Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience. Please be advised.
|Fr. Kevin becomes a hostage|
The man with the bandaged hand eyed the situation, then weighing his options, raised his hands above his head, the blood from his wound running down his arm like branches in a stream. There was the groan and creak of brittle plastic, as the homeless man grunted, and then shifted his view to face the wall, signaling his lack of interference. Across the room, Kevin could see the woman at the reception window shove down a metal plate, essentially sealing the opening between the staff and its patients.
The shorter of the two men appeared to realize the turn of events at the same time. He made a rush for the only door in the waiting area, the one that obviously led to the exam rooms, only to find it solidly locked. In frustration, he began an all out assault, kicking and pounding at the handle, screaming obscenities at no one in particular.
"Open this fuckn' door, you hear me? Let us get what we came for, and no one has to get hurt." Getting no reaction, he moved to the window, and banged on the metal plate with the barrel of the small pistol. "Just slide your Oxi right under this window, and we'll be on our way. No trouble, ya hear me?"
A male voice shouted from behind. "This isn't a pharmacy, Sir. We don't have any drugs here."
"You're fuckn' lying, you stupid asshole! I know you have it. In a small cabinet at the end of the hall. I saw it there myself last week. Don't make me start blowin' off heads to get it."
It was at that moment the other man, who during this entire tirade had slowly moved himself closer to the exit, made a break for the door. In seconds, he was gone, leaving the short one to deal on his own, unsure as to what to do next. For several seconds, he stood staring at the five people scattered around the room, contemplating. Then he pointed his gun at Kevin.
"You...Bozo...get your ass over here."
Before he could reply, Roxanne spoke up. "He can't. Not on his own. His foot is broken. He can't walk."
"Did I ask you anything, bitch? You his mommy?" He thought for a moment, then added, "He can slide over in the chair. The rest of you...move to the wall over there...by the bum."
Maureen and Roxie looked at him, hesitant to leave. Kevin whispered to them both. "Just do what he says. I'll be okay. I promise."
He waited until the two women and the injured man settled themselves across the room, then using his good leg, steered the chair, scrape by scrape, across the floor to where the gunman was standing. Each jostle of his broken foot sent a shooting pain from his toes to the top of his head, but all things considered, he figured it was better than a bullet to some vital organ. The few feet seemed liked the Continental Divide, and as he slid closer inch by inch, he ran through the list of saints, trying to remember which one might be suitable to intercede in a situations concerning crazy men with guns.
Because it was a day that can come to no good, he had just sat down to his desk for lunch when the call came through. Slices of last night's rare roast beef, nestled between two thick slices of fresh bread from the deli, the last of Maureen's summer tomatoes, and a wedge of the homemade chocolate cake that went uneaten after his little announcement about Roxanne's employment. It seemed like the only bright spot in a day riddled with annoyance, and as with all things regarding fate, it came as no surprise that he'd be interrupted before he could take a single bite.
Normally, one of the deputies on duty would be dispatched to the location, and he'd be called only if the events warranted his official presence. But as was the protocol in hostage situations, the deputy ran the plates on the vehicles in the lot, and when the Schiller's name came up, the Sheriff was contacted because of his known connection to the elderly citizens. Although he was concerned about the couple, he had no initial reason to worry about his wife. She had not made any attempt to get behind the wheel of an automobile since the accident, and as far as he could figure, had no reason to be anywhere near a walk in clinic on the seedy side of town.
When his call to Maureen's cell went to voice mail, he was left to dial the deli's land line, where he was informed by Mrs. Schiller that his wife had taken a few hours off to attend to her injured brother, and added that the lovely new girl and she had asked to borrow their car to take Fr. Kevin to the doctor.
A million thoughts hit his head at the same time, none of them pleasant, and lunch immediately forgotten, he was out the door.
If the whole thing wasn't as serious as it was, Kevin might have thought he was part of some black comedy scene from a Seth MacFarlane movie. He imagined the crazy, toilet humor dialogue that might spout from his character's lips as he slid across the floor toward the gunman, the chair legs making pig squeal sounds as it raked along the gummy floor. But this wasn't a movie. Nothing make-believe about it at all, and the young man in the hoodie was beginning to show signs of serious stress. Beads of sweat gathered along his lip, and his left leg jiggled incessantly. The fingers that held the pistol, flexed and strained, and when he finally tired of watching his hostage's slow progress, he yanked the back of the chair and dragged him closer.
Rapping on the metal plate, he yelled to those on the other side. "You assholes have 2 minutes to send out those meds, or I'm gonna start putting holes in this guy." He pounded harder, and added, "I mean it! I'll do it."
Across the room, the two women jumped up, and the gunman quickly pointed the gun in their direction. "Sit down...or you'll be first" With nothing to be accomplished, they sat down, their eyes wide with fear, but lips set in grim determination.
Things were spiraling fast. As each second passed, the young man grew more restless, his hands tugging on the collar of Kevin's shirt. He worried about the safety of his sister. Of Roxanne. And of the two strangers in the room with them. He said a silent prayer, putting the outcome into God's hands, and then turned and forced the gunman to face at him. "You know this isn't going to turn out well, don't you? Look man, we all screw up. Make bad decisions. But there's still time to get out of this without hurting anyone."
"Shut the fuck up, Bozo. I don't want your damn advice. I have the gun. You have nothing but your stupid flapping mouth. So close it before I blow your head off your shoulders."
"You don't want to do this. I know you don't."
"You don't know anything about me, asshole. So stop saying you do."
Fr. Kevin looked up closely at his face, the realization hitting him so hard, his breath caught in his throat. He knew where he had seen that face before. The same face that had stared back at him from a grimy mirror in a strange time and place. The same deep set, haunted eyes. The familiar arched brows set above them. It was all together impossible, but the living, breathing facts stared back at him from under the hood of the man's sweat shirt. The priest shifted in his chair, and tried again. "You're wrong. I do know you. Better than you think. This isn't what you're meant for."
The gunman looked at him queerly, confused at the sincerity that laced the hostage's words.
Seeing his hesitancy, Kevin continued his counseling. "I know you think this is the only way. But it's not. You can...can change the course of your destiny."
All heads whirled toward the door, the sounds of approaching squad cars blaring from the outside. The two men looked from the exit, to each other. Kevin put his hand on the youth's arm. "This is your last chance. Go while you can. There's probably a window in the rest room. Best you climb through there."
The young man looked across the room at the others, then back at Kevin. He loosened his grip on the collar of the priest's shirts. Without another word, and without a single shot fired, the punk with a face from a hundred years before disappeared into the men's room. There was the sound of breaking glass, and then, all was silent.
Copyright Victoria T. Rocus
All Rights Reserved