A Crowd Sourced Novel
Read it here – Say what comes next.
Frank always felt exhausted after an airplane trip, even in a wide first-class seat. He stared out the window, Dan Mahoney at the isle. The cuffs hurt and a muscle cramp formed in his back. No food. No sleep. No conversation.
In Washington, they met two other agents at the gate. Big, fit, cut-from-the-mold government jocks. Again, just like his long walk through O’Hare, wearing the cuffs made him blush. Nobody pointed, but he saw the looks followed by the averted gazes. Then the lobby and the flash of news cameras. Frank never expected to make the national news. Now everybody knew his face.
After a ride in a closed van, he sat cuffed to a steel chair at a big steel table. The room—gray walls, low ceiling. He tried to get comfortable and noticed his chair bolted to the floor. He pushed against the desk. Bolted too. The big mirror obviously gave a view from outside the room. Minutes crawled like worms.
The door finally swung open and Mahoney strode in. “Well, I hope they’re treating you well. Care for a bottle of Perrier?”
Frank didn’t answer.
“Not talkative? Perhaps I should have you fitted for an orange suit.”
Frank felt his stomach turn over. He knew from watching television not to talk without counsel. “I want a lawyer.”
Mahoney laughed. “You can dream about that the rest of your life. Officially, Frank Smith has already met with his attorney and is now in a neat cell awaiting trial. But we both know that isn’t true, don’t we?
Frank decided to keep his answers short and not commit to anything. “That’s illegal.”
“What do you mean? Frank Smith will go through the system quite legally. I can do pretty much what I want with…” He flipped a hand. “With you.”
“You can’t do that.”
“No, you’re quite right about that. I can’t do that to a person. But in case you didn’t realize it, your physical presence here is something of an enigma. You seem to be a specter. ” He laughed again. “You’re a ghost, Mr. Smith. There aren’t any laws on the books protecting ghosts. Haven’t you heard about advanced interrogation techniques? I can bury you alive and the world will believe you’re awaiting sentence.”
Frank’s stomach turned again and he thought he’d retch. How could this be happening in the United States? Then it dawned on him. He wasn’t dealing with the justice system. He was in the hands of a dirty agent. He groaned and tears welled in his eyes.
Mahoney’s voice took on an edge. “Spare me the histrionics.”
“Just exactly what do you want?”
The red-headed man went still a moment. Then: “So easy? Wouldn’t it be more fun to spend a few days in a cell with some warm company and come visit me at odd hours? I heard you were tough. Surely you’ll push back, test your limits.”
“I’m not a criminal.”
“Oh, Mr. Smith, I am disappointed. I was so looking forward to… Not a criminal, you say? How many have you killed? That policeman at the train station…” He clucked his tongue. “Let’s call that one indiscreet.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Mahoney shook his head then rubbed his brow with his fingers for a while. After a few minutes he spoke: “Harris says you’re part of a new mob moving into Chicago. Seems you’re tearing down the Grasso family by twos.”
Mahoney sighed and ran his fingers through his thick red hair. “Whatever. Too much has happened to believe that. But even if it were true, old boy, what difference does it make now? ”
That puzzled Frank. How could the truth not matter?
“You appear so perplexed. Don’t you understand, Mr. Smith? I don’t need facts from you. I need action.”
“I’m just an insurance salesman.”
Mahoney ignored him. “There’s a situation brewing. We know the Russians are planning a move on Chicago soon.”
“What does that have to do with me?”
“Why, Mr. Smith, surely that’s obvious. Thanks to you, the door is open to them. You are going to sabotage their little party.”
Frank felt completely overwhelmed. What was he supposed to do against the Russian mob? Maybe it would be better to stay in prison. “I can’t help you.”
“If you take that path, you’ll never see the sun again.”
“This is America. You can’t do that to me.”
“Transport to another country can be arranged.”
HOW TO PLAY–This is an interactive novel. Tell me what comes next. I’ll try to fit it in.
1.) IT’S EASY – Enter an idea, such as: “their jeep drives off a cliff.” I’ll try to write it in.
2.) KEEP IT CLEAN – If it wouldn’t fly in a 60’s Bond flick, then it’s out.
3.) SHARE – If I publish, I’ll list contributors prominently. I take you at your word that all ideas are your original thoughts.
© 2011 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved