Tag Archives: dilemma

The Show Must Go On

1 May

show

Pamela worked for the reality television show Gotchya! The premise was simple. The producers would field requests from doubtful girlfriends to test the fidelity of their boyfriends. Pamela´s job was to be the bait. Pamela was a gorgeous woman. Even in real life she looked as though she was being photo shopped at any given moment. The show was a smash hit. Part of its success was the phenomenon that was Pamela. The other part was propensity for people to shut off their intellect and have their most base emotions tickled.

Pamela got her latest assignment. She was to seduce a young man named Ari. Ari was engaged and set to be married in a few months. His girlfriend was having unfounded suspicions, probably brought on by her own obsession with the program. Pamela´s intel told her that Ari liked to have a drink with his coworkers for around an hour every Wednesday after work. The sting was to go down in one month.

Pamela had a peculiar interest in this case. For one, Ari was an extremely handsome man. He had a fascinating background as well. He was a fighter in the Israeli special forces before coming to America and earning his business degree then MBA from a top school. Pamela poured over his files religiously after her mandatory two large glasses a wine every day. She could not get Ari out of her mind. She found herself mouthing his name randomly throughout the day.

The month passed and the set up was to go down the next day. Pamela was extraordinarily nervous. She could not sleep. She was confused by these feelings she was having. To make her job easier, she assumed the marks she was to set up were all cheating scum bags, guilty before proven innocent. She could not get into that mind set this time.

The day of the encounter, she took extra care in dolling herself up. Even the van driver took notice and told her that she was exceptionally beautiful that day. She shrugged off the compliments with a nervous smile. The bar had been previously wired for video and audio. The owner could not dream of turning down this free exposure on a hit TV show. She herself got wired up in the van. The producers noticed she was out of sorts. She convinced them it was nothing and was on her way.

As she sat down at the bar she immediately noticed Ari a few seats down. He was impeccably dressed as were the four gentlemen with him. “This looks like a goddamned Gucci perfume commercial” she thought to herself. As she normally did, she sent over a round of drinks. When the group of men asked who was the generous soul, the bar tender gave a nod in Pamela´s direction.

“My God!” said Mike, a handsome, single accounts manager. “I got this” he added with a smirk as he approached the beautiful woman.

“Thank you for the drinks, from all of us” Mike said.

“No problem” Pamela answered.

“You have a boyfriend?” he asked.

“No” she answered.

“Want one?” Mike asked, playfully.

“Sure, doesn´t every woman?” she flirted back. “I could see myself with the guy in the grey jacket and glasses” she smiled, referring to Ari.

“Oh, Ari? He´s taken. Gonna tie the knot soon”

“What a pity” she said adding “Well, maybe he and I could just have a little fun then. I won´t even be in town that long anyway”

“Good luck. Ari is so in love with his fiancé, I don´t even think he…..if you know what I mean” Mike said chuckling and he made a fist and moved his hand in an up and down fashion.

“We´ll see, could you call him over here, please?” she asked.

“Sure” Mike said as he whistled and motioned for Ari to come over.

“This young lady would like to say hi, Ari” Mike said before going back to the group.

“Hello, I´m Ari” he said.

“I know, Mike told me all about you. I´m Samantha” she said. She always used an alias for the show.

“Nice to meet you, thanks for the drink. I think I´m gonna get back to the group. Would you like to join us? A lot of shop talk but I am sure we can come up with another topic on your behalf” he said.

“No, I am only interested in one man at a time” she said, running her index finger down his chest.

“Oh, I´m very sorry. I am engaged. Did Mike tell you he´s single? He is a really good guy, too” Ari said.

“I am very good at keeping secrets. Besides, Mike is not my type, you are” she said, trying her best. This is the point where ninety percent of the marks melt. Ari was not budging. She could sense it.

“I´m sorry, I´m just, I mean, I´m not that guy. I love my fiancé” he said. He was so stoic, yet so empathetic for Pamela that it was making her crazy. Crazy for him.

“Are you sure? I won´t even be in town for long. I will be long and so will our little secret” she insisted.

A big smile flashed on Ari´s face “I am. I am very sure. But again, you can join us. Have a laugh with us. You don´t have to sit here alone.

“That´s ok. I was just leaving” she said. Pamela was crushed. Not because the mark didn´t take the bait. That has happened before and those shows were just as popular as the ones where the mark took the bait. She was personally crushed. She went out to the production van and told them it was a no go. The producers were thrilled. They told her they had enough footage and that this episode would be a smash hit. The hot, young successful businessman, faithful!

The production team wanted to shoot the reveal and get the parties involved to sign waivers so their likeliness could be shown on the program. Pamela refused to be part of the reveal. After some heated debate, the producers agreed to film the reveal without her.

That night Pamela could not sleep. She tossed and turned and Ari´s big smile kept flashing before her eyes. She could not get him off her mind. Around two in the morning and a bottle and a half of Merlot later she found herself calling Ari´s cell phone. When he answered, she hung up. She did this for half a dozen times. She forgot to block her number.

A half hour she received a call from Ari´s phone. She hesitated to answer. She had no idea what she was going to say. Finally she swiped right.

“Hello?” she said.

“Who is this? Why are you calling my boyfriend?” a woman´s voice asked.

A stroke of what Pamela thought was genius crossed her mind. “I´m Sarah. I served with Ari in the Israeli army. We used to hook up back then. I´ve been in town for the past four months and we have been hooking up almost every day since. For old times sake”

There was only a gasp from the other line. The phone hung up. “What did I just do?” Pamela asked herself.

Months went by and Pamela´s obsession subsided. So did the national scandal her actions caused. The scandal only made the show more popular, though. Pamela was made a host of the show. She became so famous that there was no way she could pull off a sting again. Pamela hired a private investigator to catch up on Ari. He was happily married.

One night, as she was halfway done with her second glass of wine there was a knock on her door. She thought it strange, the protocol for visitors in her building had the doorman call before sending a guest up. The knocking was insistent.

She opened the door. Two olive skinned men pushed their way in. “What is this” she gasped.

“Be quiet” one of them said with a thick accent as the other put a gloved hand over her mouth.

“This is for a friend” he said as he produced a silenced IMI 9mm Uzi.

Pamela didn´t hear or feel a thing.

 

 

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Home Is For The Birds

28 Jul

birds

Pilot and Skye had a beautiful home, high up in the trunk of a dead tree. A wood pecker hollowed out an already rotting part in search of a meal. He found what he was looking for and abandoned the site when the food ran out. It was  a perfect home for a young couple of swallows.

One day Pilot went out to look for some food. He gave Skye a kiss on the beak and went his way. He flew almost a full mile until he found a promising location. He looked around for a perch to assess the area. He saw a branch with a wide angle view of the ground below.

Already on the branch was a beautiful female swallow.  Pilot thought he should maybe find another branch but she waved him over with a wink.

“Hello” she said.

“Hello” Pilot said.

“Name´s Libi” she said.

“I´m Pilot” he said, blushing.

“That´s a strong name. Are you a strong bird?” Libi asked.

“Well, not really, I guess I can be” he answered. Libi stayed quite. She knew that silence can drive a male mad.

Pilot´s mind raced, searching for something to say, to break the deafening silence. All he could come up was, “Do you live close?”

“Close to what?” Libi giggled. Pilot blushed again. Libi leaned over and kissed him on the beak. An explosion of emotions rushed over Pilot. The thought that rose to the top was “What am I doing?”

Swallows are hard wired for monogamy. They take a mate for life. This went against thousands of years of evolution.

Pilot pulled away. “I cannot do this! I already have a female”

Libi said with a devilish look, “You do and you don´t now”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, the moment you return home, your “ex” will smell my pheromones on you, so you don´t. But, you have me now” she said.

Pilot wanted to protest but he couldn´t. She was right. Dejected, Pilot asked “Where do you live?”

“I don´t have a home, dear” she answered. “You have to make one for us”

“Oh great…” Pilot thought.

Over the course of a week Pilot made a home just as good as the one he left.  Two days after, Libi kicked him out.

“I thought we were going to be together forever” Pilot said.

“That´s so old fashioned. That instinct must have passed over me” Libi said.

“What am I going to do?” Pilot cried.

“I don´t know. Do the same as the others. Go crawling back to your old home” Libi said.

“Others?” Pilot asked.

“Yeah, the others that I tricked into building me a house. I´m just going to flip it for some quick cash” Libi said.

Pilot wanted revenge but realized this would just get more of her pheromones on him. In fact, he was so busy working, he hadn´t had contact with Libi for days. He flew off to see if he could get his life back.

The Connection

18 Jun

Remote-desktop-connection

Beverly´s only real skill in life was being attractive to the opposite sex. She honed this skill the way a fighter hones various angles of his game, only with less hard work, dedication and honor involved in the process. She was constantly changing looks. Beverly didn´t really like men. She was not a lesbian, but she was in not sexually attracted to men. In fact, she really didn´t like much of anything about them. There was one thing she like in a man, money.

Beverly´s lack of attraction didn´t matter because she could fake it like an academy award winning actress. She could make a man feel like he was the only man she had ever truly loved. Many men to this day think of her as the women who fell the hardest for them.

In her younger days, Beverly would just drift from city to city spending a few months here, a few years there. She always found her way into the most posh apartments, finest restaurants and rubbing elbows in the highest social circles wherever she was. But now her years were catching up to her.

It was not that her looks were diminishing. She seemed to become more beautiful with age. It was that moving so often was getting tiresome and lonely. She wanted to stop. She wanted to live in familiarity for once. New was becoming boring.

She created a profile on a website specifically for women looking for men with money. She went to the trouble to buy a few expensive outfits and had professional pictures taken. She threw the bait out. Now she waited to land her whale.

Among the many messages she received over the first week. One caught her eye in particular. His name was Henry. His profile stated he was an entrepreneur, a very wealthy one at that. Beverly was not destitute by any means. She was smart over the years creating various accounts, depositing gifts from her suitors.

Beverly exchanged many messages with Henry and became very interested. He might be able to provide the soft landing she was looking for. And strangely, she felt that she might like him.

After a few weeks of back and forth they decided to meet. They decided to do it in a big way. They were to rendezvous in Cancun for an extended weekend. Henry had given Beverly a long story of how he had some funds frozen due to litigation in Europe and he asked her to spot him. He would pay her back as soon as the matter cleared. Beverly obliged. It was a mere investment in her eyes.

They spent the most fabulous weekend imaginable. Beverly was more sure than ever that she was on the right path. Henry, besides demonstrating great wealth, was handsome and fun to be around. His legal woes in Europe had increased and now a Chinese court was looking into a business of his. Beverly did not think twice about helping him out. Help him out now, help me out in the future, she thought.

After a few more sob stories and a few more wire transfers, Beverly´s funds started to get alarmingly low. When Henry asked for help again, Beverly had to deny. She hadn´t the funds he required. Soon after, Henry disappeared. He no longer answered e-mails. His cell phone was disconnected. Beverly was devastated.

She took what little funds she had and hired a private investigator to track Henry down. After a few weeks, the investigator found all he needed and closed the case. He brought his findings to Beverly. Henry, or Roberto, his birth name, had a criminal record thicker than Beverly´s passport from all the extra pages she needed. All of his crimes were of the white collar ilk. He had never done time. He was good. Apparently, better than Beverly.

Floating Towards the Future

7 Jun

floating

Marcus has had a crazy idea simmering for months. As of late, it has started to boil over. He wanted to float a truck inner tube from his city to the next one over on the river. The trip would be around 35 miles with varying levels of difficulty. Marcus wrote for a hobby and he felt that this would give him something to write about.

Marcus procured himself an inner tube. Given the danger in a few parts of the river along the way, his family and girlfriend were dead set against this. It had been raining fairly hard in the past few months making the volume of water even greater than usual and the force of the current, stronger.

This did not dissuade Marcus. Despite his 35 years of age, he still felt as indestructible as he did at 21. He could be described as slightly reckless. Marcus felt that a life not lived, red lining the RPM’s, as he often joked, was not worth living at all.

One Saturday morning, Marcus woke up early. He got his stuff together and put it in his car before his girlfriend even noticed he was no longer in bed with her. He then gently woke her up. She was to drive him to the starting point, then drive to where he was hoping to end his successful little journey.

They got to the opening in the tree line where Marcus was to shove off. They said their good byes, Marcus wide eyed and electric, his girlfriend sleepy and yawning. He was off. It was not long that he was out of sight of his girlfriend as he rounded a bend. She got back into the car, gave one more big yawn, turned the key and was off to the final destination.

Marcus was enjoying himself. This part of the river was barely touched by the hands of man. It was fairly virgin wood. It was beautiful. He thought to himself, this is what it is to truly live. He could see some rough rapids in the distance but he did not want to worry himself with the future, he wanted to bask in the now.

In the quickly approaching rapids there were two distinct sides. One has flat smooth rocks that are, for the most part, laid over for precarious, but otherwise safe passage. The other side has jagged, sharp rocks the shoot up from the river bed taunting anything raging down its lane to be ran through.

Marcus turned his back to the rapids as to put them out of sight. They were making him nervous, and that made his enjoyment of the present all the more difficult. He could hear them and just the sound of the water smashing against the rocks made his heart beat faster so he covered his ears. His smooth floating started to rapidly pick up speed. He thought about turning around as to look at the rapids and make a choice but he wanted to savor the serenity in which he was enveloped in for just a few moments more.

Finally, the serenity was gone. His gracious floating became more and more turbulent. He had to face the fact the rapids were upon him. He turned the inner tube to access the situation and he was in horror. He know that the first rapids had two sides and that he had to choose the side with the smoother rocks. But, he could not. It was too late. He was now getting sucked into the rapids and there was no way to steer the inner tube away from the side with the sharp rocks jutting out of the white foaming water.

His last thought as he was violently torn apart upon the millennia old meat grinder was that he should have thought about the future just a little more.

His girlfriend waited for him in the neighboring city until nightfall. When Marcus never arrived the cops were called. Rescue teams were put into action. His inner tube was found floating along the river only a few miles up from the city he was rendezvous in. Some of his gear was found near the first rapids that took his life, his body was not.

Questions Answered

26 May

daddy

Reed stood in his large office with his glare fixed on Central Park through the plate glass window as he was apt to do right after lunch. The same thought, like clockwork, echoed through his mind as it always did at this time. “How did I get here?” was the resounding question.

Reed came from two parents that stayed together for his sake although it was probably more damaging for them to have done so. He had no guidance growing up. He had no positive role model to follow. The role models he did have to follow, if he had followed them, would not have led him to this current location in time and space. He was deathly aware of this.

Reed had the fortune of having a professor at his local community college take an interest in him. This professor recognized that Reed had potential. He took him under his wing and when he felt it was time, unleashed him unto to the world. Reed has since been directly responsible for creating at least 1000 jobs in the metro New York area, indirectly 1000´s more and generating countless millions of dollars in wealth.

None of these accomplishments satiated Reed. He still felt like the kid in class with the cheapest sneakers despite wearing thousand dollar shoes. He still felt like the kid cut from the high school football team despite funding three local high school´s football programs for over a decade. He still felt like the kid who was rejected by the only girl he had a crush on in all his short pubescent years despite being pursued by some of the most beautiful women New York high society has to offer.

He felt empty. He felt he had to do something with his life.

One morning on his way into the office he was listening to an interview with a musician he had liked since he was a kid. The interviewee went on about an experience he had in the jungles of Peru. He had taken a substance called Ayahuasca, a hallucinogen made from jungle plants, and he had a profound life changing, spiritual experience.

Reed felt this was just what he needed to find what it was that he was looking for. He briefed his secretary, Meredith, on his wish and gave her the order to book a trip. He also asked her to book herself on the trip because she was going along with him. She was taken aback at first but she soon warmed to the idea.

Due to the popularity of the interview Reed had heard, trips of this nature were booked for months in advance. He only wanted the best retreat so he obliged to wait ten months. Knowing this was to be a life changing experience he wanted to get closer to his travel companion. He and Meredith decided to have dinner at least once a week, twice if schedule permitted, to get to know each other a little better. Clear ground rules were laid down as to the platonic nature of the encounters.

Due to Reed´s charm and aided by Meredith’s stunning good looks, those rules went right out the window. On the third dinner they could not keep their hands off each other as they went to say goodbye. From that encounter on, they followed each dinner with a trip to a five star hotel where they would take out their lust on one another.

Two months into this situation, Meredith stopped getting her period. She was pregnant. There was no doubt in her mind as to who was the father. Reed´s mind was not so free of doubt. He fathomed, if he could have her so easily and her being as attractive as she was, surely there was a line of suitors.

This doubt did not stop Reed from financially supporting Meredith’s pregnancy, but it held him back emotionally. He kept her at a distance. The months went by and Meredith’s belly grew.

Meredith came into Reed´s office with some news from the doctor. She explained that the doctor was afraid there were some complications and that a cesarean section was to be performed instead of a natural birth. There was even a chance the baby, Meredith or both would not make it. Reed felt a shameful wave of relief and it made him sick.

The day came for the baby to arrive. Reed had everything arranged but was not planning on being present for the delivery. At the last minute he got in a cab and made it to the hospital on time. Meredith was in the operating room. Reed was prepped and allowed in. The doctor kept asking Reed if he wanted to see the work in progress. He said no thank you and stayed by Meredith’s head. She did not look so well. Tears were streaming down her eyes though she was not visibly sad or in pain.

Reed picked Meredith’s limp hand off the bed and held it. He looked at her and felt pity. How did he get here, he asked himself. A sharp cry pierced the air. It was the baby. He, as the doctor informed them, was born.

Reed´s first thought was that it looked nothing like him. Of course, like most new borns, it barely looked like a human. Some of the monitors that Meredith was hooked up to started to make awful sounds. Even though Reed did not understand the beeps and the flashes, his instincts told him they were not good. The doctor asked Reed to go to the father´s lounge and that everything would be okay and he would see the baby in just a little while.

Reed paced nervously in the lounge. The other fathers noticed how he was exceptionally agitated and tried to calm him down. How did he get here, that infernal question raced through his head. After around a half an hour the doctor came in with bad news. Meredith did not make it. She passed not long after he had left the operating room. All Reed could think of was the moment took her hand out of his and put it back on the bed. That was the last contact he had with her while she was still on this planet alive. The scene of the hands flashed in his mind on replay. He felt like punishing himself with the pain the scene made him feel. Finally, the doctor interrupted him.

He asked if he wanted to hold the baby and Reed said yes. He said down in one of the oversized chairs and the nurse came in with the baby. She place it in his arms. He trembled. For the first time in a long time, the question of how he got there did not bounce off the walls of his inner mind. He saw this being and his mission became clear. He cried like he had never cried in his life.

Reed never took that trip into the jungle. In about a month´s time all doubt was lifted as to who was the biological father. The baby looked just like him. It didn´t matter to Reed though, he already was the baby´s father. Everyday upon waking, Reed spoke with Meredith for five to ten minutes. At first he thought it was a little insane. Now it is as necessary a part of his life as breathing. He has stopped asking for forgiveness and now just tells her how the baby is and tells her of his progress.

Reed no longer asks how he got here. He just knows that he is here and that is all that matters.

 

El Gringo pt. 6

16 May

Part One     Part Two

Part Three  Part Four

Part Five

Dirt road

 

Gary asked for an officer who speaks English, which wasn´t all that uncommon to have. The receptionist called for Officer Medina.

Officer Medina came up to the front, greeted Gary warmly and asked him to follow him to his office. After leading him there, he sat him down and offered coffee which Gary was more than eager to except.

After throwing back the bitter black liquid and feeling a slight buzz of energy, Gary told his story, again, what he remembered. Officer Medina just shook his head in a show of disappointment. Then, his eyes opened wide expressing surprise. He threw his finger in the air in a Eureka like moment.

“Oh, Gary. I think I know why you are alive today. Let me make a call” Officer Medina furiously dialed a number on his touch tone phone. He was wildly gesticulating and speaking Spanish at 100 miles per hour.

He hung up the phone. “I was right! I know why you are alive today. The jungle saved you my friend”

“How so?” Gary asked.

“I just confirmed that two people were found torn to shreds, probably by a jaguar and it is around where you say this happened. I will send a crew to check it out. Wanna ride along?”

Gary felt uneasy but he thought, with all the help he had received, maybe this would help with the investigation. “Uh, ok” he obliged.

Gary got into a World War II era jeep and was off with Officer Medina and his crew. Gary could not have known this as his memory was so spotty, but they were on the same road that lead him to his captivity and ultimate escape. They started down a jungle road and came to an abandoned car.

“That´s it! That´s the car! I am sure of it” Gary screamed.

“I´ll be damned” remarked Officer Medina. “Let´s take a look around” They all jumped out of the jeep and walked towards the car.

“Take a look in the back seat Gary. Make sure you didn´t drop anything there” Officer Medina said.

Gary was sure he had left nothing but he knew the officer was being nice so he obliged. As he bent forward he felt a prick in his buttocks. Then he felt pressure that smushed him to the bench seat not letting him get up. The crew was speaking in Spanish and the more he tried to understand, the more he couldn´t. He started to feel the same way he did in the bar that night. Maintaining consciousness became labor some.

As the tunnels he was looking through became more black he heard something in Spanish that he could make out.

“Gringo guts gonna get us paid” then he heard laughter. Then he heard nothing.

 

 

El Gringo pt. 5

13 May

Part One 

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four 

Jungle home

“Hello….Ola” Gary stammered.

“Deus mio! Un gringo?” the old man responded.

“Si, un gringo” Gary answered.

“What da hell you doing here?” the old man asked.

“Chico led me here” Gary answered.

“Who da hell is Chico?” the old man asked and pumped the shot gun. The sound of the cartridge being chambered dropped Gary to his knees.

“I´m sorry, I gave your dog a name… Chico. I followed him here” Gary said, on his knees with his hands reaching for the sky. “I escaped something terrible. I mean no harm, I need help”

“Oh. You can get up” the old man lowered the shot gun. “I´m sorry about this” he said nodding towards the gun. “Around here, you can´t be too careful. A lot of crazy people”

Gary stood up and offered his hand. “My name is Gary”

“My name is Guillermo, nice to meet you. Come inside. Do you think they followed you?” the old man asked.

“I am pretty sure, no” Gary said feeling hope for the first time.

Once inside Gary told Guillermo everything he could remember. Guillermo explained how he was able to speak English. He had lived for twenty years in New York saving his money to one day go back to his native country and buy a piece of land in the bush and live off the grid.

“I am pretty sure they wanted your guts, but why they left you there, I don´t know” Guillermo said. “It´s pretty common around here. Don´t take it personally either. They do this to locals too. Gringo guts no more valuable than local guts. They saw an opportunity”

“When it light again, we get my truck. I take you to town. Nobody bother you here” Guillermo continued.

Gary thanked him profusely. Gary slept on what might be described as a couch in what might be described as the living room. Chico slept on the floor beside him and did not stir until sunrise.

When day broke, Gary, Guillermo and Chico hiked a few kilometers to where Guillermo kept his truck. It was well camouflaged in a makeshift garage made of cut bush. It was an engineering feat, Gary thought to himself.

When they made it to town, Gary thought it best to go straight to the police to report what had happened. They stopped off at an ATM first. Even though his wallet was gone, they didn´t find his emergency fund ATM card tucked in his underwear. Gary withdrew the equivalent of around $100 USD which was a handsome sum for a person of humble means in these parts. Guillermo refused. “You just come visit me at least once before I die. That payment enough”

They stopped in front of the police department. They said their good byes and the pickup was off, kicking up dust from the dirty cobble stone street.

Part Six