Gerald's Dilemma

Submitted into Contest #160 in response to: Start your story with the whistle of a kettle.... view prompt


Drama Fiction

This story contains sensitive content

This story contains strong language.

What is that noise? Is that the smoke detector? Can’t be, I still need to replace the batteries on that thing. Oh, right, it’s the kettle. How could I forget I put the kettle on? Hibiscus tea before every shift. It's supposed to be good for the heart rate. Get it together, Gerald. Get it together.

You heard what those guys said. Don’t do anything to arouse suspicion. Just act like you would during a typical shift. I’ve forgotten to lock up before. Haven’t I? I’m sure I have. I’ll forget to lock up again tonight, and it’ll be like I just made another careless mistake. I mean, it’ll definitely get me fired. But, hey, jobless is better than dead.

These guys seem dangerous. Like they don’t fuck around. If I hadn’t agreed to go along with their whole scheme, they probably would’ve just waxed me on the spot. Waxed? Is that the term? I really should watch more gangster movies.

I had to agree right then and there. It was the right thing to do. It's what I do next that's important. What if I just never show up? I'll call in sick tonight. I'll use this time to pack my bags and make a run for it. I’ve always wanted to leave Vegas anyway. It’s too fucking hot here. Maybe I’ll move to Montana. Big Sky country. I’m sure they have plenty of security jobs there. Or I could get a national parks gig. Change up the ol' career trajectory. Doesn’t Murray still live in Bozeman? I could hit him up. Maybe he has a spot on his couch for me to crash. I think I’m having a panic attack.

No, no, I can’t run. They’d find me. They’d find me and break my arms and legs and rip out my tongue and shoot me in the head. They just seem like those kinds of people. They’re nothing like the mafia guys. Not like I would know, but I remember that when Jerry was on the cut, he said they were all cool, calm, and professional. Nothing like what you see in the movies. Not like I would know. Whatever, Jerry was probably lying about all that anyway. He's always messing around.

So, I can probably rule out the mafia. None of them looked Italian. That tall, skinny accountant-looking guy – what a creep she was, with those eyes like black holes trying to suck out my soul – him and his two goon-ish bodyguards did all have matching wrist tattoos. That much I do remember. Some sort of – what’s the word? – like a crest or something. They were probably part of a secret organization. Fuck, they could be Illuminati. I need a drink. Something stronger than tea. I think I have whiskey lying around here somewhere. An hour until I head in for my shift. Yeah, I definitely have time for a whiskey. Maybe two.

How did they find me anyway? Have they been following me? For how long? Days? Weeks? Months? Maybe it was Jerry who told them about where I work and where I live. Jerry’s always getting into shady shit. Fucking Jerry.

Now, going to the cops is obviously out of the question. It’s like the accountant-looking guy said – Mr. Mosely, that’s how he introduced himself. He said, “We have eyes everywhere.” That has to mean they have the police in their pocket. It probably even goes higher than that, too. The mayor. The governor. Could this lead all the way to the president? Calm down, Gerald. You watch too many documentaries.

Okay, they’re at least some sort of shady organization. I can say much that for sure. But what is it they want? And what are they doing breaking into some random hotel in Vegas? You’d think they’d be robbing Fort Knox or plotting a Pentagon invasion. Wait, wait, wait. Who's that guy staying at The Grand this weekend? Someone important. I really need to start reading company emails more closely.

That famous author! That's it! Henry something. The guy who writes about UFOs and aliens and all that. Wait a goddamn minute. Maybe I don’t watch too many documentaries. This is like some deep state shit. I bet this Henry guy revealed one too many secrets about extraterrestrials, and now some secret agency is about to wax him. Could it be the CIA? Maybe it is actually Illuminati. Whoever it is, I can’t just let them get away with this, right? I’ve got to do something.

What am I saying? This isn’t a movie. I can’t just go loose cannon security guard and somehow save the day. In real life, that gets people killed. Plus, it's not like I have any badass skills that would do me any good if I decided to go rogue. I know how to turn a flashlight on and off and use keys. I’m not the fucking guy from Taken.

Right, it’s decided. I’ll go tonight. I’ll do what they want. Then, I’ll make a run for it. They won’t have any use for me after this. I’ll go off the grid. I’ll change my identity. That can’t be that hard, right? Nothing I can’t figure out with a couple of Google searches. One more shot for your nerves, Gerald. You got this. Just think of it as a normal night shift. Except you’re tipsy and about to be an accessory to a serious crime.

Hold up now. What the hell are wires doing in my bathroom mirror? Gerald, you idiot! It's a hidden camera. How could I be so stupid? I let that Mosely creep use the bathroom. I let them all into the house. Who knows how many more of these things they've got stashed all around? They've been watching me this whole time.

Fuck! Someone’s at the door. It can’t be them again. They said they wouldn’t come back here unless the plans changed. What did that mean? Was that good or bad? Oh no, it is them. Fuck. And there’s two other guys with them. Is he carrying a bag? What’s in the bag? That’s gotta be the clean-up guy. Every hit crew has a clean-up guy, right? They’re here to kill me. Shit, shit, shit. Why did they send so many guys after me? I really wish I had a back door right about now. Wait, why does that other guy have a camera? They must take pleasure in watching their kills afterwards like post-game film. That’s some twisted shit.

How do I get out of this? I don’t have any guns. Do I come at them with a kitchen knife? No, they’d just swarm and overpower me. I could spray them with a fire extinguisher. If only I had one... Wait! Grandpa’s grenade from Vietnam! He told me I could always use it to get out of a sticky situation, so that must mean it still works. I can't believe I still have it after all this time. How did he know I'd actually need it? You're a wild man, Grandpa, but god bless you.

Wait, this is insane, right? Am I actually going to use an actual grenade? I don't know if I really have any other choice. It's kill or be killed, Gerald. This is self-defense. Maybe not the most conventional method for self-defending, but you make due with what you've got. Last shot of whiskey.

Okay, here it goes. I pull the pin, I open the door, throw the grenade out, wait until I hear boom, run to the car, and just drive. I'll figure the rest out as I go. Holy shit, I'm actually doing this. You've got this, Gerald. It's now or never.

“What's up, sucker, you're on the Simon Says Prank Show? Say hi to Jerry, he's the one who set this whole thing up. Whoa, easy, guy. Did he just throw something at us? What the..."

August 24, 2022 20:22

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