|News NetworkSecret Meeting|
|By Armando Garcia (28/03/2012)||1450 words|
The below story is fictional and has not been modified in any way through the editorial process. Any similarities with persons living or dead is purely coincidental. The content below may contain explicit material not suitable for children.
It was a warm morning, the sun up in the sky smiled at the land as it caressed it with its gentle rays. John had woken up at nine; he was ready for his meeting at the group he had joined two months ago.
He got his usual gear, which consisted of a mobile phone, a wrist watch, a wallet with a single ID, in this case, a driver's license, a case for a pair of contact lenses that he had already put on, and a lighter; and got out of his house.
He lived on a rather peaceful part of the city; the regular situations one had to deal with were stray dogs running amok or a group of kids playing on the street with a ball they seemed to be unable to control.
John got into his car, a blue Malibu, turned the engine on and got on his way. He was supposed to arrive at half past nine at a very important meeting, and he did not want to be late.
As soon as he got on the more crowded roads, he sensed something, a familiar feeling: his subconscious mind was picking up on a certain detail that his conscious mind was not yet aware of. He started sweating and looked around, trying to find the reason for his mind's unrest.
He looked into the rear-view mirror and confirmed his fear: A white SUV was following him. "A rather sloppy way of tailing someone" he thought; and, after this idea came up, he had another just as alarming as the first one: "Maybe I'm supposed to notice them, maybe they are not following me to see where I go, maybe it is a hit squad, maybe they are hoping I'll lose the SUV so they can follow me calmly with a different car." He decided to put his theories to the test as he accelerated at a dangerous speed, the SUV stayed behind, thus confirming that last suspicion. He took a deep breath and surveyed his surroundings, looking for that second car following him.
Another car a few meters behind him looked odd enough to be deemed dangerous: A red Mustang with a group of teenagers inside; the driver, a blonde male with sunglasses, sped up and slowed down constantly, as if he were testing John's resolution to stay away from them.
That was the perfect cover, John knew that hit men usually don't take out their victims themselves; they hire someone else if they can. Those teenagers were probably waiting for the right opportunity to complete their assignment.
"Could the group have leaked my information and marked me for death? Probably, but why?" John's mind wandered off with a thousand new theories: The woman he talked to after his last meeting could've been a spy checking in on him. Maybe someone else was onto him for a completely different reason. Whatever the case, he hated himself for not having been paying the usual attention to his surroundings lately, all because he was too busy with his work. "That is no excuse" he thought, "The nature of your job compels you to pay attention". He decided to keep his examination for another time and focused on his present situation.
He had twenty more minutes before his meeting started, which meant he had to shake off the red Mustang and keep an eye out for the SUV and other vehicles that might be following him.
He drove past his usual exit and decided he would double back later. John stopped at a convenience store; the security cameras, parked cars and customers should be enough for his pursuers to feel discouraged and change tactics, this would give John enough time to come up with a couple of his own.
He parked the car and what he saw made his blood freeze: The red mustang parked directly beside him, one of the boys opened the door and got out of the car, the others remained there, with the engine running. That was it! He was going to kill him and then quickly get back into the car; they would drive off, and any witnesses nearby would be too busy ignoring the incident or attending his wounds to care about the perpetrators. John hated himself for not having asked for a gun permit when he had the chance.
He looked at the teenager, who got out of the car, and at the others waiting for him; they were just talking and laughing; "Very professional for an improvised hit squad, they don't let their intentions to be apparent", he thought. The one who had left the car entered the store and a brief moment later was coming out with two six packs of beer. He entered the car and they drove off.
The perfect alibi, and also, a clear message for him: "We will let you go this time, but, we are close". John stayed parked for a while. He still had ten more minutes to get to his meeting. He drove back to the road slowly, his subconscious was warning him to be cautious. He looked around quickly and noticed that the SUV that he had left behind was now waiting for a red light to change; conveniently, the SUV was the same distance away as the Mustang was before.
John drove off quickly before the light changed, hoping to gain a few seconds to get lost in traffic, and he did so successfully, the SUV went straight ahead, unaware that John had just made a forbidden turn to the right that almost caused him to crash, but it got the job done.
He still had five minutes to arrive to his meeting so he decided to park his car a few blocks away and walk to the building. He approached a street vendor and bought a single cigarette, took out his lighter and lit it. John did not particularly enjoyed smoking, but in this case he was just doing it as a clever tactic to check his surroundings without raising any suspicion in anyone who could be observing him. This same tactic had helped him get out of tough spots many times in the past, and had proved to be useful once again: a man was staring at him from across the street.
An adrenaline rush filled his body as he approached that man; this time he was not going to run, this time he was going to confront him and demand answers.
-What the fuck are you doing? -he asked, acknowledging his lack of touch gave his target the perfect excuse to cover up his intent.
-Relax man, I don't want trouble -the man replied.
-You've got it anyway -He said as he threw a punch, hitting the man's face.
John took a defensive stance as the man answered his attack with one of his own, it was evident he was well trained as he dodged his attacks and was able to knock him down, something not many were able to accomplish.
A third man joined the fight, but he defused the situation.
-Let it go man, it's not worth it -said the third guy.
John's opponent left as he stood up, it was obvious that whoever was after him, did not want him dead, that morning John had been careless enough to give them enough opportunities to kill him, that had just been one of them.
He continued walking as he thought about his encounters with those resourceful opponents. "If they don't want to kill me, what do they want?" As he got closer to the building and asked himself that question, the answer popped up in his mind: Of course! The group! Those men were not trying to kill him, they were looking for information on those meetings, and who better to give them that information about what goes on inside than someone already involved in them.
He then knew he would be seeing the SUV again, the only question was: would he cooperate? Or would he decline the offer to become a spy for whoever wanted the information?
John brushed off these thoughts as he entered the building, his meeting was about to commence and it was advised he paid attention to nothing else for the duration of it.
He walked towards the front desk and greeted the receptionist, before continuing on his way. He cleared his mind as he entered the elevator and pressed the button that would take him to the third floor, where his meeting was already starting.
Next to the elevator, a poster in blue letters read:
"PARANOIDS ANONYMOUS SUPPORT GROUP ON THIRD FLOOR.
COACH: JOHN M.
DON'T WORRY, WE CAN HELP"
|Billy Moffat 2006-2012, All Rights Reserved|
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