I should have known it couldn’t last. Who was I kidding? Myself, apparently, and others, as well. But, I was in so deep that I started believing the lies I had spun each and every day, the lies that had kept me as close to safe and sound as anyone in my line of work could hope to be, hour after hour, day after day, case after case. One last job, one last collar, one last bad guy to put away, and I, so my boss had said, was the only one that could pull it off, the only one that had the trail of credentials to get in, get close, get it done. They just forgot that there should have been one more “get” in there: get out alive.
That last one was pretty important to me, of course, but it wasn’t looking too good as of late. I had let my guard down, actually trusted one of Don Gardino’s crew, someone I thought was a kindred spirit, as close to a kid brother as I had ever had. But, like a kid brother, he’d tried just a little too hard to help me out, got them just a little paranoid about me, led them to discover the faulty chink in my otherwise solid armor.
Still, I couldn’t give up and risk the mission, not with so much on the line. Don Gardino, we’d been after him for way too long and he’d tipped the scales way too far toward the evil side, like some butcher with his thumb in the mix, charging filet mignon prices for ground beef. I chuckled thinking just how apt an analogy that was, given the number of witnesses that had been laid out cold along the way.
There was no way I could have known that Big Jim Fairbanks, Gardino’s former lieutenant was going to be my downfall. He’d been put away, far away, at least that was my understanding. Not that I was going to be getting any answers about how, what, who, when, why. He was here, and looking straight at me, just one of those bum rolls of the dice that life sometimes throws your way.
All my training, all my carefully built up persona, it all came crashing down, and here and now was all I had left. And that smug bastard, Don Gardino, he’d get away with it, probably even profit by it in some way.
This was my first exercise utilizing the Story Forge cards. I would say I got hung up a little on the process and tried to adhere very closely to the touch points, one at a time, versus taking in the whole bunch and letting them drive a complete story. I did make one full editing pass through to improve flow a little after getting all the ideas in place. I thoroughly enjoy writing in the film noir, hard-boiled detective style and have used that type of voice in a number of previous pieces.