Escape, p.1Glenn Gamble
Chicago, Illinois, USA
© 2011 Glenn Gamble
All rights reserved.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Escape © 2011 by Glenn Gamble
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from Glenn Gamble.
On the Run
A Thousand Chances
1001: Car Wash
“We’re not eating this shit!”
“Come on, Jim,” Steve said. “You gotta try it.”
“Yeah, baby, just take one bite,” Jessica added.
Jim looked down at the two plates each consisting of Chuck’s fried left thigh prepared with a Hawaiian bun and bay leaves. His stomach did jumping jacks and backflips. There was no way he was eating any serving of Chuck.
“I gotta go to the bathroom,” Jim said.
“Me too,” Carla said.
“You should go first,” Jim said.
“Come with me,” Jessica said. “I’ll show you where my bathroom is.”
As Jessica and Carla walked upstairs to the bathroom, Jim stayed in the basement staring at the large tub where a large pool of Chuck’s blood once dripped. This was by far the most disgusting and gruesome thing he had ever seen. He could not believe the situation he was facing. Jim wanted to believe that this was all a dream. His best friend and his girlfriend cannibalizing a human being? There was no digesting this situation, or Chuck for that matter.
“Aren’t you going to eat?” Steve asked.
“Nah,” Jim replied. “I don’t do homo-sapien entrées.”
“Then why did you come over here if you’re not going to eat with us?”
“That’s the same question that I’m asking myself. You know, this is fucking sick!”
“Well, that’s depends on how you choose to look at it. I think it’s quite tasty.”
“Steve, you had your wife thinking that you were fucking Jessica. I wish I hadn’t answered the phone when she called. I would have never known about this. Why Steve? As many steakhouses as they have in Chicago, you had to eat a human!”
“I told that jealous bitch to stay outta my business!”
“If you would bring your ass home and not secretly talk to Jessica, then I would have nothing to be suspicious about,” Carla said, having just come back downstairs with Jessica. “Now, I wish you were fucking Jessica instead of eating people. How could you do this?”
“I knew I could never tell you,” Steve said.
“I couldn’t either,” Jim said. “This is worse than just killing someone. To cannibalize your own species… Dude, fuck this I’m gone!”
“You are going no fucking where!” Steve said.
Steve pulled out his glock, pointing it at Jim and Carla. Jim couldn’t believe it. His best friend pulled a gun on him, and he had a good feeling that he was going to be breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next three days. Carla began crying as she sat at the table, peering at the fried human thigh.
“Now you two are going to enjoy a meal with me and Jessica,” Steven yelled.
“I can’t say that we’re going to enjoy...”
“Shut the fuck up, Jim!” Steve said. “For once, you’re going to do as I say. I’m tired of taking orders from you. I am my own man.”
“I know you are…”
“Shut the fuck up! I’m talking here.”
Steve hit Jim in the face with the butt of his gun, causing an unimaginable amount of pain; Jim could feel the warmth of blood rushing to his swelling jaw. He couldn’t determine whether or not his left jaw was broken, but he knew that he had to figure his way out of this situation.
Carla, sitting at Jim’s right side, screamed as Jim was hit with the gun.
“Yeah, look at you now!” Steve said, sneering. “Mr. Valedictorian, Mr. Track Runner, Mr. All-American Pretty Boy turned hustler. If it weren’t for me, you’d be dead right now. I’m the one who saved your ass time after time! Every time you needed a job to be done, I did it, you weak, pussy motherfucker. Look at you! You’re so fucking squeamish at the sight of a dead body and blood. My wife’s got bigger balls than you, ya fucking redbone, pussy ass, moist booty bitch!”
“Steve, put the gun down, please,” Carla pleaded.
“Bitch, shut the fuck up! Had you not been fucking snooping, we wouldn’t be here. You kept looking and looking for shit, and now you found it.”
Steve quickly walked over to the other side of the room where Chuck’s body hung, still suspended over the industrial-sized tub.
“Hey Jimmy! Chucky’s waving at you. Hi!” Steve taunted. “This is what Chuck thinks of you.” Steve raised Chuck’s limp hand once again, this time exposing his middle finger.
Carla’s life and marriage flashed before her eyes. Is this the same man that I fell in love with? This can’t be my husband. My husband volunteered at the community center as an unpaid football coach. He read me poetry and rubbed my feet when we first fell in love. She thought about the loads of laundry she did every weekend, the hot meals she rushed home to cook for him after working double shifts, and the back rubs she gave whenever he had back spasms. All of this went for naught.
“Give me the gun,” Jim whispered to Carla.
“The gun, give it to me.”
“I don’t have it.”
“What the fuck do you mean you don’t have it? I gave it to you.”
“I left it outside in the window sill.”
Jim shook his head, disgusted. “Fuck.”
“Eat me, Jimmy, eat me!” Steve continued to taunt as he wiggled Chuck’s hand.
“You’re a fucking idiot,” Jim said. “Do you think you gonna be able to stay out here with Chuck’s body? Sooner or later, Chuck’s brothers are gonna find you, and you know how wild those boys are. This was the dumbest thing you and Jessica could have done.”
“Look who’s talking? Mr. I’m-too-chickenshit-to-collect-my-own-debts. The only reason people fear you is because of me!” Steve said, inadvertently pointing to himself with Chuck’s thumb.
“So you’ve hated me for all these years?” Jim asked. “Why? I’ve always taken care of you. I even kept your ass out of jail!”
“No, you’ve always sent me to take out your trash,” Steve said. “While all you do is run games, rake in juice money, and get paid.”
“If it was so simple, why the fuck you ain’t do it? I’ll tell you why. It’s because you know you can’t keep money long enough to make it happen.”
“No, you’re on bullshit, but since we’ve now established that this is about you and me, why don’t you let Carla go home? She’s done nothing but be the best wife she could be to your dumb ass.”
“Jim, don’t say nothin’ else,” Carla pleaded, fear in her eyes.
“No, you both stay here, and you’re both going to eat a piece of Chuck,” Steve said as he pointed his gun in their direction.
I gotta think fast! Jim thought. His eyes widened as he stared at Chuck’s thigh on the plate.
“Can we at least get a fork and knife?” he asked.
“Jessy, give them a fork, and cut the meat for them,” Steve instructed, now standing near the end of the table on Jim’s left.
Jessica grabbed two forks and a steak knife to cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. After cutting Carla’s meat, she walked to Jim’s left side to cut his meat. Both Jim and Jessica felt awkward as they gazed into each other’s eyes momentarily, longing for one another. She wanted nothing more than to be with Jim, have three of his children, and settle down into the square lifestyle that they talked about. I have more in common with Steve, but he’s like a brother to me, Jessica thought as she continued to cut Jim’s meat. Besides I love Jim. God knows, I didn’t want him to discover my secret like this. If I could just talk to him maybe we could patch things up and start anew.
Despite Steve’s gun pointing directly at Jim, she desperately wanted to tell Jim how much she loved him, but Jim’s anger took over before she could get the words out.
“So my best friend’s calling you Jessy, huh?” he asked. “Pretty soon, you’ll be sucking his dick, if you’re not already.”
“I knew you wouldn’t understand,” Jessica said. “That’s why I never told you! You’re so damn judgmental, Jim. You never did let me be the woman of our relationship. Here, take one bite and you’ll understand why I did this.”
“I don’t wanna understand. I want my girl back,” Jim remarked. “Not only are you eating dead people, you’re also fucking my best friend.”
“I’m not fucking anyone!”
“It’s just a matter of time before you fuck him,” Jim said. “Truth is that you two share something I’ll never share with you.”
Jessica pleaded with Jim with her eyes. “It doesn’t have to be this way, Jim.”
“You made it this way,” Jim said. “You took away my power to make a decision on this.”
“Just cry her a river, why don’t cha?” Steve said.
“I’m sorry, Jim.” Jessica’s voice cracked. Jim tapped Carla’s shoulder, which startled her momentarily. He admired Jessica’s Coke bottle-shaped body one more time before violently pushing her into Steve. The gun fired –both Carla and Jessica screamed. Jim pulled Carla from the chair.
“Hurry, let’s go, Carla!” Jim ran up the stairs as fast as he could while holding on to Carla’s forearm.
Carla picked up the pace after hearing two gunshots being fired. Jessica and Steve gathered themselves, got up and began chasing Jim and Carla.
“Come on, Jim, get the door open!” Carla screamed as they made it to the front door. Steve fired a shot that narrowly missed his wife as they flung open the door and ran for their lives. Jim, having remembered Carla telling him that she left the gun in the window sill, grabbed the gun and took off running toward his car. Steve fired more shots and Jim returned his shots with three gunshots of his own to buy him enough time to escape. After firing his weapon, Jim hopped in his vehicle as fast as he could, and peeled rubber as he mashed the gas and darted down the street. Steve fired several more shots, but Jim and Carla were long gone.
“Why the fuck did you leave the gun outside?”
“I don’t know,” Carla said. “I thought you were going to kill them.”
“We almost got killed because of you leaving the gun behind and shit.”
“How was I supposed to know that they would try to kill us?” Carla cried. “Jessica’s your girlfriend and Steve’s my husband. Why would I expect them to want to kill us?”
“I didn’t expect all of this to happen either,” Jim said as he began to calm down. “I carry my gun at all times because I’m paranoid. I see the unexpected happen all the time.”
“I never looked at it that way.”
“I wouldn’t expect you to either,” Jim said.
Jim and Carla sped down the highway as their eyes combed I-57 for state troopers. He periodically checked the rearview mirror for any sign of Steve trailing him. Steve never followed them. Jim reflected on the reality of the situation as Carla and he made their way back to the other side of the city.
“Carla, we’re gonna have to get out of town.”
“What?” Carla blurted. “I can’t just pick up and leave. I got a job!”
“You have to. It’s too risky to stay here. Steve will kill us both.”
“Can’t you just surround us with your street thug bodyguards?” Carla asked hysterically.
“This is not the time to be funny,” Jim warned.
“Look, you’re Mr. Big Shit in the street. All you have to do is snap your fingers and we got protection, right?”
“First of all, you need to shut the fuck up!” Jim snapped. “You’re not the only person who stands to lose by relocating. Second, if you don’t remember anything else, always remember that it don’t matter if you got 100 Mike Tyson looking dudes with you. If a motherfucker wants to kill you, he will. Steve’s a smart motherfucker and we need to get out of Chicago until I figure out what our next move will be.”
“Look, you don’t have a job; therefore, you don’t need a resume or references to earn a living from another job,” Carla said. “I can’t just quit my job. I need to give them notice.”
“How much notice you need to give them?”
“No less than two weeks, but they’d like enough time to hire my replacement and train them,” Carla said.
“And how much time would that be?”
“Six weeks?” Jim asked, stealing a glance at her. “What kind of fucking job is this?”
“It’s my career whether you like it or not. I need to be able to get a job again.”
Jim had momentarily forgotten what it was like to work for an employer. He had his share of jobs during college and after. In one job he was a sales rep for a rail consulting firm while he was in grad school. After his boss got on his nerves once too many times after winning thousands of dollars in the 10/25 NL poker game, he walked in the office before she got there, said good morning to everyone, returned his key to the office, and walked out. His boss was taken aback by his actions. She even placed 60 phone calls in three days in her failed attempts to convince him to come back to work.
“Look, for six weeks, you’re gonna commute from wherever we’re staying. I will pick you up after every shift,” Jim said.
“I can take care of myself, thank you very much!” Carla crossed her arms.
“Don’t be fucking stupid!”
“Jim, I told you not to talk to me like that,” Carla demanded. “Why do you always talk like that?”
Jim took in a big breath and let it out slowly. “I’m sorry, Carla,” he said sincerely, turning to face her. “I got carried away with my words. Will you forgive me?”
“Don’t look at me like that,” Carla mumbled.
“You know what you’re doing, with your puppy dog eyes, you fucking asshole.”
“Carla, the only thing I wanna know is whether you can forgive me for the things I say to you?”
“Well, can you, Carly?”
“Okay Jim, dang! I forgive you, okay?” she said.
“Okay.” Jim reflected. “I was just trying to tell you how much danger we’re in. You’re gonna have Steve tailing you from your job. I don’t want you to become his next meal.”
“Frank, I need you to make some phone calls and get 20 guys on Steve’s block,” Jim instructed as he exited off the highway. He was growing tired and knew they’d need to stop and soon find a place to calm down and take a quick rest. “I need two lookouts on his block, two lookouts on the next block over on the south, north, east and west. I want four more guys in cars on Steve’s block and two guys standing in front of the house and two guys standing in back. I want the other two guys to patrol the alley in separate cars.”
“Then I want three more guys and two U-Haul trucks there to help us move. Set one up in the back and one in the front.”
“I need this done within the hour,
“That’s impossible. I’ll need at least four hours to get everyone in place.”
“Okay, then everything should be ready at noon,” Jim said, hanging up. He looked to Carla and said, “Carla, when we get back to your house I need you to mark everything that you want to take out that house. Nothing’s too big or small, but I need you to make print outs that say pack and tape those printouts to the things you want so that the men know what to take.”
“Jim, I’m capable of packing my own things.”
“Look, I don’t need to hear your independent woman bullshit right now,” Jim snapped. “I need you to listen to me so that you can stay alive. You are not to pack a motherfucking thing because we don’t have time.”
“You expect me to wear the same shit I got on to work?” Carla asked. “I need my scrubs for work tonight.”
“You’ll have scrubs, even if I have to buy you new ones,” Jim assured.
Carla sighed. “I’m sorry for dragging you into this,” she said.
“It is what it is.” Jim shrugged. “I just wish I had found out sooner, but it’s not totally your fault. Jessica was reluctant to marry me when I talked to her about it. Now I know why.”
“Jim, I just wish things could have been different.”
“Then I would have never found out that my potential wife was a cannibal,” Jim shrugged.
“As least you didn’t marry a cannibal,” Carla countered.”
Jim turned onto the parking lot of a 4-hour motel and carefully parked his car where no one could see it from the street. He turned the car off, took the key out of the ignition then looked toward Carla.
“Well, there’s no use in dwelling on what could have been or what should have been. It is what it is. With that said, we need to catch a nap before going back to your house.”
“Jim, you could have found us a better hotel,” Carla yelled. “They stingy with the towels, and they expect me to wash all of this,” she pointed to herself with one hand, “with this?” and with her other hand brandished a miniature-sized bar of Ivory soap. “Ugh!”
Escape by Glenn Gamble / Thrillers & Crime have rating 2.5 out of 5 / Based on40 votes