Monday, January 28, 2013

Dream Girl

                                                        Dream Girl

          Smithy woke up for the second time in as many as three days from the same dream.  It had been so real every time, in fact it got more vivid and prolonged each time. In the dream he knew he was in his neighborhood but sometime in the future. He also knew that the year was 2022 because for some strange reasons he knew he was ten years older. Most of the houses were abandoned; some were not even standing, like an earthquake had leveled them flat. His was one of the two that were in a slightly habitable fashion and that left a lot to be desire. All the windows were boarded with plywood or old storm shutters with small peep hole for looking out. The roof had multiple leaks and water would pour whenever the torrential rains made their way across the sky; even though for some strange reason they never lasted more than an hour. The humidity was unbearable after the rain stopped and with no electric there were no fans or air conditioning.  Smithy was all alone and found himself scrunching for every bit of food. The water was undrinkable and the sun was hotter than he had ever felt it. The only neighbors were heavily armed and shared nothing they had and seem to have been prepared for this period of time. North, east, west and south in every direction the roads were not drivable and not that he had any gas for his old Dodge charger which he had purchased back in 2007.  The only safe time to move around and look for food or any items to make life a little more bearable was at night. For some strange reason he knew he had to still be careful not to be seen or worst, captured. There were soldiers in gray uniforms who drove around in gray army jeeps and trucks. While he was awake and in the now, the present he could not recall ever seeing this type of uniforms. All his research turned up nothing of this military attire or any armed forces here on earth. For the fifth night he was back in the future and was being chase by two men and a woman in those infamous uniforms. He could not remember being so terrified or scared in all his thirty two years though ten of them he couldn't remember ever living them. He turned a corner and heard someone in a low voice and then in a soft but audible whistles calling him. Having no option he turned and headed in the person's direction. The woman with her five year old child in tow pulled him into a house that was barely standing, yet in the total darkness they knew exactly where they were going. The three hunkered down in a back room lid by a single candle. There was a bed and a few shelves that held can goods and other supplies. “Stay still and don't make a sound and they won’t find us” whispered the woman. Her son seem to know the routine because he quickly and silently took a corner of the bed, folded his legs and brought his knees up under his chin and rested his head there. He then closed his eye and seems to be praying in silent mood. The sound of footsteps could be heard on the outside wall and the woman who had introduced herself as Carol, leaned forward and blew out the candle leaving them in absolute darkness. Smithy woke up from all the light coming through the slats in his mini blinds, “I have to hang some sun block curtains one of these days” was his first thought. The final scenario of his dream was his second thought and trying to make sense of it was becoming a daily labor.
          After seven days of constant dreaming, Smithy began to wake up exhausted like he had spent every sleeping minute awake, living a second life. The dreams had become more intense and so real that he would wake up sweating like he had run a marathon. At work his coworkers started to ask questions when they caught him day dreaming. The dreams had started to affect his real life. He began to get paranoid not knowing at times when he was awake and when he was dreaming. His two worlds began to merge together and he felt like he was losing his mind.
          Two weeks had now passed and still the dreams. Carol had become part of that world and during his waking moments he could not stop worrying about her and her son. He felt stupid and yet he couldn't help worrying about her. To him she had become as real as the flesh he could pinch. Not being able to focus at work, Smithy left early that Friday and went straight home. He was exhausted, so he showered and laid on his couch to watch TV. After an hour he had been dozing on and off and knew he had because the programs had changed. Finally sleep got the better of him and he found himself once again in the small dark room with Carol and her son Kenny. The three were eating food from a can and planning to make a run for more food that night. Carol was explaining to Smithy that unless they went to one of the new government buildings, which really weren't new but building the government had taken over for their own use and got a stamp on the right hand or their forehead; that they couldn't buy food or walk around freely.  “Then let's do that and we wouldn't have to hide all the time” Smithy replied not understanding what the problem was and hearing this for the first time. “You mustn't do that” she said with a sense of urgency. “If you let them stamp you, it's as good as selling your soul to the devil, and you can’t ever change your mind or remove the stamp. I rather starve and die then give into them, they brain wash you into believing that it's the right thing to do, and then you realize that it's all a lie. You might as well see the lie for what it is and try making it to the end.” Smithy stared at the woman before him with her unkempt dirty blond hair and her baggy clothes which were two sizes too big for her frame and knew that in better times she had to have been stunning. Her eyes were true deep blue like that of the sky on a cloudless day right before darkness arrives. She asked, “Why are you staring at me like that?” He snapped out of the trance she held on him at the moment and was a little embarrassed to even answer. The words came out before he knew he had said them, “Because you’re beautiful.” Politely she replied, “Thank you smithy, but as for beautiful, that would be a piece of fruit if we found one to eat.” They both laughed and he realized that it was the first time they had laughed since they first met two weeks ago, when she had saved his life. Smithy noticed that it was also the first time that it was daytime in his dream world. He also wondered why they weren't outside so he asked, “Why are we stuck inside when it's light out?” Immediately she answered his question, “because we would be captured for sure and we would be forced to get stamped or they will kill us if we refuse.” He studied her for a minute and saw that she was serious, but had to ask anyway. “You're not joking are you?” he stared at her and waited for her answer. “No,” she replied, “where have you been for the last six years under a rock? If we survive one more year and the chances are we won't, this will all be over.” She sat there and a tear ran down her face. “How do you know all this?” He asked. “Because I was raised in a Christian home, and I wouldn’t listen to my parents who told me this would happen.” They both fell silent for a moment and then he asked, “Where are your parents now?” she quickly answered “In heaven” more tears wet her eyes but she wiped them back. “I don't understand” he replied but didn't get an answer because someone banged on the door and woke him up. In a way he was relieved to be back, but Carol was always at the forefront of all his thoughts. He got up, walked over to the front door and found his mother stranding there looking a little irritated. “I’ve been wondering where you been at lately that you haven’t taken a minute to call your mother” were the first words out of her mouth. “Hello, to you too mother” he replied and held the door open for her to enter. She followed him into the living room and sat on the Ez-chair and he sat on the couch he’d been sleeping on. “Mother do you think you can answer a question for me?” He asks her with a serious look on his face. “Well first you have to ask and I’ll see if I have the answer” she replied. “Do you know anything about a stamp that people have to take on their bodies in order to buy food or other goods in the future; I’m talking about the future?” His mother took a deep breath before she answered, “Well not really, just what I’ve heard from bible thumpers. They have this myth that the world is going to end soon, though they have been spreading this kind of nonsense for the last few centuries and we are still here. Why do you ask, is this what’s been bothering you so much that it’s been weeks since you called your mother. And that’s why I’m here, because I was worried about you.” She sat there staring at him with a smile. “I’m okay” he replied and then continued, “I’ve just been having these recurring dreams that are too real to ignore. Why was it that we never went to church?” He asked without taking his eyes off his mother. She lowered her head as she gave her reply; “I did when I was young and found that it wasn’t for me. They always try to scare you into believing that we go to hell if we are not one of them, that’s all.” They sat there without saying a word before he broke the silence. “Well I need to find out the truth because I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep unless I do.” After another fifteen minutes his mother got up to leave, walked over to him and warned him not to stay out of touch for any length of time, she kissed him on the forehead and left him where he was sitting.
          That Friday night was the first time in over three weeks that Smithy slept through the entire night without spending a minute in his dreams. Saturday though he woke up with an air of uneasiness that he had never felt in all his twenty two years. He took a bath and dress, got his car keys and stepped outside. He walked over to the car which last month he had made the last payment and opened the door. Without a clue as to a destination he started the engine and headed south. A mile south he jumped on the expressway with three quarters of a tank and decided to drive till he was close to empty, then fill up and turn back. This had been his way of thinking things through since buying his Charger five years ago. His father had co-signed the loan for him when he graduated from high school and after all these years the car still looked new. He always enjoyed driving the car but today it didn’t feel like pleasure but a mission. What the mission was he had not a clue, but it would give him time to think and try to make some sense of these dreams; why they had stopped or at least for one night, because tonight might be a different story. After two plus hours of driving, Smithy looked down and saw that he was down to less the a quarter tank of gas and he was not one to drive his car close to empty. He pulled off the expressway and into a gas station. He cut the engine, stepped out and inserted his debit card at the pump and followed the instructions on the key pad. He flipped the handle and stuck the other end in the opening to the tank and left it running to fill and stop on its own. He walked across the lot and into the Quick Mart. The attendant said a polite “Hello” and asked if he needed any help. Smithy asked for a place to get a bite and was told to go east about a mile to Dale’s Dinner on the right side of the road. He got back out to his car replaced the pump and the cap back on his tank, fired up the engine and headed east. He found the dinner and it had a homier look than expected and hunger called so he parked and went inside. The place was empty except for a couple in the far left corner. He walked to the right and sat at an empty booth. There were two waitresses and the one came over with a menu and placed it in front of him. Without looking up, he thanked her and opened it to read and see what caught his attention and appeal. “May I bring you something to drink, coffee, water or a soda?” She asked looking down at him. He raised his head to answer but just stared and she was doing the same. He looked at her eyes and was speechless for a few second before just saying, “coffee please.” Smithy felt like getting up and running, for sure his dreams had become his reality. The waitress returned to deliver his coffee and take his order but he was staring at the menu just as she had left him a minute ago. She placed the cup in front of him and he looked at her and said, “thank you, and what do you recommend?”She replied “The meatloaf, mash potatoes and gravy” She spoke more like a robot and still playing the stare game with him. “That would be fine” Smithy said without any thought and quickly looked down at his cup of coffee. The waitress turned around after writing on her order pad and went off to place his order. Fifteen minutes later she returned with his food, put it on the table and quickly walked away without saying a word. Smithy ate at a slow pace and with almost no desire except to satisfy the hunger. The waitress came back with his bill and to collect the empty dishes, he handed her his credit card and off she went again. Five minutes had passed and she had not returned with his receipt and credit card. It was another two minutes before she returned and this time she sat right across from him. Smithy stared at her eyes and yes, they were the same eyes that he saw when he slept and even when he was awake. They sat there in silence for a minute before she asked, “Have you been dreaming lately or more like daily?” The question didn’t surprise or stun him and she knew that indeed he was the man in her dreams. Smithy didn’t answer so she went on, changing gears a little just to change the subject for a minute, she asked, “And where are you from?” after a minute of staring and then thinking he might be appearing rude he replied “Boston” but nothing else came out. “How long have you been having those dreams, Smithy?” she asked. “Why do you ask, and how do you know my name or about my dreams?” She looked at him with a little sympathy and a smile that spoke trust, and replied,Because I’m the girl of your dreams, and hopefully together we can figure out how not to live through the real, Great Tribulation.”  


A Multitude from the Great Tribulation

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,  
10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 

Revelation 7:9-10 

If you stopped by leave a comment I would love to hear from you..God Bless

Monday, January 21, 2013

N0 Greater Love

                                              N0 Greater Love

          Tommy Gunn was a nomad in a sense and never stayed in one place for long. He had lived his life this way for over ten years. In his senior year book, he was voted most likely to succeed. He was smarter than most of the students in his class and also one of the most gifted. He always got the lead role in the school play and mastered a few musical instruments. He dated the same girl for three out of the four high school years, a relationship that ended just a few months before graduation. Ellen had been the one who wanted to go to a different college after they had agreed to both attend the same school. She didn't give him any notice to the change in the plans they had made. When graduation was over, Tommy went home packed and headed for Hollywood California that same evening. His parents always believed in allowing their children to make their own choices once they had finish school. He arrived in California after driving for four days cross country. His dream was to become a movie star, get rich and after the heart break with Ellen to never be faithful and trust his heart to another woman.  After two years in Hollywood he enrolled in the U.S. Marine Corps when he was unable to land any movie deals even as an extra. He had been living in his car for the last eight months when one day as he walk by a recruiting office, he just stepped in and signed up. Tommy figured that rather than living on the street, the military would provide him food, shelter and a little adventure. Within two years he had advanced in rank and was selected to head up special recon missions in the Middle East. Eight years later and not wanting to re-enlist, Tommy left the armed forces and returned to California. He took a job working for Pro-Sec, a company that provides private security for movie stars or anyone who was willing to pay for protection. At times his employer’s company was hired out by the U.S. Marshals to help provide protection when they were short handed. With his back ground, Tommy would always be the one to draw that straw. He became friends with Captain Harris who took a liking to him for his professionalism and would always ask that it be him to work his details.

          Mike had to testify against his former boss and that would land the man in prison for twenty five years without any chance of parole for tax evasion, racketeering and a number of other charges. Mike’s boss would be getting life without parole, but only because the prosecutor’s office could not get anyone other than Mike to testify, that was not going to happen. The prosecutor also had no proof that Mike Lupino knew anything about that end of his bosses business. Mike’s boss had put a half million dollar contract on Mike’s head and the Marshals had been called in, to keep him alive. Tommy Gunn and his partner Jeff Clayton showed up at the condo where the Marshals had secured their witness. The minute Tommy walked into the room Mike began to push the wrong buttons by ordering the men around like they were his servants. “What are you getting me for dinner?”  Mike told Tommy in a cocky tone. Tommy just look at him with as serious a look as he could put on his face, then walked off to do what he had come to do. After making sure that the place was secure, Tommy and his partner pulled out some subs they had picked up and sat down to eat. After they were done they handed Mike a sub that one of the Marshals on patrol before their shift, had asked them to bring. It was 0100 in the morning and Jeff was in the kitchen looking in the refrigerator when he heard someone test the lock that lead from the condo to the building’s hallway. The condo had two egresses, one that entered into the living room and the other into the kitchen. Jeff heard the person walk away and head in the direction of the second door. He took a few steps and was at the entrance to the kitchen. He could see Tommy on the couch with his laptop. Catching his attention with a soft snap of his finger and his weapon in the other hand, he went back to man the kitchen door. Tommy tip toed across the living room carpet with his Glock already drawn and standing behind door number two. The dead bolt had already been unlocked by the time he had reached his post and the person on the other side was working the lower lock. Looking through the peep hole in the kitchen door, Jeff saw one man to his right. He was standing away from the door Tommy was guarding looking both ways at all times. He slowly and quietly started to undo the locks to his door and kept his gun pointed at the door. By Tommy’s door the lower lock came undone and the person waited a minute before twisting the knob; then he proceeded to swing the door open. The intruder sticks his hand with a gun throw the opened door. Still standing behind the door Tommy put all two hundred pound into the door and slammed the door on the person’s forearm and then grabbed his wrist while stepping out from behind the door. The weight of the man slammed the door to the wall and Tommy had his wrist twisted behind his back on his way to the floor. No sooner had he pinned the man to the ground, he heard the two shots echo in the hallway, and he turned for a second to see the second man slowly slid down the hallway wall and land on his buttocks leaving a blood trail on the wall behind him.  The man on the floor took advantage of the distraction to flip, and with one leg tripped Tommy, also bringing him down. Tommy had turned when he heard the shots and now found himself in a fight. The intruder, who had lost his firearm when his forearm had been slammed into the door jamb, was now trying to disarm him. Tommy rolled to his left and then rolled back to his right all in one action and brought his elbow to connect with the man’s jaw. He then rolled twice to his left and in one fluid motion was up on his feet. The assassin was on all fours attempting the same but met the butt end of Tommy’s Glock before going to sleep. One call and the Marshals were there to clean house, the dead was transported in a body bag to the morgue and the one that was out cold, was taken in cuffs. Tommy, Jeff and Mike were on their way to a new destination within the hour.  Tommy was going to make sure that Mike would live to testify and would not see him harmed on his watch.

          Mornings or evenings it made no difference to Tommy as long as the sun was not beating on him, he would jog three to five miles a day. He kept free weights around to work on his upper body knowing that in his line of work, fitness was important. After a workout, he showered and as part of his daily habit, he sat to read the news on his iPad. He was accustomed to keeping up with current affairs whether national or international. On this particular evening one story caught his attention. Even though he had not seen Ellen since the day he graduated from high school eighteen years ago, the picture on the screen was no doubt that of the only girl he ever loved. Her last name was different, but she had not changed and in fact she was more beautiful than ever. He was halfway through the story when he paused, opened a new window and logged on to a secure site he uses to order airline tickets, thus remaining dark to anyone nosing around. By eleven O’clock he was on a red eye heading to Panama City Florida. He arrived in Jacksonville at 0800 the following morning and immediately turned on his phone and dialed; the person answered on the second ring, “Hey must be important because I ain’t heard from ya in a bit.” Tommy replied quickly, “Sorry old friend, they been keeping me in hiding for the last six months with a dirt bag, but a state witness never the less” Tommy paused and waited for the voice to speak. “So what’s up, is this business or are we hanging?” the voice replied. “I’m also sorry, but it’s all business on this trip, when I’m done maybe.” Tommy said with a little regret but continues.  “I had to fly under the radar and empty handed and need to borrow one of each, a few extra refills and the usual things.” The voice blew out a breath then a small laugh before he replied, “Got ya and I’ll text ya an AO as soon as I’ve got hands on those puppies, see ya.” Tommy disconnected and headed to the car rentals, picked up his wheels and exited the airport.  Three hours later he was standing in front of his old friend Tiny, six foot six inches and over three hundred pound, his name was a common joke when they had served together in the Marines. After a few minutes of pleasantries, Tommy drove off trading his rental with Tiny for a Cadillac with limo tint, a Glock, a snug nose thirty eight with an ankle holster and a small duffle bag with various other items that might come in handy.

          Ellen sat in her house watching TV and going out of her mind. What had she been thinking when she had testified against her ex-husband. Two and a half years ago she had filed for a divorce and was granted one by a judge and latter was a key witness in his murder trial. As his wife, she was not going to be allowed to take the stand against him, so she divorced him to make sure he paid for his crime. This had been her second marriage to a man she barely knew for six month. Her first husband had been killed in a crane accident when the crane had toppled over and he fell over five stories to his death. Unbeknown to her, her second husband was involved in laundering money through his parking lot business which is mostly cash transactions. Frank had swept her off her feet two years after her first husband had died. She had met him through a friend who had talked her into a blind date, and a day she wishes she had said no as always, when it came to blind dates. She had stopped by Frank’s office on her way home one Friday after work. She had come to asked him out to dinner because lately he had been putting her off. When they were first married he was always available, but lately that had not been the case. She opened the door to the reception area when she heard the gun go off. Thinking that something had happen to her husband and not thinking of her own safety she burst into his office. She found him holding a gun, and then firing the fatal bullet that ended the life of his partner.

          The report Tommy had read on his iPad was that the prosecutor had assigned a periodic patrol around Ellen’s house. Due to a shortage in man power they were unable to put a permanent detail on her. He arrived on her street and two houses down from Ellen’s house he found a house with a sale sign and pulled into the driveway. He steps out of the Cadillac and walked up to the door and knocked twice, when no one answered he looked through the window and saw that the house was empty. He walks over to sign and removed it from the ground and set it on the side of the house, thinking that it would be less obvious. He removed his lock kit and opened the front door; walked back to the car retrieved his bags and set up camp inside. Closing the blinds to remain unnoticed and with a lawn chair he found on the rear patio, he sat with his dual action NVG’s set on day vision and started his surveillance. He knew that if he didn’t spot Ellen soon, he would have to enter her house in the cover of darkness to make sure she was in there or find a way to figure out where she was hiding. Before the sun went down the lights on the second floor window came on but with all the blinds and curtains drawn close, he couldn’t tell who was in the house. The police cruiser was making its rounds about every two to three hours and Tommy knew that they were not overly concern with her will being.

          Tommy sat there remembering many years back to those days when he and Ellen had been happy. The football games they had attended and cheered together. The plays they had both been a part of, and the many hours they spent learning their lines. He smiles to himself at the thought of the first time he got up enough nerve to kiss her. That thought also made him choke from the frog he felt in his throat. He wishes she would see that after all these years; he still cared enough to protect her. She will probable hate my guts for sticking my nose in her business without her permission, he thought to himself.

          Two days had passed since he started the personal detail and not one sighting of Ellen. He knew she or someone else was in her house, of that he was sure from the lights that came on at night. He had created a schedule staying up all night and taking cat naps during the early afternoon. While he slept he would start the surveillance camera and recorded the house and viewed the tape when he woke up. He had brought his favorite turkey and baby swizz along with bread, power bars and lots of water so he would have no reason to leave. About 0100 on the fourth night, he notice a late model Crown Victoria do two passes and slow down when it pass Ellen’s place. Suspicion was part of what made up his DNA, the third time the car stopped about twenty five yards before it reached her house and he just knew by pure instinct, that her killers had arrived. Tommy reached for the duffle bag and removed a few items while not removing his eyes from the two men in the car. After putting the items in his pockets he stood and stretched while not removing his eyes from the two men in the car. He turned on the recorder and turned his back to the window and decided to retrieve a few more things that might come in handy while staring at the screen that played what the camera was seeing and didn’t remove his eyes off the two men in the car. He knew it was game time and the stakes were high when the passenger got out and headed for the rear of Ellen’s house. Tommy went to the side door of the house not wanting to exit out the front. He then walked to the front and looked down the street at the parked car. Acting like he was on a midnight run, he jogged on his side of the street till he was directly across from the man in the car. He slowly stepped off the sidewalk and headed towards the man. He approached the car and tapped on the window, the man rolled down his window. Tommy bent down in a non threatening manner and asked, “Is everything okay?” The man look at him, smiled and replied, “Sure I’m just waiting for a friend who lives in this house.” Pointing at the house in front of where his car was parked, which further more told Tommy that the man was clearly whom he thought he was. Before the man knew what hit him Tommy’s left hand slapped him in the face with a rag. The man started to pull at Tommy’s hand but Tommy had his right hand behind the head rest pressing forward and the left holding the rag pressed to the man’s face. Ten seconds later the man started to relax and the chloroform did the rest. Tommy left the man sitting up looking like he was still on the job and on duty.

          Tommy took off at a fast pace knowing that these men came with the intention of finishing a job, and they meant to do it quickly. He reached the rear of Ellen’s house and moving in stealth but careful manner he approached the rear of the house. He found the rear door unlocked and slightly ajar. He pulled it back just enough to step inside and walked quietly with his ears tuned to pick up every sound. He found the first floor vacant and headed for the floor above. As he reaches the stairs he knew that her room had to be to the left because it was the last lights to go off at night. At the bottom of the steps he heard a grunting sound that told a tale of its own. He took the steps two at a time to minimize the chance of a squeaky one giving him and his position away. At the top he quickly turned left and reaches for the door to her room. He dares a quick look and then just sprung in throwing caution to the wind. Ellen lay on her back with terror in her eyes while the man on top was chocking the life right out of her. She saw Tommy and knew she was going to die, thinking that he was a second man coming to help finish the job a bit quicker. She closed her eyes not wanting to see what the end of her life would be and for the first time in years she prayed for forgiveness.  The man saw Tommy a little too late and by the time he looked up Tommy had tackled him to break his grip on Ellen's neck. Tommy had taken two quick leaping steps and grabbed the man by his neck after his forearm and the weight of his body push the man off Ellen. Using the nook of his arm with elbow bent and wrapped around the man's neck he went flying over the bed and Tommy landed on his back hard against the floor. The man landed on top of him and he still had his arm around the man's neck and applied enough pressure as not to kill the man, but ten seconds later the man went limp and the sleep hold had finished its job. Tommy pushed the man off of him and stood to his feet to see Ellen with her back towards him sitting on her bed still coughing, gagging and trying to get air back in her lungs. Tommy walked around and knelt in front of her and told her to pick up her head to help open her wind pipe fully. She looked at him, still not being able to talk and not knowing what to think of her knight in shining armor. The only light in the room came from the street lamps, which helped him to see the worried look on her face as he looked up at her. Tommy knew that she was thinking that her killer would get up and would finish the job, so he said assuring her, “don't worry, he won't be up any time soon and when he does wake, he will have a headache for a few days.” Still staring she asked, “Where did you come from?” He was worried that if she knew who he was, that she would turn cold on him. So he just said, “I was sent to look out for you.” He was hoping that he wouldn't have to say much to convince her. She most likely wouldn't recognize him; he was forty pounds heavier with a lot more bulk then back in high school. He now sported a crew cut, well trimmed mustache and between the Middle East and living in California he always maintained a year round tan. Plus he was counting on the fact that eighteen years was a very long time. Tommy got off his knees walked around the bed and flips the man on his face. He then put both of the man's hand behind his back and cuffs him with a pair of plastic cuffs. He reached to the rear of his belt and pulled out his Ka-Bar 1218 USMC fighting knife, walked over to the window and cut the cord of the vertical blinds and hog tied the man. “Listen to me if you wish to remain alive.” Tommy said looking at Ellen, and then continued, “There probably is more where these two came from, so I would pack a small bag as quick as you can and come with me.” He reaches down and picked up the assassin like a sack of potatoes and left the room leaving Ellen to hopefully pack.  He dragged the man down the stairs and dropped him by the front door, opened it and then carried him the twenty five yards to the car. At the car he opened the rear door and threw the hit-man in with such force that it cause the man to ram his head against the opposite door, then slammed the one he went in threw. He went back in the house and was glad to find Ellen nearly packed and ready to go. They walked out of the house after Tommy had checked and knew that all was clear. They quickly walked across the street where he deposited her things in his car. He then walked into where he had been staying, retrieved his belongings and returned in less than a minute. Once in the car he took out his cell phone, dialed 911 and told the operator where to find the two would-be assassins. He quickly backed out of the driveway where the car had been for four days and headed east to Jacksonville. The first hour neither said a word to the other and that was fine with Tommy. No sooner had he given thanks for the silence, she spoke the words Tommy didn't want asked. She looked over and said, “I want to thank you, but I don't even know your name.” He stared straight ahead and didn't know what to say or how to answer, “Miles” he finally said still not wanting to look at her.  Thank you again for saving my life, Miles, and can I ask where you’re taking me?”  “Some place safe where no one will find you till it’s time to testify” he replied. About an hour before entering Jacksonville he reached in his pocket and pulled out his cell phone and hit speed dial. The phone rang four times before the voice of Tiny said, “Hey brother what’s up?” Tommy thought for a second than replied “Hey buddy this is Miles, me and my company need a place to crash.” Tiny paused and then said, “Miles, got ya, so Miles, how long is the stay?” Tommy paused and replied “Three weeks or until the trial starts” than he asked, knowing what the answer would be. “Is this going to be a problem?” than waited for the answer. “Nothing is a problem old friend when it comes to your needs, you should know better than to ask” Tommy grinned and replied “Sorry, just making sure” with a small smile on his voice Tiny said, “So Miiilllesss” Tiny stretched his code name to emphasis that he understood the name he would be going by and still laughing asked “Is she as pretty as you remember?” Then he laughed out loud. Tommy smiled and replied, “Much more than that” then he just clicked end.

          It was still two weeks till the trial and Tommy stayed away from Ellen as much as possible and when he did talk to her he tried his best to not make too much eye contact. Ellen assumed that he was quiet, a little introverted and maybe a little shy, but for some reason she couldn’t put her finger on, she trusted him with her life. The next two weeks went by quicker than Tommy had hoped for because he liked looking out for her and they had somehow, on a strange level, bonded. From the time they had arrived at Tiny’s place, he wore a hat and sun glasses which she liked because it gave him a mysterious look that she had come to associate him with. She sensed his strength and determination with keeping her alive. He had promised her that he had never lost a detail assigned to him. At night she would lie in bed and think about Miles and what his private life looked like. After the second week she couldn’t wait to get out of bed, clean up and apply a little make up before running into him for their coffee and early morning conversation. He had even begun to loosen up a little but always the hat and sunglasses were part of the attire.

          Finally the time came to head back for the first day of the trial and Ellen was already starting to miss Miles. They had not even started the ride when she asked, “What will you do and where will you go once you drop me off to the prosecutor at the court house.” A one word answer “Home” he replied not saying another word or looking at her. “That’s a little vague” she said before asking, “And where do you call home?” At this point every answer had to be thought out before exiting his mouth. “The west coast” he replied not saying another word or looking at her. The rest of the trip was all small talk and more silence then either wished for. When they finally arrived at the court house, Tommy pulled into the parking lot and sat for a minute and scanned the lot before stepping out of the car. “I believe it’s safe to head inside; the Marshal’s office will have their men waiting for you and will take it from here” Tommy said as he removed his hat and ran his fingers through his short cropped hair. The two walked up the court house steps with Tommy still on the alert letting his gaze roam to catch everyone in sight. After walking through security and leaving his weapons with the sheriff in charge, they went to find the Marshals. Coming towards them when they rounded the corner was Captain Harris which Tommy was not expecting but was also not surprised to see. The man spoke before Tommy had a chance at a private chat. “Good to see you Mr. Gunn” he said extending his hand. Tommy shook the man’s hand and looked at Ellen to see if she had picked up on his last name but she seemed not to have been paying much attention. A few minutes after he had introduced her to the Marshals, Captain Harris spoke again, this time a bell went off in Ellen’s head and Tommy knew it. “Okay Thomas, thanks, we can take it from here and I’m sure you’ve done enough for free.” Tommy had only told his boss that he was “doing a little looking out for a friend,” as he had put it. He also knew that the captain and his boss were close, so the man had first hand information that he was not on the clock on this detail. The names made Ellen stare at Tommy and for the first time she saw her old boyfriend, slim, long hair and almost twenty years younger. The fact that he did not look away told Ellen that her assumption about the man in front of her was correct. “Thomas Gunn, Tommy from Cleveland Ohio?” She asked with tears running down her face. Tommy stood there, all that secrecy to end up with the results he tried so hard to avoid. “Why did you tell me your name was Miles?” She asked through the light sob. “That’s what my friends call me because I move around a lot and I love to run.” He replied looking down at the flooring and fumbling with his sunglasses not able to look straight at her. “Do you know that I went looking for you the night of our graduation; didn’t your folks tell you Tommy?” She was asking while everyone else just stood there not saying a word. “No they never mentioned that to me” he replied a little chocked up. and now looking her in the eyes. “If I wasn’t one of your details as you like to call them, and from what the captain implied you’re not being paid to protect me, how did you know I needed protection?” She asked.  “News travels” he replied. “And you just took it upon yourself to come and protect me?” and now looking her in the eyes, he replied, “Yes” stunned, she asked “Why?” Staring her straight in the eyes, Tommy Gunn replied, “Because there is no greater love, then to lay down my life, for the only woman I have ever loved”

13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

John 15:13

Leave your comments below..Thanks and God Bless

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Revenge for my wife

                                Revenge for my wife

          The lights were dim and giving off a yellowish glow to the room. The odor of flowers was over powering and one could smell them the minute one opened the main entrance door. William Picket sat on the first row, while family and friends stopped in front of him to pay their respects. Today he was not his normal self, the happy, vibrant and over energetic man, whom everyone loved; today he was just a shell of himself.  He was not aware of who stood in front of him, and had not really acknowledged everyone who had stopped by. The last four days had been a fog or like a bad dream he couldn't wake up from. He stared at the casket and knew he had made the right choice, for it to remain close. Having everyone see her lifeless body was not even an option for him; remembering her as the woman he had fallen in love with, is how he wanted to commemorate her.
          Scott Blacksmith arrived home to find the front door unlock and slightly ajar. He found this strange but didn't give it much thought; he walked in and closed it behind himself. After a minute of calling around the house for his wife he got no answer. He walked past the living and into the kitchen finding both rooms empty; he headed for the stairs and up to the second floor. He walked into his room and froze for a second, before stepping quickly and falling to his knees in front of his wife. He reached for her neck which confirmed what he already suspected. His head fell to her chest and he began to sob uncontrollably. He wiped back the hair from her face and stroked her cheeks; they were already cold and he knew it had been hours since the assailant had taken her life.
          Larry Taylor was in the garage working on his vintage 54 Chevy pickup that he was close to finishing when he heard the gun shot. At first he thought he was hearing things, but the second shot was undeniable. He dropped the wrench and ran into the house yelling his mother’s name. He reached the hall closet pulled the door open. While keeping his eyes down the hall, he extended his arm and retrieved it with a Glock in hand. Still not hearing a sound coming from anywhere in the house, he headed first for the kitchen knowing that his mother spent most of her time there. The kitchen was empty so he rounded the corner and peeked into the living room, no sign of mother. He dared a quick glance down the long hallway that lead to the bedrooms, empty and quiet. Keeping his back tight to the wall, the gun in his right hand and straight ahead of himself, he moved slowly using not only his eyes but also his nose. The smell that lingered in the air was strangely familiar, but at the moment he couldn’t place it and staying focus was this minute’s priority. The bathroom to his right was clear and so was his bedroom. He reached his mother’s room, turned and stepped inside to see his mother lying on the floor and the window fully opened. He ran across the room staying low till he stood next to the open window and peered out the upper pane. A dark Suburban came to a halt, a man dressed in a black suit jumped in and the vehicle sped off and vanished. Larry turned and squatted down by his mother side that seemed to be laboring to breath. He ran to her bathroom and returned with a towel and pressed it to her chest to slow the bleeding. Less than ten minutes after calling emergency services, his mother was stabilized and on her way to surgery. 
          William answered the door to find two men in full army attire standing at parade rest. After asking his name they handed him an envelope marked Classified, stood at attention, saluted him and did an about face and walked back to their army issue vehicle and left. William went back to his living room took a seat on the couch and started to read through the contents in the package. His blood started to boil and the more he read, the more furious he became; but also heartbroken to know that others were suffering just like him for these were men he served with and counted as friends. He learned from this package that one other had also lost his wife and another had his mother barely hanging on to her life. He found a one way ticket to his old base in the package. He got off the couch and went to pack his bags. For the first time in a month he had a purpose and knew the face of his enemy.
          Operation Sand Shadow had been a bust, the mark had eluded them and his wife had paid with her life. The man had left his wife and daughters behind knowing that it wasn’t them that the U.S. Government was seeking to arrest or kill if he resisted. The following day he received the news that his enemies had shot his wife dead through the heart.  Two years later, he had brought the information for one million U.S. dollars and now knew the name of every man on the eight man Ranger team that had been at that raid. He swore not to rest till each one had suffered an equal loss. Three now knew the pain and the rest would too, in due time. Fleeing from the Big Satan was not an option but a must at the moment. He felt that he had compromised himself on his last mission and couldn’t afford the risk of being caught on enemy soil. Turkey was the safest place to lay low and go undetected for a short time till the heat wore off and he could resume his revenge.
          William arrived at Fort Bragg in North Carolina less than twenty four hours after receiving the classified packet at his home. The Private first class at the gate saluted him after clearing him with his former commanding officer and William was officially back on base. It was over three years since he had left and had swore never to return, he knew better then to swear these days. He had become a Christian eight years ago, five years before retiring from the army and swearing just wasn’t something William did. After knocking on the door, he turned the knob and walked in. The other seven team members where already assembled in the office along with his commanding officer. Five of the men were in their DCU’s and were still active service men. The other two Blacksmith and Taylor had each retired one year apart after he had done so. Commander Gray was the first to speak when William entered the room, it’s good to see you again Lieutenant Picket. William just nodded and proceeded to shake hands with everyone in the room. The other men including his commander extended their condolences for his loss and he did the same for Scott Blacksmith who had suffered a loss as well.
          “We all know the reason why we are here today, operation Sand Shadow was a total failure and has now come back to bite us in the hide.” The commander’s gruff voice went on to say, “Omar Samadi has been a high level suspect for the past eight years and has eluded our government. He has been link to numerous terror activities since we last try to capture him. We have very good Intel that he has entered our borders and we also have eyes on him as we speak. He has resurfaced in Turkey and is heavily guarded and armed. Now our government is not going to sanction or risk fallout like it did four years ago when we failed to bring Omar down. But what he has done to this unit for his self righteous revenge cannot and will not go unpunished. What we as a unit decided here today can never leave this room, understood?” All the men present replied, “Yes sir” in one accord. “Well Lieutenant Picket, the ball is in your court and once again you will be point in this operation if you so choose to be a part.” Without hesitation and with a strong conviction, William replied, “I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t going to be part of finding the man who killed my Jackie.” The room went silent for a minute and the commander spoke the last words, “good, then you men make the plans and anything you need from weapons to transport have it on my desk by 0900 tomorrow, and I will authorize even if it cost me these bars and strips.” 
          It was four years since his last night jump and William was glad to be on the ground. The team was now huddled about two klicks from their target and waiting till 0300 to make their move. Two team members had gone on ahead to setup surveillance, do some recon and report back to William. They had about five hours before they would all rendezvous for their attack. Four of the men took power naps while one stood watch. They did this in one hour increments. William laid there but could not close his eyes without seeing the lifeless body of his wife in his mind’s eye. He prayed that God would give him the wisdom to do what was right and honorable in His eyes. He knew that revenge and anger could destroy a man’s soul, yet he couldn’t bring himself to forgive the man who had killed his wife. In many ways he also understood how Omar felt and why he had exacted out his revenge on the men who had in his mind, murdered his loved one. William knew that he had not personally killed the man’s wife, but in a way he felt responsible as the leader of this unit. Four years ago Sergeant Miller had been a corporal and a new member of his team and William knew that the man was not ready for such a mission. At that time, one of his men had taken ill and he had made the decision that today, had them back peddling to correct what had happen that night long ago.  Corporal Miller had been one of the first to enter the home of Omar Samadi that night and in a minute of quick decisions he had mistaken a stick for a rifle and shot Omar’s wife through the heart. The incident was ruled accidental and a casualty of war, but to Omar it was plain cold murder and he had taken it out on Jackie and two other innocent women. William was also worried about his old friend and once his number two in charge. Taylor has not spoken a word since they left Fort Bragg and had the look of a man, on a one man mission. William was afraid that Taylor would not give Omar the chance to turn himself in, and that he would just shoot him on sight.
          Every man had taken at least a two hour power nap and was fresh and ready to complete the mission ahead. The unit reached the AO where the two men on recon were hunkered down and settled in for last minute instructions. After looking over the house where Omar was camped out, William divided his unit in two teams. William ordered the two recon men who were also a sniper and spotter team, and always worked well together, to keep an eye on the team.  William took two men and headed to the north side of the house. Taylor and two other men headed south to enter through the rear, and prevent Omar from escaping. When the sniper gave the all clear, the house was immediately lit-up with stun and flash grenades. The four men standing watch had been disarmed and rendered useless in under a minute before the fire party even started. The power to the house had been disabled and every man wore their NVG’s so the six men in Omar’s band were quickly at a disadvantage. The all clear came over the com as William entered the room where Omar slept and was now being held on his knees by Taylor and two other men from the unit. The first words William heard was that of Corporal Miller, “we’re here to arrest him sir, not to murder anyone.” Taylor turned his attention directly at Miller; “Shut up” was the reply that came from Taylor which held lots of anger with it. William walked into the room and immediately said; trying not to speak to anyone in particular, “Stand down soldiers.” With his assault rifle still pointed at Omar’s chest Taylor replied, “You are not my commanding officer and this man murdered my wife.” The words pierced William as though he had spoken them himself and to himself, he knew then that he was walking a fine line whether to let Taylor finish the deed. “You’re right, I’m not your commanding officer, but I’m your friend and I don’t think you really want to do this or you would have done it already. Every one of us has taken more than his share of lives, but I don’t believe for a minute that any of us is capable of cold blooded murder.” Taylor replied with even more anger and William was wondering if he had lost control of this situation, “he killed my wife in cold blood and he should die the same way.” Every time Taylor mentioned the word wife, William wanted to walk out of the room and let Taylor have his revenge for the two of them, but he couldn’t. “I think you’re forgetting that my wife was also murdered by this butcher; and believe me I’ve thought hard and long about this moment, how and what I would do, but right now I know that murder is not an option. Now my friend, do the honor and cuff him, gag him and blind fold him then let’s take him back to our soil and let him fester in our prison, in the land he hates the most. This way he will remember for the rest of his miserable life that the men whose wife he killed were the ones who put him there.” Taylor stepped forward and kicked Omar across the left side of his face so hard that it caused him to land on his face. He flung his rifle over his shoulder and did as William had asked him to do. The team with their prisoner evacuated the house and forty five minutes later were on a chopper and headed home. Omar sat across from William and for the first two hours he said nothing and just stared at him. Finally he couldn’t help himself and asked, “Why did you not let your comrade kill me, and you could have both had your revenge?” William studied the man and contemplated not answering at first, but after a few minutes he thought about his answer and replied, “Because I serve the one true God and he already got his revenge; and as for me, it’s not about revenge, but about redemption.” 

written by Tbone / atw Jah

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
 Romans 12:19