shane and Whitney. The four people pictured smiled as though they had just won the lottery.
Jack thought about the day the picture was taken. He reminisced about the itchy sweater he had worn that day and the conversation that Sandra and he had right before the photo was taken.
“Jack, I don’t want you to run for Governor again,” Sandra said.
“I know, but I have to.”
“I just want the life we have now with the kids and the dog with the white picket fence, our simple lives.”
“I just think I can make a difference.”
“It is going to change everything, you’ll see.”
“It will change things for the better.”
“I am not sure that you know what you are talking about.”
“Am I supposed to?”
“You are just like your father.”
“But I am adopted.”
The flash ended and Jack wiped his finger across the picture, “you were right,” he said to himself.
The beautifully embroidered comforter separated Jack from the world and he wanted to crawl under it. He wanted to swim in the comfort of his own psyche; he felt the shame of life catching up to him. He felt saddened by his divorce, saddened by his relationship with his kids and ultimately saddened by his entire being.
His one saving grace was his exceptional glowing reviews with the local press and his constituents. He felt a ray of hope break through the clouds as he pictured a happy recipient of his tax relief bill or his medical coverage for school children bill.
Jack’s pajamas were six inches too short for him only noticeable once he dismounted his sunken bed reminiscent of an open vessel upon the sea. Jack watched the door and then his watch. “Six fifty-nine” he whispered to himself, “three, two, one”. Once Jack reached the number one, the door opened and two people entered the room. The first was his special assistant Rose Clemens. Rose had a special aura about her with a brown short bob hair style and form fitting suit which both suggested her professionalism and sexuality. Rose stood an average height of five foot six inches and weighed a rather pedestrian one hundred and thirty pounds. She walked with a purpose and showed off her education with every word she spoke. She received her undergraduate degree from Seattle University in Science, her graduate degree in political science and her doctorate in Philosophy.
The second person to enter the room was Hank Cooper, Jack’s lieutenant and friend. Hank had a neatly manicured appearance with proper posture and an air of arrogance which impressed most single women. Hank had once been a powerful attorney but had given up his practice in order to support Jack.
“Jack, we have an early budget meeting we need to get you to.” Rose stated.
Jack winced as if the word budget had been an arrow that pierced his skin.
“I know, I know,” he replied.
“If you know, then why are you not dressed and ready to go?”
“Probably, because I have only been awake for ten minutes.”
“Well, I will be back in twenty minutes and I want you to be one hundred percent ready when I come back.”
“Or…… how about I meet you for breakfast in the dining room?”
Rose briefly exited the room and then re-entered.
“Also, have you worked on your speech yet?”
“Remind me again why I fired my speech writer?”
“You said it was not representative of a state with a balanced budget.”
“Did I really say that?”
“I am pretty sure you did Sir.”
“I suppose you are going to tell me that that was a horrible error on my part.”
“Sir, I am not here to judge.”
“For some reason I am not sure I believe you.”
“Nice pajamas sir.”
Rose and Hank abruptly exited the room and Jack was alone again.
Once Jack was alone, he went back to the mirror, examined the frown marks in his forehead and the marks around his eyes. He paid particular attention to his pronounced double chin. He squashed his face and elongated his neck in order to lose his double chin for merely a moment as he contracted his neck and back while rotating his shoulders. Life seemed to roll off of his shoulders as he stretched his body.
“Only one more day,” Jack whispered to himself.
Jack stared out the window and felt the vibrations from the heavy rain thumping the windows. The rain fell sideways in a beautiful cascade of half sprinkle, half heavy rain drops. The mixture intrigued Jack as he opened the window. The rain entered the mansion pelting and subsequently staining the French carpet. The sound from the rain entered the room filling it with a pleasant air of rhythmic iambic pentameter. The pacing was marked by a half second pause between the third and fourth measure.
A moment in time was saved by Jack in his minds catalogue of memories. The moment when he conducted, theatrically, his first rain fall. He began by smoothly moving his hands from left to right in a flowing pattern and then speeding his hand movement up and down as if he were an actual conductor in front a large orchestra , he normally allowed for one moment of insanity a day. However this was Jacks’ first of many moments of complete dissolution on January 19th.
Shortly after his childlike wonderment of rain drops began, it ended with an aggressive closing of the window and an internal reprimand by his Freudian ego. He stood back following his exercise in disorder for a moment and then proclaimed.
“Well, it is another day.”
Craig Renner had worked as an assassin for six years. He had trained under Kolev Uluf, a cold war veteran of present day Russia. Kolev had trained Craig to work under pressure, to clean his soul of pain between jobs and to push love away. The idea of pushing love away had, in the beginning been easy for Craig who now pushed age fifty and had long allowed only lust in his heart. It was this lust that had recently pushed him away.
Craig was bald partially by nature and partially by habit. Craig had been trained to wax all of the body hair off of his body. He would tear at his skin building calluses over hair follicles in order to stop the growth. He limped on his left side due to a .357 magnum bullet lodged in his left hip, which represented his last visit with Kolev the assassin and the last visit Kolev would have with anyone else.
Craig worked under various alias names. Sometimes he was Craig Jenkins, or Stephen Harper, or Hank Dowdy. Each name had built up character in his mind. Craig Jenkins was from Chicago, spoke with an accent and worked as a garbage-man, Stephen Harper was a Harvard educated atheist and Philosophy Professor, and Hank Dowdy was from the deep-south and worked in a textile factory.
Craig had worked the system for years and had built up these characters by influencing local establishments and printing out large business cards. Kolev had also taught him how to live under the radar with simple requests to government agencies. Under Kolev, Craig had created a new system of acquiring false identity documents. It all began with social security numbers. Once a social security number was acquired everything else fell into place easily by simple request.
Kolev had devised a system to collect social security numbers based on the fatality of old people. However, Craig had taken that system a step further by going to the source, approaching an issuing agent at the Social Security Institute. His first step was meeting a large woman who would take to his physique and promise of love. He then acquired her badge and ran off three sets of numbers, named them and never saw her again.
Once the numbers were acquired he had to create a work history. He would take long periods of time working at jobs under certain names to build credibility in the city of choice. Once they had been aged enough to attend a University, he would break into the database and add the name and social security number to the graduating class. He would usually find a local Information Technology major with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt to do this for him. The one honest thing that Craig did was pay the struggling students.
The watermarks on the postcard would lead a common man to believe that it had been mailed from a far distance. However, after further inspection the postage stamp and the imbedded print on the cover would indicate a local purchase. Jack sat in the Governor’s office looking over the postcard. On the cover of the postcard was a large imprint of the FBI seal, on the opposite end was a phrase that Jack had read over and over again “meeting at one.” Jack glanced at the clock mounted on the wall, it read 835. Jack looked at his watch and it repeated the time.
Jack scanned through the papers on his desk. The list of documents included: notes on a budget meeting, a half written speech, and a stack of letters from citizens detailing random complaints.
Jack flipped the postmark over and over again. He scanned the paper for any hint of what the FBI could want with him. He thought about his campaign, his divorce, and his years in college.
During college Jack had been caught cheating on a final exam in an elective class that he registered for in order to spend time with a girl. Toward the end of the quarter he had realized that he had been performing horribly in the class and created a cheat card for the exam. The card was later found in the garbage by another student who turned it into the professor. This would not have been a huge ordeal if Jack had not written his full name on the card as well as the title “cheat card.” Subsequently Jack received a zero for the course, was placed on academic probation and completely humiliated. Even twenty years later when he felt any kind of pressure he felt the same embarrassment that he carried the day he was reprimanded for cheating.
Jack turned his chair around and looked out the large window. He stood up and stretched his arms out. The warm sun broke through the clouds and a bird flew onto the branch of the tree across the yard he was looking at.
Jack dreamed of a day when the whole world would disappear, when he could read the paper in leisure. He imagined himself with his feet parallel to his body in a recliner, sipping coffee and reading the Seattle Times.
Jack started working on his speech. He sighed. He scratched out a large portion of it violently.
“Why do I do this to myself?”
He began the speech.
“While I have been in office for four years, I have learned how to deal with people and…….”
“In the office of the Governor……”
“I am the Governor and everyone loves me.”
“Hey everyone remember me?”
He chuckled to himself.
The phone rang ending his speech writing session.
Craig would stare at his watch meticulously every time he had a job. He would think about the wind, the time, the location, and his drawn on eyebrows. He would think for days, writing out all of the details ahead. On this particular occasion he was one mile away from the Governors’ mansion, in a Holiday Inn Express writing feverishly on a pad of paper.
At first he would write the time down, then cross it out and write a different time out only to end up with the original time written once again. Craig would debate on whether or not to use the built in silencer, in which he had two, or the manual silencer in which he had one. He would then debate between the long scope or the manual clipping scope. He would place one on top of the other and then scratch a callous on either his leg or arm.
Large pieces of peeling skin would fall off his body. Normally an assassin would worry about DNA evidence but Craig had removed his DNA markers from the FBI and CIA databases via a large donation to the college education of an Information Technology Manager at DataCorps, the FBI- CIA data mining agency.
If under investigation all the FBI or CIA could do was link the DNA samples from other shootings tying them together, which didn’t bother Craig at all. In fact, Craig enjoyed the credit he was getting. It seemed completely logical to Craig that the CIA and FBI were looking for the same man who had no name and no traceable record in the system, a man who lived completely off the grid. Craig laughed to himself and then scratched a scab leaving chunks of flesh on the carpet of the third floor hotel room.
Craig stared through a scope at the Governor’s mansion. He traveled the scope from third street to second and then first. He looked to the window of the office of the Governor. The office was empty but a trace of light flickered as a bulb slowly died. Craig imagined the extinguishing light as the life of Jack Reynolds. He imagined the shooting of Jack Reynolds as his last job. He imagined a long vacation in the Bahamas with an unnamed divorcee.
The law offices of Martin and Dennison sparked the attention of Craig as he scanned back and forth on the road. A large group of protestors emerged from the law offices. The signs read “Union First” and “Tax breaks for Corporations” with a red line through it. Craig put the weapon scope down and stared through his widow with his naked eye.
The crowd of thirty-five people formed with large signs while Craig sat in a large chair reading a file from the table.
Craig stared intently at the file marked ‘Jack Reynolds.’
He opened the file viewing a family photograph of Jack with his ex-wife and children. He flipped the pages and read aloud his timeline for the day. He sipped from a Starbucks cup labeled ‘Hank.’
The phone rang in the next room. Craig continued sipping from his cup.
Diane Cantwell had been a therapist for twenty years and knew Jack better than any other person in the world, she knew when he was playing coy and when he was completely forthright. It took her years to chip away at Jack’s uncanny ability to win her vote. He worked on her for the better part of a year until Diane promised Jack that she would always and forever vote for him if he was on the ballot. Jack represented to her the longest client she had at her practice, an astonishing ten years since he first had sat on the couch. Her notes on him were located in a safe in the building’s basement; the safe was positioned behind two locked doors in which she possessed the sole key. Jack had demanded that his personal affairs be held private as he stated that he was a “public figure.”
In the files, Jack’s life came together including his abusive parents and his OCD practices, which were numerous. Diane scanned her last session with Jack in preparation for his upcoming visit. Her notes ranged from guarded to completely transparent. Jack had begun his previous weekly session by discussing the importance of love and how he thought he had found it yet she left him. His self-flagellation left much to be desired. Diane folded and unfolded her hands, she looked at the clock, she looked at her notes and then stared at the door. Moments passed as her anticipation rose.
Diane spent most of her time fingering a long string of yarn while she spoke to her clients, she would work her index and middle finger into the yarn creating an indentation in her hand from the curvature of her fingers. The yarn represented for her something to ground her from the tales that most of her clients told her, the distasteful journeys that she sometimes engaged in. She loved the yarn as she found it peaceful and relaxing. On rare occasion she would bring in a metal pick and force herself to create something. Sometimes it would be socks and other times it would be a large pillowcase.
Diane would take glances at herself in the mirror and feel such love for her surgeon crafted chin. She would study her jaw line and think about her early morning marathon training. Life in her eyes was very pleasant. Although the more she thought about Jack the more darkness clouded her mind.
Jack entered the room at precisely ten o’clock. The room before his arrival seemed large and empty however, once he opened the door his presence seemed much too large for the room itself. His suit was dark yet his mood was the complete opposite. He made his way towards Diane as if he was seeking out a re-election for his campaign, seemingly imposing his will upon her, forcing his smile on her and in-turn he hoped for her vote and her love.
Diane and Jack shook hands as if it were the first time; she felt the push of what she called his “political” face. He noticed her complete disappointment in him and attempted to change his demeanor. For Jack, it was nearly impossible to turn himself off and allow people to get to know not the political Jack, but the real Jack. He had shown his real side to his ex-wife and she had left him, his defenses were always up now. Following a forced handshake, Jack and Diane took their seats and stared at each other as part of a cat and mouse game that began every session.
Diane broke the silence by clearing her throat. Jack responded with “What?” In which Diane responded with “Oh, nothing.” The silence continued for a full three minutes.
Finally the façade was left vacant and Jack started talking. “I have been trying to diet but have found myself….”
“This is one of those things you either do or don’t do. We have talked about this, if you want it, you need to grasp it,” She responded.
Jack adjusted his seat and checked his posture, he then moved on to a game he called ‘guess what’s in my pocket,’ because he could never remember the contents of his pocket he would visualize the pockets and their contents. He guessed a lighter, a wallet, a pack of gum and his keys. He waited for a single moment and then pulled out the contents of his pockets, having correctly guessing all of the items.
“Playing the guessing game again?” Diane interjected.
Jack looked at her and sighed.
A moment passed as they studied each other. Diane waited for Jack to share and Jack fell back into the guarded politician that he played during interviews. He measured his words before they were spoken and watched his body language when he reverted back to this character. He felt the urge to please everyone. He thought about his lost loves and his seemingly lost hope in life. He pondered the end of his political career.
Diane on the other hand determined her bank ledger in her mind, she calculated to the penny every dollar in her account, she then added in the four hundred dollar fee that would soon be allocated to her via the state of Washington. The state paid for the Governors therapy as a back door deal for politicians. The state budget had black holes in which the Government was allowed to pay for certain items in cash, it was called the slush fund. Normally, the slush cash was used at adult entertainment clubs frequented by the previous Governor, however in the case of Jack it was used to hide his mental imbalance discovered only after the Democratic Party in Washington State had pushed him through the primaries.
Since opening her practice a mere ten years prior Diane had built a reputation of repairing the wounded souls of veterans, while Jack was not a veteran he was the highest state executive branch official in the state. She was trusted and had to pass a background check before the government would allow her to speak to a single client. Her present list of clients included the Governor and two state senators as well as a large number of sports figures.
Jack internally felt the extra padding around his waist line and hoped for it all to be gone. He daydreamed about the last cheeseburger he ate. He pictured the Kaiser roll bun, the thinly sliced tomato, iceberg lettuce leaf, ketchup, mustard, pickle, onion, and then finally the pepper-jack cheese lying on top of a lean cut piece of animal carcass. His lips quivered.
Diane stared at the wall for a long moment. Jack recognized her wandering mind.
Diane broke the silence, “Have you had any dreams about the cave recently?”
Blood markings were splattered on the walls of the cave as Jack woke up to a large screeching noise. The distinct scream of a life left un-kept, a life left without a reason to continue. The walls represented the world suffocating around Jack. Blood drips cascaded over the ceiling of the cave and rained pain upon him.
Slowly Jack peeled his eyes open one eyelid at a time. He rolled around in the fetal position screaming at the top of his lungs. He checked his pockets for a sign, any sign that would tell him why or where he was, but could only bend his arms and hands slightly due to a pain poking him inside of his body. His organs pulled in every direction, his blood boiled, his heart raced. He stared into the far distance focusing on a small speck on the wall, a speck that incorporated his entire existence. He saw himself for what he really was: a complete fraud.
He tore off his shirt and rolled to his side. He felt like an alien inside of his body, as if his body was foreign to him. He felt his happiness stolen from him. The cloud of blood surrounded him as a single tear fell from his face. He shook uncontrollably.
“Do you think you are here alone” a voice said.
Jack looked up from the ground and stared toward the originating location of the sound but could not see anyone. He examined the wall from which it seemed to have been bellowed from. The wall was dark with splattered drawn characters on it. The wall seemed to breathe as it expanded and then retracted. Jack smiled to himself breaking his facial expression from frown.
“Do you think you are alone” was repeated seemingly from the wall.
The examination continued of the wall as Jack positioned himself from the ground into the kneeling position. His shoes were damp and smelled of pungent gasoline. The light flickered into his eyes and then seemed to vanish into thin air. His muscles convulsed and then released under a heavy dew of fragrant flowers that rained onto him from above. The white lilies and red roses coated his body and stuck to him, petals coated his torso and hair. “Do you think you are alone” repeated once again.
“Yes, I do. I am pretty sure I am alone,” he bellowed in return to the voice and then silence filled the room like a large elephant straddling the walls between the entrance and exit. A second turned into five and then twenty, thirty and finally a full minute. The silence felt like a heavy weight on the chest of Jack as he moved from the rock slab he began on, to a wall carved out with lettering on it.
Jack felt the wall in order to make out lettering and a possible clue to his whereabouts. After a few minutes of feeling the wall Jack fell to the ground. He felt a complete feeling of hopelessness wash over him, he felt as if he were somehow misplaced in life. He pulled at his skin and yanked at his arm for being so useless.
The flickering light returned with a large hallow burn in Jack’s eyes and then words.
“Here he is!” the voice said.
“Here I am” Jack repeated.
Footsteps made their way towards Jack as terror crawled up his spine. He felt the complete loss of movement as the steps came closer and closer. He felt the rhythmic motion of the ground he sat on from the nearing footfall. He measured their distances from the depth of their weight onto the ground. He figured that they were twenty feet away, and then ten feet away. He felt the burn of the lamps they carried, he felt the beat of their feet as they approached. Within a foot or two of him he stood up as to defend himself. He stood up to stand up to the very people who put him here. He stood and he screamed at the top of his lungs “here I am, come get me!”
Craig pulled his crucifix out from under his shirt and kissed it before placing back under his shirt. He smiled to himself while looking down the scope toward the office of Jack Reynolds. He smiled to himself and waited. He waited while sweat poured off his face and his arms tightened. He had stood in the same position waiting for forty-five minutes. He waited for the perfect shot. He waited for what seemed like an eternity.
Ten minutes prior to the shooting, a rat had traveled up his leg and had been biting on his scabs. Craig held his position through the biting as his calluses had built up a resistance to pain. The rat chewed intently as Craig wouldn’t break his concentration. Craig did not want to miss his opportunity. He didn’t want to let one second of opportunity be wasted. He searched for his opportunity. He waited, watched, he blocked out everything. Nothing in the world meant anything to Craig during the moments of an execution. He would hold a statuesque pose for hours at a time in order to wait for the exact moment when his finger would smoothly caress the trigger.
Craig felt a large chunk of his skin pulled away from his body but he didn’t care. He then felt something he hadn’t felt in years: blood. He was bleeding from his leg an act that hadn’t occurred in over three years. His blood dripped from his leg onto his sock and into his shoe. His shoe weighed heavily on his level position, the position he had held for nearly an hour.
The office of the Governor is large and for the most part has housed happy people who have made difficult decisions for the state. Some, like the passage of labor laws and tax credits for the poor, were relatively easy and others that held controversy were extremely difficult. Jack’s new bill that he was working on was an extremely difficult one that was layered with complications. In the beginning, the bill was a safety net for employers in regards to health insurance after employment ends. Originally, the bill was to safe guard the employees with free medical insurance for double the amount of employment time, if they had been an employee for six years then their coverage would be twelve years of free medical.
The bill was extremely costly but Jack was an optimist, he had been working on the bill for four years. The bill had gone from double the employment time to ten percent of the employment time, however Jack knew how the game was played so he had asked for double as a beginning negotiation point. The bill had come full circle in the four years it had been in the system and on this day it was to become a law. Jack picked up his pen and signed the bill. He felt a great sense of relief.
With the bill signed, he picked up the phone and called his secretary.
“Hello Fran, I need you to deliver this paperwork to the…….”
“Jack, the FBI is here” Fran interrupted.
Jack looked at his watch, it read 1 PM. “Well, let them in I guess.”
Moments later a tall, slightly balding man entered the Governor’s office. He smiled, insincerity was behind it. Jack saw him as a lion although he more closely resembled a meerkat.
Tom Evans was six foot three inches and weighed nearly three hundred pounds, a fact that he did not share with other people. Tom attempted to hide his weight by wearing layers of clothing or large jackets. He had been with the FBI for nine years and three months. He loved his job but hated the depictions of his job in movies. He saw the film industry as a medium of sensationalized actions and his life reflected that of a calm man who carried himself with intellect and slight superiority.
Tom’s badge was appropriately placed on his belt buckle in front of the small holster of his hand gun which had never been pulled out of the holster in the line of duty. Primarily Tom was a paper pusher who followed up investigations and lived a life of normalcy. Tom carried a small briefcase with him.
“Hello sir, my name is Tom Evans, and I am with the FBI.”
Tom and Jack shook hands with each taking their seat afterwards.
“This is kind of a memorable time for me,” Tom said.
“Why is that?”
“Well, this marks number fifty out of fifty for me.”
“I get to be the last one huh?”
“I suppose you do.”
“Well, here it is. Welcome, I guess.”
“This is really cool man.”
Jack sighed and looked outside. His mind scrambled for any sign of the agents purpose in his office.
“Mr. Evans, I am a bit curious as to why you would want to see me on my last day.”
“Well, I understand that you are curious, that this is all a bit confusing to you but there are two reasons I am here.”
A slight pause forced Jack to say, “and what are those.”
“Well, Mr. Governor…”
“You can call me Jack.”
“Well…..Jack…..let me get started with a few items that we found on you four years ago.”
Tom pulled out a file from the briefcase he carried, the file was marked ‘Jack Reynolds.’
“Well, Jack we did some digging, as I am sure that you anticipated when you ran for office, and we found some interesting facts that you may or may not know about yourself. Now I don’t want you to feel weird about it or anything, we have to do this for every one of the Governors on their last days.”
Jack felt a sense of relief as Tom opened the file.
“You have stated in the press that you will no longer run for public office, is that correct?”
“I told the state when I was elected that I was here to help and then move on with my life.”
“You see, I want you to hold to that promise because when I share with you the information that the FBI has on you, it is going to change your life. It is going to make you see things a little different.”
“What if I didn’t want to know?”
“You see here is where the problem is. I don’t want to tell you, you don’t want to know, yet I have to tell you because of this thing.”
“Okay, well don’t get upset here but we might have had a slight break in at the local FBI office and your file, as well as many others, might have been compromised.”
“And why doesn’t that shock me.”
“I say might because we really don’t know; the office is full of these cameras. You know the cameras that see and hear everything. Well this night the cameras were disabled somehow and one thing leads to another and bam the files are out. Let me re-phrase that, could have potentially been leaked during the black-out period.”
“Okay, let me break it down to you like this, we are doing an internal investigation, you see nothing was taken but certain files may have been opened. We really don’t know. We think that nothing happened but you know if we don’t inform the citizen it kind of gets messy.”
“So, let me get this right. You have some information on me that you kept and that information could potentially be in the hands of a criminal? What kind of information was it?”
“Nothing crazy, just you know your run of the mill items like social security number, tax records, personal history, high school transcripts, college transcripts, and whatnot.”
“By the way, I went to the University of Washington also and that is a great school, just really great.”
“I am a little more concerned with the information that was in the files getting out.”
“Well this is where the plot thickens.”
“What do you mean?”
“You know the movement of the plot is enriched by the suggestion of a different more alluring subject?”
“Obviously you are not a literary fan. Well yesterday, following the break-in we received three death threats on your life. Not that that is unheard of, we receive three or four a week normally, but this one used specific information on your personal history.”
Jack turned his chair to face the outside, it was still raining. He quickly turned back around to face Tom.
“So what does that mean for me?”
“Well, here is the deal; you know, can I just tell you really quick that I lost a bet so I had to come tell you this. Can you believe that?”
Jack’s face turned sour, yet Tom continued.
“I know that is not a good thing to hear right now, but it is the truth. I want you to know that the good people at the FBI are all over this. I mean we are going to catch this guy. So feel calm about all of this.”
“How can I be calm?”
“Well, you know you take a breath; you maybe think about happy places, you know stuff like that.”
“So what was so damaging about the information in the file?”
“Besides the tax records and personal data?”
“Yes. I mean I have nothing to hide that people don’t already know about me.”
“See and here is where it gets a little crazy. I think we had information on you that maybe you don’t know about.”
Jack laughs aloud and then continues with “I don’t believe you.”
“Okay, so in your file…” Tom skims through the file and then looks back up to Jack. “Well, did you know that the Machinists’ Union had issued a Fatwa against you? We don’t really have a timeline on the beginning or end of the issuing of said Fatwa but we are sure that they did issue one.”
“I can imagine that they would be upset by my inner state policies.”
“Do you know who Bill Smoak is?”
“No. I can’t say that I have heard of him.”
“Bill Smoak is the head of the Union and has spoken publicly about your part in destroying his Union support.”
“Well, Unions have been ruining certain local businesses.”
“Listen man, I understand. That is not the deal here. The deal here is that we want to make sure that you don’t put yourself in situations that you could be considered vulnerable.”
“I don’t live my life like that, this is my last day and I won’t limp out on my final day.”
“Unfortunately, I believe it is going to come out.”
“Well, stop it, isn’t that what you guys do?”
“Sometimes, but not in this case.”
“Why not in this case?”
“This case is rare. This case is one of those special moments that stands out in the lives of people.”
“Well, what am I suppose to say now?”
“Listen, I know you are…………”
Silence was held as Tom stared blankly at Jack and Jack stared at the back side of the door. Finally Jack broke the silence “just get out, I don’t care. Get out!”
Tom abruptly gathered his things and walked out of the room.
For a moment Jack was frozen in his chair. He was frozen to the thoughts of his past. He envisioned the speech he had given only a year prior. Jack could have spared the Union sentiment but the Corporation had made such a significant donation to his campaign, that they nearly owned him. He could have stopped the execution but he felt nothing for the Union. He lacked the ability to wrap his mind around the idea of ruining the lives of thousands of employees who lost their jobs due to his Anti-Union stance.
Jack stood up and stretched his arms in front of the window. The rain had stopped and the sun was beginning to peak out of the clouds. A noise startled Jack and he felt a slight tear at his shirt. He touched his shirt and felt blood. He looked for the trace of the blood only to feel himself fall to the ground.
The bullet traveled at a speed of five hundred and thirty one miles per hour from a hotel over a mile away. It was sixty-two degrees on a Monday.
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