“Hello, boy. How are the bracelets holding out for you?” I asked, turning to look at the reprobate in the back of the cart. He glared back at me, eyes burning above the gag. He raised his hands in their cuffs and raised his middle fingers. “Nice and comfy then?” I turned back to the road and started whistling. I could see a pull in up ahead, somewhere I could have a little chat with my new pet.
I called the horses to a stop and jumped down from the cart. He was breathing heavily, nostrils flaring as he tried to get away, but I grabbed him by the ankles and dragged him onto the dirt.
“Now then. I’m gonna take the gag off and you’re gonna tell me what happened. Deal?” There was more glaring, but he nodded eventually. I reached around his head and pulled at the know.
“You fucking sh-” I punched him in the face. God, but it felt good.
“You’re gonna be polite. Ain’t ya?”
“Whatever man. Just let me go!” He was looking a bit scared now, his eye already showing signs of a bruise. “Look, I’m sorry about…”
I raised a hand to silence him and his mouth snapped shut. “We’re not going to talk about that just yet. First, you’re gonna tell me where you put the money.”
“Starr took it. He took it all, said he was gonna let us all know when it was safe to collect. I mean, he was the guy in charge, it was his idea to fuck with you, I’m innocent. It was all Starr.” He’d even started blubbering. “Please, I don’t want to die.”
I walked over to the cart and reached below the seat. I took the rifle out, made sure he could see the gleaming metal in the sunlight as I grabbed the powder too.
I took my time loading, letting him squirm. “Alright, boy. Stand up.” He started to cry, great gulping sobs as he struggled to his feet. I took a step towards him. And another. Every step sent him shaking with fear like a leaf in the breeze. I kept going until I was in arm’s reach. “You’re never gonna mess with anyone else like you guys did to me, are ya?”
He nodded vigorously. “No, I won’t, please, I swear, nothing.” I took the handcuff key from my pocket and unlocked the cuffs.
“Fair enough then. On you go. Philly’s that way.” He just stared at me, jaw hanging loose as he tried to process what I’d said. I leaned in close and whispered in his ear, “I suggest you start running.”
He did. As fast as his little legs would take him. I raised the rifle, sighted at the shrinking figure, then pulled the trigger. He went down like somebody had tripped him.
“Like I said,” I said as I dropped the rifle, “You won’t be screwing with anyone else like you did me.” I spat on the ground and headed back to the cart. I placed the rifle on the seat, then took a moment to try and stretch my shoulder. Damn thing still ached where the ball had gone in.
But at least now I knew which of those fuckers had organised the collective backstabbing. Jonathan Starr, Bastard-in-chief.
Revenge is a dish best served with a dash of hope.
The Idiot in Tin Foil