“Come with us,” two burly men in grey suits said, grabbing me by the arm and handcuffing me. “You know what you did.” But I have no idea.

“You’ve got the wrong guy. I didn’t do anything.”

“That’s what they all say.” The one that looks like Duane Johnson, holding my right arm, nods.

“Yeah. That’s what they all say.” The one that looks like Vin Diesel, holding my left arm, agrees, also nodding.

“Humor me. Pretend I lost my memory or something. What is it you think I did?”

“Good one.” The Rock smiles. “You don’t remember what you did, but you know you didn’t do it.”

“Yeah. Good one.” Vin Diesel agrees, offering a smile of his own. I decide I’ll call them Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum.

“OK.” I decide it might be better if I play along. “You’ve got me. I did it. I changed the channel on the stupid TV.”

Tweedle-dee stops and pulls on my arm, turning me halfway around so we’re nose to nose. “Listen, smartass. That’s my boss you killed. Don’t make any more wisecracks like that, or you might not make it to prison.”

Tweedle-dum yanks my other arm, spinning me around to stare into his face. “Yeah, smartass. You might not make it.”

At least I have a little more information now. Apparently, they think I killed someone. Tweedle-dee’s boss. And they’re taking me to prison. If I live to make it that far. I laugh. And I know they are not really XXX and The Rock. Vin Diesel and Duane Johnson are smarter than these two.

“Me? I weigh what? One hundred and twenty pounds, tops? About as much as your thighs. And you think I wasted your boss? Was he even wimpier than me?”

I get spun around again, by Tweedle-dee. He gut punches me, and I double over.

“I said no more wisecracks. You know my boss is a woman. Was a woman. A woman who could kick your ass any day of the week, twice on Sundays.”

As I straighten up, Tweedle-dum pulls me around in the other direction. He punches me in the gut, harder than Tweedle-dee. Or maybe it just feels that way because I’m already tender there.

“Yeah. She could kick your ass any day of the week, and twice on Sundays. Could have, anyway.”

Once I catch my breath I straighten up and turn so I’m facing the way we were headed.

“Can you hear yourselves? You tell me your boss, a woman, could have kicked my ass any day of the week, twice on Sundays. Yet you say I killed her. That doesn’t compute, does it?”

“What are you trying to do? Confuse us?” Tweedle-dee, nose to nose with me, after he pulled me around again.

“Yeah. You trying to confuse us?” Tweedle-dum, also nose to nose, having pulled me in the other direction.

“Maybe I am. Is it working?” Tweedle-dee yanks on my arm and slams me in the gut again. Not thinking before I speak is one of my many flaws.

“Does that feel like it’s working, asshole?”

I’m only half straightened up when I feel the tug on my other arm. Tweedle-dum pulls me around and delivers another haymaker to my gut. Of course.

“Yeah, asshole. Does that feel like it’s working?”

“OK, boys, OK. I’m not really trying to confuse a couple of brainiacs like you.” My mouth seems to have a mind of its own. And not a very bright one. “I’m trying to tell you that it’s pretty strange for you to think your boss, whoever she was, could whip my ass. That’s not the strange part. The strange part is thinking that little old me could whip hers. That I could actually kill her.”

“Tell it to the judge. If you live to make it to prison. And you make it out of the joint to the courtroom.” Tweedle-dee just made two very scary points as he marched me along, a few steps closer to this prison they were taking me to, wherever it happened to be.

“Yeah. Tell it to the judge.” Tweedle-dum echoed. He sounded disappointed that he didn’t get to punch me in the gut again.

We walked a few dozen steps. Well, they walked; and I was dragged along with them. Then I decided it was time to try a different tactic.

“You guys pack a pretty good punch, I have to say. I’m impressed. I think you loosened my brain. How did I kill her again? Your boss?”

“We don’t know how you did it. We just found you standing over her dead body.” Tweedle-dee sounded like he might be thinking about my guilt. Unless that was just me being optimistic.

“Yeah. We don’t know how you did it.” Tweedle-dum emphasized the word you, so I don’t think he was considering any possibility of my innocence.

“Was she shot? Stabbed? Poisoned? It doesn’t seem likely I could have overpowered her.”

“No. She wasn’t shot. She wasn’t stabbed. She wasn’t poisoned. She was just lying there, dead.” Tweedle-dee sounded unhappy.

“Yeah. No. She wasn’t any of those things.” Tweedle-dum didn’t sound too happy, either.

“Maybe nobody killed her,” I suggested. “Maybe she had a heart attack or something.” But I knew; suddenly it came back to me, and I knew.

Tweedle-dee yanked me around, but I was ready for it this time. I kicked him in the only soft spot I could think of, and I kicked him hard. He grunted and doubled over. I spun myself around and delivered another kick, this one to Tweedle-dum. He didn’t say “Yeah” this time, but he grunted satisfactorily. And he, too, doubled over.

I put my knees on Tweedle-dee’s ears, one knee on each. “Give me the key to these cuffs, or I’ll twist your neck. Hard. And you probably know what that means; you’ll be dead, and I’ll just take the key.”

Tweedle-dee brought the key out of his pocket.

“Release me now,” I demanded, spinning around and kicking Tweedle-dum’s chin. He dropped and I stepped back to put my knees back to the side of Tweedle-dee’s head, one on each ear. This brought my handcuffed hands near the hand that held the key. As soon as my hands were free I jerked my knees, twisting Tweedle-dee’s neck.

“That’s how I killed your boss,” I told his toppling body. Then I grabbed Tweedle-dum’s head. “But I used my hands on her.” I twisted Tweedle-dum’s neck and heard his spine snapping at the base. 

July 27, 2020 21:43

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Brittany Gillen
20:44 Aug 01, 2020

Ken - Thank you for sharing your story. I also liked the humor of the ping-pong dialogue and the repetition. It gave your story good pacing and made it a quick, fun read. You have a gift for characterization. My only feedback would be that I wanted more! It was on the low end of the word count, and I would have loved to see what your character did next. Keep writing!


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Sayani Sarkar
17:42 Jul 31, 2020

I loved the the subtle comedy and the how light the story is. I didn't even realize I was giggling every time "Tweedle-dum" just repeated everything the other one said !


Ken Coomes
18:13 Jul 31, 2020

Thanks! It was fun to write this one (and I've already been to yours and give you another "like" and some comments.) Glad it made you giggle.


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