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That one moment of surprise was all it took. He quickly grabbed Susie and fled.
I rushed outside but it was too late. There was no trace of them.
“Suuuusie!!!” I screamed her name into the empty abyss but nobody answered me.
Charlie was inside his little kingdom –his kindergarten room. It was filled with bright alphabet letters, smurfs, Donald Ducks and other sickening paraphernalia.
He was teaching those six year olds the BINGO song when I snuck up from behind. I jabbed my gun hidden inside my jacket against his back and whispered, “Give me a reason why I shouldn’t kill you right now for fucking my wife.”
“Okay kiddos, time to get your play doh out.” His cheerful voice didn’t waver a bit. You had to admire Charlie for his calmness. He was not the type to piss his pants in a life threatening situation.
His students shot curious glances at me while taking out their little jars of clay. I grinned back.
He turned to me. I was unshaven. I had cuts everywhere and my wrinkled shirt was untucked from my pants. “You stink.”
“I think my odor should be the least of your concerns.” He was holding me by the elbow, leading me into the teacher’s room. No one was there. He locked the door.
“How long have you known?” he asked, looking at the shiny chrome knob.
Charlie didn’t try to deny it. He raised his eyes to look at me. They held but one emotion. “I love her,” he said. Just like that. So fucking simple. I wanted to smash his boyish face into the window over and over again for just saying that, see it scarred for life and piss all over it. I would like to see his blood in my hands.
But I needed him.
“Susie’s been kidnapped.”
His knees buckled.
“You didn’t know? That means that son of a bitch hasn’t killed her yet.”
“Who did it?”
“Fuck! This is no time to be joking, John!”
“Shit, Charlie. You know I don’t believe in ghosts.”
“You said so yourself you saw him.”
I waved the gun around. “I think it looked like him. It was just a fraction of a second. The lightning could’ve been playing tricks with me. I was under a lot of stress.” I looked at him pointedly. “A whole lot of stress.”
He didn’t flinch. “You knew this day would come. Retribution. You can’t escape God’s judgment.”
I laughed. “So God brought back the dead to torment us?” I stepped closer to him. “So you think Ben deserved to die? How about Susie? Would you like to see her tongue pulled out too?”
I saw his fist tighten. He wanted to punch me. Good. I wanted him to so I could forget the pain for a moment. Knock me out, you lying scumbag.
I took a deep breath and tried to put my thoughts in order. No, this won’t help my two faced cheating wife at all. God, I still love her. How pathetic.
I lit up a stick and inhaled deeply.
“This is a no smoking zone.”
“Fuck you. But then you already did that to my wife.” I exhaled. “Call the nuthouse.”
“Why don’t you do it?”
“I don’t exactly keep phone numbers of mental cases now, don’t I? Especially those who were once your former accomplices in murder. I know you keep tabs on him,” I said. “Since you were the one who put him there in the first place.”
He reached for the phone and dialed the number of the mental asylum. He spoke to someone for a few minutes and then his whole body went rigid. He replaced the receiver and turned to me. I had never seen him look so pale and frightened.
To be continued
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