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Creative Nonfiction Inspirational Crime

Jack Whisk was known as the greatest con artist. He had the looks of a charming middle-aged man, with a reddish hue to his natural orange hair combed to the side of his face so as to not hang over his eyes. He would be dressed in a dark blue sweater over his white shirt and khaki pants. He had acquired skills in knife handling and could easily take down someone twice his size by aiming for their joints and where they were weakest at. But that all changed when he met Lizzy.

Lizzy was a young woman in her late 20s with golden wavy hair. She dressed herself in a yellow blouse and a long burgundy skirt. From a distance, to Jack, she looked like she was from a different world then his own. Jack felt he was in love and he knew that, as a professional con man, he wouldn't have many opportunities to pursue real love, so he went for it. When Jack introduced himself to her, he didn't mention that he was a con artist, only that he worked with a lot of people in his line of work. Lizzy took an interest in him, but they wouldn't get together until after she graduated from college. Jack accepted those terms, and in that time frame built up his money and cleaned up his messy life to ensure it wouldn't cause problems for him or Lizzy in the future. For her, Jack was a new man.

After Lizzy graduated from college the two got married and had a small family, living overseas and enjoying the pleasures of living life together. Jack believed with Lizzy's help he had finally retired from the business of a con man…or so he thought. One day, someone who Jack had wronged in his past learned of his new life-style. They were determined to ruin Jack as he had ruined them. Jack was out taking care of errands for his wife, when he received a text message from her cell. "If you want to see them alive again you will come to the warehouse down by the docks and you will bring a duffle bag, gloves, and your I.D." Jack stares at this message and feels his heart sink. He hurried home, only to find it trashed with furniture in disarray, and blood stains here and there. Jack isn't sure who's the blood from, but if it's from his family he will no doubt kill the people murking up his life again. Grabbing some spare gloves, kitchen knives, and a handgun, Jack places these items in the duffel bag. He also attaches his ammunition pouch to his belt. Feeling ready for an onslaught, he sets out to the warehouse down by the docks after grabbing his wallet to treat his family to dinner after their safe return. When he arrives, he only sees the ringleader who sits upon a tower of crates, some thugs lingering in the back, with two others securing an exit. Jack looks around and still not seeing his family, wonders if they have been separated from each other. The man on top of the crate with an open shirt and dark brown trousers grins greedily.

"So you came after all, you good for nothing scum," he said with leering eyes.

"I want to know where my family is and if they're safe," Jack demanded.

"Oh you'll see them soon enough," the man howls with laughter, feeling he has an upper hand against Jack. "Your main worry should be yourself Mr. Jack."

"I won't be able to focus on any jobs if I'm worrying about my family, Mr. Krag," Jack saids with a small smirk. "Plus, if I'm too distracted the job's a bust and we'll all go down together and I doubt that's what you want Mr. Krag."

Gritting his teeth in annoyance, Krag nods for one of his lackies to take Jack to check on his family. Jack then follows a muscular man to the back of the warehouse where a small room held his wife and son. Lizzy is blindfolded and her hands were bound by fabric. His son, Charlie, was blindfolded too, and bound to the bed, but there was residue of dried blood on his cheek. Jack felt enraged, but knew now wasn't the time to act. Lizzy's head perked up from her sitting in a chair.

"W..who's there?!" She asks, dreading the sound of heavy footsteps.

"Be at ease my love, I'm here to get you both out of this," Jack said soothingly.

"Can we have a minute?"

The big guy is hesitant, but Jack reminds him if he wanted to escape with his family he would be putting them at risk of getting gunned down even if he did unite them. Hearing this puts the lackey's mind at ease as he tells Jack he has 5 minutes. Leaving them alone, the big guy waits outside the door, closing it behind him. Jack sighs as he goes to Lizzy.

"My love, it's just me," Jack said softly.

"Jack what's going on? These people claim to know you and that you're in some kind of trouble." She queries worriedly. "Plus, Charlie tried to defend me, but he was hurt."

"I know Lizzy," Jack kept his voice low and calm to hide the rage dwelling within him.

"Papa, is that you?" Charlie looks around unable to see anything being blindfolded. "Papa, I tried to protect momma, but they're really strong. I'm sorry."

"Don't be, Charlie. I'm more than proud," he said, patting Charlie on the head. "In fact, we'll be leaving here very soon and I'll reward you for being my strong little man with anything you want for dinner."

"Really?!" Charlie exclaims feeling more at ease seeing how confident his father was that everything would work out.

"Yeah, just wait for me till then, alright?" Jack asks as he starts to loosen Lizzy's binds. "My love, I'm going to go soon, but when you hear the door shut and our footsteps leaving I want you to use these binds to cover yours and Charlie's ears. It's going to get loud very soon."

"O-okay Jack.. please be careful," she told him, getting more anxious for what's to come.

"I will," he kissed her cheek before straightening up and leaving them.

As he had said, the door closed and their footsteps could be heard leaving the small room. Lizzy, sure that they were gone, finished undoing her binds and goes over to Charlie to explain that things were going to get noisy soon so he needed to protect his ears. With the fabric in hand she covers his ears then her own and waits for Jack to come for them. Jack re-entered the area where Krag and his men are drinking their fill. He notices in his surroundings there's a crate nearby he can use for cover and decides to put his plan into motion.

"Now then, since you saw the weaklings in their glory let's get to business," Krag said, sighing satisfied with a smug smirk.

"Indeed, let's," Jack opens his duffle bag and before Krag can discern what he's doing, Jack shoots the man behind him in his upper jaw.

The man tumbles back as he falls over with blood draining from his chin. The gunshot is loud, but it is only the beginning. Krag orders his men to take aim to kill Jack, but Jack stays on his feet. He uses the crate nearby as a cover as more bullets fly. And when given the opportunity, he fires a few rounds himself, killing off more and more of Krag's lackeys. Krag is sure that if he can get to Jack's family first he will corner him, but while he is running feels something sharp slam into his kneecap, causing him to collapse in pain. It was one of the kitchen knives Jack brought with him. Finding the crate too damaged, he then uses the man behind him as a shield, getting hit in the shoulder by a stray bullet. Only three lackeys left and Krag is still limping from the knee injury. Using his belt pouch, Jack reloads his gun as Krag sits up against the wall.

"Give it up Jack!" Krag demands. "The only way you'll leave here is in a coffin and with your family moaning about your life. You think just because you're a family man now you can just end things whenever you like! The world doesn't revolve around you."

"Mr. Krag, if I didn't know any better I would say you are sulking because I ruined your chances with Elizabeth, was it?"

Jack winces in pain from his shoulder as he uses one of his knives to hack out the bullet leaving a bigger and bloodier patch to heal later. Krag glares at the dead body Jack is hiding behind and orders his other three lackeys to surround him. Their footsteps can be heard echoing in the nearly empty warehouse.

"You ruined my life for the last time Jack," Krag said, as the three were posted up to gun Jack down.

When Krag gives the order to kill him, a knife flies towards one of the lackeys' throats causing him to collapse, as another hits the second man to Jack's left in his chest. The third is too afraid to pull the trigger as he quivers seeing how Jack has defeated the gang of thugs. He backs up before turning to run entirely towards the exit hoping to escape, but is shot down by Krag, who now finds him useless. Jack stands glaring at Krag, who in turn glares at Jack with both heated and hateful stares. They are both loaded to finish the other off, but neither makes the final move. Whoever fires first, has to guarantee a hit or their move will be their last.

"You can walk away from this Krag and we never have to see each other again," Jack told him.

"And then what?" Krag mutters as he was feeling weak from the loss of blood. "It won't matter what I do, my life is ruined. I'm a dead man either way! With this busted knee I won't be able to do as I please, thanks to you. Either I'll be caught by the cops if not killed by some other gang. You ruined my life Jack! You! And you'll ruin anyone else's life you get involved with."

"I see," Jack sighs, lowering his gun if only slightly. "Then let me put you out of your misery."

With that, Jack shot Krag through the heart as he coughed up blood falling over to his side. Now it is finally over. Jack had killed off Krag and his gang, but now felt a hole in his chest. Sure Krag deserved it, but he really did make it near impossible for him to recover from. It was then Jack decided he wouldn't shun his past experience as a con man. Instead, he would use his knowledge, skills, and experience to lead others on a straighter and narrower life than Krag's to stop any more lives from being destroyed. Casting aside his weapons, Jack returns to get his family and takes them out to eat as promised. He is scolded by Lizzy for trying to be a hero and being careless. Because of his reckless job to pull the bullet out, Jack had to get stitches and surgery to patch it up. For him, he felt like a renewed man. One who would live the life of a protector rather than a thief that would steal. For better or worse, Jack would be known as the vigilante con man. A man who fights for justice using underhanded tactics that no law abiding citizens would do.

The End.

October 03, 2022 23:05

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1 comment

Mary James
00:40 Oct 26, 2022

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