She’s Coming Home

Mike pulled the car into a slide and swung it around for a turn down an alleyway. Trash cans were flying with a blizzard of old newspapers and boxes as the right bumper glanced the brick face of some sorry building. Turning casually to ask,”how many bullets you got left lil brother?”

Just 3,” Tony answered while snapping them into his last clip.

“Guess I’ll drive the car then and finish the shooting, you go write the book,” his smile as casual as his voice while the car made one last hard left turn into a slow slide up to a curb in front of a large mansion.

A blaze of gunfire erupted from the driver’s side of the car answering another rain of bullets from those who had been chasing them while bodyguards were opening the doors on the other side and a young man and woman stepped into calm sunshine.

She ran straight up to a tall older man standing with a broad grin, arms open wide. In the midst of her embrace Tony saw a tear falling from his eye. He nodded to one of the guards, indicating the amazed young man who came with her, “Take good care of him,” he said, “Give him whatever he needs.”

He heard a voice behind him, “You did good man,” and with the blast of an annoying alarm clock, the dream was gone.

**********************

Shaking off the dream and heading into the kitchen to make some coffee, he stepped over the glass yet to be cleaned up from his windows being shot out the night before. He wondered if the boss was making good on her promise then laughed it off as paranoia.

Someone had used a high-powered air gun to shoot out his windows at head level the previous night. While glass was still falling he grabbed a hatchet from next to the fireplace and ran to the front steps, peering into the darkness for a few minutes, hoping to catch someone hiding, then gave up and assumed some local kids were testing their skills.

About 15 minutes later, a knock came at the door. His neighbor a few doors down was there to tell him he had seen a man shoot out his windows and then dive into the bush right outside the door where Tony had been standing. The hatchet had been barely a few inches above his head the whole time.

It was funny imagining the guy perhaps wetting himself while looking up at a hatchet head for what must have been 2 very long minutes, but the humor was gone when he got in the van for work and saw that the windshield was shot out as well. He called into work to advise he would be late, then called the police to make a formal report.

The odd dream was dictated into his recorder during the 20 minute drive to work later. He chalked these dreams up to a great imagination and expected a book to come of them someday. The fantasy was a well needed balance to the reality of working on the edge of the law for people who got really annoyed that he wouldn’t step over the line.

It was supposed to be a weekend project when it all started, served to him with lies that in some cases took 3 years to learn about. An alleged brand new business with an alleged brand new website had more than 200 orders in the email its first morning online.

A decision was made, based upon knowing this creep would find a geek somewhere to do the work and likely get a few people killed in the process, Tony decided to stay on to keep the place safe and legal. He held his ground at every attempt on the part of the owners to cut corners. After 2 years, they were getting more than annoyed.

As he walked into the front lobby this morning, where anyone else in the room may have seen the CEO kiss his cheek to say, “good morning,” he heard the soft whisper of, “Next time it will be a real gun.”

~ meanwhile, somewhere in Vegas, a 1,000 miles away there is a stir in casino security office.

Hi dad, what’s up?” Cindy asked as she stepped into the room.

I’m not sure, Mike found something curious on a security video I wanted to show you,” as Mike had the computer create a close-up shot of Tony’s face.

Who’s that? He’s kind of cute.”

I was hoping you would know.”

No, can’t say I’ve seen him here before. Is this another one of them high rollers I have to shmooze for you?”

I wish it were that simple. You might want to sit down for this Cindy. It’s a bit of a strange story and we’re not sure what’s going on.”

Ok,” she replied, taking a seat and beginning to feel slight concern.

Mike, tell her what you told me earlier.”

I was doing my usual random review of our security tapes when I came upon something strange. Right in the middle of last night’s tapes is about 10 minutes that plays out like a story line from a book.”

What do you mean?”

It’s like someone cut in a small movie production, even a narrator telling what’s happening.”

So some nerdy hacker got into your system?”

Seems to be more than that, you’re a star in this little movie, your dad’s in it, I’m in it and a few of my security.”

Joe cut in here, “another strange thing is that it takes place in our new home in the valley.”

But we haven’t built it yet?”

Right, and only us three here plus an architect even know about it, the property purchase isn’t even final yet, but, in this video, it’s built, just like I plan for it to be.”

What do you mean I’m a star in it?”

Mike, show her some more.”

Ok, this is just the way I found it. At this point, this guy and his brother have just fought through some kind of hell to bring you home. To be honest, I thought you and your dad were playing a joke on me till I saw myself in it.”

*****************

A blaze of gunfire erupted from the driver’s side of the car answering another rain of bullets from those who had been chasing them while bodyguards were opening the doors on the other side and a young man and woman stepped into calm sunshine.

She ran straight up to a tall older man standing with a broad grin, arms open wide. In the midst of her embrace Tony saw a tear falling from his eye. He nodded to one of the guards, indicating the amazed young man who came with her, “Take good care of him,” he said, “Give him whatever he needs.”

*****************

Mike pushed pause.

Oh my God dad, that’s me, that’s all three of us!”

I’ve tried to convince myself it is some kind of hoax, but I can’t, it’s too real”

Is that all there is?”

No,” Mike answered, “there’s more, here is another scene, maybe it was the next day, I don’t know?

*****************

The scene opened to Joe talking with Tony in his study.

I want you to know what you’ve done for my daughter will not go un-rewarded. She has been gone for a long time now, and you are not one of those I sent after her. None of them ever came back and there have been several, I had begun to lose hope.”

I guess you all have me by surprise sir. Even she seems to know what’s going on here. I’m a bit dazed myself.”

Joe’s voice softened, “Look what you’ve done. My daughter, she’s home…. how did you do this?

I just loved her sir.”

*****************

Wow dad. If this is someone’s idea of a joke, that’s going a bit far”

I notice in the story that he’s the confused one and we’re the ones who know what’s going on, that is me, you and Mike. I’m sure of it, but from when? And how?”

The room got quiet as the possible answers tried breaking through into minds that were better suited to running a casino. Cindy almost giggled out loud as she remembered, “I hate science fiction movies and now I’m in one.”

Mike broke the silence, “I have a good enough photo here for our facial recognition system. If he is real and has a driver’s license, we can find him.”

I want to know everything about him,“ Joe directed to Mike,“ and Cindy, I want you to start keeping one of our security closer to you. Get out to the range and practice with that Colt I gave you.”

This is too weird dad,” Cindy answered, “On the bright side, it appears I do get home and I have a hero who loves me. What more can a girl ask for?”

~ Mike’s initial report

“It just keeps getting stranger Joe. This guy was practically off the grid completely for 5 years then poof, 2 weeks ago he began popping up everywhere. Out of the blue we found a $25K deposit and then plane tickets, big ticket computer items, rental cars.”

“What is he? What does he do for money?”

“He’s a computer nerd, small time web site designer working on some gig in Dallas. So straight that the criminal background check and motor vehicle reports squeaked from the fax. “

“Nothing? Drugs? Hookers? Where did he get $25K?”

“I sent one of my best down there to check in person. He spent 3 years helping some small company grow to $7 mil. This appears to be some kind of bonus. “

“Worst we can find is that he plays the online casinos a little,”

“We need to get him here. Online casinos eh? We can use this. I want to meet him without letting on anything about this video. See if he recognizes us.

Make it happen Mike. Use the casino to get him here somehow. If this video is real, I want to help him make that date with my daughter.”

“You got it Joe. I’ll put this photo into our system, with an alert for you personally once he arrives.”

© Jim Amidon

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