I’ve been beating my head against the wall for the past couple of weeks trying to come up with a new entry … and it finally came to me earlier today….

So I’m going to try something a little different …. enjoy…..:)

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It’s just a job….it’s just a job …. it’s just a job….

I open my eyes and look down at my watch. 15 mintues have gone by. 15 minutes spent talking myself into doing something that I have been ordered to do.

15 minutes spent sitting in my car with my eyes closed, talking to myself while all manner of person walked past. “What is that crazy man doing?” they asked themselves, as they walk quickly down the street. Hell, someone’s probably called the cops by now.

I take a deep breath and exhale, committing myself to what I have to do. I lean over the passenger seat and open up the glove box, feeling the heavy weight of the .45-Colt falling into my hand. I reach further into the box and grab the silencer. As I spin the silencer into the gun barrel, I think back to the conversation I had a week ago which led me to my current predictiment…..

“We need you to handle an issue,” the general said.

I stand ramrod straight in his office, as I listen to him grunt as he sits in his chair.

I take a look at my surroundings as he sits down. The office is white and sparse in decorations — in fact, there is nothing on the walls at all. The only things in this room as me, the general, two chairs and a desk, which he sits behind.

“Sit down son, you look uncomfortable,” the general says, motioning to the chair in front of his desk.

I take his advice, sitting down in the cheap desk chair which I believe is a day away from collapsing, and focus my eyes on the man before him.

He is wearing a full dress uniform, his hat resting on the desk in front of him. The flourescent lights glint off the numerous medals on his chest and the four stars on each shoulder. His name tag says “McLaughlin.” But he and I both know that name is false — it is only there to complete the illusion that he actually exists in the real world.

The general himself is about six feet in height and has muscles that seem to be attempting to breach his uniform. His face is tan and lined with wrinkles. He wears the standard crew cut and his right cheek is split with a long thin scar. I’ve always wanted to ask him where he got the scar, but I find myself too intimidated by the man’s presence to pose the question.

The boom of the general’s voice brings me back to the present.

“The issue we have involves a certain employee,” he said. “This certain employee is attempting to embarrass me and this agency.”

I stay silent.

“This employee is in possession of certain computer files that may cause a head to turn on Capitol Hill if they are released. But this agency is so well-insulated that any inquiry by Congress will end quickly. The real problem is the momentary blip that this individual will cause in our day-to-day operations … and the fact that he may actually become a small pain in my ass.”

“What do you need, sir?”

“What I need is a message to be sent to people who believe that they can cause trouble for me and this agency. I need a quick fix to this minor annoyance. I need your skill in problem solving.”

I feel a small smile spread across my face as the general reaches into a desk drawer and grabs a manila folder.

“I believe you might find the subject interesting,” he said as he shoves the file across the desk at me.

I grab it before it hits the floor and open it. I look at the preliminary data on the subject and then look at the photo. I feel my smile fall.

“I knew this might make you uneasy – so solve the problem quickly,” the general sternly added before getting up, grabbing his hat and leaving the office

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That was a week ago.

As I get out of my rented Lumina, I shove the gun quickly into my coat pocket, and continue to chastise myself as I begin the walk along the tree-shrouded sidewalk to the subject’s home.

Why am I debating my orders? This subject earned this punishment.

I continue my internal debate as I walk to the subject’s home, a slightly dull, white ranch-style structure. There are no frills in the front yard or on the front porch – mainly because the subject doesn’t believe in that sort of thing. He is a simple man as he has stated numerous times to various people.

I walk up the front step and stop in front of the door. A single brass door-knocker adorns the wood door. I breathe deeply and raise the device, bringing it down in three loud, sharps claps.

“Coming” I hear from deep inside the house.

It’s just a job….it’s just a job…it’s just a job.

The door opens. The subject stands in the doorway — nearly eye level with my six-foot frame. Sweat glistens off his bald head. The shirt he is wearing is torn and wet, and carries the chemical smell of Drano. His faded jeans are also wet at the knees. He is using a stained towel to clean his scarred hands.

It is nearly a full minute before he speaks, focusing his blue eyes into pinpoints as he looks at me.

“Good to see you,” he says.

“Sink backed up again?” I ask.

“Yeah, had to tear the damn thing apart to get at the clog.”

It is another minute before any of us say another word.

“Want to come in?” he asks.

“Sure, dad … I’d love to,” I answer as I step over the threshold into my father’s house …

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That’s it for now folks …. I hope to revisit this character in future posts as inspiration strikes … keep smiling:)

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Novel recommendations: The Ax by Donald E. Westlake; Howling Mad by Peter David; Creepers by David Morrell; and The Girl with the Long Green Heart by Lawrence Block.

What I’m reading: Hit List by Lawrence Block.

First off, I want to take a silent moment to remember those people killed in Binghamton, N.Y., Friday and those police officers who lost their lives in Pittsburgh today……

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Now that I’ve said that … where do I go from here?

I want to write something truly profound about those two incidents. Something that may seem like a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives this weekend.

But I can’t…..

I just can’t find the words to appropriately describe my grief over this situation.

I’m scared for this society. I was truly scared when my son was brought into this world a little over two years ago …. and now, with what happened this weekend, I’m truly terrified about the world he will inherit when he gets older…

I wish I could say more … but I can’t.

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Novel recommendations: The Evil That Men Do by Dave White; The Hunter by Richard Stark; Somebody Owes Me Money by Donald Westlake; and 1776 by David McCulloch.

What I’m reading: The Ax by Donald Westlake.