The gift that keeps on giving

Written in response to: Write about someone giving or receiving a gift.... view prompt



This story contains sensitive content

If you have company and your mom tells you to keep your door open, don't read the following

"Go ahead, open it."

He tore the festive wrapper.

"Well, what do you think?"

"The fuck is this?"

He held it at arm's length, frowning. His rattlesnake tattoo was in full view, crawling out his sleeve.

"What, you don't like it? It's custom-made. This guy does it from scratch. It took months to get it done."

George didn't hide his disappointment. The man thought his gift would be commended. 

"Why did you give me this?" Tony's feelings toward the gift were loud and clear. 

"Jeez, calm down. I didn't mean to piss you off. I thought you would enjoy it."

Tony sat the blade on the counter and grabbed a beer.

"It's a stupid gift. I don't want that thing in my house."

George couldn't believe his ears. 

"You're something, let me tell you. I tried to be nice. I know there's been talk about me, especially after our last shakedown."

He grabbed the beautiful scabbard. In its leather, intricate patterns of animals were skilfully carved. 

"This was three months in the making you ungrateful fuck. Shipping was a nightmare. I had to get - you know what?! I don't care anymore. If you don't like it I'll take it back."

Tony pressed his face in with both hands and sighed. He popped open a beer and handed it to George.

"Sit down, man. I gotta tell you something."

"What's wrong? You look sick. You got the corona don't you? Shit, Tony, I told you I don't want to get sick. Sandy's having a baby and I can't go home with the -"

He froze when he saw the gun in Tony's hand.

"What are you doing? Tony, relax, it's me. Quit playing."

"George, you fucked up. The boss wants you dead."

His jaw dropped.

"Dead, but I don't… Come on, I'm going through a rough patch. I can fix it, Tony. You know me."

"I do know you. You're a liability. They know you've been talking, man. "

"Talk, I never said anything to anyone, not even Sandy knows our business."

Tony placed the gun on the table in front of him. He drank his beer in one gulp.

"Do you have a piece on you?"

"Yeah but it's empty."

"Give it here, George. Do it slowly."

George obeyed his friend and handed the gun over. Tony checked it, it was empty.

"Here's what's gonna happen. You're gonna vanish from this city. You'll never be able to return. I'll take you to the train station myself."

"But Tony I -"

His nose splattered on the wooden table, blood dripping on his shirt.

"Jesus fucking Christ! You chipped my tooth."

Tony grabbed his throat and squeezed the life out of George.

"Listen here you dumb fuck. I'm supposed to kill you today and take a picture of your worthless carcass. If you think the boss will forgive you for ratting us to the cops you got another thing coming."

"But I didn't talk, man, I swear. They sat me in that little room and asked if I worked for The Capitan. They knew about Croaker and One-eye, even Raven. I swear Tony I didn't say anything."

Blood dripped on the rattlesnake. Tony released his death grip. He stood up and washed his hands and forearms, the red dye staining his marble sink. George was out of breath. He drank some beer, panting and sweating like there was no tomorrow.

"They'll boil you alive. They'll cut open your wife and make you watch your son -"

"No, please Tony don't say that. I'll do anything just please don't let them get my wife and kid."

Tears and spit rolled down his face.

"I swear I didn't talk. I didn't say a word. Please believe me."

Tony grabbed the dagger.

"Put your head on the table and close your eyes."

"No, Tony, please. I'm sorry."

"Here, bleed on this knife. It will make it look real."

George was stunned.

"I said take it. Make sure to cover it in blood."

"But my nose stopped…"

The blow struck with pinpoint accuracy.

"There you go."

George fell to one knee, blood pouring onto his shoes.

"Good, now look dead."

Tony took a picture of George collapsed on the table, all bloodied up and with a long dagger next to his face.

"Clean yourself up, " Tony said, tossing a kitchen towel to George. "Take some clothes from the bedroom. Here's some cash, come on let's go. We gotta get out of here."

"What about Sandy? I can't just leave her."

"I'll get her on a train as soon as I'm done with you. I promise."

George hugged his friend.

"Thank you, I won't forget what you did for me."

"Forget it because we won't see each other ever again. You'll have to start a new life far away from here. Lay low because they'll find you, George. Do you understand?"

He teared up.

"I didn't talk, Tony. I didn't talk…"

"I know. But I'm the only one who believes you. If they found out you're still alive I'm fish food. You got that?"

He nodded. The ride to the train station was quiet. Tony stayed on the platform until the train disappeared. He called Sandy.

"Hi, it's Tony. How are you? Oh, that's great. Let's hope he takes after you. If he has George's looks and brains well… Actually, I wanted to talk to you. Yeah, I saw him today. Listen, I need to come over and see you right now. Nothing, it's gonna be fine but you have to listen to me. You need to pack up, take only what you need. Calm down, I'll be there in half an hour. It will all be fine I promise. Alright, bye."

Tony got in his car and drove off. He pulled another phone from his glove compartment and held it up to his face. The screen lit up. He speed-dialed.

"He's on the train heading to Downpatrick. How many officers do we have watching the house? Is she still inside? I'll be there in ten, detective signing off."

November 21, 2021 11:35

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


07:47 Dec 13, 2021

I loved your writing the way story was well crafted it amazed would like to make contribution to our team here is short introduction Sorry for inconvenience ignore it I am just bothering you We are Team Abhedya Racing; a group of passionate engineering undergraduates who participate in the BAJA competition organized by SAE at a National and International level. We have started this fundraiser to help fund our efforts in securing an All India Rank of 1 in the ongoing BAJA 2022 season. We have made it to an All India Rank of 6 in Phase 1 o...


Miles Gatling
06:42 Dec 14, 2021

Congratulations and good luck


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply