The defendant registered no signs of emotion as the police led him down the hall and hardly batted an eye as they took the cuffs off and shoved him in the holding room. The door clanged loudly behind him with a stirring suggestion of finality.
He was thinking about that day in June, six months ago, when all this started. It had been a beautiful day, the sun was shining, people were smiling and everything was going exactly as planned.
He’d gotten to the stadium punctually and was walking up the corridor to the gates that led to the vantage point he’d chosen weeks before. His Boss had paid someone very well for the access and his mind was very clear about the job at hand — a relatively easy piece of work.
The people milling about didn’t notice the two tubes he was carrying, or if they did, they showed no interest. The tubes contained a two-piece Savage .300 magnum rifle with long-range scope. Since this was the World Series, the entire stadium was jam-packed. A bullet could come from anywhere and would be impossible to track. At least not until he was long gone – sipping a Pina Colada in Barbados, perhaps.
That’s what the man was counting on. It was his job to make sure he made the hit and got out of there as quickly as possible. The person he’d been contracted to kill was Antonio “The Face” Scarpelli, who’d been muscling in on his Boss’s territory.
The man headed to the gate that led to the top steps of the stadium where he would have good camouflage and easy access. He was almost to the gate, away from the crowd, when he felt a light tug on his coat sleeve. He wheeled around quickly, half expecting to see a security guard. He sighed with relief when he saw a small smiling red-haired boy about six years old. He looked at the child questioningly. The boy took one of the tubes from behind his back. The tube contained the barrel and scope end of the rifle.
“Is this yours, mister?” the child asked innocently. “You dropped it way back there.” His little arm pointed back toward the concession stand. The man tried to smile but his heart was pounding.
“Ah, yes,” he began, “thank you very much, young man.” He reached out for the tube. The boy watched him intently but did not offer to give him the tube. Kid wants a tip, thought the man. He reached into his pocket. All he had was a five. He begrudgingly handed it to the boy and reached again for the tube.
The child backed away, smiling. The man looked around nervously. He knew he’d better not make a scene with this kid. He smiled weakly at the boy, still holding out his hand.
“Please give me the tube, son,” he asked quietly, the way he talked to his dog. The boy, still smiling, turned and started to run. He wanted the man to chase him. It was a game. Tag. And the man was “it”.
The man ran swiftly after the boy, cursing under his breath. He had almost caught up to him when the boy stumbled and fell to the ground. The tube hit the floor hard, the impact knocking the top end of the tube off. Out came the barrel and scope, sliding across the floor.
Everything stopped. The child cried. People stared. The man turned to run but was immediately overcome by armed security.
And he had spent the last six months in jail waiting for his trial. The bailiff came back and again led him down the corridor, back to the courtroom where the judge and jury awaited.
“Members of the jury…have you reached your verdict?” asked the judge. A short bespectacled man stood and addressed the judge in a clear nasal voice.
“Yes, your Honor. The jury finds the defendant guilty as charged.” There was a general noise of approval in the courtroom as the bailiff led the defendant out of the room and down the corridor for the last time.
The man spit on the ground as they led him in cuffs out to a vehicle that would take him to the prison where he would spend the next twenty years of his life. All because of that little brat, he thought to himself. He cursed and vowed to never have kids. After twenty years in prison, he’d be too old anyway.
Rollin Jewett is an award winning playwright, screenwriter, singer/songwriter, poet, author and photographer. His screenwriting credits include “Laws of Deception” and “American Vampire”. His short stories, poetry and photography have been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies and his plays have been produced all over the world.