Man of Action

Written in response to: Start your story with a character accepting a bribe.... view prompt


Contemporary Crime Funny

Take the money and run.

That was my only instruction.

 I could not bring myself to run.

I am not a bad person, I promise. I promise that I am doing this for the right reasons, reasons I am yet to come up with. But when I do, it will all be worth it.

The money was in an envelope, with nothing written on it that could lead back to the sender. But now it was in my hands, cradled like a newborn, and I had to do what I promised in trade for this. Easy enough. Right? Yes? Yes, yes it is. It is just so much money, and it is only the first payment. How could anyone resist?

So, now I am standing here in this parking garage. Why do these things always happen in a parking garage? Maybe because we all watched the same movies, or those movies are more accurate than I thought. But I guess I never put much thought into it, I just watched for the guns and girls if I am honest. I do not know what to do next, I mean, I know what I have to do—it is just I do not know what to do right now. At this moment I am absolutely clueless, I do not like feeling clueless. I mean that is why I got into politics, so I knew what was happening behind closed doors. But behind those doors are so incredibly mind-numbingly boring you could not even imagine it, it is just meetings with people so old I cannot help but wonder if they just built the building around them. I was sure one of them had died last week, but he was there the next morning drinking his motor oil. That does not matter now, what matters now is what to do next.

I just had to vote the way they wanted, that is it, I just had to do what the taxpayers tell me to do. With a bonus tip from these men. But right now I have to move. Just get to my car, that is it, just take one step to my car. Then I have to get in my car, drive home, eat dinner, then go to bed. I can do that, I know I can do that, I practically do that every night. So, if it is so easy and close to second nature, how come I cannot move? How come I am standing here like an absolute moron? My instructions were as clear as they could be, but nothing came of it, I just keep staring at this stupid envelope—not that it is stupid. It is not stupid, I should not say that. This is incredibly important, this would be insanely scandalous if word got out. That is what makes this whole ordeal so exciting, thrilling even.

That is why people get into this sort of thing, the money is nice of course, but I think it is because we need a boost. Something to jolt us to remind us why exactly we get out of bed, it is just important to have that sort of thing in a person’s life. I do not feel guilty. I should not feel guilty for what I am doing. Why can I not move? The longer I stand here the more suspicious I will look, the more suspicious I look the more people will look at me, the more people look at me the greater the chance someone will recognize me, if someone recognizes me then they tell the press, and then the press…well the press is paid off rather easy, so that may not be as big of an issue as I originally thought. But what if it gets back to the church? Or my wife? Actually, if anything, both would just ask for a cut and then look the other way.

Wait? Are there really any risks to this? I mean there has to be, I am in a parking garage so it has to be. I mean if it was not dangerous to some degree then what was the point? There has to be a point to all of this. If there was not a point then I would be standing here for nothing, spiraling out of control for nothing. This has to be for something, anything really, this must have some sort of impact. Nothing has even happened, I am still standing in this parking lot waiting to make a decision. Those instructions were too vague, where exactly am I supposed to run to? At what speed? Wait, in what direction? It never said where to go. Should I ask someone? No, no that would be ridiculous.

Oh God, why is this happening to me? I am a good honest person, I am a man of integrity and prowess. I am not someone to be paralyzed by such things, I am a man of action, and I am more than capable of moving from this spot. The reason I am not is…because, well I am not sure—but once I figure it out it will be a good reason. A reason that will make this whole thing seem worth it, I promise.

I am still not moving, how is this even possible? How long have I even been standing here? Probably only a couple of seconds, let me check my watch. How has it been thirty minutes? No that cannot be! Wait, what time did I even get here? It was almost ten, or was it eleven? No ten-thirty, probably. Maybe I should phone someone? Someone has to know what I should do next, at least someone to calm my nerves from the shaking. Scotch usually helps, that is why I drank some before I came, drank half the bottle. I probably should not have done that, but I remember one of the guys saying it ‘scotch is the sign of a good deal’—how they had heard it from a buddy of theirs down in Texas. It all sounded so serious when they were saying it, with such conviction in their tone, that I just thought it was true. So if I talk to them they will know what to do. Where is my phone? Oh God, I left my phone in the car. And I still cannot move, why do terrible things always happen to me?

I think I am going to throw up, I am going to throw up all over this envelope. My vision is starting to blur, I think I am going to die. Am I already dead?


“Get out of the parking stall asshole!” Someone yelled at me, their headlights highlighting my entire body in the flickering darkness. It was some burly bastard driving a lower tax bracket pickup truck, I must have looked like a deer in headlights because he treated me as such.  I could not have been more relieved.

“Thank you” I yelled. Now finally able to run from that parking spot, running well into the night.  Waiting for further instruction.  

August 19, 2022 14:42

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