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The saying, “One of Those Days” is something I’ve muttered a lot recently. However, this day may just take the cake. I’m not sure where that saying comes from, take’s the cake, but I imagine someone dressed like the Hamburglar stealing a crying babies first taste of sugary sweetness is where it originated from. The things I think of when I find myself hanging upside down.

As the cold grip of steel bites into my ankles and it’s evil twin does the same to my wrists I realize that it may not be day at all. It’s dark but that’s only because I’ve been blind folded. For all I know it could be very pleasant out. I’m sure it’s not. It mostly never is. It’s not for lack of trying, no, I try. I really do. But with great trying comes great capturing. Or abducting. Or murdering, although that has yet to be done successfully. So, all of my trying and where does it get me? I wake up to my hair dangling on the wrong end of up and what feels like blood getting ready to drip out of my eyes, ears, and nose.

I sniff unconsciously after imagining blood coming from my nose and get a scent of something very unpleasant. The smell snaps my head back like a Shoryuken from Ryu. I knew the smell. From the first time you smell it there’s not a day goes by that you don’t think of it. It stays with you forever. The smell of death will always haunt you.

Yep.  My name is Wes Andersen and it’s just one of those days.

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I felt like James bond in “Goldfinger”. The laser crept ever so slowly; inch by horrible inch.

“Do you expect me to talk?”; “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”

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In my situation the laser wouldn’t cut right thru me, but it still had the capabilities of shredding me to bits. The red dot stayed fixed on my baby maker, it barely moved. The gunner had incredible control of his weapon. He wore black cargo pants with military boots. An olive-green t-shirt and sunglasses completed his ensemble. Yes, sunglasses in the dark. He was a self-proclaimed badass. Oh, he also had his automatic machine gun-rifle-thing pointed at my frank & beans…still.

“So, when I make a cheap gold jewelry joke, that’s grounds for your man to shoot my junk? I don’t think the punishment fits the crime.” Benjamin remained in the same position, holding up the wall with his vertically challenged frame.

“I do not appreciate rude. I could have killed you, dismembered you, and wouldn’t have lost any sleep over it.”

“You could have left me where you found me.”

“It’s true I could have. But then again, if I did, when you came to you would seek out your vengeance.”

He’s right. I would very much want to hunt down the person or persons that bested me. I would invoke the best 2 out of 3 rule.

“Then why keep me here and be so cryptic about it?” I tried to adjust my posture, putting more weight on one side than the other. Trying to alternate sides the best I could. My wrists and feet were now rubbed raw. Little trickles of blood dripped to my cement bed below, forming half-dollar sized pools for any vampire bugs that happened to inhabit this room.

“I keep you because you interest me. A vigilante, a do-gooder willing to risk his own life to get involved with the likes of me. It’s fascinating.” There it was that criminal smile back where it belonged.

I figured out how to get out of my chains by the time he finished his sentence. I wasn’t ready to unleash my plan because combat boy still had the dot of destruction on my twig and berries. I was forced to hope they would leave the room, and then I could get out of these restraints and fight my way to freedom. A simple plan, it should work…I think.

“What were you doing that was so bad that I tried to interfere?”

“You really don’t remember? Fine, I will tell you.” He pushed away from the wall and grabbed he chair by the lamp. He sat down on my right side.

“There was a building, some explosives, and me. You’ll understand if I don’t tell which building. If you truly don’t remember then my plan shall proceed.”

I didn’t tell him I remembered. It came back to me in the middle of our chat. The memory was just there, one second it wasn’t the next it was. There was no stroke of genius to it, no epiphany that made it come back. It just came back.

He had been alone walking towards a pawn shop. He had a satchel on his back and an evil look in his eye. He went around back and put his pack down and pulled out army grade C4. I can only assume that G.I. Cool over there had a supplier for the explosives. I happen to be in the right place at the right time, like I thought; I always seem to be somewhere when I’m needed. Or there’s just so much crime and evil in this place that the odds are with me to run across something anytime I am out and about.

I approached him and then that was it. There was nothing left to remember, but I bet my head remembers the butt of that gun. I hadn’t been cautious nor had I been patient. I’d been careless and paid the price. And still paying for it.

I caught the break I was looking for when another man came in to tell the boss he had a phone call. With a nod of his head he left the room, and the dot disappeared from my groin when the soldier dispersed with him.

I focused my power on the locks instead of the chains. I was able to grip them in both hands and sent my will through my fingertips, into the key holes. With a pop the locks opened and with a little effort I was able to free my hands. I did the same with the lock around my feet.

Barely able to stand I fought my way to the lamp and the desk. A cane was propped up in the corner; the penguin was very fashionable indeed. I leaned heavily on the cane and went out the door, looking around before I continued.

I heard footsteps closing in; they were coming from the other end of the hallway. I might not have been able to stand or walk fluently but I sure as hell could knock these bastards out.

The plump man and the soldier came into sight.

Before the guard could raise his gun I let loose with mine; it wasn’t an actual gun but it was deadly. My power ripped the air and sent ripples down the hallway. My force lashed at the two men and sent them back the way they came. My face must’ve been a mangled mess of emotions. Fear, rage, and pain were the most prominent.

I hobbled down to the two men laying on the ground, trying to kick-start their bodies. I grabbed the rifle from the soldiers shoulder and returned the favor he had bestowed upon me earlier. He was out cold. Stumpy hadn’t regained enough strength to stand, or maybe he was standing, the light was dull in the hallway.

I caught his eye and held his gaze.

“I believe the score is now 1-1. Until we meet again…” I raised the cane in my right hand and brought it down with as much force as I could muster on top of his bulbous head. I put the two unconscious men together as two lovers would embrace; my final parting shot to them both.

I didn’t run into the third man or anybody else on my way up and out of the building. I was in an abandoned part of town, not too far from my own residence. It was a good thing too because I could barely walk. When I finally made it home I called the pawn shop and told the owner, Eddie what went down and to keep his eyes out. It was the best I could do at the moment. Eddie could look out for his own; I wasn’t too worried about that.

Gizmo met me at the back door and jumped into my arms. I still had the cane; it was nice, old, and sophisticated. I’m sure I would find another time to use it. It’s the simple things in life.

…and it continued…

 The man with the evil eyes was short, plump, and he kind of waddled when he entered the room. He kept his greasy smile plastered on his face. He must’ve known something that I didn’t. As he casually rolled into the room I checked the restraints once again; I was still in them. A wishful thought crossed my mind; this was just a dream, a nightmare that would wake me up just before my heart would stop beating. Unfortunately, it was not the case. It was real: the blood, the chain, and the evil penguin were very, very, real.

My capturer settled on the wall in front of me, leaning against it without a care in the world. This was a normal day for him, or that’s what it looked like anyway. He wasn’t at all appalled by what he saw. A man chained to the floor, bleeding, and waiting for his sentence. He was the judge and I was the felon. Let’s hope this wasn’t my third strike.

                “Hello,” the penguin squawked, “my name is Benjamin Strong, but don’t let the name fool you; I can barely lift a full glass of red wine.”

As he finished his sentence, his smile was stamped back on his face. He was trying to lighten the mood, but the only thing I need lightened was the chain on my limbs.

                “Why am I chained up?” I asked him directly, not wanting to waste anymore time.

                “Because you pose a threat to me and my objective if you were not subdued.”

                “Why am I a threat to you? I can’t remember the events that led up this. I’m hoping you could help me with that.”

                “You, my dear sir, are a threat because you are a good guy and I am a bad guy. It’s very simple really. And you are in your present state because you interfered with my plan. You left me no choice but to take drastic measures.” He finished talking and once again that cheesy smile surfaced. I could see him in the western days, lighting up a long cigarette and inhaling it with a smokers ease. He was calm, cool, and collected…and short.

It’s frustrating not knowing what happened before. It makes it very difficult to assess the current situation I was in. I would be guessing to think I was just in the right place at the right time, but no one has gotten the best of me like this before.

My head still hummed, but my blood had stopped running. My arms were numb from the position in which they were hung. My shoulders burned with the pressure and my feet ached with the chained wrapped so tightly around them.

“Where are my shoes? Were they a threat to you as well?” The menace in the short frame chuckled; it delighted him to have such a conversation.

“Your shoes are on the street where we snatched you from. They fell off in the fight. You took quite a hit and still stood, so another hit was required. The force was tremendous, probably why you can’t remember. I wouldn’t steal your shoes, and in case you were wondering, your jacket is in the corner, in the dark.”

I was wondering where my pea coat was; it was my special coat; my only coat.

                “How long does it take?” I asked.

                “How long does what take my good man?”

                “How long does it take to wash the green off of your skin from those cheap ass gold chains?” I must’ve hit a nerve, there was no smile this time.

A red dot appeared on my chest and slowly tracked its way to my special area, my sensitive area, my please sweet mother of Mary don’t shoot me in my balls area. I flicked my eyes to Benjamin Strong, my capturer, the bad to my good, and I waited for the command.

…to be continued…

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