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Dedication To my family, for all the love, support, and putting up with me. & To those dealing with their own dilemmas, may you find your own way.




Chapter 1 pers, and crayons. The kind of clutter only a child could cause. As Tommy and his Colt approach closer, Tim swiftly drops his spatula and runs out of Blue eyes. Blue eyes stare ahead, locked and

the kitchen, leaving the metal utensil in his


place as it clanks to the floor.

The trigger on the Colt .45 cocks back as he

Tommy quickly runs out of the kitchen, chas-

pulls it up before him. Gripped tightly be-

ing after his intended target into the living

tween his fingers, Tommy stares unobtru-

room, a well furnished one at that, where he

sively from behind the barrel. His deep blue

has ducked behind a couch. Tommy runs

eyes stare ahead, penetrating. His hair an un-

around, ducking and diving, trying to shoot

ruly mess as he stands in the kitchen lined

the man, but he’s too quick.

with linoleum tiles.

They exchange fire.

“Freeze,” he yells.

Pretend fire that is.

The man, Tim, a familiar face, wearing his

Tim’s hand is in the shape of a gun as he

usual black ‘Wayne-Roberts Auto Mechanics’

shoots at his eight year old son. They jump

button-up shirt, stands in front of a simmer-

and dodge one another, hiding behind the

ing stove with his back turned. He stops, and


slowly raises his hands above his head, holding a spatula.

“You’ll never catch me,” yells Tim.

Tommy inches closer, with the Colt gripped

The dodging and firing continues. The boy

in both hands. A silver sheriff’s star pinned to

hiding and scouting his target as he grips his

his chest, glimmers under the incandescent

plastic Colt.

lights. He approaches the man, walking past a

“I need back up,” Tommy yells into his fist,

cluttered kitchen table lined with plates, pa-

pretending it’s a walkie-talkie. He chases his father into the hall, a long narrow one where 4

he has him cornered. He has the Colt .45

him and watches as his son devours his plate,

pointed at his father’s back. “Don’t move,” he

grinning to himself.


“Hmm… smells good.”

Tim throws his hands up into the air, and

Tim looks up from his plate to see his Mar-

slowly turns to face his son as he approaches

lene, his wife, standing in the doorway in her

closer with the pointed pistol.

night gown with a thick bathrobe tightly

“Gotcha. Now you’re dead.”

wound around her to keep her warm. Her short hair is pressed to one side looking flat,

“No, I give up. You can’t shoot,” says Tim.

but with or without her hair, which her hus-

“Why not?” asks his son.

band and son have witnessed, she still retained her beauty even after the countless

“Because you’re a good guy… and I’m your

hours of chemo therapy she had under gone


in the past. Her face bright and glowing, espe-

Tommy stares from behind the barrel, then finally lowers it to his side.

cially now that that her future was on the posi-


tive side.

Tim runs towards his son and scoops him up

“Just in time love,” says Tim smiling. He

into his arms, planting a kiss on his forehead.

gets up and pulls a chair out for his wife at the

“Now I got you…” he whispers, “How do you

table, who sits down. He places a kiss on her

feel about some chocolate chip pancakes?


“Yeah,” yells Tommy enthusiastically.

“Morning, mommy,” Tommy says between

Tim cradles his son in his arms, carrying


him back down the hall and into the kitchen.

Tim walks over to the fridge and pulls the

He places him down at the kitchen table, dart-

milk out, pouring the both of them a glass.

ing back over to the stove.

“Good morning baby,” says Marlene in her

Picking up the spatula, he clears the pan-

soft soothing tone.

cakes off the skillet onto the existing mound already plated. He grabs the plate and some

“How are you feeling today?” asks her hus-

syrup, and places them in the middle of the ta-

band. He grabs the various pill bottles sitting


on the counter, opening them and pouring out a pill from each into his hand, passing them to

Tommy’s eyes lighten up at the sight. He

his wife.

grabs a few and digs right in, concentrating on his new target. His father seats himself next to

“Better.” She smiles at Tim as Tommy shreds the pancakes on his plate. She swal5

lows the pills and washes them down with her

“You too, Tommy. The bus will be here soon.

glass of milk.

Let’s go take care of that hair,” says Marlene. She stands up and starts to clear the dirty

Tim puts a few pancakes on his wife’s plate.


“Mark still asleep?” he asks.

“I got it, honey. Don’t worry about it,” says

“Sound asleep in that new crib. He refuses to


get up.”

Marlene gives her husband a look of compas-

Tim smiles with a chuckle. He sits down

sion, the type that conveys all her gratitude

next to his wife and grabs a pancake, tearing

and love for the man. She turns to her son.

away at it.

“Come on Tommy.”

“Tommy, did you show daddy what you

Tommy gets up from the table, following his


mother out as Tim starts to clear the table of

Tommy looks up from his plate for the first

the dirty dishes. But he stops abruptly in the


doorway, turning to him. “Dad, can I help you with the car today?”

“I saw it this morning, I read it about ten times.” says Tim. He smiles at his son as he

“Of course. You know I can’t do it without

picks up a colorfully scribbled paper off the ta-

you,” replies his father.

ble. Written in an assortment of crayons and

Tommy gleams with happiness and runs out

various size words is a letter, the boldest be-

of the kitchen after his mother.

ing the title which reads,

Tim stays behind and cleans up the table. He

‘My Dad, My Hero.’

quickly washes the few dishes and then heads

Tim stares at his son’s letter proudly.

for the backdoor, which leads out to the side

Tommy looks over at his dad, seeing him fo-

of the house where the driveway runs. He

cused on his hard work, he smiles to himself.

pauses at the door before opening it, listening

Marlene reaches over and caresses him on the

to the silence as his hand rests on the door

head, hinting at a job well done.

knob, making sure that no one is around. Satisfied, he turns the knob and heads out.

“I’m gonna read it in class today.” “I bet it’s going to be the best one,” says Tim. He looks at his watch and stands up from the table. “Well I gotta get ready, Sam’s gonna be here in a few minutes.” He grabs another pancake and rips it apart. 6

Chapter 2 He grabs the revolver and tucks it behind him in the waist of his pants. He closes the compartment and pushes the carpet back when he hears a noise, a fluttering sound. He looks up quickly, only to see a station

Tim casually walks down the driveway, the

wagon pulling up the driveway. He lets out a

morning sun beaming down on him as he

sigh of relief and pulls his shirt down, conceal-

heads towards the back of the house where

ing the revolver on his waist. He looks down

the garage sits separately. He looks at his

at his watch, then slams the trunk closed as

watch with a stern face as he makes his way to

Sam’s car approaches.

the garage door, obviously bothered.

The rugged and worn out station wagon rolls

The door of the dimly lit garage rolls open,

up the narrow path. It’s owner, Samuel Smith,

and in steps Tim along with the morning rays,

a clean cut African American sits behind the

illuminating the space.

wheel, easing up the driveway as he watches

The walls are stocked with all types of tools

Tim fumble around in the garage. Twenty-

and wrenches. In the middle of the floor sits a

eight years old but with a face a decade

rusted, broken down and beaten, black 1968

younger and a demeanor twice that, he sits un-

Mustang, gleaming in the morning light.

easy, smoking harshly on a cigarette as he pulls the car to a stop.

Tim makes his way past the tools towards the rear of the Mustang, grabbing the keys

He watches Tim close the garage and walk

hanging on the wall. He unlocks the trunk,

over to the passenger’s side. The door opens

and pops it open. He looks up, scanning the

and Tim gets in, slamming the door shut.

area before reaching in. He pulls up the cor-

“I know, I’m…”

ner carpet, unveiling a hidden compartment, where two Smith & Wesson .45s and a Smith

“You’re late. What happened?” asks Tim. He

& Wesson .22 revolver lay.

stares at Sam with a look of interest.


was a cordial and punctual man, the son of a serviceman. To him, discipline was key, tim7

ing was everything. If he was late, it was for a

Sam backs the car out of the driveway. He

good reason.

shifts into drive and starts to pull forward when Tim rolls down his window, “Give me a

Sam backs the car down the driveway, puff-


ing away at his cigarette. “I got held up…” He pauses for a second. “My dad. We had a long

Sam looks over to see his friend sticking his


head out the window. He pulls over in front of the house.

“About?” asks Tim.

Marlene standing on the front porch with

Sam’s cigarette runs out. He tosses the burnt

her arms crossed before her, tries to keep

filter out of his window as the front door to

warm. She watches as her husband leans him-

the Roberts’ house flies open. Tim glances

self out of the car.

past Sam through his open window, watching as Tommy runs out the front door and down

“I’ll be home early today, love,” yells Tim

the porch with his backpack in hand, leaving

from the curb.

Marlene standing in the doorway.

Marlene smiles, nodding to herself as her

Tim leans over to Sam‘s window and yells,

husband hangs halfway out of the station

“Tommy. Good luck today.”

wagon. “Promise?” she asks from across the lawn, still smiling.

Tommy stops in his tracks and turns to see his father in the station wagon next to Sam.

Tim smirks at his wife, exposing a hint of his

“You too, dad,” he yells back.

teeth. “For you? Anything,” he yells.

The washed out, yellow school bus pulls up

She smiles and blows her husband a kiss

in front of the house as Tommy waves good-


bye to his father. He turns and runs towards

Tim grins and waves as the car pulls off. He

it. The bus door swings open and Tommy

leans back into his seat as they drive down the

jumps up its stairs, running down its aisle to

road. “Sorry, as you were saying…”

the last seat. He turns to the back door and

“Yeah, so my dad. We started talking about

presses his face to the glass window, waving

my future and everything, and what I should


do.” Sam lights another cigarette and looks at

Tim waves his son goodbye, staring at his

Tim hesitantly. “Tim, I can’t do this today. Or

face pressed to the glass. He smirks, laughing

anymore.” He glances over, waiting for Tim’s

to himself. Sam gives a wave as well. The two


of them watch the bus pull off and drive down

But Tim sits casually, staring at the road

the road.

ahead. 8


“The Academy,” says Sam.

“I’ve been thinking the same lately. When

“What?” laughs Tim.

does it all end? When is enough, enough?”

“Yeah. I’ve been thinking about it lately, my

“We’ve been lucky. We can’t keep gambling

dad and everything. He’s always talking about

like this. At least I can’t.”

it, and his time served. So I applied. I’m sure he played a part, but I got in. “Wow. Talk

“I know. I got into all this for Marley’s sake

about a change.”

and I’ve been fortunate, we all have. But now that she’s doing better, and we’re not strug-

“Hey man, security. That’s what all this was

gling anymore... I don’t know why I’m still do-


ing this. The shop’s doing well, too. Is it just

Tim nods in agreement, looking proudly at


Sam. “Looks like we’ll both have plenty of it.”

“No. It’s just Wayne. He keeps feeding us

The car continues driving through the town,

this bullshit. Just one more, one last time. But

the two of them sitting in silence as Sam fin-

with him, there’s no end. He’s just getting

ishes his cigarette.

worse, every time, too. I can’t take that

“What about Wayne?” asks Sam nervously.

chance, especially with him. I got what I needed out of this. I’m done, Tim.”

Tim looks over at his friend, who’s clearly concerned. “I’ll deal with Wayne.”

“I know, I’m with you. It’s that time. I don’t need this anymore either. I’m perfectly fine

Sam lights another cigarette.

with working at the shop, getting my hands dirty for a living.” Sam still smoking, gives Tim a questionable look. “Well the good kind of dirty,” smirks Tim. Sam chuckles and nods in agreement. “What about you? What’s the plan?” asks Tim. Sam looks over at Tim, trying to hold back his grin. “I got in…” Tim stares curiously.


Chapter 3 The station wagon pulls up in front of the shop, a long brick building with two large garage doors open with occupied lifts at the front. The welding torch glows in the dark, spark-

Inside are another rows of lifts, cars and clut-

ing off as it invades the metal being worked

ter that echo through out its hall like struc-

on. The torch moves along the metal frame of

ture. Outside, the perimeter sits surrounded

the car, glowing in the reflection of the

with forest which encloses the scrap yard at

welder’s mask over the man’s face.

the back. Atop the building, in giant red letters, reads, ‘Wayne-Roberts Auto Mechanics.’

He hovers over the metal frame in his perspiration stained, white beater. His chest covered

Wayne stands waiting at the entrance.

in beads of sweat as he works the flame in his

Tim and Sam step out of the car. Sam stays

hand, gripping it tightly, exposing the veins in

at the driver’s side and lights a cigarette as

his forearms. As the man works diligently

Tim makes his way towards Wayne.

from the back of the shop, the morning rays soak through the open garage doors where

Wayne’s face is tense as he meets Tim out-

Sam’s station wagon appears in the distance.

side of the garage.

The man catches sight of the car, stands up-

“What the fuck took so long?”

right and tosses that welding mask off, reveal-

“We gotta talk.”

ing his stern, weathered face. Older then his

“What? Now? We gotta go, we’re already be-

partners, Wayne, at thirty-four was a bull of a man. His head clean shaven, and always shin-

hind schedule.” Wayne turns towards Sam

ing like gun metal. His gaze permanently cold.

and points to him. “Go get the car out back.”

With piercing eyes, he watches the station

“That’s what we have to talk about.”

wagon make its way up the long, dirt road

“What, the car?” asks Wayne. He turns to

leading up to the auto shop, smirking joyously

Sam, who hasn’t moved and is smoking his

at the sight of their arrival. 10

cigarette nervously. This time he yells, “Sam,

Wayne walks up to Sam, who’s visibly

let’s go.”

smaller than him, and shouts, “No. It’s over when I tell you it is, you little shit.”

“Wayne, we’re not going. We’re done.” Tom stares at his partner.

Sam looks nervous, the cigarette just slightly shaking in his hand. “Tim, come on.” Sam

Wayne’s eyes widen, his demeanor is tense.

turns his back to open the car door.

“What the fuck do you mean you’re not going?”

“Don’t turn your back to me,” Wayne yells angrily.

“I mean we’re done, the both of us. This job, or any others. We’re not doing this anymore.”

“Wayne,” Tim interjects.

Wayne‘s lip snarls up. “Why the fuck not?

Wayne walks up to Sam, whose back is

You were on board with this yesterday. What

turned, and raises his hand with the blow

the fuck changed in twenty-four hours?”

torch clenched in his fist.

“I’m thinking long term, Wayne. I want to be

“Wayne,” yells Tim.

around for the future, for my kids. No more

Wayne smashes the blow torch into the side


of Sam’s head.

“We started this shit so we could have a fu-

Sam drops to his hands and knees, with

ture. You want to back out now? Especially to-

blood leaking from his head. Wayne then

day, come on.” Wayne begins to turn towards

throws Sam to the ground, rolling him onto

the garage and yells, “Sam, move it.“

his back.

“No. We’re not going,” yells Sam from out-

Tim runs over to them, grabbing onto

side the car.

Wayne. “Wayne, get off him,” he yells.

Wayne turns and walks towards Sam, angry.

Wayne grabs Sam by the throat. “What do

“I said get the fuckin car.”

you have to say now, you fuckin nigger.”

“Wayne, we’re not going,” says Sam. He

Sam staggers for air, staring in horror as

pulls on his cigarette.

Wayne clenches his throat.

Wayne looks at the two of them, leaving his

“Get off him,” Tim yells.

gaze fixed on Sam. “What the fuck have you

Tim struggles to wrestle Wayne off of Sam,

been telling him, Sam. This is your fuckin

but Sam is pinned to the ground, choking for


air. Wayne hits Tim with the blow torch, and

“It’s over, Wayne,” says Sam.

he falls back onto the ground. Wayne clicks 11

the blow torch on and points it towards the

“What was that?”

left side of Sam’s face, whose eyes have wid-

“I said I’ll go. Just let him go,” yells Tim.

ened in fear.

Wayne smirks, and clicks the blow torch off.

“I’ll show you to talk back to me.”

He lets go of Sam, dropping him into the dirt.

Sam yells and chokes as the blow torch

Tim stands there, stuck in place, staring at

nears his face, he struggles to back away as

Sam’s cauterized face as Wayne gets up. He

the flame approaches. Wayne grips him

hovers over Sam‘s body, staring into his eyes.

tighter, pressing the torch closer as he strug-

“See, we don’t need you.” Wayne stares at him


in disgust, then stands back up.

A clicking sound.

Tim lowers the gun as he stares at his friend’s wounded face. Sam grabs his burns,

Wayne freezes, his hand steady with the

moaning in agony. Tim runs over to help him,

torch, stuck in place. Sam’s eyes now stare

picking him up off of the ground.

past the flame, past Wayne as his heavy breathing changes into relief.

Wayne walks past them. “Tim, let’s go.”

Tim stands behind Wayne with the revolver

Sam’s face is bloody and burned deep as Tim

in his hands, pointed towards him. “Let him

helps get him into his car.


“You can’t go… Don’t,” whispers Sam.

Wayne turns to Tim, and smirks. “Put it

“I’ll be fine. Just get home.”

down, Tim.”

Sam pulls a cigarette out, shaking as he puts

“I said let him go,” Tim demands.

it between his lips. He has trouble lighting it.

“You’re not shooting anyone.”

Tim grabs the flame and lights it for him.

Tim stands with the gun pointed as Wayne

“Thanks,” whispers Sam.

turns back to Sam, smirking at him. He puts

“Go straight home. Take care of that.”

the blow torch to his face, burning it. Sam

Sam fixes his eyes on Wayne, who’s standing

yells in agony as his flesh tears and liquefies, bubbling under the heat. His black skin trans-

at the opening of the garage. He whispers, “I

forming shades in an instant.

will. Be careful.” “I know. I will.” Tim closes the car door for

Tim watches in horror. “I’ll go,” yells Tim.

Sam and backs away. “I’ll be right over… with

Wayne pulls the blow torch away as Sam con-

your cut.”

tinues to yell in pain.


Sam stares compassionately at his friend, nodding at him thankfully. He starts the car. “Let’s go. You’re driving,” yells Wayne. Sam pulls off, staring at Tim in the rearview mirror. Tim walks back towards the open garage door where Wayne has disappeared into. Tim follows, disappearing into the clutter.


Chapter 4 “Who wants to read first?” A young girl at the front of the class shoots her hand up first, followed by Tommy and a few others. The teacher points to her. “Come The school bell rings.

on up.”

The teacher walks past her desk and past the

Tommy drops his hand and frowns.

chalkboard, where the words,

The teacher looks to him. “Tommy, you’ll be

‘Our Heroes’


are written in large cursive letters. The

The girl walks up to the front of the class.

teacher stands at the classroom door just as

Tommy watches her as he taps his pencil ea-

the students start piling in, with Tommy

gerly, waiting his turn.

amongst them. “Alright kids, let’s go... Take your seats.” The kids sit down and settle in. Tommy sits at the front of the class. “I hope everyone did their homework for today.” Tommy sits at his desk, setting up his area. He pulls out his assignment and sets it in front of him, staring eagerly at his teacher. “We’re going to get right into it,” says the teacher. Tommy waves and makes faces at some of his friends. 14

Chapter 5 Wayne pulls down his ski cap, revealing a makeshift mask, and grabs an empty backpack from the back seat. “Let’s fuckin do this.” Tim stares at him, then lowers his mask and Wayne cocks the shotgun in his hands as he

slams on the gas pedal.

sits in the passenger’s seat of the getaway car,

The engine flutters

an old piece of scrap, worn out and disheveled, refurbished precisely for this reason. He sits impatiently, tapping his fingers on the barrel of the gun, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a ski cap. Tim sits behind the wheel, wearing a similar sweatshirt over his work attire, staring at Wayne with worry. “In and out. Let’s do this quick.” “As always.” “And don’t shoot anyone.” Wayne smirks and grips the shotgun in both hands tightly. “As long as they listen.” He cracks a sadistic smile. “I’m serious. In and out.” “I got this shit.” Tim gives him a long, hard stare then shifts gears into drive.


Chapter 6 Wayne runs in, kicking the doors open with the shotgun pointed. “Get down on the fuckin ground,” he yells. The customers and employees yell, dropping The students clap as the girl finishes read-

to the floor, including the security guard. They

ing, returning to her seat from the front of the

shout, staring at the armed man from the


floor in fear.

The teacher stands by the doorway and


looks towards Tommy. “Come on, Tommy.”

Tommy stands tall, reading at the head of

Tommy jumps out of his seat, grabs his pa-

the class,

per and walks to the front of the class, turning

“My dad’s a mechanic. He fixes people’s prob-

around to face everyone. The class stares at


him. He stares at them, holding his paper in both hands and begins to read out loud,


“My dad is my hero because he helps peo-

Wayne waves his shot gun around, the inno-


cent bystanders yelling as he marches around them. Staring coldly from behind his mask, he


points his weapon at them.

Across town, the getaway car speeds up in

Tim sits impatiently behind the wheel, look-

front of the bank.

ing around. Watching for any sign of alarm,

The passenger’s door flies open, Wayne

for anything out of the ordinary.

jumps out with the shotgun in hand and back-

Back inside, Wayne stands on the counter,

pack on. Tim watches from the driver’s seat as

pointing his shotgun at the bank tellers as

he runs inside.

they stuff the backpack he gave them full of money. He walks down the line, pointing the


barrel at each one of them. Taking in their

The guard lays bloody and dying as the cus-

fear, watching from above.

tomers scream. They stare and look away, catching glimpses, unsure of what to do.

“No one fuckin move,” he declares.

Wayne jumps off the counter and a bank cus-

The tellers quickly stuff the bag as the by-

tomer looks up at him from the floor.

standers lay sprawled on the floor, staring up

“What’re you looking at, huh?” Wayne yells.

at their captor, nervous and avoiding eye con-

He points his shotgun and shoots the defense-


less customer. *

Tim hears the second shot, staring in disbe-

“He fixes everyone’s cars. He helps people get

lief when the sound of sirens wailing appear

to work to feed their families…”

in the distance. He looks up at his rearview mirror, but sees nothing yet. He sits nervous


and uneasy. “Fuck,” he yells.

The guard tries to slowly get up when

Wayne grabs the backpack from the tellers

Wayne’s back is turned, marching down the

at the counter as they cower down below their

counter. He gets to his knees when Wayne

desks. He walks past the dead customer,

catches a glimpse of him. He quickly spins to-

sprawled out and bleeding, and heads for the

wards the guard, catching him in his sight as

front door.

he cocks his gun and smiles.


The guard stares, frozen in place when the bullet rips through the barrel. The shot throws

“If it wasn’t for my dad, no one could get

him back onto the floor. The red stain appears


and grows across his white uniform. Laying


motionless, he gasps for air as the onlookers yell in fright.

Tim sits uneasy, tapping away furiously at the steering wheel as the sirens get closer and

Tim cocks his head towards the door, to-

louder. His eyes are wide open now. Nervous,

wards the screams. His eyes wide open in hor-

as he bites his lip. He stares back at the rear-

ror, his mouth slightly open.

view mirror, waiting for the lights, waiting for


their arrival.

“He helps people get home, take their kids to

They were close, he could hear it.

school, and see their friends…”

Wayne casually walks through the field of


sprawled customers, heading for the door


when he sees another look up at him from the

Wayne turns to face the back window. “Go,

ground. The customer quickly looks away.

go, go,” he yells. He fires a shot through the window, smashing the glass into bits. He re-

Wayne grins, he pulls out two shells from his

loads the shotgun and shoots through the bro-

pocket and reloads his shotgun. He cocks it

ken glass, shooting at the cop cars.

and points it at the man on the floor who quickly looks up, then closes his eyes in de-

“What the fuck, Wayne,” Tim yells. He sits

fense. Wayne squeezes the trigger. Screams

uneasy, concentrating on driving, staring at

fill the bank as the man lies with a hole in his

the road ahead as the police follow from be-

torso bleeding out, sprawled out and dying.


Wayne runs, laughing out the front door.


Tim watches through the passenger’s win-

“But he’s always there for his family, too…”

dow as Wayne runs out of the bank and back


into his seat, slamming the door as the sirens

The cops chase the getaway car, shooting

get louder. Tim shifts gears and speeds off. He looks over at Wayne, his eyes piercing as he

from their own seats as their bullets riddle the

stares from behind the black mask. “What the

scrap before them, piercing and bouncing off.

fuck happened?”

The sound of metal clanking before them fills the air.

“Just drive,” yells Wayne. He fumbles with

Tim and Wayne duck the police’s fire as the

the backpack, taking a peak inside, smiling to himself at the sight of the cash. Tim stares at

rest of the windows, one by one, get blown

him angrily, then back at the road ahead of

out, spraying them with glass. Wayne reloads

him as the sirens blare around them.

and shoots back, firing through the broken windows, piercing the cop cars as his bullets


rips through the metal. Reloading shot after

“My dad helps everyone. He’s always there to


lend a hand…”

Tim’s face has a look of horror as he looks *

over at Wayne, firing shot after shot. He stares through the rearview mirror, through

The getaway car speeds down the road, si-

the broken glass at the police on their tail.

rens blaring in the background when the cop

Chaos all around them. “What the fuck did

cars appear. They screech in from the side

you do?” he yells.

streets, whipping into position behind them, chasing them with their sirens flashing and



“I can always count on my dad…” 18


the seat, the shotgun in hand. Tim quickly gets out, following him.

The getaway car flies down the street, being chased and shot at as it whips around corners.

Wayne runs into the middle of the road to-

The police cars screech after it, trying to keep

wards oncoming traffic, and points his shot-


gun at an oncoming car that screeches to a stop. Tim watches in disbelief as Wayne opens

A shot rings out, hitting the engine of the

the driver’s door with the gun in one hand.

getaway car as it flies ahead, losing the police

The female driver yells and tries to speed off,

further and further behind.

but Wayne grabs his barrel and shoots her in

Wayne reloads his shotgun. He yells to Tim,

her seat.

“Come on, go.”

Tim yells, staring in disbelief, putting is

They speed away from the cops further

hands on his head in shock.

ahead, when the engine begins to malfunc-


tion. Tim looks down at the speedometer as it starts to drop. “No, no, no.” He starts to slam

“When my mom was sick, he took care of

the gas pedal, but the engine only flutters and




Wayne looks over at him, uneasy, as they

Tim freaks out, unable to process the situa-

turn onto a street. The car starts to die and

tion before him, stuck in place. He stares,

slow down.

dumbfounded. *

Wayne pulls the dead woman out of her seat

“But most of all, my dad is my hero because

and drags her onto the street, and along the

he saved my mom…”

pavement. He stands up, turns to Tim and yells angrily, “Get in.”


Tim is stuck in place as the sirens approach

The car seizes up and stops.

closer. A helicopter appears in the distance.

Wayne looks over at Tim whose pounding

Wayne rushes and points the gun at Tim. “Get

on the gas pedal and slamming the gears. He

in and drive.”

throws the door open and jumps out.

Tim stares, and nods in disagreement.

“Wayne, “ Tim yells after him.

Wayne yells, “Get in,” throwing the barrel into his face. Tim stares angrily, then runs over

Wayne turns to him, waving him out. “Let’s

and jumps into the driver’s seat as Wayne

go,” he yells as he grabs the backpack from

rushes into the back. 19

The sirens approach, their lights flashing

Tim drives, speeding a decent distance from

down the street.

the police behind him. *

“In there,” yells Wayne. He directs him into a giant concrete parking deck as the sirens

“He made her better. He did everything he

wail in the background. The car speeds inside.

could to help her…”



“He’s the best dad I could ask for…”

Tim speeds off as the sirens approach, slamming gears. He sees the helicopter in the sky


above them and tries to lose it. He speeds and

The car speeds into the concrete structure,

whips around street corners.

taking various turns as the lamps shine above

The man in the helicopter stares at the geta-

them, glowing down on them every few feet,

way car below him as it speeds through the

flashing before them.

town, following it with his cameras.

Wayne reloads his shotgun. “Stop the car.”


He cocks the shotgun and puts it to Tim’s head.

The television in the living room broadcasts the chase, where Marlene stands watching

Tim looks up and slams on the break,

with baby Mark in her arms. She stands rock-

screeching the car to a halt.

ing him as she watches intensely, the car

The car sits in the dimly lit parking garage,

speeding through town.

the exhaust pumping fumes, waiting as the si-


rens approach.

Tommy’s eyes are fixed on his crayon writ-

Wayne holds the gun from the back seat, he

ing as he clenches the paper,

smirks at him through the rearview mirror. “Sorry buddy, but this where we part.” Wayne

“My dad takes care of his family…”

grabs the backpack and runs out. Tim is left


stunned, watching through the mirror, staring at the door swinging on its hinges.

Sam sits on the couch with his face patched up in gauze, watching the car chase on televi-


sion, his hand over his mouth.

“I hope I’m just like him one day…”




Wayne runs off with the backpack, pointing his gun towards Tim as he watches from inside the vehicle. He sits, watching as Wayne vanishes into the stairwell. His blood begins to boil, his heart beating through his chest. He yells in anger, hitting the steering wheel with his fist. “Piece of shit.� The sirens get louder. Tim looks in the rearview mirror and sees the police pull into the parking deck. He hits the gas and speeds off, the car flying with the police on his tail. He speeds out of the parking deck, back onto the street, being chased by the police and the helicopter right above him. Tim has a look of worry and panic as he grips the steering wheel.


Chapter 7 Tim is wearing his mask as he sits behind the wheel with his hands up, the police approach him with their guns. “Don’t you fucking move,” yells a police offiTommy stands at the front of the class, star-


ing at the paper in his hands,

Tim sits motionless, with his head down. His

“I want to be just like my dad, my hero.”

eyes are full of pain as a tear rolls down from his eye through the slit in the mask. The po-

As the kids begin to clap, the teacher is

lice come closer, visible through the shattered

called to the doorway by another staff mem-


ber. They exchange words and the teacher rushes over to the television in front of the

“Get the door. If you move, you’re fucking

class. The students and Tommy, who’s still

dead,” yells another officer.

standing, watch as the teacher turns it on and

The passenger’s door is flung open with a

switches it to the news where there is a ‘Rob-

gun pointed towards Tim’s head. The cops

bery In Progress.’

grab him and rip him out from the car.

The volume is turned up. “The police have

Tim is thrown to the ground and handcuffed

the man wanted for this morning’s bank rob-

in front of a crowd of police, onlookers and

bery and multiple murders blocked off.”

news broadcasters. The cops jerk him to his

The class watches the news report, a live

feet by the back of his black sweatshirt, tear-

broadcast of the dead woman driver’s vehicle

ing it.

surrounded by squad cars and police, who

With all eyes on him, the black ripped sweat-

have their guns drawn and are slowly ap-

shirt shifts, revealing his work shirt as the po-

proaching it.

lice pull the mask off his face. *

Tim stands broken, his face in anguish and in plain sight for all to see. 22


of the garage. He smirks at the sight of Tim sitting in the back of the cop car as the crowd

The classroom television broadcasts Tim’s

watches and yells.

face, hunched over in his ripped sweatshirt with his ‘Wayne-Roberts Auto Mechanics’

Tim sits uneasy, turning from the onlookers.

shirt exposed.

Wayne returns to his welding as the broad-

The entire class room stares at the televi-

cast carries on.

sion, dead silent.


Tommy’s eyes are glued to the broadcast, fro-

Cameras flash and reporters with their mi-

zen in place.

crophones follow the squad car as Tim sits in *

back turning away from them, from the public eye, as he’s being hauled off.

The television shows Tim being dragged through the swarm of onlookers by police to a

The students all watch in silence as the televi-

cop car.

sion blares. “The perpetrator has been identified as Timothy Roberts, a local mechanic and

Marlene sits motionless on the couch in the

part owner of Wayne-Roberts Auto Mechan-

living room. Watching with a face of horror,


she’s glued to the television as baby Mark cries in her arms, her appearance more worn

The teacher quickly shuts off the television

out. A tea kettle screams from the kitchen, ac-

as the students begin to stare at Tommy, and

companying baby Mark’s cries as she sits mo-

talk amongst themselves.


“His dad robbed the bank,” says a student. *

“His dad kills people.”

The news broadcast blares as a patched up

“My dad knows him,” says another.

Sam sits hunched over with his face buried in

“Did he try to kill him, too?”

his hands, a lit cigarette amongst many still burning in the ash tray next to a half empty

Tommy stands frozen, glued to the televi-

bottle of whiskey. He staggers to his feet,

sion set as the whisper of the students begins

grabs the bottle and smashes it against the

to fill the classroom. His eyes begin to water,


he crumples the paper in his hands and drops it to the floor.


“Tommy?” the teacher asks, but the voice is

The blowtorch ignites in Wayne’s hand as he

drowned out by the increasing classroom chat-

watches the television broadcast in the corner 23

ter as Tommy stands, stuck in space. “Tommy…” Tommy’s face is emotionless, a blank stare as tears run down his cheeks. His eyes stuck in a trance, glued before him.


PART TWO 20 Years Later


Chapter 1 engine roars. Tom sits patiently, his mind overcome with thoughts. On the dashboard sits a picture of a little five year old girl. He stares at it, kisses his finger Blue eyes. Blue eyes stare ahead, piercing

tips and touches the image. He puts the car

the target. He raises the barrel of the Glock be-

into drive and pulls off.

fore him, taking aim. With a slight squint of the eye, Tom Roberts fires shot after shot, killing the silence around him, emptying his clip. The target ahead of him, at the far end of the range is shredded with head shots. Tom stands alone as he reloads his gun. He raises it once more, and begins firing away. When he runs out, he stares at his work. The target now hangs with a shredded heart as bits of paper debris gently fall to the floor. * Tom’s hand pulls open the car door. He swings the door open as he stands in full uniform‌ a deep, oceanic blue police uniform. He stares at the row of squad cars ahead of him. Tom throws his duffel bag inside his own and gets behind the wheel, slamming the door shut. He inserts his key into the ignition, the


Chapter 2 “What happened?” asks Tom. “I found her this morning. Please, come in.” The landlord waves Tom into the apartment as he enters, following after him Tom drives around town, patrolling the now

Tom walks through the garbage-ridden

desolate and garbage ridden, infested streets.

apartment and into the bedroom where a

He stares from his window at what has be-

young woman, ghostly pale, lies in her bed.

come of the town, staring at the filth and de-

Her skin and sheets the same hue. Tom exam-

cay. He drives on as his radio starts blaring.

ines her. He put his hand to her head, feeling

“Complaint of a possible overdose. Down-

her for life.

town section.”

The landlord stands in the doorway. “I

Tom picks up the call on the radio. “I’m on

found her like this, this morning.”

it.” He flicks a switch and the sirens start to

“You just walked in?”

flash and wail.

“She was behind on her rent for a few weeks.

The wailing cop car screeches into a U-turn

I’ve been trying to get a hold of her for a few

and speeds through the streets into a poverty

days now. But nothing. So I thought maybe

stricken area. Tom pulls up into an apartment

something happened. I know she fucked

complex, get outs and slams the door shut. He

around, that’s normal here. I figured I’d

makes his way to the entrance, examining the


decay all around, nodding his head in disgust at the sight.

Tom finds needles and bags of meth on the table next to her, examining them.

He runs up a flight of stairs and into the hallway where the landlord is standing, talking on

“And then I found her like this.”

his telephone.

Tom stares at her dead body. “What a fuckin

“Ah, the officer just arrived.” He hangs up


and pockets the phone. 27

“I know. Cute girl”

“You’re father’s waiting for us, you don’t wanna upset him, do you?”

Tom looks up at the landlord.

The boy stares at her as Tom holds the door

“Poor girl,” the landlord quickly retreats.

open, eyeing the kid. The boy finally complies

“This shit’s killing everyone lately. All over

and trudges out. Tom nods at the boy as he


walks past.

“The town’s goin to hell.”

Inside, Tom makes himself a coffee and heads to the counter where the storeowner

“Has been for years.” Tom pulls out his ra-


dio. “I’ll call it in. Square this away.” He stares at the lifeless body, his blue eyes full of re-

“Morning, Tom.”


“Good morning. How’s everything?” *

“Eh, can’t complain. Hey, I’m sorry to hear

Tom stares ahead from behind the wheel of

about your mother… She was a good woman.”

his cop car, driving through the streets. He

“Thanks. I appreciate it. It just came out of

drives along, and pulls up in front of a corner

nowhere. Fuckin cancer.”

store. He gets out and heads for the front door, opening it and holding it for a young

“I’m sorry to hear that. How’s the little one

woman coming out.


“Oh, thank you.”

“Some days better than others.”

“No problem,” answers Tom.

“Just have faith.”

An eight-year-old boy stands firmly in the

“Yeah, but is it enough,” says Tom. He pulls


out some crinkled bills and hands them over, but the storeowner waves him off. “Preciate

“Come on, Will,” she says.


“No,” replies the boy angrily.

With his coffee, Tom heads back to his car

“We have to go.”

and begins to open the door when he hears a shriek, followed by a faint pleading.


“Please, that’s all I have.”

“Please, Will.”

Tom turns, with his hand on his gun, and

“You’re not my mom.”

quickly runs to the alleyway. He sees the young woman standing in front of the little 28

boy in a protective stance. Before them stands

to gather around the scene. Tom grabs his ra-

a man in a horrid condition, in dirty raggedy

dio as the crowd grows.

clothes, filth on his face as well as scabs of

“This is Officer Tom Roberts, there’s been a

scratched out skin. A meth addict, holding a


knife towards them. “The jewelry, too,” yells the fiend. “Please, just leave us alone,” cries the young woman. Tom draws his gun and runs towards them, yelling, “Drop it.” He jumps in front of the young woman and the boy, his gun aimed at the addict. The meth addict creepily smiles, holding the knife out. “Drop the knife,” yells Tom. “Fuck you, pig.” The fiend runs towards Tom with the knife out. Tom stands before the two and squeezes the trigger. The man gets hit in the shoulder; he yells and staggers back, still standing. Again the fiend yells and runs towards them. Tom squeezes the trigger again, the young woman screams as the boy hides behind her. The meth addict takes the shot in the chest, heaving as he drops to the ground, bleeding out. The young woman yells and runs off with the boy as Tom stands, still holding the smoking gun. He turns to see the two of them running off. “Wait,” Tom yells. He turns to see the meth addict sprawled out on the ground, the sound of sirens appear in the distance. Bystanders start 29

Chapter 3 “I know, Tom. It kills me. But my hands are tied. It’s standard protocol. If it had been more discrete… but a man got shot in broad daylight. There’s nothing I can do.” Smoke dances around the room, winding

Tom drops his head down into his hands. He

and spiraling in the light creeping through the

mumbles, “I don’t know what I’m going to do.

blinds as Tom sits in front of the Captain’s

I’m screwed.”

desk. “He ran towards me with the knife. I

“If you need some help, Tom. I could…”

gave him a chance. I had no choice.”

“No. I can’t ask that of you, again. You’ve

“Fuckin meth heads,” replies the Captain.

done more than enough. I’ll figure it out.”

With a cigarette in his hand, he ashes in the

Tom begins to stand; he takes his gun and

glass tray lying on his desk.

badge and places them on the desk before Cap-

“And the woman and kid ran off.”

tain Smith.

“We’ll find them. Clear this up… Well, I’m

“I’m sorry, Tommy. I’ll see what I can do.

glad your alright, Tommy. But…” Captain

Speed this along.”

Smith gives him a long, empathetic stare. Cap-

Tom nods in agreement.

tain Samuel Smith, forty-eight years old and with the left side of his face permanently

“Hey, how’s… everything?” asks Sam.

scarred, sits behind his desk puffing on his

“We’re managing, slowly.”

cigarette, staring, holding back his words. He

Captain Smith finishes his cigarette, puts it

frowns, “I’m sorry to tell you this, but I have to suspend you with no pay until the investiga-

out, and lights another. “Give the little one my

tion is over.”

best.” “Always, Sam.” Tom heads for the door.

Tom leans forward in his seat. “No. You can’t. Please. I need this, you know that.


Now’s not the time.” 30

Tom sits behind the wheel of his worn out

Tom stares at the two delinquents who walk

vehicle, driving through town. His uniform

off. He then turns to his brother, “You’re sup-

shirt unbuttoned and untucked as he slouches

posed to be at home with Angela. You can’t

in his seat. His thoughts replaying the day’s

leave her alone. God forbid, something hap-

events, uncertain of what to do next.


Driving along, Tom spots his little brother.

“I didn’t leave her alone. I was there the

He breaks his concentration and watches him

whole time, and then Nicki stopped by.”

standing there on the sidewalk, hanging out

“You made Nicki stay with her?”

on the street corner with a couple of guys, a

“No. She offered. I was only gone a few min-

couple of delinquents. Not so little anymore,


the twenty-one year old was known to be hardheaded and troublesome, a handful for every-

“With them two? You’re supposed to stay

one. Mark, now known as ‘Marx,’ comes from

out of trouble, Marx.”

the collection of scars he acquired from over

“I am. I ran into them. It’s not like we were

the years. His arms, his neck, his face, all lit-

hanging out.”

tered with permanent memories.

“Alright. I’m just saying. It’s just us now. I’m

“The fuck,” Tom whispers to himself. He

just looking out.”

stares at Marx from the car as he approaches them.

“I know, man. Don’t worry.”

Marx and the two boys are goofing off when

Tom continues driving. Marx looks at him

Tom’s car drives past them. One of the boys

suspiciously, “You alright?”

spots the car and taps Marx, “Yo, over there.”

“Not at all. One hell of a day.”

Marx looks over at the car that now sits before them. Tom rolls down the window and leans over the passenger‘s side. “I got this,” whispers Marx. He runs up to the car, facing Tom through the window. “Are you serious? What’re you doing out here?” demands Tom. “Nothing. I just got out here.” Marx opens the passenger’s door and gets in.


Chapter 4 some boxes sit in the corner. Tom walks past him through the living room, up the steps to hall and into Angela’s room, his daughter. The door opens and a faint beeping fills the The car pulls in front of the Roberts’ house

quiet, continuously whispering as Tom steps

and up into the driveway.

in. He sees Nicki and is flooded with relief. The twenty-seven year old nurse from next-

Tom and Marx both get out and head to the

door sits at his daughter’s bedside. Still in uni-

side door where an ‘Eviction Notice’ is posted.

form, and just as attractive, she winks at Tom

Tom tears it down, crumpling it in his fist as

as she cradles his daughter, whispering to her.

they head inside.

Angela, sweet and innocent, lays bundled in

Tom and Marx walk through the kitchen,

her sheets, her caretaker trying hard to keep

which looks cluttered. The kitchen table espe-

her extra warm. An IV system dangles from

cially, covered in over due bills and forms.

her arm, thanks to the cancer that has left the

Marx disappears out of the room and into the

five year old bedridden lately.

living room. “Nicki. We’re back,” he yells.

“And she got all better?” whispers Angela.

The house sits quiet, which is now mostly empty. The only furnishings left are the ba-

“Yup. She grew up to be big and strong.”

sics, a few cheap lamps, family photos, and

Tom stands in the doorway, watching and

the living room couch and television, both out-


dated at that. The rest pawned off over the years, leaving the house stripped to its bones.

“And me? Am I gonna be like the princess?”

Depressing and empty.

asks Angela.

Marx sits down on the only couch in the liv-

“You’re already my princess,” Tom inter-

ing room, worn out and discolored, and turns


on the television, kicking his feet up on the

Angela looks up and smiles. “Daddy.”

cluttered coffee table before him. A lamp and 32

Nicki stares, smiling at Tom.

“I know it will, princess.”

He walks up to the bed and kisses Angela on


the head. “How’re you feeling princess?”

The moon shines high above the house,

“I’m okay. I missed you.”

beaming through the bedroom window. Crickets chirp as Tom wakes up out of his sleep,

“She kept asking for you,” says Nicki.

picking his head up off the side of the bed. He

“I missed you more.” Tom smiles at his

looks over to see Angela passed out. He gets

daughter, he turns to Nicki, “Thank you for

up, tucks her in and kisses her. He turns off

coming by. I told Marx to stay but…”

the light.

“It’s no problem.” Nicki touches his arm gen-

Marx is sleeping on the couch with the televi-

tly, staring into Tom’s eyes. “I don’t mind. I

sion still on when he comes down stairs. Tom

like stopping by. I like knowing she’s okay,

grabs the remote to turn if off but turns his at-

that you’re all okay.”

tention to the coffee table, where a wad of cash sits rolled up. Tom picks it up and exam-

Tom smiles at her.

ines it. He looks down at Marx and stares at

“Daddy, come here,” whispers Angela.

him suspiciously. Tom turns off the television and the rooms goes dark, only the doorway to

“I should go. She needs you.”

the kitchen left illuminated.

“Thanks, again,” smiles Tom.

In the kitchen, he enters and heads for the

Nicki brushes his arm and heads for the

cabinet. He grabs a cup and a bottle of whis-

door. He sits down by the bed as she turns

key and sits at the kitchen table, still covered

back around, “Bye, sweetheart.”

in overdue bills. Tom pours himself a drink and flips through the various statements, sit-

“Bye,” whispers Angela.

ting alone in the night.

Tom waves her off as she leaves, and turns to his daughter. “So tell me about this princess.” He leans over on the side of the bed, facing her. Angela turns to him excitedly. “Nicki said that there’s this princess that was sick, too. And that everybody loved her so, so much. They loved her so much that she got better. She wasn’t sick anymore, daddy. Do you think that’ll happen to me?” 33

Chapter 5 looking for a calling, or at least a ‘Help Wanted’ sign. Store after store, he sees nothing. He spots Towne Bank up ahead and decides to give it a The television clock reads ‘7:00 AM’ as Marx

try, pulling into its lot.

lies asleep on the couch, the morning light


shining in on him. Tom taps him and he startles awake.

Marx finally wakes up and gets off the coach. He tidies up the living room, organizing the

“I need you to stay home today with Angela,

table before heading into the kitchen. There,

I gotta see if I can find some work.”

he scrambles some eggs and toasts some

“Got it,” mumbles Marx.

bread. He plates the food onto two plates. He grabs the orange juice container with the

“If you can, clean up a little. Here and there.

plates and heads upstairs. He enters Angela’s

I need you to box up some of Mom’s stuff.

room carrying breakfast, sitting himself next

Bring it down stairs.”

to her and taps her awake. “Psst. Hungry?”

“Alright. Got it.” Marx turns over to his side.

Angela wakes up, rolls over and smiles.

“Marx. I mean it.”


“I heard you.” Marx buries his face into the

Tom stands in the office of the Towne Bank


with the manager, a middle-aged man with a

Tom grabs his keys and walks out of the

sincere face.

house, closing the side door behind him. He

“I’m sorry, Mr. Roberts, we have enough se-

starts his antique of a car and backs out of the

curity guards as it is.”

drive way. He drives along the road and into town, taking the main street. Driving past the

“How about any other openings?”

various stores, he stares at their windows,


“We’re actually in the process of shutting

Tom scratches his head, obviously irritated.

this branch down in the upcoming weeks. We

“Well, thanks anyways.” He shakes the

were bought out, thanks to the big guys. The

owner’s hand.

whole staff is being let go. Bad times. I’ll be


looking for a job, too, soon enough.”

Marx washes the dishes, scrubbing the dirty

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Good luck then…

pan. He cleans the counters and tidies up the

to the both of us. Thank you for your time,

table full of bills, examining the amounts.

sir.” Tom shakes the manager’s hand and ex-

Marx has a look of worry as the numbers start

its the office.

to add up before him. *


Marx sits next to the bed, his empty plate on

Tom stands at the pump of a gas station

the floor, reading a book out loud to Angela.

with the owner.

She has her plate on her lap, half eaten, drink-

“I’m sorry, I don’t have any openings right

ing from the orange juice container. Marx reaches out for the container as he reads

now. But I can contact you in the future if

aloud and she passes it to him, drinking from

things change.”

it as well.

“That’s alright. Thank you though.” Tom walks away and heads back to his car, nod-


ding his head in disapproval.

Tom stands before a row of cars in the lot of


a used dealership with the owner.

Marx enters his mother’s room, which is

“I pay only by commission,” says the owner.

mostly empty except for the bed and a

“How often do you sell?”

dresser. He gathers the few trinkets lying

“Look, I’ll be honest. It’s been a slow two

around and boxes them, adding in a few items

months. Very slow. It’s been about one every

of clothes left behind in the dresser. He enters

three weeks. So not good.”

the closet and pulls some boxes from the floor, stacking them outside. The last one look-

Tom looks off to the side, thinking to him-

ing dustier and more worn out than the rest.


He blows the dust off of it, stacking it with the

“You’re gonna spend most of your time for


free just standing around.”

Marx carries the boxes downstairs, piling them up one by one in the corner next to the


kitchen table. He puts the dusty, worn out box

He looks down at his watch and rushes to the

on top, next to the others.




Tom sits before the desk at First National

Nicki, dressed in her nurse’s uniform, stands

with the branch manager, an older man wear-

outside the entrance of the hospital holding

ing a fine suit and a name-tag that reads,

her bag, talking to a coworker. Tom’s car ap-


proaches and pulls up before her. Nicki spots him and waves, making her way over. Tom

“Well, everything looks good and in order.

throws the passenger’s door open and Nicki


gets in.

“Wow, that’s great to hear. Thank you.”

Tom stares, studying her features.

“I just have one question,” says the older

“You’re right on time.”


“I wasn’t gonna forget.” Tom smiles and

“And that is?” Tom asks, looking eager.

pulls off.

“Your last name. There’s something about it.

“How was the job hunt?”

I’ve seen it before.”

“Not good. I spent all morning looking.

Tom looks nervous, looking at the man ques-

They’re either not hiring, not paying, or don’t

tionably who’s deep in thought.

want me.”

“Roberts. Roberts…” The bank manager

“I’m sorry. I know things are tough for you.”

snaps back to reality. “Tim, Tom. You’re not related to that murderer, are you?”

“Yeah. No breaks.”

Tom’s face goes blank, unsure of what to

Nicki watches Tom eagerly, staring at him as


he drives. “Well, what if you sell some stuff?”

The bank manager’s eyes widen. “No. Abso-

Tom smirks to himself. “We already did,

lutely no way in hell, son. Not in my bank.”

most of it. We don’t have much left.”

“Please, sir. You can’t fault me for that.”

“What about the car sitting in the garage?”

“No son of a murderer is working at my

“That old thing. It doesn’t even run.”

bank. Not for me... Please leave now.”

“Did you try fixing it?”

Tom’s face losses all emotion. He exits the bank with his head down and walks to the lot. 36

Tom sits quietly. “I’ve tried, a few times. I

door flies open as Marx comes running in,

just can’t. I can’t stand being around that

breathing heavily. Tom and Nicki stare at


him. Marx looks over, noticing them, his eyes wide open at their presence.

Nicki stares at him, watching the emotion in his face. “Too many memories?”

“Marx. What the hell. I told you not to leave her alone,” Tom yells.

“Memories are supposed to be good… There’s nothing good about them,” says Tom.

“I ran out for about two minutes. I swear. I

He drives with his gaze fixed on the road

was here the whole time.”


“I don’t care. Two minutes is too long. What *

if something happened to her while you were gone? Then what?” Tom looks as Marx furi-

Tom pulls the car into the driveway, he

ously. “Huh? What’s your excuse then?”

shuts the engine off and they both get out. Nicki makes her way around the car towards

“I did everything you said, I just…”

his house. “Can I see how she’s doing?”

“Everything but the most important thing,

“Yeah, of course. Come on in.”


Tom opens the side door, holding it open for

“I’ve got my own shit too, you know,” yells

Nicki. She enters, following behind her into


the kitchen. He looks around, noticing the

“I don’t care what you have. When you’re

cleanliness as they walk through.

with her...” Tom yells, pointing upstairs,

“Hey, I’m home,” yells Tom.

“Then you’re with her. Your shit can wait.”

“Daddy,” Angela yells from upstairs.

Nicki subtly slides off to the side of the room as Tom stares at his brother.

“I’m back, princess,” Tom yells, “Marx?” The house sits quiet as Tom walks through, notic-

Marx clenches his jaw to quiet himself. He

ing the piled boxes at the kitchen table.

stares and reaches into his pocket. “Yeah, well


my shit is what’s keeping us alive at the moment.” He pulls out a wad of cash from his

Tom and Nicki enter the living room, look-

pocket and tosses it on the table. He doesn’t

ing around for Marx.

even look at anyone, he just turns around and


walks out the front door, slamming it.

The house sits quiet; Tom looks over at Nicki confused. At that moment, the front 37

“Marx,” Tom yells. There’s no answer. He puts his hands on his head in frustration. He turns to Nicki, “I’m sorry about that.” Nicki looks remorseful. Tom collects the money from the table. “No, it’s alright. Things happen.” Tom looks at the wad of money and then to Nicki, shaking his head. Nicki looks confused as she stares at him. “I don’t even know,” says Tom.


Chapter 6 * “I’m afraid to find out,” says Tom. He looks up from his daughter who’s fast asleep, and stares at Nicki. “I just don’t know.” Angela sleeps in her bed as her father


strokes her hair.

The side door to the house opens, Nicki and

“I know he feels suffocated, with all the re-

Tom exit out.

sponsibilities all of a sudden.” Tom sits on one side of the bed stroking Angela’s hair as Nicki

“Thanks for coming by,” says Tom.

sits on the other, staring deeply at one an-

The two of them walk across the driveway to

other. “It’s a lot to take on at once.”

Nicki’s house, to her side door and stand un-

“I’m worried about him,” says Nicki.

der the porch light.

“Marx is strong, always has been. But…”

“I wanted to,” says Nicki as she smiles at

Tom sits quiet, stuck in thought. “Lately, I


guess with the house and everything, it’s

“Well, I’m glad you did.”

weighing on him. He’s trying to stay afloat.”

The two stand quietly, staring at one an-

“And what about all that money?”

other. Nicki leans in and kisses him on the

Tom stares at Nicki with a look of worry. “I

cheek. “Goodnight,” she says and heads in-

don’t know. I’m afraid to ask.”



Tom slowly walks back across the driveway when the garage light turns on. He stares at

Marx, alone and angry, walks up the dirt

the garage, in deep thought.

road to the garage with its doors open, the lights flooding out into the darkness. The big

He lifts the garage door open. There in the

letters above it glowing, ‘Wayne’s Auto Me-

dark, lit up by the moonlight sits the rusted,

chanics,’ as Marx disappears inside.

black 1968 Mustang. Tom stares at it coldly. 39

He steps forward and brushes the front of it

Marx takes a drink and then points to the

with his hand. He lifts his hand, observing the

boxes. “I didn’t know where you wanted me to

dust left on his fingertips. He stares, his eyes

put them.”

fixed on the car.

“That’s fine. I gotta sort through them any-

The Mustang sits illuminated as he slams


the garage door shut, cutting off the light,

Marx walks to the sink and rinses his glass.

plunging it into darkness.

“Alright. Well, see ya in the morning.”



Tom sits at the kitchen table, hunched over a

Marx leaves the kitchen.

pile of bills. He flips through them with

Tom looks down at the boxes in the corner,

money separated before him, sorting it all out. As Tom sits, the front door opens. He looks

staring at them. He scoots his chair over and

over to see Marx walk in and enter the

pulls one of the boxes to the table next to him.

kitchen. Tom sits back in his chair to take a

He opens the box, hunched over it. Inside are

break. “You’re back late.”

some books, couple of picture frames, a few stacks of photos and a few small souvenirs.

“I had some things to do. On my time,” says

He tosses it to the side, pulls over another

Marx. He goes to the fridge and grabs a drink,

box and opens it. Inside are some shirts and

as Tom watches.

dresses. One by one, Tom pulls the items out,

“Marx. Look. I’m sorry about earlier.”

finding nothing but clothes. He pushes the

Marx turns and faces Tom as he leans up

box to the side and pulls over the dusty, worn

against the counter.

out one, which happens to be sealed with tape. He grabs a knife from the counter and

“I’m sorry I blew up. I’ve been on the edge

cuts a seam down the middle.

lately with everything that’s been going on,” says Tom.

The box is full of papers from a quick glance.

“I know.”

He reaches in and pulls them out. He flips through it, realizing it’s his father’s legal work

“I shouldn’t have taken it out on you.”

as his eyes wander. Headlines and bullet

“Yeah. Sorry. I shouldn’t have left.”

points jumping out at him, reading, ‘Sentenced 25 years to life.’ ‘Convicted of 1st De-

“You did a good job though, with the house.

gree Murder and Robbery.’ ‘Murdered

Looks good.”

Woman in Her Vehicle.’ Each bit of history right before him. 40

And then he finds his death certificate.

Please believe me, my love. I’m not what they’re calling me. You know me, Marley.’

Tom stares coldly; he puts the papers down on the table. He reaches in and brings out

Tom reads another…

some photos. Photos of his father, with the

‘Marley, I miss you more than you’ll ever

family, with just the two of them, and then

know. Without you, I am nothing. I can’t live

one with Wayne and Sam outside the garage.

without you. Without you, I have nothing, no

Tom clears the table of the bills and lays the

purpose. I’m nothing. I can’t live without you.

photos down. He pulls out another stack of pa-

You’re all I think about, you and the kids. I

pers and finds a crinkled sheet that someone

miss my family. I did what I had to, Marley. I

had tried to smooth out. He turns it over and

had to save you, someone had to. If god

sees the colors. The big, bold lettering on top

wasn’t going to, then I was. Please, Marley, I

reads, ‘My Hero.’

need you in my life. Please write me.’

Tom stares at the paper, at the memory from

Tom grabs another letter quickly and begins

when he was a kid. He lays it down and flips


through the rest of the stack, finding the rest

‘Marley, I hope you’re reading my letters. I

to be letters addressed to his mother. Tom

wish you would write. I need you to know, to

grabs one and reads…

understand. I need you to believe me. You

‘Marley. Please, answer me. I beg you. I can’t

need to know I didn’t hurt anyone, ever. You

do this without you. You have to believe me.

need to know. The kids need to know. Don’t

Please, you know me. I would never do what

let them believe the lies. I’m not the monster

they said I did. There’s more to the story. You

that they’ve lead you to believe. You know

know that I would never hurt anyone. Please,

that. Please write back, Marley. I love you.’

just answer me.’

Tom puts the stack on the table and quickly

Tom flips to another letter, reading it

grabs more from the box, reading on…


‘Marley, these last few years have been

‘Marley. I will keep writing until you answer

tough, especially without you. I don’t know

me. You have to understand, I did what I did

how I can do this time, especially knowing

for you. You’re all that mattered. I couldn’t

you hate me, that you’ve abandoned me. I’m

lose you. But I didn’t hurt that woman, or any

not a monster, Marley. I thought that you of

of those people. I swear on my life, on our

all people would know that. Please don’t let

kids. I would never. Please believe me. Wayne

our kids think that of me. Please let them de-

was behind it. You know how he’s out of con-

cide. I hope and dream that maybe at least I

trol. Always has been. Talk to Sam. Please.

could see them again, one day. Please Marley. 41

I hope you’ve been giving them my letters.

Tears roll down Tom’s face as he grips the

Please pass them on. I need my kids, Marley,

paper in both hands. He drops it on the table,

give me at least that. I beg you.’

gets up and grabs the bottle of whiskey from the cabinet, and a glass. He drops back into

Tom’s mouth hangs open. He looks speech-

his chair, pours himself a drink and downs it

less. He stares at the letters, wide eyed, flip-

at once. He then pours himself another. Tom

ping through them. He places them on the ta-

stares off in a trance, lost in thought. He grabs

ble and continues reading…

the drink and downs it, slamming the glass

‘Marley, I miss you. The holidays killed me. I

down. He grabs another letter, hunched over

couldn’t bear them alone. I can’t take living

it, he reads…

like this. I don’t know who I am without you. I

‘Tommy, my son, my joy. I have yet to hear

don’t know how much more I can take. Some-

from you. It’s been a few years since that

times I think not living is better then living

dreadful day. I don’t know how much your

without my family. Please, write back, just

mother has told you, but now that your older,


it’s time for you to know. Hear it from me. I

Tom drops the paper on the table and

wish I could tell you in person, but I don’t

reaches into the box, pulling out a stack of un-

know if I’ll ever get that chance, at least any-

opened letters. All the letters are addressed to

time soon or if you’ll even get to read this. But

‘Thomas Roberts’ and ‘Thomas and Mark Rob-

it’s time for you to hear it yourself. Your

erts.’ His face looks hurt, in a confused state.

mother was sick when you were a baby, as you

He grabs the letters and starts to tear them

remember. But she was gravely sick. I had to

open, one by one. He grabs one letter and

save her son, somehow. She was everything to


me. So I vowed I would, whatever it took. And it took money, a lot of it. Money that I would

‘My son, Tommy, I don’t know what you

never see in my lifetime. I promised to get it,

heard exactly or what people might have told

and I did just that…’

you. I need you to not listen to any of it. No one knows the truth. People like to makeup

Tom sits, stuck reading in a trance.

stories. Your daddy’s not a monster, or a murderer. Daddy would never do that. Please don’t listen to them, listen to mommy. She knows. I’m sorry this happened. I did what I had to for our family. You may not understand now, but you will one day. You do whatever it takes for your family, remember that. I love you son, I always will.’ 42

Chapter 7 “Yeah. I figured why let it go to waste. I’ve got the time right now. Maybe sell it. I don’t know.” Marx stares at him suspiciously. “Uh huh. I The morning light illuminates the kitchen,

see… well good.”

the table cluttered with letters and papers

“Wanna help me?”

from the dusty, worn out box. The empty glass and bottle still sitting there.

“Nah. I gotta go. I don’t really know what to do either way.”

Marx enters and goes to the fridge, grabbing the milk and pouring himself a glass, drinking

“Come here. I’ll show you.”

it. Standing by the window, Marx hears metal

Marx steps inside the garage. The two of

clanking. He stops and listens as it continues.

them stand on opposite sides of the front of

He walks to the side door, opening it.

the car.

Marx walks up the driveway as the sound

“Grab that side of the bumper,” says Tom.

gets louder. He approaches the garage. The

They both grab the bumper and pick it up.

garage sits open, revealing Tom amongst a bunch of tools, bent over the rusted, black

“We’re both gonna put it on at the same

Mustang as he fixes it. The front bumper lays


on the ground.

They place the bumper on the Mustang, and

Marx approaches the garage, staring in con-

hold it in place.

fusion. “Uh, whatcha doin?” he asks.

“See that wrench next to you.” Tom points to

Tom looks up, wiping the sweat off his fore-

the wrench next to Marx’s foot. “Use that.

head; his shirt and hands are dirty. “Hey. Uh,

Tighten the bolts.”

fixing it. Finally.”

The two screw on the bolts. Tom watches

“Just like that? I thought you never wanted

Marx work.

to see that thing again.” 43

“Like this?” asks Marx.

Marx walks up to Tom as he’s staring after her. “I gotta head out too.” He taps Tom on

“Yeah. Perfect.”

the arm. “She’s cute, right?”

Marx concentrates on his work.

Marx smirks at Tom, who grins back.

“Now over here, I need you,” says Tom.

“Alright go, I gotta make breakfast for An-

The two of them stand hunched over the

gela anyways.”

hood, working.

The two brothers walk down the driveway

“Well, look at you two.”

together towards the house.

Marx and Tom turn to see Nicki standing

“Oh, and later, we gotta have a talk.”

outside in her Nurse’s uniform, holding her

“A talk?” Marx looks at him with confusion.

bag. Tom stands up, turning to her. “Hey.

“About what?”

Yeah, just a little work.” He walks out of the garage towards her.

“Just… just don’t come back too late.”

“Good to see. I’m glad,” she says.

Marx looks at him suspiciously. “Alright.”

“Yeah. Kind of a change of heart. After last

Tom opens the side door as Marx walks


down the driveway.

“I’m curious to hear about this,” smiles Nicki. Tom looks at her in her uniform. “You’re going to work, could I give you a ride?” “I’d like that, but my friend’s already on the way. Plus, I wouldn’t want to disturb you, you’re working hard. But I’ll see you later?” “Okay. Yeah.” Nicki smiles at Tom. “Have a good day.” “You too.” Tom smiles back. Nicki turns around and walks down the driveway.


Chapter 8 “How are you feeling, princess?” “I’m tired.” “Still?” Tom drizzles some pancake batter on the hot


frying pan. He stares at it, walks away and

Tom kisses her on the forehead.

comes back with some chocolate chips, toss-

“I wanna sleep more.”

ing them on top. He flips the pancakes, plating them. He pours two glasses of milk, grabs

Tom looks at her curiously. “Okay baby, I’ll

the plates and juggles them out of the kitchen.

be here if you need anything.”

He stands outside Angela’s door, opening it

“Okay, daddy.”

with his elbow. The door opens and Tom

Tom tucks his daughter in. He walks out and

comes in juggling the plates and glasses.

closes the door to her room, leaving it slightly

“Angela, wake up. Angela.”

open while holding the dirty dishes. He walks downstairs to the kitchen and over to the sink,

Angela turns in her bed, looking up at her dad as she sits up. Tom approaches the side

hovering over it as he washes them. Washing

and places the plate on her lap.

over and over, he zones out in a trance. Remembering. Remembering the smell of the

“Pancakes?” she asks excitedly.

batter, the heat from the stove, his father…

“Chocolate chip pancakes.”

“Daddy, what’re you making?”


“Only your favorite. Wanna help?”

Tom grabs the pill bottles off her night stand


and takes out one of each for her. Angela

Tom snaps out of it. He finishes washing,

takes the pills, washing them down with her milk. The two of them eat their breakfast, side

dries his hands and walks over to the table.

by side.

He pulls out some pictures from the old, worn 45

out box on the floor and stares at them. He stares at his father.


Chapter 9 its headlights beaming into the dark, the engine sits rumbling. Footsteps approach the garage, louder with every passing minute. Nicki appears in the dark, walking up the driveway to the lit entrance. She stands out-

Tom stands in the garage, working diligently

side as Tom sits half seated in the car with the

on the Mustang. He works all day, sweating

doors open. He spots her, and steps out, stand-

over the machine. He gets down on the floor

ing at the foot of the door.

and lies under the Mustang, fixing it. He looks over on the ground, reaching for a wrench,

“Someone’s been busy,” she says.

stretching his arm out for it but it’s too far He

Tom smirks at her, then looks down at the

stares at it from under the car, his head flood-

car. “Yeah, couldn’t help it.”

ing with memories…

“Can you drive it?”

“Tommy, hand me the wrench.”

“Yeah,“ replies Tom as he stares at Nicki.

“This one daddy?”

“You wanna go for a ride?”

“Yeah, that’s the one.”

Nicki smiles at him, nodding her head in

Tom stares off. He shakes it off and then

agreement as she clutches her bag. “Yeah. I’d

slides out and grabs the wrench, returning to

like that.” She walks forward as Tom gets into

his work.

the car. *

Tom leans over and opens the passenger’s door for Nicki, who makes her way inside. She

The garage sits lit under the front light, glow-

closes the door and looks around the car. Tom

ing in the night as Tom slides out from under

stares at her, then puts the car into drive and

the car. He stands with his back to the dark as

pulls off.

he stares at the rusted antique, proud of his work. He walks over and opens the driver’s

The rusted Mustang rolls out of the garage

door, putting the key into the ignition. With

with the headlights beaming into the night. 47

Tom drives around town with the windows

“I found some things out…” says Tom. He

down, the crisp night air blowing their hair

sits quiet, staring at the road. “About my dad.

back. A refreshing breeze.

I found a box of letters from him from over the years. My mom never showed me them.”

Nicki looks over at Tom. “I’m glad you fixed it. I like it.”

“Why would she do that?”

Tom turns to her and smiles.

“It was tough on us. I guess she wanted to protect us, make it easier.”

“Is it fast?”

“You’ve never spoken to him?”

Tom smirks. “Hold on.”

“Not once. Never saw him again. My mom

Nicki looks at him questionably. “What?”

wouldn’t even talk about him.”

she asks.


So what’d they say?”

Tom smiles, “I said hold on.”

Tom stares at the road quietly. “That he

Tom shifts gears and slams on the gas. The

didn’t do it... Well, kill those people. He

speedometer climbs. Nicki puts her hands

robbed the banks, but…everything else was

against the door and the seat, bracing herself.

set up.”

The Mustang speeds through the night.

Nicki stares at him, “You believe him?”

Nicki closes her eyes half way, shrieking in

Tom hesitates, looking at her remorsefully.

excitement, “Oh my god.”

“Yeah, I do. It was all there. Everything. Everyone.”

Tom looks over at her, grinning as he speeds on. Nicki stares back, giggling and shrieking.

“But the banks he…”

He shifts, speeding through corners, whipping

“Yeah, he robbed them. My mom was sick

the Mustang as the speedometer increases.

back then. Real bad. That’s how he paid for it

Nicki laughs as she slides in her seat. “Okay. I

all. That’s why he started, but he never hurt

got it. It’s fast.”


Tom shifts down, slowing the car down.

“So who did?”

Nicki loosens her grip on the car. “Real fast.”

“I know exactly who.” Tom stares coldly at

She laughs and Tom joins in. They both stare

the road ahead.

at one another, smirking. “So what made you change your mind?”


Chapter 10 Tom laughs to himself as Nicki shuts the door and quickly walks off. He watches her fumble with her keys, enter her house and shut the door. The Mustang pulls into the driveway, driv-

He turns back to the wheel and drives to-

ing through the dark, gradually becoming visi-

wards the garage, parking the rusted antique

ble as it makes its way outside the garage.

inside. The car sits in place, the rear lights turn off and Tom exits the vehicle, closing the

Nicki holds her bag, looking up at Tom. “So,

door behind him. He walks around the vehicle

thanks for the ride.”

towards the garage door, brushing his hand

“Thanks for listening.”

over the car. He brushes his hand over the trunk and stops, staring at it…

Nicki smiles and goes to open the car door as Tom stares at her. He grabs her arm, she

“No, Tommy. There’s nothing there for you,”

turns around and they lock eyes. Tom leans

echoes his father’s voice.

forward and kisses her on the lips. She closes

Tom stares at the trunk, then grabs the keys

her eyes as he kisses her. They hold on, lips

and sticks them into the lock, opening it. The

locked. The two break away, and Tom smiles

trunk creaks open, revealing an empty space.

at her. “Goodnight.”

He stares, then crouches his head inside and

“Night,” she says smiling as she gets out of

looks around. He sees a flap in the corner; he

the car. She looses her footing, for a second,

pulls on it and the carpets lifts up, exposing a

catching herself. She stops and giggles to her-

compartment underneath. Tom stares curi-



Tom leans over to her side, staring up at her.

He opens the compartment, lifting its lid, un-

“Are you…”

earthing two Smith & Wesson .45s. He pulls his head from the trunk, looking around be-

“I’m fine. Goodnight.”

hind him. He reaches in and pulls out one of the guns, holding it before him. He turns and 49

examines it, staring at the gun in his hand. He then quickly puts it back, closing the compartment, the trunk, and locking it. He closes the garage door, shutting out the light.


Chapter 11 through the living room. He grabs onto the phone for dear life, pounding away at the buttons. * Beeping. A light and faint beeping fills the

The ambulance, with its sirens blaring and

house. Whispering, over and over as Tom lays

doors open, sits in the driveway outside the

in bed asleep. His eyes open slowly, and then

Roberts’ house.

widen. The beeping fills his ears, deafening him. He jumps out of bed, running through

Angela, lying on a stretcher, is wheeled to it

the hall and into Angela’s room. He barges in,

by two medics. Tom stands at the stretcher,

running to her bed where she lays, wrapped in

following it, holding Angela’s hand as she’s

blankets. The monitors are blinking and going

carried into the ambulance. Marx follows be-


hind. Tom starts to get into the ambulance but one of the medics turn to him.

“Angela, Angela,” yells Tom.

“Sir, you’re going to have to follow us.”

Angela lays there, barely moving, barely coherent.

“That’s my daughter.”

“Angela,” he yells, shaking her, trying to

“I understand, but there isn’t a lot of room.”

snap her out of it. “Marx.” Tom turns his head

“That’s my daughter, I’m going.” Tom stares

to the door as the monitors beep, yelling out,

at the medic coldly.


“It’s fine. He can come,” says the other

Marx comes running in, alert and panicked.


“What? What happened?”

Tom gets in back of the ambulance, leaving

“Call an ambulance. Now,” yells Tom.

Marx behind. “Call Nicki and take the car,

Marx runs. He runs out of the room, down

meet us there.”

the hall, jumping down the stairs, and

“I’ll be right behind you,” answers Marx. 51

The doors shut and the ambulance speeds out of the driveway. * Marx, and Nicki in her uniform, come running down the hospital hall and into the room where Angela lies. They stop in the doorway and see her in bed, connected to tubes and monitors, tucked away between sheets. Holding her hand, Tom stands next to her, listening to the Doctor across from him as the nurses’ work around them. “We have to run some tests,” says the Doctor. “Is she gonna be alright?” asks Tom frantically. “Sir, I need you to wait outside.” “Is she gonna be alright?” yells Tom. Marx stays at the door as Nicki makes her way to him. “Tom, I’ll watch out for her. I’ll stay.” “Please, Nicki,” pleads Tom. “I know, Tom. We’re gonna do everything we can.” Nicki ushers Tom out into the hall, Marx follows. She takes him to some chairs, seating him. “She’s gonna be fine.” She rushes to the room, closing the door behind her. Tom sits with his head in his hands, tears in his eyes as Marx stands next to him with his hand on his shoulder. 52

Chapter 12 “It’s an expensive procedure. Your insurance doesn’t cover it.” Tom stares at the doctor coldly. “So you’ll just let her die till then.” Tom walks back and forth, pacing in the

“Sir, it’s not like that.”

hall. Marx sits in the chairs lining the wall. The door to Angela’s room opens; the Doctor

“So then what’s it like? Tell me,” yells Tom.

and Nicki come out, shutting the door behind

The Doctor stands quietly. “You don’t have

them. Tom stops pacing, turning to them.

to pay it all at once. But we need something.”

“Well, Mr. Roberts, we managed to stabilize

Tom clenches his teeth, his fists are gripped

your daughter at the moment.”


“Is she gonna be okay?” asks Tom.

“I understand this may be difficult. I’m

“At the moment. But I can’t tell you for how

sorry… Let me know what you decide,” says

long. She needs an operation. The tumor has

the Doctor nervously. He walks away, leaving

grown exponentially. It needs to be removed

Tom stuck in a trance. He falls back into his

immediately. It’s cutting off her circulation.”

chair and begins to tear. Nicki’s still standing there with her eyes wet, she grabs onto Tom,

“How soon?” asks Tom, worried.

comforting him. Marx joins in.

“I want to say days. That’s all she has.”


Nicki stands remorseful, tearing next to the

Tom sits by the bed with Nicki by his side,


holding Angela’s hand, stroking her hair. He

“Alright. When can we do it?”

stares at his daughter. Marx gets up from the other side of the room. “You need anything,

“We can begin right away. It’s just…” the

from the house?”

Doctor pauses. “Just what?” 53

“No, I’m fine. Just bring her things… And bring her bear.” Marx nods in agreement and walks out. Tom continues to stroke Angela’s hair. He whispers, “You’re gonna be fine, sweetheart. I know you are. Daddy loves you… Daddy can’t lose you.” Nicki gets up from her seat. “I have to start my shift, but I’ll be back to check on you both.” Tom nods, she kisses his head and walks out. He sits alone. He leans over and tucks Angela in. “Daddy’s not gonna lose you. You’re gonna be okay, I promise. Daddy’s gonna make sure of that.” He sits quietly, zoned out, staring off into space… “I did what I had to do to save her,” echoes the familiar voice. Tom stares off, daydreaming.


Chapter 13 kisses her. “Thanks,” he says. He quickly walks down the hall, leaving Nicki standing in the doorway, staring after him. * Angela lies asleep in the hospital bed, tucked

Tom speeds down the road, flying through

under a sea of blankets with a stuffed bear

the night, pushing the gears on the piece of

next to her. Marx sits asleep in one of the

scrap. Straight faced, staring coldly ahead, he

chairs across the room. Tom sits leaning at

clenches the wheel. Shifting and pumping the

the edge of the bed, staring at his daughter.

gas. The car screeches in front of the house.

Straight faced and jaw clenched, stuck in

Tom runs up the driveway, slamming the side


door open as he runs inside. Tom walks,

“I did what I had to do,” echoes in his head.

quickly and with a purpose, through the kitchen.

Tom stares coldly, in deep thought.

The kitchen sits lit and empty as the sound

“You alright?”

of Tom’s feet pound up the stairs. A door

Tom breaks his concentration and looks up

slams open, followed by some creaking and an-

to see Nicki at the door.

other door slam. Feet come running down the stairs and Tom runs into the kitchen, wearing

“Uh, yeah.” Tom looks at her and then at An-

a black hooded sweatshirt zipped up over him

gela. He stands up, “Can you keep an eye on

and a backpack in hand. He walks quickly

her for a bit.”

through the kitchen, but stops, turns around

“Yeah, of course.”

and grabs the whiskey bottle off the table and takes a swig. He slams the bottle back down

“I need to grab a few things.”

on the wood.

“Yeah, go. I’ll be here,” replies Nicki.

The side door flies open, crashing into the

Tom kisses Angela on the forehead, then

house as Tom walks out and up the driveway.

stops in front of Nicki in the doorway and 55

The garage door opens, and Tom enters. He opens the trunk of the Mustang and pulls out the two Smith & Wesson .45s, cocking them. He sticks one behind his waist and holds the other. He goes for the car door, opening it. He throws the backpack inside and starts to get in, but freezes. He stares at something at the back of the garage. On the wall hangs a mask, hidden in the dark, protruding amongst the other decorations and trinkets. With a menacing stare, the glass glimmers under the light, glaring at him. Tom stares at it, half seated in the car. The rear lights glow, the driver’s door shuts and the Mustang backs out. It speeds out of the driveway, screeching off.


Chapter 14 The guard lifts his hands up and lies down on the floor. Tom grabs his other gun from behind his waist and points it at the clerk. “Ma’am, the The Mustang sits parked across town, still

money please.”

running. Tom sits behind the wheel, staring at

The clerk nods her head in agreement, and

the front of Bank Mutual.

begins taking out the cash.

“I would do anything for my family,” echoes

“Sir, unbuckle your gun and slide it over

Tim Roberts’ voice.

there. Slowly.”

Tom looks around as the gun lays in his lap,

The guard slowly unbuckles his gun as Tom

the backpack over his shoulder. He then shifts

has his aimed towards him. The guard slides

into drive.

it across the floor, “You don’t wanna do this,

The car speeds up to the front door of the


bank, halting to a stop. Tom throws the car

“Save your breath.” Tom slides one of his

door open, quickly getting out, gun in hand.

Smith & Wessons back behind his waist, toss-

He leaves the door slightly open, gripping the

ing the backpack to the clerk. “Fill it.” With

gun in one hand as he pulls the mask out from

his gun still trained on the guard, he grabs the

his sweatshirt with the other. He pulls it down

guard’s gun off the floor. He then points it at

over his face, the moonlight reflecting against

the clerk and yells, “Let’s go.”

the metal frame, shining in the light. He pulls his hood over his head and quickly ducks into

“Here,” whimpers the clerk.

the bank, leaving the car running. He runs

“Toss it,” yells Tom.

through the front door with the gun raised.

The clerk tosses the backpack to him.

Tom rushes in, turns around and points his

Tom picks it up and tosses his gun into it.

Colt into the face of the security guard. “Get

He then lowers the guard’s gun. “I’m sorry,”

down, sir.”


he says remorsefully. He runs out with the

Tom dumps the cash out of the backpack

backpack over his shoulder and out the front

onto the kitchen table. He begins stacking the


cash, counting to himself as the two Colt .45s lay next to him, next to the mask. Tom sits

Tom sprints to the Mustang, ripping the

down, breathing a sigh of relief as he stares at

door open. He jumps into the driver’s seat,

the heaps of cash. He grabs the whiskey bottle

slamming the door behind him, tossing the

on the table and pours himself a drink.

backpack into the seat next to him. He shifts into drive and speeds off. He shifts gears, fly-

A knock on the side door of the kitchen si-

ing through the night.

lences him. Tom freezes, jumps up, listening attentively with his eyes wide open. He lis-

He rips the mask off and tosses it into the

tens, and then another knock. Tom stands, fro-

seat next to him. He lowers his window and

zen in terror.

throws the guard’s gun. The mustang speeds down the road, the gun flying out into the



Another knock hits the side door.

Tom clenches the wheel. He begins to

Tom rushes, tossing the cash into the back-

breathe deeply, then he lets out a yell. He

pack. “Hold on. I’m coming.” He tosses the

slams his hand against the wheel in excite-

guns and mask into the backpack. He looks

ment and yells, “Holy shit.”

around quickly, searching for a hiding spot.

Driving along, he hears sirens. He straight-

He rushes to the box with his father’s things,

ens his face and shifts gears, speeding up. The

opens it and shoves the backpack into it, clos-

sirens fade away. Tom lets out a sigh of relief.

ing it shut. He rushes to the door and yells, “I’m coming.”


Tom darts for the door, looks at his self and

The aura of headlights appear and brighten

quickly doubles back, tearing off the black

up in the dark garage as the Mustang ap-

hooded sweatshirt, throwing it on the living

proaches up the driveway. Tom drives the an-

room couch. He runs to the side door, open-

tique into the dark garage, illuminating its

ing it, out of breath.

space. He turns the engine off and sits in the car, in silence. He leans forward and then

Nicki stands in the doorway, clutching her

back in his seat, letting out a sigh of relief. He

bag, half hidden in the dark.

looks over at the backpack, and grabs it. He

“Hey, sorry. I was upstairs.”

exits the car with the backpack in hand, and

“You alright? You’re out of breath.”

closes the garage door.

“Yeah, I was running all over. Come in.” 58

Nicki enters the kitchen. Tom closes the door behind her and she turns to him. “How are you holding up?” she asks remorsefully. Tom shrugs his shoulders. “Eh. What can I say? I don’t have a choice but to hold up.” Nicki looks around and sees the glass of whiskey on the table. “Stay strong. You’ll figure it out, I know it.” Tom looks towards his father’s box, containing the backpack. “Yeah, I’m working on it.” Nicki approaches him and puts her arms around him, she begins to tear up. Tom wraps his arms around her. “Let me know if I can do anything. I have a little saved up, maybe it’ll help.” “No. No, I can’t. Thank you though. But I can’t.” Tom pulls back and puts his hands on her cheeks, staring into her watery eyes. “This is something I have to do.” He kisses her on the lips. “But you don’t know how much that means to me. Thank you.” Nicki smiles at him as they stand in the middle of the kitchen, embracing one another.


Chapter 15 “I know. She stopped at the house. She’s gotta be back in a few hours, she needed some rest.” They walk down the hall together to Angela’s Marx stands in the hall next to the hospital

room and stop outside the door.

desk using the phone in the corner. He stands

“If you wanna head home, I’m gonna stay

away from the nurse, talking privately.

here. Get something to eat, shower, what-

“Look, tell him I can’t make it. I have a fam-

ever,” says Tom.

ily emergency. I’m at the hospital right now,

“Yeah, just for a bit. I’ll be back though.”

and I don’t know for how long.”

The Doctor appears, walking down the hall

The elevator pings at its arrival. The doors

towards them. Tom breaks away from Marx

slide open, revealing Tom inside; he walks out

and heads to him. “Excuse me, Doc.”

onto the hospital floor. Marx glances over at him out of the corner of his eye.

“Yes?” asks the Doctor.

“Look, I gotta go. I’ll come to you. I’ll be

“For the surgery. You said there’s a payment

there as soon as I can.”

plan for it, right?”

Marx hangs up the phone as Tom walks up

“Yes, we have different installments. Have

to him.

you made a decision, sir?”

“Everything all right?” asks Tom.

“Yeah. Let’s do it… The sooner the better.”

“Yeah. She’s still asleep. Nothings changed.”

Marx approaches, looking at Tom with curious eyes.

Tom nods. “Alright... Who was that?” he asks.

“If you would just follow me then. As soon as we square it away, we can begin the proce-

“Nothing… Oh, Nicki left.”

dure.” The Doctor turns, walking away.


Marx grabs Tom as he begins to follow, stop-

Tom stands waving, tearing up as Angela’s

ping him in his tracks. “How are you…”

bed is wheeled out of the room.

“Don’t worry. I’ll take care of it,” says Tom. He turns and walks down the hall, following the Doctor. Marx stands alone, staring after them. He walks to the elevator and waits. The elevator arrives, he gets in and the door closes before him, taking him to his next destination. * Angela lies in bed, half asleep, with the bear coddled between her arms as the monitors beep continuously. Tom stands over the bed, brushing her hair back, staring down at her. “You’re gonna be alright, baby. Daddy’s gonna fix you. The Doctor’s gonna take you, put you to sleep and when you wake up, you’re gonna be all better. You’re gonna be strong again.” “Like the princess?” asks Angela hoarsely. “Yeah. Just like the princess. I’ll see you in a bit, okay?” Angela nods as the Doctor and nurse stand waiting by the door. “I love you. I’ll be right here.” Tom leans over and gives her a kiss. The Doctor and nurse approach the bed, they unlock it and wheel it towards the door. “I love you, daddy,” says Angela hoarsely.


Chapter 16 Vincent reaches behind him, and reveals a gun in his hand, holding it casually. “Keep playing with us.” “Yeah, alright,” says Marx coldly. He passes Marx walks up the dirt road, masked in dark-

Vincent and heads into the office. He walks in

ness as he approaches the garage doors. The

and stands in front of a cluttered desk, lined

lights glowing from within, shining out into

with stacks of paperwork and surrounded by

the night. Marx enters and walks through the

filing cabinets.

garage amongst the cars and tires. He meets

Wayne, a fifty-four year old bull of a man

Connor, the twin son of Wayne, who has a gun

with a shaved head, sits behind the paper-

tucked behind at his waist. The muscular

cluttered desk. Wearing reading glasses, he

twenty-four year old directs him further in-

scribbles into a notebook. He looks up at

side, and Marx follows.

Marx, removes his glasses and says to him,

“He’s been waiting for you. He doesn’t like

“All day and all night. That’s how long I’ve

to wait.”

waited for you.”

“I didn’t have a choice,” says Marx.

“I know. I had…”

They walk through the garage and up to the

“When you came to me, desperate for work,

office where Vincent, the other twin, stands

I offered you a position. Didn’t I? And you ac-

smoking. He looks towards them.

cepted that position. And there were terms to that agreement…” Wayne reaches down and

“Next time we come find you,” Connor says

pulls up a sawn off shotgun, slamming it on

to Marx.

the table. “When you don’t show up, you are

Vincent approaches them, stomping his ciga-

breaking those terms.”

rette out. “Bout fuckin time.”

Marx stares at the shotgun, and then back at

“I already told him,” says Connor.

Wayne’s cold face.


“Not only are you breaking our agreement, but you’re also breaking my business. I run it. You’re supposed to help build it. Twenty-four hours can do a lot. If people can’t count on us then they’ll find someone else to count on. I can’t have that. Do you understand?” “Yes. I understand,” says Marx solemnly. “Next time, you come at your designated time. Or don’t come at all.” Marx nods in agreement. Wayne opens a drawer and pulls out a wrapped up package, dropping it in front of Marx, pointing to it, “There’s twice your usual, so you can make up what you lost me. Don’t fuck it up.” “Alright.” “Take it and go.” Marx grabs the package, slipping it into his pocket. He turns towards the door. “No more mistakes,” says Wayne. He puts his glasses back on, returning to his notebook.


Chapter 17 dated for now. It’ll be a few hours. She’ll have to stay a few more days, just for observation. But she’s good. She’ll be able to go home.” “Oh wow. Thank you. Thank you so much.” Tom sits around the empty hospital room.

“I wish you all well.”

He paces back and forth. The clock hand ticks as Tom sits waiting, and watching. Tom sits

The Doctor and nurses leave as Tom ap-

down, staring at the clock. Waiting and watch-

proaches Angela’s bedside. He strokes her

ing. The hand ticks and ticks. Tom turns over,

head and kisses her.

slumped in the chair, and stares at the walls,

Nicki approaches them both. “I’ll be here to

thinking to himself. The clocks ticks, and Tom

make sure she’s okay.”

falls asleep

“Thank you, again.”


“I guess you figured it all out?”

The sunlight pours in on him, waking him

Tom looks across the room. “I’ve got a plan.”

up. Tom sits up in his chair and looks up to see Nicki in her nurse’s uniform.

Nicki puts her hand on Tom’s shoulder as he sits with Angela, hand in hand.

“Hey. Morning. They’re bringing her in now. Everything looks great. She’s gonna be fine.” Angela’s bed is rolled into the room by the nurses with the Doctor in toe. Tom rubs his eyes, standing up. “She’s better?” he asks. “Uh-huh,” Nicki smiles, staring at Tom as the Doctor approaches. “Mr. Roberts, the operation was successful. We removed the tumor. She’s asleep, still se-


Chapter 18 dimly lit basement next to some others, placing his father’s on top. He pulls on the chain hanging from the light bulb, extinguishing the light. Tom’s car pulls up the driveway. He gets out


of the vehicle, closes the door behind him and

The garage door opens, revealing Tom out-

runs to the side door. He opens it and heads

side as the morning light floods the garage, il-

into the kitchen, dangling the car keys in his

luminating the space. The rusted Mustang sits

hand. “Marx,” he yells.

in the middle. Tom stares at the antique. He

The house sits quiet.

walks into the garage, and along the Mustang as he rubs his hand across the rusted surface.

“Marx,” Tom yells again. The silence echoes.

He stares at it.

Tom sees a wad of cash on the kitchen table. He approaches, lifting and examining it.

Wearing a face-mask, Tom approaches the

“Marx,” he yells.

vehicle, holding an electric sander in his hands. He begins sanding down the rusted

Tom peers into the living room, then goes to

car, moving across its surface, bit by bit. Work-

his father’s box in the corner of the kitchen

ing diligently. When he finishes, he grabs a

and removes the backpack that was hidden.

leaf blower and blows the sanded residue off

He grabs one of the other boxes, the one with

the car. He admires the smooth surface, rub-

his mother’s clothing, and places it on the ta-

bing his hand across it.

ble. He grabs a trash bag and dumps the clothing into it. He removes the cash from the back-

Tom fumbles in the corner of the garage,

pack and stacks it into the empty box. He

and returns holding a spray gun. He ap-

places the bag of clothes on top, closing the

proaches the sanded down Mustang and be-


gins working. He stands bent over the car, applying the paint in streams. The spray gun ech-

Tom carries the boxes down the basement

oes throughout the garage.

stairs. He stacks them in the corner of the


Chapter 19 Inside, the bank manager, an old grump with a name tag reading, ‘Jim,’ stands near the glass doors with his back turned, yelling, “And these windows, absolutely preposterous. I mean, this looks clean to you?”

The Mustang’s engine roars as the spray gun lies on the floor, the paint on the nozzle dried

The window cleaner, a young scruffy looking

up, its cord dangling across the floor. The side

man holding a rag and spray bottle, stands si-

of the driver’s door gleams in the moonlight

lent, looking irritated. The bank clerk nods

on the fresh black paint.

her head in disagreement as she sits in her booth counting money, listening to the old

Tom sits in the driver’s seat with the window

man complain.

down, both hands on the wheel, dressed in his black hooded sweatshirt, the backpack visible

“I shouldn’t even pay you,” yells the old

in the passenger’s seat. He sits with his hands


fixed on the wheel, staring through the glass

The window cleaner begins to squint, staring

as the engine roars. With his eyes fixed, Tom

past the manager, staring through the glass

slides on the gas mask, puts the car into drive


and takes off.

Tom approaches the second pair of double


doors, seeing the bank manager’s back turned

Dressed in black, camouflaged with the

through the glass.

night, the moonlight reflects off the creases of

The bank manager’s arms are up in the air

his mask, shining off the glass eye enclosures.

as he‘s ranting, yelling, “Worthless. Absolutely

Tom swiftly walks to the front door where the


bank lights shine through the glass entrance, the words ‘First National’ before him. He pulls

The window cleaner stares dumbfounded,

out his Colt from behind him, gripping it, the

the spray bottle in his hand drops to the

metal gleaming as he reaches for the door.

ground, spilling on the marble floor.


“The floor,” yells the bank manager as he

The girl nods her head, sniffling as she be-

points to it.

gins to pull out the cash. Tom puts one gun away, taking the backpack off his arm.

The Colt .45 cocks back, echoing in his ear. The manager freezes in place.

The cleaner stands still, frozen in place.

“The floor.”

“Come here. Put your hands down. Give this to her.” Tom throws the backpack to the win-

The Colt sits pointed to the bank manager’s

dow cleaner, who catches it and stares at it.


“Come on. Let’s go.”

“Ay, ay, hold on,” the old man mumbles nerv-

The cleaner shuffles over to the clerk, the

ously as he puts his hands up.

backpack in hand.

Tom stands with the gun pointed to the man-

Lying on the floor, the bank manager makes

ager’s skull. “Down. Now.”

a grunt. “Pray to god I don’t find you. You

The bank manager starts to lower himself to

scum. You worthless…”

the ground as Tom pulls out the other gun

Tom picks his foot up, crashing it down on

from behind him, pointing it towards the

the man’s back. The manager crashes face

bank clerk.

first into the floor, moaning.

The window cleaner, in the line of fire,

The bank clerk looks up, and then returns to

throws his hands up. The bank clerk nerv-

bagging the money up as she tries to hold

ously puts hers up too, breathing heavily.

back her smirk. When she finishes, the

“Listen, I’m not here to hurt you. Just empty

cleaner takes the bag from her and carries it

out what you have over there.”

over to Tom.

The clerk sits hyperventilating, with her

“Thank you.” Tom reaches into the backpack

hands still up.

and pulls out a stack of bills, he stuffs them into the window cleaner’s chest pocket and

“Hey, relax. Put your hands down. Breathe,”

winks at him. He then takes his foot off the

says Tom calmly.

old man and walks out the front door.

The clerk drops her hands slowly, breathing


in deeply.

The Mustang, gleaming black, shining like

“Everything’s fine. We’re all going home. No

slick oil, speeds off down the street with the

need for anyone to get hurt.”

tires screeching. It disappears into the night, reappearing for a split second under every passing streetlight. 67

Tom rips the mask off and glances down at the bag lying in the passenger’s seat, next to his gun. They both lie there, shining under the passing lights. Flashing over and over again. Calling to him. He watches, staring as if in a trance. “Too easy,“ he whispers. Tom returns his gaze to the road, smirking to himself, shifting gears. The black beauty races along the pavement, running wild through the night.


Chapter 20 Tom sneaks down the steps into the dark, turning the light on at the bottom of the basement. He grabs the stash box and opens it. Stacks of cash fill the bottom, neatly lined up with every crevice. Tom raises his shirt, reveal-

The front door of Liberty Bank is kicked

ing cash hidden on his waist. He pulls the

open, the cold night air rushes in.

packets out and lines them in the box, raising

Tom, masked and in black attire, runs in

the height.

holding his father’s Colts before him. “Down, everybody down,” he yells. The few customers standing in line shriek, dropping to the floor, raising their hands. Tom approaches the tellers with his guns drawn as they cower in their booths. He scans the bank as he aims his gun at a teller, holstering the other, pushing the backpack to her. “Fill it.” The bank teller sits crying and shaking. Tom lowers his gun and whispers into her ear. The teller nods in agreement, wipes her face and opens the drawer, filling the backpack. Tom keeps his gun raised, waving it about for compliance. The teller throws the cash into the bag, dropping a few as they flutter to the ground. Tom’s eyes gleam with thirst behind his mask. * 69

Chapter 21 Standing on the front porch, hidden under the

The teller begins to fill the black backpack

canopy from the day’s sun, Tom removes an

with the help of the other two tellers adjacent

eviction notice posted on the glass window of

in their booths, throwing cash in.

the front door. Scrapping off the tape left be-

Tom stands trained with his guns on the


three guards who are staring at him, grilling

Marx stands in the living room, watching his

him. He shifts his guns and gaze between

brother remove the notice off glass, watching

them. “Let’s be smart boys.”

him suspiciously. He turns and creeps out the

The men ease up while on the floor.

side door.



Tom unloads the backpack into the stash

Tom sits in the hospital room at Angela’s

box, stuffing it some more. Adding more and

bedside. She smiles and giggles. He holds her

more to it. The pile growing. He stacks the

hand, staring at her eyes. Bright and full of

boxes on top of each other, hiding his new-

life. Just as his.

found fortune. He clicks the light off and *

creeps up the stairs in the dark.

Tom stands in the entrance of Bank United, gun in hand. He yells, “Listen up, on the floor. I need everyone to cooperate.” The customers and two guards get down on the floor. A third guard in the corner tries to sneak off. Tom quickly pulls out his other gun from behind, pointing it towards him. “I said everyone,” he yells, staring directly at the man. In a heartbeat, the guard drops to the floor.


Chapter 22 Marx stands on the corner, selling to the approaching cars. Pull up, hand off. Pull up, hand off. Transaction after transaction, in cars and on foot. They meet him and disappear as quickly, without a trace. Only the cash

Tom carries Angela in his arms. He walks

to show for it, building up in his hand, cus-

her up the yard, up the porch and to the front

tomer after customer

door as they smile at one another. He cradles her in his arms, walking her inside. Nicki and Marx follow behind, holding balloons with ’Welcome Home’ script lettering and fresh bouquets of flowers. Nicki, Angela, and Tom sit at the kitchen table, laughing and eating together. An empty plate lays in Marx’s spot. Marx leaves through the front door as the rest of them continue enjoying themselves in the kitchen, shouting and laughing. * Marx walks down the road and comes up to the main street, to a corner where two buddies greet him. Cars pull over and the two associates run up to them. Another car approaches and Marx runs to the window, scanning the area, pulling out a bag of crystals. He passes it off as the driver hands him cash, pocketing it as the car drives off. 71

Chapter 23 The tellers sit stuffing the bag full of money. Tom crouches and smiles as the backpack fills. “Perfect, just perfect.” With the protruding backpack in hand, Tom Tom and Nicki sit on the couch with Angela

jumps off the counters, waving his guns as he

in between holding a bowl of popcorn. A

heads for the front door.

movie plays on the newly bought big screen,

He jumps into his black beauty parked in

echoing through the house as Marx silently

front of the bank and speeds off. The tires

heads out the front door.

echo through the night, leaving behind rem-


nants of burnt rubber.

Tom stands tall, on the clerk’s counter, guns

Across the street, the payphone sits occu-

drawn and pointed. “This will only take a min-

pied. The man inside stands watching, staring

utes. I’m sorry to inconvenience you.”

at the bank, talking into the receiver. “Yeah, like a muscle car. Black. And it just drove off.

Tom points his guns, walking along the

Speed off. He ran right out of Union Bank.”

counters as the tellers scrap up the cash into the backpack. He then crouches down to the teller holding the backpack protruding with cash. “Almost over. No need to worry.” * Marx stands alone under the streetlight, serving cars and people on foot. Sale after sale, collecting cash. *


Chapter 24 Tom chuckles, “Hopefully that changes soon.” He leads Sam further into the living room where Angela is crouching by the couch. “Ah, there she is,” says Sam as he squats The doorbell rings.

down to Angela’s height. “Hey. How are you feeling? You all better?”

Angela sits in the newly furnished living room, on one of two couches in front of the

Angela shyly smiles, grinning at him. “Yeah.

big screen television. The doorbell rings

I’m big and strong now daddy says.”

again, and she yells, “Daddy.”

“Aw. Good to hear. That’s all we wanted.”

“I’m coming.”

The captain smiles at her, patting her head. He stands up to a smiling Tom. “She looks

Angela gets off the couch, and heads to-

great. Thank god.”

wards the door as Tom rushes down the stairs, passing her. “I got it, baby.”

“Yeah, after the operation. Complete recovery, complete remission.”

Tom opens the door with Angela hovering by the couch, peeking, as Captain Smith, in

“Well it’s about time for you guys.”

uniform, stands in the doorway.

Tom smirks, “Yeah. Finally.”

“Hi, Tom.”

Sam looks around the living room, noticing

“Sam, hey. How are you? What’re you doing

it, and looks back to Tom. “New?”


“Yeah. Few things. Thought we’d change it

“Eh, thought I’d come check up on you, on


Angela. I heard about her.”

“It’s nice.” The Captain continues to check

“Yeah, come on in. It’s good to see you.”

out the living room. “Is Marx here?” he asks.

Captain Smith steps into the house. “It’s

“No. He walked out hours ago. God knows

weird not seeing you everyday, kid.”

where.” 73

“Yeah. That’s Marx.” The Captain looks

“Sam, why didn’t you tell me about my fa-

down at the couch.


“Please, sit,” says Tom.

“What?” asks Sam. He sits perplexed. “Tell you what?”

The Captain sits down and looks over at Tom who sits down on the other. He stares for

Tom stares, he turns to his daughter, “An-

a minute, gathering his thoughts. “Look, Tom.

gela, go upstairs. Please.”

I gotta ask you something.”

Angela, looking at the two of them, slowly

Tom looks at Sam curiously and asks, “What

walks to the steps.

is it?”

“Angela, please. Now.”

“You’re father’s car, the Mustang. Do you

“Uh, okay,” whispers Angela. She walks up-

still have it?”

stairs, leaving the two men alone on the

Tom stares at him with a straight face. “That


old thing. Why do you ask?”

“My mother kept a box of my father’s things.

“Well, because…” Captain Smith tries to find

There were letters… to her, to me. I read

the right words, unsure of what to say, staring

them. I know, Sam. I know everything.”

at the floor, “This call came in the other day,

Captain Smith looks at him curiously, puz-

during a bank job. That a vintage mustang

zled at the moment.

was at the scene… I just couldn’t stop thinking

“I know about him, about you, about Wayne.

about your father. About his old Mustang. I don’t know, I was wondering if you still had it.

Why didn’t you tell me, Sam. Why didn’t you

I thought maybe it had gotten stolen. Or

say anything? To me, or for him?” Tom says,

maybe you had sold it. I don’t know. Maybe

louder and louder.

someone inquired about it.” Sam stares at the

Captain Smith sits uneasy; his eyes wide

straight-faced Tom. “Do you?”

open as Tom raises himself to his feet.

Tom blinks at the Captain, choking inside.

“You’re just as guilty. You didn’t say any-

“Do I what?” he asks.

thing while he sat there year after year. He died there, while you sat quiet,” Tom yells.

“Do you still have it?”

Sam stares in shock. “Tom, please. Stop.

Tom stares at him. Speechless. His mind racing, working, looking for a way out. He stares,

That was a long time ago.” He stands up, un-

watching him. His heart racing. Then, his sub-

easy and nervous. “I was young and naïve. We

tle expression turns into a hard gaze. He

all were. Please, Tom. It was a different time.”

stares and waits, watching coldly. 74

“But you didn’t say anything. You know he

“Good. Don’t get used to it. I’m still your Cap-

didn’t kill those people. Wayne did.”

tain,” says Sam, smirking at Tom, “You should be back to work in no time.”

“Tom, I know. I wish I could have. But I couldn’t. Your father wouldn’t let me. He

“That’s all I’ve been waiting for.”

saved me. He got me out and wanted me to

Captain Smith heads for the front door,

stay out. He wouldn’t allow it. Your father was

opening it. He turns back to Tom, “Good. Like

unlike anyone I ever met.”

I said, it’s not the same without you.”

Tom stares, listening attentively.

Tom holds the door as Captain Smith heads

“Your father gave me a second chance. An-


other life. I would’ve done anything I could.

“Take it easy, kid.”

You’re right, it was Wayne. But you don’t un-

“Thank Sam,” says Tom, shutting the door

derstand the hold he had on us. On me. I had

after him.

to keep quiet, it meant your mother and brother’s safety. That’s all your father cared

Marx stands by the side door in the kitchen,

about. He was willing to sacrifice himself for

listening. He backs out the door as he hears

that, since day one,” says Sam as he ap-

the front shut, and Tom runs upstairs. Marx

proaches him, coming closer. “I’m sorry, Tom.

stands in the doorway with a look of shock in

About your father, how it all turned out. I

his eyes.

promised him, no matter what, I’d watch over you. That’s what I’m here for…” Captain Smith looks around the living room, “Now Tom, whatever you’re doing, it needs to stop. I have a good idea. And it’s over... I don’t want you to end up like your father.” Tom holds his hands on his head, breathing out, nodding in agreement. “I get it. I of all people do. But it’s done with now, okay? I’ll take care of the whole car situation. But no more,” says Sam as he points his finger at Tom. “Over. It’s done.”


Chapter 25 “I’m still working on the last batch.” “Then fuckin work harder.” Marx stares at the brick in his hands, pocketing it.

Marx stands on the corner under the aura of the streetlight. He walks over and makes a

“Shit better be on point too.”

sale to a car, returning with cash in hand. He

“Yeah. I know,” says Marx as he starts to exit

stands alone, in deep thought, a slow night for

the car.


“And look the fuck alive out there. If any-

A burgundy car pulls up across the street.

thing happens, it’s your ass.”

Whistling. “Yo.”

“Whatever, man.” Marx slams the door shut.

Marx stands still in deep thought.

He walks back from the car, hands in his pockets, looking around conspicuously.

“Yo,” the voice yells out.


Marx jerks his head to the car, squinting, as the window lowers to reveal Vince who’s wav-

Marx opens the front door, entering the dark

ing him over. Marx looks around and ap-

living room, closing the door behind him. He

proaches the car.

creeps upstairs and through the hall, feeling his way about. He notices the closed doors

“Get in,” says Vince.

and quietly enters his room, gently closing it

Marx enters the car, shutting the door be-

behind him.

hind him. “What’s goin on?” he asks.

Marx stands quietly, listening to the silence.

“Emergency delivery. We got an excess ship-

Posters line the walls, full of faces and charac-

ment, gotta get it off,” says Vince as he pulls

ters, watching and witnessing. He pulls out a

out a package the size of a brick, tossing it to

small bag, filled with crystal packed bags, and


slowly stuffs them into a drawer under some


clothes. He pulls out the brick sized package slowly, listening to the quiet as he stuffs it into the same spot. He shuts the drawer half way. He creeps into bed, listening to the silence, and then switches the light off in bed.


Chapter 26 Tom opens the drawer, tossing whatever sticks out. He freezes. His face blank, expressionless as he reaches in and pulls out the brick sized package. He digs deeper and finds some plastic bags, and some already sorted

Tom walks down the hall and opens the door

out. Tom’s face turns to disgust. He looks to

to Angela’s room, peeking in. He sees her still

the door and nods in disapproval, clenching

lying in bed. “Angela, wake up.”

his jaw.

“Uh, huh,” she whines.

Tom grabs the package and the rest along

Tom stares at she lies there, not moving. He

with it, and storms out of the room.

says, “Angela, let’s go.”

He opens the seat cover and tears the pack-

“Okay. Fine,” she says as she sits up.

age open, shaking the crystal into the toilet. The fine powder rains down into the abyss,

Tom turns and walks back into the hall. He

disappearing with a flick of a flush. He throws

walks next door to Marx’s room, opening it.

the rest of the bags out, flushing all of the


drawer’s contents, slamming the seat cover

The room sits quiet, messy and covered with




“Marx?” Tom opens the door all the way and

Tom stands at the stove cooking breakfast,

looks around, shaking his head in disapproval

scrambling some eggs. He sets the plates

as he steps in. He crouches down and picks up

down at the table. “Five minutes, Angela.”

some clothes by the door, tossing them onto the bed. He walks around the room, picking

“Okay,” she yells.

up more shirts and socks, tossing them. He

Tom returns to the stove when the side door

turns and sees the dresser drawer open with

opens, and Marx comes in.

more hanging out.

“Hey,” says Marx.


Tom ignores his greeting, concentrating on

Marx leans up against the wall, his hands

the stove. “Where were you?” he asks.

covering his face. “I can’t believe you did that. You fucked me,” he mumbles. He stands, nod-

“Ran out for a minute.”

ding to himself. “You fucked me. That wasn’t


mine. That was Wayne’s.”

Marx walks through the kitchen, with Tom

“I don’t give a fuck whose it was.”

still focused on the stove. He listens as Marx

“He’s gonna be looking for that. He’s gonna

walks through the living room and up the

look for me. Do you know what you just did,

stairs. He stands listening to the silence… fol-

you screwed us,” says Marx louder as he gets

lowed by drawers slamming and being tossed

off the wall and approaches Tom. “You

around. Marx’s footsteps come crashing down

screwed all of us. You think he’s just gonna let

the stairs as he flies into the kitchen.

that go?” he yells.

Tom is straight faced, his eyes still fixed on

Tom stands quiet.

the frying pan as Marx stands pale, panting. “Where is it?” he asks nervously.

“We’re talking about Wayne.”

“Where’s what?”

“Look, I’ll take care of Wayne. Don’t worry about that.”

“You know what I mean. Where is it?”

Marx turns and leans up against the wall

“Oh, the drugs in my house... Gone.”


“What do you mean gone?” yells Marx.

“What’re you doing this for, huh?” asks

“I mean gone. I flushed it all.”


Marx is pale, his eyes in horror as he rubs

“What do you mean for what? For us. To

his hands roughly through his hair. “What the

help, so we don’t lose everything.”

fuck did you do?” he yells.

Tom approaches him, his anger has sub-

Tom finally turns from the stove with a face

sided. “That’s my job to worry about. Not

full of anger and approaches his distraught

yours. Your job’s to be a kid. Go to school.

brother. “No. What the fuck are you doing

Don’t do this shit. Your better than that.”

with drugs in my house? Angela’s here for

Marx looks up at Tom, studying him.

god’s sake,” he yells, and nods in disapproval, “What the fuck are you doing peddling that

“No more. Alright? If something happened


to you, I don’t know what I’d do. We need you, okay?”


Marx nods in agreement, quiet for a mo-

Tom flicks on the light as Marx stands at the

ment. “We need you too. What if something

top of the stairs. “Come on.”

happens to you?”

Marx comes down as Tom carries the stash

Tom looks at him curiously. “Why would

box over to the washing machine, placing it


on top.

“I heard you the other night, with Sam.”

“First, let me you show you this…”

Tom freezes in place.

Marx watches him as he opens it. He leans over, peering inside, seeing stacks of bills in-

“All the money, the house, the operation…

side the box. The edges lay lined up from cor-

didn’t come from nowhere,” says Marx.

ner to corner.

Tom stands quiet, at a loss for words. He

Marx’s jaw drops open. “Fuck. Holy fuck.”

takes a deep breath. “Look. Marx, I… I didn’t know what to do. I did what I had to at the mo-

“Like I said, you might as well stop what

ment. For Angela. For all of us.”

you’re doing.”

“I know. So did I.”

Marx sticks his hand in, shifting the stacks. “And we might as well keep doing what you’re

Tom stares, then smirks at him. “I guess we


really are related.”

“No. No more. I promised Sam. But here,

“Seems that way.”

look…” Tom walks over and grabs their fa-

“I’m done though,” says Tom.

ther’s old, worn out box, opening it. He reaches in and grabs the letters and photos,

“Me too.”

handing them to Marx.

The two of them crack a smile.

A photo of the family sits on top as he stares

“Guess we’re more like dad than we

at it. Marx leans back and takes a seat on the


washer. “I forgot what he looked like. Mom never had any pictures out.”

Marx pulls out a seat at the table, sitting down. “About that. I think we have some

“I think she just wanted to forget every-

catching up to do.”


Tom returns to the frying pan on the stove.

“I don’t really know much about him.”

“You have no idea.”

“Turns out I didn’t either… The letters, you’ll *



The two of them sit huddled in the corner, reading.


Chapter 27 Vince looks at him confused, when Wayne comes out, cleaning his hands with a rag. “It’s alright, he’s good,” says Wayne as he nods his head, “Tom.” Tom enters the garage passing the cars and


lifts. He looks around, noticing the changes

“What can I do for you?”

when Connor spots him walking through. “Can I help you?” he asks.

“My brother, Marx. I know all about it.”

Tom keeps walking, looking around. “Yeah.

Wayne smirks and says, “And your point is?”

Where’s Wayne?”

“That he’s done. Leave him alone. And…”

Connor looks at him suspiciously. “And you

Tom reaches behind him.


Immediately, Vince reaches behind him and

Tom keeps walking. “Looking for Wayne,”

pulls out a gun.

he replies as he walks past Connor.

Tom freezes. “Whoa.”

“Yo,” the twin yells at him.

Wayne waves his hand at Vince. “Easy.”

Vince comes out, and heads towards Tom.

Tom slowly pulls out a brown bag, the size of

“Hold up. What do you want?”

a brick from behind him. “And for what he

“Wayne,” yells Tom as he looks around.

owes you, plus your troubles.”

Vince positions himself in front of him. “You

Tom tosses the bag to Wayne, who opens it,

don’t just walk up in here like you own the

fingering the stack of cash. He smirks at it, re-


turning his gaze to Tom.

Connor stands behind Tom, surrounding

“This is nice and all, but, the problem is, I


need Marx. He’s my best earner. This doesn’t even compare close to what he brings in on av-

“Used to,” he replies. 82

erage. And, you also leave me the trouble of replacing him. Where am I going to find another Marx?” He shakes his head in disapproval at Tom. “This isn’t going to work.” “Look, my brother’s done. You got it?” “I’d say, hmm, a good $100,000. That’s about right, for my troubles.” Tom grins angrily. “That’s ridiculous.” “Then I guess your brother doesn’t mean that much to you.” Tom approaches closer, Vince slightly raises his gun. “Look, that’s all I have.” “If that’s the case, your brother better keep working then. Otherwise accidents are bound to happen.” Tom stares at him coldly and says, “What? You’re gonna do him like my father?” Wayne looks at him curiously, then grins as he nods to himself. “Yeah, I know all about it. Leave Marx alone.” Wayne takes a few steps forward. “Even inside, your father thought he was safe from me,” he says as he stares coldly at Tom, “Don’t make the same mistake. I always get my way.” He nods to Vince. “Get him the fuck outta here.” Vince pushes Tom towards the exit. He turns and makes his way out of the garage, looking back at Wayne who’s smirking at him.


Chapter 28 “Fuck off,” yells Marx as he tries to get loose from his grip. “Wrong answer.” Vince swings a punch into Marx’s stomach,

Marx walks down the sidewalk with a bag of

making him drop the bag of groceries as he

groceries, glowing under the streetlights,

bends over to clench himself. Vince swings

minding his business. He walks casually when

again, this time a punch into his head, making

the burgundy car appears behind him, trailing

Marx stumble, placing his hand on the floor to


balance himself.

Connor sits behind the wheel, driving as Vince points behind the windshield at Marx.

“I’ve been waiting for this,” says Vince.

“That’s him right there. Get closer.”

He grins as he winds up for a punch, but

Marx walks as the burgundy car drives

Marx lunges and sneaks a punch into his chin.

closer, and then pulls to a stop. The passen-

Vince stumbles back, surprised as he rubs his

ger’s door flies open and Vince jumps out the

jaw. Marx begins to stand.

car as Marx turns to look back. He spots the

“Alright then. Got some fight in you.”

twin running out and turns pale faced.

Marx lunges forward, hitting Vince in the

“Hey,” yells Vince. He runs full speed to-

head, but he quickly moves out the way and

wards Marx, just as he begins to run away.

crashes his fist into Marx’s chin. Marx stum-

Marx darts down the sidewalks but Vince

bles, and Vince grabs him and smashes his

catches him, grabbing him by the shirt.

head with a punch. He falls to his knees as the

“Marx. Buddy, where you going?” He clenches

ringing fills his ears. The floor shifting before

him by the shirt tightly.


“Get the fuck off me,” yells Marx as he tries

“I’ll show you,” yells Vince.

to pull loose.

Vince smashes Marx’s nose, and blood be-

“You got anything for me?”

gins to pour as he hits him over and over 84

again. Marx falls to the ground next to the spilled groceries as Vince continues to punish him. Punch after punch, blood spills. The world around him spinning. Connor honks from the car, waving to his brother. “Let’s go. Come on,” he yells. Vince stands up with blood on his hands, and says to Marx, “Piece of shit. Get our money.” He stares at him coldly, and then kicks his bloody, limp less body. He returns to the burgundy car and speeds off with his brother. Marx lies on the sidewalk, bloody and pummeled. Trying to gain focus of his surroundings.


Chapter 29 Marx breathes heavily, moaning through his tattered lips, “Wayne.” Nicki stands, her face in horror, holding her hands over her mouth. “Oh Marx,” she The streetlights glow, illuminating Marx,

shrieks. She rushes out the room into the

bloody and bruised as he limps down the

kitchen, yelling, “I’ll get the first aid kit.”

road. He staggers, holding his torso as he

Angela stands in the corner, scared.

trudges, foot by foot. Breathing heavily as the blood drips. He limps all they way to the front

“Angela, get him some water,” says Tom.

of the house, to the front door.

Angela hurries into the kitchen.


“Wayne did this?” asks Tom.

Tom, Nicki, and Angela sit on the couch in

“Vince and Connor. Well, Vince.”

front of the big screen television, laughing and talking. An old family photo of Tim Roberts

Tom nods his head in disapproval as Nicki

sits in a frame on the coffee table, watching

rushes in with the first aid kit. She opens it,

them. The front door opens and the three of

pulling out bandages and gauze. Angela re-

them turn and look.

turns with a glass of water, holding it out to Marx.

Marx limps in, bloody and bruised, leaning himself against the door.

“Thanks, angel.”

Immediately, Tom jumps up off the couch, his

Marx takes a gulp of water, spilling some on himself as Nicki starts to wipe the blood off

eyes in horror.

him with a wet rag.

“Oh my god,” shrieks Nicki.

“Marx. I’m so sorry,” says Tom.

“Marx,” yells Tom as he runs to the door,

Marx nods his head in disagreement. “No,

catching him in mid stride, “What hap-

don’t. It’s fine.”



Tom stands nodding his head as Nicki treats

Nicki continues to treat Marx as he moans in

Marx on the couch. Angela stands by her side,

pain. She dabs his wounds, cleaning the blood

watching her work. Tom walks into the

and applying bandages to them. Angela hov-

kitchen, grabs the phone and heads back into

ers in the corner, staring.

the living room. He begins to dial, holding the

Tom watches, feeling guilty. “Fuck,” he whis-

phone to his ear.

pers to himself.

“What’re you doing?” asks Marx between breaths. “I’m calling Sam.” The phone rings twice, and answers. “Hello.” “Sam, it’s Tom. I need your help,” he says eagerly. “Tom, what’s wrong?” “It’s Wayne. They beat Marx. They beat him bad. He’s a mess right now.” “This happened now?’ asks Sam.
 “Yeah, he just got in. I don’t know how he even made it.” “Over what?” “Some money. Marx was in it for him. I paid him, told him it was over but he wanted more. They won’t let him go. And now they beat the blood out of him.” “Okay. Relax. I’ll take care of it. Just sit back and wait. Don’t do anything drastic. I’ll settle it.” “Okay. Thanks, Sam.” Tom clicks the phone off, standing uneasy.


Chapter 30 “For what do we owe the pleasure?” asks Wayne as he smiles at him creepily. “We need to talk,” says Sam. “Anything you’ve got to say, you can say in

An unmarked squad car approaches from

front of my boys.”

down the road, kicking up dirt as it heads towards the garage. The car stops, the driver’s

Sam looks at the two sons, uneasy. “The kid,

door opens and a cigarette butt falls to the

Marx. I need you to leave him alone.”

ground as Captain Smith steps out, shutting

“You need me to leave him alone?” laughs

the door behind him. Sam approaches the ga-


rage as Connor stands by the entrance. The

“Wayne. You’ve screwed up that family

two disappear inside.

enough, just leave the kid alone.”

Wayne sits on the hood of a dismantled car,

“Ah yes, the Roberts’ family. How could we

reading a newspaper. On the front in big bold letters reads, ‘Spree of Bank Robberies.’ He

forget about them.” Wayne gets up off the car,

flips through the article.

grabbing the newspaper. “You know, I got a visit the other day from good old Thomas. He

Connor, with Captain Smith in toe, appear

said something interesting to me that caught

and make their way inside the garage. Wayne

my attention. A curious fact, about his father.”

looks up from the newspaper at them. He

Captain Smith looks at him curiously.

folds the paper and lays it on the hood next to him. Vince appears from behind the same car

“A fact that he wouldn’t have known…

with a wrench in hand as Sam approaches.

You’ve been running your mouth, Sam?”

Wayne eyes the Captain curiously, “Captain,

“No. It’s not like that…”


“And then I realized something, something

“Wayne,” nods Sam.

awfully familiar. I don’t know how I didn’t see


it sooner,” says Wayne as he tosses the folded newspaper into Sam’s arms. Sam catches it and looks down at the headline, ‘Spree of Bank Robberies.’ “You don’t even bother to bring me in? In my own town?” Sam nods his head in disagreement. “Not at all, Wayne. I didn’t…” “You’re gonna cut me out?” “Look, you don’t get it…” “Oh, I get it.” Wayne turns around, secretly pulling a wrench out in front of him, clenching it. “I completely get it. You think I wouldn’t recognize the car that was used... I know that car.” Wayne turns around quickly, cracking Sam in the face with the wrench. He drops to the floor on his knees, grunting as he clenches his face, the blood pouring through his fingers. Connor and Vince chuckle in the background as they watch. “You think you can take money out of my pocket,” says Wayne. He circles the Captain while holding the wrench. “You never really were a team player. Nothing but a liability.” Wayne swings the wrench into Sam’s face, splattering blood on impact as his body drops to the floor. Sam moans in agony as Wayne stands over him. “I’m gonna get mine.”


Chapter 31 Holding the phone, Tom’s eyes widen. “Sam?” he asks. “To, Tom,” Sam whispers again. “Sam?” Tom yells. The kitchen sits quiet as

The phone in the kitchen rings as Tom, An-

they listen.

gela, Nicki and the injured Marx sit at the table, eating and conversing. Tom gets up and

“I guess Sam can’t talk at the moment,” says

grabs the phone. “Hello?” he asks


The whole table turns, sitting quietly.

Tom’s face floods with anger. “Wayne. What is this?” he yells.

“Hello?” Tom asks again. He listens attentively to some incoherent noises.

“What Sam was trying to say is that he’s in trouble… Sam’s in trouble. You already know


your brother’s on that list, too. Should we ex-

Wayne sits on the hood of the dismantled

tend that to your daughter, and that pretty

car as Vince holds the dialer of the corded

nurse of yours?” says Wayne as he sits on the

phone. He has the bloody, half conscious Sam

hood of the car.

by the collar in one hand, and the phone in

“You son of a bitch…”

the other in Sam’s face. Connor stands to the side.

“Listen. I know about the banks. And frankly, I’m hurt. You wanna fix this? You

“Go on, say something,” whispers Wayne to

want this trouble to go away, for you, all of

the Captain. He jerks Sam by the collar.

you? Bring over the cash. That’s it.” Wayne

“Come on. It’s your buddy, Tom.”

sits grinning, “Otherwise…”

Captain Smith raises his head slightly and

“Okay,” says Tom.

whispers, trying to make the words out, “T, T, Tom.”

“I want it today.” “I’ll be there.” 90

“And Tom. I want all of it. There was what,

Marx walks halfway down the stairs. “I’m

five of them? Count accordingly.” Wayne

coming with you,” he says.

hangs up the phone. He lets go of Sam’s col-

“No, you’re not coming.”

lar, dropping him to the floor.

“Let me help.”

“What about him?” asks Vince as he nods to-

“No. You’re staying here.”

wards the Captain.

“You’re gonna need me. You can’t do this

“Hold him, till he comes. Then we’ll deal


with both.”

“I don’t know what this is, but whatever it is,


you’re better off with him,” says Nicki.

Tom slams the phone onto its hook. He goes

“You’ll be outnumbered. You need someone

to the kitchen drawer, grabs a black garbage

to watch your back,” says Marx.

bag and walks out. Angela and Marx look at one another curiously as Tom’s footsteps head

“Take him. I’ll stay here with Angela.”

into the basement.

“Alright. But you do as I say.” Tom stares at

He stands hunched over the cardboard box,

his brother.

filling the black trash bag with the bundles of

Marx nods in agreement. “Gotcha.”

cash. Pulling out stack after stack.

“I’ve got an idea.”

Nicki comes down the stairs, as Marx stands in the doorway. “Tom?” she asks as she approaches him. Tom empties the whole box of the money into the trash bag. Nicki’s eyes widen at the sight. “What’s all that?” she asks as she stares at it. “Tom?” Tom turns to her, holding the filled trash bag. “Please, I’ll explain later. Right now I have to help Sam. I have to help all of us.” “I don’t understand.” “There’s something I have to do. I’ll tell you everything when I can, I promise.”


Chapter 32 Angela walks over, and Tom plants a kiss on her head. “Daddy’s gotta leave real quick. You’re gonna stay with Nicki, okay?” Angela nods her head in agreement. Tom and Marx stand around the kitchen ta-

“I love you.”

ble, with the two guns and bag on top, as Nicki stands watching in the corner. Angela

“Love you too, daddy.”

peeks around the wall of the living room,

Tom turns and grabs the trash bag off the

watching curiously.

kitchen table as Marx kisses Angela goodbye.

“We have to separate them. That’s the only

The two of them walk out of the side door.

way. And if Wayne’s as greedy as I think, he

They make their way up the dark driveway to

should go for it,” says Tom as he grabs one of

the garage door, and lift it open as Marx holds

the Colt .45s, cocks it, and hands it over to

the bag.

Marx, “Let’s hope.”

The garage door opens, the moonlight illumi-

“Yeah. Because most likely, we’re not walk-

nates the cluttered space as Tom and Marx

ing out of there.”

stand at the opening. Marx, with the bag, heads to the passenger’s side of the black 1968

“I know.” Tom picks up the other Colt .45

Mustang, and gets in. Tom gets into the

and tucks it behind him.

driver’s side.

Marx watches and does the same. Tom

The car engine roars as the headlights turn

walks over to Nicki, puts his hand on her


cheek and kisses her.

Inside, Tom turns to Marx, eyeing him. “You

“Come back home,” she says.

ready?” he asks.

“Promise.” Tom smiles at her, and turns to

“You have no idea,” Marx smirks.

Angela who’s still peeking from behind the living room wall. “Angela, come here.”


The rear lights glow as the black beauty drives out of the garage, into the night, and down the driveway. They drive down the road, through the town and onto the main street. The Mustang drives up near some stores and pulls over to the side. The passenger’s door cracks open and Marx starts to step out of the vehicle. “Remember, be there waiting. Keep an eye out. We can’t fuck this up,” says Tom. Marx nods in agreement. “This, I won’t.” He steps out of the car with the gun exposed; he fixes his shirt, covering it. He closes the door, walking away as the Mustang speeds off, driving down the street. Driving behind the wheel, Tom grabs the gun from behind his waist, cocking it. He sticks the gun under the seat and shifts gears, speeding off.


Chapter 33 “Alright, move,” he says as he shoves Tom forward. The three of them head inside the garage. *

The garage sits lit in the dark, with Connor and Vince standing outside, guns in hand.

“It’s so simple. Just do what I say. The kid

Connor stands leaned up against the wall as

just doesn’t listen. Every time.” Wayne is sit-

the other smokes. Connor squints into the dis-

ting on the hood of the car with Sam, bloody

tance, he turns to his brother and says, “He’s

and bruised, at his feet and a sawn off shotgun


dangling in his hand. He chuckles. “Damn kids. Just like us, right?”

Vince turns, scanning the road and sees the Mustang speed up the road, approaching

Footsteps approach.

them. Connor and him stand up, more alert,

Wayne turns his head to the sound. He sees

taking a few steps out of the garage with their

Tom come in with the two twins behind him,

guns slightly drawn.

approaching him. Tom looks bewildered at

The Mustang pulls up, and parks. The

the sight of Sam. Wayne lifts the shotgun,

driver’s door opens and Tom steps out with

turns it to Tom and cocks it. “Guess you were

the trash bag in hand, he spots the twins and

in no fuckin hurry, huh? Poor bastard

raises his hands to surrender. He slowly

could’ve bleed out by now.”

reaches and closes the door shut.

Connor, who’s holding the trash bag, brings

Connor and Vince approach him and the

it to his father.


“Had to make sure I got it all,” says Tom.

“I’m unarmed. Just me and the money.”

Wayne opens the trash bag, peers in and

Vince nods to Connor, who tucks his gun.


Connor pats Tom down, then takes the trash bag and looks inside. He grins with content. 94

“It’s more then you asked for. But it’s all

“Look, I’ve got a good thing going for me. No


need to fuck it up. This way we both prosper.”

Wayne slides off the car’s hood and ap-

“I already do well, Tom.”

proaches Tom, with the sawn off shotgun

“Why not do better. Don’t sell yourself

aimed in one hand. “Of course it’s all mine. It

short… I have a job set up tonight as it is, why

should’ve been all along. All you had to do

let it go to waste. We’ll both profit. It would be

was come by, offer a little something here and

a shame not to cash in. Fifty, fifty?”

there. Show a little respect. That’s all. Guess

Wayne continues to slowly walk around

your father didn’t teach you what’s right and

Tom. “Hmm.”

what’s wrong.” He smirks at Tom, who stares back coldly.

“Sixty, forty? Look, Wayne. I’ve got a little girl to take care of. Our families used to work

“So we’re good?” asks Tom.

together. No reason why we can’t again. For-

Wayne approaches chuckling, the shotgun

get the past.”

aimed towards Tom’s stomach. “Well I am, I

“You know, I did like your father, before he

know that.”

tried to up and quit on me,” says Wayne as he

“But you said…”

stops in front of Tom, the shotgun pointed

“Yeah. I know what I said. I say a lot. It’s

back at his stomach.

just… the amount of disrespect I felt. I just

“I’m no quitter.”

can’t get over that,” says Wayne as he grins at

“Why not just cut you out and take the job


myself? Huh? Save me the trouble?”

Tom stands, staring, looking nervous. “Busi-

Tom stares at him in the face, and says,

ness partners. We’ll be business partners.”

“Times have changed. It’s not like it was.

Wayne begins to circle Tom with the shot-

More guards, more security. I’ve been plan-

gun. “Business partners? The thing is, I al-

ning and prepping all week. Tonight’s a cash

ready don’t like your business practices. I

drop, at a certain hour. Fuck the drawers, it’s

have to tell you to cut me in. You just pull

the vault. Four guards, armed and trained.

your brother out, no two weeks notice or any-

Three man job. Driver and two inside. One for

thing. Bad business, Tom.”

each guard.”

“We’ll be business partners, and Marx will

Wayne looks at Tom curiously.

come back and work too.”

“I know what the fuck I’m talking about.”

“Hmm, tempting.”


“If it’s a three man job, how were you gonna

“Connor will be. He’ll go in with you. He’s a

do it?”

great shot. Very precise.” Wayne smiles as he pats his son on the shoulder. “So plan accord-

“Me, Marx, and Sam driving.”


Wayne turns to Sam who’s still lying on the

“And I’m just supposed to go in empty

floor and whistles at him. “Sam, back at it.

handed?” asks Tom.

Sam the Wheelman. I knew you couldn’t resist.” He turns back to Tom and says, “The

“No, not at all.” Wayne pulls out a wrench,

way I see it, I’ve got me and my two boys.”

with Sam’s dried blood on it, and holds it out to Tom. “Make it count.” He smiles as Tom

“I know you’ve done your share, but this

grabs it from him.

isn’t one of those lets run in and figure shit out later jobs.”

Tom looks over at his friend, and asks, “What about Sam?”

Wayne’s grin turns to a cold stare.

“Sam will be here till you get back. We still

“This is all about timing and precision. Secu-

have some catching up to do anyways.”

rity has advanced in the last twenty years

Wayne turns to him, “Right, Sam?”

since your time. Shit’s different. Plus your two boys have no experience, they barely count.

Tom looks at his bloody friend remorsefully.

So someone needs to know what the fuck

Wayne turns back to face him. “Like I said,

they’re doing.”

we’ll be waiting.”

Tom remains straight faced as Wayne stud-

Vince starts heading towards the front and

ies him.

yells, “Let’s go.”

“Alright. You got yourself a deal, partner.”

Tom turns and begins to follow him out. Con-

Wayne drops the gun to his side, and extends

nor starts to follow too.

his hand. Tom grabs it and the two shake

“Connor,” shouts Wayne.

firmly, eyes locked. “You’ll go with my boys.”

He turns around to see his father waving

The two men retreat. Wayne slides back over near Sam and says, “But… Till you prove your

him over. He walks over and Wayne puts his

trust, no gun.”

arm around his neck, his face next to his. “If anything doesn’t seem right, or goes wrong,

“I told you there are four guards, armed and

put a bullet in his head.”

trained. We need to be armed and precise if

“Got it,” says Connor.

we want to do this.”


“And if this is for real, and you get the

lap and stare ahead at him, and says, “Just a

money…” Wayne stares coldly at his son, “Put

word of advice, for your sake, don’t fuck up.”

a bullet in his head.”

Vince looks over at Tom who’s sitting with a

Connor nods in agreement, and heads out.

straight face. He grins and points his gun at him and whispers, “Boom.” He smirks, turn-


ing his gaze back to the wheel.

Vince with a gun in hand, and with Tom in

The Mustang’s rear lights glow as it begins

heel, walks from the lit garage into the night.

to drive, and then quickly speeds down the

Tom trails and reaches into his pocket. He

road, kicking up dust in the night.

yells, “Hey.” Vince turns around as Tom pulls out the keys to the Mustang and tosses them


to him. He catches them, staring at them in

Wayne stands near Sam, who’s slowly bleed-

his hand.

ing out while lying on the floor, and dumps

“Take mine. Incase we need speed.”

the trash bag of money onto the hood of the car. The bundles of cash roll out in all direc-

Vince looks at him, and then starts walking


towards the Mustang. Connor appears from the garage, following them. Vince comes up to

Wayne stares at them, smiling. “God, I miss

the driver’s side, opening the door as Tom

the old days,” he says with his eyes gleaming.

comes to the passenger’s side.

He picks up the stacks, flipping through them, smiling. “Oh, Sam…”

“Vince,” calls his brother.

Wayne flips through more cash, admiring it

Vince stops as he’s about to get in, looking

all. “You son of a bitch.”

up at him. Connor tosses a black ski mask to his twin. Tom looks over at Connor questionably, waiting. “Sorry, that’s the last,” says Connor as he grins at him. Tom stares coldly, and then gets into the passenger’s side. He closes the door as Vince starts the engine, it begins rumbling. Connor opens the back door, sliding into the back seat behind Tom. He lays the gun on his


Chapter 34 Vince sits behind the wheel, a cigarette in hand, taking a long pull as he stares at the front doors of the bank. He stares through the passenger’s window, occasionally looking around the empty street as he ashes his ciga-

The black beauty sits outside the bank with

rette out of his window. He sits uneasy, tap-

its lights off, the engine still running.

ping the wheel, staring at the doors.

Vince sits behind the wheel, the ski mask

Marx, with a gun in hand, appears in his

rolled on top of his head, the gun in his lap

driver’s mirror, small but gradually getting big-

with the window down as he smokes a ciga-

ger as he quietly approaches.

rette. Connor tears down his mask over his face and hunches over to the front seat, gun in


hand, as Tom sits scanning the area.

Tom and Connor, masked and gun in hand,

“If I don’t come out first…”

come running into the bank as Connor points his gun, circling to surveillance the room.

“Way ahead of you,” says his brother.

Tom rushes to the clerk.

“Your move, Tom,” says Connor.

“Where’s everyone? Where are the guards?”

Tom stares at Vince, staring past him

yells Connor.

through the window. Watching and waiting.

“We must’ve beat them to it, keep a look

“Alright. Let’s go.”


Immediately Tom opens his door, and Con-

Connor rushes to the clerk, pointing the gun

nor follows. Tom sets foot into the night air,

at her. She stands quivering.

and looks both ways down the street. He nods

“The register, ma’am,” says Tom.

at the masked Connor, who steps out. The two men shut their doors and quickly make their

“All of it,” yells Connor.

way through the night. The two men approach


the bank, open the doors and rush in. 98

Approaching the Mustang, Marx grips the

above him, beating him with the gun. He

Colt .45. He crouches and sneaks closer as he

wields it over and over again at him.

stares at the distracted Vince, smoke coming

Vince lies bleeding, splattering red with every

through the window, his hand ashing the ciga-

hit. He tries to stop the blows with his hands,

rette. Quickly, Marx runs the remaining dis-

but Marx over powers him. Vince grunts and

tance to the driver’s window, he sticks his gun

moans, hit after hit.

inside to Vince’s head, gripping it tightly in

“How’s it feel motherfucker, huh?” asks

both hands. “I know. You must be mad right

Marx as he keeps beating the twin. Blood


splatters onto him as Vince moans between a

Vince’s face goes blank as the cigarette falls

mouth full of blood.

from his fingertips.


“Toss it out the window, and get out.”

Marx wields the gun.

Marx holds the gun to Vince’s face as he


opens the driver’s side for him. Vince sits with

Marx’s face is full of anger, clenching his

his hands up, he slowly grabs the gun, tossing

teeth as he wields the gun again.

it out the window. Marx kicks the gun under the car. Vince’s face is full of anger as he

“Shit,” he yells.

slowly gets out. Marx grabs him by the shirt,


tearing him out of the driver‘s seat and tossing him onto the ground. He swiftly wields the

The clerk with her hands up is moaning and

gun at his head.

tearing up. *

“What time’s the fuckin pickup?” yells Connor.

Tom stands next to Connor who’s pointing the gun at the clerk. She pulls out a few bills

Tom stands to the side; his hand reaches for

and shoves them over to Connor. He grabs the

the wrench still in his pocket, gripping it.

bills, staring at them. “That’s it? What the

“What pickup?” asks the clerk.

fuck is this?” he yells. The clerk quivers and hyperventilates.

“For the fuckin money.”

“What time’s the pickup?” he yells.

The clerk mumbles and cries, holding her hands up. “That’s everything. We don’t have


anything else. We close in two days.”

With the door to the Mustang still open, Marx has Vince on the pavement as he stands 99

Connor’s eyes fill with anger as Tom’s hand,

wrench, standing up to take charge. He read-

wielding the wrench, comes flying towards

ies his swing, and he freezes in place.

him. Connor quickly darts his head, catching

Connor stands with his gun pointed at Tom

the wrench in the shoulder. He yells in agony

as he rips off his mask, his face full of anger. A

as he stumbles, trying to aim the gun at Tom.

gash where the wrench hit bleeds, dripping

A shot rings off.

down the side of his face. He nods in disagreement. “What? You thought you had all this

Tom jumps out of the way and runs into Con-

planned out, huh?” He aims the gun directly

nor, throwing him onto the ground. The clerk

at Tom’s head, cocking the trigger. “I’ll person-

shrieks. Tom jumps on top of him, smashing

ally see to it that everyone you love…”

the wrench down towards his head. Connor flinches in time, the wrench just grazing him.


He hits Tom with the gun, who stumbles over

A bullet rips through Connor’s head, exiting

to the side.

through the front. Tom instinctively shudders *

at the sound. Connor, with a hole in his head, drops to the floor revealing Marx standing by

The Mustang sits running outside Towne

the front door with his arm raised, his gun

Bank. Marx sits in the driver’s seat, staring


through the passenger’s window at the front doors. He sits waiting as Vince’s body lies half

Connor’s body lies lifeless, bleeding out as

unconscious on the pavement, bleeding from

Marx approaches closer.

the face.

The sirens get louder.

Marx’s face is splattered with blood, as well

Tom stares at Marx with a sight of relief,

as his hands as he looks down at his watch

nodding his head in disbelief.

and then back at the street. Tapping the wheel

“Yeah, you’re welcome. But we gotta go.

nervously, he whispers, “Come on, come on.”


A faint sound of sirens appears in the dis-

The two brothers run to the front door as the

tance as Marx sits tapping, staring out at the

sirens grow louder.

bank doors. Raindrops appear on the glass. “Uh, come on,” he whispers to himself * Tom, who stumbled over, gets up recovering from the hit as he clenches his fist around the


Chapter 35 Vince lays bloody on his back, grunting as he rolls over. The police speed towards him, the sirens growing louder. Rain drizzles across the night as Marx and

He pushes himself onto to his knees, bent

Tom run out of the bank towards the Mus-

over on all fours as blood drips from his


mouth. Angry, he looks over and sees his gun

The sirens grow even louder.

laying on the floor. He stumbles to his feet and walks over as the police cars pull up, cir-

Marx is the first one to the car, he spots the

cling him.

bloody Vince groaning and rolling over to his knees. With a face of determination, Marx

Vince grabs the gun off the ground, stands

runs to him and kicks his head, throwing the

up and stumbles as the police exit their vehi-

man onto his back. Vince coughs up blood,

cles, surrounding him with their guns drawn.

moaning as Marx stands over him. He pulls

A cop points his gun at him and yells, “Get

out his gun and points it at Vince.

down on the ground. Drop your weapon.”

Tom immediately runs up and grabs Marx

Vince turns his bloody, angry face towards

by the shoulder, pulling him to the car as the

him as he staggers to stand.

sirens approach, louder and louder. “No. Leave him. We need to go.”

“Drop it,” yells the cop.

Marx looks back at Vince and opens the back-

Vince clenches his teeth as he staggers,

seat as Tom rips open the front door, they

swinging the gun towards them.

both get in. The doors slam as the Mustang


screeches off.

Bullets rally into Vince. The gun drops from

The police appear in the distance.

his hand as his body falls to the pavement. Vince lies lifeless in the street bleeding out,


the police cautiously approach him with their guns as the rain comes down on them.


Chapter 36 “To prevent that, you need to set examples,” says Wayne. He smirks and runs the steel tip of the blowtorch against the scar on Sam’s face. The black beauty speeds through the dark

Sam lies breathing heavily, his eyes filled

streets with the engine roaring.

with fear as Wayne pulls the torch back, igniting it.

Tom sits behind the wheel as Marx sits in back leaning over by him, the gun dangling in


his hand.

The Mustang speeds, then screeches to a

“I want you to get Sam and get outta there,”

halt in front of the garage as the rain pours

says Tom. He reaches under his seat.


“Got it.”

Tom, holding his gun, turns to Marx in the back seat. “Get in and get out.”

Tom pulls the other Colt .45 from under him. “I’ll take care of Wayne.” He shifts gears,

“Be careful,” says Marx.

the engine roars.

Tom nods at his brother when a scream *

pierces the rhythmic rain patter. They both turn to the garage, look at one another and

Wayne sits crouched, hovering over Sam

throw their doors open. They jump out, guns

with a blowtorch in his hand. “I give you a lit-

in hand, slamming their doors. They run to

tle leeway and you take advantage, Sam.” He

the glow emitting from the open garage as an-

stands hovering, nodding in disapproval. “The

other scream pierces the rainy night air.

thing about being taken advantage of is that once one person does it, the rest try to, too.”

Tom, followed by Marx, run into the garage with their guns drawn. Another scream

Sam lies crouched on the floor, his face

pierces the garage as they duck past cars, mak-

blood red and bruised staring in terror, half conscious. 103

ing their way towards the back. They find

Marx starts to pick him up, he half staggers.

Wayne hunched over the suffering Sam.

“It’s over, Sam. I got you.” He begins to carry the desecrated Captain.

The Captain screams as Wayne wields the blowtorch towards his face. He snarls, laugh-

Tom with his gun pointed, makes his way

ing above him.

past the cars and lifts when a shot blasts past him, ricocheting pellets. He quickly shudders

Tom and Marx approach. “Drop it,” yells

away from the sound.


Wayne stands with the sawn off shotgun

Wayne freezes, holding the lit blowtorch as

pointed as he cocks the gun.

he turns to see Tom with his gun pointed at him. Wayne looks confused; he grins and re-

Another shot rings off as Tom ducks.

turns his gaze and blowtorch to Sam, who

“Did I get you?” yells Wayne.

screams in agony.

Tom quickly jumps up, firing two shots.

Tom’s face stiffens as he points his gun, pull-

They miss and ricochet.

ing the trigger.

Wayne laughs as he cocks his gun. He yells

A shot rings through the garage.

out, “Where’d my boys go? Don’t tell me they

Wayne yells as the blowtorch goes out and

let you escape.”

drops from his hand to the floor. He grabs his

Tom ducks, eyeing Wayne. “No. They’re wait-

shoulder and stumbles back. He looks back,

ing… At the morgue.”

staggers and ducks behind the dismantled car,

Wayne’s face floods with anger. He fires one

disappearing behind it.

round after another, ringing through out the

Tom, holding the gun, looks around, scan-

garage. Pellets ricochet, missing Tom, who

ning the garage. He looks over at Marx a few

shudders away.

feet away, nodding his head forward. “Grab


him and get help.” He runs toward the dismantled car, gun in hand, cautiously following

Marx staggers, holding up Sam as they limp

Wayne’s trail.

to the Mustang, the rain pouring down and soaking them. Marx opens the backseat of the

Marx runs up to Sam, who’s half conscious and groaning. The side of his face is singed

car, sitting Sam down who’s breathing heav-

with flesh exposed. Marx cringes for a second,

ily, still in pain.

and then starts to shake him. “Sam, it’s me,”

“Wait here,” says Marx. He turns and runs

he says as he shakes him to wake up, “I got

back toward the garage.

you now.” 104


bouncy ball in front of him; he kicks it to the side.

Tom sits crouched in silence, waiting. He looks up, scanning the area for Wayne, but

Tom enters deeper into the scrap when a

doesn’t see a trace. He looks over and notices

shot rings off into a pile next to him. He

the backdoor slightly open. He gets up from

dodges behind another and yells, “Before I kill

his spot, and with his gun ready he runs to the

you, tell me, did my father kill those people?”

backdoor, carefully peering through the crack.

Still ducking, Tom listens as a gun cocks.

A scrap yard sits dark and dimly lit in the rain

A fake laugh fills the night air.

just beyond.

Wayne sits behind a pile of junk holding his

Tom throws his body into the door, stepping

shotgun, staring into the night. He yells,

outside with his gun pointed. He stands out-

“Please, your father had no balls… He had

side the doorway under the light of a lamp

guts. I’ll give him that. But no balls. He didn’t

with the rain pouring down on him. He looks

know how to do what was necessary.” He

and sees footprints in the mud, leading fur-

stands up, aims, and fires his shotgun.

ther into the scrap yard between the giant

The shot explodes near Tom. He flinches

heaps of metal and broken appliances.

and looks down to see some pellets have

Tom steps, following the trail into the yard,

pierced his arm, blood now soaking his shirt.

the massive piles towering over him.

He grunts, clenching his teeth. “Setting him


up was necessary?” he yells.

Marx stands at the desk in the garage office,

Wayne reloads his shotgun with his back

the telephone to his ear. “Smith… Yes, for Cap-

turned to the pile. “Necessary? No. But that’s

tain Smith. He needs an ambulance right

what happens when you turn your back on a


Wayne,” he yells.

Marx holds the phone, listening attentively.

Tom creeps around the heap before him, he

He yells, “Yes, the fuckin Captain. Wayne’s

aims and fires.

Auto Mechanics. Come on, let’s go.”

Shots whiz past Wayne, ricocheting off some


metal. He yells, “Oh, close one… Maybe if your father was more like you, I wouldn’t have

With the gun ready in both hands and the

had to kill him.”

rain pouring down, Tom scans the scrap yard. He enters, following the muddy prints in the

Tom freezes in the rain, hiding behind an-

rain. He walks through and sees a blue

other pile. “He died in prison.”


Wayne laughs, and yells, “I have a long

mouth with his arm, and says, “Even when he

reach, boy.”

died, he died without his balls… What about you kid? Are you just like your father?”

Tom creeps, seeing Wayne in the scrap.

Tom stares coldly as Wayne smiles back, the

Wayne turns, still aiming where Tom ini-

blood dripping from his lips.

tially stood. “I made sure they gutted your father like a pig.”

“Do you got the balls, kid? Come on, right here.” Wayne leans forward, tapping his fore-

Tom watches him from the side.

head. “Shoot me… He couldn’t.”

“Squealed like one, too,” Wayne yells.

Tom raises the Colt at Wayne’s head, clench-

Tom aims his gun.

ing his jaw in anger.

“Bloody mess, kid.”

“Come on, kid. Come on,” he taunts, still tapping.

Wayne listens for a response, his face looks questionable.

Tom walks forward up to his head, holding the gun. He stares at Wayne, his blue eyes

A gunshot rings.

glued to his sinister face as hell drips from his

A shot rips through the rain into Wayne’s

lips. His breathing deepens, his heart pounds,

ribs. He staggers to the side, falling into the

his grip tightens.

mud on one knee, his shotgun dangling in his

“You can’t shoot,” echoes the voice.


“Why not?”

Tom comes running out.

“Because you’re a good guy… And I‘m your

Wayne looks up in surprise as he coughs, try-


ing to take a deep breathe.

Tom relaxes his grip. He lifts his head up

Tom kicks the shotgun from Wayne’s hands,

and says, “He wouldn’t, that’s the difference.”

sending it behind him. He has the gun in both hands, aimed at Wayne, staring at him with a

Wayne’s eyes pierce into Tom, the front of

straight face. Wayne falls back and sits down

his beater blood stained.

in the mud. He coughs up some blood, pour-

“But like my father, it’s what separates you

ing down his chin. The rain washes it down

between us. Call us whatever you want, but at

his neck but the red stain keeps flowing.

least we have a line. I’m more then happy

“Like I said, he squealed like a pig,” smirks

separating myself from shit like you.” says

Wayne, exposing his drenched teeth. He

Tom. He looks up, staring past Wayne. He

coughs up some more stain, wipes his bloody

smirks, returning his gaze back to him as 106

Wayne continues to choke. “But that doesn’t

Sam stands holding the smoking barrel, with

mean I have to save you either,” he says lower-

Tom behind him as he drops the shotgun into

ing his gun.

the mud next to its owner.

Wayne stares confused.

“You alright?” asks Tom.

A shotgun cocks.

“Better now… My face, not so much.”

Tom stares behind him as Wayne turns his

“I think it gives you character.”

head to the sound.

Sam looks over at Tom and smirks. “Fuck

Sam stands staggering, the shotgun in hand,

that character.”

standing among the scrap in the heavy rain. He limps over, pointing the barrel towards Wayne. “I’ll handle it from here,” he says hoarsely Tom stands back as Sam limps over to Wayne, sitting helpless in the mud. Wayne smirks, laughing. “It’s been a long time coming,” rasps Sam. Wayne sticks his arms out, showing his wrists. “Oh Captain, I’ll be out quicker than you know.” Sam lifts the shotgun towards Wayne’s chest. “Nah, fuck that.” Wayne’s eyes widen with terror. He yells, “No, wait, wait…” The shotgun shell rips into Wayne’s chest, throwing him back into the mud. He lies there bloody, pouring from his chest and mouth, trying to gasp for his last breathe of life. Sam cocks the gun, firing another round. Wayne’s bloody body ricochets in the mud as his blood splatters through the rain. He lies lifeless in the night. 107

Chapter 37 “Well alright, Sam,” says Marx enthusiastically. The three of them exit the scrap yard as the sirens grow. They carry the Captain to the Tom grabs Sam around the shoulder and

Mustang, sitting him on the hood. The sirens

walks him back down the path through the

get louder, overpowering the rain patter

heaps of metal. Marx appears at the scrap

around them.

yard entrance, running towards them. He car-

“I need a fuckin cigarette,” says Sam. He

ries Sam as Marx approaches.

looks over at the both of them.

“There you are. Where the fuck did you go?”

Marx quickly gets into the passenger’s side,

asks Marx.

rattling around, and then returns with a pack

Tom looks at him curiously. “You were sup-

of cigarettes, pulling one out for Sam. He

posed to watch him.”

hands it over to him. “Thank Vince,” he says.

“I did, then he disappeared.”

Sam smirks and puts the cigarette to his lips. He reaches into his pocket, pulling out a

“And then…”

lighter, and lights it. He takes a long, hard

“I got sidetracked,” Marx smirks as he gets

drag, exhaling a cloud of smoke. He looks

under Sam’s free arm, “What happened?

over at Tom and Marx who are leaned up next

Where’s Wayne?”

to him.

“In the mud,” says Sam hoarsely.

The sirens glow in the distance, slowly approaching.

Marx turns to Tom as the sound of sirens appear faintly. “You got him?” he asks.

“So here’s the story…” says Sam.

Tom nods his head in disagreement. “I got him. That fuck was mine,” rasps Sam.


Chapter 38 fully, leans over and kisses his father on the head. He raises himself to one knee, as the sirens grow louder, their lights glowing into the scrap yard. Wayne’s lifeless body lies in the mud as the

Will stares at the flickering lights, and then

rain beats down on it. The river of blood be-

back down at the mud. He grabs the sawn off

gins to dilute, washing away from his lips. The

shotgun, staring at it as he cradles it in both

sirens blare near by, echoing around the

hands. With his eyes shining red, sniffling his


nose, he looks towards the sirens.

Metal clatters in the night air. Soaked and muddy around the legs, Will appears from behind a mound of scrap, holding the blue bouncy ball. The little boy slowly creeps up to Wayne’s body, staring curiously. Standing above him, he stares sadly. His eyes are strained red as his tears mix with the rain dripping down his face, sniffling his nose. Will kneels down next to Wayne’s body, laying his blue ball next to him. He kneels, sinking into a sitting position, putting his hand on Wayne’s arm. He shakes him and whispers, “Dad.” Wayne lies lifeless as Will shakes him again. “Dad,” he whimpers. His eyes redden as he tears, sniffling his nose. He leans over, putting his hand on Wayne’s head. He stares remorse109

Chapter 39 Wayne’s body lies in the mud, the blue ball next to it as the officers circle him. The police secure the area, looking around the scrap yard as the detective and a couple others stand with Wayne’s body, staring at it.

With their sirens blaring and lights shining, squad cars sit in front ‘Wayne’s Auto Mechan-

“Yeah. That’s him alright,” says the detec-

ics.’ Police officers walk about the garage,

tive. He looks down at the blue ball, and then

glowing under the flickering lights. An ambu-

kicks it, sending it further into the dark.

lance sits parked as Sam lies on a stretcher be-


ing rolled towards it.

The rain lets up, lightly drizzling down on

Tom and Marx stand with a detective in the

the chaotic scene as the clouds begin to clear

middle of the chaos.

up. The night air turns cool as the stars begin

“And then the Captain intervened,” says

to shine through the overcast.


Sam lies on the stretcher next to the ambu-

“In the scrap yard… That’s where he’s at.”

lance with its doors open. Tom and Marx ap-

Marx points behind him.

proach, coming to his side.

“Alright. We’ll check it out,” says the detec-

“You gonna be alright?” asks Tom.

tive. He walks away, leaving Tom and Marx

“Yeah, gives me a little vacation… You guys

alone. The two of them look at one another,

head home. I’ll take care of all of this.”

whispering between themselves.

“Alright. I’ll check in on you later.”


The Captain smiles, “Thanks, kid.”

Four officers run into the scrap yard, scanning the area. They run down the path, the

“Me too. I have something for you,” says

beam of their flashlights a step ahead of them


as they plunge deeper into the clutter.


Tom looks at his brother curiously, as does Sam. “Just wait.� Marx smirks. Sam is lifted up into the ambulance, the doors close behind him. The ambulance pulls off, leaving Tom and Marx in their place, waving after it.


Chapter 40 “Yeah. I got our money…” says Marx as he reaches in back again, pulling out another bag, only larger. “And his money…” Tom looks in disbelief. Tom seats himself behind the wheel of the

Marx reaches for another bag from the back

black beauty, with Marx next to him as they

seat, pulling it out. “And more of his money.”

close their doors. The rain lightly dribbles against the windshield, distorting the view be-

Tom turns to the back seat, noticing bags

fore them.

stacked from the floor up.

Tom looks over at Marx. “You know, you

Marx points as they both stare, and says,

were right... I don’t know how any of this

“And his money. His money. That’s his

would’ve ended up without you,” he says.

money, too.” He turns to Tom, smiling at him as he stares with his mouth open. “Yeah, so

Marx laughs as Tom starts the engine.

like I said, it feels good to be rich.”

“You’re damn right. Definitely not like it just did,” he says eagerly. He sits smiling.

They both turn back to the front of the car.

Tom looks at him curiously. “What?”

“So instead of watching Sam, you did that?” asks Tom.

“Nothing. It just feels good to be rich,” smiles Marx

“Aren’t you glad I’m smart.”

“What? What’re you…”

Tom laughs as Marx smiles with pride. He shifts into drive.

“Well, while you guys were off doing your thing, I did mine.” Marx reaches into the back-

The rear lights of the Mustang glow as it

seat and pulls out the black garbage bag with

drives off into the night, leaving the swarming


scene of the garage, speeding off down the road.

Tom smiles, grinning at him. “So that’s where you were.” 112

EPILOGUE 4 Months Later


Epilogue “Just another day off. I’ll be back to work in a few days… thought I’d come see how my officer feels about returning with me. Have you thought about it?” The unmarked squad car sits parked in front

Tom stands up, putting his wrench down, ap-

of the garage as the driver’s door opens, Sam

proaching Sam as Marx leans up against the

steps out with a cane in hand. He closes the


door, a cigarette in his fingertips. He limps up

“Yeah. But I’m over it. I like this better. I’m

to the entrance of the open garage, the sign

happy being here everyday.”

above glowing, ‘Roberts & Sons Auto.’

Nicki, with a small bump under her shirt, ap-

Sam enters the garage, limping past the cars

pears out of the office behind Tom. She waves,

and lifts, puffing on his cigarette. His face is

approaching them.

deeply scarred but healing.

Sam waves to her. “Yeah, I see that. Well,

Tom and Marx, in matching work shirts bear-

the offer’s always on the table.”

ing the garage’s new name, sit over a car, repairing it. With their backs turned, they sit

“Thanks, Sam. I appreciate it.”

cranking tools. They’re hunched over when

Nicki joins Tom at his side and says, “Morn-

Sam appears behind them. The two smell the

ing, Sam.”

smoke and turn at the same time to see him,

Tom puts his arm around her waist.

standing there, a cloud above him. “Morning boys,” says Sam.

“Morning. You’re just radiating today.”

“Hey, Sam,” says Tom.

“Oh, thank you, Sam. You don’t look so bad yourself,” she answers.

“Sam,” nods Marx.

Sam smiles, rolling his eyes. “Please, not in

“What’re you doing here?” asks Tom.

front of your husband.”


Tom and Nicki laugh to themselves.

Angela comes running from behind a mound of scrap. She runs up to her father, out of

Sam stands smiling, gazing at them. “You


know, you remind me of him, your father,” he says as he stares at the joyous couple, “He’d

“Hey, what were you doing?”

be proud.”

“Playing…” says Angela. She points behind

“Thanks, Captain.”

her to the back of the scrap yard, “That’s my castle.”

“You kids take care, alright?” Sam turns around, limping off as Tom and Nicki stand

“You gotta be careful back there, I don’t


want you getting hurt.”

“Bye, Sam,” she says.

“I won’t. I’m protected,” Angela smiles.

“See ya,” calls Marx.

Tom grins and grabs her by the hand, pulling her towards the back door. “We’re gonna

“Sam, wait,” yells Tom.

get lunch now.”

Sam turns around to face him.

“Okay,” she says.

“Anything on the kid? Did they find Wayne’s

Holding her hand, Tom leads her towards

son?” asks Tom.

the back door. Angela turns her head towards

“Nope. Nothing yet. Poor kid just disap-

the scrap yard and waves behind her as they

peared.” Sam frowns remorsefully. He turns

disappear inside.

around, waving as he limps off with his cane,

The garage sits quietly, the morning rays

exiting the garage.

beating down on it, surrounded by the

“So, how bout lunch?” asks Nicki.

mounds of metal and skeletal frames behind it. The scrap yard motionless from the sur-

“Perfect, I’ll get Angela.” Tom walks through

rounding woods. The sight tranquil with the

the garage, towards the back door that sits

sounds of nature… when a bush shakes. From

wide open. He walks through into the morn-

behind the bush, a dirty and disheveled Will

ing sun, standing outside the doorway, look-

with the sawn off shotgun strapped to his

ing out into the scrap yard. “Angela,” he yells.

back walks past, staring at the sight.

Tom listens, hearing faint giggling.

Green eyes. Green eyes stare ahead, locked

“Angela,” he yells again as he scans the scrap

and fixed.



The End




R.R. Zbik

R.R. Zbik specializes in Transgressive Fiction, often in mature and taboo subjects that challenge society's morality, with a minimalistic writing approach. He lives in New Jersey. Ramble & Co. is a literary collection created from the mind of R.R. Zbik. Consisting of short stories, novellas, and novels created for the public consumption that are quick, enticing, and don't take hundreds of pages of run on sentences and hour long descriptions. Please join us, we look forward to having you at


The Patriarchs