October 2011, Contest Rules - had to be 600 words or less and based on: someone comes into town, someone leaves.
It was hot. He was sure Texas had been hotter, but he couldn’t remember when. He spat chew on the sidewalk just to see if it would sizzle, was disappointed when it didn’t. Then he tried his best to blend as he stepped into the local diner.
The waitress irritated him with her birdsong, chirpy voice. He forced himself to smile before he looked up from the menu to order, “Coffee and your Cowboy Breakfast, please.”
Tami found herself inexplicably edging away from him even as she poured his coffee. Determined to be friendly, she asked, “You in town for the Festival?”
“Yes, I’ll be here through the Festival,” he replied bluntly, curtly.
At the last booth, Agent Erin Holbrook sipped her coffee. “This is going to be fun,” she thought. “Poor bastard has no clue.” She wasn’t thinking of Seth, the lame brain on the stool. She was after his boss, Tommy. Had been for some time.
It had been a lucky break that Mitch, Tommy’s youngest son, liked his ex-stepmom and his half brother. That was the main reason Mitch had contacted her.
The kidnapping was to take place today, July 4th. Tommy had sent Seth. “And there he sits, like a fly in a trap,” Erin thought. She put money on the table and walked out to check on the surveillance stations.
The parade was organizing and band members tuning. It wouldn’t be long. She saw Angela setting up chairs across the street. She had convinced Lucy to let Angela, one of her best agents, sit with the boy. Angela was trained, Lucy wasn’t. Things were going according to plan. She turned to take one last look in the diner.
He was gone. She scanned the crowd, the streets, quickly looking at height and build. Nothing.
The clowns were coming down the street with the band blaring behind them. She quickly looked at all checkpoints. Her teams were in place. Seth wasn’t. She had to break silence and alert them. At that moment a clown picked up the boy, and everyone went on alert. Just as quickly, he sat him back in his chair and ruffled his hair. As the clown got closer she saw it was a woman. Relieved, she looked back at the chair. It was empty. So was Angela’s. Then she saw them.
Angela was in pursuit. Seth had the boy. Erin screamed orders while on the run. She went down the side street and through the alley. She rounded the corner and barely had time to pull her gun. Soon Seth was surrounded by 7 other officers. He looked at each one before concentrating on Erin.
“Let the boy go.”
“I can’t do that.”
The flatness in his voice worried her, “Why not?”
“If I go back without him, my boss will kill me.”
“Then you’re in a bind. There’s no way you’re walking out of here with that boy.”
He considered it for a moment and looked again from officer to officer. Then without warning he raised the gun and shot himself.
Later that afternoon, the agents met Lucy and her son at the airport. He was jumping up and down, delighted to ride on an airplane. Lucy was entering witness protection. Erin hugged them both then stood there until the plane started down the runway.
Angela asked, “You liked them, didn’t you?” Lucy looked back at the plane and beamed. “Yes, yes I did. And her testimony is going to put Tommy away for a very long time. Let’s go tell him. Shall we?”